Monday, 21 March 2016

I'd just like to add... that I am going to shut my stupid mouth.

Ha bloody ha. I wrote this, then The Independent did some proper research. So most of what follows is based on my amazing ability to act like the people that I am complaining about.

Can I have my Left Wing Badge back, please? I've decided I am wrong again.

No wait - the article links to another article in which he states...

Mr Crabb told The Telegraph: “I don’t support or endorse any views about ‘gay cure’ 

Is he saying 'any views' at all? Like, he has no view on whether it is a positive theology or a negative one? Hedging his bets, right? Deliberately confusing me so I don't know whether to defend or attack him?

I am getting very close to handing back my Left-Wing membership card. I believe that I have stated my opposition to the Conservative government of the UK on several occasions, mainly because I find it hard to believe how naked their application of self-interested policies has been. They call it 'austerity', but it looks like helping their mates to make cash from services that post-war consensus politics (RIP, 1945 - 1979) assumed ought to be run by the state. 

Most recently, I have been unimpressed by actions that are clearly self-interested (Boris going all Brexit, IDS stomping out of the cabinet) being advertised as public spirited and principled. Having read some of Boris' books about the Roman Empire, which include appeals to include Turkey in the EU, I believe that he calculated the possibilities of being a big-shot in the Brexit campaign not out of belief in British sovereignty but to further his own career. And as for IDS going all 'compassionate'... I barely know what he can mean by compassionate, given his track record.

Anyway, IDS is gone and has been replaced by a Crabb.  He seems to have started off by irritating the left by claiming that it is secularisation that encourages young Muslims to get radical. I don't know. Maybe it does. Maybe some people join Isis because they dislike the marginalisation of bishops in the House of Lords. Maybe they got angry at Gamergate. It seems unlikely to me, but Crabb probably wanted his audience of Conservative Christians to applaud and feel relevant to the Big Debate.

Then something comes up: Crabb 'believes' that homosexuality can be cured, through prayer. The evidence for this... I can't find it.

Luckily, someone else did. I am not entirely convinced that this proves the point entirely, just that he is a bit vague on where he stands. 

 The Metro says that he had some interns off an organisation that encourages this theological position, but he explicitly denied endorsing these view. And in The Spectator blog (above), he rejects 'doing God' in politics, just like Tony Blair did. 

The whole Christian 'sexuality can be changed through religious

conviction' routine is exceptionally ugly. Worrying that this kind of philosophy can sneak into policy making is sensible. It also seems like a messy theology. It is an expression of literalist Christianity, but a literal reading of The Bible offers little evidence that the authors were thinking about homosexual identity as a thing. 

Even those difficult passages that are used to justify homophobia concentrate on homosexual acts. To call homosexuality a disease is anti-scriptural, because it recognises an idea of sexual identity that is not present in the texts. 

Not that arguing exegesis is the only or best way of criticising this belief. But it would be helpful if Christians could point out to other Christians where their beliefs and behaviours are making them look stupid and violent. 

But Crabb probably doesn't agree with pray away the gay, anyway. And I wish the left could concentrate on attacking him for being a Conservative, and not a Christian. Ascribing views to him that he has stated that he does not hold, getting all red flag about religious belief... wait. That is the secularisation he is moaning about in his speech to the Conservative Christians. It suggests a suspicion that religious faith is inevitably corrupt, and that Christians hold a monolithic set of beliefs, some of which are homophobic. And at the level it gets bandied about Facebook, it becomes the equation Christianity equals Homophobia... 

Maybe it does, and I am just being all sensitive. But my arguments, defending a man whom I do not respect, suggest that shouting without reference to facts, assuming the worst and getting off the topic at hand (the Tories are in a crisis of their own making, possibly because they are more nervous about Corbyn and the expression of left-wing sentiment) let them off the hook, allows the left to perform its role as an ignorant, thoughtless group who don't bother to check their statements...

If you want to have a go at him, try this instead...

In May 2009 Crabb claimed £8,049 on his second home expenses in order to refurbish a flat in London. 
After selling the flat for a profit, he "flipped" his expenses to cover a house that was being purchased for his family in Pembrokeshire. 
A room in another flat was then designated as his main home. 
On 17 March 2016 he voted to cut ESA for disabled people by £30 per week.

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