Schofield & Graham, Anderson & Forbes

Another British hero has just been made. Philip Schofield, the children’s TV presenter-cum-silvery haired staple of daytime TV, has made a brave and courageous announcement. He’s revealed to the world- on live television- that’s he’s sexually attracted to men. Stonewall, the LGBT pressure group, seized upon it immediately. Luvvies and celebrities around the country have publicly messaged him support and some my of own relatives on social media have gone to the trouble of sharing how proud of him they are. One might have thought he’d rescued a small child from a burning house or negotiated a peace treaty. I’m a little puzzled why a 57-year-old resident of London is receiving so much adulation for announcing a personal circumstance over which he presumably has no choice. Homosexual acts between two men have now been lawful for 53 years, the age of consent has been lowered three times, civil partnerships have been introduced and marriage redefined. So I’m not too sure what exactly he has achieved- he’s hardly a trailblazing Harvey Milk or Peter Tatchell. I wonder if it’s his wife of 27 years who better warrants our sympathy.

While the London luvvies and social liberals are ecstatically congratulating each other on a man who’s attracted to men telling the world he’s attracted to men, American evangelist Franklin Graham is all but banned from the country. His visit to Liverpool has been opposed by the mayor, Joe Anderson, who said:

“Our city is a diverse city and proud of our LGBTQ+ community and always will be. We can not allow hatred and intolerance to go unchallenged by anyone including by religious groups or sects. It’s right we have banned from the M&S Arena Franklin Graham. #Love conquers hatred always.”

Banning Christians from holding meetings does not apparently come under Joe’s definitions of hatred, diversity and intolerance. Joe would have a good chance of success applying for mayoralties in North Korea. Over in the north-east, the Utilia venue in Newcastle has come under pressure from LGBT pressure groups and Newcastle’s Council Leader, Nick Forbes, to not host Graham’s meetings. He told his local press:

"Pastor Graham peddles controversial, repulsive views about LGBT people which are in direct conflict with the values we hold dear in Newcastle.”

Once again, a petty tyrant banning religious meetings and evangelism because they are contrary to his personal beliefs and state-sponsored morality. The values of Newcastle do not apparently include freedoms of speech and religion, nor the diversity trumpeted in Liverpool. No, we must all live in Forbes’ monochrome world of politically-correct ideology.

Philip Schofield is welcome to say what he wants and pursue relationships with whom he sees fit. That’s his civil right and one of the joys of living in a free society. But considering the national hostility to anyone who does not endorse the new morality, Schofield’s proclamation is hardly the stuff of valour. While bestowing honour on a man who does little to deserve it, another is being silenced by the state and a small, angry mob because his views cannot be tolerated.

Good bye, freedoms of religion and expression. We enjoyed your time with us, and we regret your hasty departure. We hope you’ll return one day. Please don’t stay away for long.

Image by Meryl katys from Pixabay