Keir’s Tears image

Keir’s Tears

Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, has offered an ‘apology’ for visiting the Jesus House – one of London’s largest and most influential churches, and one especially committed to serving the wider community.

Why the need for the apology? Because Jesus House holds to a traditional sexual ethic.

One might imagine that a commitment to diversity and tolerance would include space for those who hold to an historical understanding of marriage, but no, that no longer appears to be the case. One might also have sympathy for Sir Keir – coming under the LGBT+ cosh is not pleasant – but his apology doesn’t look a great tactic for long term leadership success. Once you have so quickly given into a bully it is much harder not to hand over your dinner money the next time it is demanded.

The apology also puts Starmer in an awkward position for anyone who wants to be a national leader. By the logic of the apology he will now not be able to visit the thousands of churches in the UK which hold to a traditional sexual ethic, despite their food banks, working with the poor, serving the toughest communities, ministries to those with addictions, and so on. In addition, he will not be able to visit the Vatican, Orthodox synagogues, or almost any mosque. Is that really the best way to show leadership in a multicultural and multifaith society?

My Bible reading this morning was in Isaiah 59. Verses 14-15 were appropriate:

So justice is driven back,
  and righteousness stands at a distance;
truth has stumbled in the streets,
  honesty cannot enter.
Truth is nowhere to be found,
  and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.

At least in some churches truth is still to be found - no apology required.


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