No, you don’t have to believe this. Yes, you can mock this all you like.
Until it sorts out in its own minds what exactly it is about homosexuality that offends it and is able to explain its reasons in intellectually rational, credible and convincing terms to outsiders, the church (all churches, actually) will continue to be assailed with justified accusations of homophobia. Saying “because the Bible says so” is not quite good enough, especially when the church has changed its mind about so many other things in the Bible over the years.
No, not that, I’ll mock that in a moment.
The Church’s view (now this is the RC view but there’s very much a strand of Anglicanism that follows this, it’s also pretty much true of Islam and Judaism) is that only sex which has the possibility of conception, within marriage, is moral. Everything else is out.
So homosexual sex is out, as is lesbian. Blow jobs are fine but no orgasms that way, same with anal and other varieties. Condoms are fine to prevent HIV transmission but there must be a hole to leave open the possibility of conception (that was actually a real argument put forward by part of the Curia at one time).
As I say, you don’t have to agree with this, don’t have to believe it or live this way, mock it all you wish. I certainly neither believe it nor agree with it.
But that is the basics of the position.
And it’s a pretty clear position, there’s logic to it if you accept the original premises.
One of the most hilarious press conferences I attended in my lengthy stint as the Guardian’s religious affairs correspondent…
But my real point here is that I would expect a religious correspondent, yes, even one for The Guardian, to actually know all of the above. Which is why Stepehn Bates rather deserves our mockery.