Torchwood’s John Barrowman bashes bishop over homophobic remarks

Should I repent?

That was the question actor John Barrowman put to his grey-haired old mum who was in the studio audience of today’s broadcast of the popular BBC programme Loose Women.

The Torchwood team, led by Captain Jack aka John Barrowman, left

The Torchwood team, led by Captain Jack aka John Barrowman, left

“NO!” she emphatically declared – and was warmly applauded by the audience.

Heart-throb Barrowman, who plays captain Jack Harkness in the BBC series Torchwood, was responding to idiotic remarks made at the weekend by Anglican bishop Michael Nazir-Ali .

The Bishop of Rochester provoked outrage among gay groups and others when he urged Church leaders to stick to traditional values instead of being swayed by “culture and trends”.

While calling for the “traditional teaching” of the Bible to be upheld, the Bishop said of homosexuals:

We want them to repent and be changed.

His controversial remarks were published just hours after more than half a million people, including the Prime Minister’s wife, Sarah, took part in this year’s Gay Pride parade in London.

Openly-gay Barrowman, who was “brought up a churchgoer”, told Loose Women that he thought many more gay people would attend church if people like Dr Nazir-Ali:

Would stop talking rubbish.

According to today’s Independent, Sharon Ferguson, of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, condemned the bishop for making comments that she said would encourage hatred.

He is telling people ‘You have to repent’ for something they have no control over. It’s like asking someone to repent because they have blue eyes.

Cock in a frock: Bishop Nazir-Ali

Cock in a frock: Bishop Nazir-Ali

And Peter Tatchell, the gay rights campaigner, said he was “shocked” at the level of anti-gay prejudice voiced by the bishop.

Homophobia is a social and moral evil, just like racism. Bigotry, even in the guise of religion, has no place in a compassionate, caring society. I call on the bishop to repent his homophobia. His prejudice goes against Christ’s gospel of love and compassion.

Labour MEP Michael Cashman accused the Bishop of Rochester of being “selective” about which parts of the Bible he upheld.

When he calls for the closure of all the banks, finance houses and credit card companies because of what it says in the Bible about usury, then I’ll take him seriously. Until then, unless he can say anything good, he should shut up.

Commenting on the bishop’s remarks, the Independent‘s Philip Hensher wrote:

Before Dr Nazir-Ali opens his mouth again, someone should explain the nature of homosexuality. Despite many years of trying, nobody has ever successfully demonstrated a ‘cure’ for homosexuality. There is no clinical ‘cure’. There is no possibility of ‘change’ in this area …

And religion does not succeed where psychiatry fails. Repentance and prayer have absolutely no effect.  … where a change of sexual orientation is sought or imposed, unhappiness and deception invariably follow.

31 responses to “Torchwood’s John Barrowman bashes bishop over homophobic remarks”

  1. Stuart_W says:

    For me, the truly laughable part about Nazir-Ali's comments was his claim that "we welcome homosexuals" because "we don't want to exclude people." I think most gay people would be only too happy to be excluded from the fold of somebody who thinks that homos must apologise to the spirits for their sexual orientation and brainwash themselves until heterosexuality is achieved.

  2. Tony says:

    Dr.NAZI-Ali, anyone. How many more Holy Fools will make the news, feet firmly in mouths, speaking the nonsense they do? That old adage about the idiot child in middle class families being forced into the clergy is evidently true.

  3. barriejohn says:

    Wouldn`t it be a good idea if he called on certain clerics to "repent and be changed" first? My "You-couldn`t -make-it-up-meter" has just exploded!!!

  4. quedula says:

    Good piece Barry.

  5. Tim_Danaher says:

    Barry —

    Best. Headline. Ever.

    Even Remigius couldn't have come up with that one! Fnaar, Fnaar…

  6. barriejohn says:

    The penny`s only just dropped here, Tim! I was taken with the caption re Bishop Nazi-Ali being a "cock in a frock", as the very first thought that entered my mind when I first read his comments were: "What a cock!" Spooky, or what?

  7. barriejohn says:

    And doesn`t he look like a drag artist or something? That pic is just screaming Caption Competition to me, Barry!!

  8. barriejohn says:

    "Mitre thought as much!"

  9. Tom Rees says:

    "Bishop Nazir-Ali is openly gay"

  10. barriejohn says:

    Literally bursting out of the closet, by the look of things!

  11. Ivan says:

    Nazir Ali is, of course, an anogram of Nazi Liar.

  12. David Lawson says:

    I was lucky enough to be at the Gay Pride parade in London on Saturday. I was over-awed by the levels of solidarity there was there. I have never seen so many people in one place be so happy and able to be themselves without any even the prospect of being ridculed.

    Even as a straight person. It was an honour to have taken part.

  13. Tim_Danaher says:

    Yeah, and those sideboards are just so damn…butch.

    "Buggers' Grips we used to call 'em in the Navy" ©HRH Phil the Greek.

  14. If you use the Old Testament to justify your homophobia, you should also be campaigning for the reintroduction of slavery and the legalisation of incest.

  15. Bubblecar says:

    "Nazir Ali is, of course, an anogram of Nazi Liar.'

    Good one, Ivan. And if you shift the "r" to the right, you get Nazi Rali (Nazi Rally).

    Are these all signs from on high?

  16. Stuart H. says:

    Isn't there some irony in the way that a man now acting like a geriatric Telegraph reader only settled in the UK due to Robert Runcie, former Arch of Cant, arranging his asylum here, but after grovelling to various Anglican knuckledraggers and failing to get the Arch of Cant job himself his life is such a mess that the only Brits backing him are the kind of retards who think all black asylum seekers should be sent home?

  17. Elainek123 says:

    What are they frightened of. I was just wondering if as I am an Atheist who has been called 'not human' is it possible to take whoever says this , to the Human Rights court.
    If a god made us in his image what was his image,. I will not go any further as I myself may be taken to Court.

  18. valdemar says:

    Not sure which is more disturbing – the church's ludicrous bigotry, or the fact that somebody here has been watching Loose Women…

    As for 'what are they frightened of?' Being found out for the irrelevant bunch of deadbeats they obviously are, I assume. Nobody cares, CofE. Go away you silly men, it's not about you and your crazy, cold-hearted 'beliefs' any more.

  19. barriejohn says:

    Or Liza Rani, of course! You may be onto something there, Ivan!!

  20. barriejohn says:

    Ditto John Sentamu (Archbishop of York) – another complete fruitcake and publicity-junkie!!

  21. Hafbjorn says:

    Loose women is on ITV…
    Not that i know that.

  22. barriejohn says:

    Someone told me that as well!

  23. Ivan says:

    If memory serves me right, it was Sentamu who was part of the inquiry set up to look into the killing of Damilola Taylor where he used, or rather abused, his position to stop any discussion of allegations that Damilola had suffered homophobic taunting from the perpetrators prior to their attack on him.

    Given his religious stance on homosexuality, the public revulsion against homophobia that might have been stirred up by a conclusion that it played a part in Damilola's killing would have been most inconvenient to him.

  24. Skepticsteve says:

    Like most chri$tian officials, this bishop is almost certainly just another costumed, self-hating, closeted homosexual and Barryman is wasting his time even acknowledging such a fool.

  25. barriejohn says:

    Shock! Horror! Private Eye has stolen all our best jokes from off this site!!

    "BISHOPS MUST REPENT" Says Tatchell by Aza Nazi-Rally.

    The outspoken Gay Rights activist has shocked many in the Bishoping community by demanding that Bishops should "repent" and "change their ways".
    He told reporters, "It is no good saying they were born that way or that what they do is in some way natural. We all know that Bishops like dressing up in women`s clothes and hanging about in vestries with a lot of other men."


    "I have nothing against Bishops", he went on. "I am not a Bishopophobe, but you wouldn`t want your son to marry one."

  26. barriejohn says:

    PS There are some very funny cartoons again, as usual!

    The Burqas of Calais (I`ll leave that to your imagination!!)

    The Richard Dawkins Darwinian Summer Camp: "I`m sorry, Cuthbert, but because you came last in the running race…you must die." !!!

    For the rest, buy your own copy! (£1.50 from all disreputable newsagents.)

  27. barriejohn says:

    Yes. the man`s a cunt, but then he`s a member of the Establishment, isn`t he? Go to… for the full story.

  28. barriejohn says:

    How very right you are! How many other readers remember that (in)famous television "debate" on The Life of Brian, when Cleese and Palin were so mercilessly attacked by Malcolm Muggeridge and Mervyn Stockwood, Anglican Bishop of Southwark. Stockwood was a rampant homosexual, who absolutely loved all the trappings of his office, despite being a so-called socialist. He sat in his chair, obviously relishing all the media attention, adorned in his flowing robes, and wearing a cross which Michael Palin remarked on as being the biggest he had ever seen, I believe! Shortly before his death Stockwood was one of the ten C of E bishops "outed" by Outrage, though their names were not generally published in England until the era of the internet, more`s the pity!!

  29. barriejohn says:

    More about the Life of Brian debate at… . I`d quite forgotten that Lady Stockwood`s parting (cheap) shot was: "You`ll get your thirty pieces of silver." What an odious, hypocritical bastard!

  30. Cyril Fitzgerald says:

    I am gay, and proud of that. I am also proud of the fact that my creator gave me a brain. A brain enables people to assess opinions, and varying “facts”, and, hopefully, arrive at a balanced conclusion.

    Bishop Nazir-Ali, where, exactly, don’t you acknowledge the fact that God creates humankind who are not always attracted to the opposite sex. I know, you’re going to quote me some biblical text, automatically assuming that the quote is FACT, WRONG. Why do you automatically assume that what you believe is FACT, by the very nature of religion it is BELIEF… there’s a bit of a difference, but then, because you are “guided”/”instructed” by “God”, obviously you are correct in your biggoted beliefs.
    Does St. Anselm’s Ontological Argument SPELL OUT the irony of your believing that what you are saying is FACT? I guess not…. YAWN…

  31. Who cares about gays anyway except silly people who believe in a god and other silly billys who follow Islam.
    To me they all the same just another set of fools who think they know best and everybody else is just a fool.

    I dont care about any of them they can all go to hell in a handcart for all I care.

    There is no such thing as homosexuality its just a personal preference the same as there is no god its just for people who are afraid of death and want their silly little lives to mean something,

    Well your lives dont mean anything and unless you do something great in this life for the benefit of a great deal of people you will be forgotten by your great grandchildren let alone the rest of us.

    I will admit though that being gay does seem to produce
    people to be great, like lawrence of Arabia
    Alan Turing and the most of the British acting profession