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Gay vicar’s marriage: Christian Voice lunatic has a fit of the vapours

A 64-year-old Church of England minister who intends tying the knot with his lover, aged 25, has sent a frisson of horror through Stephen “Birdshit” Green, creator and sole member of an hysterical outfit called “Christian Voice“.

Britain’s funniest fundie described the forthcoming civil union between the Rev Colin Coward, a priest at St John the Baptist church in Devizes, Wilts, to Bobby Egbele as “an abomination”.

Rev Coward and Bobby Egbele , who is described in the tabloids as a 'toy boy'

Mr Coward is just an emotionally disturbed man trying to inflict his predilections on the rest of the Church. This is an abomination before God, not a holy union.

Green must be doubly miffed over the interracial union, as he once declared:

Homosexuals are not black or Asian as a rule, they are overwhelmingly white.

The pair are due to marry on October 9 at the register office in Devizes before holding a service at the church.

According to the Telegraph, the union has caused a stir among Christians because the couple plan a carefully-worded “blessing” service in church after the ceremony. The service will be a communion Eucharist rather then a blessing, which is forbidden for homosexual couples.

Rev Coward has declined to confirm that he will remain celibate following the union, which is a requirement the Church of England asks of its ordained homosexual clergy.

The vicar, who lives with his boyfriend in Marston, near Devizes, said he hoped his union would set a “visible example” to other homosexuals within the church.

My goal is for everyone within the church to feel comfortable with the situation because at the moment the majority of gay Christians marry secretly.  It is a taboo subject but the church is now under huge pressure to change its stance and that pressure will only increase in the future.

He added:

Clearly the blessing is going to be quite a sensitive issue. I know that many people will see it and view it with horror. But we are both deeply committed Christians so it would be unthinkable for me not to do it in church and not to do it with the congregation and with all of our friends. I hope my wedding will inspire others and set a visible example to the church that we are not afraid.

And he pointed out:

Churches are not supposed to bless civil partnerships. It can bless almost anything else; animals, bombs, battleships, armies going to war but gay couples? No. So our church blessing has to be carefully-worded in so far as it does not use the word blessing in the context of the two of us in relationship.

Rev Coward discovered he was gay in his teens, and he was ordained as a priest in 1978 after giving up his job as an architect.

He openly declared his homosexuality in 1991 before setting up the international gay and lesbian campaign group Changing Attitudes in 1995.

He met his boyfriend in 2007 at a Christian conference in Togo, West Africa, and the pair were engaged last year.

Egbele, a fashion designer, whose full name is Bobby Ikekhuame Egbele, grew up in Nigeria and runs an online clothing shop Bobafrique, where he models the clothes.

40 responses to “Gay vicar’s marriage: Christian Voice lunatic has a fit of the vapours”

  1. Lucy says:

    I wish the couple every happiness.

  2. Susan says:

    The genders are irrelevant, the age gap on the other hand!!! 64 and 25, toe curling, one of them is way to needy and the other one is a dirty old man.

  3. barriejohn says:

    Who the bloody hell are you to make a remark like that, Susan?

    John Lennon famously remarked that any loving relationship between two people had to be a good thing, and I would add to that that anything that pisses off the execrable Stephen Green must be a good thing too!

  4. Susan says:

    Sorry to upset, just my personal prejudice. I just think that a couple stand a better chance of a happy ever after ending if they have more than love going for them. A partnership should be a meeting of equals and that includes age. The more you have in common with each other the better. A common outlook on life, which can be shaped by your experiences and expectations, is very helpful when it comes to a long relationship. The experience and expectations of a 64 year should be very different to those of a 25 year old and vice versa. Not all loving relationships are romantic, the love a young person has for an older person is the bedrock of family not marriage.

  5. barriejohn says:

    Those are generalizations Susan, however valid some of the points might be – though saying that couples should be of the same age is still way over the top to me! However, calling the vicar “a dirty old man” based on your prejudices is unforgiveable!!

  6. Lucy says:

    Forgive and forget!

    It all depends what you want out of a relationship. Happy ever after usually works better if the couple are similar-ish. But that can also mean settling for dull.

    It is an interesting point though, romantic love is a feeling and can be a cover for all sorts of other needs and wishes. Young person marrying a very rich very old person is usually accused of gold digging but may also get a lot out of being so admired and wanted.

  7. Barry Duke says:

    When I posted this piece I anticipated a lively debate concerning the age difference involved. Certainly, on several fundie sites I visited, the “eeeugh”factor was concentrated more on this aspect of the relationship than on the sexual orientation of the couple, with words like “sickening” “and dirty old man” being bantered about.

    Here I must declare an interest. I was 49 when I lost my partner of 21 years to cancer 14 years ago. To my astonishment, I found that the men whom I began to attract in the aftermath of his death were predominately in their early 20s – and within a year of Brian’s death at the age of 47 I found myself in a long-term, loving relationship with someone 20 years younger than me.

    Marcus gave me a new zest for youthful living, which persists today in every aspect of my life, and from me he got all the benefits of my experience of having been on the planet for two decades longer than he had been – from financial responsibility through to computer expertise.

    Sorry, I just don’t get people who vehemently express distaste for relationships in which there is a significant age difference. It’s irritating and irrational.

  8. Chris says:

    Susan – A sensible woman would simply have said “fair point, not my business what two consenting adults do” and moved on. Not sure heaping your age-related prejudice on top on the religious, homophobic and racist issues these two people must encounter is necessary.

    I wish them every happiness. Would it kill you to do the same?

  9. Chris says:

    Well said, Barry! 🙂

    Chris [for the record, late 40s with a civil partner 7 years his junior.]

  10. Susan says:

    I apologise for the dirty old man comment, it was glib and uncalled for. On first reading it reminded me of the old joke ‘Where have you be all my life’ ‘I wasn’t born for most of it’. I always thought that ‘spending your life with one another and growing old together’ was a big part of romantic love and that is not going to happen in this case. So may be this love is coming out of something other than romantic love, and the age gap might have something to do with it.

  11. Susan says:

    Fair enough Chris ‘fair point, not my business what two consenting adults do’and I do wish them all the happiness in life. I don’t expect my opinions should they ever learn them will make a blind bit of difference to them and nither should it.

  12. Broga says:

    I have long tended to the view, I think Jung said it first, that romantic love is a mental illness like any other and should be regarded as such. If you can achieve some detachment – not easy – better look at compatibility of interests, comparability of intellect and education perhaps, similar sympathies. For example, I don’t think a devout Christian and myself would have lasted the 43, and still, going years of marriage with my atheist wife. After six months or so reality chips away at the romantic phantasy and there had better be something to underpin it. I am not claiming any particular wisdom for myself all those years ago as I was as reckless as the next person but I guess I was lucky. We married inside three months, Registry Office, so not a lot of cool consideration there.

    Age. Increasingly there needs to be a difference drawn between chronological age and physical age. There are plenty of knackered sixty year olds, victims of fags, booze, inactivity and bad attitudes who look as if they were twenty years older. There are also plenty of very active people decades older who are fit, lean and happy.

  13. Marcus says:

    While I hope Colin and Bobby are both very happy together, they are still a couple of loathsome god botherers. I just hope their attempt to reconcile their sexuality with a church which clearly abhors them and wishes they would go away causes as much angst and frothing at the mouth as possible for the likes of Birdshit.

    By the way, in case you are wondering I am not the Marcus to whom Barry refers.

  14. Stonyground says:

    I find their continued attachment to the CofE quite baffling considering the attitude that the organisation still harbours toward gay people. Oddly I have just unearthed an old (28/05/2010) NSS Newsline that has the following as the first quote of the week, taken from an editorial in the observer:

    “The Anglican bishop of Uyo in Nigeria, Isaac Orama, has described homosexuals as ‘inhumane, insane, satanic and not fit to live’. The Anglican hierarchy in Britain has avoided speaking out too frankly on this matter to avoid a schism, but the Church’s quiet diplomacy has done nothing to help the victims of homophobic repression. Increasingly, it looks like complicity.”

    I would add that it looks like complicity because that is precisely what it is. For what it’s worth, my wife is nine years younger than I am, we have been together nearly twenty years.

  15. Broadsword says:

    Anything that upsets Stephen Green is fine by me.
    Interesting that he’s now attacking fellow xians. I think he’d make a smashing bridesmaid.

    Why do the CofE insist that homosexual clergy remain celibate? You can’t fight nature.

  16. barriejohn says:

    Why do the CofE insist that homosexual clergy remain celibate? You can’t fight nature. (Broadsword)

    This is what The Beloved Leader, Jesus H Christ, supposedly taught:

    “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." (Matt. 5.27-28)

    What, then, as I have so often asked, is the point of “celibacy”?

  17. Broadsword says:

    barriejohn

    By Jesus H Corbett’s standard I commit “adultery” several times a day.

  18. chrsbol says:

    My wife is 10 years younger than me.
    Oh how I wish she were 30 or 40 years younger.
    It’s OK she doesn’t frequent this site much!

  19. Broga says:

    Does anyone think that the senior clergy laying down the rules stick to them in their own lives? I think the evidence is all too clear that the rules are no more than holier than thou posturing. And for the best and most obvious examples still gushing into the public domain like damn which has been broken look no further than Ratzinger and his outfit.

  20. barriejohn says:

    Of course, Broadsword, and so does every normal person, as we are programmed that way by nature. But how does “celibacy” make a gay Christian any less a “practicing homosexual” if that is the case? Don’t they read their own Holy Bollocks?

  21. J says:

    Out of interest is Stephen Green married. I can remember meeting Christians who believed homosexuality was a perfect act of loving expressed in an unnatural way. Unfortunately despite their beliefs one had attempted suicide and another permanently on anti-depressants.

  22. Broadsword says:

    J

    Greeny is married to a woman who I assume must share his views. She wouldn’t be able to live with him otherwise.

    Off topic. One for the album off LOLgod:
    http://lolgod.blogspot.com/2010/08/nazis-were-atheists.html

  23. J says:

    Martin Luther wrote an article – The Jews and their lies which fuelled antisemitism and again shows the inconsistencies of man made religion.

  24. barriejohn says:

    Broadsword: I think they’re just waving goodbye to Il Papa as he goes off on yet another of his goodwill tours, dispensing wisdom and compassion to a needy world!

  25. Beowulf says:

    Is this a forum for queers or what?Why must I,as a non-believer,accept homosexuality as being equal to heterosexuality?And since when has being opposed to unnatural vices-that should set you all going!-been “homophobia”?

  26. Tom Rees says:

    Regarding the age difference. At least for heterosexual couples, there is good evidence that, all other things being equal, a large age difference does lead to unhappiness (especially if the woman is older than the man). I don’t know of any data on homosexual couples. It may be quite different.

  27. Daz says:

    @Beowulf

    Assuming you’re for real, as I can’t see anything that makes your comment seem ironic in any way, and biting back on the angry response that first came to mind…

    Please define, as a non-believer, the term ‘unnatural’ in a way that makes some kind of sense. And, in light of the fact that same-gender intercourse has been observed in all species which have two genders, why should Homo Sapiens be any different?

  28. OpenMind says:

    There was a young pair from Devizes
    Whose Tools were of different sizes
    One whose was small, which was no use at all
    But the other’s was large and won prizes

  29. John Arnold says:

    Don’t care a jot whether they’re god-botherers or not (I’m not) – nor what ages they are (I’m 62, but wouldn’t arf like to be partnered with someone 40 years my junior … or any age, for that matter). Certainly not interested in their sexuality (I’m a “queer” as you put it, Beowulf – but I’ve nothing against straight people). None of that is my business: nor is it anyone else’s.

    I just wish them all the best. It’s pretty special when 2 people want to make a commitment to each other. A jolly sight more life-enhancing that the crap from Birdshit & Beowulf.

    Good luck, Colin & Bobby.

  30. Sean Reynolds says:

    Since OpenMind started with the limericks:

    The gay Vicar and Green, still at war
    Fought in death outside heaven’s great door
    But both backed the wrong horse
    ’cause they should have went Norse
    And were cast into hellfire by Thor.

  31. barriejohn says:

    In what way precisely is homosexuality not “equal to heterosexuality” then? I’m intrigued! Is there a sliding scale? And on what basis, except a religious one, could you possibly refer to same-gender sex as “a vice” or “unnatural”?

  32. John Whittle says:

    Reading through these few comments, it’s amazing how one person can be so critical over someone elses comments, but not allow their comments to be critisised by anyone else. So, barriejohn, what gives you a priority to have your personal opinions made public, yet, in your opinion, Susan is out of order to have her say in the matter. You are obviously prejudice, and discriminating the free will of what Sue has to say. And, her comments are no less valid than your own because this page is called ‘FREETHINKER’ Hello, are you still there barriejohn? Who gave YOU permission to dictate the views of others? And, by what authority do YOU over-rule the opinions of others. You have none, except your own self-appointed authority which is void. So, for a taste of your own medicine; barriejohn. “Who the bloody hell are YOU to make a remark like the one YOU made” Now, for the record, this is not my personal opinion, but the specific word of the Supreme God which Mr Coward is supposed to be a representative of. However, this Coward bloke has violated the truth of what he is supposed to be teaching and preaching. The Supreme God says that what they are doing is called a ‘VILE AFFECTION” You and I have no say in the matter when Almighty God has spoken. Mr Coward should know better, and possibly he does, but he’s more than happy to deliberately violate what God has said, and expose himself as an enemy of God by his Satanic behaviour. Yes, we all know where gays love to put their penis. Now this is my opinion:- Filthy buggers.

  33. John Whittle says:

    In reply to barriejohn. There’s is no need to be intrigued, it’s perfectly simple. God has said that this behaviour is unnatural. And there’s no ‘sliding scale’ as you put it; whatever gave you that idea? The answer has already been provided by God, we do not need another answer from anyone. God calls it unnatural, that means it’s unnatural. God says it’s vile affections, so, that’s exactly what it is. Why change it? Do you suppose you know better than God? Let me tell you what else God has said about same-sex relationships. “For this cause God gave them up to vile affections, for even the women changed the natural use of the bodies into that which is against nature. Did you get that? Do you understand the language that God uses here? ‘Against nature’ He continues with these words: “And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one towards another; men with men” etc; etc; etc; (and the result of all this filth is that these ‘gays and lesbians’ will receive the recompence, the penalty, for what they do, and for rejecting this ad-vice from God about their actions). God then has this to say. “Because they failed to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind so that they could carry on doing what they know is not natural” This is what it means to be given over to a reprobate mind:- 1. A morally unprincipled person. 2. One who is predestined to damnation. adj. 1. Morally unprincipled; shameless. That’s really bad news for a preacher man. Let me tell you something else. Gay is not the correct word to use for these people. Sodomites is the proper title. When I was young, we called them bum bandits… bum boys, arsehole creepers. nancy boys, poofs and queers. Bent, as they bent over to please their mates with vile affections. That’s not love, it’s called lust. Oh yes, all these names were filthy, but they were still watered down half-truths. God calls it lust, so what’s stopping everyone else from calling it lust? I guess most people don’t like the truth, because the truth hurts; but it’s still the truth. So, quit beating about the bush with all the pathetic excuses, deceit and lies, and accept the facts as they are. Sodomy is vile, and not natural. Colin and Bob will soon have them smiles wiped of their faces when confronted with the error of their ways. God is merciful and willing to forgive them both, but first, they must repent, and they must be genuine about it. God loves them, but hates their filthy sin in the same way as He hates all sin. Colin is a dreadful example and witness to Christianity. I can say that God will not be mocked by the likes of these two Sodomites. There’s a place called everlasting punishment reserved for people who think they can get the better of the Supreme LORD. That place is hell. The scripture says:- “For a time has come when judgment must begin at the house of God. And if it begins with us, what will the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God. And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Colin and Bob are acting in a most ungodly manner, and boasting about it. SHAME ON THEM.

  34. Beowulf says:

    dixi dixit

  35. barriejohn says:

    Did anyone actually bother to read that pile of cow manure? Get rid of him Barry, please – there’s a nasty smell of religious bigotry around here!

  36. Daz says:

    Dear John,
    Please learn to use paragraphs – they make long rants much easier to follow.

    Dear John,
    Please learn to use your brain. It would make your rants much pleasanter to read.

    Thanks in advance.

  37. Daz says:

    Sorry for the double post. I just noticed Beowulf’s ‘reply.’

    First off, thanks for the well thought out and deeply philosophical way you responded. Dixit — dicks it, haha that was so funny I almost erm, laughed. I assume you think I’m gay. I’m not, not that it’s any of your business. I assume you believe that posting bad puns gets you out of defending your statement that something can be unnatural, even though you profess to not believe in the supernatural. Well, I suppose it does, as I can’t force you to answer.

    I’ll reserve my right to think you’re nothing but a bigot who can’t even defend his own views in polite debate, though.

  38. John Arnold says:

    Thank you, John Whittle

    Despite the appalling spelling, lamentable grammar, and generally useless English, your rants have given me so much enjoyment. I haven’t laughed so much for ages.

    I’m a little worried, though. Is your blood-pressure maybe a mite elevated? Steady on, old love.

  39. Gay vicar's marriage: Christian Voice lunatic has a fit of the vapours…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  40. Woden says:

    ”Beowulf” is a disgrace to that name. The real/fictional Beowulf is a hero and a symbol of nobility, not hatred and vile attitudes. Infact Germanic heathens, which Beowulf would have been, were not homophobic and many practiced homosexuality, like the Samurai and the Greek warriors. I am not a homosexual but I see nothing at all wrong with it. I view homosexual couples in the same way as heterosexual couples.

    The few that is an unnatural vice is inconsistant with both heathenism and secularism.

    But I must point out that teh Catholics above are not NAZI, their salute was common in the church before Nazism came about. It is an old Roman salute, a sign of the old non-Christian origins of the structure and gestures of the Roman Christian church.