Rev. Peter Mullen, Homophobia and Suicide of Those Too Vulnerable To Defend Themselves
Okay, so it’s time for something different. As if by design, homosexuality seems to keep pushing it’s way into the news! Rev. Peter Mullen helpfully suggested that gay men should have their backsides tattooed with “Sodomy can seriously damage your health”. Perhaps he should have a tattoo on his forehead that reads “Christians Cause Pedophilia – after all, if gay men are statistically more likely to die from aids, then I might point out that a man of the cloth is statistically more likely to groom abuse young boys.
And today I am dismayed to read about the death of the Manchester Teenager Lee Simpson, who’s apparent suicide – rumour has it – was linked to bullying because of his sexuality.
These sorts of stories fuel my fire, make me feel ALIVE with passion and purpose. And I feel the urgency to point out that Alan Turing - the father of computer science, was – in fact gay. Without his work you probably wouldn’t even be reading my words now!
This great man was arrested for being a homosexual (and this was in Britain!), he lost his job (which was – by the way – helping us break the German Enigma code). He was forced to take female hormones as part of his parole condition, which would have destroyed any testosterone in his system, making him a chemical eunuch with non functioning testicles. He died a few years later in mysterious circumstances, with the three main contending theories: Some blame a British government and MI5 cover-up, others claim suicide and still others will say it was an unfortunate accident.
But in all of this, we loose sight of the true message. We like to think that Nazis were the baddies and hated Jews, gays and we were the goodies trying to save everyone’s lives. It makes us uncomfortable to think that many Jews lost their jobs in the UK around this time, were beaten or that many people like Alan Turing were arrested, imprisoned or killed all across Britain right up until the 60s for their sexuality. We lose sight of the real message by creating fictional media monsters like Nazis, Commies or al-Qaida, We forget that ANYONE can BECOME one of them. Even someone who’s role is supposed to bring guidance and spiritual nourishment to the community.
I have sat by Alans’ statue in Sackville park in Manchester for comfort in some troubled times in my life. Peter Mullens’ ideals aren’t big enough to show up on my radar or make me flinch. Quite the opposite – people like you help me find my voice and feel alive. I think it might be appropriate for Peter to visit the bereaved parents of Lee Simpson and do – what a man in his position should be doing … put a little good back into the community.