Why I appeared at the Lancaster LGBT Pride March

So, thanks to the hard work of Robert Mee, LGBT Out In The Bay and several different organisations (I can’t list them for reasons that are word-count related), Lancaster had it’s first LGBT Pride march yesterday (20/05/2017). Thank goodness, as even though Lancaster is generally very tolerant towards people who are LGBT, the neighbouring town of Morecambe generally isn’t.

Despite the downpour (which is usual for the city), over 1,600 people turned up and marched, armed with loud voices, cheerful spirits and rainbow flags everywhere. It was a truly magical day, with Cat Smith MP, Guardian Columnist Owen Jones, Ian Ashton (North West Police’s equality and diversity officer) and many more appearing. I got to meet Owen Jones, which was awesome!

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In truth, my day should have gone brilliantly, and without a hitch, but in the words of Robert Burns, “The best laid schemes of Mice and Men aft gang agley”. What this means is that even on a perfect day, something will inevitably go wrong.

In my case, this was a guy I see regularly at church. As keen fans of my blog, or for those who know me personally know, I have a faith. This faith is Christianity. I won’t go into too much detail, but this chap, who I shall name Dale for the sake of anonymity, collared me around halfway through the march, and disagreed with both my presence there and my standpoint. The thing is though, even though Dale tried to use the Holy Bible to argue his standpoint, he was wrong. Here’s why.

If you’re going to try Thomas Aquinas’ argument that even creation follows natural law, every species known to mankind has specimens that display bisexuality and homosexuality. Every animal in the animal kingdom, and yet, only human beings in the homo sapien form display homophobia. So how can this form of bigotry be natural?

The next argument that Dale used was from Leviticus. *Cracks knuckles* In this format, Dale used Leviticus 20:13. The thing is, Leviticus is the lawbook for how to follow God’s holy law, and the point of this book is that no human alive could ever follow God’s laws. That’s because we are sinful at every point where we forget god, and no amount of piety, or obsessive law-following can change this. That is why Christians worldwide see the need for Jesus in their lives. Through putting our trust in him, as he paid the price for our sins, we can once again become right with God.

Dale then used a New Testament argument at me. This argument was based on 1 Corinthians 6:9, and it follows the views of Saint Paul on who will get to heaven. The thing is, this passage reflects Paul’s attitudes and the attitudes of the day far more than Jesus’ views. There are plenty of things that Paul talks about, including the endorsement of slavery, that isn’t widely practised in today’s age. In fact, although I personally don’t buy this idea, there is an argument from secular analysts and scholars that Paul himself may have been, to turn a phrase, “in the closet” himself. Like I typed there, it’s not an idea I subscribe to.

Moving on, this is my view. Christ’s message throughout the four “gospels” or the first four books of The New Testament is one of universal love, tolerance, kindness, charity and forgiveness. The word “christian” itself means to be Christ-like, and the only things you read about him speaking against are divorce, fig trees, people who misuse holy temples and religious zealots.

I’ve said my piece.

Yours in Christ,

Davey.

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Why I’m Voting….

There we go- you all clicked on my link. But, not being Buzzfeed or GiveMeSport has responsibilities attached, so I’ll let you know who I’m voting for, firstly from a local perspective, and then from a national perspective.

I’m voting Labour. There, I said it.

I’m voting for Cat Smith for various reasons. Firstly, she lives in Lancaster, and I think it’s very important to live in the heart of your constituency. It allows you to understand the people you want to vote for you. Secondly, she’s consistently voted for and against the same things I campaign for and against. These include a halt to cutting the infrastructure on this country’s welfare system, higher taxes on intoxicants and massive corporations in this country, less taxing of smaller companies in the UK, and stricter laws regarding landlords and their treatment of tenants.

I’m voting for the Labour party for several reasons, but first, let me deal with the criticisms I often cite of them. I don’t like Diane Abbot. I really don’t like Diane Abbot. There are others within Jeremy Corbyn’s close circle I’m not fond of. However, when voting, you’re supposed to place policies and plans above the people that champion them. Also, thanks to the brilliant people at Ipsos Mori, the policies Corbyn and the Labour Party Manifesto actually make a profit, without discriminating against the fringes and the poorest of our society. So economically, I’m not too worried.

I’m voting Labour because I’m not okay with a government that continues to endorse manipulative zero-hour contracts and then classes them as “employed” to score political points. I’m not okay with a government that will make people with dementia have to pay for their treatment posthumously. I’m not okay with a Prime Minister who’s repeated use of the mantra “strong and stable” is starting to sound Dalek-like. I’m not okay with a government who cuts housing benefit to 18-22 year olds, who are the people most likely to need it. I’m not okay with a brexit so hard you can land a plane on it.

There. I’ve said it. Vote Labour.

On International Men’s Day

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I have to admit, I first thought what a lot of left leaning people think upon first hearing about this, this morning over my morning briefing: “isn’t every day International Men’s Day?” It appears that I’m mistaken. Normally I would argue against the existence of such a day in the same vein as I would against ideas like a “white history month” or “straight pride” event, but there is a very serious argument to be made here. So, being the snarky man playing devil’s advocate, I will endeavour to justify why I support such a controversial idea and day:

Imagine that there is a group of people in your society who are less likely to do well at school: who are more likely to commit suicide (just under 5000 in the UK last year), who are constantly demonised in the media as predators. These people are expected to keep silent when harassed, bullied and even worse, raped. These people have a higher rate of being homeless and have a shorter life expectancy.

Most people I’ve met would want to stick up for these people, and yet, they exist: They’re men.

This is where I expect a few thousand of my regular readers may stop reading, but I beg you, please keep reading.

This is an issue for both anti-feminists and feminists alike: everyone on the political spectrum should and probably have a position on it, but they all should be positive. In an era of male-degrading labels given to certain types of behaviour (“mansplaining” and “manspreading” to name two), the need for #InternationalMensDay has never been higher.

Here’s some food for thought, and a nice way of wrapping this post up.

According to CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably):

  • 73% of adults who ‘go missing’ are men and 90% of rough sleepers are men
  • Men are three times more likely than women to become alcohol dependent and 79% of drug-related deaths occur in men
  • Men make up 94% of the prison population
  • Men and boys from all backgrounds have shorter life expectancies than women and girls of the same background
  • Boys from all backgrounds are underperforming girls at every stage of education
  • 82% of fathers want to spend more time with their families and men are more likely to report work-life conflict
  • 75% of homeless people in the UK are men.

So I’m supporting this- will you?

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