It appears that Britain is in the grip of an epidemic. An epidemic of hate. Barely a day passes without a media outlet informing us about the wave of criminal bigotry that is sweeping through the country.
Now, Jayne Ozanne, one of the leading campaigners for LGBT equality in the Church of England has reported a hate crime to the police.
She took offence at scathing comments within a blog called Archbishop Cranmer.
The Christian conservative blog, named after the Archbishop who guided England through the reformation, uses the twitter handle @his_grace, and has become a well-known voice advocating the traditional biblical view on sexuality.
He had responded to a piece in The Guardian by Theologian Vicky Beeching, entitled: ‘The first openly gay bishop is a huge step forward – but it’s not enough’.
He states: “You may want to quote Scripture to promiscuous perverts and they might seek to highlight the truth of your homophobic bigotry, but Jesus is concerned with grace, peace, reconciliation and infinite blessing.”
Then goes on to sat that “the Church does not exist to affirm our emotions or meet our physical needs and wants.” Citing the Bishop of Grantham who has “chosen a life of sexual abstinence in submission to the church” as an example and that “he doesnt feel that this way of life is a threat to his well being.”
Ms Ozanne is a leading campaigner for the acceptance of LGBTI people in the Church and has often spoken out on the subject and previously said homophobia was a “sickness in our society” that can be “nurtured by the people that they hang out with and what they read on social media”.
The Church of England is already turmoil following a move by several Home Counties parishes which are threatening a formal split over issues including homosexuality as they prepare to set up a “shadow synod” to uphold traditional Christian teaching.
The Rev Dr Peter Sanlon sparked controversy after speaking out against LGBTI Christians. Linking a Gay Pride event to child abuse in a statement last month, he then organised a gathering of so-called “disgruntled” clergy.
Dr Sanlon told the Telegraph: “If senior leaders of the Church of England water down the teaching of the Church of England on key issues like homosexuality, then this synod could easily evolve into a new Anglican jurisdiction in England.
“The Archbishop of Canterbury has signalled that he is aware of the possibility that a significant proportion of the church will not accept a change in the church’s teaching. This could be the beginning of that playing out.”
The anonymous blog is clearly a powerful voice in a drive, within an increasingly divided church, to maintain the status quo. However, these disagreements normally debated behind closed doors are finding more and more opposition and at odds within their own ranks and society.