Gay pride versus the mayor of Truro…by Daniel Peters

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As a change of pace from the usual west coast madness on this blog, I present a bit of madness from the east coast.

This weekend’s Gay Pride parades and other activities in Nova Scotia’s Pictou County have been in the news for the last week. It seems that the city council of Truro decided not to fly the Pride flag.

That decision, in and of itself, would not have drawn a comment from me. I don’t know what the precedents are. I don’t know what it means for a city hall to fly, or not to fly, a flag. Must they fly a flag for every little event that happens in their city? Nah, not worth commenting on.

Except for one thing: the way the mayor explained the decision.

It boils down to this. Truro mayor Bob Mills is a conservative, traditional Christian. According to him, it’s simply not OK to be gay, and that’s that. He won’t pick on gays in any illegal way, but neither will he do anything that expresses approval of their lifestyle.

Predictably, there has been a lot of noise (on both sides) in our local (Halifax) paper. Here’s my contribution (just now emailed):

– – – –

To the editor:

How curious that Truro mayor Bob Mills has raised the spectre of a slippery slope from the acceptance of homosexuality to the acceptance of pedophilia. I wonder on what basis he worries about such a thing as pedophilia, since the Bible has nothing to say about it. For that matter, the Bible never condemns rape, or even recognizes a distinction between rape and seduction. The fact that we are all horrified by pedophilia (and by rape) is a legacy of the very same modern, secular, humanist moral trend that has brought about our society’s greater acceptance of homosexuality. It is modern humanist morality, not Biblical morality, that emphasizes the importance of consent, and of the power balance that makes consent meaningful. The more secular and less Biblical our public morality becomes, the safer my children will be.

Daniel Peters

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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website,

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6 thoughts on “Gay pride versus the mayor of Truro…by Daniel Peters”

  1. Daniel,

    Being as kind as I can be about this– you either have no idea of Biblical morality, or are deliberately twisting the truth to legitimize your humanist views.

    Pedophilia and rape are horrifying because they are in complete contrast to love, which is God- the creator of this universe, not because of so called modern humanist morality, which in truth is nothing modern…’s as old as time itself.

  2. Andrew,

    If you really want to be as kind as you can, then stick with calling me ignorant. The suggestion of dishonesty on my part is nothing more than a way of rendering impossible any useful discussion.

    I have no need to twist any facts in order to legitimize my views on anything. Why? For the simple reason that I have no commitments in matters of belief. I enjoy learning. I enjoy finding out that I am wrong about something.

    So let’s try out your other suggestion: that I have no idea about Biblical morality. This is quite possible, in spite of my having read the Bible several times cover to cover, in my three-decade-long Christian phase.

    So enlighten me. Teach me something.

    I made two or three assertions about things that the Bible does not say. I’m sure you can prove me wrong with simple quotations. Go for it.

    So far, your argument about my Biblical ignorance does not use the Bible. (Funny about that.) Instead, you make a vague theological argument about some kind of cosmic “love”. Well, if this “love” is something that you can reconcile with the genocidal God of the Bible, then reconciling it with pedophilia and rape is pretty small potatoes in comparison.

    But if your notion of “love” really means something…, well, then we may be getting somewhere. Maybe this is a tacit admission that your morality is really about your natural human capacity for empathy, and not about any (alleged) divine revelation. Then you’ll join me, I’m sure, in wishing for a world in which homosexuals feel no pressure to hide their true selves and to pretend to be what they are not.

    It wouldn’t surprise me. Indeed, many Christians are good people. Some of those can even think clearly enough to know that they aren’t really basing their morality on the Bible after all.

  3. Daniel,

    I responded with a bit of an attitude. I’m sorry. I guess I’ve seen the mayor bashed so much over this issue that I’ve taken a bit of personal offense to it.

    Daniel, especially since you’ve read the Bible several times, I can’t understand how you came to the conclusion that things like pedophilia or rape wouldn’t be in conflict with Biblical morals.
    Regarding these atrocious acts, I don’t think there are any “Thou shalt nots”, but neither are they necessary.

    Keeping this as basic as possible,
    we’re commanded to love one another as ourselves, and to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Do you want to be raped? Do you want someone to molest your child? Of course not.

    No need to complicate it any further really.

    Sure you can claim these values as though they are evolved from humanity itself without God, but nevertheless, the principles are biblical.

    As for the genocidal god of the Bible, I assume you are talking about the mass killings recorded in the Old Testament. Honestly, I even find those stories disturbing. However, the Bible also tells why these people were wiped out. They were so incredibly wicked with human- even child sacrifice, and sexual perversion even so bad as bestiality.
    Absolute love cannot tolerate evil, and judgment on evil is righteous.

    Since Christ, we are under a new and better covenant with God thankfully, although it is easily taken for granted.

    Anyway, seeing this whole issue began over the homosexuality issue, here’s a related link to check out….. from a different perspective:

  4. Andrew,

    “Absolute love cannot tolerate evil”… and so it’s okay to kill them all? Have you even thought about what you’re saying? You aren’t protecting the victims of human sacrifice if you kill them before their priests get to them!

    There simply can’t be a society that is “evil” enough to justify wiping it out in an act of genocide. A necessary condition for that level of societal “evil” would be that people lack a basic level of care for their own children – to the extent that their society would have destroyed itself already. The notion that the victims of the ancient Israelite genocides were thoroughly “evil” cannot possibly be true; it is merely convenient. We can see similar convenient beliefs in modern times: The Nazis believed (apparently) that Jews are evil.

    So you’re under a “new and better covenant”, are you? In context, that sounds like an excuse to go into denial about how barbaric (and indeed evil) the Bible is.

    I shouldn’t presume to know what exactly you believe, since there are so many different flavours of Christian theology. But in most traditions, this “new and better covenant” includes the threat of eternal torture for those who fail to be convinced that the whole package is true – conveniently preventing the impressionable from even being able to think clearly about the questions. This is an obscenity, the mental equivalent of rape. And even without the threat of hell, prescribed belief would still be violence against the mind. But I digress.

    It was good of you to bring up the Golden Rule (in your efforts to explain why pedophilia and rape are contrary to Biblical morals). But the force of your argument is nullified by your “explanation” of Biblical genocide. The fact that I don’t want my children to be molested hardly matters if you conveniently label my family as “evil”. After all, when the Israelites were commanded (according to the Bible) to wipe out the Midianites, they were instructed to take all the virgin females alive for their own use. By the most straightforward reading (although I’m sure you will spin it differently), rape (and pedophilia) were not only allowed, they were commanded. In any case, the Golden Rule clearly didn’t apply.

    Back to the Golden Rule. “No need to complicate it any further”, you say. Really? Is the Golden Rule supposed to be a sufficient guide to morality? Sounds like a good idea, and indeed very much like (what I have called) modern secular morality.

    But “complicating things further” is exactly what the explicit Biblical instructions do! Why are there so many “thou shalt nots”? What good are they? Do they really reflect the Golden Rule as an underlying principle? Just what is the point of getting so worked up about a consensual homosexual encounter, when heterosexual rape is treated as such a minor matter? (Biblically speaking, if you rape my daughter, you have to marry her – unless I refuse to allow it, in which case you just have to pay me a “bride price” as if you had married her. No real penalty there. The OT writers don’t seem to have had anything against rape, regardless of the girl’s age.)

    So back to the topic of homosexuality and the link you provided. If I take the story of Michael Glatze at face value, for the sake of argument (and don’t get me started on my reservations about doing so), then I fear he will be used as a poster child for anti-gay propaganda. People use such exceptional stories as an excuse to deny the experience of the vast majority of gay people – and to promote “reparative therapy” which (statistically) does no good and plenty of harm.

    The response to Glatze by Daniel DiRito, in the following link, is worth reading:

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