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Homophobia in word and deed [UPDATED]

Often religious figures, when asserting that homosexuality is sinful, contrive to do so in a comparatively soft and reluctant way, perhaps reminding the listener or reader that we all probably fall short of ideal behaviour in some aspect of our lives, and that this particular issue should not be scrutinized disproportionately. Not so the forthright Timothy Winter, who sways with agitation here as he insists:

Stretch your imagination as you might, you cannot conceive of any abuse of the form which Allah has given human beings which is more extreme, more blasphemous, a denial of its manifest created purpose than the crime of the people of Lot.

Here is a reminder of one possible end result of views such as this, views which obviously are not the sole prerogative of one religion.

As Gay Star News points out, Buys was actually one of three men who died after being subjected to alleged abuse during the course. Two others, 25-year-old Erich Calitz and Nicolas Van Der Walt, 19, reportedly died of severe brain injuries after enrolling at the camp, where they were promised to “be turned into men.”

“Raymond was only allowed to speak to me on speakerphone,” Raymond’s mother Wilna is quoted as saying. “When I asked him why he was hurting himself, he told me ‘Mum, I’m not doing it to myself.’”

Three teenage boys were allegedly tortured to death at this camp, to which they had been sent in hope of a ‘cure’.

Update: The clip has now been removed and the story has been covered by The Tab, a Cambridge University student publication. Students are quoted expressing their dismay at his words, and attention is drawn to the fact that his role as a Director of Studies has a pastoral element.

Further update: This is from a report in the Daily Mail

Today Mr Winter, who has apologised to the University and to the Faculty of Divinity, where he teaches, told MailOnline: ‘The YouTube clip is at least 15 years old, and does not in any way represent my present views.

‘I am happy to confirm that I certainly do not see homosexuals as an “inexplicable aberration”. The other views expressed in it should not be taken as indicators of what I currently believe – we all have our youthful enthusiasms, and we all move on.’

A Cambridge University spokesman said: ‘Mr Winter has apologised for these remarks, recorded nearly twenty years ago, and has emphasised that he no longer holds these views.’

The clip was taken down from YouTube last night at Mr Winter’s request, but not before it had gone  viral.  It is still available to buy on DVD on Islam On Demand and iTunes.

My own ‘youthful enthusiasms’ were of a rather different character – and 37 is not so very youthful – but it’s good his views seem to have somewhat softened.

Hat Tip: CEMB Forum