Fire and Brimstone

Forums provide an invaluable service to people living in a foreign land. Why re-invent the wheel when the ‘been there, done that’ brigade can help? The TLF is the largest and most active of all the forums in Turkey and long may it thrive. I usually read in passive amusement at the cut and thrust debate on the latest hot topic. Combatants engage in a war of attrition from the trenches lobbing their opinions, dressed up as fact, into no man’s land in the hope of scoring the last point. It can get quite heated at times but that’s the joy of free speech. I confess that I rarely contribute as I like to keep my blood pressure under control and I prefer to converse around a dinner table with people I actually know.

Sometimes, though, forum debates can get out of hand as it did in March 2011. What started as a reasonable argument about the fairness of the court judgement preventing a couple from fostering because of their biblical views of homosexuality degenerated into an unseemly slanging match. It’s just the excuse some people need to emerge from their closets to vent their reactionary prejudices. Where were the moderators?

I don’t have a fixed view about the topic. I don’t know the full facts and, unless those who commented were in court that day, I suspect they don’t either. What depressed me was that some people would prefer to place an already damaged child with fundamentalist Christians rather than a middle class, liberal lesbian couple from Islington. Homosexuality isn’t catching, religion is. Gay people don’t kill for their cause, religious zealots do. Gay people campaign for equal rights, religions demand to be above the Law. Enough said.

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