Lord Carey obsessed with gay sex, says clergyman

Former archbishop's attack on 'anti-Christian' Cameron government is widely criticised

Faith groups and secularists responded furiously yesterday to accusations by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, that David Cameron was marginalising Christians and running an "aggressively secular" government.

Lord Carey claimed that, though he liked David Cameron, "it was a bit rich to hear that the Prime Minister has told religious leaders that they should 'stand up and oppose aggressive secularisation' when it seems that his Government is aiding and abetting this aggression every step of the way". Lord Carey, writing in the Daily Mail, also said he was "very suspicious" that behind plans for gay marriage "there lurks an aggressive secularist and relativist approach towards an institution that has glued society".

The Church of England quickly distanced itself from the comments yesterday, suggesting that Lord Carey was speaking for himself and not the wider church. Giles Fraser, former Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral, said: "I think it's a very peculiar Easter message. I think Lord Carey is obsessed by gay sex and really ought to get over it. I also think that saying that Christians in Britain are persecuted is an insult to those Christians around the world who really are."

Steve Chalke, a Baptist minister, posted on Twitter: "The only way government has 'discriminated' against Christ is by targeting the poor and vulnerable whom Jesus calls us to protect." But Pete Broadbent, Bishop of Willesden, defended Lord Carey's wider point, saying: "I think what he actually said has been exaggerated, but at the core of the piece was a serious point. There is a crisis for us in terms of the way politicians and government undermine what we're about as a church."

The squabble comes ahead of an Easter broadcast from the newly appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, who will say that the Church of England must show it can manage disagreement "gracefully" over issues such as women bishops and gay marriage. Justin Welby will say in an Easter broadcast on Premier Christian Radio today that the Church must show that its members can hold different views but still remain "gracefully and deeply committed to each other" before it can be a "sign to the world" of peace and reconciliation.

Secularists were quick to rebut Lord Carey's assertions that the Government was anti-church. Keith Porteous Wood of the National Secular Society said: "I do actually think Lord Carey has a persecution complex. The idea is ridiculous when David Cameron is attacking secularists for trying to stop prayers before council meetings. The non-religious appear to be the only members of the country that it's seen to be reasonable to discriminate against."

Andrew Copson, chief executive of the British Humanist Association, said: "Lord Carey's hyperbolic interventions on this issue are becoming as ludicrous as they are predictable. His increasingly desperate attempt to work up a victim narrative where Christians are marginalised and persecuted has no basis in reality. Time and again the vast majority of the claims of discrimination against Christians that have been tested in the courts have been assessed by impartial judges and found baseless."

A No 10 spokesman said: "The Prime Minister values the profound contribution that Christianity continues to make to the country, which is why he strongly backs it."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
booksNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Manager

£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015