A senior Anglican minister apologized for calling on Christians to pray that Prince George would be gay to foster support for same-sex marriage.
The British Independent reported on Dec. 1 that the Very Rev. Kelvin Holdsworth wrote about Prince George in a blog post. In that post, he said Christians should hope “the Lord blesses George with the love of a fine young gentleman” to help the progression of LGBTQ+ rights in the church.
The Independent reported the blog post was originally posted two years ago, but has recently gained more attention.
Prince George, at 4 years old, is likely not old enough to have even the vaguest idea of his own sexual orientation. Most heterosexual kids of that age don’t yet see the opposite sex as something to pursue; most homosexual kids that age aren’t generally recognizing exactly what is different about them if they’ve managed to already figure out that something just might be.
If Holdsworth’s goal — LGBT inclusion in the church — is worthwhile, and I believe it is, it’s difficult to accept his method to reach such a goal as anything other than laughable.
If you want to see the LGBT community accepted into the church community, why not just pray for that?
If you want to see the church turn away from its traditional treatment of those who are gay in favor of welcoming them in, if for other reason that those people might get to know God and build a spiritual relationship they may so far never have had the opportunity to build, why not just pray for that?
Even if you secretly hope that LGBT people who do build the kind of relationship with God no other church body has invited them inside the church’s walls to learn about will suddenly result in their “switching sides” to become heterosexual, why not just pray for that?
Why do we need to pull a 4-year-old boy into such a dramatic scheme so that others may eventually be moved enough to consider a change of heart that far down the road?
The simple answer, of course, is that we don’t.
No one should call for such a thing.
If we truly believe in the power of prayer, why do we need to pray for some kind of cosmic conspiracy to bring about such a change of perspective? Isn’t praying for the change of perspective itself enough?
(And if it isn’t, shouldn’t we glean something from that?)
This week, the Independent reported the priest backed off somewhat from that post and expressed regret that it “shined the spotlight on the young royal.”
“The post was entirely about the church and its policies around LGBT inclusion. The debate about the church and sexuality will go on. I’m not interested in continuing it through a conversation about Prince George.”
It should never have been about Prince George.
It should have been about who is regarded as victims in the church’s treatment of the LGBT community. By targeting a child who has, as far as anyone can tell, no connection to the current controversy, all this has accomplished is taken the focus off the old problem and onto another, especially when doing so will likely push those who already don’t support inclusivity for the LGBT community to further maintain their position out of disgust for bringing an innocent child into the debate.
There’s always more than one way to accomplish a goal.
But this wasn’t it.