Angus Buchan preaching in cow shit in Ireland.

Standard

Kilkenny protest over claim to cure homosexuality via prayer

Last Updated: Thursday, August 25, 2016, 14:36

“You can get the smell of the animals here, because the Kilkenny mart is just beside us,” Noreen Mulhall announces, before she starts swaying in her chair to the hymn How Great Thou Art.

It’s Wednesday evening, and Mulhall has come to the Hub in Kilkenny to hear controversial South African pastor, Angus Buchan. Prior to the event, some 40 people marched to the gates of the venue to protest the fact that Buchan has preached in the past that homosexuality can be cured through prayer.

Rosemary Parle from Kildare and her friend Hilary Anderson from Lisburn describe themselves as Disciples of Christ. They have arranged their holiday together especially to coincide with Buchan’s appearance in Kilkenny. Why?

“It shows how much God loves Ireland. That’s why Angus is here, because God wants us to hear good news, among all the bad news,” Parle explains.

‘So liberal’

“Unfortunately, Ireland has become so liberal in its thinking that we have strayed from the teachings of the Lord and taken on a humanistic view instead. A homosexual lifestyle goes against the covenant of marriage.”

Even though marriage between same-sex couples in Ireland is now legal?

“That’s not marriage,” Parle says. “Marriage is one man and one woman. Their bodies fit together. I’m sorry to sound crude, but it’s true.”

A group of friends have come from Carlow. Before Buchan ever takes the stage, Maria Doyle says she has already got everything she came for.

“We’re meeting our family,” is how she puts it. “Say someone went away to Australia, and then they came home. The whole family would come together to celebrate. That’s what it’s like here.”

‘A sin’

What do they think of Buchan’s views on homosexuality? “Homosexuality is a sin in God’s eyes,” her friend Julie Power explains. “Not the fact that two men love each other. The act. Sex together.”

By the time the event begins, the Hub, which has seating for 1,400 is full, including several children. Buchan jumps on stage and bellows, “I love the Irish, I really do! You are the most passionate people I have ever met.” He falls to his knees before the audience.

The crowd go mad. Camera phones flash.Buchan commands the crowd to stand up, and they spring to their feet as one. He paces the stage, Bible in hand, and ends every sentence with a shout.

“This is a much bigger crowd than I had last time,” he says appreciatively. “I’m speaking to bigger crowds now than I’ve ever done before in my life.” People whistle.

Then he gets going, on a speech that lasts for an hour, and during which nobody leaves the arena. “The Bible tells me to love my wife,” Buchan says. “I love my wife. If I love my wife, she will gladly submit to me.” He says this twice. The crowd roar. “My wife is two years younger than me. She looks like she’s 20 years younger than me. Do you know why? Because I love her. I look after her. I protect her. I provide for her, I put food on the table.”

Later he returns to the topic of a wife submitting to her husband, saying, “It’s very hard for a lady to submit to a man who is lazy, who doesn’t have the authority in the home, where the kids are running wild and tearing the house apart, and he won’t get out of his bed in the morning. I’m telling you the reality of life. So boys, it comes back to us, get off your behinds, do some work and put some food on the table, get that house looking good, and give your wife a chance to look feminine and beautiful.”

He continues, “My wife is beautiful. She smells nice. Her hair looks beautiful. She looks like a lady. I don’t want her to compete with me. I don’t want to go to a ladies prayer group. I’m a man. Do I look feminine?” He shrugs his shoulders in mock questioning, slapping his thighs, as his waits for a reply. “No!” shout the crowd back to him.

“Children, respect your elders. Respect your father and your mother. I discipline my children when they are naughty. I don’t beat them up, I discipline them. I give them a good hiding and then I love them to bits.” Loud guffaws from crowd. Pause from Buchan. “They’re all grown up now, and all my children are serving God, every single one of them, and that’s no coincidence, because Jesus is my friend.” Applause. It’s unclear if Buchan is referring to the fact he used to discipline his now grow-up children, or if he still does, but the crowd love his revelations anyway.

’Mouths washed out with Holy Ghost soap’

In an aside that refers to the media coverage he received in advance of his visit, he says, “Some of us are so negative that the devil has no work to do. Those people need their mouths washed out with Holy Ghost soap.”

“When you hear the name of Jesus, does a tear come into your eye? “Yes!” someone roars with a sob from the crowd. “Yes!” comes the sound of more voices. People near me start crying.

“I love families and I hate divorce. I think abortion is legalised murder. Why? Because the Bible tells me that. (This gets the loudest cheer of the evening.)

These are some of the other things Buchan says in his speech:

“I will pray tonight that God will give a baby to all those people who can’t have babies, I have done this all over the world. People have conceived because of my prayers.”

“What does a fundamentalist mean? It means I believe every word in this Book, the Bible!”

“Faith is contagious, just like doubt is contagious. I don’t want to be around doubt.”

“You have to lead from the front. There are people outside that need you. They are lost. If you don’t help them, who is going to help these people?”

“I’m the most peaceful man you’ll ever meet.”

“I love young people.”

“Believers go to Heaven, not good people.”

In between cheering, the audience are totally silent. They’re listening closely, leaning forwards. The evening ends with the crowd on their feet, assembling before Buchan for a collective blessing.

It’s hot in the Hub, with the crowds of people on a humid evening. Noreen Mulhall is right. The smell of the mart is unmistakable.

Poepol van die Jaar Angus Buchan sien sy gat in Scotland. – Scotland says no to homophobic Pastor Angus Buchan. – Well done Scotland! Land of the brave!

Standard

Scotland says no to homophobic Pastor Angus BuchanAngus

Following action by Scottish campaigners, Scottish Borders Council have now banned Pastor Angus Buchan, criticised for misogyny and homophobia, from preaching on their premises.

The South African pastor, who has been invited by the evangelical Hope Church to speak at the Volunteer Hall, Galashiels, Scotland, later this month, has caused an outcry among LGBTI rights advocates.

The Scottish Borders LGBT Equality organisation, supported by Scottish Borders Rape Crisis, contacted Live Borders, part of the Scottish Borders Council, who own the venue who then decided not to allow Buchan to use their premises.

Buchan preaches to tens of thousands paying participants in South Africa where he says thathomosexuality is a “disease” that can be “cured” by prayer.

The Pastor also runs “Mighty Men” conferences where he teaches men to “remedy” their masculinity, and for women to subject themselves to their husbands and to support corporal punishment of their children.

Susan Hart, Chair, and Jen Logie, trustee of the Scottish Borders LGBT Equality
Susan Hart, Chair, and Jen Logie, trustee of the Scottish Borders LGBT Equality

Speaking with KaleidoScot, Susan Hart, chair of the Scottish Borders LGBT Equality organisation, said: “We were very pleased that Scottish Borders worked with us to ensure there is no place for Pastor Angus Buchan to preach his messages of intolerance. We would like to thank the many wonderful people of the borders for all their messages of support and organisations such Rape Crisis who are willing to stand with us.

“Our organisation encourages diversity, and acceptance. Spreading messages of hate towards LGBTI people, women and children only can harm rural communities like ours and cause division.

“We took this decision after reaching out to Hope Church asking for a dialogue, but when no answer was forthcoming we raised the issue with Live Borders.

“They responded that they will not enable the use of the venue by Buchan as they have a policy not to hire out their premises if an event caused public offence.

“Only afterward Live Borders’ decision was made did Hope Church contact us, saying they are open for dialogue.

“Buchan’s views that LGBTI people are diseased and can be cured, and that men should dominate women and physically punish children in the family unit are extremely damaging. In my view this crosses the line between freedom of speech and hate speech.

“Of course he can still appear in another private venue, but many in the borders area are quite angry about his views and I think would want to demonstrate if Buchan is allowed to preach in another location here.”

Susie Stein, Service Manager of the Scottish Borders Rape Crisis commented on Buchan’s visit saying: “We are an organisation supporting all women and girls who have experienced sexual violence at any time in their lives. We are concerned by Buchan’s misogynist and homophobic views and comments.

“We work closely with LGBT Equality and other organisations in the Borders to promote inclusion and equality for all women and the LGBT community.”

Scott Cuthbertson
Scott Cuthbertson

Scott Cuthberston, of the Equality Network, said he supported the decision, telling KaleidoScot: “The right of free speech is not without consequence, nor does it come without the right of reply. Borders Council has a responsibility to support the wellbeing of people in the Borders, including LGBTI people.

“We therefore welcome the decision of Live Borders to deny the use of council funded premises to a speaker who preaches harm to LGBTI people. We also support the efforts of Borders LGBT equality who have worked to ensure Angus Buchan is clear on what LGBTI inclusion means in the Scottish Borders.”

Speaking with KaleidoScot, Melanie Nathan, Executive Director of The African Human Rights Coalition congradulated the Scottish groups for their action and called upon UK wide action to have Buchan denied platforms to preach his homophobic and misogynistic views.  She also called for the pastor to be banned from entering the UK.  She said: “It is important to note that no one is curbing Buchan’s right to free speech or to practice his religion.  He has the internet, he has his pulpit, he has his own country.   What he does not have is a right to enter a foreign country. That is a privilege.

Melanie Nathan
Melanie Nathan

“Issuing a visa is up to a country’s government and if that government determines that a person will cause harm in their country, they have a duty, in my opinion, to deny the visa.  Buchan’s assertions are nothing more than psychological terror for young people who are grappling with their sexuality and family acceptance. The fact that he represents quackery when he asserts that he can cure anyone of being gay is reason enough to deny a visa.”

Pastor Angus Buchan is still due to speak at five other locations in England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

He is also running the infamous Might Men Conference, at the end of August, at Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire.