This morning The Observer ran a piece detailing the less than savoury attitude towards homosexuality of Philippa Stroud, Conservative candidate for Sutton & Cheam and head of the influential Conservative think-tank Centre for Social Justice:
A high-flying prospective Conservative MP, credited with shaping many of the party’s social policies, founded a church that tried to “cure” homosexuals by driving out their “demons” through prayer…
Abi, a teenage girl with transsexual issues, was sent to the church by her parents, who were evangelical Christians. “Convinced I was demonically possessed, my parents made the decision to move to Bedford, because of this woman [Stroud] who had come back from Hong Kong and had the power to set me free,” Abi told the Observer.
“She wanted me to know all my thinking was wrong, I was wrong and the so-called demons inside me were wrong. The session ended with her and others praying over me, calling out the demons. She really believed things like homosexuality, transsexualism and addiction could be fixed just by prayer, all in the name of Jesus.”…
“This reinforces our long-held suspicions that those out of sight, but with their hands on the levers of power, have deeply reactionary ambitions,” said Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society.
Ben Summerskill, chief executive of the Stonewall group, said: “If Mrs Stroud has been praying to rid Britain of its homosexuality, she clearly hasn’t been praying hard enough.”
Philippa Stroud’s response to all this? She seems to be trying to go to ground online though, rather like the person who rushes past a TV camera crew trying to hide their face, thereby looks all the worse for it.
Philippa Stroud’s Twitter account, @philippastroud was deleted earlier today. By deleting it rather than making it private (or continuing to use it and publicly arguing her corner), the opportunity was presented for someone else to create a new account with that name and start sending out negative messages. So can you guess what happened? Also gone is Philippa Stroud’s Facebook supporters group.
The result of all this? It means more people talking about her actions and – thinking back to the analogy of someone rushing past TV cameras with face hidden – when was the last time you saw someone behaving like that and thought the better of them for it?