Yes and no. Wikipedia is extremely useful, but while it can be a good place to start it’s not always a good place to finish. In my case, there are errors, statements taken out of context, and entries posted by people who obviously have an issue with me. Goodness, at one point it said that I was a supporter of Everton football team! As a lifelong Tottenham fan that was hard to take.
It was almost eight years ago now. I could no longer reconcile my deepening faith in the Gospels - and relationship with Jesus – with membership of the Roman Catholic Church. There are countless wonderful Catholics, but for me I found completion elsewhere. The catalyst was the Catholic approach to LGBTQ2 issues, and once I questioned Papal teaching on this I began to ask many other questions. It was a painful time, and came at an enormous personal and professional cost, but I have never been happier or felt more secure in my faith.
No I don’t, and I was never a conventional conservative: opposed the Iraq war, opposed the death penalty, believed strongly in the welfare state, advocated forgiving third world debt, and so on. But I’m reluctant to adopt any party label. As an ordained cleric I am called to be political but not to be partisan. I would say that the teachings of Jesus are constantly egalitarian and communitarian, that he rejects materialism and wealth, and sides with and speaks for the marginalized, poor, and rejected. I see Christianity as being revolutionary.
LOL, as they say. That photo is from 2013, as far as I remember. I was sitting at my desk on a TV show I used to host and the next guest was very late. The guys in the control room were teasing me, making jokes in my earpiece. I was joking back. Then one of them said, “Make the rudest gesture you can.” So I did that. Lots of laughter. One fellow somewhere in the studio took a still photo and after he was let go from the station put it on-line. It wasn’t on air, was a joke with friends, but those who want to attack me insist on using it. Never mind.
I'm very fortunate to have a lot of people who support me, and I'm often stunned at the number of them and at their affection. But there are some horribly personal and abusive attacks on social media - partly because people simply disagree and twist disagreement into hatred, but also because I changed my views. Even though that change happened more than six years ago they still see it as treachery, and I also think that it frightens them. But I'm in the forgiving business, and we have to see the humanity in everybody - these cruel comments often come from a place of great pain.