An excellent article.To elaborate on two points….Firstly, sexuality is a matter of ‘being’; it is a given. I believe very few people have an issue with homosexuality, they do however have an issue with homosexual sex or, their own desire to label themselves; the former is natural – for them. The latter is pitiful and unnecessary. However, religion is a matter of belief. As private individuals persons are entitled to believe what they wish – they are, and must be, entitled to freedom of belief. However, they must recognise that this is their own personal belief (which may, or may not, be shared – although, very often this is irrelevant) and therefore personal blief is only related to individual’s moderating their OWN behaviour and lifestyles. At the point where they advocate social action (based on their own individual codes) they are in danger of jumping aboard the band-wagon that breeds the fundamentalist beliefs that justified (in their own minds!!) the terrorist acts of 9/11. Fundamentalism of any kind is dangerous and religious dogma is certainly no basis on which to organise social affairs – for wisdom in this area we must appeal to evidence: the overwhelming majority of scientific research (medicine, psychotherapy, counselling etc..) concludes that homosexuality is as naturally human (and throughout the wider animal kingdom) as is heterosexuality and therefore necessary.
Whilst the article is good, i believe it raises a greater question that unfortunately many secular churches seem to ignore or brush under the carpet something that they read in the bible but wont believe or tolerate. That is that Jesus himself encouraged us to spread the good news amongst all people, to share love with all people. Without discrimination. There is i believe a need to end religious involvement in politics, to practice inclusivity in all aspects of peoples lives and for the inclusive churches and fellowships, that incidently are growing globally at a rate of knots to become the real voice of christians.Let Gods Love be Inclusive and not exclusive
Being myself strongly opposed to organised religions and their interference in public life, I can see exactly what the author means, when he suggest that Politics and Religion should remain separate. Being French, this is also a major part of my republican education. However, things are not that simple and I would contend that such a separation is nigh on impossible. People’s political views are underpinned by their ethics and morals, whether they be religious or secular (and it is worth remembering that some liberal/secular views can sometimes take on the intencity of religious extremism). It would be impossible to ask someone to forget about the teachings of their religion, which presumably also underpin their outlook on life, before allowing them to contribute to social life. Similarly, the obvious solution to the problem, the banning of religious people from public life, would be an unacceptable attack on democracy and freedom of speech. Yes, extremist religious people are the very ones who often go against those very principals. Exluding them seems the easy way. But this would mean behaving like them and in a way conceeding them victory. We, the LGBT community do and must rely so much on those democratic principals for acceptance that we must defend and uphold them at all cost, even that of allowing free speech to the very ennemies of those principals. An interesting conundrum, if ever there was one.Religious groups and people are part of our society and as such must be allowed to participate in social life. Our only weapon against the more zealous fundamentalists among them is to remain vigilant and to put our points across more eloquently and than they do. Not a highly satisfactory solution but the only one offered to us if we really hold our own principals to be true.