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Comment: The boundaries of tolerance

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  1. Robert (Kettering) 23 Jan 2013, 7:39pm

    Another brilliant article so thanks again to Adrian. I dare say though that the Christian right will be presenting yet more hopeless cases to the ECHR in due course.

    1. Let us hope they do…it costs a fortune to take cases to the ECHR…

  2. Excellent article. Thank you. I would be interested in knowing whether Mr McFarlane would counsel a couple who were living in sin? Presumably his religious beliefs would prevent him from doing so? Also would Miss Ladele make enquiries about the personal lives of the couple whose wedding she was scheduled to officiate at officiate at? She would have to because one or both of them could have been adulterers who were getting married after cheating on their spouses? Or is it really just gay people they object to and are using their religion as a pretext? Hmm, we may never know.!

  3. Yes, an excelent piece; thank you so much.

  4. Cheers Adrian. I still can’t get my head round why an orthodox Christian would want to oversee expressly secular civil ceremonies at LGBT-friendly Islington Council, or provide sex therapy at LGBT-friendly Relate if you have problems with people having gay sex at all.

    If registrars and sex therapists were licenced and had professional bodies with teeth they wouldn’t only be sacked by their employers for gross misconduct they would have their licence to practice withdrawn altogether.

    1. Answer is that Ladele is not an orthodox Christian. If she was, she would look at her own inadequacies and not judge others.

  5. Excellent article Adrian, as usual. We should not be surprised at the attempts by Christian extremists to make themselves out as victims – the whole religion is founded on people making martyrs of themselves, with Christ himself choosing to have himself killed ‘to save’ the rest of us (whatever that means). (It’s quite amusing that Catholicism condemns suicide as the greatest of sins, when the whole religion is founded on the fact that Christ chose to have himself killed, which makes him a suicide by any reasonable definition, along with all those other saints who put themselves in harms way voluntarily). These type of Christians are unfortunately like a drunk in a bar who’s determined to have a fight – they may get their way, but end up the worse for it….

  6. Excellent comment piece.

    Ms Ladele had a baby out of wedlock. Can’t believe she wasn’t aware of Matthew Chapter 7. She, and the Christian Institute should never have brought this case.

  7. Thanks, Adrian. As eloquent and lucid as ever.

  8. Neon Genesis 24 Jan 2013, 4:01am

    Can racist Christians refuse to serve blacks if they think their racism is sanctioned by God? Can Muslim therapists ban Christian patients if they think they’re going to hell for believing in the Trinity? These homophobic Christians don’t really care about freedom of religion but they only want special privileges no one else gets to discriminate and they don’t have the guts to admit that’s what they want.

  9. Frank Boulton 24 Jan 2013, 9:42am

    There’s a good reason why the religious right wing singles out LGBT people. The Bible condemns not only male homosexuality but most heterosexual practice as well. They view us as an easy target, because we’re a minority. If they campaigned against all sexual “sin”, then they would be taking on the majority and they know that the backlash would be too much for them to handle.

  10. Some really good thoughts in this article. I’m not too keen on the use of the slippery slope argument though. This is an argument that has consistently been used to deny rights to minority groups (indeed it is being used against equal marriage now). “Slippery slope” is the last refuge for those with no consistent or valid arguments against something they don’t like. Given that the rest of your article is littered with valid points, I think the paragraph on slippery slope is unnecessary.

  11. People choose to be religious. No-one chooses to be gay. A ‘belief’ must never be a licence to incite hatred.

    1. Staircase2 24 Jan 2013, 9:35pm

      But it’s worth remembering that most religious people do not ‘choose’ their religion either – it generally ‘chooses’ them by virtue of which family/culture/circumstances they’re born into.

  12. Jock S. Trap 24 Jan 2013, 10:52am

    Totally agree.

    I’m sick of those religious extremists acting like victims just to able to be given the right to discriminate.

    Fact is everyone in this country has the same protection and No-one should ever be above that.

    They are cowards basically, who think state laws don’t apply to them. Well they do and the day they finally release they are not superior being the day we might be able to progress.

  13. David Nottingham 24 Jan 2013, 10:59am

    Thank you again for such an intellegent and well-written article.

  14. Kudos to the author. Brilliant article promoting tolerance and equal rights. Should be required reading in schools around the globe.Especially those professing to be of the religious faith.

  15. Craig Denney 24 Jan 2013, 12:11pm

    We have seen in the press recently Church leaders making statements about the church needing to become more gay friendly and it all looks very positive, but that’s all they are doing! There is no actions after the fact, they are only interested in starting the debate.

    Look at the debate over women bishops, it’s been going on for over 20 years. So there is no point in trying to reason with the church. We would do better by levelling the playing field, so that in 20 years time whats left of the church will respect us as equals.

    We need more news stories like this one:

  16. Staircase2 24 Jan 2013, 9:32pm

    Cherie Booth’s breakdown of these ECHR cases makes for informative reading

  17. Thanks for the comments. May I address the point about ‘slippery slopes’. It is indeed a bit of a cliché, but I feel justified in referring to scenarios such as not serving alcohol, not working on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Eid, Diwali etc, because those cases have actually happened. It is not mere imagination or conjecture.

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