When Does Belief Become Bigotry?
Sometimes news stories seem to overlap. After Brown’s embarrassing climbdown following the microphone that picked up his expressed dislike for the party voter with whom he had been forced into a photo-op, a marriage guidance counsellor’s bid to challenge his sacking for refusing to give sex therapy to gay couples has caused clashes between the Christian-right lobby and the judiciary, resulting in a fresh argument about the definition of the term ‘bigot’.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, complained that the comparison of a Christian with a ‘bigot’ was further evidence of a disparaging attitude to the values of Christian faith.
But Lord Justice Laws’s ruling said “We do not live in a society where all the people share uniform religious beliefs. The precepts of any one religion – any belief system – cannot, by force of their religious origins, sound any louder in the general law than the precepts of any other. If they did, those out in the cold would be less than citizens and our constitution would be on the way to a theocracy, which is of necessity autocratic.
“The law of a theocracy is dictated without option to the people, not made by their judges and governments. The individual conscience is free to accept such dictated law, but the state, if its people are to be free, has the burdensome duty of thinking for itself.”
Meanwhile, ‘8: The Mormon Proposition’ exposes the Mormon Church’s involvement in the promotion of California’s Proposition 8 and the religion’s secretive, decades—long campaign against gay rights. The best way to air an issue is to confront it, of course, so here’s the trailer.