Sunday, 13 July 2008

Religion & Sexuality

The Andrew Marr show this morning included a joint interview with Ian McKellen and gay bishop Gene Robinson. It made interesting viewing and can be viewed here. I was greatly impressed by Robinson who I hadn't heard speak before and his closing statement really had me cheering him along out loud when he said:

"You know I, I chaired a group of conversation for twelve to twenty one year old kids who were questioning their sexuality. Not one of them was a person of faith. But every single one of them could quote me Leviticus and that God thought they were an abomination.
They couldn't have found Leviticus in a Bible if their lives had depended on it. But they knew that word and they thought they knew what God thought of them. And the Church is responsible for that. Its religious people, Muslim, Jews, Christians. We are responsible for that. And it's going to take religious voices to undo the hatred that comes from those words."

Powerful stuff. Religion also featured heavily in the Employment Tribunal case earlier in the week that a Christian registrar could refuse to preside over a Civil Partnership ceremony if she was homophobic, sorry, I meant Christian. So "I don't like adulterers because I'm Christian so I won't marry those" or "I won't marry them because one is transgendered" is fine. This is a puzzling decision both legally and morally.

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Sean Hennelly said...

It would be interesting to see if a Christian business owner could say "I won't hire him because he's a Muslim"... I think not. Personally if religion is the issue in the tribunal case and the example above, I can't see the difference between the two, although I imagine the wider public would gasp in horror at the latter.

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