The times, they keep a-changin'
PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 May 2014
I must correct Pastor Lee Emerson's misinterpretation of my letter of two weeks ago following Tamsin Richards' complaint about your newspaper daring to report on a gay marriage ("Freedom's price", Opinion, May 15).
In no part of my correspondence did I offer any ‘secular alternative’ where ‘every individual should have equal rights, regardless of anything’.
This was clearly not a statement of view, it was a question, designed to invite debate in the same way that Pastor Emerson himself puts questions on the issue of marriages involving umpteen wives and incestuous relationships.
I’m sure most people in our society would answer that they would find such proposals abhorrent.
But history shows that many things were once unacceptable in our society.
Prior to 1967 homosexual acts were a criminal offence; prior to 1918 women were not allowed to vote; and before 1975 they were not deemed worthy of equal pay.
As recently as 1993 the Church itself discriminated by forbidding women to be ordained in the Church of England and to this day it continues to prevent them from becoming bishops because they are female.
And in 2014 civil marriages between homosexuals were legalised.
Quite why, as Ms Richards asserts, such marriages should not be reported in the press in the same way as any other, is beyond me.
So I’ll venture to suggest that what will be acceptable to generations in the years to come will be what future societies dictate and whether the church’s teachings have any impact on their choices will be entirely up to them.