Dogma in context


Alex Harris is right to call out the hypocrisy of so-called Christian fundamentalists who profess to treat the Bible as the inerrant word of God, but selectively omit to observe some of its more bizarre commands whilst also taking a hard line on homosexuality. A distinction must be made however between fundamentalists who wish to harm homosexuals, and mainstream christians he mentions who merely dislike the practise of it.

It is anyone’s right to believe that anything is acceptable or not for any given reason. For example, we have people who honestly believe that all religious people are stupid and harmful to society. This is doubtless irritating, offensive and stupid itself, but that’s not to say we should cajole people out of this view for the sake of conforming to a ‘point of moral understanding’. It’s a shame the media infrequently captures the subtlety of the christian position: that whether homosexuality is a ‘sin’ or not is partly inconsequential, as we are all sinners by definition. For a true christian, this basic doctrine contextualises all subsequent christian law. a sinner is also a brother, and an enemy is also a friend.

Of course, the obligation is also on christians to show that they understand the universality of this, their own message.

M Goulden

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1 Comment

  1. For clarity: I wasn’t referring to fundamentalists who want to harm homosexuals. That is wrong for obvious reasons. I was referring to ‘a few otherwise decent and honest Christians’ who, as you say ‘merely dislike the practise of it’. Really, I would argue that there is no justification whatsoever for being opposed to homosexuality, but the article was just saying that relying on scripture for it is one amongst many of the inconsistent arguments put forward. It’s the one that requires least thought as well – because it just defers to authority.

    I would also disagree with you that we shouldn’t cajole people out of holding predjudicial viewpoints – on the contrary, that’s exactly what we should be doing. How else is predjudice to be eradicated if people don’t realise that it’s not tolerated? You’re right that there are bigoted atheists, but I think that’s more arrogance on the part of some individuals. Contrast that with predjudice against homosexuality, which is institutionalised in the biggest and most powerful religious institutions and influences lawmaking in even some democratic countries.

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