Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Religious Morals of Homosexuality in Society

The Guardian writes that two prospective foster parents' application was turned down due to their conservative view on homosexuality. Somehow, this seemed to them completely baffling. Their lawyer even stated, expressing that incredulity:
"The promotion of values is something that the court should be protecting, especially when these religious values are recognised as giving a moral framework to values in our country. No one is disputing that the duty of every public authority is to safeguard and promote the welfare of a child. It is conceivable if there was an extremely vulnerable adolescent practising [homosexual] child, who may be placed in a certain familial relationship that was disapproving, that may not be a sensible placement."

What seems to me here to be contradictory is the link between morals and certain values of religion and its good for society. While I completely agree that some fundamental Christian (and other religious) morals can be for the common good for the society, these are values and morals that pertain to our capability to coexist, not the opposite. Values like love, compassion and tolerance are all part of the New Testament and something that most Christians value dearly. One may even argue that a person is not a Christian unless they adhere to these values. After all, it is the forgiveness and inclusiveness of Christ that separate Christianity from the other religions. (I'm not saying here that other religions are intolerant or any such thing, but the couple in the text were Christians and so that religion is relevant here.)

Intolerance of what breaks from the social norm is ancient in Christianity and most of it belongs to the Old Testament. The New Testament and the tale of Christ is what, in my eyes, redeems Christianity as a religion somewhat. It speaks of love and compassion rather than intolerance and cruelty, and I would argue, contrary to what the couple's lawyer seems to believe, that this is the values and morals society wants to promote today. With the growth of liberalism, social liberalism in particular, civil rights have never been so much valued as today and an essential part to those, is the acceptance of people who strive from what is the norm. Granted, society is not exactly there yet in its acceptance of anything but the white male, but it is fighting to get there. To say that the Old Testament values such as no homosexuality, no sex outwith marriage and other restrictions is what society today uses as a framework to set the morals and values is tweaking the truth to say the least.

Ben Summerskill, the chief executive of the lesbian, gay and bisexual rights charity Stonewall summed it up quite neatly when he expressed it thus:
"Too often in fostering cases nowadays it's forgotten that it is the interests of a child, and not the prejudices of a parent, that matter. Many Christian parents of gay children will be shocked at Mr and Mrs Johns's views, which are more redolent of the 19th century than the 21st."

1 comment:

  1. "If you haven't any charity in your heart you have the worst kind of heart trouble" to cure it
    help people, let's unite for one good cause, be a volunteer"save lives"!