When is Christianity NOT bigotry?

Could someone care to explain please?

I am a Christian, but most definitely not a bigot. I don’t display intolerance to those who may have different opinions. I’ve been attempting to discern which way to vote according to advice from here.

Apparently this renders me a bigot because I am seeking to impose my will/views on others. Isn’t this what we all do when we vote? We vote for a candidate/political party whose views we believe or hope will most closely reflect ours.

When I quoted this on a recent discussion forum I was accused of religious bigotry because apparently my Catholic Christian conscience makes me want to discriminate against others.

I have to accept that if I want to enter the healthcare profession I would be forced to engage in activities that are prohibited by my faith, that no exception can be made for personal beliefs. I have flirted with the idea of midwifery on several occasions, I’ve done quite a lot of investigation as to whether or not it would be feasible for me train and whether or not I’d be suited to a career as a midwife. The conclusion that I came to was that midwifery was not for me as there would be occasions in which I would need to participate in abortion procedures, which is something that I could not do. Therefore the need not to discriminate has effectively discriminated against me as a Catholic as my beliefs disbar me from a profession. Ironic isn’t it?

In relation to the Gary McFarlane case, Lord Carey has said it is “but a short step from the dismissal of a sincere Christian from employment to a religious bar to any employment by Christians”.  I am saddened but not surprised that he lost his case. I suspect that a determining factor might be whether or not Relate were offering same-sex relationship counselling at the time he began with them. I think to deny him his basic right to object to something that he found to be against his principles, was mean-spirited and short-sighted. For me the issue was not whether or not same-sex couples are entitled to relationship counselling but whether or not a person might be legitimately excused from doing something they found impossible due to personal conscience. In this case the right of same-sex couples to receive counselling from someone who felt unable to provide them with this service has been deemed as more important than an individual’s freedom of conscience. Mr MacFarlane is as much a victim of discrimination as the same-sex couples. Had he kept his mouth shut and denied who he was he would have been fine. This disturbs me greatly. Basically what the state seems to be saying is that it’s alright to have faith (yeah thanks for the permission) but you need to be sure that you keep it to yourself and in the privacy of your own homes. I don’t quite see how that’s possible given that Christians’ very faith requires them to reflect Christ in all that they do in the course of their daily lives.

On the forum alluded to I also talked about the fact that I have done some listening for a pro-life charity which involves listening to women who have been through abortions and referring them to qualified counsellors where appropriate. 95% of this work involves listening, not counselling, but listening and offering some ways in which women might reach personal reconciliation and mark their loss. Apparently my Catholicism and pro-life outlook disbars me as it automatically renders it impossible for me to be able to offer any sympathy and to be impartial. I am not able to exercise any compassion and my faith means that I must be compelled to tell women they are “murdering sluts”. I am doing very real psychological damage to women. I have either lied to the charity or the charity themselves are inherently wrong or evil. There should be legislation to stop people like me. Catholics or pro-lifers mustn’t do any work with people who might be facing PTSD or PAS. Now who’s the intolerant bigot?

Essentially if you are a Catholic or Christian and you use either the advice from the Catholic Union or more generic Christian advice given here you are a bigot. Christians are advised not to leave their views in the pews.

So can someone explain for this bear of very little brain. If by following this advice, I am deemed to be an “insult to Christianity and right-thinking Christians everywhere”, how on earth is it possible to be a Christian and NOT a bigot? What is a ‘right-thinking Christian’? Surely that is subjective. Furthermore if we follow this logic we need to lock our beliefs away in a little box somewhere so they don’t intrude or encroach onto our everyday life and YET believing that life starts at conception is so extreme that this belief, held by millions of Catholics all over the world, is so extreme, so out there that it renders it impossible for anyone to be able to offer any sympathy or compassion towards those who are suffering from the pain of abortion.

And for those wanting to know the diametrically opposed viewpoint, she may be found here. She’s a passionate, well-meaning, highly intelligent person. Sadly she can’t bring herself to say the same thing about me.

6 thoughts on “When is Christianity NOT bigotry?

  1. It is very simple. I am a british citizen. And whatever my skin colour, my gender, or my sexuality- all parts of who I am- I am entitled to receive goods and services, from businesses, and from the public sector.
    You are entitled to BELIEVE whatever you like about me, or my sexuality, or my gender or race- you just don’t have the right to use your business, or your service- discriminate.
    Relate is not a church organisation- and people using relate- people who have often waited for months for an appointment- have the right to access that service-regardless of your beliefs.

    Noone is attacking christianity- because christianity and homophobia are not the same thing. Homophobic discrimination is illegal- and if you feel that homophobic discrimination is your right- you are mistaken. Deeply mistaken.

    I would fight to the death for people to be able to express their religious views in whatever way they choose- but that does not extend to discriminating against british citizens.

    1. You are quite right Christianity and homophobia are not the same thing. I am a Christian, but most certainly not a homophobe. I do not feel that homophobic discrimination is my right. What I do believe is my right is to use my conscience to refuse to participate in activities that I find morally difficult, without fear of prosecution. The fact that I find something morally difficult, does not mean that has stemmed from an extreme or irrational aversion or is indicative of hatred. You seem to have difficulty understanding this.

      People using Relate have a right to access a counsellor who fundamentally disagrees with their relationship, but is forced to pretend otherwise and thus make himself a hypocrite? Should Mr McFarlane have agreed to counsel gay couples regardless? Could he have been impartial in his advice? Would this have been fair on the couples involved?

      Homophobic discrimination is not my right – however this is not what we are talking about. So people can express their religious views in whatever way they chose, so long as that does not include a choice that is against yours?

  2. You won’t publish this Caroline. I didn’t realise it was you, when I saw the link to my blog. Christians are not being discriminated agaisnt. Homophobic discrimination is illegal, not christianity. It is illegal because it has caused a great deal of harm. The counsellor you were talking about worked for Relate- and the couple you talked about- were customers of relate. The judge was quite clear- you should read the judgement.

    As for my views about you- did you mention to your readers that you believe abortion to be killing a baby, and have sought out a role as an abortion counsellor? No, I didn’t think so. I am sorry but you seeking out vulnerable women, to push your agenda, and pretending that this is good work- is ridiculous.

    You have played the victim in taht group- and now you have sought me out- followed me onto other blogs, linked to mine- and I am sure that any second now- you will find some way to play the victim.

    You dress up this spiel as protection of your religious beliefs- when none of what you talk about- is about YOUR religious belief. It is about active discrimination against people who have done nothing wrong, and do not share your beliefs.

    Use your distorted morality to sort out your own life, and that of your husband. Leave other people alone.

    1. Let’s be very clear, I do NOT work as an abortion counsellor. You have decided that, regardless of what the truth might be and nor do i deliberately seek out vulnerable woman. I would be pleased to hear on what evidence you base those opinions.

      I believe that life starts at conception, so yes I do believe abortion to be the killing of the unborn, a view I hold in common with millions of other people around the globe, regardless of faith.

      In terms of playing the victim, I believe some of your comments speak for themselves.

  3. I don’t quite know why you have resurrected this, but where have you got that alleged “quote” from? I said I offer listening services to women suffering from PTSD and PATS not abortion counselling. I am not qualified to offer abortion counselling to women facing unplanned pregnancies and any calls I do take are referred to a BCAP qualified person who cam offer non-directive counselling.

    What don’t you understand about that?

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