Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Equality and the Law.

It was a perfectly reasonable day at work (if you exclude the vehicle malfunction) and I had a wee catch up on the news.  An English judge has decided that a Christian couple who run a hotel in Cornwall were acting agin the Law in refusing a double bed to a gay couple - see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-12214368

The moral of the story is: no one is above the Law.  When it has gone through Parliament and received the Royal Assent, it is the Law and no amount of pious sincerity exempts you from it.  The Christian Institute and their ilk may lament it, but what was the acceptable viewpoint of 50 years ago may no longer be acceptable in the public domain.  And the hoteliers forgot that their "private home" was in the eyes of the law a public establishment from which they made money and was therefore required to operate under a different set of rules.  The Churches have too often sidled out from under the requirements of equality legislation by claiming special privilege on the grounds of religious conviction.  Perhaps now the tide of public opinion is turning against this dubious exemption.

One of the strongest advocates of this state of affairs is the former Primate of All England ,George Carey.  I do not agree with him and have been critical of his attitude in other posts.  However, I was saddened to hear that his grandson who had struggled with addiction had died at the young age of 24. http://news.scotsman.com/uk/Carey-grandson-39dies-of-overdose39.6693724.jp  I may strongly disagree with the man, but cannot but sympathise with him and his family in their grief, shock and loss.  And  of course remember them in my prayers.  This the only Christian response.  It is our duty indeed but also our (I hope instinctive) God inspired compassionate default response.  Charity and compassion are easy enough to offer to the lovable and those whom we like or agree with - which makes it all the more important that we offer it in equal measure to to we dislike or disagree with and those who would disagree with or dislike us or even hate and despise us.  Compassion is for export as well as for internal use.

1 comment:

  1. That is indeed very sad about ++Carey's grandson. Prayers ascending for the family. And prayers, too, for the "christian" couple that believed they could discriminate against the gay couple. May this be the beginning of a new understanding in them. I'll leave it up to God to do the rest.