Despite his protestations, I maintain that Gary McLelland (Letters, 30 August) is guilty as charged of committing the secularist fallacy of being “quite comfortable with individuals practising their own private religious beliefs”, but crying foul when religious voices seek to have their say along with everyone else in policy matters, describing such democratic influence as “dictating the behaviour and actions of society at large”.
Mr Barber holds that any sexual “relationship which involves consent, the fulfilment of the people involved and which does no harm to others” is morally acceptable.
My problem with this formula is that “harm to others” is usually interpreted in a short term and individualistic way.
For example, a couple engaging in casual sex jeopardise the stability of their future relationships, thereby risking the well being of the, as yet unborn, children involved.
Homosexual sex correlates with many negative physical and mental health outcomes, so I genuinely believe that urging people to refrain from it is in their best interests.
The Christian view of marriage stands in opposition to Mr Barber’s secular ideals and regulates sexual relationships to the benefit of adults, children and wider society.
I did not “suggest that children choose to be gay simply because they catch a glimpse of a happy, gay person or chance across some positive attitudes,” but I do not believe that young children should be prompted to question their own sexuality.
With regard to the Bible, Neil Barber (Letters, same day) made the elementary error of mistaking reporting for endorsement.
Mr McLelland finds orthodox Christian teaching on sexual morality “offensive” – so be it. I find lots of things offensive as well.
But causing “offence” by expressing disapproval of homosexual sex is increasingly being regarded as beyond the pale of civilised discourse, or even criminal.
If I, as a Christian, declare myself “offended” by something I don’t pick up the phone to the police – partly because I don’t want to, and partly because it would be ignored anyway.
Increasingly, in the UK some gay activists take the opposite view and the police take up their cause enthusiastically.