Taking offence

Neil Barbour is the latest secularist to respond to a point I have not made (Letters, 3 January). I have never claimed any exemption from my views being “subject to the same scrutiny as any in the intellectual market place”.

My complaint is about routine intemperate and inflammatory attacks on the expression of mainstream Christian beliefs.

Mr Barbour’s response to this issue is to claim that Christian beliefs are themselves “manifestly vilifying and offensive”, even when expressed “moderately and carefully”, and that this will inevitably lead to emotive responses.

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Mr Barbour must explain what exactly it is in the Christian faith, with its universal offer of grace, forgiveness and acceptance, that amounts to “vilification”, but stirred emotions are not an excuse for insults and personal attacks.

There are plenty of issues that make my blood boil, but I try not to sink to abuse and name calling in response.

With regard to homosexual “marriage”, Ellis Thorpe exhorted us to “extol the value of
toleration” (Letters, same day).

Let’s hope this “toleration” extends to those who oppose it – there are indications that it won’t.

Richard Lucas