Sunday, 30 May 2010

A change of mind

It is possible for someone to change their mind. Some see this as a weakness (the Lady is not for turning), whereas it can sometimes be a strength to move one’s opinion on. I certainly do not have all the views I had when I was, say, eighteen. I have changed one or two views. I have kept most important views. I have refined, or mellowed most, and, in a few, grown stronger in my convictions. None of us are in a static place, but live in a world, where, as we learn more, obliges us to confront what we think.

It was with no small irony that Theresa May was appointed Equalities Minister in the new Lib Con Coalition. A study of her voting record will demonstrate that, throughout the years, she has constantly taken the xenophobic, homophobic, anything-else-you-can-think-of-phobic line on just about every vote possible. She has shown herself no friend to women, the poor, the disabled, or immigrants. A concerted campaign was run in the hallowed pages of Farcebook to protest about this.

When I “liked” this campaign, I was immediately challenged by a Christian friend, who could not believe I was serious. Now, I am well aware that there are all sorts of views amongst Christians on immigration, on sexual equality, and on sexuality. However, I think there is a great deal of confusion about how these matters should affect society. The debate in society is not about what is right or wrong in our view. Take the matter of homosexuality. I have my own views on this which I will not discuss here. Whether or not you consider homosexual relationships as “sinful” or “not sinful” is, in the context of society as a whole, immaterial. While you may not agree with the lifestyle someone has chosen (although I do not believe sexuality is a thing one chooses), it does not give you the right to demand that they are discriminated against in civil and criminal legislation. In society, all should be equal to live the life they do, providing they do not harm others, or society. Civil law is not church law. While a religious group may have beliefs about such things, and exercise them in the context of their religious meetings, they may not impose them on society as a whole. To do so is intolerant dominionism. I do not hear of Christians who own guesthouses demanding to see the marriage certificates of mixed couples who stay in their establishments, yet they believe it their right to refuse business to same-sex couples.

My issue here is not sexuality itself. It is how far should Christians guide society? Too many Christians wish to impose their views and exclude, and interfere where they should not. The New Testament I read tells Christians to be like Christ, and to be salt and light. I know what I would rather do.

So where is the change of mind? Theresa May says she has considered some of these issues, and changed her mind in the light of further information. Good for her! I hope that translates into action.

1 comment:

~*sappho*~ said...

This is a great post, you really pinned down my feelings about the whole thing (and about Christian morals being imposed on non-Christian society) in a much better way than I could've done!

It's interesting to hear that she's possibly having a change of heart. I shall be watching this space.