A response to Trevor Phillips

June 20th, 2011

A response to the Equalities’ Commissioner as reported in the Sunday Telegraph, June 19 2011

“There is much to commend in this report of Mr Phillips’ views, especially his insistence that religious institutions should be free of state interference. However the test of this freedom is, and will continue to be, whether those institutions can promote the faith and teachings which they hold. This includes teaching that those who profess the faith should life their lives in accordance with its teachings,

For example, most Christians hold that active homosexual behaviour is incompatible with Christian teaching.  That arises directly from the settled beliefs and convictions which go back to the teachings of the Bible and the early church, not, as Mr Phillips alleges, from any desire for political influence. Some Christians have lost their jobs and livelihoods for stating this teaching; many are being intimidated into silence. They are being denied their right to exercise their freedom of conscience.

But Mr Phillips is correct to point out that the issue of marriage and family life, of which the sexuality question is but one part, is of wider concern. It has considerable implications for the well-being of society. There needs to be an evidence-based debate on these matters, and particularly on the implications and consequences of same-sex behaviour  – physically, medically, socially, psychologically and economically –  with the best possible input from all sides of the argument.”

Chris Sugden, Anglican Mainstream

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