Observations on Theology, Culture and the Hosier family

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

ONE WEEK + 1

Todays electioneering news is being swamped by 'bigot-gate' (and if no-one else has come up with that appellation yet I am claiming it as my own!). I must admit to feeling rather sorry for Gordon over this one. The poor bloke - he was very patient with the woman concerned in person, must be completely stressed out and exhausted, and was merely letting off steam when he got back in his car. And even that was mild stuff - no fruity adjectives or expletives. Which of us hasn't in private said the same or worse about other people? The video of him hearing the conversation is painful viewing...

Of more interest to me though, is the decision of the Conservative Party to disavow their candidate for Ayrshire North and Arran because of these statements on his website:

"As your MP I will support the rights of parents and teachers to refuse to have their children taught that homosexuality is 'normal' behaviour or an equal lifestyle choice to traditional marriage.
"I will always support the rights of homosexuals to be treated within concepts of (common sense) equality and respect, and defend their rights to choose to live the way they want in private, but I will not accept that their behaviour is 'normal' or encourage children to indulge in it.
"Toleration and understanding is one thing, but the state promotion of homosexuality is quite another."


Of course, I fully endorse these sentiments, and find it extraordinary that Philip Lardner should be suspended from his Party for stating them. What I find most obnoxious about this is that a Party that keeps talking about 'tolerance' cannot tolerate views like these. It seems absurd that a candidates moral position on issues of sexuality should be a basis for deselection - especially when expressed in such mild and carefully moderated tones.

The irony is that mild statements, whether by Gordon Brown or Philip Lardner, result in an extraordinarily harsh response. It just goes to prove what has so often been pointed out - that our notions of being a tolerant nation operate within an extremely narrow definition of what 'tolerance' is.

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