Tuesday November 25, 2014

Reader says tolerance for long-held religious views needed


To the Editor:

For 2,000 years, the Christian religion has taught that same-sex activities were wrong. Today, however, there are many who not only question those teachings, but wish to silence it. Some find the Christian message hurtful, and some frequently characterize it as hateful no matter how it is expressed, because they wish to end the debate.

It is therefore understandable that someone could find a web site that would characterize pro-life speaker Peter LaBarbera as hateful, and not realize that it was not because he expressed hate, but simply because he disagreed with same-sex sexual activities. The USA Southern Poverty Law Center was one such example.

There was no evidence that LaBarbera did anything but teach the traditional Christian message of chastity and charity, and yet there were some who resorted to name-calling to shut down the debate.

Such tactics are hardly an example of tolerance or the acceptance of diversity, but rather one of a society that is becoming increasingly intolerant as the conflict between the Christian Way and secular state widens.
Evangelical churches and Catholic churches have always emphasized chastity for not only homosexual people, but also for unmarried heterosexual people, and chastity within the marriage covenant.

If Peter LaBarbera can be labeled as hateful, what does that make the a church that has the same teaching? Do they not become havens of hate? There are some that would say yes, indeed.

Although unjust discrimination ought to be avoided, Christians have been fired from jobs such as marriage commissioners in Saskatchewan, or fined by Human Rights Commissions, and ordered to provide objectionable services in violation of their conscience, such as services for weddings or adoptions.

Trinity Western College is an evangelical  university that wishes to open a Christian Law College. Canadian law societies questioned whether they would permit their graduates to practice law since their graduates may exhibit “hatefulness” simply because they are required to take a Christian pledge to follow Christian ethics, including chastity.

This had me wondering whether our law societies are on the verge of denying entry of Christian lawyers for not adhering to the secular creed affirming same-sex sexual activity.

When they opened a teachers college some years ago, Trinity Western had to take a case all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada to force the B.C. teachers union to accept their graduates.

Some medical schools are already reluctant to accept Christians as they prefer to have students that will do whatever they are told instead of working with medical students who follow their conscience.

It is good to remember that Christian beliefs are founded upon reason.

Same-sex activities are not unreasonable because they are immoral; they are immoral because they are unreasonable, and they are unreasonable because of the serious health risks to those who engage in such activities, and because a reasonable use of sexuality includes an openness to new life.

Not everyone needs to accept such reasoning, but they should be able to at least tolerate it.

It is not necessary for everyone to dig in and take a position on this subject, but it is necessary for everyone to exhibit tolerance and especially religious tolerance of viewpoints other than our own.

Most young people today receive their teachings on sexual morality from Hollywood, but keep in mind, religion and its teachings on chastity have been around for a very long time. Secular ideas come and go.

Tom Schuck,


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