Methodists are entitled to respect for their deeply held religious beliefs

A letter from Dr Gerald Morgan:

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 11:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th July 2021, 11:54 am
Letter to the editor

The mantle of doctrinal infallibility in Northern Ireland has now passed, it sees, from Roman Catholics to Bangor Humanists (‘While even DUP move on gay issues, Methodists do not, July 12, see link below).

I had the privilege of being a Junior Lecturer in Trinity College Dublin in the same year (1968) as the brilliant David Norris, whom Mr Barr will recognise as our great authority on Charles Dickens and James Joyce.

David Norris, who was instrumental in securing homosexual law reform, will know that however brilliant we may be as academics there will always be those who disagree with us. We welcome such disagreement as the very lifeblood of life in a great university.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

I don’t think that Senator Norris would write so contemptuous a letter as the one you have published by Andy Barr today.

Methodists, even in a sectarian-ridden Ireland, are still entitled to respect for their deeply held religious beliefs provided they are expressed with respect for the beliefs of others and with Christian tolerance and compassion.

They are not entirely alone in their belief in the lifelong sanctity of Christian marriage. There may even be one or two Anglicans who quietly share their opinions. And perhaps the odd Roman Catholic.

The same is true in respect of abortion imposed on Northern Ireland by British totalitarians in Westminster contemptuous of democratic freedom in Northern Ireland.

Let us disagree by all means. But let us at least learn the language of respect in disagreement and especially so in matters that most divide us.

Dr Gerald Morgan Fellow Trinity College Dublin

——— ———

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers — and consequently the revenue we receive — we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Ben Lowry

Acting Editor