Methodists are entitled to respect for their deeply held religious beliefs

Letter to the editorLetter to the editor
Letter to the editor
A letter from Dr Gerald Morgan:

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.

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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.

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.

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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

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