Sinn Fein does not impose particular social customs in a sectarian way

Whatever charges may be levelled against a rudderless unionism and sectarianism, Sein Fein can hardly be charged with being a sectarian party, if “sectarianism” is used in the sense of insisting, on narrowly religious grounds, and on those grounds imposing on others, a particular stance on matters of societal observances or customs
Letter to the editorLetter to the editor
Letter to the editor

Sinn Fein does not impose, however, same sex marriage and abortion on all who make up society.

It, on the contrary, espouses the right to same sex marriage and the right to abortion within society for those who are inclined to avail themselves of either.

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On this, therefore, Sinn Fein can hardly be charged with sectarianism despite Gerry Kelly some years back in an earlier Westminster election appealing to sectarianism by noting a sectarian headcount that he assumed should support a Sinn Fein candidate in unseating the sitting DUP candidate in the North Belfast constituency.

What Kelly was appealing to, however, was a mindset that has deeper roots in what is told (and importantly what is not told) about a Western Christendom that was then taking shape and in doing so was also shaping the domains of rule within the archipelago known since classical times as Britannia but not to be understood in any nationalist sense.

A distortion or half understood account of the making of that past (including in it the Battle of the Boyne) underlies the mindsets of the present and has a part in its political divisions and antagonisms and the language of politicians.

Dealing with that, surely, is a matter that the present Church ( in all its ramifications, expressions and traditions nevertheless ecumenically at one, as is prayed for in St John’s Gospel) like the unity of God in Christianity, a one that is beyond one, as the human mind apprehends one, to engage publicly through discussions, conferences, with the past of Church and society, warts and all, within the archipelago.

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Perhaps even carrying the discussion into the schools as a narrative history, a part of the cultural heritage of the archipelago and of Europe and of the Christian religion in human understanding.

WA Miller, Belfast BT13

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