The appalling Conscience Clause Bill is a brazen electoral move which is offensive to people serious about leading genuinely Christian lives.
The Christian message is one of compassion, loving your neighbour and doing unto others as you would have done unto yourselves.
It is absolutely not to do with picking on traditionally marginalised groups or discriminating against minorities.
The attempt being made to separate society neatly into “Christian” versus “Secular” is absolutely contrary to the Christian message itself.
It is in fact nothing short of blasphemous for politicians from a particular party, or anyone else for that matter, to set themselves up as the judge of whether someone is leading a Christian life.
On the contrary, the hate-filled rhetoric of referring to certain lifestyles as “repellent” or an “abomination” (as have been used by elected representatives in the recent past) constitutes the absolute opposite of Christian compassion.
I see no grounds for anyone even hinting at the use of that sort of language against a long oppressed group to refer to themselves as “Christian”.
The Conscience Clause is so ludicrously flawed and so blatantly an attempt to get at one particular minority that it is not worth detailed analysis.
What is worth analysis is quite how flawed religious doctrine based on selective passages of religious texts is quite so prominent in a party so many people vote for.
Why are politicians from that party so insecure about their faith that they see the need to thrust a particular version of it into the spotlight?
Why is that version so often filled with marginalisation rather than compassion, with excluding rather than encompassing, and with the rhetoric of hate rather than love?
What proponents of the Conscience Clause call “deeply held religious views” are in fact unrecognisable to many of us who try to lead Christian lives.
This is an appalling attempt at defining “Christianity” in a particular, skewed way.
What this is really about is the old tactic of seeking political gain for one group from discrimination and marginalisation of another - it is hard to see how any self-respecting Christian would have anything to do with that.
Ian James Parsley