Jonathan Bartley: secularists love their neighbour
Churches should be able to determine their own beliefs. But when they approach government to ask for them to be enshrined in law, no one should naively assume that this is the whole theological picture. Christians should be challenged instead to demonstrate how exactly that squares with the other tenets of their faith. How do they reconcile what they are demanding with such ideas as inclusion, equality, service, grace, and honesty, which are all supposed to stem from it? In the case of the equality bill they clearly can’t.
Such an approach may not sit well with some secularists. You can’t fight fire with fire, or mumbo jumbo with more gobbledegook, some will undoubtedly argue. But whilst it may stick in the throats of some to acknowledge it openly, secularists have shown the church how to be more Christian over the equality bill. They have championed the rights of, predominantly Christian people, who want to work for religious organisations and churches, but will find themselves further excluded if the amended bill becomes law. In a strange way they have shown how to love their enemies – albeit with a mix of motives.