"We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice,
we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself." Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison (1943-1945)

Letter to Belfast Telegraph, Friday 13th July 2018

Dear Sir

The ‘cry from the heart’ letter issued by more than 230 leading Presbyterians is understandable.  Nobody wants to promote conflict and hurt.  Your editorial (6 July) urges a solution through some kind of ‘rapprochement’. 

But rapprochement between what and what?  The issue is not about giving James and John the same rights as Jeremy and Janet, as the Church of Scotland seems to think (the European Court of Human Rights has said that same-sex marriage is not a human right).   It is about how the Church should respond to the threat by gay activists to overthrow the family as we know it. 

In 1971 the Gay Liberation Front set out its agenda which, in the words of Peter Tatchell, critiques inter alia “marriage, the nuclear family [and] monogamy”.  Faced with such a challenge, the Church’s task cannot be to seek rapprochement between monogamy and promiscuity. 

What is needed is a strategic agreement from all parties within the Church to work together to reaffirm the standards of sexual morality that it has upheld, despite regrettable lapses, since the time of Jesus, and to challenge the standards of the world which are increasingly influencing society.

It is also necessary to develop forms of Church discipline which can be applied lovingly, firmly and consistently to all persons, both homosexual and heterosexual. 

This may be an impossible task, and will certainly be painful to implement, but the early Church did its best in the matter and changed the world greatly for the better.

Yours sincerely

Dermot O’Callaghan



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