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Hypocrisy of anger at Presbyterian action

Published 25/10/2016

I appreciate our politicians and political parties don't do irony, or even consistency, but the rage, particularly from the liberal elite, over the decision of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland in relation to David Ford does question the integrity of certain parties.

In early 2015, the Alliance Party made it clear that candidates in the Assembly election that year would have to sign up to support same-sex marriage and dissent would not be tolerated. This they had every right to do.

The question is: should an MLA not fulfil this commitment and break with the accepted party policy, would the Alliance Party sanction them? Surely, the party would feel totally justified in taking action against such an MLA - maybe removing the whip, or even expelling the member? So, why is the Presbyterian Church in Ireland not entitled to do the same?

It seems reasonable that those in leadership in the Church should be expected to uphold and defend the Church's position.

This does not, of course, mean that every member, or adherent, of the Church has to agree with every view or opinion. However, it does seem reasonable that, if the Alliance Party can demand loyalty from their representatives, particularly those in leadership roles, why not the Presbyterian Church?

So, if a member of the Presbyterian eldership cannot support the key policies of the Church on the likes of marriage, why should the Church not sanction him/her - clearly, the Alliance Party would.

Ironically, if David Ford had backed the Presbyterian Church's position and opposed same-sex marriage, from all the available information, it would have been the Alliance Party that would have sanctioned him.

TRUE DISSENTER

Portadown, Co Armagh

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