Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Owners can run a business how they see fit

THERE is a tragic irony that, in the name of liberalism, tyranny threatens to descend upon those with a conscience.

Christians, so often charged with being hypocrites, are being told to separate what they do from what they believe. I am, of course, referring to the recent furore over the stand of Ashers Bakery regarding a certain cake.

Sexual orientation is being confused with lifestyle and moral causes. Like skin colour, sexual orientation is regarded as a matter of identity, so to refuse service on the grounds of orientation is equivalent to racism.

But while there are no grounds to discriminate on the basis of who someone is, a campaign to promote particular activities is something which has moral value and, so, invokes the conscience.

Others object that while business owners may have a conscience, businesses themselves don't. But businesses exist only on paper. Decisions and actions are taken by real people with moral frameworks and consciences.

It is bizarrely incoherent to hold people accountable for the way their business is run, yet not allow people to run businesses according to their conscience.

We may soon see a society in which Muslims cannot be bakers lest they be asked to produce a cake declaring that Jesus is God, or Jews cannot be bakers lest they be asked to produce a cake celebrating the wonders of bacon.

Is that the world we want?

THE REV JONATHAN BOYD

Hyde Park and Lylehill Presbyterian

churches

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