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Redefinitions are a sign of progress

Published 11/11/2015

The Rev Angus Stewart (Write Back, November 9) seems obsessed with the immutability of definitions. He obviously hasn't heard of the idea of progress.

In the past, false distinctions were set up, often to justify exploitation. Thus some were "free men" and others were "slaves". All women were "chattels" and not permitted "to teach, or to have authority over, a man".

Similarly, we were "humans" and other animals were merely "animals" that existed purely for our benefit. Again, a man could not possibly love a man, nor a woman a woman.

The Bible, whose earliest books are more than 3,000 years old, was written by more primitive men, who saw themselves as patriarchs ruling over other tribes, over their families, over their slaves and their animals.

It seems to me that in many respects, "love" has increased, not diminished.

In the West, we are now expected to treat people as equals and have laws (not nearly tough enough, admittedly) to prevent cruelty to animals.

Surely a loving God would be pleased by these redefinitions?

BRIAN McCLINTON

Lisburn, Co Antrim

Belfast Telegraph

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