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True concept of tolerance isn't being embraced

Published 25/06/2015

Brian McClinton (Write Back, June 18) states that, in a former life, he often awarded high marks for political essays despite sometimes disagreeing with the views expressed.

However, to then compare this with compelling a bakery to ice a cake with a message contrary to its Christian beliefs makes as much sense to me as two bald men fighting over a comb.

Mr McClinton was, in my view, quite correct to put his own political views to one side when marking essays - just as, if I may be forgiven for introducing a rather frivolous example to an otherwise serious debate, a Manchester United-supporting baker should put his or her preferences to one side if commissioned to ice a cake stating that Liverpool is the greatest football club on the planet.

In neither case could it be reasonably argued that the views expressed were endorsed by the teacher/baker. However, asking someone to put sincerely held Christian beliefs to one side during working hours and produce a message contrary to those beliefs is, in my view, an entirely different matter.

Mr McClinton goes on to state that he would have refused to mark an essay that was blatantly bigoted, racist, sexist or homophobic. Not for the first time in this debate I find myself questioning Mr McClinton's willingness to embrace the true concept of tolerance.

Finally, I wonder what the reaction of the gay community would be if a gay baker refused to ice a cake supporting heterosexual marriage?



Belfast Telegraph

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