Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Would Jesus side with the Free Presbyterians?

The Rev David McIlveen claims (November 19) that "It is the height of arrogance that the BHA [British Humanist Association] would even assume to tell people not to instruct their children in the religion". And "They . . . are just trying to draw attention to themselves."

Rev McIlveen goes on to say that he will be expressing his public position on the matter in his church on Sunday, but isn't that him telling parents what to instruct their children? And aren't the 'Consider Christ' ads drawing attention to Christianity?

Why is asking (not telling) people to consider the consequences of labelling and, therefore, claiming a child for a particular religion an attack on the biblical position of the family?

Atheists, humanists and secularists all bring up wonderful children, too. Jesus Christ himself (and I'm assuming he existed in spite of the complete lack of historical evidence) was at odds with the authorities of his day as he demonstrated when he said, "Let those amongst you without sin cast the first stone".

Where, I wonder, would Jesus place himself in the debate over homosexuality and whether or not it is a sin as the reverend is so determined it is? I suspect he would not side with the Free Presbyterians. In that respect, humanists and other atheists, with their tolerance and acceptance of what consenting adults do, behave in a more Christian manner than many Christians.

All the BHA and the Humanist Association desire is to pass on a more tolerant and kind society to all our children - one where children are not segregated by religion, class or perceived ability at too early an age, one where they all cherished. Someone else is supposed to have said something similar to that. Oh yes: "Suffer the little children."

SHELLEY LEGGETT

Humanist Association of Northern Ireland

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