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Forcing views on others can never be 'tolerance'

 

Alf McCreary's attack (Saturday Review, September 9) on the Lord Mayor of Belfast for what he calls her "graceless" behaviour at the installation dinner is puzzling.

Apparently, it is not "inclusive" to let people say their own prayers, instead forcing one particular faith on everyone.

According to Mr McCreary, it was also a breach of a well-established tradition, but he failed to point out that it was one that gave a special privilege to Christians over other religions and those with none.

Surely, it is more inclusive for a politician to remain neutral on such a civic occasion and thereby truly represent all the people of the city, both religious and non-religious?

Mr McCreary also bizarrely accuses Nuala McAllister of "intolerance". But she didn't tell Christians that they couldn't pray. Indeed, some did. So, in his Humpty-Dumpty logic, she displayed intolerance by not imposing a Christian prayer on all the guests. It seems that, for some Christians, treating them the same as everyone else is actually being intolerant of them.

BRIAN McCLINTON

Editor, Irish Freethinker

Belfast Telegraph

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