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Our tradition of dissent will allow a compromise

Something is rotten in the state of Northern Ireland when, in a time of austerity, £40,000 of taxpayers' money can be spent on hauling a perfectly respectable couple such as the McArthurs before the courts.

Any other country would be glad to have them as citizens. What makes them such good citizens? Why, their religious faith, of course. It's what makes them self-reliant, hard-working, honest, charitable and decent.

Yet the State is allowing the Equality Commission to be used as an instrument of coercion, forcing Christians to accept standards and beliefs that - rightly or wrongly - go against their religious convictions.

This province is made up of people with a proudly nonconformist and dissenting tradition, from Croppies who would not lie down, Presbyterians who would not accept second-class citizenship, Baptists who would not accept priestcraft, and Quakers who would not swear oaths.

Has the State not learned that coercion does not work? Faith is like a nail - the harder you hit it, the deeper it goes.

The Equality Commission is making a fool of the law. My money is on the dissenters to change the law to accommodate a religious conscience.


Donaghcloney, Co Down

Belfast Telegraph


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