Let’s refuse to condemn beliefs of anybody

I am deeply dismayed that Steve McGarry (Letters, July 3), is concerned about the subjective religious belief of someone, even if that person is the Taoiseach. Have we not learned anything?

The events of the last hundred years have surely taught Ireland of the perils in believing that only one opinion is right,….the Christian interpretation. Just look at how this view taught us to treat “fallen women” and their babies, the memorials which we now erect in memory of so many innocent children, show us in sorrow; how wrong we were to trust the beliefs and instructions of a religious organisation.

Somehow, I don’t believe that Ireland is in any danger due to the Taoiseach’s personal beliefs, but we will be in jeopardy if we allow any one organisation espouse again that their belief is the ‘truth’, and that we must follow them and them alone.

Using Mr McGarry’s yardstick, “by their fruits you shall know them”, it is frightening that the Catholic organisation has not excommunicated a single priest for the abuse of a child, yet Greg Reynolds, an Australian priest, who supports the ordination of women, was excommunicated by the Bishop of Rome last year.

As a ‘lapsed’ Protestant, I am aware of the deep failures also within this community in its treatment of the most vulnerable in our community.

Over the past century Irish people have allowed Christians from both sides of the community to dictate to them what was ‘right’, the upcoming Commission of Investigation will expose how wrong we have been, to have allowed our humanity to have been controlled by the religious.

Every citizen should have the right to hold whatever religious view or none as they wish, but no citizen or organisation has the right to proclaim that they hold the ‘truth’ above all others, and that Ireland must acquiesce to them.

Let us start by refusing to condemn the beliefs of anybody, no matter if they are an atheist, a Muslim a Jew, a Christian, a Hindu or even a Taoiseach!

Victor Stevenson

Rathmore Avenue

Bangor

Co Down

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