The Other I

February 28, 2011

Is equality secular or religious?

The High Court in London today ruled that a couple who taught their children that homosexuality was wrong could not be approved to adopt a child.  They ruled that the couple were unfit as potential adoptive parents on the grounds that it is against the law to discriminate against homosexuals.

The couple are Pentecostal Christians who believe that homosexuality is a sin and argued that discrimination against them on the grounds of their religious beliefs violated their rights to religious freedom.

What is so ground-breaking about this court ruling is that it ruled that secular laws of equality take precedence over religious laws, and that discrimination could not be justified on the basis of religious freedom.

Personally, I am loudly cheering the court’s decision.

But I do now find myself wrestling with a philosophical question about the source of moral values.  I’m not of the view that if people don’t believe in some kind of God they have no reason to be good.

But I have not yet answered to my own satisfaction the question of where I think moral and ethical values should be rooted.  I wouldn’t trust a group of elected legislators in any country I know with the task of making laws that simply suit their private moral views.

I need to do more thinking and reading about this.  Where do my moral values come from and why am I so convinced it is right to respect creation and all that entails?

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