The Ashers case highlights the clash between firmly held religious beliefs and equality laws that prohibit discrimination.
The campaign to make same sex marriages legal in Northern Ireland goes on, despite Unionist political parties blocking legislation with barely a dissenting vote.
We take our religion very seriously in God’s own country, even if some dispute its borders and disown the treaty that split the island in two. The leader of the SDLP is against all abortion, to the point where he disputes the ability of doctors to make a diagnosis that a foetus is unviable.
On this island we have had the death of a mother refused an abortion which would have saved her life, and a mother forced to continue with a pregnancy where the foetus had no brain.
Ethical decisions need to take account of the rights of the individual as well as the common good. The balance in Ireland, North and South, is swayed by religious dogma. No politician is going to win many votes by denouncing Scripture as old hat.
Christianity in some people’s opinion is under threat from the state. So to support legal cases, and offer to pay court costs, the Christian Institute is on a crusade to challenge perceived curbs on religious freedom, or rather Christian held beliefs.
A multicultural society should benefit by common standards of humanity and equality protected by our secular institutions. Lobbying groups that oppose this view of society may be wasting the courts time.
The banner of the Christian Institute is Christian Influence in a Secular World. This innocuous description belies their efforts to challenge equality legislation.