Note: When I saw this, I had to rack my brains to remember when I wrote it. I then looked closer, and realised that it didn’t follow my own habits of spelling and punctuation, and it showed a certain Slavonic tinge. It’s a transcript of something I said some while ago in a Skype interview. SIG
First, I should say that personally I have no problem with gay marriage. But there are people in my country who take a different view on this matter.
If you are a devout Christian, your basic principle is that the truth has been revealed by God and he revealed it in the bible and through various branches of church tradition.
Both the bible and overwhelmingly the foundations of church tradition regards the only legitimate form of sexuality as the which is contained with a heterosexual marriage. That is the traditional position of the Anglican Church, of the Roman Catholic Church, of the various Orthodox Churches, and of the Protestant Church.
There is no point in telling people: “oh, but this is 2016, the world has moved on since then. We now believe that gay people should be allowed to get married!”. That is an entirely worthless argument, because we are talking about truths revealed by God. These are not abolished by changes in human fashion.
Therefore, if you are a mainstream Christian you believe that homosexuality is a sin; you are very hostile to the idea that these relationships should be given the blessing of the state and that marriages should be formalized which are the equivalent of the marriage of a mans and a woman; and you are very hostile to the idea that homosexual couples should be allowed to adopt children on the same basis as heterosexual couples; and you will refuse to allow your children to be told in the state schools that there is nothing wrong with homosexual relationships.
This is not because a Christian is a bad person or intolerant, it is simply because he believe in certain truths revealed by God which cannot be changed simply because social fashions have altered in the past fifteen years.
Now, when you have a solid block of Christian opinion of that sort, even in the most liberal countries there must be that discussion of the question whether the state should allow something or not.
But there are some cases when the state should step back and just leave people to go with their lives.
For example, I do not think that private businesses should be forced to provide services to homosexuals. If you are a baker and a devout Christian, it is outrageous that you should be forced by law to bake a cake for a gay couple. It is an interference into people’s private lives to force them to provide such services. I also think it is deeply inadvisable for state schools to teach children that there is nothing wrong with homosexual relationships. The state should as far as possible be neutral in these aspects.
And when it comes to the freedom of speech there should be no controls.
Therefore, if you are a devout Christian you should have the right to go into a market square on Saturday morning and to preach the gospel as you see it. And if you want to call homosexuals to repentance, to save their souls you should be at perfect liberty to do this so long as you don’t call a riot.
I do not think that Christian preaches should be arrested by the police and charged with criminal offenses simply because they have read out and preached commentaries on Leviticus or any other chapter in the bible which takes a negative view of homosexuality. It is a matter of freedom of speech and freedom of conscience and freedom of religion – traditional western values.
I am very disturbed that the British government during the past fifteen years has started to arrest people for saying and doing things which have always been legal in this country and always, to some extent, been honored and respected.
This is a sinister change in our national life.