Just an additional comment to the last blog: I think there’s a difference between people’s behaviour and practice within a religious environment than within the rest of the world. Whether there SHOULD be a difference or not is the issue and it’s not an easy one, hence the last post.
I’d dearly love to stop all streams of all religions being homophobic, anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-women, and most of all I’d like them to stop peddling false dreams and hopes. But I don’t think you CAN stop that and I worry about the implications of telling people they can’t practice a religion and do a normal job unless their religious practice meets certain liberal standards.
That said, I do think if people are acting outside of the religious community (i.e. in the ‘real world’) in a particular way then there are very good, much stronger, grounds for questioning their suitability. So, if it’s true that Philippa Stroud turned gay people away from a homeless shelter, then that’s a ‘real world’ issue, and something much more tangible to use against her than something that happened within a church environment. It’s a social issue, plain and simple, and her religion teaches her to care for the homeless, poor and hungry and doesn’t add the caveat ‘as long as they’re sleeping with the right people’.