Much has been made of the recent case in the media of a gay couple who won damages against the owners of a B&B.
The couple were extreme Christians applying a personal interpretation of Christian values to their guest-house. Their views are far from normal, even among Christians. Actually even among the sub-set of Christians who have a problem with other people being gay. That’s not to say believing sex outside marriage to be wrong is rare, and believing homosexuality to be a sin of some degree is not, relatively, common. It’s just that most decent, caring, Christians do not seek to impose those values on others.
As someone who was brought up in a loving, caring Christian family, I worry about the fall out from this sort of case. It always seems to be the nasty, dogmatic kind of Christian, who’s just that little bit weird. It never seems to be your normal, church-going caring christian, who has come up against some silly aspect of dogmatic secularism. Even though some religious leaders claim religious people are under attack from dogmatic secularists, these sort of cases demonstrate nothing of the sort.
There are plainly a large number of people who have prejudices and look for reasons to back them up. The Bulls’ are so clearly such a couple that I shudder when I read about their personal views, even extrapolated from Christianity as they are, being misrepresented as Christian values.
I worry about the popular view of Christianity when these are the examples of Christian values people see. Not Churches running homeless projects or reaching out to help asylum seekers. Not taking on and supporting individuals who’ve had a hard time. The image is of a people who have a set of rules which they use as a ruler to judge others and don’t hold back when they find they don’t measure up.
I think decent, caring, mainstream Christians should be doing more to present the positive side of Christianity. Sending out a message that the Bulls’ are not typical or representative of true Christians.