Judging people’s beliefs should be avoided

In New Zealand, we need to get along with other people. In the past homosexuals were imprisoned.

In 1986 a law change opposed by a petition with signatures of more than one-third of the adult population occurred. And so, NZ conformed to the British Sexual Offences Act 1967.

Recent news questions the freedom of religion, and individual freedom to speak. It appears to me that traditional religions such as most Christian and Muslim religions, oppose homosexuality.

To remove this opposition from society, you theoretically could selectively eradicate these religions from society, or perhaps discriminate against them – by so to speak ‘neutering’ them to conform. However, there are arguments that a person’s conscience cannot be subject to the state, and therefore their religious beliefs are separate from state control.

I think people should be permitted to believe and say most things, irrespective of whether they are offensive. Although, if it were possible, it would be better if their words were also said for the benefit of others. If we are to live in a free country, judging people’s thoughts and beliefs is something to be avoided.
Andrew Clow, Te Puna.

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