Letter: Religious truths

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I can well understand why Clare Garner described the Lambeth bishops' resolution on sexuality as "hardline". But its wording appears, within its own terms, positive.

Discussion of homosexuality within the Church of England now seems more rather than less important.

Lay people need to be convinced - not just told - of the truth of Christian teaching. And the pro-gay community, outvoted at Lambeth but believing itself in the ascendancy nationally, needs to be engaged constructively. Such intra-faith debate will be assisted by Lambeth's avoidance of ambiguity.

G L E LOCKE

Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire

Sir: The Anglican bishops in Nigeria say that Christians' acceptance of homosexuality would mean evangelical suicide in Africa. I must say that Bishop Chukwuma's notions about demons, gay or otherwise, do nothing to help my evangelistic efforts in Knights-bridge. They merely confirm most peoples' idea that Christianity has long since ceased to be credible.

Leaving aside homosexual behaviour, however: I wonder what proportion of Anglicans really believe that non-adulterous sexual relations outside marriage are wrong? About the same proportion as Catholics who believe contraception is a sin, I'd think.

This means either that the church has a massive programme of re-education on sexual morality to undertake, or, as a parishioner said to me yesterday, the majority of the gentleman in purple inhabit a universe of their own making.

THE REV NEIL DAWSON

London SW9

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