Letter: Religious truths

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Despite the collective prayer power of the dense ranks of bishops, the outcome on homosexuality is divided, bitter and unconvincing ("Hardline bishops ban gay priests", 6 August). Establishment religion claims its own privileged access to truth but, clearly, the outcome has had more to do with oratory, regional traditionalism, ethnic prejudices and an unwillingness to upset the faithful. The lessons are clear. Yet again, access to God and the religious truth has turned out to be more elusive and problematical that many religionists would have us believe. The losers are the self-confident purveyors of religious certainties - biblical literalists, evangelical populists and theological authoritarians. Whatever may be said about homosexuality, the case for liberal religion has again been strengthened.

MILES HOWARTH

Chelmsford, Essex

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