Bishop Michael Scott-Downsizer has a lengthy piece at THE GUARDIAN today in which he demands the right of the tired and fearful old men of the old boys' network to have a completely different morality to the rest of society.
He is spitting in the wind. Although there may be a long period during which various views on a moral issue compete with each other to become the accepted morality, once society has overwhelmingly accepted one view and it becomes part of the law of the society, the discarded view must be made illegal. The defeated party must be allowed to campaign for a reversal of such legislation if they so wish, but they must do so from within the law, or, if they break the law, be subject to prosecution, as gay people have had to do up to now in my country. A society cannot operate with two moral systems in respect of matters that are not just personal, but effect the lives of others in the society. Imagine a situation where honour killings were allowable for certain ethnic groups within English society and you then see the ludicrous position this bishop is advocating.
However, if we did, as a society, agree to the bishop's request for two legal systems running side by side, I for one can see some benefits. For a start, as a Christian and priest, I will be able to go back to smoking in restaurants and pubs and on public transport. That'll be nice for me if not everyone else. And I shall not worry about everyone else because Bishop Scott-Downsizer has proved conclusively in his excellently argued landmark philosophical work that everyone else can go screw. It's what we think as individuals that matters.
It's strange, reactionaries continually accuse liberals of individualism yet they are the first to cite individual liberties when the community decides to go in a direction the reactionary individual personally doesn't like.