"Religion is a hypothesis about the world: the hypothesis that things are the way they are, at least in part, because of supernatural entities or forces acting on the natural world. And there's no good reason to treat it any differently from any other hypothesis. Which includes pointing out its flaws and inconsistencies, asking its adherents to back it up with solid evidence, making jokes about it when it's just being silly, offering arguments and evidence for our own competing hypotheses...and trying to persuade people out of it if we think it's mistaken. It's persuasion. It's the marketplace of ideas. Why should religion get a free ride"

Greta Christina

Monday, 28 February 2011

Should this "Homophobic" couple foster?

This is an unfortunate story. The high court has upheld a decision by Derby City Council not to allow a Christian couple to foster children because of their views on homosexuality. Eunice and Owen Johns, went to court after a social worker expressed concern when they said they could not tell a child a "homosexual lifestyle" was acceptable.

First of all I don’t think this is a Christian issue at all and shouldn’t be framed as such. This aspect of the story has either been emphasised to suggest the couple are “good” people and being hard done by , which is not necessarily the case, or to highlight that Christians are homophobic, also not universally true. What is true is that were they not Christians it is unlikely that the subject of homosexuality would have arisen in quite this way. I would be surprised if there were not plenty of people actively fostering who have wrong headed views about the LGBT community that have nothing to do with their religion.

For what it is worth I think this is a poor decision framed in the wrong context. This couple have fostered fifteen Children before, presumably perfectly satisfactorily. They are wanting to to be respite carers for short-term placements for a single child between five and ten years old. This being the case and if they are sincere, all this couple need to do is refrain from proselytising and avoid the subject, which should not be difficult with young children, even if highly sexualised by circumstances. Sensitive choice of placements by the council would help too. If they are aware that the child has gender orientation issues, send them somewhere else.

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