As I’m sure the media has made everyone aware, Mr David Silvester (a UKIP councillor) expressed his religiously informed belief that the recent flooding which has beset the country is a sign of God’s displeasure at Mr Cameron’s (or should we really say the EU’s) enforcement of same sex marriage.
This has been latched upon by the media (sometime after he first expressed such views as a Conservative councillor, but let’s put this aside for now), and there has been much laughter regarding the concept of homosexuality being linked with weather. But beyond the superficial and facetious humour, there appears to be a great deal of underlying unpleasantness being expressed by the Liberal community against those who follow a set of religious beliefs which do not fall within a religious humanist model.
Now, I do not believe that the recent flooding is the result of same sex marriage. I hold no opinion on same sex marriage, and I also do not belong to any religion, however I do have sufficient self awareness to understand that the concept of a God (or Gods) punishing sin is inherent in a large number of people’s beliefs.
I can only imagine how a devoutly orthodox follower of Islam, Christianity or Judaism must be feeling at present, given the manner in which religious belief in a interventionist divine being or beings has been universally mocked in the media, and that an adherent to religion has not only been roundly humiliated, but there have even been calls for his removal from office.
If it is acceptable to deem Mr Silverster’s belief regarding the intervention of God as unacceptable, and to then demand his resignation or removal, then what of other people whose religious beliefs are based on revealed wisdom and theist based morality? How are we to react to Muslims, given they believe Muhammad flew to heaven on a winged horse? Or how about the catholic belief in Angels? Will the liberal establishment establish a list of accepted beliefs a person may hold?
This has all occurred despite the fact that we hear the media outlets singing the praise of tolerance, diversity and multi-culturism on an almost daily basis. Yet, crucially, when an opinion or belief is aired which upsets the Liberal communities’ sensitivities or beliefs, this tolerance disappears. Diversity of opinion is deemed “bigoted”, “divisive” and “insensitive” and discussion is shut down.
Now, my understanding of the liberal dogma of cultural relativity, in a broad sense, is that cultural values are relative, and as such no one set of values can be held superior to another. This is largely tied in with moral relativity which, alongside cultural relativity, dictates that morals are culturally and societal linked, and that any cultural expression is neither intrinsically good nor bad.
If the liberal establishment applied this framework to the religious views of Mr Silvester, then surely they would have accepted his views as being an expression of his religion and culture. But this has not happened. Instead, the values of Liberal orthodoxy have been upheld as being superior to the “bigoted” religious views of the UKIP councillor.
A deeply cynical person might come to the conclusion that the incident shows that tolerance and cultural-relativism are only called upon when the liberal establishments politicians, commentators and followers have need of them to push their agendas.
Maybe it’s time to ditch the one way tolerance and revert to the time honoured British tradition of respect for the opinion of others?