Hopeful exchanges at The Tablet

Hopeful exchanges are happening at The Tablet, the international Catholic weekly paper. On the 30th September an article by Professor Emerita Tina Beattie, a retired theologian, sounded a note of caution about opening up uncritically to the full spectrum of LGBTQ+. Tina Beattie has strong credentials as a theologian who has repeatedly challenged the Catholic church on its sexism and homophobia, among other issues. She has no doubt that the church, to be faithful to its founding vision, should extend blessings for same-sex couples. L, G and B: it’s when we go beyond the ‘B’ that we should be more searching and critical about ‘the causes that lurk under that ever-expanding banner’ of LGBTQ+. A secular liberal ideology of inclusion, she warned, would in effect write a blank cheque for groups whose claim to science is ‘at best vacuous, at worst dangerous.’

On the 6th October there was a response from Professor Mark Chater, a retired educationalist, who suggested that the long acronym should be disaggregated, so that the rights of same-sex-attracted people could be discussed separately from the questions of gender identity. He also added that the widespread secular liberal belief that we can ‘be whoever we want to be’ was being challenged by science and theology, as well as equalities law. The notion of identity, and the identitarian politics it generates, may look liberal, but has become increasingly intolerant.
It is encouraging to see that in some parts of the church at least, people are not willing to capitulate to aggressive activism and censorship.