Tra­di­tions have evolved

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Letters - Ca­role Peters, Mar­garet River

“Thou shalt love thy neigh­bour as thy­self” ex­presses em­pa­thy and com­pas­sion in a sim­ple, clear way.

“Do unto oth­ers as you would have them do unto you” falls into the same cat­e­gory.

In­vok­ing the Chris­tian scrip­tures to suit our ar­gu­ments is temp­ta­tion even to those of us who are not aligned with any par­tic­u­lar re­li­gion.

In the de­bate on same-sex mar­riage and any linked dis­cus­sion of “val­ues and morals” as passed on to chil­dren (Am­ber Pas­coe, Let­ters, 22/9), the val­ues of em­pa­thy and com­pas­sion seem par­tic­u­larly rel­e­vant.

The tra­di­tional con­cept of love and mar­riage has evolved and ex­panded in many ways.

But it can­not be guar­an­teed to last, as in one “strong and sta­ble” mar­riage for a life­time, or to pro­duce good par­ents, let alone chil­dren who will in­herit a “godly legacy”.

A lov­ing, re­spect­ful and shar­ing part­ner­ship, with un­con­di­tional love and care for any chil­dren who are born, fos­tered or adopted as a re­sult of that re­la­tion­ship, is def­i­nitely worth de­bat­ing, whether the union is het­ero­sex­ual or be­tween two peo­ple who iden­tify some­where on the LGBTIQ spec­trum.

Vague ref­er­ences to “evil” in­flu­ences on chil­dren due to an ex­panded def­i­ni­tion of mar­riage seem ques­tion­able, when from the day they are born, or even while still in the womb, chil­dren are in­flu­enced by the re­li­gious, gen­dered and cul­tural be­liefs and ex­pec­ta­tions of their par­ents, how­ever sin­gu­lar or open-minded those par­ents may be.

The lucky chil­dren are raised to be un­afraid to ask ques­tions, chal­lenge the sta­tus quo oc­ca­sion­ally, find their own way, and make their own de­ci­sions as they learn and grow to­wards adult­hood and be­yond.

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