It’s not who raised you, but how you were raised

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Last week’s column in which I outlined my frustration at the backward stance of our politicans on the issue of same sex marriage caused a bit of a stir in my email inbox.

I received a number of emails from readers who stated that my viewpoint was simplistic, generalised and (this I found particularly offensive) “could justify the love of a paedophile for a child”.

I was accused of not having considered the wider implications of supporting same sex marriage - and that to do so was to weaken the institution entirely. Marriage, it was put to me, should be confined to the natural union between a man and a woman for the procreation of the species.

Children need parents, I was told - and they need both a mother and father to be raised to be well rounded individuals.

I realised fairly early on in the exchange of emails from these people that our view points were unlikely to ever find a certain harmony - but still I feel there are certain things I need to say.

First of all I do apologise - to all sections of our community - if my viewpoints came across as flippant. In trying to inject a little lightheartedness into a serious situation by referencing my fear of fish I realise I may have come across as a bit of an eejit or indeed as if I didn’t consider this to be a very serious and complex moral issue.

That said, I do not apologise for my viewpoint. I am well aware of traditional ideas of marriage and of the very great importance of a stable society with strong values.

I have two children. I try to instill in them strong values - values I try to live by myself.

The basics are simple. Do not hurt others. Do not hurt yourself, Do not damage property. Do not disrespect people. Be kind. I may not be quoting the ten commandments but the basic principles are the same - live a good life aware of how your actions or inactions may affect you and those around you.

This does not in anyway “justify the love of a paedophile for a child”. It does not undermine the institution of family.

Families in this day and age come in all shapes and sizes.

The morality in a person does not come from who raised them but how they were raised. Society does not break down from tolerance and acceptance of differences - indeed it is quite the opposite.

For those who have accused me of “picking and choosing” which aspects of Christianity I choose to believe I counter simply with “Love one another, as I have loved you”.