Religion is not the cause of inequality in our society

I read with some interest Tony Pettengell’s article on the Equality Bill (‘Wrong about rights’, Off Message, Personnel Today, 8 July).

I share his concern for equality at all levels of our society and would want to see men and women treated equally, regardless of their race, age, gender or orientation.

What puzzled me was his comment: ‘The sooner all religions are expunged from the law books, the sooner we’ll have an equal society’. I cannot bring myself to believe that he honestly thinks this to be true the very foundations of our process of law was largely based on the Christian religion, as were many of our present day cultural and ethical values. Eradicating all of these would require massive change.

I accept that we now live in what is essentially a secular society, but at what cost? Does he really believe that our society at any level is the better for it? Is our society really controlled by religious doctrine, or is it more the case that we are controlled by our own desires and prejudices?

Inequality comes from the heart, influenced by the wrong interpretation of religious and other values, which become cruel and corrupt doctrines of every kind.

Robert Short, training officer, Stagecoach


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