Christianity in Public Life

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:24 pm on 11th March 2009.

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Photo of Evan Harris Evan Harris Shadow Science Minister 3:24 pm, 11th March 2009

I am in difficulty over time, so I will not have a chance to respond. [Interruption.] Well, I am happy to do so, but my right hon. Friend will accept that I have to wrap up this minute.

There is a balance of rights and freedoms and we have to be aware that people feel strongly about their religion. But a line should be drawn. People should be allowed to practise and manifest their belief as long as it does not interfere with the rights and freedoms of others and where it does the state has a role to protect the freedoms of others from discrimination—even well-meaning discrimination in the name of religion.


Kaihsu Tai
Posted on 19 Mar 2009 4:27 pm (Report this annotation)

I do not agree with what Dr Harris is implying here, that the practising person should not have the freedom to ask the question. I think the practising person has a freedom to ask a very brief question, and the interlocutor equally has total freedom to say no (or yes). That is the essential nature of personal care, questions between people, and dialogue and conversation in the public sphere.