The Right to Disagree: Challenging the New Orthodoxy About the Family

Posted on February 2, 2011


‘Currently, legislators and educators are creating an inevitable conflict for religious believers, forcing them to choose between compliance and conscience, especially where matters of family and sexual relationships are concerned. In insisting on unqualified compliance in matters where there is reasonable moral controversy, the state is demanding that its own moral conclusions should be imposed on everyone. Many of the most controversial cases, however, could be resolved by applying as a simple rule-of-thumb the principle that people should not be forced to do or to advocate what they believe to be wrong, unless the issue is one where not doing it would itself be wrong. . . It seems to me that the new challenges I have discussed . . . risk the creation of a new Leviathan—a state that, whether religious or secular, sees the family as its rival for the hearts and minds of the next generation of citizens.’

Professor Brenda Almond is Emeritus Professor of Moral and Social Philosophy at the University of Hull. She holds an honorary doctorate for her work in philosophy from Utrecht University and is an elected foreign member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.  Read the entire paper, The Right to Disagree: Challenging the New Orthodoxy About the Family, by Prof. Almond, given at the latest seminar in the Thomas More Institute’s series Conscience, Values and Belief in Public Life, here.

Details of future events at the Thomas More Institute can be found here.