Wed | Jan 16, 2019

Boyne does disservice with extremism

Published:Tuesday | November 25, 2014 | 12:00 AM


Unlike Marcia Williams, who expressed her frustration with Ian Boyne in her letter in The Gleaner ('Rape is rape, Mr Boyne', November 24, 2014), I was not surprised by Ian Boyne's position that marital rape is an impossibility because of the implied consent in marital vows.

I have always found Ian Boyne a perplexing public intellectual. He is given to studiously reminding his readers of the wide range of his personal reading, yet very little of what he reads seems to shift, give nuance to or broaden his extreme Christianist outlook on the world.

I describe him as an extreme Christianist because while he seems to operate within the sphere of intellectuals as a columnist, the world view he often expounds is irrationally loyal to one specific version of Christianity - the born-again Christianity based on the age-old formula of the Evangelicals - 'accepting Christ as your personal saviour' and being baptised thereafter.

Ian Boyne's extreme Chris-tianist outlook is not tempered by a fact of which I am sure he is only too aware: The great majority of Christians in the world, Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists, Lutherans, all the Orthodox churches from the east, do not practise this formulaic Evangelical version of Christianity.

As a pluralist, I have no problem with Ian Boyne's narrow, formulaic interpretation of Christianity. However, when he attempts to cloak his extreme Christianist outlook in the legitimacy of rational thought and seeks to impose it in the public sphere through his columns as a supposed intellectual, I think he does a great disservice to young people who genuinely look to columnists to help shape their own opinions.