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Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Proud to be Scottish - honest.

It's been a while coming, but at last Scotland is to lead the way in the UK by enacting legislation to enable same-sex marriage. Another group of our citizens are to be given equal treatment and equal responsibilities. I for one am delighted, and I'm proud that the majority appear to be on board with the idea. Mind you, there are some nay-sayers. Philip Tartaglia, the new Roman Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow claims he's received letters and emails accusing him of homophobia after the statements he's made on the subject. Welcome to the world of the LGBT community Phil. You ought to try living in a society where those who ought to know better whip up all kinds of hysteria against minorities. Oh, wait, you do live in such a society, and you're doing a lot of the whipping. Live with it.

He went on to say he believed religious freedom was now under threat from undemocratic and intolerant forces. So, kind of like his church then? Tolerance and democracy aren't exactly the watchwords of Catholicism.  Here's some more.

"A spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland said: "The Scottish Government is embarking on a dangerous social experiment on a massive scale.
"However, the church looks much further than the short-term electoral time-scales of politicians.
"We strongly suspect that time will show the Church to have been completely correct in explaining that same-sex sexual relationships are detrimental to any love expressed within profound friendships.
"However, in the short term and long term the Church does not see same-sex marriage as an appropriate and helpful response to same-sex attraction."

A social experiment? Is that how this Neanderthal sees it? Equality is a dangerous social experiment. Remember that. That's the official church line. This from the organisation that won't countenance the use of condoms to counteract the effects of one of the world's worst epidemics, AIDS. The church doesn't look further, it looks back and yearns for a time when it ruled with a rod of iron.

Not that the RC church is alone in its opposition to progress. Many other churches take a similar stance. I'll repeat what I said before to a member of the clergy. Stand for election, get elected and make a difference. You don't get two votes, one for you and one for the club of which you're a member. Stinks, doesn't it?

So, well done the Scottish Government, I was against devolution. I've already admitted I was wrong. Now I know I was right about being wrong.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Keith, I'll vote for you. Aye, right.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien hit the papers today, attempting to 'intensify pressure on Alex Salmond over same-sex marriage by calling for a referendum on the proposals...'. Uh huh. Apparently 'far more people' are concerned about same-sex ceremonies than independence. Uh huh. Apparently over 27,000 people have signed a petition against the government's plans. Out of a population somewhere south of 5 million. Uh huh.

Let's deal with the word marriage first. It's a word. Nothing more nor less. It's an English word, so reference to Biblical concepts are meaningless. The Bible wasn't written in English, so the word is irrelevant. Next, to the concept of equality. If heterosexual couples are given certain rights based on their formalised nature of their relationship, then those rights are bound by any laws of common decency to be afforded to all who form similar relationships, same-sex or not. 

The Biblical arguments put forward by the RC and other churches are, of course, powerful anti-gay motivators. However, I do feel 'Christians' ought to be careful of what they wish for. If Biblical exhortations are to be used, how do we select which ones to be used and which ignored? Ought we to stone people for adultery? Ought we to execute gays? It's not exactly light reading, but try ten minuites or so of Leviticus. You might see things a tad differently.

Now we reach morality. I get mine from what I believe to be a well-grounded sense of right and wrong, instilled in me by a father who was not a believer, a mother who was but never once attempted to force her beliefs on me, and a lifetime of experience, observing as I went how cruel both the spiritual and secular organisations who loom so large in our lives could be in achieving their, ultimately, identical ends. Those ends are control and profit. You don't think the churches seek profit? Uh huh. Take a wee peek in the Vatican vaults.

Here's the deal. If Cardinal O'Brien will accept as binding a referendum on the RC church's attitude to birth control, I will canvass votes for him when he resigns his nice comfortable job to stand for election to the Scottish Parliament. Otherwise, my advice is, nice try. In a democracy, we value the whole of the people, not a narrow interest group, although I can't for the life of me understand what interest is served by a 'Christian' persecuting a minority group. You've probably noticed the inverted commas I've used around the word 'Christian' a couple of times. They were deliberate. Since Christ appears to me to have preached love and tolerance in his teachings, perhaps these people ought to use another name. Persecutionists perhaps?