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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?

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