Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Will Tony Blair adopt an ethical approach to dealing with Church bigotry? Don't hold your breath.

Yesterday, amongst other points, I made the argument that theists are arrogant. This was the easiest point to make and so it comes as no surprise that within minutes of that post, there is another blatant example of this. With the Telegraph headline Gay laws would force closures says Cardinal we find that
Britain's senior Roman Catholic leader bluntly warned Tony Blair yesterday that the Church would be forced to close down its seven adoption agencies if the Government required them to place children with same-sex couples.
alternatively and in addition
the Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, said yesterday that an exemption should be granted to the Catholic agencies because same-sex couples could go to other organisations if they wanted to adopt.
It gets worse, in the next article from the Telegraph Catholics urge Poles to vote against Labour policies in order to blackmail the government over this issue we have
Peter Kearney, spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland, said: “The church urges people to use their democratic right to vote and to be guided by their conscience in that vote.”
Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the leader of Scotland’s Catholics, has long been an outspoken critic of the devolved government’s family policies and has accused the Scottish Executive of ignoring the Catholic church’s concerns on the issues.
I thought we lived in a democracy? This reminds me, that it was only because I was deriving my 1o Myths/Truths about theism from Sam Harris' similar 10 points, that I did not also examine claims that "theists are bigoted and discriminatory" and "theists are anti-democratic". I don't think I need to make much of a case for either, that they are true. Still this is not everything as we next find in the BBC's Churches unite over adoption row that
The Church of England has backed the Catholic Church in its bid to be exempt from laws on adoption by gay couples.
Oh dear, so the weak an ineffective Anglican church wakes up, or is it just revealing its true colours?
Archbishop Sentamu, speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, said: "The freedom of conscience cannot be made subject to legislation however well-meaning."
He is applying this to workers in this field, to which I say fine one does not have to work in that field, if you cannot suspend your beliefs and bigotry to do your job properly. If the world changes and you cannot keep up, then change your career, whether the work is voluntary or otherwise.
He said the Church was "absolutely" against discrimination, and also did not believe homosexuality was a sin.
Really, then on what basis do people have an issue with freedom of conscience? If this does not come from religion, then why is the church defending it? If these are not part of the morals of the church, then the church is doing a bad job of changing the views of their flock and how does it help by defend their unrepentant members? Of course, all roads lead to Tony
Tony Blair's official spokesman said the prime minister was "leading the process of trying to find a way through those conflicting pressures".
and we are waiting in anticipation. Well here is some advice Tony. With the admission that it is not just the churches but their employees in adoption agencies who might have crisis of conscience do not allow any exemption for the churches, since it seems clear they are incapable of understanding that we live in a democratic society and they do want to prevent the will of the population. What excuse do they have for exemptions anyway? Oh yes, they want to allow some of their flock to continue to exercise their bigotry and ability to discriminate, very noble ideals indeed. In the particular situation here, when it comes to adoption agencies remove these from the jurisdiction of the Catholic Church. (This does not prevent religious groups working with adoption agencies to match children with couples - it just removes bigots from this process). Yes this might take time, money and planning but it is the only honest, ethical and fair thing to do. Go on Tony, here is your chance, for once, to do the right thing.