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We now know that Nick Clegg thinks (whatever he publicly says) that those opposed to ‘gay marriage’ are bigots. That’s why their rights will be removed

The new law will have far-reaching consequences for schools, hospitals, foster carers and public buildings – and that’s just the start

By on Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Nick Clegg, centre, says he would 'never use' the word bigot (Photo: PA)

Nick Clegg, centre, says he would 'never use' the word bigot (Photo: PA)

Nick Clegg has, it seems, become embroiled in a row over gay marriage, after comments emerged by mistake in the draft version of a speech in which he originally intended to describe as “bigots” all those who oppose the proposed legislation to redefine the nature of marriage. The Deputy Prime Minister was expected to launch an attack on those fighting the policy – which includes quite a few Tory MPs – in a speech at a reception in London. But the wording of initial extracts released to the media was suddenly changed, and Clegg later insisted he never intended to use such language since it was “not the kind of word” he would ever use. Well, not in public, anyway.

What the BBC report describes as “sources close to Mr Clegg” (ie Clegg himself) said the use of the word “bigot” was “a mistake”, and that the “early draft” of his speech should not have been released to the press. He later addressed the issue at the event in central London, attended by celebrity campaigners and religious figures who back legalising gay marriage. “I am a little bit surprised,” he said, “to see cameras assembled outside the gates, for the slightly obscure, surprising reason that they expect me to use a word about opponents of gay marriage that I had no intention of using, would never use”. While he “stridently disagreed” with those opposing the legalisation of gay marriage, Mr Clegg said he would “never seek to engage in debate in insulting terms”. The real point, of course, is that though he wouldn’t use that particular B word — (which has become politically taboo since it got Gordon Brown into such trouble when he used it to describe someone who simply reflected a widespread anxiety over immigration) – it is pretty clear that, whether or not he physically uttered the word in public, it’s what he thinks, and probably says, in private.

“Bigots” didn’t get into his first draft by not reflecting what he actually believes. One difference between a first draft and a second draft is that what you, finally, actually say has ironed out anything that might get you into trouble. But what he did say is worth repeating: “I stridently disagree,” he said in his actual speech, with those opposing the legalisation of gay marriage. That means he thinks they are bigots. He would “never seek to engage in debate in insulting terms” because he knows it’s politically risky. But the legislation that he and Cameron are cooking up will be constructed on the assumption that those opposed are indeed bigots, and that once the legislation is on the statute book, they will have no more right meaningfully to oppose it than they would have to stir up racial hatred.

That, or something very like it, is certainly the conclusion that Aidan O’Neill QC — who is described in a Telegraph report as being an expert on religious freedom and human rights — appears to have come to. He thinks, for instance, that schools will be within their statutory rights to dismiss staff who “wilfully fail” (presumably that means “refuse”) to use stories or textbooks promoting same-sex marriage. He also concludes that parents who object to gay marriage being taught to their children will have no right to withdraw their child from lessons.

In a report commissioned by the Coalition for Marriage, who asked him to assess the likely knock-on legal consequences of any proposed gay marriage legislation, he writes that any decision to redefine marriage will have far-reaching consequences for schools, hospitals, foster carers and public buildings. The most serious impact is likely to be felt, he thinks, in the church where vicars and priests conducting religious marriage ceremonies could be taken to court for refusing to carry out a gay wedding.

They will, he says, be powerless to stop same-sex couples demanding the same weddings as heterosexuals under the European Convention on Human Rights. Churches would be in a stronger legal position if they were to stop conducting weddings altogether: “Churches might indeed better protect themselves against the possibility of any such litigation by deciding not to provide marriage services at all, since there could be no complaint then of discrimination in their provision of services as between same-sex and opposite-sex couples.”

They obviously can’t do that. But how valid are these alarming conclusions? Isn’t he just telling the Coalition for Marriage what it wants to hear? Well, as I wrote here in June, Mr Cameron, despite what he is telling Parliament has, it seems been telling his constituents in Witney that “religious marriage” will inevitably be affected by his proposed legislation. Inevitably? Well, according to Neil Addison, a specialist in discrimination law, “once same-sex marriage has been legalised then the partners to such a marriage are entitled to exactly the same rights as partners in a heterosexual marriage. This means that if same-sex marriage is legalised in the UK it will be illegal for the Government to prevent such marriages happening in religious premises.”

“Inevitably” – that’s the word the Prime Minister has been using to his constituents – “inevitably” religious marriage will be affected: in other words, whatever he tells Parliament about his proposed legislation affecting only civil marriage, he knows it isn’t true.

As for the conclusion of Aidan O’Neill QC, that schools will be within their statutory rights to dismiss staff who refuse to use stories or textbooks promoting same-sex marriage and that parents who object to gay marriage being taught to their children will have no right to withdraw their children from lessons, does that sound at all unlikely to you, given the cases of the Strasbourg four, which I wrote about last week, and which were considered by the ECJ last Tuesday?

Not at all, surely: what’s unlikely about it? After all, our political masters think that such people are just bigots. Why should they have any rights to exercise their bigotry? That’s why the legislation will effectively remove those rights. And that’s the country, these are the times, in which we are living now.

  • Wildone

    Couldn’t have said it better Meena , i totaly agree (:

  • Meena

    Oh no. You see I am quite prepared to write: “I [Meena] may be right – but then again I [Meena] might be very wrong.”

    The difference is that when it comes to their religion, Catholics are not prepared to do this. They are 100% sure that their religion is 100% true – just like fundamentalist Muslims etc.

  • la catholic state

    Yeah….it is illegal you know.  Though many view sex-ed as a first step towards the decriminalisation of paedophilia!!  Isn’t that right!!

  • la catholic state

    Evidence for this claim please.  And shame on the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster for allowing it.  But he has his work cut out for himself now.  Large numbers of Muslim parents are objecting to sex-ed in Catholic schools in the borough of Tower Hamlets!

    Catholic parents may be a bit irresponsible and lax in this area….but Muslim parents are not!  (though there are signs that Catholic parents are beginning to wake up a bit)

  • tim

    Most clerics obstain from pedofily because of their believes, even if those harmfull tendacies do exsist in some…

  • Christian Cruz

    The best sex education for a children, whether in public or private schools, is to teach children self-control through prayer and fasting, and that they should attend Catholic Church without fail. 

    Next, parents should destroy their televisions and, to the best of their ability, not let their children watch television or movies outside the home; otherwise, their children (along with themselves) will be indoctrinated in the cult of the flesh).  Further, parents should not let lewd magazines and newspapers in their homes, so as not to tempt their children with indecent images.  Next, parents should teach their children modesty.  For example, girls (and women for that matter) should be told to wear modest clothing (i.e., modest dresses to the ankles and blouses with no high heels ever) at all times, so as not to seduce boys.  Boys and girls should also be separated from each other in grammar school into secondary school, so as alleviate contact between children who are immature and clearly are falling into grave sin in both public and private schools.Finally, when all else fails (as is clearly the present case in most schools), parents should attempt to home school their children.  Parents should also demand that bishops not implement sex education programs in their Catholic schools and parents should demand their children not take these sex education courses.  Parents should tell their children to disobey their sex education teachers by refusing to enter the sex education classroom; due to the possible peril of eternal damnation that could result therefrom.     

  • Wildone

    Yeah and let’s not forget the chastity belts (and for those with even less brainpower then i even thought possible , the chastity belt comment was >>> SARCASM ) mann really , you know why you Brits are probably THE most sexualy frustrated people ??? Because there is to much pressure from religion and other corners to even enjoy it even when you are doing it. Abstinance will gain you nothing except a nice pair of blue balls, not to teach Sex Education is creating ignorance on that suject and will create problems for the growing youth. Make sure they know what they need to know before they mess up their life. And to all young adults , experiment with your sexuality so you know what you like , who you like and soforth , don’t let the ignorance of your elders mess with your life. It’s YOUR  life and all the decisions made in them (offcourse if you are of legal age , if you are a minor or still live under their roof then respect your parents , they gave you life and not only in only one way , if you don’t wanna respect their rules then make sure you take care of yourself and leave from under their roof ) are YOURS to make for good or bad. But try to make well thought through decisions , don’t just get up and do anything. And don’t worry , damnation is not waiting at the other side of the fence , these are fairytales made up by men with power who want to control you and keep / gain power.Just try to live a good life , and have respect for all living creatures , no matter what species , race , religion or sexual oriëntation. And remember , the dark ages are long gone !!! Just make sensible decisions and remember wear protection !!!

  • Wildone

    Ooh and remember , your body , mind and spirit is your temple , not a church building (:

  • Mabinog1

    In all things love. Marriage is complementary and confers honour and rights to women and to the children born from this union. It enhances both men and women emotionally and intellectually through its complementary nature.Civil arrangements exist for gay people and they could be adjusted if they feel there are shortcomings. No need to redefine marriage and risk denying people the right to marry in church. Is there any chance this won’t happen? I would be surprised if the Secular society didn’t push this button. No need to redefine marriage and risk denying children and married women the status and protection they deserve.  

  • whytheworldisending

    Imagine the trouble Gordon Brown would have got into if he’d called Gillian Duffey a nutter, instead of a bigoted woman! He wouldn’t have been able to talk his way out of it would he! Well Pink News (23rd April 2010) wrote, “Nick Clegg has said that David Cameron has aligned himself with “nutters, anti-Semites, people who deny climate change exists and homophobes” within the European Parliament during last night’s Leaders’ Debate.” If Clegg is happy using that kind of langauage, are we really supposed to believe him when he says he would never use the word “Bigot?” 

  • scary goat

     Well a least up to 11 years old (primary school) so I should jolly well think, and I’d hope for quite some time after that.  Good grief, to put it politely.

  • scary goat

     By the way, for you or anyone else who has kids on here, there’s a new trick to watch out for.  If schools are determined they get round parental consent by teaching sex-ed in science instead of PSHE or specific sex-ed classes.  Science is compulsory and you are unable to remove your child from the lesson.  They don’t even need to inform you they are doing it.  Most kids are then too embarrassed to come home and tell you what they have been taught, so the kids don’t tell you either.  Catholic primary schools are pretty safe, even if they teach sex-ed it’s probably done decently, and most teachers in the primary schools are Catholic.  Not so in the secondary schools. 

  • yinger

    Who the flip is Nick Clegg?

    When I was a kid, my momma said, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names never hurt me”

    Call me a bigot. 

  • Meena

    I’ll come back to this (evidence etc) tomorrow – it’s late.
    But the Catholic Herald did a report on this some time ago.

  • Charles Martel

     Ha ha! My brane herts…

  • JabbaPapa

    Evidence, for this simultaneously outrageous and provocatively insulting claim ?

  • JabbaPapa

    Following that asinine logic, suicide is not a harmful activity, because those engaging in it agree with it. ( … )

  • Wildone

    Allthough i am an atheïst and i don’t believe or if ya wanna say , ain’t convinced there is a higher power in this universe but i sure as hell (no pun intended ) don’t believe in the christian / jewish / islam or even Boedhist God(s) but as i mentioned before i do respect it if people have a certain believe / religion.I did read the Bible , Koran and Tora a long time ago , i could not believe in these religion’s or any other.I lived a fairly harsh life , seen and experienced a lotta stuff that should not exsist in a universe where an all powerfull benevolent being is present in , why does he create such things , horrible diseases and such. And don’t tell me this is a test , because i don’t see the need of children dying of horrible diseases in a slow and extemely painfull way. He wants to test me , gimme a riddle , a jigsaw puzzle or anything else then debilitating pain for 8 years , so extreme that i nearly lost my mental capabilities due to that suffering each minute of the day for 8 years long and yes this is out of personal experience. And don’t tell me God moves in mysterious ways , there is just no reason at all to inflict or let somebody be inflicted with such horrors.It is in fact for me fairly good proof that no God can exsist especialy due to the presence of so much horrors on this planet. It’s everyones choice though to worship a higher power and live their life according a certain set of rules aslong as it does not violate any rules set by our general sociëty or laws and most important is not forced onto others who do not share that believe / religion,Also practising that believe i do not see a problem with even if it is in public area’s. Wearing clothing or items of that believe/ religion i don’t have a problem with either and why should i , they ain’t harmfull. The one exclusion from this is maybe a burka cover that covers the whole face up , i find that degrading to the women who have to wear them and you could also imagine some security issue’s with that , so i am kinda against that for those reason’s , still not a big issue though. The issue’s of homosexuals demanding Catholic wedding ceremonies , well i think that is up to the Catholic Church to decide that , allthough , i still think that we are all equal under the Sun , it’s the religion of the Catholics and the building of the Catholics and if they decide / feel that it really is offending their religion / believes then they can decide to not marry anyone in a church for all i care , i do not condone it nor will i condemn it though. I still do feel that we are all children of Mother Earth and that we should respect all living creatures upon it (:

  • JabbaPapa

    Yes , i do respect your believes …….. SNIP ……. your narrow minded believe system !!!

    Can you please explain how anybody is supposed to take seriously anything that you’ve written ?

  • Anthony Zarrella

    You keep inserting this caveat – “(if not illegal)”.  Think about what that means, though.  What is “illegal” is determined by which laws are passed, and yet you are arguing that it is “utterly insane” to advocate in favor of laws that respect traditional marriage and against those that don’t.  As of the moment, same-sex “marriage” *is* illegal (at least for now), and even if it weren’t, the logical conclusion of your argument would be that no one may “sanely” advocate in favor of a law that would ban any behavior that is currently legal.

    Also, how are you justified in asserting (with no offered proof) that the establishment of Christianity “was done with the sole purpose of controlling people”?  I may not be able to provide hard and fast evidence of God’s existence, but you certainly have no proof that He does not exist, nor proof that early Christians (whether *right or wrong* about God) acted out of anything but sincere faith.

  • Wildone

    Yup very simple , allthough i respect everybody’s believe , everybody is free to practice it and such , i  do not have to agree with it , in my mind anything that excludes everything  that doesn’t fit in a certain  religious theory is in my humble opinion ” narrow minded “. See , in my country , the Netherlands , i am free to have and to express an opinion. and i am very oftenly seen doing this , it’s my right as a citizen of my country. I oftenly discuss religion with religious friends of mine and might sometimes be blunt in delivering my views and the manor of the delivery but hey atleast i am honest (: It is however your right to choose to not take me seriously , i can’t force people to discuss me or ignore me , that decision lies with every person himself / herself , as it should be.

  • Wildone

    The caveat is just to insure that people understand that i do not condone reall deviant behaviour , for instance pedophelia , this cannot be condoned and must be condemned because this is not concensual and very harmfull onto others , even if a child chooses to this , he / she is a minor and cannot make this decision , therefor pedophelia is illegal. This is again build upon a legal system we decided on and created to protect and serve everybody in the general sociëty without looking at sexuality , religion or race , these laws are there for all of us. If you do not agree with the rules sociëty has set and formed over a long , long time , then you should fight your Goverment on these issues , offcourse i say fight here but i do not condone violence. The proper way should be , go in politics and fight the system in a non-violent manner from within.In short , change stuff (: And yeah i do not accept the laws set in Christian religion , these rules Christian’s might have to follow , but they do not count in the general sociëty. And same sex marriage is not illegal , it is just not accounted for in our current laws and therefor legaly not possible , that is something clearly different. But as our legal system evolves in time , something the Church might have a look into , some stuff is later added to our system because it is just to do so , everybody should have the same opportunities. We are all equal under the Sun. So yeah i can with a clear mind condemn something as utterly insane in a very sane manner because it was done so under laws that , if that , only are valid for Christian’s and not for the general sociëty and are also been judged on a book that is said to be the word of God , for which never any proof could be delivered , allthough we know from our history that the Bible was formed at the Conclave of Nicaea , where powerfull men decided what to put in it and what not. The Bible a book that was written almost 2 ages ago and never , except literaturely , never has changed and is in fact an extreme archeïc book of laws , rules and guidelines  that never evolved with it’s time.Back to the Conclave of Nicaea , these were extremely powerfull men of their time , powerfull men like and use control to keep others from power , for power is money and money is power. So it stands to reason that these rules , allthough some function as a groundset of our own legal system and it’s not all bad , were created as a form of control aswell. Also throughout time religion was oftenly used to justify very extremely unjustifiable things like war , genocide and such.Maybe something to think about (:
    To make sure you are clear about that , Christianity was not formed at the Conclave of Nicaea , that was in exsistance allready hundred years before and was formed by Jews , some we now know as prophets allthough they were just inteligent people who weren’t happy under the jewish religion and laws and wanted to escape this by making their own rules and laws. I conclude Jesus of Nazareth among these smart men , he and his older brother ( so how was it again that Maria was a virgin ) were advocates of these new rules, laws and guidelines. You know that Jesus had his own gospel and that not a word of this has made it into the Bible and that Jesus in all probability was a married man and that Maria Magdalena wasn’t a whore but Jesus his wife  , both of them came from royal bloodlines, this is knowledge that the Church is anxiously trying to keep from you , but hey we have the internet now and information is extremely far easier to get then in the olden days , so you are free to google it.
    On all this a lot where the Christian religion is build upon , lies and deceit. The Bible isn’t a bad book , but it is a fictional book (: The Christian “holy ” days also conveniently fall precisely on the same days of the pagan religious days , how conveniently , but offcourse this was no convenience but dates where changed to fit the pagan “holy ” days to make it easier to usurp the pagans to the Christian religion. Also a lot of the Christian rituals resemble or are compleet copies of the pagan rituals. And by the way , untill the Conclave of Nicaea Jesus was counted as a man , not the Son of God , so for hundreds of years he was a man and after even his bones were dust , he suddenly was the Son of God , wow quite the promotion. This just all to inform you , it’s allways good to have the right information. And before you say , how can you be sure this is the right information , i point to two things , one is the fact that there are historical records of that time , this is tangeable PROOF , not a never seen God , but stuff you can touch with your own fingers , the second is , the Church has murdered and even commited  genocide to keep this information under wraps , why would they have gone to these extremes if these were just lies ?
    Now your last point , you say you cannot proof that God exsists but that i can’t proof that he doesn’t exsist. Yeah in the basic manner of evidence that statement is true. But as i stated in a comment somewhat above this one , i got some generic proof that he doesn’t exsist. for my convenience i copied it out of the other comment.

    Allthough i am an atheïst and i don’t believe or if ya wanna say , ain’t convinced there is a higher power in this universe but i sure as hell (no pun intended ) don’t believe in the christian / jewish / islam or even Boedhist God(s) but as i mentioned before i do respect it if people have a certain believe / religion.I did read the Bible , Koran and Tora a long time ago , i could not believe in these religion’s or any other.I lived a fairly harsh life , seen and experienced a lotta stuff that should not exsist in a universe where an all powerfull benevolent being is present in , why does he create such things , horrible diseases and such. And don’t tell me this is a test , because i don’t see the need of children dying of horrible diseases in a slow and extemely painfull way. He wants to test me , gimme a riddle , a jigsaw puzzle or anything else then debilitating pain for 8 years , so extreme that i nearly lost my mental capabilities due to that suffering each minute of the day for 8 years long and yes this is out of personal experience. And don’t tell me God moves in mysterious ways , there is just no reason at all to inflict or let somebody be inflicted with such horrors.It is in fact for me fairly good proof that no God can exsist especialy due to the presence of so much horrors on this planet.  
    So there ya go , now having said all that , i will say one last thing , i stand behind my believes ( not a religion btw but a set of guidelines i use for myself to insure that i live , according to my honour and respect for living beings , live a good life ) but hey , i might be wrong and you might be right , there is only a very small chance on that , my bet is that we both are wrong , but incase you are right and i will be judged infront of God then i hope he wears good protection because i will crack open his nuttsack with my foot , because he must be the least caring God ever and just went on a holiday after he set everything up and just didn’t give a shit or he is an extremely sadistic bastard for letting all these horrors happen on this  planet and in either case he is not worthy of my worship.

  • Wildone

    erm a correction , the Bible was almost 2000 years ago formed , not 2 ages lol (:

  • Wildone

    Well you hit the nail on the head there , the Bible condemns suicide , well i think this is stupid , it is MY life and if i choose to end it , for whatever reason , i am free to do this and so is everybody else , just don’t jump of a roof or infront of a train , try to handle your last act on this world with dignity and without harming others , physically or mentally.

  • Lazarus

    No, you’re missing the point. It’s perfectly easy to write: ‘Either P is true or it is not true’. That’s simply the law of excluded middle. What the substantive question is remains: ‘And what do I believe is the case?’

    You clearly believe that Meena is extremely unlikely to be wrong. Simply stating a logical possibility has no bearing on that belief.

    On what Catholics might say, well, let’s see what I’d say. I may be right and I may be wrong -and that’s not simply a logical possibility: Catholicism accepts the meaningfulness of its claims and their possibility of falsity. Moreover, there are many things I don’t understand and which I’m not sure how to argue for. I am prepared to take these on trust (ie faith) from authority because, based on previous testings of this trust, I have found that this faith has been justified: the Church calls all its members to a deeper understanding and, when this call is heeded and tested, I have found it is justified. That is why, although the word is much misused, Catholicism is indeed a faith: it requires trust in the Church and in God.

    If I found that trust keep being betrayed, that I was beckoned to a deeper understanding and that deeper understanding didn’t exist or indeed contradicted that trust, I would stop being a Catholic. I don’t think that is now very likely -simply because of my age and the intellectual and emotional testing I’ve been through to get here- but that is certainly a possibility. Such a radical change happened before when I gradually abandoned my childhood atheism because the trust it demanded proved ill founded.

  • karlf

    Age is no barrier to changing what you believe – afterall, you didn’t do too well at supporting the Catholic position on free will, and I still don’t see how typhoid and elephantiasis are God’s “free acts of love”?
    What was the trust your atheism demanded that proved ill founded?

  • Lazarus

    1) On my argument for free will, I don’t remember our conversations ever getting to the stage of the level of detail sufficient to deal with the issue. (Moreover, my memory of what I wrote is that it was both effortlessly elegant and within the space available overwhelmingly convincing -so clearly we’re talking about different occasions!)

    2) Initial main issues (and you have to remember this was a drip by drip process over a number of years) were in the basis of ethics and in the nature of reason. On the former, I still think most atheists have absolutely no idea how profoundly life will change once atheism has worked all the vestiges of Christianity out of our culture (so Nietzsche was key as a warning and Alasdair MacIntyre (and from him, Aristotle and Aquinas) as the way out) ; and on the latter, a growing suspicion (and it was Aristotle and Wittgenstein who really were key here) that talk about reason clearly showing this or that as far as atheism was concerned was so much hot air. (Difficult to spell this out in a combox, but Aristotle’s emphasis on the virtue of practical reason -rather than a rule such as the ‘verification principle’- was helpful; and Wittgenstein’s emphasis on reason as something being rooted in a particular form of life was again suggestive.) You can google the names, but the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy or the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy would be good places to start.

    You have to add to that aesthetics: without Christianity, culture becomes a bagel. (Big hole in it!)

  • dean williams

    “Down with this sort of thing”

    “Careful now”

  • AnthonyPatrick

    “The difference is that when it comes to their religion, Catholics are not prepared to do this.  They are 100% sure that their religion is 100% true – just like fundamentalist Muslims etc.”

    I’ve read many of your posts, Meena, if only to see where you are coming from with your arguments (in the none technical sense of that word) which others have (in my humble opinion) suitably answered on several occasions.  However, regarding the statement I have quoted, I am curious: is it, in your opinion, legitimate to tar being Catholic with the same brush as being “fundamentalist” Muslim?  Is  being simply Muslim less reprehensible, in your opinion, than simply being Catholic?  And is such thinking in your milieu permissable?

    If so (you have left quite a legacy trail on this site), is your inveterate prejudice against Catholics the natural result of free thinking?  Or has your own discourse been effectively ‘institutionalized’ by selectively mediated strands of thought?

    There are fundamentalist christians, of course – they proliferate (especially in the USA) among ego-centered cults and offshoots of Protestant (as distinct from orthodox) Chrisianity.

    Incidentally, picking up the threads from some of your past postings, in my own country (yours?), the ignoble history of inhumanity towards the person in the last 400 or so years (e.g., Pendle Witch Trials, Drogheda Massacre, Slave Trade, Irish Famine, Peterloo Massacre, The Hunger Marches, etc., all the way up to Hillsborough), has been presided over by the secular state – nominally Protestant, definitely not Catholic. 

  • Alas

    All ideologies be they secular or religious do not have in their mission statements anything that suggests they might possibly be wrong here or there or that they might tentatively or provisionally be correct.  No!  That way lies disaster and doctrinal vacuity; the whole edifice collapses.  They affirm with conviction that they possess the truth.  As to this matter of falsification, this is not really on the cards.  Such ideological mission statements claim to possess the wells of truth and the question of there ever being some independent hanging judges to adjudicate the matter is risible.  Organizations that own the truth do not behave like that: they are judge and jury in their own cases and in their own cause.  In fact they have developed over time (or however long it is they have been around – a few moments to a few eons, from axial age to brief modern efforts at re-enchantment) numerous falsification-evading strategies and circular arguments to bolster their claims.  All the squeaks and claims against modernity from the 19th century onwards have meant and done very little; the scientific ethic has gone in and done the business of savage and ravage on a devastating scale.  It is not a pretty sight as the attrition suffered by religion in the west so obviously attests. That is why in part secularization has not been ineffective in the western world generally and it is religion that is having to fight for its survival and in the case of the Catholic Church its inability to tackle such a monster has seen it withdraw into a purer and smaller church, hoping thereby to re-group. 

    Scientific rationality (as opposed to scholastic) is useless if by that term it means having recourse to such a system of reasoning in order to justify a religious or secular position.  Its default position is the tentative and provisional nature of knowledge.  There is no handmaiden to theology here.  Religious certainties play no part therein.  Scientific rationality has the wretched habit of querying and questioning any religious claims; it goes in, savages and ravages but cannot endorse or support any social, secular or religious vision in any way whatsoever: that is not its remit.  Those who claim it does do not understand what science is all about.  The admission in the catechism, for example, concerning homosexuality, (“Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained……….They do not choose their homosexual condition”) etc., etc. looks very gingerly towards the possibility of an explanation and towards an ethic of cognition that is clearly not religious.  But against this the church can only iterate the fallen nature of man and against that uphold its teachings based on sacred scripture and the deposit of faith, a faith (by definition) ‘in which we trust’.  What the church cannot do is to concede authority to some external ethic, some external hanging judge who might falsify its position.  Falsification is not really on the cards.  Mission statements do not allow it. This is a characteristic of any secular, social or religious ideology.

  • Guest

     If homosexuals want to get “married” I say let them. Married is only a word. A lot of words have changed meanings or been added to over time. We “BIGOTS” all know the truth that homosexuality is unnatural and yes it is sinful in the eyes of GOD.

  • Charles Martel

    Homosexual sex is consensual DEVIANT sex between two people, Wildone.

  • Charles Martel

     No, Catholics are under a solemn obligation to oppose any form of legal
    union between homosexuals.

  • AnthonyPatrick

     Alas, having read your thought-provoking apologia for scientific rationality, with all due respect you write as if it functioned in a vacuum, uncontaminated, as it were, by human frailty as though independent of the human mind whence it emanates. 

    Moreover, the consequence of its “default position”, as you have defined it, would seem to mean that scientific certainties are a logical impossibility, and can play no part in scientific rationality.  (How’s that for circularity?)

    In practice, in the real world scientific rationality, being itself a framework or model for thinking, becomes scientific rationalism – its own orthodoxy – which, as history shows, is anything but ideologically free.  As such, it attracts protagonists and antagonists for this or that theory, in this or that discipline, much the same as believers vis a vis doctrine and faith – replete with conflicting tendencies towards, and tensions between, entrenchment and development.   

  • Meena

    Sorry “la catholic state”, I did post a lengthy reply with 2 hyperlinks but it has been deleted without trace.
    I am fed up with this sort of thing, and I see little point spending the time and effort any more.

    Best Wishes,

    PS if you google “Birmingham Catholic sex education programme” or similar you can find much info.

  • Alas

    No, you are profoundly mistaken; you simply do not understand the role of scientific rationality.  It is answerable to no ideology – that is its strength and its supreme weakness.  Scientific rationality is ideologically free.  It is those lesser intellects that today have succumbed to Wittgensteinian or Winchian understandings (a sort of silly postmodernism to which many a religious enterprise is initially attracted precisely because it dethrones science and lumps it alongside other ideologies on a level of equality, a sort of bless them all approach, not always realizing that postmodernism, comforting though it may be to such intellects poses the nasty problem of relativism.)  No religion with its exclusive claims can countenance this this ethic of modernity.  Scientific rationality presents a mode of thinking that is beyond culture and beyond morality and has the terrible habit of interrogating ideological claims.  I suggest you read Ernest Gellner’s ‘Sword, Plough and Book’ , ‘Legitimation of Belief’  and his last work ‘Postmodernism, Reason and Religion.’  They do make for dismal reading, alas, – no comfort derived therefrom.

  • Wildone

    Aah censorship , the best tool the Catholic church ever has used to keep it’s followers ignorant to the facts , if we were living a few hundred years ago i probably woulda burned at the stake , well since there is no true discussion possible i will go talk to the sensible people in this world.

  • Wildone

    I ain’t gonna comment on you guys no more , just live in your medievil believe system where ya can twist everything in your favor and censor the ones you can’t denounce . The Christian religion is THE destructive force that ever has been on this planet , but i look to the future where it will be gone from this world , everywhere you can see it , the empty churches , the utter decline , it’s only a matter of time and it will fade out of exsistance and at some point also memory and to be honest , i can’t be sad about that (:

  • Kevin

    “it will be illegal for the Government to prevent such marriages happening in religious premises”

    We need to be careful that we do not encourage our enemies by sounding defeatist. The use of the word “illegal” in the context of meaning “it will be illegal to practise Catholicism” is a case in point. God’s law is immutable, but secular law is merely the outcome of a political struggle. Section 28 was on the statute book, but to what extent was it law? If it was obediently enforced why are we in a position now where buggery is not only being promoted as normal but as a civil sacrament?

    Liberals know that an immoral law does not bind in conscience (though they have a perverse definition of “immoral”). We should understand that too. Heck, even foxhunters have shown greater commitment.

  • JabbaPapa

    It is answerable to no ideology

    You’re being hopelessly naïve …

    Example :

    You : Scientific rationality presents a mode of thinking that is beyond culture and beyond morality

    That’s a completely ideological statement, and it is based on no scientific evidence whatsoever.

  • JabbaPapa

    Your ideology is evil and selfish.

  • Adrian Anwyl

    Lets make it clear that child abuse is statistically less prevalent % among Catholic priests than among protestant Pastors (both less than 1 % and both less than the population in general).
    I am told this was also confirmed in the US documentary 20/ 20

  • Semper fidelis

    I agree Ghengis but she also irritates socialist bloggers who want  to defend marriage (and Church teaching for the good of all society) and not drive society down to the lowest common denominator

  • semper fidelis

    Well you’ve have had a good rant. When I went on a youtube site to correct anti-catholic atheist claims with fact I was barred from making further contributions and had my factual comments removed. 

  • SteveD

    It’s such an important ‘right’ that no party has ever thought it important enough to include in a manifesto! The government know that the Court of Human Rights will back those demanding church ‘weddings’ and will claim that ‘their hands are tied’ by such an inevitable decision. 

  • AnthonyPatrick

     Exactly, JabbaPapa.

  • Meena

    The Chief Rabbi and Professor Richard Dawkins in conversation (about this thread topic and other recent ones).

    At the BBC Think RE Festival of 12th September 2012. LINK below:

  • Gildaswiseman

    My dear chap, your understanding of Church history and the Holy Scripture is seriously wanting, and to be honest, you are out of your depth, if you wish to engage with people who have a scholarly knowledge of theology and Church history. 
    What is very clear is that the Catholic faith and its Holy Scripture is a fulfilment and continuation of the Hebrew faith. The understanding of sexual relations is consistent. The primary purpose of marriage was ordained by God for the procreation and education of children. No doubt you will disagree with this in your novel manner and we, in turn, will continue to defend vehemently the Judeo-Christian virtues of marriage that is in fact thousands upon thousands and thousands of years old. 
    We have a logical understanding regarding law. A bad law is no law at all. When I was a young man homo aberration  was a crime. As was abortion.What has changed? A militant vociferous minority of atheists and secularists and a desensitised populace, I suspect..

  • Charles Martel

     Bye, now.

  • andreagregorio

    Oh, joy.  I’ve just been reading some of the posts from entities such as Charles Martel and have had SUCH a belly laugh.  In fact, I have cut and paste the ‘best’ entries underneath and circulated them to friends and colleagues.  ‘Medieval belief system’ is one contribution from a contributor of clear (and rare) sanity in these CH blogs.  How very well – and highly descriptively – put.  It is this continuing lack of understanding of or refusal to take into account major advancements in scientific and clinical understanding of the gay lifestyle that is causing so much problem.  As Society progresses and as the liberal youth replace the dying bigots, we will see an eradication of such clear homophobia through a form of natural selection.  At a guess, given reference to the results of current social atttudes surveys, I would predict that another 30 years will see an almost complete acceptance of homosexuality in all parts of Society in the Western world.  This is not an opinion or wish, reference to the social attitudes surverys of leading countries over the last 20 years provides startling evidence in favour of what I have said.  We have seen the disappearance of one set of dinosaurs.  Now for the others!