So Keith O’Brien has stated the known Catholic position on homosexuality and on homosexual unions. Uproar has of course followed. But why? The Roman Catholic position vis a vis homosexuality is not actually a revelation to anyone. Anyone reeling with shock and going “But … what? That can’t be so.” is an imbecile. The number of Catholics or homosexuals to whom this is unknown should be countable on the fingers of one foot. So anyone falling out of their tree on this one is either someone who has been in a coma for the last 2000 years or someone looking to be offended.
I think we all know how I feel about people looking to be offended.
But let’s look at some of the “complaints” shall we?
The normally entertaining Dan Hodges writes in the Daily Telegraph:
“Sorry, Cardinal. We live in a parliamentary democracy, not a theocracy. And we like it that way. The government responds to the will of the people, not the will of the clergy. And if you’re unhappy about that state of affairs, then you’re perfectly free to stand for election and try to change things.”
I’m sorry to go off at a tangent here (not all that sorry though) but is this the “absolute” separation of church and state that Rick Santorum was complaining about the other day? Does the secularist dream of Dawkinsian atheists mean that a community leader of millions and a citizen of the UK shouldn’t be permitted to express his opinion and lead his community by dint of his religiosity? If a PM were to take advice from someone who is openly religious in their opinions would that be restricted? Must those of us of faith hide our opinions motivated by that faith in public (in direct contradiction to that faith)? One would hope not.
Tom Chivers, on twitter, invokes the horrors of Leviticus. Yes, Leviticus tells us a whole bunch of things to do that we don’t do anymore and tells us stuff to do that some of us still do. But Christ himself broke some of the constraints of Leviticus and was very big on the whole concept of following the spirit of God’s love, if not the letter of the Old Testament within the changing nature of the world. He recognised, for instance, that slavery existed within his world and gave instruction to both slave and master so that both could enter the Kingdom of Heaven, as both were equal under God’s law if not under man’s law (which is secondary to God’s law). Ask yourself whether Jesus would, within his wider message welcome or condemn the end of slavery. [Incidentally, sitting around pulling out odd verses from The Bible, The Torah and The Koran and ignoring the whole message is tedious and childish, stop it.]
But what of Keith and his dogma. He’s restated essentially two things, the position of his Church and the requirement his Church makes of its members, i.e. to follow that position. It is now the place of individual members to understand that and to decide accordingly within their own hearts.
But I think he’s missed a trick. The proposed change in law does not require his Church to consecrate these unions. In fact under this well exercised dogma they would not consecrate them. If people want secularism within law then let them and make a clear and concise statement that such unions will never be consecrated in Roman Catholic churches and will never be recognised by that Church, and ensure that a recognition of that dogma is recognised by the state as being allowed within the law through that act of separation. Then when some imbecile tries to sue them the moral high ground is established, well warned and owned.
Maybe that’s what he thinks he’s doing, but if that’s the case he has a funny way of going about it.