Catholic Church in opposition to Equality Act

When the transitional assembly sought to defer the introduction of the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006, there was a concerted attempt to frame the debate within a particular, localised, context. In the end the vote was tied, and the motion fell, through the application of a controversial and recently introduced measure whereby a deceased MLA’s vote was cast against it. In England and Wales though, that localised context doesn’t apply, and it’s the Catholic Church which is leading the oppposition to the Equality Act, threatening the closure of their 12 adoption agencies unless they are granted an exemption from the provisions it contains. Update Related post hereThe Guardian report quotes the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman

Mr Blair’s official spokesman said: “This is an issue with sensitivities on all sides and the prime minister recognises that, and that is why it is worth having some discussions in government before we come to a decision”.

“The key thing we have to remember in all of this is the interests of the children concerned and that there are arguments on both sides.

“This is not a straightforward black-and-white issue. This is an issue where there are sensitivities on all sides and we have to respect those but equally find a way through.”

And the statement by Cardinal Murphy-O’Cormac

Cardinal Murphy-O’Cormac released a letter the church had sent to Downing Street, saying: “We believe it would be unreasonable, unnecessary and unjust discrimination against Catholics for the government to insist that if they wish to continue to work with local authorities, Catholic adoption agencies must act against the teaching of the church and their own consciences by being obliged in law to provide such a service.”

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  • Where are the Lions when needed most?

  • Animus

    Boo hoo. The number of children available to adopt is decreasing year on year, in part thanks to the decreasing influence of the Catholic Church in stigmatising young women ‘in trouble’. The Church has enjoyed the fruits of discrimation long enough.

    Most agencies would try to put a child with a mixed-sex couple, because the best interests of the child means that it is usually preferable to place a child with a straight couple (if only because society remains homophobic.)

    How many gay couples are knocking down the doors of Catholic adoption agencies demanding babies? Or is like the spurious example of the Christian bookshop owner terrified that gays will patronise the bookshop?

  • joeCanuck

    I find it a bit rich that an organization which has been exposed world wide to be riddled with pedophiles would have the gall to try and preach morals to the rest of us.
    They need to clean up their own act first.

  • Aaron McDaid

    Animus: the best interests of the child means that it is usually preferable to place a child with a straight couple (if only because society remains homophobic.)

    There is more to it than society’s homophobia. Even if everyone successfully completed a political correctness reeducation camp, it would still appear that nature has a preference for two parents, one of each gender. Scientific fact is not the subject of debate on political grounds, and if the science is clear that children need mothers (higher pitched voice or whatever it is) then we should all respect that. Young babies can’t be told to bond to two fathers unless nature really has wired their brains for it.

    We need some actual science here, and as far as I’m aware the research has confirmed that a mother is pretty much required to maximise the chances of successful childhood.

    Then again, two homosexual parents is probably better than none. So this is a messy issue, even if you totally ban religiously inspired discrimination.

  • Animus

    I said “if only” not “only because”. I agree that it is probably preferable to have two parents of different genders. But let’s not go too far down that road. Science shows that breastfeeding is healthy for mother and baby and many mothers choose not to breastfeed. Should we force them, in the interests of science? Should we force couples to register for parenthood to prevent bad parents from reproducing?

    It is usually in the best interests of a child to stay with biological parents. However, in adoption cases, there are special cirumstances. For example, the best ‘parents’ are actually the grandparents, who would be too old to qualify for most adoption. There are exceptions which try to guarantee the best placement for the child.

  • Aaron McDaid

    Animus,
    Indeed – I agree with all you’ve said. My message was more intended for the general reader here, to make sure they’re are aware of the need to consider all facts.

  • joeCanuck

    Let me try to explain the Canadian position on this.
    The major impetus for same sex couple adoption here has come from lesbians. If a straight or gay couple come together bringing children into the relationship, the non-biological parent has no rights to decide on, for example, medical care for the children (should the biologial parent become incapacitated) unless the non-biological parent has gone through the legal adoption process. Let me repeat, this applies to straight parents as well as gay or lesbian couples.

    This (to my mind) unreasonable position led our Supreme Court to rule that same sex couple adoption was unwarrented discrimination.
    I think that some people, when thinking about same sex couple adoption, think that this is a charter for two men to adopt a boy so that they can sexually molest the child.
    Utter balderdash, adoption agencies do extensive background checks before they will allow a child to be adopted.
    I agree that it would be better for a child to have both a father and a mother, but given the circumstances I described above (ability to decide what is best for the child), same sex adoption should not be automatically denied.

  • The Facist,neo-con Catholic message is one of

    “Two parents of same gender being best for the child”

    what do they say to one parent families?

    My term facist is based upon the fact, that current Pope, Benidict Ratzinger is a self confessed youth member of the Nazi party and the fact about his involvement in covering up child abuse during his tenure as chief investigator of child abuse during the 80’s.

    Rat’s excuse for being in the Nazi party is

    “Everyone was doing it in Germany”

    Oh, so what do we tell young islamic muslims when they become extreme?

    “It is ok you will grow out of it”

    Leopards don’t change their spots.

    As for the Primate Catholic head honcho of Britain Cormac Murphy O’Connor, he was the guy who moved a self confessed child abuser Priest to Gatwick airport parish where this Priest went on to comitt further acts of indecency against children.

    If the Catholic church is so concerned about the family unit, why are Priest banned from marrying?

    There is nothing in the Bible about celibacy.

    The real reason is the Catholic church is afraid of women

    Those who live in the biggest glass house in the world should not throw stones !!

  • Way Icit

    JoeCanuck “..this is a charter for two men to adopt a boy so that they can sexually molest the child.”

    The implication of your statement is that only men are capable of molesting a child. Not true, women are equally capable of molesting children.

  • Way Icit

    Aaron McDaid “We need some actual science here, and as far as I’m aware the research has confirmed that a mother is pretty much required to maximise the chances of successful childhood. “

    Ideally children should be brought up in a home with a mother and father, a male and a female – it is the synergy of the two relative to the child which makes it most conducive. That is why even where there is a separation or divorce that both parents should have equal parenting opportunity with the children, despite the challenges in arranging this.

  • joeCanuck

    I totally agree Way Icit.

    I was simply trying to expain what I have met in conversations with many people over the years.
    There is an apparent belief that it is more likely that homesexual men are more inclined to pedophilia tham homosexual women.
    As you say, not true.
    It doesn’t detract from my argument that there is no more risk to a child from being adopted by a homosexual couple rather than a heterosexual couple.
    Some adopted girls are sexually abused by their adoptive father etc.
    Hopefully, adoption agencies investigations minimize that likelihood.

  • George

    Seems pretty straight forward to me.

    The government can tell the Catholic Church to sling their hook and they then close down their 12 adoption agencies.

    The British government can then set up 12 of their own.

    However, if the government want the Catholic Church to remain involved in the adoption process then they have to take their concerns on board.

  • However, if the government want the Catholic Church to remain involved in the adoption process then they have to take their concerns on board.

    The govt do want the Catholic church involved all the time Neo-con Tony Blair is Primate Minister.

  • Aaron McDaid

    joeCanuck: There is an apparent belief that it is more likely that homesexual men are more inclined to pedophilia tham homosexual women. As you say, not true.

    My guess is that it is true. Got any research either way? Now if you said homosexual men versus heterosexual men, that’d be more controversial (and for what it’s worth, by uneducated guess is they’re little different).

    Women are of course capable of great evil, but I’d guess it rarely involves directly sexually abusing a child.

  • The Catholic church dare not try and use the potential of child abuse to back up their argument because of their history.

    Brit Primate minister Blair is going to try and fudge this issue along with Ruth Kelly, the manly masculine, Orsen Wells voiced former education minister.

    Some kind of supposed compromise will be found giving the evil Catholic church an exemption.

  • Fra

    Hmm lets see the self righteous brigade is out again.

    If we can accept their way of life surely they can accept that you can’t have children by two men or women having sex.

    Children are brought into this world by people of the opposite sex having intercourse.

    PC gone mad.

  • Animus

    Um, actually Fra, science has moved on. You can now have children without having sex at all. A woman can get IVF treatment and never have the involvement of the ‘father’ at all.

    PC gone mad? What century are you living in? It’s not all fairytales for many kids. Marriages break down; unplanned pregnancies happen. Many children aren’t raised by both parents but social services don’t need to intervene, so let’s get real. Kids put up for adoption are frequently disabled or have serious emotional problems. Are you suggesting that these children are better off in a care home as one of many kids rather than being taken in by a loving family (gay or straight) who have been judged competent by the extremely rigorous process of determining their fitness.

    I can accept religious people’s viewpoints, but I don’t see why we have to defer continually to religion, as if it should be special to everyone for reasons they can’t nail down. It’s a mythology and should be treated as one of many viewpoints, but not the only one and certainly not one which supercedes all others.

  • Rory

    I think that one element of governmental spin on this issue, repeated in the above blog, does require correction.

    It is not the Catholic Church in England and Wales which is “threatening” to close down its adoption agencies in defiance of government policy.

    It is the government, with its proposed new policy to withdraw public funding from agencies whose religious sensibilities prevent them from giving children to gay couples for adoptive care, which is threatening to force closure by economic necessity.

    The government threatens. The church points out the consequences of that threat becoming reality.
    (Shome difference, shurely?)

    The open letter published today from the Catholic Primate in England and Wales effectively declares war on this issue with the government.

    My betting is on the cardinal to win by a length, and I do imagine that the faith institutions of the protestant, muslim and jewish religions will be cheering his eminence to the finishing line. He has already had ample demonstration of Lady Paisley’s support in the Upper House.

  • Rubicon

    Each year thousands of children are born and the suitability of the parents is not examined. This is not to say that this should be the case for children needing adoption – but it’s a relevant contextual fact the high-minded and the religious need to keep in mind. It’s important not to loose sight of the ball and JoeC’s comments about the RC Church and its history of abuse should caution Cardinal Murphy.

    The RC Church showed utter disdain for the integrity of the family through protecting paedophiles. What position it takes today needs tempered by the facts that its moral position on what they believe to be the only correct way of developing children they themselves violated. The Church has since negotiated a deal with the Irish State that limits their liabilities for the damage they caused.

    If Cardinal Murphy doesn’t want to evaluate the suitability of parents to bring up children (without also inquiring about what they like to do in the privacy of their own home and between consenting adults) then I for one will not miss their decision to exit the field.

    Those who decide where to place children in need of adoptive parents should consider the quality of the parenting they can provide. This should have nothing to do with the sexual preferences of the parents – unless it can be shown to be a risk to the child. Most children don’t have this intervention and most sexual abuse occurs in families. Some naturally born children end out in dreadful circumstances – perhaps the RC Church would be better focussing on this problem. I’m sure that many same-sex couples will make wonderful parents – when this is offered it is only this quality that is relevant.

    The state has a role it can’t avoid in adoptions – it should ensure the quality of the parenting offered is the only thing guiding the decision. If Cardinal Murphy doesn’t like that – fine. Frankly, the more distanced the RC Church is from children the more comfortable I feel – and I’m Catholic born!

  • Sammy Morse

    I do imagine that the faith institutions of the protestant, muslim and jewish religions will be cheering his eminence to the finishing line

    The Church of England (minus a minority of its Bishops like the appropriately named Nazi-r Ali) and the Board of Deputies of British Jews both support the SORs.

    Wrong!

    PS – his eminence is not the one making the running on this issue, and probably just as well given his own history with paedophile priests. The Archbishop of Birmingham has been doing the heavy lifting work and guess why? Cormac isn’t going to be in Westminster much longer; Vincent wants to be the next Archbishop of Westminster (and he’d like a red hat with it) and is using the issue to show his red-blooded virility to the new boss in Rome. Learn to join the dots folks.

  • Rory

    There appears to a be a great deal of confusion of the issue among the comments above.

    A confusion of the political with either sympathy for, or antipathy towards Catholicism, or at least the recently exposed sexual predatory of children by Catholic clergy.

    I have worked at the coal face of attempting to rescue children from adult abuse for a decade. I have also worked with the leading support agency for HIV/AIDS infected people and with those seriously, if belatedly, attemptempting to give succour and, I think foolishly, if valiantly, attempting resolution in the Great Lakes region of Africa (that’s Uganda, Rwanda etc.)

    The issue before parliament is not an issue of rights of children and, in that sense, is a denial of the rights of the child. It attempts to make rights for putative adoptive parents.

    This right is so far out of acceptance in the practice of progressive family law as to be considered simply “mad or bad”. The rights of the child are always deemed paramount. Ask any badly done by middle class dad whose wife absconded with the house, car and nubile gardener plus £100k pa alimony and limited visiting rights (of which I am not one).

    The issue at hand is this: whether or not the government will cease funding those agencies who will not consider approving gay couples as adoptive parents for the children they hold in care.

    This is the battle that the Catholic Church in England and Wales has entered against the Westminster government.

    It is one I think they will win.

  • Way Icit

    I am not an RC and have serious theological differences with them. However, the core concerns of the RC church deserve proper debate and not a lot of irrelevant red herrings which do not take the debate forward.

    The core issue is that most Christians in general and the RC church in particular have serious moral, ethical and practical concerns about this matter, which they believe in all good conscience. The issue is not that homosexuals should be treated as especially sinful people, or at least no more so than heterosexual people, but the belief that God has set certain boundaries of behaviour which we cross at our peril.

    Christians are not seeking to impose their standards on society but equally society should not recklessly try to impose its standards on Christians, their families or community.

    The core questions here are (1.) are there personal issues of conscience which society and the state should respect, and 2. is this such an issue? Let us focus our minds on these questions – not on the red herrings.

  • joeCanuck

    Way Icit

    I agree that the state should not have the ability to force religions to adopt children with those families that that church deems to be inappropriate, no more than they should have the right to force ministers of any religion to participate in same sex marriages if they don’t want to.
    However, the state has a right, duty even, to refuse public spending on groups that indulge in (justified in their eyes) discrimination.

  • The issue is not that homosexuals should be treated as especially sinful people, or at least no more so than heterosexual people, but the belief that God has set certain boundaries of behaviour which we cross at our peril.

    Oh, if that were true then the Catholic church would use its billions on the poor and not demand tribute from its parishes.

    The Catholic church would get rid of its art collections and use that money helping the poor and disaffected.

    The teachings of Christ have been ignored by the Catholic church for centuries, they cherry pick what teachings suit them.

    The Catholic church collect 5/6 billion dollars every year in America alone, what happens to this money?

    The Roman Empire fell in 470 AD only to be replaced by another Roman empire, the Catholic church, gangsters incorporated.

    The usual suspects of self rightous terorist Christians who normally spout their evil doctines are unusually silent on this thread, wonder why, they cannot defend the indefensible?

    This is just another example of the Christian Church trying to worm their way back into politics.

  • Way Icit

    joeCanuck “the state has a right, duty even, to refuse public spending on groups that indulge in (justified in their eyes) discrimination.”

    A technical right yes – but are Christians not also taxpayers and therefore entitled to funding the same as others who hold a different view?

    Having said that, I think Christians should fund such agencies themselves even if Government refuses to help. I think Christian organisations depend too much on state funding which invariably has strings attached. In such instances, keeping an eye on the State can take higher priority than keeping an eye on the Lord!

  • joeCanuck

    Paedophiles also pay taxes.

  • Way Icit

    More red herrings guys!

    The core questions here are (1.) are there personal issues of conscience which society and the state should respect, and 2. is this such an issue? Let us focus our minds on these questions – not on the red herrings.

  • Rory

    That was unworthy of you, Joe, and not really your style.

    But since it has been brought up, even children pay taxes. Aye and poor children too. Direct taxation on goods affects children and on those who care for them.

    But I hardly think that anyone in this debate would argue that rights only accrue to those who pay taxes. That would be a gross perversion of the Boston Tea Party warcry.

    It is not about sex, it is not about sexuality. This issue is about the care of children. Children are not to be placed into the care of those who “want” a child.

    Rich gay men who feel the need to provide a child in order to freshen up their jaded relationship with their younger, less affluent,(but age-rich) partner will always find a child to buy, as do affluent hetero couples.

    Caring agencies may resist selling and certainly should fight giving the children away to satisfy the demands of those who simply want.

    Whatever the past sins of the Catholic Church in the failure of child care, if indeed they are all past, on this issue they are right, I believe, to fight like hell.

  • Gonzo

    Lord Laird must be in Heaven – he’s finally found a real member of Opus Dei in the Cabinet who appears to be placing her first loyalty to the Vatican instead of her country!

    Every unionist’s nightmare come true!

    Bwahahahaha!

  • Doctor Who

    I wonder if Fred and Rose West had of applied to a Cathloic adoption agency, would they ahve been succesful.

    After all outwardly they where a normal married heterosexuel couple.

    The govt. should tell the church to get on it´s bike and clean up their act as a priority. The church does have a voice within the cabinet however. Ruth Kelly is a strict member of Opus Dei.

  • Pete Baker

    To all

    Can we try to keep the discussion civil?

    ..and on the actual topic.

  • If the Catholic Church are so keen to contribute to society then let them offer themselves up for election.

    If elected by the people then they would have justification for a seat at the top table of policy making.

    A democratic accountable Catholic Church is something honourable to aspire to.

  • joeCanuck

    Rory

    I agree. It was a knee jerk reaction of mine and was uncalled for.
    I stand by my other comments. however.

  • kensei

    “I wonder if Fred and Rose West had of applied to a Cathloic adoption agency, would they ahve been succesful.

    After all outwardly they where a normal married heterosexuel couple.”

    What a fucking inane and hateful comment. The same could be said of almost any organisation that didn’t fucking know they were serial killers. It is also stupidly beside the point. I could pull out any number of gay people that did bad things and it wouldn’t prove gay people are bad, or people couldn’t be taken in by them. Giving examples of bad hetrosexual people proves nothing either.

    “The govt. should tell the church to get on it´s bike and clean up their act as a priority. The church does have a voice within the cabinet however. Ruth Kelly is a strict member of Opus Dei.”

    Ruth Kelly is entitled to her views and to join whatever religious body she chooses. There are people in the Labour Party whose views will range from completely atheist and secular to moderate religious to really religious. A range of competing views is a good thing. It’d likely tip towards the secular end in the Labour Party anyway.

    Just suppose for a second DW, someone said something nudge nudge wink wink like that someone Jewish. Less smart now perhaps?

    The Church is doing the right thing. I don’t believe that homosexual couples should be barred from adopting but at the same time, you can’t really ask people to participate in something they find completely against their faith. So if, the Church can’t comply and something can’t be worked out so maybe there is some kind of vetting process done before it gets to them (so everyone gets a fair crack but people are sent to organisations who don’t hate them), then yes, they should get out of the business.

  • Pete Baker

    kensei

    “The Church is doing the right thing. I don’t believe that homosexual couples should be barred from adopting but at the same time, you can’t really ask people to participate in something they find completely against their faith.”

    After the theatrics, you get to the point.

    As has been indicated, the issue is whether public funds should enable any agency to decide which couples are suitable to adopt in circumstances where that decision relies entirely on the religious views of those making the decision.

    That’s what we’re discussing. And what Ruth Kelly is to advise on.

    And, given the comments tonight of Angela Eagle – on decisions of conscience and the availability of public services – there may also another issue to consider..

  • BeardyBoy

    If people want to put their child(ren) up for adoption would they have any say in who adopts the child?

    If not why not

  • abucs

    That’s actually a very good point Beardyboy.

    Just to stay off topic for a moment, i believe the biggest perpetrators of paedophilia in the western world (excluding tourist predators) by profession, are farmers followed by state school teachers. Priests are a long way down the list but generate the most publicity (understandibly).

    That doesn’t excuse their behaviour, and especially doesn’t excuse the covering up which is arguably worse from an institutional perspective (not of course from a sinful perspective).

    I do have differences with the Catholic Church regarding the offical way to view homosexuality and sexuality in general. I can’t see the logic in regarding homosexuality as sinful. I can understand that a free for all sexual culture does cause problems for that culture and there needs to be generally respected boundaries, but i think the church has been too quick to claim moral authority on sexual matters. Personally, i think they’d be better off being constructive and offering ‘guidelines’, a little like the orthodox Christians with marriage / divorce.

    Sorry, that’s my 2 pennies worth.

    As far as placing children in certain homes i would support the Churches right to decide the qualifications. In the unlikely event that i would be using the adoption agency my natural inclinations would be with the Church before the state agency. But that is my individual preference.

    With regards to agencies being funded by public money and therefore bound by public dogma, that is an interesting question that has good arguements and examples on both sides. In the end i think it’s a matter of how much faith you have in what we call democratic institutions and how big of a say you would like the government to have in our lives. I think at the moment there is a healthy balance and that’s probably the best position.

    In general, the state has ultimate control (on paper) but is mindful of the diversity of opinion of the people and knows it cannot take full control of some matters. The state rules only by acceptance from the overwhelming majority of its citizens. It cannot risk losing that acceptance, and most governments and public institutions are well aware of that.

  • Wilde Rover

    The British government should be wary of creating a dangerous precedent. If one religious sect is allowed the right to refuse does it not follow that other sects should also have the right to refuse?

    How would the people supporting this measure feel if they were refused entry to a taxi at the airport because they were carrying a few bottles of Duty Free single malt? (As Muslim taxi drivers in the US recently did)

  • overhere

    I see in this mornings papers that the COE is positioning itself behind the Catholic Church on this one.

  • Fra

    Why don’t we put it to a vote and see what the outcome is?

    Our are the anti-catholic brigade to scared to find the outcome and what a lot of so called bigots we might be!!

  • Animus

    I am wary of majority rule in cases which are high on emotion, low on evidence. If we held a vote to bring back hanging, I am not sure I would bet on the decency of common folk to turn it down. Leave the voting to Big Brother. Fra, I know it isn’t kind, but please check your spelling before offering your witty diatribes.

    I am strongly against the use of public funds to justify discrimination. If we don’t have to fund missionary work out of the public purse, why should we fund adoption which is based on discriminatory criteria out of the public purse?

    Does anyone know how many children are placed through Catholic agencies? I realise the Church’s issue is based on principle, but it would be interesting to find out how many individuals are involved. That might make it easier to put odds on who will win this battle.

  • Way Icit

    overhere “I see in this mornings papers that the COE is positioning itself behind the Catholic Church on this one. “

    Don’t let that surprise you; most ‘Christians’ see this issue the same way.

    (The only ‘Christians’ who don’t are liberal in their theology and practice. And, since they don’t believe in the deity of Christ, miracles, the atonement, the resurrection etc etc etc they can hardly deserve to be described as truly Christian anyway. If it does not do what is says on the tin then it is not what it says on the tin. Apologies to my good liberal friends – love you!)

    Christians, of all sorts, represent a very large slice of UK society and deserve to have their sincerely held views respected.

  • kensei

    “After the theatrics, you get to the point.”

    Personally, I reckon putting down borderline offensive comments like the West one important. If you are so interested in getting the point too, maybe you should cut out the sarcasm.

    “As has been indicated, the issue is whether public funds should enable any agency to decide which couples are suitable to adopt in circumstances where that decision relies entirely on the religious views of those making the decision.

    No, it goes beyond that, and this is an issue even if the agencies were getting NO public funds. Clearly discrimination is wrong. But at the same time, forcing people to place children in homes that goes completely against their religion is a farce. It should also be remembered that Christian organisations are likely going to have different selection criteria than secular services anyway, or at least different emphasis. The question extends to whether religious and moral belief can ever be a factor in decision making, do these organisations do a more effective job such that government would want them involved, and the nature of equality. It is trivial to set up systems here the overall outcome is equally but no gay couples are sent to Catholic organisations. Is this acceptable? In most areas I lean toward “no”, but sometimes examples like this drop out and it is harder to say.

    “That’s what we’re discussing. And what Ruth Kelly is to advise on.”

    Really? I had no idea. How does that change the point I was making, exactly? Ruth Kelly may or may not agree with any of the above. Assuming she does, she is entitled to it, and is entitled to argue her case as a member of the cabinet. She is also bound by collective responsibility to accept the result. It would be bad if there was no one in the cabinet to argue the other side anyway. Nudge nudge wink wink Opus Dei Papish plot stuff don’t actually help the debate any, and hint at underlying attitudes. Ruth Kelly is irrelevant to the debate.

  • Animus

    Way Icit – isn’t there a difference between respecting one’s opinion and forcing others to pay for it? In my heart of hearts, I may think that religious people should never be allowed to adopt the child of atheist parents. But should that be a public policy decision or would it best to judge an individual case on its merits?

    Mores change in this area. It used to be completely normal for white families to adopt black babies without any thought given to the child’s cultural background. Now consideration is given to try to place children within their own background, or at least to try to raise a child with an understanding of his or her background.

  • Way Icit

    Animus “isn’t there a difference between respecting one’s opinion and forcing others to pay for it? “

    Not ‘others’ – Christians also pay taxes.

  • Animus

    So you are in favour of completely representational spending on tax or what? I’m talking generally, not specifically. Why should we (any of us) pay for discrimination? You have not answered that question. Let it be self-funding.

    And for the record, not all Christians oppose homosexuality, and not just the ‘liberal’ ones either. Many people struggle with what God thinks on this one. It is easy to condemn the faceless mass, but it is considerably more difficult to hate your own gay son/daughter/niece/cousin. And if you do, that is not adherence to Christianity, but a corruption of it.

  • Way Icit

    Animus “it is considerably more difficult to hate your own gay son/daughter/niece/cousin.”

    I do not ‘hate’ anyone – my view is that homosexuals are no more sinners than the rest of us. Like so many here you miss the real issue – see my previous posts

  • Pete Baker

    Ken

    Far from being irrelevant to the debate, Ruth Kelly is the Minister in charge of the department bringing forward the legislation.

    So less of the hinting at underlying attitudes, if you don’t mind. And I’d also point you to the previous debate in the transitional assembly.

  • Animus

    Way Icit – you are missing my point. I am not accusing you of hatred. I am accusing the churches, in condemning all homosexual adoption, of displaying a hateful attitude without giving thought to what might be the best interests of a child by dismissing certain people out of hand. This is not a personal discussion of you and whether you are hateful, moral or not.

    What is the real issue? As I have said (feel free to see my previous posts) the real issue is whether or not the Church should use public money to discriminate against potential adopters. I say no. If you wish to discriminate, pay for it yourself. Just like beating kids in school. If you think that this is the way to, set up an independent school. Don’t use my tax money to discriminate or injure.

  • Fra

    I think they should pass a law to make all Jewish butchers sell pork as it discriminates against all pork eaters.

    You could go on forever if you wanted to please every minority.

    Why can’t gay couples just go to agencies that allow them too. Problem solved

  • Way Icit

    Amimus “What is the real issue?”

    The real issue is that it is a ‘matter of conscience’. The liberal and homosexual lobby is trying to force its ‘belief system’ on the rest of us and to add insult to injury they want to use the law of the land to do so.

    The issue is not ‘sexual’ equality but ‘belief system’ equality. It is strange how ‘liberal’ the ‘liberals’ are when they want to force their ‘beliefs’ on those who disagree with them!

  • The only ‘Christians’ who don’t are liberal in their theology and practice. And, since they don’t believe in the deity of Christ, miracles, the atonement, the resurrection etc etc etc they can hardly deserve to be described as truly Christian anyway.

    Absolute gibberish, Way Icit. I can say the Nicene Creed without blushing; and I’m sure the risen Christ will be at my big fat gay wedding.

    If you’re going to play the man, at least do it factually…

  • kensei

    “Far from being irrelevant to the debate, Ruth Kelly is the Minister in charge of the department bringing forward the legislation.”

    Ruth Kelly is responsible for bringing forward the legislation, but the legislation will be decided on by the cabinet, and let’s be realistic here, ultimately by Blair/Brown. Unless you have demonstrable evidence she is breaking from cabinet collective responsibility on this, her opinion is irrelevant.

    As she runs the department, her performance is certainly up for debate. But we are not at that point yet, and whether or not she is in Opus Dei is still irrelevant.

    “So less of the hinting at underlying attitudes, if you don’t mind.”

    Sorry, I do. Let’s be clear on that the “Opus Dei” stuff is a dog whistle.

    “And I’d also point you to the previous debate in the transitional assembly. ”

    Yeah, like anyone in Westminister gives a stuff about what happens in assembly, nevermind a transitional one.

  • Animus

    A matter of conscience which should not be paid for by the public purse! I agree it’s nothing to do with sexual equality. I don’t want to force my beliefs on anyone and I certainly wouldn’t expect anyone else to pick up the tab for my beliefs.

    Take my possibly less inflammatory example: if children are beaten in school, is that a matter of belief? Yes. Should we all pay taxes for schools which allow children to be beaten? No. That’s why independent schools are set up. Let the same be done for religious adoption agencies.

    Why is this so difficult to understand? In your facile attempts to decide who is a proper Christian and who is a liberal, you’re getting lost. As I said before, many people are happy to describe themselves as both.

    Many gay couples wouldn’t dream of adopting, particularly from a religious agency. But if gays (who, like Christians, also pay taxes) want to adopt and are found suitable, they should be able to do so, if the agency is funded with public money.

  • Those opposing gay adoption on the grounds of what is in the best interests of the child should scroll down this Ruth Gledhill blog post and read about Fr. Martin Reynolds, an Anglican priest in South Wales with a Catholic partner, who are long-term fostering a severely mentally handicapped child.

  • joeCanuck

    Way Icit

    I think you’re out to lunch on this one.
    If you examine what gay advocacy has being doing over the years, it has not been about forcing their belief system on anyone (as if that would be possible) but have simply asked for equality under the law.
    Not that it really matters, but I am not gay. I simply believe that people should be free to do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else.
    And if you counter with the argument that forcing christians to allow adoption of children by gays does hurt those christians, I am already on record as saying that they should not be forced to, just that they should not receive public funds.

  • Way Icit

    Animus “I certainly wouldn’t expect anyone else to pick up the tab for my beliefs.”

    But, is that not exactly what is being proposed in this legislation as presently drafted! If you run adoption agencies the way we say you should (ie in accord with ‘my beliefs’) we will ‘pick up the tab’ – if you don’t, we wont.

  • Animus

    It’s a duty NOT to discriminate, so it doesn’t really matter which nutty beliefs I may hold. It just so happens I oppose this particular discrimination. I constantly pay for things I don’t support. I cycle, but some of my income goes to roads. I don’t support the Iraq war, but my money goes to defence. I would not feel victorious if the Churches lose on this. But I don’t see why religious conviction supercedes all other considerations.

    This whole furore is about Churches taking principled stances for all cases, without considering individual circumstances. A one size fits all approach does not work where individual children are concerned. I wonder how much of this is about creating new believers and how much of it is about guaranteeing that a child is best placed with people who can help the child succeed in life. Everyone seems to agree that two parents are better than one, but under Church regulations, single parents may adopt. Hmmmmm.

  • a victim

    Kensei

    “What a fucking inane and hateful comment. The same could be said of almost any organisation that didn’t fucking know they were serial killers. It is also stupidly beside the point. I could pull out any number of gay people that did bad things and it wouldn’t prove gay people are bad, or people couldn’t be taken in by them. Giving examples of bad hetrosexual people proves nothing either. ”

    Don´t you think it´s wonderful that Nazi´s like Kensei are alive and well and standing up for our morals.

    It´s clear the good Doctor was highlighting the hypocricy of the Catholic Church, and you as a practicing Catholic should be asking the Church when are they going to come clean about all the wrong doings, deportations, slave labour, and of course horrendous child abuse.

    I know I am a victim.

  • kensei

    “Don´t you think it´s wonderful that Nazi´s like Kensei are alive and well and standing up for our morals.”

    I could cite Godwin’s Law, but no, let’s run with this. How exactly am I a Nazi? Please explain in great detail how you can compare me with an organisation that killed several million people for having the temerity to suggest that using the West’s as an example is both offensive and stupid. Please, go ahead, because I’m terribly, terribly interested.
    I would of course like you to back up anything you say with evidence.

    “It´s clear the good Doctor was highlighting the hypocricy of the Catholic Church, and you as a practicing Catholic should be asking the Church when are they going to come clean about all the wrong doings, deportations, slave labour, and of course horrendous child abuse. ”

    I am of course concerned about child abuse scandals in the Church, and more accurately that the people involved (including those that covered up) are not being punished. Not entirely sure what I can do about it.

    As for things that happened hundreds of years ago, I might ask the same of several Protestant Churches, several secular parties all around the world, descendents of planters and colonists, corporations etc etc etc. It won’t particularly help anyone.

    “I know I am a victim.”

    If it’s true, I’m sorry for you.

  • opus derr

    [You’re repeating a point that has already been made, in a less inflamatory way. Try to keep to the actual ball and Read the commenting policy. – edited moderator]
    Could we have an explaination please? Or is it just another case of partisan censorship?

  • opus derr

    And the above is a statement of fact, whether some like it or not.

    Nice of Kensei to put a questionmark over that poor guy’s victimhood at the hands of a priest, too.
    As happened for decades in Ireland throughout society when everyone knew what was happening.

  • kensei

    “Nice of Kensei to put a questionmark over that poor guy’s victimhood at the hands of a priest, too.”

    Never seen this poster before. Wouldn’t be the first time that someone has posted lies under a false name on the internet. And as his general tone made me question it.

    But perhaps we should take things at face value.

    I’m sorry about it. I think things should be in place to stop it happening again, and appropriate people punished. I’d still like explained how I am a Nazi.

  • Animus

    Can we get back to the point of this thread?

    Kensei – you aren’t a Nazi; it’s a throwaway insult and should be ignored. As for victims of the the Church’s servants, that is a serious, but separate issue.

    Now the question is: whose conscience is most important? And do we automatically demure to righteous and religious or do we consider a more egalitarian approach which serves the needs of individuals rather than pandering to the whims of a few powerful “moral authorities”?

  • Doctor Who

    Kensei

    sorry I have not replied to your OTT attack on my post, I get less time at the PC these days.

    The point I was trying to make was that in the eyes of the church the West´s would have passed the first criteria whereas a gay or Lesbian couple would not even be considered.

    Surely the question when adopting is the capability of that couple to support and raise that child….if the democratically elected govt. bring into effect these measures and any Church refuses to co-operate then they should leave the game.

    Superstitions such as religion are becoming less important in our society, isn´t strange how Catholics and Free Presbyterians are strange bed fellows on this issue….(of course strictly platonic bedfellows).

    Finally you where a bit rough with “a victim”, perhaps they where using an alternative non de plume, the person did not strike me as a troll.

    Perhaps you should apologise.

  • kensei

    “The point I was trying to make was that in the eyes of the church the West´s would have passed the first criteria whereas a gay or Lesbian couple would not even be considered.”

    The point I was trying to make is that is a totally spurious point. I could point out a gay criminal that would get through your first criteria and go “Ha!”.

    “Surely the question when adopting is the capability of that couple to support and raise that child….if the democratically elected govt. bring into effect these measures and any Church refuses to co-operate then they should leave the game.”

    I agree. Did I not say that? I really thought I had.

    “Superstitions such as religion are becoming less important in our society, isn´t strange how Catholics and Free Presbyterians are strange bed fellows on this issue….(of course strictly platonic bedfellows).”

    Not really, they are both Christian Churches at the end of the day. Whether the Pope is the anti-Christ is irrelevant to a lot of the fundamentals. It isn’t the first time either.

    “Finally you where a bit rough with “a victim”, perhaps they where using an alternative non de plume, the person did not strike me as a troll.

    Perhaps you should apologise. ”

    They come on about and compare me with Nazis and then the subsequent rant? While I know that’s normal for you, it did strike me as trolling and I wasn’t that rough.

  • Mummy

    Art,
    Brilliant!
    Great to have a prod intellectual posting.
    Now brush your teeth, be a good boy and go to bed.

  • Doctor Who

    Kensei

    I think the Nazi similarity from the poster was unfair, but you do come across as a very blinkered and aggressive person.

    Perhaps you should sue a victim.