Churches versus State

The Church of England’s Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, have echoed the opposition of the Catholic Church to the provisions of the Equality Act in a letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair – full letter here – They have argued that “rights of conscience cannot be made subject to legislation, however well-meaning” and, as I suggested in the comments here, have pointed to arrangements for exceptions allowed on that basis for medical staff in cases of terminations of pregnancies. A good time to recall Fred Halliday’s article on religion in politics.. and another post on the supernatural basis of certain beliefs.

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  • “rights of conscience cannot be made subject to legislation, however well-meaning”

    I don’t see how the term “rights of conscience” cannot be used by the likes of racists for the same effect.
    If someone believes that black people are sub-standard to themselves, should they be allowed to practice on that basis? What if an adoption agency was set up that only offered children to white couples, rather than the most suitable couple? I’m failing to see the difference, nor why a religion should be given a “get out of jail” card just because it’s a religion.

  • joeCanuck

    Adam

    How long have you been visiting Slugger?
    Haven’t you grasped the concept yet that “Rights” are only for usuns, not for themmuns?

  • Forget Islamic terrorists, it is Christian terrorists that are the real danger to democracy, justice, liberty and freedom.

    When Christian leaders are elected they can justify their position, until then, they are just non-elected neo-con elitists who want to undermine democratic society with their facist doctrines.

  • mnob

    The Catholic church in England has just proved that adoption is a secular activity and they have no role in it. Next stop education.

  • An honourable aspiration, no more Catholic, Christian Madrases preaching their evil neo-con facist doctrines via supposed education.

  • Living in a liberal democracy such as the United Kingdom, and holding religious beliefs, especially in the North where there is such a sense of identity attached to one’s religious conviction, I imagine it must sometimes be difficult when faced with such conflicts of interest, does one support the Church (either Catholic or reformed) or go with the values that one’s society holds dear. I, as a practicing Muslim, often wonder what my stance is on various issues, because I as a resident of the post-industrial first world have been taught that above all is freedom and that the advancement of freedoms and priveledges to include all people is the end goal, as is the protection of those freedoms and rights for all.

  • Fra

    Art Hostage i’m not sure to take your comments seriously or not. The reason being there full of spite nevermind bull.

    “When Christian leaders are elected they can justify their position, until then, they are just non-elected neo-con elitists who want to undermine democratic society with their facist doctrines.”

    You wouldn’t go amiss in the Young Ones. It seems to me secularists today are the biggest mouth pieces going around and ramming their opinion’s down everybody’s throat.

    A person i went to school with untill uni reminds me of this mindset. He was himself an atheist but rather strangley i thought at the time talked about God more that the rest of us. However as i’ve got a wee bit older i realise that atheists in general seem obsessed by god and religion in general. (Mr burns, from poleglass, who writes letters to the irish news quite often is a good example)

    Bitter wee people in my opinion.

  • It seems to me secularists today are the biggest mouth pieces going around and ramming their opinion’s down everybody’s throat.

    If by creating laws that prevent discrimination are ramming secular opinions down the throat then that is what is expected in a secular society.

    Sure, the Catholic church can set up their own adoption agencies by using some of the billions it extorts from it lemmings/brainwashed followers, 5/6 billion dollars in America per year alone.

    If public money is used then elected officials have the final say.

    Today it seems sense has prevailed and the law come first over and above personal convictions.No free vote on this issue.
    That was from John Reid.

    This is God intervening against those who say they are doing his work.

    As to God, I do have great faith in God, but no faith in those who represent him.

    Everytime Neo-con Christians try and force their puritanical views on society God shakes his/her head in dis-belief and declares, “not in my name”

  • Tom

    On a similiar vein –

    Would it be acceptable for an agency to place a child with a family of a religion different to that in which they have been raised?

  • Fra

    By the way i’m no neo-con. I’m just an ordinary person trying to live an ordinary working class life just like the most of us.

    I’m not brain washed neither. Brought up catholic and still am. Came to my own conculsion that there’s more to this life that material wealth

  • I’m not brain washed neither. Brought up catholic and still am. Came to my own conculsion that there’s more to this life that material wealth

    Fra, an honourable position you take.

    Perhaps you could convince others within the Catholic church to follow your example and use the wealth of the Catholic church to do good, rather than acummilate the billions in the Vatican.

    The average Catholic christian is, I am sure, a good honest harworking person, but it is those in positions of power within the Catholic church that act like gangsters.

    A paradox, while the Catholic church has problems with gay people, they also welcome Priests who have gay tendencies and allow them to work with the public.

    Are the Catholic church so desperate for priests they will welcome any sexual devient just to perpetuate the billion dollar money making machine that is the reality of the modern day Catholic church?

    My comments about Benidict “The Rat” Ratzinger are backed up by facts, but please put the record straight,

    was he a Nazi party member?

    Was he in charge of sexual abuser investigations in the 80’s and 90’s?

    Was he nicknamed “Gods Rockweiler”

    Is Benidict a neo-con by his actions and history?

    After a careful analysis my opinion is we live a in a vacuous world with the Catholic/Anglican churches being the most vacuous of all.

    L. Ron Hubbard said the most apt thing about religion:

    “Religion, that’s where the money is”

    Historically, the Christian church, Catholic and Anglican alike, are regarded as the CREAM of society because they are WHITE, THICK, and RISE to the Top”