Sunday 26 September 2010

More Homophobic Lunacy from the Catholic Church

"I admire the gays and lesbians. They're small in number. But they're well-organised."

"They've persuaded our legislators that the supreme moral values of the day are freedom and equality. Well they're not."

"The supreme moral values are truth and goodness, and if you forget that, you end up with the mess we're in today."
Bishop of Motherwell, Joseph Devine, in an interview with the BBC

Once again, we see the catholic persecution complex in action: they're being systematically attacked by a 'well organised' group. It's as though the church thinks that there's some kind of gay hierarchy, with lay-gays, event-organising gays and maybe even leader-gays, all plotting against the church and its bronze age values.


There is simply a group of people who have human rights, voting power and a voice, qualities the church has traditionally abhorred.

And isn't it convenient that the moral values of the day are unquantifiable and subject to varying definition? There's little ambiguity about freedom and equality; it's obvious when one is being stomped on. But 'truth' and 'goodness'? The church defines what those are for its members, freeing them from the need to think about them, to make their own decisions. Because that's the last thing the church needs its people doing—thinking.

And why, when asked "can a loving relationship between two people of the same sex not be true and good?"

"Because it's not creative".

I'm assuming that he means pro-creative here, not just generally creative: the love shared between two people of the same sex is on even par with any other, and is creative in way that it enriches their lives and the lives of those around them. But he's right, it's not pro-creative: it doesn't bring new life into the world. But then, neither does a heterosexual marriage where one side or the other is sterile—does he propose nullifying such marriages, tearing such couples apart? Surely if one of them is capable of reproduction, it's a sin against god and humanity if that person doesn't find a fertile mate?

Sunday 19 September 2010

Crazy Proselytising

There were a few street preachers in Argyle Street in Glasgow today. You know, the ones who brandish a bible and shout loudly about how you can be saved. The lead of the small group—a surprisingly young looking gentleman—was busy proclaiming how morally corrupt society is today, filled as it is by people who live by the creed of "if it feels good and no one gets hurt, then it's ok". While I was puzzling over exactly what the problem with that viewpoint is, he continued that we should return to the "moral certainty of the old days".

Would those be the days when we stoned people for disobedience, I wonder? Burned them at the stake for witchcraft? Or seared them with irons for blasphemy?

Throughout all this, the placard by his side read:

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me — John 14:6

This passage, more than just about any other in the bible, highlights the "we're right, everyone else is wrong" mentality of Christianity that belies talk of unity with other religions.

I could only chuckle as I walked past.

Friday 17 September 2010

The Pope Slanders Free Thinkers

The Pope was in my nearest city of Glasgow yesterday, offering his sermon in Bellahouston Park, just south of the River Clyde. His message was at once one of optimistic hope for his faithful flock and an out-and-out slanderous attack against the largely secular, non-theistic people of the UK.

Even in our own lifetimes we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live.As we reflect on the sobering lessons of atheist extremism of the 20th century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus a reductive vision of a person and his destiny.
Pope Benedict XVI, Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, 16-Sep-2010

Umm... excuse me? Hitler was a Catholic. The Catholic church, while refusing to back the Nazi party of Germany, similarly refused to condemn it. Hitler's attack was against the entire Jewish race, not entirely unmotivated by the church's own hatred of the race thanks to the charge of decide that was only lifted in the 1960s (which has always slightly confused me: if Jesus's defining sacrifice is what frees us all from sin, surely he had to die in order to rise, ascend into heaven, etc.).

"Oh, no", whine the apologists. "Hitler wasn't Catholic. He just used religion to control the people". Is that so? Well, in order to control the people with religion, what religion would those people have to follow? So, given that Hitler didn't personally murder millions of Jews,what's their excuse?

And how about this little gem from the megalomaniacal 'atheist' dictator?

The Government, being resolved to undertake the political and moral purification of our public life, are creating and securing the conditions necessary for a really profound revival of religious life

Adolf Hitler, in a speech to the Reichstag onMarch 23, 1933

Do those sound like the words of an atheist to you?

Stepping away from the distortions of the past that the Pope seems to enjoy, we find that his view of the present is no less warped:

There are some who now seek to exclude religious belief from public discourse, to privatise it or even to paint it as a threat to equality and liberty. Yet religion is in fact a guarantee of authentic liberty and respect, leading us to look upon every person as a brother or sister.
Pope Benedict XVI, Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, 16-Sep-2010

Again... excuse me? Doesn't the Catholic church tell us that women are not fit to be priests, and therefore cannot be part of the church's own heirarchy except at the lowest levels? Doesn't it teach us that gays are abominations in the sight of god, and forever damned unless they 'repent' for making that 'choice'? All this from a church that refuses even to discuss the possibility of ordaining women, forbidding it from being mentioned.

The church is an open threat to liberty and respect, not its guardian.