The Catholic Church: preaching to the bigots?

The Scottish Government told the press that it was ready to make an announcement on equal marriage last week. It was a long time coming, given that it’s now been several months since the consultation on the controversial issue closed. In fact, it was the fourth opportunity the Scottish Government had had to announce whether or not they intended to take forward legislation on the issue.
At first we heard that there would be an announcement at 4pm, but it rapidly became clear that an announcement would not be happening at all. It was, quite frankly, an utter joke. The cabinet of the Scottish Government couldn’t even decide that giving equality to its citizens is a good thing. Just what century are we living in here?
There’s an old, and brilliant, saying by Harper Lee – author of “To Kill A Mockingbird” a book about discrimination in 1930s America – who often voiced her opinions using her characters: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it”
So that’s exactly what I did, I got in touch with the Scottish Catholic Media Office – the Catholic Church being one of the most vocal opponants to SYP’s “Love Equally” campaign – and asked them about their views, and why they held them.

I started off by asking why they were so opposed, “The Church advocates marriage as the basic unit of society. Its wellbeing is necessary for a healthy society. We simply continue to promote it as it has been throughout history as a union of a man and woman.” Okay, this was a fairly typical conservative (small c) on family values, right until they said it had to be a man and a woman – which they don’t elaborate on as to why that’s so important.

They continued, “Shrill argument has arisen from proponents of alternative forms of ‘marriage’ who rather than show why marriage should be redefined, demand that we prove why it should not change.” Have they proved it? No. Have we proved that it should be redefined, yes? It’s about equality, stupid.

I asked them how it would affect the Church itself, they responded saying that they were trying to protect religious freedom both in and out of the Church “as advocates of same-sex marriage
demand that their view must be the only one tolerated in public institutions” Not only is this wrong, it’s bigotry too. Never has the SYP, or anyone else campaigning for equal marriage, said that any church must be forced to conduct same-sex marriages (but, as it happens, some do). Personally, I think it’s quite right that “our view” be the only accepted one. Why would it be ok to discriminate against LGBT people, but not any other minority group?

Finally, I asked for their response to “If two people love each other, they should be able to get married” and to give them credit, they really outdid themselves with this one. They said…“What if three people love each other or siblings love each other?” Really? REALLY?! That’s their best response? I ask for an official response from the Catholic Church on equal marriage, and the best they can do is liken it to incest and polygamy. It’s just plain nasty, extremely offensive and not exactly the best reflection on the Catholic Church either. You might have thought that their own press officers might have realised that this wasn’t the best argument in favour of the status quo…or maybe they didn’t have any others?

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