Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Once again, the Pope cries "Boo!" and this cowardly British government jumps to do his bidding.

As though the recent submission to allow religious institutions an opt-out in discriminatory laws, by allowing them to dismiss gays or refuse to appoint them solely on grounds of sexuality, wasn't enough, I'm seething all over again at yesterday's shenanigans in Parliament in which our so-called' socialist' Government itself amended its own proposal to forbid discrimination in the teaching of sex education in schools. Now so-called 'faith schools' will be permitted to teach their own religions' sexual 'morality' - as long as it also says that there may be other views, without having to explain what those other views are and why they might have greater validity than those of the religion they are teaching. Critics have accused the move as allowing religions to indoctrinate their pupils with homophobia - not to mention the disgraceful acquiescence in permitting Catholic schools to teach that the use of condoms, in all circumstances, is 'sinful'. The government denies that it has 'watered down' their original very commendable proposals in the face of considerable opposition, especially from Christian and Muslim groups. So why change it at all, then? Well the fact that the official response from the Roman Catholic Church is that it is 'happy' with the outcome says it all.
Of course this couldn't possibly have anything to do with the fact that we'll be having a General Election within 2 or 3 months, could it? If they had refused to accede to the demands of the religious right then it would have been a gift to the Conservative opposition - who supported the concession, of course. (During discussion, one Conservative M.P. asked the Government for assurance that schools will still be able to teach that 'homosexuality is wrong'! The response being a repetition that schools will be allowed to teach the 'morality' of their own religion - in other words, 'Yes'. )
So there we have it. After years during which Tony Blair, despite his considerable faults, fought tooth and nail to achieve legal parity for gays in virtually all respects, we now have his very same party actually creating further discrimination against us in order to appease the right-wing, to thereby avoid losing votes. The only possible positive note is that with Parliamentary time so tight before an election the legislation may fall through lack of time. But even after the election, do I think the Churches will give up? Somehow I doubt it.


  1. The catholic church, and organized religion in general, has too much power in this world. But fear not. Their power is waning and they know it. They resort to strong-arm tactics like threatening the survival of politicians in order to achieve their goals. The same thing is happening in the U.S. and Mexico and many other places around the world. I truly think it will not last much longer. Another decade or two and the vast majority of folks will see organized religion for what it is: a crime against humanity.

  2. I'd like to agree with you, Larry - and I think I actually do. A few days ago, on this very subject, one of our country's leading humanists (No, not the venerable, though much-reviled Richard Dawkins) said that he thought the continued influence of religion lies now not so much in their incipient power as heretofore, but in the fact that, as an act of desperation because they realise their power is on the wane, they are 'turning up the volume' and becoming more aggressive. I too think they are panicking, which is wonderful to see. But the end of their insidious and baneful influence cannot come a moment too soon for me.

  3. Ray, I agree the fact that the RCC said it was happy, does say it all.

    I also agree with both you and Larry about the power hold of organized religion(maybe another twenty years is fair) and the decreasing role they will play in the future. One thing that I might add is though I am sure that our assessments will hold true in in the current industrialized world, I'm afraid for the current developing world, as I fear they will inherit the remnants of organized religion.

  4. Thanks, Kyle. There's yet another possible cave-in to religion by this craven government in the offing, which shows how shit-scared the latter is about losing votes. They'll almost literally sell their souls rather than do what is right. If it comes about I'll write a blog on it.
    Yes, what is happening in Africa (and certain other places e.g. eastern Europe) is really terrifying. One hesitates to use the term 'primitive culture' but it's certainly tempting.