Harriet Harman, Labour Deputy Leader, accused Cardinal Keith O’Brien of ‘whipping up prejuidice’ because of his defence of marriage in the Sunday Telegraph:
‘We have had prejudice, discrimination and homophobia for hundreds of years. That doesn’t make it right. I don’t want anybody to feel that this is a licence for whipping up prejudice.’
Margot James, the first openly lesbian Conservative MP, accused Cardnal O’Brien of using ”apocalyptic language”:
“I think it is a completely unacceptable way for a prelate to talk. I think that the government is not trying to force Catholic churches to perform gay marriages at all. It is a purely civil matter. I think this sort of scaremongering is what it is, it is just scaremongering.”
Here are excerpts from Cardinal O’Brien’s article in The Sunday Telegraph so you can judge the basis of this hysterical reaction:
‘Since all the legal rights of marriage are already available to homosexual couples, it is clear that this proposal is not about rights, but rather is an attempt to redefine marriage for the whole of society at the behest of a small minority of activists.
Redefining marriage will have huge implications for what is taught in our schools, and for wider society. It will redefine society since the institution of marriage is one of the fundamental building blocks of society. The repercussions of enacting same-sex marriage into law will be immense.
But can we simply redefine terms at a whim? Can a word whose meaning has been clearly understood in every society throughout history suddenly be changed to mean something else?
If same-sex marriage is enacted into law what will happen to the teacher who wants to tell pupils that marriage can only mean – and has only ever meant – the union of a man and a woman?
Will that teacher’s right to hold and teach this view be respected or will it be removed? Will both teacher and pupils simply become the next victims of the tyranny of tolerance, heretics, whose dissent from state-imposed orthodoxy must be crushed at all costs?
In Article 16 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, marriage is defined as a relationship between men and women. But when our politicians suggest jettisoning the established understanding of marriage and subverting its meaning they aren’t derided.
Instead, their attempt to redefine reality is given a polite hearing, their madness is indulged. Their proposal represents a grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right.
As an institution, marriage long predates the existence of any state or government. It was not created by governments and should not be changed by them. Instead, recognising the innumerable benefits which marriage brings to society, they should act to protect and uphold marriage, not attack or dismantle it.
This is a point of view that would have been endorsed and accepted only a few years ago, yet today advancing a traditional understanding of marriage risks one being labelled an intolerant bigot.
In November 2003, after a court decision in Massachusetts to legalise gay marriage, school libraries were required to stock same-sex literature; primary schoolchildren were given homosexual fairy stories such as King & King. Some high school students were even given an explicit manual of homosexual advocacy entitled The Little Black Book: Queer in the 21st Century. Education suddenly had to comply with what was now deemed “normal”.
Disingenuously, the Government has suggested that same-sex marriage wouldn’t be compulsory and churches could choose to opt out. This is staggeringly arrogant. No Government has the moral authority to dismantle the universally understood meaning of marriage.
Protect the Pope comment:
This is the low behaviour of people who don’t want different voices to be heard in the national ‘debate’ on marriage. This the political manipulation of people who attempt to shut down reason by shouting emotional slogans.
In 19 84 the main tool of control used by the Ministry of Truth was smothering the ‘prols’ with a diet of shallow emotions so they couldn’t think. Welcome to the 2012 of Harman an James.
The day Cardinal O’Brien’s article came out the BBC ran wall-to-wall attacks on him and the Catholic Church, with no counter argument or defence of the cardinal’s position. This again shows the lie behind the BBC’s claim to be ‘balanced, and impartial’ in its news reporting. Maybe they think that running an obscure series on Catholics on BBC 4 counts as balance to their partisan attacks on their news shows.