Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Thinking about thought crime

The Scottish Catholic Church clearly hasn't been:
"This is UK-wide regulation that will impact on anyone who provides goods and services, from the priest who refuses to hire the parish hall to a same-sex couple, to the editor of a Catholic newspaper who refuses to carry a Gay Pride advert, or a printer who refuses to print those adverts - they will all be criminalised by this Draconian measure. This is as close as you can get to a thought crime."
It's not really. You can get much closer than that. By making, for example, expressions of thought - like heresy - punishable by death. At the stake, replete with the kindling wood and the firelighters and shit.

Don't get me wrong - I wouldn't put it past our Tone to put a White Paper on 'Curbing Incorrect and Non-Progressive Thinking' before Parliament if he thought he could get away with it but this isn't what's happening here. It has nothing much to do with what the Catholic Church thinks, more what it does now but will no longer be allowed to do. Which is to discriminate against gay people with regards to the whole business of childcare. Unless they happen to be in the priesthood, that is.

Flying Rodent
is altogether more blunt. Which is good.


David J said...

"Unless they happen to be in the priesthood, that is."

Bang on target!

Anonymous said...

In all this fuss about the rights of prospective adopting parents, the rights of the child seem to be being ignored.

Children are not a ‘product’. They are real human beings - and their rights should come before the rights of (hopefully) a whole bunch of ‘competing’ prospective adoptive parents.

It’s not the same as buying a tin of beans from the supermarket.

Any adoption agency should be thinking of what is best for the child.

If in the individual circumstances that turns out to be a gay couple, then what is the problem? – but the agencies should not have to worry about being forced to choose a gay/black/white/whatever couple for fear of being accused of breaking the law - and now no matter what anyone claims this will be a factor.

If a child happens to be of Jewish/Moslem/Christian/Agnostic/Atheist parents, then surely this ought to be taken into account when selecting prospective adoptive parents.

But whatever - Surely the agencies should be absolutely free to choose the best fit for the individual child, whatever that happens to be.

Shuggy said...

In all this fuss about the rights of prospective adopting parents, the rights of the child seem to be being ignored.

You mean the interests of the child. The Catholic Church not only believes that it is better for a child to be brought up in residential care than by gay parents - they are apparently willing to close their adoption agencies altogether rather than conform to the rule of law on this point. If you share their belief in the former point, I'd be interested to hear how you justify this but it was the latter point which interested me most and was the subject of the post.

Anonymous said...

For once, I actually sympathise with the CC. How can they be forced to do something that makes a mockery of what they believe?

CC should have the freedom to act according to their (stupid) beliefs. Gays wishing to adopt could always go elsewhere.

Anonymous said...


The Anonymous above is some other anonymous, but maybe he does have a point.

Re my original comment - I was slightly off subject in that I wasn’t thinking just of the Catholic adoption agencies, but adoption agencies in general. In all the discussion that has taken place generally, I find it disturbing that the child seems to have become almost a commodity that adults have a ‘right’ to.

To address the matter of specifically Catholic agencies, but I guess also any other religion based agency that shares certain beliefs.

Presumably, if they really believe their religion, then they believe that certain forms of behaviour are actual sins. They would also believe that to either commit those forms of behaviour or to acquiesce in their commission would be to sin themselves. Therefore it follows that if they believe that active homosexuality is a sin, they must also believe that by placing a child with a gay couple they are both imperilling the child and committing a sin themselves. I am not saying they are correct but that is what I think they must believe.

Probably not “dog in the mangering” on their part then.

So in this case the law is commanding them to do something that they apparently believe will get them a ticket to damnation (bad). Now one might not necessarily share their belief, but the internal logic is obvious. They must close and ideally hand the work over to a group that this is not a problem for. I assume the “period of grace” is to allow that to happen.

I suppose to see it in their terms, think of something that you would resist doing, no matter what (maybe dobbing a Jewish neighbour in to the SS) - and then imagine that they passed a law making it illegal not to inform on them.

Now as to religion, I am told the smell of coffee often helps…

Phil A.

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