Saturday, March 15, 2008

In Enoch's footsteps

What a charming man the Bishop of Motherwell is:
"ONE of Scotland's most senior Catholics has launched an attack on the "gay lobby" in Scotland, claiming there is a "huge and well-orchestrated conspiracy" against Christian values.

The Rt Rev Joseph Devine, Bishop of Motherwell and president of the Catholic Education Commission, said gay rights organisations aligned themselves with minority groups, such as Holocaust survivors, to project an "image of a group of people under persecution"."
Words fail me. He wiped the spittle from his chin and he continued:
"In this New Year's honours list, I saw actor Ian McKellen being honoured for his work on behalf of homosexuals, when a century ago Oscar Wilde was locked up and put in jail. It's a very small group of people, but very active and organised – and extremely indulgent. The opposition know exactly what they're doing. We don't."
It was left to Calum Irving, the director of Stonewall Scotland, to point that that the Catholic Church has rather more wealth and political influence than the gay rights lobby. One such example would be the fact that while Stonewall doesn't actually run any schools in Scotland, the Catholic Church - aided and abetted by the tax-payer - does. Here the bishop has previous form. He is also president of the Catholic Education Commission and co-author of the Charter for Catholic Schools in Scotland [pdf]. In this capacity he has expressed 'unease' with gay teachers:
""Being openly gay would not at all be compatible with the charter."

The president of the Catholic Education Commission added: "It would cut across the whole moral vision enshrined in the charter and it would be offering a lifestyle that is incompatible with Catholic social teaching.

"Being openly gay could well affect promotions.""
There was a rather good response in the letters' page in the Scotsman, from which I took the title of this post:
"Forty years ago, Enoch Powell delivered his "Rivers of Blood" speech, in which he blamed moves towards racial equality for what he considered to be the impending destruction of British society. Powell's blatant racism was, thankfully, rejected by mainstream politics and he was consigned thereafter to the back-benches.

Bishop Joseph Devine has followed Powell's example and sought to blame moves towards equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Scots for what he imagines will happen to society as a result.

Like Powell before him, Bishop Devine must be challenged by all Scots who believe bigotry has no place in today's Scotland. The bishop seems to believe the SNP government may be more ready to follow his lead. Alex Salmond and his colleagues must swiftly and decisively make it clear that Bishop Devine speaks only for a bigoted minority and not for Scotland as a whole."
Before I went into teaching, I used to be in favour of allowing 'faith schools' to remain open in a woolly-liberal 'let's celebrate the gorgeous mosaic of our diversity' sort of way. Not any more. Piss on Bishop Devine - and piss on his charter. 'Unease' isn't the word to describe my feelings for him. I despise Bishop Devine and his festering ilk - with their buttoned-up appetites and their diseased minds. I count them mine enemies.


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