Fundamental Values

If you needed further evidence that the more serious enemy is secularism and not Islam, the Government have eagerly provided it.

The big news over here is the attempt by Christians of every stripe to stop the full impact of the Equality Act. This is the legislation which will require, inter alia, that all adoption agencies give equal consideration to homosexual couples when placing children. And by “all”, I do mean all.

The Catholic Church has 16 such agencies, putting their pro-life money where their mouth is. However, eternal immovable doctrine being what it is, they will shut their doors rather than put a child in a gay “family”. They have strongly pressured the Government for an exemption.

As the husband of a practicing Catholic with children who are baptised Catholic, Tony Blair has been in favour of one, but never has his lame-duckness been so evident. He and his power are so yesterday at this point.

Ruth Kelly is the Equality Minister and you would think she might have some pull. As a member of Opus Dei, you would expect her to throw her weight behind the Church, but the forces of the New Morality will do anything to oppose the Church and Ruth has found herself rather isolated.

The Anglicans have even come along side the Catholics and said there should be an consicence exemption. But pink is in the ascendency and neither the Archbishop of Canterbury not his counterpart of York have made a dent.

So who do you call when you want secularists to bow to religious pressure? The Muslims of course. But the statement that “The Muslim Council of Britain fully supports the principled stand taken by the leaders of the Catholic and Anglican Churches” had no effect.

It doesn’t help that some Catholics in Government have sided with those who oppose Catholic doctrine at every turn. Home Secretary John Reid told reporters, “I don’t believe you in this country have the right to overrule some of the fundamental values on which the country is based because you have a conscientious objection.” So allowing gay couples to adopt has become a fundamental value on which the UK is based.

Yes, that’s right, the Catholic Home Secretary has said that Holy Scripture and the unbroken teaching of the Holy Church is inherently anti-British – that the United Kingdom at it’s core is in opposition to the Kingdom of God. Not only that, but there is no right to object to those values. You can conscientiously object to a lot of things, but not something so fundamentally British as the right of gay couples to adopt children.

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5 Responses to Fundamental Values

  1. Steve Hayes says:

    I saw some reports on this on Sky News, and they had some government spokesman debating some other bloke, and explaining the government’s position.

    Among other things he repeated several times that the most important thing was “the best interests of the child”.

    The sheer arrogance of it left me gobsmacked — who gave him the omniscience to know “the best interests of the child”, and to know with such certainty that no one else did?

    And quite apart from that it seems obvious that in the legislation concerned, the overriding factor is precisely not the best interests of the child, but rather the desires of the people who want to adopt it.

  2. Huw Raphael says:

    OK… some questions to which i can’t seem to find reasoned answers elsewhere – and I trust David to be reasoned 🙂

    In SF, the legal options offered by the city to the (Roman and other) agencies was “provide equal services or no city money”. After negotiating, the result was a compromise: As I understand it, the RCC send those couples to other agencies, farm them out, as it were. The compromise angered some in the Church and some in the gay community.

    I take it there is no such compromise offered? Or has it not been accepted? Or is the legal position in the UK being read as meaning “provide equal services or close, full stop”? Are other churches – backing the RCC – doing the same thing? Or are they expecting to just provide adoptions for all? Will all the religious adoption agencies be closed?

    What is the possibility of this being an extension of what many consider to be a near-continual post-reformation bout of English anti-Catholicsm with gays just being used as the most recent mallus malificarum?

    (Just to continue on my legalism, a picky comment: “Holy Scripture and the unbroken teaching of the Holy Church” has nothing to say about adoption by same-sex couples. This was not an issue at all until, what? 5 years ago – not even in the gay community. At best some Churches have interpolated from their tradition to various conclusions. I know of at least two Orthodox clergy who say exactly the reverse on both adoption and marriage. I don’t know if they will say it publicly outside of their own parishes, but there it is.)

  3. Dave says:

    Steve, the best interests test is only legitimate when there are two competing interests, for example a custody dispute between parents. It is a legal non sequitur in any sort of stranger adoption situation.

    In this new legal reality where same-sex and opposite-sex couples are equal, an agency would not be allowed to say that it is not in the best interests of any child to not be given to a gay couple.

    Huw,

    Of course I will be reasoned.

    There is no compromise. That is what the RCs have been trying to negotiate. The situation is not “provide equal services or close, full stop” – it is “provide equal services or face civil or criminal liability”.

    All religious adoption agencies will not be closed. Only those that take the same stand as the Catholics. I don’t know how many non-Catholic religious adoption agencies there are in this country. I do know that the evangelicals and the Anglican have specifically been supporting the Catholics in this. There may be C of E agencies that are happy to adopt out to gay couples but nonetheless support the choice of the Catholics to not do this.

    I don’t think this is specifically anti-Catholicism. The legislation is a very broad brush that happens to catch the Catholics in the crossfire.

    I would not call it interpolation, but I do believe that opposite-sex marriage (and by extension, any aspect of marriage, including the raising of children) is the clear teaching Scripture. Part of the purpose of marriage is the producing of children, which is not possible in a same-sex relationship. Another part of marriage is sexual intercourse and Scripture seems clear on same-sex sexual activity. Frankly, I am baffled as to how an Orthodox clergyman could support the idea of same-sex marriage.

  4. Huw Raphael says:

    Surprised me, too: and I’ve not had any discussion with him on the topic. Agree or not, one can easily figure out the teaching of the Church. But one came to a student group at a college near him, asked to speak on the very issue, and surprised everyone.

  5. Steve Hayes says:

    The thing that struck me about the “best interests” thin weas that the bloke was repeating it like a mantra, and also implying that those whose views differed from this (the governments) jhad never heard of “the best interests of the child”, and thus implying that they were opposed to the best interests of the child.

    I agree with you that in a dispute over, say, which divorcing parent should have custody, the best interests of the child should be an important (or the most important) consideration.

    But this bloke was misusing it in a contwext in which it was inappropriate, and I was struck by his overweening arrogance.

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