Friday, January 26, 2007

all animals are equal...

I've been watching the debate about gay adoption with interest. It's a shame that it's the homosexuality issue which has reared it's ugly head again, but I do feel that it highlights a much deeper issue.

The basic question is whether or not the rights of conscience can be subjected to legislation - Rowan Williams believes not.

Thousands of people evidently disagree with Dr Williams, as has been very evident on the BBC Have Your Say page recently, where there are lots of sometimes venomous comments along the lines of "no-one should consider themselves above the law, especially religious groups".

Now, these people are of course entitled to their opinions but there is a definite lack of consistency here. There was no such bleating going on when a Muslim WPC refused to shake hands with a male on her passing out ceremony on religious grounds. If religious reasons are not above the law then why was this allowed?


KDG said...

To be fair, Christians are trying to influence the letter of the law whereas the Muslim in your example is challenging conventional courtesy codes, so they're not really comparable examples. Declining to shake someone's hand is hardly placing yourself above the law..
And personally I can see why a big issue like whether or not a whole section of the population should be able to adopt or not would generate more bleating (from both sides of the argument) than a guy not getting his hand shook..

In fairness though, it does seem that Christians (or any majority) often get bashed whilst Muslims (or any minority) are pandered to, and there probably are relevant exmaples out there of Muslims behaving in the way that people are currently accusing Christianity of, and getting away with it unchallenged.

dave said...

From an atheist's point of view...

The CoE/Catholic alliance on saying that they will close down their adoption agencies is music to our ears. The CoE/Catholic worry is that 'Christian' children will be indoctrinated to become homosexual, whether they admit that or not is another matter. Atheists everywhere shite their pants at the thought that another child has been born and will be taught what to think instead of how to think. This happens every second of every day. Good non-biased education is what parents owe to their children, this includes teaching about religious groups and faiths, as well as teaching about heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality etc etc. To not give a child this privilege is to remove their right to think.

JP said...

Dave, you have some very funny arguments. Your comment about a child having privileges implies that they have a choice in who their adoptive parents are; which (for babies at least) is clearly not the case.

Also you need to realise that it is inevitable that a child will be influenced to some extent by the beliefs and values of their parents. I wonder if your call for "good non-biased" education will be reflected when you have children. Will they be allowed to explore a faith in God for themselves or will they be indoctrinated and encouraged to ridicule the idea?

KDG, the argument is not whether or not gay people can adopt per se. The question is whether or not Catholic agencies should be forced to serve them should they choose to go there. As it stands, gay people do have the ability to adopt a child (whether or not you agree with it) and that is not going to change. However the new law will deny the Catholics the right to act in accordance with their long standing faith - or, to use the current buzz phrase, it will deny them the right of conscience.

dave said...

JP, I can't think of anything other than, you dogmatic twat. I will ensure my children are educated very well about religion so they are keen not to ridicule people on their faith, whereas people of faith find it ridiculously easy to ridicule other faiths without looking in the mirror. Educated informed choices are everyones right.

You asked for a book on atheism, read Richard Dawkins latest book The God Delusion that is if you can get past the first page without feeling 'enormous insult', then if you do, please remember that many people of no faith have taken the time to learn about other faiths. From many of your posts you seem to lack understanding of many many faiths other than Christianity. Get a clue.

JP said...

Dave, one of the things I need to "get a clue" about is what on earth you are talking about. Please enlighten me as to where I have demonstrated a lack of understanding and help me acheive my right to education by correcting me.

I do have friends who hold strong beliefs which differ from my own, and I am interested in what those beliefs are.

I thank you for your book recommendation and will endeavour to get a copy. Your comment about initial insults is interesting; it tends to be the case that people resort to insults when they are insecure or unsure. Given the way you started your last comment I wonder if that holds true for you as well?

dave said...

"Your comment about initial insults is interesting; it tends to be the case that people resort to insults when they are insecure or unsure. Given the way you started your last comment I wonder if that holds true for you as well?"

In short, nope.

Geoff said...

Although, personally I feel that gay adoption is wrong (being a tad old-fashioned and thinking that a nuclear family does tend to work best), not for any religious reasons, it is just a personal choice. However, if gay abortion does take place, I do not feel that concessions should be made, to any denomination, wishing to simply "opt - out" of allowing homosexual couples to adopt children. We must remember that "Call me Dave" Cameron's comments that those who wish for different laws for different religious groups are as bad as the BNP. I believe Mr Cameron's comments ring as true for the Catholic faith as they do for any other.