Friday, 1 September 2006

Catholic Church is at it Again

We learn today that Mario Conti, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow, has spoken out in support of nine scottish firefighters who had been disciplined for refusing to hand out leaflets during a gay rights march.

His fatuous arguments are, it seems, summed up by those two sentences:

"The duty to obey one's conscience is a higher duty than that of obeying orders."

"They were asked, while in uniform, to hand out leaflets during a demonstration where they had legitimate concerns about being the subject of taunts and jokes, and in which in some cases, their religious sensibilities would have been grossly offended by people dressed as priests and nuns lampooning the Church."
The whole story is so preposterous that I don't really know where to start. I also find myself lakcing the energy to reply to such drivel. Yet again.

The first quote, first. As members of a paramilitary organisation, firefighters can only obey their conscience and refuse to obey an order when the said order is illegal. This one clearly wasn't. Further more, we can be sured that somewhere in those guys' contracts there is a paragraph saying they they have to do prevention and that they are not allowed to discriminate. Take the archbishop's argument to another extreme, what would happen if firefighters suddenly decided that they can't help black people caught in a fire because it is agains their conscience?!

The second quote, is just as stupid and proves that the archbishop had been a little more open minded and had attended a Pride march, he would know that firefighter are not "the subject of taunts and jokes" but rather of a huge amount of friendliness and a bit of lust... As for the men's "religious sensibilities", if they have one, they should simply not have signed up to a job where they have to deal with the public, let alone as civil servants.

Finally, the official Catholic stance is to "hate the sin but not the sinner". This can not mean that catholic people should (as it happened when those men refuse to attend the march) actively refuse information which might lead to saving gay people's lives...


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