Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Murphy-O'Connor on Today

It was interresting, if rather sad, to hear Murphy O'Connor blubbering about gay adoption and the Sexual Orientation Regulations on the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4, this morning. It was just as sad to see how little Carolyn Quinn, the interviewer, challenged him on the half-baked arguments he produced.

First he did not reply to the question about his earlier accusation against the government supposedly attacking democracy. This was simply a headline grabbing outburst since all the procedures have been respected in Parliament for the approval of the Regulations. This had the support of all 3 major front bench.

Then we heard that old chestnut about the fact that giving rights to gay people and couples undermines marriage. This was not, as it never is, followed by an explanation of how this works. The only way to undermine marriage would be something that would change it's structure or purport. Not what is happening, by any means. Anyway, straight couples do a very good job themselves at undermining marriage just by the mess they make of so many of them.

While the Cardinal delights in the public service provided by his adoption agencies, he forgot to acknowledge that this agencies recieve public money for this service. This means that they must absolutely abide by the rules set by their employers, the government! They may possibly have more of a case to do what they want if they were independant.

As Murphy-O'Connor acknowledged the law allows LGB couples to adopt. He claims that they are not proventing those couples to adopt by refusing to consider them for adoption. Can some explain to me this contradiction? Who does the Catholic Church thing it is to think it can go against the law of a country? In a democracry, no one should be above the law; not even religious organisations.

What is even stranger is that those catholic adoptions agencies are quite happy to let single LGB people adopt. Surely having a two people united in a loving couple to raise a child is better than just one person?

What this all boils down to (and I have developped those argument in previous posts) is the fear from the Catholic Church to loose what little influence they still have. They know that the LGB community is one of the last minorities which can, unfortunately, still be attack publicly with little chance of a major public backlash. The issue is also certain to capture people's interest. Murphy-O'connor is simply trying to capitalise on this to gain access to the public sphere.

He admit himself in a previous outburst his fears of the government trying to impose a new moral order on the country. Read: a moral order on which he has no control himself and which undermines his and his church's hitherto monopoly in the matter. Why should ethics and morals have to be underpined by religion to be legitimate?

You can listen to the interview here.


To read my (growing number of) previous posts on the subject, please click here or on "Sexual Orientation Regulations" in the right hand menu.

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