Monday, February 1, 2010

Pope Not a Big Fan of Equality

The Pope is planning a visit to Britain and published a message to Catholic bishops in the UK. In it he made some interesting statements. He's not happy about equal rights for gay people, because that violates what he sees as the Church's right to discriminate against them.
Your country is well known for its firm commitment to equality of opportunity for all members of society. Yet as you have rightly pointed out, the effect of some of the legislation designed to achieve this goal has been to impose unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to act in accordance with their beliefs. In some respects it actually violates the natural law upon which the equality of all human beings is grounded and by which it is guaranteed.
Here we see one of the biggest problems of natural law arguments. Because natural law doesn't actually exist as anything other than a philosophical concept, it can mean whatever the person citing it wants it to mean. The Christian demonization of homosexuality as a sin, and their desire to discriminate against gay people isn't based on ancient texts and bigotry, it's rooted in natural law. Treating homosexuals equally is the wrong thing to do, because it's a violation of natural law -- a natural law that gives Christians the right to discriminate purely on the basis of their religious beliefs. This is prime example of religious "reasoning." And there's more.
Fidelity to the Gospel in no way restricts the freedom of others – on the contrary, it serves their freedom by offering them the truth.
According to the Pope, discriminating against people based on the words of ancient religious texts somehow doesn't restrict their freedom. The freedom of Christians to inflict their superstitions on everyone else is the only freedom that actually matters. And if you dispute that, it's because you don't understand the TRUTH. 

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