Friday, March 30, 2007

Calling intolerance what it is

In a refreshing statement recently, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor of Westminster made that point that legislating against Christian Doctrine is intolerant in and of itself.
"My fear is that, under the guise of legislating for what is said to be tolerance, we are legislating for intolerance," he said during a March 28 lecture in London a week after the government forced through new gay rights legislation with minimal debate in the House of Commons.

"Once this begins, it is hard to see where it ends," said the cardinal. "My fear is that in an attempt to clear the public square of what are seen as unacceptable intrusions, we weaken the pillars on which that public square is erected, and we will discover that the pillars of pluralism may not survive ... that is why I have sounded this note of alarm."

He said "what looks like liberality is, in reality, a radical exclusion of religion from the public sphere."
So true, so true. As it has been said, discrimination against Christianity (or Catholicism) is the last remaining accepted form of discrimination.
The cardinal said that aggressive secularism was accompanied by a cynicism of Christianity "so when Christians stand by their beliefs, they are intolerant dogmatists. When they sin, they are hypocrites.

"When they take the side of the poor, they are soft-headed liberals," he said. "When they seek to defend the family, they are right-wing reactionaries."

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor said that more attacks on the place of religion in public life could be expected in the names of tolerance, equality and diversity.
Damned if you do, damned if you don't I guess.



Martin said...

I don't agree. For a different interpretation of the Cardinal's speech, see this post about it at my blog:

See also Canon Judith Maltby's comment in the 'Face to Faith' column in last Saturday's Guardian

James Garrison said...

To quote his blog:

"Secularists would argue that it is a very real aggressive religious fundamentalism -not an imaginary and inflated 'aggressive secularism' - that is the main threat to our present way of life - and they would like to see non-fundamentalist believers speaking out against it rather more."

The post us much longer of course, you can read it if you'd like. Anyhow, the post discusses an editorial about the Cardinal's speech, and the Cardinal, as I said, discussed how doing things like requiring Catholic adoption agencies to place children in gay households is intolerance in the name of tolerance.

If you read the article I originally linked to, it is abundantly clear that the point he was trying to make was that trying to legislate tolerance (in this case, tolerance of homosexuals) results in legislating for intolerance. It really is the case that in today's society, you have to be accepting of everyone, and if you aren't, you shouldn't be accepted yourself. It is this sort of hypocracy that the Cardinal was trying to bring to light, and I again commend him.