"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.So true, so true. As it has been said, discrimination against Christianity (or Catholicism) is the last remaining accepted form of discrimination.
"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."
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.Damned if you do, damned if you don't I guess.
"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.