Hunt: Cardinal is Right. We Can’t Afford to Indulge His Madness
Cardinal Keith O’Brien, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland and Britain’s most senior Catholic, laid out his opposition to same-sex marriage — that is “madness” — in the UK last week.
We really should be accustomed to the fear-mongering:
If same-sex marriage is enacted into law what will happen to the teacher who wants to tell pupils that marriage can only mean – and has only ever meant – the union of a man and a woman?
Will that teacher’s right to hold and teach this view be respected or will it be removed? Will both teacher and pupils simply become the next victims of the tyranny of tolerance, heretics, whose dissent from state-imposed orthodoxy must be crushed at all costs?
Same-sex marriage would eliminate entirely in law the basic idea of a mother and a father for every child. It would create a society which deliberately chooses to deprive a child of either a mother or a father.
Other dangers exist. If marriage can be redefined so that it no longer means a man and a woman but two men or two women, why stop there? Why not allow three men or a woman and two men to constitute a marriage, if they pledge their fidelity to one another? If marriage is simply about adults who love each other, on what basis can three adults who love each other be prevented from marrying?
The horror! A teacher in a public school might not be able to teach his or her personal religious beliefs to students! (Wait, I thought that was already the law . . .) And the definition of “family” could change! (Wait, didn’t it already change dramatically in the last 100 years, from the extended family living together as norm to the “nuclear family”?)
I would very much like to hear the Cardinal explain how same-sex marriage means “choosing to deprive a child of a mother or a father”. The opposite of legal same-sex marriage is not homosexuals hopping into heterosexual marriages and having children; rather, it means post-divorce, the child is . . . oh, deprived of either a mother or a father, and also deprived of the possibility of a loving step-parent.
Dr. John G. Hunt provides an open letter in reply:
Dear Cardinal O’Brien,
Thank you so much for your epistle, “We cannot afford to indulge this madness”.
It is truly enlightening because it illustrates the terrifying madness of religion in general and of manic Romanic Catholicism in particular: a madness which humanity cannot afford to indulge for even one more year.
In writing that “Those of us who were not in favour of civil partnership, believing that such relationships are harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of those involved” you are presumably attacking not civil partnership as a legal institution, but the mutual love, respect, and commitment that same-sex couples entering such partnerships have for each other and wish to cement publicly. What a mean, base, and uncharitable act for one who poses as a salesman for the love of Christ . . .
Your claim that “all the legal rights of marriage are already available to homosexual couples” is patently false. In the UK both marriage and civil partnership are thoroughly sexist institutions. A graphic illustration is that if a couple wish to remain together, but one member undergoes gender reassignment, they are legally required to divorce or dissolve the partnership, and then submit to the other ceremony. How demeaning and discriminatory is that!
As for “redefining marriage”: maybe you have never heard the legend of David and Jonathan described in “2 Samuel 1″ (King James text) as: “thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women”. Maybe you are also unaware of the church rituals “Adelphopoiesis” and “Ordo ad Fratres Faciendum” for joining together male couples, (such as the martyrs Saint Sergius and Saint Bacchus). Like marriage, these ceremonies were originally conducted OUTside the church: but later taken inside, as churches coveted and usurped ever more power.
Your phrase “a grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right” is a perfect fit in the context of the molestation, rape, and other abuse of babies and children by priests and other “religious”. To attempt to apply it to the removal of discrimination (homophobia) is callous and utterly inhuman.
You state correctly that “marriage long predates the existence of any state or government”. Neither was it created by the church. For churches now to claim ownership of marriage as a god-given right, as readers of your epistle will infer, presupposes the existence of god(s). To date, no god has yet offered proof of their existence that would stand up in a court of law. And the law regarding marriage clearly concerns you.
Your claim that “marriage has always existed in order to bring men and women together so that the children born of those unions will have a mother and a father” rather misses the mark. Children have historically had a mother and a father, (if we ignore legends of virgin births, such as those of Buddha, Horus, Jesus, Krishna, Marduk, and Mithra), at least at conception. The importance of marriage has been much more concerned with the perpetuation and security of royal and lesser dynasties: as demonstrated by the virgin birth of the Church of England.
You assert that “[n]o Government has the moral authority to dismantle the universally understood meaning of marriage”. I assert in reply that no coven of priests with mediaeval garb and Bronze Age beliefs has the moral authority to restrain evolution of society, morals, and ethics. You have as much power as King Canute, and much less sense.
Since you mention slavery, I suggest that you read Double Cross: The Code of the Catholic Church. In chapter 4, “Holy Violence”, he describes how, although in the 13th century slaves were liberated by the authorities of several Italian cities, the Vatican waited until the 20th century before issuing a clear condemnation of slavery!
Your concern with “fundamental human rights” fails to appreciate that these are HUMAN rights, and thus NOT sex-specific. A human right to marry another human of one’s choice cannot therefore stipulate the sex or sexuality of the participants. Attempts to tamper with innate sexuality, turning lesbians and gay men heterosexual, have historically been unsuccessful, (often disastrously so), and are now considered unethical by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
You prophesy that “the Government … will have forfeited the trust which society has placed in them … [shaming] the United Kingdom in the eyes of the world”. Have you forgotten so rapidly that your church has forfeited the trust which society placed in its practitioners to care for children, shaming your institution for ever in the eyes of the world?
Once again, I thank you for your enlightening epistle. We really cannot afford to indulge your madness.
Dr. John G. Hunt, C.Eng., MBCS, CITP