Monday, 10 December 2012

'Same-Sex Marriage': How Times Change

Loveable political rogue: Johnson
Boris Johnson has once again affirmed his support for same-sex marriage. Boris is one of those few politicians who are genuinely likeable and interesting - not something we can say of many of today's political breed.

Boris, in 2001, wrote:

“If gay marriage was OK – and I was uncertain on the issue – then I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men; or indeed three men and a dog.”

An unpopular view, but there we go. We see then that a little bit of time with political power does little for reasoned opinion and common sense because these views have modified in time to a full swing in favour of 'gay marriage' - even vocal campaigning on the issue. Today, Boris, speaking of the legislation and obviously noting the sense of public opposition to the measure is saying, "Let's whack it through" and, 'to hell with the consequences' presumably.

Boris, however, isn't the only Tory whose view on matters of marriage and family life have changed considerably according to whatever view is considered popular among the political and media class. Today, John Major has come out in favour of 'gay marriage'. This is the same John Major who campaigned, albeit unsuccessfully - thanks largely to a randy Cabinet among whom it turned out he was no small contender - under a mantra of a return to 'traditional family values'. The campaign was, I believe, called 'Back to Basics'.

Fifty shades of grey: Major in more traditional days...
The 'let's whack it through' mentality is popular in the mind of today's politician and it is not confined only to issues as marriage. Take the issue of genetically modified crops, for instance. Owen Paterson has today backed GM crops, when there is, like with the issue of 'gay marriage' public disquiet and discomfort on the issue.

Owen Paterson, as it happens, is not in favour of 'same sex marriage', but what links Owen Paterson's dismissal of fears over genetically modified crops and other Tory politician's edicts on the nature and definition of marriage is an absolute contempt for public opinion, as well as grassroots party members.

They show contempt for the fears and views of large swathes of the British electorate, as well as the Church and all those whose lives will be affected by a measure which neglects to safeguard not only marriage and the family, but the common good that politicians are elected to serve.  Politicians are distrusted and loathed in modern Britain. I suspect that the feeling of politicians towards those they represent is mutual. Oh well, let's just 'whack it through' and see what happens, eh? This is what I believe they call 'technocracy' in action.

McLoughlin: Catholic supporting Cameron's 'proposal'
Sadly, among the Conservatives who have recently backed 'same-sex marriage' is a 'Catholic' as well, Patrick McLoughlin. So, all in all, this was not a good weekend if you are not a supporter of 'same-sex marriage' and it is hugely depressing to see Catholics in public life supporting the proposal.

It has been noted that we're yet to hear a response to Mr Cameron from the Bishops Conference of England and Wales on the issue or anything that suggests that Catholic politicians who support the campaign for 'same-sex marriage' are placing their salvation in jeopardy. Scottish Bishops like Cardinal O'Brien and Bishop Devine of Motherwell are less afraid to be shouted down as 'bigots', accepting, perhaps, the bearing of insults and secular spittle as part of their path in following Christ and being faithful to Him.

Scottish Bishops are more upfront and obviously more affronted by the proposal than are our own. Thankfully, one Catholic Bishop in England and Wales, Bishop Egan of Portsmouth has issued a statement in which he asks Mr Cameron questions that surely must be asked of this legislation. In His Lordship's statement in response to the Prime Minister's u-turn on 'gay weddings' in Churches and addressing concerns about the 'proposal' in general, the Bishop says:

Bishop Egan of Portsmouth
"I would like to ask Mr. Cameron: What about my rights as a Christian? Will you exempt the Church, its resources and property, from having to support your harmful ideology? Will Catholic schools, societies and institutions be free (and legally safeguarded) to teach the full truth of Christ and the real meaning of life and love? The institution of marriage has its ups and downs, but will we ever forget that it was the leader of the Conservative Party who finally destroyed marriage as a lasting, loving and life-giving union between a man and a woman?"

Thank you, my Lord! What concerns me, as well as the senior hierarchy of England and Wales's largely silent treatment of the Government's proposal (aside from one pastoral letter in March, I think) is that as well as the absence of a rallying cry to campaigning, protesting, letter-writing and the rest, there is no call to prayer either. If the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales said nothing in public that was critical of the Cameron proposal but their Dioceses were encouraged to pray for the defeat of the proposal or to offer Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament or a nationwide Rosary Crusade or something, we would see that they loved and cared for the Church, marriage, for sinners, for the country and the Faithful, all of whom are at risk from the effects of such a measure.

Terminator: "Throw pencils at it!"
We are confronted, in the 'same-sex marriage' proposal with an absolute beast of a bill. It is like the scene in Terminator when the robot with the human face and skin looks like its dead, but then gets up again despite being burned, seemingly, to death. It then gets up having shed its human skin and just keeps on coming at us. You want to fire bullets at it, but you know it won't work. You want to blow it up, but you know it won't work. You end up throwing pencils at it, because its coming closer and closer. You know its going to destroy you and all you can do, then, is pray for a Miracle and for it to get crushed by some industrial machinery in the factory. Does Parliament have such a facility?

Our Bishops need reminding that on the Last Day, when we stand before our Lord and Judge, we will be asked uncomfortable questions about whether we fought evil, or just ran away. We won't be asked whether we won a battle such as this. We'll be asked whether we took everything we had and threw it at the enemy, including pencils.

The truth is that no matter how many London mayors, former Prime Ministers and current celebrities endorse 'same-sex marriage', no matter whether the UN and various powerful interest groups are for it, nor whether this, the 21st century, demands ripping up the institution of marriage for the simple reason that this is the 21st century.

None of these are legitimate reasons for allowing the State to alter the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman. David Cameron may not be about to back down on this issue, because thanks to the Liberal Democrats and Labour Parties not allowing their MPs a free vote on the issue, it is likely to be passed no matter how many Tories vote against it.

David Cameron is 'out of his depth', as Bishop Devine rightly says. Cameron is drowning in a sea of political, moral, social and spiritual relativism. It is this that our political elite are happy to plunge the nation further into. God help our Bishops. God help David Cameron. God help Patrick McLoughlin.

God help us all.


Amfortas said...

Boris Johnson is interested in one thing....Boris Johnson. Oh, and one other thing I'm too polite to mention, although it amounts to the same thing really.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Bones: I am not sure you are correct in saying Boris has changed his views. He said gay marriage would be the same as consecrating the union of two men and a dog. Perhaps he has always supported any variation on the theme and still does?

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