Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Thousands of Years Ago
I can't see what all this fuss is about over same sex marriage.
What harm does it do the church if two men or women want to celebrate their life together - by tying the knot as a married couple?
The Catholic Church has gone a bit bonkers - even more bonkers some would say - in the past week or so with a statement from a leading figure - which labelled supporters of same sex marriage as 'heretics'.
Now correct me if I'm wrong - but I think this is the same sort of wild, intolerant language that was used during the Spanish Inquisition.
Last week a letter was read out in 2,500 parish churches across England and Wales - with the Church's two most senior archbishops arguing that Catholics have a 'duty' to make sure the change does not happen.
Now the government plans to introduce same sex marriage by 2015 - but churches will not be required to perform weddings.
I must be missing something - because I can't honestly see anything wrong with that - other than the fact that religious leaders seem hell bent on controlling other people's lives.
Just the other day Cardinal Keith O'Brien - the leader Scotland's Catholics - said that same sex marriage plans were "grotesque" and if implemented, would "shame the United Kingdom in the eyes of the world."
But I can remember the church having a not dissimilar public stance on contraception - not so many years ago - which has now been quietly dropped.
I heard some church spokesperson the other day - he said that marriage was a sacred institution that had stood the test of time for thousands of years - being intended only for men and women and the procreation of children.
Well I'm married (for the second time) - yet second time around I had absolutely no intention of having more children.
So if that makes me a heretic - then fair enough - though I don't intend to be burnt at anyone's stake - metaphorically speaking or otherwise.
To my mind the church should either stay out of these arguments - or at least be prepared for a proper, grown-up debate.
Because how ridiculous is it to say that things should stay the way they are - - simply because they have been this way for thousands of years?
Women didn't have the vote in this country until relatively recently - neither did most men for that matter - unless they were very wealthy and owned property.
The arguments being used by the church in the UK - could just as easily come from the mouths of religious leaders in Afghanistan and other repressive countries - which ruthlessly define their culture as the way things are - and the way life must always be.
Yet if everyone believed that the world would still be stuck in the Dark Ages - in fact we'd all still believe the world was flat - and that the Sun revolved around the Earth.
Maybe some people still do - but then again some people believe that Elvis Presly is still alive.
Which doesn't make it true.