Sunday, February 03, 2013

Redefinition and Equality

It is worth reading Liam Fox's letter about the redefinition of marriage over on Cranmer's blog. What Fox seems to be saying is that for the sake of a small minority a serious lack of equality is being introduced into British law.
I wonder if we should in the interest of equality introduce quotas to ensure that such organs as the BBC, Parliament etc are indeed "equal".

Cameron after being forced to confront the prospect of rebellion may be tempted to a U-turn but that appears impossible. What he has already done is redefine the meaning of "homophobia", which now is applied to anyone who is against Cameron's redefinition. I am sure that very few MPs will, despite their personal convictions, want such a vote losing accolade.

The word "homophobic" until recently was rightly applied to instances of violence or at least active discrimination, what is new is it is now applied to passive opposition and not simply to homosexual people but to homosexual sexual activity. I don't what kind of detail Parliament is going to go into, I suspect most MPs would rather not go into the details of people's sexual activities, though doing so might bring with it a degree of legal clarity. Sexual taboos probably mean the 90-95% of citizens who are heterosexual never actually think about what happens in private with less than 5-10% of a sexual minority. Redefining "homophobia" means that those who have a revulsion of homosexual activity are actually judged "homophobes".

What seems to be part of LGBT (though other letters are often now added to be more inclusive and equal) agenda seems to be to normalise, remove the taboos, about such activity. There is a rather shocking piece of Terrence Higgins Trust material here, be warned, it is about anal sex, it revolts me and therefore presumably just by that fact makes me and anyone with a similar reaction a homophobe. The worrying thing is that many, if not most people's reaction to this will be "homophobic", so Fox is right this is indeed socially divisive. If a child comes home with a copy this THT booklet, I suspect many parents, who previously saw themselves as liberal and fair minded, will identify themselves as "homophobes" and begin to ask their own questions about whether they are treated "equally".

Defining oneself by what used to happen in the privacy of ones home, or bedroom, is indeed worrying and deeply damaging, perhaps we are are safer ground just simply accepting people as people each with their own set of quirks and idiosyncrasies rather than defining them by their quirks and idiosyncrasie.


pearl said...

Dear Fr.Blake, I feel the need to go to confession after viewing the link to the Terrence Higgins material. Thank God I didn't scroll too much, I never want t view such vile material again.
Perahps its best not to show this disturbing link incase it gets into the hands of younger readers and corrupt their minds.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Unfortunately I fear this kind of material will soon be readily available.

Cathy said...

I didn't view the linked material as I feared it would pollute my mind. I fear for the young people of today whose minds are already so badly polluted - and no doubt will be more so when this sameful 'marriage' law is passed.

Katie said...

I looked at the TH material. Colour me ignorant but I never ever imagined that gay sex was so complicated and physically demanding. I mean are there really people who want somone's ARM up their . . . I am truly amazed. Don't you think that this booklet might actually put people off? I mean all that stuff about worms and things. Ew!! I think the link is most educational. I hope I won't give offence but this booklet really makes gay sex seem unnatural and dangerous. And no fun at all. The sort of activities described must surely lead to long waits in emergency rooms? And what about wasting the time of urologists?

Katie said...

I think I lost my post in the box. But to restate: I don't agree with Habemus and with our faithful Fr Blake that this material is vile and should not be made available. The booklet has surely been written to put people off. I mean, all that stuff about worms and enemas and having people put their arms up your . . . Ew!!!!! Gay sex is not portrayed in the Terence Higgins bklet as an alluring activity. It's more like hitting yr toe with a hammer. Are we not meant to laugh at the absurdity of losing a courgette dressed in a condom in one's . . ? It sounds like Rabelais re-written by a 9 yr old. More fiscally: what about wasting the time of the staff in emergency rooms and making the life of urologists more of a nightmare than it already is? What is Mr Cameron thinking of? If this were not so outrageously comic, it would be so sad.

BJC said...

Cameron reminds of that other great vote loser Michael Foot. He seems convinced gay marriage will win people over to the Conservatives but I think he's going to find out its just part of 'the longest suicide note in history'. If the Conservatives get a hammering in the local elections in May he could well be toast.

What I'd like ComRes to do is a poll of the left. There's lots of interesting stats from them over the weekend suggesting 'gay marriage' is dividing voters on the right but is it also dividing voters on the left? Is 'gay marriage' a sort of rubicon moment for the mainstream parties where voters on the right and left are prepared to ditch past loyalties and vote for someone else given the chance? Something tells me the political tectonic plates are shifting. Step forward UKIP (or something similar).

Highland Cathedral said...

Recently there was the inevitable “Celebrity” editions of a BBC quiz programme. In each of the editions the Celebrities who got to the final stage were asked which charities they wished the money to go to if they won. Each time the question master would say something like, “Wonderful, “Superb”, “Excellent”. One of the “celebrities” nominated the Terence Higgins Trust, to which the question master gave the inevitable, “Wonderful” or something similar and the audience clapped. A pity they were not more aware of what exactly the THT actually gets up to. But the BBC would have been quite happy to donate money to that organisation. Sorry, but I can’t remember if the “celebrity” won the money but as it’s extremely difficult I suspect she did not.

JARay said...

The thought of even visiting England now is extremely off-putting. How glad I am that I emigrated 37 years ago. We have a rotten government here in Australia but at least this homosexual "marriage" business was put to bed last year when even our atheist Prime Minister, who lives with a man, voted that marriage is only between a man and a woman.
The good news today is that our present government is in for a real drubbing on the 14th September when we go to the polls.

Genty said...

It was very telling that today a woman MP - can't remember her name - opined that we are defined by our sexuality.
Mind you, when local constituency parties are taken to court for turning down a "married" homosexual candidate MPs will realise that they should have been careful what they wished for.

Cettis Warbler said...

I found when teaching sex education to Y11 that no moral input is necessary. Just give young people the facts and they can work out what's a good idea and what's not. I've used the THT for teaching materials. In my view this stuff should be readily available. People need to know the truth.

Damask Rose said...

Amazing, they are turning over 90% of the population into "homophobes".

Perhaps we heterosexuals ought to start using the word "heterophobe" more often.

This is totalitarianism through the back door.

I wonder what the percentage of heterosexuals engaging in homo-sex (sodomy) is? I've read that some priests say that sodomical acts are OK in marriage as long as the sex act ends in vaginal intercourse.

Heterosexual sexual practices and non-married living arrangements have led to this.

Well, to be honest, I'm scared Fr Ray.

Hughie said...

Damask Rose says: "they are turning over 90% of the population into "homophobes"". That should be 98%. For many. many years the y claimed that 10, 15, or even 20% of the population were homosexual and the media regurgitated this ad nauseam so that even, or I suppose that should be especially, reasonably well educated and normally well informed people came to believe it -- same as with the lie that 50,000 homosexuals were done to death in the gas chambers of Auschwitz Birkenau.

Problem is, many of the MPs being herded through the voting lobbies in behalf of the homosexualist agenda STILL believe these figures.

nickbris said...

We should all know by now that the most violently vociferous homophobes are actually more bent themselves and are self-loathing.

Quentin Crisp dealt with it all in his book The Naked Civil Servant

Supertradmum said...

There is a call for a nationwide rosary tomorrow at Noon GMT here against the bill and for the defence of marriage. A reader sent me the information.

Tuesday, Noon Great Britain Rosary for the Defence of Marriage

I hope you all join in, please

And excellent post, Father...
Thank you

Supertradmum said...

After the Ball, 1999, a book with the agenda which we are seeing coming to fruition.

None of this civil rights has anything to do with marriage and everything to do with the acceptance of a lifestyle

Fr Ray Blake said...

What evidence do you have to support your claim, I think you could be in a similar position of Bp Williamson and accused of holocaust denial.

Admittedly, one of the Nazi weapons to discredit opponents, especially clergy, was to imprison them for sexual deviancy. The statics for those made to wear the pink triangle are from Nazi records, rather than their victims.

Damask Rose said...

What evidence do you have to support your claim, I think you could be in a similar position of Bp Williamson and accused of holocaust denial."

Fr Ray, but I would defend Hughie's (and Bishop Williamson's) right though, to discuss it.

Maybe one day a Christian will be put in prison for expressing his Christian views regarding homosexuality.

A correlation here, no?

George said...

Amfortas said...

I should think men and women together get up to some of these practices (as seen in the THT material). I'm uncomfortable with an appeal to the yuck factor to support an argument. Are you trying to scare yourself Father or scare your readers?

Amfortas said...

Damask Rose, Voltaire would be proud of you.

Nicolas Bellord said...

As has been suggested let us all get down on our knees at noon to-day and say five decades of the rosary.

nickbris said...

This whole business will result in a huge majority of the electorate not voting in the next General Election,I would suggest that constituencies having a lower than usual turnout do not have a representative in that playground.We are sick to death of all of them.

Supertradmum said...

I just joined Catholics here and in America praying for the Defence of Marriage on the rosary at noon. If you have not yet, please stop and do so. Mary, Our Mother, listen, please and intercede.

Frederick Jones said...

Since a phobia is an irrational reaction to something coupled with an increasing fear of it there must be very few people who feel this about homosexual activities. However many may on Christian and Darwinian principles have a reasoned attitude which is not in any sense a phobia.
To lump them together is to put it mildly daft.

Incidentally the word homo in homosexual means "of like" and the word homophobia literally means dislike of oneself.

Damask Rose said...


It is horrible to be called a holocaust denier for the simple reason you've brought up some aspect of the Shoah history, even if you're wrong in your conclusions. History should be free to be discussed.

I really wouldn't want some MP to call me or a member of my family a "bigot" because I don't approve of gay marriage or homosexuality.

Frederick Jones said...

Rose - there are of course Holocaust Minimisers who lack the courage of the deniers while animated by the same spirit. Some of them also believe in the Blood Libels. They are almost invariably anti- Israeli and anti- Jewish. I wonder what could be the explanation. Is it their superior grasp of historical research?

Damask Rose said...

Independent @ 6.48


"...there are of course Holocaust Minimisers who lack the courage of the deniers while animated by the same spirit."

Whoa, loaded comment, but I do see your point - but will only take it so far.

"They are almost invariably anti- Israeli and anti- Jewish. I wonder what could be the explanation. Is it their superior grasp of historical research."

Your statement surely here implies that some people will use research to fit into their premise.

What I said was "History should be free to be discussed."

To illustrate, way back in my local comprehensive (non-Catholic), I learnt in Year 5 in RE that 5 million Jews died in the Shoah. My husband told me he learnt that 4 million died. Now we learn that 6 million died. The research is where? Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than me will be able to cite academic papers.

But, and a very big BUT, the problem is that even if I were to ask such questions - and to use your comment - I could be labelled:

a) Minimiser
b) Denier
c) anti-Israeli
d) anti-Jewish
e) anti-semitic

I could loose my job and/or have my character ruined. In some countries, put in prison.

It's out of proportion. If anyone even mentions anything to do with the Jews, questions anything, there's invariably a mass panic - oh, oh, oh, anti-semitic, anti-semitic. It's a forced silence.

Preventing a nation by law from learning, discussing or analysing its history for the sake of a minority group is totalitarianism.

Surely it is most important that a nation does learn and analyse its history in an honest way. So a nation can be proud of it or mourn it or heal from it. Unfortunately history can be taught to reflect government's or people's own agendas. The victors always write the history.

pearl said...

It is now apparent that all our rosaries and prayers has fallen on deaf ears!

JARay said...

I see that your government has now gone even further downhill after the vote in the Commons on SSM.
You have the worst set of politicians immaginable.

Damask Rose said...

habemus Papa and JARay

It's how people are living their lives now. I wonder how MPs are living their married lives. In some respets marriage is terribly outdated - perhaps gay marriage was inevitable. Contraception+abortion+homosexualtiy=sterility

pearl said...

Yes, JARay, Britain is blighted by leaders unfit to govern. I feel very down depressed at the moment and grieving for our future generation of innocent young minds being polluted. Childhood innocence gone!
I wake up and can't believe this has really happened.

pearl said...

With the passing of the SSM Bill in the commons last night, this country has passed over a fateful Rubicon.
You will recall that in Scotland last year, Salmond unilaterally imposed SSM over the Catholic church. Cardinal Keith O'Brien was in talks with Edinburgh over these issues and Salmond in effect slapped the Cardinal in the face.
The Cardinal responded by breaking off all relations between the Catholic Church in Scotland and the Scottish Executive.
It seems to me that is what needs to happen now with the church in England and this enabling government.
To say that the government we labour under is one of the most hideous malfunctions of what a government should be is a trite expression. We all know what they are . But the stage is surely been reached when to protect the position of the the church and the faithful, Archbishop Nichols will be obliged to break off publically all relations.
What is coming down the pike, are these unions being held on church premises, and speaking as a solicitor I can see nothing in European law that will prevent this. This is one of the greatest crises facing the church since the 1530's.
It is imperative that Archbishop Nichols breaks off relations, and I for one will be re considering my lifetime membership of the church in favour of a body like SSPX unless this happens pretty soon.

Amfortas said...

6 million has been the established figure for decades

Amfortas said...

Damask Rose, I haven't called you a denier or a minimiser. I was merely comparing your position to that ascribed to Voltaire. Nothing more. But what is your agenda? It doesn't seem to be motivated by Catholicism. I may, of course, be wrong.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Pearl: I watched the whole of the debate yesterday. The outcome was foreseen in that the 2nd reading was passed. However what was not so foreseen was the quality of the speeches made by those opposed by the bill and numerous they were. I think particularly of Edward Leigh, Roger Gale, Burrowes and many others. Those in favour seemed to me to be very sentimental confusing friendship with marriage and so many of them were those of a homosexual inclination who proclaimed such and seemed to believe this was just another step along the road from the dark days when buggery was criminalised. A pathetic belief in progress and change always being for the better.

Generally it was a very useful demonstration of the arguments against SSM in a public forum.

Also there is a political element to this. More than half the Conservative MPs voted against or abstained from voting. This must put an enormous question mark over Cameron who did not even bother to turn up to the debate.

As to Archbishop Nichols I am not sure that breaking off relations is the right thing. The problem is what is the right thing to do at this stage and further whether the Archbishop will do the right thing. There are very important questions here which require our prayers.

The Catholic Church in this country has been in disarray but now shows signs of coming together under the direction of His Holiness the Pope through the Apostolic Delegate Archbishop Menini. We have had some excellent appointments to the episcopacy etc. There are green shoots. However it must be said that the position of Archbishop Nichols in all this and certain other Bishops is a matter of speculation.

We must keep fighting and praying and above all remain loyal to the Universal Church. Going sideways into the SSPX is not the answer.

The Lord’s descent into the underworld

At Matins/the Office of Readings on Holy Saturday the Church gives us this 'ancient homily', I find it incredibly moving, it is abou...