The Bitching of a Spoiled Child: Catholic Leader Wants Entitlement Back!
I’ve become increasingly nervous for Britain (and many pockets of Europe) over recent years because of the hotpot of Islamism that seems to be simmering and splattering out into society there, so I find the whinings of British Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor to be particularly reassuring. In a nutshell, Murphy-O’Connor is bitching that religion is being relegated to being exactly what it should be in a secular society – a private affair. He is exasperated that the demands he makes for public regulations – which are based on his ludicrous perfectly sensible belief that a man fathered by the one and only omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent creator of the universe was born 2,000 years ago to a virgin, and who actually is God himself, and who was crucified and then resurrected and floated off into the sky 3 days later, and whose only preserved words to humanity, the hole-filled Holy Bible, is frought with patent untruths not to mention inhumanity – are not receiving quite as much privilege over other offerings for public policy.
The Cardinal “claims that the rise of secularism has led to a liberal society, hostile to Christian morals and values, in which religious beliefs are viewed as “a private eccentricity” and the voice of faith groups is marginalized.”
Like a petulant child, he whines that his and other unduly-deferred-to branches of nonsense (e.g., Islam and Orthodox Judaism – and make no mistake about it, there is no reason to believe that he gives a crap about these other belief communities, he just sees them as present-day allies in the defense of dogma) are not being given as much pull when it comes to governing other people’s behaviour. Cardinal, your beliefs are private eccentricities! They’re eccentric because they’re inane beyond reckoning, and they’re private because you live in a secular society which is supposed to make policy decisions rationally. And it’s not that faith groups’ voices have been marginalized. They’re just being marginalized when they make demands that they cannot back up without referring to their scriptures or falling back on “because WE (or this Imam/Cardinal/Priest/Pope/Rabbi) SAID SO!”. Part of following rationality means doing away with suggestions, ideas and demands rooted in irrational dogma.
And despite this whining child’s complaining, his branch of inanity is still unfortunately very very very far from truly being marginalized in the public sphere. And please don’t misinterpret me. I’m not saying that religious people should be considered political outcasts without a say. Absolutely not. What I’m saying is that any person or group wanting to put forth an idea for implementation in public policy should be obligated to defend their suggestion on rational rather than superstitious or authoritarian grounds.
The Cardinal warns that Britain shows signs of degenerating into a country free of morals, because of its rejection of traditional values and its emphasis on the rights of the individual.
Right on cue, we get the traditional religious conservative BS that moral/value system other than one rooted in religion is in fact an amoral system. This faux moral authority is either or both of the following in the current situation: a liar or an ignoramus. A society without (or with less) religious moral regulation is not a society without morals. Rather, it is a society with morals and laws formed on a different foundation – ideally one that is both rational and compassionate, which is infinitely more than what we could say about Catholic moral arbitration.
“A simplistic belief that right or wrong is an individualistic construct denies our responsibilities to neighbour and wider society.”
False. Any rationality and compassion derived individualistic moral construct immediately acknowledges that society is merely a group of individuals and each of these individuals should be given the same rights and should not be able to impose upon the rights of others without providing a very tight rational case for it, with the axiomatic foundational considerations, of course, being what is best for the freedom and wellbeing of people.
The Cardinal also claims that British society is becoming increasingly repressive and intolerant. In particular, he sights secularist opposition to Catholic teachings on the family. Yes, how intolerant of secularists to be against your group’s fiction and authority faith-based opposition to equality for homosexuals, and for your morally and intellectually unsubstantiated opposition to abortion for anyone. This is honestly just incredible. This is a Catholic leader decrying someone else for being repressive and intolerant! It’s not just that Catholicism has a history loaded with intolerant and oppressive brutality - they would surely be top runners for a societal lifetime achievement award in the field if it existed - or even that it continues to this very day; but that he’s whining about intolerance and oppression of his group’s intolerance and oppression?!
The Cardinal goes on to claim that the intolerance of liberal skeptics can be as repressive as the intolerance of religious believers. I’m sure that it can be repressive to those who self-identify with a creation myth and accompanying moral code that cannot be substantiated rationally. See, here’s the thing. Until some God peeks its head out of the clouds and tells us both what is right and wrong and why that is so, as I see it the only playing field humans have aside from the battle field is rational discourse predicated on honesty, openmindedness and a genuine respect for everyone’s rights. And on this playing field – to the impoverished degree that it actually exists – those who desperately cling to irrational beliefs on morality and believe – because they’ve been spoiled for far too long – that their particular brand of inanity is special, will occasionally feel repressed. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Every time you close your mind or that you close someone else’s mind – your child’s, your congregation member’s, and so on – you make it this way. And every time anyone or any group does something to oppose the development and maintenance of open, unattached (i.e., to dogma, possessions, status, etc.), and truth-, justice- and wellness seeking minds, we all make it this way.
The Cardinal also says that atheists are becoming increasingly vocal and aggressive. Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society, responds in a manner that I personally quite agree with:
“Secularists and atheists are finding it necessary to express their views more vocally because of the increasing demands made by Christians and minority faiths.
“the position of bishops and the Vatican on moral issues such as abortion and contraception is at odds with the views of people in the pews and in the country as a whole. We support the right of everyone to express their religion and their views in public but we have a problem with religion having a privileged place, as it does with bishops in the House of Lords.”
Amen to that.