> Pope Benedict XVI has condemned British equality legislation for running contrary to "natural law" as he
> confirmed his first visit to the UK later this year.
I honestly don't know why this barbarian is being allowed in the country in the first place. If someone like Mugabe wanted to visit, there'd be an outcry. I don't think it's too controversial to say that Ratzinger is responsible for at least as much suffering, albeit nowhere near so directly, and yet nobody seems to bat an eyelid at his swanning over here to tell everyone what to do.
> In a letter addressed to the Catholic bishops of England and Wales, the pope praised Britain's "firm
> commitment to equality of opportunity for all".
> However, he criticised UK legislation for creating "limitations on the freedom of religious communities to act in
> accordance with their beliefs". It is thought his comments relate to laws that came in last year preventing
> adoption agencies from discriminating against gay couples and also Harriet Harman's equality bill, currently
> going through parliament.
As deluded as this old monster is, I'm sure he realises that this is a contradiction. Religious groups are trying to actively restrict the freedoms of others. This includes the freedom of homosexuals to adopt children, of women to participate in the politics of religions with billions of devotees, of teachers to tell children about evolution and of atheists to criticise religion. You cannot have a firm commitment to equality if religious sensibilities are allowed to trump others.
> They [Catholic Bishops in England and Wales] told him sexual orientation legislation that came into effect
> on 1 January 2009 had forced the closure of half the Roman Catholic adoption agencies because the law
> making it illegal to discriminate against gay applicants went against their beliefs.
Look at the language there. IT *forced* THEM. No, no it didn't. They forced themselves in a fit of pique. The action is utterly revealing because it means that whatever reason they have for running these agencies, welfare of the children is not a priority for them. They are perfectly aware that the numbers say children are perfectly fine with gay parents. You don't have to agree with with homosexuality to allow homosexuals to adopt children and if that adoption in the best interest of the child, it is simply monstrous to refuse on the grounds of sexuality. What they're interested in is putting children into catholic families and making more catholics. Attitudes like this make that absolutely clear.
> In his letter the pope said: "The effect of some of the legislation designed to achieve this goal has been to
> impose unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to act in accordance with their beliefs. In
> some respects it actually violates the natural law upon which the equality of all human beings is grounded
> and by which it is guaranteed."
Nobody is being prevented from acting in accordance with their religious beliefs. If you're not allowed to discriminate against homosexuals in adoption agencies, don't run adoption agencies. There's nothing in your religion that mandates it. Besides, of course, they don't mean 'religious groups' they mean catholics. They'd be the first to scream blue fucking murder if people wanted to practice Voodoo or Satanism without sanction.
> The pope urged the bishops to make their voices heard and to defend the faith, saying Christian teaching
> did not undermine or restrict the freedom of others.
It certainly restricts the freedom of women. In almost every case, women are treated like possessions at worst or second class citizens at best. Even in the wishy-washy Church of England that I grew up in, women can be priests....but they can't be Bishops. That is, management positions in the church are not open to half the population. It's worse in Catholicism, where women can't be priests at all.
The claimed lack of restrictions of freedom certainly does not exist through want of trying. They'd make homosexuality illegal if they could. They'd ban abortion. They'd ban other religions. They'd ban atheism. They'd ban contraception, even in areas suffering from massive overpopulation and widespread AIDS. They'd drag us kicking and screaming back into the dark ages where science that disagrees with scripture (that is almost all of it) is also banned. In fact, it would be worse than that because - as the Catholic church has never failed to demonstrate - dogma is largely at the whim of the encumbant Pope and has little or nothing to do with scripture in very many cases. Look at Limbo, for example or Mary's assumption into heaven or the bizarre gaudy array of saints and highly specific categories of angels. I don't remember where in Christian scripture this is all specified. What would there be to prevent these insane old men decreeing whatever they like to be doctrine?
The only reason religion doesn't impose more restrictions on freedom in Britain is because it hasn't been allowed to. And that's exactly what the Pope is trying to rectify in this visit.
It is absolutely outrageous that a head of state should try to leverage religion in an attempt to interfere with the internal politics of an (effectively) secular state.