Archive for January 25th, 2007

Bigots demand the right, in law, to remain bigoted

This is an interesting one, on many fronts. The Catholic Church is demanding exemption from anti-discrimination laws so their adoption agencies aren’t forced to allow homosexual couples to adopt. They say it is against their beliefs to adopt children with homosexuals, and since the Bible is pretty consistent with its disdain for gays, I can’t argue with them on that one.

However, there is quite a telling phrase from the Archbishop of Canterbury (Anglican, not Catholic) “rights of conscience cannot be made subject to legislation, however well-meaning.”

Hang on a minute, rights of conscience are always being legislated against, and in many cases it’s the religious community demanding the laws in the first place.

For example, there are laws against discriminating against women, different races, the handicapped and so on, yet I have met people who sincerely think black people are inferior and should be removed from the country, or that women should be barefoot and pregnant in the house looking after the kids, not working, or that the handicapped should be euthanised for the greater good. These people hold these views as a matter of conscience, yet they are prevented (as far as possible) from acting on those views by law.

There are also laws that discriminate against other groups in society, smokers, drinkers, drug users, criminals etc.

So what’s the difference? Why can you discriminate against one group of people and not others? It’s simple – women, the handicapped, homosexuals and different races have no choice in what they are! You don’t choose to be a woman, or black, or gay; you choose to take drugs, or smoke, or steal cars. Discrimination against people over that which they have no control of, and in no way effects what they’re trying to do is wrong.

But, some may argue, colour-blind people aren’t allowed to become pilots, and they have no choice over that, but they are stopped from being pilots because they couldn’t do their job; similarly gay couples should be disqualified from being adoptive parents because, by their definition, gay people can’t be good parents.

The trouble with that argument is there really isn’t any good evidence to show that gay couples are inherently bad parents, whereas a colour-blind pilot is a danger to themselves and others. There are plenty of single-parent families who are doing fine, and probably an equal number of couples in dysfunctional relationships causing far more harm, even though they meet the church-approved criteria.

So I propose this: anyone who is going to indoctrinate children in any religion should be prevented from become adoptive parents.

Religion is not something you’re born into, you choose your religion, or, in the overwhelming majority of cases, you are brainwashed into a religion based upon the beliefs of your parents. I view the latter as a form of child abuse, as does Richard Dawkins and espouses this view in his excellent book The God Delusion. Indoctrinatin children into believing that an invisible man in the sky is looking over their every action, and that other people who believe in different invisible men in the sky are evil (or at best, deeply misguided) and actively discourages critical thinking in later life. It’s that kind of power over children that the Jesuits used to lust after (“Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man.“), and, in another context, allows people to willingly blow themselves and others up in the name of some non-existent god.

Frankly, I view that as being much more damaging to a child’s future than what their adopted parents do in the bedroom.

January 25th, 2007


January 2007

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