There is no way that the Catholic Church is going to change its mind on this one given 18 months or so. This completely fails to take into account the views and beliefs of all those involved. The idea that New Labour - which has got every second thing wrong and is backtracking on extended drinking hours, is in a mess over this cash-for-peerages business, cannot keep all its prisons under control - the idea that New Labour can come up with a new morality which it forces on the Catholic Church after 2,000 years - I am sorry - this is amazing arrogance on the part of the Government.
Legislation for a nouveau morality is deeply unwise. That is not how morality works. At a time when the Government is foundering with so many of its policies - and I haven’t even mentioned Iraq - the thought that this Government has the moral credibility to be able tell the Roman Catholic Church how to order one area of its episcopal teaching is frankly laughable. When you think about it like that, it is quite extraordinary. I suppose the hope is that in 18 months time there will be a different Prime Minister who might take a different view, and this will kick it into the long grass until then.
I completely agree with Wright, the present Labour government is utterly lacking in moral credibility. The recklessness with which terms like ‘family’ and ‘parenthood’ are redefined in order to pander to a homosexual agenda is frightening. The rise of the Newspeak is far more rapid than many of us would expect. The fact that some of Britain’s most vulnerable children will be the pawns in all of this is even more troubling.
I believe that much anti-discrimination legislation is important. I have no desire to see homosexuals unfairly treated or refused services in most contexts. Whilst I strongly believe that homosexual practice is condemned as immoral by the Christian faith, this should provide no justification whatsoever for prejudice against homosexuals in most areas of life and business, something which I think that Christians should strongly condemn where it occurs. The problem is that there are some areas of life in which discrimination is extremely important. A culture that has lost the ability to recognize where discrimination is necessary and the ability to discriminate wisely is in moral freefall.
The problem here is that, whatever the government might wish, the truth is often deeply politically incorrect and unpalatable. As Flannery O’Connor once wisely observed, ‘The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.’ However, over the last decade or so it has been painfully clear that the Labour government is more committed to political expediency than it is to justice and truth. The rot has been permitted to set into the foundations of our society and its progressive collapse is now all but assured. These are mistakes that we will be paying the price for for many years to come.