Religion vs Secularism

Another Catholic bishop has joined the fray on saying that Catholic politicians should abstain from receiving communion if they support abortion legislation and not expect to remain full members of the church.

The only comment I will pass on Cardinal O’Brien’s remark “Two Dunblane massacres a day in our country going on and on. And when’s it going to stop?” is that using the Dunblane massacre as a macabre measuring rod is deeply crass and upsetting. He should be ashamed and if he thinks invoking those memories will help his cause he is sorely mistaken.

I don’t think abortion is particularly pleasant and I know it can be traumatic for women who have to use it, but the key to reducing it is surely sexual education and the promotion of pre-conception contraceptives. Outlawing it would only drive it back into back alleys where people will be mutilated and killed.

Of course contraceptives are similarly frowned upon by the Catholic church and condom use is actively discouraged in Africa where HIV infection could reach 10% of the population by 2025 if the current trends are not curbed.

So on the one hand excommunication if the punishment for aborting a cluster of cells while becoming Pope is the reward for pedaling an outdated doctrine that abstinence is the cure for HIV and AIDS, a policy that will help to contribute to the deaths of 80 million people by 2025. The impact on the economies in Africa of the disease is such that all of the West’s (admittedly inadequate) attempts to alleviate poverty are frankly pissing against the wind.

The problem, not just for the Catholic church but for others as well, is that Secularism is ahead of the curve on morality by a long way. From discrimination against women or homosexuals to how we should react to horrific diseases.

I seem to recall that Jesus Christ’s teachings centered on two commandments:

  1. Love the Lord thy God.
  2. Love they neighbour as thyself.

The churches have the monopoly on the former.

They have lost their way on the latter. Christ illustrated this commandment throughout his life by associating himself with outcasts, lepers, prostitutes and even tax men. He also illustrated it with the story of the Good Samaritan.

Who then is a good neighbour to the HIV stricken in Africa or women in the desperate situation of having an unwanted pregnancy? The Priests who raise their nose and pass by on the other side or the secular politicians who act to help them?

As soon as the West starts pouring a decent amount of our sickeningly large wealth in the direction of the poor, it really will have taken up the cross and followed Christ.

It is really sad that the churches have become an impediment to healing the world’s woes and not one of the leaders where they really should be. These sorts of comments from Catholic bishops reinforce the fact that they are way behind the curve on Secularism’s moral fibre and the gap between them and the rest of the world will continue to grow.

This christian is on the side of the politicians and they can take communion with me any day they please.

4 Comments to Religion vs Secularism

  1. flankspeed says:

    80 million by 2025? Wonder how many Dunblanes a week THAT is….

    Also, there is an argument that Jesus meant ‘love thy neighbour as thyself’ in terms of ‘thy neighbour’ being a fellow Jew. Paul later set Christianity on the road of multiculturalism, a move which in the words of one authority on religion, “Would have had Jesus turning in his grave.”

    Which is perhaps an unfortunate choice of expression. But still…

  2. Jamie Thom says:

    As I said, the illustration of neighbour is this story:

    And who is my neighbour? 10:30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 10:31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 10:32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 10:33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 10:34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 10:35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. 10:36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 10:37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

    Samaritans were not Jewish and were regarded as unclean.

  3. Cleodhna says:

    Quite. I suspect the hands of church elders in redefining the notion of ‘neighbour’ so as not to inconvenience anyone persecuting or slaughtering folk in the name of Christ. If things could make Christ spin in his grave, well, if we could harness it, that would solve the world’s energy problems in a oner.

    I completely agree on Cardinal O’Brien’s Dunblane comment: it was callous and nasty, and he should retract it. There is no similarity whatsoever in a woman or a couple making a private, considered decision about their future and a quiet, private medical procedure and a psychopathic massacre that leaves a whole community grieving for actual, tangible, beloved children. I’m sure he made that comment for shock value, but I don’t think he got the kind of shock he wanted.

    I am reminded of the talk given by Bishop Holloway at the University Chapel… I seem to recall that you were there?

  4. Jamie Thom says:

    Yes I was.

    “I emailed the pope my ideas. He hasn’t got back to me yet.”
    - Richard Holloway

    I do wish more church leaders were more like him!