August 3 | comments icon 4 COMMENTS     print icon print


Religious freedom is being eroded in Scotland and globally

This week's editorial

As the Church in Scotland prepares for Support Marriage Sunday on August 26, a celebration of everything that the Sacrament of Marriage stands for and is at risk under Scottish Government proposals, a new report published this week has revealed that religious freedom is being eroded throughout the world.

The report, released on Monday, by the United States State Department, highlighted concerns over the increased use of laws to restrict the rights of religious minorities.

While the marginalisation of Christian values in Scotland and the UK may not be as visibly apparent as the violent persecution of Christians in other parts of the world, neither can be left unchallenged.

To press ahead with its plans to legislate on same-sex ‘marriage,’ the Scottish Government has indicated the need for further consultation with the Catholic Church and Church of Scotland to ‘consider any additional safeguards for freedom of religion.’ This raises the pertinent question, if the proposed law—being ushered in under the guise of so-called ‘equality’ and ‘progress’—threatens religious freedom, why is it even being considered in the first place?

Archbishop-elect Tartaglia said last week that he could see himself ‘going to jail’ for speaking out against same-sex ‘marriage’ if Scottish law is changed to allow same-sex couples to wed.

Legal experts have highlighted that provisions designed to prevent the Church for having to marry same-sex ‘couples’ are anything but foolproof and, of equal concern, that the teaching of traditional Catholic values on marriage in our schools is also threatened by the proposed bill.

“Today, defending the traditional meaning of marriage is almost considered ‘hate speech’ and branded intolerant,” Archbishop-elect Tartaglia said. “Such a response is undemocratic, closes debate and is highly manipulative.”

Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen has said that, while he loves and respects the gay members of his congregation, and upholds them in their relationship with God, he ‘won’t marry them’ as ‘it just cannot be done’ in the Catholic Church.

The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland now faces with the difficult task of deciding whether to continue to advise the Scottish Government on marriage, despite all signs that MSPs and ministers refuse to take on board religious concerns, or withdraw from the consultation process as its legitimacy increasing comes into question.

It is clear that the sanctity of marriage has been hijacked by a tiny minority, the homosexual community, for political ends and that it will take strong leadership to stand up to the onslaught. We all need to pray that leadership can be found in Scotland.



Comments - 4 Responses

  1. Alex says:

    You write: ‘the sanctity of marriage has been hijacked ty a tiny minority, the homosexual community, for political ends’.

    Even if it is true that affirming gay marriage is to hijack the sanctity of marriage, it is not the case that all the homosexual community advocates gay marriage. To apply this very negative description to the entire homosexual community is therefore very unfair.

    Also, many of the gay people who seek gay marriage do so in order to seek an affirmation of the love felt between two gay people. It is utterly misleading to describe this as political motivation.

    If your description does not amount to an expression of hatred for gay people, I do not know what does.

    Alex Segal

  2. Nay labour says:

    Then make you case..?
    It has been very easy for elements of those who support ‘gay marriage’ to accuse the Catholic Church as ‘anti-gay’ and even of hatred. Say it long enough and others start to beieve it i think is the approach. Very little said against other religious groups and those of no religious belief who do not support this – but then again its clearly open season on Catholics at the moment.

  3. Alex says:

    In criticising a single editorial of the Scottish Catholic Observer I was not for one moment criticising either Catholics in general or the Catholic Church in general.

    Therefore, it is ridiculous to see my criticism of this single editorial as a manifestation of how it is open season on Catholics at the moments.

    In the first five sentences of my comment, I gave my reasons for my criticism. Nay labour ignores these sentences. So I do not understand what Nay labour means when you imply that I do not make my case.

  4. Kevin Porter says:

    I really fail to see anything in this article that amounts to hatred. I would actually go further and say that the homosexual community has been hijacked by aggressive secularists and those in positions of power who want everything to be controlled by the state. I don’t think they realise they’re being used as pawns in a much bigger game. A quotation attributed to Brock Adams of the UN gives a hint to the bigger game: “To achieve world government it is necessary to remove from the minds of men, their individualism, loyalty to family traditions, national patriotism and religious dogmas.” Ironically, some states in America are making elements of this part of their legislation without realising that this is actually what Karl Marx described as the ideal communism. They might need to move George Orwell’s “1984” out of the fiction sections of book stores soon!

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