Someone once described me as a “High Church Atheist”. I certainly don’t claim to be a man of faith, but I have a huge regard for the Church of England as a cultural institution, and like Prince Charles I love the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. And I believe that Christian moral principles are not a bad basis for a free and fair society (even if I don’t always live up to them).
So I was interested to see that Catholic Cardinal Keith O’Brien has spoken out in very robust terms on Cameron’s plans for same-sex “marriage”. His actual words are impressive and worth repeating. He described the plans as “a grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right”. Brilliant. I wish I’d thought of the phrase. Perhaps he ought to be a politician.
Of course as a Catholic, he is following here in the footsteps of Anglican Archbishop John Sentamu, who a month ago made much the same point, and in language nearly as forthright.
Archbishop Keith O’Brien also makes the point, quite reasonably, that once you start to tamper with the institution of marriage, you get into some very murky water indeed. If two men can be married, why not three men? Or a two men and a woman? He could have gone further. Why not a commune? If two men have a right to marry, how can we deny the same right to two siblings? Are we to authorise incest?
Of course it is not only Christians who may take a traditional view of these matters, and may be offended. So do Muslims. So well done Dave. Brilliant electoral tactics. You may not have killed two birds with one stone, but you’ve offended two great religions in one policy measure. All for the sake of a strident minority of activists and campaigners, and pandering to the bien pensants in the Guardian editorial office.