Cardinal O’Brian compares Gay Marriage to the laws on Slavery?

Did anyone hear this discussion on the radio this morning? Cardinal O’Brian, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland was being interviewed about same sex marriage and made some rather startling statements.

I found it really hard to follow some of his logic, even as someone who has been in and around churches all my life.This is what he was saying;

If we allowed gay marriage, it would amount to ‘shaming’ the country.

We would be taking standards that are ‘human rights’, from the UN declaration of human rights and turning them on their head.

We would be redefining marriage to something it is not, as marriage could only happen between a man and a woman.

He then compared gay marriage to what might happen if the government suddenly decided to legalise slavery. Thought this a ‘very very good example of what might happen in this country’.

Then he started to describe the ‘thin edge of the wedge’, referencing the Abortion Act in the 60’s.

I could start to tell you my position on this issue, along with whole pages full of justifications. I could get into the relationships between scripture and culture, and the authority of certain OT texts.

I could also discuss the position of love as opposed to legalism, and the fact that sexual ‘sin’ has taken far to central a part in our understanding as opposed to (for example) gluttony or usury.

I could also tell you how bored I am with the way church is ripping itself to pieces with this issue. How hard hearted and foolish we look from the outside. How different camps use this issue as a ‘totem’ of acceptability.

I could wonder aloud why we could not just agree to disagree and focus on finding a path of grace to walk on for our own lives.

And I could describe the feeling I have that this issue will look and sound very different in 30 years time, in the same way that remarriage after divorce and (dare I say it) slavery are viewed as theologically different now than how they have been previously.

I could also talk about how church leaders who seek to ‘defend’ the church, or take us back to some mythical state before ‘progress’ damaged and destroyed our Christian way of life are often talking utter nonsense. As if God is not big enough to stand up for himself.

But rather than all of this, I will just say that the Cardinal made an ass of himself.

9 thoughts on “Cardinal O’Brian compares Gay Marriage to the laws on Slavery?

  1. I’m not surprised that you couldn’t follow his logic-there wasn’t any. He should read his Augustine quotations about putting the Christian community to shame by talking mince!!!

  2. In my humble opinion the Cardinal needs to concentrate on issues within his church before he criticises the way others lead their lives. I have read a number of comments on his comments from members of the Catholjc Chirch and suffice to say he does not appear to be representing the opinion of his church.

  3. But that is just it isn’t it? Yeshua came to tell us it was all about love and compassion and humility and the catholic church decides that that means:

    1. No divorce
    2. No re-marriage
    3. No homosexuality (even if G-d made you that way)
    4. No protected sex even if that means risking spread of disease

    It’s all gone legal again. Didn’t they hear? How many Jesuses does it take?

    G-d bless

  4. If church leaders spent as much time outing Peodo clergy instead of moving them to other parishes, their time would be better spent. Its no wonder people are leaving the churches by the dozen. Times have changed, we are not living in the dark ages . Many more Gay people would like to go to church but feel unwelcome.

  5. ps Does anyone really care what the Cardinal says or thinks
    Its comments like his that chased me from the Catholic church

    • HI Margaret

      I suppose this issue will be on the news over the next few weeks as the Government moves its plans forward on this issue, and people who hold opinions similar to the Cardinal will be given airtime.

      I am sorry to hear that you no longer feel able to be part of the RC church, although as I have found myself, faith and membership of a particular institution are very different things, and can exist independently.

      I think your comments about sexual abuse in the Church are ones that are rather difficult for me to comment on, as I do not know enough about what has been going on, but if abusive priests have been protected and moved to other parishes rather than being dealt with appropriately, then the hierarchy of the church really should hang their heads in shame. The link to this issue seems unfair however.



  6. Pingback: Cardinals, McLaren and the charge of hypocrisy… | this fragile tent

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.