Since when do Roman Catholic Cardinals declare war? Today, Scotland's Cardinal Keith O'Brien did just that. The 74-year-old told the British Sunday Times that Scottish Roman Catholics were “declaring war” on Britain's upcoming gay marriage legislation, and that he, the highest-ranking Roman Catholic in the United Kingdom, will do whatever it takes to block the country's upcoming gay marriage legislation.
Cardinal Keith O'Brien has equated gay marriage legislation to a reintroduction of slavery.
Whatever. It. Takes.
If only Roman Catholics applied that “can-do” attitude to their own child sex abuse scandals.
O'Brien has been building up to this war cry for some time. He has called gay marriage a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right” (not, it should be noted, a “religious” right, but a “human” right). O'Brien has compared Britain's introduction of gay marriage legislation to the re-introduction of slavery. He has said that gay marriage will lead to complete legal chaos for churches caught in the middle, despite the fact that Scotland's churches may opt out of conducting gay weddings in the proposed legislation. And today, addressing tens of thousands of readers, O'Brien vowed that “marriage is under threat and politicians need to know the Catholic Church will bear any burden and meet any cost in its defense.”
Any burden? Any cost? Will money be taken out of the Church's own coffers—donations that could be used for helping the poor, building new churches and spreading the word of God—in order to put a stop to gay marriage?
That doesn't sound very Christian, or, even more importantly, financially sound. Economy-wise, Scotland's not doing so well. Now more than ever, the Cardinal's own constituents could use a little Christian charity. In January 2012, a government study reported that one in five Scottish children was living in poverty. But hey. What good is feeding and clothing a child if that child grows up in a world with gay marriage?
And while we're talking about finances, O'Brien may want to look at the Roman Catholic Church's budget. It's surprising that there is any money left, at all. In 2007, the Church paid out $615 million in legal costs—the highest ever paid in a single year—to defend priests accused of child sex abuse. Ironically, O'Brien believes that children are the ones in danger if gay marriage passes. In an article for the The Telegraph titled “We cannot afford to indulge this madness”, O'Brien wrote that gay parents will “unequivocally” damage a child: “This brings us to the one perspective which seems to be completely lost or ignored: the point of view of the child. All children deserve to begin life with a mother and father; the evidence in favour of the stability and well-being which this provides is overwhelming and unequivocal. It cannot be provided by a same-sex couple, however well-intentioned they may be.”
At least we're “well-intentioned” when we try to raise a child. For one, we'd probably make sure our child was never left alone with a priest.
Finally, O'Brien thinks he has an army of donation-giving Catholic Scots behind him, but this is the most misinformed statement of all. According to a Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, 61 percent of Scottish citizens are in favor of the U.K.'s proposed gay marriage legislation. Despite what O'Brien may believe, Scots want the “human” benefit of gay marriage.
O'Brien - when it comes to an all-out war, I'm afraid you're outnumbered.