Sunday, January 13, 2013

From a Reuters Report, as carried in the Irish Times

"Four women from women's rights group Femen were arrested in St Peter’s Square today after a topless protest against the Vatican’s opposition to gay marriage. Police quickly took the women away, and the pope appeared not to have been disturbed as he delivered his traditional prayer from his studio window overlooking the piazza. On their bare backs, the women had painted slogans “In Gay We Trust,” and “Shut Up.” One of them, Inna Shevchenko, said: “Today we are here to protest against homophobia.” "

The only interesting part of that report is the second slogan described: "Shut up".

I may be accused of reading too much significance into a single slogan daubed on the back of a single protestor, but it seems to be the drift of so much "liberal" agitation against the beliefs of Christians.

Free speech is fine-- as long as it's not homophobic, sexist, sectarian, racist, or otherwise objectionable. And we will decide when it's homophobic, sexist, etc. etc.

Edward Feser wrote a brilliant post a good while back called The Evolution of Liberalism (and "Conservatism"). I don't think I've ever seen a better description of how various "progressive" ideas go from being the preserve of a few radicals to being an orthodoxy that it is forbidden even to question.

I suspect that, if it wasn't for the influence and the standing of the Catholic Church, it would now be actually illegal (at least in many Western countries) to air opinions, such as an opposition to abortion and the view that homosexual acts are immoral, that are offences against liberal orthodoxy.


  1. Maolsheachlann

    A side issue to this post, I know, but Catholic teaching is that homosexual acts are disordered, not that homosexuality is immoral, isn't it?

    And can you give examples of progressive ideas that it is forbidden by law to question?

    Sorry to press but I think it's very important to be accurate in dealing with emotive issues like this, which is also why I think you were wrong to use the word 'holocaust' in your letter about abortion.

  2. Hi Mick

    Thank you for your criticism, you are quite right, I should be more moderate in my use of language. I meant "homosexuality" as a shorthand for "homosexual activity" but that is not obvious from my words. The Catechism says that the disposition itself is disordered by that is not the same as immoral.

    As for progressive ideas that it is forbidden by law to question, there are examples such as this one: However, it is more something that seems imminent rather than upon us.

    As for my use of the word "holocaust", I think you are probably right about this too. I guess, to me, the one heroic image of resistance against a great evil that would appeal to a left-wing imagination is the Holocaust and therefore the comparison seems appropriate-- but, in reality, it would not achieve the desired result anyway. There seems to me a fair parallel in that millions of human lives are lost through direct human agency but, of course, not in an organized or genocidal way.

  3. I have actually amended the post (which was hastily written) as a result of your fair criticism, so thank you.

  4. Thanks for the link. Enlightening. Might the problem might be rash usages and interpretations of the law bred by the sensitivities, prejudices, obsessions of the day, rather than the law itself? In another time and place, those same laws would be used to go after others entirely, whoever fell foul of the dominant opinion of the day. Maybe the problem is with making laws on the giving and taking of offence?

    On the use of "holocaust": I don't think the parallel is really fair as so many people who choose to have an abortion will always look back on the decision with feelings of doubt, sadness and loss, wishing it was a decision they had never had to make. They will have thought about the arguments about the sanctity of human life in all its forms and weighed these against considerations about quality of life and the avoidance of suffering, and drawn an agonising and sincere , even if it turns out ultimately to be wrong. To suggest they are partial agents of a holocaust is, I think, going too far. And I think it backfires with the left wing imagination as it might play to the perception of right wingers as abrasive, cruel, insensitive.

    I find the Catechism a bit confusingly worded on homosexuality which it begins as defining as the relations between men and between women, when I would have thought it is the disposition, whether relations form or not. But I think we agree that the point made in the Catechism is that the act not the disposition is immoral.

    Thanks for your prolific blogging at the moment. You are one of my "must-reads".

  5. I agree that the sensibilities of women who have had an abortion are important, although if taken far enough that might impede one from any but the most dispassionate condemnation of abortion.

    (The same thing also occurs to me about those road safety ads in which the consequences of irresponsible driving are graphically shown. Surely people who have been responsible for deaths or maiming on the road already suffer incredible amounts of guilt?)

    Thank you for your very kind words. I blush!


  6. The word holocaust, when generally used to describe abortion refers more to the vast loss of innocent life, of people whose humanity and deaths are unacknowledged or viewed as unimportant (not to the parents obviously). I view the abortionists and those who work in that money spinning business as agents of the holocaust myself. What a way to spend your working days and talent. Desperately sad.