Thursday, 16 September 2010

Why should I welcome the Pope?

We are told we should welcome the Pope on his visit. Why should we? Why should we even pay for this State visit?

In a recent statement, David Milliband spoke about the ‘middle ground’ of politics. He said that Labour could occupy the middle ground and could shift the middle ground; he gave examples of this. In moments of self-doubt (yes, I admit not too frequent!!) I come back to my passionate belief in equality of opportunity.

Despite the unfortunate, to say the least, of Cardinal Kasper’s comments that the UK is like a third world country, the Pope has spoken out against a number of issues. I’m an atheist, but I believe in equality of women; to speak against women priests is, therefore, against equality. Feeding the number of people on our planet is a major concern and yet the Pope refuses to move against family planning / birth control. In the early days of Christianity, survival of the belief - ie lots of children - would have been important, but times have moved on. Today, equal rights for lesbian and gay people are increasingly recognised, something the Labour Government can take great pride in. The Pope’s views are well known on this. Even the Catholic irrational hatred of gay people can be seen to be a belief rooted in the ancient need for a race (or belief group) to survive.

So the Pope is vigorous in his condemnation of the principle I and the Labour Party hold most dear, so why should I welcome him?

On another but related note, the very loud Lady Warsi (Conservative Minister), has said that Labour got its relationship with religion wrong; and the Conservative Government will give religion a greater role. Religions are self-interest groupings and, while putting decently paid people out of work, will also work in furthering their own beliefs.

I have long argued (and shall continue to do so) for a separation of Church (faith) and State. Warsi has let us know the Conservatives intend to push in the opposite direction. To use (or perhaps misuse?) a Christian line, I shall carry on and ‘fight the good fight’ for the separation.

No comments:

Post a Comment