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Makes my comments rather tame doesn't it! Now, if i posted what i really think about the catholic church......

a) The only research on this issue (there is some references in 'The Nurture Assumption') suggests there is no developmental reason to prevent children being brought by same-sex couples. The datasets are, of course, small but there is no evidence to push the other way. Hence, the Government is correct to see no problem in gay couples adopting.

All the people claiming it is 'the wrong decision' and that the Party are in the grip of a 'gay mafia' are wrong. Rather, to take the opposite position across the board would be an imposition contrary to the best analysis of the issue and not in the best interests of would-be adoptee children.


b) However, there are people who have a legitimate reason to think homosexuality is wrong. That does not give them the right to impose the constraints of their religion on other people, but I am not clear what the purpose of this regulation is.

If a mother opts to have a kid adopted and is happy for a Catholic organisation to place the kid with a straight couple, the issue will be one which needs to be hammered out between the child, the parents and the would-be parents.

I am not sure there is a case for a Government intervention, especially when the alternative to this system is that the system collapses.

What would make more sense is to make public organisations 'orientation-blind' and to let other organisations willing to help alone.

Out of interest, were I were Jewish and wanted my child adopted by a Jewish family (a totally understandable impulse) would that be allowed?

Tory papist, the difference (and I may be putting words into Justin's mouth here) is surely that the abortion conscience clauses allows a doctor not to perform that service for ANYONE and is a result of his own beliefs and nothing to do with the specific characteristics of his patient whatsoever. He would treat any pregnant woman the same. He doesn't say "no, you're white, I think we need more white babies so you don't get an abortion", he says "no, you're baby's life is sacrosanct to me, as is every other baby's and I will not abort any of them".

In this case you have an agency which is claiming a conscience clause to override the legal duty to regard the interests of the child in care as paramount, and thus discriminate between couples not because of their fitness to adopt (the Church has already said it would happily refer gay couples to other agencies so it concedes the point that they are suitable adopters) but because of their sexuality.

Because they cannot be compared! One is about life and dweath the other about equality.

MikeA, Jewish adoption is classed as race-based I think, so generally a Jewish child would be adopted by a Jewish couple.

Christian teaching on homosexuality is based on scripture. It is quite clearly condemned, and always has been.

We need to petition the Conservative Party to ensure that this evil legislation is reversed in due course.

The idea of consigning any child to the care of a pair of "gays" will be deprecated by all decent people.

"Do you really regard the Archbishps as 'religous nuts?'. I, for one, do! Most are self-hating gay drag queens! Posted by: Justin Hinchcliffe"

Hinchcliffe should be banned for that filthy comment.

He is a liability to the party.

After reading Graeme Archers post recently about being pleasant to each other on this board I had resolved to try not be rude to you Justin. It is difficult 'though, particularly when you make comments like that about the Archbishops above. You really must be the worst Association Chairman in the country. The only saving grace is that we are unlikely to win Tottenham anytime soon.

Suggest it to Maude (-:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2AqGh8-el0

This clip is amusing, but don't watch it if you don't like bad language or if you're a prude like Malcolm.

So I should be banned from posting here and slung out of the Tory Party for criticising religion? Now I know what a "Taliban Tory" is...

So are you John Irvine. In fact I really do wonder if someone as bigoted as you really is a Conservative.Are you sure you're not a socialist troll really posing as the most unthinking half witted Tory imaginable.

John Irvine _ I really think that visiting this site is bad for your blood pressure! What with all your talk of 'abominations' and 'tidal waves of filth'! You may wish you were living in Franco's Spain, you'd probably have felt at home there, but you're not _and neither are the Spanish any longer thank God!

John Irvine - will you be out on Saturday with the rest of the men in your town stoning those who are working ? Or do you just pick an choose which bits of scripture you follow based on your own prejudices.

Whoops! The post above from 'David Irvine' was actually from me _ I must have been getting into a bit of a tizz!

The Conservative party's silence on this has been deafening.

The Archbishop of Canterbury explains why when he observed that it was becoming impossible for Christians to state their views without being accused of something ‘akin to holocaust denial or racial bigotry’. The Conservative Party proves his point. For fear of being misrepresented or misunderstood, it is remaining silent.

The Archbishop continued: ‘If disagreement is to be silenced because offence may be caused, that is not good for intellectual life.’

QED.

Mark Fulford says that "conscientious objection" can be used as a mask for prejudice. This is a classic Cultural Marxist slogan and leads me to ask why Mark is so uniquely well placed to decide what is "prejudice"? This looks worryingly like moral absolutism posing as liberalism. A very prevalent trend in Modernising Conservatism and yet another reason why it is little different from New Labour. I am sure that Hitler had equally good arguments ("treason")for shooting conscientious objectors. Equally I would not begin to know how to "prove" that heaven or hell does or does not "exist", so I have no idea how Mark does. Sorry, Mark, but this is just dogmatic assertion on your part....unless you think that you possess a higher mind than Descartes and Aquinas.

I have been convinced for a while that there is a large section of the "modern" Tory Party which is now virulently hostile to organised Christianity and the Catholic Church in particular. This thread bears it out and the sectarian bigotry on it deserves to be better known by voters. You would never find Tory Modernisers saying the same things about Muslims who have very similar views. But that's Political Correctness and double standards for you.

Anon's attempt to make up for Justin Hinchcliffe's gibberish falls at the first fence. The doctor who refuses to carry out an abortion does so because he thinks that he is killing an innocent human being. The Catholic Church's refusal to put forward children for adoption by gay couples is because it believes that the best interests of the CHILD are furthered by being brought up in a two-parent family. It steers gay couples towards other adoption agencies not because it thinks they are suitable adopters but because it accepts that there is room for ethical debate and disagreement on the issue. This is in marked contrast to the rigid ethical dogmatism of people like anon and Jsutin Hinchcliffe.

Irvine sounds like that nutter Monday Clubber who was banned from even this site for his bigotry. Why don't you join UKIP-BNP John?

It is not prudish to object to Mr Hinchcliffe's gratuitous insult to the Archbishops. This and his other posts illustrate not only a lack of intellectual rigour but a complete misunderstanding of the issue and what it is to be a Conservative. It is extraordinary that a man who purports to be a senior member of the Conservative Party should behave in such an offensive manner.

"Irvine sounds like that nutter Monday Clubber who was banned from even this site for his bigotry. Why don't you join UKIP-BNP John?" - Actually, quite a few people here should (sadly).

"Would Mr Fulford please explain to this dumb old dog how Heaven, Hell and Limbo can be subject to empiricism."

It was Michael who introduced the word empiricism as an alternative to the word that I used: evidence. The two have similar meanings and don't imagine that Michael intended to divert the debate with a quibble over the differences. So, is there any evidence that Heaven, Hell or Limbo exist? No. Is there any evidence that they don’t exist? No. They’re concepts as non-falsifiable as me saying that I created the world two seconds ago. To whom does the burden of proof fall? To the person making the least plausible claim.

Michael McGowan has provided the obvious response to Justin's poor attempt (at least anon took pity on you Justin) to suggest that a conscience clause can be applicable in the case of the Abortion Act but not in the case of adoption.

I doubt whether Justin's opinions have ever been altered by the debates on these threads.

They can be but not by you.

"Actually, quite a few people here should (sadly)". So, with all your talk of banning people, who are the Taleban Tories now, Justin? If I lived in Tottenham, David Lammy would definitely have my vote given your stunning "performance" today.

I would always vote Conservative out of loyalty to the Party (we're a broadchurch - but some here test the limits...)

I would even vote for Julian Brazier in Canterbury!

Wanting to vote for the hapless NuLabour MP David Lammy, irrespective of his Conservative opponent, just shows us how disloyal you are and what I'm up against on this blog.

Michael,
I'm pleased you found my attempted explanation at least marginally more useful than Justin's! I still do think there is a difference though between using a conscience clause to treat one class of people differently from others (the adoption case) and using one to object as a blanket position applied without discrimination to all (the abortion case). We'll have to agree to disagree, sorry.

Christian teaching on homosexuality is based on scripture. It is quite clearly condemned, and always has been. - John Irvine AGAIN

John, I speak as an openly gay elected representative of the Conservative Party when I say that there really are no place for people like you in the Modern Conservative Party.

I suspect you probably hold the opinion that Hitler had the right idea about "Jews, poofs, pikeys and blackies". Why don't you do us all a favour and join the other bigots like yourself in UKIP and the BNP?

Justin, I am not a tribal Tory and do not belong to the Party. I detest personality cults. I vote on a case by case basis on the issues as I see them at the time. On that basis I did not vote at all in 2005. I would not vote for a Party represented in a constituency by people who think it is acceptable in a liberal society to ban and stigmatise others for having views they don't accept. You seem to have a big problem with freedom of speech and thought.

Anon, thank you for responding. This seems to me to be a factual distinction without a real difference but as you say, we must agree to disagree.

Mark, I do not see one proposition as inherently more plausible than another. Both are by their nature intuitive. So burdens of proof don't really enter into it.

"Christian teaching on homosexuality is based on scripture. It is quite clearly condemned, and always has been.

We need to petition the Conservative Party to ensure that this evil legislation is reversed in due course.

The idea of consigning any child to the care of a pair of "gays" will be deprecated by all decent people"

Surely 'John Irvine' is either (a) a troll; or (b) a spotty youth with 'issues'.

"Justin, I am not a tribal Tory and do not belong to the Party." - Thank you for clearing that up. Have you ever thought of joining UKUP? I suspect your views are closer to theirs? And I suspect you would find your views would be better appreciated at UKUPHome.

"Mark, I do not see one proposition as inherently more plausible than another."

To me it’s quite implausible that dead children go to a place called Limbo unless a duly qualified person had previously sprinkled water on them – in which case they go to Heaven.

I’m worried that it sounds aggressive to say things like that, but then I feel that a religion that threatens my children with the very scary concept of Limbo is also aggressive.

This should be a no-brainer for the Conservative Party. We want charitable organisations to carry out various kinds of social work (and in this case, Catholic adoption agencies do excellent work placing disabled children) yet seem quite content for them to be forced either to act in a way they consider contrary to the best interest of the child, or else close down.

To take the view that children are likely to do best when brought up by married heterosexsual couples is hardly some form of mad bigotry IMO, but rather a reasonable position. Certainly not a practice that should be outlawed.

Like others , I can see no difference in principle between allowing doctors the right not to perform abortions, and the opt out that's proposed here.

I am not religeous, but I do not believe gay adoption is justified.

The primary concern in adoption is the well being of the child and I'm afraid the evidence of psychologists is that a small percentage of gay children are psychologically damaged by living with straight parents. This is only a small percentage of a small proportion of children, but given the inverse proportion of straight children to gay parents that would occur, it is simply mathematical that the risk of psychological damage to a straight child placed with gay parents is increased between 10 and 20 fold.

Also, it would not be surprising if the risk factor increased far more greatly as a straight couple having a gay child is a natural outcome, but a straight child of a gay couple is not, as the last time I checked it was pretty hard to conceive if you were having sex with somebody of the same gender.

I'm perfectly relaxed about gay couples working their way round the problems of natural conception, but with adoption you are dealing with somebody else's child and the absolute highest standards of care and responsibility to the child must take precedent over any claim for equal rights from the putative parents.

FWIW, I'm with Sean on this. I would however add that I greatly respect Michael McGowan's contributions generally on this site and admire his tenacity and good manners in arguing his case.

You seem obsessed with UKIP Justin.

This thread seems rather tawdry. I personally find it difficult to take a positive view on the matter. It's a shame so many comments have become bigoted on both sides of the argument here though.

Well, as a practicing Catholic and Conservative voter this thread has been a bit of an eye opener.

It seems that the Conservative party membership has, to a great extent, joined the other two parties in attempting to greatly narrow down the range of 'legitimate' viewpoints allowed in debate.

If the Conservative party wishes to develop a militantly secular set of policies which are antithetical to the beliefs of the great religions then so be it. I'll just withdraw my support from them. I'd merely remind rabid secularists of the consequences of the recent attempts to develop a moral framework from the ground up. If you've forgotten then visits to Auschwitz and Cambodian mass graves may well refresh your memory. To assert that Catholic moral teaching is based on bigotry is wholly in error. Don't forget that for the best part of 2000 years the best and the brightest minds in the west have been working inside the Catholic church helping to develop its thinking. Sure, the Catholic church has committed evil acts - it is after all comprised of individual human beings.

You may not agree with the Catholic church's teachings but attempting to write it or its members off as bigoted and stupid would be, well, bigoted and stupid.

Regards,

Jules.

Hinchcliffe, what on Earth is "UKUP"? I'm sure it's a witty gag but I can't work it out myself. Share it with the class so we can all have a giggle.

I'm not a Catholic, but I understood that Catholics believed not only in sin but in redemption through confession. Sodomy is a mortal sin and one which also offends man according to their faith, but it is still a sin which the sinner may confess and be absolved from. As far as I understand it, there is no sin in simply co-habiting in a loving but celibate relationship with someone of the same sex (indeed I believe that this analysis is how the CofE has rationalised the ordination and continued service of gay priests who have had civil partnerships but have undertaken to be celibate).

Such a couple would remain homosexual but discrimination against them could not be justified on the basis of their sin. This contrasts with the abortion position because performing an abortion would to a Catholic doctor require them to commit a mortal sin where they could have avoided doing so. Placing a child with celibate repentant homosexuals would not involve any sin being committed by either the agency or the adoptive parents and is hence different.

Now, this could justify a limited exemption where the prospective adopters were not willing to repent and undertake celibacy.

However, as a matter of logic, it is difficult to see how the interests of the child would be differently served as between a celibate homosexual couple and one which had not made that undertaking. The sin and sinful behaviour would not in fact have any bearing on the appropriateness of the parents.

How does the Catholic adoption agency view other mortal sins committed by prospective parents? For example, would they refuse to allow a straight couple who were unable to have children due to the wife having had an abortion earlier in life to adopt a child even if the wife had fully repented that sin?

Where the religion in question is less forgiving than Catholicism, the exception is even harder to rationalise and justify.

When reading this thread earlier today I thought "that's good, an intelligent debate is going on here despite this topic's potential for abuse from the usual suspects".

I rather wish I hadn't returned to it.

I think there are some people who just like winding up the people they know they annoy - it may amuse them but it sure bores the rest of us.

As for the CDM and J Hinchcliffe condemnations of all bishops (coupled in the former case by the assumption that any Ulster Protestant is a bigot), perhaps they should remember Lord Hailsham's dictum on the proper leisure pursuits of a Conservative. It was something along the lines: "The wisest Conservatives diligently pursue religion; the more frivolous, foxes" (anyone help with the correct version?). Whilst I don't very diligently pursue either I do believe that a respect for religion and religious belief, whether or not it is shared, is an essential component of any Conservative. One clearly lacking in some here.

And before anyone says it was churchmen rather than religion that was being slated, no-one respecting religious feelings would simultaneously condemn both RC Bishops and all Ulster Protestants in such terms - except perhaps an Islamic fundamentalist. Maybe that's what CDM is. No, I retract that - no such fundamentalist would be so unreasonable.

Keeping resolutely off-topic, the idea of evidence based agnosticism has given me a bit of a chuckle.

Hinchcliffe, what on Earth is "UKUP"? what should it be? (-:

Jules wrote:

"If the Conservative party wishes to develop a militantly secular set of policies which are antithetical to the beliefs of the great religions then so be it. I'll just withdraw my support from them. I'd merely remind rabid secularists of the consequences of the recent attempts to develop a moral framework from the ground up. If you've forgotten then visits to Auschwitz and Cambodian mass graves may well refresh your memory"

What preposterous, a-historical nonsense. I assume you've never heard of the inquisition or the wars of religion, Jules?

Sean,

Regrettably, your posts on this topic fall, if I may say so, below your usual high standards.

Like other posters (from whom, I confess, I expect little better), you conflate two similar but distinct issues.

'Gay adoption' is now legal and has nothing to do with the change to the law we are discussing here. This law does not change the law in respect of the considerations to be taken into account in deciding where best to place children who are to be adopted. It is disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

The issues here are quite separate. I see the offering of a 'Catholic' adoption service as being no different to the offering of a 'Catholic' cafe or a 'Catholic' car repair service. I find it hard to see why, in offering any of these services, the offeror ought to be able to choose its offerees. Similarly, if you are racist B&B operator who has no wish to see black people uder your roof, the law is correct to say 'tough'. If you object, don't offer the service.

Jules at 17:48 said: "Well, as a practicing Catholic and Conservative voter this thread has been a bit of an eye opener.

It seems that the Conservative party membership has, to a great extent, joined the other two parties in attempting to greatly narrow down the range of 'legitimate' viewpoints allowed in debate.

If the Conservative party wishes to develop a militantly secular set of policies which are antithetical to the beliefs of the great religions then so be it."

Be re-assured, there is no such militantly secular agenda. Some of the comments on here along those lines are totally unrepresentative of Conservatives, whatever our religious beliefs or otherwise. That is not to say that Conservatives will legislate along the lines of religious belief, as often the issues involved with religious conduct are none of the State's business. But I don't think you mean that.

What preposterous, a-historical nonsense. I assume you've never heard of the inquisition or the wars of religion, Jules?

The Inquisition never operated in England; and in Spain was under the control of The King of Spain and NOT of Rome

You may well get your wish, Gareth, and the people who suffer will be the children, not you. In any case, you misleadingly analogise between a racist B&B owner and the Catholic Church. Simply to say to someone that they do not deserve a service because their skin is black/white or whatever is an entirely arbitrary choice. It is like saying that red hair is a disability. There is nothing arbitrary about saying that if a children are to be brought up by a couple, then the best form of couple to bring them up should comprise a man and a woman because the aim is to replicate as closely as possible the way in which a "natural" child is brought up. You may not agree with that (I do not myself) but the analogy with the racist B&B owner is false and, predictably enough, a smear.

Since this is handled by Secondary Legislation just what exactly is The House of Commons supposed to discuss as this Bill passes through The Commons ?

If Gareth is who I think he is, then I believe he himself is a Roman Catholic even if maybe not practicing. He points out that religious as well as seculist absolutism can breed atrocities - fair enough. But I hope he will agree with me that he does not wish to push any militantly seculist agenda and that Jules is wrong to draw that conclusion from some of the extreme anti-religious people posting on here today? Or maybe not?

Comparing adoption with a Catholic car service trivialises the issue - we are not talking of a simple commercial transaction here. But, to take forward his analogy, if there were a self-advertised Catholic car service (serviced perhaps by priests working part time to raise money for RC causes - lovely thought, there's material for a Graham Greene novel here) which ran taxis with advertising on the side of the cab - does he think they should be obliged to advertise abortion services or condoms on the side of the cab if such advertisers apply for space? Or that a Catholic magazine should be forced to do so? I've no idea whether the new law would require this but, if it does, it shouldn't.

We should always think very hard before using the law in an attempt to compel people to set aside their religious beliefs, or their ethical convictions, or indeed their personal preferences or prejudices. Sometimes it's justifiable and there's really no alternative, but definitely not in this case. It doesn't matter whether the Catholic world view is right or wrong - we all have the right to be wrong provided we don't inflict unacceptable harm on others. To present a conscientious refusal by Catholic agencies to place children with gays as "persecution" is ridiculous: there's nothing to stop gays going to a non-Catholic agency, is there? Or even starting their own agencies, instead of running off to get the law changed so they can impose their world view on Catholics for no good reason. One day they may come to regret the ease with which they're prepared to set aside other people's freedom, when it's their own freedom which is under attack.

As we are on the subject of preposterous ahistorical nonsense, Gareth, perhaps you can remind me of the positive developments from Stalinism, the Third Reich and Pol Pot's Reign of Terror. I must have missed them. Then tell me that the Catholic Church was no better than Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot. Go on, you know you want to say it so why not spit it out?

I also seem to remember that in this country, ideologue "reformers" aghast at the evils of Popery (many of them ambitious barristers!) spent the best part of two hundred years condemning Catholics to being racked and disembowelled alive for the heinous crime of saying and attending Mass. So if we are putting the spotlight on violent intolerance, maybe our indignation should be a bit less selective?

>>John, I speak as an openly gay elected representative of the Conservative Party<<

I love the way this bold upfront gay Tory representative (of what???) signs himself "Henry".

Nothing like hiding your light under a bushel, eh?

As for Justin Hinchcliffe I certainly don't think he should be banned. I think he should be encouraged to keep on trucking, so that we can all see exactly what the Cameron ra-ra crowd - of which he is a prime example - are made of.

Go for it Justin!

Mark Fulford at 17:35

I can fully understand your abhorrence of the concept of limbo. It has caused much pain and anguish, and perhaps that partly explains the anti-Catholicism in your remarks.

The Church in knowing itself better is reassessing limbo. It never was church doctrine. It has been described by the current Pope as merely a hyopothesis - a hypothesis for dealing with the problems caused by the doctrines of original sin and the necessity for baptism.

As a family we've lost a baby through miscarriage. I can only trust in God that this child's immortal soul rests with Him. Limbo was a poor attempt by the church to square a circle, but it shouldn't be so strongly criticised for trying to understand the main issues of life and death, even if its understanding has been wrong.

Apologies for this theological post!

Amid the torrent of abuse on this thread the central point is being missed. The state is now seeking to force religions (and it is not just the Catholic Church which holds that the homosexual act is intrinsically wrong) to act in a way which is against the central beliefs of their teaching.

Adoption is not like a commercial service such as a hotel or a shop. Catholics, other Christian faiths, Jews and Muslims believe that children, wherever possible, should be brought up in a family comprising a man and a woman. They believe that it is not in the best interest of the child for it to be brought up by a same sex couple who live a homosexual lifestyle. Those who seek a Catholic Adoption agency for the placement of a child do so in the knowledge that this is the Church's teaching and belief. If a free society has any meaning then it must include the right of churches to act in accordance with their teaching.

The Catholic Church refuses communion to those who are not Catholics, it does not conduct 'homosexual' marriages. Will the next step be to force them to do so?

One of the reasons I joined the Conservative Party in 1966 at the age of 16 was because I believed that it would defend freedom of speech, thought and action within a democratic framework. I hope that the Party will have the courage to defend the democratic rights of people of different Christian faiths and of Islam and Judaism to continue to hold what they see as essential truths, whether or not others disagree with them.

'Londoner' - you have the advantage over me in knowing who I am when I have no idea who you are, but no matter. There is nothing inherently 'Catholic' in offering an adoption service. There is no more reason why a church should offer this service than that of, to repeat my example, a cafe or car repair service. Do you think it would be acceptable for a 'Catholic' cafe to refuse a cup of tea to a gay couple? I don't, any more than I think it permissible for an adoption service to choose its clients.

I repeat my argument that we ought not to conflate two entirely separate issues: the test for who ought to adopt a particular child is an entirely separate matter. The law is clear that any placement has to be in the best interests of a particular child. Are you prepared to say that placement with a gay couple can never be in the interests of any child? To do so would fly in the face, not only of the evidence that some 'hard-to-place' children thrive whilst in the care of gay carers rather than children's homes or frequently changing short-term foster placements but also the many well-adjusted children who grow up with one natural parent and his or her same-sex partner.

I continue to maintain therefore, that the analogy with a racist B&B owner is a good one. Indeed, only a few weeks ago the opponents of this law were citing this very example: Christian B&B owners who ought not to be forced to have gays 'under their roof'. That argument has now been ditched in favour this new and more emotive one. As for this example being a 'smear', I take that smear with the same pinch of salt I take those calling supporters of this perfectly moderate law, 'fanatical secularists' leading us to a second Auschwitz or 'militant gays' leading us to the destruction of moral order as we know it.


As far as state intervention can go, I think protecting people from suffering the effects of irrational discrimination is legitimate.

Councillor Bennett, I would not bet on it. Aggressive atheist moral dogmatism has been a defining feature of the Modernising movement since about 2000. Did you attend the first CChange meeting? I did. An ugly spectacle reminiscent of a branch meeting of Sendero Luminoso. Maude was in charge.

Michael McGowan, do calm down. It is perfectly legitimate, when an opponent of 'secularism' suggests that that hateful creed caused the holocaust and the Cambodian genocide to point out that religion in general and the Catholic Church in particular, has been cited by perpetrators as justification for a few similar crimes down the centuries. Merely pointing that out does not mean that one must believe the Catholic Church to be on a par with Hitler or Pol Pot. Less hyperbole and a little more reason would do no end of good for the tenor of this debate.

"The state is now seeking to force religions (and it is not just the Catholic Church which holds that the homosexual act is intrinsically wrong) to act in a way which is against the central beliefs of their teaching."

What about female circumcision? Should we allow that?

I would hate to think that a couple of kiddy fiddlers posing as gays got their hands on some little kid.

These places will become a magnet for the fiddlers because they will be given kids legally making them easy pickings.

I'm sure this has a lot to do with the Catholic Churches stance on this.

Also,bringing in the resident fiddlers found in the Churches isn't relevent unless they are involved in the Church Adoption Service setup is it?

When Nick Bennett was in Parliament he was an excellent MP who spoke for the true spirit of our party. We need you now Nick!

As for "Gareth", he's incapable even of showing loyalty to his own church.

If he likes the idea of coercion - which he plainly does - it looks as if he's in the wrong party.

Oh dear 'Rudyard' what an unedifying post.

I suppose it's futile to point out that 'kiddy fidlers', as you so charmlessly call them, come in all shapes, sizes, sexes and sexual orientations?

"I would hate to think that a couple of kiddy fiddlers posing as gays got their hands on some little kid."

Why is this any more of a risk than kiddy fiddlers posing as a heterosexuals looking to adopt?

"These places will become a magnet for the fiddlers because they will be given kids legally making them easy pickings"

Why more so than other adoption agencies?

Gareth, you persist in bringing up the weakest analogies (and by the way, I have never used the B&B analogy). The nature of a gay relationship has no bearing on whether someone should or should not be offered a cup of tea. The Catholic Church has clear views on what is the optimal environment in which a child should be brought up. Those views have some plausibility. I think those views are too rigid. So do you. None of that justifies in a liberal society using the criminal law to force people to act contrary to honestly held ethical principles which have some some semblance of coherence, even if I do not share them. Your mindset is exactly the mindset which J.S. Mill condemned: I am right, you are not wrong so I will coerce you into accepting my view. Not that that matters to you because I concluded a long time ago that for you, "liberalism" begins and ends with sexual behaviour and (maybe) matters economic.

Mr MCCartney, you really must try to learn to differentiate between constructing an argument and random abuse. You may never have been taught the distinction but it is, I assure you, a lesson well worth learning. Good luck in your studies.

"Do you think it would be acceptable for a 'Catholic' cafe to refuse a cup of tea to a gay couple?" Speaking only for myself, yes, I do think it would be acceptable, unless they were dying of thirst in which case common humanity should prevail.

"As far as state intervention can go, I think protecting people from suffering the effects of irrational discrimination is legitimate." On that basis, there would be no end to state intervention. If one person takes an irrational dislike to somebody else and doesn't want anything to do with them, should the state intervene?

"Your mindset is exactly the mindset which J.S. Mill condemned"

I thought that the basic point of Mill was that people were free to act and beleive as they wished upto the point where they harmed, or reduced the freedom of, others. Discrimination would appear to do this.

"If one person takes an irrational dislike to somebody else and doesn't want anything to do with them, should the state intervene?"

Only if that person acts upon it to the detriment of the somebody else. Otherwise he can dislike who he likes; similarly, Catholics are continue to be free to believe the homosexuality is wrong.


I really don't know how I can express the point any more clearly Michael. This law does NOT require an adoption agency to change the criteria that it applies to the question of who is best fitted to care for a particular child. Indeed, that test is one set out in statute and is not subject to the whim of any adoption agency. Every adotion in this country must be sanctioned by the courts. It is not a private transaction between the agency and the prospective adopters.

This law merely insists that every adoption agency must apply the same child-centred welfare test to all couples, including gay ones. What the Church asks for therefore, is rather than to consider all couples, in a situation where a gay couple would best meet the needs of a child, decide not to give that child the opportunity to be cared for by those prospective adopters but rather be cared for by less suitable carers or, more likely, remain in institutional care.

How does discrimination "harm" gay couples who are still free to adopt and will be pointed in the direction of suitable agencies by the Catholic Church? That definition of "harm" is so diffuse as to be meaningless. It quickly morphs into the concept of "giving offence", the left's favourite pretext for banning unacceptable thoughts and words.

Which reference to 'harm' are you talking about?


In response to your post, in general, Gareth, I've no objection to the principle that the owners of a business can pick and choose their clients as they see fit. If the choice they make is irrational, then they're likely to lose business to those who act more rationally. So if someone wanted to set up a Catholic-only tea-shop, or car repair business, I doubt if they'd last for very long, but I wouldn't dispute that they should be entitled to do so.

In the case of adoption, I'm not calling for a complete ban on homosexuals adopting children. In general, I think the fewer children that are in childrens' homes the better. But nor do I consider that a belief that children are best placed with married heterosexual couples is so irrational that the law should prohibit it. Given that Catholic adoption agencies have a good record, I would like to see them continue to do their good work.

When you have stopped being patronising, Gareth, perhaps you will recognise, even if you disagree, that the Catholic Church's view IS that its teaching amounts to acting in the best interests of the child.

Gareth - I know I have the advantage of you. I like it that way.

I said earlier on (it's a long thread so I don't blame you for not having read it), that I did not think "gay adoption" should be illegal but that I thought it was legitimate for adoption agencies, whether Catholic or not, to exercise discrimination against gays because, other things being equal, an opposite sex couple were preferable. At the risk of opening another can of worms, I would add that a married heterosexual couple would be preferable. My earlier post was today at 13:22.

I think it is different from the B & B etc (although I am not as certain as you that openly gay couples should be forced on a small B & B taking visitors into their home, be that as it may) because the client here is really the child, not the adopting couple. It is therefore a matter of the client, or the people trying to represent the client's best interests (whether the agency itself or its natural parent who has perhaps specified a Catholic agency), having the choice of which people they choose to place children with. Should the State be so certain that adoption by gay couples is as ideal as adoption by a man and a woman that it should be prepared to override the judgement, honestly held, of those responsible for a particular child who might think otherwise? Also, should the State decide that the religion of a family adopting a child should be irrelevant to the decision of the natural parent in putting a child up for adoption? The latter point is presumably the reason that there are Catholic adoption agencies but not usually Catholic B & B's. Incidentally a Catholic mother, who might as a result of her faith have put herself into significant hardship by having the child rather than having an abortion, might be particularly keen that the Catholic tradition is passed down further generations.

If you want to use the B & B analogy, I presume you would not force a heterosexual to use a B & B which advertises itself as gay if they'd prefer to use the one up the road which isn't? Adoption is for the benefit of the child, not primarily for the adoptive parents, just as a B & B is primarily for its customers.

You knwo Michael, these debates would be both more interesting and probably more enlightening if you could resist hurling insults about. In any event, I certainly didn't intend to be patronising and apologise if I hurt your feelings by appearing to do so. I take comfort from the fact that you have such robust view about 'hurt feelings' in general though.

I have no difficulty in recognising what the Church's view is on this subject. I object though, to that view being used as an excuse for exemption from the law of the land.

DavidDPB @ 17:24 -

QUOTE

"If one person takes an irrational dislike to somebody else and doesn't want anything to do with them, should the state intervene?"

Only if that person acts upon it to the detriment of the somebody else. Otherwise he can dislike who he likes; similarly, Catholics are continue to be free to believe the homosexuality is wrong.

UNQUOTE

I would add "and decline to assist homosexuals with the adoption of children".

>>I suppose it's futile to point out that 'kiddy fidlers', as you so charmlessly call them, come in all shapes, sizes, sexes and sexual orientations?<<

Yes they do, but I have personally become aware of a higher proportion of gay than straight sexual abusers of minors, and I know other people who would say exactly the same.

I have never personally known any heterosexual convicted of child abuse. Given that homosexuals are a minority of the public and an even smaller minority of my circle of acquaintances I think it's interesting that I have personally known four homosexuals who all ended up in jail - two with very long terms indeed.

In case anybody wonders how I got to know them, two of these homosexuals ran a high-class "mixed" pub/restaurant which was a favourite of myself and my wife, the third was a LibDem Councillor, and the fourth a Tory Councillor. Obviously I knew the last two through politics.

I had some sympathy with the Liberal who was convicted of a crime which would now be legal (the boy was 16) on the basis of uncorroborated evidence. The others got what they deserved.

Now this is purely anecdotal evidence, but I am sure my experiences aren't unique.

For someone whose default setting is to hurl abuse, Gareth, it is encouraging to know that you are taking the plank out of your own eye even as you take the speck out of mine.

The whole point about liberalism is that the fact that something is "the law of the land" does accords it little presumptive moral weight if it amounts to the tyranny of the majority. It was high treason to be a Catholic for two centuries. It was the law of the land until 1968 to criminalise consenting homosexual acts. So what?

>>I object though, to that view being used as an excuse for exemption from the law of the land.<<

A law (not yet enacted) which is being imposed by our political enemies.

Gareth's disloyalty extends to his party as well as his church, it would appear.

"I thought that the basic point of Mill was that people were free to act and beleive as they wished upto the point where they harmed, or reduced the freedom of, others"

Mill's most fundamental basic point was utilitarianism - the harm principle was just a practical/everyday means to that end.

The trouble with Mill is that so many of his beliefs have been incorporated into British legal and political assumptions, yet discussions where he's cited only really look at one of his works (admittedly by far the best known). Possibly not a bad thing though, he was a bit of a strange creature to say the least.

Gareth says: "I have no difficulty in recognising what the Church's view is on this subject. I object though, to that view being used as an excuse for exemption from the law of the land."

I actually somewhat agree with Gareth on that. I think any adoption agency, if it thinks it is in the best interests of the child, should be allowed to discriminate against gay couples. If it is just on religious grounds, it may be like the law allowing people not to have to buy an annuity at 75, which the Govt is getting very upset about too many people taking up because apparently they only meant the exemption to apply to an obscure religious minority (I forget who) who object to annuities on religious grounds. Whereas everyone should have that freedom. There could be a religious discrimination issue here: if only Catholic agencies were exempt and I was non-religious but still believed that my child would be better adopted by heterosexuals, I might not be able to impose it, or only be able to by getting it adopted by Roman Catholics. Having said that, assuming that Catholic agencies don't only take the children of RCs, this would still be better than not having the choice at all.

Maybe Gareth has moderated his tone now he realises that there are people on here, who he doesn't know the identity of, who know who he is. I might be his family priest.

I don't care too much what Mill thought. What I think is that the State is gradually taking away our individual freedom on the flimsiest of pretexts, and this is just another example of that creeping totalitarianism. A hundred years ago a group of people might have said "We think there is a real unmet need, and we will set up a body, appeal for donations, and do what we can to meet it". Now they tend to say "We think there is a real unmet need, and we will set up a body to demand that the law be changed so that others are compelled to meet it".

wonder how many off you that are condeming gay people from adopting are prepared to adopt themselves? I think you are all being selfish from the point of view that the only person that matters is the child. All members of society have at one time, including the relgious bodies have been guilty of mistreating children. Instead of spending time hurling abuse at each other, esp. when most of you will never ever adopt is pointless. Instead try thinking about some poor kid , sitting in a home, longing to be loved, esp the ones that are hard to home, hopeing to have some sort of secuirty in their lives. I bet you when it comes to them , they are more tolerent and loving than the whole lot of us put together. The only shame is that eventually they will have to deal with the bigots out there, that only think of their own needs and wants and nobody elses. Why dont we all stick a few quid in an envelope and send it to the nearest childrens home or better still ANY one of us nip down and see if we can help in any way. At least it is something postive and a step in the right direction.

However, much I dislike the legislation of morality I am on the side of the government on this one ( and believe me that this is a very rare occurance). This is because this law is about stopping institutional discrimination, which can only be good.

Report: Pedophilia more common among 'gays'
Research purports to reveal 'dark side' of homosexual culture

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=27431

Quotes from the above:-

"The rate of homosexual versus heterosexual child sexual abuse is staggering," said Reisman, who was the principal investigator for an $800,000 Justice Department grant studying child pornography and violence. "Abel’s data of 150.2 boys abused per male homosexual offender finds no equal (yet) in heterosexual violations of 19.8 girls."

"The Journal of Homosexuality recently published a special double-issue entitled, "Male Intergenerational Intimacy," containing many articles portraying sex between men and minor boys as loving relationships. One article said parents should look upon the pedophile who loves their son "not as a rival or competitor, not as a theft of their property, but as a partner in the boy's upbringing, someone to be welcomed into their home."

"The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) recently boasted that although homosexuals are less than two percent of the population, three-fourths of the people who decide the content of the front page of the New York Times are homosexual," Reisman wrote.

That is the real problem - Homosexuals have taken charge of the media.

To get back to the original issue........ that the Tories are silent, again, on a major issue. And I wonder, this time, which way it will work out; IDS arguing for more voluntary agencies to meet social need, so in favour of the continuation of Catholic adoption; or the new Tory world view that every minority is sacred and needs to be appeased. I shall be watching this with great interest. It might even determine what I do with my vote next time.

Reading this thread has been really interesting. In between the occasional unfortunate abuse, there have been some gems of contributions - such as Simon Chapman's thougtful post on this, and Annabel's opinion based on her own experience as both a foster and adoptive parent.

The thread seems to have split into several strands, and I seem to be conflicted over most of them. I should also add the caveat that I come to this debate from an avowedly secular perspective.

The first is the right of Catholics to observe the restrictions of their faith. I may personally see some of these restrictions as discriminatory and unfair, but I think I have to defend the right of Catholics to practice deeply held beliefs. At minimum, I would be wary of legislating to force people to act against those beliefs, in a similiar manner to frequent "free speech" debates. Unfortunately, it is all too similar - while I'd like to remove all discrimination on grounds of sexuality, where do we draw the line between free practice of religious beliefs, and practices that are unacceptable? Maybe we have to always tread on the libertarian side of that line.

The second is the specific issue of Catholic adoption agencies - I have to confess that until hearing about this issue on the radio last night while driving home from a meeting I had never actually realised that such organisations existed. What I don't know is what proportion of agencies that sector accounts for. Can anyone tell me? I know it doesn't affect the princple of the argument, but it is useful from a pragmatic viewpoint. I also heard it expressed in the same piece, but haven't researched it, that the issue in the Catholic church is not with homosexual singles adopting, but only with same-sex couples. Can anyone substantiate or explain this?

Finally, the issue of adoption by homosexual couples overall arose early in this thread. The interests of the child have to be paramount, but I am concerned that all sides of this argument risk making the "perfect" the enemy of the good. Forcing Catholic agencies to close if they will not accept the law seems to prevent them from placing children in good homes, in which I assume they have many successful outcomes. Likewise, deliberately refusing a child the opportunity of a suitable pair of loving parents only because they happen to be a same-sex couple seems equally cruel.

I would ask those who have posted in quite inflammatory language above regarding adoptions by same-sex couples to try a small thought experiment. If you were face to face with a same-sex couple who wished to adopt, but were passed over having satisfied all other requirements simply because of their sexuality, would you be able to tell them what qualities you thought that you had and they lacked that are required to raise a child?

>>would you be able to tell them what qualities you thought that you had and they lacked that are required to raise a child?<<

I would tell them that it is, and always has been, my opinion that children should be fostered only by married couples.

I don't approve of unmarried heterosexual couples adopting either, although that's perfectly respectable these days, so I'm told.

Nothing very revolutionary about my views. I don't see why I should overturn the wisdom of centuries simply because your idol Mr Blair wants to impose "equality", a concept I oppose anyway.

>>this law is about stopping institutional discrimination, which can only be good.
Posted by: ThePrince <<

Yet another Marxist sockpuppet spouting Marxist ideas.

A very good post, Richard. Speaking personally, I would usually regard placing children with married heterosexual parents as being the optimal outcome, but placing them with parents who don't fall into that category, but who are capable of bringing them up effectively, as being a good deal better than keeping them in childrens' homes.

The first homosexual marriage lasted just for one year and most of their relationships are over in a matter of weeks.
Blair has pandered to every minority group going.
Homosexuality is a recourse for animals when stressed. Our forefathers were right in condemning it.
Schoolboys are now taught about it in Primary schools and the first question they ask themselves is "Am I Gay?"
As they have more boyfriends then girlfriends they often come to the conclusion that they are!
Now we have boys openly kissing in Secondary Schools! The whole question has gotten totally out of hand.
There were two great disasters in the 20th century; TV and the Atom Bomb. TV has enabled the promotion of this perversion.
We had centuries without it and only 35 years with it. Aids wiped out a whole generation of participants and those left often have some form of VD.
Adoption by such people is a crazy question in this crazy world of Tony Blair.

Homosexuals have control over the media (?), how utterly absurd. Its those kind of ridiculous statements that make me want to cut my membership card in half and vote LibDem and I would hate myself for doing that but really. Who actually thinks there is a cabal of homosexuals that control the media. The best selling papers may not b anti-homosexual but thy certainley aren't pro-homosexual, oh wait you could be right that dark leviathan Iain Dale has complete control of th New Media. Anyway most homosexuals in this party are far more libertarian, anti-government and anti-intervention than the rest of the party from my experiences, may I remind you of Saturn's Children by Alan Duncan.

Gandalf I could go through your post point by ponit and refute each one but it is easier to type "Gandalf you're a moron". Please provide some evidence for your preposterous claims.

Sorry for the missing Es but my laptop is being very difficult at the moment.

Dear Moderater

Please remove the above post.
I will be phoning the Police tomorrow to report it. A conservative mp was recently fined for saying homosexuals were peodophiles and the above poster has just done the same .

sorry forgot to put the Gandalf post

The Conservative party stands for freedom of the individual, thus meaning that it stands for the right for one to be gay but also stands for the right of one to refuse to do an action on their own moral grounds. Freedom is a two way relationship and that must be recognised.

freedom of speech comes with a reponsibilty and the gandalf posting has over stepped the mark.

Reply to the above seven posts:

So if the argument does not go your way you smother Freedom of Speech?

This is the main source of my information.

"Report: Pedophilia more common among 'gays'
Research purports to reveal 'dark side' of homosexual culture

Posted: April 29, 2002
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Jon Dougherty
© 2002 WorldNetDaily.com

Child molestation and pedophilia occur far more commonly among homosexuals than among heterosexuals on a per capita basis, according to a new study.

"Overwhelming evidence supports the belief that homosexuality is a sexual deviancy often accompanied by disorders that have dire consequences for our culture," wrote Steve Baldwin in, "Child Molestation and the Homosexual Movement," soon to be published by the Regent University Law Review.

Baldwin is the executive director of the Council for National Policy in Washington, D.C.

"It is difficult to convey the dark side of the homosexual culture without appearing harsh," wrote Baldwin. "However, it is time to acknowledge that homosexual behavior threatens the foundation of Western civilization – the nuclear family.""

So you are saying the executive director of the Council for National Policy in Washington, D.C. is a liar?

I have reported your comments to the Metropolitian Police. You should think before you type. We all have to and so should you.

"Anyway most homosexuals in this party are far more libertarian, anti-government and anti-intervention than the rest of the party from my experiences, may I remind you of Saturn's Children by Alan Duncan."

And libertarians (or at least consistent ones like members of the Libertarian Alliance) have always been opposed to anti-discrimination legislation because it undermines freedom of association and private property rights.

"I have reported your comments to the Metropolitian Police. You should think before you type. We all have to and so should you."

His views might be absurd but reporting him to the police for having unpleasant opinions is extremely illiberal and intolerant. Whatever happened to traditional British liberties?

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