"Religion is a hypothesis about the world: the hypothesis that things are the way they are, at least in part, because of supernatural entities or forces acting on the natural world. And there's no good reason to treat it any differently from any other hypothesis. Which includes pointing out its flaws and inconsistencies, asking its adherents to back it up with solid evidence, making jokes about it when it's just being silly, offering arguments and evidence for our own competing hypotheses...and trying to persuade people out of it if we think it's mistaken. It's persuasion. It's the marketplace of ideas. Why should religion get a free ride"

Greta Christina

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

U.S Bishops confuse privilege with liberty

Catholic Bishops in the U.S are fighting back. They are responding to the increasing acceptance of gay marriage in various states, and the requirement that their adoption agencies respect those unions with a ‘Religious Liberty’ Drive.Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York says
We see in our culture a drive to neuter religion […] well-financed, well-oiled sectors [are trying] to push religion back into the sacristy.
In fact all that is happening is that secular society is changing around them and rather than impinging on their religious “liberty” it is containing their previously enjoyed privilege to be bigots for Jesus.
In its frantic scramble to reclaim some moral high ground in the midst of the constantly evolving child abuse scandal it is choosing as its battlefield the rights of the LGBTQ community to a family life and the reproductive rights of women. It is demanding exemption from the laws that enforce those rights so that they can continue to oppress and discriminate against women and gays on spurious religious grounds.
I suspect that they are on the losing side of history on this, just as they were in their suppression of science in the past. But that doesn’t mean that they have no influence in the short term. Secular freedoms are ironically hard won in America, largely because for a modern secular democracy it is socially conservative with a high degree of religiosity. The message will be heard in Washington, particularly among Republicans with an election year approaching and recent victories in health reform (which includes access to contraception and abortion) and gender equality could easily be reversed.
We must not let the church redefine religious privilege as religious liberty.

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