Archbishop Christopher Prowse has stated1 that traditional views on marriage and the sanctity of human life have been marginalised by a new orthodoxy. This is hypocritical coming from the local big cheese of a church, which, sometimes violently, imposed its orthodoxy on millions for many hundreds of years.
This whinge was part of his commentary on the ‘quashing’ of anti-abortion protests and criticism of same-sex marriage opponents. This outburst was presumably brought about by the fining of three anti-abortion protesters, and by the arrest of another, because they prayed within the protest exclusion zone around a Canberra clinic that provides abortions. Prowse also stated that free speech was at risk of being muzzled, and asked “how can a person just praying nearby impinge upon proper civic behaviour”. He also stated, falsely, that “it’s an issue of when does life begin and we seem to be pushing it out all the time until when we’re born”. This is not so and it is quite rare for abortions to be performed beyond 20 weeks while most are performed in the first trimester (up to about 12-14 weeks).
As I have said previously2, given that their god is supposedly omniscient and omnipresent, then the only reason they must have for attempting to protest outside the clinic is to intimidate the young women who have made the often difficult decision to have an abortion. If these christians were genuine, they would protest outside the Legislative Assembly where the laws are made. But they probably know that they would have little effect there because most people have moved into the 21st century. So, what can they do? Their answer to this is to bully young, vulnerable women.
Archbishop Prowse also said that opponents of same sex marriage were being unfairly portrayed as homophobic, and stated that there was “only one side of the debate being heard at the moment”. He mustn’t read the Murdoch newspapers or much right wing political argument if he thinks that is the case. He also called for Labor to reinstate a conscience vote, saying that their intention to not have one was ‘anti-democratic’. I didn’t hear him whining about the normal anti-democratic party line voting that commonly occurs in parliament. But that is not surprising, because, like the Australian Christian Lobby, same sex marriage infuriates the religious and some will go to extraordinary lengths to come up with all sorts of bogus arguments3 to deny some in our community their human rights.
I doubt the archbishop is homophobic, after all there are a considerable number of men with, er, ‘unusual’ takes on sex and sexuality in the Catholic Church and if he was homophobic, he would be in a flat spin most of the time. But the archbishop need not worry, because same sex marriage is not compulsory. If he doesn’t want to indulge in it, he will not have to.
The problem with the Catholic Church, and all the other churches for that matter, is that for many hundreds of years they have enjoyed telling people what to do in their private lives, and now the depredations of churchmen against children are being exposed all around the world, people are less inclined to take them seriously. Perhaps if they adhered to the golden rule as guidance, they may be listened to. But that may be asking too much.