News: Religion above human rights

tom scott
Tom Scott says it all.

It’s a theme here – stop giving religions immunity from criticism about their human rights attitudes. Religions, faiths and churches should be subject to the same standards as applied to all in our societies. Adverse homophobic attitudes should be unacceptable from all secular and religious organisations. Some (not enough) have highlighted the Vatican’s appalling offer to disaffected Anglicans – homophobes, misogynists and bigots – to join an organisation happy with those attitudes – the Roman Catholic Church. And the same churches are so sensitive to criticism!

Randy Cohen in the NYT comments

Richard Dawkins has a few low-key words, including:

What major institution most deserves the title of greatest force for evil in the world? In a field of stiff competition, the Roman Catholic Church is surely up there among the leaders. The Anglican church has at least a few shreds of decency, traces of kindness and humanity with which Jesus himself might have connected, however tenuously: a generosity of spirit, of respect for women, and of Christ-like compassion for the less fortunate. The Anglican church does not cleave to the dotty idea that a priest, by blessing bread and wine, can transform it literally into a cannibal feast; nor to the nastier idea that possession of testicles is an essential qualification to perform the rite. It does not send its missionaries out to tell deliberate lies to AIDS-weakened Africans, about the alleged ineffectiveness of condoms in protecting against HIV. Whether one agrees with him or not, there is a saintly quality in the Archbishop of Canterbury, a benignity of countenance, a well-meaning sincerity. How does Pope Ratzinger measure up? The comparison is almost embarrassing.

Alex McCullie


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