Sunday, May 24, 2015

Some more equal than others..

Excellent news from the Republic of Ireland; the result of their recent referendum on same sex marriage was that 62% of the voting population voted positively in favour of allowing it. Hopefully people there who wish to marry each other are able to do so as soon as possible. Predictably the main objections came from those with political views rooted in religion; these views manifested themselves in many ways but most seemed quite transparently based on the idea that there is some kind of external objective morality in the world, i.e. same sex marriage is "wrong", a traditionally religious idea. It always surprises me how strongly people can feel about things which have no impact on their own lives but are deemed good or bad based on a cherry picked verse or two from some ancient book which, because the infidelity of traditional copying processes and translation, almost certainly bear no resemblance to the original (disparate) source materials, such certainty based on such shaky foundations always generates deep concern in me.

I'm please to see that the Catholic church in Ireland seem to be beginning to understand that their role in that society has changed (whether they like it or not) and I think it's perhaps time for the people there to clarify (through the political process) how they would like this relationship to work, for example via some kind of US style constitutional separation of church and state perhaps. Like the Church of England in England, the Catholic church in Ireland would appear to have a highly inflated set of privileges when you look at the religiosity of the population in general, there is an obvious anomaly and it needs to be normalised for the purposes of fairness and equality. In the North of Ireland, a land famous for saying "no", there's still a ban on such marriages; with a Tory government now in place here it would seem like this is likely to remain the status-quo for some time. Secularists everywhere can only hope that the positive momentum and publicity generated by the campaign in the South can be harnessed to get those guys up there thinking about joining the rest of us in the 21st century.


Archdruid Eileen said...

I believe that equal marriage is nothing to do with the Government in Westminster. Which, bearing in mind that the Anglican David Cameron was responsible for the vote in England and Wales, may not be a good thing.

I also believe - I could be wrong - that there is no constitutional link between Catholicism and the Irish state. The informal link up between the two hasn't shown either government or church in a good light.

Steve Borthwick said...

AE, Good point WRT NI; hopefully we can agree that the UK is at least capable of applying political and economic pressure on the DUP if it so desires (although with the meagre majority currently enjoyed by the Tories I suspect nothing will happen any time soon).