Thursday, 24 October 2013

Better late than never? The plague of 1984ism.

Yesterday's Canberra Times carried an op ed piece by Monsignor John Woods is administrator of the Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, on why the Territory's same sex 'marriage' laws are a bad idea.

A tad late one might think, given that the law has actually been passed.

When to fight?

Yes, Mgsr Woods did actually pen something similar in the Archdiocesan newspaper a few months back, but to say the campaign against the Act has been muted is to put it kindly.

There are of course several reasons for that.

The diocese has been without a bishop for some period now, with Archbishop-designate Prowse scheduled to be installed next month.

More fundamentally, many of the clergy and most of the people in ultra-liberal Canberra are at least sympathetic to the gay cause, not to say outright supporters of the legislation.  You will certainly not hear any denunciations of the practice of homosexuality, or the subversive 'gay lifestyle'  from the pulpit here!

Still, as a reader commented on a previous post, there is a potential teaching moment here, so perhaps Msgr Woods' natural law defence of marriage is a case of better late than never.

How to pitch the fight

All the same, I do wonder whether there is really any value in soft-soaping the reasons for our opposition to it.

The classic example of this has of course been at the Federal level, with Prime Minister Abbott's claim that the High Court challenge (launched today) to the ACT legislation reflects a constitutional issue (ie national consistency under the Commonwealth's power to legislate for marriage) rather than a moral one.

That is a pretty strange claim from the party that has consistently supported States rights to opt  of national programs over the last several years.

But reflective, it would seem, of the Orwellian media suppression and doublespeak that seems to becoming the mark of this Government - such as the attempt to suppress reports of refugee boat arrivals, and the classic instruction that asylum seekers are now to be officially referred to as 'illegals'.

Perhaps this approach may gain some results in terms of control of the public discourse.

Yet the objective of Catholics working in the public sphere should surely not be to win the battle by any means foul or fair, but rather to change hearts and minds.

It would be nice if there was someone - anyone - actually trying to fight the good fight on the idea that if our country is to have a future other than as a rundown old person's home supported by a mainly Islamic migrant workforce attached to the quarry for China and farm for Indonesia, it needs to protect the (traditional) family and encourage people to have children.


Fr Mick Mac Andrew West Wyalong NSW said...

Firstly, do people realise that the ACT legislation does not change the definition of marriage as it appears in the Commonwealth Marriage Act 1961-2004? The ACT Law makes a new law for same-sex marriage. Sort of a parallel 'marriage'. Logically looking at that, means the same-sex marriage supporters are back to square on, they haven't succeeded in re-defining marriage to include their type of relationship.
Secondly, I think the labour and green radicals want the ACT law and pending NSW legislation to fail in the High Court? Their main objective I believe is to continue to destabilise the foundations on which our culture and society rest - the Judeo-Christian religion, the idea that we can make national choices for the common good and the one-vote-one-value that underpins our democracy.
Certainly, we, as Catholics need to uphold God's Truth about marriage, but what is desperately needed is to seek a conversion of heart among Catholics that there is such a thing as God's Truth and that is why we have the Catholic Church, to live the faith of Jesus, seeking God's Truth for all facets of our daily lives. When we are doing that we will shine out as the Way, the Truth and the Life for all.
At the moment it seems that there are some Catholics who want to give up and give in to a form of religion that makes Truth relative to each and every person's own experience of truth and that attitude leaves God out of the equation.

Kate Edwards said...

Father - Whether or not the ACt law does what it purports to (ie to create a parallel form of 'same sex marriage') is exactly what will be tested in the High Court. The ACT Government are trying to get around the marriage act on a legal technicality. Most lawyers don't think it will hold up.

Kate Edwards said...

I've received an anonymous (and therefore unpublishable) comment suggesting that perhaps the Canberra Times had previously refused to publish an op Ed piece, and just relented.

I'll respond anyway.

An interesting piece of speculation, but hard to know, where the commenter refuses to give any identifier, and the diocese has said nothing publicly to this effect, whether to give it any credence.

But even if it is true, there are surely other ways of getting the message out! Op eds are not the only way of turning the Churches position into a story, and there are media outlets other than the Canberra Times and SBS.