Saturday, September 10, 2011

Conscience and Modern-Day Assaults on Marriage by the State

The following articles are about the assault on marriage in Canada and Great Britain, but the same things are happening here in the United States, for example, the recent law passed by the New York legislature creating same-sex "marriage," demands for repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act to compel the recognition of same-sex unions as "marriage," demands that Catholic adoption agencies place children with same-sex couples, and more.

Freedom of Conscience, Tudor Style
Sean Murphy, Catholic Educator's Resource Center
March 31, 2005
"Thomas, I’ll have no opposition," warned Henry VIII in A Man for All Seasons. The scene in Robert Bolt’s play takes place in Sir Thomas More’s garden. Henry has just learned that More does not support his plans to unmake his marriage.

"No opposition, I say!" he roared. "No opposition! Your conscience is your own affair, but you are my Chancellor!"

"I’ll leave you out of it," growls the king. "But I don’t take it kindly, Thomas, and I’ll have no opposition!. . . Lie low if you will, but I’ll brook no opposition — no words, no signs, no letters, no pamphlets — mind that, Thomas — no writings against me!"

Freedom of conscience, Tudor style.

Sound familiar? In Canada, we call it "party discipline" and "cabinet solidarity."

A Man for All Seasons follows More as he resigns his office and retires to private life, avoiding comment upon the King’s marriage. But, ultimately, ‘lying low’ isn’t enough. More’s silence, complains Thomas Cromwell, "is bellowing up and down Europe," and, what’s worse, Henry can hear it. . . .

More refused [to swear an oath affirming the statements about marriage in Act of Succession and the Act of Supremacy, which declared Henry to be Supreme Head on earth of the Church in England. In consequence, Sir Thomas was first imprisoned in the Tower of London and later beheaded.]

All of this to serve the personal dreams and aspirations of Henry VIII. He wanted recognition of his children by Anne as his legal successors, but he also demanded public and universal affirmation that his relationship with Anne Boleyn was worthy of the same respect and recognition as his marriage to Catherine. He got his way by having parliament pass statutes that not only defined marriage in his terms, but punished any expression of opposition. . . .

Canada is following in Henry’s footsteps. Judges tell us that to deny persons of the same sex the right to ‘marry’ would be "a rejection of their personal aspirations and the denial of their dreams." They assert that same-sex couples may not be "excluded" from marrying because that would mean their relationships are "not worthy of the same respect and recognition as opposite-sex relationships." Citing the ‘rule of law,’ these judges are demanding public and universal affirmation that there is no moral difference between homosexual and heterosexual conduct, that both are "worthy of the same respect and recognition," and they are demanding that all citizens unconditionally accept their definition of marriage.

Canadians who oppose the marriage bill need not fear imprisonment or execution if [Paul] Martin’s bill passes, and there are no plans to compel us to swear allegiance to the new order. But there is good reason to expect the kind of pervasive legal persecution and oppression visited upon Tudor England. It will look different in 21st century Canada, for when history repeats itself it adopts the costumes and customs the age.

Sir Thomas More was jailed because he was suspected of ‘misprision of treason’ — of having treasonous intentions. Some human rights laws now make it unlawful to ‘indicate an intention to discriminate.’ BC teacher Chris Kempling ran afoul of this when he spoke publicly against homosexual conduct in response to others — including other teachers — who were speaking in favour of it. He was charged for professional misconduct and is threatened with suspension for ‘indicating an intention to discriminate.’ Call it ‘misprision of discrimination.’ . . . It is reasonable to expect that the same accusations will be hurled by judges against Christian teaching on marriage.


If we will not be allowed to speak publicly, what about conscientious objection?

Ask the Catholic high school principal ordered by a judge to let a homosexually active student bring his ‘date’ to a school dance. Ask Scott Brockie, a Christian printer fined and ordered to serve Gay and Lesbian Archives of Canada, an organization that not only promotes homosexual conduct but promotes pro-paedophilia literature. Ask the marriage commissioners who have already been ordered to resign if they will not perform services for persons of the same sex. Ask the Knights of Columbus, sued by lesbians because they refused to rent their hall to them for a ‘wedding’ reception.

Judges are demanding that every citizen submit to their ideas about sexuality and marriage. Like Robert Bolt’s Henry, they will brook no opposition to the new order. They will not send objectors to jail or to the scaffold, but they will fine them, award monetary judgements against them, see them suspended or fired, force their schools to close, and order that all children be taught their new doctrines. And this government applaud, because Paul Martin has chosen to serve these judges rather than the people who elected him: to play the part of Thomas Cromwell rather than Thomas More.
Sean Murphy is the administrator of the Protection of Conscience Project and a director for Western Canada of the Catholic Civil Rights League. Sean Murphy is on the advisory board of the Catholic Educator's Resource Center.
Copyright © 2005 Sean Murphy


And speaking of Henry Rex and merry old England, this news just in --

Tory MP urges Cameron to crack down on churches that refuse to hold same-sex ceremonies
Christian churches must be banned from performing any marriages if they refuse to hold civil partnerships ceremonies for gay couples, a Conservative MP has demanded.

Mike Weatherley has urged the Prime Minister to show no toleration to churches which turn away gays and lesbians who seek to marry in their premises. . . .

He told Mr Cameron to follow a precedent he suggested had been set by laws compelling 11 Catholic adoption agencies to assess gay couples as potential adopters and foster parents, although most of them have either since closed or left the control of the church. . . .

“As long as religious groups can refuse to preside over ceremonies for same-sex couples, there will be inequality,” he said.

“Such behaviour is not be tolerated in other areas, such as adoption, after all.” . . .

The Rev Nick Donnelly, a Catholic deacon from Lancaster, said on his Protect the Pope blog that the MP’s demands revealed that the churches “have every reason to fear that the next phase of the campaign to establish pseudo-gay marriages will be to coerce them to accept homosexuals or be banned from holding marriages”.

He said: “They’ve banned the Catholic Church from placing children for adoption, now the stage is being set to ban us from holding marriages.”


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