Scottish Cardinal Calls Gay Marriage “Aberration,” Compares To Slavery, Abortion

Unsurprisingly, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, is against David Cameron’s plans for marriage equality in the UK. But instead of just saying that, he made some pretty bold statements in an op-ed in Sunday’s Daily Telegraph:

No Government has the moral authority to dismantle the universally understood meaning of marriage.

Imagine for a moment that the Government had decided to legalise slavery but assured us that “no one will be forced to keep a slave.”

Would such worthless assurances calm our fury? Would they justify dismantling a fundamental human right? Or would they simply amount to weasel words masking a great wrong?

Wow, His Eminence must have some big brass ones under that robe.

The article is full of the usual straw-man arguments of the right: that polygamy is next, that second-graders will be made to watch gay porn in school, and that churches will be forced at gunpoint to marry a man and his goat.

But he also made some wild factual claims (much like his post-modern descendent, Kirk Cameron.)

As an institution, marriage long predates the existence of any state or government. It was not created by governments and should not be changed by them. Instead, recognising the innumerable benefits which marriage brings to society, they should act to protect and uphold marriage, not attack or dismantle it.

Marriage predates government? A job of a government is to create laws and regulations—contractual obligations—that its citizens abide by for the greater good. (Whether there’s a prime minister, a president or a council of elders.)

Marriage is a contract. Without public/governmental approval you can’t have a “marriage—at least not how O’Brien and his ilk define it. It’s two people saying how much they like each other. (That’s not to denigrate the love felt by unmarried couples—we’re talking contract law.)

Y’know what does predate government? Slavery. Heck, slavery is in the Bible. The Israelites had slaves through the entire Old Testament, which approves of the practice and even spells out how to treat your slave,

After his piece ran, O’Brien discussed the issue further with John Humphries on Radio 4, where he said if same-sex marriage were enacted, “further aberrations would take place and society would be degenerating even further than it already has into immorality.” He later compared homosexuality to abortion.

Responding to accusations that his use of language, including the word “grotesque,” was inflammatory, he said: “I am not saying it is grotesque, but perhaps to some people it might appear grotesque. I don’t think it’s inflammatory at all. I think it’s handing on the teaching of the Christian Church for more than 2,000 years and I am doing my best to hand it on in a way than many people can hear it. I think if the UK does go for same sex marriage it is indeed shaming our country.

Damn he sounds desperate.  Good.

Keep crazying it up, Father—you’re doing our work for us.

photo via The 1 Second Film, Catholic Church of Scotland, Untold London

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  • lookatme!

    Well, his mother should get an abortion long time ago.

  • blackhook

    Is there anything more of an ‘aberration’, more ‘grotesque’ and more bizarre than the Catholic Church? …and yet Catholic sheeple still support & pay for these strange, fruity, closeted, child-molesting priests, archbishops, cardinals & popes and their hocus-pocus-dominocus voodoo.

    Just like the mafia, these weirdos will be around forever, since there apparently are enough brainwashed idiots to continue to fund their crimes against humanity & their incessant spewing of hateful & ignorant pronouncements.

  • pierre

    Another day, another closet queen telling us we’re going to hell. Blah, blah, blah……

  • rhenaiya

    In other news, the white supremist group known as the KKK was asked to comment on their opinion of Obama’s presidency.

    Why even print this garbage. Not only Queerty but the media in general needs to just ignore these archaic bigot fuckheads so they can keep the message where it belongs, back at the church of intolerance.

  • nipper

    Let me understand this, there was marrige when Og wlaked the earth and sidcovered fire? As long as there has been people co-depednet on each other for existance there has been some sort of goverment,and marrige did not exist then, No one has yet to find a prehistoric caterer.

  • the crustybastard

    Ah yes, “the universally understood meaning of marriage.”


    The founder of monotheism, Abraham, had a wife and a slave who was his baby-momma. God’s beloved David had fives wives and various concubines. The wisest man in the Bible, Solomon, had hundreds of wives and concubines. Jesus himself thought marriage wasn’t a good choice for himself, required his followers to leave their wives, and only advised marriage for those who lacked sexual willpower.

    And seriously, when the RCC basically ruled Europe for several centuries they made no effort to ban slavery. Indeed, it was the pope himself that personally approved of Europe’s enslavement of black Africans and the entire indigenous population of the New World.

    It was secular governments that ended slavery. And it will be secular governments that end bigotry, because as usual, the Roman Catholic Church has no interest in social progress or common decency.

  • Kimeron

    Too bad the RC church doesn’t look more deeply into their hatred of gay people. In general, the more people are threatened by it, the more they have to hide. What are you hiding under that skirt cardinal??

  • 1equalityUSA

    This Church is dying on the vine. Politics is their only tether to power, indicative of their Spiritual failing.

  • Blahqula

    Cool, taking down reactionary politics in Northern Britain, and using the reactionary pimps to do it. Next they’ll be encouraging Gordon Ramsey to to throw his career lot in with the burning books. Somebody above mentioned “brass balls”? This clown thinks he’ll be trading young boys with multiculti Imams during the next business cycle with this schtick. wait for it….keep the bead on the bouncing ball….

  • Kostas

    Cardinal OBrien needs a whipped cream pie in the face.

  • Hyhybt

    “Imagine for a moment that the Government had decided to legalise slavery but assured us that “no one will be forced to keep a slave.””

    To even attempt to salvage anything of the comparison, you’d have to make it “no one will be forced to *be* a slave.” Which, of course, wouldn’t be true slavery.

  • xamthor

    Homophobia is similar to slavery and abortion…. in that the church is completely hypocritical about it.
    The Bible does not consider abortion murder. But the church continues to fight against it.
    The Bible is completely ok with slavery and was used in the 1800’s to justify the african slave trade. The church has a rather short memory though.
    And the bible considers homosexuality an abomination…like it does eating shellfish, getting a hair cut and a tattoo.
    Once you start outlawing haircuts…. then bother me about Gay Marriages.

  • Michael

    Just more sincere, kind, and morally superior words from a Loving faith!

  • Jakey

    He’s actually right about one thing. Marriage as we know it doesn’t predate government—hell, the idea of actually marrying for love and not property exchange barely predates the 20th century, if that—but the basic concept of marriage does, in fact, predate government. And not just that: it’s so very, very old that the Proto-Indo-European root of the word “marriage” PREDATES ALL MAJOR RELIGIONS. So he can feel free to shut up about his authority to tell us about what marriage is anytime. Heathens have seniority.

  • Steve

    No Church has the moral authority to dismantle the universally understood meaning of Human Rights.
    No Church has the moral authority to dismantle the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
    No Church has the moral authority to dismantle the Magna Carta.

    Every Person has the moral authority to demand Human Rights.
    Every Person has the moral authority to demand protection under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
    Every English person has the moral authority to demand Equal Protection under the Magna Carta.

    The bishop is just blowing smoke, trying to assert authority that he plainly does not have.

  • Alexi3

    I take comfort from the fact that most churches stand largely empty most days of the year except midnight mass on Christmas Eve; Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The vast majority of seminaries have been closed since the changes introduced by Vatican II; many parishes don’t even have a full-time priest and the average age of a nun in the U.S. is 69. With that kind of committment I would think the church hierachy would have bigger issues to worry about.

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