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Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The Pope (again!) and Jim Murphy, M.P.

It is interesting, at least for those of us who are domiciled in Scotland, to note that the Scottish Secretary, Jim Murphy, is reported as wanting to "play the religion card to win votes" (The Scotsman, 23-02-10). This, of course, is the same Mr Murphy who, last month was reported as aiming to counteract the threatened oppostion of the BNP in his East Renfrewshire Westminster Constituency, by uniting " ... Christian, Muslim and Jewish groups to battle the party, which he described as 'abhorrent'." (The Scotsman, 18-01-10).

However, it should be noted that this is also the same Mr Murphy who was apparently happy to support the present government in its attempts to add further restrictions to the Equality Bill - thankfully blocked by the House of Lords - that would have removed the right of, e.g. churches and other Christian organisations, to refuse to employ persons who do not share their core beliefs, in particular those whose sexual conduct is contrary to the teachings of the Bible (see my post: 02-02-10). This I should perhaps have pointed out, includes adulterers and fornicators just as much as active homosexuals/lesbians. This same Mr Murphy appeared to be happy to erode such exemption so that it would have applied only to those whose employment wholly, or mainly, involves the leading of worship, or the promotion/explanation of doctrine. Apart from the fact that even a full-time parish minister spends a considerable amount of time in areas such as pastoral work that are outwith those proposed exemption paramenters, there are many churches who employ a deacon/deaconess; a youth worker; a church secretary; etc., whose terms of employment would certainly not have fallen within the terms of the 'new' exemption, had it gone ahead.

The track record of the present Bitish government, with regard to religious liberty, is not one of which they have any right to be proud. Since the Roman Pontiff was roundly criticised for daring to comment, adversely, on the Equality Bill, and other restrictive legislation introduced by Mr Murphy's party (The Scotsman, 02-02-10) with, to the best of my knowledge, no public support offered by Mr Murphy, it would appear that the latter will seek assistance from anyone who might save his political skin, regardless of how he and his colleagues have treated them in the past! To see a photograph of him, in Tuesday's newspapers, holding the Pope's hands and gazing with such reverential devotion into the Pope's eyes, makes me think that his middle name must be 'Hypocrisy'. No surprise there!


Philip Gilbert said...

Religion and liberty do not sit well in the same sentence. Your beliefs are backward. I hope the poap will be arrested for crimes against humanity as soon as he steps off the plane.

Brian Ross said...

And you are, of course, entitled to hope what you wish! However, while I do not agree with much of the theology of the Church of Rome; I abhor, just as much, the blatant hypocrisy of Jim Murphy (and others in the contemporary British Labour Party) - which was the central point of the post! I was tempted to type 'hoap' above, but perhaps you would have missed that point as well!!!