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Tuesday, 23 January, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 23 Jan 07, 05:17 PM

bush_203.jpgIt's just hours before President Bush delivers his State of the Union speech. But having seriously considered a u-turn on his previous opposition to compulsory carbon caps the president is reported to have changed his mind. But is he in danger of being wrong-footed on the green issue? Also: Catholics and gay adoption; alleged tube bombing attempt - the latest from the trial; and Chinese architecture.

Join Jeremy at 2230GMT on BBC Two and on the website and comment on Tuesday's programme below.

Comments  Post your comment

The green issues and carbon reduction is becoming something that is becoming high up on the political adgenda. Carbon reduction politics may not be led by the US, it certainly should. What is a shame is that the countries like Finland and Japan (now wider Europe) are not being given the praise that they deserve for their policies.

If Bush does or doesn't make the appropriate policy, it wouldn't really be a suprise to me.

Bush will not say anything new. What is needed is a political opening in the USA that includes alternative political parties such as the Libertarians and Greens.

  • 3.
  • At 08:05 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • Justin Thacker wrote:

Whether or not you agree with the Catholic view on the adoption of children by same-sex couples, what is inescapable here is that the only groups at risk of discrimination are those with religous beliefs. Irrespective of the outcome of the current debate, same-sex couples will still be able to adopt children - that is simply not in question. By way of contrast, what is, it seems, up for debate is whether or not to allow religious groups the freedom to practice their religion - a freedom that was meant to be protected under UN charter.

  • 4.
  • At 10:24 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • liz mackenzie wrote:

One very important issue is being left out of the debate on gay couples as adoptive parents: the children concerned have rights too - a right to a normal upbringing and childhood. As the most vulnerable members of our society, their rights should supercede those of the adults involved. Children's Rights lawyers should be included in the debate.

  • 5.
  • At 11:13 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • Andrew Wilson wrote:

I have found the approach of Jeremy Paxman very patronising on the issue of "the Catholic view on the adoption of children by same-sex couples". From the general BBC debate and reporting today the issue is not really about 'same sex' or'traditional family' adoption. It is whether, if 'forced' by a change in the law. A faith should 'opt out' of being brow-beaten by politicians to merely change their belief to fit a new law passed by those who represent a minority of the electorate, or to 'opt out' to avoid breaking new dubious law changes?
What is, it seems, up for debate is whether or not to allow religious groups the freedom to practice their religion - a freedom that was meant to be protected under UN charter?

  • 6.
  • At 11:14 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • Nonsense wrote:

Whilst I would agree the children have the most rights here it's not like you can ask (most of them) do they want to be adopted? Then one gets onto what is normal. Unfortunately there's no consensus on that Liz hence the arguments about why should we discriminate against adults just because they are slightly different.

  • 7.
  • At 11:14 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • mrs Mhaire Sinclair wrote:

Children learn by example so therefore if they are exposed to "parents" whose mode of living excludes male female sexuality and is shown to be exclusively same sex,(activity) what unnatural lesson is that the child will learn! Jeremy Vine, on radio 2 this week asked the question "What was your reaction, the first time you saw your parents making love?" I shudder to think what a young person will learn from experiencing the knowledge of carnal sex between same sex "parents" Many Christians and other Faiths believe unnatural sex is immoral and very wrong.We are entitled to this conviction and no amount of Political correctness can refute our right to believe it is so.

  • 8.
  • At 11:20 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • Jenny Smith wrote:

Ms Eagle MP seemed very ready to discriminate against people wishing to act within their religious conscience whilst providing a service to the public- whilst the religious community are not saying that gay couples cannot adopt. They will even point these couples to agencies who could with clear conscience provide them with the service they desire. The religious communities should not be forced to stop providing what is a very good and much appreciated service by the wider community. Gay couples can choose where they go for services and religious communities should not be made to fear prosecution for acting within their conscience.

  • 9.
  • At 11:39 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • robert wood wrote:

have just watched newsnight and found the content appalling, similarly with the news at ten programme.
no mention about :

american military build up in the Persian Gulf and the Eastern Mediterranean.The naval build up is coordinated with planned air attacks. The planning of the aerial bombings of Iran started in mid-2004,

Israeli President Moshe Katsav is to be charged with rape and abuse of power.

..and just at the very end 'north korea helping iran with its nuclear programme, like their is actually a shred of physical evidence about a physical iranian nuclear project..
.. theme tune, roll credits.

pathetic.

  • 10.
  • At 12:10 AM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Mark Preston wrote:

Claims that the issue of anti-discrimination laws "discriminate against religious belief" are simply ludicrous. There can be no discrimination if all people are treated equally. Religious or not, we are all obliged to obey the law. Law takes precedence over religion in all cases.

What the catholics are arguing for is the right to impose their personal religious beliefs on other people, regardless of the beliefs of those other people. Imposition of religious belief, directly or indirectly, is unforgivable discrimination and oppression that can never be permitted. To refuse to insist that the adoption agencies abide by the law is to both destroy the law itself and to remove from us our right to our own beliefs. It places us all at risk of religious compulsion by powerful theological groups.

  • 11.
  • At 12:14 AM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • vikingar wrote:

As a lapsed Catholic & firm Christian …. still waiting a Legal Aid funded challenge for:

1) women priests
2) gay priests

... in the Catholic Church (UK)

Q. any takers, or I have missed something?

vikingar

  • 12.
  • At 01:23 AM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Liam Coughlan wrote:

Planners are being bold and imaginative with respect to certain architectural designs currently being built in Beijing. The use of global firms should be lauded. Only this week we see reports that up to 90% of high rise buildings in South Korea are potential disaster sites because of flaws in construction.

China is currently going through the same kind of building boom that led to the construction of most modern US cities a century ago. For a long time the US prided itself on building the largest, tallest etc structures in the world. We should not be too surprised to see China, Malaysia and others follow suit.

The only aspect of building high rise buildings in China that should be questioned is the obviously poorer standards of worker safety. Bamboo scaffolding is the most commonly used, and I would hope that the foreign architects and firms that oversee projects use the same safeguards there as elsewhere.

  • 13.
  • At 01:38 AM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • John Gallon wrote:

Individuals with homosexual tendencies are an itegral part of the human race and their many significant contributions are acknowleded. What hetrosexuals find offensive is the sexual acts in which they are prone to indulge in particular the act of sodomy. Ms Eagle M.P. does not seem to understand that no Government can legislate that revulsion away. Society now liberally excepts that what adults do in private is their own affair. Adoption introduces a child into that private situation which I think would be unacceptable by any practitioner of a major religion
A person of homosexual orientation
has the heavy Cross of celibacy to bear if they are to avoid the distaste of the rest of us. A single person of that disposition might be supposed to be celibate and might, therefore, be a suitable adopter in certain circumstances.

Jeremy was excellent (12/10) as always - particularly on the issue of anti-discrimintion laws, and as Mark Preston (Post 10)points out, correctly, that the law prevails over religion, and quite rightly so. Why should a gay couple be barred from adopting a child?

Referring to Post 7, did Jeremy Vine really say "What was your reaction, the first time you saw your parents making love?" If I saw my heterosexual parents making love, I think I'd have been traumatised.*shudder*

  • 15.
  • At 06:54 AM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Jenny wrote:

mrs Mhaire Sinclair wrote: "Children learn by example so therefore if they are exposed to "parents" whose mode of living excludes male female sexuality and is shown to be exclusively same sex,(activity) what unnatural lesson is that the child will learn!"

Actually children don't learn their sexuality by example. No one has ever been able to teach children a sexuality that wasn't natural to them - and many heterosexual parents, psychiatrists, etc., have tried. Many children, including some who became well-knowm as adults, were bought up by lesbian or gay couples and the incidence of them turning out lesbian or gay is no greater than in the population as a whole. Of course, sexuality being natural to each person also means that homosexuality is not "unnatural" to those who are that way. It only seems so to those of other sexuality who cannot get their heads around other people being not the same as themselves.

MMS: "Many Christians and other Faiths believe unnatural sex is immoral and very wrong.We are entitled to this conviction and no amount of Political correctness can refute our right to believe it is so."

And indeed it is that prejudice which has been behind all of the terrible persecution sexual minorities have suffered for the last 1600 years. It was behind forced brain surgery, electro-shock, long-term imprisonment, even in the last 50 years in this country. It is behind the executions and stonings in Iran, and the intention to remove all civil rights in Nigeria. It is behind our being grievously bullied in schools, and our still being disallowed from civil marriage. But a law was passed protecting evil, closed-minded bigots with no respect for the religious and personal rights of others, on condition that the largest remaining group they feel they have a right to attack - lesbians and gays - were also protected. Now, their own protection having come into effect, they are trying to stop the latter protection, delayed by the Minister for the Vatican, being fully introduced. Showing exactly why the law is needed, and should be rapidly extended to all other groups similarly persecuted.

  • 16.
  • At 06:58 AM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Jenny wrote:

Justin Thacker wrote: "...what is inescapable here is that the only groups at risk of discrimination are those with religous beliefs. ... By way of contrast, what is, it seems, up for debate is whether or not to allow religious groups the freedom to practice their religion - a freedom that was meant to be protected under UN charter."

Unfortunately a few religious groups believe that they each have a direct line to a god who tells them to control what other people do. And they have been acting on that for so long that it doesn't occur to them that it far exceeds "freedom of religion" and denies others freedom of religion; which also means freedom from religion.

  • 17.
  • At 07:04 AM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Jenny wrote:

Jenny Smith wrote: "They will even point these couples to agencies who could with clear conscience provide them with the service they desire."

They would "show them the door", not so differently to the way it used to be when it was allowed for people to place in windows signs reading "No Blacks, No Gypsies, No Queers, No children, No Dogs".

JS: "Gay couples can choose where they go for services"

Actually we cannot presently, but the law is intended to make it so.

What is too often overlooked is that adoption agencies get exclusive rights to handle particular children, so people excluded from consideration are not just excluded from the services of the agency, but excluded from consideration as parents for all those children. Children which are not necessarily even believers in the religion promoted by that agency, but instead just ones who somehow seem to be in a class the agency claims to be best able to place. Perhaps even, with teens, lesbian or gay children. Now, if a Catholic agency, for example were to have the right to exclude lesbian or gay couples, they would also have the right to exclude others that the law should be protecting - such as atheist couples, for example. In fact there would be nothing to stop them determining the child's religion of upbringing by deciding with whom to place the child. That isn't how adoption should be run at all. That is running it for the benefit of a religion, not of the child.

If the Catholic church closes its agencies, the unprejudiced staff they have will hopefully be employed by other agencies, and the skills will just be better deployed.

  • 18.
  • At 08:54 AM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Renny wrote:

These religious people are again showing their medieval bigotry is still going strong. Trying to blackmail the government by threatening to withdraw services is also dispicable. They should never have been able to get away with discriminating in schools.

These are children, and the Catholic church is effectively also discriminating against other religions (and those of us with no religious beliefs) by preferring to place adoptees with Catholics. Furthermore, what gives them the right to assume that because a child has come from Catholic parents, that the child believes Catholic dogma, or wants to be placed with Catholic parents. Perhaps because they want the child brainwashed with their archaic religious beliefs, and perpetuate discrimination against non-Catholics?

Lastly, given the history of widespread child abuse by Catholic priests, (in the U.S. alone they have paid over $300M to victims of abuse), the lack of openess about the scale of the abuse, the resulting cover ups by the hierarchy, and their obsession with celibacy, why should anybody think Catholics, or other dogmatic religions should be in a position to say what is best for children?

I sometimes wonder how the human species got this far. We really need to separate church and state before these people take us back to the dark ages (again!)!

  • 19.
  • At 09:09 AM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Michael Donohue wrote:

The most important unit in Society is and always has been "The Family Unit".
Half the problems currently afflicting the majority of law abiding citizens result from the product of one-parent families.
It is essential that in order to produce well rounded individuals that both a Mother and Father figure exist during formative years.

The same applies in cases of adoption; no single individual has a God given right to be allowed to care for a child.

The Catholic church is quite right in its view that it is morally wrong to place innocent children within a homosexual relationship.

Where does one find a "Mother" in a male/male partnership, or conversely a " Father" in a woman/woman union?

Children need all the love and support and discipline to grow them into fully rounded members of the human race.

Let "Gay" matters be left aside until adulthood, when personal decisions can be made.

  • 20.
  • At 09:28 AM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Spartacus wrote:

I can't see last night's show on-line: the various "Latest Programme" links launch the debate on Scottish Independence.

  • 21.
  • At 10:34 AM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Davide Sylvie wrote:


Those of us who wish to watch this programme cannot-a communications problem?

  • 22.
  • At 10:42 AM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Jenny wrote:

Michael Donohue wrote: "The most important unit in Society is and always has been "The Family Unit"."

The most important unit is the human being.

MD: "Half the problems currently afflicting the majority of law abiding citizens result from the product of one-parent families."

Which problems are they? Sounds very specious to me. Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that almost all the problems are down to the product of heterosexual couplings?

MD: "It is essential that in order to produce well rounded individuals that both a Mother and Father figure exist during formative years."

Rubbish. Clearly demonstrated by the millions of wonderful children of widows, widowers, and other single parents. Not to mention lesbian and gay couples.

MD: "The same applies in cases of adoption; no single individual has a God given right to be allowed to care for a child."

Even if it is their own child? Some god you believe in there! But in this country the right to care for a child is governed by parliamentary law. And single people have been considered suited to adopt for many years now. Perhaps you are suggesting that should be rolled back?

MD: "The Catholic church is quite right in its view that it is morally wrong to place innocent children within a homosexual relationship."

In your bigotted opinion. Are children "placed within a heterosexual relationship"? Isn't what goes on between an adopting couple in their own bedroom quite a different matter to the relationship with the children of the family? I would hope so.

MD: "Where does one find a "Mother" in a male/male partnership, or conversely a " Father" in a woman/woman union?"

One doesn't. And it is no concern of yours, since the supposed need for it is false; just prejudice.

MD: "Let "Gay" matters be left aside until adulthood, when personal decisions can be made."

And yet you seem intent upon dragging them in. But I guess you are trying to imply lesbian or gay people should be denied children, or kept from children, or that such adoptive parents would make their children homosexual. All of which would be hateful prejudice.

Or perhaps that homosexual young people are open to "conversion", by "reparative therapy" (brain surgery for that purpose now being illegal) until they reach the age of legal adulthood? I can only say that I was sure of my sexuality at 11, although it was several years before I had any wish to do anything about it, and any attempts by others to change it would most certainly have been grossly abusive. They were grossly abusive. It is people who advocate such things who should be kept away from children.

  • 23.
  • At 10:44 AM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • teresa meyer wrote:

Why can't I view Tuesday's programme online. When I select 'latest programme' I get the Scottish Newsnight Special which went out last week?

  • 24.
  • At 10:50 AM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Josie wrote:

So now we have it. 'Give us what we want or the kids get it'. That is essentially the view of the Catholic Church in their threat to withdraw their adoption service. So much for putting the interests of children first.

No-one is denying the right of the church to discriminate against groups in private. But the church is receiving public money to provide a service to the public, not just to those members of the public they want to serve.

  • 25.
  • At 11:57 AM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Michael Donohue wrote:

Jenny,
You state " I was sure of my sexuality at 11".
Now that you are twelve; I don't really think you should take part in adult discussion on a serious topic. !

  • 26.
  • At 12:16 PM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • vikingar wrote:

Very interesting & thoughtful exchanges above.

Are we not seeing as a society the tangible limits to which any policy (ref rights & entitlements) can be fostered and/or imposed on other bodies within a society.

In this case its access to services.

The Catholic Adoption agencies deal with 2% of cases in the UK all 7 of its agencies ( a real minority) [1a] or 4% of all 2900 children put up for adoption in 2006 [1b]

Q. Gay & Lesbian couples are what % of overall application in total? (presume a very small minority)

Are we not confusing some peoples actual individual desire or theoretical principled desire for uniformly 100% access to services

But one that is totally unrestricted & enforced by law (as an principle / in practice) rather than being pragmatic & saying we have eligibility for 96% of what is available.

No-one ever gets 100% of anything.

SUMMARY:

Q. can one 'faith-esque' minority group (Gay & Lesbian) except to coherence NGO's (many religious faith based) into compromising a central tenet of their faith?

In an extension of that, should not an openly Gay & Lesbian person wish to become a priest or a woman to become a priest … is that the next challenge?

Are we not seeing the very practical limit to which liberal ideas be enforced & strong armed onto the rest of society?

Ref sanity check, I am reminded of an apt quote from Life of Brian from the mintues of meeting of 'People's Front of Judea' [2]

Reg: Furthermore, it is the birthright of every man —
Stan: Or woman.
Reg: Why don't you shut up about women, Stan? You're putting us off.
Stan: Women have a perfect right to play a part in our movement, Reg.
Francis: Why are you always on about women, Stan?
Stan: I want to be one.
Reg, Francis: What?
Stan: I want to be a woman. From now on, I want you all to call me "Loretta".
Reg: Wha'?
Loretta: It's my right as a man.
Judith: Well, why do you want to be Loretta, Stan?
Loretta: I want to have babies.
Reg: You want to have babies?!
Loretta: It's every man's right to have babies if he wants them.
Reg: But... you can't have babies.
Loretta: Don't you oppress me!
Reg: I'm not oppressing you, Stan, you haven't got a womb! Where's the fetus gonna gestate? You gonna keep it in a box?
[Stan/Loretta starts to cry.]
Judith: Here! I-I've got an idea. Suppose that you agree that he can't actually have babies, not having a womb — which is nobody's fault, not even the Romans' — but that he can have the right to have babies.
Francis: Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies, brother. Sister, sorry.
Reg: Wh-what's the point?
Francis: Wha'?
Reg: What's the point of fighting for his right to have babies when he can't have babies?
Francis: It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.
Reg: It's symbolic of his struggle against reality.

vikingar

SOURCES:

[1a] http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article2175038.ece
[1b] http://society.guardian.co.uk/children/story/0,,1995926,00.html

Re: the latest programme. There was a technical problem last night with the process that publishes the video (the file failed to ftp correctly to the playout server). This has been rectified, apologies for any inconvenience.

Ian Lacey - Newsnight

Hey Roberto (2),

Bush has nsaid something new regarding Global Warming in a special announcement:
http://www.transbuddha.com/mediaHolder.php?id=1147

Listen and learn. ;-)
Vaya con Gaia
ed

  • 29.
  • At 01:31 PM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Nicholas J Boardman wrote:

I am not a catholic but I agree that they should have the right not to accept single sex couples. Here we have a Christian Church willing to devote it's time and money to run the adoption society being told by goverment that a most precious belief ie the sanctity of marriage and the family unit must by law be waived. The goverment want the catholic society to run a voluntary service at the expense of a fundamental belief, which if it did not exist neither would the adoption society. The goverment claim that for this society to carry on, as before, would prejudice the single sex couples, this is true, but, in this case you cannot sit on the fence, you are going to prejudice either a) the single sex couples or b) the catholic church. You cannot create this law without prejudice on one side or the other. I understand that you can make a law to say "You must sell bread to everyone no matter what nationality they are". That is fine - the issue is amoral, but to say to a Christian Church the law now states you should accept single sex couples is to take a moral stand against someone's conscience - this cannot be right. The view of the Christian Church as always been one to support the family unit and marriage between man and woman as been compared to the Church(Bride)and Christ (coming for the Bride) Some Scripture references for this are: 1) Romans 1 v. 18 - 32. 2) Ephesians 5 v. 22 - 33. 3) Colossians 3 v 1 - 25. 4) Revelation 22 v. 14 - 15. 5) Revelation 21 v 1 - 4.

  • 30.
  • At 02:52 PM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

Funny how so many Europeans scream about carbon caps in one breath and then worry about the reliability of their supply of oil and natural gas coming from Russia in the next. What unmitigated hypocricy.

  • 31.
  • At 02:56 PM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Paul A wrote:

We can argue ad nauseum about people's rights and beliefs but we cannot compel anyone to 'like' someone else. As many others have said in the past, 'One person's rights are usually an infringement of another's.
None of this type of debate is aided by a government representative (Angela Eagle) telling us that no matter how strongly held a personal conviction may be, exemptions cannot be permitted from the law. Perhaps the Labour minister should look at several laws which certain groups/religions are exempted from such as the means of slaughtering animals, medical operations conducted by non-medical religious pratitioners or even the wearing of crash helmets on motorcycles.
Probably the most important thing to get straight before we have any debate is "What are the ground rules for making decisions and which of those rules are we free to ignore" - and the best of luck to anyone with an answer but at least be honest about it all.

  • 32.
  • At 03:33 PM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • ejikeme dick wrote:

iam asking, what type of direction of the testing missile, that destroy the us satellite.

  • 33.
  • At 04:28 PM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Louise Hamill wrote:

I would not go to a Jewish restaurant and demand a bacon sandwich, or insist as a woman in uncovering my head in a mosque. I know full well that these groups have beliefs which differ from my own and am willing to accept that. For gays to insist that normal public services such as taxis, hotels, adoption services, community halls should be freely available to them is obvious. It is entirely unreasonable to demand that a service that is openly advertised as being provided by a religious group should be available when that would go against their beliefs and conscience. If a boarding house is called the Happy Valley Christian Family B&B then gay and indeed adulterous couples should have the sense and the tolerance to stay away. PS. I am not a practising Christian, but believe that tolerance and respect cuts both ways.

  • 34.
  • At 05:26 PM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • vikingar wrote:

Ref Mark #30

Hear Hear

A very good point.

One move energy industry & government could make is too target niche markets: government use in public sector & aviation fuel etc

"The Air Force consumed 3.2 billion gallons of aviation fuel in fiscal year 2005, which was 52.5 percent of all fossil fuel used by the government, Pentagon statistics show. The total Air Force bill for jet fuel last year topped $4.7 billion … & the share of national energy consumption by the federal government and the military is 1.7 %" [1]

The Jap Air force was searching for alternative sources in WWII [2] so nice to see even the Yanks belatedly getting round too it [1]

Some Air Travel stats & info [3]

Lets make a concerted effort where we can … momentum will build up & we need some working alternatives to counter the dismissives.

vikingar

SOURCES:

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/14/us/14fuel.html?ex=1305259200en=35f7d36ad391425dei=5088partner=rssnytemc=rss
[2] http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com/the_next_hurrah/2006/05/the_japanese_ma.html
[3] http://216.239.59.104/search?q=cache:1UHEOMI0PxwJ:www.foresight.gov.uk/Previous_Rounds/Foresight_1999__2002/Defence_Aerospace_and_Systems/Reports/Air%2520Travel%2520Challenge/The_Challenge.pdf+consumption+aviation+fuel&hl=en&gl=uk&ct=clnk&cd=2

  • 35.
  • At 07:06 PM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Jenny wrote:

Michael Donohue wrote: "Jenny, You state "I was sure of my sexuality at 11". Now that you are twelve; I don't really think you should take part in adult discussion on a serious topic. !"

Six year-old little boys should be in bed before Newsnight comes on, Michael.

  • 36.
  • At 08:07 PM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Jenny wrote:

Louise Hamill wrote: "...It is entirely unreasonable to demand that a service that is openly advertised as being provided by a religious group should be available when that would go against their beliefs and conscience. If a boarding house is called the Happy Valley Christian Family B&B then gay and indeed adulterous couples should have the sense and the tolerance to stay away. PS. I am not a practising Christian, but believe that tolerance and respect cuts both ways."

You aren't practising Jesus' teachings. Would someone whose mother had to give birth in a cattle shed because there was said to be "no room" at the inn turn away people iooking for a bed when there were beds free? Would he have even demanded to know the travellers' sexuality? He never once said anything against people not heterosexual, even going by writings edited by raving homophobes. Instead he said all were welcome, all equal.

There are a great many christians who welcome those who love others of their own sex, or do so themselves, so characterising anywhere that labels itself "christian" as somewhere lesbians and gays should know to avoid is really despicable.

But you are being untruthful too. The law exempts small B&B establishments where the owners live on the premises. Lets them cope with their own consciences if they turn away people in dire need of shelter. Presumably the idea is that these are people's own homes and there are other establishments around which are not exempt.

Adoption is quite another matter. Adoption agencies get a monopoly on each child they are trying to place. So them excluding someone on such grounds is to exclude them 100% from consideration in respect of each of the children they are placing. Perhaps, since there are few suitable candidates, exclude the very best available parent(s) for a child on grounds which are simply religious prejudice. To impose their prejudices on the child's entire life, and the lives of those who would otherwise have become its parents. Prejudices that are identical to those they have exercised for 1600 years in every way possible, with no pity, and no rationality, and which they explicitly (as stated in Vatican pronouncements) wish to continue to exercise in every way they can find. Which is the reason for the law. Why they are against it, in every way they can be. And why government ministers who have any commitment to human rights (which some don't) have to back it, and should press their bigoted colleagues (one of whom has been placed in charge of the responsible department by one of the others) to allow it to be extended to cover the rest of the people victimised in the same way.

  • 37.
  • At 11:59 PM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Jim wrote:

It may indeed be reasonable to try and find some kind of compromise in respect of Catholic adoption agencies whereby gay couples are not discriminated against whilst Catholics are not required to go against their beliefs, however objectionable they may be to some of us.

However, we should be wary of the re-assuring assertion by Vincent Nichols that the Catholic Church is quite happy for there to be anti-discriminatory legislation, as long as it applies to other agencies whilst Catholic organisations are exempted. Here's what Joseph Ratzinger had to say:

"Finally, where a matter of the common good is concerned, it is inappropriate for church authorities to endorse or remain neutral toward adverse legislation even if it grants exceptions to church organizations and institutions. The church has the responsibility to promote family life and the public morality of the entire civil society on the basis of fundamental moral values, not simply to protect herself from the application of harmful laws "

Ref:SOME CONSIDERATIONS CONCERNING THE RESPONSE TO LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS ON THE NON-DISCRIMINATION OF HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS
The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.
Revised statement issued on July 22, 1992.

In this light, exemptions are just the thin end of the wedge.

On an aritmetical note, Archbishop Nichols also tells us that 4% of adoptions are through Catholic agencies but 25% of adopters are from 'the Catholic Community". [Ref: Newsnight and at http://www.indcatholicnews.com/archadt643.html%5D. Does this not mean that the majority of Catholic adoptors use agencies other than Catholic ones and that the loss of Catholic agencies does not mean the loss of Catholic adopters?

  • 38.
  • At 12:30 AM on 25 Jan 2007,
  • Jenny wrote:

Nicholas J Boardman wrote: "...Here we have a Christian Church willing to devote it's time and money to run the adoption society..."

Not true. It is a professional service for which they are paid by those needing to place children, which means taxpayer-funded organisations, such as local councils. They might even be making a profit to fund their genocidal propaganda against the use of condoms that kills so many around the world.

NJB: "...a most precious belief ie the sanctity of marriage and the family unit... The view of the Christian Church as always been one to support the family unit and marriage between man and woman as been compared to the Church (Bride) and Christ (coming for the Bride)"

A belief they certainly didn't have for the first few hundred years since they believed marriage would be a distraction from preparation for the imminent return on Judgement Day.

NJB: "...You cannot create this law without prejudice on one side or the other."

Indeed, which is precisely why the law firstly gives protection to people against prejudicial action due to their religion, and then gives protection to the largest previously unprotected group religions tend to discriminate against. Unfortunately it leaves others still unprotected. Of course these religions consider the one their due, and the other an offence. That's how they are.

NJB: "I understand that you can make a law to say "You must sell bread to everyone no matter what nationality they are". That is fine - the issue is amoral, but to say to a Christian Church the law now states you should accept single sex couples is to take a moral stand against someone's conscience - this cannot be right."

When does prejudice and hate qualify as "conscience"? When is immorality such as that "moral"? Simply when someone who states they have direct conversations with a god, or says they have a book written by a god, says so? Surely that's far too easy a trick to pull? No one would believe it, surely?

We've had to tell official predecessors of these churchmen not to stir hatred against and kill Jews, against their "conscience" (for which they only "apologised" recently). We've had to stop them forcing women to bear children against their will by denying medical assistance (which they are still trying to do everywhere possible), or enslaving single girls in their "homes" (in Ireland and elsewhere). To stop abusing children in their vestries, and stop covering up their abuse, and pay compensation. And they resisted at every step. Country after country had to fight to stop them trying to impose their rule over every aspect of life and government. Countless numbers died in the wars. Political life and diplomacy was poisoned for centuries. The hatred in Northern Ireland is a remnant of that. Not that long ago we had to stop them burning people who didn't quite meet their standards. We were too late to stop them burning others' places of worship and killing their priests and believers, in the Americas, Asia, Africa, and across Europe and the Middle-East originally. We had to prise their hands off intellectual and scientific thought, off publishing and libraries, to release us from their censorship and doctrines that took Europe back perhaps a thousand years, and kept us back there for more than a thousand. All that was a matter of their "beliefs", their "consciences". Still, in their publicly-funded schools they teach children that all non-believers will end in "hell", which continues the demonisation, the hatred. Now it has come down to the sexual minorities, against whom they can exploit the incomprehension of the sexual majority, and who have suffered the same prejudice, and persecution, over the centuries alongside all those other groups.

Why should these churchmen be left with power to persecute and demonise them, when others have been protected? The arguments are really no different. Because you hate them too, or because you don't care?

Having at last - originally the wrong file having been made available for web viewing - been able to watch the actual Newsnight piece, it was wonderful that JP managed to pinpoint that, in the UK (they always have the most conservative stance they can in any country, so their "belief" will be different elsewhere), the Catholic position is that adoption by single lesbian or gay people is something they arrange for children with histories that make it inappropriate to have a man, or a woman, respectively, in the home, but that didn't apply to couples. The churchman wouldn't, despite being pressed, explain their objection to couples. He just kept repeating that they believed a home should have a parent of each sex, refusing to explain the contradiction.

The obvious inference is that they object to lesbians and gay men being couples - as Vatican pronouncements say. And of course what they are doing is therefore already illegal in that they are discriminating against people because they are in civil partnerships. Discrimination on the grounds of marriage or civil partnership is already illegal under the Sex Discrimination Act. Why are they not being prosecuted? That would be Ruth Kelly's responsibility.

Angela Eagle, for the other side (and JP, I would think she's lesbian, not "gay", as you said), and as a top Labour Party officer, was unprecedentedly excellent, sticking resolutely to to the fact that all anti-discrimination law hangs on no one beng allowed to ignore bits because they believe they are right to do so, because that is the root of all discrimination.

I can just hear the bigots shouting at their screens: "But god says we must do it. That's different!"

  • 39.
  • At 10:58 AM on 25 Jan 2007,
  • Roly Gross wrote:

Am a big fan of newsnight but can't believe how much airtime is being given to that awful character Myron Ebell from the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

He had the bare-faced cheek to criticise compulsory carbon reduction mechanisms (i.e Kyoto) when it is the US and corporate lobby groups like his that have deliberately emasculated them. Mr Ebell represents a tiny (and hopefully diminshing) extreme right wing group that denies climate change solely to prevent Govt intervention in corporate affairs.

In future if you need a counterpoint then at least find someone who believes the world is round....please.

  • 40.
  • At 01:21 PM on 25 Jan 2007,
  • vikingar wrote:

Ref Jenny #38

If I read you correctly, one must presume that your view of this will logical extend to a position that sexual orientation/discrimination law in respect of homosexuality can be practically enforced across all bodies.

If the rules of those bodies, in this case Christianity, specifically contain central tenets that reject homosexuality, the next logical step would be too prevent any adherence or teaching of such tenets, irrespective of whether it was via the pulpit or manifest via NGO work.

In which case do you feel:

1) sexual orientation/discrimination law can & should be applied to this extent.

2) vast majority of the population will support this interpretation, application & enforcement of such law (i.e. they will play ball).

I believe there are clear divides within the vast majority of the heterosexual population of the UK in the difference between:

1) basic acceptance: acknowledging people (homosexual orientation) for what they are (without prejudice) the right to exist & live as such (forgiveness & tolerance playing its part).

2) high level acceptance: having too accept such lifestyle choices being applied across every tenet of civil life, at all levels *

* with disproportional/biased state aid at times to maintain/afford such lifestyles e.g. fertilisation treatment for lesbians ahead of 'obese' or other issues for applying hetro couples (i.e. judgement calls) or Christian student groups being banned etc.

Still for the vast majority, its not a case of citizenship before religion, because of history, institution, law & current society, being British (Irish, Scottish, English, Welsh) is synonymous with being Christian **

** although increases in other faiths (with their own objections/tenets in this issue) & atheism in certain parts.

Q. will people accept the rationale that in order to accommodate the vested lifestyle interests of a distinct minority we dissect & unpick the state ? … NO

Personally, I do not see the state being able to legislate & enforce law to the greater extent (high level acceptance) without public consensus, which for the majority looks like forced attempts to:

- accept lifestyle choices that jar their personal opinion.
- disregard notions of repeated SIN as central tenets of their faith ***
- criminalise thousands of year old religions & their believers to accommodate notions/ideas that are 30+ years old

*** did not that law & politics had the necessary ordination to dissolve the notion of sin of certain acts

If Gay Rights Movement (esp at pace they are moving) believe they can ride roughshod over peoples faith (esp when the disaffected are the majority & faith determines so much of society structure) they are setting themselves for a rather large fall given a unreasonable expectation of 100% success.

You cannot wield just any legislation & force society into becoming a 'tolerant society' - changes/adaptability have to be more organic in nature & pace to have a chance of surviving.

In relation to the current Christian Adoption Agencies impasse, let me put it this way:

- Will the public be happy that in order for such Faith based agencies to continue their work, they have to compromise a central tenet of their faith - NO

- Will the public be happy that such Faith based agencies discontinue with such work (unable to compromise their faith as preached/practiced) - NO

- Will the public be happy with an unpicking of the state, law & institution to continue a ever demanding minority (Gay & Lesbian movement) - NO

- Will the public look kindly are future changes emanating from ever demanding minority (Gay & Lesbian movement) - NO

Various accommodations are made to faiths in respect to issues regarding health, animals procedures, this is no different & advance by The Gay Rights movement on adoption, puts them on very dodgy ground.

vikingar

  • 41.
  • At 03:30 PM on 25 Jan 2007,
  • Zsolt Bojthy wrote:

To resolve this problem I would suggest that the catholic adoption agencies should not refuse gay couples. They simply put this on the door: "gay couples are welcome. if you choose our service you will hear our approach to adoption and human life that you may not be happy to accept or would feel offended." or something like that and should be obliged to provide the training or preparation but should not assess the applicants at the end leaving it for the councils / other experts. It is because the assessment would be impossible and against the religious belief.

  • 42.
  • At 08:57 PM on 26 Jan 2007,
  • LoisEvans wrote:

It,the Roman Catholic Church is not being dogmatic about where adopted children are placed outside their organisation, only within their organisation. I dont think that bigotry.

For the secular bigots who accuse Christianity of all horrors in the last 2,000 years, I would say yes - religion has created cruelties.But it has created good also. It has been a beacon of hope for countless millions. The Christian Church has been a source of strength and healing, an aspirational driving force assisting the birth of trade unions, the abolition of slavery, the protection of children in the 19th century. It was Christian ethics and morality that pioneered laws to protect children from sexual abuse by raising the age of consent to 16 years, something which has increasingly been eroded in this "enlightened day". There's much more.

If Christianity was such a destructive force, it's interesting that since the demise of its influence in the last 30 years has seen a catastrophic rise in all sorts of social problems.Do I have to list them?

lack of discipline - has caused anti social behaviour, school bullying on an unprecedented scale. There are reported 20 suicides a year in schools because of bullying.

Lack of honesty - In a survey done in 2006, a staggeringly high number of school children didn't think it important to tell the truth.

Lack of respect - we all know about schools. If teachers are not respected, children are more vulnerable to bullying. If there is poor discipline, children do not learn properly. I think that is one reason children are failing in the basic subjects. Children are being failed by authorities who should know better. Children need discipline to function to their potential - they are being denied it.

Self control/self discipline/self respect - This government's licensing laws help fuel binge drinking. When people are drunk, their inhibitions are lowered. The rise in sexually transmitted diseases is really serious. Young people do not seem to care that repeated courses of antibiotics to treat an infection, are not the answer when within a short time they are re infected. There is a severe risk of infertility.

Relaxation of divorce laws - too easy divorce. The effect on children is consistently reported to be negative, from all the research.

Abortion - abused form of contraception in many cases. It is unimaginably cruel to use foetal parts for research, treatments for illnesses,an incredible act of disrespect.


Christian morality within schools and institutions encouraged people to treat others as they would like to be treated themselves, it promotes repsect.

Homosexuals should be respected as far as their humanity is concerned. It's what they do sexually which is not respected.

I think the gay lobby within Government very powerful indeed. Their representation of a minority seeks to bully the majority.They dont care about the family, or children that much.Self interest drives them.

A final word, I think it does nothing for the BBC's reputation for fairness or even handedness, when Jeremy Paxman treats people so differently. Paxman is all sweet and light to the gay MP but rude and and rough to the quietly spoken Archbishop of Birmingham - why?

It's a pity if the BBC becomes a tool for this bullying, tyrranical government.

Ref LoisEvans #42

Hear Hear

Very valid points raised :)

The United Kingdoms living history, culture, laws & institutions are firmly routed & based on Christianity.

It is interesting that the usual political minorities are in denial to this reality but are open too promotion of issues with rely on the acceptance/tolerance by the majority.

Christian adoption agencies ARE NOT PREVENTING ADOPTIONS by Gay/Lesbian couples, they seek to continue with the practice to pass such requests they receive onto other agencies.

We have exceptions in other areas (health, animals) so the unwillingness to accommodate the worlds biggest religion with a 2,000+ year history on such matters (family & children) is more an intentional & deliberate militant move ref societal change, regardless of consequence & impact [1]

vikingar

SOURCES:

[1] http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

  • 44.
  • At 07:08 AM on 29 Jan 2007,
  • Jenny wrote:

LoisEvans wrote: "For the secular bigots who accuse Christianity of all horrors in the last 2,000 years, I would say yes - religion has created cruelties.But it has created good also. It has been a beacon of hope for countless millions."

It is the Roman Catholic church that mainly stands accused, not all christians. Many christians have largely recanted, although probably none have entirely.

The RC church and it's fellow believers have been, for no reason but prejudice, persecuting various peoples for ever since they first gained the power to do so. People just like me have been burned, disembowelled, gassed, imprisoned, mutilated, enslaved, on church orders or by believers following the teachings to their logical limits. They are still persecuting us. It hasn't ceased, they haven't apologised. They have apologised for very few of their crimes, and actively cover or lie about most of them.

Now I would be delighted, joyous even, to know they had stopped, realised their error, repented, and forsworn, forever, and in respect of any other minority or vulnerable people doing the same again. With great difficulty I might find it in me to forgive, although I cannot speak for the spirits of all those who have gone before. However, pending such a time, it seems inconceivable that anyone should suggest - as have you - that, with such actions continuing, openly and proudly, that those who condemn them are bigots, or that some "good" works cancel those evils, which should be allowed to continue.

How do you do the math that says some "good" work outweighs a child being turned out on the streets because their parents have been instructed that homosexuality is unchristian; anyone, of any age, being made to live with feelings of being damaged, disordered, or even being evil and condemned to end in hell; or a potentially ideally loving parent being kept from a parentless child because the priest supervising an adoption agency orders that their home is ungodly, that potential parent and that child's whole lives affected, or a couple being turned away from the doors of a government-funded agency because the instructions are that their relationship must be denigrated in any way possible because it is "sinful" and "ungodly", whilst other couples are blessed in the terms that "those whom god hath brought together let no man put asunder"? How do you weigh deliberate evils against good?

  • 45.
  • At 12:23 AM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Bubbin wrote:

Mistress76uk says "If I saw my heterosexual parents making love ..."

Isn't that the point? All parents are by definition heterosexual. Dare I say it's a Natural Law?

But I'd forgotten - there's a higher legislature, the Parliament of Westminster. And, lo and behold, there's a ready fund of already-deprived children to make good the deficencies of Mother Nature.

  • 46.
  • At 07:15 PM on 04 Feb 2007,
  • julia white wrote:

Hi Jenny .well mate!
come over and tell us what you think about an amnesty for illegal immigrants.
thanks
julia.

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