The Church and gay marriage in Canberra
Posted by John, November 25th, 2009 - under Australian Labor Party, Australian politics, Canberra, Canberra Greens, Canberra Labor, Catholic church, Christian reaction, Equal love, Gay marriage, Homophobia, homosexuality.
Here in the Australian Capital Territory the Labor Party (in minority Government) supported a Greens’ Bill giving legal recognition to same sex unions which passed just under 2 weeks ago.
Federally the homophobic and anti-equal rights Rudd Labor Government will suggest changes to the Act which effectively gut it.
The local Catholic archbishop weighed in a few days ago, claiming the Act undermines marriage and imposes the views of a minority on the rest of us.
Simon Corbell, the local Labor Attorney-General, rightly said the archbishop’s views were intolerable in a democratic society and the Church was supporting discrimination against gays (just as, I might add, are his Federal Labor counterparts.)
This got me thinking about the role of the Church in society and how it has changed over the millenia.
The rise of capitalism saw the bourgeoisie usurp the state power of the Christian (often Catholic) Church.
The response of the Church hierarchy as it was sidelined was, among other things, to attempt to retain vestiges of its power through an even greater emphasis on answers to the seemingly unknowable – love, birth and death.
That power springs in the main from attracting adherents to its particular belief system, a belief system which takes the yearnings of humanity and turns them into an object of, but separate from, humanity (i.e. god).
As a generalisation the growth of capitalism has seen a larger and larger number of people reject religion for rationality.
This has seen the Church leadership respond with more ferocity in its areas of ‘mystery ‘and other so-called moral streams such as the family (itself today a capitalist product for the cheap reproduction of the next generation of workers), marriage, sexuality, the subservient role of women, abortion and the like.
The homophobic opposition of the Church’s rulers to gay unions is in the end a power struggle waged by an aging, and, viewed historically, declining philosophy of fear to retain and gain support in an increasingly secular society.
We should support equality for all and that includes the right of gays and lesbians to marry.
If that means as a by-product the further reduction of the power of the Church hierarchy then we as a society should welcome such an outcome.
The Fairfax media blog site, the National Times, has run an updated version of the article here, including a reference to the first legally binding union in Canberra and details of the same sex marriage demos this Saturday at www.equallove.org,au/info/nov28