So, again, the pope is an asshole.
He's now urging clergy in the UK and Wales to oppose an equality bill currently making it's way through Parliament. No, not just oppose - fight with "missionary zeal".
The Pope told the Catholic bishops of England and Wales gathered in Rome: "Your country is well-known for its firm commitment to equality of opportunity for all members of society. Yet, as you have rightly pointed out, the effect of some of the legislation designed to achieve this goal has been to impose unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to act in accordance with their beliefs. In some respects it actually violates the natural law upon which the equality of all human beings is grounded and by which it is guaranteed."
That's right, kids! The pope is all for equality, as long as the rights of religious institutions are made paramount. Essentially, everyone IS equal...equally less important than the church and the religiously motivated bigotry the church stands for.
Senior parliamentary officer Jonathan Finney had it right when he said:
"People should not be denied access to services and employment purely because they are gay. We've got to guard against sweeping exemptions seeming to protect one person's freedom, which actually really impact on other people's. What you can't start doing is saying that religious people have hard-won freedoms, we'll now restrict those, we won't give them to gay people, we won't give them to women."
My question is this - does the pope really want to draw parallels between bigotry and religion? Personally, I don't think the bible requires any help in proving that religion promotes bigotry but I have to wonder what the hell the pope is thinking trying to thinly mask his opposition to this equality bill as some kind of crusade for religious rights.
No, guys, you can't force your religious beliefs on others by demanding that rules ought not to apply to you because you interpret your book to say that they shouldn't. Your archaic religious beliefs - masqueraded as 'rights' in this instance because it suits your purpose - do not trump the rights of everyone else.