“No light, but rather darkness visible”

The tower of babel…an new incarnation?

Rod Liddle’s brilliant summing up (Spectator) of the latest tea-cup turbulence in the Northern Isles begins with the spoon which started it all:

‘Women … are angry with ourselves for not being happier, not being loved properly and not having the ideal body shape — that of a Brazilian transsexual.’
— Suzanne Moore

He then continues suggesting that “One of these days, not too far away, the entire bourgeois bien-pensant left will self-immolate entirely leaving behind nothing but a thin skein of smoke smelling slightly of goji berries.”

Sulphur might be more like what we will smell. How these people hate each other?

“Please let that day come quickly,” Liddle continues. “In the meantime let us simply enjoy ourselves watching them tear each other to pieces, mired in their competing victimhoods, seething with acquired sensitivity, with inchoate rage and fury, inventing more and more hate crimes with which they might punish people who are not themselves.”

I don’t really think this is very enjoyable. It is in fact, one of the saddest sights on earth because it is a horrific reminder of how our civilization is being dragged into an abyss of fear, hatred and utter contradiction of everything beautiful and reasonable.

Suzanne Moore’s quote comes from a piece she wrote in the New Statesman. For Liddle the row it caused simply gives an insight into the metro left’s bizarre psychosis. “That anodyne sentence above, which is presumably meant to express the pressure women feel to conform to a particular body-type, was taken amiss by Britain’s vibrant community of transsexuals. They eviscerated Moore for doing what I just did and referring to them as transsexuals rather than transsexual people, but also stuck the boot in by suggesting that the writer was mocking their gender, was perhaps bullying them. Undoubtedly, they asserted online and later in print, this was evidence of deviance — not sexual deviance, but deviation from political correct orthodoxy; Moore was revealing an inner hatred of transsexual people. And she was cissexist. Now there’s a term. Have you heard it before? I hadn’t. It is a wonderful day when we can stumble across a new hate crime of which we might all one day be accused: cissexism is the suspicion that transsexual people’s ‘identified gender’ is somehow less genuine than that of people born to the gender in which they remain. Are you guilty of cissexism? You bastard.”

All that was bad enough while it was raging in the egg-cup of the New Statesman’s followers. But then the storm spread futher afield when Moore’s friend Julie Burchill jumped to the defence of her ideological soulmate in The Observer newspaper. Liddle quotes one very witty commentator’s online description of the effects of this intervention: ‘Julie Burchill poured oil on troubled waters. Then she put some seabirds in the oil. Then she set fire to the oil.’ Burchill described the transsexuals as ‘screaming mimis’ and ‘bedwetters in bad wigs’.

But this is also where the whole thing gets sad and worrying because a government minister intervenes, none other than one of those behind David Cameron’s push to destroy marriage. See how it all fits?

Lynne Featherstone tweeted in defence of all transsexuals and describes Burchill’s article as ‘bigoted vomit’ and suggested that both she and the editor of the Observer, John Mulholland, should be sacked. Is it any wonder that the press is worried about the implications of the Leveson Report for a free press – threatening to put control of media in the hands of such as Featherstone? She is the minister for International Development. What is going on?

If this case is anything to go by the press is already knuckling under to the PC-gay-transexual mafia which seems to control Westminster. “How did Mr Mulholland respond?” Liddle asks, and gives the worrying answer: “Did this titan of the press, this staunch and stoic defender of freedom of speech stand by his columnist? Um, not exactly. He instead apologized for having run Julie Burchill’s article and within the hour the piece had been expunged from the joint Guardian-Observer website, no trace of it remaining. But in making his apology Mulholland did say that the Observer supported freedom of speech and did so terribly bravely sometimes. Just, er, not this time.”

A “sham”, empty and profoundly undemocratic document

As posted this morning to MercatorNet’s Conjugality blog where you can read much more and stay up to date on the issues facing the institution of marriage.

The initial verdicts on British Government’s ambiguously entitled “consultation” on the  proposal to legislate for same-sex marriage in England and Wales is pretty negative, – not just on the substantive issue but on the very muddled presentation in the document itself. The “consultation” was issued on Thursday.

The Coalition for Marriage (C4M), which now has a quarter of a million signatures to its petition to save marriage, proclaimed the whole process to be a “sham” and profoundly undemocratic. “The institution of marriage is not the play thing of the state; it belongs to society and therefore cannot be redefined by a few politicians obsessed with appearing ‘trendy’ and ‘progressive’ C4M says.

After reading it he Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, told BBC Newsnight that it was “utterly astonishing  that the document made no reference to children throughout its 20 pages: “Marriage is about bringing difference together. Different sexes, sometimes different families, different tribes. It’s been used to bring kingdoms together. It’s about bringing difference together, out of which comes a new start and a new life.

“The gender difference is essential for its creativity and its complementarity.”

“It is excluding things that are of the very nature of marriage.

“What society says, I believe, is the best circumstances for conceiving and bringing up children is the partnership between two natural parents. That’s why the law is there to protect marriage and that’s why the change in the definition of marriage affects everybody” Dr. Nichals added.

The Coalition for Marriage accuses the government of not only “trying to change the meaning of ‘marriage’, now they’re trying to redefine the meaning of ‘consultation’.

“Consultation means listening to people before making up your mind. But Lynne Featherstone (Equalities Minister) has a new definition – she is going to bulldoze ahead with the plans whether the public like it or not. Some consultation. Yes, she’ll ask the public if they agree. But she says she’s already determined to push on. Asking isn’t the same as listening – unless the meaning of those words has been redefined too.”

Coalition for Marriage campaign director, Colin Hart, said:

“The Government has today launched a consultation on redefining marriage. After initially relenting and promising to include a question on the principle of introducing same sex marriage it is clear from the written statement given to both Houses of Parliament by the Equalities Minister that she will simply ignore any answers to this question.

“I always thought that a consultation was about listening to people and asking them their views, before making a decision. Not only are they redefining the meaning of marriage, they’re redefining the meaning of consultation.

“This consultation is a sham. It is being pushed through despite the public never having a say on this change. None of the main political parties proposed redefining marriage in their manifestos and the impact assessment misses out many of the possible problems that could occur if this institution is redefined, for example how this change will affect our schools.

“The institution of marriage is not the play thing of the state; it belongs to society and therefore cannot be redefined by a few politicians obsessed with appearing ‘trendy’ and ‘progressive’.

“It is also bizarre that Lynne Featherstone says that she wants to end the current two tier system’, yet wants to replace this with an even more complicated system that has two options for gays, and only one for heterosexuals. That’s equality for you.

“The plain truth is marriage is marriage and should not be redefined by politicians.

“C4M and the people who have signed our petition believe that this change is profoundly undemocratic, will have massive consequences for society and is simply unnecessary as civil partnerships provide all the legal rights of marriage.”

Meanwhile the blogs are putting in their knives as well. “Regardless of where people stand on the issue, they should quickly realise that (this document) is a shoddy piece of work, undermined by the fact that its authors clearly don’t know what they’re dealing with” writes The Thirsty Gargoyle, one of the more incisive social values inhabitants of the blogosphere.

He begins at a very basic level pointing out that weddings and marriages are not the same thing.

“A wedding — otherwise referred to as a marriage ceremony — is an event. This event gives access to marriage, that being an institution.

“There is no legal distinction between civil and religious marriages. There are legal distinctions between civil and religious marriage ceremonies, but that’s it. In English law, it is legally meaningless to speak of either civil or religious marriage. There is only marriage. That’s it.

“Bearing that in mind, you should realise that the document is misnamed. It’s impossible to speak of ‘equal civil marriage’ in a meaningful British context; one can only speak of ‘equal marriage’.

“Of course, those of us who subscribe to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are already signed up to the concept of equal marriage; men and women, it says, have the right to marry and found a family, with both men and women being entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage, and at its dissolution.  Calling ‘same-sex marriage’ ‘equal marriage’ is an Orwellian hijacking of an established term.”

Questions five and six in the annexe at the end of the document, he says, are an example of the nonsense which fills the document, for instance.

“’Question 5: The Government does not propose to open up religious marriage to same-sex couples. Do you agree or disagree?’

“’Question 6: Do you agree or disagree with keeping the option of civil partnerships once civil marriage is available to same-sex couples?’

“Yep, utter gibberish. Questions five and six make no legal sense unless the Government is planning on legislating to create new institutions called ‘religious marriage’ and ‘civil marriage’. As it stands, there’s only the one institution, which we call marriage, and which has been defined, since at least 1662, as being the union of a man and a woman primarily for the purpose of bearing and rearing children.”

There is a great deal more in The Thirsty Gargoyle exposing what he – or is it she or it – sees as the folly of this whole project.

Marriage, a mere rite of passage?

The following article appeared on February 27 in MercatorNet’s new blog on the issues confronting the institution of marriage in the western world today. The blog, Conjugality, already contains a number of articles focusing on the challenge being presented to the integrity of marriage by the campaign to have same-sex unions recognized as marriage by legislatures across the world.

“This is about the underlying principles of family, society, and personal freedoms”, Miss Lynne Featherstone MP, Britain’s Equalities Minister, wrote in London’s Daily Telegraph last week, referring to her Government’s plans to introduce legislation enabling gay people to describe their civil partnerships as marriage. Reading those words you might think that at last someone is about to address this fraught subject on the basis of such basic things as principles, family, society and personal freedom. But alas, no. Clearly, what we are confronted with here is more of the same – phony principles, redefinition of that basic building brick of community, the family, and therefore a very wobbly definition of society itself.

One would have hoped for more from the mother of parliaments.

Lynne Featherstone

“Marriage [she maintained] is a rite of passage for couples who want to show they are in a committed relationship, for people who want to show they have found love and wish to remain together until death do them part. Why should we deny it to people who happen to be gay or lesbian who wish to show that commitment and share it with their family, friends and everybody else? We should be proud of couples who love each other and a society that recognises their love as equal.

“That is why you will not find us watering down this commitment.”

Watering down? A mere rite of passage? Marriage is a state in which a man and woman live. This is nothing less than complete obliteration of the very concept of natural marriage. When Romeo and Juliet tried to grapple with the Capulet-Montague problem they bypassed names and solved the conflict – up to a point.

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet…”

But this does not solve the marriage problem which gays have created for themselves. Call a rose an onion and it is still a rose. But it does not work the other way around – no matter how many things you call by the name of rose you will never turn them into roses. The onion which you call a rose remains an onion. It will look like an onion, smell like an onion and will still sting your eyes and, like an onion, make you. The exercise is sheer folly. So is the effort to make into marriages things that are not marriages and never will be marriages. This bond between a man and a woman which we call marriage is something “given”, as the former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey said when he wrote in the English and Irish editions of The Daily Mail on February 20. It is given by our nature and it has its own intrinsic and inherent meaning. We do not give it its meaning. It, of itself, like Romeo, gives us its value and meaning.

“The fierce debate over the past few weeks [Miss Featherstone wrote] has shown people feel very strongly about marriage. Some believe the Government has no right to change it at all; they want to leave tradition alone. I want to challenge that view – it is the Government’s fundamental job to reflect society and to shape the future, not stay silent where it has the power to act and change things for the better.”

Miss Featherstone is working by the notorious definition of the powers of the British Parliament left to us by Sir Hartley Shawcross, then British Attorney General, when he declared that

Lord Hartley Shawcross

“Parliament is sovereign; it can make any laws. It could ordain that all blue-eyed babies should be destroyed at birth, and because Parliament so declared it, it would be legal.”

Legal, but utterly immoral. It is not enough that Parliament “reflect” society. Parliament’s duty is seek justice and legislate according to the principles of that justice and right reason.

People who understand what marriage really is are calling on the British Government to bring this question to the people and in doing so are showing a much deeper trust in the good sense of the British people than the Government is showing. Is it another instance of the drive for statute law riding roughshod through the treasure-house of British common law, something noted and predicted over 60 years ago by a British legal expert, Richard O’Sullivan, Q.C., when he wrote,

“All around us here today…is a scene of material destruction. In a recent lecture on “Law and Custom at the University of St. Andrews, Lord Macmillan (not to be confused with former British prime Minister, Harold Macmillan) drew attention to what he called the suppression – and what we may call the spiritual destruction – of the common law. The lover of our ancient laws and institutions, which we have inherited from our fathers, cannot but look on with some dismay at the process which we see daily’ in operation around us whereby the customary common law of the land, which has served us so well in the past, is being more and more superseded by a system of laws which have no regard for the usages and customs of the people, but are dictated by ‘ideological theories’.”

This is not a question of “rights”. It is a question of possibilities. It is not simply a question a tradition which people wish to preserve for some sentimental reason. It is a question of a law of nature which is prior to anything we call tradition, which has its roots in our very being and on which the common good of our society depends.

We are not prioritising gay rights, Featherstone added, or trampling over tradition; we are allowing a space for the two to exist side by side. In other words, she wants to allow one group of people to continue to see roses where roses exist and she wants to facilitate another group to see roses in a field of onions and say that there is no difference between the two.

Lord Carey commented on Miss Featherstone’s article:

“Lynne’s logic implies the will of the people is sovereign. So let’s suppose that in 10 years’ time it is proposed that, as people are living in multiples of four, we may call that marriage also.”

Why not, we might add, should those people living in what we euphemistically call a ménage a trios not also be granted the right to call their union a marriage bond. The possibilities are endless.

Ms. Featherstone and others are muddying the waters when they make all this is a Church-State conflict. It is not. It is a matter of logic, epistemology and anthropology. Any parliament which sets out – as foolish legislatures across the western world are now doing – to redefine things “given” by nature is confusing, in this instance, the law written in men’s hearts and minds with the law written in their libido. In the process they are legitimising social chaos, not enhancing human freedom. They are surely taking us back over a thousand years to that moment at the end of the Dark Ages when on a shore on the east coast of England the legendary King Cnut tried to command the tide of the North Sea to change its ways. But at least he learned a lesson and did no harm. This foolishness, sadly, will have no such happy outcome.