Confirming his papal visit to the UK, Pope Benedict XVI used the opportunity to question the impact of Britain’s equality legislation on religious communities. The speech was made to 35 Roman Catholic bishops from England and Wales visiting Rome.
The pope is reported to have said: “The effect of some of the legislation designed to achieve this goal [of equality] has been to impose unjust limitations on the freedoms of religious communities to act in accordance with their beliefs.”
Zealots from the National Secular Society responded with immediate criticism labeling the pope’s comments as an attack on equal rights and a promotion of discrimination in spite of the fact that on the same occasion, the pope praised what he described as Britain’s “firm commitment to equality of opportunity for all members of society.”
Increasingly proscriptive legislation promoting gay relationships underlies the Catholic Church’s consternation.
Catholic adoption agencies have recently been prevented from rejecting gay couples in accordance with their religious belief. The new Equality Bill includes proposals, defeated last week in the Lords by 216 votes to 178, that would force Churches to employ homosexual priests and church staff or compel Catholics to allow women to become priests – again in violation of their religious laws.
Christianity’s impact on western society has been in perpetual decline since the great compromise between the Church and state and the adoption of secularism. Relegating the vestiges of Christianity to the whims of a democratic vote is the height of ineptitude and shows a palpable lack of respect for religious law.
The aim of the west’s agenda to democratise the Muslim world is to make man the source of legislation and not the Shariah of Allah (swt) in much the same way as rulings were secularised in the Christian west some 200 years earlier. Similarly the agenda to reform Islam in the west seeks to coerce Muslims to reject Islam’s political, social and economic viewpoints in favour of secular solutions while promoting individual aspects of Islamic belief and morals.
In this climate, the Muslim community must hold onto her Islamic values. Indeed, we should be at the forefront of debating the validity of secular values.