The challenge is on for Moderate Catholics
Everytime I complain about the influence of religion in politics and on the lives of people who hold different or no religious views I am told that the actions and opinions of those bringing religion and politics closer represent just a minority of people with that religious view, and the majority are happy to let people behave however they like.
Well in Victoria the Catholic Archbishop Denis Hart is attempting to blackmail the government into dropping abortion legislation by threatening to close all Catholic hospital maternity wards, and possibly all Catholic hospitals.
It’s important to note that the position taken by the Archbishop is entirely ideological. His opposition is due to the fact that the law will require doctors to refer people to hospitals who do offer abortions if they do not wish to carry out the procedure themselves. Whether or not the doctors offer referals will not impact on the number of abortions carried out at all, it will just save the miniscule amount of time it would take to find a hospital that gives people the choice of having aboritons. In fact a patient wanting an abortion could randomly choose any other hospital and have a strong chance of being able to get an abortion there (there are 15 Catholic hospitals in Victoria, and at least 48 hospitals in total – probably more).
So whatever your opinion on abortion is, the Archbishop is attempting to blackmail the government over a part of the legislation which will make no difference to the number of abortions carried out and will allow the Catholic church’s hospitals to continue a policy of not allowing people the choice to have abortions.
The challenge to moderate Catholics is this. I don’t believe it’s true that the majority of religious people are “moderate” at all, or that they believe in people’s right to freedom from religion. I believe that all “moderate” religious people are complicate in the actions of all religious people. So prove me wrong moderate Catholics. Let’s hear a vocal opposition from the moderate Catholics. I’m not asking you to support the legislation, I’m asking you to oppose this ridiculous blackmail. Lets have the legislation decided on the merits of the legislation and the actual issues, rather than on threats from religions over meaningless details.
If there is no vocal opposition from moderate Catholics to this religious blackmail, I’m going to go ahead and keep assuming that these “moderates” don’t really exist.