Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Opus Dei members have rights, too

Ruth Kelly is being attacked for her views on homosexuality. The argument is that she should not be the minister in charge of equality, because as a member of the Opus Dei catholic sect, she believes that homosexuality is a sin. For starters, not only Opus Dei members believe this. Many Christians do as well. More importantly, her private views should not bar her from doing the job.

I wonder: is there a prescribed set of views public servants should hold? Would someone care to draw up a list?

I dread the sort of society we are becoming if we see nothing wrong in policing people to ensure that they think the right sort of thoughts. Where will this end?

If Ruth Kelly had taken up a post as head of Stonewall, the gay rights campaigning organisation, her critics may have a point. However, as a Government minister, Ruth Kelly is there to implement legislation, and not as a champion of gay rights.

Equality works all ways. Gay people have a right to equality, as do the rest of society. I fear for a society where people with views that do not accord with the prevailing morality are forced into silence, or treated with scorn for daring to think outside the new consciousness.

Am I to understand that in the hierarchy of rights, the right to belong to Opus Dei ranks significantly lower than gay rights?

In a way, Ruth Kelly is a victim of her own Government's desire to control every aspect of our lives; what we eat, what we drink, how we think. This insidious form of control has crept into every aspect of life to the point that people now see nothing wrong in condemning someone whose private views have never interfered with her job. If ever Ruth Kelly expresses any bias in her job, then by all means, condemn her. Until then, please leave her alone.
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Anonymous Jay said...

But what if she has to promote a gay rights Bill?

12:37 PM  
Blogger Bel said...

I wouldn't have taken the job, if I were in her position. However, I think any internal conflicts are to be resolved by her. If her conscience allowed her to take the job, then one should expect her to put her prejudices aside. I assume she made the calculation that most of the 'gay-friendly' legislation (ie age of consent, civil partnerships) has already been implemented, so all she has to do is sit tight and steer the ship. Not much call for conflict with her conscience there.

12:40 PM  

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