British Archbishop Compares Marriage Equality To Orwellian Plot

NicholsCatholic leaders in England were all about using their Christmas addresses to rain some grinch-like hate on marriage equality.

First there was Bishop Mark Davies and his unimaginative comparisons of Hitler and LGBT advocates; and now we have Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols, who has been using his Christmas greetings to claim that Prime Minister David Cameron's plan to include same-sex couples in marriage laws is a "shambles."

Nichols first laid the groundwork in his Christmas sermon, praising "the love of husband and wife, which is creative of new human life," and declaring, "Sometimes sexual expression can be without the public bond of the faithfulness of marriage and its ordering to new life."

"Even governments mistakenly promote such patterns of sexual intimacy as objectively to be approved and even encouraged among the young," he said.

Later, in an interview with the BBC, Nichols took his argument to the next level, saying that the plan, "from a democratic point of view," is a "shambles."

"There was no announcement in any party manifesto, no Green Paper, no statement in the Queen's Speech. And yet here we are on the verge of primary legislation," he said.

"From a democratic point-of-view, it's a shambles. George Orwell would be proud of that maneuver, I think the process is shambolic."

Well, on that note, and with regard to both Nichols and Davies' comments, a quote from Orwel himself, "As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents."


  1. simon says

    I suppose he is a Catholic bishop. If “its ordering to new life” is so important, the Church’s stand on “celibacy” is against the will of God.

  2. Alex Parrish says

    Odd that a supposedly celibate man would rail against any kind of marriage while preparing to celebrate what was supposedly a “virgin” birth to a heterosexual couple who were not married. Of course — that makes about as much sense as a lot of R.C. theology. The become increasingly irrelevant with every inane proclamation.

  3. Onnyjay says

    “Shambolic”?? Did he really say that? What a moron. Sounds to me like a couple of Brit bishops are hoping to win cardinal hats by kissing Pope Prada’s ring and parroting his gibberish. The pope, of course, has only 2 brain cells left, and they’re too busy fighting each other for dominance to do any actual thinking. A pox on all of them.

  4. woodroad34d says

    Isn’t “Orwellian Plot” — i.e., doublespeak, thought control, forced to worship a mythical leader — more what religion, especially the Catholic Church, is all about? More 180 degree PR from religionistas. Nostradamus was right about the turn of the Century, Satan is ruling a government in Prada.

  5. Eric says

    This reminds me of a great post about this subject:

    “Among Christian religions, it is a common teaching that the ‘natural’ purpose of sex is for the creation of children, and that any other reason for sex is sinful and a subversion of God’s law. This belief underlies a great deal of Christian attitudes toward sex, including the religious right’s condemnation of homosexuality and extramarital sex and the Roman Catholic church’s opposition to birth control.

    However, while the overtly theocratic manifestations of this belief – denying civil rights to gay couples, denying emergency contraception to rape victims, attempting to ban pornography, refusing to teach young adults accurate information about sex, opposing the development of vaccines for STDs – have been attacked, and rightfully so, as far as I am aware the belief itself has rarely been challenged. That is unfortunate, because as in many other things, this is an area where the religious right stands on very shaky ground.”

    Then the author proceeds to point out problems with the argument:

  6. David says

    The only Orwellian Plot that is going on is being done by the Catholic Church in their plans to destroy gay marriage, LGBT people and anybody who does not agree with them and their way of doing things.

  7. HadenoughBS says

    As usual, I hold almost all religious authority figures in high disgust regarding their positions on, well, just about everything! It’s so sad – with all that’s wrong in this world – that these ancient (mostly) male figures condemn so much of their fellow human beings, especially the females of our species, just for being who they are and wanting to enjoy life to the fullest (with the full dignity and rights afforded the majority of the population) without doing harm to anyone else. But, oh, no, not these sanctimonious hypocrites, they’ve got to condemn millions and millions for not following their outdated dictates of their old time religions. To Hell with ’em. Get outta of our way and let the sunshine in!

  8. Fahd says

    I’m very slow to change my bad opinion of any one, but I have to admit that Mr. Belonsky has gotten in great zingers in this post – the quote from Orwell – and the next – “polishing the pole”.

    An energy drink?

  9. says

    Well, of course, the Catholic Church should be banned from England all together for their bigoted and destructive policies and views. Sickening that any religious cult would be hateful. Frightening that people actually hand over their paychecks to such an organization.

  10. says

    Methinks that there are ranks of sad sad sad men who simply oppose Equality because it means that others will have what they never had the balls to fight for.

    From the wholly-Closeted folks who “hate fems” to the closeted men who The Out Gays, it’s a form of “I don’t want what i haven’t got” – the more society moves to an understanding and embracing place, the less their excuses to remain invisible hold any water.

    that said, what i love most about his quotes are that he shows that he clearly hasn’t read much Orwell. Like, at all.

    dare say he knows as little about Orwell as he does about the book he’s continuing to try to use as a weapon.

  11. Caliban says

    There is indeed a lot of Orwellian double-speak being tossed around, but it’s by the withered toads of the Catholic Church who use “God’s love” or “Christ’s love” as a cover for for their hateful s#!T.

    Pope Rat’s words and actions (speaking out against gays on World PEACE Day for instance) are far closer to his Nazi origins than the words of his alleged lord and savior.

    Ah well, both of them can always swing by the Vatican DEPARTMENT STORE for some discount retail therapy!–finance.html

    (And as the old joke goes, I’m sure that at the Vatican store the altar boy robes are always half off!)

  12. simon says

    The Catholic church in England had a long tradition of shooting itself in the foot. First they opposed the divorce of Henry VIII that got themselves in hot water. Now they try to interfere with the policy of the ruling party. Old Henry should have expelled all the them back to Italy.

  13. Frankc says

    I hope the Catholic hierarchy is having lots
    of fun playing their little b-tt f-ck games
    with the rights of other people. Eventually
    they’ll accept that reality has arrived
    on the scene and then this silly crap wil
    go away.

  14. Frankc says

    I hope the Catholic hierarchy is having lots
    of fun playing their little b-tt f-ck games
    with the rights of other people. Eventually
    they’ll accept that reality has arrived
    on the scene and then this silly crap wil
    go away.

  15. Diogenes Arktos says

    The Archbishop of Westminster cited the results of “a period of listening” as 7 to 1 against marriage equality! This is worse than the Faux News blogosphere. Not that I am surprised. Of course in a nearby post on TR we have a reliable survey with different conclusions.

    This is almost as bad as a sermon I heard one Christmas Day at a Lutheran Church (ELCA), which was a tirade on the evils of divorce. I had assumed the pastor was in denial that he was gay and that was causing untold grief in the marriage.

  16. DannyEastVillage says

    Boswell’s work on the history of church-sanctioned gay marriage (including publication of marriage ceremonies from monastery and cathedral libraries all over Europe – including the Vatican archives) was published 25 years ago. At that time the Vatican had “no comment.” They’re still hoping nobody will bring that up again and the whole thing will just go away

  17. DannyEastVillage says

    The Roman church’s leadership reminds me of the Republican party’s leadership when it kept digging its heels in and kowtowing to the Tea Party. What an ugly awakening they got at the beginning of last month when they found out the fantasies (or “lies”) they’d been telling themselves about this country turned out to be–fantasies (or “lies”.) Well, I’m glad the repubs kept at it–and still seem to want to keep at it. The longer they do the better for the country. And the longer the boys in the Vatican and their local bureaucrats spout krapola like this the greater the momentum that relegates them to the dustbin of history.

  18. millerbeach says

    But what about the pedophile priests, in practice RIGHT NOW? What about the little kids being abused RIGHT NOW? How come NOTHING is being said about this travesty?

  19. says

    The sad but funny point is that the catholic church should be in the forefront of asserting gay and GLBT rights,the rights of oppressed people and the deprived.
    Instead the CC sold its soul for power and wealth centuries ago.

  20. andrew says

    @D C Arnold: unfortunately they are right on message. They believe in the biblical god Yahweh who is the murderous and wicked tribal god of the ancient Israelites. You know the god who drowned almost all the people on earth for their “sins”, killed all the children of Sodom for the “sins” of their fathers, killed 70,000 people because he was angry that David took a census, punished David for his tryst with Bathsheba by killing the baby, had his people kill the man caught gathering wood on the Sabbath, told his followers to kill all the living things in the towns that they conquered etc etc etc . The biblical god yahweh makes Stalin, Hitler, Mao et al look like choir boys!!!!!

  21. andrew says

    The greatest Spin in human history is taking the murderous and wicked tribal god Yahweh of the ancient Israelites and spinning him into Our Heavenly Father. Not even the evil genious of a Karl Rove could even dream of accomplishing that. But that is exactly what Christians and Jews have done. They have hundreds of million of people praying to the god who killed hundreds of millions of people, to save them.

  22. Diogenes Arktos says

    @DannyEastVillage: Not exactly. There have been Boswell-haters from day one. The typical argument was from the fact that they didn’t like his conclusions, therefore everything preceding them had to be wrong. End of statement. There has been some scholarly questioning of his work (e.g. by Fr Raymond Brown on Greek lexicography) but not enough to discredit the broad thrust of his argument. FWIW – His work had a great impact on my coming out.

  23. Diogenes Arktos says

    @Andrew: I know we are a few decades apart and as such had very different religious experiences growing up. Please seek some therapy for what appears to be unquenchable anger. In the brief time I’ve been following TR, your tirades seem to have gotten worse.

    *ANY* religious documents dating from the periods of the composition of the source documents of Old Testament would be the same. So what? There were plenty of centuries for natural development (=spin) to take place. Just as there have been plenty of centuries since the Code of Hammurabi to the present. Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that trial by ordeal (hardly a uniquely Judeo-Christian concept) was still practiced.