Archive | February 2012

Why it would be wrong to legalise gay marriage, by the Archbishop of Canterbury

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2107971/Why-wrong-legalise-gay-marriage-Archbishop-Canterbury.html#ixzz1nkuVF3cD

In the Daily Mail the Archbishop of Canterbury has again spoken out in opposition to human rights and human dignity.  He states:

“The law has no right to legalise same-sex marriage, the Archbishop of Canterbury declared yesterday.”

I don’t know where he got that idea from.  It’s equivalent to someone arguing that doughnut makers don’t have the right to make doughnuts.  That’s what they do, it’s why they exist.

“Dr Rowan Williams said a new marriage law for gay couples would amount to forcing unwanted change on the rest of the nation.”

So?  I don’t get his point here.  In what way does this change anything for members of the public who prefer the opposite gender?  There really aren’t any secular reasons to support this bigotry.  And that’s all it is, bigotry.

“…it would go against the beliefs of most people.”

If most people thought it was a good idea to keep slaves, is that justification to allow it to happen?  As soon as I finished typing that I thought I had committed a logical fallacy, that the two were not equivalent, but it turns out to be more true than I first thought.  In both cases, the focus is on denying rights and dignity to men and women.

“Dr Williams’s predecessor in Lambeth Palace, Lord Carey, notably told the Mail last week that same-sex marriage laws would be ‘one of the  greatest political power grabs in history’.”

This statement made me smile because many said the same thing when women were fighting for equal rights.  It filled me with hope.

“The Archbishop said human rights law ‘falls short of a legal charter to promote change in institutions’.”

Nobody is telling him that CofE has to support or marry same-gender couples in their churches.  That is a completely separate issue.  They can marry, or refuse to marry, anyone they choose.  That has always been the case, and will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future.

He talks about assisted dying also, as if these two things are equivalent.  I hope I don’t have to tell you that they’re not.  Terry Pratchett did a great documentary about the subject which is well worth watching, Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die.

Italy plans to tax Vatican on commercial properties

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17072211?

Italy’s Catholic Church faces an annual multi-million euro bill over government plans to strip it of its tax-exempt status.

Prime Minister Mario Monti has announced the Vatican must pay taxes on non-religious property, from which it previously enjoyed an exemption.

The annual cost could be up to 720m euros ($945m; £598m) according to municipal government bodies.

Italy’s Catholic Church has 110,000 properties, worth about 9bn euros.

It includes shopping centres and a range of residential property.

In December, the government reintroduced a tax paid by anyone who owns land or property in Italy – which the Church does not pay.

But a growing wave of Italians are opposed to what they see as special privileges in the face of a tightening economy.

Following their government’s latest austerity measure package, more than 130,000 people signed an online petition calling for the Church’s tax exempt status to be revoked.

Since 2005, church-run groups and organisations have not been classed as official commercial bodies and have been exempt from paying property tax.

According to the Corriere della Sera newspaper, tax authorities will calculate how much of a property is used purely for religious purposes and tax it proportionately.

This means a church would remain exempt but a chapel which operates an hostel would pay tax accordingly.

Earlier this week, new figures showed Italy has entered recession, after two consecutive quarters of growth between July and December 2011.

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