Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ruth Kelly and Opus Dei

"Is homosexuality a sin? Minister for Equality refuses to rule it out"

Also I was watching Matthew Wright on telly this morning and they were discussing whether Ruth Kelly can truly act within her role as Equality Minister, due to her strict catholicism and membership of Opus Dei. One of the main points Wright was presenting was that a major duty of a member of Opus Dei is to promote her religion through all areas of her life. Is it therefore possible for her to separate her beliefs from what is required of her in providing equality?

Clearly some gay rights campaigners are concerned.

I don't think that someone who considers homosexuality a sin = that they would deny gay people equality. It might, but not necessarily and not across the board.

What does Ruth Kelly's voting record say about her views? Well, she missed 12 votes regarding gay rights since 1997.

She also voted to allow unmarried straight couples to be able to adopt, but exclude same-sex partnerships. (Of course, co-habiting is "living in sin", isn't it? So I doubt her catholic beliefs favour that either. I don't notice anyone in the media pointing that out,
(although they may have done), but it seems to me to undercut the idea that her political stances are purely informed by her religion. I suppose it's possible she saw it as lesser of two evils, or something, but we can't know that).

So where does this lead me?

I don't think we should assume that Kelly will be unable to act within her job description due to her religious beliefs. After all, we should be providing equality in all arenas. And denying someone her job because of her religious beliefs?
Erk, erk, danger, danger, Will Robinson! #Flail robotic arms wildly.#

But if she proves incompetent or attempts to push her religious beliefs through her position, she should be fired. Just like anyone else. (Although whether that ever happens in politics is debatable. :D They usually just get back into a new post the following week. ;))

I saw that there is an Opus Dei website. Obviously I had to check out what they had to say on there about the more salacious stories about their sect. They talked briefly about how their members self-mortify, which they say constitutes their regular members denying themselves a particular food, or similar. Although more active, celibate members apparently do use the cilice and discipline.


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