An Equality Bill currently under consideration in the UK Parliament has a well-known critic: Pope Benedict XVI. Yes, that’s right. The Pope said that equality for all, is “unjust.” The BBC reports on the Pope’s remarks (WebCite cached article):

Pope Benedict attacks government over Equality Bill

The Pope has urged Catholic bishops in England and Wales to fight the UK’s Equality Bill with “missionary zeal”.

Pope Benedict XVI said the legislation “violates natural law”. Supporters of the law see this as a wish to keep a ban on gay people in Church positions. …

He told the Catholic bishops of England and Wales gathered in Rome: “Your country is well-known for its firm commitment to equality of opportunity for all members of society.

“Yet, as you have rightly pointed out, the effect of some of the legislation designed to achieve this goal has been to impose unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to act in accordance with their beliefs.

Basically the Pope is claiming that the Roman Catholic Church — and, one many assume, individual Catholics — possess a fundamental right to discriminate against gays, because their religious dogma despises them. But even worse than that, Benedict went beyond mere religious principles, in his attack on equal treatment of gays:

“In some respects it actually violates the natural law upon which the equality of all human beings is grounded and by which it is guaranteed.”

In other words, he is not merely saying that Catholic dogma condemns gays; he is saying that gays as a group fundamentally should not be allowed any equality.

I wonder what the Pope would think if I were a business owner and decided that it was against my principles — as the godless heathen agnostic that I am — to hire Catholics (or any other kind of believer). Would he consider that acceptable? Would he claim that I possessed this right to discriminate, as a “natural law”?

By the way, Benedict … have you gotten around yet to reprimanding the recently-restored Bishop Richard Williamson for having failed to obey your directive to retract his Holocaust denials? Unless you’re willing to deal with him, I’m not sure you have any credibility on the matter of morals, ethics, and “natural law.” Once you’ve taken care of the wayward members of your own flock, then we can sit down together and discuss how the UK deals with its own people. OK?

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