Congratulations, Cardinal!

It’s not often that I congratulate Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church, but I feel I must, in this case, extend my warmest congratulations to Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who won the coveted “Bigot of the Year” award from UK gay rights organization Stonewall recently. It is truly well-deserved: he wrote a fantastically hateful article on the topic of equal marriage entitled “We cannot afford to indulge this madness”, arguing that “such [same-sex] relationships are harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of those involved”, claiming that by extending the right of marriage to all adult couples we are “dismantling a fundamental human right”.

Representatives of the Catholic Church have, predictably, been up in arms, and all the usual nonsense about the persecution of the church and the “aggressive bullying” of gay rights activists has been trotted-out, with the useless acquiescence of much of the press. The BBC reports that “Sponsors of the awards, Barclays and Coutts, have said they will axe their funding if the Bigot of the Year category is not dropped next year.” Disappointingly spineless.

I can truly say that nothing has been more beneficial to my physical, mental and, yes, spiritual wellbeing than meeting my boyfriend. O’Brien is a bigot. He deserves his award.

About James Croft

James Croft is the Leader in Training at the Ethical Culture Society of St. Louis - one of the largest Humanist congregations in the world. He is a graduate of the Universities of Cambridge and Harvard, and is currently writing his Doctoral dissertation as a student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is an in-demand public speaker, an engaging teacher, and a passionate activist for human rights. James was raised on Shakespeare, Sagan and Star Trek, and is a proud, gay Humanist. His upcoming book "The Godless Congregation", co-authored with New York Times bestselling author Greg Epstein, is being published by Simon & Schuster.

  • smrnda

    Yeah, I can think of many same-sex couples who are incredibly good for each other’s well-being. Of course, the Catholic church probably figures that what would be really good for these people is a lifetime of agonizing but ‘redemptive and sanctifying’ suffering.

    • James Croft

      Indeed. That’s a danger (one of many) of locating your ultimate concern in a non-existent afterlife. You’ll sacrifice any amount of happiness now to get there.

      • smrnda

        Plus, it enables one to gloss over any suffering in this world since “wow, things will be great for eternity.”

        The problem I’ve always seen is that the Christian afterlife seems to come with a high degree of mind-altering on the part of their god to bring your idea of ‘happiness’ in line with his. I keep thinking of the happy helmet episode of Ren and Stimpy when I think of the idea of heaven.