Potiphar12's Blog
An Octogenarian in the modern world


The UK parliament will shortly vote on the issue of gay marriage. It raises a very deep issue, because a significant section of society (the pro- lobby) are saying that religion is wrong on an issue of morality. They are saying that while religion is supposed to have a monopoly on morality, their form of morality is higher. If religion is displaced from the role of moral arbiter, what follows?

Let’s suppose that the sociological purpose of religion is to persuade the tribe to do what is good for it. In a primitive tribe (like the Israelites) it becomes apparent that some practices are detrimental, and one means of discouraging such is to say that “God does not like it”. Homosexuality reduces the number of breeding pairs, and reduces the number of births, and reduces the strength of the tribe, so homosexuality is wrong. God says that it is wrong. So it gets shrouded in holiness and perpetuated into an age where the detrimental consequences may not be serious.

What do we mean by “tribe” today and who decides what is good for it? The tribe is no longer made up of patriotic Englishman whose fathers fought at Agincourt or proud Scots whose fathers fought at Bannockburn.  What tribe are we talking about? A rather unpleasant answer is that we might be talking about Europeans. We might also be saying that Brussels knows Best and that what is good for Europe is decided in Brussels and enforced by it’s bureaucrats. What will the outcome be? Perhaps the “goods” identified by Brussels will not last very long. Brussels does not have a religion (yet) nor a priesthood to say “This is what God wants.”


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