The BBC is reporting that British Prime Minister Tony Blair has decided not to grant Catholic adoption agencies an exemption from the UK’s new anti-discrimination laws. Those agencies must choose between closing shop or accepting the new laws, which could require them to place children with gay couples.
I haven’t followed this bill closely enough to have a firm opinion about it, but I haven’t been impressed by the Church of England’s involvement in the debate. Today, though, I am grateful for these comments by N. T. Wright, the noted scripture scholar who is the Bishop of Durham. They gave me quite a chuckle.
Wright had this to say about the new laws to Ruth Gledhill of The Times of London:
“This completely fails to take into account the views and beliefs of all those involved. The idea that New Labour – which has got every second thing wrong and is backtracking on extended drinking hours, is in a mess over this cash-for-peerages business, cannot keep all its prisons under control – the idea that New Labour can come up with a new morality which it forces on the Catholic Church after 2,000 years – I am sorry – this is amazing arrogance on the part of the Government.”
As I say, I have no firm opinion on whether the the Church and the government could have reached some kind of compromise. But being called arrogant by N. T. Wright, is like being called ugly by Jabba the Hutt.
Here is why.