Archbishop of Brussels 'pied for Christ': the tolerance of the intolerant
Or, if you prefer, set to music (of sorts):
Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard of Brussels has been hit in the face with a number of custard pies by activists who oppose what he has to say about homosexuality. He appears to have something of a reputation for expressions of ‘homophobia', which many may simply term orthodox Catholicism, not to say orthodox Christian sexual morality.
He was speaking at the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve near Brussels when the pie-throwers struck, irked, it would appear, by the Archbishop’s intolerant views on AIDS and the judgement of God. He wrote last year:
“AIDS at the beginning multiplied through sexual behaviour with all sorts of partners or else through anal rather than vaginal sexual rapports. When you mistreat the environment it ends up mistreating us in turn. And when you mistreat human love, perhaps it winds up taking vengeance... All I’m saying is that sometimes there are consequences linked to our actions. I believe this is a totally decent, honourable and respectable stance.”As His Grace’s readers and communicants know well, he is all in favour of freedom of speech on matters religious and political and religio-political. But he asks you today to resist the temptation to descend to the level of Job’s comforters in the assertion of a simplistic theology of retribution. Instead, insofar as he may guide the conversation and debate below, he asks you to consider that these ‘homophobic statements’, which may be considered a violation of anti-discrimination legislation, are becoming unutterable even under the aegis of Europe’s seats of learning. These students who protest in the name of tolerance are manifesting a malignant intolerance of anyone who opposes their views.
What would the mainstream media say if these protesters were Christians pushing custard pies in the face of Peter Tatchell?
Of course, it would be a profoundly un-Christian thing to do, as much as Peter Tatchell’s face may invite a flanning. But there are, as we know, some profoundly repugnant and utterly obnoxious professing Christians out there who engage in all manner of unloving actions against their neighbours, not to say their brothers and sisters in Christ. The point, quite simply, is that homosexuals who attack Christians for their beliefs are fêted and praised, while Christians who so much as question homosexuality are ostracised and condemned as bigots. If one were to ‘pie’ Peter Tatchell, it would doubtless be a ‘hate crime'.
It is perhaps significant that the Archbishop of Brussels is also a prominent ‘pro-life’ supporter and has also been attacked for his opposition to abortion. Such views are no longer tolerated, as one activist explained: “...for all those homosexuals who daren’t tell their parents they are gay, for all those young girls who want to have an abortion, he absolutely deserved it.”
As JS Mill observed: ‘Yet so natural to mankind is intolerance in whatever they really care about, that religious freedom has hardly anywhere been practically realised...’. We are gradually supplanting our liberty for tyranny. And it is not benign.