sexta-feira, 18 de fevereiro de 2011

Revista de blogues (18/2/2011)

  • «Which two nations still reserve places in their parliaments for unelected religious clerics, who then get an automatic say in writing the laws the country's citizens must obey? The answer is Iran... and Britain.
    In 2011, the laws that bind all Brits are voted on by 26 Protestant bishops in the House of Lords who say they are there to represent the Will of God. They certainly aren't there to represent the will of the people: 74 per cent of us told a recent ICM poll the bishops should have to stand for election like everybody else if they want to be in parliament. These men use their power to relentlessly fight against equality for women and gay people, and to deny you the right to choose a peaceful and dignified death when the time comes.
    And here's the strangest kicker in this strange story: it looks like the plans being drawn up by the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, now Deputy Prime Minister in coalition with Conservative David Cameron, to "modernise" the House of Lords will not listen to the overwhelming majority of us and end these religious privileges. No - they are poised to do the opposite. Sources close to the reform team say they are going to add even more unelected religious figures to parliament.(...)
  • Pore through the history books and you'll find they opposed almost all of the progressive changes in our history. The Suffragettes regarded them as such relentless enemies of equality for women they set fire to two of their churches. In 1965, the then-Archbishop of Canterbury scorned the people who were campaigning for nuclear-armed countries to step back from the brink, on the grounds that "a nuclear war would involve nothing more than the transition of many millions of people into the love of God, only a few years before they were going to find it anyway". In 2008, his successor, Rowan Williams, said it would be helpful if shariah law - with all its vicious misogyny, which says that women are worth half of a man - was integrated into British family courts.
    (...) The British Social Attitudes Survey, the most detailed study of public opinion, found that 59 per cent of us say we are not religious. And remember: even 70 per cent of Protestant Christians say it's wrong for the bishops to have these seats.
  • Nick Clegg promised before the election he would introduce a 100 per cent elected House of Lords - which would obviously mean an end to the bishops' privileges there. Yet now people close to him say he is going for only 80 per cent elected, with the bishops remaining on the undemocratic benches. And it gets worse. People close to him whisper he is planning to add even more unelected religious figures: an imam, the chief rabbi, and others, in pursuit of the multiculturalism the Prime Minister just disowned. (...)
    Last week, David Cameron gave a speech telling British Muslims - rightly - that they had to support "equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality... This is what defines us as a society. To belong here is to believe in these things". Yet he has been a key defender behind the scenes of retaining the bishops in parliament, even though they explicitly oppose "equal rights regardless or race, sex, or sexuality." They refuse to allow women to hold the top jobs in their organisation. They demanded an opt-out from laws banning discrimination against gay people, to allow individuals to express their "conscience" - a loophole so large it would render the law meaningless. Using Cameron's logic, they oppose "what defines us as a society" and do not "belong here", yet he is keeping them in a position of great unelected power. It seems his "muscular liberalism" only applies to people with brown skins.» (Johann Hari)