|Double standards of Cardinal O'Brien|
Mat 7 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?
We are all sinners one way or another. In Singapore, we have become so religious and self righteous and quick to say "amen" to Mat 7, when Jesus talking about the Pharisees imply a much harsher judgement on them using the same measure they have used as the basis of scrunity.
What Jesus meant was that we should not have double standards. When we lower the bar to accuse the innocent guilty, our own guilt will naturally be exposed even for the smallest of sins. We come under heightened srcutiny.
Mat 7 speaks to the likes of FCBC, Love Singapore, Cornerstone, Church of Our Saviour, and the National Council of Churches, as a body of Christ, for judgement comes to us as body. When we are so harsh against gays, we should be mindful we are not clean especially with pending court cases.
When we judged to the very letter of the law without consideration of the context of the law, any mitigation circumstances, and with no mercy nor grace, we are saying "amen" to the same manner of judgement upon our own sins. In fact, when we insist on the letter of the law, we are judged by the spirit of the law for which we are all guilty of.
We should at least take lesson from our UK colonial masters. The arch-protagonist against gays was the Catholic Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who was until recently was the most senior Catholic figure in the UK until he abruptly resigned due to sexual allegations.
On same sex marriage, the former Cardinal was quoted
a. Being harmful - “The empirical evidence is clear, same-sex relationships are demonstrably harmful to the medical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of those involved, no compassionate society should ever enact legislation to facilitate or promote such relationships, we have failed those who struggle with same-sex attraction and wider society by our actions.”
b. Grotesque - “Their attempt to redefine reality is given a polite hearing, their madness is indulged. Their proposal represents a grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right.”
c. Harmful to children - “Same-sex marriage would eliminate entirely in law the basic idea of a mother and a father for every child. It would create a society which deliberately chooses to deprive a child of either a mother or a father.”
d. Akin to slavery - “Imagine for a moment that the Government had decided to legalise slavery but assured us that ‘no one will be forced to keep a slave."
When the allegations arose that Cardinal O'brien was involved in inappropriate acts decades ago, he quickly resigned which is surprising since the events would be unrecorded and of no substance after the long span of time.
It appears now that the allegations were brought foth by his current and previous boyfriend priests who were angst by the double standards and his public attacks on gays in the name of the Catholic religion.
In particular, The Herald in Scotland reported,
a. Close relationships with his accusers - "The complainant is known to have been in regular telephone contact with Cardinal O'Brien until recently and was a frequent visitor to St Benets, his official residence in Edinburgh's Morningside."
b. Double standards - "All those who complained about Cardinal O'Brien and alleged they had been abused by him were known to him for decades. At least two are known to have been in same-sex relationships and had become exasperated at double standards in his statements about gay marriage. "
The sad situation for the former Cardinal is that there is no forgiveness for his sins, because of the magnitude of harm it has caused to many. He needs to seek forgiveness not from his former boyfriend accusers within the Catholic Church but to those outside the Catholic church whom his actions and words over the decade have caused harm and destroyed relationships.
As the Cardinal is now quickly removed from the scene and go into exile, he was also a victim of the church hierachal and was only following orders from the Vatican to resist gay marriage.
As the battle trumpets are blown in Singapore by a similar sounding church in her full glory, full of righteousness and morality at her side, remember that God defends the defenceless! and the voices of condemnation we proclaim against gays may come back to the body of Christ, ten fold.