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The Pope should stick to religion

Chris James

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Despite his statement to the contrary, marriage is not the sole purview of religion. Pope Francis may hold sway over the Catholics of the world...although many do not follow his teachings...but he needs to back off trying to influence governments.

In the U.S. his words are meaningless since we have a mandated division of laws that do not allow religion to dictate the rights of our citizens. But his support of the likes of Kim Davis, a government employee who refuses to do her job, only stokes the fires of contentious Christians and leads us to believe that he would like to see a theocracy overcome our democracy.


He is wrong and still follows the path that believers should rule over non-believers. Religion has nothing to offer gay marriage so he should just go home to Rome and keep his mouth shut.

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Think carefully about what the Pope actually said, not the interpretation that others are putting on it:

Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right,

This is not a new position on his part, it is one that he has expressed before. Every person has a right to refuse to take a course of action if taking that course of action is against their conscience. However, what they cannot do is to prevent somebody else exercising their right. So, if you are a public official and you find some action that is required of you as a public official is contrary to your personal belief, then you cannot be forced to carry out that action, you must be allowed to step down or step aside from the position, so that others can carry out the duty that is required. The legal framework in which you operate must give you that option.

What the conscientious objector needs to understand is that there may be a cost to their objection and they must be prepared to pay the price for it. What they cannot do is enforce their conscience upon others by acting in a manner that prevents others from exercising their rights, all you can do is protest against it.

The women who was jailed was not jailed for her conscientious objection, she was jailed for contempt of court. She had every right to refuse to take part in the issue of marriage licences to gays, if this was against her conscience. Her belief may be misguided but if it is her belief then she has the right to live by it. What she does not have the right to do is force the consequences of that belief onto others in a manner which violates their rights. When she found that she was faced with a situation where she could not do her job without breaching her personal beliefs her correct course of action should have be to resign and let somebody else take over the job who had no such problems.

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