Just a few more brief words on that line in the letter read out in Catholic churches this morning, which I argued was one of the worst yet.
One may think it’s not as abhorrent as I make out because the key word is express. They do not claim our humanity derives from engaging in marriage, nor that it is added to in this way. They still remain committed, perhaps, to the principle that we all carry this moral property and inherent value merely by virtue of being human and being made in the eyes of God simpliciter.
But I still think it’s deeply offensive to even suggest that (heterosexual) marriage expresses humanity. And the reason is that it’s very hard to maintain a belief in the equal humanity of all persons if you then add that the best way to see it is through the love of a member of the opposite sex you proceed to have children with.
What will this sound like to gay people? ‘You were created in the eyes of God, sure, and we cherish you accordingly. But humanity is naturally expressed through heterosexual marriage.’ How can this not come across as some kind of necessary condition providing feedback? That is, how can this not sound like the claim that if you don’t have a heterosexual marriage, you aren’t really human?
This is a new low for the dirty discourse. That this letter was written and thus ratified right at the top, to be distributed and emphasised across the whole of Britain, is simply sickening.