By John-Henry Westen
They came first for the Communists and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.
That famous post World War II poem by German pastor Martin Niemoller, is playing out once again today but on a global scale, as the dictatorship of relativism encroaches on traditional morality and by implication traditional religion.
Those who were once fierce foes within Christianity and even within the realm of traditional religion are beginning to recognize the threat to religious freedom being imposed by the growing intolerance for traditional morality. Catholics and Protestants, Jews and Muslims are defending one another’s freedom of religion against attacks from the religion of anti-morality which is increasingly finding devotees in government.
The trend could not be more clearly illustrated than with the news this week that the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, traditionally known for its mortal conflict with the Catholic Church, has officially backed Catholic leadership on the question of homosexual adoption.
The UK government has informed the Catholic Church in the UK that it will not receive an exemption from Sexual Orientation Regulations which would force the Catholic Church to permit homosexual adoption. Official Catholic teaching states that homosexual adoption does “violence” to children since they would be placed in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development.
Ian Wilson, the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, announced publicly this week the Lodge’s support in the matter for the head of the Catholic Church of England and Wales, Cormac Cardinal Murphy O’Connor. “There has to be more tolerance of the views of people of faith, and that includes the Cardinal,” Wilson told The Scotsman. “Broadly speaking, the Lodge would take an orthodox, traditional Christian view of this – we see the family as a man and a woman.”
The leaders of the Church of England, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Archbishop of York John Sentamu, supported the Catholic position in a letter to British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Also this week, Britain’s Muslim Council the leading UK body representing Islam, issued a statement saying the group “fully supports the principled stand taken by the leaders of the Catholic and Anglican Churches.”
The UK’s Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, regarded as Judaism’s highest authority in the UK, waded into the fray as well. Speaking of the new law he spoke of the need for respect for religion. “Jewish law is unequivocally committed,” he said, “to the principle of marriage and the family: the stable association of husband, wife and child. This is at the very core of Jewish spirituality and cannot be compromised.”