BRUSSELS, October 9, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – John Deighan, the parliamentary officer of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, told a conference in Brussels that even young children are being branded as “bigots” and “Nazis” for daring to openly oppose same-sex “marriage.”
“I know, for example, of children in Scotland, including my own 12-year-old child, who have been branded as ‘Nazis’ and ‘bigots’ because they have dared to disagree with the idea of same-sex marriage,” Deighan said.
Deighan was speaking at a seminar held in Brussels of European Parliamentary groups on the growing pressure against believing Christians in Europe who oppose the “progressivist” agenda pushing acceptance of homosexuality and the redefinition of the family.
Deighan said that homosexualist lobbyists like Stonewall and the Equality Network have created “intense levels of hostility” against anyone who opposes their agenda. “People are increasingly being subjected to manipulation by what I would call the equality lobby,” he said.
“This is a blatant attempt to manipulate the ideas and views of people, including school children, so that they become more intolerant of the Catholic message,” Deighan said. He added that it is “very difficult” to persuade politicians in Scotland to speak out against these developments.
“They are afraid that in doing so they will jeopardise their careers,” he said.
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The half-day seminar, attended by representatives of parliamentary groups and Members of the European Parliament, concluded that Christians “are being more and more sidelined and marginalised, partly by social hostility and partly by government restrictions”. “Significant effort” is needed to combat this growing atmosphere, particularly to counter the lack of coverage by mainstream media, participants said.
The October 2nd seminar was hosted by the Commission Bishops’ Conferences of the European Communities (COMECE) in cooperation with the Group of European Conservatives and Reformists and the Group of the European People’s Party at the European Parliament in Brussels.
Martin Kugler, of the Austria-based Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe pointed to a recent opinion poll which showed that 74 percent of those surveyed felt that Christians faced “negative discrimination” compared with people of other religious faiths. Sixty percent said that such discrimination was on the increase.
Kugler said, “Even friendly criticism of homosexuality has led to criminal investigation.”
John Deighan’s criticism of the lack of interest from politicians in anti-Christian bias was illustrated by comments made last month by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrat party, who said in a leaked draft speech that people who oppose gay “marriage” are “bigots.” His office quickly withdrew the speech draft and published an amended version, but not until Clegg was excoriated by conservative commentators who said the speech was simply a reflection of the opinion of the elite ruling classes of London.
In July, a series of leaked emails between officials at the Home Office and Department for Education showed that schools, including religious schools, will be required to teach children to accept gay “marriage” should it be made law. David Burrowes MP, who opposes the government’s plans, wrote, “Teachers should be able to exercise their consciences according to their own views on marriage, but that could well be constrained by these proposals.
“As much as I am skeptical about the Government being able to exempt churches from conducting same-sex marriages, I also doubt whether it will be possible to construct exemptions for teachers.”
He added, “Is the Government really going to order primary school teachers to go against the views of the churches that run them?”
Despite the enthusiasm among of some politicians for the homosexualist movement’s goals, recent findings by Britain’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that homosexuals comprise an even tinier minority than has been claimed. ONS found that only 1.1 per cent of British people identify themselves as homosexual and 0.4 say they are bisexual. These numbers were taken from a survey this year of 765,000 people around the country, and is in sharp contrast to the six percent previously claimed by the government. The ONS found slight regional differences in the numbers, with 2.4 per cent of adults in London identifying themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has been told that there is increasing opposition within his own party to the plan to redefine marriage. A poll found that over 70 percent of Conservative Party Constituency Chairmen around the country believe that the idea is a threat to the party’s chances in the next election cycle.