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Should the catholic church be asking schoolchildren to sign this petition?

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Greatnan Sun 29-Apr-12 07:48:56

The leader of the catholic church in England and Wales has written to all catholic schools asking them to get the pupils, some as young as 11, to sign a petition against gay marriage.
Is this appropriate - some head teachers feel it is not.

granbunny Sun 29-Apr-12 08:16:33

i think it is inappropriate.
canvassing is not acceptable in schools.
they might want to discuss the issue, and put forward their church's view, but asking children to sign a petition is wrong. children are not in authority in schools - it would be like your employer asking you to sign something supporting his own political affiliation.

whenim64 Sun 29-Apr-12 08:51:29

No child should be asked to sign a petition on which they cannot possibly be fully informed. Perhaps they would like to start with a more appropriate petition, asking the children at what age would they like to be indoctrinated?

Bags Sun 29-Apr-12 09:38:08

Not appropriate but since when did that stop the catholic church?

dorsetpennt Sun 29-Apr-12 10:26:53

Sadly it isn't only the Catholic Church that is against gay marriage let along gay people. On a trip through the bible belt of the US taught me that. I saw plenty of large posters outside various Baptist Churches saying quite horrendous things about gay people. One saying 'All gay people are headed to hell' or'Aids is God's message to gay people' [of course not mentioning that South Africa's black male and female population is being decimated by that horrible desease. As for the petition, certainly not totally unfair.

MrsJamJam Sun 29-Apr-12 10:29:56

Words fail me, it's so utterly appalling. The lack of tolerance and humanity shown by the so-called 'religious' makes me feel despair.

Annobel Sun 29-Apr-12 10:39:42

Can do no more than agree with you all.

Butternut Sun 29-Apr-12 10:58:42

A resounding no from me, too.

Mishap Sun 29-Apr-12 11:12:24

Should they? - no of course not.

Notsogrand Sun 29-Apr-12 11:13:57

Appalling indoctrination in the name of religion. angry

imjingl Sun 29-Apr-12 11:34:04

No. I think it's not appropriate.

But I must warn you, I haven't given it a lot of thought.

vampirequeen Sun 29-Apr-12 11:59:07

I'm RC and believe me this is nothing compared to the other regressive ideas the Church is promulgating. It has decided to return to 'old values'. When I say 'it' of course I mean the elderly men in charge who have never lived in the real world. A lot of priests...esp those at the top...went to Catholic schools then straight into Seminary so never ever lived in the real world.

I would be surprised if most schools comply as they could be accused of promoting anti homosexual views which comes under hate crimes legislation. They could find themselves in a very difficult situation.

Jacey Sun 29-Apr-12 12:01:45

I have often wondered when the promotion of one's faith/beliefs becomes indoctrination?? [wooden spoon emoticio]

vampirequeen Sun 29-Apr-12 12:03:51

Oh it's all indoctrination lol

Greatnan Sun 29-Apr-12 13:58:04

Jacey - my definition of indoctrination is the teaching of beliefs as if they were proven facts, to people who do not have the maturity, experience or education to question them. What is yours?
Teaching about different religions on the basis of 'This is what members of this religion believe.....' is quite different and this is what is being done in most secondary schools in the UK. I am not sure about primary schools, especially church schools.

soop Sun 29-Apr-12 14:01:34

No! No! No! The Catholic Church should feel ashamed of itself. angry

littlemo Sun 29-Apr-12 14:12:50

As far as I know the letter gave a fair and reasonable account of the gay marriage debate and was by no means anti gay (according to Matthew Wright on his tv prog. the Wright Stuff - and he is no admirer of the catholic church).
I know children who attend Catholic schools and I know that debate on any issue was encouraged and pupils were quick to voice opinions whether they agreed or disagreed and their thoughts and opinions were welcomed and respected.Today's teenagers aren't easily indoctrinated. Of course the church and the teachers would explain the reasons for being against gay marriage, none of which involve being anti gay, and would point out the petition but whether the pupils decided to sign or not would be entirely up to them.

goldengirl Sun 29-Apr-12 14:57:05

No. The Catholic Church seems to have some strange ideas when it comes to children

Greatnan Sun 29-Apr-12 15:24:38

Much as I like Matthew Wright, I didn't rely on his show to explain the letter - you can read the full text in today's Catholic Herald.
The main point the Archbishop makes is the definition of marriage - well, who decided the definition and why can't it be changed?
Whatever adults think of the letter and the petition, I think it is inappropriate to involve young children who may not be old enough to understand the issues, or even some of the terms used.
I don't know if SPUC (Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child) is still foisting their sensationalised videos on young children in catholic schools - I was present when one was shown and I had to comfort some very distressed children. The mother of one had recently had to have a termination for medical reasons.
I am glad to see that more and more catholics are having the courage to reject the misogyny and homophobia of their spiritual leaders.

Mishap Sun 29-Apr-12 18:02:15

Why do the adults sign it I wonder? - I know plenty of Catholics who are entirely tolerant of homosexuality and want no truck with this sort of bigotry.
It is of course wholly inappropriate to involve children in such a petition/letter - they cannot have a full grasp of all the issues. And does this teach them love and tolerance? - I don't think so!

Ariadne Sun 29-Apr-12 18:05:06

Just totally wrong, but not surprising!

littlemo Sun 29-Apr-12 18:42:56

The petition can only be signed by those over 16 years of age. The issue is not to do with a lack of tolerance of homosexuality. As Mishap so rightly said, plenty of Catholics would have no truck with that sort of bigotry.
The issue for the Catholic church, and many others, is the redefinition of marriage. If society accepts this change, then will society be willing to accept marriage between multiple partners, marriage to animals, marriage to objects (not far fetched, have actually been claimed to have happened). If not, why not?
I know I may be old fashioned but for me marriage is between a man and a woman. I have no problems with same sex relationships, partnerships with loving individuals with the respect of society and the full backing of the law, but why can't it be something equally valued but different from 'marriage'?

Greatnan Sun 29-Apr-12 18:48:19

I find the idea of extrapolating from loving, monogamous relationships between two adults to marriage between animals, etc. absolutely horrific.

littlemo Sun 29-Apr-12 19:05:32

Me too, Greatnan, but as I said, these are true. A woman went through a ceremony to 'marry' her horse, another claimed to be in love with and married to the Eiffel Tower. Strange, I know, but then it takes all sorts to make up a world.

Bags Sun 29-Apr-12 19:08:32

That ridiculous extrapolation is just an example of the "slippery slope" argument — a fallacy in which a course of action is objected to on the grounds that once taken it will lead to additional actions until some undesirable consequence results.

The definition of marriage we are talking about is the definition of marriage between human being.

In addition, human beings can't marry animals because the animals can't give their consent.

Bags Sun 29-Apr-12 19:09:49

But, don't you think, littlemo, that those were not marriages, whatever the people involved said? I bet they weren't recognised in law.

glassortwo Sun 29-Apr-12 19:19:38

Totally inappropriate, but does not in the least surprise me.

Greatnan Sun 29-Apr-12 19:20:17

Littlemo, you actually asked us why society should not accept these bizarre couplings if it accepts gay marriage. Are you now wishing to retract that question?
You say you may be old fashioned - yes, I think your thinking is out of date.
Nobody wants to force anyone into a gay marriage, or to force churches to conduct the service - what is being asked for is simple parity for all.

Ariadne Sun 29-Apr-12 19:20:44

How absurd an extrapolation, but, again, not surprising.

littlemo Sun 29-Apr-12 19:26:01

I do agree Bags, those were obviously not marriages as we know them. But those were only a small part of my reasoning, just to help us think about it. I don't expect everyone to agree with me and I am willing to be convinced by anyone's reasoned arguement.
What about polygomy, is that okay? If we change what we see as marriage then I think we will lose something.

littlemo Sun 29-Apr-12 19:33:32

Greatnan, at no time did I mention anyone being forced into gay marriage. I have stated my belief that there are good, loving relationships between same sex couples and that these should be valued and respected by society. You seem to be misunderstanding my point. I agree with parity for all, we can be as I said equal but different, just as we hope that men and women can be equal but different.

absentgrana Sun 29-Apr-12 19:44:13

littlemo How do the actions of a clearly deranged francophile help us to think about gay marriage? And why do we need help in the first place?

Greatnan Sun 29-Apr-12 20:07:38

I think you have missed my point, Littlemo. I was trying to point out that if you did not wish to engage in a gay marriage, nobody was going to force you. Homosexual couples are merely asking for the same freedom as heterosexual couples. Yes, they can have a civil partnership and we keep being told it is no different from marriage - then why not call it marriage?
I don't buy that 'equal but different' line either - it is used by many religions to justify treating women as second class members. Homosexuals don't want to be different - they want to be treated exactly the same as other people.
It seems to me that many of the 'reasons' for opposing gay marriage given by some people are covering covert homophobia.
It is particularly ironic for the catholic church to be laying down the law about any sexual matters, given its appalling record of abuse.

Anagram Sun 29-Apr-12 20:14:22

Apparently most homosexuals couldn't care less about 'marriage' being made legal for them, they're quite happy with the way things are. Who exactly is it who's insisting that the law be changed?

Greatnan Sun 29-Apr-12 20:19:06

Apparently? Who says? Does it matter if only one couple wants equality?

Anagram Sun 29-Apr-12 20:28:00

I probably read it in the Mail online, Greatnan! wink.

If only one couple wanted equality, I would question the wisdom of changing the law just to accommodate them, yes. I'm not against it, per se, I just don't see why it's suddenly become such an important issue.

Faye Sun 29-Apr-12 20:44:02

Definitely agree with Greatnan with both of the last two posts. Many people do not want to marry, should we ban marriage for all. We will look back at this discrimination in the future and think how strange that it took so long to give equal rights to all Do we all have equality or not. Obviously not!

Greatnan Sun 29-Apr-12 21:01:48

Surely it is up to the people concerned to decide if it is an important issue - it may not be important to some but I don't think the law should have to wait until a certain number of people want it changed.
I expect people said the same kind of thing about abolishing slavery, because some slaves seemed to be happy.

Anagram Sun 29-Apr-12 21:27:33

That's hardly a fair comparison.

Anagram Sun 29-Apr-12 21:30:12

And yes, I agree that it is up to the people concerned to decided if it is an important issue - which is the point I made in the first place. But it seems to be other groups of people who are arguing on their behalf - whether they want it or not.

littlemo Sun 29-Apr-12 22:46:55

Greatrnan, I think we'll have to agree to differ. No matter what I say I seem to end up as homophobic, which I am not, even covertly. Not everyone who argues against gay marriage is homophobic! It seems to me to be an easy way of trying to score points and cloud the issue I was trying to discuss. I agree with you Anagram.

Greatnan Sun 29-Apr-12 23:11:32

I certainly did not accuse you of being homophobic but I am willing to agree to differ.
I have seen several gay people discussing their feelings of exclusion so I don't know how it can be concluded that this 'issue' is being raised by other groups on their behalf.
My original post asked if it was appropriate for young children to be asked to sign a petition, presumably without the consent of their parents. Nothing you have said has convinced me that it was the right thing to do.

Anagram Sun 29-Apr-12 23:29:45

Greatnan, you also stated that they were asking pupils, some as young as 11, to sign the petition, but as littlemo pointed out, the petition gives a clear stipulation that no child under the age of 16 may sign.

Bags Mon 30-Apr-12 06:18:21

I bet they are indoctrinated under the age of sixteen though.

Greatnan Mon 30-Apr-12 12:21:19

I had to go to bed in mid debate last night -we are an hour ahead of you!
It appears the letter from the archbishops was read out to the whole school, so even if the under-16's were not asked to sign, they were still subjected to it.
I did not intend to start a discussion on the desirabiity of giving homosexual couples exact parity with others, (we have already had a thread on that subject), just to ask what people thought about the letter being read out to children. However, threads wander where they will and we would not have it any other way!

vampirequeen Mon 30-Apr-12 20:54:47

I once sat with a group of teachers to watch a sex ed dvd brought in by the school nurse. We had to watch it because we had been told that it showed a condom machine and we had to decide if it was appropriate as RC children are not taught about contraception. The machine was only in the background for about 10 seconds so we agreed the dvd could be shown.

Pathetic...yes....we thought so too.

vampirequeen Mon 30-Apr-12 20:58:56

Forgot to add on above post.....we indoctrinate our children not only by what we teach but by what we omit to teach.

nanaej Tue 01-May-12 22:54:31

understand that a pupil at one RC school has made a formal complaint to the local education department about how the letter was presented by the Head because the pupil felt it was discriminatory. Do not know details but will scan papers to see if it gets anywhere! I would have thought that the Religious Studies lessons in a RC school would have made the church doctrine clear so not sure why additional letter needed!

Greatnan Wed 02-May-12 07:20:51

Vampire Queen - I don't think I have undersrtood your point. A group of teachers was shown a video which could be used in sex education. Were they shocked, upset, surprised?

Joan Wed 02-May-12 07:35:59

My answer to the original question is - of course it is inappropriate. Children could feel afraid to refuse to sign, in case they are taken to task. And what use is such a petition, if many of the people signing it are children? Utterly ridiculous.

I'm sick of churches ignoring modern science. Medical science teaches us that a person's sexuality is inborn not chosen, so their discrimination against gays is as illogical as it would be to discriminate against me for being a short dark-haired woman. I was born with the genes that made me this way, just as gays are born the way they are.

Religion. Catholicism. Religious celibate men in long frocks. Grrrrr to the lot of them.

Greatnan Wed 02-May-12 09:30:25

Well, men who purport to be celibate, Joan!

Joan Wed 02-May-12 13:20:48

Ha ha - well, at the very least they're a load of wa-wa- er..... wallies

gillybob Wed 02-May-12 14:50:34

Absolutely not. How can a child of 11 be expected to even understand what they are being asked ?

I hate all religion I really do. I am convinced it is the route of all evil.

Greatnan Wed 02-May-12 14:56:23

gillybob - I also hate most organised religions (still unsure about Quakerism, as they seem pretty inclusive - I just think they are wrong to believe in any supernatural being) - but I think we have to make it clear that we are not hostile to any individual believer - just the ones who try impose their own beliefs on us via the law.

gillybob Wed 02-May-12 15:15:09

Hi Greatnan I was brought up by a religious (although not obsessive) family and as I got older I have questioned this belief in something or someone who can hand out good and evil like party bags. My argument is such that if God (or whoever) is good why does he choose to hand out poverty, illness and tragedy to some and riches, good health and happiness to others?

Joan Wed 02-May-12 23:31:36

No good using logic to understand the illogical, gillybob!

My main gripe with religion is that it teaches people about reward and punishment in an imaginary afterlife, which can compromise efforts to make a better life and a better world for us all in this life. When you think about it, what greater tool for control of a population could there be?

soop Thu 03-May-12 13:25:30

I am livid angry Innocent children are abused by priests and the Church listens to countless acts of contrition so that they may be duly forgiven. Where is the justice in that? I'm proud to call myself an atheist. When I do wrong, I feel bad, and try to do better. By gum, if I believed that simply by confessing, I could wipe my slate clean, my entire life would have seemed so much more carefree. My rambling may not make a lot of sense. I'm not that articulate [an age thing] but I feel that sometimes it's beneficial to let off steam...

absentgrana Thu 03-May-12 14:37:17

soop While I have no truck with Catholicism or, indeed, any organised religion, it should be pointed out that "simply confessing" is not something that "wipes the slate clean". Genuine contrition and a commitment to avoid the sin in the future after careful examination of your conscience are parts of the process. That some Catholics just garble through confession followed by a couple of Hail Marys doesn't change this. I'm uncertain about what gives the priest the authority to forgive sins on behalf of god – but that's men for you.

Greatnan Thu 03-May-12 14:45:11

Digging into my ancient brain, I think I remember that someone reported that Jesus said to the apostles: Whose sins ye shall forgive, they are forgiven. Whose sins you shall retain, they are retained'.
Yes, catholics are taught that you need a 'firm purpose of amendment' if god is going to forgive you. I wonder if the abusing priests had one, when they confessed to each other?
I can't get the programme about this out of my mind - I just keep raging at the thought of those priests, (with their soft, white hands which had never done a day's proper work), being treated with reverence and respect by the parents whose children were being brutally raped.

soop Thu 03-May-12 16:30:48

Absent and Greatnan Your messages are a perfect reflection of my feelings on this matter.

vampirequeen Fri 04-May-12 10:54:05

Sorry greatnan didn't make it clear. We had to decide whether the dvd could be shown because of the condom machine in the background. Would it promote the use of condoms lol?

Ariadne Fri 04-May-12 10:58:34

soop Greatnan * absent*. Couldn't agree more!

jeni Fri 04-May-12 11:51:15

What is the point of the petition? What is it intended to do? Who is it pet ironing? confused

Bags Fri 04-May-12 11:56:49

jeni, Stop ironing that guinea pig!!!!! I told you before. He prefers to be fluffy!

jeni Fri 04-May-12 12:11:27

blush petioning!

Annobel Fri 04-May-12 12:15:01

or even 'petitioning'? It's that i-pad again, isn't it?

jeni Fri 04-May-12 14:32:32

Yeaangry

Mishap Fri 04-May-12 14:37:33

Child abuse to fluffy guinea pigs - only on gransnet!

Greatnan Fri 04-May-12 14:47:57

They want catholics to sign a petition against allowing same-sex couples to marry. They say a civil partnership is just the same as marriage - so why can't they call it marriage?
If it wasn't so awful, it would be funny for that institution to be banging on about the sanctity of marriage given what they have done to the sanctity of childhood.

jeni Fri 04-May-12 15:27:05

And don't even allow their priests to marry! confused

horatio Mon 07-May-12 13:19:42

One has to bear in mind that children are already indoctrinated with various subjects. They are taught the aspects of homosexuality from a very early age, which seems to be almost encouraging this activity.
The issue of halal meat being served at school meals is another subject that has raised controversy, as it is seen to be a form of indoctrination to Islam.
Marginilisation of competitiveness in sport introduces a negative aspect of trying one`s best to reach a high standard, which bodes ill, when working in the real world.

Greatnan Mon 07-May-12 14:23:46

horatio, I do not wish to be rude, but your views on homosexuality seem to be completely at odds with the facts. You cannot encourage someone to have red hair or blue eyes and you cannot encourage them to embrace a sexual identity which they do not have. Your remarks will be quite hurtful to all those members who are homosexual, or have gay children.
On the totally unrelated subject of halal meat in schools, we have discussed this at length on another thread. It is served in most official establishments because it is cheaper for the suppliers to use only one source - it has nothing to do with trying to turn people into Muslims.

On the equally unrelated subject of competitiveness in sports, I think those children who which to take part in various sports find that most games/PE teachers are more than ready to encourage competition. Personally, I found enough competitiveness in life, work, and study without looking for it where I didn't need it.

horatio Mon 07-May-12 15:10:19

Greatnan; Oh dear me, what a peculiar statement regarding eye colour. That facet is established by nature, and the only way that anyone could change it, is if they were persuaded to wear a coloured contact lens. Very uncomfortable. I hope that I haven`t offended people who choose to wear them!
Have you neve heard the expression that Universities, and the navy are breeding grounds for homosexuality? Yes people can be influenced to different aspects of life, especially if they are taught these at a very vulnerable time in their life, and believe it to be quite acceptable.
Look how Hitler managed to brainwash the German children into believing that he was some kind of Messiah, to the extent that they would even inform on their own parents to the Gestapo!
Now don`t tell me that they would have done that without influence, as that would mean that a whole generation of children were unnatural!
No Greatnan, my comments are relevant if you take the time to think about it.
Halal type meat is abhorred by the majority of people, due to the cruelty involved. There is no question of the price, but simply it is a way of getting us used to Muslim traditions, and laws; ie brainwashing. There is much more that I could say, but it would be off topic.
Most schools operate a system whereby competitiveness is discouraged, as, they claim it makes the losers feel inferior, so the pupils get used to this type of sport. I would deem that to a type of indoctrination into an unreal situatiomn. I think that your last line stresses that fact.

absentgrana Mon 07-May-12 15:19:04

I don't think children should be asked to sign petitions about anything. However, if children want to petition about something that directly affects them, then I am all in favour of their taking action.

horatio I don't think that the national curriculum specifically includes indoctrination of children to encourage homosexual activity. As for universities – are you aware that they admit women students these days so they are undoubtedly breeding grounds for heterosexual activity too?

JessM Mon 07-May-12 15:25:23

Not sure where you source your "facts" Horatio on a number of subjects.
"Most Schools" discouraging competitiveness? Check that out with the nations PE teachers maybe? They would appear to be teaching, in the main , competitive sports with winners and losers. As for the Muslim plot to indoctrinate the world into Islam by means of halal meat... The issue about whether or not it is cruel slaughter is a red herring.
Back to the RCs - they are trying to impose their values on the legislation of the country (again).
No one is passing a law that tells them that RCs have to change their definition of "marriage". Words can have different meanings to different people and groups of people after all.
And no one is trying to legislate that RC priests have to conduct gay weddings.
So what is their problem.... they want to impose their values on the law and hence on everyone else. What's new. Same old story as with abortion, contraception, divorce... they would like to write the rules for everyone.

Greatnan Mon 07-May-12 15:34:42

The words 'head' 'bang' and 'wall' come to mind.
I am quite sure, horatio, that you are intelligent enough to know that I was using eye-colour as an analogy. I don't care if there are homosexuals in various establishments because I don't see anything wrong in homosexuality.
I believe the principal seminary in Rome is staffed very largely by gay men.

Muslims are not dictating what meat the supermarkets supply - that is a commercial decision.

Perhaps when you start actually reading and understanding my posts it will be worth my while to reply to yours. At the moment, there seems little point.
I

whenim64 Mon 07-May-12 15:52:21

I don't see the point in being polite to Horatio

Horatio universities are a little late in the day for 'breeding' homsexuals. I managed to do that 18 years earlier!!

littlemo Mon 07-May-12 15:54:28

Greatnan, can you elaborate on your belief that the pricipal seminary in Rome is staffed largely by gay men. Where did you come by this information?

soop Mon 07-May-12 16:24:36

littlemo I haven't seen any stats to back or dispute Greatnan's comment. However, if I were a betting lass, [which I'm not], I would bet almost all my wordly possessions on that belief.

jeni Mon 07-May-12 17:21:13

horatio how does one know it's halal meat one is consuming? I think there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Greatnan Mon 07-May-12 17:21:23

Just google 'Homosexual activity in seminaries in Rome' and take your pick. It is hardly surprising that an institution recruiting young men to a life of celibacy might attract some men who are not attracted to women.
There was a good TV programme about it too, but as I was not expecting to have to provide chapter and verse I am afraid I do not have the exact programme name.
According to some sources, it is not uncommon to see young seminarians holding hands , etc. in the bars of Rome. Nothing wrong with that, as far as I am concerned, as long as there is no hypocrisy about it in the church.

Elegran Mon 07-May-12 17:45:40

Universities are hotbeds of sexual activity of all kinds. Young adults are newly independent and freed from the restraints of living at home. Those whose sexuality is towards others of the same sex do not have to hide their preference as they might in their home (maybe small) town. That does not mean that Universities cause homosexuality, just that it may be more open. No-one suddenly takes up being gay, it is built in to some people's nature.

I would be interested to know where Horatio lives, and whether he has experience of undergraduate life.

Greatnan Mon 07-May-12 18:06:35

Yes, I can't see any profite for horatio - it would be nice to know a bit more about him/her. I hope he/she is going to post on some different threads.

Ceesnan Mon 07-May-12 18:42:06

Wouldn't bank on it, after those comments.

Greatnan Mon 07-May-12 18:55:32

I found horatio's comments on homosexuality offensive and I see Godwin's Law was also brought into play . (Once Hitler and Nazis are mentioned on a thread.............)

whitewave Mon 07-May-12 19:05:50

I'm not sure what the problem is really does it matter whether people are born or "choose" (which I doubt) to be gay. Can't think what is the big deal about it all. I live in Brighton and have all sorts of friends gay or otherwise and they are all human beings (or beans as my son use to say) just living their lives, hurting no-one enjoying each other. Sexual orientation, colour of skin, belief systems, age etc. are all fine by me provided they all behave in a civilized manner hurting no-one or nothing and supporting the human race

Greatnan Mon 07-May-12 20:08:01

Alas, whitewave , not everybody is as open-minded as you.

whenim64 Mon 07-May-12 20:12:13

I echo your sentiments whitewave. Live and let live smile

Ariadne Mon 07-May-12 21:03:20

Well said, whitewave!!!

horatio Tue 08-May-12 00:13:07

Shortly; Did you really think that I was being serious about eye colour GN; come on a little bit of give, and take please! On further consideration I think that those words are alien to you. Incidentally, my profile is there for all to see

Elegran/ Whitewave. We are drifting off topic, but briefly, will you explain why some men, off middle age with a family, suddenly `discover` that they are gay?
Born like it. H`mm, but I will agree that all people are people to me, if that makes sense, or let`s say equal, OK?

Faye Tue 08-May-12 01:25:26

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio!!!! smile

JessM Tue 08-May-12 03:31:26

Well timed quote Faye

horatio Tue 08-May-12 12:52:16

I don`t quite understand the relevance of the Shakespearian quote, but there we are; we all see different things in the same subject. We should stick to the topic , however.

soop Tue 08-May-12 13:16:26

horatio How about 'lightening up' a little. You seem to want to ruffle feathers.

LydiaReid Tue 08-May-12 13:16:53

Greatnan
I see two different statements you use both of which I am looking for some type of proof for

1- I want to know where your figures come from when you state that Rome is staffed by gay men
Please do not quote a TV programme
Give me figures

2-- Do you want to argue with the freedom of information request by the Christian organisations which proved that nearly all supermarkets stock halal meat unlabeled which is the reason that a bill is currently going through the european Parliament to ask for labeling of all halal food

On the first subject I think you are showing the very definite anti Catholic and anti religious bias that you show in most of your posts which concern any subject which may even touch on religion

I have been tempted to complain on many posts

The second subject

I have no complaints about prayers said over any food
i cannot feel that any prayer is going to do me any harm
That may not be Christian teaching but it is how I feel
I do though have an objection to eating any meat that is killed without being pre-stunned

Riverwalk Tue 08-May-12 13:58:16

Lydia Greatnan will no doubt answer for herself but I just wanted to comment on halal meat.

I too would like to see appropriate labelling for all foods that we eat, particularly animal products.

Those who eat meat, including me, should not console ourselves that all is well because 'ordinary' meat comes from animals that have been stunned. Over the years, decades even, there have been numerous programmes/articles about the terrible goings-on in abattoirs. In the pursuit of speed and profits stunning is often perfunctory and not performed efficiently so the animal is far from 'stunned' when its throat is cut.

In my opinion, halal/kosher meat is no more cruel than any other.

There was recent footage of terrified pigs in the queue for slaughter being abused ..... kicked and prodded and cigarettes being extinguished on their sensitive snouts.

Presumably they weren't halal!

Greatnan Tue 08-May-12 14:38:05

I have made no secret of my hatred of organised religion and it is not breaching forum etiquette to state how I feel , so complain away. Having seen so much sadism and snobbery in my own catholic school, I was already very wary of the church, but the revelations about the extent of sexual abuse and the total failure of the culprits' colleagues and superiors to do what any normal, decent person would do and report it to the police, have made me loathe it even more. Please don't tell me there were a few rotten apples in the barrel - I suspect the extent of abuse is still not fully known.
I will research the figures on what percentage of abused children were boys - I know that tens of thousands of little girls were raped by priests or physically assaulted by nuns but I think boys might have been targetted more.

I hate the catholic church's attitude to women and homosexuals, to abortion, divorce and contraception. Are those enough reasons for my attitude? Are you telling me I am not entitled to hold those views, or state them? Should religious believers be given some special status that puts their views above criticism or comment?

I resent the Anglican church having representatives in the House of Lords and being able to influence law making which affects the whole population, most of whom are not Anglicans, or adherents of any religion, if attendance at church services and donations are any indication.

I hate the way pressure groups from various religions try to influence the law on assisted suicide, same sex marriage and abortion.

I hate the Islamic and Jewish attitudes to women - you see, my attitude to religions is very even handed.
I hate the way religions of all kinds have been used to control people and to hoodwink them into accepting unfair treatment at the hands of the rich and powerful.

I very much resent horatio's comments about homosexuals and think he is quite wrong in his apparent beliefs a) that there is something wrong with them and b) that they choose to be gay, rather than it just being part of their genetic make-up.

I think some people might agree with me but are frightened to put their heads over the parapet.

I agree that halal meat should be labelled - I merely pointed out that the decision to buy and supply it was not dictated by religious dogma but purely by commercial interests. I doubt if most supermarket chiefs are too worried about the ethics of slaughter - the are concerned with profits.

You want me to produce statistics for every assertion - perhaps you could supply some for your assertion that there is a god, that he is all powerful and all loving, and that your particular religion is the one with a hotline to him. Otherwise, it is your opinion, to which you are entitled, as I am to mine.

JessM Tue 08-May-12 14:48:22

Well said Greatnan , don't suppose you ever thought of going into politics?

Greatnan Tue 08-May-12 14:52:31

No, Jess, there are too many nasty people in poliics!

I googled 'What proportion of children abused by priests were boys' and found lots of statistics. Here is just one quote:

'The evidence is that a higher percentage of Catholic priests and male Religious molest
children more than other ministers of religion. Clergy of all denominations do not molest
equally. In her foreword, the lawyer, Sylvia Demerest cites a 1995 survey of 19,000
treating professionals, funded by the National Centre on Child Abuse and Neglect. The
study found that in the US, 94% of abuses by religious authorities were sexual in nature.
Over half of these cases (54%) involved perpetrators and victims who were Catholic, even
though Roman Catholics comprise only 25% of the United States population. The minor
victims of priest abuse are overwhelmingly boys and teenagers, (80­90%), which is
contrary to the pattern of abuse in the general population'.

I rest my case!

Mishap Tue 08-May-12 15:03:11

Lydia - I am happy with greatnan expressing her opinion, just as I am with you doing so - I think that goes for most of us on here. We usually manage to discuss these things without accusations of any kind. That is one of the refreshing things about this site.

I don't see greatnan's serious concerns about organised religion as anti-religious bias - she expresses some important truths that concern many people, myself included. Bias implies a thoughtless prejudice - I have the strong impression that greatnan has given a great deal of thought to her concerns.

She clearly has good reasons from her own experience for her concerns - those of us who have not shared those experiences are not in a position to criticize: debate, yes, but not criticize.

Most of my religious friends are willing to acknowledge that a great deal of harm has arisen through organised religion - they retain a faith in spite of this, and seek to pursue their beliefs in a benign and positive way, and I respect them for that.

I cannot however share their beliefs or rest easy in the evil that has (and still is) perpetrated in the name of religion. To greatnan's list I would add the ritual mutilation of baby boys, which (astoundingly) is not outlawed in the UK.

Mishap Tue 08-May-12 15:18:28

A PS for Horatio...

I am not sure that some married middle-aged men suddenly "discover" that they are gay - there is the possibility (which is stated by many of them) that they suspected their orientation, but could not face up to the social consequences of coming out, especially in years gone by. It is possible that they have waited for the social climate to change before being able to be honest with themselves and with others.

whenim64 Tue 08-May-12 16:18:55

I worked in the assessment and management/treatment of sex offenders for many years before becoming a manager, and know the background and context in which sex offender treatment in the British Isles has developed since the 80s. Ray Wyre, a renowned therapist and criminal profiler and previously, a probation officer, started working to assist the catholic church when the first abuse scandals started to be disclosed and he set up treatment programmes in collaboration with colleagues in the NCPCC and Social Services. I trained with Ray and became a member of NOTA - the National Organisation for the Treatment of Abusers. This is a reputable organisation with worldwide standing and affiliation to other similar organisation like ATSA (Association for Treatment of Sexual Abusers) in the USA. You can find these organisations by Googling them.

Greatnan is correct in saying there is a higher incidence of boys abused by priests than girls - the ratio is about 2:1

A recent Guardian article addresses this issue:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2010/mar/11/catholic-abuse-priests

whenim64 Tue 08-May-12 16:22:46
Greatnan Tue 08-May-12 16:24:17

That is really interesting, when. Do you think that offenders can be shown how to avoid abusing, even if their sexual fantasies remain the same?
If the abusing priests had been reported, would it have been possible for them to receive counselling/treatment, rather than just being moved on to another parish or school to continue abusing?
I know there were one or two prisons offering therapy for sex offenders, but I think it was decided that it was too expensive.

absentgrana Tue 08-May-12 16:39:06

I have just flicked on to horatio's profile. I recognise the photograph (and he does make it clear that he isn't claiming that identity). CSI Miami has to be one of the most ridiculous programmes on the television – my daughter and her husband, who love the other CSIs, refer to the leading character as Fellatio. grin Frankly, I don't think he's even that interesting. grin grin

Greatnan Tue 08-May-12 16:41:49

I can never see the point of posting a photo that is not your own. Something to hide?

absentgrana Tue 08-May-12 16:43:58

I'm doubtful about statistics to do with anything, although my instinct tells me that abuse of boys has probably been greater than that of girls. However, "scoring a Jesuit" or "having it away in the confessional" (very cramped and no soft surfaces) may never have been reported in many cases. "For those sins and those which I cannot now remember, may the Lord make us truly thankful…"

whenim64 Tue 08-May-12 16:58:06

Beware - long reply!
Greatnan some offenders who are not deeply entrenched in their abusive behaviour, and want to change, will respond in varying degrees to treatment. Part (and a very significant part) of the treatment is in deconstructing the content of deviant sexual fantasies and teaching distraction, avoidance, spoiling, and other strategies to banish the sexual fantasies as they flit into their thoughts. If you can imagine a probation officer specialist asking you to hand over your most deviant and arousing sexual fantasy so they can ruin your surefire way to an orgasm, you can rate for yourself how unlikely that is to work with someone who doesn't want to change. They won't hand over what we would sometimes call their 'bottom-drawer deviant fantasies' - the ones that always work.

The problem with abusive priests is that they can be indoctrinated into corrupt sexual behaviour as they are already proved to have been indoctrinated in at least one other way (that may be contentious for believers in the faith). 100% of abusers have been abused in some way themselves (being abused doesn't predict you will become an abuser - far from it) and being corrupted into sexually predatory behaviour against children means you are likely to set out to corrupt others. By corruption, I mean experiencing horrendous sexual abuse and eventually learning to gain sexual gratification from it. Priests who abuse seek protection from others, and usually get it - if they disclose abuse in their church, everyone will be investigated, so it's safer to keep abuse quiet, which means the opportunity for treatment is lost.

Some treated priests can be kept safe, and their risk reduced, but that means them disclosing the context in which they have abused, where they have been, disclosing names and which seniors knew but didn't act - no point treating and putting them back with a senior in the church who won't challenge suspicious behaviour and ensure they stay away from children.

The majority of prisons now offer sex offender treatment, and all probation services. It is cheaper to treat a sex offender in prison than to release them untreated and at risk of being reconvicted for further offences. It isn't too expensive now - it costs more in hidden costs of services for victims throughout their lives - depression, alcohol and drug abuse, self harm etc. Some see it as expensive because the amount of 'dosage' needed i.e. treatment hours applied, means that longer prison sentences have to be handed down to enable them to complete the treatment. 240 hours of treatment for a predatory paedophile will not necessarily effect a change if they are deeply entrenched. As a comparison, one-off sexual abusers who regret their behaviour and want to avoid doing it ever again might only need 60 hours of education and therapeutic intervention.

If every priest who abused was offered treatment, and the safeguarding children guidelines were adhered to, it would significantly reduce the number of future victims and men who are sexually attracted to children would be less likely to be allowed into the priesthood.

Greatnan Tue 08-May-12 18:16:56

Many thanks, that is very informative. I didn't know that treatment was still available in prison. I know that many, if not all, offenders, have persuaded themselves that what they are doing is not harmful, just showing love, is welcomed by the victim, etc. I suppose getting them to acknowledge the harm they are doing is the first step - although it has hard to see how any grown man cannot realise the physical pain he is causing a young boy, let alone the mental torture.

horatio Tue 08-May-12 20:52:30

Everyone is way off topic, so no replies!!!

whitewave Tue 08-May-12 20:54:57

Oh Horatio you are so amusing!

Anagram Tue 08-May-12 20:56:04

D'you think? hmm

whitewave Tue 08-May-12 21:02:06

No

whenim64 Tue 08-May-12 21:07:03

I'd rather go off topic than follow the homophobic comments, thanks.

jeni Tue 08-May-12 21:37:25

faye I did that quote from hamlet earlier!

jeni Tue 08-May-12 21:41:06

I am NOT going to rise to any more of this homophobes comments!
I am reporting this as offensive!

Greatnan Tue 08-May-12 21:51:40

Because of the prevailing attitude towards homosexuality when he was young, my daughter's ex-husband denied his own sexuality and married her. She found him down-loading gay porn after 14 years of marriage and four children. I believe most gay men used to marry, and it often ended in misery for both them and their wives.
She did not blame him for being gay - she was just sorry that he had not been able to live a truthful life.

Faye Tue 08-May-12 23:09:03

It happened a lot in the past, lets hope homosexuals can be more honest now that they should be are accepted as part of a range of normal people in society. It must be.a blow to find you inadvertently married someone who could never be the person you thought you had married. It happened to one of my relatives and I believe it was very common. In this case the parents and the minister from their church knew the young man was gay but covered it up thinking marriage would cure him.

Greatnan Tue 08-May-12 23:22:21

My daughter was devastated but said it explained a lot of things about her husband. She would have been willing to live with him platonically for the sake of the children, but he could not accept that and wanted to continue marital relations. As she found out he had been using male prostitutes she had to have an HIV/Aids test and then sue for divorce.
She told me he tried very hard to ignore his true feelings but in the end he succumbed.
I am very heartened by the attitude of young people. One of my grandsons told me a 16-year old friend had 'come out' when he was drunk at a party. To his surprise, nobody altered their behaviour towards him and they couldn't understand why he was afraid of telling them. They are the same with people of other ethnic origins too - they genuinely judge each person on his/her own personality and not by some stereotype.
It has taken a long time and many brave people have suffered but I am hopeful that homophobia will eventually exist in only a tiny handful of ignorant people.

whenim64 Wed 09-May-12 07:23:07

Hear Hear Greatnan. My son was able to express his sexual orientation as a teenager and had great support from family, a little amusement from his mates, but that was his own doing because he dediced to announce he was gay when he was 16, by slinging his arm round his boyfriend and giving him a kiss at a Labour party barbeque being hosted by friend's dad. The response? 'Dude! - why have you taken so long to tell us - we're you're mates? Here - have a drink!' smile

whenim64 Wed 09-May-12 07:27:38

....must check for typos....'decided'

absentgrana Wed 09-May-12 11:00:43

horatio This is a conversation, not a formal debate – Gransnet not the Oxford Union. Virtually all threads go "off topic" at some stage. Have you looked at any others?

Faye Wed 09-May-12 11:15:40

Sorry jeni if I had read your post first. what would I have written, mmm, what about
horatio To be gay, or not to be gay, that is the question!

Not as good but still horatio in this thread just does not realise that people don't have a choice whether they are gay or not.

LydiaReid Wed 09-May-12 11:21:13

whenim64

I read a while back and watched a programme on telly which stated that no person could give a guarantee that any paedophile could ever be trusted again near children

My belief is that any paedophile man woman priest should be kept in prison forever
You are right when you state that the cost of the damage done to children is a lot more that the cost of keeping them in prison

I have no sympathy for any offending priest nor for the people who hide them
They give all the people in my church who work hard a bad name
Their was though a wide ranging investigation which proved that the figures proved that their were no more priests than other professions who carried out paedophilia but then we don't ever hear about any other person do we

I would prefer studies done here and quotes from studies done here but maybe they are not as useful

I can only speak for Scotland but it is my understanding that the rest of the UK have now reacted in the same way

No priest is allowed to be alone with a child whether that be in church or school
Every church is covered by cameras as is the entry to a priest house
Every Sunday we have a newsletter which states in bold no child should be allowed to walk about on their own

The catholic world is very different now so few go into the priesthood but I am confident the ones who do undergo an extensive examination to ensure that they have no inclination towards paedophilia

LydiaReid Wed 09-May-12 11:26:36

Greatnan I think at last you and I have found something to agree on

I don't care who a paedophile is they should have been reported and removed from the church
Treatment for me is an irrelevance
Remove them from their duties and keep them away from children

Children who have been abused have an emotional dependence on the fact that an abuser has been punished

Greatnan Wed 09-May-12 11:36:54

Lydia, yes, we certainly are in agreement about keeping abusers away from children, but I am not sure you understand my hostility to the church in this matter. The relative numbers of priests and other clergy or laity who abuse children are unimportant, no matter which studies you use. The point is that senior members of the catholic church knew about these crimes and covered them up. I don't think there is any other institution that has gone to such lengths to protect abusers.
I do feel sorry for devout catholics who must feel completely let down by the church - certainly it has had a profound effect in Ireland. The church will probably never again command the reverence and respect upon which it relied, and which enabled the dreadful catalogue of sins against children to continue.

LydiaReid Wed 09-May-12 11:47:22

Now to discuss the real thread

I don't believe any child in any School can sign anything without the authorisation of a parent so the letter was to be sent home so the parent will no doubt discuss the decision and may even decide whether they are to sign or not

As for the discussion of whether or not the government should change the definition of marriage

I note any person who states as I do that they believe marriage is and should be kept as a religious ceremony is automatically homophobic
So what does that make Peter Tatchel the person leading the campaign to change marriage

I spoke to him online during the campaign to close Catholic adoption agencies

He stated and with much vehemence and swearing incidentally that he would indeed close all Catholic adoption agencies and would put every priest in prison who refused to marry same sex couples

If we now look at the number of people in this country who have signed petitions to keep marriage as it is
The number of people supporting keeping marriage as it is far out ways the opposite
This is nothing short of an anti Christian and particularly an anti Catholic campaign

I can make a guarantee that if the government bring in a bill to change the law to allow marriage in church of same sex couples that the very next day we will see a case brought against a priest for not allowing a same sex couple to marry in the catholic church
Now lets look at what that will achieve
Could it be that catholic couples will no longer be able to marry in church or could it be that our priests will go to prison

But the most important thing for me is that this is in actual fact a small group of anti Christian anti Catholic people running this campaign because many people who are homosexual do not agree with their campaign

LydiaReid Wed 09-May-12 11:56:35

Greatnan
I agree with you

The whole issue was handled wrongly

All they did was put more children in danger and have caused really wonderful people who have spent their lives working for nothing to help other people a bad name
I hope the fact that people are more open about their sexual orientation will stop the fear of being found out
The time that was brought home to me was when I watched our old men on their knees praying asking for forgiveness for our church and to clear their church of these people
It was heartbreaking to watch
It truly brought me to tears
Our Cardinal is very outspoken but when he speaks you have no doubt about his love of people

Elegran Wed 09-May-12 12:09:37

Lydia Centuries before the Christian church existed, couples were making public promises to be joined to each other in marriage. Even in church today, the vows made are NOT to God, but to one another "in the sight of God" for those who believe, and many people do not bring God into their ceremony at all.

The church defined what they saw as the purposes of marriage - the procreation of children, the avoidance of promiscuity, and the mutual comfort the pair would provide for one another, but these aims and desires were already in existence before they were so defined.

Should countless generations have been consigned to living alone because the church had not yet perfected their monopoly on "marriage" ? Are non-christians all "bastards" and "fornicators" ?

Greatnan Wed 09-May-12 12:10:18

But Lynn - we have had non-religious marriages for a long time. You might not like it, but that is the law. Marriage as defined by the Christian church is comparatively new in relation to the length of time that people have been forming sexual relationships all over the world. There are many different forms of partnership in different cultures and marriage as we now know it was the preserve of the rich until fairly recently. You speak as though your definition was set in stone and should govern the lives of all people all over the world.

I am not responsible for anything Peter Tatchell says or does, although I think he has been very brave on several occasions.

The number of people signing the petition is, I believe, about half a million. I think that leaves over fifty five million who have not signed it.
Whether or not the school children under 16 could sign the petition is a red herring - I do not think it should have been read out in schools and I think some headteachers agreed with me.

Some of your extrapolations are really quite odd - for example, why on earth should catholic couples not be allowed to marry in church just because same sex couples are allowed to marry in a civil ceremony?

May I ask the name of your cardinal? I hope it is not Sean Brady.

Elegran Wed 09-May-12 12:13:17

Rereading (should have previewed) I meant to type "many people have a civil ceremony and do not bring God into it at all"

Greatnan Wed 09-May-12 12:17:29

Elegran -I think you might not have pressed to post - could you let us know your full thoughts?

Anagram Wed 09-May-12 12:21:21

Elegran's post is there, Greatnan - 12.09.37

Elegran Wed 09-May-12 12:22:58

I did press "post" Greatnan just before you did - mine appeared just before your previous post.

Unless you want even more of my bletherings.....

JessM Wed 09-May-12 12:42:11

No one is trying to legislate that churches must marry gay people.
The law will be about register office weddings. Full marriage in law, for those who want it, whether gay or straight. That is all.
Hoo-ha is because the churches want to stick their noses into the lives of non-members. As per usual.

Elegran Wed 09-May-12 12:47:47

Why do some people think that no-one can be a good, law-abiding, sober, faithfully married, exemplary parent and citizen unless they subscribe to the exact rituals that they themselves believe in?

Big-endians vs Little-endians.

Bags Wed 09-May-12 12:51:25

Because they've been indoctrinated from birth to be narrow-minded and intolerant.

Bags Wed 09-May-12 12:51:59

You have to feel sorry for them really. It must be rotten to be so angry all the time.

nanaej Wed 09-May-12 12:56:32

Random thoughts on this post!
As Christian marriage was originally about transfer of property ie a father handing his daughter/property to another man it is , IMO, rather outmoded.

If someone has a strong faith and wants to make marriage promises in front of their god I have no major problem with that. If that faith is anti -gay or sees it as a deviant lifestyle I am not sure, if I was gay, that I would want to be part of that faith group.

I do not think that one person's faith should interfere with another persons lifestyle.

Children ( under 16) should not be signing petitions unless they have a real understanding of the implications and the opportunity to discuss / hear both sides of the argument.

I got married in a church to please my mum! One daughter got married in a civil and then humanist ceremony. One daughter lives in an unmarried partnership with the father of their two children. Think the chances of long term togetherness has nothing to do with the ceremony or lack of at the start!

Elegran Wed 09-May-12 13:04:34

Agreed, nanaej There are people who have never signed a single piece of paper who are married to all eternity, and others who went through all the magnificence of church nuptials who would have been more honest had they admitted that they were only really after a brief thrill.

As for getting schoolchildren to sign a petition they do not understand, about relationships they have not experienced and people they have never met ..... words fail me.

Annobel Wed 09-May-12 13:31:15

You made me think, nanaej. My DS2 and his partner have been together now longer than my husband and I - married in Christian ceremony - managed. You can't measure commitment by the ring on the finger.

Greatnan Thu 10-May-12 06:35:12

Four cheers for Obama! He is pushing for same-sex civil marriages in the USA.

JessM Thu 10-May-12 06:51:02

Good point nanaej. Marriage is used in many cultures to try to ensure that men bring up their biological children - once married women are supposed to be "faithful".
Another way of looking at it is that it is a way of encouraging men to be responsible and not run round town impregnating and not taking responsibility.
It is all these things, but the "religious" aspect of it is a method of social control that encourages monogamy. All the talk of holy sacrament is post hoc justification.
Did Jesus ever have anything to say about it?
And "go Obama" - he is a long way from perfect but he is a darn sight better than the republicans...

Greatnan Thu 10-May-12 07:21:22

He seems to be a darned sight better than JFK too! What a pity he is so often stymied by the Republicans and religious pressure groups.

absentgrana Thu 10-May-12 09:25:34

JessM I think marriage in most cultures was also a means of ensuring that a man knew that any children were his (married women didn't have many opportunities for adultery). This also ensured that property was passed to a genuine son. It's just control again.

hicaz46 Fri 11-May-12 20:08:56

I doubt very much if children can make an informed decision without hearing both sides of the debate and I also doubt very much if the Catholic Church would allow gay people to talk to the children to balance the debate.

Greatnan Sat 12-May-12 07:34:17

Quite so, hicaz. Fortunately, there are many programmes on TV which young people might watch, which give a more balanced view of homosexuality.

I hope we haven't lost horatio - perhaps he has been swayed by our persuasive posts.

JessM Sat 12-May-12 08:23:17

That's what I meant "absent", not v well expressed that day.
There was an american evangelist being interviewed on the radio saying that somehow homosexual marriage would detract from his marriage which was all about raising children. I wonder if heterosexual marriages where there are no children also somehow devalue his holy union? Seems to the be weak point in the "marriage is for procreation" argument.

Bags Sat 12-May-12 08:31:11

Quite. And then there are all those dreadful people who somehow manage to have children without ever getting married, and to raise them as responsible citizens.

Bags Sat 12-May-12 08:31:35

Irony flag emoticon

JessM Sat 12-May-12 08:37:50

Maybe we should have an irony emoticon. I know just what it would look like. A little iron. How ironically apt for this site would that be Bags ?

littlemo Sat 12-May-12 11:36:41

Hicaz, I don't think that over 16s (petition is only open to over 16s) would appreciate being called children or the implication that they are not aware of both sides of the debate. Young Catholics are not sheltered from the rest of the world and even in school, especially at age 16 or over, are encouraged to debate the pros and cons of many issues.

Greatnan Sat 12-May-12 11:57:24

littlemo - it has been accepted that children under 16 could not sign the petition but many of us feel that the letter should not have been read out to pupils at all.

soop Sat 12-May-12 12:04:38

Bags With you all the way.

littlemo Sat 12-May-12 12:41:57

Yes, but refering to 'children' could make less well informed people think that children were being asked to make uniformed decisions before signing the petition. As this thread is meant to be about schoolchildren signing the petition, I just wanted to make this clear.

Greatnan Sat 12-May-12 23:01:57

Yes, O.K. littlemo. I should have been more careful in my wording of the original post.

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