I have read the following bit from the Guardian several times and cannot for the life of me figure out how someone who presumably can read and is capable of rational thought can mean what this says unless one is complete twit:
Asked if religious faith is essentially “a private, personal pursuit” or has a role in the wider community, he says: “Our common realm is not and cannot be stripped of values – I absolutely reject the idea that religion should somehow be tolerated but not encouraged in public life. Our equality bill is specifically designed to protect religion and belief on exactly the same terms as race or gender or sexuality.
“I welcome the role that people of faith play in building Britain’s future – and the Catholic communion in particular is to be congratulated for so often being the conscience of our country, for helping ‘the least of these’ even when bearing witness to the truth is hard or unpopular.”
Brown makes nothing but errors in this piece of broken reasoning. Although certain religions uphold certain values some of the time, nowhere can it be shown that values derive from religious belief. Quite the opposite, in fact. Brown assumes that by making religious belief a private affair, this will “strip” the common realm of values. Why he think so may be evidence for a large brain tumor or early onset of some delusional psychosis. Rejecting the notion of the state encouraging a particular kind of delusional thinking would be sound public policy, but Brown reject this absolutely. Why? If not brain damage, then surely this reveals the depth of his inability to think clearly. Protecting religious belief from discrimination like gender or race reveals a startling misunderstanding of why it is important that we protect equality of human rights. Religious belief, in stark contrast, can be changed by making a simple choice, say from catholicism to cabbage worship, whereas changing one’s race or gender or innate sexual preference is slightly different. Okay, it’s vastly different, but I feel a strong need to be sarcastic in the face of such stupidity, knowing that reasoning is the wrong tool to criticize Brown’s purposefully obtuse and proudly ignorant opinion.
And then we come to the second paragraph: that he welcomes religious belief in general and catholicism in particular to help build Britain’s future. Into what? A British Taliban state? A safe haven for pedophiles? Just how does religious belief help build anything when beliefs is based on either no concern for knowledge whatsoever, often a blatant disregard for what is true, and often is the main engine driving anti-intellectualism? And in case Brown hasn’t noticed, the catholic church in particular is undergoing a timely exposure to a massive global sex abuse scandal of “the least of these” adherents we call children. But rather than see what catholicism looks like in practice, Gordon “I’ve got my head stuck so far up my ass I can see my lips moving” Brown thinks this church under its current organization of doing whatever it can to hide what’s true between many robed clergy and innocent children is actually a champion of truth! One must be a twit of astounding proportion to actually believe what Brown says he believes. And such twits are a clear and present danger to building anything other than a delusion.