UK General Election – No Thanks…

A Pastoral Letter from the Bishops Conference of Scotland   crucifix with lilies on the General Election

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

On the Seventh of May the people of Scotland will vote in what may be the most unpredictable General Election in generations. While each of us alone will decide whom to vote for, the teachings of the Church can offer us a guide as we attempt to reach an informed judgement that advances the common good.

Casting a vote is both a civic duty and a Christian moral obligation. The huge turnout at last year’s referendum was an exemplary exercise in peaceful and participatory democracy and showed how much the Scottish people care about the future of our country and its wellbeing.  It was also a reminder of the power that every citizen has and the obligation upon us to use our vote. For centuries Christian values underpinned our laws and customs but for Christians today the political complexion of Parliament is secondary to the values and beliefs of those who sit in it. The candidates we send to Parliament go there as our representatives. The values they hold will shape their understanding of what is good for our country.  

Our Parliamentarians must discern priorities in many ethical and moral matters from Welfare to Defence, not to mention our relationship with Europe. Before casting our vote, we have a duty to inform ourselves of the moral values of our candidates.  We should think and pray before we choose, considering especially the following points:

1. Life: The dignity and value of every human being should be at the heart of politics.  The sanctity of human life, protected from its beginning to its natural end, is not a single issue.  It is the fundamental issue. It demands that we proclaim the Gospel of Life in all places and at all times, for if human life is not sacrosanct then no other human right makes any sense at all. Laws which permit abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide are profoundly unjust.  We do not want to accept the continued existence in our society of such fundamental violations of human rights and we commit ourselves to work peacefully and tirelessly to oppose and to change them.  

2. The Family: Common sense and much research tell us that children do best when they are raised by a mum and dad who are married to each other.  This ideal is not always possible in reality and we applaud and support families who achieve remarkable things in the most difficult of circumstances. In recent years, both the UK and Scottish Parliaments have enacted legislation re-defining marriage. Together with others we argued that marriage is a union uniquely of a man and a woman and feared that legislation allowing for same sex marriage represented an unprecedented threat to the public understanding of marriage and the family. Once again we should encourage our politicians to defend the institution of marriage and the family as the basic unit of society on which so much depends. Pope Francis has also reminded governments not to require poor countries to introduce laws redefining marriage before they can get financial aid, because this is unjust and unfair.

3. The Economy:  The first consideration for any economic policy should be the dignity of the person, not the pursuit of profit. We urge candidates to endorse the living wage campaign, giving people the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families. In these turbulent financial times Pope Francis has been a prophetic voice, warning that economies stripped of ethics trample human dignity. “Unbridled capitalism,” he says, “has given us the logic of profit at any cost, (and) of exploitation without looking at the person.” The existence of so many food banks in our country offers a depressing vindication of the Pope’s warning.

4. Human Freedom: Across the globe, the right to religious freedom and freedom of worship are under threat.  In some countries, Christians are put to death simply for professing faith in Jesus Christ. In this country, an intolerant form of secularism wants to remove religion from the public square, despite recognition in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. True human dignity involves the freedom to assemble, to worship and to manifest our beliefs openly.  Religious liberty must be non-negotiable in a free society and we should make sure our candidates support it.

5. Peace.  Successive UK Governments have made plans to replace and upgrade our nuclear weapons capacity.  This is despite the considerable costs involved and in the face of persistent moral objections, to say nothing of international agreements we have entered into which commit us to work against the proliferation of such weapons.  While recognising each country’s right to defend itself, the existence of nuclear weapons, and their possible proliferation, continue to represent a grave threat to the human family. Pope Francis reminds us that peace is better fostered by greater equality – not least by fairness towards the poor, refugees and migrants – rather than by increased spending on arms.

6. Evangelisation: The Gospel compels us as a Church and as individual Catholics to engage actively in the world and convert human affairs. Voting in the election is the least a committed Christian can do.  Our politicians enter public service with good hearts and give of their best to build up our lives and our country.  Sadly, however, on serious issues, some politicians who profess a Catholic faith remain silent – or even surrender – in the face of grave ethical injustice.  As Catholics, we can never separate how we act from what we believe without undermining what we believe and damaging who we are. The time has come for a new generation of Catholics to join political parties and to dedicate ourselves to political service in a way that remains faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, laying the foundations for a new Civilization of Love that serves the common good of all, especially the most vulnerable in our society.  

Conclusion: As we prepare to cast our votes, the Bishops invite all of us to pray for our country, our Parliamentary candidates and our fellow citizens.  With our votes we help set the direction of our society for years to come and it is right that we ask for divine assistance that we may be guided in our choices and that our nation may flourish. The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, The Second Sunday of Easter, 2015. + Philip Tartaglia, President, Archbishop of Glasgow + Joseph Toal, Vice-President, Bishop of Motherwell + Hugh Gilbert, Episcopal Secretary, Bishop of Aberdeen + Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St.Andrews and Edinburgh + Stephen Robson, Bishop of Dunkeld + John Keenan, Bishop of Paisley + William Nolan, Bishop of Galloway V.Rev.Mgr James MacNeil, Diocesan Administrator, Argyll and the Isles   Source To read the letter from the Bishops of England and Wales, click here Comment:

As I’ve been forced to do in recent years, I will be going into the voting booth on 7 May  to spoil my paper. I hope the ballot paper is a decent size this time, because I write something to the effect that they’re a Godless lot, that I cannot be complicit in evil, that when I find a party which can make life better for us all without undermining and attacking God’s law, then I’ll cast my vote. If there’s room I’ll add that I’m not going to compromise my conscience by voting to line my own pocket, since a healthy bank balance won’t get me into Heaven.  It was quite a squeeze last time!  So, that’s my considered view on the General Election, politicians and their (insert nasty adjective) parties. What’s yours?

Please note: political discussions in Scotland can get very heated, which is why I’ve hesitated before launching this thread.  Like a lot of other folk, probably most, I have strong views on the subject (there’s a hint above!) so allow me to remind everyone of our key in-house rule of no personal remarks of the unpleasant kind. We can tell the difference between banter and nastiness, so let’s have an interesting and intelligent discussion, if for no other reason, than to make the unthinking majority of Catholics who trawl the internet think twice before they cast their vote for parties which have brazenly and without apology, passed evil legislation in defiance of God’s law.  Over to thee…

208 responses

  1. Well, if someone can enlighten me as to the whereabouts of a good christian M.P. then I will vote for him or her!

    I must say that I didn’t find “The huge turnout at last year’s referendum was an exemplary exercise in peaceful…” as per the bishops’ statement above. In fact, I witnessed some disgraceful behaviour among the “YES” campaigners and I, myself, voted “YES” by the way. I saw a group of YES people harassing an elderly man who had a “NO” sticker on his car; I saw some “YES” louts throwing half eaten burgers at other cars with “NO” stickers. I never once saw a “NO” campaigner behaving in such a manner and I am now glad that they won.

    Having got that off my chest…… Even Jim Murphy, a practising Catholic, voted for anti life issues. I wouldn’t trust any of them. There are certain politicians who I admire such as Tony Benn, R.I.P. who had integrity even if one couldn’t agree with his political views; David Alton, Patrick Garret and the manly-punch-them- in- the gob, Tony Prescott.

    The thought of the socialist, ungodly S.N.P. having the balance of power in the U.K is frightening.

    • Helen,

      I’ve always looked for a pro-life MP and voted for him or her, no matter the party, but I now realise that they can’t change anything. It’s “toe the party line” or resign on every issue.

      I’ve come round to the view that if enough Catholics abstained and explained to their MPs why, that they can’t vote for evil policies and laws, then I think that would make more of a difference than voting for the pro-life candidate or least bad party.

    • That wasn’t my experience. I found that the majority of campaigners on both sides were well behaved but the unacceptable behaviour was there on both sides. My car was vandalised because I had a Yes sticker on the rear window and my wife was verbally abused by a Better Together street canvasser who told her to, “F- off then” when she told him that she was voting yes. And then there was the wee get together some of the Orange Order types had on George Square on the Friday.
      I give you that most of the campaigners were well behaved. But there was a small group on both sides who let it down. But I will not accept that all of the bad behaviour was on one side because that was not what I saw.

    • Helen

      I take it that you never visited George Square to see how the Nos celebrated their victory.

      • No mention of how George Square had been taken over for weeks beforehand by the Yes mob? Sure, those who claimed to be celebrating the No win shouldn’t have been there. But what on earth were the Yes camp doing still camped there 24 hours after the referendum? What were they waiting on? A re-run? The atmosphere in George Square the night of the referendum was absolutely poisonous – and it was entirely the Yes camp who had taken over the whole square. The renaming of our square as ‘Freedom Square’ which, shamefully, certain elements of the media repeat.

        I thank God we were spared these lunatics taking over our country and pray that He continues to spare us.

    • Helen

      It saddens me to disagree with you, but I can’t agree that Tony Benn had any integrity. Apart from his support for Communism, he was a committed pro-abortionist, and wrote me the most sickening letter to tell me that many “Christians” also supported “choice”. The man was a scoundrel!

    • Despite the fact that you didn’t see any bad behaviour from No supporters it did take place. I know that the Unionist press tried to paint the YES supporters as nasty and the NO supporters as saints but nothing could be further from the truth. I know of YES campaigners who regularly had to endure foul mouthed rants from NO supporters when manning their stalls. On at least two occasions YES stalls were overturned and at least four YES shops were daubed with paint and smeared with excrement. Another was firebombed. I personally know one elderly gentlemen who was verbally attacked by two NO supporters who screamed in his face that he was “an Effen traitor to the Union.” While some papers reported some of these things, most ignored them. One in particular regularly printed stories about what YES supporters were doing to NO supporters but totally ignored what NO supporters were getting up to. When anyone wrote to put the record straight their letters were never published. There were idiots on both side but sadly the corrupt press chose to smear YES supporters and ignore anything that NO supporters did wrong.

      • Vianney,

        That’s shocking stuff. Awful to think. YOU were (I think I’m right in saying) a “YES” supporter and moi was (I KNOW I’m right in saying) a NO supporter, and yet I don’t remember us falling out about it.

        However, it’s never too late. Vote for Nicola (blankety blank) Sturgeon’s mob on 7th May and I’ll be paying a visit to the capital for the express purpose of delivering, to you personally, an authentic, you know it makes sense, Glasgow kiss… 😯

        It’s the way I tell ’em… 😀

          • Petrus,

            You shouldn’t have said that. Now everyone will be scouring the markets looking for a YES voter with a sore head 😀

          • Really Petrus, it’s bad enough the Editor threating me with a Glesgae kiss but now your threating to over turn the stall. What a violent lot you are in the West. Thank goodness I stay somewhere where we only pick on Episcopalians.

            • We know that. Nobody said she was. Petrus was responding to my remark about voting for Nicola’s “mob” (i.e. Party) when he short-formed it to “Nicola” and that in the context of having a bit of fun threatening Vianney with violence 😀

              I hope that clarifies the matter for you but thank you for your well-intentioned “correction”.

        • Editor, I know many people on both sides of the referendum debate and, despite (at times) some heated arguments, none ever came to blows. The reason is because while they disagreed, they respected each others opinion. As I said before, there were idiots on both sides but it was just shocking that a biased press often only reported one side.

          • Vianney,

            The sudden rise to power of Nationalist Socialism combined with general atheism and blind passion is a bad mixture for any country, sadly inevitable when Our Lord has been dethroned.

  2. Helen, I wouldn’t trust any of the candidates in my area and that’s for sure. They speak with forked tongues. Did anybody read the “sympathetic to Catholic beliefs” by the SNP’s Mr. Rennie in the SCO? What a load of what Gabriel Syme, on another thread, says rhymes with kite! I have to say that my experience during the referendum was very similar to yours but I take onboard what Alex F says.

    I was at a dinner where the 14 guests were all legal people and the referendum wasn’t even mentioned. Eventually I brought it up and every single one was voting “no”. I think the “no” folk kept a lower profile on the whole. At least where I live.

    • Olaf,
      I agree that the Yes camp were more visible during the whole campaign. That possibly had to do with the demographic makeup of the two sides. In general the Yes side tended to be comprised of younger more liberal leaning people, while the No side was slightly older and more conservative (small c). There were exceptions of course. You can’t point to one group of people and say that they are representative of everyone who voted that way. That group of people you mentioned probably had very little in common with the “NO SURRENDER” BNP types who vandalised my car!😅

  3. As I’ve mentioned in a different thread, I’m probably going to vote for who I think is the least bad option. I’ve looked at the candidate list for my constituency and they’re all much of a much- the usual four plus Green and another Socialist party. No UKIP, which isn’t a surprise given I don’t think they would get far here.

    • Alex,

      By “least bad” what do you mean?

      Would you spell out the kind of policies which are so much into the “least bad” category that they wipe out the gravity of voting for a party which institutionalises the murder of the unborn, “marriage” between two people of the same gender and spies in the home via the Named Person legislation (stand up the delightful Mzzzzz Sturgeon and take a bow….)

      I’m really interested to get a clear definition of what “least bad” actually means. Right now, I just cannot imagine, if my life depended on it, which party I would identify as “least bad”.

  4. I used to try to vote for the “least bad” candidate. However, when it comes to abortion, how can any acceptance of it be “least bad”? The Conservative candidate in my constituency has indicated that he would vote to lower the legal limit. This is better than the status quo, certainly, but what he is saying is that it is not permissible to murder a 24 week baby in the womb, but it is permissible to murder a 20 week baby. I believe that anyone who believes it is permissible to murder a baby in the womb at any stage is completely immoral. We cannot vote for someone because they are “less evil” than someone else.

    It is also useless voting for a pro life candidate who is a member of a pro death party. I believe if you feel strongly enough about pro life issues and you want to stand for parliament then you should stand as an independent. Why on earth would a truly pro life person want to represent an immoral political party? In my book, they don’t quite grasp thr enormity of abortion.

  5. Yes, Petrus, I agree. A pro life candidate should stand as an independent. He / she would get the 8 votes in this family!

  6. Editor and Petrus,
    I think it’s relatively straightforward. You base your decision on how to vote based on who you think will do the least damage. On moral issues, including abortion, there is no party with clean hands. We have abortion. We’ve had it for almost fifty years, and that’s not going to change in the lifetime of the next parliament. It’s going to take a miracle to change that. So I’m basing the decision on what other issues there are. If I had a pro life candidate I would consider voting for them, but it doesn’t look like I do, so I’m stuck with what I’ve got. To be pro life also means that we have to care for people after they’ve been born.
    I used to do what you say and spoil my ballot, and I went for a few years without voting at all, but I don’t do that now, although I can see your rationale and I respect your decision. For me it seems like withdrawing from the political process when Catholics are supposed to get involved to change things and promote the reign of Christ the King. We can’t do that if we don’t get involved. Society as it is is far from the ideal, but to refuse to participate in civic life because our society is not perfect, is not the Catholic way. That’s just how I see it but I know others don’t see it the same way.

    • Alex,

      To save me having to reinvent the wheel, I think it’s simpler if I publish here, an exchange I had yesterday on another (excellent) blog, because I think Toadspittle (!) and you are essentially saying the same thing – vote for the “least bad”…

      (1) I submitted the following comment to the blog author, Kathleeen

      Great post and thank you for linking to Catholic Truth.

      I notice that you say that it’s more of a dilemma for Catholics voting in the UK General Election, than for Irish Catholics voting in the same sex “marriage” referendum.

      I understand why you say that, because all emphasis by politicians (and the useful idiots who believe their every word) keep our focus on the economy, housing, employment etc. But for a Catholic there really is no dilemma. We cannot possibly vote for any system which allows, by law, the unborn baby to be put to death in his/her mother’s womb, or allows men to “marry” men and women to “marry women” – thus blatantly overturning the law of God.

      Because of a faulty understanding of conscience, people have come to think in terms of “dilemma” – they forget that conscience must dictate: “do/don’t do this, or God will be displeased” – it’s not meant to be an inner conversation to see how to best get to do what we really want to do to make our lives easier. Dilemma is the word that causes this confusion and spreads a false notion of the nature and purpose of conscience: it’s a “dilemma” for women contemplating abortion (why? If it’s legal and considered “safe”, why is there any dilemma? The only “dilemma” comes from realising that women are being allowed to “choose” to murder their children, but they won’t put that into words of one syllable.) Ditto these elections. We cannot be complicit in evil under any circumstances. If people want to vote with a view to improving their own bank balance or perceived job opportunities, then they will have to be prepared to tell God at their judgment that their “conscience” told them it was OK to do that and too bad about His moral law. They forget that God is never outdone in generosity. Vote against complicity in evil, and God will take care of the bank balance and the job opportunities.. all these other things will be given to us as well. I read that somewhere, so it must be true!

      In summary, I see no dilemma in how to vote at the UK election at all. I will go into the voting booth on 7 May and spoil my paper. I’ll write something to the effect that these politicians are all Godless, that Christ must be King over every nation and until there is a political party which seeks to achieve that, I won’t be voting for any of them. I hope the paper is bigger than last time – it was quite a squeeze then!

      As for the Irish referendum – there is absolutely only one way to vote, and someone needs to tell that Fr Iggy Donovan and Mary McAleese: no Catholic can vote for same-sex marriage and hope to save their soul – without the grace of repentance before death – if they are willing to risk having sufficient time to do so. Hearts tend to harden over time, so personally, I wouldn’t risk it.

      So, spoilt papers in the UK General Election and NO in the Irish referendum. Sorted. Where’s the dilemma?

      (2) Toadspittle replied…

      “I realised there really isn’t any point in voting “least bad” or “pro-life” because whatever our motivation, the end result is the same; we are giving power to people who are using it to do evil.”

      But if you don’t vote at all, Editor, you are simply handing the evil ones a stronger majority, surely? Do you want that?

      To which I replied…

      Toadspittle

      Would you have said the same thing to St Thomas More (and other Catholics) who refused to sign the Oath of Supremacy, recognising the monarch, not the Pope as head of the Church in England? More’s own family urged him to go along to get along, keep a mental reservation and just sign – better than being indicted for treason.

      Catholics are going along to get along all over the place today. They are voting for evil legislation rather than refuse to be part of any attack on God’s law. You have focused on my decision about voting, not on that part of my comment which highlights the Catholic rationale. We cannot co-operate with evil. We must always act against evil and leave God to deal with the “stronger majority.”

      St Thomas More went to his death with a clear conscience, knowing that he had not placed any human being, even the King of England, above God’s revelation that the Pope is His Vicar on earth. That beats going along to get along in my book any day. Click here to reach blog Catholicism Pure & Simple

      I will add only that I fail to see how it is helping to promote the reign of Christ the King to give power to his sworn enemies.

      With that I rest my case… for now!

      • I agree with you on the gay marriage referendum. With that there is a clear right and wrong way for a Catholic to vote.
        With the GE it gets a lot more complicated. According to what you’re saying the only Catholic way to vote in the GE would be to refuse to participate. I don’t agree.

        • Well, Alex, by voting for a candidate that supports abortion in any way, shape or form , you are complicit in that evil. I’m not willing to participate in abortion under any circumstances – not even under the auspices of saving foreigners on a boat!

          • What on awful thing to say, and you claim to be a Catholic.
            I’ve spent too much time on this already so I’m going to turn in.
            Vote however you want. Don’t vote. Write whatever wee messages you want on your ballot paper. You do what you think is right, and I’ll do what I think is right.
            I’m not accountable to you for how I vote.

            • Alex,

              Please don’t get annoyed. You are being very honest and saying what you think about the election and your view is, without doubt, more in tune with the majority Catholic view (including bishops and clergy) than anything you will read here.

              And you are not, you are correct, accountable to anyone here for how you vote. You are accountable only to God.

              You must vote according to an informed Catholic conscience. That is a given.

              Many Catholics, Jim Murphy MP and other Catholic MPs, argue that their informed Catholic consciences let them support abortion and believe it is perfectly acceptable for them to regard it as a woman’s right.

              Others, voting Catholics, take a step back from that by paying lip-service to opposition to abortion (and many, yourself included, may even sincerely abhor abortion) but also take the view that, since it’s on the statute book already and looks like remaining there (divine intervention may change that sooner than we think) then it’s either OK to vote for their party of choice or they ought to vote for the least bad party to improve the lot of those who made it through the first nine months of their lives.

              So, be assured, we know that you are not stating an aberrant position – you are, as I say, undoubtedly in tune with the majority view, even of Catholics.

              But that majority view, Alex, is in tune with something else. The diabolical disorientation of which Our Lady warned at Fatima.

              Anyway, don’t be annoyed – we will not give up trying to win your vote for the rubbish bin (so to speak!) 😀 Just don’t fall out with us over it. Write us off as extremists, the Taliban Catholics as more than one critic has described us! See if we care 😉

              • Thank you for that, Editor.
                I can definitely see your argument. However I don’t think we can take abortion in isolation as if it is not connected to any other issues. My own feeling is that, without divine intervention, abortion is not going to be abolished any time soon. We now have gay marriage and we’ll soon have euthanasia. We have these things because people do not believe any more in Christianity and it is part of a wider problem in society, and we can’t do anything about that at a practical level. However, just because we can’t do anything about the big things doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to make things better in smaller ways. Catholics are supposed to get involved, not withdraw from civic life.
                I respect the decision of contributors to vote as they see fit, but, and I say this with no disrespect, they don’t have the authority to speak for the whole Church. There is more than one way if looking at this and still be consistent with Catholic social teaching.

                • Alex

                  I don’t for one minute doubt your sincerity or your good intentions. I do, however, doubt you understanding of the gravity of abortion and participating in civic life.

                  You are completely wrong. Abortion can and should be looked at in isolation. If a party, or candidate, believe it is permissible to murder an unborn baby then it does not matter what else he or she believes. There is no caveat on the ballot paper. You cannot indicate that you vote for this policy, but not for that policy. If you vote for a pro – abortion candidate then you are voting against God’s law. We cannot console ourselves that nothing is going to change so we are free to vote how we please.

                  Sadly, I think this is another example of how Catholics have become desensitised to evil and don’t have the same abhorrence as they should. Would you donate money to immoral charities who support abortion, stem cell research, homosexual rights etc? Many people, Catholics included, justify this by saying, “Well, it is a noble cause, curing cancer, so I will donate money and turn a blind eye to the not so nice bits.” That is exactly what a Catholic who votes for an immoral candidate does. It’s a very strange moral compass that allows a Catholic to vote to protect migrants but not protect the unborn. As someone said earlier, if all Catholics refused to vote then questions would be asked.

                  I disagree profoundly that spoiling a ballot paper is withdrawing from the civic life of the country. Not voting is withdrawing, but you are indicating, by your spoiled paper, that none of the candidates on offer will defend God’s law. That’s a profound statement. We also participate in the civic life of the country by writing letters, taking part in debate and educating others.

                • Alex,

                  I think I’ve said more than once that I cannot vote for parties which support evil laws and have named several, not only abortion, although, as Petrus says below, abortion most certainly can be looked at in isolation. If the law permitted the murder of everyone with blue eyes, there would (I hope!) be an outcry and nobody would justify voting for such a party on the grounds that it is only one policy, we can’t change it and so we look at their other policies and vote for them despite the “blue-eyes” murder policy. We may never support evil, no matter what “good” we think be result.

                  I think if you read the post from Athanasius, below, (12.55.a.m. 22nd April), you may be clearer in your mind that it is the Church – not any of us, as individuals – which prohibits voting for systems of government which oppose the moral law. He puts it exceptionally well, very clear and concise. But don’t tell him that, or he’ll get big headed and demand yet another massive pay rise 😀

    • Alex

      I disagree with you entirely. The issue of abortion is so serious thag no other supposedly “pro life” issue could ever justify voting for a pro abortion candidate.

      I would like to know what a “least damage” candidate believes in. What issues are you willing to compromise on?

      • Well, for instance, a supposedly pro life candidate who is against murdering unborn children but us in favour of waging illegal and unjust wars, thereby murdering people who are already born, including pregnant women and their unborn children who happen to be in the the wrong place. Or perhaps politicians who are in favour of callously allowing migrants to drown while escaping from the countries our government has helped leave in utter chaos by our stupid and unlawful interventions. That doesn’t strike me as pro life- it strikes me as hypocritical.
        I’m just thinking of examples off the top of my head.

  7. Alex, I’m puzzled, or not following properly. Is that 9.51pm post a reply to Petrus’s question as to what issues you’re prepared to compromise on? So would you vote for a pro-abortion candidate as long as he wasn’t in favour of the debatable, and certainly not clear-cut issues you list?

    Can anyone tell me when mortal sins became ‘violations of human rights’ in the bishops’ estimation?

    • Christina,
      I’m not quite sure what Petrus is asking. Perhaps that’s why I haven’t answered very well. I would ask what he is prepared to compromise on. And would you vote for a candidate who would let migrants, including children, drown? Is that what it means to be pro life these days?

      • Alex

        I’m not willing to compromise on anything. That’s why I won’t vote for any candidate.

        I’m sorry but the examples you provide are not in the same league as abortion. There are none so vulnerable or defenceless as the unborn. Pope John Paul I I said abortion is by far the most important prolife issue. Pope Benedict XVI said that Catholics may hold differing opinions on the legitimacy of war and even the death penalty, but we cannot ever hold a position that minimises the gravity of abortion.

      • Alex,

        With respect, in the examples given, you have created false dichotomies. Obviously, it is wrong to let migrants, including children, drown, but I doubt very much if you will see that listed as a policy in any party manifesto. Ditto unjust and illegal wars.

        The issue for Catholics today is that we are living at a time when recent Governments have actually passed evil actions into law. Abortion, more accurately procured abortion, the murder of the unborn child, is one, same-sex “marriage” and the spies in the home, Named Person legislation. All evil laws passed in recent years (there are others but these will do to make the point.)

        Now, if any Government made it legal to allow migrants to die, would you vote for them because they were (in other matters) the least bad party?

        I’m (almost) sure the answer to that would be “of course not” but correct me if I’m wrong. If so, ask yourself why – in some depth. Is it because you can actually SEE the migrants, you know that they were people walking on the face of the earth, simply trying to escape to a (they think!) better country? Would that be the basis of your opposition? Would that be why you would not feel able to vote for the “least bad” party when that “least bad” party was accepting of the evil legislation that allowed migrants to drown in their efforts to get into the UK? Could any other policy trump that evil law? Would a promise to end the Council Tax for the poorest in the land cancel out the law on drowning migrants?

        Remember, each of those migrants began life in the womb and some, at least of them wouldn’t have spent any time walking the face of the earth had they lived in a land like ours where their mother could choose to have them murdered in the womb if she felt depressed or preferred her career or whatever her excuses were.

        We can’t pick and choose which evils we will tolerate, in the interests – let’s be honest – of choosing a party which is less likely to raise our taxes, reduce our benefits or – in whatever way – make us financially less well off.

        It’s called selling our souls, Alex.

      • Alex,

        No, that’s not what it means to be pro-life these days. Being “pro-life” means just that – cherishing life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death (or accidental death – not euthanasia or other deliberate acts to end life).

        Nobody who truly cherishes life at all of its stages, will support parties which are war thirsty or uncaring about migrants etc.

        The key issue for a Catholic is, can we possibly support a system, that is, any government, which permits state-sanctioned murder of the most vulnerable members of our society – the baby in the womb…and next on the hit list, the other most vulnerable groups, the sick, disabled and elderly. No matter what they promise to deliver – and they tend not to keep their promises anyway – can a Catholic truly, in good, clear conscience, vote for the candidates on offer, knowing that thus they are supporting that evil system?

        As for the argument that if we don’t vote we can’t influence or have a say – I disagree. I have been in umpteen discussions about the election which took off precisely because I explained my position. It’s, sadly and amazingly, an unusual position these days because, for some incredibly unclear reasons, the general opinion seems to be that we must vote, doesn’t much matter for whom, as long as we vote. Explaining that some of us take note of the legislation being passed in between elections and are not useful idiots who are going along to get along, just may help to make some people think a little more deeply about the whole essence of Catholic Social Teaching which is to place Christ at the head of every nation. All laws are passed, therefore, to give glory to God and, thus, in the right order of things, to make life better, peaceful and legitimately prosperous for us all. The “least bad” philosophy turns that right order on its head and makes the case for the improved human situation at the expense of giving glory to God.

        We will now stand and sing hymn no. 51… 😀

  8. Alex, No I wouldn’t vote for a candidate who would let migrants drown, but as far as I understand the situation, migrants are fleeing from countries where tribal Islamists are murdering them, or, in no inconsiderable mumbers, because they want a better life, seemingly preferably in the UK, which cannot continue to add to its population at the present rate of uncontrolled immigration. They are drowning because of the cynical actions of evil criminal gangs. The power to remedy such matters is not in the hands of UK politicians. It is a matter for international action, as I think Pope Francis recently said.

    I agree Petrus. I am questioning the local candidate for whom I want to vote for on all moral matters, and especially abortion. If the answers are wrong i will follow Editor’s example. but does anyone read ‘none of the above’ votes? Surely they just get binned.

    Still wondering about mortal sin becoming a human rights matter, so not a mortal sin. No wonder you can do any unspeakable thing and still be called a ‘devout Catholic’.

  9. I am quite disillusioned with our system of Government in the UK. In the past I could never understand why some traditional Catholics favoured a system of Monarchy as the best form of governance but since reading “Restoring the Bastions” I can now appreciate that view more.

    Democracy is merely the competition between rival groups of scheming liars who are ultimately only out for themselves. When I was younger, i was quite interested in party politics but this contemporary election is just passing me by. It is so transparent how the various parties essentially try to “buy” votes by offering special treatment or hand-outs etc to the various demographics in society. This, instead of trying to achieve consensus (like herding cats) or offer a vision of society based on values. Really, values (especially Christian values) are long gone from politics; all politics concerns now is power and money.

    In spite of this, I think the Bishops could make the Church a much stronger force when it comes to influencing both Catholics and Politicians (of any background). Look how politicians will pander to various demographics – Labour offering a £1,600 hand out for young voters, other parties offering grovelling state apologies to homosexual voters, (for the crime of previously having a clear sighted view of human sexuality). Why, then, aren’t the Bishop wringing favours out of the political class on behalf of Catholics? Look how Nicola Sturgeon sat back in silence, when the NHS dragged the Catholic midwives through the courts, determined to make them oversee infanticide? Why no action (or even comment) here on behalf of the midwives and Scotland’s sizeable Catholic minority?

    And why do the Bishops sit in silence and allow the likes of Jim Murphy to use the Catholic faith as a cloak of convenience to attract votes? His is pro-abortion and so has no claim to Catholicity and no credibility. Yet he gets away with this and so the situation damages third party understanding of Catholicism to boot. And why would this situation ever change, for as long as our Bishops are so idle?

    I think the modern Church has a poor approach to politics. I think it tries to appear non-confrontation and nuanced, but in fact it comes across as having nothing much to say. It is disappointing that there is not an unashamed lay-Catholic-led political force in Scottish / UK politics – even just a handful of seats could be a useful voice in a Godless parliament. Instead Catholic politicians just go for the same old party politics (probably because of the atheist-socialists the Church forms in large numbers today, instead of forming Catholics!).

    I would like to vote for someone but the reality is that I feel no great attraction to any particular party – they are all simply different shades of the same grey. There are only illusions of choices, and poor choices at that. When Scottish and UK Governments chose to ignore the results of their own public consultations regarding “gay marriage”, our “democracy” was shown up for what it is and so no wonder the turn outs drop ever lower. Who wants to waste their time by taking part?

    • Gabriel Syme,

      I’m so glad that I didn’t give into the temptation to leave reading your post until the morning (I’m whacked…I really must stop these late nights pubbing and clubbing) 😀

      It’s a fantastic post. So clear, dynamic, packed with truth. God bless your tartan socks.

      And if you don’t HAVE tartan socks, tartan socks will be provided!

    • Democracy in this country is where over one million people who march to object to an illegal war which has, and still is, caused/causing thousands of deaths are ignored because fifty nine million didn’t protest.

      However, it only takes a couple of sodomites to complain about a baker refusing to bake a “wedding” cake for them and their democratic rights gets the whole world behind them.

  10. It stands to reason that if a Catholic votes for a political party that contradicts the moral laws of God and of nature, he votes in favour of rebellion against his Creator and becomes an apostate. There is absolutely no economic or social argument that can alter this reality, as the contrasting examples and ends of Judas Iscariot and the Christian martyrs clearly demonstrates. No matter how much money a particular party promises to put in our pockets as reward for our betrayal of our God, we are obliged to choose the spiritual above the material if we value our eternal salvation. God will judge each of us on our decisions. We are either for Him or against Him in our public as well as in our private lives; there is no middle ground and no discount on conscience for the purposes of a General Election!

    Separation of Church and State is a condemned heresy, therefore Catholics are not free in conscience to support or elect governments that oppose the teaching of the Church.

    And speaking of heresy, the Religious Liberty advocated in that letter of the Scottish Bishops’ Conference is also a condemned heresy. Tragic as it is to admit, these shepherds of souls are largely to blame for the present godlessness in our society, having relinquished their duty to lead the sheep with the authority of Christ in favour of a new and fatal policy of merely offering advice (badly)! Their anti-nuclear statement in particular is typical of a hierarchy more Socialist than supernatural in its outlook.

    If we, as Catholics, have that spirit of holy poverty and detachment that we are supposed to have, then no amount of financial gain offered by atheistic political parties will convince us to betray God and vote for them. Despite all their false promises, it is the teaching of the Popes that society will inevitably disintegrate (financially and morally) under such governments. It pays to read up on the Church’s Magisterial teaching in this matter.

    As regards our duty to vote, it must be stated clearly that this does not apply to voting for immoral parties. Quite the contrary, in fact, we are obliged before God to refrain from voting for those who reject His holy laws. That primary requirement rather narrows our options in the forthcoming election!

    • Athanasius, or anybody else out there, how does UKIP stand on the various moral issues? I notice they are not included in the list of parties in the present Catholic Truth poll.

      • I asked. They have no policy on abortion. If there was sufficient public interest they would hold a referendum.

        They take a libertarian line on same sex “marriage”. No official policy. They suppose the right of churches to refuse to carry them out.

        All in all, not good enough.

        • Eileenanne,

          Where did you get that information, I haven’t heard of it before? I know the Tories have been toying with child benefit restriction but I had no idea that UKIP were thinking along similar lines.

          • Athanasius

            You will also be aware of the UKIP candidate who has called for all Downs Syndrome babies to be aborted?

  11. Thank you to the people who responded to my comments. We are going to have to agree to disagree on a lot, I’m afraid!
    The only thing I would say is that there is more than one way to approach the current crisis in society, and the bishops of Scotland and in England and Wales have written letters on the GE, and they have not advised people to spoil their ballots or fall into apostasy. Additionally, the organisation Catholic Voices are carrying articles on why we should vote Labour or Conservative so there is no definite agreement. Furthermore, I can’t think of any documents from the Magesterium telling people to spoil their ballots, so unless you can give a direct quote from the Church, you are not speaking for the Church- merely expressing opinions as Catholic lay people with broadband connections. ☺

    • I would really feel comfortable basing my decision on the Bishops of Scotland and Catholic Voices….NOT!

    • Alex F,

      Do not look for Traditional authoritative Catholic guidance from today’s liberal Magisterium, you won’t get any. As I said earlier, that letter of the Bishops’ Conference contains heresy (Religious Liberty). If you doubt that then you need to read up on Church teaching and the Papal Encyclicals from before the Council.

      It’s entirely up to you what you do at the GE, but rest assured that I will spoil my ballot paper before voting for any political party that despises the laws of God and sets about the further ruin of souls. I don’t need the Pope and the bishops to tell me where my duty lies in that respect.

  12. Madame Editor,

    Nobody takes any notice of spoilt ballot papers, so although your carefully condensed spoiling may make you feel better, it does nothing to shield the electorate from the worldliness of today’s politicians, if I may be so bold.

    Most of us will have experienced life under the Conservatives or under Labour, and we all know the shameful laws they have introduced for the secularisation of our lives.

    There is no sign that either of those parties is about to change tack any time soon.

    Now, at last, a political party has arisen as a serious contender, with representatives in 624 of the 650 constituencies entitled to return a Member of Parliament. It is up to us, the electorate, to take this opportunity to show the old school that we are no longer prepared to entrust them with our future, and to seize this chance to make a difference.

    On those grounds alone, and setting aside any debate about this or that Party being “least bad”, I urge all voters, including those who routinely spoil their papers, to turn out for the vote and to give their support to their local UKIP candidate.

    God has seen fit to enable the UKIP to rise to a level of prominence unprecedented in their previous history, and it is for us to put our trust in Him and vote for them.

      • Athanasius

        I’m surprised at your response given the information posted above about UKIP. I think it’s complete inadequate. A party that doesn’t have a policy on abortion is not a party that will defend God’s law!

        • I haven’t voted for years. I will be voting UKIP this year. NOT because they have any chance whatsoever of gaining a majority here (North East of England – vote Labour or die!) and not because I think they are pro-life – but purely out of a wish to express my disgust at the main parties.

        • Petrus,

          The difference with UKIP is that it doesn’t publicly endorse abortion like the other parties. I think Therese made a good point when she said that Farage has to be careful what he says in public, maybe that’s why UKIP refrains from saying too much on these matters to the liberal media.

          It’s one thing for us to oppose parties on their known immoral policies but quite another to start assuming the worst from their silence on a particular subject. God only expects us to act on what we know for certain. I am not personally aware of any publicly declared immoral UKIP policies or of UKIP’s approval of the immoral policies of other parties. Not being Uri Geller, I have to weigh that positive information as promising.

          • Athanasius,

            “It’s one thing for us to oppose parties on their known immoral policies but quite another to start assuming the worst from their silence on a particular subject”

            I thought silence was one of the nine ways of sharing in the sin of another? Surely it can’t be right for UKIP leaders to keep silent on key moral issues that are being flouted by the other parties? Silence (legally) suggests consent, so the conclusion we can fairly draw is that they are in agreement with the bad laws on abortion and same sex marriage. If they disagree they have to speak out.

            • Margaret Mary,

              Sometimes prudence calls for a diplomatic silence. You will have noticed how the liberal media in this country seizes every opportunity to portray UKIP in the worst possible light. Under those circumstances we may assume that the party is keeping its moral card close to its chest. I really don’t know the truth of it. What I do know is that UKIP, unlike the rest, isn’t openly immoral in its policies.

              • the liberal media in this country seizes every opportunity to portray UKIP in the worst possible light

                That is a good point Athanasius; it is the establishment trying to ward off a perceived threat to their continued dominance.

                By chance, I caught a section of a program last night where UKIP Leader Nigel Farage was being interviewed by the BBC. Typically for the BBC, the interviewer was Evan Davies, a openly homosexual man from the liberal Ivory towers at the Beeb.

                The part I caught was extremely biased and, rather than give Farage a platform to discuss his policies, (like the other leaders get), he was subject to a very slanted and patronising routine from Davies.

                At one point, he was even being asked to defend individual utterances from UKIP councillors, as though they were somehow representative of UKIP policy. I was glad Farage objected to this treatment. I thought he did well to remain cool during all this.

                Another thing which impressed me about UKIP was that their Scottish MEP (David Coburn) rubbished “gay marriage”, despite being homosexual himself.

                I have felt Mr Coburns direct speech and reasonable views have been a breath of fresh air among the contrived rubbish we get from the mainstream parties.

            • Margaret Mary,

              Silence (legally) suggests consent” – sorry, but this is not the law. If you look up the case of Felthouse v. Brindley in the famous sale of a racehorse, you will find that the Judge ruled that: “Silence is not acceptance”.

              I do hope this snippet will reassure people who have been considering giving their vote to UKIP.

              Whatever Government we end up with after May’s General Election, let us do all we can to ensure that it is UKIP and not the SNP that holds the balance of power during the upcoming five years.

              • And yet, that was Thomas More’s argument – that his judges should have presumed by his silence that he agreed with the Oath! Maybe that’s the lesson here, that the law of the UK can mean whatever you want it to mean in a particular case!

                I understand the prudential argument but I am sticking to spoiling my ballot paper, because a party that chooses to remain silent on moral issues prior to the election for reasons of prudence, is unlikely to speak out after – especially if they hold the balance of power. Nigel Farage is more interested in getting us out of Europe (and I hope he succeeds) than in reversing same-sex marriage and abortion.

          • Athanasius

            I think I said above that I asked UKIP about their policies on abortion. They don’t have one. They believe that if there’s enough public interest then they will hold a referendum. I don’t think this is good enough at all. How on earth can any right minded person remain silent in the face of infanticide? I’m sorry but I can’t vote for someone who will not stand up for God’s law because they would rather not lose votes. It’s incredibly selfish and weak.

            What we need is someone to have the courage to say, ” Of COURSE I am against abortion! It’s an absolute outrage!!!!” Yes, they will probably lose the election but better to lose an election than to remain silent.

            Now, UKIP don’t really oppose same sex “marriage”. Again, they have no policy on it, other than to say that they wouldn’t force religions into celebrating such a “marriage”. It’s worth noting that they support Civil Partnerships. Can we vote for such a party? I doubt it.

            • Petrus,

              If the Pope and the bishops are largely silent on abortion and “same-sex marriage” then we can hardly expect a secular political party to go out on a limb to denounce such evils. Given the general demise of Christianity in Britain such a stance by UKIP would spell overnight suicide for the party. I don’t see that achieving anything. By my reckoning UKIP’s openness to a referendum on these issues, should there be a large enough voice, is a great improvement on the no choice “pro-choice” and no say “pro-gay” governments that have ruled the roost in Britain since the 1960s.

              Baby steps!!

    • Leprechaun,

      “Nobody takes any notice of spoilt ballot papers.”

      I am almost certain that a politician said in an interview I heard once on TV that they always look at the spoilt papers. I think someone has to examine them to make sure they are authentic and I’m sure the politicians check them out for that reason.

      • MM,

        ALL ballot papers are counted – that’s how they can tell us the turn-out figures, and I have no doubt that politicians will take a look at spoilt papers.

        • The spoilt ballots are all shown to the candidates. They all have to be in agreement that the ballot is spoilt and that the voter’s intention wasn’t just not clear, eg a tick instead of a cross.

            • I’ve been at many counts over the years. I used to be heavily involved in politics and was a member of one if the large mainstream parties. I used to be involved in campaigning for during elections, so I have a lot to atone for! 😈
              I’m not a member of any party now, and can’t envisage ever being in one again!
              The candidates all have to agree that the ballot is spoiled, and not just that the voter’s intention was unclear, so they do see what you’ve written. They probably don’t pay too much attention, though. People write all sorts of things on ballot papers, including things that I could never repeat without blushing and going into moderation in this forum! 😊

              • Alex,

                Thank you for that information. I will make my comment as concise as possible and crystal clear. Avoiding the “blushable” words that I would love to include! 😀

  13. I received this very interesting e-mail yesterday from a former work colleague….

    ‘Perhaps many of you don’t understand, due to our Socialist-dominated media and United Nations propaganda, that the current Islamic extremism and mass migration is being funded indirectly by the wealthy, oil rich Arabs.

    Unlike many of our politicians, UN representatives, loony lefties, BBC and Guardian journalists, I have lived and worked in the Middle East and the Islamic world for over 25 years. You have to realise that multi-culturism and tolerance of other religions are not the teachings of the Koran.
    Since the early 1980’s, the Saudi’s, Qatari’s, Emirati’s, Kuwaiti’s and other oil rich Muslim countries have embarked on financing the Islamisation of Europe. Due to our dependence on oil, our pathetic politicians have not dared to speak out or criticise these extremist Islamic regimes.

    Despite financing various wars and civil unrest in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan etc., these oil-rich Muslim countries have not taken in a single Muslim refugee, but finance their movement and asylum migration into Europe. The so-called “Arab Spring’’, once glorified by the Socialist media/BBC, British Champagne Socialist Blair and the idiot American Bush was an absolute disaster because it let all the Islamic extremists out of their boxes.

    Our western ideals of democracy do not fit in with Islamic teachings within the Koran, which equate to our state of Christian teachings during the bygone time of Oliver Cromwell. The atheist Champagne Socialist politicians, BBC and Guardian journalists need to wake up to what the ultimate aim of the Islamist world is — European and Worldwide Islamisation.

    Any non-Muslim is an infidel, as defined in the Koran. I suggest you all read the Koran instead articles by the UK Guardian newspapers Champagne Socialist journalist Polly Toynbee (writing from her Tuscany home) along with the media diatribes from her atheist BBC and Socialist friends like Nick Clegg & Ed the Red Miliband. Perhaps also, you should all make a visit to our once proud UK towns like Dewsbury, Rochdale, Tower Hamlets, Oldham, Bradford etc., which are now overrun with Islamic immigrants who have no intention of integrating into British society and many of whom cannot or will not speak English. The ultimate aim is the Islamisation of Europe and the World.

    I was always advised when I lived in the Islamic world “when in Rome, live as the Romans”. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the majority of Muslim immigrants who arrive in Europe on the pretence of being persecuted in their own countries, but wanting to convert Europe to Islam.

    Ask yourself this – why are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE & Kuwait not accepting any refugees or asylum seekers from any of these worldwide Islamic conflicts that they are funding????’

    • Well said Pat McKay, very well said. I also highly recommend the latest Christian Order which carries a few Islam-related articles – well worth reading. Hopefully some of it will be available on-line soon.

  14. Madame Editor,

    What a fear-ridden world we live in!

    Here we have Pat McKay giving us an invaluable insight into the real intentions of the supporters of Mohammed. In the current Christian Order we have an article revealing how hard-core Jews regard every non-Jewish person as being sub-human and thereby not protected by the restraints of the Ten Commandments, and in the book Evil Forces are driving the World towards War by James Hanisch we are told how Russian Infantry will spread out from the conquest of Ukraine to as far north as Paris before turning south to crush the so-called Islamic State and drive the Muslims out of Europe.

    What grandiose plans these various factions have for the future (if there be one) of mankind!

    And where is God in all of this?

    And where does May 2017 fit into the timetable for these plans and intentions?

    Why 2017? Because it is the 500th anniversary of Protestantism, the 300th anniversary of the start of the freemasons, the 100th anniversary of the launch of communism, and the 100th anniversary of Our Lady’s apparition at Fatima. And here we are worrying about the outcome of the next General Election in this little nation of ours.

    We should be chasing along to the Catholic Repositories to get our Brown Scapulars and our rosaries, and preparing to storm Heaven for our salvation in the face of what looms ahead.

  15. I,too, am thinking of voting UKIP. I once heard Nigel Farage (I think) decrying same sex “marriage”. They are probably keeping mum about their beliefs in order to get votes but I think their values are the nearest to ours.

  16. I’ve already voted – for UKIP, although their candidate for my constituency is pathetic. I’m surprised that they didn’t field a stronger one here, as the area has been subjected to galloping islamisation for years and it is only a matter of time before all the huge Islamic ghettos in the Lancs and Yorks towns mentioned in Pat McKay’s post coalesce. I think that under these circumstances a vote for the only party awake to our country’s deadly peril, and prepared to do something about it is a no-brainer.

  17. I appreciate the idea of spoiling ones ballot paper as a form of protest and have considered this myself.

    However my concern is that they are simply overlooked, given how cynical and cheap politicians are.

    Imagine an election between Party A and Party B, and there were 500 voters.

    If the count showed up 1 vote for Party A and 499 spoilt ballot papers, I think the politicians would be quite happy with that and pleased to represent this outcome as “the will of the people”.

    And, rather than change policy to engage the 499 alienated voters, I think Party B would simply set about trying to win the single valid vote which was cast.

    • Gabriel Syme,

      I think it is important to understand that spoiling one’s ballot paper isn’t just (or primarily, even) about making a “form of protest” to send a message to MPs although that is important in itself, of course.

      Whether or not my MP sees my spoilt paper (and thanks to Alex F for confirming that he will) the reason I will have to spoil my ballot paper is that my conscience will not permit me to do anything else.

      I cannot justify voting for any party in the land where they are complicit in supporting anti-Christian laws. By not clearly denouncing the rejection of Christ through the laws established in recent years, and through all the spin offs that are leading people astray and, we would argue, souls to Hell, they are, in effect, lying to voters. Whatever their motivation – prudence would be the obvious one – that is, in fact, what they are doing.

      Prudence, remember, takes many forms. No politician would need to spell out the “Hell” bit even if they are fully orthodox Catholics, but spelling out the disastrous consequences in health and in finance, that sort of approach, of the evil laws under discussion here, would win votes, I have no doubt. Treating genital warts costs the NHS 17 million a year (or did last time I looked – probably more now) and that’s a fairly common ailment among the sexually promiscuous, or so those in the know tell me. Any politician or party which went further and openly “declared for God” so to speak would, I believe, attract more votes than any of us might imagine. God is never outdone in generosity. We cannot think only with our limited human intelligence and insights on this as in anything else. We need always to keep the eternal perspective. God, we must never forget, is never outdone in generosity. Vote to reject evil, and all these other things will be given to us as well. So to speak 😀

      So, please don’t think of spoiling the ballot paper as a “wasted” vote. God won’t think so! The “spoilers” are refusing to be complicit in evil and that is no small thing. What difference does a X make on a piece of paper? If, as some countries allow, we had the option to place our X in a box next to “None of the above”, how is that any different from writing something to the same effect, because we know that we cannot, in conscience vote for any of the parties on offer? Short answer: it isn’t.

      We do our civic duty by going to the polling station and placing our ballot paper in the box, while retaining our personal integrity and in however small a way, we give glory to God by rejecting the attacks on His moral law, and the institutionalised evil for which both the UK and Scottish Parliaments are responsible – to their, undoubtedly, eternal shame.

  18. Talk of democracy and general elections always remind me of this famous quote by G.K.Chesterton.

    “Tradition means giving a vote to most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead.” Chesterton goes on to say: “Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our father.”

    • CBucket,

      That’s a brilliant quote from Chesterton, and provides the perfect answer to the nasty remarks which have appeared on here from enemies of authentic Catholicism, who speak about “the dead popes society” – taking a swipe at Catholic Tradition, especially in the statements of the pre-Vatican II popes, ESPECIALLY Pope Saint Pius X.

      So thank you for that… have a coffee and cream cake on me!

  19. I found the following in my inbox just now, from the Coalition from Marriage – some of you may receive their emails already but in case not, here goeth…

    MARRIAGE
    IN THE MANIFESTOS

    Dear marriage supporter,

    As the election approaches I thought you might like to know what the political parties are saying about marriage.

    David Cameron highlights same-sex marriage in his manifesto, saying it “helped drive forward equality and strengthened the institution of marriage”. This is despite the fact that most of his backbenchers voted against it.

    The Labour Party correctly say that it was their votes which got gay marriage onto the statute book.

    At the time, both Conservative and Labour Party leaderships brought huge pressure to bear on their MPs to back gay marriage. By contrast the Liberal Democrats seem to have had a genuinely free vote. But all three parties now talk about same-sex marriage as official policy and pledge to go further.

    Same-sex marriage is not mentioned in the UKIP, SNP or Plaid Cymru manifestos. [Ed: but recall the SNP ignored the consultation vote against and passed it into law against the will of the majority, anyway.]

    Both the Conservatives and UKIP back the married couples’ allowance, which also applies to same-sex couples in a legal marriage or civil partnership. Labour, the Lib Dems, and the SNP pledge to scrap the married couples’ allowance.

    Extracts from the manifestos are given below.

    Over four out of five MPs from the last Parliament are seeking re-election. You should have received an email from us last month telling you how your MP voted on redefining marriage.

    Ask all your candidates whether people should be punished for believing in traditional marriage. Our 30 Cases leaflet highlights some examples of concern.

    We must keep on raising the issue of marriage because we know it really matters to the future of our country. The people elected on 7 May will make crucial decisions in the future, such as whether to reduce or increase legal protection for freedom of conscience and freedom of speech.
    Yours sincerely,

    Colin Hart
    Campaign Director
    Coalition for Marriage

    Extracts from the manifestos

    Conservative Manifesto 2015

    • “We will back the institution of marriage in our society, enabling married couples to transfer £1,060 of their tax-free income to their husband or wife, where the highest earner is a basic rate taxpayer. This applies to civil partnerships too”. (page 27)

    • “Our historic introduction of gay marriage has helped drive forward equality and strengthened the institution of marriage. But there is still more to do, and we will continue to champion equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people.” (page 46)

    Labour Manifesto 2015

    • “We will create a fairer tax system, helping those on middle and lower incomes by introducing a lower 10p starting rate of tax, paid for by ending the Conservatives’ Marriage Tax Allowance.” (page 18)

    Labour Party LGBT Manifesto 2015

    • “Since Harold Wilson’s Government finally decriminalised homosexuality in 1967, Labour has continued to lead the fight for LGBT equality. We abolished the hateful section 28, equalised the age of consent, gave statutory rights for NHS fertility treatment for lesbians, created civil partnerships and delivered the votes that put equal marriage on the statute book.” (page 3)

    Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2015

    • Under ‘A Record of Delivery’: “Introduced equal marriage for gay and lesbian couples”. (page 105)

    • “A fair society should treat its citizens equally and with dignity. In this Parliament, thanks to Liberal Democrats in government, there have been key advances in the fight for equality – like introducing same-sex marriage and banning age discrimination.” (page 105)

    • The Liberal Democrats say they will: “Promote international recognition of same sex marriages and civil partnerships as part of a comprehensive International LGBT Rights Strategy that supports the cause of decriminalising homosexuality in other countries.” (page 107)

    • They will also: “Give legal rights and obligations to cohabiting couples in the event of relationship breakdown or one partner dying without a will.” (page 107)

    UKIP Manifesto 2015

    • In the next Parliament, UKIP pledge to “increase the transferable personal tax allowance for married couples and civil partners”. (page 5) Again, UKIP will: “Increase the transferable tax allowance for married couples and civil partners to £1,500.” (page 7)

    SNP Manifesto 2015

    • “We will also look to release additional resources by backing a series of revenue raising measures…reversal of the married couples’ tax allowance”. (page 8)

    Plaid Cymru Manifesto 2015 – no mention of same-sex marriage or marriage tax breaks

    Green Party Manifesto 2015

    • The Green Party manifesto pledges to: “Legislate to remedy inequality in pension inheritance for same-sex marriage partners and same-sex civil partners.” (page 26) END.

    For Coalition for Marriage website, click here

    • To be honest, I am astounded that anyone could vote for any UK party after reading editor’s rationale for spoiling papers. I just can’t believe it.

      I’ll be spoiling my paper on polling day.

      • Fidelis,

        Worry not. As Agatha Christie once said, good advice is almost certain to be ignored, but that’s no reason not to give it 😀

  20. Editor, I wouldn’t dare ignore (!) your advice, and I weigh it carefully, but we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. Athanasius wrote a thoughtful post about reasons to vote for UKIP, and I agreed with him and with Leprechaun – having already cast my vote. Had I not done so, watching Nigel Farage’s interview on ITV at 7.30pm today would have persuaded me to vote for his party. He struck me as a man of complete conviction, sincerity and fearlessness, putting principles before the popularity courted by every politician of several recent decades. After watching this broadcast I looked up some of the on-line videos of his speeches in the European Parliament, an interview (meant to be a grilling) by the Jewish Chronicle, and he is certainly impressive, as, at last, a conviction politician. As has been said, he has not declared his views on moral issues, and this is prudent, given that he needs to get members of the party elected before he is in a position to do anything. However, of one thing I am sure, Islam is a deadly danger, to the Church, to Europe and to the world, and a brake on the rate of Muslim immigration might give a little more time before the inevitable (without divine intervention) happens in this country and the rest of Europe. Also we need to get out of the EU, and UKIP gives us the best chance of doing this.

    • Christina,

      You are right… we’ll have to agree to disagree on this!

      Like you, I think Nigel Farage is a decent man. So was Pontius Pilate.

      Maybe, in time, I will be shown to be wrong about this, and UKIP will, post-election, speak out against the evil legislation passed by the other parties. Then I’ll eat humble pie and definitely vote for them in the NEXT General Election.

      On 7th May, 2015, however, I’ll be spoiling my paper.

  21. Someone has mentioned CO and the brilliant editorial about Islam in the latest edition. It’s required reading for anyone who doesn’t yet fully understand what the worshippers of Allah are doing in the world and why.

    • Maybe I’m looking in the wrong place but I can’t find an editorial about Islam. The CO page says “current” and the headline is “The Bergoglio Imbroglio” by a Bishop Tobin.

      • Helen, the latest edition is actually February 2015. The CO Editor hasn’t yet uploaded any of it onto his web-site. If you like, I could scan and pdf the ‘Sola Koranica:1’ editorial and e-mail it to the CT Editor, asking her (nicely, of course) to forward to you. All in favour, say ‘aye’.

    • You are most welcome.

      I had earlier compiled a pdf of another article from this edition of CO titled ‘Halal:Stealth Jihad’. It’s about how Australians are having halal-certified foodstuffs foisted upon them and how the purchase of same means unwittingly financing the Islamisation of their country. No doubt this is also happening here in the UK, indeed Cadbury’s chocolate is specifically mentioned!

      This one’s only 793kB and available on request, but I promise I won’t do any more, dear Editor. Hopefully, the CO Editor will upload in the next few weeks.

      • Pat,

        That’s OK but be aware that all of the CO editorials and many, if not all, features are published online here

        It could be a while before I see your email and forward it – but if you want to send one more, that’s fine.

  22. Plus being forced to take part in the worship of the idol, Allah, of which halal slaughter is an important ritual part. All NZ lamb here is halal, but I am fortunately able to get meat locally raised and slaughtered. Give the supermarkets’ meat dept’s a wide berth and only buy meat from trustworthy sources.

    • Christina, you mention the worship of the idol, Allah. Well Allah is the Arabic word for God. I have a Lebanese Catholic Maronite friend who refers to God as Allah, so I think we should be careful about such comments.

  23. Crofterlady, I understand that Arabic-speaking Christians use the word Allah in reference to our God. However millions of Muslims use it of the false god of Muhammed, and this is what the majority of people understand Allah to be. The heretic Muhammed was either suffering from delusions or he was in fact visited by a demon who claimed to be the Angel Gabriel and who contradicted all that the Angel Gabriel had said to Mary at the Annunciation. This heretic set up a religion, Islam, with a false god, therefore quite properly called an idol or even a demon, but he continued to use of it the Arabic word Allah, claiming that Christians had perverted the truth about God. Neither Yahweh nor Allah are the same as our God, who is trinitarian, and those who suggest that they are, including Pope Francis, are wrong.

    I am sure that your Maronite friend, and any Arabic-speaking Christian understands that the Muslim Allah is not his/her God, and would not wish anyone to ‘be careful’ about not speaking the truth about the dreadful Muslim ‘idol’, or false God, who resembles Moloch, and whose ‘Holy Koran’ is inspiring many of his worshippers to commit satanically monstrous acts. In a similar way, early Latin-speaking Christians understood that ‘Deus’ did not equal ‘deus’.

    • I must admit I have known and worked with hundreds of Muslims and I have never met one that understood Muhammed to be Allah. Never.

      • That’s correct, Petrus. Muslims believe that Allah is God and that Muhammed is His PROPHET.

        • Christina didn’t say that Muhammed was Allah. She said “the false god of Muhammed” – i.e. whom the Muslims call “Allah”.

          I’ve never understood why the Christians in that part of the world would use the name Allah when it is associated worldwide with the non-Trinitarian god of the Muslims. I believe they even went to court to keep the right to use it. I find that unfathomable.

          • Semantics, for goodness sake. Of course the Jewish or the Muslim God is not the same as our God who is Triune. Allah is simply the arabic word for God and why shouldn’t other arabic folk use their very own language, I ask. I mean Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons etc., use the word “God” just as we do even though it is not our God.

            I think Christina simply expressed herself less than clearly which we all do from time to time.

      • Petrus,

        Christina didn’t say that Muhammed was Allah. She spoke about “the false god of Muhammed”, I can’t see how anyone would interpret that as meaning Muhammed was the Muslim god. Everyone knows Muhammed is believed to be their (Muslims’ ) prophet

        • Margaret Mary

          This is what Christina said:

          ” However millions of Muslims use it (Allah) of the false god of Muhammed, and this is what the majority of people understand Allah to be.”

          If this isn’t saying that Muhammed is Allah I really don’t know what it!

          • Petrus,

            I think it means that the majority of people understand Allah to be the Muslim god. It seems really clear to me. I don’t think she means Muhammed is Allah, but if I’m wrong she will correct me.

            • Margaret Mary

              I think if she had said simply that Allah is the Muslim god that would have been clear.

            • Thank you, Margaret Mary, I certainly won’t correct you! When I read the posts of Petrus and Crofterlady I just about lost the will to live.

              Goodness, Petrus, MM kindly pointed out to you that ‘this’ (unambiguously) refers to the entire preceding phrase, not to Muhammed. Another unambiguous clue to a correct reading is the pronoun ‘what’ in the following clause. A reference to Muhammed would have required the relative pronoun ‘who’ instead.

              I don’t mind an argument, but attempted correction of my English by a couple of Scots – gerrawaywithyer!

              • Christina,

                Thank you for that attempted explanation. I do think your point was made rather clumsily, but let’s let the matter drop.

                • Petrus,

                  With respect and lots of bowing and scraping, I disagree that the point was clumsily made by Christina. Read on…

                  The reason there was confusion – it seems to me – is that bloggers forgot the context. Read on again…

                  The context for Christina’s comment was the fact that (strangely) Christians in that part of the world use the word “Allah” same as the Muslims do. Keep reading…

                  Christina explained that this is strange because the majority of us associate the term “Allah” with Muslim worship. And finally read…

                  Clear as crystal, beloved Petrus. I saw it immediately. Am I of an unusually high intelligence? Am I unspeakably clever? Am I… you’ll get the idea… *

                  * answers in each case = “yes”. 😀

              • Christina

                I now see what you mean. However, I’ve never seen such a simple idea expressed in such a roundabout way. Sometimes using less words is better! 🙂

                • It has been said before, Petrus, but I’ll never learn.

                  I’m a bit like… the old man of Milan,
                  Whose limericks never would scan.
                  When told it was so
                  He replied ‘Yes I know
                  But I always try to get as many words into the last line as ever I possibly can

    • Christina,

      Yahweh is the God of the Old Testament, who revealed Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ, and the Holy Trinity. Obviously, the Jews of today don’t worship the same God as us as they rejected Christ, the Incarnate Word, and reject the Holy Trinity. Or am I wrong?

  24. To learn a little about the REAL Nicola Sturgeon, as opposed to the “star” of the media election circus, take time to view these videos. This man wrote several letters to Sturgeon about the police corruption he encountered when all he did was report a paedophile, and didn’t receive one, single reply. Anyone who wishes to read the letters is welcome to email me and I will send them – they’re word document attachments.

    and

    • Why is there not more outrage, support and posts to help this poor persecuted family on this blog?

      • Crofterlady,

        “Outrage-fatigue” perhaps.

        In any case, I emailed Brian Docherty with the suggestion of one of our bloggers (perhaps yourself, can’t recall offhand) that he contact one of the anti-SNP papers to get them to break the story of the REAL Nicola Sturgeon, who didn’t answer even one of his letters, but no reply. So, who knows what is going on. I think we’re all outraged, but what can we do? If the high and mighty Mzzzzzz Sturgeon knows the facts and refuses to act, and if the press are refusing to publish, there’s not a lot we can do here except publicise the scandal.

        I’ll be away from my computer for most of today so any cheeky responses will be dealt with on my return. Depend on it 😀

  25. That’s truly shocking! Such corruption and of “high profile” persons too! Can you imagine the way the Named Person Bill will be abused! Anyone with young children should move to England or Northern Ireland.

    I’ll keep Brian and his family in my prayers.

  26. Whilst they are “fiddling whilst Rome burns” up above over allah, I wish, Brian, to assure you of my prayers. Dreadful injustice. You shouls get the press on the case. Just before an election too!

    • WF,

      The shine is off UKIP for me, I’m afraid. I doubt very much if, having kept silence (some think for reasons of prudence – I disagree: there has been no worry about prudence in the UKIP policy on Europe) on the key moral issues, suddenly, if they have MPs elected to Westminster, UKIP would begin campaigning for protection for conscientious objectors. They’re all the same to me, as I’ve said before. My conscience dictates that I spoil my ballot paper but even if all other things were equal, I couldn’t vote for any Party that withdraws child benefit after the second child. Where did we hear that before, the bit about two children being sufficient?

  27. That is beyond dreadful. I didn’t think Ed Milliband could sink any lower in my estimation, but he just did.

  28. The Green Party is “open” to the idea of three-person marriages, Natalie Bennett has said.
    Ms Bennett said she was “open to further conversation and consultation” about the prospect of the state recognising polyamorous relationships.
    She made the comments in conversation with PinkNews, the LGBT website.
    Dr Redfern Jon Barrett, asked: “At present those in a ‘trio’ (a three-way relationship) are denied marriage equality, and as a result face a considerable amount of legal discrimination.
    “As someone living with his two boyfriends in a stable long-term relationship, I would like to know what your stance is on polyamory rights. Is there room for Green support on group civil partnerships or marriages?”
    Ms Bennett responded: “At present, we do not have a policy on civil partnerships involving more than two people.
    “We are, uniquely in this country, a party whose policies are developed and voted for by our members.
    “We have led the way on many issues related to the liberalisation of legal status in adult consenting relationships, and we are open to further conversation and consultation.”
    A Liberal Democrat candidate for Parliament recently disclosed that she is living in a polyamorous relationship.
    Zoe O’Connell, who is running in Maldon, Essex against senior Tory John Whittingdale, was born male, and is in a relationship with Sarah Brown and Sylvia Knight, a married couple.

    The above article appeared in the Telegraph on 1st May.

  29. The problem in Scotland for Brian Doherty is that the country is almost entirely left wing media and all parties. He should go to the Daily Express which might just be interested..

  30. Madame Editor,

    As the week slips by and the opportunity to elect a new Government approaches, I am pleased to see that so few, if any, of the bloggers are proposing to vote for the SNP. Many are intending to spoil their voting papers in the absence of a perfect candidate, but we must not forget that the people get the Government they deserve.

    If the SNP end up holding the balance of power in the next Parliament, there will be no point in the wringing of hands and the shedding of tears. It will be the deserved outcome.

    For those who have yet to make up their minds, and for those who are open to persuasion, may I direct their attention to an extract from today’s Sunday Express which they can read without having to buy the newspaper:

    http://www.express.co.uk/comment/expresscomment/574569/Ukip-in-touch-ordinary-British-people

    Thursday is polling day. Let us seize the opportunity to escape from thralldom.

    • Leprechaun,

      I don’t buy this “people get the government they deserve” as a means of making people feel they MUST vote for someone, anyone, as long as they use their vote.

      I cannot vote for any party, UKIP included, which has gone along – for WHATEVER reason – with the evil legislation in place, and which, moreover, shows itself tied to the population reduction agenda by arguing that no family with more than two children should be entitled to child benefit.

      Anyone who wants to square voting for them – or any of the rest of the apostates on offer – is physically – if not morally – free to do so. I will spoil my paper, in the clear and certain knowledge that whoever Leprechaun votes for, we will get yet another government intent on insulting God by refusing to place Christ at the head of the nation, and by implementing even more anti-Christian laws. I will play absolutely no part in putting such godless men into power.

      You heard it here first… !

      • I’m voting UKIP for one reason. They have absolutely no chance of getting in where I live, and I want to express my opposition to everyone else by voting for them. I know it will be utterly pointless, but if enough people do it to register on the scale, it might – it just might – give the other party here a sleepless night or two. I think it will be as useful/useless as spoiling my ballot paper, and as I haven’t voted for several years now I want to express SOME disgust.

    • Leprechaun,

      Politics is always a very emotive issue, especially today given that none of the Parties running for power is outrightly Christian.

      This having been said, I agree entirely with your assessment of the situation in Britain, and here’s why.

      When the SSPX entered into negotiations with Rome Bishop Williamson and a handful of others refused to go along on the grounds that any arrangement with the Roman authorities would be both dangerous to the Society’s apostolate and offensive to God. First, said they, the Roman authorities must abandon all their errors and return fully to Tradition before any kind of arrangement can be reached.

      If only we lived in such a perfect world!

      The fact is that if a proper arrangement with Rome could be agreed with solid safeguards in place to protect the SSPX, then it is clear that much help could be afforded the Church in this time of dire crisis. Barring a miracle of stupendous proportions, this is the only way I see Our Lord restoring order.

      The same rule applies to secular politics. UKIP has never, to my knowledge, outrightly proposed legislation that offends against the laws of God and of nature. Perhaps as a campaigning party it has not been particularly vocal in upholding and defending such laws (which action would doubtless lose it any voter support it presently has). In this sense it is a lesser of evils rather than a perfect choice for the Christian conscience.

      Now I have read here that UKIP plans to reduce child benefit to two children per family, though no solid evidence has yet been forthcoming in support of that claim. But even if this were true, and I certainly hope not, on balance UKIP still represents a certain measure of sanity in a country which has lost all sense of right and wrong. We are never going to get the perfect Christian party to vote for in these godless times, so it is enough, I believe, that we act as prudently as possible in the circumstances by voting for that party which is the least aggressively atheistic.

      When this election is over we will all have a government in this country for better or worse. I prefer one for the better, which appears to be UKIP at this time. Not perfect by any means, I agree, but a step in the right direction away from the Socialist domination of the major parties that presently hold sway. I for one will not spoil my vote for that reason. Spoiling the vote, while very well intentioned, ultimately results in maintaining the status quo. My conscience is clear in the matter.

      • Athanasius,

        As you say, politics is a very emotive area. We can only ask Our Lady to obtain for us a Government which will, at best, not put on to the Statute Book any new laws that will further undermine the Kingship of Our Lord.

        During my time in an RAF barracks hut I noticed that many of the Fire Precaution notices had been defaced to read: “Stand in the corridor and pray for rain” and it seems to me that spoiling one’s ballot paper is an equally ineffective remedy for ensuring an acceptable outcome in a threatening situation.

        All the parties are making promises of what they will do in return for our vote, but sadly those that have been in power up to now have all demonstrably failed to deliver.

        Surely the time has come to opt for change and to use our vote for the UKIP and a Government which might listen to the voters rather than to the burocrats in Brussels.

        • Leprechaun,

          I am highly unimpressed with your lack of respect for the rights of conscience – mine in particular.

          I really think it is a mistake to try to coerce anyone into voting for any particular party. I am not going to vote for UKIP no matter how much you like them!

          Allow me to repeat, once again, I hope for the last time because this is getting tedious, that I am going to write a message on my paper which will allow the candidates in my constituency to think for a second about the fact that not everyone goes along to the polling booth with the mindless determination to vote for the sake of voting.

          I’m not going to waste my time repeating what I’ve said over and over again on this thread, but direct you, instead, to my most recent response to Athanasius.

          To save your energy, however, I will repeat this one more time: I am NOT going to vote for UKIP, so you can stop canvassing for them. It ain’t going to happen.

      • Athanasius

        I have to disagree with your “apples and oranges” example – the situation within the SSPX (waiting for a perfect “Vatican”) is not at all the same thing – either in nature or degree – as weighing up how to use one’s vote for a government in a UK election. Nowhere have I suggested that I’ll wait for the “perfect” party – no such thing. But just as your conscience permits you to vote for a party which appears to support – in the absence of any solid evidence to the contrary – the evil legislation attacking God’s natural moral law, so mine does not.

        My decision has nothing to do with “emotion” but is based on the facts available about each of the parties on offer, in the light of Catholic social teaching. It seems perfectly obvious to me that to put my cross beside the name of any candidate in any political party which does not have the courage of its (supposed) convictions, to tell the population of the UK that, as well as taking a courageous stand on Europe and immigration, it will also be speaking out against explicit sex education in schools and other such aberrations, is to put other considerations before my primary duty to ONLY vote for a government system which will not undermine and attack God’s laws.

        I’m also surprised that you would have no problem voting for a party pledged to cut child benefit for those with more than two children. That would discriminate against Catholics. I’m really surprised that you dismiss this policy as “not perfect, I agree…” It’s not only “not perfect” – it’s downright evil. You will find the pledge here

        So, we will have to respectfully disagree on this. I am determined to write a message on my paper which will leave the candidates in no doubt that at least one constituent in these parts refuses to go along with their lies and propaganda.

        And of course that will result in maintaining the status quo. As will voting for UKIP! There’s NOTHING that will change the status quo. Don’t be fooled by the apparent disagreements between the SNP and the other parties. They’re all in total accord on all the main issues. Whatever the make-up of the government post-election, nothing will change.

        NOTHING will change the status quo because there are no candidates even remotely “Christian” let alone intent on restoring the Kingship of Christ.

        • I’m afraid those who think UKIP is the answer to their prayers are going to be sorely disappointed. I think it is terrible that they are pledging to limit child benefit to two children for new claimants – that’s likely to change gradually to include others in the cutback / austerity climate we’re in today.

          Their manifesto also speaks of “supporting families in all their diversity” (p.24) and “diversity” is a buzz word for same-sex couples, as everyone knows, so they’re not supporting real and traditional marriage.

          I’m very sceptical about all the Parties. I don’t think you can believe a word any of them say.

          • UKIP also have an active LGBT wing , “Out and Proud For Britain”. It’s a Facebook group with official links to the party. They have posted photographs of homosexual candidates out having a “social evening” in “gay bars”.

            • Petrus,

              I don’t follow mugbook, so I know nothing of these people. All I can say is that UKIP does not explicitly support homosexuality in its manifesto, unlike the main parties. You and others may be right, they may be encouraging this kind of godlessness privately, I don’t know.

              What I do know is that, given our very limited choice of parties to vote for, and considering that spoiled votes, like it or not, equates to votes for the more in-your-face godless entities that have dominated this country for far too long, I will use my vote for UKIP on the only principle I have to work with, which is the principle of choosing the lesser of evils.

              I see, for example, that UKIP opposes sex ed for young children and promotes a parental opt-out choice on sex ed for older teenagers. Surely that’s a very positive step in the right direction?

              I take the point that UKIP is not a Christian party promoting entirely Christian values; its child benefit proposals being a typical example of this. However, I really think that on balance they will make the lives of Christians in this country a lot more tolerable, drawing a line under those evil minority groups that have enjoyed free reign these past 40 years to completely eradicate morality from British society under the auspices of the three main parties.

              Maybe I’m wrong, God knows. But the way I see it I would rather lessen the evil spreading in the UK by voting UKIP than doing nothing at all, which is what the spoiled vote means in real terms.

              As I said before, it would be wonderful to live in a perfect Christian world in which such difficult choices were rendered unnecessary. Maybe we’ll witness that soon with the triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart. Until then, we can only work with the lights and limits we have to try to make this country and the world a little less worthy of the wrath of God.

              • I always understood that we are not permitted to choose the lesser of two evils. I thought that was a basic part of Catholic moral teaching, so I’m sure you are wrong to choose the lesser of two evils.

                I also think it is very insulting to say that spoilt votes are doing nothing at all. If the candidates who see the spoilt votes do not see that these are people of principle who took the trouble to go to the voting station to write them a message of protest, then they are even more stupid than they are coming across on our TV screens.

                • Lily,

                  It is not wrong to choose the lesser of two evils when that is the only choice. It is better to choose the lesser of evils than do nothing at all and thus allow the greater of evils to continue. Do you really think today’s politicians give a hoot about spoiled votes? You must be very naive.

                  The Church’s social teaching always allows for a lesser of evils situation when no other is available. For example, she allows for the toleration of false religions in Catholic countries under certain conditions.

                  As regards Petrus’ point about mugbook. All I said in this regard is that UKIP does not declare an explicit manifesto pledge to support homosexuality. If it did I would not vote for it.

                  I’m not Uri Geller and I can’t go searching the Internet for fringe groups that may link themselves to UKIP. All that is required of me is that I read the UKIP manifesto in the light of Church teaching and then decide, with the help of God’s grace, if that party’s public declarations on policy are something I can vote for in good conscience.

                  In general, UKIP is the only party that offends less against the Commandments of God and offers hope for a lessening of the persecution of Christians in this country. That’s enough to be going on with for now, I think. Of course others may think and act differently, that’s their business.

                  • What does it matter whether politicians “give a hoot” about spoilt votes or not. Do you think they give a hoot about votes given to minority parties like UKIP? They only care about the SNP because they look like wiping out Labour in Scotland, that’s all.

                    I see a lack of respect for consciences here, as editor has already said, for people like me who are going to spoil our votes. I don’t think that’s at all Catholic. It’s not right to say “that’s their business” when it’s our conscience. You say you can vote for UKIP just because they’ve never made any public stand about homosexuality but they say in their manifesto that they support families in all their “diversity” and if that’s not publicly supporting LGBT lifestyles and gay adoption, I don’t know what is.

                    I also understand that the Church only allows tolerance of false religions in Catholic countries to prevent public disorder. That’s a bit different from voting for politicians who support evil laws like abortion and gay marriage.

                    • Lily,

                      I wrote as my last line:“Of course others may think and act differently, that’s their business.

                      Perhaps it’s not the most eloquently clear statement I have ever made, but I am at a loss to understand how you could have interpreted it as meaning that I have no respect for the conscience of others.

                      I think when an exchange of opinions turns in this negative direction it is time to call a halt, if only to preserve charity. I’m sure you feel the same way, so let’s leave it there.

                    • Athanasius,

                      I think the conversation took a negative direction when you said to me “You must be very naïve” for thinking politicians care about spoilt votes but that happens in politics discussions, I didn’t take offence but I I think if they got enough of them, spoilt votes, they would care. IMHO voting for UKIP is more of a wasted vote than spoiling the paper, no offence meant.

              • I also think you are not being honest when you say you are not accepting Petrus’ information about the LGBT UKIP connection, just because they are not openly saying they support the gay agenda. Why would they, that’s the point. They are just the same as other parties on that issue.

                I agree it’s good about the sex education, that’s a step in the right direction but not enough to vote for them if they are still pro abortion and LGBT, plus the child benefit limit. I thought we were not allowed to vote for any government system which allows abortion (Pope John Paul II).

              • Athanasius

                We will need to agree to disagree on this one.

                I would just like to point out that parents already have the right to withdraw their child from sex education, so I’m not sure if that particularly policy is anything new.

                • Petrus,

                  As you say, we’ll have to agree to disagree. But as regards withdrawing children from sex ed, you may rest assured that under the present regimes this freedom will not be in place for much longer.

                  Besides that, sex ed for very young children, already in our schools, will be banned completely by UKIP. In so important a matter they are the only party promising to protect the morals of children.

                  • Athanasius

                    Yes, this is indeed to be welcomed. However, the group I mentioned above are not a fringe group. They are affiliated to UKIP.

                    To be honest, I can’t see any real reason to believe that UKIP will be any better than other parties. They have said they will not overturn same sex “marriage”. In fact, Nigel Farage made a lot out of UKIP having an openly “gay” Scottish representative who had campaigned for LGBT rights.

                    They do not have a position on abortion. They do not have a policy to campaign for the abolition of abortion. They haven’t even said they would look to reduce the term limit.

                    We know they support family planning with their diabolical policy on child benefit. So, I’m really scratching my head trying to fathom out your reasoning. With respect, could it be that you are doing what the other Catholics do and focusing on worldly issues that you agree with (immigration, EU membership) whilst turning a blind eye to their lack of moral fibre?

                    I just don’t see any evidence that a vote for UKIP is permissible.

                    • Petrus,

                      That is very revealing. I have liked Nigel Farage and thought he was more honest than the others but now I see he’s just the same, bowing to the LGBT lobby.

                      These are terrible times for a Christian trying to vote – I am with those who can’t vote for any of the current crop of parties on offer, so will be spoiling my vote, which is better than staying at home which I am very tempted to do.

                    • Petrus,

                      I am not unaware of the evil in UKIP’s manifesto, which is clearly demonstrated in that linked article. But I think you and others here are missing the point completely.

                      Throughout this exchange I have argued on the principle of choosing the lesser of evils in the forthcoming election. This principle is based on the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Thomas A Kempis under the subject heading of “the double effect”.

                      Let me first present a case of medical ethics as an example of the double effect.

                      A young woman has cancer for which she requires urgent chemotherapy. The good effect of that treatment is that it may kill the cancer cells and save her life. The evil effect is that it may make her permanently infertile. Clearly, the greater evil in this case is the death of the young woman and so the Church permits the treatment even though a secondary (evil) effect of infertility is very possible as a result.

                      In politics we may not always be able to choose a party that upholds the law of God in every respect. In fact in these atheistic times there is no chance whatsoever of our having such a happy choice. So what do we do?

                      What we do is choose the party whose policies are most likely to restrict greater evils. In other words, we do not vote for the evils that party already promotes along with the rest, but rather for the good it proposes in restricting greater evils that the others are intent on enforcing should they be elected.

                      Here’s how it works.

                      We must vote not for the evil that party promotes, but for the good it proposes in restricting the greater evils yet to be enforced by the other godless parties.

                      For example, UKIP is not opposed to the homosexual lifestyle but does recognise the rights of Christians to oppose such a lifestyle. The other parties do not recognise any such right of Christians.

                      Similarly, UKIP is not anti-abortion yet it does intend to outlaw abortion on the grounds of the sex of the child. The other parties will not outlaw such wanton child killing.

                      UKIP is not anti sex ed, yet it intends outlawing sex ed for primary school children. The other parties are aggressively pursuing the sexualisation of very young children.

                      UKIP proposes to pursue a referendum to take Britain out of the EU and away from the sinful administration of our sovereign country by foreigners based in Brussels. The other parties, Tories aside, are intent in further enslaving the UK under this non-elected foreign bureaucracy.

                      I could go on but I’m sure you can see where I’m coming from. My vote for UKIP is not a vote for their evil policies but for the policies they propose that will restrict further great evils being inflicted on the UK. In other words I really vote for the greater good, not for the lesser evil.

                      By the way, I should point out that the principle of the double effect in respect to politics is forbidden in cases where the party we vote has no real chance of winning sufficient power to influence national politics. The polls seem to suggest that UKIP does have a chance of winning significant power and that’s the only reason they get my vote.

                    • Athanasius Could you provide a source for the claim that we can vote for the lesser of two evils when a party has a realistic chance of gaining power? Despite polling at around 15 % latest polling data suggests that, at best, UKIP will win 2-3 seats at most and there’s still a chance that they will not gain any seats at all. 

                      Sent from my Samsung device

                    • Petrus,

                      It’s not Church teaching, just the bishops who say it’s OK to vote for the lesser of two evils because they didn’t like Pope JP II saying we should never vote for any system which legalises abortion. That was how they got round it. To cover up their dissent they lump marriage, nuclear weapons and euthanasia etc in with abortion to talk about “life” issues.

                      I wouldn’t be surprised if UKIP won a few seats here and there but not enough to make a difference in Parliament. They’d join the independents who have no clout at all, is my best guess.

                    • Petrus,

                      In order for the ethical principle of lesser evils to apply certain conditions must be met. One such condition is that there can be no “greater good” as a moral choice. In other words, the moral agent is faced with ONLY the possibility of evil moral choices.

                      Faced with that situation, we are ethically bound to choose the lesser of the evil choices. If there is a greater good, we must choose it, as St. Thomas Aquinas asserted, “the lesser evil or the greater good is always to be chosen” (Summa Theologica, suppl, 47, 2).

                    • Athanasius My argument would be that to spoil one’s ballot paper is a greater good. All the candidates have to read the paper and agree it is not a valid vote, so there is a form of witness there.  We may plant a seed and never know the result of our action in this world.  I would also say that if enough Catholics spoiled their ballot paper and wrote a message of protest, you can be sure politicians would start courting the “Catholic vote”.   With no realistic chance of gaining significant power or influence and no real commitment to overturn or oppose evil laws, I cannot see how UKIP is a “lesser evil”.

                      Sent from my Samsung device

                    • Petrus,

                      I completely agree with you, and you’ve put it better than I have done anywhere on this thread, or could have done. Well said.

                      It’s precisely that “form of witness”, that good example of refusal to compromise, that dictates in my conscience that I cannot vote for any party, even the “less evil”.

                      Although I see the argument about the law of double effect, I do not agree with its application here, precisely because there IS the alternative of sending a clear message to politicians via spoilt ballot papers that we cannot, as Catholics, vote for any of the parties on offer today and also because any minority party with a handful (at most) of seats in the Commons, isn’t going to have any real influence in the key moral issues which are such an insult to God, in our society today. I cannot be even a tiny part of appearing to condone that. That’s the impression which Catholics give who vote for any of these politicians, whether on the grounds of permissibility of voting for the lesser evil or not. All the secularists note is that in the polls, Catholics voted for x, y or z party, just like everyone else. Think of the Catholics proud to be in the crowd with Jim Murphy and the transvestite. They will believe that HE (Murphy) is the lesser evil; I met a friend who is a lifelong Labour supporter the other day, and he was hurrying off to meet with Gordon Brown. He is a “traditional” Catholic.

                      There’s only one thing I’m planning to do this election that I’ve never done before, and that is do my best to stay awake as long as I can to see the result rolling in. Right now, though, I’m whacked so bowing out of blogging for now!

                      Reminder:

                      For those who wish to comment on any of the April thread, best settle to it asap because I will be closing the April threads in a day or so

                    • Petrus,

                      Please see my response to Michaela @ 10:19pm. It will save me writing it all out again. I think you find that I answer your objection in that post.

                    • Editor,

                      If all Catholics felt as we do and agreed to spoil their votes, then we could be certain that vote spoiling is the greater good in this election.

                      However, we all know that a majority of Catholics will vote for the party that promises to give them the most in terms of material goods. Hardly any will vote with the Church’s moral teaching in mind. Hence, spoiling votes will have no effect whatsoever since there will be but a handful of them and they’ll be binned with the usual contempt. Where’s the “witness” in that?

                      As I said, the principle is that we may not choose a course of action for the greater good unless we have some hope of success. So spoiling votes is definitely out.

                      Voting for the lesser of evils, as I have maintained, may well fail. However, since the polls vary dramatically on the projected success or otherwise of UKIP, that choice at least offers a little more hope of some moral success. It won’t eradicate present evil legislation, I agree, but it does present the possibility that greater evils yet may be stemmed. It’s better than nothing at all when all choices available to us are evil to a greater or lesser degree.

  31. (I posted this on general discussion, before realising this thread was still open)

    The Green Party has said it is open to the idea of legalising polygamy. Unsurprisingly, this came during a Q&A session with homosexual perverts.

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/green-party-open-legalising-polygamy-marriage-says-nicola-bennett-1499450

    How shameless the perverts are, with the ink barely dry on gay marriage laws, they now set about demanding that which they insisted would “never happen” (and dismissed as scaremongering) during the campaign to distort marriage.

    Its important to note that the Green party in each part of the EU has its own leadership, but they all work closely together and all come under the “COMINTERN” style European Green Party umbrella.

    The German Greens have had to apologise recently for previously campaigning to legalise paedophilia / pederasty, which is another celebrated cause among homosexuals.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/11226040/German-Green-party-admits-to-paedophile-links.html

    It is very clear that the Greens are a party of perverts, more than they are an environmental movement.

    The Green is simply a badly disguised pink, as shown by Scotland having its own homosexual MSP (Patrick Harvie) leading the Greens in this country

    • The link in the editor’s post up above looks to be the UKIP manifesto and if you scroll down you see it says two children. Even if they said three, that is still wrong. They cannot punish people for having more children than the state thinks is the right number!

  32. I would like to know how the priests are going to vote. If we lay people find it a struggle to vote for any Party, what about them? Do they just pick the Party they think will “help the poor” or how do they decide? Does anyone know?

  33. Margaret Mary, Maybe I have missed the point here, but what do you mean about “how the priests are going to vote”. Who / what do you mean?

    • Crofterlady,

      I mean just what I say – how are priests going to vote. Any priests, how will they choose to vote. I can’t think how to make it any clearer. If we lay people struggle to know what is the right thing to do, how will the ordained decide?

      Sorry, but I think it’s quite obvious what I’m asking!

      • Sorry, Margaret Mary, I misunderstood. When you said “the priests” I thought you were referring to some group or other and I couldn’t find any mention in any other posts about “a group”. I really should get more sleep!

        Yes, indeed, I wonder just HOW the ordained decide.

  34. I think this news story highlights just how rotten the political system is in the UK:

    Quasi-Catholic Jim Murphy out campaigning in Glasgow with a transvestite male celebrity, who is dressed in a skirt, heels and full face of make-up.

    They get into an aggressive confrontation with SNP activists and Nicola Sturgeon is later exposed as a liar when she tries to claim the pre-planned aggressive action was nothing to do with her party.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3067268/Jim-Murphy-Eddie-Izzard-forced-flee-Labour-rally-Glasgow-angry-nationalists-spark-violent-scrum.html

    A welcome reminder of the perversion, lies and total lack of credibility at the heart of our political system.

    • Gabriel Syme,

      I saw that on the local TV news – Jim Murphy laughing and quite at ease with the transvestite, and thought about the vague and very weak remark in the Bishops’ election statement about the fact that Catholic politicians are not speaking out as they should on the life issues (where they should have put inverted commas around “Catholic” if not prepared to call a spade a spade). So, I wonder what his bishop thinks now, after seeing that TV footage? Or is he, like the rest of the bishops, SO far gone that they think nothing of it. One wonders. One really does.

    • Crofterlady,

      The Christian Institute is not a Catholic organisation. I would have thought the link posted by Petrus showing that UKIP are not opposed to the gay lifestyle would have been enough to put any Catholic off them
      http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/nigel-farage-ukip-not-anti-gay040515-0

      Also, their manifesto promise to support families in all their “diversity” – the signal words for same sex couples with adopted or IVF children.

      I’ve read all the posts on this discussion and I cannot believe that any Catholic would vote for any of the Parties on offer, unless they are only deciding on personal issues, such as which one is likely to make the take-home pay better.

      • Nicky,

        See my comments above re “the double effect” treated of by St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Thomas A Kempis.

        Crofterlady,

        UKIP is certainly not ideal from the Catholic point of view, but there is a real chance that it will seek to restrict the greater evils being proposed by the other parties. It’s all we have to work with, so let’s try to restrict the evil if we can’t eradicate it. That’s the principle of “double effect”.

        • Athanasius,

          The law of double effect is not as straightforward as you think, because it doesn’t apply to cases if there is a good way of achieving the same end, without doing something that is bad – i.e. voting for a party that is not standing up for true morality in public and private life, marriage, abortion, homosexual issues etc.

          So, IMHO, if we can get the same result by spoiling our vote (i.e. sending a clear message that we will not vote for those who are not standing up for true morality) as we might get by voting for a minority party that might try to influence government on one thing or other, then that is perfectly justifiable and IMHO a more Catholic decision than to vote for the minority parties which will go along with the status quo in most things.

          It’s very important not to confuse the law of double effect with doing evil so that good may come of it. That is always forbidden to Catholics.

          • Michaela,

            I am not confusing the law of double effect, I quoted St. Thomas in the case of choosing the lesser of evils when all choices available are morally evil. The greater good is not to be had by spoiling votes as this just allows evil to continue to thrive. If there was clear evidence to show that spoiling votes changes party policies, then yes, that course of action may well constitute the greater good. In the absence of any such evidence, however, we have to conclude that spoiling votes is not an option open to us.

            Remember, our actions for the good in cases like this must carry some hope of success, otherwise we are not permitted to apply them.

            You are absolutely right to state that Catholics are never permitted to do evil that good may come of it, but that is a completely different proposition to choosing the lesser of evils when all the alternatives are greater evils. It’s a matter of prudence and wise judgement.

            It’s also worth mentioning that we are not permitted to choose the lesser of evils unless the good that may result outweighs the evil.

            In the case of UKIP we may say that they are just like all the other parties in this country; they do not oppose abortion, homosexuality, etc. Sad to say, these evils are now so well entrenched in legislation that there is no human hope of seeing them repealed any time soon, barring a miracle.

            However, the good UKIP proposes is to outlaw abortions on the basis of an unborn child’s sex. It also plans to outlaw sex ed for very young children, to uphold the rights of Christian conscience and to help Britain exit the EU, from whence much evil legislation originates. For the most part, the other parties have little or no appetite to do any of these things. Quite the opposite, in fact.

            So what do we do? Do we stand cursing the darkness or do we grasp on to those little rays of light that promise to at least restrict greater evils from spreading unchecked? For me it’s a no brainer.

            • Athanasius I do see what you are saying. However, didn’t you say at the start of this thread that you have indeed spoiled your ballot paper in the past?  So, is this view that we should “vote for the lesser evil” a new position?

              Sent from my Samsung device

              • Petrus,

                Yes, I have spoiled my ballot paper in the past and that’s why I can testify that it’s a fruitless business. Experience is a great teacher, so I read up a little on Catholic ethics and morality in these matters and it changed my opinion.

                It seems we are obliged to do our civic duty and vote for the greater good. Where there is no possibility of success in a perceived greater good, such as spoiling ballot papers, we are forbidden to follow that course and must instead choose the option that is most likely to restrict evil. It’s difficult for all of us in these days of aggressive atheism, so we can only do what we can in good conscience before God. Our good intentions before God is everything.

                • Athanasius Thank you for that answer.  What should one do when faced with no clear “lesser evil”? There is no UKIP candidate in my constituency.  There’s only Labour, Conservative, SNP and Lib Dem.  The SNP and Conservative candidate would vote to lower the limit for abortion and vote against euthanasia.   Should I choose between them?

                  Sent from my Samsung device

                  • Petrus,

                    No, you should not choose between the two candidates you mention because their respective parties are intent on pushing through those evils regardless. So that would definitely be a bad choice.

                    We are not really interested in what individual candidates say or think on moral subjects. Our concern is really with the parties and their respective party lines. Since you have no UKIP vote open to you then the greater good in your case is definitely to spoil your vote. UKIP is the only party in Britain that proposes to us the lesser of evils. All the mainstream parties are more or less agreed that the evils must not only continue but increase. A spoiled vote will certainly not halt that process but it’s all you have, unfortunately, so go for it.

                • Athanasius,

                  Depends what you mean by “spoilt”.

                  I never go in and just destroy the paper. I always write something to explain why I cannot vote. There’s not much space but with care and preparation, it is perfectly possible to put, as I will be writing on Thursday, something to the concise effect that

                  Named Person / SS “Marriage” / abortion / LGBT “rights” – reasons why I cannot vote for any candidate. And this in honour of Christ who must be King of every nation, according to Catholic Social Teaching.

                  That, or a shortened version of it, is how I will “spoil” my paper. Nothing “fruitless” about it, if you consider it with the eyes of Faith.

                  Earlier today I was chatting to a priest about this and put your argument about applying the Law of Double Effect, asking him if I am wrong to think that the above message on ballot papers, thus “spoiling” them, would be regarded as an alternative which would make the Law of Double Effect inadmissible. He said that it definitely would – that is a very clear alternative that gets the Christian message across. Imagine if the politicians were faced with hundreds of such messages. “Fruitless”? You kidding?

                  It’s because Catholics are simply accepting the evil in which successive governments have steeped us all, that they are able to continue pushing the boundaries of evil further and further out.

                  As I say, however, if your conscience dictates that you must vote for a party, that not to do so would be offensive to God, then you must do that. That’s how conscience works, remember. There’s no obligation to act if our conscience does not dictate.

                  My conscience dictates that I must not only play no part in perpetuating evil, but I must use the only available means to enlighten the candidates as to why I cannot vote for any of them. I just hope they have good black pens at the voting station, so that nobody who reads my message is in any doubt of why I am refusing my vote to all and any of the parties on offer.

                  Petrus,

                  Excellent question which throws into sharp relief, the danger of choosing the “lesser evil” in this context.

      • Nicky, on pages 32 and 33 of the linked Christian Institute brief some of UKIP’s policies are set out. Most of them are acceptable to christians except the obvious anathema of Abortion, GM babies, Prostitution, etc.

        I know the Christian Institute is not Catholic (although it does have Catholic members), but it seems to be the only professional organisation taking on this evil government. They have helped countless christians who were being victimised (“gay” cake row for example) and they are presently appealing the Named Person legislation. There are no bishops doing that, shame on them.

        On the matter of voting: we all have a right to our opinion and I happen to believe that a country gets the government it deserve. So, I concur with Athanasius, Leprechaun et al.

        • Crofterlady,

          Do you think people should be legally forced to vote and nobody permitted to spoil their papers? That’s the attitude I sense here on this blog, that “democracy” means doing what you’re told and voting even if it goes against your conscience.

          • Actually, I agree with you. People should vote as they wish and no, I don’t think voting should be compulsory. And yes, people should be able to spoil their vote if they so wish. Hopefully, we are not yet in a police state.

  35. Well, folks, the deed is done. I’ve been to the polling station and I wrote, from memory, the following on my ballot paper – I’d have written more but I was afraid the officials would think I was a terrorist and phone the cops!

    “Named Person, same-sex marriage, abortion, are some of the reasons why I cannot vote for any party. Catholic Social Teaching requires that Christ be the head of every nation under heaven, and this nation has kicked Him out. Can’t vote for any of you for this reason.”

    I think that, from memory, is almost verbatim what I wrote. I’d have written more (amazed at how much space there was on the paper, between margins and gaps in between names of candidates) but, as I say, I thought they might think I was a terrorist up to something and send for the cops!

    I did have a good chat outside with an SNP activist and she actually agreed that the Named Person legislation was of concern. She also nodded when I told her that watching dear ole Nicola on the TV the other night telling two women in the audience to wait behind and she would speak to them about the problems they had raised during the debate sickened me, since I’ve written to her twice [about abortion] and got no reply.

    In all these weeks of campaigning not one of the key moral issues has been raised by any member of any audience, whether on the TV debates or radio phone-in shows, which I only hear when driving, or I’d have phoned in myself.

    And when I stumbled across a TV debate the other night, between the Northern Ireland candidates, tuning in just as they were discussing same-sex “marriage”, I was appalled that only the Protestant DUP was remotely opposed to it, and even he went down the “I’m / we’re not ‘anti-gay'” road of appeasement.

    Let me say this loud and clear. If it’s “anti-gay” to be opposed to disordered and immoral sexual behaviour, whether it be committed by paedophiles or same-sex pairs, then I’m “anti-gay”. With pink ribbons on and carrying a rainbow flag.

    We need to stop being bullied into silence or complicity thus permitting this evil to go without comment or criticism. Sticks and stones, remember… Sticks and stones…

    • Well it looks like there is a possibility that the DUP might be in coalition in the next UK government. So they’ll push to abolish gay marriage and abortion… Oh yes, and Catholicism.

      • Alex,

        As you will know by now, it’s going to be more of the same, thanks to the UK voting system. I will say nothing because this is one of those occasions when it’s true to say that if one can’t say something good about someone (in this case David Cameron & the rest of the Cons – pun deliberate!) say nothing 😀

        I’ll close this thread now, urging us all to pray for the future of the UK, that it’s not quite as dire as I imagine!

        Thanks to all who contributed to this lively discussion.

        God bless

  36. Leprechaun has just emailed to say he wished to comment on the outcome of the General Election and so I have re-opened the thread. As I explained to Leprechaun’s expression of surprise that I had closed it down so quickly, I presumed everyone else is as fed up with the whole thing as I am myself. Obviously not!

    Thus I’ve re-opened the thread and will close late tonight, midnight or close to midnight, so please have your say as soon as possible, if you wish to comment.

  37. Thank you Madame Editor,

    I wanted the opportunity to offer thanks in the public domain to St. George and St. Andrew that the SNP were not able to hold the balance of power in the upcoming Parliament.

    I wonder how the Government will fare, and how the schemers behind the scenes will fare, with the arrival of the year 2017 and any surprises it may hold, and which will occur less than half way through the five year term of office.

    They can propose all the laws they want to propose, but let us not forget that they cannot burp louder than thunder, and it will be God who disposes.

    Pursue personal sanctity – the salvation of each of us depends upon it.

  38. Comment removed. This is a Catholic blog – if you cannot express yourself as a Catholic should then say nothing.

    • Catholic Convert, Wow calm down! That kind of incoherent bluster does no one any good.  I’m not a fan of the SNP.   Far from it.  What I can say is that SNP MP’S always abstain on English only issues.  It does help to do some research.

      Sent from my Samsung device

  39. CC & Petrus,

    I’m no fan of the SNP either (or any other party for that matter, least of all the one with around 20 millionaires in the cabinet telling the rest of us that we need to stock up at the nearest food bank) but what I do object to – and remember, I voted NO in the independence referendum – what I do object is the same people who insisted we ought to stay in the UK and speak out for the whole of the UK, now complaining because there are a sizeable number of MPs from Scotland ready to do just that.

    Suggests insincerity, to say the least.

    • Editor I’ve never really understood the issue about the millionaires in the cabinet.  If someone is a millionaire it is a sign of their determination and ingenuity.  Exactly the kind of people we should want in the cabinet.  It’s worth remembering that Wee Nicola , the champion of the patrons of the foodbanks, is the highest paid politician in Britain.  I do wonder how many people are really forced to head to foodbanks.  I’ve known people to attend foodbanks in order to save their money for a flat screen TV.   The poor really never have had it so good.

      Sent from my Samsung device

      • Petrus,

        Your closing remark is outrageous and very offensive to the several people I know who are literally living from hand to mouth. You astonish and profoundly disappoint me.

        I don’t have to go to a food bank, thank God, but I do know genuinely poor people who are struggling to get by, and I’m talking about both people in work and people on benefits. And I frankly detest the mentality that is reflected in your “flat screen TV remark”. I used to know a Consultant Surgeon who argued that nobody on benefits should have any pleasures whatsoever. If they can afford a drink and a smoke, he said, their benefits should be withdrawn. This from a man who had “Skiver” for his middle name. Your comment is an extension of that same mean-spirited mentality – with due respect. A friend once told me that she would give money to some of her needy relatives but she thought they might waste it. That’s a dreadful attitude and reminds me of the priest who told me that he gave money to a poor beggar who regularly asked him for help because the Gospel injunction didn’t say “as long as you did it to one of these the least of my brethren, once you checked out that they weren’t going to waste the food, drink, shekels, then you did it to me.” The true spirit of charity gives money and allows the person to make up their own mind how to spend it, answering, as they will and as will all of us, for our actions. And for the record, I totally disagree that we should want millionaires governing us, unless on a voluntary basis. If they’re millionaires, they don’t need an MPs pay.

        You may not have a problem with a bunch of millionaires telling us that we have to take cuts in benefits (including my disabled friend) but I most certainly do and I am horrified beyond words that the callous Conservatives have been returned to power.

        As for “wee Nicola” – I think I have made it abundantly clear on this (and other) threads that I have absolutely no time for any politicians. I think they’re all out to line their own pockets. Every last one of them. Without exception.

        However, this is exactly the conversation I didn’t want to have so I think we should leave it there, if you don’t mind, and agree that we need to pray very hard for the entire UK, as it’s not a group of nations that is pleasing to God. Quite the reverse.

        • Editor I feel I must respond because you have gone off at the deep end.  I don’t doubt there are genuinely poor people who need support. Absolutely.  I also think that cutting benefits to the disabled is abhorrent.  Totally agree.  No arguments there.  However, the tax payers should not be funding those who want an easy life. There are plenty of them including those in my own family. My cousins benefited from a Labour scheme to fund single mothers.   They received a thousand pounds to buy white goods.  One cousin bought them white goods from John Lewis but then when she was caught committing benefit fraud, she moved in with her mother and abandoned the house and the white goods. Another cousin boasted about getting her shopping from a food bank so she could save up her benefits and attend a concert in London.  I’m sorry but this is not right.  I’ve seen young children sleeping on a mattress on wooden floors because the parents use their benefits to fund their flat screen TV and designer track suits.  I can’t stand this and I absolutely object to being hauled over the coals by you for protesting against it.   So, whilst I fully support a welfare state for those who need it – the elderly, the disabled, single mothers who are “single” through no fault of their own, I fully support the reform and, if necessary, the cuts to the welfare state that will prevent abuse.  The previous government didn’t cut in the right places.  I’m no fan of how they implemented their cuts, but cuts are required. There is nothing unchristian in that.  I am a taxpayer.  Those who abuse the system treat people like me like a doormat.  It’s not Christian to be a doormat.

          Sent from my Samsung device

        • I should also say that perhaps you should look at the tax bill of those millionaires. Their tax bill, along with mine, is bank rolling the gravy train that the “poor” and the immigrants are living off (whilst they watch their flat screen tellies and attend their pop concerts).

          Sent from my Samsung device

          • Petrus,

            “If someone is a millionaire it is a sign of their determination and ingenuity”

            I think it’s more likely a sign that they come from a well-heeled family!

            Nobody would mind millionaires being in the cabinet if they didn’t say that “we’re all in it together” meaning the austerity, when that’s obviously not the case.

            It’s a pity about your family being benefit cheats because that is not my experience. White goods means washing machines, fridges, that sort of essential appliances and I know someone who had to get them and she only applied after struggling to get second hand ones after saving hard, and then they broke down, showing her it was a false economy. I know a good few people on benefits and they all hate the stigma. I was telling one of them about your comments and she said they would go to a food bank only she feels too ashamed. She said she sometimes has only a few pounds to spend on food for her family of three and buys the cheapest of everything.

            Your mention of your tax bill, like the millionaires, bank rolling the gravy train, so I presume you are lucky enough to have a good job and a good pay. Have some pity for those not so lucky.

            I’d be interested to know where you think the cuts should come as you say they are required. I disagree with that, I think people have been brainwashed into thinking cuts are required, because cutting welfare has proved to be making more people poor, and it’s a pity to punish them for the sake of the few that you have met in your own family who have really abused the system.

            Can I ask you this as well. If you were on benefits, genuinely poor, and struggling to find work or genuinely disabled, would you think it is OK for you to take out an HP agreement to buy a flat screen TV?

            If not, do you prefer the American system where people are given food vouchers so they can only buy food?

            I hope you don’t think I’ve gone off the deep end, but I share editor’s dislike of the way benefits are always the first port of call for cuts and there’s stories about the minority of cheats. What about the majority who are genuinely in need? In the name of cutting down on the minority of cheats, the majority of genuine claimants usually suffer because the government takes the opportunity to tighten the belt further. I cannot believe that the English have returned David Cameron to power. I really can’t. What were they thinking, I can only guess. However, things will now get worse for the poor, that is for sure.

            • What I sense here is that there is a tribal, West of Scotland, hatred of Conservatives.  Now, I didn’t vote Conservative, but I don’t automatically go off at the deep end because we have a Conservative majority.   Listen,  we can all recount stories of people we know who are on benefits, myself included.  There’s obviously cases of real need and thank God we have the welfare state to provide for them.  I wouldnt give food vouchers.  What I would do is issue a prepaid visa card.  There would be no stigma.  However, these cards could only be used for essentials.  Regarding the white goods, surely it wouldn’t be too difficult to have a scheme where the government could recycle and service second hand machines? I tell you this, my washing machine broke down on Christmas Eve and despite having a decent job I couldn’t afford to go out and just buy another.   I had to rely on family for a short term loan.  However, my unmarried, single, unemployed cousin could easily just phone up and have her washing machine, which coming from John Lewis on the government tab is probably better than mine,  fixed or replaced.  I think there’s a number of unmarried couples, including single mothers, who are very competent at playing the system. Perhaps this is a place to explore cuts and restore some sort of deterrent for having babies outside of marriage.    My final point is this.  There are jobs out there.  There’s no need for anyone to be unemployed long term.  Low paid jobs are better than no jobs.

              Sent from my Samsung device

              Editor: I found this in the moderation queue for some reason after closing down the thread. There is no “tribal” hatred of Conservatives, at least not from me and I couldn’t detect any hatred in Fidelis’ post either. For myself, I certainly have a hatred of the injustice which arises out of their nasty attacks on the poor, and the mentality which would condemn people to low paid jobs rather than insist on fair wages by employers, yes, but please do not make accusations that you cannot substantiate. I am cynical about all politicians for very good reason, not just the Conservatives, although I’ve yet to meet a poor one.

              Now, I am letting this through as it will go into place at whatever point you responded (I suspect after Fidelis) but the thread remains closed and my resolve not to have political discussions again is now set in stone. Please do not attempt to continue this divisive discussion on any other thread. All and any such comments will be deleted as soon as I see them. That’s what they call “fair warning.”

            • Fidelis,

              “White goods means washing machines, fridges, that sort of essential appliances.”

              Thanks for that – I’ve never heard the term before. I feel very sad when the minority (as you rightly point out) of cheats are used to denounce the majority of people claiming benefits, who are people in genuine need. In my view, if people know of real cheats, they should ring the authorities (you don’t even need to give your name, as far as I know – real Communist tactic!) and let them get to the truth of it. That beats branding – or appearing to brand – everyone on benefits as being scroungers.

              Anyway, I’m going to have to close the thread down now, because I did, as I threatened, sit up half the night watching the results coming in and now I need to catch up with my beauty sleep. Say nothing 😀

  40. Regarding the election results, I’m deeply concerned that Scotland is now a one-party state. I keep remembering that the Nazis started out by being democratically elected, and while I certainly don’t see Nicola Sturgeon as another Hitler, there is a disturbing element of violence among SNP supporters, as shown when they recently brought Jim Murphy’s campaign event to a halt. Already I feel the need to keep quiet about my non-SNP views.

    Balance is needed in politics, and I hope a reasonably strong opposition party, of whatever hue, emerges soon.

    • That’s a very good point.  I echo the editor’s comment that lots of prayers are needed. 

      Sent from my Samsung device

    • Pew Catholic

      You don’t see Nicola Sturgeon as “another Hitler”? Really?

      Well, there’s a gap in politics now with no Labour Party in Scotland, so maybe you can get to work and provide us with an alternative for next time. You’ve got five years. Ready, steady, GO!

      N O T I C E . . .

      I am now closing the thread down (for a second time today!)

      Let’s pray very hard for the future of the UK. It’s about all we can do, now!

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