Sorry, the title is a bait and switch because even though Mr. Sheridan is happy to offer some defense for his friend Cardinal Pell, I’m not interested in discussing him at all. I just couldn’t let the pun go. Instead, I’m going to discuss this statement by him:
But the real danger to the church is… once same-sex marriage is legalized, the coercive, illiberal, progressive ideology of the day, will try to force this conformity on the churches.
One could be forgiven for exclaiming from the rooftops, “payback’s a bitch!” Especially as just a minute before that Mr. Sheridan said without a hint of the irony to follow:
I don’t think there’s any case any longer for the state to enforce the church’s view of marriage.
Poor Mr. Sheridan fears the pressure of the state that the LGBT community has lived with since forever. I’d feel more sympathy for Mr. Sheridan’s woes if he’d shown the same sympathy for the LGBT community when they were the oppressed, but he’s only come to acknowledge that same-sex secular marriage is okay because the tide of public opinion is against him. Personally, I think statements like:
Go ahead, arrest us if you like, but we are going to proclaim what we believe to be true, in public.
about the state’s and the church’s view of marriage, are just histrionic ramblings. No one cares what the churches think, we just want them to stop meddling in our civil liberties.
But I come to praise Mr. Sheridan, not to bury him. I give him points for tempering his conservatism with the real world. But I feel he needs to ask why public opinion has turned 180 degrees on this issue, and why the views of the church are so out of line with it. When he examines why he believes what he believes, and why others believe different, he may come to a deeper understanding about the shades of morality that he is unwilling to embrace at present.
While I don’t agree with Mr. Sheridan, I recommend listening to the whole interview. Mr. Sheridan is very articulate, and for atheists he has a viewpoint worth hearing.