For that Mr Mallon, I thank you.

Mr Mallon,

When I referred to illegitimate baptisms, I meant the baptism of illegitimate children and was not
Equal Marriage
referring to the baptism itself. I trust that most thinking people reading the blog would understand that within the context of the piece. It's no big leap. You're creating a semantic argument because you know that your church treats pre and extra marital sex as mortal sins. And as for the treatment of illegitimate children, I know what I am talking about. I had a Catholic education. I witnessed it first hand.

You have at no point addressed the right to freedom of religious expression for gay people (whether or not they are Catholic), A freedom the Catholics themselves are exercising by criticising equal marriage, within the context of their own religious practice. Civil partnerships actually prevent this. As a gay person of faith I cannot marry before the eyes of my God in Scotland. And just because your God forbids it, doesn't mean my God does. I don't see any legislated mandate that gives the Catholic church or their God the right to overrule how I worship mine. This is exactly what the Catholic church is trying to manipulate - dictating to the rest of Scots society , religious or not, how they may or may not practice their own faith. I'm quite happy for the Catholic church to make it's own rules and if they want to stick to their position, then fine, but if they want to be allowed to keep their right to object to my right to marry, Then in a fair society I should have that right.

In a modern world each religious group is a allowed to define it's concept of morality and just because one group says something is not moral, does not change the morality of it for another.So while you have the freedom to express your religious beliefs by sanctifying your marriages, your way, my priest is unable to allow me to express mine. Difference is if your church were banned tomorrow, I'd be on the picket line campaigning not for the church, but for your right to freedom in faith, no matter how diverse it may be from mine. The Catholic church cannot bring themselves, to realise the fundamental concept that it is about freedoms,not a morality that you have any sort of licence to dictate to non Catholics about.

As for fraud, I accuse those Catholics that sent BOTH a tick boxed postcard AND a formal response of fraud. When we vote in a referendum or an election, we get to offer our view ONCE. there is no risk of one point of view being counted twice. I sent in a formal response. ONCE. If you sent in both, you committed fraud at least to manipulate the statistics, and were complicit in assisting the Church to do exactly that. I say this because there was no apparent effort by the church to prevent anyone being counted twice. As a family of four, four responses are fair, each individual is allowed their response, as did each member of my family. I'm referring to duplicating individual responses, the size of your family doesn't come into it. That's just muddying the waters. Did any members of your family complete the full response AND the postcard - No? Then as far as I'm concerned you're clean.  If the church's honour is to be preserved at the very least they would have known that this  probability would occur and nevertheless did nothing visible to prevent a double count for any of its supporters. So if the church can get two counts in a consultation, how is that honest?

As for a referendum. Those against SSM, are calling for a referendum that would cost the government a fortune. Again I must ask myself where do the priorities lie when asking a government in austere times to take money from another budget to fund a referendum. That money would almost certainly come from budgets that fund social care, social services, education and poverty alleviation. Since the church argues that the gay population is less than 1%(another blog post on that will be published next week, so please feel free to come back and comment on that - I don't object to your opposing viewpoint as long as you remain respectful), proportionately the cost to the population is severely imbalanced

Like many heterosexual people your obsession with what actually happens between the sheets when same sex couples have sex is not only ignorant, but also unhealthy. Please explain how sodomy is any more unhealthy than vaginal sex? (Herpes, Syphilis, Gonorrhoea, HPV, Gardenerella, but a few that come to mind) Actually shall we keep that for a blog discussion next Thursday? I just know you're going to raise the issue of Aids, and when I show you that there are more women, children, haemophiliacs and heterosexuals dying of Aids related disease in the world that homosexual males, you'll probably accuse the WHO of lying. No?

Unless you have actually engaged in a regular committed loving male homosexual activity, you will not know how or if "sodomy" takes place, and the fact that you spend your time thinking about this, leads one to wonder, if there's something you're not telling us.

As for me I'm a lesbian, my partner cant sodomise me, not in the biblical sense anyway. And I tell you unashamedly that we do exactly what heterosexual couples do in bed with one piece of apparatus missing, and we do it quite satisfactorily for both of us.

Since you consider same sex relations as so vile, have you ever engaged in such a relationship to be able to pass that judgement, or is the "vile act" a matter of your opinion? Opinion and experience are two very different things.

As for whether it is unnatural or not, can you tell me whether the 500 species of creatures that engage in same sex activity are also unnatural? How many more of Gods creatures are unnatural? And what you may define as unnatural in your moral and religious code, the heterosexual leaders in my church don't. You don't get to dictate to me and the rest of Scots society what is moral, natural or unnatural, that is defined by each individual for how they live their lives and not to presume the right to tell others how to live theirs, as long as it complies within the bounds of law. And law develops as a moral and just society does too. The law allowed slavery just a few short generations ago, so don't go saying that the law is fine as it is. The law evolves for the sake of justice, not religion, but I nearly forgot, the Catholic church doesn't believe in evolution.

 I consider it very unnatural to expect a man or woman to live an enforced celibate life with no sexual outlet, and then expect that man to care pastorally over the sexual matters of his flock, when he has no experience of the matter himself. No doubt you differ over that matter and I respect your right to.

As for calling it a social experiment. Please feel free to elaborate, with deeper intelligent argument. As I said its welcome as long as you treat me respectfully. It is obvious that you are thinking about these arguments and from my point of view that can only be healthy.

Same sex relationships have existed as long as humans have been around, the only "experiment"is the evolution of justice in law. The abolition of slavery was a social experiment. As was the abolition of the death penalty. This "social experiment" is evolution of social justice. Enforcing celibacy amongst catholic priests turned out to be a dangerous social experiment, not biblically mandated, but mandated by the catholic church several centuries after the death of Christ. An experiment which continues to damage the lives of innocent people and yet will not be reversed by the Vatican. Simply because the Catholic church finds it difficult to admit its mistakes. I can show you many churches that HAVE had the courage to admit their mistakes of the past.

No one is stopping heterosexuals from sanctifying their relationships in church and no one is stopping churches from defining their own moral code as sanctifying only heterosexual marriages. Your children will still grow up in Catholic homes, with heterosexual parents, learning catechisms and life will not be much different. Catholic life will go on. And NO-ONE has given the Catholic church the right  to mandate what should or should not go on in the lives of non Catholics.

Allow me to make another thing clear. The catholic church and practising Catholics do NOT speak for all practising Christians. There are practising Christians all over the world that will disillusion you of that fact. there are many practising Christians that have no issue with same sex relationships and if sodomy is the core of your problem, what is the problem with gay women?

As with your alliance with Muslims, this is is merely (excuse the pun) a marriage of convenience. Several Catholic opponents have argued that polygamy will be the next concession - further damaging our society. So the Catholics will back up the Muslim argument as long as it suits them despite them actually have fundamentally very different views on marriage, a single converging point appears to make the Catholic church approve of the Muslim position on polygamy. In Muslim countries, Muslims are put to death for becoming Christians, Churches are burnt down and Christians persecuted, by aligning itself with the people that actually mandate violence and murder of Christians the Catholic church is not doing itself any favours. Again my point of view is that if a woman enters willingly and without coercion into a polygamous marriage then she should be free to do so. All these freedoms have been very effectively enshrined in South African law, including polygamous marriage. So tell me how that "social experiment" has damaged South African society. And please remember you'll be addressing their State President when you do, he has five wives.

As for redefining mother and father in the eyes of the law. I would like your views as to how this could be changed in law and in by doing so to society's detriment. This could make for an interesting discussion and one I would be happy to engage in. As of now I see no relevance. Feel free top explain your comment in order to make it relevant.

Your comment has been respectfully replied to in the form of a blog post because you have had the courage to stand up for what you believe and say so in a respectful manner without calling me all the names under the sun and displaying bigotry. Your reply has been one of a divergent view and while I shall stick to my view based on my knowledge and life experience as will you to yours.

I have concerns as to freedom for all professions involved in the type of dilemma's you face, and I also believe to sweep these concerns under the comment would be an ignorant mistake. Its very easy to say, of what are you on about, it wont happen....

So please allow me to address your position as a teacher. And this reply is not an open one, but one to you personally. A Lesbian woman to a practising Catholic teacher. It may surprise you.

My daughter goes to a Catholic school. I have no objection to the school teaching her that in the eyes of the Catholic church that homosexuality is a sin. Why? Because the church then stands true to itself. The teacher however should contextualise that this is the opinion of the church and the teacher should be free to say this is their opinion too. However it is also important that when teaching this that it is made clear that there are other opinions on the matter and that in order to gain a balanced view and a balanced judgement before reaching a conclusion these views should be also explored.

I have no objection to opposition to homosexuality  being voiced in schools, after all how else do we teach our children about the values  freedom of speech and the balance of argument. The proviso is that the alternative view be made available, and a teacher that does not have your constraints of faith be allowed to teach the alternative.

I am happy to inform you Mr Mallon, that despite our incredibly divergent views, based on probably very different life experience, I respect your right to voice your objection. Why? I have met with many an abusive bigot over the last few months, and if you can while crying for the preservation of your right to freedom of speech and the preservation of the practice of your faith include that in the right for me to do the same. Then sir you are not a bigot.

Exactly by engaging within the discussion as you have is what should happen in the classroom and I hope that others will do so too. It is far better to agree to disagree while having a reasonably civil discussion as an example to our children. For that Mr Mallon, I thank you.

Our leaders may not shout as loud, or throw as much money at political issues as Catholic leaders, but they lead by example, and judging by the news in today's Herald, I'd much rather follow the leadership of my faith than that of Catholic church, who as a respected religious leader in Scotland has stated is not the Arbiter of Scottish morality.

Ruthie Richards-Hill

Ruth, a free range human being and a middle aged mum of three adult children and very young grandmother to two little girls, is a glass artist, and a digital strategist, She retains the right to change her mind about anything and believes in a compassionate approach to most things, you can contact her using the contact page on this blog.


  1. Thank you for the reply to my response to your blogpost. You have replied in a civilised manner unlike your partner who threw me a jibe about sodomy. When debating public posts it isn`t clever to resort to such tactics.
    Anyway, I stand by what the Roman Catholic Church teaches on homosexuality, which I think you should read straight from the Roman Catholic Catechism for the true teaching on homosexuals. para 2357
    I have read your response and there is no point in debating further because as you have said we are on very divergent roads.
    I will pray for your salvation, please don't take this as an insult. This prayer arises from a genuine loving concern for your lifestyle which will one day have to be explained to God when your day of judgement comes.
    I refer you to what was told to three children in Fatima Portugal in what was by far the most witnessed supernatural event since the time of Christ. Our Blessed Lady gave a vision of hell to those children and told them this was the place where poor souls go that offend God. She also told the children that the sins that take most souls to hell is the sins of the flesh.
    It is a dire warning not only to homosexuals but heterosexuals as well.
    I admire your courage and manners in replying to my response because in the not too distant future my response might be labelled a hate crime thus silencing people of faith. It is already happening.
    Yours Danny Mallon

  2. I felt I had to respond if only to acknowledge your reply. Yes we have divergent views, and I can assure you I have received all sorts of insults that I have declined publishing, your calm approach makes it easier to engage.

    You must know that even though our views are divergent and as you pray for me, I pray for myself and for you too. I can also assure you that the day you are prevented from saying what you think as a personal opinion, you can call on me as an opposing thinker but an activist to call for your freedom to say and think what you feel true to.

    There are however, those that try to equate homosexuality with abhorrent (Speculative I know, but I'm sure you'll agree)acts such as paedophilia and child abuse. One does not automatically equate with the other as we all know there are plenty of heterosexual paedophiles, but that doesnt make all heterosexuals paedophiles now does it? I am comfortable with your prayers, because you feel that is what you feel you should do. I take no offence because it allows you to express your faith in a way that does no harm to me physically or psychologically.

    I currently exchange emails with a catholic priest (not based in the UK) and he treats me with similar respect to the way you do.

    While speech should be free, like our appetites it should be moderated and resorting to nasty unrelated insults out of frustration because another party wont accept your view or beliefs, only makes us alienate ourselves from each other. The best way to address another person is to use the same care you would when addressing your god. That's an incredibly difficult mark to set, but it works.

    I have faith, deep faith and I have many struggles like I believe most people of true faith do. Another reason why I accept your prayers graciously. I will be blogging about prayer soon, because I had a small epiphany when my aunt died in May (My aunt an uncle are/were a pastoral couple in an evangelical church of American origin not far left from Westbo'ro baptists)that has left me with a spiritual gift for the rest of my life on this earth

    Mr Mallon do not fear speaking your view, it is not damaging to have a different viewpoint, it is wrong to persecute people because they have one. Keep your opposition balanced, fair and grounded and I can assure you again, I will join you with your church leadership to protect your right to voice yourselves. People make the mistake of getting personal when discussing highly contentious issues, without realising that when we start slinging mud, the bigger picture gets lost, as has recently happened to someone close to me.

    Please just dont say I'm something I'm not, because of frustration. I don't call my catholic priest friend a paedophile, despite the alarming publicity the priesthood has experienced (Thre have even been priests that have been falsely accused). I don't call black people racists because I was racially abused for being a "White South African" when I first settled in the UK, by a black person.

    You probably wouldn't want me on your picket line to protect your free speech, but if you asked and treated me with the same respect I feel you have earned.....I'd be there. And you can tell that to your Cardinal.