The Bishop of Yorkshire's argument in the House of Lords that the "conscience" of religious institutions overrides the conscience of society in general is illogical when applied to a law that is based on the ability of a person to do a job, and that alone.

The only way the archbishops of England and Yorkshire stand any chance of gaining an exemption based on logic is by proving that women and gay people are unable to do certain jobs. They are, of course, unwilling to try this line because to do so would show our church up to be the biggest institutional bigot left in the United Kingdom outside of Islam and Orthodox Judaism (and synchronised swimming, of course).



  1. That conscience of religious institutions overriding that of society is a direct hangover from the bad old days when Christianity ruled the western world and the church trumped the secular when came to rulings on those in religious orders. I have -0- respect for this line of thinking.

  2. It’s not as though logic has anything to do with it. I will never understand why following one’s conscience does not mean refraining from sexual intimacy with a person of the same gender if, in fact, one’s conscience forbids it.

  3. It also leaves out the fact that there is no one Christian view on any single moral issue, and most certainly not on homosexuality.
    I reckon my Christian view should override theirs.

  4. When will educational institutions (including bishops) admit that “conscience” has nothing to do with ethics but rather with feelings of guilt arising from prior indoctrination?

  5. Synchronised swimming is a thoroughly sexist sport.

    God bless it.

    (Over here, of course, we have synchronized swimming. My spell checker likes that better.)

  6. hiya Paul A, do you really think conscience is a matter of indoctrination? As far as I can tell nearly everyone has one as a matter of course, whether a believer or not. A conscience is really just the ability to see when your actions are likely to cause harm, combined with the wish to avoid doing so.

  7. Synchronised swimming is a thoroughly sexist sport.

    I have never given any thought to whether or not it is sexist, though no doubt you are right, WSJM, but it is extremely strange. It’s nearly as strange as a crank I saw footage of one year who was trying to get ballet on skis made an Olympic sport.

  8. Conscience is very much a matter of indoctrination.I am sure most of the “shrinks” here will agree.

    There is nothing wrong per se with masturbation. But ask any pre-teen or teenaged boy who has been taught all his life that masturbation is a sin how he feels after having just masturbated.

  9. What??? Do you mean that ballet on skis is NOT an Olympic sport? I thought they were doing that at Vancouver next month!

  10. Um, here Stateside, I’ve seen at least one university Synchronized Swim team that has a bloke on it. [Yes, he struck me as “a little light in the flippers” . . . not that there’s anything wrong w/ that! ;-)]

  11. hiya Dah-veed – I would have thought that was just induced guilt, rather than the actions of the conscience, two distinctly different things – but that’s just my take on it. I’m not saying indoctrination can’t make people feel guilty about things they don’t need to feel guilty about – it’s obvious that that happens all the time.

  12. What??? Do you mean that ballet on skis is NOT an Olympic sport?

    WSJM – this chap I saw on TV was certainly outraged that it wasn’t! He’s probably still outraged, out there somewhere.