I have been in the midst of debates of this sort before and find them upsetting. They could have picked a better-qualified opponent, though; I found this woman to be rather opinionated and ignorant, not to mention incapable of answering even the most basic of Mr Ozimic's points with a reasoned argument. All she could do was utter her outrage that someone could hold views contrary to her own, and she was clearly encouraged by the presenters. I knew Mr Ozimic, of course. He and I were Facebook friends, when I had an account, but I guess the ''friendship'' waned, as he unfriended me for some obscure reason, and then shunned me when last I was at St Bede's church, which was Palm Sunday last year - I only went as I could not tolerate an abridged Passion narrative at St Magnus the Martyr. Never mind.
I'm afraid that there is no way for me to approach this ''gay marriage'' controversy with a sense of detachment. All I can say is that equality, the philosophy of egalitarianism, doesn't work, not just because ''equality'' always comes at the expense of somebody else but because it goes against the grain of human nature which is selfish, destructive, seeking ever for mastery and subjection. Why would you want to be somebody's equal when you could be their master instead? Ironically this view interpenetrates with Mr Ozimic's own views about the monopoly of heterosexual, married people over human sexuality - basically, ''we can shag but you can't.'' Notice that with great care he doesn't quote the Scriptures nor does he make any allusion to the fact that his reasoned beliefs are in fact shaped by Roman Catholic doctrine. Unfortunately when you make such concessions as ''some things change, others remain the same,'' and then fail to qualify that with why? Who decides that? Then, are we to believe your other arguments? For example, where Scripture says that women are to keep silence in church, where does this leave cultural progression? Does it thus creep into the Church and become ''acceptable'' later just because some subsequent person has interpreted the Word anew? Well, who is that? The pope? If so, by what authority has he overturned the Tradition of the Church? This alone highlights the legal fluctuation in the Roman communion (that is, where Pius X forbids women to sing in church and then Pius XII says that they can) in a more obvious way than the case of, say, serfdom and slavery. Of course, these days Rome might as well declare the better part of the history of civilisation never to have happened by declaring slavery to be a societal evil contrary to the dignity of the human person. Where aforetime slavery was a cultural norm accepted (or at least tolerated) by the Church, is it not hypocritical not to extend the dignity to homosexuals? It is as if the pope is raising his right hand in benediction and lambasting the doubly-wronged homosexual community with the other. I wonder where ''Gorgeous George,'' his private secretary, comes into it?
Don't let's forget that Mr Ozimic's homophobia - the accusation is not without foundation - is revealed in his unscientific belief that homosexuality is not innate and that it is the result of childhood trauma, ''a fault in development or experience,'' I think his words were. I wonder where he gets these ideas from? You will look in vain to the Scriptures, still less the ill-defined formulas of the Roman catechism. Perhaps Mr Ozimic confuses schoolyard bully tactics, beating up the pansies, with orthodoxy? It is often the case with religious people of this sort, in my experience (the fact that I was publicly expelled from the sacristy of a certain church two years ago). In which case, what arbitrary distinction does he draw between indiscriminate homophobia (such as, for example, supporting the risible ban on homosexual men from joining the priesthood) and faithful, charitable adherence to the doctrine of Rome concerning homosexuality? ''We do not hate or fear homosexuals...,'' hmmm, well clearly. I think you fail in a very serious way in the pastoral care of homosexuals when you repeat the philosophy of your belief system over and over and over ad nauseum, and to what purpose? To instill a sense of self-loathing in your congregation? This has nothing to do with the concupiscence of all men; it is a fact that homosexuals are singled out by the Roman communion as deviants, that the problem is an evil fruit of the Fall. What do you want from us? Shall we take up whips and practise flagellation as we recite Leviticus 18:22 over and over to ourselves?
I think it was Ronald Knox who said that far from being intellectual suicide, assent to revealed doctrines of the Church was the height of human intellectual activity. Well, if blind acceptance of a set of formularies and speculations about the nature of homosexuality, which ultimately boil down to the obsession of power and self-abasement (''islam!''), is intellectual activity then I'll shew you a green dog. I honestly don't think that such opinions should be entertained in civilised society, especially when there is a closed-mindedness on one side and an inability to accept remonstrance to the contrary. I know of a Roman priest who refused to watch Brian Sewell's The Naked Pilgrim because Sewell, an expert in Art history, is homosexual. Is that not homophobia? Yea more! Why, for example, do people like Mr Ozimic not think that homosexuality is innate, and on what are they basing that belief? I grew up in a homophobic household; both my parents have consistently condemned homosexuality throughout the duration of my life, and yet I turned out to be homosexual. Was my homosexuality, then, learned in childhood? I certainly never asked for it! And far from being a ''temptation,'' let me be quite clear when I say that I am not now nor have I ever been attracted to any woman.
But I'm just wasting my breath, aren't I?