ANDRE VAN HEERDEN – NZ Catholic 22 Apr 2013
….To be sure, Williamson was by turns impassioned, indignant, and ingratiating, but the lasting impression he left on any rational listener would have been one of unmitigated inanity. The speech was fallacious nonsense from beginning to end. Let’s take it point by point.
…In opening, he immediately set about assailing that favourite target of political hacks — the straw man. Maurice tried ham-handedly to imply that a major part of the opposition to the bill was made up of fundamentalist extremists. It isn’t. Among the many people opposed to a redefinition of marriage, both theist and atheist, are those from different faiths naturally against a move that is contrary to their moral standards, and threatens to involve them in future conflict with the law of the land. The soft-soaping of this issue by politicians like Williamson simply doesn’t wash after so many of them reneged on the assurances made at the time of the Civil Union legislation several years ago. The recent scandal of 11-year-old girls prostituting themselves in south Auckland reminds one of other false assurances given by politicians like Mr Williamson.
…Alas, Sir Maurice would appear to be part of that inauspicious group of misanthropes. To imply, with snide pleasure, that a Catholic priest is guilty of an unnatural act by virtue of his vow of celibacy, is to betray the lack of even a rudimentary understanding of natural law or the meaning of celibacy. The MP’s embarrassing inability to even pronounce the word correctly, and his admission that “I don’t know what it’s about”, demonstrated that the honourable member is happy to spread calumny regardless of his poverty of understanding. His putative science lesson merely revealed a laughable deficit of knowledge about science, metaphysics, and theology, but given his audience of post-modern nihilists, why should he be concerned about an inconsequential concept like truth?
….Barely into his conciliatory stride, he suddenly slid back into mocking them with the familiar patronising tone that plays so well with his libertarian social policy constituency. Of course, he used the same old “the sun will still come up tomorrow” argument when he supported the decriminalisation of prostitution, overlooking the fact that it also rose over Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia. Another non sequitur.