Monday, August 08, 2005


Bang On! Christopher Hitchens on Catholic Judges

Hitch covers a wide array of secularist issues in this superb article in Slate.

We must always remember that the Vatican, and thus the Catholic Church, is not a religion in the normal sense. It is an international political organisation that styles itself and acts as an independent state. The spooks and holy ghosts neither add nor detract anything from these facts.

What is scandalous is that 'foreign nations', including the UK, actively collude in the elision of these bizarre multiple roles, leading to public misunderstanding.

Note, for example, that the UK Government recently advertised an ambassadorship to the Vatican. Hitch untangles the knots, and raises the fascinating question of extraditions from this rogue 'state'.

Well done Hitch - great when he's on your side, and vital reading when he's not. Check out what he says about Scalia: 'Government.. ..derives its authority from God'.

UPDATE 16/8/5: via LegalTheoryBlog - an article by Garvey & Barrett on Catholic judges and recusal in cases of conscience has recently been made available.. "we need to know whether judges are legally disqualified from hearing cases that their consciences would let them decide." Right.

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