I comment here on the issue surrounding the Embryology Bill at Westminster. The Catholic Church's outburst on this issue, whereby they disagree with the three line whip that has been placed on Catholic Labour MP's such as Paul Murphy and Ruth Kelly.
Firstly the way in which the Catholic church have been able to manipulate the debate on to their playing field is perhaps somewhat of an own goal. They are arguing that Catholic Labour MP's should have a free vote on this issue, but this begs the question why should the religious conscience of an elected official be called in to question? Should they not think "What is in the best interest for my constituents?" not "What is in my best interest in the eyes of my God?."
We now live in a mainly secular society, if the political elite can not put themselves before their electors then democracy itself is at a loss.
What I have personally drawn from this saga is not the issue of Religion v. Science but the whole issue of the Party Whiping System. I for one disagree with this system in its entirety (there must be a less authoritarian way for party's to function), i'm sure if an organisation had issues with this bill, it would have been a great deal more favourable for them to have discredited the non-emotive discussion of the whip system rather than the overly emotive subject of Religion v. Science.
As one friend has mentioned to me, "Elected representatives need to remember that it's the party and the people who got them elected and not the Vatican [or any other organisation]."
One last note. Let us remember Galileo Galilei and what happend to him when he gave birth to Modern Science, he was suppressed by the Vatican. I would have thought that the Vatican would have learnt its lesson the first time round?