Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Catholics in conflict in Maine

As the race for Question 1 in Maine continues to be very close, the Bangor Daily News reports that the Catholic Church is working hard to raise more money and even asking people to fast to "save" marriage.
A recorded message from Bishop Malone was played during the St. Matthews service on Sunday asking church members to do four things — pray that “marriage as we know it” prevails, financially support the campaign, volunteer in support of the campaign and vote yes on Question 1...

“Same-sex marriage is a dangerous sociological experiment that many of us believe will have negative consequences for society as a whole,” he said. “Children need the love of a mother and a father.”
(Aside: don't you get tired of that? They think if they ban same sex marriage, then we will stop having children and suddenly all children will have 2 heterosexual parents? How willfully blind can they be?)

Thankfully, many Catholics are starting to speak out against this civil intolerance. A new Maine group, Catholics for Marriage Equality, has released the following:
As faithful Roman Catholics and citizens of the State of Maine, we believe that the right of every citizen to practice freedom of religion is based on the principle of respect for the dignity of each individual. Without that guarantee, the danger of one religious tradition or doctrine dominating another threatens all and protects none. Making the equality of citizens not only an ideal but a living truth, we affirm the May 6, 2009 act of the Maine Legislature to end marriage discrimination by granting civil marriage for same-sex couples. Our declaration of conscience is based on the following:

The American principle of the separation of Church and State was enshrined in the Constitution to ensure that no particular religious perspective would be imposed on our pluralistic society.

Catholic teaching on social justice has been central to the building of a just society, creating awareness of diversity in the human family, calling us to lives of respect for one another, and not only tolerance.

We remember that Roman Catholics were once denied civil rights, treated with suspicion, ridiculed because of our sacred rituals, and questioned as to our allegiance to “foreign authorities.” Memory challenges us to remain vigilant whenever bigotry and injustice enters into public discourse.

Same-sex civil marriage does not in any way coerce any religious faith or tradition to change its beliefs or doctrine or alter its traditional marriage practices.....

As Roman Catholics, we differentiate between sacramental marriage and civil marriage. Therefore, we perceive that same-sex civil marriage poses no threat to our Church. While we respect the authority and integrity of the Church in matters of faith, our prayers and discernment have brought us to a new openness on this issue. We do not ask the Church to perform same-sex marriages. We do implore the Church to honor the State’s prerogative to authorize civil marriages for our gay and lesbian family and friends.

Grateful for the gift of our faith and the ways that we have been nourished by faith throughout our lives, and also grateful for our citizenship in America and in this State, we sign this statement as Roman Catholic citizens of Maine.
Check it out! (Emphasis mine) And support equality in Maine: vote NO on Question 1, and protect Maine equality.

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