Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Chicago Catholics and Religious Freedom

Enough with this religious freedom argument already!  As I've told you before, it is specious as well as illogical.

FACT:  you are all free to practice your religion any way you choose.   

Regardless of the hyperbole, no one is, or will, ever step foot into any church and force them to marry anyone they don't want to.  After all, the Roman Catholics are free to deny marriage to anyone divorced, even though marriage following divorce is civilly legal.  No divorcé is suing the church for marriage, are they?
  • Actually, what they are doing is buying "annulments", kinda like indulgences, which is why serial adulterer and thrice-married Newt Gingrich is now a Roman Catholic.  Note to cardinals, do you really think Newt is the best examplar of the meaning of marriage?

What you are NOT free to do is:
  • force anyone else to practice your religion.
    For example, lots of faith groups disagree with the Roman Catholics about who can marry. The Episcopalians allow divorced people to remarry in the church, and in many jurisdictions where it's legal, they allow LGBT people to marry, neither of which are allowed under of Roman Catholic doctrine. Same for the MCC, the UCC, the Lutherans, reform Jews, etc etc etc. These faith groups should be free to practice THEIR faith, not be forced to be unwilling Roman Catholics. 

  • get the government to pay for it.
    Yes, we know that Catholic Charities in IL is shutting down, rather than let gay people adopt children-- but they do not have a constitutional right to federal funding.  Catholic charities are more than free to keep providing discriminatory adoption services, if they choose to pay for it.  They just aren't perfectly free to keep using my gay taxpayer's dollars to fund discrimination against other gay people. 

And let's be very clear; this is a choice.  As the NY Times points out, 
Taking a completely different tack was the agency affiliated with the conservative Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod, which like the Catholic Church does not sanction same-sex relationships. Gene Svebakken, president and chief executive of the agency, Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois, visited all seven pastoral conferences in his state and explained that the best option was to compromise and continue caring for the children.
That is, you can keep taking public money and compromise.  You can not take public money, and do as you please.  Or you can shut down and scream "martyr!"

Here's the basic fact: claiming that you are being discriminated against, if you are not allowed to discriminate against others, is like killing your father and claiming sympathy for being an orphan.

Update:  Jay Bookman, writing in the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
...the church is not being persecuted. It is not persecution to be held to the standards that are applied to every other contractor that does business with the state. To the contrary, the church is demanding “special rights” to violate the law and to use taxpayers’ money to do so.  

1 comment:

Erp said...

To be exact Roman Catholics are free to deny Catholic marriages to anyone they want. A government civil servant who happens to be Roman Catholic is not free to use her religious beliefs to decide who gets or does not get a state marriage license.