Tuesday, January 17, 2012

RC BIshops try to give secular reasons for opposing marriage equality

 There is a real chance that marriage equality will be passed legislatively in Washington state and signed by a supportive governor.

 So of course, the Roman Catholic bishops are desperately trying to stop it. Of course, they are hindered by the fact that most of their flock support recognition of gay relationships.

 Meanwhile, as reported in Pam's House Blend, the bishops are making their argument thusly:
 …the definition of marriage is related to bringing children into the world and the continuation of the human race. The legislation to redefine marriage, therefore, is not in the public interest. 
 Yes, because if gay people marry, straight people will throw up their hands in disgust, and stop having children. The argument is ridiculous on the face.

 Moreover, the bishops ignore that the lack of marriage hurts the children of gay parents. The PHB columnist goes on to note that 41% of births in this country are to unmarried women. So the way to promote marriage and families is….to deny marriage?

  WRites one columnist in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
 The best advice, which Catholic bishops in Washington and elsewhere should heed, came recently from Nicholas Cafardi, formerly legal counsel to the Diocese of Pittsburgh and formerly a board member of the bishops' National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Youth: 
"We need to give it up. This is not defeatism. This is simply following Jesus in the Gospels, who besides telling us not to act on our fears, also told us to render to Caesar what it Caesar's and to God what is God's. Civil marriage is Caesar's."


PseudoPiskie said...

Jesus probably never imagined the "church" as it is today. Sometimes it is difficult to explain why I'm involved.

Anonymous said...

The government has no right to redefine my marriage as I'm protected by freedom of religion (marriage as a sacrament defined by the church) and freedom of association (right to not be associated with other's that claim to be married, but are not).

Str8nProuder said...

What about "gay baptist" or "gay communion"? If same-sex marriage laws were passed would they then discriminate against "transgender marriage"? Or if "gay marriage" is passed were does that leave lesbians? If acts that occur in nature are naturally occurring - how do homo sapiens become homosexuals?

IT said...

Anonymous, sadly you fail to grasp the facts of the matter. The government is expanding the access of all citizens to CIVIL marriage.

This has nothing to do with your faith or your ability to define your marriage as you choose within your church.

For example (assuming you are Catholic), the Church does not recognize civil marriage of previously divorced people as sacramentally valid. Yet the Church and you as a Catholic are capable of existing in a civil sphere in which those people have a legal civil marriage, even if you don't think it is a sacramental one, without considering this a threat to your own marriage.

(As an aside, do you suppose that Catholic hospitals provide spousal benefits for such couples who, under canon law, exist in a state of adultery?)

As for freedom of association, that's pretty funny! YOu don't have to associate with a gay person, any more than you have to associate with a Muslim or an atheist or an African American, if you choose not to. Whether or not they claim equal rights under the law has nothing to do with whether you have the same rights!

Indeed, by your logic, I could claim that freedom of association means that I can deny you citizenship, since you do not grasp separation of church and state or equal protection under the law as fundamental principles of our republic. But, as I do grasp them, I recognize your right to hold and espouse even offensive views. You are simply NOT able to force those views on the rest of us.

If you would prefer a theocratic society, I believe Saudi Arabia and Iran offer excellent examples of how that works. Of course, they also persecute Christians. It all depends on whose ox is getting gored, I suppose.

IT said...

STr8n, do try to pay attention. Homosexuality is a minority variant throughout the human population, like being left handed or a red head. It also exists through the animal kingdom. There are plenty of resources on this blog that explain this and other aspects of biology --you know, like science?

There is no such thing as "gay marriage" any more than there is "gay laundry" or "gay lifestyle." Or, in your words, "gay baptism". That's really quite an offensive connotation, actually.

Many faith groups welcome and support their LGBT members. Indeed, let us quote the The Rev Susan Russell, an Episcopal Priest describes "marriage values":

Values like fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and love -- the values that we in the Episcopal Church have held up as the standards we hold for relationships blessed by our church.

Perhaps you and Anonymous should meet some actual married gay people. Indeed, why don't you find some in church on Sunday. You might find that this is not nearly so scary as you think, and that you can find a way to exist in the public square with people who hold different views.

IT said...

Oops, the link to Susan Russell's quote:

Anonymous said...

You're missing the point I'm making about the hypocrisy the people who support decadence and in that not even being able to agree on if you're fighting for: "gay marriage", "same sex marriage", "equal marriage", or any other wrong-brained minority variant psychobabble. So you'll be in agreement with any kind of marriage then, including transgenders?

Also, you're not quite understanding my point about the separation of church and state. The government by allowing "marriage" to be redefined, is violating my right of association with other naturally married couples.

So, if the gov't allows "marriage" to be re-defined the fear of many people who also believe in baptism and the other sacraments will be violated as well.

I'm simply trying to ask questions and whether you agree or not does not mean they're meant to be offensive.

Also, just trying to get people to see that there are some that will only recognize marriage (for personal beliefs regardless of religious faith) as between one man and one woman.

IT said...

No, Anonymous, you are missing the point.

First of all, your own moral dislike of "decadence" is applicable to you and your faith group,and you are welcome to keep it. By all means, deny same sex couples the "holy matrimony" of your church.

But civil marriage is a state defined entity. That's why atheists, Muslims, divorced people, and yes, now gays (in 7 states) can marry, even though some religious groups may disagree. No one is forcing your faith group to perform these marriages. They are CIVIL marriages: conferred BY THE STATE. You really need to grapple with the example I gave you of divorced and remarried people: they are not recognized as sacramentally valid by the Roman Catholic Church, yet I'll bet that such folks get marriage benefit from RC employers in the secular sphere.

The "freedom of association" argument thus makes no sense. You are free to associate with anyone you choose. That the state confers legal rights on people of whom you disapprove is not enforcing an "association" with them.

Civil marriage is NOT a sacrament. Indeed, the problem is that in this country we conflate civil marriage with religious marriage. In many countries they are treated as explicitly separate.

Your faith is free to define your sacramental life in any way you choose including limiting "holy matrimony". Within that faith you have freedom to operate as you please. That means you needn't perform marriages between gays, Jews, atheists, or the divorced.

What you are not free to do is define your faith view as that of the state.

If you read this blog, you will find that many faith groups do support gay couples and their right to marry. Indeed, I run a whole series here called "Voices of Faith Speak Out".

So you see, you don't speak for all faith groups, and in a pluralistic society, the Episcopalians should be free to marry their gay congregants and the Roman Catholics should be free not to.

And I say that as a gay married Californian whose marriage was blessed, in church, by the Episocpalians. Who call us to the exact same role as straight people, expressed recently by the Bishop of Washington thusly:

[LGBT faithful] are not asking for special treatment. They are asking for equal treatment. They are asking to be accountable, as a couple, in community. To me, this is a conservative proposal. I am for it, and I hope we will finally make way for this to happen, not only in our society, but also in our church.

As you would have others respect your faith, anonymous, so must you respect the faith of others. Even if you disagree or disapprove.

Because this is not a theocracy.

JCF said...

So you'll be in agreement with any kind of marriage then, including transgenders?

So, Anon, you're for denying *ME* the (human) right to get married?

What did I ever do to you? >:-(