With his cotta in a twist, Roman Catholic Cardinal George of Chicago has written a quite-offensive letter demanding his flock oppose marriage equality. Columnist Neil Steinberg has an outstanding response.
[M]y concern is not about what Catholics do or don’t do in practicing their own religion....Read the whole thing!
What you’re doing is instructing Catholics to pressure legislators, and pressuring them yourself, joined by like-minded clerics, to craft laws that force non-Catholics to follow Catholic doctrine. That makes it everybody’s business. ...
In an attempt to justify an unjustifiable intrusion of religion into secular life, you write, in your letter, ... “The human species comes in two complementary sexes, male and female” — no argument here — “their sexual union is called marital.”
Really? By whom? Because people nowadays mate like ferrets, while fewer call it “marital.” What comes to us from nature is not marriage but sex. Some species do indeed mate for life, but that is the exception, not the rule. . ....
Because marriage — and here you’ll have to listen to an old married guy — isn’t just about sex. Yes, that’s part of it. But someone who gets married for the sex is like someone who flies on an airplane for the meal — there are easier, cheaper ways to go about it.
Sex is not the central defining element of marriage — that would be commitment a.k.a. staying together, often raising children, sometimes cleaning the house, paying bills, talking quietly at night, having a relationship recognized by society and law, a vessel solid enough to navigate the tempests and calms, storms and lassitudes of the years. Marriage is about love and responsibility. And here homosexuals are on an even playing field with straights. Yet here you are mum — as if, because you don’t see them, they’re not here.
But they are here, and you’re hurting them, or trying to.