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View Diary: The Catholic Church does something despicable (again) (120 comments)

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  •  Article / Diary is Deliberately False (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bourbonblue

    The Catholic Church has done nothing here. The issue is very straightforward. Catholic Charities operates under the auspices of the Catholic Church, which, (you may disagree with it, but we have freedom of religion in this country) oppposes same-sex marriage. If the same-sex marriage bill is passed for D.C. and the language does not allow for consciensious exemption from providing services to same-sex couples, then Catholic Charities will have to end its contracts with D.C.

    However, Catholic Charities will continue its good works and help the homeless, etc. just as they always have, just not under city contracts. Which is probably a good thing anyway, the church is a religious organization and not a government social services agency.

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

    by absdoggy on Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 09:01:25 AM PST

    •  I call shenanigans on you! (12+ / 0-)

      Freedom of religion is not an end run around laws that protect people from discrimination which is what the Catholic Church is trying to do.  And now they're threatening to withhold charitable aid if a bill passes that they don't like.  

      I would argue the U.S. would be better served if we ended the church's tax exempt status and used the extra revenue we gained to help the people they are so willing to cast to the curb.  

      The Catholic Church doesn't HAVE to stop helping the homeless because there's a same sex marriage bill, it's choosing too and that, in my opinion, is a disgusting choice, but if that's what they want to do, fine, it's not like the Church hasn't done other, more disgusting things in the past.  

      •  Exactly what I was going to say... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OldGrandet, Clarknt67

        Absdoggy, you really put a nice spin on it there, but the Catholic Charities do not HAVE to stop doing good works simply because D.C. decides to stop treating LGBT citizens as dogs and start treating them as equals.  These charities can CHOOSE to show their true colors.  They can do the just, decent and kind thing.  Or they can value hatred and inequality so much that they'd leave 68,000 people in need rather than stop clinging to those awful values.

        It looks like they're going with the latter.  That's sad, and it's vile.  And there is nothing misleading about saying so.

        •  Sigh. Again, No One is Stopping Their Good Works (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OldGrandet, Shirl In Idaho, Ed G

          They are not leaving 68,000 people in need, they will continue to serve these people privately rather than through government contracts, which is the way it should be done anyway.

          Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

          by absdoggy on Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 09:39:17 AM PST

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          •  If that's true... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clarknt67

            ...then I agree with that at least.  The less involvement between church and state, the better.

          •  Also...where are you getting that? (0+ / 0-)

            Can you show us where you're getting the information that the church plans to help these people privately?

            I see no mention of that in the article.

            •  They already do (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ed G

              The vast majority of the programs Catholic Charities carries on are done with no federal, state or local funding.

              For example, here in Virginia, Catholic Charities does a lot of work with the homeless, mental health counseling, services to the disabled, etc. etc.

              And indeed, there's nobody standing at the shelter door asking if you are gay and refusing admittance if you are. There's no one saying, sorry you're gay we can't get you a new wheelchair.

              This is the problem with the article - rather than presenting the facts, it  misleads you into thinking that Catholic Charities will simply close up shop completely, which is not the case.

              Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

              by absdoggy on Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 11:18:01 AM PST

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              •  Well, it'd be nice if all these people... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AndyS In Colorado

                ...continue to be cared for, as you say.  But a rep of the church itself seems to say otherwise in the article:

                "All of those services will be adversely impacted if the exemption language remains so narrow," Jane G. Belford, chancellor of the Washington Archdiocese, wrote to the council this week.

                Just because the church does other charity without state funding does not mean it will manage to care for all 68,000 of these people without state funding.

              •  In any event, they will not bestow their (0+ / 0-)

                "charity" onto LGBT people or hire LGBT people if they don't want to, yes, contract or not?  They will not treat everyone the same?

                Whether they close up shop or not, or have a contract or not, they're still a tax exempt institution that discriminates.

                I fail to see the difference here.  If you discriminate on such bases and are doing something beyond that which is purely religious, then you shouldn't have taxpayer exempt status, because by virtue of not being taxed, you are still indirectly being supported by taxpayer funds.

                If they're going to get involved in political questions at all, they should be taxed anyway.

                "When in doubt, be ruthless" - Ferengi saying (-6.62, -6.26)

                by AndyS In Colorado on Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 05:58:56 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  You're right that they won't stop helping, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            forester, AndyS In Colorado

            so the "threatens to let homeless people die in the street" text in the OP's link is hyperbole.

            Still, the meat of the the WaPo story (as I see it) is this:

            Under the bill, headed for a D.C. Council vote next month, religious organizations would not be required to perform or make space available for same-sex weddings. But they would have to obey city laws prohibiting discrimination against gay men and lesbians.

            Fearful that they could be forced, among other things, to extend employee benefits to same-sex married couples, church officials said they would have no choice but to abandon their contracts with the city.

            Continuing to work with the DC authorities would not force the church to perform or recognize same-sex marriages, of course. As I read the article, the fears that the church is responding to here are that they would not be able to discriminate against gay and lesbian people. So the church just can't suck it up, hold its nose, and help people -- its mandate to "protect traditional marriage" makes it impossible for it to so much as work alongside people who don't see marriage in the same way. It's not as if they're checking for heterosexuality at the doors of the soup kitchen.

            It's as if I refused to work for a company that offered same-sex benefits. As a hetero person, that company policy doesn't affect me except in a broad, indirect sense that the company is paying a little more for benefits to a few extra spouses, and that's money that could be going to my bennies. It would be my right to quit, if I cared that much -- I shouldn't have to work for a company that doesn't fit my values -- but look at the strength of that bigotry!

            And with the fear of providing same-sex benefits to employees: is that so repulsive? The church can still say that those marriages are not proper Catholic marriages. It violates their sensibilities so much to hypothetically provide benefits to gay people?

            Part of this story is hyperbole, but part of it exposes the depth of the bigotry.

            (Sorry that my comment is a little late -- I bookmarked this thread for later to read over what absdoggy was saying. I don't mean to be that "last word" guy who steps in at the end of the conversation.)

      •  Again, There is NO threat to withhold charity, (0+ / 0-)

        the charity will simply be done privately, without any city contracts.  The vast majority of charitable works that Catholic Charities does is private, and not part of any government program.

        If the contracts end, then Catholic Charities will continue to help the homeless, it is a lie to say otherwise. Look at the quotes from the church spokespersons - no threat to withhold charity at all, just the true observation that they will have to end the contracts.

        And yes, freedom of religion is a constitutional right which does trump individual laws in many cases. Doctors have the right not to perform abortions if it is against their religion, various religious elementary, secondary schools can discriminate and deny entry to people not of their religion yet still particpate in federally funded school lunch programs, persons of various religions are permitted to violate various labor laws and health codes in the practice of their religion, etc. There is no end run here, the church is simply abiding by its principles and by the law.

        Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

        by absdoggy on Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 09:34:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Even if your reading of the bill is true (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      EthrDemon, smellybeast, Marja E, Ed G, absdoggy

      and I can't say I've read the bill, (but I suspect you and the Catholic Church may be incorrect) your conclusion is still entirely false:

      then Catholic Charities will have to end its contracts with D.C.

      Because there's another option open to them: minister to same-sex couples and let God do the judging later. Does the Catholic Church really imagine every person they feed or house has not committed a sin? No, they are singling out the gay sin for exclusion.

      Jesus didn't only minister to people who were free of sin, he ministered to all. The Catholic Church could learn from him.

      "Unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."--MLK Jr.

      by Scott Wooledge on Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 10:04:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, that is the other option (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clarknt67

        one that isn't possible given the church's stance on same-sex marriage. Which isn't going to change under the current Pope. Or his successor.

        But I hope that some day, perhaps in my daughter's lifetime, it will. There is another John the 23rd out there, who will reopen the windows and even the door to the church, and gay people will be accepted for the loving, committed people that they are.

        Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

        by absdoggy on Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 10:26:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Makes me wonder (0+ / 0-)

          Do you imagine that among the current people served by the Catholic Church services there might exist a few adulterers, a few thieves, maybe even a rapist or murderer or two?

          "Unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."--MLK Jr.

          by Scott Wooledge on Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 10:39:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, and gay people, and Muslims, and Jews (0+ / 0-)

            and many others that don't follow the church's precepts.

            But, if DC Social Services says to Catholic Charity "here's a same-sex couple, you must provide them adoption services under the contract that we have with you", this would put Catholic Charities in the position of violating its religious tenets, and thus they would have to cancel the contract.

            Or, if you say that Catholic Charities benefit plans must cover same-sex partners in the same manner as heterosexual couples (as a result of receiving federal/state $$), then again its a problem and they can't abide by the contract.

            They will continue to do their charitable work, just not as part of any government funded program.

            Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

            by absdoggy on Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 11:04:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Good. (0+ / 0-)

              I'm very uncomfortable with the Church and State intermingling anyway. It violates the Constitution and creates these problems anyway.

              "Unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."--MLK Jr.

              by Scott Wooledge on Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 11:22:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

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