First, let me just say thank you to the Washington State legislature. They have recently passed a law that allows gay Washingtonians to marry someone else who also happens to be gay. As any right wing rhetorical turd dropper will tell you, gays have the right to marry anyone they want, as long as that person is of the opposite sex. See? That's fair, right?
My gay friends who are in loving, committed relationships are now guaranteed the rights that I have. Then again, my gay friends who are unattached will also be guaranteed the same rights as I have. They could be wildly promiscuous, intensely boring, or just not want to have anything to do with anyone, no matter what their sexual orientation may be.
The Catholic Church here is set to start collecting signatures, in churches, to repeal gay marriage, Referendum 74.Do you ever just read something and think, "What? Seriously? Am I reading that correctly?"
So read it again:
The... Catholic... Church...is... set...to...start...collecting...signatures...What? The? Hell?
I used to spend a couple of hours ever Saturday at7 AM having a nice long phone call with my maternal grandmother. She always saw herself as a good Catholic. She had put all of her children through a local catholic school. All of her kids would end up having teen pregnancies, but that's a story for another day.
She was a special person, no doubt. One of her finest qualities was that she made a point of not judging others. She truly believed that it was not her station to judge others here on Earth. The only kind of judgement that mattered to her was the judgement of God. Her opinion on abortion was that it was between a woman and her God. I don't believe I ever directly told her that I am a non-believer, and that I am strongly opposed to churches meddling in secular politics.
When I did a year of grad school at a Jesuit University, she did express hope that "...maybe those Jesuits will get a hold of you."
We never discussed much about homosexuality. I suspect, given her ability to ignore the more foolish dictates of her church, that she would have believed that one doesn't change who they are, and that "God don't make no junk."
Everyone in my family has been Catholic.
Everyone in my family has been Catholic. One Catholic family married into another Catholic family, but the Catholic family chain broke when my brother and I never went to church.
One thing she told me about during our phone calls was her sadness at being teased and bullied for her religion. She told me about how she would be called, "Catlicker" on her way to school. That's a pretty stupid put down, if you ask me. But it didn't matter. She was devoted to her church until the very end. Even though she was as liberal as anyone living in small town Texas could possibly be, she never allowed her disagreement with the established religion to change her mind on issues of practical human importance.
She would not, for the sake of religious devotion, pretend to know her God's thoughts.
Early state constitutions contained specific prohibitions against "Papists" holding office in those states. They would eventually be made irrelevant by the US constitution, but the specter of a Catholic holding office and doing the bidding of the church was enough to cause discrimination against Catholics.
Protestant "fundamentalists" and other new Christian denominations revived anti-Catholicism as part of an insistence on "original," pre-Rome Christianity. The Ku Klux Klan resurgence in 1915 included Catholics along with blacks and Jews as victims of their hate attacks. As late as 1949, a bestseller called American Freedom and Catholic Power by Paul Blanshard argued, again, that the Catholic religion undermined the basic tenets of American society.So why is it that the Catholic Church is so blinded to their own history of being on the receiving end of discrimination?
Even in this liberal paradise of Seattle, the Archbishop of Seattle approves actively gathering signatures in their churches.
So how can they do this?
Churches can't do political campaigning, or they risk losing their tax-free status. This doesn't apply to initiative and referendum campaigns. Those are considered legislation, and churches are permitted to lobby on pending laws — even if that means passing political petitions around the pews.Here is what I say to that justification:
1. It's easy to forget when things were bad for you. But, please... A little institutional memory goes a long way.
2. It's an imbalance of importance. For gay people in the US, this is important. It is, simply put, a violation of their human rights. For the Catholic church, it's a plank in their non-political political platform. The church could drop their opposition, and nobody would look back.
3. I can think of no better way of turning young people away from the church. ( I don't really care about that, personally. It just doesn't make any sense to me.)
It is a multitude of wrongs. It is immoral, it is ineffective, and it is a waste of resources on the part of the church.
Here are things they could be gathering petition signatures for:
Abolish the death penalty in WA.
Make healthcare accessible to all Washingtonians.
Oppose wars both old and new.
Fair treatment for workers.
Increase the social safety net.
This list could go on and on.
I just don't get it.