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Catholic Church Threatens D.C.

Jim Burroway

November 12th, 2009

Washington, D.C. City Council is expected to take up a same-sex marriage bill in the coming weeks. The bill would not require religious institutions to perform or accommodate same-sex marriages, but they would have to obey city laws prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people. It’s that point — that religious organizations providing social services under contract with the city would be prohibited from discriminating — that has the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington threatening to take all their cards and go home:

The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said Wednesday that it will be unable to continue the social service programs it runs for the District if the city doesn’t change a proposed same-sex marriage law, a threat that could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness and health care.

…Catholic Charities, the church’s social services arm, is one of dozens of nonprofit organizations that partner with the District. It serves 68,000 people in the city, including the one-third of Washington’s homeless people who go to city-owned shelters managed by the church. City leaders said the church is not the dominant provider of any particular social service, but the church pointed out that it supplements funding for city programs with $10 million from its own coffers.

Which means that the Catholic Church feels it is more important to discriminate against LGBT people than follow Jesus’ mandate to serve the poor. Go figure. City Council members appear unimpressed with that threat:

“If they find living under our laws so oppressive that they can no longer take city resources, the city will have to find an alternative partner to step in to fill the shoes,” [City Council Member David] Catania said. He also said Catholic Charities was involved in only six of the 102 city-sponsored adoptions last year.



November 12th, 2009 | LINK

You mean to tell me that these people would rather put homeless people out on the street than to live in a city that allowed marriage equality, which, BTW, they would not be required to honor within their church?!

1. How do these people call themselves Christian?

2. How do these people sleep at night?

Divorce and sex outside of marriage are also sins according to the Catholic Church, but I highly doubt that they would turn people away who have engaged in that!

November 12th, 2009 | LINK

I suggest that a GLBT non-profit take the opportunity to fill the gap which would be vacated the Catholics.

November 12th, 2009 | LINK

Are the catholics also allowed to ban any non-christians from their charities? Because if they’re letting hindus and jews in but not gays they cant pretend this is because of their ‘religious beliefs’.

Timothy Kincaid
November 12th, 2009 | LINK


How do these people call themselves Christian?

That is a good question. It has become increasingly difficult for me to read the reported life and statements of the man Jesus and find any commonality with some who use his name.

From all that we have to go by, it is inconceivable that Jesus would have selected civil enforcement of religious beliefs as a higher priority than helping persons in need.

Richard W. Fitch
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

Perhaps some of the RC members who are increasingly disenchanted with their ‘church’ will decide to donate to the many charitable groups that actually provide Charity.

Rik in Orange County
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

I’m fed up with this church that protected all those perverted priests that molested countless children. As a lapsed Catholic i have no intention of returning to this homophobic church. Hypocrites. I say that we should pull the plug on all religious institutions. No more free ride. Tax the suckers. Each and every one. They are all businesses and should pay their fair share.

November 13th, 2009 | LINK

They are so focused on dogma that they have discarded love. The further they stray from “love thy neighbor,” the further they stray from God.

Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, caring for the sick and burying the dead are considered by Catholics as corporal works of mercy.

It would appear that they are discarding mercy as well. At a certain point, what’s left?

November 13th, 2009 | LINK

Hey, when you spend 2000 years as a political entity first and a religious entity second, old habits (no pun intended) die hard. Honestly, it’s a Church Leadership thing. The bulk of Catholics and lay leaders have tremendous compassion for their communities and understand their mission of service. It’s when you get into the upper eschelons that things become problematic. It’s not unique to the Catholic Church by any stretch of the imagination. I just feel very badly for the people who serve the church and are bound to feel betrayed by their leaders, and the communities they server who are going to be abandoned so that an Archbishop can make a point.

November 13th, 2009 | LINK

Great retort by Catania

Regan DuCasse
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

How is it that only gay people have to deal with discrimination by PROXY of other issues?
That way, those who want to discriminate, can point to gay people as the cause?

“Gays shouldn’t marry because then, polygamists and bestiality advocates should.”

“Gay people shouldn’t get married because they can’t procreate.”

“If gay people get married, then it’ll ruin it for everyone else.”

“If gay people get married, we won’t be able to do charitable works for the needy.”

“We have to cancel the WHOLE prom because ONE lesbian wants to come with her same sex date.”

How does anyone even say stuff like that and not think it STUPID if they heard it played back to them?

Other than this being a number of ways to get people mad at ‘teh gays’, what does it serve?
To go THIS far out on a limb to get folks mad at the gays…the weight of the cynicism and illogic that requires should make that limb break.

November 13th, 2009 | LINK

I saw a great quote on Sullivan’s website earlier that applies to this:

“I see no reason why civil marriage for non-mormons should be banned because mormons find it anathema to their doctrines”

Same goes for catholics.

N Makena
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

Whites only restrooms – Blacks must use the outdoor facilities out back.

Has it occurred to anyone else that by allowing religious organizations the ability to discriminate against GLBT people that we are moving backwards? How can any self-respecting individual living in the United States of America allow their religious beliefs to influence their civil vote? What is wrong with these people? This country fought a war to gain it’s independence from England which, at the time, was trying to force a religious doctrine onto everyone. That’s the reason why we fought that war over 200 years ago so that everyone would have the freedom to choose what they believe. When you go into that voting booth and vote your religious views, you are forcing your personal religious beliefs onto other American citizens who are guaranteed freedom from that very idea.

Why do we continue to cater to the Christian far-right and their demands that we must include their religious beliefs in all new legislation? Whether it is on a city, county, state, or federal level – we are all created equal and each and every one of us is guaranteed freedom, justice, and liberty. This mob-rule mentality is not acceptable and must be stopped now. Do we want to live in a theocracy? The Christian-Taliban is trying to make everyone in this country conform. Isn’t the reason we are in the Afghanistan War to help them to be free from religious oppression? Yet we allow the Catholics, Mormons, NOM, and other organizations a tax-free status to influence civil society within the political arena right here in this country. Where is the church and state separation? If you wish to live in a theocracy, then please, move to Iran, otherwise stop trying to influence civil society with your religious dogma.

The recent news that the Catholic Church is threatening to stop its social services programs in Washington DC if the city doesn’t change its proposed same-sex marriage law has got to be the most disgraceful statement to-date coming from a religious organization. Surely the cruelty of their intentions would make even the most devout Catholic sick to their stomach. No one is even asking the church to perform or submit to these civil marriages. Please, my fellow American citizens it’s time to understand what it means to have a completely secular and civil society. It’s time to tax these religious organizations or make them go back to their churches and social services and get them completely out of politics where it concerns our secularly run government.

Mike Airhart
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

As some people may have noticed, I have begun to give up calling antigay conservatives “Christian.” They are not remotely deserving of the label.

They are ex-Christian Rightists. Amoral, relativist, depraved, selfish, sadistic, and apostate.

November 13th, 2009 | LINK

Mike Airhart,

You comments about the people you call “Christian Rightists” (I really don’t grasp the theological subtleties behind your decision that they are not “Christians”) sound exactly like their comments about homosexuals. Pardon me for asking, but is this a coincidence?

Chris McCoy
November 16th, 2009 | LINK

I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.

-Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

November 23rd, 2009 | LINK

I am a Christian, but do not hold these views as does the church. I believe that the Jesus being represented is not accurate of the Jesus of the Bible. The Jesus of the bible associated himself with Sinners, adulterers, liars, murderers etc. He didn’t go to them and expect them to be someone else. He loved them for who they were, not where they were at.

Romans 5:8 says,
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

I find the Jesus of the bible to be one of Love and commitment to us. He doesn’t love us for who we could be, but loves us for who we are. In my sin, he loved me, died for me, and every day when I hurt people because of my own pride, or selfishness he still loves me. I love the Jesus of the bible, not the one that is represented here.

I hope anyone reading does not lump all of us christians into the same boat. It is my life’s mission to love the unlovely and be loved by the lovely (jesus).


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