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Catholics really don’t want to be thought of as bigots

Timothy Kincaid

February 25th, 2011

More and more I find myself running across angsty protests against describing actions that exclude gay people from civil inclusion as “discriminatory.” Often these come from Catholic Bishops who have become accustomed to thinking of their church as the defender of the downtrodden and panic when downtrodden gay folk start pointing fingers.

Take, for example, this Catholic News Agency response to the President’s recent DOMA decision:

Anthony R. Picarello, Jr., the top legal counsel for the U.S. bishops, called the administration’s decision a “grave affront” to Americans who reject unjust discrimination but also affirm “the unique and inestimable value of marriage as between one man and one woman.”

“Support for actual marriage is not bigotry, but instead an eminently reasonable, common judgment affirming the foundational institution of civil society,” Picarello said.

Any government suggestion that this belief is discriminatory is a “serious threat” to religious liberty, he added.

Note Picarello’s greatest concern: that the official Catholic teaching is seen as discriminatory, that the church’s anti-gay political activism be viewed as based in bigotry. And anti-gay activism’s number one marriage theorist, Robert George, explains why.

“He treats that belief as if it were a mere prejudice, as though it is motivated by a desire to cause harm to people,” George told CNA Feb. 24. “Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. It is a legitimate moral belief that has informed our law throughout history.”

The statement suggests to George the possibility that the Justice Department will “abuse its authority to suppress the religious liberty of people who dissent.”

“It raises the concern that the Justice Department will treat believing Christians, Jews, Muslims and others as though they are the equivalent of racists,” he warned.

And if there is anything that the Catholic Church wishes to avoid, it’s facing society equating their dogma with racism or other animus-based bias. That doesn’t bode well for evangelism or donations.

Comments

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TonyJazz
February 25th, 2011 | LINK

The catholic church’s moral stance should be that they don’t plan to support gay marriage in the church.

Civil marriage is a legal construct, and it has nothing to do with their religion-specific definition of marriage.

And the church should be morally concerned with fair treatment and opportunity for all capable people.

Chris McCoy
February 25th, 2011 | LINK

“It raises the concern that the Justice Department will treat believing Christians, Jews, Muslims and others as though they are the equivalent of racists”

They are. They should be treated as such.

The Truth is so damned inconvenient.

Throbert McGee
February 25th, 2011 | LINK

I could be mistaken, but I think the Vatican’s official position that (a) “obedient Catholics” should not politically support any form of legal recognition for same-sex couples — even Maine-type “domestic partnerships” that not only avoid using the term “marriage” but aren’t even close to being “marriage in all but name”; and (b) the Vatican would hew stubbornly to this position even if “one man, one woman” were written into the Constitution to prevent DPs from being “sneakily expanded” into gay marriage.

In other words — for the Vatican, not necessarily for rank-and-file clergy or the entire Catholic laity — it’s not simply about an opposition to “Same-Sex Marriage”, nor merely about avoiding slippery slopes that might potentially lead to “Same-Sex Marriage.” Any formal acknowledgment of gay housholds by the (secular) state is Too Much.

Regan DuCasse
February 25th, 2011 | LINK

Thanks for that quote, Chris.

Again with their ‘”We’re the VICTIMS here, if gay people are treated as equals.”

Or, “We’re the victims here if WE don’t want gay people treated as equals.”

They are washing themselves in the victim river every which way possible.

A person who believes that gay aren’t equal to them, nor deserve to be married by their houses of worship ARE free to feel that way.

It’s a no brainer that CIVIL LAW MUST treat gay citizens as equal and equally responsible as well as equally deserving of the same rights.

As I keep saying. Jehovah’s Witnesses are people who believe that blood and organ donation are immoral and impure.
But they can’t demand that others can’t receive it.
Nor complain that their rights are compromised because others use donated blood.

This complaint by the CC is as specious as a JW saying that blood donation contaminates the blood supply according to their religious teaching.

Regan DuCasse
February 25th, 2011 | LINK

Oh and, is the CC complaining too that people who divorce and remarry compromise the CC’s rights in their stance to refuse ceremonies for the divorced and remarried?
Even those that don’t belong to their church?

What kinds of stupid people buy this crap?

Amicus
February 26th, 2011 | LINK

One could write a book on this, but one view is that most people, including Catholics, find the Church’s teachings on women to be irrational/biased, or, if not, then really of limited applicability, rather than universal in all respects.

So, why are the CC’s views on gays to be taken so much more strictly?

Last, they commit a grave error, if they are wrong in their moral judgement in this.

One would like to see the most fervent defense of those topics for which one has the strongest of moral insight. That might be, with limited exceptions, murder, theft, violence (assault), etc.

But, with the CC already admitting to a class of people who are invariably oriented toward the gay, one has to question that the wisdom of how they weigh their moral considerations, not just the logical consistency of the considerations themselves.

lurker
February 26th, 2011 | LINK

“He treats the belief in antimisegenation law as if it were a mere prejudice, as though it is motivated by a desire to cause harm to people. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. It is a legitimate moral belief that has informed our law throughout history.”

Matthew S
March 8th, 2011 | LINK

What the radical churches need to realize is that while freedom of religion gives churches the right to practice their religion, the prohibition on establishment of religion prohibits them from making their dogma the law of the land in the USA. You don’t have to like a group, but no one has the right to codify their fear in this country.

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