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But ‘freedom of religion’ means that you have to give me taxpayer money!!

Timothy Kincaid

May 27th, 2011

The State of Illinois has changes the way in which it wants one of its programs to operate. One of their contractors doesn’t think that it can operate under the new rules, and so it is not going to apply for further contracts with the state. The policy change is that same-sex couples cannot be excluded from consideration by state-funded adoption agencies, and the contractor is the Rockford Diocese of the Catholic Church.

Yeah, they made good on their threat. And, of course, they are whining and moaning that their “moral stance” actually cost them anything. They seem to believe that when you claim that you are taking a moral stance, then everyone else should cater to you and make exceptions for you. (Beacon-News)

Officials from the Rockford Diocese, which includes Aurora, Kane County and much of Kendall County, said they were forced to terminate state contracts worth $7.5 million after lawmakers failed to pass an amendment exempting religious groups from provisions of the state’s new civil unions law. The law, which will let gay and lesbian couples form civil unions, a rough equivalent to marriage, takes effect on Wednesday.

“The law of our land has always guaranteed its people freedom of religion,” diocese spokeswoman Penny Wiegert said. “Denying this exemption to faith-based agencies leads one to believe that our lawmakers prefer laws that guarantee freedom from religion.”

Yes, they believe that it’s a matter of religious freedom. Of course, they also believe that the Pope should dictate civil policy to “Christian Europe”, so it’s a little difficult to take them seriously when they talk about “religious freedom.”

So now the other 40-odd private agencies (including two other religiously-based groups) will have to pick up the Catholic Church’s 15% of the burden. Or perhaps not even that much if the other three Catholic agencies decide that their faith doesn’t exactly compel them deny orphans a loving adoptive family.

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David C.
May 27th, 2011 | LINK

The RCC and its agencies that take public money have to follow the law and they don’t like the law so they attempt to blackmail the state into changing the law or allowing just them to dictate the law. The RCC and its agencies can continue their missions, believe as they will, and observe the religious teachings they feel compelled to follow as long as no public money is involved. No one is denying them their religious freedom and that will become increasingly clear to those with even a passing familiarity with the facts.

In a way, the RCC and its agencies that behave in this way are actually helping us by protecting our tax money from use as a resource for those that would indoctrinate children to discriminate against others because of a natural part of their character.

A second way this helps is by stimulating a debate amongst thinking people about why we have allowed the intrusion of religious influence in our system of government and social services.

We as a nation need to carefully consider the impact of our almost automatic deference to religious interests simply because they claim freedom of conscience as their justification—they are not free to do as they please because of it alone not can a secular society recognize them as somehow elect by virtue of their particular images of God and alleged holy writ.

ken
May 27th, 2011 | LINK

The other thing to consider is what the Rockford Diocese didn’t ask for: They didn’t ask for exemptions for jewish, muslim, atheist or other non-christian families. They didn’t ask for an exemption for couples who had divorced and re-married. They didn’t ask for an exemption for anything other than same-sex couples. Seems hypocrisy would better describe their reason for wanting an exemption rather than morality.

Iamposterity
May 27th, 2011 | LINK

I thought it was common knowledge that America gave favoritism to Christians mean while violating the religous freedom of everyone else. I mean if they are no longer allowed special treatment or able to legislate christianity through the court system then the world will end…….I say save humanity and end religion!

Manawolf
May 27th, 2011 | LINK

I would argue quite passionately that freedom FROM religion is precisely the point of all this, you know, “America” stuff.

Unfortunately, theocrats are louder and have more money.

PJB863
May 27th, 2011 | LINK

What a joke. Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago (next diocese to the East) got out of the foster care/adoption business in 2007, but it was due to insurance and liability issues, not civil unions. All that ended up happening was the caseworkers and their cases were transferred to secular agencies. It was transparent to the clients (the kids and foster/adoptive parents).

I suspect there are other issues at play here, beyond civil unions – like insurance/liability issues, maybe. I smell some political grandstanding.

Richard Rush
May 28th, 2011 | LINK

If the Catholic Church wants to help children that need homes while maintaining their religious freedom, why doesn’t the Church simply kick in the money to make up for rejecting government-money? Oh, wait . . . .
they don’t have any more money because they’ve been using it to fund anti-gay campaigns. After all, why use Church money to help children when you can use it to make the lives of gay people as miserable as possible?

http://news.change.org/stories/the-catholic-church-americas-anti-lgbt-credit-card

http://gay.americablog.com/2009/10/where-is-catholic-churchs-mystery-money.html

http://www.pridesource.com/article.html?article=9947

http://news.change.org/stories/taking-the-minnesota-catholic-churchs-anti-gay-campaign-and-turning-it-into-art

http://newmexicoindependent.com/63578/knights-of-columbus-funds-national-organization-for-marriage

http://news.change.org/stories/maine-catholic-church-spends-crazy-money-to-kill-gay-marriage-while-shutting-down-parishes

Sean
May 28th, 2011 | LINK

What confuses me is that these charities often serve non-Catholic kids and families. On what grounds do they demand the ability to impose their doctrines upon others on just this one question?

Timothy Kincaid
May 31st, 2011 | LINK

Oh, wait . . . .
they don’t have any more money because they’ve been using it to fund anti-gay campaigns.

Now now, Richard. Be fair. That’s not why they are hurting financially – their anti-gay contributions are but a small part of their expenditures.

A closer look will show that a huge amount of money is going to children. In the form of settlements to the children they raped.

Richard Rush
May 31st, 2011 | LINK

Timothy, that’s a great point! I wish I had thought of that.

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