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Priorities and perspectives in Illinois

Timothy Kincaid

November 16th, 2011

The American Family Association has, unintentionally, the most revelatory article on the final cessation of the foster care program of the Catholic Charities of Illinois. Although the Catholic Church had appealed the state’s decision to allow gay couples to be foster parents, time has run out so they are dropping their appeal.

And so they are ceasing their 90 year old program. Because, unlike 90 years ago, the current Catholic Church is unwilling to fund a foster care program out of their own pocket.

But it is two statements within the article that caught my attention:

Now the state will only be dealing with organizations that are willing to hand children over to homosexuals.

There is something about that which is so bald, so unfiltered, that I caught my breath. The implications are astonishing.

This isn’t about “the best environment for children” or “denying a mom or dad” or any of the other catch phrases. Rather, there is a broadly shared assumption that gay people not only would be harmful to children, just by their being gay, but also that there is some nefarious element involved.

To Charlie Butts and Bob Kellogg, the authors of this article, being homosexual is cause not to have access to children. By default. And, like Catholic Charities, they would never “hand children over” to someone like you or me.

One of my themes in writing here, indeed one of BTB’s underlying themes, is to provide a more nuanced perspective on the views, goals, fears, and concerns of those who oppose our political equality. We don’t often use language such as “bigot” or “hater” here. Not only is it not particularly effective, it often isn’t an accurate portrayal of the motivations, thoughts or intent of those being called bigot and hater.

But there is something about that sentence – presented alone as its own paragraph – that is so full of contempt, so full of animus, that I have a hard time finding any motivation that isn’t based in hatred.

But then at the end of the article I read the words of a Catholic man, words which bring me hope and faith. I also found an irony, a sadness, and a recognition that while his church may have their own priorities, he needn’t follow their lead. Oh, I’m sure that AFA didn’t see it – and, indeed, he may not have seen it – but Gary Huelsmann could not have said it better.

Meanwhile, an organization once known as Catholic Social Services of South Illinois has severed its ties with the diocese in order to comply with the state law. Gary Huelsmann, executive director of the agency, recently told LifeSiteNews that it “boiled down to the Catholic Church needing to stay true to its core beliefs and the agency needing to take care for all of the abused, neglected children.”

Comments

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Ben In Oakland
November 16th, 2011 | LINK

“I have a hard time finding any motivation that isn’t based in hatred. ”

Well, stop looking in their dark hearts. Go over to the NOM website. The light is so much better.

tim
November 16th, 2011 | LINK

I’m just shocked that Mr. Kincaid acknowledges a world outside of West Hollywood. Perhaps there is hope for him yet.

(unlikely)

Bose in St. Peter MN
November 17th, 2011 | LINK

I love this phrase, too: “an organization once known as Catholic…”

Catholicism was once known to offer loving care to all… schools have typically welcomed non-Catholic families, for example.

So, it strikes me as appropriate that a genuinely compassionate, professional, social service agency would no longer identify as Catholic.

dn
November 17th, 2011 | LINK

It is a hairsplit, but for me, I don’t think they’re motivated by hate, but by a sense that they are better than gays. Hard not to see hatred there, I admit… But somehow it feels more accurate. Besides, it also allows them the benefit of the doubt insofar as it could be a non hate based superiority. Like I said, its a hairsplit.

CPT_Doom
November 17th, 2011 | LINK

Sadly, I see the most recent uptick in the assault on gay rights by the Church as pure political calculation. The Church desperately needed a scapegoat for the decades-long (if not centuries-long) criminal conspiracy to cover up the sexual assault of minors. Even though their own researchers determine sexual orientation was not a factor, they have people like Bill Donohue out there making the charge that the Church’s problem was too many homosexual priests and then back that up with their political assault on equality in housing, employment, public accommodations, marriage and adoption. The point is to deflect the focus away from their continuing cover up.

I believe this because their reasoning is simply unbelievable. For years the Church’s social service agencies, hospitals, schools, universities and colleges all complied with Civil Rights laws that protected both religious belief and marital status. Thus, even though the Catholic Church regards remarriage after divorce as adultery, a Catholic hospital could not deny the second husband of one of their nurses health benefits. So why now, and only with homosexuality, is the Church so concerned about their religious beliefs? Heresy, blashpemy, fornication and adultery are all sins equal to, if not worse than, homosexuality, but there has never been a protest by the Church about having to treat the people who choose to live in those sins equally to faithful Catholics.

IMO, as a former Catholic, that only makes their actions sadder. Any Catholic I know, myself included, can point to warm, loving and wonderful gay priests who truly met all the expectations one should have someone in that position. The leadership of the Church must know them as well, so they know their own actions have no foundations. They would have more integrity if they were mere bigots.

Reed Boyer
November 17th, 2011 | LINK

“Willing to hand children over to (*gasp!*) homo-sex-uals” . . . wow!

The phrase just begs to be completed, and seems to lead to either “for white slavery” or “for” some darker purpose involving human sacrifice, cannibalism, and an eventual zombie apocalypse.

The AFA reeks of sanctimony and santorum (Google it).

Priya Lynn
November 17th, 2011 | LINK

CPT_Doom said “Thus, even though the Catholic Church regards remarriage after divorce as adultery, a Catholic hospital could not deny the second husband of one of their nurses health benefits.”.

Thankyou for bringing that up. I had never thought of that and that rank hypocrisy is valuable in pointing out the disingenousness of the claim that treating married gay couples as married “infringes” on their religious “freedom”.

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