Friday, March 24, 2006

Contra Catholica 1

I note that my intuition was at least 50% correct yesterday, that slain Tennessee pastor Matthew Winkler's wife will be charged with his murder.  Time will tell if her defense will be his molestation of their daughters.

Now on to something completely different.  I confess to an anti-Catholic prejudice, or maybe even bigotry.  This animus is limited to Catholic theology, which I generally disagree with, and Catholic politics, which I currently universally condemn.  I do, however, wholeheartedly believe that Catholicism is a legitimate path to salvation.  And, of course, I love, respect and admire all of my Catholic relatives.  So, while I love my Catholic bretheren, I hate their politics.

I ran across this Blog the other day and it made me quiver with fury.  I don't have time to parse every logical blunder or downright lie therein, but I will indulge myself a few responses.  "Under heavy fire from advocates of gay adoption, [the Boston Archdiocese] has acted on principle."  So, by demanding that the Archdiocese comply with established law, "advocates of gay adoption" have somehow diminished the religious rights of Catholic Charities?  That is a straw man argument.  Of course, restricting the right to worship is unconstitutional and unconscionable.  But nobody has a "right" to discriminate, and nobody has the "right" to broker adoptions.  Religion does not equate with adoption.  The state has the obligation to enforce the law.  And citizens are obligated to follow them, even those with which they disagree. 

Furthermore, Catholic Charities has indeed placed children in gay households in its 103 year history.  This wasn't an issue two years ago, or four years ago, or ten years ago.  It is only an issue NOW, after Pope Benedict decided that it was "gravely immoral" (and I've tried to find out exactly where this was said, although it's been widely reported, I can't cite it).  But my question is, if it was okay three years ago, why must it now suddenly cease?  My view: 1. Benedict said so and O'Malley (archbishop of Boston) takes his marching orders from the Vatican, 2. the REASON it must cease is to deflect attention from the ongoing child molestation scandal which has plagued the church for the past ten years.  Perhaps the Vatican correctly anticipated that if they took a hard line against gay marriage and adoptions, it would cause an uproar and that uproar would serve to underscore the notion that the church isn't soft on gays.  So, it could be nothing more than a PR campaign. 

Let me quote here from Blackstone's commentaries on English law (which is the foundation of American law):  "But while [catholics] acknowledge a foreign power, superior to the sovereignty of the kingdom, they cannot complain if the laws of that kingdom will not treat them upon the footing of good subjects."

This is, of course, anti-American as well as anti-Catholic, but it illustrates what I consider to be the central theme of anti-Catholic bigotry in the United States (at least historically so).  That no matter what, a Catholic will always owe the greater allegiance to his Church than his country, and that his opinions will change in accord with whatever dictate he receives from Rome.

So, while I acknowledge this to be a form of bigotry, it's difficult not to hold such a belief when 1. Benedict says that gay adoption is anathema, and his prelates in the United States discontinue it, even though it has not overly troubled them up until that edict from the Pope. 

Fair enough.  They're free to make their own rules.  But they can't pick and choose which secular laws they wish to obey.  That the Boston Catholic Charities chose to discontinue their adoption practice is testiment to their true religious conviction, but also to their religious freedom.  They were free to say no.

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