Comments on life, the universe and everything from an aging Sixties survivor.

Location: Massachusetts, United States

Ummm, isn't "about me" part of the point of the blog?

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Gay Marriage: BOO!!

The little engine that drives American life in general, and issues involving religion in particular, is hypocrisy. The gay marriage issue has the legs it has because some of the true believers forgot that, and think politicians are really trying to protect families.

Most pronouncements of the American Family Association (AFA) make me giggle, but any that have to do with "the homosexual agenda" are particularly out there.

The "agenda" is the shocking notion that people's civil rights depend on their citizenship as Americans, not what they do under the covers. The AFA would rather no one wondered what would happen if insurance bean counters and government agencies simply recognised all domestic partnerships as civil contracts eligible for joint benefits. They could include gay and lesbian partnerships, children who forgo marriage to care for aging parents, or people like my wife's aunt and uncle, a brother and sister who lived together for 90 years. Why should any of these arrangements not have the financial advantages of civil contracts executed between opposie sex partners?

Oh...right...we NEED breeders! We haven't got enough people on the planet. Enter the hypocrites. Holy Mother Church, with its feet firmly planted in 1404, has proclaimed again that procreation is the sole purpose of marriage. Now, try being Catholic and getting a divorce because your spouse hasn't put out for 15 years. I know a quiet, conservative couple who knew they could not have children before they were married. Are they entitled to their marriage benefits?

We could simply step back from the window dressing and have a spasm of candour about the issue. Once, just once, I want to hear one of the politicians, clergy, or lobbyists opposed to equal civil rights for same-sex partners tell the truth. Just one primal scream of "I HATE FAGS!"
They were happy enough to watch evangelicals bring children to the Mass. State House picket lines, and teach them to say they hated fags (in so many words).

We might then hope to hear Archbishop Sean (Trust-me-I-wear-a-beard) O'Malley admit that the Roman Catholic Church is playing its role to spin the clercial abuse scandal. Thoughtful Catholics know that that non-consensual sex between sexually immature priests, and altar boys, isn't about homosexuality but about power. If the Church didn't have this to play for a diversion, it might have to revisit the bankrupt concept of celibacy, the equally bankrupt idea of all-male clergy, and contend again with the truth that it is power, not sex, that is the surest corrupter.

But no: the hierachy is circling the wagons. For 150 years the people, the rank and file Catholics of the US, took the abuse and suspicion that all Papists took their political marching orders straight from Rome. Just when we'd about convinced them we don't, we do. For 150 years, those people literally spent their life's blood, gave the bread from their children's mouths, to build churches that were communities of belief. Now they're shuttered and sold for condos that few of the parishoners could afford, to pay the price of maintaining a celibate clergy and the prerogatives of priestly rank.

Granted, Catholic hypocrisy on the gay marriage issue is more subtle than that of evangelicals. One does have to peel way a couple layers of this onion to expose the rot. Most evangelicals just want what they've always had: "different" people who are willing to hide their difference, even if the act of hiding costs them all their self-respect or even their lives.

If you don't mind the spam, by the way, AFA doesn't vet the letters sent to Congress via it's email links. I've used the AFA several times to send messages to Congress supporting equal rights for same-sex couples.


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