Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Capitol punishment

So, today, a whole bunch of same-gender couples will make a mockery of the whole idea of marriage by getting totally meaningless pieces of paper from our national center of filth and corruption, at which point they will have the District of Columbia's blessing on their hellish "unions." (I truly wonder how many of these poor lost souls will, upon their entrance to eternity, try to argue that years of unrepentant homosexual sex acts don't count as sins, because D.C. or Iowa or Massachusetts said it was okay.)

The Catholic Church in D.C. is still trying to walk the line, making Catholic teaching more important than trendy depravity:

Employees at Catholic Charities were told Monday that the social services organization is changing its health coverage to avoid offering benefits to same-sex partners of its workers -- the latest fallout from a bitter debate between District officials trying to legalize same-sex marriage and the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington.

Starting Tuesday, Catholic Charities will not offer benefits to spouses of new employees or to spouses of current employees who are not already enrolled in the plan. A letter describing the change in health benefits was e-mailed to employees Monday, two days before same-sex marriage will become legal in the District.

"We looked at all the options and implications," said the charity's president, Edward J. Orzechowski. "This allows us to continue providing services, comply with the city's new requirements and remain faithful to the church's teaching."

The church faced two options with the approval of the new law, said Robert Tuttle, a George Washington University professor who studies the relationship between church and state. One choice was to expand the definition of domestic partner, as the Archdiocese in San Francisco did years ago, to include a parent, sibling or someone else in the household.

The second choice was to do what the Washington Archdiocese has done: eliminate benefits for all spouses.

"For decades, the church has been at the forefront of worker benefits, so this move cuts against their understanding of social justice and health benefits to all possible," Tuttle said. "But obviously, you can see they felt there was a real conflict between those values. They feel they weren't left with much of a choice."

Gay rights activists like to say, "How does my gay marriage affect your straight marriage?" Here's one answer: real married people now can't get health benefits for their spouses if they work for Catholic organizations (short of the diocese itself, I'm assuming, though I expect that will eventually be attacked as well by gay activists) in Washington, D.C. A Catholic man who is about to marry and whose future wife will, God willing, be blessed with children can't work for Catholic Charities and have health coverage for his wife and children. But hey, so long as Tim and Jim get to play house and throw a fabulous Capitol wedding party, what does it matter if John Catholic has to choose between his job and his ability to get health insurance for his future spouse and their future children?

The effect of this is going to be this: to be a married Catholic means you can't realistically be employed by Church organizations in our nation's Capitol any more. Faithful Catholic married people will be the ones punished by D.C.'s new gay marriage law, and that is exactly how this is going to play out across our nation as this wickedness spreads.

But that, of course, is what the gay activists want, to silence the Church and to punish her faithful, who will not go along with their pretense that homosexual sex is morally good instead of morally evil. Expect this new version of "Capitol punishment" to play out across our country, until some bishop with a good strong spine refuses to blink, and shuts down every Catholic agency, hospital, school, organization and so forth in his diocese, rather than cooperate even in the slightest with this sickening evil.


Magister Christianus said...

"national center of filth and corruption"

"hellish 'unions'"

"pretense that homosexual sex is morally good instead of morally evil"

"sickening evil"

"wicked pro-gay marriage culture of stupidity"

Not once, in any of these phrases, have you crossed the line or gone too far. This is sad and pathetic. I was so glad to hear that Catholic Charities was holding the line for orthodoxy. It is truly a crying shame that the innocent will be made to suffer, e.g. truly married couples being unable to obtain insurance. Yet martyrdom of various kinds has always been part and parcel of the Christian faith.

Well said, Red! Well said!

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Well, you've crossed a line where I might find myself siding with Geoff G, on an issue where he and I have crossed swords.

I can find no basis to argue a "right" to marry anyone or anything you want. Marriage laws were not written to discriminate, simply to codify a very basic human relationship. It is a relationship between a man and a woman, and any man or woman has the equal right to enter into it.

On the other hand, I can find no civil basis to deny that a legislature COULD provide whatever recognition it chose to same-sex unions. I have no idea what would make a man attractive; I'm not sure why women put up with us. But if sin it be, it is the only one I find no virtue in abstaining from, because I don't find it in the least tempting.

I'm not sure that a gay couple trying to be monogamous and faithful is hellish. God will do whatever God chooses to do, but we may all be surprised what God does and does not consider important at the end of time.

Everyone can rest assured that churches, in making personal decisions about church staff, are entirely immune to this kind of law. Church decisions on matters of faith and doctrine are simply no business of the courts, or even the legislature, and the line of precedent is over 150 years old.

I wonder if churches made a mistake when they developed charitable organizations that are really the work of hired employees, rather than of church members dedicated to a mission, then added to church money the money available from government grants. James Madison wrote that separation of church and state was in large part to protect the church from the profane hand of the civil magistrate. Perhaps it is time to think about how wise that observation was. If the church's charities, even open to non-church-members, were specifically designed to be run exclusively with church resources, and all staff were church members in good standing, these conflicts of conscience could be avoided, without legal consequences.

Red Cardigan said...

I am, of course, writing as a Catholic, Siarlys. There are lots of behaviors the Church thinks of as hellish--that is, as gravely sinful, and leading, without repentance, to the pangs of Hell. The unmarried fornicating couple is living a hellish lie, regardless of their monogamy or committment; the adulterous man and his partner in sin are living a hellish lie, too, even if his marriage is sexless and loveless and his wife winks at the existence of his mistress.

I tend to think that God will find hellish exactly those things He says He does. Why would I think Him a liar? The only thing we can't know on earth is the actual guilt and final state of soul of the person who is living a life of open sin--there have probably been more deathbed penitents begging for, and receiving, Divine Mercy in the last moments of their lives than we will ever know.

But there would be nothing crueler or more wicked than leaving such people to that rather precarious chance at salvation--for the person who lives his life immersed in sin is rather unlikely to turn away altogether from it in his final hours. To fail to condemn such institutionalized wickedness as the whole notion of "gay marriage" is would be to shrug and turn away from the eternal fate of those who commit these sins; it is as wicked as pushing for the legalization of prostitution, or group marriages, or any other grave evil.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

I understand you're writing as a Catholic, and I certainly don't expect to persuade you to another viewpoint when you are speaking of the bedrock of your faith. It is your sacred right, your human right, and your civilly protected First Amendment right to practice your faith.

However, I'm looking at how we cobble together the civil law when we have so many diverse notions running around. You are genuinely offended by a city government recognizing same sex couples. Same sex couples are genuinely offended that you would stand in the way of their happiness, as they conceive it. The city council thinks they can get re-elected, voting for same sex marriage, in a city where most voters belong to Baptist, Pentecostal and African Methodist churches, and not a few Roman Catholics either.

There should be some firewalls in the body politic that allow churches to practice their beliefs, without tying the civil law to what a given church will accept. Still, you have every right to call a development hellish, whether anyone else likes it or not. Those who don't like it can say so, but they shouldn't expect you to take it back.