Thursday, October 29, 2009

I Hate the Crusades and the Inquisition

On Tuesday, voters in Maine (Question 1), Washington (Referendum 71), and Kalamazoo will go to the polls to decide whether same sex couples "deserve" equal rights.  I find this repulsive.

The organization leading the financial way to take away gay rights in Maine: the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church has now donated more than $550,000 to the Yes on 1 campaign, making it the single largest donor in the crusade to strip away the legal, equal marriage rights of Maine's same sex couples.  A spokesperson from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, Maine, said the last donation of $152,600 came from the diocese's "rainy day" fund.  This from a diocese that is closing parishes and a church that is closing parishes across the country.  Apparently, it's more important to strip people of their rights than to preserve generations old parish communities in the Catholic Church, or perhaps to spend money fighting poverty, disease, and homelessnessWhat would Jesus do? (Isa 58:6-7, Lk 4:18)

This is nothing new.  Last year in California, the Catholic Church joined forces with two of their theological enemies, the Mormon Church and the fundamentalist Christian churches, to endorse Yes on 8 and to raise $39.9 million in their crusade to take away the legal and equal marriage rights of same sex couples in California.  The largest donation total, $1.4 million coming from the Catholic Knights of Columbus.  Here's a link to a site where you can look up who donated for and against CA Prop 8.

Some argue that the names of donors and people who sign referendum, propositions, questions (whatever the fuck you want to call them) should remain secret.  This is hogwash.  (Maine's court agrees!) We live in a democracy, and if my rights are being voted away, I deserve to know who's paying for this to happen, so I can decide whether I want to give them my money.

This is why I don't understand how anyone who supports marriage equality, women's rights, or scientific research can still tithe to the Catholic Church.  Part of their money is paying for lobbyists and referendums to do the exact opposite!  This is why I struggle with the fact that many of my family members and friends continue to support the Catholic Church, not only by putting their butts in the pews but also by digging deep into their pocketbooks, all the while knowing the abuse I endured and saw covered up in the church, not to mention the millions of other atrocities of the present, the recent past, and of history.

The Crusades and the Inquisition didn't end hundreds of years ago, they continue today, only instead of swords and torture chambers the Catholic Church is utilizing their coffers, ballot initiatives, lobbyists, scare tactics, Vatican censures, and reparative therapists/spiritual directors to fight their divine battles.

The disgruntled people in the pews need to stand up to their hierarchy and put an end to this contemporary crusade.  Of course, this will never happen.  I, for one, know what it's like to be a serf in the Catholic Church and to live in fear of being burnt at the stake and losing everything.  But, after walking through the fire, I'm glad that I lost everything.

Postscript: I had to join the Knights of Columbus while in seminary.  It was one of those things that was expected of all good priests.  The Knights have a daddy-complex and feel unjustly neglected if Father doesn't join, so one of the burdens of priesthood is having to join the K of C and suffering through the drudgery of their meetings.

     Anyway, the secret ceremony I had to got through to get inducted was so lame.  All those butch knights put on costumes.  They had a skull sitting on a folding table and read monotonously from a prescribed script about life, death, and brotherhood.  I think there may have been holy water involved, but I don't remember.  The fake skull, I do remember.

     I was inducted with a childhood friend back in my hometown, and we bit our tongues through the entire cheesy ceremony.  I had to pull hair out of my thighs to induce pain, so hard it was to stifle my laughter. When my friend and I got outside after the ceremony, we laughed for ten minutes.  The whole secret ceremony was ridiculous and very homo erotic, and that was only the 1st Degree.  I've always wondered what getting the 3rd or 4th Degree entailed.  Now, I'll never know.  A small sacrifice to pay for my integrity, happiness, and freedom.

Blasphemy Poll #1

Blasphemy Poll #1

Which do you hate most?
  • The Father
  • The Son
  • The Holy Spirit
  • The Virgin Mother
Now, don't hold back.  This is your chance to let it all out.

And remember that in scripture, the only unforgivable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Mt 12:32, Mk 3:29, Lk 12:10).  I, for one, know how I'm casting my vote.

Cast your vote in the right hand column of the Holy Blog.