Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Marriage: Bigotry and Fear in the Catholic Plan

     Big surprise, the US Catholic Conference of Bishops approved their document on marriage: "Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan."

     As reported by the Baltimore Sun:
     "We have the need to defend marriage within our culture," said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, a member of the committee that wrote the document. "This pastoral letter will also serve as a foundational document as we seek a direction and a strategy to defend marriage over these coming years."
     In other words, Archbishop Kurtz is saying that the war has just begun and the church is going to keep funding initiatives to take away the civil rights of US citizens.  And why is the Catholic church still tax exempt?

     Archbishop of Baltimore, Edwin F. O'Brien stated:
     "The document is meant to strengthen Christian marriage, to prepare people who are going to be married before they enter that bond to appreciate what the commitment is, and also to open a discussion in our culture as to what the differences are today and to try to reach some common ground."
      [The document] "reflects pretty accurately what most of Western culture has believed for several millennia."
     Let me get this straight (pun intended).  If in one breath you claim the document is about strengthening Christian marriage and in the next you say that this Christian version of marriage accurately reflects what most of Western culture believes, then where does that leave the non-Christians of the world?  Does that mean they'll be going after Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and atheist marriages next?  But wait, they have, as that is exactly what CA Proposition 8 and Maine Question 1 did.  Once again, the bishops have no understanding of the separation of church and state in this country.

     The document also states that same sex marriages hurt society.

     But, discrimination and bigoted rhetoric against minorities is okey-dokey?

     This is all such beautiful rhetoric coming from a group of supposedly celibate men, who hold their ontological and celibate beings of greater spiritual value than that of the married laity.  I wonder if O'Brien would like the names of the all the priests in his archdiocese that I know have had gay sex.

The Perp Is the One Wearing the Rosary

     A few days ago, Christopher Pagan reported on CNN iReport about the horrendous murder of a gay man and activist in Puerto Rico, Jorge Steven López Mercado:

     I am writing to you about a tragic murder that has happened here in Puerto Rico.  It has really only made local news simply because we are on this island, but you are the voice of those that are unheard throughout the world.  On November 14 the body of a gay 19 year old was found a few miles away from the town in which he was residing in called Caguas.  He was a very well known person in the gay community of Puerto Rico, and very loved.  He was found on the site of an isolated road in the city of Cayey, he was partially burned, decapitated, and dismembered, both arms, both legs, and the torso.

     The killer, Juan Antonio Martínez Matos, is claiming "gay panic" and self defense.  He is the man wearing the Catholic rosary and the cross of Jesus Christ (his savior) in the photo to the right.

     Rev. David O'Connel, President of Catholic University, Washington, D.C. told CNN that Catholics are worried that same sex couples having marriage equality in Washington will put Catholics "at risk."  O'Connel urged the D.C. government to "think of the consequences" of their action and to "think of the real life people that may be hurt" if same sex couples have marriage equality and the Catholic church is forced to stop providing services to the poor in D.C. because their "core beliefs" are being violated.

     What about the human dignity of boys like Jorge Steven López Mercado?  Is he not "a real life person" that was murdered?  Was he not a human person "at risk"?  Was he not violated by a rosary toting disciple of Jesus Christ?  What about gay couples who are "at risk," unable to be with their dying spouses or even to bury their dead?  Why should the Catholic church be except of civil rights laws and allowed to practice discrimination and seed hatred?

     Concerning López Mercado's murder, America Blog reports:

    The local police investigator went on the Spanish-language channel Univisión and said about Steven:

    "Este tipo de personas cuando se meten a esto y salen a la calle saben que esto les puede pasar."
     "Someone like that, who does those kind of things, and goes out in public, knows full well that this might happen to him."

     Once again, the word of the people in power: if you are gay, if you are honest about it, it's YOUR fault if you lose your job, your faith community, your family, your home, your health, or your life!

     The religious leaders of institutions that claim love, non-discrimination, etc. but continue to fight against the civil rights of LGTB persons don't get it.  They don't see the connection between the rosary and cross around Martínez Matos' neck and the decapitated, dismembered body of a gay teenage boy.  But I do.

     Theological violence begets psychological and physical violence.

     Please click here to take action and encourage Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate whether a hate crime was committed against Jorge Steven López Mercado.  

     Thank you.

R.I.P. Washington Blade

The Washington Post reports that the pioneering gay weekly newspaper the Washington Blade was shut down on November 16th.  This is a tragic loss to the LGBT community and our movement for equality.

The Washington Blade, the weekly newspaper that chronicled the coming-out of the capital's gay community, was born amid the idealism of 1960s street protests. Monday, the paper died, victim of the unforgiving realities of the nation's sagging newspaper industry. 
For the full Post article, click here.