Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Iowa Catholic Bishops Demand a Constitutional Convention to Ban Same-Sex Marriages

     Not to be outdone by Minnesota, the homophobic Catholic bishops and closeted priests of my home state have joined forces with conservative, Tea Party/Republicans in a new effort to strip same-sex couples of their civil marriage rights in that state.  They seek to impose Catholic and Conservative Christian law upon all citizens of the state.  But these churches are non-partisan, and therefore tax-exempt organizations.  Right.

     The Iowa Catholic Conference, the political and policy arm of the state’s four Catholic dioceses, announced Monday that it is urging Iowans to convene a constitutional convention in order to eventually ban same-sex marriage.
     “The ICC is encouraging Iowa Catholics to vote ‘yes’ on the decennial ballot question as a way to work with others for a marriage amendment to the Iowa Constitution that would affirm the traditional understanding that marriage is a union between a man and a woman,” said the group Call the Convention in a press release, later adding: “For far too long, the Iowa legislature has denied the people of Iowa their voice on issues such as traditional marriage, spending limits, tax reform, term limits, and Second Amendment rights.”
     A push to call a convention this year has some high-profile Republican supporters, including Chuck Laudner, a former executive director of the Republican Party of Iowa and chief of staff for 5th District U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron; Robert Haus, a veteran Republican strategist who helped orchestrate the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll in Ames; Brent Hoffman, a former member of Sioux City’s city council; Patti Brown, a partner in the Iowa Policy Institute; and Craig Robinson, a conservative blogger and former political director of the Republican Party of Iowa. 
     Since when is "the right to bear arms" part of Catholic social teachings?  Also, "tax reform"?  It sounds like the ICC has been infected with Tea-Party fever.  If it walks, talks, lobbies and campaigns like a Conservative Republican...   

     Will the "traditional understanding" of marriage that the ICC seeks to write into the Iowa constitution include the tradition of priests having affairs with married men and women in their parishes?  Because that is one tradition that definitely needs to be preserved.  
     Will non-Catholics wishing to be civilly divorced need to go through a Catholic annulment process?  Will women once again be exchanged as property in these "traditional" marriages?  Will wives be forced to remain silent as their husbands beat and rape them?  Will interracial couples be denied civil marriage?  Will African-Americans be denied civil marriage?  Why pick on just the gays?  Why not go after every change that has ever taken place in the "traditional" institution of marriage?  If I'm being extreme in my argument, I'm only applying the "slippery slope" standard that Catholic moral theology uses to argue against any sort of progressive change in civil law.  

     The ICC is disseminating this "educational flyer" throughout Iowa.  The flyer prescribes how Catholics are to "form" their consciences.  It is full of the self-contradictory doublespeak that pervades Catholic moral theology.  The flyer defines how "forming" one's conscience involves learning Catholic teachings, praying about one's choices, forming one's own moral convictions, and then having the courage to act on one's convictions.  Then the flyer goes on to list a series of fourteen questions, that must be answered affirmatively, in order to be consistent with the Catholic Church's position.  This is the mind-screw of Catholic moral theology: form your conscience, but then you must do, believe, and vote as we tell you to.

     What happens if you don't?

     I formed my conscience, as the church prescribed.  I got a Masters of Divinity at a Catholic seminary.  In my "well-formed conscience," I came to different conclusions.  I was ordered to obey my Iowa archbishop.  I followed my conscience.  I left the priesthood and the church.  But now, it's not enough for the church to let Catholics who disagree to just leave.  The church is going after civil laws in order to force all people, even those who disagree with Catholic teachings "in good conscience" and those who are not Catholics, to live according to tenants that a bunch of white, supposedly celibate and most likely gay clerics in the Vatican deem the only way to live.  Anything else in their eyes is "evil."  

     Iowa Catholics, who disagree need to speak up now and very loudly.  

     And for all you closeted priests, who remain, especially those of you who continue to "act out" on your "homosexual urges," you can live in truth.  There is life on the other side of the fear that keeps you in your shame.  There is love.  There is life beyond your hypocrisy.

     Postscript: Zero of the fourteen positions on the ICC flyer called for stronger laws to protect children from sexual predators or for tougher punishments on child abusers/rapists and the organizations that have protected these criminals in the past.  


Deldachez said...

Hypocrisy at its best! Until all gay bishops and priests come out of the closet the attack on homosexual’s rights are going to continue.