Well, it certainly didn’t take long after the signing of the marriage equality bill in Washington State for the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle to spring into action. They’re currently pushing hard to get signatures for Referendum 74, which would put a repeal of the law up to a vote on the November ballot.
The two bishops of the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle, in a letter to the faithful, say they will deploy parishes to collect signatures for Referendum 74, a measure for the November ballot designed to roll back same-sex marriage in Washington.
While asking that signatures not be collected on Easter Sunday, the bishops described the issue as “critically important” and said information on the signature drive is being sent to pastors throughout the Western Washington diocese.
I’m no expert in law, but how the hell is it that these two bishops are running around, getting their parishes to collect signatures for a secular referendum to eliminate marriage rights for people who don’t even necessarily share the same religion they do … and yet they’re still not paying taxes?
In their letter, the bishops specifically deny that refusing marriage to same-sex couples equates to discrimination — an argument made by Gov. Christine Gregoire, a Catholic, in arguing for marriage equality.
“Treating different things differently is not unjust discrimination,” the bishops claim. “Marriage can only be between a man and a woman because of its unique ends, purpose and place in society. The word ‘marriage’ isn’t simply a label that can be attached to different types of relationships.
We’re not talking about different relationships. Both same-sex and opposite-sex marriages are the same thing: a lifelong commitment and a bond to one other person. The magnitude and duration of that love isn’t a function of one’s sexual orientation, so there should be no reason to prohibit them from making the same promise to each other. As for any sort of “unique ends”, that’s a horrible argument if the “ends” to which they refer has anything to do with raising a family or having kids. Seriously. What if a couple – regardless of orientation – get married at 65? What if they’re younger, but infertile? What if they just don’t want kids? On the other hand, how about homosexual couples who want to adopt? There’s plenty of children just waiting for someone to get them out of the broken foster system. So, I’m a little shaky on what you mean by “purpose”, since it would appear the only constant thing in virtually every marriage is the love two people feel for each other.
“Instead ‘marriage’ reflects a deep reality — the reality of the unique, fruitful, lifelong union that is only possible between a man and a woman. There is nothing else like it, and it can’t be defined or made into something that it isn’t.”
Bullshit. Refer to the above paragraph.
State Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, a Catholic and long-partnered gay man who sponsored the same-sex marriage bill, described the bishops’ deployment of parishes to gather signatures as “fairly reprehensible.”
“Here in Olympia, I am watching Republicans press for a budget that takes money from the Disability Lifeline and the emergency food assistance program, yet there is no letter from Catholic bishops or the Catholic Conference stressing the importance of these programs,” he said.
“As I read the Gospels, there is a great deal of talk about the poor, and none about homosexuality.”
It doesn’t matter. Not anymore. There are plenty of people in this country – mainline Protestants, Catholics, Baptists, Lutherans, you name it – who go through life using their belief in god and faith in an afterlife as a way to strive to be something better than what they are now. They consider the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament, and the One Commandment of Jesus. They look to the Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes. They get their inspiration from the life of Jesus as portrayed in the Bible.
On the other hand, there are those who consider the bible to consist almost exclusively of prohibitions on homosexuality and abortion, and tailor their rhetoric to focus on these two issues alone – to the apparent exclusion of all else. If what Sen. Murray says is true, then the Catholic Archdiocese has undoubtedly lost its way. They have become so pathologically obsessed with the sexual behavior of others that they have both lost the ability to see actual injustice being done, and lost the will to do anything about it.