Another Priest Refuses to Toe the Party Line

Awesome: Priest slams Catholic Church on MN amendment, says Catholics CAN vote “no”

This is a DailyKos article I got thanks to a friend of mine, who was inspired by my post earlier this week on the Texas pastor urging not only a separation of church and state, but a re-assessment of which teachings of the bible people should emulate in their everyday lives.

Also, for a bit of background, the Minnesota amendment in question is … hmmm … actually, it’s just called the Minnesota Same Sex Marriage Amendment. I would have thought it would be given a number or something. Anyway here it is. It’s pretty much what it says on the tin:

The question would be presented to voters as follows:[4]

“Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?”

  • YES
  • NO

Part of the post reads:

Despite the Catholic Church having ordered priests to fall into line with the Church’s support for the anti-gay amendment in Minnesota barring marriage equality, at least one priest isn’t having it. Meet Father Bob Pierson. He’s not afraid to speak his mind and urge Catholics that they can–and should–vote “no” on the amendment.

The video is below:

The transcript is in the link above, so I won’t take up too much space posting it here.  One of the parts that really sticks out – also highlighted by the author – is this:

As Catholics we must follow our own conscience in making decisions such as how to vote. My conscience tells me to vote no on the amendment because I have yet to hear a convincing reason why we need such an amendment to our state constitution. In fact, I believe the church does not have the right to force its moral teaching on others outside the fold.

You’re in a small minority, Father … but I appreciate you fighting the good fight.  Earlier I referenced the order by the Twin Cities Archdiocese to support the amendment.  Here’s part of the archbishop’s letter to bishops and deacons:

“The endgame of those who oppose the marriage amendment that we support is not just to secure certain benefits for a particular minority, but, I believe, to eliminate the need for marriage altogether.”

… so I can only conclude that this guy either hasn’t read anything about what marriage equality is all about, or just doesn’t care.  (Damn, I remember saying that before … only last time it was about contraception, and I think once before it was also either about evolution or the scientific method.)  This kind of paranoia is great for getting people all good and pissed off, but kind of weak on facts and any sort of connection to reality.

Thankfully, it sounds like a significant percentage of the clergy and the churchgoers alike have already made that realization, and are responding – or should I say not responding – in the appropriate fashion.

One priest, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he fears censure by the archbishop, said he is not reciting the “marriage prayer” during mass. He also said that he has struggled to find volunteers to participate with the pro-amendment committee.

“Too many of us have a relative, a good friend, someone we know who’s gay,” he said. “A lot of churches are not doing the prayer. They’re also appointing shell committees. Churches are creating them … but there’s really no true endorsement of the amendment.”

That’s one of the interesting things about modern society being more open and accepting of homosexuality during the last couple of decades.  More people are coming out, resulting in an increasing number of people suddenly realizing that some of these laws arbitrarily restricting visitation or inheritance rights to homosexuals will affect someone they care very much about.  Then it hits way too close to home for comfort.

Hell, even Dick Cheney had this revelation.  Just like most conservatives of his ilk, he’s now a liberal on the one aspect of public policy that directly affects him or someone he loves.

So let’s see … first there’s the Church’s views on contraception, which is in direct opposition with the views and practices of most Catholics … and now there’s stuff like this, which is getting significant resistance because these same people can observe firsthand how this will hurt someone they love.  Way to stay relevant in the modern world, guys.

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