• Bishops Support Intolerance

    November 14th, 2011dbonnettUncategorized

    Several of the articles on this blog make connections between things like the Uganda death penalty for homosexual acts or the anti gay iPhone application and extreme right Christian groups. These groups seem to be only part of the problem. The movement for LGBT equal rights began during the 1970´s and during this period the real objection seemed to come from Protestants, with the Vatican and its clerics have been strangely silent. While this may have been simply because the Vatican has had its own problems with the many child sexual assaults their male priests have been convicted for, this attitude seems to be changing and the Church promises to be more active in fighting against equal rights and supporting intolerance.

    Bishops are meeting now for the specific purpose of not only denouncing homosexuality but to actually declare war and formulating a plan to crush any attempts to promote these human rights. Language like “under siege” when describing advances in Gay civil liberties, the Bishops are making it plain that they will go down fighting. Not only are they critical of the Gay movement in general, they are accusing both President Obama and State Legislatures, who in removing some of the discriminatory practices, the Bishops say, are reducing Religious Freedom.

    This is where the real question should lie. Every poll taken in the United States during the last 10 years tells us that the majority of Americans agree that the LGBT community should have equal rights, the exact same rights as everyone else. The fact is however that objections can always be traced to one church or religious belief or another. There simply is no social reason for the government to even identify gender, and identifying sexual orientation is much more intrusive.

    But the issue should be simple. Three religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, have proscriptions forbidding the practice of anything other than heterosexual behavior for the purposes of procreation. But the reality is that those proscriptions apply to active followers of those religions. The United States is still, at least in theory, a democracy and the United States Constitution specifically forbids the government from making any law with respect to religion, a civil/criminal procreation against LGBT civil rights is direct violation of the Constitution. We do not need to be in legal degree programs to know that the government is forbidden from promoting religion or religious beliefs in any way.

    We have to realize, if we are ever to grow as a civilization, that there is a huge difference, both legally and ethically, between a social objection and a religious objection. Behavior that is socially unacceptable, such as extremely loud music or other outrageous public behavior are valid because they limit the rights of others to enjoy public space and can even create public safety problems. If a same sex couple marries however, while it might upset the religious sensibilities of certain religious groups, it does not prevent even these people from exercising the same rights of marriage, employment and housing.

    The LGBT population in nearly 15 million, which is a very large demographic and this only counts people who are “out”. These are the people that the American Catholic Bishop´s Conference is declaring war on.


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