Ever since civil unions became legal in Illinois, Catholic-run, partially-state-funded adoption agencies have been closing shop because they refuse to put children in the homes of loving, gay couples.
Now, the Youth Service Bureau of Illinois Valley, a secular agency, is stepping in to help out the children that the Catholic charities don’t seem to care about. They’re taking in 330 children left behind by the Catholic Charities in Rockford.
It’s run by a religious person who thinks very highly of faith, but he’s not letting religion-based bigotry get in the way of what he thinks is best for the kids:
[Executive director David] McClure said his church has helped him understand gay and lesbian couples shouldn’t be excluded from the pool of prospective foster parents. He has watched same-sex couples in the congregation excel at raising children. Through conversations with gay members, he has learned to empathize with the challenges of being gay.
“We don’t have enough foster parents, period,” he said. “My friendships with people at that church helped me realize that these distinctions don’t need to be made.”
McClure believes his children’s generation will move other churches forward on the issue.
“We’re going to grow out of this,” he said. “It’s too bad it happened to the (Catholic) Church in this way. If you can’t adapt your institution to it, it’s going to create problems.”
“To say we’re secular and not faith-based is correct. At the same time, a lot of social workers draw on faith to get their job done,” he said. “I don’t know that it’s exactly God’s work. But I think he would approve.”
None of that really bothers me. The kids are going to be much better off under his supervision than they would be under the Catholic Church’s. It’s a perfect example of religious people doing good, secular work that we should all be able to get behind.
Though I’m sure some atheists will find a reason to get worked up over it.