Christianity and Discrimination

I love what the Catholic Church teaches on Sexuality, I have never found any teaching so compassionate and yet true to what I have found in the bible as well as Church History and the way human bodies have been fashioned. And yet, I know that the mentality of hate exists within the Catholic Church as well as the Protestant Church.

It frustrates me that despite the incredible teachings on paper there is still so much discrimination against fellow humans. Christians accuse homosexuals of turning a sin into an identity, but we do the very same thing when we mistreat them based on that sin. How come practically every other sin is “between you and God” but as soon as it is found out a person is gay their salvation is questioned? I want to say I believe in a bigger God than that, but to tell the truth I struggle to believe in God at all when I see the stuff that is said and done against fellow humans in His name.

Why do many Christians spend so much effort trying to scrape specks from other people’s eyes instead of focusing on their own relationship with God? How does someone live fully and serve God and others? When people reject others based on their struggles (real or perceived) they are saying that they are somehow better sinners. Or maybe they are saying that their sins are more private, and homosexuality is more visible, so therefore they are not welcome, accepted or affirmed. We even deny them compassion, instead we offer pity and patronizing “solutions” and self-righteousness. Love the Sinner hate the sin, should really be “Love the Sinner, avoid sin in YOUR OWN life”

The Catholic Church teaches:

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

Respect. Compassion. Sensitivity. What does that mean? And why is respect or compassion any different when that person is gay? The anti-gay movement is quick to label any and all support of human rights for homosexuals as “The Gay Agenda”. Supposedly “The Gay Agenda” is all about forcing everyone to see homosexuality as a good thing and forcing pastors to perform gay marriage ceremonies. “The Gay Agenda” is a lie. People with same-sex attraction are fighting to be able to have the same human rights as any of us, and the Church calls us to respect them and have compassion. Christians should not protest so loudly that homosexuality is not “normal”, homosexuality is human. We are all human, as Christians we just happen to follow a God who we believe created us with a bigger picture in mind.

Respect. Compassion. Sensitivity. When Matt Shepherd was murdered, it certainly wasn’t handled with sensitivity by the Baptist Preacher who showed up at the funeral with protesters bearing signs that said ” God hates fags” and “Matt Shepherd rots in Hell“. And although that preacher may be an extreme version of “Christianity”, I often heard Christians say things like “well, it’s bad that they killed him, but really he was asking for it by being gay”. This sounds an awful lot like the extremist Muslim regimes who would give a woman a beating for being found in a short skirt. Obviously by dressing a way that could be seen as revealing means that she was “asking” for sexual attention.

Respect. Compassion. Sensitivity. Are we being respectful when only 13 out of 50 states in the US have discrimination laws for sexual orientation and gender identity? Can you believe that in 37 states, employers can fire a transgender employee for NO OTHER REASON than they are transgender and the employer doesn’t like it. Regardless of lifestyle or job performance they can be fired for dressing in a manner different than the average. That is wrong.

In 29 states employers can fire a gay employee for NO OTHER REASON than they are gay and they don’t like it. Again, regardless of lifestyle or job performance, they can be fired for their sexual orientation. That is wrong.

Countless Government employees sleep around with co-workers and stay employed. A person with a great service record comes out as transgender, and gets fired. FOR NO OTHER REASON.

Christians can remain true to their religious beliefs without turning to political discrimination. Why are Christians not at the forefront of ending workplace discrimination through measures like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act?

Why are legal rights and religious beliefs so intermingled in our minds? We don’t have laws making adultery criminally prosecutable even though it is morally wrong. Divorce is legal in every country now, and the Catholic Church does not recognize it. The legal/civil right to be married has nothing to do with the Church. Almost every time the Church gets involved in politics, it goes badly. Society needs to grant legal rights with equality for all persons regardless of religious beliefs or affiliation. History has shown that when a religious community governs nation it creates automatic discrimination against all persons who do not agree with that community’s standards.

Respect, compassion, and sensitivity calls for Christians to support non-discriminatory policies towards homosexuals. Religion is a free choice. If either heterosexual persons or homosexual persons freely embrace the church, they do give the church a voice in their lives. But a country is not the church. When Christians campaign to make religious beliefs state policy they make it harder for anyone outside of their beliefs to give Christianity a sincere hearing. It cripples the church’s ability to embrace all sinners in need of grace including those who are already in the pews.

For further reading:

A different kind of demonstration at Gay pride

Emerging Mummy: 4 reasons why I am not against Gay Marriage

Elizabeth Esther: Why I regret voting yes on prop 8

Faith and Family: How to love a Homosexual

  • Rebecca in CA

    Everything in your post makes sense to me, and I too find the teaching of the Church to be true and compassionate. In the area of marriage, however, I think it is extremely important for the state to uphold the natural law. This is not an affront to people with homosexual tendencies, but it is upholding the center of the basic unit of society, the family. This isn't about Christianity or religious beliefs. Even in Greece, when it was considered morally okay for men to engage in sex acts together, no one thought marriage should be redefined.

    I don't have much time to argue the point but there are two main issues: first, what is marriage, can we know it without being religious, and ought it to be upheld by the state. And second, what effect will redefining marriage have upon those who follow the moral law. The second question is being explored in depth by many, and it is not looking good. In article 77 of Judge Walker's "facts", he declares that religions which say that homosexual acts are wrong are *harmful*. There are bills being proposed, and passing in California, which require children as young as Kindergarten to be taught about homosexuality. I am homeschooling, but how long before someone comes to make sure that I'm teaching my children that homosexual acts are just as good and valid as heterosexual acts? And what will happen if I refuse? This matter is being treated as exactly parallel to the civil rights movement, so those who disapporove of homosexual activity or who disapprove of equating homosexual relationships with marriage, are equated with racists. Think about where that is going to end up. I have had discussions with homosexuals and those who approve heartily of the overturning of Prop 8, and many of them readily admit that the next obvious step is for the state to stop recognizing "marriage" at all; that marriage is a purely subjective notion and should be left to the religious realm. It makes sense, given their premise that any kind of longterm sexual relationship should be included, even admitting that three people in a sexual relationship together are just as valid. Once you have let go of the traditional definition of marriage, who can you exclude? But the Catholic Church has always taught that it is essential for the state to recognize and honor marriage, because marriage is the natural fundamental basis for a healthy state.

  • Rebecca in CA

    This article is the most thorough one I've come across, for addressing point number one. It's rather lengthy and philosophical and if you don't have the patience for it, that's okay.

    http://www.catholicvote.org/index.php?%2Fforums%2Fviewthread%2F127%2F

    Compassion is so, so important, but part of compassion though is not letting someone walk off a cliff if they want to. If my daughter announced that she wanted to bring home a boyfriend to live with her in her bedroom, the compassionate thing would not be to say "sure, honey." I know it is a difficult and sometimes seemingly fine line to walk between the people in your photo, who are hateful, and compassion which ends up approving of and blessing actions which deeply harm individuals and society, but we have to walk that line. Just as with abortion, we have to be extremely compassionate towards women without giving license for something which will destroy their lives.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13240230832660127316 Michelle

    I've written and re-written this. I hope it makes sense. I typically don't participate in these discussions because they are so sensitive and I worry how my words will come out. But I'm getting brave here, I guess.

    You pose a lot of thought-provoking stuff here. As someone who has grown up CAtholic, I have never seen the kind of discrimination you speak of among Catholics I know. I know a wide variety of Catholics ranging from very conservative to very liberal. None of them have ever stated to me that homosexuals should not receive equal rights. Most of the people who speak about legislation that would impact homosexuals usually do so from the standpoint that the government ought to stay out of EVERYTHING…and with those people, I usually have a sympathetic ear (as a government-minimalist myself).

    The only part of politics I realize the Church has come into is with regard to the definition of marriage. The Church recognizes marriage as the union between one man and one woman. So, therefore, the Catholic Church would never consider a marriage between two men or two women to be "valid". And, as you state…that is the Church's view on it and not the Government's. And let's remember…there are plenty of other marriages out there that the Church might not deem "valid" should a Tribunal be formed and formal investigation commence (i.e., it's not just homosexual unions…so the Church doesn't discriminate there, either)

    You state that it's always bad when the Church gets involved in politics. Perhaps. However, the Church is the Body of Christ…made up of all of us who have Faith, learn and believe and live by Her teachings. So are you saying that Catholic Christians should not participate in the electoral/legislative process?

    As a Catholic, I personally try to vote with the mind of the Church and that means I will vote against things that can be construed as against Church Teaching. The legalization and acceptance of abortion in my country is enough to tell you that I'm obviously not the majority…but I still need to try to impact policy in the public square.

    While the Church teaches that we must treat those who deal with homosexual tendencies with Respect, Compassion and Sensitivity (I absolutely believe and adhere to that) – that does not mean condoning or encouraging them to act out their sin. While their sin is NOT their homosexual tendency, simply the act they commit, should they succomb to the temptation, as Catholic Christians we cannot tell them it is not a sin to commit those acts. Personally, the gay and lesbian people I know, know what the Church teaches, know that I love them and know that I hope they don't fall into the sin of engaging in homosexual acts much like they'd hope for my sake that I not engage in contraceptive behavior.

    The bottom line is that we all have actions we are tempted toward in our life-walks…we must lift each other up in prayer and support one another to walk with Christ and if we fall, help each other get up and try to repent and not commit the sin again.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08863579550620358675 Jill

    Wow. So much packed in this post. I need to come back and read it again. Respect. Compassion. Sensitivity. Thank you for those reminders.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Young Mom

    First off, thank you for your thoughts. I agree with the Church’s understanding of Natural Law. I believe that the Creator reveals the purpose and intention of things on the basis of design. However, not all things the natural law demonstrates are legally enforceable. For example adultery is morally wrong, but even when the church had a larger sway over law it was not criminally enforced. Why? Because the two parties in adultery freely consented to the misdeeds. Basically, the law punishes or restricts behaviour that violates someone else’s free will or welfare. I don’t see how employment discrimination or opposing gay marriage can be supported by the state on non-religious grounds.

  • Rebecca in CA

    Yes, I agree that not every action that violates the natural law are enforceable. I disagree about the reason–it is not because the two parties freely consent, necessarily, but because trying to enforce it would end up involving the state impinging upon people's privacy. When laws are not enforceable in practice they become a laughingstock and people lose respect for the law itself.

    So there is, you are right, an argument to be made against sodomy laws, because it may be too difficult to enforce them. Or contraception laws, though I think a state could illegalize the *sale* of contraceptives. Anyway, the huge, tremendous difference between lack of a law against sodomy and redefining marriage is this: in the one case you do not condone the action but tolerate it. In the case of redefining marriage, the state is actually blessing, sanctioning, encouraging the relationship, officially declaring that this relationship, as with traditional marriage, is to be honored as the basis of society. It would be a sin for me, as an individual, to condone homosexual behavior, even if the person were my child or best friend–it would be gravely wrong to say, "hey, that is so great that you are engaging in sex acts with that person. I just love that. Let's celebrate." I'd have to go to confession for that one. The state, too, cannot condone or celebrate objectively gravely disordered acts and we cannot in good conscience cast our votes that way, either.

    Discrimination in the workplace is totally different. As you have pointed out before, someone's orientation or tendencies are totally different from their actions. Someone can have a homosexual tendency or temptations without being an active homosexual. Further, someone can be an active homosexual without bringing that to the workplace. I would have no problem, and should have no problem, associating or working with people who do things I think are gravely wrong. I would have a problem with them doing those gravely wrong things around me or around my children, or flaunting them in front of my children. You are right that it would not ordinarily be right to refuse someone a job because you found out that he had homosexual tendencies. When you think about what anti-discrimination laws do and how they are carried out, though, I understand the hesitation of many states to begin applying this to the realm of homosexuality. First, because the distinction between orientation and practice is not clear, and because depending on the situation, it may be really inappropriate to have a practicing homosexual in a given position. For example, I could see my dad, who owns a tile company, hiring someone to set tile whom he knows to be a practicing homosexual, or to be living a promiscuous wife. But a Catholic schoolteacher–it's important for that person in that position to be living a moral life. So with anti-discrimination laws applying to this area, you often end up with Catholic schools having to hire actively homosexual teachers, or a couple who owns a bed and breakfast having to rent a room to an obviously homosexual couple (which they cannot do in good conscience, just as they cannot rent a room to a couple they know not to be married). Or, as we've seen, Catholic Charities is forced to shut down their adoption services. Maybe this seems a little crazy at this point, but I have to say that I would not be too surprised if in ten years we see priests and rabbis being obliged to perform weddings for homosexuals, because not to do so is "discrimination". Do you see the problem, and do you see the difference between these laws in practice vs. laws against discrimination based on the color of someone's skin?

  • Rebecca in CA

    I'm sorry, I kind of got going on one point and I did not really address your point that the law only restricts behavior that violates someone else's free will or welfare, and that is a big point. I know that in this country the emphasis tends to be "live and let live", so we tend to think of the law as only having this basis, but it doesn't. There are laws against, polygamy, for example, or rather, marriage is defined as between *one* man and *one* woman, which excludes polygamy. Even if the women think it's a great idea and consent to it, it is clearly against the interests of the state to condone such behavior. There are also laws against walking around naked, there are allowed to be separate bathrooms for men and women, all of which things have some basis in natural law which is not identical to "live and let live", but it would be hard to imagine a society which did not have those standards. Finally, even in the natural law, as Socrates new, freedom is not truly the same as license to do whatever you wish, but freedom is the ability to do good, and the state's job is to protect its citizens' rights to live good lives. Good law should be based on this.

    Even in your example with adultery, before there was no-fault divorce, adultery, although not criminally enforced, was seen as a wrong done to another person, and it did have consequences. No-fault divorce as the standard is very new and is definitely not helping matters.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Young Mom

    Rebecca,
    I recognize that non-discrimination or gay marriage can open the door to situations that currently don't happen. However, to say gay marriage or employment non-discrimination will mean this, this, and this smacks of the slippery slope logical fallacy.
    Employment non-discrimination and gay marriage already exist in some states and countries and life really hasn't changed much from before. Pastors are still not required to perform marriages they don't agree with. Religious organizations like schools retain the authority to have lifestyle and belief requirements for their workers.
    However, yes a new statute would create some uncomfortable changes. For example, in Canada marriage commissioners had to agree to perform gay marriages when the law was changed. A man in our church who was a marriage commissioner when the law was changed decided he could not do gay weddings and he did give up his licence. A decision I respect. Anyways, that's my thoughts on what you brought up. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

  • Rebecca in CA

    I'm really sorry about all those typos. I meant "promiscuous life" not "promiscuous wife" and "Socrates knew" not "Socrates new".

    I thought of one last thing and then I promise I'll shut up…something I think we really have to grasp is that allowing something is different from redefining something. I might be making a cake, and you might decide to make an omelette instead, but then for you to insist on calling your omelette a cake, or to insist on everyone else calling your omelette a cake, would be entirely different. Marriage is and always has been a certain thing. A bunch of people getting together for an orgy is not marriage, my years of friendship with my friend Ann is not a marriage, my relationship with my parents is not marriage. The burden of proof should be squarely on the shoulders of those attempting to redefine.

  • Rebecca in CA

    Okay, the slippery-slope fallacy–I'd like to address that. I said there were two aspects to the question; one, the thing in itself, and second, its consequences. The slippery slope should not be used to argue about the thing in itself, but definitely has a place in the discussion of the consequences. What I'm saying is that right now in our society, people as you know are confused about the action vs. the orientation. Any anti-discrimination law, to be a just law, would have to concern the orientation rather than the action. You can't tell people that they aren't allowed to hire people because those people are leading gravely immoral lifestyles. Someone *should* be able to discriminate because of that. A principal in a public school should be able to tell a man bragging of how many women he sleeps with, "no, I don't want you as a teacher here". From the wording of the anti-discrimination laws I have seen, there is just no distinction made. The people who are behind lobbying for those bills tend to be the people who do *not* want the couple owning the inn to be able to turn down an obviously homosexual couple. So what I'm saying is at this point I think we have to be super careful about the laws which are passed and the wording of those laws.

  • Anonymous

    "Employment non-discrimination and gay marriage already exist in some states and countries and life really hasn't changed much from before. Pastors are still not required to perform marriages they don't agree with. Religious organizations like schools retain the authority to have lifestyle and belief requirements for their workers."

    Here's the problem with this reasoning: If the state has the "right" to redefine marriage as being between any 2 (or more) parties regardless of sex, then it has the "right" to keep changing the laws over time. So just because, currently, pastors and priests aren't required to marry a same-sex couple, that doesn't mean that the state with unlimited power to redefine reality can't change that too. Or, just because right now it's okay for parents to teach their kids that homosexual acts are immoral, that doesn't mean that the state can't eventually make that illegal also. Or, the state can say that churches and private schools must hire openly practicing homosexuals or transsexuals or cross-dressers, even though the lifestyle is against church teaching, because an individual's sexual rights and employment rights outweigh religious freedom (of those three, only religious freedom is enshrined in the Constitution).

    Quite frankly, no one has the right to change definitions unless they are the one who made the definition in the first place. Humans didn't define marriage, God did. As you noted, this is evident in natural law by the obvious method of functioning for sex and sexual reproduction. Therefore, the state does not have the right to say marriage includes what, by definition, it does not. The state only has the right to uphold and enforce the natural law, moral law, and morally neutral things (like traffic regs). Anything that it does contrary to that is an unjust law (that doesn't have to be obeyed).

    Despite what many try to claim, marriage is not simply a legal/civil contract (like traffic laws or building laws), it is a metaphysical reality. (This is why the Catholic church doesn't acknowledge that divorce dissolves a marriage. Because the metaphysical reality was established by God, and He said that no man shall put assunder what He has joined, and the Catholic Church still abides by that.) Marriage laws only protect and facilitate that reality. But even if you wanted to argue civil rights, same-sex attracted individuals already have the same civil rights that everyone else has. There is nothing stopping a gay man from marrying a woman, other than his desire. His civil right to access the human right of marriage as it has always been defined (to a person of the opposite sex) is intact.

    As far as respect, compassion, and sensitivity, we should all treat every person with this, regardless of who they are or what sins they may or may not have committed! After all, we all sin, and none of us are capable of determining the disposition of anyone's soul, except God alone. It is ridiculous to claim to anyone that they are assured of going to hell when they die, however it is a work of mercy to point out to them that a choice or action is objectively sinful and could be endangering their eternal salvation. And it is imperative that we not condone or encourage anyone in an objectively evil act, for then we are endangering our own salvation as well as that of the person we are giving scandal to. (As you may be able to tell by all my talk of natural law and potential loss of salvation, I am faithfully Catholic.) Therefore, faithful Christians have an obligation to be good citizens and insure that the laws of the land don't contradict the Law of God (both natural and revealed), so that the law doesn't lead people into sin. This is why the Church must be present in political situations, such as gay marriage and abortion.

    I feel as though I've rambled on long enough, I hope I managed to maintain some cohesiveness and coherency. Thanks for your time.

    Casey

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00334700057953625321 Elizabeth Mahlou

    This type of judgment and condemning the speck in the other person's eye while ignoring the plank in our own is just what Jesus warned us again, isn't it? We can't judge God by the behavior of those who claim to belong to Him. People have been given the free will to choose love or hate. How God reacts to those choices in the long run is up to God. You seem to have struck a chord in your readers with your post.

  • Rebecca in CA

    Elizabeth, I think it's important though to realize that we can disagree about what is the best way to vote without necessarily thinking that the other person has a problem with bigotry or hate, or is a pharisee. For example, I believe it is hurtful to women and to children to legalize and bless abortion; that is not a claim that I am perfect and holy and without sin, but an insistence that the state not sponsor and sanction the killing of innocent human beings. Likewise in this case, I do not feel that I am superior to homosexuals, but I am arguing that the state's sanctioning and elevating to marital status, of a relationship which is gravely hurtful to the people involved and to everyone whom it touches, is wrong, and is the kind of compassion which kills the people you're being compassionate towards. True compassion says, "Don't do that; you will hurt yourself!" when a person is about to walk off a cliff. Should I refuse to stop someone from walking off a cliff because I have myself sinned? I don't think that's the Bible message. No one who has commented here is out to punish or shame homosexuals. I'm trying to open the door to the possibility that there may be different viewpoints about the proper role of the state here, all of which come from a compassionate perspective.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Young Mom

    Elizabeth- Thanks. I've actually found my regular readers pretty silent on this subject.

    Rebecca- I don't really agree with the taking responsibility for everyone elses lives that you and Casey keep bringing up. I agree, that a compassionate person should warn someone about a cliff, I feel that we do that by living christian lives. How far does the analogy go? Yes, put up the signs warning people of the cliff, if you hear someone talking about wanting to jump off the cliff hear them and talk with them, warn someone that you see walking towards the edge who doesn't seem aware of the cliff. But to say that we are supposed to make it our mission to stand at the cliffs edge and scream warnings at everyone who walks within a mile of it? Or how about physically restraining people from walking off the cliff, or would it be better to shoot them before they reach the cliff at all?
    I still fail to see how the state has any right to inforce laws based on religious beliefs.

  • Rebecca in CA

    Here is the U.S. Bishops' statement on the subject:

    http://www.usccb.org/laity/marriage/samesexstmt.shtml

    Please understand again that I am not saying that the law should be based on religious beliefs. This is not a matter of Revelation but of natural law which is written on every heart.

    Also please understand that I am not talking about the equivalent of shooting someone before they walk off a cliff. No person can in good conscience condone, bless, or sanction in any way, homosexual activity, though they can and should be compassionate and understanding. The parallel is in my mind this: If you call homosexual unions "marriage", you are doing the exact moral equivalent of painting signs pointing to the cliff's edge and vocally encouraging people to walk over it. Saying the state shouldn't get too involved in private affairs is not the same as saying the state should publicly lie and actively promote hurtful actions.

    I get the feeling this conversation may be just annoying and I know I have not been a regular reader because I only recently discovered your blog, but I have spent time reading many of your posts and found them very edifying and insightful. You also seemed to me to be genuinely interested in the mind of the Church on all matters. But if this is a closed issue for you, and you're not interested in really getting into it, then of course I won't insist on continuing. I tend to get overly sad and frustrated about what I perceive as misunderstanding on this issue–not just about what the truth of the matter is, but on the level of perceiving other viewpoints as judgmental or intolerant– and I'm sure I say too much, so I apologize if I have been too vocal.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Young Mom

    I have read the US Bishops statement, and I agree. They should state for the Church that the Catholic Church does not recognize or condone same-sex marriage. Along with alot of heretosexual marriages that are not within the parameters of unitive and procreative. That is the Church's doctrine and belief and they have every right to state it. I still don't think the states definition of marriage/civil union has to be the same as the church. (The legal document we get from the state is in reality a civil union, the state is not in the business of giving out sacraments)

    The reason behind this post is not to say that we need to support gay marriage, or redefine church teaching on the definition of marriage. It was my wrestling with the way christians can use their beliefs to judge other's even to the point of refusing people employment if they don't live the same beliefs you do. We may agree to disagree, I don't think that natural law as interpreted by the church is non-religious. It requires belief in a God of order that made the universe with design, something non-religious people do not believe.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04738076740941616678 Rebecca

    A beautiful post – and I agree completely with you. It saddens me how far we still are from 'all men are created equal' and 'love your neighbor as yourself'.

  • Rebecca in CA

    But the Bishops's statement is stronger than saying "we personally believe…" It is clearly stating that we are morally obliged to oppose the legalizing of same sex marriage. What do you make of this:

    "…we wish to make it clear that the institution of marriage, as the union of one man and one woman, must be preserved, protected, and promoted in both private and public realms. Thus, we oppose attempts to grant the legal status of marriage to a relationship between persons of the same sex. No same-sex union can realize the unique and full potential which the marital relationship expresses. At a time when family life is under significant stress, the principled defense of marriage is an urgent necessity for the wellbeing of children and families, and for the common good of society….For this reason, our opposition to "same-sex marriage" is not an instance of unjust discrimination or animosity toward homosexual persons."

    I have a question too about your understanding of the natural law: Do you believe that the natural law is something written on the heart of every person, or is it something we can only know through faith? If the state cannot concern itself at all with natural law, on what does it base its laws? What do you make of the fact that children will be raised by practicing homosexuals? How will that not harm them gravely? Is it only physical harm which concerns the state? Concerning employment, is your position that someone should not be turned down for any job based on their living an openly immoral lifestyle, or are you saying they shouldn't be turned down based on just their orientation? I was giving examples of owners of an inn, a public school principal, etc., with the situation of openly adulterous people, and I haven't figured out yet what your position on these things are. I am not being rhetorical here but I'm trying my best to wrap my mind around your way of thinking about this; I have never come across your particular POV before.

  • Rebecca in CA

    I was just looking around for something from the point of view of a gay person opposing same-sex marriage, and bumped into this Catholic homosexual woman's writing–so far I'm impressed with her writing.

    http://www.staycatholic.com/what_homosexuals_want.htm

    The above discusses same-sex marriage in general, though not addressing all of your concerns

    http://www.eve-tushnet.blogspot.com/

    This one is interesting because although it's obviously the middle of a conversation we weren't at the beginning of, she's here insisting that this is not a religious matter.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Young Mom

    Rebecca- I just popped over to your blog to read your own post on this topic!

    Rebecca in CA-
    Thank you for the links, I will take a look at them soon. I also have read some gay/christian blogs that encourage living a christian lifestyle, they are commendable for trying to live a chaste life in the middle of a culture that doesn't accept of understand them.
    As far as Gay adopting and raising children, they already do, so the legal right to marriage would not change anything there. Plus I do not really agree with the harm to children arguement, because there are some terrible homes out there regardless or the sexual orientation of the parents. If you start determining people ability to raise children by what they are going to teach them about sexuality, catholic's could be next on the list of counter-cultural beliefs. Should all parents have to pass testing by the state before they are "allowed" to raise children?
    And as far as employment, I see no reason why we should restrict a persons ability to gain employment because it would make people of a certain religion uncomfortable. People get fired for indecent conduct or sexual harrassment, and that is right and good. But unless the institution (publib or private) has their requirements for private bahavior listed and agreed upon before employment, they have no right to fire someone for private behavior they do not approve of, religiously or otherwise.
    Even in the case of the bed and breakfast, do they require all of their guests to show a marriage certificate before renting a room? Unless they are a private religious organization that is providing religious services of some kind, I'm not sure how they can discriminate against the public they are catering too.

  • Lana

    Actually, in some Muslim countries, they do indeed require proof of marriage when you check in at a hotel!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10853868724554947854 Sheila

    I know this is an old post, but *I* am Catholic and *I* agree with you! I think the government should get out of the marriage business altogether. I don't like them regulating something that I consider to be a personal and religious institution. If we lived in a country with roughly the same religious values for most people, it might be different, but our society is secular and pluralistic, and its definition of marriage is already different from mine. I don't see how gays calling themselves "married" changes my own marriage one bit.

    Obviously I would be opposed to any law that forced ministers to perform same-sex marriages or forced schools to teach about homosexuality. But I think that's a very different issue.

    Oddly, I do have a friend, another Catholic, who believes that it is wrong to hire homosexuals. She quit her last job when she found out her coworker was gay. I think that is preposterous myself! It's not like she should be fired for being self-righteous, or for her various mistaken life choices: she has the right to work so that she can earn the money she needs to survive. We hire people based on whether they can do the job, not based on their private lives.

    I do think it might be reasonable to ask employees not to discuss their sex lives at work. But that would apply to everyone equally.

  • http://mythsongs.com N. Humez

    Would that all professing Christians were so sensitive to the humanity of those whose sexuality differs from their own. A truly inspiring post.

  • http://fuchsiascreams.livejournal.com/ fuchsiascreams

    Do you understand how little sense that makes? Marriage predates the Bible by hundreds and hundreds of years – why does religion suddenly get to decide what types of marriages are right and what types are wrong when IT DIDN'T EVEN EXIST WHEN MARRIAGE WAS FIRST CREATED?


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