Catholics don’t like gay marriage in Illinois.

The Illinois legislature is moving rapidly toward marriage equality.  Though this will not alter a single Catholic marriage in any way, the Catholic church is greatly displeased.

Chicago Cardinal Francis George has launched a last-ditch campaign to convince the lame-duck Illinois legislature not to legalize same-sex marriage, saying that government “has no power to create something that nature itself tells us is impossible.”

Impossible, he says!  A guy rising from the dead and walking on water?  That’s totally legit.  Two men falling in love?  Could never happen.

The cardinal and his six auxiliary bishops on Tuesday (Jan. 1) sent a letter to all priests in the Chicago archdiocese that asks parishioners to contact lawmakers to urge them to vote against the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act.

Because religious freedom apparently means the freedom to view love and marriage as the Catholic church does.

The showdown is the first test of strength between the Catholic Church and gay marriage advocates since Election Day in November, when voters in three states endorsed same-sex marriage and refused to ban it in a fourth.

Those unprecedented votes were seen as a watershed that reflected rapid changes in the public’s acceptance of gay rights; the Catholic hierarchy and religious conservatives have been trying to figure out how to respond to the shifts.

Because lord knows admitting they might be wrong isn’t an option.

They’ll respond the same way religion has always responded as society begins listening more to compassion than to their religious doctrines: they’ll kick and scream, cry persecution, and eventually change when no other option remains before claiming that their new, slightly less outdated stance was their position all along – in fact, it was Christians/Catholics that helped win equality for the gays!  The fact that opposition to gay rights emanates almost exclusively from the pulpit will be dismissed as a few rotten Scotsman (who didn’t truly understand religion and probably mixed metaphors to boot).

Seriously.  Give it twenty years.

In their letter – and in more extensive remarks in the cardinal’s weekly column – George and the Chicago bishops argue that their opposition to gay marriage is not a political maneuver or an attempt to promote Catholic morality but an effort to oppose attacks on “the common good of society.”

If “good” in their eyes has any relationship to happiness or sadness, rather than just obedience to Catholic dogma, then they should be able to point to some suffering created when gay people are allowed to marry, or in countries where gay marriage has been legalized.  Of course, there is none.  Allowing people to marry who they choose creates only happiness in those individuals (and horror in the minds of people who think the love lives of other people are theirs to control).

The bishops weren’t done.

“Marriage comes to us from nature.

No, sex comes to us from nature.  Marriage is a human construct.

And while marriage doesn’t happen in nature, homosexuality does.

The human species comes in two complementary sexes, male and female.

If you think marriage is all about sex, then you have a very narrow idea of marriage.  And, what’s more, the same sexes are sexually compatible.  There are plenty of videos on the internet that confirm this.

Their sexual union is called marital.

Unless it’s between a priest and a child in their care.  Then it’s called “rape” or, if you’re the Vatican, a “lapse of faith”.

The “sexual union” is called “sex.”  It doesn’t require marriage, and there is much, much more to a marriage than sex.

It not only creates a place of love for two adults but also a home for loving and raising their children.

Which gay people can do.  They can also raise the children that were taken away from their straight parents, in marriages recognized by the Catholic church, who abused them.

It provides the biological basis for personal identity,” the bishops write.

You need to be married to have a personal identity?  So, by that logic, Catholic bishops, nuns, and even the Pope have no personal identity.

News flash: your personal identity doesn’t magically materialize when you slip a ring on the finger of someone of the opposite gender on the way to a very awkward wedding night where both of you learn, for the first time, where the clitoris is – just as god intended.  You don’t get straight married and, all of a sudden, realize that you like strawberries, sunny days, and the color blue.  Your personal identity is yours, and it develops as you grow.  In fact, it is your personal identity that determines if you’re the type who even wants to get married and have kids.

The bishops say that those who oppose same-sex marriage will be cast as “the equivalent of bigots.”

In the same way that ants are cast as insects.

But they argue that they are simply advocating for commonly held moral norms, and note that the church condemns violence or hatred toward gays and lesbians.

Yes, they condemn hatred toward gays and lesbians, but think that they are corrupting to society and shouldn’t be allowed to marry or adopt children.  Somehow that doesn’t register as hate because it’s “commonly held.”  It doesn’t occur to them that the mechanism of hate has nothing to do with how many people do it.

It’s like these people think less before opening their mouths than they do before accepting claims of Jewish guys walking on water.

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