Religious Leaders Argue “Religious Freedom” Requires that Prop 8 Must Go.

Catholic Bishops are fond of arguing that “religious freedom” should require that they be granted exemptions from complying with laws on inclusion and equality with which they (but not most lay Catholics) disagree. However, some bishops conveniently ignore this principle when dealing with their own members who apply it to the right to dissent from Vatican doctrine on sexual ethics – or to the formulation of legislation in the first place. The Catholic  and Mormon churches made vigorous efforts in support of Proposition 8 to deny marriage equality. However, this is not a simple issue of civil rights in a tussle with religious principle.  People of faith disagree among themselves, and so some religious leaders argue that “as a matter of faith“,  Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling that struck down Proposition 8 must stand.

Christian and Jewish clergy voice support for gay-marriage ruling

A dozen Christian and Jewish clergy offered support Wednesday for a U.S. District Court ruling in August that found California’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. The case is now before the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

At a Los Angeles news conference, the group said it planned to file an amicus brief in support of Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision to strike down Proposition 8, the 2008 initiative that banned gay marriage.  The judge said the measure violated due process and equal protection for gays and lesbians.

Representatives from the Los Angeles Episcopal diocese, the United Church of Christ, the Progressive Jewish Alliance and other liberal religious groups spoke of marriage equality as part of religious freedom Wednesday in the gathering at the St. Paul Cathedral Center, the Episcopal diocese headquarters.

“It is not an issue of legal matters, it’s an issue of faith,” said the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, the Episcopal bishop of Los Angeles.

The Rev. Fernando Santillana, pastor of Norwalk United Methodist Church, called it a Christian responsibility to speak up for equality.

“We are all divine creations. Some are heterosexual and some are not.  But we are all God’s creatures,” Santillana said. “We have to be the voice that speaks for God in a society that is divided.”

Rick Rojas, LA Times

 

 

Irish Bishops’ Humpty Dumpty Language

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in a rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you
can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that’s all.”
Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again.
“They’ve a temper, some of them – particularly verbs, they’re the proudest – adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs – however, I can manage the whole lot! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!”

Lewis Carroll, “Through the Looking Glass

In Ireland, the Catholic bishops are concerned about the imminent passing of legislation to allow civil partnerships. In voicing their opposition, they are using an argument used before in Washington DC, and in Boulder Colorado, to restrict the religious freedom of gay and lesbian Catholics. This time, though, the application of the argument is so breathtaking it would do Humpty Dumpty proud:

In a statement, Why Marriage Matters, released by the bishops yesterday, they describe provisions in the Civil Partnership Bill as “an extraordinary and far-reaching attack on freedom of conscience and the free practices of religion – which are guaranteed to every citizen under the Constitution”.

Irish Times

Read the rest of this entry »