Monday, November 19, 2012

Quote of the Day

. . . [T]he Catholic Church hierarchy, as evidenced by [a recent editorial by Fr. Federico Lombardi, Director of the Vatican Television Centre], continues to deny the distinction between religious rites and public rights. No one is telling the Church what to do within its magisterium (misleading rhetoric about “religious freedom” notwithstanding). I would appreciate it if it would stop telling New York what to do with ours. We’re not changing religious definitions; we’re expanding secular domains of equality. Of course, I understand that such distinctions may fly in the face of a thousand years of Church teaching. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t real.

Ironically, if we followed the Church’s theocratic logic, we’d validate polygamy first, same-sex marriage second. After all, polygamy was a biblical value, practiced by Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, Solomon… the list goes on. If religious values (which, according to dogma, are absolutely and objectively true) are to dictate civil laws, presumably we should re-institute polygamy, strip married women of all rights against their husbands, and regard women as chattel to be purchased: all of which are part of the Biblical definition of marriage.

Really, though, what’s most amusing about such reductio ad absurdum arguments is how weirdly dated they already feel. Come on, really? You’re still telling me that same-sex marriage is going to destroy traditional marriage and lead to wild sexual anarchy? As if. The only thing thousands of boring, ordinary gay marriages have changed is the demand for matching suits. The sky just hasn’t fallen, and it’s not going to . . .

– Jay Michaelson
"No Father, The Gay Sky Isn’t Falling"
Religion Dispatches
November 19, 2012

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Doug Mataconis on the Bishops, Religious Freedom, and Living in a Civil Society
Quote of the Day – September 6, 2012
Responding to Whiny Catholic Bishops Who Cry 'Victim'
Persecuted 'Enemies of the State'? Or Just Sore Losers?
What Part of Jesus' Invitation to "Be Not Afraid" Don't the Bishops Get?
Marriage: "Part of What is Best in Human Nature"
Responding to Bishop Tobin's Remarks on Gay Marriage
Dale Carpenter on the "Win-Win" Reality of Gay Marriage

Image: Kristen Solberg.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

What has been interesting to me during the gay marriage debate is how little most people seem to understand the concept of marriage.

In the United States, the existence of legal marriages between unbaptized persons or thrice-divorced persons has never been viewed as a threat to churches.

And yet legal gay marriages - rejected by the Church just like a 3rd remarriage by heterosexuals would be - is viewed as a threat.

I generally find that the people most opposed to legal gay marriage just don't understand the difference between these "religious rites and public rights."

But Father Lombardi really should know better.

I'm certainly not saying that reasonable people can't disagree on the issue. I'm simply saying we ought to be operating from the same set of definitions when we do.

Good excerpt, Michael! Thanks...