Catholic charity in Washington threatens to cut service over gay rights issue


Remember the video I put up with Stephen Fry and Christopher Hitchens debating about whether or not the Catholic Church is a force for good? In one part of the video, a well meaning woman stood up and commented on the fact that she was a Catholic and didn’t really have any issue with Fry’s homosexuality. Stephen responded by saying that the position of the Catholic Church regarding homosexuality is clear, and even though individual Catholics might differ in their opinion, it didn’t change the fact they support a bigoted institution.

In Washington, a Catholic Charity has threatened to cut its services if it’s forced to comply with new same sex laws making it illegal to discriminate against gays. The opposition from the church comes from the fact they won’t be able to actively promote their bigotry and hatred for homosexuals. Their arguments are, as usual, very unconvincing.

“Let’s say an individual caterer is a staunch Christian and someone wants him to do a cake with two grooms on top,” said council member Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 6), the sponsor of the amendment. “Why can’t they say, based on their religious beliefs, ‘I can’t do something like that’?

Pretend instead of having two grooms on the cake, it’s an interracial marriage, and the baker refused to bake a wedding cake because mixed marriages are against his “religious convictions”. We wouldn’t stand for that shit for a second. True, I dislike the idea of anyone being forced to do the right thing, but we cannot allow people to be treated like second class citizens, and we have to do our best to stamp out bigotry in the same way we’ve tried so hard to stamp racism (it’s a long process, obviously).

“The issue here is they are using public funds, and to allow people to discriminate with public money is unacceptable,” Rosenstein said.

The city is taking a pretty hard stance on the issue, and won’t allow itself to be bullied by the Archbishop, who wants to dangle their charitable services as a free license to practice open bigotry. I say fuck ‘em. Sure, it’s harsh and it sucks for the people who were benefiting from their services, but human beings are a charitable bunch, and I’m positive that other organizations will be more than happy to pick where the church left off. We cannot ignore the evils of an institution simply because it hides behind a facade of charity, especially when this same institution tries to use its position to blackmail secular governments. Not fucking cool.

**NOTE** It’s not the first time this happens, and it certainly won’t be the last.
(props to Simon for the find)

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Comments (17)

  • avatar

    Isaac

    I don’t see how any rational human being can possibly see the Catholic church as a force for good. Taking public money to spread bigotry, intolerance and hate isn’t usually allowed, but because it’s for god, it’s ok(?) I say fuck ‘em sideways!

  • avatar

    Matt B

    While I completely understand why you said it, I think you shouldn’t be so averse to “the idea of anyone being forced to do the right thing.” Keep in mind that’s what the basis of law is, essentially. We’re all forced to do the right thing when it comes to murder, fraud, even obeying the speed limit, or else we face legal consequences. This issue in theory isn’t so unlike those other situations. Authority is (ideally) designed to preserve the common good, and that I feel should certainly include treating everyone with as much equity as can be allowed.

  • avatar

    Jacob Fortin

    Laws are not meant to keep us in check, but rather to punish those that already break them. I don’t need a law telling me I can’t murder, because I lack this impulse, and having a law doesn’t suddenly mean that any real habits have changed (it’s illegal to smoke pot, and yet roughly a third of the US population does it).

  • avatar

    Jordan

    What a fucking stupid argument. As long as they’re fucking paying you, who gives a damn what they want on their cake?

  • avatar

    CurlyEric

    The Catholic church fought and lost a battle here in NYS to prevent mandated equal protection in health insurance plans; if you covered male sexual items, you had to also cover female sexual items like birth control. They fought it saying that they should not be forced to do something they did not believe in, ignoring the fact that this applied to their business side ( like hospitals ) and the fact that not everyone they employ was Catholic ( or even practicing ).

    When the government talks about giving them money under the umbrella of “faith based services” they all come calling for money, but as soon as you ask them to do something that might cost them money it’s “against their faith”. I’ll bet in this case they are short of funds and probably have to close anyways, but this is a good way to get the locals all riled up to generate more hatred towards gays.

  • avatar

    Mark

    Catholics don’t HATE gays. I for one am a Catholic and I love everyone, regardless of their propensities.

    Let’s be very clear here: The church disapproves of homosexuality because the God the church worships says homosexuality is immoral. The church also disapproves of other immoral things such as prostitution. But just because the church disapproves of immoral things does NOT, in any way shape or form, mean it disapproves of the PEOPLE who are committing immoral acts.

    So the question now becomes: If the church doesn’t disapprove of the PEOPLE committing immoral acts, why won’t the church extend its services to those people? Because to do so would be to willfully DEFY Jesus Christ, the leader and purpose for the church to begin with. The church is built on MORALITY. To extend services to those who are willfully and continually IMMORAL would be to condone IMMORALITY.

    Regardless, even if my hasty text above is not intelligible, I should hope you at least get my point. And my point is that the church does NOT hate homosexuals, it just cannot condone their behavior any more than it can condone any other immoral actions, such as capital punishment.

  • avatar

    Mark

    “but this is a good way to get the locals all riled up to generate more hatred towards gays.”

    That’s ridiculous, Eric. No one HATES gays in the church. Again, the church hates the homosexuality, not the human beings who are homosexual.

  • avatar

    Razzle

    Isn’t the catholic church the only sect of Christianity to embrace evolution?

    They’ll embrace gays sooner than later.

  • avatar

    Matt

    I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again; ‘hate the sin love the sinner’ is bullshit. It’s a cop out.

    The church doesn’t hate gays? The whole being openly homophobic says otherwise.

    The church can try to justify its hate all it wants (as you’re trying to do mark) but that doesn’t change the situation.

    But the fact that you state gay people are “willfully and continually immoral” pretty much sums up your argument, doesn’t it mark? Being homosexual is a choice, right? How do you feel about catching ‘the gay’? It’s contagious, right? It can be cured, right?

    I don’t really watch Keith Olbermann a lot, but this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pgBc_-adK4) piece he did after prop 8 is pretty powerful. Whether it’s gay marriage or any other gay issue the sentiment is the same. I’m in the same boat. I’m not gay, i have a handful of gay people in my life, but no one close, i have no personal interest in the gay/anti-gay debate, but it’s sick. It’s a equality issue, it’s simple.

  • avatar

    Eric

    The law does not force the church to do anything. They would rather walk away from thier charity work with the city rather than comply with equal protections laws passed by the council. How is that not hating gays? We don’t hate gays, but we are willing to walk away from 8 million a year so we don’t have to provide service.

    You do see the contradiction, right?

  • avatar

    Quizzle

    If you came up to me and beat me, than said “I didn’t beat you because I hate you, I beat you because I hate atheism!” No one would give a shit. This person beat me for being an atheist.

  • avatar

    Isaac

    Statement A: I love everyone.

    Statement B: I think homosexuality is immoral, and anyone practising this deserves infinite torture in a firey hell.

    Statement A and Statement B are mutually exclusive. This means you can’t believe both; either one, or the other, or neither. Pick one!

  • avatar

    Liudvikas

    I hope they lose their tax exempt status.

  • avatar

    Spector567

    Isaac pretty much sums it up.
    Calling Gays immoral godless heathens and than denying them services pretty much means you dislike them alot.

    does this means all Catholics dislike gay…… Heck no.

    However, the ruling body in Washington in this case does and is dragging the rest of the people under them with them.

    I’d recommended you write a nice letter to your representative telling them how you disagree with there behavior.

    If you actually provided them service than it would say the catholic church tolerates them.

    As for the Catholic church accepting evolution…. I give them credit for that. However, I think it was more of a marketing ploy than anything else. Europe where the vast majority of Catholics are becoming more secularist and the churches inability to move forward with science was largely to blame. It’s kinda like how the Catholic church is now looking to pick up Anglicans. They need the numbers and they are losing people.

    The catholic schools in Canada still don’t teach evolution and avoid the topic.

    In the states however, each subset of Christianity stands alone and makes up there own rules. Many American’s don’t even know Catholics are christian. (it’s kinda embarrassing for them when I tell them that fact)

  • avatar

    Kevin

    I posted about this on my own blog – hits close to home cause I live in DC. It’s sick how much the Catholic Church is shooting themselves in the foot over this. It’s understandable how they view it, but it’s unforgivable how they are putting religious bull over the charity of thousands of poor, sick, and needy individuals.

    It’s basically saying, “sorry all you homeless people. Until we’re told we can discriminate, you’re going to have to go hungry and be cold.”

  • avatar

    Averre

    The Catholic Church is about as useful as a rash and just as annoying, the Catholics like Mark who have this delusion that they’re Catholics who don’t follow the Catholic ways is just plain idiotic and a far too frequent thing these days.

    The Catholic church has been and always shall be corrupt to it’s very core and anybody who can still stand by the Catholic religon after everything that has been unearthed in the past 100 or so years is indeed a blind and ignorant ‘sheep’.

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