Religion was simpler when I believed in revealed truth. Unfortunately, revealed truth was often manifest stupidity. That makes it more difficult to cling to, so perhaps we should be impressed by those whose faith can overcome the sheer inanity of it. After all, don't we admire people who are willing to sacrifice themselves for a sacred cause?
Yeah. Not so much anymore.
The Catholic Church is trying to throw its weight around in the battle over Proposition 8 on the California general election ballot in November. If it passes, Proposition 8 overturns the state supreme court ruling establishing same-sex marriages by placing a ban in the California constitution. That would trump the state supreme court and end the Golden State's experiment with marital equality. The Catholic Church is an enthusiastic fan of traditional marriage and its celibate priesthood is girding for the fight to pass Proposition 8.
Yes. Unmarried men in dresses are among the Church's shock troops in the war to enshrine the one-man/one-woman definition of marriage. Clever.
Bishop Allen Vigneron of the Oakland diocese is one of the generals trying to lead Catholic voters into the polling stations to cast their ballots for Proposition 8. He issued a pastoral letter in the wake of the supreme court ruling that politically minded Catholics are citing as an inspirational blast of the trumpet of traditionalism. Vigneron warns his readers of the consequences of losing in the attempts to re-establish monogamous heterosexual marriage as the only sanctioned marital union:
If such efforts fail, our way of life will become counter-cultural, always a difficult situation for Christians—one our forebears faced in many ages past, one that the Lord himself predicted for us.“Counter-cultural”? Does His Excellency actually think that old-fashioned man-woman marriage will be abandoned in the wake of Proposition 8's defeat? No doubt society will rise up in opposition to the marriage of straight couples. Heck, the fifty percent failure rate shows that it doesn't work very well anyway. May as well give it up. Counter-cultural.
And what's this “our way of life” business? Vigneron's bachelorhood is part of his career; the wedded way of life is entirely foreign to him. (Of course, he can see married couples from his vantage point in the episcopal see of Oakland, sort of like Gov. Palin can see Russia from her perch in Alaska.) It seems we must construe “way of life” broadly if it is to include bishops.
Finally, Vigneron points out that Christ himself predicted that the Church would fall into the “difficult situation” of opposing the dominant culture. Does His Excellency think he can avert Christ's oracular pronouncement? Maybe Catholics can learn a lesson from the Protestants who cheer every report of famine and disaster and war because they consider catastrophe a prerequisite for the Second Coming. Embrace same-sex marriage (though not too literally), Your Excellency. Otherwise you risk making Jesus a liar.
Vote No on Proposition 8!