Screw the sick, the poor and children: Catholic Bishops seem intently focused on fighting civil rights these days. The latest in a long line of bishops in states considering same-sex marriage to announce a war against equal rights is Rhode Island's Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence.
Tobin's attacks come as marriage equality bills find their way into the Rhode Island legislature and see the bishop discounting the fact that gays and lesbians even exist.
A final point. If we are in fact forced to discuss the nature of matrimony in our state, it should be placed before the general public in a referendum. The proposal to redefine marriage as a fundamental structure in our culture is a very serious issue with profound consequences. I suspect that people on both sides of the issue agree with that. On a question of this magnitude, then, the people of this state should decide as they have in many other states. Let us vote!
Some have argued that the “civil rights” of the minority should not be determined by the vote of the majority. I challenge that premise though. What is the source of this so-called “civil right?” Where is the moral or legal “right” to marry a person of the same gender found? It certainly has not been part of the human experience, of human history. Is it simply the personal happiness or fulfillment of individuals, the “right to do whatever I want to do?” If that’s the argument, it opens up all sorts of other social experiments for us, doesn’t it?
How does Tobin explain his (and his church's) very un-Jesus-like ways? By saying that they're only fighting civil rights to protect us homosexuals.
It’s important to emphasize once again, however, that while rejecting homosexual activity, the Catholic Church has consistently promoted respect and pastoral care for individuals with same-sex attraction. They are children of God and our brothers and sisters. They are invited to be members of our churches. It is our very concern for their spiritual welfare, however, that motivates our rejection of the homosexual lifestyle and same-sex marriage.
Uh, thanks, but no thanks.