Wednesday, November 04, 2009

100's of thousands of dollars later(the poor be damned), the Catholic Church claims huge victory-no equality for Maine gays and lesbians

I stayed up to the wee hours of the night last night watching the voting tallies come in from Maine and Washington state. And when the trend in Maine started going the wrong way for marriage equality, I couldn't help but feel a complete sense of devastation and loss (and I can only imagine how those whose dignity and rights were stripped from them felt).

But today? Different story. I am enraged. I am horrified. And I am filled with an intense revulsion for what the Catholic Church did when it declared an all-out war on an already demonized and oppressed minority. And every ounce of my rage is pointed at the Catholic Church even though there were others involved in this campaign of hate as well. For me, the "others" in this war were acting true to form, but watching the Catholic Church's involvement was the final realization that it is every bit as cruel and homophobic as the other religious frauds preaching hatred and bigotry in the name of God.

I wish I could say that I will get over it, but I will not. This wound is deep and unhealable. This is the only church I have ever known and the betrayal is just too enormous. There is absolutely no forgiveness in my heart, there is only an intense feeling of revulsion for what this Church has done. The fact that they could use their pulpit, their collection baskets, and t.v. ads to declare my son a threat to other people's children while conveniently forgetting the decades they spent hiding and protecting those within their ranks who truly did destroy so many children's lives is simply pure evil.

My heart is too broken for any more words. But here are some other reactions. From Andrew:

After Maine, where the Catholic church actually organized a second collection to raise money to prevent gay people from having civil rights, the situation shifts again. Using a tax-exempt church to raise money to defeat the civil rights of fellow citizens is not too shocking in the age of Benedict. It is shocking if one believes in a separation of politics and religion, and if one believes that the church of Jesus should stand in solidarity with the marginalized, rather than seeking to marginalize and demonize them still further.

It is time to acknowledge that the Catholic church hierarchy can no longer pretend that it isn't the active enemy of gay people and our families. That this church hierarchy - especially in its more conservative wing - is disproportionately gay itself and waging war against their fellow gays through the cowardly veil of the closet, is not new. But it is, as we flinch with the sting of defeat, harder to take than ever.

It is time to demand that gay priests who are actively fighting against the dignity of gay people own their enmeshment in injustice, stigmatization and cruelty. It is time to reveal them in this respect as the enemies of the Gospels, not the champions.

And a letter sent by a Gay Catholic to his Parish Priest (via Andrew):

Dear Father Andrew:

We have shared the celebration of Mass of universal inclusion for 18 years. Homeless, doctors, addicts, plumbers, prostitutes, trash collectors, gang members, elderly, boomers, young adults, teens, babies of all colors, races, genders gathered in common purpose -- to give thanks for blessings and rejoice in the goodness that can come from humanity. You provided a unique sanctuary for us all -- rich or poor, educated or not, gay or straight. No one had any fear; none were rejected.

It is with the deepest sorrow that I must write you that I no longer can join you at Mass. After 59 years, I am no longer a Catholic.

You will be distressed at my decision, but not surprised. We have spoken about this possibility for some time now. In fact, I suspect you would join me if you did not have such a valuable mission in this vibrant community. I will still volunteer for the children's programs, and remain involved in activism, but I can no longer participate in the one rite that binds me to the Catholic Church. I cannot swallow the bile another day. I cannot look up at the altar when you read the gospel, give a homily that is so beautiful, it makes me weep, raise the chalice we believe is to be shared by everyone. I cannot bear the thought of you being driven from your ministry when the bishop discovers you are gay.

Hatred fueled by the resources of hundreds of thousands of parishes will be the central reason why the Church will eventually wither and die. I can no longer bear the stench of the rotting body and hierarchical ignorance. I can no longer embrace what has become a menace and money machine to support evil. We are all tainted by what happened in Maine. We are all lesser citizens because our brothers and sisters are lesser citizens.

We remain joined in friendship and common cause, my dear friend. I will need your counsel in this dark time because I feel hatred bubbling in my thoughts. I do not want to be them. Bless you, dear Andrew.

With great affection,



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