Fearing ideas, fearing society

I could go the usual route of discussing the right of gays and lesbians to marry in Washington state since it became legal for them to do so. Just as I could go on to discuss the right of gays and lesbians to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces now that military policy has been changed in this regard. However, when “The Inlander” covered the Roman Catholic Church’s efforts to undo the legality of gay marriage, there was something in this article that caught my attention, the broader nature of ignorance even of a hatred being expressed of the citizens of Washington state by one Bishop Blase Cupich, whether he outwardly intended it or not.

In this article, the Bishop’s focus and anti-gay marriage rhetoric was on “the dangerous” idea” to which Roman Catholic kids in his parish would be exposed to. Presuming, of course, that being gay or lesbian would somehow rub off onto them by osmosis, and further, gay marriage would make them particularly vulnerable to the temptations of Satan. Or on the other hand, Bishop Cupich wants it to be actually known that only his ideas should hold sway. And that in the society of Washington state, he should be paramount in what he expresses in opinions. He is right that Roman Catholics live in an American society. Which he seems to have a problem wrapping his head around and getting a grip on the fact.

In this American society, there is both religious and political diversity. In this country, there is racial and cultural diversity. In the U.S. of A., there is geographical diversity, not only from European countries, but also across the globe. Exactly what would Roman Catholic kids not get exposed to when walking down the street—and on the assumption of, making them question their faith? I would have to say, and not actually be in error here, that the Roman Catholic church is likely a minority belief. Given the vast percentage of protestant churches that are out there. If that Roman Catholic kid suddenly decided that he preferred to be a “born again” Christian now getting baptized in an Evangelical church, that would be a “dangerous idea” that he would have been exposed to in which he now rejects the faith being taught him by Bishop Cupich in his respective parish. Not the same thing, you say? The point is, that Roman Catholics don’t live in gated communities insulated from the world. They are indeed going to get exposed to various ideas, social changes, etc. regardless of what Bishop Cupich has to say about it. The strength of faith has nothing to do with what your neighbor does or says. The strength of faith has to do with how you apply the bible in your daily life. If Bishop Cupich can’t seem to understand that and would rather overturn the legality of gay marriage (that by the way, won’t “protect” the faith or family) then this flailing away at windmills won’t get him anywhere. It’s a symbolic act as there is a lot more that can threaten “the family” than gay marriage.

The Roman Catholic church may not believe in divorce, but does apply it in practice: it is called an annulment. No one is “protecting” the traditional marriage if they allow divorces and further devoutly approve of them. From what I have heard, divorces, even in the form of annulments, can be particularly damaging to children. On the other hand parents who stay together “for the children” and are constantly fighting one another, using the children as weapons, come crying to children to draw them into taking sides against one parent or another, is just as damaging. I for one, wouldn’t even have an idea of what a “traditional marriage” looked like because of the hatred and resentment my parents had toward one another which they then passed onto us kids. Oh yeah, “we went to church” and the parents would then go back to fighting like cats and dogs. Shouldn’t the Bishop be more concerned about abuse, manipulation, etc. that routinely goes on in “traditional families” that does cause a break up in marital relationships before he worries about the legal rights of gays to marry? I should think he ought to. Roman Catholic kids can easily get exposed to something dangerous alright at any time; it can start, actually, right at home.

Because the Roman Catholic church in America is a minority sect compared to the huge variety of protestant churches out there, the clerical hierarchy made it plain, back in the 19th century, that they didn’t want “their kids” exposed to protestant style public school education even as the majority protestants didn’t want Roman Catholic kids in “their” public schools. You still get this underlying theme of religious bigotry that was no less than stated by Bishop Cupich himself. That Roman Catholic kids should never be exposed to something “undesirable.” Well now, that could be anything at all, anything that doesn’t even have to include gay marriage. Were Roman Catholics in this nation victims of bigotry? Of course they were. The KKK did make it a point that being a protestant was the only type of “Christian” that was possible and even acceptable in this country. Did Roman Catholics set out to make victims? Certainly! They have quite a history of that very thing. Crusades, witch trials, persecutions of “heretics…” So, I could certainly suggest that Bishop Cupich expose his parish to something that is absolutely essential: Love thy neighbor as thyself. And leave the judging of wrongful behavior to God.

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