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01/20/2010

While you were busy not even slightly altering Catholics' rights....

by Jeremy Hooper

Want to be annoyed about the New Jersey marriage vote all over again? Well here, go read the Catholic Church's self back-patting:

For months the New Jersey bishops and their lobbying arm, the New Jersey Catholic Conference, spoke out against the same-sex marriage legislation from the pulpit, in press releases, in statehouse testimony, and through more than 150,000 signatories on a petition against the measure.

The bishops also designated Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009, as a “day of prayer for the vocation and sacrament of marriage,” saying that “society faces serious challenges” from proposed same-sex marriage legislation “that would change the definition of marriage as a union of one man and one woman.”

Church lobbying effective in NJ same-sex marriage debate [National Catholic Reporter]

Now, it's debatable how much of a role the church really played, since most everyone in NJ seems to agree that if Corzine had won, the marriage bill would have passed no matter what. But whether or not they were a deciding factor doesn't even matter so much to us: The point is that they think it's their right to play this role in limiting CIVIL rights! What is it going to take to (a) get churches to drop their arrogance on this issue, and (b) get a broad coalition of Americans to speak out against these kinds of threats to church/state separation?!

Do we live in a country where all faiths are respected (including none at all), or do we not? Well, as long as tax-paying citizens' lives are being hampered by tithes-paying parishioners' personal agendas, the answer is the latter.

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Your thoughts

As a law-abiding, taxpaying, gay, American Christian, the Catholic Church is taking away my religious liberty. By not allowing me to freely exercise my religious belief that same-sex marriage is okay and by forcing me to live under a law based on the sin of homophobia, they are submitting me to religious tyranny.

Moreover, their own rules require that they respect and love gay people. Taking away my civil rights is neither love nor respect, no matter how much the Catholic Church tries to redefine morality and convince us it is. Thus, they are violating the Constitution, Jesus' commandments and their own rules--all at once!

Posted by: Michael | Jan 20, 2010 10:26:04 AM

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