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06/30/2011

On Rhode Island, Bishops, and the theme from 'Tootsie'

by Jeremy Hooper

After all of the anti-equality noise we've heard from America's Bishops in recent months, we'd like to start off with a brief, mellow respite. So here, absorb the smooth stylings of '80s hitmaker Stephen Bishop:

Ah, that was lovely. Just lovely. Thanks, Bishop.

Now back to the hurtful attacks that aim to deny gay folk on not only rights but also of basic humanity, this one courtesy of the head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence. In fact, this is one the nastiest we've ever seen:

(PROVIDENCE, R.I.)-The Most Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, today released the following statement relative to the passage of legislation approving civil unions in Rhode Island.

“I am deeply disappointed that Rhode Island will establish civil unions in our state. The concept of civil unions is a social experiment that promotes an immoral lifestyle, is a mockery of the institution of marriage as designed by God, undermines the well-being of our families, and poses a threat to religious liberty.

In this context it is my obligation to remind Catholics of the teachings of the Church on this matter. First, the Church continues to have respect and love for persons with same-sex attraction; they are indeed children of God and our brothers and sisters in the human family. We pray for their well-being and offer them spiritual guidance and pastoral care. We also extend our love and support to families of homosexual persons who sometimes struggle with this difficult emotional issue.

At the same time, the Church reminds its members that homosexual activity is contrary to the natural law and the will of God and, therefore, is objectively sinful. Persons with same-sex attraction are required to live the Christian virtues of chastity and modesty, as all persons are. The importance of these virtues is clearly established in the Holy Scriptures and in the constant tradition of the Church.

Because civil unions promote an unacceptable lifestyle, undermine the faith of the Church on holy matrimony, and cause scandal and confusion, Catholics may not participate in civil unions. To do so is a very grave violation of the moral law and, thus, seriously sinful. A civil union can never be accepted as a legitimate alternative to matrimony.

Can there be any doubt that Almighty God will, in His own time and way, pass judgment upon our state, its leaders and citizens, for abandoning His commands and embracing public immorality? I encourage Catholics to pray for God’s patience, mercy and forgiveness in these distressing times.”

Bishop Tobin [Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence]

But of course he loves us, you know. So forget about all of that stuff condemning us, our families, the cores of our beings, natural biological realities, differing religious views, and the fiery rage we will inevitably provoke within God. He just wants to "save us," the Bishop.

Ugh. Save us, Bishop:

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