Interestingly, I haven't run into proposals to decriminalize polygamy, polyandry, or child marriage.
And the obvious 'injustice' of not letting pet owners marry their dachshunds, tabbies, or parrots isn't even on the mainstream radar. But that's another topic. Almost.
I'm just "some guy with a blog." Whether or not I think inter-species marriage is a good idea or not shouldn't matter to practicing Catholics. (I think it's a bad idea, incidentally, although I like animals. Just not that way.)
What an archbishop has to say about what marriage is, what it isn't, and why what a bunch of Congresspeople and/or judges want matters: That, a practicing Catholic should be interested in.
From today's news:
"Erosion of religious freedom threatens Church and nation, warns Archbishop Wuerl"
EWTN News/CNA (June 23, 2010)
"...One issue to which the archbishop referred was the definition of marriage, a contentious issue, especially after the City Council of Washington D.C. passed a law allowing the recognition of same-sex 'marriage' without allowing voters to weigh in on the issue. The measure resulted in Catholic Charities of Washington D.C. being forced to stop offering benefits to employees' spouses and to close their adoption program.
" 'If you take another position than what is presented by people today … you are defined as discriminatory,' he said. 'And because of that, you and your institutions can be very, very severely criticized,' or even sanctioned.
"Essentially, what we are facing, Archbishop Wuerl stated, 'Is the failure to balance the rights of free expression of religion with all these other newly-created rights that are coming up out of our secular society.'..."
What's - interesting? - about the propaganda value of words "discriminatory" or "discrimination" is that being able to discriminate is what keeps us alive, starting around the time we're toddlers.
"To discriminate" means several things, including:
- Recognize or perceive the difference
- Discriminate, separate, single out
- Treat differently on the basis of sex or race
- As in "I could not discriminate the different tastes in this complicated dish"
Don't get me wrong: Civil rights made sense, in 1968. And I'm not at all anxious to see a return to the 'good old days' long before that, of "Irish Need Not Apply" signs. I also recognize that women are people: but then, I'm a Catholic. Think folks like Mary, Catherine of Siena and Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
"Discrimination," as in definition #1? That's what keeps us alive. We learn - early - to discriminate between things we can touch and things we shouldn't: like hot stove tops. Discriminating between "Walk" and "Don't Walk" signs is - by definition - discriminatory. It's also part of what keeps city folks alive.
"Silly" is in the Eye of the Beholder'That's silly! Crossing on a red light and marrying outside your species are completely different!' In a way, that's true. For that matter, it's possible to "discriminate" between crossing on a red light and drinking from a bottle marked "poison."
A big difference, I think, between 'good' discrimination like paying attention to traffic signals, and what America's dominant culture insists is 'bad' discrimination, like paying attention to the sex of the person you're marrying, is the length of time it takes for consequences to show up. It's a little like stepping off the top of a tall building: There's this wonderful, exhilarating rush of air. Until you hit the pavement.
I don't think America has hit the pavement. And I'm aware that there's no shortage of articles and experts who say that the pavement doesn't exist. Or that rubber heels will help you land safely.
I'm not convinced: but then, I'm a practicing Catholic, so I'm not following the regional culture's norms. (January 12, 2010)label cloud.
Catholics are supposed to love all people: even the ones whose behavior we're not too crazy about. Some of us don't follow that 'love the sinner, hate the sin' instruction: but that's yet another topic.
Here's a video of the CNA interview with Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington D.C.:
"Archbishop Wuerl on Religious Freedom"
catholicnewsagency, YouTube (June 22, 2010)
"When asked by Dr. John Haas of the National Catholic Bioethics Center to comment on some issues facing the Church today, Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington D.C. spoke of a growing bias against the 'thread' of faith in the 'social fabric' of Western Society."
- "Indigenous Cultures, Keeping Up, and Being Catholic"
(May 24, 2010)
- "Hating People: Not a Good Idea"
(January 22, 2010)
- "Being Counter-Cultural: I am Not Now, Nor Have I Ever Been, a Hippie"
(January 12, 2010)
- "Are You a Boy, or Are You a Girl?"
(September 26, 2009)
- "Boy Monkeys aren't Like Girl Monkeys: Who'd Have Thunk?"
Apathetic Lemming of the North (July 30, 2009)
- (The PC doctrine of equivalence of the sexes has been eroding for some time)
- "The Catholic Church and Homosexuals: Harsh and Soft, Judgmental and Understanding"
(March 13, 2009)
- "American Catholic Bishops Intolerant! (I Should Hope So)"
(November 13, 2008)
- "Erosion of religious freedom threatens Church and nation, warns Archbishop Wuerl"
EWTN News/CNA (June 23, 2010)