Tuesday, July 7, 2015

"A Rebuttal to the Roman Catholic Hierarchy’s Position on Same Sex Marriage" Jennifer Marie Marcus, Esq., Deacon, ARCWP, July 2015

It was no surprise that Cardinal O’Malley of Boston and Archbishop Joseph E. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, President of the National Conference of Roman Catholic Bishops, roundly criticized the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v Hodges. That case held that legal prohibitions against same sex marriage were unconstitutional as violations of Fundamental Liberties under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution.
Quoting Archbishop Kurtz from the NCCB Press release:
“The nature of the human person and marriage remains unchanged and unchangeable. Just as Roe v. Wade did not settle the question of abortion over forty years ago, Obergefell v. Hodges does not settle the question of marriage today. Neither decision is rooted in the truth, and as a result, both will eventually fail. Today the Court is wrong again. It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage.
The unique meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is inscribed in our bodies as male and female. The protection of this meaning is a critical dimension of the “integral ecology” that Pope Francis has called us to promote. Mandating marriage redefinition across the country is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us, especially children. The law has a duty to support every child’s basic right to be raised, where possible, by his or her married mother and father in a stable home.

Jesus Christ, with great love, taught unambiguously that from the beginning marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman. As Catholic bishops, we follow our Lord and will continue to teach and to act according to this truth.”
Cardinal O’Malley opined:
“The institution of marriage understood in its human, moral and legal dimensions is a fundamental building block of any society,” “The protection of marriage and families is a shared responsibility for all of us.”
As the above statements reflect the Roman Catholic Church, as well as other faith systems still act, operate, think and function as if they remain in the Dark Ages They erroneously maintain that they are speaking for a static God based on ancient pre-scientific stories and texts they view and believe as “God Speak” We all know that God does not write, speak or use human language and most certainly did not write our sacred texts giving rise to the teachings of our faith systems. For if God did, we would not be having these queries, discussions and disputes. The texts would be indelibly fixed and clad in gold! These collective works of pre-scientific wisdom and so called truths are human inventions, albeit divinely inspired .They were written down by human imperfect agencies subject to a limited knowledge of the cosmos, and affected by their own biases, prejudices and cultural realities which at the time were fundamentally misogynistic and patriarchal. Just as God is not static, nor is human evolution and humanity’s accretion of scientific knowledge and understanding of the universe In that light, we all know that the so called “ancient truths” espoused and promulgated by the Church like the earth being flat or the center of the universe ,slavery  as an accepted  practice,  or the Aristotelian concept that women are under developed and unevolved half men, and are therefore ,subservient to men are examples of unenlightened pre-scientific thinking. More germane to the subject of marriage, it too, has evolved over millennia from the ancient biblical accepted cultural practice of polygamy to its present general understanding and form, as was discussed at the beginning of the majority opinion in Obergefell..
The Roman Catholic Church Hierarchy’s reliance on biblical texts establishing “the truth “of God’s will that marriage is solely between a man and a woman with the primary aim of human reproduction is further weakened by their version of truth being viewed and interpreted with a lens by a select cadre of old celibate men” who received their filtered canon from the misogynistic, patriarchal “Church Fathers” in 325 Nicea. (Side Bar: The Jesus Seminar that studied the scriptural texts and attempted to filter out the actual sayings, teachings and miracles of the historical Jesus could not attribute the aforementioned teaching to the historical Jesus .It, therefore is a product of the early Church.)  To make matters worse the hierarchy’s vision is clouded by their understanding   of “Natural Law” handed down from such Dark Ages and medieval misogynistic, patriarchal “Church Fathers” like, Augustine and Aquinas.” who were obviously clueless as to current scientific concepts and thinking in such disciplines as archeology, paleontology, genetics, anatomy, physiology psychiatry, endocrinology, embryology, sexual orientation and gender identity .Those sciences now view that being Homosexual. Transgender, Bisexual, Intersex and Gender Queer are immutable characteristics that a person is born with and a not a matter of an intrinsically evil choice brought on by mental illness. What is equally troublesome many of these same Church leaders are in no position to judge and pontificate from a moral high ground given their actual involvement as perpetrators, or in the cover up of clerical and religious pedophiles.
There is also the theological problem that if you limit the interpretation of God’s will to a select group of men in the Vatican you are also suppressing the Holy Spirit who speaks and works through All of God’s holy people i.e.  Sensus Fidei or Fidelium   Incorporating that concept in conjunction with   current scientific thinking and opinion polls on issues involving human reproduction, artificial contraception, human sexuality and gender identity, I submit that the Church would be taking a more favorable pastoral and dogmatic position on same sex marriage. At this point, the church hierarchy will argue “Relativism” but from what perspective? The tribal necessity of ancient Israel to promulgate the species for its survival certainly, not a concern today in light of global overpopulation. Nor is the medieval thought of “natural law” in light of current scientific advancements and thinking on the causes of homosexuality, gender dysphoria, intersexuality or other impairments to human sexual development .In essence this is not “relativism” but a product of a humanity’s accretion of knowledge and its evolution.
Some troublesome and illogical contradictions exists when the Church posits view that a marriage is solely between a man and woman with its primary purpose of bringing children into the world. That position is mitigated and falls short when it knowingly blesses and sanctions marriages between infertile couples because of the age or physical impairments of the couples involved. The church’s bases its acceptance of such unions on a pastoral biblical Genesis rational: “it is not good that man should be alone!”  …”Well, the same argument holds true for people of the same sex who are in love and wish to be together for a lifetime. Love is love and does not discriminate by sex or gender because it is the essence of God and God does not discriminate!
Associated with  the Church’s position on marriage focusing on  procreation and the fostering, nurturing and protection of children it contradicts itself by willingly ignoring  loving same sex couples who would love to have children of their own or gladly adopt if given the opportunity Yet, despite there being many orphaned , abandoned and homeless children in the world needing loving parents to love ,support and provide them with a home many of the Church sponsored adoption agencies refuse to place them with same sex couples.
Finally, despite their arguments and protestations to the contrary, the Roman Catholic Church and other backward faith systems continue to adopt, maintain, teach and practice their pre-scientific negative biblical and medieval views on women and homosexuals. Those backward twisted preachings and teachings gives license too many ignorant people of faith to perform acts of physical and emotional violence against members of LGBTIQ community and  women. What is most painful and disgraceful is when parents of LGBTIQ children “kick them out” of their homes and put them in the street , or drive them to suicide because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. The parents   perceive their child as being evil or sinful because that is what they were taught to believe by some half- witted priest or minister pontificating from some pulpit or ambo spewing half-truths or lies based on their view of scripture.. That was the case in the recent suicide death of Lelah Alcorn of Ohio in December 2014.becuase her faith based transphobic parents couldn’t deal with the reality that their child was transgender and in their mind’s destined to hell.!.
I maintain that the fate of women and people in the LGBTIQ  community are linked by the culture, society and its institutions including the Roman Catholic Church., because they view gays as  having feminine affectations. Consequently, LGBTIQ people are treated like women and considered lesser than men .i.e. second class citizens and in the case of Transgender people, third class citizens. .Hypothetically speaking, I suspect when the Church begins to treat women on an equal footing with men by elevating them .in leadership roles  or in recognizing their Divine call to Holy Orders  and the Episcopate the intertwined status of women and homosexuals would be elevated not only in the Church but the culture and society at large., I posit that it would be a  sign to the rest of the world that women and LGBTI people are scripturally equal to men in source divinity which would be consistent with the Vatican II Documents. Because we are all equal children in the eyes of our Creator, women and LGBTI people can no longer be morally, culturally, and legally be viewed as subservient to men, nor are they  property ,or lesser human beings.. In essence, women and LGBTIQ people are to be  treated with dignity and respect ,have equal employment rights, and be free of practices and laws that are  misogynistic ,patriarchal, homophobic, transphobic, bigoted , discriminatory  oppressive. and  result in all forms of emotional and physical violence. Behavior, actions or laws falling short of those prohibitions would be viewed as crimes against humanity .It is my belief that if the Roman Catholic Church took a progressive evolutionary position within its own faith system it would be a positive prophetic sign to the rest of the world .It would then challenge backward cultures, secular and religious institutions and governments to improve the lives of women and members of the LGBTIQ  community. I maintain that it would reduce the number of poverty stricken .and homeless people.in the world. ,as well as decrease the physical and emotional violence to women ,children and LGBTIQ  people, At the minimum it would invite serious global discourse of the scourge of gender and LGBTIQ  inequality and their  connection to poverty, misogyny, patriarchal oppression, homophobia, transphobia, discrimination and violence, and overtime be a  segue for positive social change and justice.
In conclusion, in light of current evolutionary Spirit driven Theology, Morality and Scientific thinking the Church has no rational basis to object to same sex marriages and adoption. because the primary Source of those marriages is Love and that is the essence of God.


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