Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I took my mother to Mass...

...this past weekend (like the good son that I am) and was reminded, twice, of why I am no longer a Catholic.

The first time was during the sermon, which was a rambling discourse beginning with the Age of Enlightenment, moving on to eugenics (!), and ending finally with -- you guessed it -- the evils of contraception, in this case the Plan B "morning after" pill. Now, I get it: Catholics believe that Plan B is like an abortion, and they see abortion in terms of black and white. Fine; I knew that walking into the place.

But at the end of the service (just as my stomach was really beginning to growl), I was hit with another reminder of my impatience (and irritation) with Mother Church. The young priest had been asked to read a letter from the local archbishop, which was brief enough to include here:

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, 

The day has come. We are on the cusp of redefining marriage in our state. The vote could go either way, and it is expected to be very close. Our representatives in both the Minnesota House and Senate must hear from us. You have a voice, and if you take only a few minutes to contact them, it will make a difference. 

I urge you to exercise your right to effective representation. I urge you to contact your legislator and tell them not to redefine marriage. If you are not sure who your legislator is, you can call the State Capitol or go to the Minnesota Catholic Conference web site at and click on the "Take Action" button at the top of the home page. 

God is the author of life, and the author of marriage. Let us courageously defend his beautiful plan for marriage between one man and one woman. 

Yours in Christ Jesus, 

Archbishop John Nienstedt

And I just wanted to say "Ugh! Why can't you people ever get out in front on an issue?"

I'll make you a bet right now: In fifty years or so (probably fewer), the Catholic Church will have come around on the issue of homosexuality. They will have decided -- like the rest of us -- that sexuality isn't chosen, it's an orientation (light bulb!). Or, as a lesbian once told me, "Do you think anyone would choose this lifestyle? It's really hard."

So I have a suggestion for the Catholics in Minnesota (and elsewhere): instead of contacting your legislator, get out and talk to a gay person on the subject. (I'm sure you know at least one.) If you're not related to an LGBT individual, you probably work with one, or live down the street from one, or something. Get out and educate yourself; don't stay willfully ignorant. And if, after speaking to a gay person, you still can't abide by marriage equality, fine. At least you'll be informed.

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