Thursday, December 29, 2011

Atlanta Constitution Op-Ed Slams Catholic Charities

I wrote yesterday about the despicable lies being disseminated by the U. S. Catholic bishops that claims the furtherance of gay rights and the civil law recognition of same sex couples by states (alas, not Virginia) is threatening the religious freedom of Catholics and the Catholic Church. As I noted, the bishops' story line is pure unadulterated bulls shit and underscores in my mind why absolutely no government money - that's right zero dollars - should be given to religious denomination affiliated organizations. Likewise, and as a commenter on a post I wrote for the Bilerico Project noted, the current faux controversy being generated by the Catholic bishops, a number of evangelical Christian groups, and many of the pandering whores in the GOP presidential nominee clown car demonstrates why the White House Office of Faith Based Initiatives needs to be abolished. A column in the Atlanta Constitution has chimed in on the debate and validates my views. Here are some highlights (the column also begs the question as to whether the Church would be cut any slack whatsoever if the targets of its bigotry was blacks or Hispanics, two common targets of the Christianist/Tea Party base of the GOP):

I would argue that the church is not being persecuted. It is not persecution to be held to the standards that are applied to every other contractor that does business with the state. To the contrary, the church is demanding “special rights” to violate the law and to use taxpayers’ money to do so. It’s akin to some church or social agency taking state money to run soup kitchens to feed the poor, but demanding the right to deny aid to black people or Hispanics.

The church, using its own funds, would have every right to refuse to assist in gay adoptions. The First Amendment gives it that protection. But by accepting taxpayer dollars, it accepts the conditions that come with it. As the Times reports, “Catholic Charities affiliates received a total of nearly $2.9 billion a year from the government in 2010, about 62 percent of its annual revenue of $4.67 billion. Only 3 percent came from churches in the diocese (the rest came from in-kind contributions, investments, program fees and community donations).”

A couple of other points:

– There is no evidence that children raised by same-sex parents are harmed by the experience. Quite the contrary. In other words, the church’s objection may be based on moral grounds in its eyes, but it cannot be justified in terms of policy or pragmatism.

– It’s a shame that Illinois church leaders decided that discriminating against gay couples was more important to them than continuing to provide much-needed services to orphans and neglected children. Catholic leaders in other parts of the country have made the opposite decision.

No comments: