Sunday, March 12, 2006

at any cost

Ok, so a small percentage of adoptive parents in Massachusetts are gay. One of the organizations that helps kids find foster parents happens to be Catholic Charities. Massachusetts has a law preventing Catholic Charities (or any other adoption agency) from discriminating against any would-be foster parent on the basis of sexual orientation.

Still with me?

So Catholic Charities has been matching needy kids with gay parents for some time -- until the Bishops decided that it would be better for no child to be adopted than for a single child to be adopted by a gay parent.

In a stunning turn of events, Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley and leaders of Catholic Charities of Boston announced yesterday that the agency will end its adoption work, deciding to abandon its founding mission, rather than comply with state law requiring that gays be allowed to adopt children.
What we are seeing here is a return to the Bad Old Days. I can think of a couple reasons why someone might be turned down as a foster parent. Maybe a history of drug use or alcohol abuse (without any attempt at recovery anyway), or maybe a lengthy and violent criminal record, or a history of sexual abuse. The Bishop's decision only makes sense if you consider being gay to be roughly equivalent to violent crime or sexual abuse. We've heard this tune before, haven't we?

This idea, that our existence as parents and human beings is so overwhelmingly harmful to society, children, the Church, etc., that the foster children of Massachusetts are better off living in orphanages rather than one of them be placed with a gay couple -- truly this is the height of bigotry. I'm loathe to draw connections between people's words and the actions of others, but can we really be surprised that some people commit acts of violence against gays and lesbians when this kind of rhetoric finds a home at the very top of the Catholic church? How long will it be before someone decides to act on this, frankly, eliminationist rhetoric coming from the Church? How many times can a red-blooded, patriotic American Christian hear that the dreaded Homosexual is such an incredible threat to all that he holds dear, before he decides to act on it? How long before we get our own Kristallnacht?


Kids in Massachusetts are still going to be adopted. The vast majority of them will be placed in "straight" families, a few others will be placed in single-sex households, just like always. This will all be done by largely secular or Protestant charities now, and hopefully they will pick up the slack left by the RCC. The damage, however, has been done. We are the Enemy: So insidious and disgusting is our very existence that children must be protected from us at virtually any cost.

And Gov. Mitt Romney has announced that any attempt to make the Catholic Church not discriminate against gays and lesbians is "a threat to religious freedom", much like recognizing same-sex marriage would be a "blow to the family" and lead to America suffering a loss of prestige among the nations.

I'm beginning to wonder how anyone couldn't hate us. We must be terrible people, musn't we?

Damien just posted a good reminder of how I must not hate someone just because they hate me. The Martin Luther King quote was very apt as well. We can't fight violence with violence -- we have to fight it the hard way: with truth and love. Not easily done, but MLK knew what he was talking about.


At 3/12/2006 4:19 PM, Blogger Michael said...

I must strive not to hate the bishops, but I reserve the right to hate what this decision may mean to the innocent children of Massachusetts.


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