US Catholic bishops prepare fight for religious exceptions over gay marriage, contraception
The US Catholic Bishops want the church to join the culture wars because they are feeling persecuted. They think they have the right to take hundreds of millions in tax dollars for faith based initiative organizations and operate under different standards and outside of policy for other groups that take the money from the Feds for similar programs.
They want us to ignore that when they say they are pro family there’s an asterisk that says “Except for Gays”, They want us to ignore that they say they are anti trafficking, but won’t counsel women victims of rape and slavery on basic health needs that include abortion and contraception. Most of all they want us to ignore that the traditionalists are now in control, and they’ve gone back to being fully anti-choice.
People in this country don’t have a problem with Christians, and Christians are not persecuted. They do have a problem with fundamentalist busybodies for god who want to run every woman’s life according to skewed literalist interpretations of the old testament. It’s not Catholicism that people have a problem with either — it’s the leadership. A leadership that’s more interested in excluding women Priests and Bishops than in finding the pedophiles in the church and excluding them. A leadership that’s more concerned that some gays might get married than they are for the Gay’s children who are excluded from federal benefits in many cases.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meets Monday in Baltimore for its national meeting feeling under siege: from a broader culture moving toward accepting gay marriage; a White House they often condemn as hostile to Catholic teaching; and state legislatures that church leaders say are chipping away at religious liberty.
Many Catholic academics, activists and parishioners say the bishops are overreacting. John Gehring of Faith in Public Life, an advocacy network for more liberal religious voters, has argued that in a pluralistic society, government officials can choose policies that differ from church teaching without prejudice being a factor.
“Some perspective is needed here,” Gehring, a Catholic, wrote on his organization’s blog.
Still, the bishops see themselves as more and more on the losing side of these disagreements, and they are taking steps they hope will protect the church.
In September, the conference formed a new committee on religious liberty that will meet for the first time this week in Baltimore. Anthony Picarello, general counsel for the conference, will oversee that work, which will include hiring a lobbyist. Picarello had worked for seven years at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a public-interest law firm based in Washington, and also served on an advisory committee for President Barack Obama’s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.