Force for Good (?), Part II

In the BBC World debate between Archbishop John Onaiyekan and Ann Widdencombe vs. Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry, Onaiyekan and Widdencombe argued that the Catholic Church is a force for good because it does so much charity work throughout the world. But what happens when the Catholic Church decides to end its charity unless it can continue to discriminate?

In response to a same-sex marriage bill proposed in Washington, D.C., the Catholic Church has stated that it will discontinue its social service programs in D.C. unless the bill is changed. The bill allows religious organization to refuse to perform or rent out space for same-sex weddings, which gives them plenty of “religious freedom” to begin with. But now the RCC is demanding that it be exempt from city laws that prohibit discrimination against homosexuals. Keep in mind, these anti-discrimination laws are already applied to other businesses and institutions.

There are several issues at hand, the most important of which is the fact that the Catholic Church in D.C. receives city funds. It is illogical, and it should be illegal, for the church to accept government money but refuse to obey the government’s laws. This is just another reason why complete separation of church and state is necessary.

Secondly, the RCC would be punishing a group of people – the poor and sick – that has nothing to do with same-sex marriages. Even if homosexual marriage were wrong (and it is not), it is unjust to make a third-party pay for the ”wrong-doers.”

And no matter how many times religious groups profess, there is no justification for condemning homosexual marriage. The argument “Because God says so” has no place in the public and political forum. And any attempt at a secular reason against homosexual marriage has always been refuted.

** EDIT **

I posted a comment about this issue on my friend’s Facebook (I found the article as one of his posts). I said

And if the RCC is concerned about moral decisions, what is moral about punishing a third-party – the city’s poor and sick – that has no connection to the government or homosexuals? It’s like a criminal is threatening to kill your neighbor unless you agree to frame yourself for a crime.

to which I received this response (not from my friend, but from Carlos Macias, whom I do not know):

Olivia is an idiot, the church is not criminal. The Church spokes-person said : “The city is saying in order to provide social services, you need to be secular. For us, that’s really a problem.”. . . That is the religious belief of the “REAL” Church of JESUS CHRIST, who will always follow HIS rules. A church HOLY enough, to never stray to never become protestant. . . . how’s this, don’t let the Govn’t force my church to become Protestant.

First off, to start with an ad hominem attack builds a wall that simultaneously prohibits Carlos from accepting any logical and rational discussion and advertises the fact that he blindly prescribes to religious dogma. I never explicitly stated that the church is criminal, just that the situation of punishing a third-party is akin to a criminal holding someone hostage.

Carlos is making the false assumption that religious dogma is necessarily moral and just. He offers no defense for why he believes the RCC is acting morally other than, “It’s the rules.” But what gives the rules any legitimacy? Certainly not the fact that they were written thousands of years ago in a book that holds little relevancy today. And before he claims that any of god's rules are moral, he must first demonstrate that god exists to make those rules, and that those rules were indeed made by god and not human society.

Lastly, I would just like ask, what makes any one religious denomination the “true” religion? Just because it happens to be the denomination you belong to? Perhaps Carlos considers the RCC to be the right religion because it continues to alienate itself from the modern world…

Seems to me...

Seems to me that Carlos is the idiot. He's wrong on virtually every count.

First of all, whether or not you said it in the first place, the Roman Catholic Church *is* criminal. Whether or not you believe in their line of superstition, the church is made up of people, and people commit crimes all the time. They have committed uncounted criminal acts. They acknowledge that they have, and published numerous apologies over the years. Look up "Galileo", for a famous example.

Next, he put the word "real" in quotes. If you quote a word, it means one of two things. Either a) you are quoting another person (as I just did above), or b) you don't really mean it. In either case, he's effectively saying that he *isn't* saying it's the real church. Either that, or he's a freaking moron who can't write a coherent post. Either way, he's an idiot.

Lastly, his last two sentences aren't even remotely related to the question at hand, but they are nearly incoherent, and in any case, government is abbreviated gov't, not govn't, since the apostrophe is supposed to replace missing letters, there *are* letters between the 'v' and the 'n' and none between the final 'n' and 't'.

Ignore him and move on. He's not worth your time.