"Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them" (Gen.1:27)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Mass. Legislators Do the Right Thing!

The majority of Massachusetts legislators voted yesterday to preserve the right to marry for gay and lesbian citizens of the Commonwealth.

Thank God!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Save Marriage Rights in Massachusetts

Today is a significant day for retaining marriage rights for same-sex couples in Massachusetts. The Commonwealth's Constitutional Convention meets this afternoon to deliberate and possibly vote on whether or not to move closer to ballot referendum a proposed constitutional amendment declaring marriage to be only between one man and one woman.

As expected, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has continued to lobby against the rights of gay and lesbian citizens. Below is a letter to the editor of the archdiocesan newspaper in response to an inaccurate and mean-spirited editorial published last week.

June 13, 2007

Editor, The Pilot
2121 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02135-3191

To The Editor:

Catholicism has a rich intellectual tradition which encourages the use of our God-given abilities to think critically about the world in which we live and to bring the strength of human reason to bear upon the many challenging and sometimes even divisive issues we face together as a community. More often than not, this means discerning the varying shades of gray in which the truth very commonly resides, avoiding the easy, uncritical tendency simply to embrace the extremes of one position or another.

The Pilot’s editorial of June 8, 2007 entitled, “Marriage is not a civil right” fails to meet even the most basic standards of intellectual inquiry and critical thinking. Perhaps because it’s an “editorial,” The Pilot’s editors felt they could publish something so patently incorrect and lacking the tiniest degree journalistic integrity.

Take the title itself. The statement that marriage is not a “civil right” is false on its face. Is it an “absolute civil right”? Of course not; and no one supporting the extension of marriage rights to same-sex couples is asserting that it is or should be. Is marriage a right that has been regulated by societies in different ways throughout time and across political and social boundaries? Every student of history knows that it has been. Countless citations from civil law and other sources could easily demonstrate the blatant error of the editorial’s title and mistaken premise, but let me include just one. The United Nations’ 1948 “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” states, “Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry [emphasis added] and to found a family” (Art. 16.1). Marriage is clearly an individual right, possessed by individuals, expressed in the lives of individuals.

The editorial goes on to state, “Once marriage becomes a personal right, the institution of marriage fades.” Without spelling out specifically what this “institution of marriage” is, this leads to the tired, ridiculous canard that the recognition of marriage rights for same-sex couples will lead to “polygamy, polyandry, incestuous relationships and all other manner of partnerships.” Are you serious? How many bills are pending before the Massachusetts or other state legislatures to provide marriage rights to grandmothers wishing to marry their grandsons, or to allow for women to have three legal husbands?

The Pilot’s editorial, rooted in ignorance about God’s gay and lesbian children, bases a political call-to-action on fear and hate. I pray that the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention will take no action that perpetuates the myth that gay men and lesbians deserve anything less than full and equal rights as citizens of the Commonwealth, including “the right to marry.”

Timothy J. MacGeorge
Washington, DC

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Faith, Science, and Truth

From today's Vatican Information Service:

"Since its establishment in 1891," said the Pope speaking English, "the Vatican Observatory has sought to demonstrate the Church's desire to embrace, encourage and promote scientific study, on the basis of her conviction that 'faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth.'

Friday, June 08, 2007

Surgen General Should Promote Science, Not Ideology

The nomination of cardiologist Dr. James Holsinger has brought strong criticism from numerous circles inside and outside the gay and lesbian community (for example, see the statement by SoulForce). The reason for this criticism is not his medical credentials per se, but rather how his medical attitudes and practices relate to his religious views about homosexuality. In his role as president of the Methodist Judicial Council, Dr. Holsinger has taken numerous positions that continue to communicate the message that gay and lesbians are "less than" their non-gay brothers and sisters. Even worse, his church in Lexington, KY supposedly operates an "ex-gay" ministry (though a search of the church's Web site yielded no results; though so too did searches on the words "pastor" and "Jesus").

The statement by SoulForce executive director Jeff Lutes says it all: "If Holsinger bars gays and lesbians from his own church, how will he treat them as the nation's chief physician?"

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Jesus Camp, the Horror Movie

The other day I watched a horror movie. It wasn't a nail-biting Hitchcock film or a blood-and-guts thriller, but Jesus Camp is without a doubt the scariest movie I've seen in a long time.

This documentary "follows a group of young children to Pastor Becky Fisher's 'Kids on Fire Summer Camp.'" There, instead of spending their time learning how to swim, how to use a bow and arrow, or engaging in other typical summer-camp activities, these children are instructed in the fundamentals of evangelical "christianity" and are taught how to be good foot soldiers in the army of American evangelicalism, purportedly for the purpose of 'reclaiming America for Christ.' In addition to their camp experience, the film provides an insight into the highly controlled and even somewhat isolated family life these fundamentalists maintain.

The Hitlerian style of indoctrination, with its cult-like methodologies and group-think tactics, verges on child abuse.

Throughout the movie, Pastor Becky, her fellow zealots and their pre-pubescent adherents repeatedly mouth what they claim are "Christian" values, teachings, or perspectives (including unhesitating praise for George W. Bush and his various wars). Despite their claims to follow biblical teachings, we hear very little about true Christianity. There's nary a mention of Jesus himself, the scriptures of the New Testament, or such Gospel values as justice, concern for the poor and the outcast, forgiveness, and the ultimate commandment to love -- including love of one's enemy.

Pastor Becky and her fellow nazis make repeated claims about the evils of this world and what's wrong with America. To support the claim that evil is alive and well, dare I suggest that the views she and others like her espouse are exhibit number one.