Sunday, November 30, 2003

Traditional values

Pushing their tax-exempt status to the very limits, the Roman Catholic bishops of Massachusetts have issued a "strongly worded letter to be read at Mass this weekend," in which they
are telling parishioners that a state court decision supporting gay marriage is a "national tragedy" that could "erode even further the institution of marriage." ...

Boston Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley and Bishops Thomas Dupre, Daniel P. Reilly and George Coleman also complained that the state high court ruling promotes "divisions in society by villainizing as bigotry the legitimate defense of thousands of years of tradition.

"Marriage is a gift of God ... it is not just one lifestyle among many," the bishops wrote in the letter, which was published in the Boston Archdiocese's newspaper, The Pilot.
While the Bishops's condemnation of the Supreme Judicial Court ruling does go against public opinion in the state, the fact remains the Catholic Church in Massachusetts is both politically potent and socially conservative. It does seem odd, however, for the Church, which is - irritatingly - progressive on a number of issues, to declare that moving toward equal rights for all promotes "divisions."

On the other hand, the argument of "tradition" does have some weight. I mean, be fair, this is indeed an institution whose defenders can argue against change by pointing to "thousands of years of tradition" and numerous Biblical references, so -

Oh, wait, I'm sorry, I was thinking of slavery. My bad.

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