Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a new official document from the USCCB, so I’ll have to resort to working over the coverage from Catholic News Service, (see the article at: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/71235) which includes quotes from inane conservative Catholic lay leaders as well as members of the hierarchy – so here goes:
Catholic Leaders Refute Judge’s Ruling Overturning Proposition 8
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
By Jane McGrath
JP: The headline is pretty much proof is just how delusional the Roman Catholic leaders, and the headline-writer, really are. Refute, indeed!
(CNSNews.com) -- Catholic leaders refuted. . .--
JP: Refuted? Really?
. . . Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling earlier this month that California must stop enforcing Proposition 8, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and which blames religious institutions’ beliefs, including those of the Catholic Church, for harming homosexuals and lesbians.
Cardinal Francis George, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), rejected Walker’s claims, stating that “no court of civil law has the authority to reach
into areas of human experience that nature itself has defined.”
JP: By hewing blindly to Roman Catholic hierarchy’s interpretations of teachings as they relate to human rights for cisgender and non-heterosexual and people, Cardinal George obviously does not have an inkling about nature as it applies to human beings or other creatures. People like me are by our natures different. When Cardinal George limits “nature” to the nature of cissexual heterosexual people, and ignores the small minority of people who were created by God to be different, he loses sight of the truth and condemns himself to being numbered among the goats on the Day of Judgment.
As to the authority of the courts, the federal courts do have the authority, duty and responsibility to interpret the Constitution, federal laws, and the federal constitutionality of state laws. There is nothing that Cardinal George can say that changes the fact that the trial court ruling in this matter is a masterful exercise of judicial analysis of the issues presented before the court. If Cardinal George were to read the trial transcript, and if Cardinal George applied right reason to the reading, he would be unable to conclude any differently from the judge. But Cardinal George apparently lives in an alternate universe, where black it white and Truth can be any old lie.
The Aug. 4 ruling, which the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals put an emergency stay on this week, stated that, “Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.”--
This finding cited, among other things, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith’s Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons.
JP: And, of course, I have already completely skewered the Vatican document, back on my od geocities site. Perhaps Cardinal George should read my commentary before he relies on the Vatican document in the future. It can robably be found using the Wayback machine . . .
When asked for comment on the judge’s ruling, Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), said in an e-mail to CNSNews.com that, “Judge Walker, in his decision, backed his bigotry with errors, including the misstatement that the ‘Catholic Church views homosexuality as sinful.’ The fact is, the Catholic Church sees homosexuality as a condition, an inclination in a person, something not intrinsically sinful.”--
JP: Sister Mary Ann is technically correct, here, and in the below paragraph, as it relates to Catholic teaching. But beyond that, she ends up falling into the same errors as the hierarchy.
“The church calls for pastoral support, not condemnation, for people with this inclination,” said Sister Walsh. “The Catholic Church makes clear that it is homosexual activities it deems sinful, because it holds that all sexual activity belongs within marriage between a man and a woman.”--
JP: Sister Mary Ann, the Church’s “clarity” about deeming “homosexual activity” to be sinful is perfectly fine if it were kept within the confines of addressing the Roman Catholic faithful. But the Church claims that its teachings in this area, which are completely wrong, must be applied universally.
Sr. Mary Ann defended the Church against the judge’s claim that its religious teachings “harm” gays and lesbians, saying, “the Catholic Church opposes all unjust discrimination against gays and lesbians and abhors violence against them.”--
JP: Sister Mary Ann, that is a lie - The Catechism may provide this, but the hierarchy's actions misapply the teaching. It is unjust to deny civil marriage and the bundles of legal rights that appertain to civil marriage, to those who because of their natural sexual orientation have a desire to pursue legal family formation with a person of the same sex. Denying the right is clearly violative of the federal constitution, because there truly is no *rational* basis for giving special rights to heterosexual people just because theya re in the majority.
But, admitting that anti-gay bigots exist, she added, “bigoted people are an unfortunate result but not a reason to upend the U.S. Constitution.”--
JP: Sister Mary Ann doesn’t understand that the U.S. Constitution is not being “upended,” but rather that it is being properly interpreted by the court.
Fr. Francis de Rosa, parochial administrator of two parishes in Virginia, responded to the judge’s ruling in an e-mail to CNSNews.com. “We are not opposed--
to the human rights of someone with same-sex attraction,” he wrote. “Rather, we assert that there is no such thing as a special category of ‘gay’ rights. Why? Because homosexuality is a pyscho-sexual disorder that harms the person and society.”
JP: Father Francis! Homosexuality was at one time considered a psychiatric disorder by the American Psychiatric Association. That position was changed in 1973. Science does not support your sadly misinformed statement. We have come to the realization that considering people to be mentally disordered solely because their nature is different from that of the majority is a mistake.
We are increasingly coming to the realization that it’s much more rational to consider Roman Catholicism to be “a psychosexual and moral delusional disorder that harms the person and society.” Look, the Assumption and the Resurrection, and a lot of other Catholic teachings, are harmlessly delusional. But many of the Church’s “moral” pronouncements, particularly those that relate to the treatment of women, of gays, of transsexual people, are harmful to society, as well as to the individuals that the Church continues to mercilessly persecute.
While I would hesitate to call all religion harmful, there is much harm that is done in the name of religion. Jesus Christ was a great teacher, as was Buddha, and there were others. But it’s a harmless delusion to elevate Jesus into godhood. I have no problem with many aspects of the Roman Catholic delusion – it’s just when the Church crosses the line in ways that adversely affect other people, that the delusion becomes harmful.
“Condoning such behavior and encouraging people to engage in it by the passage of permissive and protective laws does the real harm, not the position that warns people of the destructive consequences and nature of homosexual acts,” wrote Fr. De Rosa.--
JP: Father Francis! You should take inspiration from your namesake, Francis Bernardone! Equal justice under the law is a human right, and there is nothing destructive about people who are by their nature same-sex-oriented acting on their orientation. I’ll grant that when heterosexual people “commit homosexual acts” you may have a point – but that is just as destructive as homosexual people “committing heterosexual acts.” The lucky bisexuals are the only ones who can go either way without being self-destructive.
The judge’s ruling concluded that “moral disapproval alone” was an “improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians.”--
JP: The judge was being polite. “Moral disapproval” of equal rights for non-heterosexual and non-cissexual people is itself immoral! But the judge is not the moral police, but the constitutional police.
William Donahue, president of the Catholic League, told CNSNews.com: “Law is only the imposition of morality. That the law requires you to wear seatbelts is the imposition of morality, but this is a bogus argument to suggest that one side is imposing morality and the other side is not.”--
JP: My dear Bill! Law is, in some situations, an imposition of a morality. But not all laws are moral laws. It is not immoral to drive through a red light at 2 AM when there is no other traffic around. It is, however an illegal activity that would merit a traffic citation if there is an alert police officer in the vicinity who hasn’t met the monthly ticket quota!
The seatbelt law is not a moral law! It is not an imposition of morality, it’s a mere governmental regulation – one that actually interferes with the moral judgment that each adult should be allowed. Of course, a seatbelt/carseat law aimed at protecting children does have a moral value. Society has an interest in protecting children.
Judge Walker also wrote in his decision that, “In the absence of a rational basis, what remains of proponents’ case is an inference, amply supported by evidence in the record, that Proposition 8 was premised on the belief that same-sex couples simply are not as good as opposite-sex couples.”--
Walker continued, “Whether that belief is based on moral disapproval of homosexuality, animus towards gays and lesbians or simply a belief that a relationship between a man and a woman is inherently better than a relationship between two men or two women, this belief is not a proper basis on which to legislate.”
JP: Okay, what’s wrong with Judge Walker’s ruling? Nothing. It’s the right ruling.
In response to Judge Walker’s statement that, “A state’s interest in an enactment must of course be secular in nature,” Donahue said that the state does indeed have an invested, secular interest in upholding traditional marriage.--
JP: Wrong, Bill! As a matter of fact, the testimony from the opposition’s own experts showed that your conclusion is wrong!
The traditional family is the anchor of society and teaches children citizenship, said Donahue. “All the psychological data show that children need a father and a mother.”--
JP: Studies have actually shown that children do even better with two mothers. But let’s not rush into pushing a form of plural marriage where there is a second wife to help raise children, or pushing heterosexual couples into divorce so that the wives/mothers can find a female spouse.
There is nothing about having a father as a male role model that can’t be filled by another male figure in a child’s life.
Other Catholic clergy have made public statements disapproving of Judge Walker’s decision. Calling heterosexual marriage “the bedrock of any society,” . . .--
JP: No one is disputing that heterosexual marriage is a bedrock of society – the question is whether it is fair to limit marriage to heterosexual people. And the answer is that it is indeed unfair.
. . . Cardinal Francis George said, “It is tragic that a federal judge would overturn the clear and expressed will of the people in their support for the institution of marriage. No court of civil law has the authority to reach into areas of human experience that nature itself has defined.”--
JP: Cardinal George, as I wrote already, does not have a grasp of nature, natural law, or morality. And the first sentence in this quote is the Cardinal’s endorsement of what deTocqueville called “the tyranny of the majority.” In a system that prizes individual human rights, the use of the ballot box by a majority to impose its will to unjustly discriminate against a minority is one of the ultimate moral corruptions. Had the people of California voted to abolish marriage for everyone, it might have been a stupid decision, but at least it would have been fair. But to abolish marriage for just those who have a same-sex orientation was unfair, immoral, and in the court’s just analysis, unconstitutional. Freedom of religion allows Cardinal George to use his Roman Catholic Church’s delusional teachings to refuse to sacramentally celebrate a same-sex marriage in a church or cathedral, but it does not permit Cardinal George to discriminate against married same-sex couples in the public square. The Contitutional protection of religious freedom has limits, and Cardinal George is not free to impose his religious beliefs on me, just as I am not allowed to force him to accept that “God is One” as I maintain as a Unitarian, or that “God is in all” as I maintain as a Universalist. I’m no longer a Trinitarian, and while I have abandoned that belief in favor of something else, I still support the Cardinal’s right to maintain it.
And Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, who chairs the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for the--
Defense of Marriage,
JP: That title is, of course, a joke. All this blather about “Defense of Marriage” is merely a code for being an “Assault on Marriage.” Archbishop Joe favors assaulting marriage equality.
. . . joined Cardinal George in his statement and added, “Citizens of this nation have uniformly voted to uphold the understanding of marriage as a union of one man and one woman in every jurisdiction where the issue has been on the ballot.”--
JP: See my comments above about the immorality of the tyranny of the majority, when it is used to impose the majority’s will on the human rights of the minority. Even the majority is not entitled to vote itself special rights.
The archbishop also said, “Marriage is more fundamental and essential to the well being of society than perhaps any other institution. It is simply unimaginable that the court could now claim a conflict between marriage and the Constitution.”--
JP: Archbishop Joe is even more of an ass than I thought from his first tidbit. I agree, it is “simply unimaginable that the court could now claim a conflict between marriage and the Constitution” But that’s not what the court ruled, Archbishop. Are you capable of reading ane understanding the English language? The court held that marriage should be available on a gender-neutral basis, and that the Constitution demands that the majority is not entitled to special rights. Nothing at all is being taken away from the heterosexual majority’s right to enter into a marriage and raise children, except the exclusivity of the relationship to the cissexist heterosexist majority
Supporters of Proposition 8 cite that voters have upheld traditional marriage in all of the more than 30 opportunities to vote on it throughout the United States. . . .
JP: The ruling does not prohibit “traditional marriage.” It’s not as if the judge took away the right of marriage to straights to give it to gays – but these “supporters,” who actually oppose marriage equality, act as if that was in fact what was done. Perhaps they should pay some more attention to reality, rather than their supersititous delusions.
. . . However, Judge Walker wrote in his ruling that without “some support in--
evidence,” voters’ “conjecture, speculation and fears are not enough.”
He continued, “Still less will the moral disapprobation of a group or class of citizens suffice, no matter how large the majority that shares that view. The evidence demonstrated beyond serious reckoning that Proposition 8 finds support only in such disapproval. As such, Proposition 8 is beyond the constitutional reach of the voters or their representatives.”
Rosa, also addressed this, saying, “Vaughn Walker’s ruling asserts that the Catholic argument against homosexual acts is without a ‘rational basis,’ yet that teaching is not based solely upon principles of faith. It is certainly possible to argue from pure reason that it is against the nature of the human person to engage in homosexuality.”
JP: Father Francis is completely wrong! I’ve already addressed this issue in my commentary on the Manhattan Declaration. Robby George’s arguments on natural law do not hold water, and Father Francis can argue until he is blue in the face, but he can’t deny the reality of nature and come across as being truthful. The only nature Father Francis seems to understand, may be seen through an Aristotelian lens – perhaps he should look closer.
“One very obvious point is the manifest lack of bodily and sexual complementarity in homosexual acts,” said Fr. De Rosa. “Furthermore, there is plenty of clinical psychological data to show that same-sex attraction is the result of a developmental disorder. Were one to make an argument from the theory of evolution, homosexuality is most certainly an inferior, dead-end phenomenon.”--
JP: Bodily and sexual complementarity? That’s seemingly a code that indicates that homosexual activity does not result in pregnancy. So? No one is suggesting that everyone should be gay. When over 90% of the population, including many who are totally unfit to be parents, can engage in the “sexual complementarity” that makes babies, there’s no need to insist that the rest of humanity engage in the same acts. God wouldn’t have created people to be different otherwise. In fact, nature points out numerous reasons for homosexuality existing in a natural setting. As long as it is not exclusive, the species is likely to continue to propagate, perhaps excessively.
Bishop Jaime Soto of the Diocese of Sacramento has also weighed in on the issue. He decried the “hysteria” that, he says, “has, unfortunately, become the hallmark of California discourse. … It is important for the Catholic community and all Californians of good will not to be intimidated into silence and accommodation.”--
JP: Now, in this snippet above, Bishop Jaime starts to sound pretty good – but what else does he have to say?
In 2003, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, then-headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, issued a letter on homosexual unions that was cited by Judge Walker as harmful to the social progress of homosexuals. The letter, in part, states, “No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman” who “mutually perfect each other, in order to cooperate with God in the procreation and upbringing of new human lives.”--
JP: I don’t need an ideology to refute the Congregation. In fact, I’ve skewered Joe Ratzinger’s reasoning in *that* document rather effectively, too. If all the documents the Catholic Church relies on are the result of defective reasoning, what does that say about the conclusions? To persist in these wrong-headed teachings is delusional – and to insist that these be the basis for civil law is beyond reason.
“Homosexual unions are totally lacking in the biological and anthropological elements of marriage and family which would be the basis, on the level of reason, for granting them legal recognition,” states the letter. “Such unions are not able to contribute in a proper way to the procreation and survival of the human race. … Society owes its continued survival to the family, founded on marriage. … If, from the legal standpoint, marriage between a man and a woman were to be considered just one possible for of marriage, the concept of marriage would undergo a radical transformation, with grave detriment to the common good.”--
JP: The reasoning was wrong in 2003, and its still wrong in 2010.
Proposition 8 was passed after a fierce political battle in California in 2008. Although Judge Walker’s ruling, handed down earlier this month, had been scheduled to go into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 18, an emergency stay was imposed by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday. The Associated Press reported that oral arguments begin in the appeals court on Dec. 6.--
JP: I sincerely hope that the 9th Circuit comes out with a just ruling! It's entirely possible that the appellants lack standing to appeal. In that case, the ruling will apply ony in California - if the 9th Circuit decides on the merits, several other states will be affected - and if the Supreme Court of the United States gets the opportunity to rule on the merits, and does so with a proper constitutional interpretation, the ruling would apply nationally!
That won't stop the opponents of justice, equality and fairness. They are likely to continue raving their delusions, the way they already do about women's reproductive rights.