On the dignity of dirty, rotten sinners

A group of prominent Californians have recently urged the archbishop of San Francisco not to speak at the National Organization for Marriage’s rally, in Washington D.C.  From the L.A. Times:

In a letter Tuesday, 80 lawmakers and faith and community leaders — among them Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee — called on Cordileone to cancel his planned appearance at a National Organization for Marriage march and rally in Washington, D.C., on June 19.


If he attends as scheduled, they noted, he will be “marching and sharing the podium” with individuals who “have repeatedly denigrated lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.”


The letter then quotes other event participants who have likened homosexuality to incest and bestiality.


By standing alongside those participants and organizers, “you appear to be endorsing their troubling words and deeds, which directly contradict the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ pastoral teaching that ‘God does not love someone any less simply because he or she is homosexual. God’s love is always and everywhere offered to those who are open to receiving it,'” they wrote.

Now, I don’t know anything about that particular rally, and I’m not saying the archbishop should or should not speak there.  However, the comments of the letter are seriously disturbing to me, because they indicate that the authors of the letter have NO IDEA what Catholics teach about God’s love.

So let’s get this straight.  According to them the letter-writers:

(1) Speakers for NOM compare homosexual activity to incest and bestiality.

(2) By speaking in these ways, the speakers contradict the Bishops’ teachings that God loves everyone equally.

The logical conclusion is:

(3) God does not love people who commit acts of incest or bestiality.

This conclusion is OUTRAGEOUS!  God passionately loves people who commit acts of incest, or bestiality, or adultery, or pedophilia, or any perversion whatsoever.  He died for perverts.  As Yeats says, “Love has pitched his mansion in the place of excrement.”  There is no one unloved, no one rejected, no one left out to pasture in the Kingdom.  That is the center of Jesus’s message.

Now, it is not unreasonable for gay folks to be offended with some of the ways they are compared to other sexual sinners, like pedophiles, since consensual gay sex clearly doesn’t involve anything like the sort of violation constituted by child abuse.  However, the letter-writers above completely misunderstand what the Church teaches about sexual sinners.  Whatever the speakers at NOM say, they do not say that incestuous people should be subjected to hate, or that such people are rejected by God.

In essence, the letter-writers think that God is a manipulative parent, who uses His love as a tool to manipulate us.  There are “bad people” and “good people”, and God loves the good people.

Sound familiar?  Yeah, I thought so too.  Turns out this theory has been tried before: it’s called being a Pharisee.

Here’s hoping the Archbishop turns the tables on them!


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