Monday, March 13, 2006


The Religious Pout

Catholic Charities of the Boston Archdiocese announced late Friday that they will stop providing adoption services rather than continue to comply with a state law requiring no discrimination against gay and lesbian couples who seek to adopt.

This should have sparked more discussion in the United States, but instead it just gets chalked up to "liberals" running amuck.

The decision by the Boston Archdiocese is exactly what should happen when religious groups do not what to comply with the laws of the land. The fact that some religious groups in the US get around this by claiming religious amnesty is appalling.

The same day of the changes Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney called it "a mistake for our laws to put the rights of adults over the needs of children" and said he would seek legislation allowing religious agencies to perform adoptions without violating their religious tenets.

Mitt Romney is a Governor that is working on borrowed time. He would be wise to consider a run at the 2008 Republican leadership since his chances of winning again in Massachusetts are slim and none. It is always interesting to see how disposable rights are to people on the right.

Prompted by a similar issue arising at Catholic Charities of San Francisco, a top Vatican official has said Catholic agencies should not be involved in adoptions by same-sex couples. A 2003 Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith document says it would be "gravely immoral" to let same-sex couples adopt children.

The document went on to say the following:

"Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full development."

Just in case you were wondering, yes this is the same Catholic Archdiocese of Boston that recently settled claims of sexual abuse by priests with 88 people, Yes, it is the same one paid out to 554 claimants in 2003.

Also, The Massachusetts attorney general now says the Archdiocese of Boston, where the abuse crisis erupted, has failed to implement key reforms it had promised, including tracking guilty priests and teaching adolescents and teens to protect themselves from predators.

3 Quarks Daily has the best article on this issue. Here are some highlights:

Nothing prevents Catholic Charities of Boston from discriminating and doing adoptions in the future. They just can’t have state money that subsidizes their efforts, or, it seems monies from other foundations and charities such as the United Way that practice non-discrimination against gays and lesbians. The deep reliance of Catholic Charities, like other charities, on government monies discloses just how faith-based our do-it-yourself welfare system already is. Consider that about 60% of Catholic Charities of Boston’s funding comes from government sources, roughly the same proportion true of the national Catholic Charities USA.

...The curates are on a mission. The American Catholic Church has long been committed to getting the states, federal and the 50, to fund the exercise of their religious freedom, as historic campaigns for state funding for Catholic schools, school bus and textbook subsidies for Catholic kids, and tuition tax deductions and vouchers, among other ventures, testifies. They now seek a radical extension. They seek to enforce Catholic norms and beliefs upon non-believers while acting as the direct agent of the state.

This little case is our canary in the civic coal mine. It alerts us to the deeply dangerous zone into which America has entered. And it nicely coincides with a new propaganda campaign this week by the Bush regime to gin up support for expanding so-called “faith-based initiatives.” The administration whether by stealthy recounting or by actual distribution claims that $2 billion of a total of $20 billion in health and welfare expenditures currently goes to religious organizations in our do-it-yourself welfare state. The Big Brother in Christ makes it clear that he supports legislation that goes beyond the current authorization of faith-based program grants, and that will enable religious organizations to evade equal opportunity laws that currently prevent them from using religious preference as a hiring criterion. When government gives support to religious people providing social services, Bush says on the White House faith-based initiative website, “charities and faith-based programs should not be forced to change their character or compromise their mission.”


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