Friday, April 3, 2015

Robby George, two archbishops, Russel Moore and Al Mohler walk into a blog ...

Via the ultra conservative Witherspoon Institute's blog Robert George, Archbishop Charles Chaput (Philadelphia), Archbishop William Lori (Baltimore), Albert Mohler and Russell Moore explain just how much Christians are being persecuted. I believe that these people were all signatories to the 2009 Manhattan Declaration (which George authored). In that document they all agreed not to cooperate, in any way, with same-sex marriage.

In a post titled Now Is the Time to Talk About Religious Liberty they complain about how gays and their allies have created “public confusion.” It is odd, hypocritical and intellectually dishonest coming from people who so forcefully misrepresent events in Indiana in the same paragraph:
In recent days we have heard claims that a belief central to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—that we are created male and female, and that marriage unites these two basic expressions of humanity in a unique covenant—amounts to a form of bigotry. Such arguments only increase public confusion on a vitally important issue. When basic moral convictions and historic religious wisdom rooted in experience are deemed “discrimination,” our ability to achieve civic harmony, or even to reason clearly, is impossible.
That is utterly false. Nobody has ever posited that those who believe that marriage should be confined to opposite-sex couples is a bigot. Not me. Not even Dan Savage has voiced anything close to that. Bigotry occurs when someone substantively lies about gay people. When, for example, the Witherspoon funded Regnerus study was misrepresented as proof that gay couples are bad parents, that is a form of bigotry. When people assert claims about the thoroughly discredited practice of reparative therapy in order to "prove" that gay people don't have to be gay, that is a form of bigotry. When National Organization for Marriage and its enablers constantly claim that gay people are a threat to children that is most certainly bigotry. When then Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Emeritus Benedict) claimed that “we do violence to children“ when they are placed with gay couples that, too, is bigotry. Shall I continue? I can fill many pages.
 
The  “discrimination“ at issue in Indiana had nothing to do with false claims of bigotry. The very real fear was that public accommodations would be permitted to refuse service based upon sincerely held religious belief. The very purpose of the legislation in the first place was to permit discrimination against gays. Anyone who says otherwise is not telling the truth.

“Our ability to achieve civic harmony, or even to reason clearly” is predicated on two things; truthfulness and good faith. Truthfulness is achieved when both sides agree on only one set of facts — free of demagoguery. Without truth there can be no good faith which is a mutual trust for working to achieve a satisfactory resolution to a controversy or dispute. Robby and friends fail on both counts. Moreover, the Manhattan Declaration leaves no room for compromise (let alone Ratzinger's proclamations).

Furthermore, religious liberty is not unlimited. Public accommodations are expected to create limitations. The reasons for that are obvious. We all pay for the roads that brings customers to the business. We all pay for the fire and police departments that protect the business. We all pay for the basic infrastructure and government services that make it possible to establish the business. This is not a new concept. So when legislation is introduced that upsets the balance it should come as no shock that people who are about to be discriminated against are going to be rather upset. What did they expect?

Witherspoon Institute (an Opus Dei organization) is far to the right of Catholic culture in this country. That makes it even more imperative that its bloggers have their facts straight. That includes the two archbishops who should be ashamed of themselves for the dishonesty and the pompous posturing that they have affixed their names to. Dr. George and the rest of this crew must be a riot at parties. However, we in the LGBT community are not amused.

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