Friday, March 05, 2010

Catholic Charities in DC Cuts Off Its Nose to Spite Its Face

Want to see yet again another reason why I have no choice but to consider myself an "Exodus" Catholic?

Take a look at this:

The Archdiocese of Washington's social service branch will stop offering benefits to spouses of new employees in a bid to balance the District of Columbia's new same-sex marriage law with Catholic opposition to homosexuality.
Now will someone with a brain (forget about compassion) please explain to me the logic behind such a boneheaded move? In order to "defend" the institution of marriage from the onslaught of having to give the same sex spouses of its employees access to marriage benefits such as health care coverage, it will now creates hardships and penalizes the heterosexual spouses of its employees? And how, exactly, does that policy protect and defend the institutions of marriage and the family? Man, there are so many problems with this at all kinds of levels that I almost don't know where to begin. But let's just take two of the obvious ones:

(1) First, if the Catholic Church is so committed to protecting and defending the institution of marriage from gay folks with partners, why would the institution have any gay folks with partners on their payrolls in the first place? Does anyone not see the contradiction here? The Catholic Church is recognizing that it already employs (or may employ) gay people with active partners, thus implicitly demonstrating a tolerance, if not acceptance, of such relationships. They already provide "benefits" to such employees, so why would extending those benefits to another partnered person be any different. I mean, couldn't the church just say it opposes gay marriage and yet still provide benefits to gay employees and their partners according to the law? Isn't that what they currently do with their gay employees in active partnerships?

(2) How bass-ackwards is it for the Church to profess a strong commitment to "traditional" heterosexual marriage and the family only to tell future employees that even their "traditional" heterosexual marriages are no longer eligible for the kind of benefits through employment that such marriages offer. Sheesh! The Church actually has programs to help mitigate the problem of the uninsured, and yet here they go instituting a policy that actually perpetuates the very problem they profess to have a moral and social commitment to mitigating.

(3) I'd like to know what the Church has done to defend the institition of marriage from those divorced and remarried heterosexual employees on its payroll who receive spousal benefits packages. It's hard to see the Church's current policy in this light as not really to defend the integrity of marriage as it defines it, but rather a specifical policy targeted to punish only one group of people who "threaten" the institution of marriage exclusively because of their sexual orientation.

There's nothing logical or Christian about this current policy. It's an embarrasing bit of unmitigated dissembling and discrimination. The Church has lost any kind of common-sense (and even moral) mooring on this issue.

No comments: