Thursday, May 30, 2013

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: "Little Kids Are Waiting to Be Used as Examples in Your Morality Purges"

Okay, this birdcage dropping isn't really by a Catholic. It's about us Catholics. It's about how we're increasingly perceived by many of our fellow citizens, even in my conservative bible-belt area where evangelicals more and more buy into the anti-women, anti-gay, anti-contraception, anti-abortion party line of the Catholic bishops.

It's about how we U.S. Catholics are now coming across due to the dismal lack of sound pastoral leadership of our bishops, who choose to imply that affirming and welcoming those who are gay is a violation of what they like to call "the gospel of life" (see Archbishop of Robert Carlson in response to the recent coming out of Fr. Gary Meier). Somehow we American Catholics have ended up with an official party-line "gospel of life" that's isn't the same thing as the plain old good-news gospel of the New Testament. Instead, it's an ideologically driven spin of that religious message of the good news that God loves everyone in the world wildly, which is designed to conflate abortion and homosexuality, and to tell us that we have a sacred obligation as Catholics to focus on nothing else in the world.

Here's my dropping for the day: I noted recently that at least one Baptist church in my home state of Arkansas had withdrawn its support for a Boy Scouts troop after the Scouts admitted openly gay members. Now another Baptist church in the state has made the same decision. 

As Max Brantley reports today for Arkansas Times, Gravel Ridge Southern Baptist church has announced it will no longer sponsor a Scouts troop after the recent Boy Scouts decision, with the following announcement from its pastor:

"Scripture makes it clear that homosexuality is a sin," [Tim] Reed said. "God's word explicitly says homosexuality is a choice, a sin, it's not something you're born with. It's just like choosing to be a bully. I can choose to be a bully or not." 
..."It's not a hate thing here, it's a moral stance we must take as a Southern Baptist Church," he said. "Anyone is welcome here. We have homosexuals who attend here who are either struggling with it or have asked to be forgiven. But anyone is welcome, and that's what we told the troop members."

And in the thread discussing that announcement at Arkansas Times, a contributor named RazorbackArmyVet responds,

I can't believe the good Baptists and Catholics in Faulkner and Saline Counties let some Pulaski County church beat them to the punch! Come'on, catch up, people. Little kids are waiting to be used as examples in your morality purges. 

And that's my birdcage dropping for the day. This is how Catholics in the U.S. are increasingly being viewed by their neighbors due to the bishops' lack of pastoral leadership: as mounters of "morality purges" akin to those mounted by right-wing evangelicals in places like Arkansas--right-wing evangelicals whose ministers can say with a straight face, and apparently believe (!), "Scripture makes it clear that homosexuality is a sin. God's word explicitly says homosexuality is a choice, a sin, it's not something you're born with."

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