Fred Clark at Slacktivist on how the Irish vote on equality for LGBT citizens reflects Catholic values:
For Americans accustomed to the politicized culture-warrior bishops of the American Catholic church, it is startling to watch a pervasively Catholic country like Ireland mobilize in such a massive expression of support for the rights and dignity of LGBT people. After three decades of watching our nation's Catholic bishops scrambling to enlist in the partisan culture-war of the white evangelical religious right, we've started to accept the American hierarchy's claim that their church is, or must be, intrinsically right-wing and anti-gay. The news from Ireland is a reminder that this claim has never been true. The right-wing American hierarchy is a culture-war vanguard without an army.
"Irish Catholicism supports same-sex marriage," Mark Silk writes in a smart column after the Irish vote. But he also notes that American Catholicism supports civil rights and human dignity for LGBT people too: "It's no accident that Catholics in the U.S. — white, Hispanic, and otherwise — support same-sex marriage at the same rate as the Irish voted."
The "Catholic position" on marriage equality turns out to be a lot like the "Catholic position" on contraception. There's the official line promoted as dogma by the clergy, and then there’s the actual belief and practice of the overwhelming majority of the laity. And it's not just that the laity disagree with the hierarchy, but that they find the hierarchy's official stance to be immoral — sinful, harmful, and wicked.