Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Military DADT Report Undercuts Religious Right Arguments about Religious Freedom

When the religious right loses the military, it has really lost any claim to represent the cultural mainstream.  The attempt to argue that permitting openly gay people to serve in the military will inhibit religious freedom of chaplains is absolutely disingenuous.  It turns on the premise that if chaplains don't have gay folks to single out, target, and bash, they might as well shut down shop--since there's no other sin on which to focus.

And where else are we hearing that argument these days?  Oh, yes, in the statement of the Illinois Catholic Conference to which I linked yesterday, as the Catholic bishops of that state oppose same-sex civil unions.  There, too, the bugbear of inhibition of religious freedom is pushed as an argument against gay civil unions, with claims that protecting gay families from discrimination will force Catholic institutions to provide services to gays they would otherwise withhold.

Which shows you the extent to which the American Catholic bishops have chosen to get into bed with the religious right in its meanest, most hate-mongering manifestations.  Completely undercutting their claims to be all about human rights and combating discrimination, and respecting the values of life.

And just as the religious right is losing the battle to make the military an extension of evangelical churches, the Illinois Catholic bishops lost round one of the battle against same-sex civil unions yesterday, as the Illinois House voted to bring the civil unions bill to the Senate.  The moral arc of history is moving beyond faith-based groups that continue to want to target and hate gay and lesbian people in the name of God.  

Perhaps it's time for those groups to reconsider and to ask whether God ever blesses such hatred poured out in God's name.

No comments: