Saturday, April 5, 2014

"Silence Is a Most Powerful Consent": Lay Catholics Challenging (or Reinforcing) Institutional Homophobia

Silence is a most powerful consent . . . . If you’re reading this and you go to church every Sunday but you know that discrimination is wrong, or you’re serving overseas and worried that you or others in your squadron can’t be themselves, there is something you can do. Write. Speak out. Find the Andys and Sgt. Santiagos in your life and make amends. There is still time to be on the right side of history.

This is a time for Catholics to tell church leaders they have gone too far. Rather than waiting for LGBT people to be fired, we need to prevent these contracts from being rolled out and make it clear that they violate the many beautiful pronouncements on the dignity of work and workers' rights our church is known for. Catholics need to make their overwhelming support for LGBT sisters and brothers visible by speaking out. We as a church cannot tolerate employment contracts that so flagrantly violate dignity, privacy and basic Gospel tenets. 

Ask yourself these questions: 
When a nun used bad science to demean gays, why did a chorus of you rise up to defend that as doctrine
How do you think it looked to the rest of us when you did that? 
And how do you expect others to distinguish between your religious beliefs and anti-gay prejudice when you can’t draw that distinction yourselves?

Somehow, to my mind, these three articles are inherently linked to each other in a thematic, ethically probing way.

What do you think?

(I'm grateful to Timothy Kincaid at Box Turtle Bulletin for the link to Sergeant Roger Dean Huffstetler's op-ed article cited above.)

Once again, the graphic is from the recent PRRI survey of American attitudes about LGBT issues, which shows that the American public views the Catholic community as more unfriendly to gay people than any other religious community in the U.S.

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