Friday, October 28, 2011

Does Gay Marriage Desecrate the Eucharist?

That's what Representative Steve King of Iowa asserted at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on "The State of Religious Liberty in the United States" earlier this week.  Right Wing Watch posted the following clip a couple days ago where King observed:
If an individual or a group of individuals promoted the idea of desecrating the Eucharist, would that be a direct affront to the Church?.. When there is an active effort to desecrate a sacrament of the Church, that is a direct insult and affront to the Catholic Church.  And marriage, of course, is one of the seven sacraments.

I get his point. But following King's logic, any marriage that wasn't performed by a priest within the Roman Catholic Church is an affront to the Church. After all, he's talking about Catholic sacraments at this hearing and many people are not Catholic. The Roman Catholic Church requires that late-in-life converters have their marriages re-done by their priests regardless how long those married couples have been together because they technically aren't married -- despite having been legally married for months or years or even decades.

Of course, the Church isn't trying to outlaw the marriages or marriage rights of non-Catholic Christians or Hindus or Jews or Muslims or Atheists or any other religious or non-religious group that "desecrates" the Catholic sacrament of marriage by participating in non-Catholic marriage ceremonies.  No, the honor goes directly to gay and lesbian people.  Some of us have religious ceremonies and some of us don't, but most likely most (if not all) of us are definitely not getting married in the Catholic church and tainting their sacraments.  (And if we are getting hitched in the Catholic Churches, then that's a problem with Church discipline by priests and/or bishops who oppose Catholic Church doctrine.)

Rep. King and Bishop William Lori (who King is speaking to in the above clip) don't care that gays and lesbians are not seeking to desecrate the Catholic rite of marriage.  We are seeking the legal rights and protections that come with a marriage license.  Those marriage licenses are issues by County Recorders or Town Clerks, not priests.  So the whole "desecration" assertion is bogus.

Then again, that whole "The State of Religious Liberty in the United States" argument is always pretty bogus.  I have found that most people who seek to promote religious liberties could care less about the religious liberties of gay and lesbian people of faith or the religious institutions (like the Metropolitan Community Church or the United Church of Christ) that honor our marriages and our families.  But that's a whole other issue to vent about on another day...

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