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The Catholic Church in DC threatens to not do unto Jesus

Apparently it is more important to the Catholic Church to discriminate against gays than to do unto Jesus’s most needy children as they would do unto Jesus. I’m sure Jesus will remember this when it comes time to review how they represented him on earth.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said Wednesday that it will be unable to continue the social service programs it runs for the District if the city doesn’t change a proposed same-sex marriage law, a threat that could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness and health care.

Would that some “Christians” remembered what was most important to Jesus.  Which wasn’t same sex marriage marriage, last time I read the New Testament.  Or they could stop calling themselves Christians, since it appears to be a lie, which is yet another sin.

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ 44 Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ 45 He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ 46 And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”


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  1. Been there, done that in Boston.

    Their slogan? “Catholic Charities remains focused on its mission: building a just and compassionate society rooted in the dignity of all people.”

  2. Kraw. God apparently isn’t powerful enough to stop teh gay, so they’re trying the devil.


  3. tc

    Fine by this homo. Nice to see the suffering and neglect resulting from their antigay animus spread around to “innocent” non-homos for a change. It would be even nicer if the largely noncatholic, non-homos of DC told the bishops where to shove their good works (no altar boy wisecracks, please).

  4. Religions are Rorschach tests. There is enough philosophical ambivalence in the major ones to allow their societies to defend themselves and each other, and yet maintain a society that’s just and orderly enough to not come apart. What particular parts of a religion’s philosophy its adherents embrace tells you more about them than it does about the religion itself.

    What the Catholic hierarchy chooses to see usually doesn’t speak well for it.

  5. Ian Welsh

    They’re only limited Rorscharch tests, in the same way the constitution is only a limited Rorscharch test. It’s very clear that Jesus cares far more about the poor, sick and so on than he does about gays, and same with God, because both of them spend far far more time speaking about it. Sure you can twist Christianity into almost anything with enough work (Calvinism, for example) but it does take work. No one objective could read the bible (let alone just the New Testament) and conclude that gays are more important to God or Jesus than poor and sick people.

  6. I like the Matthew 25 reference, Ian, but the story that popped into my mind first was the Good Samaritan: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. . .”

    I have a hard time imaging being proud to pass by on the other side, but maybe this is why I’m not the Roman Catholic Archbishop of DC.

  7. Ian Welsh

    Yes… agreed Peterr. I have no idea what goes through their minds. They disgrace the memory of the priests who taught me as a child (including a couple Roman Catholic’s). Not very Christ like.

  8. Rorschach tests themselves are pretty limited, in that sense, Ian. There are strictures against homosexuality in the New Testament, so if people want the religious excuse to be intolerant of gays they have it.

    It’s really about what they focus on that sets adherents of a particular religion apart.

    Peterr, always thought that was a great fable about the necessity of compassion.

  9. Ian Welsh

    Sure, but Jesus talks far more about the poor than gays. He doesn’t say “you’ll burn in hell if you tolerate gays”, but he does say “you’ll burn in hell if you don’t help the poor, sick and the prisoners.”

    I’d say that’s pretty clear.

  10. Lex

    The question always comes down to what Jesus might have actually said, doesn’t it?

    Paul wasn’t Jesus; Paul didn’t even know Jesus. And what the Bible says is more often than not a muddled mess. Just for a quick example, Pentecostalism is based on Mark 16: 17-18. However, those verses are clearly a later addition to the text, and we know that’s the case because we have early versions of Mark without those verses…and no earlier versions with them.

    The problem is, as always, a confusion of Church and faith. Nobody’s following Jesus Christ, they follow a church which purports to represent Jesus on earth.

    Oddly, serious research suggests that the only thing we can be relatively sure about Jesus is his feeling towards the poor and society’s outcasts…the portion of his story most often left out by churches, which almost to the last are more concerned with temporal power than spirituality.

  11. Ian:
    Jesus did spend the most time with the politicians and tax collectors. Of course that was because they were the worst offenders.

  12. Unlike many flavours of Protestantism, the Catholic Church does not believe that the source text is the only authority (ie, they reject sola scriptura). Their position on this matter stems from saint-philosophers who propound a theory of so-called Right Reason and Natural Law that is inferred between the Bible and their personal experience with Nature, which is supposed to have revealed to them the intentions of God.

    In current conservative Catholic thought, appeals to charity cannot override the imperative of having human law in conformance with Natural Law. Jesus’ function is not only his example, but his theological presence in validating Natural Law and giving us the freedom to exercise Right Reason in interpreting it rather than following Old Testament law directly. Natural Law confirms aspects of Old Testament law, but through the Sacrifice permits us to see violations through a prism of mercy—nevertheless, they remain violations as seen by the Church, and so trump charity.

    Though a non-Christian, I pay close attention to the Church because its history and influence in the world is, in my opinion, given short shrift by many liberals. Not in the sense of condemning it (it’s very easy to do that), but rather in the sense of failing to engage with its ideas in a way that takes it seriously.

  13. Ian Welsh

    Yes, well, Pope John Paul II used Ratzinger to destroy liberation theology to the greatest extent possible. If I were a Catholic, that would probably be the school I’d follow (and I’d probably be drummed out of the church for it.)

    Though it’s not Christian, I’ll go with the Rabbi who said “love thy neighbour, all else is commentary” and suspect that Jesus would have agreed with that. Or, as I’ve said before, better a good Samaritan, than a Pharisee, and I name most of the Catholic Bishops Pharisees.

    (Though, as an aside, the Pharisees have a worse name than they deserve.)

    Marx once said “I am not a Marxist.” If Christ does return, I wonder if he will say “I am not a Christian”?

  14. Lex

    Of course the Catholic Church rejects sola scriptura. It would have been hard to build the most powerful institution in Europe had the Church stuck to the scriptures.

    An ex-Jesuit (still practicing Catholic) professor of mine spent a lot of time explaining the two vectors of Christianity: one is the spiritual (how to behave as a follower of Christ) and the other is temporal (the earthly power of the Church). The latter has always been more important to the Church.

    There is plenty of good to be found in Christianity, but the process that Mandos describes is exactly how the good is trampled under foot of the temporal power. The Church, in effect, does not fetter itself to the foundation of its belief but rather molds that belief to achieve its earthly ends.

    The difficulty in arguing against the Chruch is to find a way to separate faith from church. The founding of the United States says nothing about a separation of faith and state…impossible in any case. But it makes a point of separating church and state; that is, separating the temporal aspect of church power from the power of the state. That, of course, puts the US government in direct opposition to the history of the Church since the Council of Nicea.

    As to the Protestants, they are not much separated from Catholic theology in reality. They accept Paul’s letters as divinely inspired and worth of canonical inclusion, etc. And they have not–though they could–significantly add to the canon with scripture that is more spiritual and less political. Protestantism has maintained the basically political canon of Catholicism and for the same reasons of the Catholic Church.

    It is not possible to engage the majority of Christians or their churches so long as they harbor the illusion that the Church is the same as being Christian (i.e. following the teachings of a first century Jewish peasant).

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