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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Open Letter to The Most Reverend (and sinner) the Archbishop

An open letter to the Chief Sinner of Newark, The Most Reverend, the Archbishop (he wouldn’t say otherwise and neither should we).

I'm not sure I've covered everything. It's a bit of a work in progress, but time is short.

I am aware of your letter to my Catholic fellow citizens, encouraging them to speak out against me and my life, as part of their lifestyle.

We come together in a just society in America, not because we confess the same faith (yours), but through the application of right reason, which must consider more than 2,000 years of the teachings of a particular faith or mere assertions of doctrine, e.g. that “God is the author of marriage”.

The pressing problems with marriage in New Jersey are not related to more people wanting to get married, namely gays and lesbians. Indeed, in this context, for you to suggest that there is a threat to marriage from more marriage is almost impossible to comprehend, especially for those who work with the battered women and the broken homes in this State, unless it is born from an unexamined malice in your heart.

Many gays and lesbians, who have parents, brothers, sisters and families of their own, stand with you to support marriage, all marriage. There is every indication in testimony that gays and lesbians, many of whom continue in their faith traditions, can be enlisted to help you fight Fatherless America, out-of-wedlock births, and unwanted births. But you must help us protect the gay kids, from the unjust society created by a refusal to acknowledge that, for some of them, marriage is indeed “woven deeply into the Human Spirit”.

Our “homosexual brothers and sisters” were created in God’s image, to find love and partnership with each other, including sexual union. In testimony after testimony, these facts are plain, for those who have an open heart. It would be against nature and law for them to withhold their gifts of the spirit from each other. Even the rocks would cry out for justice, for them.

Therefore, we do not create a new institution, but simply fill the one that is not full with God’s whole purpose. What is right for our homosexual brothers and sisters is right for them and what is right for nongays remains unchanged. Truly I say to you, and you will hear if you have ears to as well, that, if our pre-adolescent nieces and nephews can understand that their Uncle & Uncle are different, yet the same as their Aunt & Uncle, then you can to, out of the mouths of babes. All love has dignity in the eyes of the Creator – they feel it manifest and understand it, without scripture.

Christ himself ‘redefined’ marriage, when asked about adultery. We’ve heard testimony that it is part of the tradition of the Torah to interpret the scriptures, with discernment. Therefore, this is not too much to grasp, for people of good faith, who believe that the law should serve mankind.

Of course, those passionate about the Church’s mission to teach ideals and a ‘gold standard’, can continue to do so, undiminished. What is there in this to stop them from telling all that marriage “protects children”? Indeed, with vision, you can share my imagination that ardent marriage advocates will one day be telling people, “even the gays are getting married (and raising children), why aren’t you?”.

You can continue with the cherished and narrow propagation that marriage is the foundation of society, even though that is not a full description of scripture. More marriage is not inconsistent with that teaching. Indeed, the sooner the more conservative elements of your Communion begin to teach the same for all couples, gay and nongay alike, the sooner the message will be taken up as unbigoted and fully wise in its approach.

Right reason at civil law requires not that we follow doctrine blindly, but that we ask about the consequences if we are wrong in our judgments.

Second-class citizenship is a grave and caustic harm. No just society can long stand it, without rending. It corrupts and degrades the political process, with endless, irreconcilable debate, in which the forces of dissolution, selfishness and rancor thrive.

Therefore, in a balance of liberties, it is best that matters of conscience regarding same-sex unions are left before God, whilst the State passes out fast protections for those of all faiths to continue to practice and preach as they will and equality-at-law for our gay brothers and sisters.

Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise.

I have to admit, though, these exercises exhaust me. They do not feel 'natural' to me, because, unlike, some, I don't believe in these 'showy' displays. Some knowledge of the scriptures is not to be confused with Bible totin'. Most people I know would be astonished that I even just wrote that.

Anyway, if anyone thinks it might help, send it to your State Senator.