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Meditation 1009
What consenting adult non-Catholics do in the bedroom is not the Pope's concern.

by: John Tyrrell

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There is apparently so little going on that needs fixing in the Catholic Church that Pope Benedict XVI has put his resources into launching yet another public relations blitz against same-sex marriage. And he's lined up his sycophantic bishops around the world to support the program.

The usual tired old arguments are being presented once again. Same-sex marriage will put us on the slippery slope to polygamy, polyandry, and bestiality. (And probably on the slippery slope to marriage with robots and extraterrestrials too.) Marriage is defined by God as between exactly one man and exactly one woman, regardless of numerous counterexamples in the Bible. Changing that definition will lead to the downfall of civilization. And of course we'll all burn in hell.

It's no coincidence that this renewal of this war on human freedom came immediately after four lost battles in the recent American election. The voters of three states approved same-sex marriage and another defeated a proposed constitutional amendment which would have banned its legalization. These wins at the ballot box came in spite of the strident opposition led by the bishops and clergy of the Catholic Church along with a number of other close-minded religious leaders.

I respect the right of the Catholic Church to refuse to officiate over same-sex marriages. I also respect their right to refuse to over a marriage where one or both of the couple have been divorced, a policy which they apparently choose to ignore for the wealthy and powerful (e.g. the several times married, serial adulterer, Newt Gingrich). I also respect their right to refuse to officiate over mixed marriages (Catholics to non-Catholics) another policy they've largely dropped in my lifetime, provided the children are brought up Catholic. They can make whatever arbitrary rules they want for their clergy and the Catholic faithful to follow. But my respect for those rights to limit the applicability of various rites of passage stop at the boundaries of the Catholic flock. Their restrictions do not apply to those outside their doors.

The marriage rites of other religions and the marriage rites conducted under the authority of governments are quite simply none of their business. They are not involved in non-Catholic rites, and they have no innate right to involve themselves. Those of us who have chosen to live our lives outside of Catholicism are not bound by Catholic dogma. We can rightly reject such nonsense as papal infallibility, the immaculate conception, and transubstantiation. We can rightly reject absolute bans on abortion and "artificial" methods of birth control. And we can rightly reject their ban on certain consenting adults freely committing to each other for a lifetime of marriage.