- Boycott the Knights of Columbus
- A wedding sermon.
- An open letter to my parish community.
- Why was a college student in the car of drunken Archbishop-elect Cordileone at 12:26 AM, when Cordileone was arrested for a DUI?
- When the Church married Same-Sex couples.
- How It All began
- The Supreme Court’s Decisions and the New Mason-Dixon Line
- What the Vatican & American bishops DO NOT want you (and Politicians) to know.
- The Morality of Sex, gay & straight.
- San Francisco in archbishop Cordileone’s sight
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) says gay people aren't distracted by things like religion.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) says that Republicans need to get the money flowing the way the gay community does for Democrats -- though it helps, he said, that gay people aren't distracted by things like religion. (Full Story)
I cannot tell you what a wonderful epiphany this has been for me personally! That I have not been “distracted by things like religion.” I guess that the three years of undergraduate studies, the four years of post graduate studies in the seminary had nothing to do with religion. The twenty-three years of ministerial service as a priest had nothing to do with religion. Since I am gay, I have never been distracted by religion.
Perhaps I am being oversensitive. Perhaps I am the only gay priest on planet earth. Perhaps there are no lesbian nuns. Perhaps the many Catholic parishioners who confided in me that they were lesbian/gay are a statistical anomaly. After all, who could question the omniscient and objective insight of a professional politician who views religion as a distraction from politics?
A philosophy professor of mine said that it was important to define terminology. So, what do we mean by “religion?” What defines a person as being religious? The Hebrew word “Amen” translated into English means “I believe this and I live this.” The Jewish understanding of religion was not simply a social association, not simply an intellectual ascent to a certain dogmas; but rather, a total ascent of one’s life to God. Curiously, this is one of the few Hebrew words that has survived in contemporary Christian worship.
Who is truly worthy of speaking the word “Amen” as a personal response to the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount? To what Jesus taught was the Greatest Commandment (to love God unreservedly and our neighbor as our self)?
Senator Hatch reveals what he believes is the hallmark of authentic religion when he stated to college students: "Gays and lesbians don't pay tithing, their religion is politics," By those standards, most Catholics and most Protestants are not religious, since most of these do not pay 10% of their gross income to their Church. Mormons; however, are required to pay the 10% tithe. By Senator Hatch’s standard, only those who pay a 10% tithe may be classified as “religious.” I wonder Senator, does that include paying 10% on Campaign contributions?
Jesus made this comment on tithing “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you should have done without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!” [Matthew 23: 23-24]
Jesus’ words require no further commentary.