Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Religion, Politics and Same-sex marriage

At church on Sunday, the priest had the lector read a letter from our Archbishop, speaking out against same-sex marriage and the idea that Canada is now on the road to Hell, more or less, for sanctioning such an unholy practice. At least, that's what I got out of the letter. It also said that politicians should keep their religious beliefs in the forefront and that it is possible to have faith, express that faith AND be a politician. *blink* *blinkblink* I see. And what reality would you be living in, Archbishop? It's certainly not mine.

That having been said, let me clarify my position. It's been about two and a half years since I've been going to church regularly. I enjoy our community; most of the people are very nice; it gets me out of the house, and so far, it's brought more good than bad into my life. BUT, church has little to do with my faith and my relationship with the Creator, except that I believe that relationship has been strengthened in the past couple of years, but that's not to say that I agree whole-heartedly with the Church's position on some things. I'm a reasonably good Catholic, and in fact, some lunatic in the parish has put my name forward for parish council. If I get elected, I'll be stunned--it's not a position I want, but I'm willing to entertain the idea that the Creator may have things in store for me that I'm not keen on, but that I should do, anyway--and try to do my best to shake up the complacency of others on the council. I do so enjoy playing Devil's Advocate at times.

I'm rambling. Okay--first: religion and politics. No, they should NEVER go hand in hand. Never, never, never, never, never. Why? Because it's dangerous, that's why. I was so impressed when Paul Martin, our Prime Minister, who is also Catholic, stood in front of the news cameras and said he could not let his personal beliefs affect the decisions he made which would, in turn, affect all Canadians. Bravo, Mr. Prime Minister! It seems to me that I have heard more than one Christian insist that politicians should follow their religious beliefs over the wishes of the people, but what do you bet they would go ballistic if a Pagan politician should be elected, or Hindu, or Muslim or Jewish or anything other than Christian, and who insisted on imposing his or her religious convictions on the country? Do we think they'd last long? I'm thinking, "No!" So why is it right for Christian politicians? It's not. Plain and simple. Religion and politics do not belong in the same bed.

On to same-sex marriage. I'm failing to understand the hysteria. The definition of the word "marriage" has been changed in Canadian law to include same-sex couples. Apparently, this change is going to cause the entire planet to spin into the sun and kill us all. It's going to destroy all existing families, erode society's moral fibre and the next thing you know, gays and lesbians will be out recruiting our children. *blink* *blinkblink* I see. Homosexuality is contagious? Who knew? Of course, what does have to follow, eventually, is for the definition of "divorce" to change as well. It's bound to happen that a same-sex couple will reconsider after a few years and want to split up legally. Things like spousal support and child support and who-knows-what-else will change. Society evolves. That's just what it does.

As for calling same-sex unions "marriage", I personally don't care. It doesn't impact on me or my family in any way. If it means same-sex couples can have the same rights, privileges and obligations as heterosexual couples, then fine. No religious groups will have to perform marriages that don't agree with their policies, which is how they've always functioned. If you don't believe me, find a divorced Catholic who has not had an annulment and ask if they can get married in the Church. No, sirree, Bub! So if a priest can't be forced to marry an opposite sex couple, they won't have to marry a same-sex couple. The hysteria is uncalled for.

This is what I looked at in "Angels Among Us". I used a mirror society where homosexuality is the norm and created a heterosexual hero who has to hide his orientation. I know that the book made at least two people re-evaluate their anti-homosexual stand and to reconsider their prejudices. My hope is that some day, I'll reach more people and loosen the hold of unreason on their minds and hearts.