Rhode Island‘s Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin is fighting same-sex marriage very hard because he doesn’t want gay people to go to hell. Tobin feels he’s being totally selfless, totally altruistic, because, well, the Father knows best. The Father, and his boss, Pope Benedict XVI, “know” that same-sex marriage will lead to a sentence in hell. Or, something.
“It is our very concern for [gay people's] spiritual welfare, however, that motivates our rejection of the homosexual lifestyle and same-sex marriage,” Bishop Tobin says, adding, that, of course, it’s “important to emphasize once again, however, that while rejecting homosexual activity, the Catholic Church has consistently promoted respect and pastoral care for individuals with same-sex attraction.”
And by consistently, of course, Bishop Tobin means since 1992, and let’s not shade the issue: the Catholic Church states homosexuality is a grave sin, and only celibate homosexuals — but all heterosexuals — can enter the Kingdom of Heaven, supposedly.
In his fight against the impending debate in Rhode Island to extend marriage to same-sex couples — just like the Catholic Church did from the 10th to 16th centuries — Bishop Tobin, in “The General Assembly Should Reject ‘Same-Sex Marriage,’” writes:
The proposal to legalize “same-sex marriage” in the State of Rhode Island is immoral and unnecessary. Despite enormous political pressure, the General Assembly should stand firm, resist the current fashionable trend, and continue to uphold its longstanding commitment to marriage as traditionally defined.
“The proposal to legalize same-sex marriage is an attempt to redefine the institution of marriage as it has existed in every culture from the very beginning of human history,” Tobin adds, which, of course, is totally false, as we know “traditional marriage” used to mean one man and as many wives as he could afford, since wives were merely property.
Tobin, by the way, made headlines in 2009 for demanding U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy, of JFK and RFK heritage, no longer accept communion from his church. All because of Kennedy’s stance on abortion.
“Marriage between a man and a woman was designed by God for two specific purposes: to affirm the complementary roles of males and females in a loving relationship, and to provide a stable foundation for the procreation and raising of children,” Tobin claims. “Homosexual relationships can achieve neither of those goals.”
Really? Well, good thing there’s separation of church and state.
“Secondly, homosexual marriage enshrines into civil law immoral activity,” Tobin states, which of course, is bull. My impending marriage is based on love and a shared vision of the future, just like every other successful heterosexual marriage. “The natural law, the Holy Scriptures, and long-standing religious tradition are very consistent in affirming that homosexual activity is sinful, contrary to God’s plan. It should never be encouraged, ratified or ‘blessed’ by the state.”
The state does not “bless” marriages, but does recognize that marriage is good for society.
Tobin also calls same-sex marriage “an untested social experiment with unpredictable long-term outcomes,” which, again, is pure bunk.
“One cannot tinker with this societal DNA without risking unknown changes to the structure of our society, especially as it relates to the proper upbringing of children,” he adds, which is totally false. Same-sex couples — married and unmarried, have, and will continue to raise children, who grow up to be just as or more successful than their peers raised by opposite-sex parents.
“Another real problem to consider is that the establishment of same-sex marriage would pose yet another threat to religious freedom,” says Tobin. So much for altruism. This is the real issue the Church has with same-sex marriage. Anti-gay religious orders know that when same-sex marriage becomes legal and equal to heterosexual marriage, their antiquated opposition will lead them to be labeled bigots. There’s a difference between religious freedom, and religious oppression — oppression by religion of minorities, like same-sex couples.
“Proponents of same-sex marriage have frequently proclaimed that no religious institution will be obliged to officiate at marriages that are contrary to their beliefs. That may or may not prove to be true,” Tobin notes. It’s important to note that every state that has extended marriage to same-sex couples has bent over backwards to protect religion — which is more than fair.
“But what is of equal concern, however, is that religious bodies will be obliged to extend their resources, facilities and benefits to individuals who are living in immoral relationships – contrary to sincerely held religious beliefs. This is not a hypothetical situation; it’s already happening throughout our nation.”
Yes, because millions of “individuals who are living in immoral relationships” get married by the Church every year. Divorced people, those who are “living together in sin” before marriage, those who eat shellfish, those who wear fabrics made of two different cloths, are all welcomed into the Church and not chastised for their sins. Why pick on LGBT people?
Tobin can claim altruism, he can claim he loves gay people so much that he is fearful for our souls, he can claim same-sex marriage is contrary to biblical teachings all he wants, but none of this matters, because marriage is the purview of the state, not the church.
Hat tip: The Raw Story
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