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Old 03-17-2006, 11:05 AM   #1
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protecting religion's right to bigotry

[q]Mass. Governor Proposes Gay-Adoption Bill Wed Mar 15, 6:21 PM ET

BOSTON - Gov. Mitt Romney proposed legislation Wednesday that would allow Catholic Charities to refuse to arrange adoptions for gay couples.

The Protecting Religious Freedom bill would exempt the agency from the state's anti-discrimination laws.

Catholic Charities, the social services arm of the Boston Archdiocese, has been placing children in adoptive homes for a century, but announced recently that it will stop doing so because of a state law that allows gays to adopt. The agency said that placing children with gay couples would violate the teachings of the church.

The governor has said that same-sex couples have a legitimate interest in adopting children, but that the services Catholic Charities provides are important, too.

"I believe it is important to safeguard religious liberty as well as the interests of our most vulnerable citizens," Romney said in a letter to lawmakers.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060315/...4yBHNlYwNmYw--

[/q]



got to love it -- "religious freedom" is the new code word for "protecting our rights to practice blatant discrimination."

just replace the word "gay" with, say, "interracial" and see how it goes down.
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Old 03-17-2006, 12:21 PM   #2
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It seems the true litmus test of Christianity always comes down to (in)tolerance of homosexuality and other faiths.
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Old 03-17-2006, 12:54 PM   #3
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It's odd. My sister brother and I are all adopted. We were all placed by Catholic Adoption Services. Our family is Catholic. I have a Great Aunt who is a nun and my Uncle is a Monsinger.

I am lapsed Catholic myself and you can blame the nuns at parachoical school for knocking the religion out of me. No one does it better!

Last week my mom died and at the funeral my uncle pointed out that we three kids were adopted and how wonderful it was that my parents were able to open their hearts to adopt three kids. [My father died 22 years ago.]

All three of us thought it a bit odd that at the ages of 40, 38 and 34 our being adopted was still enough of an issue to bring it up at our mother's funeral as an example of how her religion shaped her life and made her able to parent us as adopted children.

Maybe that was my uncle's feeling but it seems like I got a lot of that kind of feedback from that family over the years about the adoption being some special favor extended to us.

My maternal grandmother once told me that depsite it being out of my control, since I was born of an unwed mother that if my parents hadn't come along and taken me in and gotten me baptised and raised Catholic, then my soul was damned.

So, my point being, I think the Catholics have a bit of an issue over adoption that goes beyond the bias against homosexuals. Although there is certainly that bias.

I guess I feel torn. It's a good service to provide, although with the demand for children I can't imagine that the children placed for adoption would be overlooked if the diocese stopped. However, I feel like bias needs to be broken down not made excuses or allowances for. Although, I also fully agree that there should be a seperation of church and state and does this fall into that area?
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Old 03-17-2006, 01:01 PM   #4
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I'm very sorry about your mother, YellowKite. I hope you, your brother and sister are close and finding comfort with friends and family.
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Old 03-17-2006, 01:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by YellowKite
Maybe that was my uncle's feeling but it seems like I got a lot of that kind of feedback from that family over the years about the adoption being some special favor extended to us.
It is interesting that I have just gone through the same thing with my Grandmother's passing in January.

My condolences to you and yours.

I am approaching 40 and was adopted. For some reason my children were not counted as being her great grandchildren at the funeral. I am still trying to sort through my emotions on this one.
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Old 03-17-2006, 02:12 PM   #6
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Thank you for the kind thoughts. It has so far been relatively emotionless for me. I have been busy 'doing.' First getting everyone informed, to Michigan and then funeral arragements. Now it is handling her estate. I think I will feel bad later when I have time - if you know what I mean.

That slight extra effort it took to delineate us as adopted defeats the idea of adopting kids to raise as your own, don't you think? I have noticed that her brothers and sisters got a lot of attention paid to them as chief mourners from some people.

My opinion is that only makes them look bad to treat us differently. I have to think that the God they are praising is the same guy who wants them to love thy neighbor as thyself.
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Old 03-17-2006, 07:17 PM   #7
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Religion is as religion does.

I don't think that they should be forced to offer services to gay couples.
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Old 03-17-2006, 07:37 PM   #8
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^ In general I, too, strongly support the right of religious service/charity groups to tailor their services in accord with their religious obligations. However, the adoption process involves secular legal rights and obligations that I am not sure could be tampered with without violating the church-state boundary. It seems to me this is a bit different from the rights of, say, Catholic churches to refuse to marry couples with no intention of abiding by Catholic dogma, since it would be hard to make the case for a compelling reason why people wishing to marry might be harmed in some substantial way by not being able to do it through a Catholic church. I'm not sure that applies so tidily to the rights of children to be adopted into stable, loving families nor the rights of prospective gay parents ready and willing to provide such a home.
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Old 03-17-2006, 07:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Religion is as religion does.

I don't think that they should be forced to offer services to gay couples.
Then maybe religion has no place to do anything except have church services.

We wouldn't want neo-Nazis or the KKK opening adoption agencies, now would we?

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Old 03-17-2006, 07:50 PM   #10
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Maybe your onto something.
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Old 03-17-2006, 09:14 PM   #11
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I'm a practicing Catholic, and I support gay marriage. However, my church is never going to have this scenario in the Sacrament of Marriage. If the government wants to work with the Church, they'll have to live with this. That being said I'm uncomfortable with the government working with the Church. I'd really rather have this dealt with in the civil arena, and we mustn't screw up the civil/public sector. Try telling the people in Washington this. It's exasperating.
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Old 03-17-2006, 09:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
^ In general I, too, strongly support the right of religious service/charity groups to tailor their services in accord with their religious obligations. However, the adoption process involves secular legal rights and obligations that I am not sure could be tampered with without violating the church-state boundary. It seems to me this is a bit different from the rights of, say, Catholic churches to refuse to marry couples with no intention of abiding by Catholic dogma, since it would be hard to make the case for a compelling reason why people wishing to marry might be harmed in some substantial way by not being able to do it through a Catholic church. I'm not sure that applies so tidily to the rights of children to be adopted into stable, loving families nor the rights of prospective gay parents ready and willing to provide such a home.
A violation of church/state boundaries would seem clear if the Catholic agency was the only method of adoption in Mass. This seems to be a classic tension with the free exercise clause.
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Old 03-17-2006, 09:33 PM   #13
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Right, I understand that...and as indicated above, I have mixed feelings about the relevance of free exercise here myself...but my question is, given the difficulties involved in placing children for adoption, and the potential costs to them of further complicating that process, does it make sense to treat adoption as just another free-marketplace-for-services issue here?
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Old 03-18-2006, 11:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by AliEnvy
It seems the true litmus test of Christianity always comes down to (in)tolerance of homosexuality and other faiths.
It's not a true litmus test at all, in my opinion, Ali. It's a "litmus test" of one extremely narrow, reactionary approach to Christianity and it can be rejected just as it can be adopted.

I love Sojo's Jim Wallis on this (http://sojo.net). Christian moral teaching is much larger than only two issues (gays and abortion).
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Old 03-18-2006, 02:25 PM   #15
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I agree with Sherry--it's a standard used by a group within Christianity, not by the whole of the people who practice Christianity. These people don't speak for me.
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