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Archive for the ‘marriage’ Category

The Catholic Church in Minnesota recently mailed out 400,000 DVDs to its parishioners in the state, asking them to accept the church’s belief that gay marriage is wrong for human beings. In fact, gay marriage is so bad for the rest of the world, the Catholic leadership wants lawmakers to pass a new law forbidding it. It’s about six weeks before an election, see, and the church would really like its people to vote for candidates who oppose gay marriage.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune published this piece last week (Sept. 20).

Then, an art curator at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis decided to produce a sculpture using DVDs provided to her by other Catholics who are opposed to its content. It’s her way of taking a stand against the church’s teaching on gay marriage. She was summarily terminated from her job, of course, and the Star Tribune published this article about the debacle.

As I read the story and readers’ comments, this one struck me as the most relevant…so I wanted to share it here. Naturally, not all good Catholics are anti-marriage. Some actually think with a reasonable and “modern” process about the issue. Here’s the reader’s comment from the newspaper:

Where did the $400,000 for the DVD come from?

First, I’m a parishioner at St. Mary’s, and like many fellow parishioners, my wife and I are planning to donate the archbishop’s DVD to Ms. Naylor’s art work. We feel this work of art is the perfect response to the archbishop’s actions, and it’s the Holy Spirit at work. Second, the archbishop has clearly crossed a line of political lobbying that is totally inappropriate. The church lobbies on behalf of the poor, children and others who need the protection of the church. The church builds schools, hospitals and shelters to serve, according to Christ’s command. That’s not what this DVD is about. This is the archbishop telling Catholics how to vote to change the constitution of the secular state of Minnesota. Minnesota and the United States are secular institutions which have laws and constitutions to protect the rights of all–regardless of religious belief. Instead of fighting for the poor, Archbishop Nienstedt is fighting to get Catholic theology into the constitution of the state of Minnesota where it would govern anyone, Catholic or not. We’re not a theocracy–like Iran or Saudi Arabia. We’re America, a secular society, and one of our core beliefs is freedom of religion. That includes freedom *from* religion. I don’t want my church dictating to people outside the church. It used to be illegal to buy contraceptives in many states, because archbishops demanded laws against it. They misused the authority of the church then, just as Archbishop Nienstedt has misused his authority now. Finally, I have to ask: where did this $400,000 come from? Was it a donor? Who was the donor? What else has the donor given money to? And if it wasn’t from a donor, how can the Archbishop order $400,000 be taken from the church’s budget and spent on this theocratic attempt to deprive some non-catholics of their civil rights? That money could run a daycare center in north Minneapolis for 250 kids for a year. Or a homeless shelter. Or it could have been spent lobbying the legislature to stop cutting funding for education. The number one subject Christ talks about in the New Testament is about the poor–not fighting to take away rights that are due to others. The appropriate place for the archbishop to plead his case for the church’s view of the institution of marriage is from the pulpit. Instead he wasted desperately needed $400,000 of funds on an arrogant attempt to decree Catholic law should be secular law. Each year there is a special collection at St. Mary’s, as in all diocese churches, for the Archbishops Fund. Each year as the scandals have grown in the church, the amount of donations has shrunk. So long as Archbishop Nienstedt leads the bishops of Minnesota in this kind of arrogant theocratic campaigns, ours is one parish household that will give our money elsewhere to help the poor and the forgotten. Rohn Jay Miller, parishioner at the Basilica of St. Mary.

Amen Brother!

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Today, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Minnesota’s Roman Catholic bishops will launch a new effort against same-sex marriage. Their plan? To mail out a DVD to parishioners across the state, which explains the church’s teaching on marriage and describes the possible effects of allowing same-sex marriage in Minnesota.

Good luck with that.

As Catholic priests prepare to preach to their choirs, I find myself once again overwhelmingly happy that I left the Catholic church five years ago. The church and its leaders continue to fall on their interpretations of the Bible that have long since expired. I simply couldn’t stomach it when I was practicing the faith and I certainly abhor the intentions now.

With the issues facing our world, can the Catholic church honestly feel good about itself by perpetuating ancient thinking related to marriage? Gold star for trying, I suppose, but a big “Does Not Play Well With Others” goes in the comments section of their report card on this topic.

Two women or men who are in love and want to marry does not an apocalypse make. So please, bishops of the Catholic church, grow up and turn the other cheek once and for all.

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Marrying

On Feb. 20, 2010, I’ll be married.

July 2009This major event presents the most excitement and anticipation I’ve felt about life and the future since the birth of my first child. The reasons for the excitement are many and varied.

First, she’s an amazing woman and I feel lucky to have her in my life. At no time have I held such a connection with another person. The magnet-like force that pulls and tugs on us is unlike anything…ever. People talk about North Stars and soul mates and true love. Nothing is more true than the two of us sharing this life of ours.

Another aspect of my relationship that makes it so unbelievably special is the simple fact that this time, it’s my choice. I’m not being coerced or chided into a decision I might regret. I’m not pressured by society or people or life circumstances or insecurities. We have chosen each other and there simply is no alternative lingering out there casting doubt.

Getting married again isn’t just about my wants and needs. There are kids involved – mine and hers – who want to see us happy and living life in the way we hoped life would be. Truth is, their happiness and acceptance is highly important to the decisions we’re making as a couple. We’ll always be in “mom” and “dad” mode to our respective kids.

So in a few weeks, we’ll get together – immediate families – at The Saint Paul Hotel. We’ll exchange vows and rings. We’ll take the steps we’re ready to take to live our lives together and promise to watch each other’s back til the very end. And for the next 40-plus years, I’ll be at her side no matter what life throws at us.

It’s where I choose to be…married to a woman I can respect and love forever.

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