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As Long as We Remember...

March 26, 2013

Religion and Politics Never Mix

Pattee Brown

Expecting the new pope not to be against gay marriage is as absurd as expecting elected officials to vote for or against a bill based on their personal religious convictions. The Founding Fathers were right; religion needs to stay out of politics and vice versa.


Whether you are for equal marriage rights and were dancing in the streets in November when the Maryland referendum supporting gay rights passed, or you are vehemently against the bill and felt defeated then, in the end more people in the Free State felt gay marriage should be legal and equal in the eyes of the law than didn’t. Our system of government allowed the people to decide, not the Catholic Church.


When it comes to the laws of this country, leave God out of it. When it comes to the laws of your religion, leave politics out of it.


If you frequent the social media sites, you might have seen some comments regarding the new pope and his statements against gay marriage. Not only do countless Facebook comments reflect outrage toward Pope Francis’s position on gay marriage, official leaders of gay rights groups have been very vocal in their disappointment. Herndon Graddick, the president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), said in a statement right after Francis was named:


“In his life, Jesus condemned gays zero times. In Pope Benedict’s short time in the papacy, he made a priority of condemning gay people routinely. We hope this Pope will trade in his red shoes for a pair of sandals and spend a lot less time condemning and a lot more time foot-washing.”


During the Argentina elections in 2010 regarding legalizing gay marriage throughout the country, according to the National Catholic Register, then Cardinal Mario Jorge Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, penned a letter to the four Catholic monasteries in Argentina, stating,


“The Argentine people will face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family…. At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children… At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.”


His comments were very clear… he’s not a fan of gay marriage.


By definition, the Catholic Church does not believe in homosexual behavior of any kind. They consider such things a sin against God and it goes completely against their entire belief system. So, when pro-gay marriage people are upset that the pope is against gay marriage, it’s a bit perplexing.


Every word that comes out of the pope’s mouth on this subject flies in the face of what I personally believe – and I pay absolutely no attention to the Catholic Church’s position on the matter. But, I wouldn’t ever expect the Catholic Church or any religious organization for that matter, to change their belief system because I don’t agree with them.


In the end, there were apparently more people in Argentina that disagreed with the cardinal and the Catholic Church than not. Their form of government, like ours in Maryland, allowed the people to decide. And despite the cardinal’s outcry against gay marriage, the law was passed. But, despite the law’s passage, asking the pope of the Catholic Church to condone gay marriage is like asking a rabbi to accept Jesus Christ as his lord and savior. It simply isn’t going to happen… and if it does happen, it will be because that rabbi left his temple to start his own religion; in this case, Jews for Jesus.


If you are a homosexual and also consider yourself to be a Roman Catholic… that’s great. By all means, exercise your right to free speech and freedom of religion and start your own church. Surround yourself with people who believe what you believe, will practice what you practice and will love you for who you are without condemnation. And regardless of your religion, if you live in Maryland or Argentina, know that government, without the influence of religion, is what allows you to be married in the eyes of the law.


The Founding Fathers were right. Religion needs to stay out of politics and politics need to stay out of religion. It just works best that way.


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