The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Some comments about the Catholic Church

When I started this blog, I expected that there would be some posts about religion and others about politics, but the vast majority of them have been political. This post, actually, belongs to both categories, because I'm discussing a political stand that has been taken by a religious organization: namely, the Catholic Church.

Let me first say that one of my friends, about whom I have more to say later on, is a convinced Catholic; in addition, there is another person, one of the few who reads and comments on this blog, whom I consider a friend, though I've never met him in person (our contacts, over many years, have been via online chatting and e-mail), and who is not just a Catholic, but a priest. I hope that neither will take this post personally.

The Hispanic community in the Washington, D. C. area has available to it a number of (I believe all weekly) newspapers, which unlike many of the English language papers, are all free. (We do have some free papers, but the two biggest certainly are not.) One of those papers is El Pregonero, an organ of the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington. Now these days, a lot of the people who are supporting Question 4 (the Maryland version of the “DREAM Act”) are also supporting Question 6 (the same-sex marriage proposal). I do not see the connection — what illegal aliens' right to reduced tuition has to do with gay couples' right to sanction legally their living together as a married couple is totally inexplicable to me — and my plan is to vote AGAINST Question 4 and FOR Question 6, and recommend this choice to others. But I noticed that this week's issue of El Pregonero has page 1 devoted to its recommendations on these same two questions — the precise opposite of my own position, as just described.

Now, it is not terribly surprising that El Pregonero is for Question 4. Most illegal aliens who would benefit by the proposal are Hispanics — the demographic to which the paper's readership belongs. However much I believe that illegals do not deserve a privilege that, say, a citizen of Delaware or the District of Columbia who wants to go to a state university college in Maryland does not have, I understand that the illegals — and those who are dependent on them for their patronage — would dearly love such an action by the state. So El Pregonero, and probably every other Spanish-language paper whose circulation includes a significant number of Marylanders — is not surprising in its favoring Question 4.

But to give equal prominence to its opposition to Question 6 is another issue. The Catholic Church is not really affected by Question 6. Just as its priests even now are not forced to marry couples that cannot be married in the Catholic Church's law (such as when one of the partners is a divorced person), no Catholic priest would be forced to officiate at a gay wedding.

And interestingly, many Catholics are gay — including a substantial number of priests. The friend I mentioned earlier — not the priest, but the one regarding whom I said “about whom I have more to say,” is gay. He was not born Catholic, but became a Catholic because one of his first lovers was a priest. In fact, because of the celibacy requirement of the Catholic Church, I would perhaps suspect that the proportion of gay males among the Catholic priesthood is greater than in the male population as a whole. (Perhaps this is the key — the Catholic Church believes that allowing gay males to marry will dry up the supply of potential priests!) Given that no gay couple will be married in the Catholic Church whether or not Question 6 succeeds, the fervency of El Pregonero's (and, I assume, the Archdiocese's) opposition to Question 6 is not, to me, comprehensible. But then, it is a rare occasion that the Catholic Church and I agree on anything.

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