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Catholic church fights hard to retain ability to discriminate
Posted: 13 November 2009 06:20 AM   [ Ignore ]
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... against gay and lesbian partners. See HERE:

Catholic Church gives D.C. ultimatum
Same-sex marriage bill, as written, called a threat to social service contracts

By Tim Craig and Michelle Boorstein
Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said Wednesday that it will be unable to continue the social service programs it runs for the District if the city doesn’t change a proposed same-sex marriage law, a threat that could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness and health care.

<snip>

“The problem with the individual exemption is anybody could discriminate based on their assertion of religious principle,” Mendelson said. “There were many people back in the 1950s and ‘60s, during the civil rights era, that said separation of the races was ordained by God.”

Catania, who said he has been the biggest supporter of Catholic Charities on the council, said he is baffled by the church’s stance. From 2006 through 2008, Catania said, Catholic Charities received about $8.2 million in city contracts, as well as several hundred thousand dollars’ worth this year through his committee. ...

The question is why a secular government organization should be giving any money at all to an organ of religious indoctrination.

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Posted: 13 November 2009 06:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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dougsmith - 13 November 2009 06:20 AM

The question is why a secular government organization should be giving any money at all to an organ of religious indoctrination.

And this was my first moment of dismay after Obama took the oath of office. Instead of dismantling Bush’s blatantly unconstitutional faith based initiative Obama expanded them. Now we are seeing the dangers of letting religions meddle in public matters. We need to get back to our Founding Fathers’ intent of a secular government and quit giving religious organizations government money.

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Posted: 13 November 2009 06:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Absolutely. Although I believe in this case the problem is with the DC council rather than the Obama administration. Not entirely sure how it works, though.

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Posted: 13 November 2009 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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It would seem that there are a fair amount of secular organizations who would be willing to take the grants and run the program.  While I’d be negative to it, they could even turn the grants over to a Jewish, Methodist, etc. organization.  The Catholics have to be slapped down and shown that they should keep their religious noses out of government.

Occam

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Posted: 13 November 2009 10:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I’m curious regarding the explanantion given by the Church as to why such marriages threaten its social programs.  I assume some reason was given.

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Posted: 13 November 2009 11:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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ciceronianus - 13 November 2009 10:37 AM

I’m curious regarding the explanantion given by the Church as to why such marriages threaten its social programs.  I assume some reason was given.

I think the point was that they’d have to offer same-sex benefits to their employees who worked on those social programs. But they would prefer to give up providing the social programs rather than cease discrimination.

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Posted: 13 November 2009 01:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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CFI-DC out with a statement on this issue HERE.

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Posted: 13 November 2009 02:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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They are stepping into politics, remove their nonprofit status. Simple as that.

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Posted: 13 November 2009 06:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I don’t believe they even bothered giving a “justification”.  I think they just realized that they had quite a bit of clout since they ran the social programs, and if they stopped, it would put quite a bit of political pressure on the local government.

I agree with Asanta.  Just think the dent we’d make in our national debt if we collected taxes from all the churches.  LOL

Occam

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Posted: 13 November 2009 07:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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It’s a shame they can’t follow the Constitution and keep religion out of politics.  Instead, they want to make this country a theocracy any way they can, even with ultimatums.

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Posted: 14 November 2009 06:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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This will be a problem whenever government contracts with a religious body to provide governmental services.  It shouldn’t be done.  If there is an existing contract, and the Church is now claiming it cannot perform the contract, it should be liable for breach.  If the contract is expiring, and the Church is taking the position that it will not do certain things the government seeks to do, the Church shouldn’t apply for a new contract or be given the contract if it does apply.

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Posted: 14 November 2009 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I agree, ciceronianus.  However, IMHO, such contracts (between Church and government) should not be made.

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Posted: 14 November 2009 03:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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If they accept taxpayer funds, they cannot discriminate. They are welcome to turn down the taxpayer money and continue to discriminate against anyone they wish. Other organizations and charities will be MORE than happy to take the funds allocated for charity and continue the good deeds.

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Posted: 14 November 2009 07:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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The True Meaning of the Establishment Clause is a good legal history written by Calif. Judge Edward Tabash of the CFI.  Not too long, do take a look.

Its sad that the Vatican is getting so active in USA politics again on the wrong side, when there are so many Catholics who support the liberal values.  I hope that the liberal Catholics awake to the problem and pull their funding.

I have heard that non-profits are allowed to politic, there is a limit, 20% of their time as I understand the laws.

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Posted: 15 November 2009 04:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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The Catholic Church, which, among other things, is in the business of legislating morality, sees nothing wrong with hurting innocent clients to put pressure on the government to further its agenda on unrelated issues.

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Posted: 15 November 2009 08:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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The Washington Post, the newspaper that helped bring down Richard Nixon, has an unconscionably slanted poll question regarding this. The good news is PZ Myers blogged about the poll this afternoon, so the voting is going as it should, and the comments are largely anti-discrimination.

On a side note, I am disheartened to see what has happened to the Washington Post in the past 10 years. Woodward and Bernstein were partially responsible for my interest in journalism when I was younger, but unfortunately the WP has become the leading example of the demise of journalism in the 21st century.

[ Edited: 15 November 2009 08:06 PM by DarronS ]
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