Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Cardinal Smackdown? Oh, Sure.

Not even we pinkos are above political theater. Today's is preparation for the July 12th ConCon that will consider same-sex marriage -- one way or another.

The Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry called on the four local Roman Catholic Bishops to lighten up, love down, be reasonable, show compassion, and develop spiritually. In other words, make like Jesus. The group has about 600 members, mostly clergy of various faiths.

The call is for Archbishop Sean O'Malley to lead his guys to stop campaigning to halt same-sex marriage. Oh, yeah, an appeal to reason. That'll work, eh?

They'll announce their call at a press conference today. According to a Boston Globe article, Methodist minister member, Rev. Tiffany Steinwert, makes it plain. "We respect the Roman Catholic Church's desire to speak in a public forum about this, but it has come to a point where their advocacy about same-sex marriage has come to impinge on our own religious practices, because not everyone believes same-sex marriage is wrong or sinful or against religious beliefs. What happens when the Roman Catholic Church seeks to create public policy based on their religious beliefs is that they negate other religious beliefs that might be contrary to that."

The head of the Coalition, Episcopal priest Rev Anne C. Fowler, notes, "Who are the religious voices who get heard? It's the religious right, and around here it's the Catholic Church. So here is the progressive interfaith community trying to take some action."

Given the military-style R.C. hierarchy, the appeal to O'Malley is indeed theater. He's not likely to announce, "Gee, I had it all wrong. I have to tell Pope Benedict to change his mind."

On the other hand, it can't hurt for the members of the General Court to have a reminder before the ConCon that not all religious functionaries are lock-step conservatives.

It could be that given enough input from non-right-wingers there aren't even the 50 of 200 votes to advance the anti-SSM amendment this year. That's iffy.

On the other hand, many legislators know this is a loser and are not eager to associate with it. Many would likely accept a procedural movement, such as voting first on the inane Emil Goguen version that is sure to lose, and then adjourning. There is a delicious justice to the thought that an old homophobe could catalyze such a loss. It is to laugh a Fitchburg laugh.

By the bye, Fowler said that the Coalition reluctantly spoke out after efforts to meet with O'Malley. The heroic Cardinal would not see them.

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