Thursday, April 27, 2006

We Will Put Your Baby in Hell

I just came across an article that appeared a week ago in The Ottawa Citizen – a week before the bill giving gay couples to marry finally became law. The article details some Roman Catholic cardinal’s decision not to baptize the children of gay couples. It’s the kind of information that hits you like a knife in the gut, evidence of how people in powerful positions can be simultaneously stupid and real mean.

When I searched out the information, I saw that, as is often the case, things are a little less black-and-white. Cardinal I’ve-got-the-power-to-send-your-babies-to-hell isn’t totally without feelings. It turns out he will only not baptize your babies if you want to both sign the baptismal certificate as parents. You have the option of having only one of the pair sign the baptismal certificate.

You can, in other words, make sure your baby goes to heaven if you admit that even though the law of the land considers you equally responsible for the little tyke, you deny your parent role before God. What will it be, Mr. Catholic Parent – heaven for your kid, or renunciation of your love for your partner? We’re not keeping your kid out of heaven, you are. We down at Our Lady of Extortion are ready to take you back into the fold soon as you’re ready to submit.

Fair enough. If I were a catholic who loves the church despite its very misdirected and very limited clergy-bosses, this would only inspire me to work harder to make the church more spiritual and less narrow-minded. I’m not a catholic, though, and I wonder once again why good folk think they need to hang on to this rotten institution. Why would you not recognize that your child’s path to heaven does not depend on some twit who reflects the love of Christ about as much as a street-thug.

The anarchist in me is encouraged by such stupidity. It brings the rats out of the attic where we can spray them. It gets people talking. Good catholics have a chance now to do some fine-tuning, get the love of this much abused Jesus back into the church, and stop this power abuse. And Vernon and Gladys Ordinary? You too can learn by reading the questions on the blogs like “But how do gays have babies anyway?” It’s what we call a learning-moment for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.

I am aware that people like me are possibly throwing too much energy into fighting the religious on religious grounds. The right for citizens to marry is and should always be determined on constitutional and not religious grounds. What people do inside their churches is up to them, and in the end I don’t really care if the church sinks like a turd in the ocean from its own mean-spiritedness. This version of it, anyway.

The problem is I have always been close to real Christians, people who listen for the voice of God and are convinced their morality and their sense of purpose is rooted in their religion. I understand their need to belong somewhere. I wish for their sake that 100,000 priests had not left the sinking ship in the past twenty-five years. I wish that they had better leaders than Cardinal Law, that scuzzbag from Boston who shifted the molester-priests around to molest again and when forced to retire was bumped up to speak at John Paul II’s funeral. And better leaders than this Canadian Shit-for-Brains—Cardinal Ouellet, his name is—who thinks being a cardinal involves threatening families with hell for their newborns.

I mean, really.

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