Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Catholic Bishops support Prop 8

From the San Francisco Chronicle:
California's Roman Catholic bishops are urging parishioners to support a fall ballot measure that seeks to overturn the court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in the state.

The California Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday strongly encouraging members of the faith "to provide both the financial support and the volunteer efforts needed for the passage of Proposition 8."

In the statement, the bishops say their position is based partly on the presumption that while all people deserve to be treated with dignity, being raised by a married mother and father is "the ideal for the well being of children."

The conference's executive director says the bishops plan to develop materials that parish priests can use to address the topic between now and election day.

At what point does instructing the faithful how to vote exceed the line between church and state separation? This is a civil issue, after all. The Catholics are not being asked to marry homosexuals any more than they are required to marry legal divorced people.

i would like the RC and any other religious groups to separate their faith issues from civil (secular) rights issues. The Catholics don't approve of divorce but they can't prevent CIVIL marriages from being dissolved in CIVIL divorce.

Now, one suggestion comes from this Op Ed by Oliver Thomas:
Given the state's legitimate, though limited, interest here, shouldn't all couples — be they gay or straight — be given the same civil contract with all the attendant legal rights and obligations? After all, legally committed couples provide the same financial and familial stability, be they gay or straight. In short, everyone who wishes to marry could be given a civil union agreement from the state. Whether a couple goes on to have a wedding ceremony would be up to them and their church. But the thing that would be enforced (or dissolved) by the state would be the civil agreement.

Theologically, this puts marriage back where it belongs. Constitutionally, it protects churches from having the government dictate to them which relationships they should or should not sanction. Finally, this sort of arrangement would be much easier to handle administratively....

Liberal-minded Americans should like this proposed arrangement because everyone gets treated the same, and the state deprives no one of his or her rights based upon sexual orientation.....

Conservatives should like the arrangement because religious institutions will not be forced to recognize relationships that they feel are contrary to the teachings of scripture. Nor will they be forced to call something "marriage" that to them plainly isn't. At the same time, the proliferation of domestic partnerships would create more familial and financial stability.

.....Partnership, not procreation, is the primary feature of current marriage laws.

Civil unions for all. Wouldn't it be deliciously ironic if the result of the Catholic politicking were to eliminate marriage altogether from the secular sphere?


episcopalifem said...


I wonder if they could be sanctioned in some way?

Padre Mickey said...

Big honkin' surprise.
Here in Panama one must have a secular marriage, then one can come to church and Padre will do that thang.

Anonymous said...

I wrote Americans United, which advocates for the separation of church and state, and they wrote write back and said that if the RC were telling people to vote for a candidate that would be illegal, but advocating for a cause is not.

Well, if you are telling the parishioners FROM THE PULPIT how to vote, and where to give money, it seems to me to be the same thing!

I read somewhere that some people are accusing the Knights of Columbus of accepting donations to help veterns and then using that money for the pro-Prop8 campaign.

Make no mistake, friends, this battle is far from over.

No on Prop8

Doorman-Priest said...

So, is this how it works? You keep forcing a vote on an issue that didn't go your way until you get the answer you want?

Ah, democracy!

June Butler said...

Is there a way to force the RCC to stay the feck out of politics? Remove their tax-exempt status, perhaps?

James said...

According to a post we had at Fr. Jake's, according to the IRS law, churches are withing legal rights to tell their congregations how to vote on matters of morality. That's what I remember the psoter saying -- that poster was/is an attorney.

I think that right is wrong. Particularly, I think it is wrong becuse of what happened at All Saints' -- an anti war sermon before Bush went into Iraq brought the wrath of the IRS down on the church (of course, it was a republican effort to silence the anti war angenda).

Fortunately, we have less to fear from the Roman Cathlics voting as they are todl t vote, than we do from the Mormons, who 99 percent always vote the way they are told to vote. Romans disagree with so much of the church teaching that they cannot be counted on as a "voting block."

The pro same-gender marriage camp has more money by about a million bucks according to an article the oer day.

But IT is absolutly correct, this fight is far from over.

rick allen said...

Why is the first impulse of so many here to want to punish and suppress speech? It would seem that our centuries under the first amendment have hardly made a dent in our approach to disagreement: Sanction 'em!

Does this present no "religious" issue for Episcopalians? Have your bishops and priests kept a strict silence on the issue? Would you be outraged if they expressed an opposing opinion in public? I certainly hope not.

JimB said...

The way the rule works is this:

If a liberal preacher is in favor of a policy, then advocacy is a violation of the tax code.

If a conservative preacher is in favor of a policy, then advocacy is not a violation of the tax code.

These rules are malleable, the exact reverse was in force when Mr. Clinton was administering the tax code. As long as politicians can use the tax code as a weapon, this will be a problem. Vote buying politicians (they all are) will use the code to advance themselves every time.

What we need is to simply take 501 deductions out of the code. God did not say, "tithe to get a tax break" we can live without it and the world would be better if our government was not deciding which political orthodoxy should be blessed.

Jim's Thoughts

Anonymous said...

What you fail to realize is that the civil-religious conflict works both ways. Our religious freedom in the public sphere is already threatened in the present and forseable future.

I have no fear that some LGBT couple would darken the door of my RC parish and ask for a same-sex marriage. But that's not the problem here. The problem is that the GLBT movement and traditional Christianity hold mutually-exclusive positions in the public square.

The Catholic Church has already been forced out of facilitating adoptions in both Massachusetts and San Francisco thanks to the gay rights movement and their lackeys in the legislatures. No doubt we will be forced out of this ministry elsewhere. Additionally, the legalization of same-sex marriage will lead to an ever-increasing normalization of homosexuality in the public schools, which most Catholic school children are forced to attend due to finances.

It's quite forseable that our tax-exempt status would be revoked as opposing same-sex marriage would be seen civilly as the equivalent as holding racist views, which already can get a non-profit's tax exempt status revoked (e.g. Bob Jones University). That wouldn't kill us, but it would put a severe cramp on our various ministries.

This is a question that affects us directly and so it gets a direct response by our bishops. Looking at TEC's online statistics, I see that my one RCC parish alone has almost as many parishioners as the multi-county TEC diocese in which we live. It gives me great comfort to know that my efforts in supporting Proposition 8 will have almost as big an effect as the local TEC's bishop's opposition to the proposition.


Anonymous said...

Depends on whether they are speaking as private citizens or delivering instructions from the pulpit.

My beloved, a closeted Roman Catholic, reports that during the signature gathering phase of this proposition, her parish invited signature gatherers to wait in the parking lot after Mass, and asked people to sign on their way out.

Tht was bad enough, but then it turns out you couldn't get to your car without running a gantlet of people hounding you to sign to prevent this EEVVVIL gay marriage.

One young friend of BP's was in tears by the time she finally made it to her car, because they refused to take "no" for an answer and followed her all the way across the lot insisting that she had to sign!

How many people just signed to shut them the **** up?

So, yes rick allen, I sure as heck have a problem with that degree of politicization from ANYONE.


Anonymous said...

Fr Michael, you can do whatever ministry you want, but you can't use my tax dollars to discriminate against me on the basis of YOUR religion.

You get enormous tax benefits from the state. I have no problem with you saying whatever you want, as long as you don't expect me to pay for it. As long as you DO expect me to pay for it, you have to accept some limits.

As for directing your parish how to vote, well, don't be so sure. How many closeted Catholics do you think YOU have in the pews? With sympathetic friends and families? Fortunately my experience of the Catholic pewsitters is pretty accepting.

The degree to which Catholics obey the church can be estimated by how many 6-children families there are these days. I don't think that contraception thing is working out so well, adn in my experience most practising Catholics think the only disordered thing about sex is the hierarchy's mediaeval views about it.

Anonymous said...

It's going to be one of those ongoing, unanswerable questions that, at least in some sense, distract from work we can actually accomplish, although I understand that this is considered by some on both ends as that work. And that's the point. The concept of the establishment clause of the First Amendment (somewhat misspoken as separtion of church and state) states both that government shall not establish (a) religion AND that it will not interfere with the free exercise thereof. What that means is that government is not supposed to interfere in religion, NOT that religion should not attempt to influence governance. But because each side claims Gospel imperative, the civil disputes will continue and I suppose we'll just have to go with whichever way the referendum wind blows on any given round of voting.

Kurt said...

“It's quite forseable that our tax-exempt status would be revoked as opposing same-sex marriage would be seen civilly as the equivalent as holding racist views, which already can get a non-profit's tax exempt status revoked (e.g. Bob Jones University). That wouldn't kill us, but it would put a severe cramp on our various ministries.”--FrMichael

You papists just don’t “get it”, do you? Of course your tax-exempt status SHOULD be revoked when you so actively politically campaign against human rights.

Anonymous said...

Just as a reminder, here are the current rules (like them or not) according to the IRS publication Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations.

Attempting to influence legislation (including ballot measures) is permitted as long as it does not constitute a substantial part of the organization’s activities (pp. 5-6):

“In general, no organization, including a church, may qualify for IRC section 501(c)(3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying). An IRC section 501(c)(3) organization may engage in some lobbying, but too much lobbying activity risks loss of tax-exempt status.

“Legislation includes action by Congress, any state legislature, any local council, or similar governing body, with respect to acts, bills, resolutions, or similar items (such as legislative confirmation of appointive offices), or by the public in a referendum, ballot initiative, constitutional amendment, or similar procedure. It does not include actions by executive, judicial, or administrative bodies.

“A church or religious organization will be regarded as attempting to influence legislation if it contacts, or urges the public to contact, members or employees of a legislative body for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation, or if the organization advocates the adoption or rejection of legislation.

“Churches and religious organizations may, however, involve themselves in issues of public policy without the activity being considered as lobbying. For example, churches may conduct educational meetings, prepare and distribute educational materials, or otherwise consider public policy issues in an educational manner without jeopardizing their tax-exempt status.”

On the other hand, participating in campaigns for political candidates is absolutely prohibited (p. 7):

“Under the Internal Revenue Code, all IRC section 501(c)(3) organizations, including churches and religious organizations, are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise tax.

“Certain activities or expenditures may not be prohibited depending on the facts and circumstances. For example, certain voter education activities (including the presentation of public forums and the publication of voter education guides) conducted in a non-partisan manner do not constitute prohibited political campaign activity. In addition, other activities intended to encourage people to participate in the electoral process, such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, would not constitute prohibited political campaign activity if conducted in a non-partisan manner. On the other hand, voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that: (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention.”

June Butler said...

Dr Primrose, is that your final answer? I suppose that settles it, then. The RCC can do what they're doing with respect to Prop. 8. That don't mean I have to like it, though. That don't mean I can't complain. I have free speech, too.

Anonymous said...

Well, if a married man and woman are the best way for a child to be raised, how come so many of them turn out to be gay? (like me raised by good RC's). I'm just ask'n.

Anonymous said...

Me too. Raised Catholic, baptised and confirmed, years of Catholic school, and now totally, happily, irrevocably lesbian.

Hmmm, is it a TREND?


Anonymous said...

Grandmere, I'm just stating what the IRS states what the law is. The TEC bishops in at least San Francisco and Los Angeles have come out the other way. There are a lot of other political issues that TEC and RCC agree with -- such as issues affecting the poor and the abolition of capital punishment -- that we are both entitled to lobby for. While I am adamantly opposed to the RCC position on Prop. 8, I think that barring churches from working on political issues would be, in the long term, an very unwise way of dealing with it.

And finally a comment to Fr. Michael. I wouldn't get too puffed up about about the size of the RCC. According to the recent Pew study, the RCC has had virtually the worst membership decline of all U.S. religious groups. The numbers have been maintained only by large-scale immigration from predominantly RCC countries. My parish has a very large number of former RCs who could no longer abide the misogyny, homophobia, authoritarianism, and utter contempt for the laity they found in the RCC. Outside the church, I know no -- I repeat, no -- people who grew up RC who have anything whatsoever to do with the RCC or any other religious group -- and basically for the same reasons.

June Butler said...

Dr Primrose, I am so sorry and silly. I should change my name to "Ironic and Cynical Grandmère Mimi". I was using the quiz show line in a jokey way. I do appreciate your serious answer, and I know you are right.

I would not for the world want to suppress the right of the churches to speak out on social issues.

Fr Michael, your smugness is a tad off-putting.

I'll admit that there are days when I probably need to refrain from leaving comments on blogs - you know, the heat, the lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer, and all that.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Primrose, thanks for adding some factual legal content to this thread. The local RC diocese and the California Catholic Conference is well-aware of it. Matter of fact, at our last diocesan clergy meeting its stipulations were one of our topics. I have to say that our progressive priests were more upset by the regulations than the conservative priests.

There are 2 CA propositions that have definite Catholic interest: the marriage amendment and parental notification. I will spent, at most, one Sunday presenting both of them from the pulpit as well as tables and literature and perhaps a few pastor's notes in the bulletin between now and November. Not a huge commitment of the parish's time and treasure spent on the subject, so we meet both the letter and the spirit of the civil law.

Kurt and IT-- thanks for making my point about the profound difference between the GLBT movement and Catholicism in the public square. I look forward to the movement receiving a smack-down on Election Day.

Deacon Mark-- "how come so many of them turn out to be gay?"

There aren't "so many" of you. The GLBT percentage is quite small, certainly not that mythical 10% the perverted Kinsey came up with.


Anonymous said...

FrMichael, you do a fine job demonstrating why I am no longer RC, along with so many others who have left for the reasons that Dr P spells out.

You smugly, indeed arrogantly, state the Catholic interest supersedes my civil rights as a gay citizen--and expect me, a taxpayer, to pay for you to treat me this way by continuing your tax exemptions.

As Dr Primrose points out, you are within your legal rights. But I am just as within mine to oppose your church's vile and hate-filled viewpoints at every opportunity in the public square.

Fortunately, the days when you could dictate to your parishioners how to vote and what to read are behind us. (I still remember the list of "disapproved books" when I was a kid!) Remarkably, many of them will think for themselves, and will think of their gay friends, family, and co-workers as they pull the lever on Election Day, not what some sad, bitter man exhorted them from the pulpit. It must be galling to know how little they obey your outmoded strictures about sex.

Lastly, before you call old Kinsey a pervert, I'd consider that old adage about glass houses and throwing stones. Your church hardly has a shining record in the perversion department.


Anonymous said...

When Fr.Michael and his fellows preach and are active to outlaw divorce and make birthcontrol illegal, i will believe they are acting from a sincere desire to live out the teachings of their church. But until that happens, i am left with a nagging doubt that religion is being used as a cover for something else all together.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Michael, I'm afraid I find your comment that GBLT folks are not worth your concern because there aren't that many of them an extraordinarily disappointing comment for a Christian to make.

Would you agree that, say, Sweden has the right to trample on the civil rights of RCs because there aren't that many of them there? I suspect not. Jesus said something about doing to others that you would want them to do to you, I believe.

And God was willing to save the many because of a few -- 50, 45, 40, 30, 20 -- even 10.

Take care that, in your zeal to destroy the physical lives of others, you don't destroy your spiritual life in the process.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Fr. i was speaking tongue in cheek when i said there were many of us. However, i would hold up my own daughter who was raised in a gay household in the Castro district of San Francisco, none the less, against any young man or woman that you care to put forward. She is very successful and well educated young woman and, even more important, a woman with a strong moral sense. I do not really think this is about numbers. It is the quality of any childs environment that how that child is loved and cared for. And the amendment is not going to stop gay and lesbian families, it will just make it harder for them. My only son died in a nursing home far away from me becuase of insurance discrimination relating to my being gay. At one point, by the way, i was fired from working for the Roman Catholic Church for being (not doing, just being) gay. And at that point, my daughter ..then age 8...was threatened with death. Of course, this was not an official church action. But it was the result of a culture that fosters and gives permission to making some people "less than" others. You know the routing about "hate the sin and not the sinner," but do you know how that gets lived out in a culture that tends to descriminate and strike out at those who are different. Speech is important and it gets acted on by others sometimes. We need to be very careful about what we teach.

Anonymous said...

It's thanks to priests like you, FrMichael (I'm tempted to use quotation marks around "priests", but unlike your Popoid sect, I'm not a Donatist), that more faithful RCs, following the Holy Spirit, leave to become faithful Episcopalians (i.e., Catholics), all the time. Keep up the "good" work!

James said...

Congratulations! You've had your first troll-by postings. You've moved up in the world.

Dr Primrose, since the RC and Mormon churches "urge" their membership to write legislature members in an attempt to influence voting, wouldn't taht violate the IRS code?

Anonymous said...

James, the way I read the IRS guidelines is that churches are permitted to contact, or urge members of the public to contact, legislators to propose, support, or oppose legislation so long as this kind of activity does not consitute a "substantial part" of the churches' activities.

It's not only the RCC and the LDS folks that do this -- we in TEC do this, too. For example, we have an Office of Government Relations in Washington, DC, that is involved in this kind of stuff.

I think it is important that we on the progressive side in TEC do this. But, of course, if we get to do it, then RCC and LDS get to do it, too.

rick allen said...

"Congratulations! You've had your first troll-by postings. You've moved up in the world."

Who are you calling a troll? I thought these things were for talking. And I thought some valid points were made, though it turned into kind of a pile-on at the end.

Personally, I try to avoid those kind of long drawn out acrimonious endings. Make your point. Answer any questions that come up. But no point in repeating yourself if you said it the first time.

MarkBrunson said...

I look forward to the movement receiving a smack-down on Election Day.

And I, Michael, look forward to you and the Bavarian Barbarian receiving a "smack down" on Judgment Day! However, the difference between us is that I know that it is wrong for me to thus exult in the suffering of others -- you, evidently, do not.


I had heard of the abysmal level of pastoral training in Roman seminaries, and, clearly, it is true.

Anonymous said...

You know, happy as I am (being an ex-Catholic) to do my share of RC-bashing, I rather suspect James is right and "FrMichael" is no more in orders than I am.

I mean, are those the comments of a man of God?


Brother David said...

I am not sure of the geographical location of RC priest Michael, but one of the reasons California has large parishes is because they are filled with my paisanos. They are mostly poor and they cannot vote, so a lot of the RCC invective is hot air.

Chill out amigos, these pendejos are jerking your chain!

As I did when this came up at Jake's, I remind you all that the TEC Presiding Bishop has written a few letters this year to your federal legislature on social issues. It is the same here. If we can do it, they can do it.

But I am hoping that your Cal Supremes are hiding an Ace in theirs sleeves!

Anonymous said...

I've seen a "FrMichael" post elsewhere in TEC blogosphere (w/ the same unvarnished contempt and bigotry).

My gut tells me he's the Real Popoid Deal, IT. With the "priestly anointing" et al, straight from Rome . . . and a hateful heart to make the Father-of-Lies blush (or rather, turn green w/ envy).

And to think I grew up believing "The Roman Catholic Church is almost exactly like the Episcopal Church" (of course, that was in the 1970s, when it was)

Lord have mercy!

Anonymous said...

I've seen a "FrMichael" post elsewhere in TEC blogosphere (w/ the same unvarnished contempt and bigotry).

My gut tells me he's the Real Popoid Deal, IT. With the "priestly anointing" et al, straight from Rome . . . and a hateful heart to make the Father-of-Lies blush (or rather, turn green w/ envy).

And to think I grew up believing "The Roman Catholic Church is almost exactly like the Episcopal Church" (of course, that was in the 1970s, when it was)

Lord have mercy!

Anonymous said...

Damn Blogger (having an "I miss Haloscan" moment ;-/)

James said...

JCF, this is the very reason I changed over to haloscan on my blog.

Anonymous said...

I see I drew some reaction. Think I'll respond to that which is more dialogical:

Deacon Mark and Dr. Primrose: I didn't mean to imply that the GLBT community, because of its few numbers, wasn't worth my pastoral attention. My current parish doesn't have any "out" folks, but my previous one did. Somehow we managed to coexist.

Deacon Mark: when contraception and no-fault divorce were before state legislatures, the Catholic Church indeed was their chief opponent. Unfortunately, we lost on those issues and now we fight the current issues of the Culture of Death: abortion, embryonic stem cells, and GLBT "civil rights."

Dr. Primrose: you may want to get into the weeds of the Pew study a little further. When one looks at the data, Catholicism has the best retention of youths-to-adults among all the Christian traditions in the US and the third-best retention among all surveyed US religious traditions: only the Jews and Hindus do better than us. The reason why our numbers seem so shocking (and our losses are shocking IMHO) is that we are such a large church. FWIW by the same survey, TEC loses half of its children by adulthood. Religious mobility is a fact-of-life in this country.

IT: Rest assured, my parish takes no money from the federal or state government, so none of your money is supporting my part of the Lord's vineyard. Just to help you sleep a little better at night...

June Butler said...

Somehow we managed to coexist.

Is coexisting the same as pastoring?

...when contraception and no-fault divorce were before state legislatures, the Catholic Church indeed was their chief opponent.

Such a pity that the entire State of California is not forced to follow the rules of the RCC church on those two issues. Fr Michael, can you not grasp the reason for a certain degree of, um, well, I'll just say it, hostility toward the RCC. Well and good if you want to impose the rules of the RCC on your own membership, but on a whole state? It boggles the mind.

Bloggers at FOJ, let me know when Fr Michael attains troll status, and I'll stop replying to him.

episcopalifem said...

Mimi..I'd say he's achieved Troll.

May God have mercy on his soul and those of his constituents.

But what do I know? Ex-RC that I am.

Of course, "being" a Christian doesn't seem to help some folks to act like one, ordination or no. I've got some clergy in family I could hold up as example - one a shining example; one a not so shining example.

Ordination doesn't preclude humanity, and all its attendant foibles, far as I've ever been able to see.

June Butler said...

OK, Eileen, I'll stop my replies to him.

Anonymous said...

One might just point out that if a church isn't paying the taxes on the church building or its activities that any secular institution would be paying, then the taxpayers are de facto giving it money. I'd be happy to see the Catholics cough up their full share but I guess they need the money for sex abuse settlements.

But yes, Mimi, I would say this poster is contributing nothing other than rabble rousing and bile at this point. I'm disinclined to remove the posts, however, because I think it's useful to see how much general nastiness comes from putative "Christians", let alone someone who claims to be a priest.

episcopalifem said...

Agreed, IT.

Anonymous said...

Fr Michael is wrong about the issues re: Bob Jones Univ. and its tax status. Bob Jones Univ. originally excluded, by written policy, black students from all of its educational programs. The university claimed that its religious doctrine forbade miscegenation and thus required exclusion of black students in order to avoid black-white social contact that could lead to miscegenation.

The university was not solely a seminary designed to train a particular denomination's professional ministers - such seminaries do not have to answer to employment and public access civil rights law concerning teachers and students. The university had a significant non-religious component, in other words, it taught courses of study not leading directly to professional ministry. As I understand it, the government claim was that the non-seminary portion of the university was sufficiently similar to non-religious educational institutions that the non-seminary portion had to adhere to public accomodations civil rights laws. The case was decided against BJU in 1975 at the US Supreme Court. BJU then removed the written rule excluding black students, and admitted a token or two, and retained its tax exemption.

The early stages of the BJU case also motivated many of the major Southern (and other) conservative Protestant pastors to join together to build a Christian conservative political movement that could be used to protect Southern Christian private schools (aka "segregation academies") formed after Brown v. Board Ed. decision mandated desegregation of public schools. It dawned on the pastors (Falwell et al) that some other issue needed to be used for public lobbying and for attraction of rank-and-file adherents, since an organization publicly dedicated to segregation didn't have respectability in politics. Abortion, recently legalized, was the issue chosen for political power-building and membership recruitment. Protestant organisations did not become a significant part of the anti-abortion lobby until 1974, whereas Catholics were lobbying against every attempt to liberalize state abortion laws in the 1960s


Anonymous said...

FrMichael, you and your Roman sect ARE the "Culture of Death": my pity is only for the good, faithful RCs still held in its toxic thrall. >:-(

I'm done now.


Anonymous said...

NancyP-- thanks for your information. I was under the impression that BJU still lacks non-profit status. Nonetheless, my point still stands: the government is willing to use the threat of removing non-profit status to coerce religious entities. The same type of process has happened to Catholic Charities in CA with regards to coverage of contraception.

"One might just point out that if a church isn't paying the taxes on the church building or its activities that any secular institution would be paying, then the taxpayers are de facto giving it money."

That statement is true only if one assumes that money belongs by right to the government. On the contrary, if one believes that money fundamentally belongs to individuals and non-governmental entities, which are then subsequently taxed by government,
then your position isn't true. My parish costs the taxpayers nothing-- and in fact our parochial school saves the taxpayer the expense of educating children in the public schools in excess of $2 million dollars.

Anonymous said...


OK, I guess it's up to me.

I'll undoubtedly be making a substitution for mahi mahi below:

Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi

[Prep Time: 5 minutes. Cook Time: 8 minutes.]

* 1.25 lbs fresh or thawed mahi mahi fillets, about .75 to 1 inch thick

* 2 tbsp. molasses

* 2 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce

* 2 tsp. grated fresh gingerroot

* .5 tsp. bottled minced garlic

* .25 tsp. toasted sesame oil or olive oil

1. Spray grill rack w/ nonstick cooking spray. Preheat grill to medium.

2. Rinse fish; pat dry w/ paper towels. Cut fish into 4 serving size pieces.

3. In a small bowl stir together molasses, soy sauce, gingerroot, garlic and oil. Set aside.

4. Grill fish for 5 minutes for each half-inch of thickness or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork (145F), turning once. Brush generously w/ molasses mixture during the last 5 minutes of grilling.

Serves 4.

Happy Friday Fish Day . . . even to FrMichael (Now, go repent!)

David said...


Back from vacation in San Antonio, and I see we have a troll.

My suggestion: If it gets so bad that we spend all our time responding to him/her, and then start posting recipes when they won't stop - that's when I start deleting their comments.

So "Fr. Michael," you're officially on notice from this point forward. I have no intention of letting our comment threads turn into the unpleasant location that Jake's old place was at times...

Марко Фризия said...

In light of the massive pedophilia/clergy child rapist problems in the RC Church, I don't think that group's hierarchy will have any real credibility to speak about sexual morality. There were members of Catholic and Protestant churches aligned with the government of the Third Reich. We should not be surprised when some Catholics and Protestants want to create a Fourth Reich in the USA. But we must choose Jesus, the suffering and abandoned One, not Barabbas the violent militant. The RC Catechism calls divorce "a plague" on society. But they oppose gay marriage and don't seem to have any interest in the 50% of straight marriages that fail. This action by the RC Church in CA seems to be anti-gay bigotry, not a eal interest in helping preserve the institution of marriage.

rick allen said...

"I have no intention of letting our comment threads turn into the unpleasant location that Jake's old place was at times..."

On the other hand, all comments on the coming establishment of the Fourth Reich by child-raping RC's will be welcome in the spirit of open discussion.

Anonymous said...

Rick, this sarcastic snark kick you've been about lately, just isn't attractive (nor persuasive).

Yeah, yeah: "log, splinter". Lord have mercy!