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Brody Levesque

Views & Voices

Is it really about the children?

Monday, September 12, 2011

WASHINGTON D.C. — Associated Press correspondent Jim Suhr reports that 2,000 Illinois foster parents are facing a painful decision if the government succeeds in ending its four-decade relationship with a Catholic charity over its opposition to Illinois’ new civil unions law.

Suhr writes:

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services wants to cancel contracts totaling more than $30.6 million with Catholic Charities in four Illinois dioceses because the nonprofit refuses to recognize the law that allows unmarried couples – gay or straight – to legally enter into civil unions. If such couples wanted to be foster or adoptive parents, the charity would steer them to other agencies.

Catholic Charities sued the state in July, arguing it shouldn’t be forced to place children in homes of unmarried couples and that state laws provide religious exemptions. A judge sided with the state, and the charity pledges to appeal.

As the legal dispute plays out in court, the families involved say the matter is also one of faith and loyalty.

Catholic Charities is handling about 2,000 of the state’s 15,400 foster care and adoption cases. Church officials say many families with which they work may not want to continue with another agency.

Here’s the problem I have with this controversy, which I might add, is also very much applicable to Massachusetts, Iowa, D. C. New York- in fact anywhere same-sex marriage or civil unions has been codified into statue of the applicable jurisdictions and the so-called Christians pitch a fit, the only real losers in this ideological battle are the children.

One angry commenter in the comments after Suhr’s piece wrote:

You are the same people who put your church above the children when it came to the church sex scandal. Look the other way as long as the bishop transfered the pedophile priest to another parish. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. In your world, you would prefer having a kid live in an orphanage or a dysfunctio­nal situation rather than a loving family who the parents are of the same sex.

Put the children first

Obviously this person is not a huge fan of the Catholic faith, which, I should add, neither am I despite my upbringing as a Catholic back home in my native Ontario.

The truth should be so simple even in consideration regarding the current cultural/theological divide in American society, religion should have absolutely no role in fundamental functions such as social services if the premise of keeping dogma from interfering cannot be adhered to.

In the article, Suhr writes about one couple from Murphysboro, Illinois:

Tammy Penrod and her husband have been foster parents to about 20 children for about the past six years through various agencies, most recently Catholic Social Services. The couple, who have three grown biological children, now have two foster children – siblings ages 10 and 8 – whom they’re adopting.

“It was a calling,” said Penrod, who runs a daycare center. “We felt God was calling us into this for kids.”

Penrod – who is opposed to civil unions for any couples, gay or straight – believes the state’s stance is an affront to religious rights. If a judge rules against Catholic Charities, she said, “as soon as our adoption is through, this couple will be gone.”

What really bothers me and my sense of fair play is that these people continue to disregard that which they constantly cite as the authority by which they proclaim allows them to discriminate and rail against their fellow humans. It strikes me that contrary to the principles contained in their alleged religious holy book, in particular ignoring that poor Jewish carpenter’s Golden Rule, appears to be tantamount to their overall ideology in addressing “specific” instances.

Over the past several years I have labeled the sum of this peculiar institution in America, encompassing all of the branches or faith doctrines- Catholic, Pentecostal-Evangelical- as “corporate Christianity.” It is an unyielding, hypocritical, and dangerous theocratic dogma that has infected mainstream American politics and society not unlike a virus.

When you contrast the millions upon millions of dollars that this parasitic grouping of institutions have spent to marginalize and demonize LGBTQ persons against the stark reality of the needs of the poor, disadvantaged and children who need loving homes and who need to be nurtured, it is difficult to not feel disgusted and angered.

What about the children?

According to the corporate Christians and their reprehensible behavior directed towards the LGBTQ community, society is apparently better served by letting children rot in institutional environs than risk allowing loving and capable same-sex couples to be adoptive or foster parents. Numbing to any who possess a modicum of plain old common sense is that their opposition to LGBTQ persons is based upon hugely flawed interpretation of a bronze age tome.

Disturbingly, their disingenuous attempt to portray themselves as representative of every American’s opinion is never exposed by the mainstream media nor does it seem that there is a substantial number of politicians who are willing to have the courage to step up and decry corporate Christianity for the damage this parasite inflicts upon innocents.

I found that another person commenting upon the article had offered this perfect summation:

It’s simple blackmail : “If the state doesn’t give us money, we are turning out the children”.

This way, you can see exactly how much “charity” with someone else’s money the “Catholic Charities (lol)” are doing. If they have to “do good” on their own expenses, there is no “good” to be done, quite the reverse .

In every definition of the word, “charity” implies raising funds or using their own money. Blackmailing for state funds and using money from taxpayers they hate and discriminate against doesn’t count as “raising funds,” and is not exactly “charitable.”

South Carolina

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15 more reader comments:

  1. well there you go. the folks who most people give their money too have the power. even if they have to threaten to disregard the welfare of children to get their “point” across. nice religion huh. then again what do they care of children? they let their priests rape them and get away with it.

    Posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 at 10:25am
  2. If they were so concerned for the children, they could have used those millions of dollars to fund children’s charities instead of villifying the GLBT community

    Posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 at 10:27am
  3. Of course it’s not really about the children. “Think of the children” is just a catch phrase for these people.

    Posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 at 10:28am
  4. The Catholic church is concerned about children? Since when?

    Posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 at 11:25am
  5. The Catholic church raped thousands of children in the United States alone. They lied about it. They fight and discredit victims when they come forward.

    The Catholic church doesn’t care about children. They care about power. They care about telling people what to do. They care about telling married couples no to wear condoms, and telling people not to be gay, and telling everyone else what to do.

    They should be investigated by the FBI for what they did. They have the world’s largest pedophile protection program. No wonder they want to distract everyone by telling everyone else what to do.

    Posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 at 12:00pm
  6. I worked deeply in the catholic church for a long time. Let me tell you they never do anything without a donation pot. Heaven forbid they use their own funds. They preach so many contradictory messages. Oh and for the record, theyre big on reparative therapy which they tried without calling that on me. Didnt work so well hun, (in the words of Sophia Petrillo: (I’m) “gayer than an easter basket” and wouldnt have it any other way. Perhaps someday I’ll raise a daughter. They’ll be pissed too because she’ll always win best dressed :P

    Posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 at 12:51pm
  7. Absolutely LOVE the warning label on the Bible.

    Posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 at 1:26pm
  8. That warning label is actually one of the pranks pulled by an early form of “hacker” group Anonymous. Encouraged people to print them out and tape them to Bibles in bookstores, all on the same day.

    Posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 at 2:13pm
  9. Oh the Catholic Church…you mean the largest international business in the world that allowed and may still allow their priests to be pedophiles? That Catholic Church is worried about children? Oh please! Mother Mary come to me!

    Posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 at 2:41pm
  10. Oh, please! How about we leave interpreting the Bible to those who compiled it: the Catholic Church.

    Posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 at 10:51pm
  11. Social services belong to the People, not to churches. They need to be paid by the People and for the People. They are no charities, which elevate themselves as being self-righteous and generous. Social services are not about self-righteousness nor generosity but about providing help to the needy citizens, whoever they might be. Stop leaving the People’s rights and duties under the hands of private enterprises like your churches and do your job.

    Posted on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 5:34am
  12. Saint Meinrad Archabbey is not so concerned about children ask Father Bede OSB!

    Posted on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 2:30pm
  13. Penrod – who is opposed to civil unions for any couples, gay or straight – believes the state’s stance is an affront to religious rights. If a judge rules against Catholic Charities, she said, “as soon as our adoption is through, this couple will be gone.”

    Penrod’s quote proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s not about the children. It’s about HER RELIGION and her addiction to it, AND NOTHING ELSE.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 4:28am
  14. It is amazing how close minded the people commenting on this issue are. You do not know the people who work for catholic charities. You are making discriminatory statements against hundreds of employees who you know nothing about. I am shocked at the ignorance on this subject. Preists do not provide casework, People like myself who love my job and love helping children do. I have never discriminated against anyone, but clearly you are all having fun with your negayive comments while I worry about where these children I care so much for will be placed, what I will do to provide for my infant daughters. It seems you are all cheering for cc to close… Will u be so supportive of the hundreds of people, many single mothers, who lose their jobs? I hope you will educate yourself. And quite frankly, many of you should not be foster or adoptive parents if you are disPlaying such intolerance for the catholic religion. You know…some foster children are Catholic too- they are just born that way and should be treated equally. Could you accommodate their beliefs like you expect everyone to accommodate yours?

    Posted on Friday, October 21, 2011 at 12:07am
  15. “You know…some foster children are Catholic too- they are just born that way and should be treated equally.”

    BORN that way? Are you fucking SERIOUS? Like a person is born one race or another, or stright or gay? SERIOUSLY?

    Pardon me while I laugh my proud gay ass off!

    Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2011 at 8:51am