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.
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.”