The recent election results showed not only a victory for Obama and the progressive agenda, but demonstrated a significant step forward in the struggle for equal rights for women, Latinos and the gay community. Voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington voted to legalize gay marriage - something no state has done before - and in Minnesota voters rejected a proposed ban. This is all the remarkable when one considers the fierce opposition from the religious conservatives lead by American Catholic bishops.
In a clearly politically motivated document, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Newark, N.J., the Rev. John J. Meyers urges "faithful Catholics" and other "men and women of good will" to vote against any candidate for public office who supports same-sex marriage. He goes on to say that all Catholics who support such a candidate should consider themselves excommunicated and should therefore not partake in the Eucharist at Catholic altars.
This starkly demonstrates the archbishop's definition of homosexuality as "deviant, unnatural and even evil" is badly outdated and almost universally rejected by a majority of Americans, including Catholics. No reputable scientist today supports the idea that anyone chooses his or her sexual orientation. Homosexuality cannot be cured because it is not a disease, and those organizations that claim to be able to are fraudulent.
The archbishop's "pastoral teaching" is profoundly wrong and will be ridiculed by people of reason. It will be soundly rejected and ignored by those he calls the "faithful" just as they largely ignore the church's teaching on birth control and death with dignity. The pope and the archbishop will some day discover that "truth" is not the truth and cannot be forced on the church laity, who will soundly dismiss it. Then, in the words of former Episcopalian Bishop John Shelby Spong, "will their minds be changed and an apology will be appropriate for the pain their prejudice and ignorance has caused for millions, including many who are priests and bishops of their own church."
Gene Rigelon, Front Royal