Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Scripture On Sundays - A Short One

I was out of town to celebrate a grandson's christening, another's birthday, along with some other important family affairs, which have kept me away from the computer.  At this time, instead of sharing this Sunday's readings, I will just share one brief scripture verse which gives me my direction....

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.
Philemon 1:6

I also saw an interview on TV tonight with a Catholic priest who spoke about where the Catholic Church stands on three different and highly political topics.  They are 1) their concerns regarding the abortion language in the healthcare bill, 2) gay marriage and adoption rights, and 3) helping immigrants, even if they are illegal. 

Some may think the stances the Church has are contradictory, as I briefly outline below.  Many also disagree with people interjecting any of their religious beliefs into public policy.  Separation of Church and State, they will say.  But they do intersect, whether we want to acknowledge it or not. 

The Church's views on abortion and gay marriage are normally opposite of the liberal/progressive point of view, which is pro choice and for gay rights.  But it's stance on the need to help immigrants, regardless of their legal status, is in opposition, more often than not, to the traditionally conservative point of view. 

Some may wonder why the Church would be sympathetic to life issues, like speaking up for the rights of the unborn and wanting to help immigrants, even if they are here illegally, yet not be supportive of the gay community concerning their demands to have full marriage rights and be able to adopt as a gay couple. 

I'd like to believe we hold no animosity towards any person, regardless of their race or sexual orientation.  The Church has been a leader in this country on education, providing healthcare facilities, orphanages and helping the poor, such as through Catholic Charities.  Much of this work has been self supporting, such as through the payment of tuition with education and other private charitable donations and fund raisers.  Yet with the healthcare and adoption services they provide, there is some unavoidable government involvement.  When we're all on the same page, there's not a problem.  But when governmental laws or mandates are interjected which do not coincide with the core teachings of the church, it becomes a problem. 

All I can say is that I hope the people of this country and it's politicians realize and more importantly, understand that under our country's right to religious freedom, the Church should have a say in how they choose to operate their own facilities within the healthcare system, the charities, and the adoption services, using guidelines that are in compliance with their Church doctrine.

Jesus taught us to 'render unto Caesar what is Caesar's'.  Paying taxes....yes, but I don't think He wanted the government to impose actual laws or practices that are in opposition to His core teachings.   

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