Constitutional showdown: Church forbidden from opposing same sex marriage and adoption rights.

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    Dec 31, 2009 6:45 AM GMT
    Well, this is getting more interesting by the minute. You all know (hopefully) that Mexico City passed a gender neutral marriage bill AND gave adoption rights to people in same sex marriages.

    Do anyone expected the Catholic Church to keep quiet? Of course not. They had made their opposition known stridently. They and other smaller churches are already trying to come up with a plan to bring down the law in court and to get the people to oppose the law. They even let the president of one of the most traditionalist groups of parents use the Metropolitan Cathedral pulpit to call to action against this law... (Edit: And all that while claiming they wouldn't be "caught dead" promoting homophobia)

    Perhaps all that in the U.S. would be deplorable but legally kosher. Not so in Mexico where the federal constitution forbids the Church from opposing the laws of the country in public and from gathering to plot against them. The same sex marriage law has already passed the Legislative Assembly and has already been signed by the Chief of Goverment; so they are now forbidden from opposing it anymore. Of course, non-clergy Catholics are free to do so on their own.

    Lawmakers have already called for the federal government to put a halt to the Church opposition to the law and for good measure added the charge of hypocrisy by revealing that mexican late Cardinal Corripio left behind lots of kids, one even named the same as him (Edit: They just withdrew this one because they "Can't produce evidence"... oh well).

    The Church hierarchy in Mexico and its most conservative wings are livid, the Pro-Gay groups gloating and some of us looking in amazement and wondering if things might get out of hand...

    More as this develops... but, meanwhile, what's your take on the way the fight is going here?

    Sources:

    http://www.oem.com.mx/elsoldemexico/notas/n1459929.htm

    http://www2.esmas.com/noticierostelevisa/mexico/df/126115/prd-aldf-pide-sancionar-iglesia-catolica

    http://www.milenio.com/node/349967
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    Dec 31, 2009 9:03 AM GMT
    Engineer saidPerhaps all that in the U.S. would be deplorable but legally kosher. Not so in Mexico where the federal constitution forbids the Church from opposing the laws of the country in public and from gathering to plot against them.
    icon_lol.gif Separation of church and state is awesome!! we need more of that here icon_redface.gif
  • metta

    Posts: 39079

    Dec 31, 2009 9:22 AM GMT
    Fascinating! Please keep us posted.
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    Dec 31, 2009 9:36 AM GMT
    The Catholic Church also has been opposing same-sex marriage in the US.
  • Nodak

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    Dec 31, 2009 1:51 PM GMT
    The only logical way out of this is to have the Government stop giving out marriage licenses and only issue "civil union" paperwork. Give "marriage" back to the churches. If a church wishes to honor same sex marriage they may do so. Obviously existing marriage licenses would be "grandfathered" in but after a given date only civil unions would be recognized by Government entities. It gives all persons the same rights and protects churches which object to same sex marriage.
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    Dec 31, 2009 2:12 PM GMT
    This is not going to end well.
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    Dec 31, 2009 2:23 PM GMT
    Yes. The churches in America have no right to interfere with the laws of this land.
    I’ve watched churches slowly pick off constitutional rights of gay Americans since Bush was in office, and it makes me sick.
    I think gay rights is America’s next lesson in growth, and history will show who was right and wrong.

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    Dec 31, 2009 2:31 PM GMT
    phemt saidThe Catholic Church also has been opposing same-sex marriage in the US.

    Yes, and also improperly, though in the US the prohibition against their political involvement is indirect and ineffective. No church leaders can be charged or prosecuted for it, but their organizations (along with other kinds of non-profit groups) are supposed to lose their tax-exempt status for engaging in political activities.

    The problem, though, is 2-fold. The US IRS policy, like campaign financing laws, has enough loopholes to drive the Vatican through it on wheels, and enough sluggish procedural delays so that stopping illegal politicking before an election takes place is virtually impossible. These are largely handled as administrative issues, not criminal ones, which makes all the difference in the world in stopping them promptly as they occur.

    The churches can ramp up their political campaigning just before an election, which is over and done with before the IRS even looks at the violations. In the meantime, the church-endorsed candidates and ballot initiatives, such as anti-gay marriages laws, have passed. In the years following the election, IRS & public interest in continuing to investigate these matters fades, evidence harder to gather and easier to cover up. Which leads to the second major problem:

    Opposing a major organized Christian religion in the US is political suicide, and no party will dare attempt it. The churches clearly see that now, whereas before there was tacit agreement by them to obey the tax law requirements. The real change occurred during the Bush Administration with "Faith Based Initiatives" which made churches de-facto partners with the US government, and totally blurred the line between church and state.

    Which of course was the intended goal under Karl Rove's political strategy, to keep the Republicans in power through alliance with Christian churches. It was unprecedented in US political history for its boldness and reversal of American Constitutional principles, but it worked, and very well, and continues to work to some extent, the "faithful" now forming the greatest part of the fanatical Republican base.

    Nearly a decade of being able to do whatever the churches wanted politically, and getting paid for it to boot, had made going back to the way things once were a more & more difficult proposition. We are exactly where the Founders did not want, when they wrote the US Constitution, of having "approved" religions in partnership with the government, helping to call the shots, and influencing elections.

    Rather than merely having political campaigning by churches a virtually unenforceable tax policy violation, it should be written into the US Code (I don't think a Constitutional amendment would be needed, the original document being sufficient on the matter). With criminal penalties for contravening it, and giving courts the ability to issue immediate injunctions to halt proscribed political activities without delay when they occur. And to direct the IRS to automatically withdraw tax-exempt status for convictions under that law.
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    Dec 31, 2009 2:44 PM GMT
    The model in Mexico is one we would do well to adopt in the US. I think eventually the church will have no choice but to back down and sulk in silence. It may preach hatred for a while, but eventually it will get quiet.

    The churches of various faiths have picked this battle simply because they are increasingly losing relevance as time moves forward. All religions, with perhaps the sole exception of the contemplative philosophy of Buddhism, are by nature retrogressive. Because modern things such as television and science and critical thinking were not part of the belief system when it was created, there is no room for the creations of progress. People may pick and choose in later years what they want to believe, but if you wanted to be a fundamentalist christian, for example, you would have to keep the laws of Moses (which means no more blended fabrics, eating crustaceans, etc), as well as sell off all of your things (as Jesus states that not only can a rich man essentially not get into heaven, but you have to jettison your material things before you follow him).

    But that's just one small example. In reality, there is no religion that holds a monopoly on the truth, and all of them are rather a bit silly, though Buddhism is at least adherent to empirical data and inclined to change its way of thinking when that way of thinking is proved wrong.

    We have allowed these social parasites to hold dominion over us for entirely too long. It's time to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery and be free. At least the government of Mexico is taking positive steps in that direction.
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    Dec 31, 2009 2:55 PM GMT
    Go Mexico City Government!!! woot woot!
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Dec 31, 2009 7:40 PM GMT
    I think this is what finally will expose the Roman Catholic Church and the rest of them for the thieving lying hypocrites that they really are
    because eventually we are going to see that the majority of the thinking world is going to allow gay marriage and the sky will not be falling
    .... the remainder of the repressed people will be living under totalitarian rule

    ... and the United States icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 01, 2010 12:39 AM GMT
    GQjock saidI think this is what finally will expose the Roman Catholic Church and the rest of them for the thieving lying hypocrites that they really are
    because eventually we are going to see that the majority of the thinking world is going to allow gay marriage and the sky will not be falling
    .... the remainder of the repressed people will be living under totalitarian rule

    ... and the United States icon_rolleyes.gif

    You will never see the lifting of totalitarian church rule in the United States in your lifetime. The US is a Christian theocracy, by the choice of its voters. No one denomination predominates, but Christianity controls the US government as surely as the Islamic religion controls the countries of the Middle East.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jan 01, 2010 2:30 PM GMT
    Oh I totally agree Red
    That's why I wrote the post script

    It's just so ironic that the country that was founded on being free from religious totalitarianism is currently being strangled by it and will eventually being utterly ruined if this "Idiocrasy" keeps up
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    Jan 15, 2010 2:55 PM GMT
    Red_VespaOpposing a major organized Christian religion in the US is political suicide, and no party will dare attempt it. The churches clearly see that now, whereas before there was tacit agreement by them to obey the tax law requirements. The real change occurred during the Bush Administration with "Faith Based Initiatives" which made churches de-facto partners with the US government, and totally blurred the line between church and state.

    Which of course was the intended goal under Karl Rove's political strategy, to keep the Republicans in power through alliance with Christian churches. It was unprecedented in US political history for its boldness and reversal of American Constitutional principles, but it worked, and very well, and continues to work to some extent, the "faithful" now forming the greatest part of the fanatical Republican base.

    Nearly a decade of being able to do whatever the churches wanted politically, and getting paid for it to boot, had made going back to the way things once were a more & more difficult proposition. We are exactly where the Founders did not want, when they wrote the US Constitution, of having "approved" religions in partnership with the government, helping to call the shots, and influencing elections.




    People with particular political ideologies have selective memory. If this comment were made a year ago before Bush left office, I might be inclined to agree. However, the fact that you write this a year into the new administration says you are either uninformed or simply blinded by ideology.

    Shortly after Obama was sworn in, he didn't do away with Bush's policies on faith-based initiatives--similar to retaining many other Bush policies. To the contrary, Obama pledged not only to continue Bush faith-based initiatives, but also to massively spread and expand faith-based initiatives.

    For instance (and this is one of many examples), The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, aka "the Stimulus Package" Bill, provides 100 MILLION dollars for grants to faith-based organizations. If you feel inclined to check, I'll give you a freebie. See page 141 of the bill. You might think: "Wow! As if that wasn't enough money, I'm sure republicans were angry that it was only $100 mil." Of course, you'd be wrong. A proposed amendment introduced by none other than Susan Davis, a California DEMOCRAT, would have increased the total appropriations for faith-based initiatives to a whopping 500 MILLION.

    The issue of whether faith-based initiatives are appropriate is a good topic for debate, but you weren't inviting dialogue or debate on the pros and cons of those policies. You were only criticizing a republican for the same thing a democrat continues to do. Obama has been rightly criticized by some who thought he would stop Bush's policy regarding faith-based initiatives because he has continued them.

    Anyone who asks the question: "When will people learn that no political party has all the answers?" for reasons other than to posit a rhetorical framework--without already knowing the answer--is delusional. Politicians have been screwing the world for times immemorial and they will continue to do so regardless of political affiliation. I get bored quickly when I hear republicans bitch about democrats screwing up everything because they are evil-doers. I also get bored quickly when I hear democrats bitch about the same nonsense. Too bad political ideologues will never understand this because to them, their own party has all the answers.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2010 11:37 PM GMT
    GQjock saidI think this is what finally will expose the Roman Catholic Church and the rest of them for the thieving lying hypocrites that they really are
    because eventually we are going to see that the majority of the thinking world is going to allow gay marriage and the sky will not be falling
    .... the remainder of the repressed people will be living under totalitarian rule

    ... and the United States icon_rolleyes.gif


    Not sure if you are trying to say that the U.S. will be in the minority when it comes to banning gay marriages. If you are, I disagree. I'm pretty sure that gay marriage will become legal in all the U.S. in our generation.