Archive for December, 2011

Reply to Paul Surlis’s letter in Capital on same sex marriage

December 28, 2011

Christians

I wanted to respond to a letter byPaul Surlis, (The Capital,Dec. 14).

He wrote of the “hatred and violence” of various Christian groups (in connection with the same-sex marriage debate.) But, in 2010,Harvard UniversityscholarRobert PutnamandDavid Campbellreleased the study “American Grace,” which showed that Christians, and others who are involved in a worshipping community, are much more likely to volunteer, do simple kind acts for neighbors, and support charities financially.

Also, the Catholics and other Christians I know are sensitive, sophisticated and not hateful or violent toward anyone.

I do have a sibling who is transgender, and a local Catholic parish has a ministry for the LGBT community that has the full backing of the Catholic Archdiocese.

In response to the idea that Christians try to impose their religious beliefs on others, I would quote “Religious Freedom and the People of Maryland.”

During the recent debate on health care reform, for example, some groups accused theCatholic Churchof trying to hijack the legislative process when we simply argued that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortions, a position the church shares with the majority of Americans.

It seemed that simply by virtue of the fact that we are a religious group, we should not be involved in the public forum, which I feel is wrong.

The Rev.ANDY AARON

Holy Family Roman Catholic Church

Davidsonville

Reply to Fr. Aaron’s reply:

Fr. Aaron evades the central point in my letter namely that Governor O’Malley’s proposal to extend marriage rights to same sex couples is a revision of the secular definition of marriage and does not interfere with the rights of religious organizations to up hold what they call the ” traditional definition of marriage.”  Since that is the case why are religious groups being mobilized to oppose what the governor is proposing?

Fr. Aaron does not comment on the suitability of same sex couples to be adoptive or real parents, something I defended.

 He adduces some examples of church groups that are now gay- friendly something we all know and applaud but that does not negate what I wrote about the appalling, almost two millennia tradition of many Christian groups persecuting gay persons and basing their right to do so on biblical texts that are now regarded as culturally conditioned and no longer valid, much like the array of texts that defend slavery and point to its alleged divine approval.  Biblical texts must be critically interpreted and recognized as obsolete when morality and reason show them to be so.

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same sex marriage

December 28, 2011

Letter published in Capital , Annapololis, 12-15-11

Same-sex marriage

Citizens are being rallied already to again oppose legalization of same-sex marriage, which is presented by religiously affiliated groups as an attack on the traditional definition of marriage.

Gov. Martin O’Malley wishes to enlarge the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples. I do not see any interference with traditional religious definitions of marriage, which religious organizations may continue to uphold. Since the changes proposed by the governor refer to the secular definition of marriage, there is no “threat to religious liberty,” as some Catholics argue.

In some states, Catholic Charities has shut down adoption services rather than place children with same-sex couples – a decision they say was forced on them. The unproven assumption here is that same-sex persons are unsuitable as parents or adoptive parents. I know of no solid empirical studies that verify that claim. If such studies exist where are they?

Anecdotal evidence is not scientific. I, and people I have spoken to, can point to many same-sex couples who have raised well-adjusted children who are as emotionally and spiritually healthy as their peers from so-called traditional marriages.

It must never be forgotten that some of the most ardent opponents of same-sex people in western society have been Christian groups, especially those claiming biblical evidence for their hatred and violence.

We are grateful that ours is a pluralistic society; we must not claim infringements of religious rights where none exist, nor should we try to impose any reduction of the rights of others in the name of religious beliefs.

PAUL SURLIS

Crofton

Sisters of Mercy Ireland Art Therapy

December 2, 2011

To view an excellent article about this please click here.