The polemic by Charles A. Donovan of the Heritage Foundation published June 7, "State makes church choose between conscience and service," ignores some basic facts in defending Catholic Charities of Massachusetts' decision to halt adoptive and foster care services after the state legalized same-sex marriage.
To paraphrase writer Susan Jacoby, "(American, conservative) religious believers ... have confused their constitutional right to believe whatever they want with the idea that the beliefs themselves must be inherently worthy of respect." Donovan is so confused.
An example, "Having the courage of one's convictions is an admirable trait." Followed by, "Tolerance on matters of religious and moral conviction is meaningless if individuals and institutions are shorn of their liberty to act in keeping with their core values." When we agree with those convictions, great. Do we believe these platitudes when religious and moral convictions lead to, say, assassinating infidels and abortionists? No. Such beliefs are not worthy of respect.
An awareness is spreading across the country that there is nothing inherently wrong with same-sex marriage, especially when the very idea of what constitutes gender is scientifically problematic. And as a consequence, people see the institutional policies of the Catholic Church, to name just one example, as immoral with respect to "same-sex" marriage.
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Just as we no longer kill heretics, we no longer let religions practice immoral discrimination when it comes to matters of public policy. They have changed for the better on the former offense; let them do likewise on the latter.
David D. Peterson