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The fallout from the Arizona religious freedom veto

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DC area columnist Michael Sean Winters comments on the extent to which bigotry paid a part in the drive for a religious liberty bill in Arizona. I respond to both his thoughts and throw in my own, including some more pointed remarks aimed at the Catholic bishops, who are also headquartered in DC (and after all, who isn't anymore). These comments make more sense if you read MSW first, which you can do at http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/after-brewer-veto-sb-1062

The reference to a cultural elite is an evolution from the concept of the New York City Jewish Liberal Elite, which did self identify. Since mentioning Judaism is no longer, well, kosher in PC circles, it has evolved from the liberal elite to the cultural elite - which is oddly owned in major part by Fox, who also owns FoxNews and manages the GOP message. Because, with the exception of Palestinians (and then, not always), Jews tend to be very much in favor of non-discrimination - having felt it themselves. I am sure there are even those who equate what they think of as the cultural elite attack on traditional marriage as Christ killers. Such idiots still live in Arizona.

As for employment of gay people, I very much favor passage of ENDA (the Employment Non-Discrimination Act) and without a religious exemption for non-ministers. Further, the Church should too and provide full services to gay families in the same way as others who are civilly married. The Church condemns both gay marriage and civil marriage, but recognizes the latter for employment law and benefits purposes - to not treat gay civil marriage in the same way IS bigotted.

As I said earlier this week, the kind of religious liberty sought in the vetoed will was equivalent of yelling fire in a theater. It is moral scorn, not moral judgement or religious practice. People of conscience must rise up against such things, including in the Church. In this case we have.

I do not believe that the Church should be forced from the outside to perform gay marriages - however as pressure builds on the inside for such celebration - the Church should yield. I expect that the opposition to civil gay marriage comes from fear by the bishops that this will occur and that gay priests will seek marriage as well (and leave if they don't get it). They also fear gay priests doing those gay weddings secretly and they hate disobedience. If they cannot even respond to internal pressures to treat gays equally - and to recognize that God does - then they indeed are as bigoted as the Arizona bill supporters.

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