Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Via Right Wing Watch, meet Bishop R. Walker Nickless, of the Sioux City, Iowa diocese, who's here to set you straight:
"You know, the power of evil is going to try any way that it can to get a hook into our world and the values that we hold as so dear and so important to us believing people. And the power of evil—the devil—can certainly look—is looking everywhere to find places where they can—where the power of evil can make a difference. To tear us apart, to get us to just look at the worldly values and forget about—you know, that there’s something more important than the values of the world. And that’s why we’ve got to stand up and violently oppose this. We cannot let darkness overshadow us. We’ve got to be men and women who proclaim the light, and we’ve got to tell the truth, and we’ve got to be transparent, and we’ve got to say that government cannot do this to us."
I wish I didn't believe this, but I do think that somewhere, sometime there will be violent attacks in the US against people, businesses, offices, lawmakers, et al that the radical Right considers oppose their very narrow view of the world. It's a new low for clergy to advocate violence -- Bishop Nickless must want a cardinal's hat VERY badly indeed. But he's way out of sync with his own congregations: survey figures show that something like 92% of American Catholic women use birth control, so that horse left the barn so long ago that the farm has been sold and turned into condos.
There used to be a philosophy called "live and let live." It respected the beliefs and practices of others. Obviously, live and let live is dead. It makes no difference that Catholics are not being forced to use birth control, that Catholic and Evangelical women are not being marched off to the abortion parlors against their will. If they don't believe in it, then nobody can have it.
We're still awaiting the result of the current debate in the legislature here in NH over the bills to repeal same sex marriage. I say bills because some alternates have been proposed that include downgrading all existing marriages into civil unions, which, contrary to the statements made, do NOT provide all the protections and benefits of marriage by a long shot. Despite the well known fact that a 2 to 1 majority of NH citizens oppose repeal, the Republicans have announced that they have the votes to overturn governor Lynch's pre-announced veto should the repeal bill be approved. Given the strong popular opposition to repeal, there are reports that at least some Republican legislators fear being voted out of office in this year's elections should they defy the voters. Isn't that nice?
"It's a time of change and the momentum is with gay marriage," said Michele Dillon, chair of the sociology department at UNH, who specializes in sociology and religion. Poll after poll shows the "millennials" — those age 18 to 29 — overwhelmingly favoring same-sex marriage. "The younger generation is perplexed that it's even an issue," Dillon said. "They're just totally ahead on that."
The UNH poll indicates 71 percent of those age 18 to 34 "strongly oppose" repeal of New Hampshire's gay marriage law with another 14 percent somewhat opposing repeal. In a PRRI poll taken last June, 62 percent of millennials favor gay marriage, including 49 percent who identified themselves as Republicans.
"Young people have friends who are gay and lesbian, and they don't see what all the hullabaloo's about," Cox said. "Their parents, on the other hand, didn't have those strong connections. I mean, they could have had gay or lesbian friends, but they never knew it. It wasn't accepted."
PRRI recently conducted a poll specifically asking members of different religions where they stood on the issue of gay marriage. The results show a divided nation religiously. Some 75 percent of all white evangelical Protestants, black Protestants and Mormons oppose gay marriage.
Favoring gay marriage were Jews (78 percent), non-Christian religiously affiliated Americans, including Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims (72 percent), white Catholics (56 percent), Hispanic Catholics (53 percent), and white mainline Protestants (52 percent).
"The religious/secular divide on this issue is shrinking pretty dramatically," Cox said.