The Rainbow Sash Movement firmly believes that Cardinal Francis George has used the pulpit at Holy Name Cathedral to attack the civil liberties of Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Community. The Cardinal has also used his tax exempt status to pay for such political attacks on the Gay Community in both the electronic media and the press.
We realize this demonstration has the potential of pitting religious freedom against. the rights of Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender people, and once again putting our Civil Rights into the fore front of community dialogue. However, it has always been the Tradition of Catholic Social Justice to stand with those who are either outcast or marginalized because of who they are sons and daughters of God, and because of our fears of who they are. The Cardinal must welcome Christ in the Gay Community.
As Roman Catholics we have difficulty understanding why our Church leadership does not see the linkage between homophobia, sexism, racism and anti-Semitism in the issue of Human Rights. We are sorry that Cardinal George has attempted to make the Civil Rights of Gay and Lesbian people a religious issue when in fact it is a constitutional issue.
One only has to look to the Catholic Churches position on usury as a way to promote anti-Semitism, and later changing the position. Aquinas believed that usury (the lending of money for profit) was unjust and against natural law, and was therefore forbidden to Christians. Therefore, a pattern emerged: Jews were invited into a region to fill money-lending and tax collecting gaps in the economy, they were blamed for the problems of the economic system, and Christians expelled or massacred them. The stereotype of Jews as money-lovers, as cheap and as miserly was born.
Christian leaders preached what they determined were the “naturalness” in the subjugation of black Africans and in the institution of slavery. A direct reflection of this position is evidenced by the names of the ships used to transport slaves across the sea, four of which were the “Jesus,” the “Gift of God,” the “Liberty” and the “Justice.”
When the Cardinal and his Auxiliary Bishops engage in condemnation of LGBT Civil Rights they come across as defensive and insecure, as if they fear their arguments cannot win the day on the merits. We believe by attacking gay rights from the pulpit they only demonstrate a lack of courage to challenge each other to love our neighbor.
Contrary to what the Cardinal says about loving the sinner and hating the sin it has been translated into hate both the sinner and the sin. His recent apology to the Gay and Lesbian Community is just the most recent example of this pretzel theology being used to justify false witness.
We endorse the Marriage Equality Demonstration outside of Holy Name Cathedral because we feel we are following in the footsteps of those who have come before us in promoting Human Rights in the best tradition of Catholic Social Justice. We encourage other progressive Catholic organizations to join us in this just cause.
Rainbow Sash Movement