There are times when writing becomes difficult. It can be time constraints, outside interference, distractions, and then there are the times when the brain becomes so full that finding the right thread is impossible.
Since I last wrote two things have impacted my own brain making it hard to be quiet enough to write. The first was the murder of a gay man here in New York closely followed by beatings just because the victims were gay. The second is the behaviour of the Cardinal for New York. At a time when extending love and support to a community that is being attacked should be his first thought he has chosen to stay silent on the events, and instead decided to offend and damage those who are threatened and in pain.
Instead of coming onto the steps of his cathedral and condemning the violence he focused his attention on the LGBT community telling them that they must wash their hands before they could enter and using the police (paid for by the taxes we pay) to keep us away. Should it matter? Well, yes it should, if you want to believe this man’s claim to be a follower of Christ and a leader in his church. It should matter that he is failing to treat all mankind as equal like God and Christ do. It should matter that he is following the old law that Christ overthrew.
But in a very real sense it doesn’t.
In the end this man is just that. He is a man nothing more.
What does matter is the fact that he abuses a paid position to affect the lives of those whom he has nothing to do with. What does matter is that a private individual takes it upon himself to comment and try to influence the human rights of those who he doesn’t like. As Cardinal Dolan is not an elected official, elected in the sense that anyone other than his own clique get a vote, he is a private individual. A privileged and unpleasant one to be sure but a private citizen with no more right than any other to decide another’s rights than any other. The same is true for all members of the clergy.
This not being a theocracy there can be no justification for politicians to allow a private belief to influence their voting. There can be no justification for allowing the church to lobby and blackmail those same politicians using the money that the faithful give. Neither should there ever be a threat to remove or influence the votes that their followers hold. There can be no justification from any member of any church to say more than “I don’t agree but let the majority decide for the good of the majority”. Last time I looked this was a democracy and weren’t we trying to teach the rest of the world how to be like us?
The time has come for both sides of the argument to stop and to end any religious debate on equal identity for all citizens. Why? Because be they man, woman, old, young, disabled, lgbt, or of a different race there is no difference. As humans we are all the same. The skin may be a little darker or lighter, the eyes may be a different colour but as an organism we are all the same. It’s time to stop fighting and when it comes to religion say that it has no place in any debate that concerns humans. We need to see that it’s a taught response to look to the church for the right way when some of the greatest human abuses have come straight from the vestry.
And because of the old adage “no one’s going to do anything so I might as well” I am proposing a global campaign.
It is time for the likes of Cardinal Dolan to be stripped of their ability to decide and condemn the masses with no form of censure. They must lose their freedom to use their money and their business’ money to influence other people’s rights. Freedom of speech is a fine thing but I propose that each government is forced to acknowledge that they have been suppliants to the threats of the men of God. To say that they have chosen their personal views over the good of their electorate.The laws of each land should be for the benefit of all and not tied to a belief system and those private individuals who control it. It is time for governments to acknowledge that they have allowed the richest voice to influence them and to mend their ways.
So how do we do it? How do we achieve freedom for all? We fight them. We as nations allow, for example, the LGBT community to take these men of the Church to court each time they spread lies and slander about us. If gay marriage will lead to marrying animals then that person must either have proof or must be penalized for slandering a large community. It is a hate crime and that should not be covered by freedom to say anything and a “it’s my personal opinion”. Good men and women have died through the centuries for those very reasons and it’s time to stop. It is truly time to end the right of some to speak to destroy the lives of the many. When they speak they must be accountable not to God but to mankind for their words and actions.
So in the next few weeks look for the petition, sign it, share it but most of all realize it’s time that humanity took back it’s rights from those who have no say in them. And no Cardinal you do not have a right to forgive me for standing up to your, and your colleagues, sins.