Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gov. Quinn cuts foster-care contracts with Catholic Charities

Question: When a Catholic refuses to uphold Catholic teaching regardless the situation, should that person continue to call himself/herself a Catholic? To quote my friend Judi, "I can't know what's in a person's heart, but I can sure see his actions." Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is certainly acting like a hypocrite by publically going against an organization built by his own Church. CLICK HERE for the full story.

My favorite quote from the article is by Chicago Rep. Greg Harris:
“They’re totally within their rights to determine who can or cannot be married under their church law or who can be married by a priest or rabbi or in their facilities, but this is different...But here, they’re coming to the state to get contracts to provide government services on behalf of the state. They can’t pick and choose which Illinoisans they think are worthy of those services. (emphasis mine)"

Can you also see the flaw in his argument here?

I thought it was the children who were receiving services, Rep. Harris, not homosexual couples. Since it's your government deciding to cancel the contracts, wouldn't it, therefore, be your government determining who is worthy of the services Catholic Charities provides in your state?

Does the word "SCAPEGOATING" mean anything to you, Mr. Harris?


Teresa said...

This violates the religious rights Catholic Charities (and everyone) has according to the Constitution. This is so despicable.... Our government sure has become too large and way too controlling.

Anonymous said...

There's no hypocrisy in the statement you highlighted. Adoption services still have to play by state rules. I am guessing you are not to fond of LGBT people, but if another agency decided they didn't want to give children to black, asian or jewish parents, I am sure you would agree it would be inappropriate for the state to fund that with our tax dollars.

As a religious non-profit, CC can use their complete discretion in choosing parents when they are self-funding an organization. I 100% respect their authority to do this, because of the very important freedom of religion we have in this country.

However, they cannot take state tax dollars payed by all people of Illinois and then refuse to work with couples who are qualified by state standards.

Gina said...

Teresa, it sure is. There's something really wrong with a society that abhors discrimination---EXCEPT when discriminating against Catholics.

Gina said...

Anonymous: I can't judge what's in your heart, but I sure can judge your actions, and accusing me of hatred anonymously is an act of a gutless person with no character.

As for your "argument", the government of Illinois knew very well what Catholic Charities believed when they contracted them to begin with. They knew their beliefs, and they knew how Catholic Charities would provide the service, so your argument is bogus on that point.

Furthermore, the service provided is PLACING CHILDREN, and they place children mostly with Catholic families and Catholic persons. Are you saying that you support the government discriminating against Catholics, and using the LGBT community to do it? Think about where you stand, anonymous, because you're trading one form of hatred for another.

Catholic Charities has never changed it's policy in this regard---it was the government changing the policy, thus it's the government denying services, not Catholic Charities, and therein lies the hypocrisy.

Chris said...

Hi Gina, I only went as anonymous because it was faster than creating an account. But:

1 - Where in my post did I accuse you of "hatred?" I disagreed with your statement. But I never used the term hatred or any synonym to describe CC or you.

2 - No one is saying to discriminate against Catholics. If another agency refused to place children with Catholics, I would also feel that they should not receive state tax dollars paid by all people, including Catholics.

3 - Ultimately it is simple. The state has guidelines for who can receive tax dollars. Catholic Charities is well within their rights to look at those requirements and say that due to their moral code they cannot fulfill the necessary requirements of being a state agency. Fair enough. That is their right. I don't hate them for that. This really isn't some great travesty. Catholic Charities can now continue their work as a self-funded, religious non-profit. And the state can either do its own work or find another contractor who is willing to accept the rules that come with taking public tax dollars.

Gina said...

Chris: yet you had time to come back and make a 3-point comment, I see?

You said: "I am guessing you are not to fond of LGBT people". This is an assumption on your part, a P.C. accusation of bigotry. Own your statements, especially when they're right there for everyone to see.

Go take a look at Illinois--or any other state for that matter--and check out exactly which organizations receive tax dollars. You'll find NUMEROUS organizations, including religious organizations, who receive state and federal monies and are given government contracts. If you're going to make a point, know the facts.

So again, this is the state's way of discriminating against Catholics, and using LGBT's to do it.

Chris said...

Hi Gina,

1 - I never said bigotry. Those are your words and not mine. Catholics in general do not hold LGBT people in the highest esteem. Maybe you are not among them. But I am trying to have a rational conversation and give you the benefit of the doubt. You projected meaning onto my words. I never leveled a single insult in my posts. And if you do feel that LGBT people deserve fully civil equality including adoption, marriage, job protection, etc., then I apologize for any assumption on my part.

2 - Where did I say a religious institution could not have a state contract? They 100% can. However, they then have to abide by state rules for that contract, as do non-religious institutions. In this case, to receive state money they must be willing to consider all qualified applicants by the state's definition. CC made a decision that their beliefs prevented them from being able to agree to state standards. That's 100% their decision, which they have the right to make. However, it also means they can no longer have that state contract.

This is in no way discriminating against any religion. Their non-profit, self-funded ventures still maintain complete autonomy in deciding who they serve. Catholics are still being considered as foster and adoptive parents by state standards.

The only thing that has changed is that CC has decided they can no abide by the current standards required to be a state contractor.

Gina said...

Chris: I see, so our beliefs, when in conflict with the state government, must be compromised in order to receive the kinds of tax benefit and contracts that other religious groups receive? I thought this was about separation of Church and state.

Do you understand that our First Amendment is a safeguard against exactly this kind of thing happening? You change your beliefs, or we'll extort you. This is unacceptable.

As for your comment: "Catholics do not hold LGBT in the highest esteem", I refer you to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

"Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

"The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

"Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection." CCC 2357-2359

We teach this not out of "lack of esteem", but out of love, and out of genuine charity, and with concern for the eternal soul. In the end there are four things: Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell. If the Church does not concern herself with the soul, no matter who he or she may be, then the Church is not doing what it was designed to do--to free people from the chains of this world and lead them into union with God in the next. If this is something you cannot understand, then we have nothing to discuss.

But don't assume that anything a Catholic says is out of dislike or lack of esteem, as you so dubiously put it, because it is incorrect, and will always be seen as an accusation of bigotry because it is incorrect.

Anonymous said...

Sad, sad, sad. That's what I feel when I read the article and the comments. A deep feeling of sadness. As a former social worker, I am most sad for the children in foster care now who will be harmed by this move and the children who will be harmed by the law itself.
Chris, I hear what you are saying, but I disagree. There are several issues, first of all, its not just a funding issue. The state, I assume, has custody of these children. Therefore, the state decides where they will go. The state has now virtually made CC resign. They know the belief system that CC follows. That's grossly unfair to this organization and the children it serves then to be denied from expressing their beliefs while the state crams down the throat of everyone else its beliefs. The state, in its attempt to not discriminate, is guilty of gross discrimination.
The problem is really a symptom. Gina did explain that Catholics are not LGBT haters. Its true. I have grown up around many very religious persons of varying religions. I offer for your reflection that the Catholic Church is actually the most loving toward homosexual persons. They do not reject the person. They insist on love and celibacy for the homosexual person. They do not say do not come around me or us, they simply offer a hand to a fallen child who, whether they know it or not, are headed for trouble on the eternity scale. What kind of parent could neglect their child in danger?
As for the government money, faith based organizations, I believe can receive federal money. I won't focus too much on the funding because I have not looked into it, and its not the subject of my responsem=. Again, we are talking about children. The state should have minimum standards that they say must be met in order for a child to be placed into a home. They should be safety and stability standards. Other than that, they should not concern themselves. CC has standards they follow, that the state is aware of, and should not be interfered with. If CC is placing these children in safe stable homes, why should the state interfere. Instead, they should be thanking them for providing the children with stability. These are children, not bargaining chips. I fear that we've lost sight of whose rights this really concerns, the prospective LGBT parents, or the child. Its about the child. The child's rights, not the LGBT person. This is not about the LGBT person, or shouldn't be. Its about the child's rights. Nobody has a right to a child. A child is always and forever a free gift from God. This is a consitent problem in the foster care system (again I worked in it as a social worker); we, as a society write laws that concern the parents rights to such a degree that the child's rights are largely trumped or endangered. This is an extension of that mentality.
As for whether or not its the same as discriminating against race, I won't comment too much about, other than offer the following: to say that race and active lifestyle choice are the same is incorrect. In no way are the two categories in the same league. Please note that I said active lifestyle, not sexual orientation. I won't debate here, on this post, whether you are born a homosexual or not. I will certainly submit that the choice to express that sexuality in an active way remains a choice, race clearly is not. They are not in the same category at all.
As for the govenor, I pray for his return to the truth of his faith, which he has clearly, by his actions, gone against. He will have to answer, like all of us, for his actions, so my prayer is that he amend those actions now.
Again, the most upsetting part of it all, is that we are talking about bruised and hurting children,not bargaining chips to be used for a social agenda.

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