Rants From The Bishopric

Honolulu Catholic Bishop Says Discrimination Against Marriage Equality Is “Just”

Catholic bishops continue to get their vestments in a twist over marriage equality. The latest examples: Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva and Chicago’s Cardinal George, It’s a toss up as to who is the more offensive of the two, but Silva may win by a nose.

Silva is upset because marriage equality is on a fast-track for passage in Hawaii. Democrats are counting votes for passage of an equality measure, and if they’re there (and they seem to be), Gov. Neil Abercrombie will call a special session of the legislature to make marriage equality legal. In response, Silva has issued an “urgent” appeal to the governor, arguing that not all discrimination is bad. In fact, Silva thinks some of it is pretty good.

“Unjust discrimination against them [gays and lesbians] is not acceptable,” Silva kindly concedes.  “However, not all discrimination — that is, making distinctions — is unjust… To discriminate between heterosexual and same-sex couples regarding marriage is not, despite the hype on the streets, unjust discrimination.”

As if that wasn’t offensive enough, Silva decides to go all Santorum (though stopping short of “man on dog”). “Why would there be discrimination against those who decide to marry their mother or father, brother or sister, so they can gain spousal benefits for them?” Silva asks rhetorically. And (gasp!) it might even affect the prom: “When schools have dances, boys will have the choice of inviting a girl on a date, or another boy on a date.”

The Catholic Church isn’t a political powerhouse in Hawaii the way it is in Chicago, but the stench of desperation attached to a losing cause is just as strong in the Windy City. There, Cardinal Francis George is hoping against hope that marriage equality will fade away in the state legislature and the earth will change the direction of the rotation on its axis.

“If they had the votes, they would have passed it already. There’s nothing inevitable about social trends,” George said in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times. “They do change. They reverse themselves.”

George also defended his decision to strip charitable groups of funding because they were connected with an organization that supports marriage equality. When public officials wrote a letter telling him to reconsider, he responded angrily: “Jesus is merciful, but he is not stupid; he knows the difference between right and wrong.”

In the interview, George denied he was threatening the officials, who are Catholic, with hell, and then proceeded to threaten them with hell. “They claim to be Catholics, so I’m their bishop. It’s my job to remind them of certain eternal verities. One of them is judgment at death,” he said.

Instead of claiming a pipeline to the Almighty, why don’t we let God sort that out?

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  • samfw

    I know I’m going to offend some people by what I say here and that’s not my agenda, but why do people give a damn what the Catholic church or any church has to say, on this or any other topic? Why do we want to beg so pitifully for the approval of this ancient, corrupt and useless institution? Religion does NOT have a monopoly on morality or compassion or constructive behavior. If I could go the rest of my life and NEVER hear another word about religion, I would be a happy man.

  • MikeE

    @samfw: We don’t want their approval. We want them to stay out of our marriages, which we are NOT celebrating in their ostentatious palaces of worship.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Equality is inevitable.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    with the Catholic church, pedophilia is inevitable. They’re taking advantage of children,whereas, we’re making commitments to be responsible for each other financially, legally, emotionally, and spiritually. Your damaged victims go on about their tormented lives and sue you later in life taking the money your followers donate to your baskets, so shut your demonic faces.

  • Cam

    Gee, what a shock, a representative of an all male “Celibate” organization with a history of child rape, enslavement of young girls, and cover-ups doesn’t like a marriage between two loving adults.

  • dvlaries

    Atheists don’t have to recruit members. That work is done for them by clergymen who won’t stay out of politics, and politicians who insist on talking like clergymen.

  • Polaro

    Adorable how deluded a man in an ill-fitting, red dress can be.

  • Ogre Magi

    dontcha just love christians

  • Spike

    Every world religion, Christianity and the catholic church were founded on discrimination and have a rich history in using discrimination to remain politically powerful and wealthy.

    Why would anyone expect this to change. Why fix something which in their opinion is not broken. The fact that they are loosing this battle as far as marriage just means they will become more and more desperate in their attempts to legitimize their institutionalize discrimination.

  • Kangol


    Because these bishops speak for a church of over 1.2 billion people, and they do have influence over politicians and policies. In wealthier liberal and progressive countries their influence is waning, but hundreds of millions of Roman Catholics live in countries where the bishops do have sway. So what they say matters.

    Bishop Silva should return to the Holy Bible, though, and read the Gospels. He might be enlightened if he pays attention. Jesus Christ preaches love and never once condemns homosexuality. Ever. The only people he goes after are people who hold themselves up as the representatives of God while mistreating the faithful, and people using the church to make money. Sound familiar?

  • arj

    Miss Thang is purty in pink!

  • Dakotahgeo

    The Catholic hierarchy never ceases to amaze/amuse me. Sadly, it hurts so many. Why can’t they just stick to pedophilia???

  • Daniel

    I confess that I am neither a lawyer nor a theologian, but I think I have a pretty good grounding in both topics.

    I find it exceptionally bizarre that supposedly educated men (and it’s almost always men, isn’t it?) seem incapable of grasping the distinction between civil marriage and religious marriage.

    The Church of Rome does not recognize divorce, and thus it refuses to bless unions between divorced people. Fine. That’s their prerogative. The secular state, however, does. The secular state has been marrying divorced people for hundreds of years and society has not imploded. That so many prelates of the Church, all of whom must by their position be well educated, continue to act as if the advance of *civil* equality for LGBT people somehow impinges on their religious purview is inexplicable unless their opposition is based on pure bigotry and hatred.

  • Michael David Barber

    This man is part of the same bunch that murdered 100 million natives in Central and South America for profit during the 16th and 17th Century while burning women at the stake for daring to practice herbology and midwifery. The same group who coddled and got in bed with Hitler and the fascists in Italy. The same group of people who harassed, beat, tortured and murdered scientists for trying to bring the world to knowledge of the natural world and our place in it. The same group of people who told the entire African continent not to use condoms and that doing so was against God and therefore AIDs was their inevitable punishment for it. The same group of world-wide kiddie rapists and abettors who shirk their responsibility to society by hiding the rapists, moving them around so they can rape more children, and then move their money from place to place so no one can collect legal reparations for their heinous crimes. I have nothing but UTTER CONTEMPT for the Catholic church.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @Michael David Barber: Hmmmmmmm… sadly, you are right on the mark! And all the good they do is simply to alleviate their tormented guilt trips… I’ve seen and felt first hand, this display in person, only I was too dumb to realize it.

  • Kangol

    @Michael David Barber:

    Don’t forget how they overlooked slavery (and even owned slaves) for 300+ years (1492-1888) across the Caribbean, Central and South America!

    The Roman Catholic Church was no great shakes when it came to slavery in the US, but they were often quite abominable on the issue in Latin America.

  • Chris Vogel

    That Roman catholic bishops “oppose discrimination” is an outright lie. When decriminalization is and was considered, the Roman church always preferred that we continue to go to prison. When discrimination is considered, the Roman church always oppose legislation against it. When marriage (or anything else) is considered, the Roman church always opposes it. In fact, the Roman church has never, ever, anywhere, supported any legislation that benefited homosexuals. I guess that, being religious, they can tell themselves and others any silly fabrication and expect to get away with it.

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