1. I have visited KRQE many times in another life, on business. This is of course near where our dear Paul the BB lives.

    On to the topic at hand – this is a microcosm of what is happening all over the land. The icejam will break. It is tragic that it exists and it is tragic that it is taking too long.

    Civil marriage is civil marriage – period. The Church is free to turn away any couples that they do not find suitable for the sacrament; that happens now! Not often, but it happens and it is the right of the Church to do so. That would not change if same sex marriage were legal.

    Oh, but other things would change… like married gay employees of the church wanting partner benefits, for starters. It is almost never about what it is supposed to be about…

    Tragic – the operative word. Tragic.

  2. And the brave Episcopal priest is my rector, the Rev. Brian Taylor, of St Michael and All Angels, a congregation that doubled in the last decade and has begun a new building project to deal with our needs for more space. Be Gospel and they will come.

  3. Why do the RC bishops fear allowing non-Catholics (and I believe they do exist in the population) to have same-sex marriages?

    Is it that they see the loss of hegemony around the corner?

  4. @Paul(A.) – see my comment. It is a power and control thing and there is the practical reality of employee issues, like benefits etc.

    Not valid reasons – but among the reasons.

    Add to that things to take the focus off of other issues. ::ahem:: clears throat.

  5. Would never happen in Oklahoma, sadly.

    Oh, I’m sure there’s somebody in Oklahoma brave enough to put up with Paul in their congregation.

  6. Our legislators ought to follow their conscience above all and not merely the pronouncements of church hierarchy. There are many Catholics like myself who sincerely and thoughtfully dissent with this Church teaching: if one happens to be an elected official, his primacy of conscience should still be in effect.


  7. Unfortunately we are seeing a wave of fear sweep across the United States in that legislators (many of whom are Democrats) fear not getting re-eleceted unless they stick with the status quo. Hawaii just voted down a civil union bill, and this included negative votes from many Democrats. So much for championing the rights of a minority group.
    In the United States, tax exempt organizations (i.e. the Roman Catholic Church) are not allowed to contribute to political campaigns or directly try to influence legislation. What a farce this is. This all seems to be forgotten.
    Scott in Colorado

  8. Paul, it was great for you to point out that St Michael and All Angels is a congregation that doubled in the last decade. I especially liked the thought, “Be Gospel and they will come.”

    Amid all of the +Gene Robinson controversy, we always found people who worried that we would lose members if the Church was too inclusive. Many of us always stated, in the wash, we would probably gain many more members than we lost. Your experience proves that our feelings were correct.

  9. In the United States, tax exempt organizations (i.e. the Roman Catholic Church) are not allowed to…directly try to influence legislation.

    Not true Scott. They can try to influence social legislation as much as they want, as long as it does not become the majority item to which they commit their time and money or they are no longer a religious organization. TEC tries to influence social legislation as well.

  10. The Democrat interviewed needs a brief on the role of elected officials. The job isn’t to be a painted post, voting as directed by the noisiest constituents. Yon daft Dem should ponder well the words of that great English conservative, Edmund Burke:

    “Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole. You choose a member indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not a member of Bristol, but he is a member of parliament.”

  11. David,
    Thanks for the clarification on that point. Despite that, it becomes difficult to separate dabbling in politics from religious activity for many of these organizations. One needs only to look at Focus on the Family and the Catholic Church. They skate the fine line between being a “church” and a political action committee. I personally think they ought to do away with all their tax breaks.

  12. I hate to say it . . . but I actually had more respect for the Popoid Republican in the piece, than the Popoid “Domestic Partnerships are A-OK, but if my constituents are agin’ it…” Democrat. [In 1860, that would have looked like “Well I’m personally against slavery, but my constituents—all white, strangely—are for it, so…”] Contemptible bag of manteca! >:-(

  13. I agree with what JCF says above about the Republican versus the Democrat.

    If anyone who is reading this actually wants to support an organization that is dedicated to the separation of church and state, I suggest a visit to

    Americans United is a great group, I am a member and attend their annual meeting, which includes a blogger meet up, every fall.

    As you might imagine, I am the lone, to borrow my beloved JCF’s turn of phrase, popoid in the lot!

    Seriously – they are dogged in their pursuit against ANY and ALL religious groups who move in the political space.

    They have excellent attorneys and rarely miss a thing.