On Wednesday, March 3rd, loving couples in DC will be able to be married regardless of their genitalia. As a result, DC employees of Catholic Charities learned that spouses will no longer be covered by the company's new health plan.
Let's break this down, shall we?
- As- decent Americans are coming to realize that marriage may have more to do with mutual respect, partnership, commitment, responsibility and love and less to do with which public restroom one uses,
- Therefor- charity employees working for peanuts to help those in DC with the greatest needs and scarcest resources stay fed, clothed and housed will not be able to provide health care for their own spouses,
- Because- the church that holds the purse-strings has decided it is better to blaspheme the very essence of Christianity, to love thy neighbor, to do unto others as you would have done unto you, - in order to adhere the public to some man-made decree about sexuality while they have been 'doing unto' little boys in darkened vestries for centuries on a global basis.
It isn't the deal with World Vision. Who? World Vision, as Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof points out in his recent NYT piece, is "the largest U.S.-based international relief and development organization" with "40,000 staff members in nearly 100 countries." They are also a "Christian organization (with strong evangelical roots) whose budget has roughly tripled over the last decade."
What World Vision doesn't do is convert. It is strictly forbidden in it's bylaws. If they awaken any awareness of grace in those they comfort and care for, it is by power of example alone. Now there's a concept.
Kristof goes on to observe "Mr. Stearns argues that evangelicals were often so focused on sexual morality and a personal relationship with God that they ignored the needy" and that "[i]n one striking passage, Mr. Stearns quotes the prophet Ezekiel as saying that the great sin of the people of Sodom wasn’t so much that they were promiscuous or gay as that they were “arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” (Ezekiel 16:49.) "[A]rrogant, overfed and unconcerned [?]" Jerry Falwell must be turning over in his grave.
Yes, the Catholic Church would do well to take a few pages from World Vision's playbook. But lets not hold our breath. Entrenched doesn't even begin to describe the unwillingness of the Vatican to open their eyes to the world around them or open their hearts to the meaning of Christ. Even the most optimistic of Vatican III proponents would roll their eyes with a "Ne, Deo, Ne."
Amidst all this hullabaloo, however, World Vision quietly carries out God's work on Earth and churches across the country equate being "open, welcoming and affirming" regardless of sexual orientation to following in the footsteps of Christ. These stories, unfortunately, are far more rarely shared than the titillating obscenities of hypocrites hiding behind crosses that make the headlines as they have in DC.
Kristof, no starry-eyed dreamer himself, concludes wondering "[i]f secular liberals can give up some of their snootiness, and if evangelicals can retire some of their sanctimony, then we all might succeed together in making greater progress against common enemies of humanity, like illiteracy, human trafficking and maternal mortality."
Agreed. And maybe, just maybe, in the process, experience a hint of grace, a moment of selflessly doing what is right and good. And Christian. That would be good, too.
Read the full piece by Nicholas Kristof in the NYT here.