Two emails arrived this week from Catholics protesting the Seattle church's recent campaign against marriage equality. And they confirm what you'd suspect: The progressive laity, by and large, is supportive of allowing same-sex couples to get married, despite the recent decree from bishops and the Archdiocese of Seattle to stop a marriage bill in Olympia. The first letter is from a parishioner sent to one of the priests at St. James Cathedral:
There is an article on "The Stranger" blog regarding St. James Cathedral. Unfortunately, it doesn't make us seem like a very welcoming parish. The bishops do not speak for me regarding civil marriage equality for same-sex couples.
Regretfully, I need to withhold my 2012 pledged contribution to the Cathedral until I see what St. James Cathedral will do on this issue, which will likely be a ballot question in the Fall. I'm hoping that St. James Cathedral will not become complicit in the bishops' anti-gay politicking.
Thanks very much,
St. James Parishioner
I can't publish the letter he got back in reply, but let's say that the administrative staff was a little touchy. Thank you for sending it our way, Dave. Next up: an email forwarded by a state lawmaker. A Catholic constituent wanted to make clear that the Catholic church's lobbying campaign is not theirs:
I am writing to ask you to support the gay marriage legislation up for vote. I am a practicing Catholic, and I believe it is right and fair to help gay citizens have an opportunity to marry if they wish. I say this because I want you to know that all Catholics have their own opinion on this issue, and the Archbishop's conservative opinion is not one that I share.
Thank you for serving our district.
Seattle Archbishop Peter J. Sartain, of course, did speak for these two Catholics and all the Catholics in Western Washington when he testified before a senate hearing yesterday. Alongside people who said that gay marriage will spread disease and promote pedophilia, Sartain perpetuated his lie that gay couples deteriorate humanity's ability to procreate.
True, members of Catholic congregations should keep writing to their parishes and dissent from the bigotry of Sartain and Rome, but you know who really needs to speak up? Seattle priests. The priests—who we know don't believe this bigoted garbage—need to challenge their bishops on this issue as marriage makes its way to the November ballot.
Dear priests: Dare the bishops to take away your pulpit. Let them try, and if they do, let your congregation stand up in your defense. If Farther Ryan at St. James Cathedral stood up for marriage equality and Most Reverend Sartian made a move, his congregation (and most of the damned city) would wage a holy war in the name of equality. The worst thing that happens is that you're punished for spreading a message of love and doing what you know is right. That's what that Christ guy was all about, right?