Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Vatican vs. San Francisco

World Net Daily has a rather one-sided article (favoring the Vatican) reporting on a recent clash between the Vatican and the City of San Francisco. (link) Obviously, the issue is homosexuality. It's unclear to me why the Vatican thinks that suing the City of San Francisco over what amounts to nothing more than a statement of opinion is good use of their resources, but evidently the case has not only been brought to court, but appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

In one way, it is kind of interesting to see how both groups view the other as employing hatespeech: the sodomites call the papists "anti-gay" and intolerant, meanwhile the papists call the sodomites "anti-Catholic" and intolerant.

In another way, it is sad to see that this is even an issue. Homosexual behavior is plainly contrary to Scripture. It is sinful, just as any sexual relations outside of legitimate marriage are sinful. It really ought to be a crime, but that's not what the majority of judges want.

May God have mercy on America,



Paul Hoffer said...

The First Amendment to the Constitution states in pertinent part, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." This provision has been made applicable to state and local governments through the provisions of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. By passing resolutions condemning the religious teachings of the Catholic Church and a gathering of an evangelical Christians, government did indeed pass laws to encourage the establishment of a religion which favors the local government's pro-homosexuality policy.

The Catholic Church's crime~the Vatican promulgated a binding policy that prohibited Catholic-sponsored organizations from placing children for adoption in the homes of homosexual couples.

Perhaps you are blinded from the fact that this is the Catholic Church that the government is taking an official stand against. But substitute the name of your denomination in place of "Catholic" and perhaps you might have a bit different perspective.

What happens when your children are taught in schools that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle, that the it is not sinful and such a lifestyle has government approval. Imagine for a moment teachers relying upon the proclamation refuse to allow the bible to read by students because the practice goes against the official government position, or students are encouraged to violate the teachings of your church, or vendors and lenders decide not to do business with a particular church because government doesn't like what your minister is preaching from the pulpit on Sunday.

Already, San Fransisco does not allow Boy Scouts to meet in any government building because scouting discriminates against gays. By issuing an official proclamation that the Catholic chruch "discriminates" against a particular class of people, in words "sodomites," it is establishing an official government policy that advocates attacking Catholic moral principles in advancing a local government's agenda.

When we start down this slippery slope it is not a far stretch to believe that government will ban the bible as hate speech, subject ministers to criminal prosecution for preaching against sinful behavior and force you to raise your children in a way that is contrary to your religious beliefs. Just take a look at what is happening now in Canada. Look at England where both government and Protestant leaders have indicated that Islamic sharia law should be allowed. Just take a look at what happened in Nazi Germany:

"They came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

"Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."

~On the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston, Massachusetts

While we are required as Christians to render unto Caesar what is Caesar, we should not be compelled or coerced to surrender our teachings. Apathy is a sin that no Christian, whether Catholic or Protestant, should ever be tolerant of.

One more point~as an attorney who took an oath to uphold the Constitution, I would oppose the government passing a law of any sort that discriminate against your denomination

God bless!

Turretinfan said...

Dear Mr. Hoffer,

I don't think condemning a particular religion in a non-binding, non-regulatory way is what the adopters of the Bill of Rights had in mind when they thought of "establishing" religion. I also don't think it's what the North had mind when it forced the adopting of the 14th amendment.

I'll be interested to see what the 9th Circuit says.

By the way ... while I obviously recognize that you think my views on the validity of your church play a role in my opinion, I would have the same comments about the pointlessness of the lawsuit if it were my own denomination suing.


Paul Hoffer said...

TF, I appreciate your thoughts.

However, having worked in government, proclamations are regularly used to give official sanction to something. What you have is government endorsing a policy of discrimination against the moral practices of a church.

Additionally, this proclamation send a public message that Catholics are not welcomed in the San Fransisco community and that the government is officially opposed to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church. It sends the message that Catholics are not welcomed to seek redress of grievances before the Board as a public body and that their ideas and views will not be given a fair hearing or consideration. Furthermore, it will embolden government to further attack other groups. The week after the proclamation against Catholics was passed, the board of supervisors issued a proclamation against evangelical Christian teenagers. We sin rarely without being tempted first. That notion is just as true in the workings of government Court held in the case of Epperson vs. Arkansas, 393 US 97(1968):

"The antecedents of today's decision (declaring that a state may not bar a teacher from teaching the doctrine of evolution)are many and unmistakable. They are rooted in the foundation soil of our Nation. They are fundamental to freedom.

Government in our democracy, state and national, must be neutral in matters of religious theory, doctrine, [393 U.S. 97, 104] and practice. It may not be hostile to any religion or to the advocacy of no-religion; and it may not aid, foster, or promote one religion or religious theory against another or even against the militant opposite. The First Amendment mandates governmental neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion. 12

As early as 1872, this Court said: "The law knows no heresy, and is committed to the support of no dogma, the establishment of no sect." Watson v. Jones, 13 Wall. 679, 728. This has been the interpretation of the great First Amendment which this Court has applied in the many and subtle problems which the ferment of our national life has presented for decision within the Amendment's broad command."

I would humbly submit TF that the proclamations mentioned here are acts fostering hostility towards the Catholic Church as well as evangelical Christians. The lawsuit is not pointless in any sense of the word that I would recognize in the law as cognizable.

Turretinfan said...

Dear Mr. Hoffer,

I see you have strong feelings about this subject.

I think I should point out that I previously objected to the government persecution of a polygamous sect of fundamentalist Mormons in Texas. There, the government was actually directly interfering with the life of the people.

San Fransisco's promotion of sin is a shame on the city, and something that would tend to bring judgment from God.


Turretinfan said...


Your comment received and noted.