Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Participating in homosexual "marriages"
A hypothetical situation:
I run a bakery and donut shop.
Billy Ray, the local head of the KKK, comes into my shop and orders a dozen donuts.
Should I serve him?
I would. I'm a professional, providing a service, and what he is asking does not conflict with my beliefs.
But then he says, "These are mighty fine donuts. You're a good baker. I'd like for you to cater our little KKK rally and cross burning this Saturday."
Should I serve him?
I would serve him donuts as an individual, but I would refuse to cater the rally. I think a lot of people would agree with me.
"Sorry, but no way, Billy Ray."
Now for reality: That's the situation with homosexual so-called marriages.
As individuals, I would serve homosexuals. You want a dozen donuts? Want to hear me perform at a coffee house? Want to buy a floral display for your desk at work? Sure. I'd serve them. They are not asking me to in any way assist with something counter to my beliefs. I'm just interacting with fellow human beings, fellow children of God. My brothers and sisters.
But if asked to perform at, provide services for a wedding? No. I could not in good conscience participate in anything counter to my religious beliefs - beliefs that are not just personal, but are defined by my Church.
In fact, I would not even attend such a wedding as a person in the pews, nor attend a reception.
As the Catechism of the Catholic Church says in article 1868 -
Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:
- by participating directly and voluntarily in them;
- by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;
- by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;
- by protecting evil-doers.
Providing a service - as a baker, florist, musician, owner of a party house, etc. - is participating, something clearly forbidden. I would be advising if I helped to plan any part of the service. I would tacitly be approving them by my providing such services.
Even by attending the wedding or the reception I would be tacitly approving of what was going on.
Now there is the possibility I would be forced to play some sort of a role - the laws are getting pretty nasty out there. That's where "voluntarily" might come in. But it would have to be a pretty extreme situation for me to be so forced. The only possibility is for me as a church musician, but if my services were demanded and compelled by law - you play for others, so you must play for this one - I would just have to quit playing for weddings or receptions.
It would be nice if the bishops came out with a clear statement summarizing all this. Maybe they have, but I missed it. It would be great to hold it up before fellow Catholics who call on us to waffle, to compromise, to not be so rigid.
Then again, I don't think Ss. Thomas More and John Fisher had any such summary document.
There have been enough statements and explanations that it's easy for even a slug like me to discern what to do.
If it means legal problems, or alienating friends and even family, so be it.
Isn't that what Jesus warned us could happen if we follow Him?
I just hope it doesn't mean losing my head!
Pax et bonum