Tuesday, June 05, 2007
The IRD on Same Sex Marriage
The IRD or Institute for Religion and Democracy is an extreme right-wing organization with deep ties to radical Right segment of the The Episcopal Church. The Rev. Dr. Ephraim Radner serves on their Board of Directors, the Rev'd Dr.Philip Turner is on the Board of Advisers.
Their latest press release is their most desperate attempt to discredit The Episcopal Church. You can find the entire article here.
It begins like this:
Washington, DC—New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch signed a law on May 31 that makes civil unions for homosexual couples legal; it will take effect in January 2008. The governor stated his belief that the civil unions will not “threaten” marriage. The Episcopal Church’s bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire, the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, told the press that Episcopal priests in the diocese can bless civil unions: “Just like in marriages, every priest will have the option to bless or not to bless."
IRD Director of Anglican Action Ralph Webb commented,
Bishop Robinson’s allowance of blessing civil unions as a local option—even though such blessings are not required of priests—provides yet another illustration of how the Episcopal Church opposes the traditional definition of marriage as a covenant between one man and one woman.
Okay, so the gloves are off.
It's not enough that, to advance civil rights for LGBT people but so as not to scare the conservative horses, local governments like New Hampshire, Vermont, and New Jersey have engaged in an odious form of segregation, akin to the so-called "separate but equal" water fountains, schools and the back of public buses of another civil rights struggle.
The reasoning goes something like this: "Hey, we know some LGBT people. Heck, some of them are our best friends! One is even my doctor - and a damn fine one she is. Saved my father's life when he had a stroke last year.
Let's give them all the "local" rights of marriage, but let's just not call it "marriage." Oh, it won't fly in Alabama, but what self-respecting LGBT person is going to move to the Deep South anyway? Heh, heh, hey. We'll 'take care' of our own. Let others fend for themselves. That's the American way."
Don't get me wrong. I am grateful for civil unions. It's a good first step. But, a civil union is a civil union. It's not marriage. You would think that would make the folks on the Right happy.
So, why has the IRD got itself all in a lather about this?
Because they won't stop until LGBT people have no rights in the government and no rites in the church.
Perhaps someone ought to go over to D.C. and tell them that one of the founding principles of this country's government is a little thing we like to call, "separation of church and state."
On second thought, never mind.
Someone ought to go over there and tell them about what Jesus meant when he said, "A new commandment I give you; that you love one another as I love you."
Oh, and what you hear coming from the D.C. offices of the IRD is the distinctive sound of the desparate grasping at straws.