Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Are Religious Exemptions to New York Gay Marriage Bill Based On Clericalism ?

I finally got to take a look at the text as to the religious liberties exemptions of the New York Marriage bill. See here.

I was to put it bluntly unimpressed and disappointed. For the debate we had about religious liberty before the bill was voted on these exemptions seem to not focus on many of the issues at all.

Get Religion has a good piece on this at Gay rights, religious liberty and silence

I have not commented on this because I have been waiting on two people with more expertise than I too comment on these exemption through their social media. If they dont comment today I will go ahead regardless and comment on the issue(s) at length.

A few observations.

These exemptions sort of reek of a kind of clericalism do they not? It protects clerics and lay employees doing the specific mission of a faith community within those 4 walls. If you are not in that special circle well too bad.

Second I do wonder how many Catholic legislators who voted for this bill thought the exemptions went far enough? If so they must have missed out on the HUGE MESSAGE that the post Vatican II Church correctly has been trying to promote. That is vocations mean a lot more than just priests, brothers, and sisters. That is one can have a vocation to live a Christ centered life in the work place in many occupations. Which leads to another point.

Religious faith or id is not just something one does on Sunday ( or whenever ) and then is shunned away as we spend time in the workplace. It seems to regulate "Religion" to the very private or just in Church structures.

It seems odd that people that are against "organized religion" and are spiritual or see their Faith in a greater power as personal not impeded by "structure" don't see the problem here.

Next that those oppose going beyond these exemption to deal with the individual believer don't seem to realize that both religious liberty and same sex marriage claims are very much based on a common concept.

Finally this appears to be another front where the tension and fight between negative liberty and positive liberty will be fought out.

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