Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Family feud

Yesterday, the prez unveiled the Republican national strategy for this election year to divert attention from the war in Iraq, the massacre in Haditha, soaring deficits, and economic policy geared to the wealthy. And he's gone for the usual target: gays, particularly those who want to marry but can't, despite the fact that they pay their taxes like other citizens.

And where will Catholics be on this one. Hmmm, let's see. B16 issues a new statement almost every week about "pseudo-marriages"; the U.S. bishops' conference is planning a massive lobbying effort to "defend marriage"; and prominent Catholics like Douglas Kmiec of Pepperdine University are out predicting the end of Christian churches if the state "forces" them to recognize same-sex marriage. Glad to see we're on the right (sic) side of the issue...

So what should we Catholics be for, you ask the lefty Catholic. How 'bout this: A massive overhaul of what we understand families to be, which would entail a massive change in our social policy that would actually support all families instead of favoring the ever-shrinking number of once-married heterosexual couples with 1.8 children. It would mean allowing people to create households, not based on sexual behavior (ICK! why would we do it that way?) but on mutual support. A family might be two unmarried or widowed sisters and the one adult child that lives with them. It might be a grandfather, his daughter, and her two children. It might be a same-sex couple or a heterosexual couple with children. And being a "household" would allow them to take advantage of tax, Social Security, and health care benefits now (unjustly) restricted to married couples.

You'd think we Catholics would be on the cutting edge of this: We've pioneered alternative families, from monasteries to various religious orders to Catholic Worker Houses and L'Arche communities--all families based not on sexual bonding but on mutual support and love.

After all, according to Jesus, his family had little to do with who was or was not married to whom but with those "who hear the word of God and keep it."


At 5:31 PM, Blogger Heidi said...

Hey, this sounds familiar!


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