Should you tick Roman Catholic in the Irish census if you don't want the label, don't think it is true of you any more and if you care for your freedoms?  We are talking about LGBT here but there are many other religiously oppressed communities we could use instead.

The state can and perhaps will use information about numbers of Catholics to formulate policies and laws that reflect the teachings of the Church.

What about though how Ireland has been able to move on forward in LGBT rights?

That is luck and does not affect the principle.  You can be lucky this year but next year is another year.

I would not write that the state upon seeing that the Catholic Church dominates that it will formulate polices in accord with the Church. I would not write will but may.

What about the principle? The principle is that the nation cannot please every faction. So it must at least seriously contemplate legally enforcing the major principles of the majority faith. If the state ignores the Church, that is against the principle. If anybody advocates that then let them look up tolerance in the dictionary.

Ticking the Roman Catholic box is taking a political stance in favour of the Church and its policies whether one realises it or not. It is politics that is asking the question. It is politics that needs the question answered. It does not want to know the answer for nothing.

There is a perception that there is a conflict between the Catholic Church and a LGBT orientation."  We cannot ask people with a mere orientation to reconsider ticking the Roman Catholic box. We ask LGBT people to do it if they do not believe that the Church really has supernatural knowledge from God about right and wrong and truth. There is no contradiction between a person being LGBT but not practising and that person being a Catholic in good standing.

The Church has a lot of influence through the electorate and the people over the decisions of the government.   Supporting Catholicism in the census may lead to Catholic concepts of human rights being endorsed to the detriment of those who don't accept that faith's teachings.

Ireland made progress on the Civil Partnership law.  The people did not vote Civil Partnership Law in. The government bought it in without asking the people. And in doing so it broke the law of the Church that it is wrong for Catholic politicians to drop their Catholicism when they form laws.

David Norris being a gay candidate for Presidential election and the gay TDs being elected reflects not the acceptance of the Catholics in general for gay people, but their acceptance of the fact that these issues are irrelevant to how they may perform as politicians. And this acceptance has been reversed if current events are anything to go by - the Christian homophobes have fought the Norris campaign and in the process have made homophobia fashionable. The Church does not see a few gay politicians as a threat.

Catholics being open to human rights in spite of the Church not because of it is as far from an endorsement of the Church as one can get. The logic of some that Catholics suffering from apathy towards the laws of their faith and ignoring the teachings of the faith counts as progress is ridiculous. Such indifference has happened before time and time again and been the prevailing mood only to make way for more conservative and bigoted and traditionalists prevailing moods. The Church was riddled with disobedience and indifference and corruption until the reformation and at that point it became rigid and fundamentalist. Today's liberalism and disobedience among Catholics will give way to Fundamentalism and obedience to Rome. Don't pave the way for that.

Update: The Christians who accepted the Bible prohibitions against homosexuality won in the end in relation to Norris! They ruined his campaign.

Try telling gay children in rural Catholic schools that to support the Church and the Catholics who mistreat and bully them is not harming their own rights. I do not suggest that the children should criticise the Church but they should certainly inform themselves and ask the Catholics challenging questions. If the Catholics are less sure that their faith is true, then they will be less likely to hurt others and practice intolerance in the name of their religion.

Until we get the Church to at least stop getting gay teachers fired from Catholic schools we don't dare pretend that progress is being made.

Every religion has a problem with the huge proportion of members who do not understand that they are obligated to believe in what that religion says is revealed by God. And there is a problem with those who do understand but who disobey and misrepresent the doctrine. Less than 10% of Mormons for example are considered worthy to participate in the religion's holiest rites in the Temple. The Roman Catholic Church does not have the support and the manpower to implement its policies as it would wish. It is foolish for an LGBT person to feel comfortable in the Roman Catholic Church when those are the reasons for most Catholics coming across as moderate and even open-minded. Catholics can be wonderful human beings but only in spite of the Catholic system and its doctrines. Nobody should be in a religion that they have to go against in order to do the right thing. And to suggest that one religion is as good as another is incredible ignorance.

The Church claims its teaching is good for people. It is in fact a superstitious system that keeps people away from the knowledge they have a right to have. That knowledge is the principles and the application of secularism. People are not told exactly how to be secular - to keep religion out of politics. Indeed the Church attacks that model.

The believers say that God must take supreme importance in the world and in your life. Even when they support secularism, they teach that it is only acceptable in the sense that God gave the state a separate job to do from the Church. So even their secularism is religious at least in intention. (It is saying, "We believers support the separation of Church and state on religious grounds and because God asks for it. If our religion tells us different or if God tells us different we will oppose this separation. We only accept because we think God wants us to. If we are wrong we will change our minds." Their secularism only looks like secularism - it is not secularism. Their secularism contradicts and therefore opposes true secularism

True secularism is a protector of human liberty and rights. Secularism has to act as if there are no spirits or Gods to worry about. For example, the secularist will not wish to make it illegal to spit out the body of Christ in the form of the communion wafer. The good Catholic would. A person working for gay rights and being a financial supporter of the Catholic Church and a member is just a hypocrite. The Church's influence undermines human rights in all sorts of subtle ways.

In fact, in a democracy the will of the majority must come first. Therefore if most people claim to be Catholic - although that is not the same as really being Catholic - the state should check what Church teaching is and legislate as best as it can to suit that teaching. The fact of the matter is, if a person does not like their Church's teaching, nobody forced them to be confirmed into the membership of the Church. Therefore the state should contemplate the official and real teaching of the Church and implement it through law.

A practicing LGBT might say, "I checked the Catholic box on the census because I identify as a Catholic. I also identify as LGBT. The two are not mutually exclusive."  It is not about what you identify as.  It is about what you are.  If Catholicism is a language construct and has no God behind it then its labels are nothing.  Like all lies, lying labels still have consequences in the real world.  And most of those who try to reconcile argue that they are in a stable monogamous relationship that may not involve sex.  That throws LGBT who stand for sexual liberation to the wolves.

I also say fine! But make up your mind which is the most important. Your sexuality is more integral to your personhood than your religion. Any religious affiliation can be changed and changing does not make you more or less of a person. You can be fully human and have no religion. But you can't be human without a sexuality. It is not a matter of polarising sexuality and religion. It is matter of seeing that sexuality comes first. Honour it by going your own way and being your own Church rather than supporting a network and a system that condemns it. Whether you like it or not, and whatever liberal Catholics say (they are mavericks anyway who act like they have authority to decide Catholic doctrine - a right they do not have) you are supporting a system that condemns you allowing yourself to sexually want a person of the same gender never mind what can happen in the bedroom. A religion is not the people who comprise it. It is a system. It is ultimately the system that is the problem not the Catholic people. The system is what must be rejected. It is not worth more than the people who compose its membership. To change the system is to make a new one. To say you can be part of it while rejecting anything it stands for is to misrepresent it and to deceive. If you want to see Church teaching on gay people changed why stop there? If you start to find the notion of God offensive which you may do should you lose a loved one in a horrible manner why not try and get it stopped too? The point is, refusing to admit that opposition to gay sex is part of Catholic doctrine and Catholic identity is absurd and dishonest. To repudiate one official Catholic doctrine is by implication to invite Catholics to repudiate the rest and to pretend that they are a Church.

We always say that when a Christian is malevolent that he is not very Christian or not acting as a Christian when he does this. Our religious identity is never fixed. For example, even the Pope must have his times when his faith is gone and he is really a secret apostate or heretic. Our sexual identity is more set than our faith identity. Therefore sexual identity comes first.

Nobody should be in a religion that contains official teaching that is not right for them. It is not fair on the religion or them. They are not exercising honesty. They are undermining the right of the religion to set standards of membership and devotion.

A self-declared Catholic and a Catholic are not necessarily the same thing.

You see LGBT trying to justify membership in the Church.  I would not like to have written a piece in defence of LGBT membership of the Church when I could write about something more conducive to LGBT rights for example about how the Church has set in force political manipulations to make sure that LGBT people are executed in certain parts of the world. Distorting valid points made against lapsed and unbelieving LGBT ticking the Catholic box makes it even worse. Do you distorters know the Catholic faith as well as I do? Whose side are you on? Your skewing shows the shakiness of your regrettable and bizarre position.  Their pieces contain nothing profound or persuasive. The homophobia of the Church is extreme - it praises evil scriptures that condemn gay sex and its tradition says even worse and it is part of core Catholic doctrine that sex is only between husband and wife in a lifelong valid marriage so it is an insulting and gross understatement to call it a "problem" as you do.

Your stance is frankly a refusal to see the inequality for LGBT people as shown by the Church as seriously intolerable and as bad as racism. You infer that those who consider LGBT rights among their highest principles should still support the Church - ie betray them! LGBT people who don't identify as Catholic must make it official. They will walk and they will do it for LGBT rights. They will do it in spite of dishonest, stubborn and arrogant people who are immune to commonsense and rational argument.


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