I have my doubts about Fr Robert Imbelli’s doubts on the America editorial reacting to same-sex unions being drawn under the umbrella of civil marriage in the US.
To begin with, I’m in something of a protected state with regard to cooperating with other people’s unions. As a church musician, I only play at the marriages on which the pastor’s signed off. I’m not going to be contributing to anything really wrong. Unless we’ve all had the wool pulled over our ecclesiastical eyes.
I’m not sure how to take stories of bakers who declined to create a cake, and who then experienced such a windfall of support from the internet that they recouped more money than they lost on the legal decision against them. If any of that really happened. It all sounds like gossip to me. On the other hand, that kind of economics seems unsustainable. Pope Francis probably writes about that somewhere in Laudato Si’.
If I’m supposed to be put out by remote cooperation with homosexuals, don’t I also have an obligation to boycott goods and services produced by China, given its nationalized adventures in capitalism and forced abortions? In other words, don’t Christian bakers, butchers, and candlestick makers have to also have to decline to purchase the “made in China” label and all things on which it is sewn or printed? And if they don’t, aren’t they babykillers too?
People seem to be linking interaction with sinners as some kind of issue in religious freedom. Jesus practiced freedom, it seems. But they kvetched about his choices, too. I’ve long been an advocate for religious freedom on this blog. People talk about religion whenever they want. I supported the religious freedom of women who felt called in a different way from their persecutors in the clergy. And isn’t any kind of hagiography.
I was thinking about the possibility my family and I might have a same-sex couple as neighbors in our new apartment. Is it wrong to be kind and polite, and invite them over for dinner? Can I bake a cake for dessert? And would someone object if I did? And would the objectors, if any, in turn, pay attention to me and my feeble attempts to bring the pro-abortion Chinese economy to its knees? Or are Chinese goods so ubiquitous–more common than same-sex couples, even–that it’s just “too hard” to boycott. And besides, Father Frank hasn’t given marching orders on that. Or any other pro-life guru.
Or is religious freedom as an issue really not part of the Christian reaction to same-sex unions in America? What if it’s okay to be nice to people who might even be in grave sin? Is it remote cooperation with evil to be driving the bus or flying the plane or selling the gas to someone who is abandoning a spouse? What if we’re focused on other people’s sexual sins, but we keep up regular contact with pornography? Do Christian boycotters have to make queries of everyone with whom they come into contact? And if they just focus on persons L, G, B, or T, isn’t that just discrimination, by definition?