"Let me explain the “champagne principle.” Not every wine is champagne. Champagne has certain very specific, universally recognized characteristics. If someone were to take a bottle of Chianti, label and sell it as champagne, they’d be arrested for fraud. In the same way, those who seek to redefine marriage – with its specific characteristics – and to usurp the title “marriage” for their morally bankrupt relationships, are committing an act of fraud. It’s insulting to those who have entered the authentic, sacred and time-honored institution of marriage over the years...
..."Proponents of gay marriage say that the Church won’t be forced to witness such marriages. Don’t believe it. And other related problems will inevitably arise. Will the Church be required to admit gay couples as sponsors for baptisms; to rent its facilities for gay wedding receptions; to hire employees despite their immoral gay lifestyles; to grant family benefits to gay couples? For simply maintaining its teachings in these and many other possible scenarios, the Church will be accused of bigotry and unlawful discrimination. The threat to our religious freedom is real, and imminent."
--Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin
The above is doubly depressing when you realize that Tobin could easy switch places with the Bishop of Lincoln and you wouldn't be able to tell it by any change in public pronouncements. Of course, the antidote to this downer is the following collection of comments on Joe.My.God.:
...Yes, everyone remembers the struggles the church had to endure when a bunch of leathermen decided to rent parish halls for fisting exhibitions, and they were powerless to prevent it.
...That's a lovely little frock he's wearing. I bet he's a hellcat in bed.
...As for the analogies, Jesus-Mary-and Oscar, how delish! Keep 'em coming and pass the popcorn. These people rilly make us look wicked smaht (Boston accent.)
...Oh fuck off, you superstitious freak. What on earth would you know about healthy human relationships?
...Wait, is this guy really a moron, or is he acting like the "dumb neighbour" in a sitcom, designed to make the stars look smart? Oh, wait, they'd have to actually have a smart bishop first, wouldn't they?
...Dude, you gotta stop wearing so much polyester. Do you know how many du Ponts they have to kill to make that stuff?
...Speaking of province --- umm, Providence actually -- the mayor of Rhode Island's capital & main city, Providence, is an openly gay man, David Cicillini. He has won accolades for cleaning up corruption, reducing crime, and revitalizing many of the city's neighbourhoods. Cicillini was first elected in 2002 with 84% of the vote, re-elected by about the same percentage in 2006.
...Well, I must say that the good Bishop has kicked the oratorical frenzy up a notch with this pronouncement. Why is his talent being wasted in the provinces?
...So wait, is this guy calling Chablis a morally bankrupt varietal of wine?
...Ever notice how the religious right sounds like a bunch of intellectual-property lawyers claiming some sort of copyright of the term 'marriage'?
...Mary, your purse is on fire.
...Is this some novel new application of the idea of the marriage market where the gays flood the market with cheap knock-off marriages and that decreases the market value of real marriages? How does that even work? "My straight marriage used to be worth big bucks but since the homos started flooding the market I've lost half my equity."
...and now if you'll excuse me, I have little boys to rape.
Honestly, Bishop Tobin is driving me closer and closer to becoming a Buddhist monk, not that the worth of that religion shouldn't be judged on its own merits...
Well I hope the Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence are proud of themselves. Yes, that means you, Sister Jezabelle of the Enraptured Sling, and you, Sister Barbi Mitzvah, and you Sister Bambi Dextrous. And most especially, you, Sister Ann R. KeyA Buddhist preacher in Thailand has announced plans for new guidelines aimed at curbing the behavior of some monks.
He was especially concerned, he said, by the flamboyant behavior of gay and transgender monks, who can often be seen wearing revealingly tight robes, carrying pink purses and having effeminately-shaped eyebrows.
The BBC's Jonathan Head in Bangkok says tales of monks behaving badly are nothing new in Thailand.
In recent years, they have been accused of abuses of their exalted position in society that range from amassing dozens of luxury cars, to running fake amulet scams, to violating their vows of celibacy, our correspondent says.
If successful, the "good manners" course, at the Novice Demonstration School, would be replicated at other Buddhist monasteries and seminaries, he said.
Fraulein Springfield sings "Warten und Hoffen" (Why does this sound so much more creepy than Petula Clark's German version of Downtown?)