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Author Topic: Religious Adoption Agency Will Shut Down Instead of Letting Gay Couples Adopt  (Read 5784 times)

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Offline Pointless DigressionTopic starter

The great state of Illinois will begin allowing civil unions on Wednesday. Because separate but equal institutions is an idea that's worked out so well for us before [/sarcasm]. But I digress.

Catholic Charities of Rockford, Illinois is so opposed to being forced to place foster children in the homes of gay couples (PDF), that it’s going to end its adoption services altogether:

Quote
In Rockford, the decision could displace about 350 foster children served by Catholic Charities and put 58 employees out of work.


Quote
Without a specific provision protecting religious agencies, church officials said, the agency can’t risk losing state contracts or facing lawsuits if it turns away gay couples or others in civil unions. State funds make up about half of Catholic Charities of Rockford’s $7.5 million operating budget.

“While we understand leaving this work will be very painful for our client families, employees, volunteers, donors and prayerful supporters, we can no longer contract with the state of Illinois whose laws would force us to participate in activity offensive to the moral teachings of the church — teachings which compel us to do this work in the first place,” said Frank Vonch, director of social services for the Diocese of Rockford, which includes Kane and McHenry counties.

Emphasis added by Pointless Digression

Did you manage to wrap your head around the part I bolded? The Catholic Church is the same organization that sheltered and protected and transferred child rapists for decades now is now whining about the church taking moral offense. And the thing that's so offensive to them that they're going to pick up all their toys and go home, rather than play? Loving gay couples adopting children. Their anti-gay bigotry is so powerful that they'd rather let children suffer (more) than to even consider placing them with "TEH GAYS!"

There has to be something more than this. I can't possibly understand their logic in another way than: When a child needs a loving father or mother more than anything, but you might have to give them two mothers or two fathers, better not put them with anybody.

To be fair, this is not just Catholics. The evangelical Christian group Focus on the FamilyPatriarchy, which has made getting children adopted the subject of their "talking points", also seems to hate the idea of gay couples adopting.

Still, the Catholic Church is consistent in its opposition to homosexuality, so I guess it makes a kind of sense to fight over this particular point. As I understand it, the Church is very strict about the married lives of people. Homosexual acts are sins but it's also a sin to bear a child out of wedlock, it's a sin to divorce, it's a sin to divorce and then remarry. [whispered aside]I think non-Catholics also borderline sin every day.[/whispered aside] So I can get discriminating against homosexuals, because I'm sure they also take moral offense at single parents adopting, divorced parents adopting, divorced-then-remarried parents adopting, and non-Catholics adopting. I'm sure they would have shut down rather than place children in any of these unsuitable homes.

Yeah, you know where this is going.

Quote
“We believe that children are best served by being in the home of a married couple or a single individual,” [Catholic Conference of Illinois executive director Robert Gilligan] explained. “That’s not a radical notion.”

He added that homes provided by married couples or single, committed individuals “is in the best interest of the child and quite frankly, I think society should recognize that that’s in the best interest of the child.”

Let's sum up Married non-Catholics; cool. Single people; cool. Gays - HELL NO!

Seriously, Illinois? Just give the money Catholic Charities is apparently too good for to a secular, non-discriminatory agency and get these jokers loose.

Offline Belle33

This is good news. 

If it results in more funding for a charities that focus on helping children find homes without the influence of the Catholic (or other) church, I say - whooray!  I prefer public funds not be channeled to organizations that would practice discrimination at the expense of the people they are supposed to help.     

Kudos to this organization for recognizing their bigotry.  Perhaps they will not have more time on their hands to consider what Jesus would do.  Methinks he would love all his fathers' children, and would not question his fathers' decision to create such a gloriously diverse flock.

Offline Noelle

As a private institution, they have full rights to decide who they serve, but I honestly don't think the damage will be that great if they decide not to adopt out to gay couples, given that not only are gays a minority to begin with, but gay couples who choose to marry are an even smaller percentage. That's not to say that what they're doing is right or good, but the Church isn't shy about their views on homosexuality, so this shouldn't come as a big shock to anyone who's been alive longer than about a week or so.

Guess what I'm saying is that while I disagree with their decision, it's certainly their right to pick and choose the demographics they prefer, so long as federal tax dollars aren't being funneled in to support them in that endeavor.

Offline Foxy Oni

Guess what I'm saying is that while I disagree with their decision, it's certainly their right to pick and choose the demographics they prefer, so long as federal tax dollars aren't being funneled in to support them in that endeavor.

Well, that actually is sorta the real truth to the matter. Rockford isn't being "forced" to allow gay couples to adopt, they just can't receive state funding unless they do. If they were privately funded, then they could pick and choose. But since they want taxpayer dollar, some of which would come from gay residents in a wee bit of irony, then they have to follow the law.

Offline Oniya

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You know, I bet if the employees, volunteers, donors and client families find this so painful, the could probably organize and either form a new, non-secular agency or distribute their abilities to the agencies that are going to be picking up the slack.

Offline Noelle

Well, that actually is sorta the real truth to the matter. Rockford isn't being "forced" to allow gay couples to adopt, they just can't receive state funding unless they do. If they were privately funded, then they could pick and choose. But since they want taxpayer dollar, some of which would come from gay residents in a wee bit of irony, then they have to follow the law.

It's dubious to me as to why they would even receive federal funding in the first place, given they're blatantly a Catholic charity :P It's just too bad that their selective bigotry had to come at the expense of peoples' jobs and the possible future of ~300 kids. If you ask me, it just looks all the worse for the Church in the end, though I'm sure not everyone sees it the same way.

Offline Pointless DigressionTopic starter

It's dubious to me as to why they would even receive federal funding in the first place, given they're blatantly a Catholic charity :P

State funding, not federal. And they receive the funding because the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services contracts out the adoption placement services to places like Catholic Charities.

Offline Noelle

My mistake. It still seems sigh-worthy to me that any part of the government is contracting out to religious organizations, but I guess it's not really that shocking, what with the Salvation Army and all.

Offline Wyrd

Maybe Catholics shouldn't be aloud to adopt. :/  So this catholic charity would rather put  350 foster children and  58 employees on their Ass's rather then adopt to people who would most likely be loving parents? They must be doing the lords work!

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

The problem people have with this issue makes little sense to me.  This is a Catholic organization, a group that has had a consistent stance on homosexuality and gay marriage.  Such view points from this group are widely known and understood.  To pass a law or make a policy that would require them to go against their teachings should lead to their unwillingness to continue operation.  They are committed to their view point on this matter and willing to stand by their principles.  To criticize them for doing something immoral in order to explain why they should do something else immoral makes little logical sense.  The people are going to stand by what they preach, so why jump on them for that?

While people are busy crying that this is a tragedy for the children because the charity might close shop, why not also look at the legislators.  As Noelle said the amount of gay couples that are married will be quite small and an even smaller number that would seek or qualify for adoption.  So is it not also an equal tragedy that lawmakers would put these children’s future in jeopardy by forcing people to adopt to gay couples.  They can simply make the matter legal, but allow the adoption agency its own policies.  Honestly, if you are a gay couple going to adopt from a Catholic Charity then there has to be some expectation that they view your lifestyle in a poor light.

Offline Pointless DigressionTopic starter

The problem people have with this issue makes little sense to me.  This is a Catholic organization, a group that has had a consistent stance on homosexuality and gay marriage.

As I mentioned in the original post, the Catholic Church also has strong opinions against divorce, yet will adopt children to divorced or remarried people. But not a gay couple. The Catholic Church also has a problem with single parents, especially unwed mothers. But this organization will adopt to single parents. Just not a gay couple.

Offline Belle33

I certainly don't object Catholics forming charities.  I believe it's part of their mandate as Christians to help those in need.  And I have no problem them following morals and principles as they see fit as they those provide services.  But, if public funds are used in the process, then I definitely would object to them practicing discrimination.  It clearly denies certain citizens access to, essentially, public services. 

They should just divert the funds to organizations that would not discriminate, and move on.  I still see their closing as a positive.

Offline Brandon

As I mentioned in the original post, the Catholic Church also has strong opinions against divorce, yet will adopt children to divorced or remarried people. But not a gay couple. The Catholic Church also has a problem with single parents, especially unwed mothers. But this organization will adopt to single parents. Just not a gay couple.

It would be nice if you actually tried to understand the other side but as is reading this thread has been metaphorically speaking like getting reconstructive dental surgery with a Kyak paddle. Since the creation of this thread I have felt an utter disgust at how it was originally posted. The amount of utterly asanine rhetoric astounds me and the most worrying part is the return of the same kind of demonizing attitude that I thought Elliquiy had successfully murdered last year with no staff in sight. Yet here we are again

First off, the catholic church has a long and widely understood history that it believes the act of homosexuality is a sin not the person. Claiming otherwise is factually incorrect. It is not nor has it ever been about bigotry. What it is about is at its core a disagreement of opinion. To them gay sex is a sin, end of story but the act of a couple forming is not a sin but is commiting to sin. It is a symbol of reprehensible behavoir that will condemn those souls to hell for all eternity.

Try to actually stop and think about that from their point of view before you come around here shouting about them being bigots.

Offline Noelle

–noun, plural -ries.
1.
stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own.
2.
the actions, beliefs, prejudices, etc., of a bigot.

—Synonyms
1.  narrow-mindedness, bias, discrimination.


While it can be said for certain that not all Catholics act with total intolerance towards gays, refusing to serve gays is what I would say is "stubborn and complete intolerance", especially withinin the synonym discrimination.

Offline HairyHeretic

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No one is likely to convince anyone of anything by using inflammatory language and snide remarks. We're all supposed to be adults here. We should be intelligent enough to realise that the topics that come up here are going to provoke strong responses by their very nature. They don't need additional help in that regard.

If you're going to try and put a particular point of view forward, or rebut one, then do it in a civil manner.

Offline Brandon

As a group there is no such thing as total intolerance toward anyone in the catholic church. Think about what I noted earlier as to their belief that the act of gay sex is a sin. There is a lot of written and unwriten rules that point out that hating a person for their sins is completely against doctrine. There would not be any attempts to try and turn gays away from a "sinful" lifestyle if they were intolerant of the person.

As for being intolerant of the act yes and no. I do have some examples that run contrary to the norm but they revolve around the sex abuse scandals and as everyone knows I have sworn not to discuss them. I will leave you to look into that yourself and come to your own conclusions. If you still disagree then I would say we will have to agree to disagree and drop it from there. However his claims of bigotry clearly werent talking about the act either

As individuals, thats another thing entirely but again we arent talking about individuals were talking about a group

Offline Noelle

One could argue that refusing to adopt children out to gay couples without first running a background check as to whether or not they're acting on that impulse (which you say is what they actually have a problem with) is more indicative of bigotry.

Offline Sabby

First off, the catholic church has a long and widely understood history that it believes the act of homosexuality is a sin not the person. Claiming otherwise is factually incorrect. It is not nor has it ever been about bigotry. What it is about is at its core a disagreement of opinion. To them gay sex is a sin, end of story but the act of a couple forming is not a sin but is commiting to sin. It is a symbol of reprehensible behavoir that will condemn those souls to hell for all eternity.

To quote Mass Effects wise crippled lad, "That is the official story. And no one ever believes the official story"

Even in saying I think that theres still some bigotry behind the public face there (I actually do agree that they have a right to exercise that part of their theology when operating off of their own money) I'm not sure what your trying to say here... one person says "They won't adopt to gays, but unwed mums and cheaters are sinners to and they'll adopt to them" and your response seemed to be "Nah uh, gays are totally sinners". I know you didn't word it like that, but if you were trying to point out why the gays and unwed mums and divorced mums point was inaccurate, then you might need another crack at it man. How is the Sin of being a same sex lover worse then the Sin of making a kid and then skipping town to raise that kid without the other parent around?

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

I am not sure where this notion of total intolerance comes from.  According to the Catholic Church the act of same-sex intercourse is a sin.  The position of wanting that act is not itself a sin and to live with that burden is considered a trial by many.  Living in that sin means a continual disregard for the teachings of God and a complete abandonment of the life that Christ wants people to lead.  Essentially the homosexual couple is making an active and willful choice to live in sin.  That means the couple will commit to an ongoing existence of sinful acts without remorse.  They are not asking for forgiveness for their act as they intend to continue the act.

Someone who cheats, commits adultery and so on can be forgiven is they so desire.  The act was, in theory, a one time lapse and weakness that can be forgive through confession.  Also, keep in mind that there are a multitude of reasons for a woman to be a single mother aside from “skipping” town with the child. 

I’m sure the Charity follows the appropriate background checks and evaluations to ensure the child is placed with a healthy parents or parents.

Offline Sabby

See? That was an actual answer. Thank you Pumpkin :)

Offline ReijiTabibito

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The problem people have with this issue makes little sense to me.  This is a Catholic organization, a group that has had a consistent stance on homosexuality and gay marriage.  Such view points from this group are widely known and understood.  To pass a law or make a policy that would require them to go against their teachings should lead to their unwillingness to continue operation.  They are committed to their view point on this matter and willing to stand by their principles.  To criticize them for doing something immoral in order to explain why they should do something else immoral makes little logical sense.  The people are going to stand by what they preach, so why jump on them for that?

While people are busy crying that this is a tragedy for the children because the charity might close shop, why not also look at the legislators.  As Noelle said the amount of gay couples that are married will be quite small and an even smaller number that would seek or qualify for adoption.  So is it not also an equal tragedy that lawmakers would put these children’s future in jeopardy by forcing people to adopt to gay couples.  They can simply make the matter legal, but allow the adoption agency its own policies.  Honestly, if you are a gay couple going to adopt from a Catholic Charity then there has to be some expectation that they view your lifestyle in a poor light.

I'm with her on this one.  Churches, by and large, including the Roman Catholic, have had a longstanding stance against homosexuality and gay marriages.  Now, I'm not privy to the numbers, but the last article said that Illinois has a long tradition of seeking help from faith-based groups like the RCC.  Plus, both articles made it sound like the state legislature is possibly working on a proviso that would allow groups to, as Pumpkin said, have their own policies about adopting to gay couples - legal but not required, so to speak.

In a single angle, though, the acts of the Church should be applauded - and before people start jumping on me, hear me out.  The fact that they have the conviction to say "No, we've got a deeply held belief about homosexuality and gay marriage, and we're not going to compromise on it, even if it means discontinuing adoption."  That sort of act isn't very nice, I know, but they should be commended for the fact that they're willing to stand up for what they believe in rather than compromise.

As I mentioned in the original post, the Catholic Church also has strong opinions against divorce, yet will adopt children to divorced or remarried people. But not a gay couple. The Catholic Church also has a problem with single parents, especially unwed mothers. But this organization will adopt to single parents. Just not a gay couple.

That part comes in the fact that homosexuality being a sin is rooted within the Bible - Old and New Testaments.  I don't recall anywhere where it says being a single parent is a sin - that's more Catholic tradition rather than Biblical principle - and certain instances of divorce aren't sins, either.

@Sabby: Seems like Pumpkin already beat me to the answer, but I will add this - homosexuality, deadbeat parenting, cheating, and most cases of divorce are all sins equal to the eyes of God in the Bible.  So, there's not really a 'worse' sin.  The idea of different grades of sins is pure Catholic tradition, and certainly not based on Biblical principle, as is the similar Church of Mormon belief.  It does not say anywhere in the Bible that there is a sin that cannot be forgiven.  But, as Pumpkin pointed out, repeated instances signifies a deliberate defiance of God's teachings and so on.

Offline Noelle

The idea of 'living in sin' in regards to homosexuality seems a bit of a lame excuse to me. You can't undo a divorce, you live with that always. Are they monitoring in the long-term for parents who cheat on their spouse? Do they take the child away if the couple gets a divorce? What if it's their second divorce? Surely the parents are going to lie at some point in the future -- multiple times, in fact; what are they doing for those people since they are obviously unapologetic? And if they take the Lord's name in vain a few times after they adopt? In the same vein that homosexuality was called an abomination, we also see that God's not a fan of polyester, shrimp, or tattoos. How are they tackling these pressing issues, and is it with the same fervor that they oppose homosexuality?

I'm not saying they don't have a right to discriminate as they see fit -- if they want to exclude Mexicans and people who are left-handed, by all means, it's their exclusive club and they don't have to invite me, but the arguments that their special stance on homosexuality isn't bigotry...well, it's not terribly convincing.

Offline Sabby

^This. Plus they operate with other peoples money. The tax paying citizens that help them open their doors have obviously spoken up for gay rights since laws are changing there, so these guys have three options. Accommodate for their cheque payers, stop accepting the check and somehow operate on other funding, or shut down. They seem to be choosing the last option, and I do have to give them kudos for sticking to their ways even in the face of total financial ruining. In another situation, I would find that pretty amazing.

Offline Jude

If you follow the same logic that the Catholic Church uses towards homosexuals, then I guess the United States Government doesn't have anything against rapists, murderers, and pedophiles.  "We just punish the behavior, those individuals shouldn't feel discouraged from being a rapist, a murderer, or a pedophile."

The whole notion of behavioral correction through operant conditioning is changing someone by associating the behavior that you want to eliminate with negative outcomes.  Associating homosexuality with sin is not some harmless difference of opinion; it's an attempt at using the concept of sin to shame people away from being homosexual.

Despite the fact that authority figures in Catholic Institutions repeatedly show corruption and intolerance, this isn't a good measure for Catholics themselves (at least in the United States):  the average Catholic in the US is more progressive on social issues such as gay rights than the average protestant.  As such, there is a difference between attacking entrenched, abusing institutions of power and the practitioners of the faith who are ahead of the curve.

Offline ReijiTabibito

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If you follow the same logic that the Catholic Church uses towards homosexuals, then I guess the United States Government doesn't have anything against rapists, murderers, and pedophiles.  "We just punish the behavior, those individuals shouldn't feel discouraged from being a rapist, a murderer, or a pedophile."

With what we see today, I think that that last statement is particularly obvious, don't you?  :P  After all, there is NAMBLA...

I kid (to a degree), but in all seriousness, the US Government is the authority of the land, whereas the Catholic Church is not.  Saying that because they have the same purpose (telling people how to live their lives), they have to operate under the same lines of logic isn't right.  It'd be like saying that the NSA and CIA have to operate under the same lines of logic as the FBI or the Armed Forces, since they're all organizations that protect our freedom and our country, when the truth is is that while they've got the same overall purpose, they approach it in very different ways, and thus need to follow different paths.

The whole notion of behavioral correction through operant conditioning is changing someone by associating the behavior that you want to eliminate with negative outcomes.  Associating homosexuality with sin is not some harmless difference of opinion; it's an attempt at using the concept of sin to shame people away from being homosexual.

And yet, for a long time, it worked - people hid in the closet for years about being gay, especially if they were Christian.  Whereas the prison system we've got today doesn't work at all at rehabilitation or at prevention - felons get released back out onto the street and go right back into crime, for one of two reasons IMO.

1: They know that there's no 'normal' job that will hire them.  Having a felony conviction on your background check is a death sentence to most forms of employment, particularly if it's drugs, rape, or murder.

2: There's too much money involved.  After all, why go and get a job flipping burgers at seven dollars an hour when you can sell drugs on the street for dozens if not hundreds of dollars a pop, and all you have to do is avoid the authorities?

The ultimate problem is that there really isn't anything, secular or religious, that seems to consistently work these days to promote a well-adjusted and moral society.  And in that sense, both the RCC and the USG are in trouble.