We received more than 100 comments in response to an article about Cardinal Francis George’s letter that says same-sex marriage is “against the common good.”
In his letter, George urged Catholics to voice their objections, arguing that because same-sex marriages cannot be consummated and are not undertaken for the purpose of conceiving children that government, "has no power to create something that nature itself tells us is impossible."
Many readers agreed with the Cardinal commenting that same sex relations are against nature.
“Same sex marriage is awfully odd and against common sense and natural order of life,” Patch reader John Godson wrote. “This same sex stunt is unsustainable because of its crudely raw and animalistic instincts.”
Harry Gio wrote: “The Cardinal George is 100% right... Same sex marriage is without a doubt AGAINST the common good... I don't care what the gays do between one another, but their "Ways of Life" should most certainly NOT be honored or praised.”
Patch reader Tony S disagreed writing, “The ‘against nature’ argument is simply invalid. Homosexuality has been documented in over 2,500 animal species. It would appear that homosexuality is rather common. Also, the fact that our planet is becoming overpopulated is completely unsustainable. Homosexuality is one of the most sustainable population control measures ever.”
Definition of Marriage
Some readers say the church is not against homosexuality but that marriage is defined as between a man and a woman.
“I am not against legal union where gay people in a committed relationship have the same legal rights. I do however agree with the Church. That marriage is NOT to be redefined,” Patch reader Matt wrote. “The Church loves gay people as much as hetero people.”
Other readers, however, disagreed.
“If the state of marriage was strictly a religious signification Cardinal George would have a very valid argument. But it's NOT just a spiritual issue,” Patch reader Jennifer Wilson wrote. “Upon marriage, I get a better tax deal. I have immediate rights to inheritance. My spouse is automatically my next of kin. My husband can make revisions for me if I am not able to without question ... We use marriage as a legal status in this country and religion should not affect that legal status.”
Church and State
Wilson also wrote a blog post sharing why her family would not be attending Mass over the weekend. Wilson says religion has no place in politics.
“You, Cardinal George, do not get to tell me how to vote. You, Cardinal George, do not get to dictate which citizens in the state of Illinois enjoy the civil benefits and responsibilities of marriage. You get to refuse people the sacrament of marriage, but not the civil right to it. Kindly respect the separation of Church and State,” Wilson wrote.
llwvrt echoed Wilson’s sentiment for the separation of church and state, writing, “The cardinal can say whatever he wants but the common good promotes stability and happiness. I have no problem with gay marriage.”
“As the leader of Chicago Catholics, Cardinal George has a duty to tell his followers what being a good Catholic means. But that is not what he's doing,” Patch reader IMHO wrote. What he's doing is instructing Catholics to pressure legislators, and pressuring them himself, joined by like-minded clerics, to craft laws that force non-Catholics to follow Catholic doctrine. That makes it everybody’s business. It is the right (duty?) of non-Catholics to resist religious notions being imposed on Illinoisans through law.”
Patch reader Procrustes' Foil says if religious institutions want to get involved in politics, they should pay the price.
“In order to keep their tax-exempt status, religions are supposed to refrain from involvement in politics and legislation,” Procrustes’ Foil wrote. “Sounds like there are several religions that should start paying taxes!”
Essence of Marriage
Other readers were also outraged that George equated the essence of marriage to procreating.
“His stance is basically that there should also be a fertility test before a straight couple can get married,” RB wrote. “If they are unable to bear children, they can't get married. Adoption? His position does not consider that either.”
“Oh heavenly father, Cardinal George, numerous opposite sex couples cannot conceive also, should their marriages be extinguished?” Patch reader Lou wrote.
If Illinois passes a same-sex marriage bill, it could become the 10th state in the country to allow such marriages. The legislation passed the Senate Executive Committee Thursday, sending it to the full Senate, but it’s unclear when a vote would take place there, the New York Times reported.