Tuesday, June 06, 2006

"To Use Another Human Being for One’s Own Political Gain Is Beyond Shameful, It’s a Sin"

Thanks to my sister-in-law for sending the following. All Souls is the church in which she and my brother were married.

Press briefing opposing President Bush’s support of the Federal Marriage Amendment by the Reverend Robert M. Hardies, senior minister, All Souls Church, Unitarian, Washington, DC, National Press Club, June 5, 2006:

"My name is Robert Hardies and I’m the senior minister of All Souls Church, Unitarian in Washington, DC. All Souls is located just a mile or so down the road from the White House, and so today I’d like to issue an invitation to the President of the United States. I’d like to invite him and the First Lady to come worship with us at All Souls Church on a Sunday morning. Because there are families in my church I’d like to introduce him to. I’d like him to meet Steve and Barbara.

"A few years ago, Steve and Barbara celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary with a party at our church. Forty years was an important milestone for them. You see, Steve is white and Barbara is black and when they tried to get married 40-some years ago in the state of Virginia they were told, 'No!' They were told that a white person marrying a black person violated not only the state’s anti-miscegenation laws, but the sanctity of marriage itself. Like so many couples back then, Steve and Barbara had to cross over the Potomac into the District of Columbia to get married. Pretty soon they moved here so as not to be rousted out of bed and arrested like other interracial couples in Virginia.

"I’m hoping that Steve and Barbara can remind the President that the struggle for marriage equality has a longer history than some are willing to admit.

"Then I’d introduce him to Kevin and Paul. They’ve celebrated a milestone, too. Not too long ago we held a blessing in church for their adopted daughter. You should’ve seen the crowd after the service. Dozens of would-be aunts and uncles gathered around the family, clamoring to hold the little girl. Kevin and Paul are thankful for the love and support they find at church, because the state still doesn’t recognize their family as legitimate. I’d like to give Kevin and Paul the opportunity to ask the President why their family shouldn’t receive the same legal benefits as other families.

"In his press conference today, the President will use the language of values to justify his support of the Federal Marriage Amendment. And I want to acknowledge that people of good faith do differ on the issue of gay marriage. But I’d like to talk about values, too, and discuss for a moment the politics behind the Federal Marriage Amendment.

"Let’s be honest with ourselves. There isn’t anyone in Washington who is naïve enough to believe that the introduction of this legislation now in two consecutive election cycles is anything but a politically motivated effort to win votes by demonizing a class of citizens.

"There are those who say to me, 'Hey, that’s politics. In an election year you can’t blame us for tossing a little red meat to our base.' I say to them, 'When your red meat are my parishioners—people I love and whom I’m responsible to God for caring for—then you’d better believe I’m going to blame you and point out your hypocrisy.'

"For the President of the United States to write discrimination into the Constitution in order to boost his poll numbers is shameful, and a violation of his stewardship of the Constitution. But it’s worse than that. To use another human being for one’s own political gain is beyond shameful, it’s a sin. If the President were to go back and read the Book of Genesis he would be reminded that there it says all human beings are created in the image of God, and that they therefore possess sacred worth and dignity. You don’t use another human being this way. You don’t demonize them for your own political gain. That’s the very definition of sin.

"In closing, let me make two predictions. First, this legislation will almost undoubtedly fail. It wasn’t ever intended to pass; it was only intended to mobilize conservative voters. And second, I predict that we’ll all be here again two years from now in 2008 when someone else thinks its good politics and again introduces the Federal Marriage Amendment into the national debate.

"But I will work and pray for the day when the leadership of this country rises above the politics of demonization and instead sees fit to shower the blessings of this nation on all of our families. Thank you."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is yet another attempt by the Bush administration to deflect attention away from their complete an utter failure in Iraq ... not to mention the economy, global warming and even their big issue the "war on terror." Seems they're getting bad grades on that one as well.

Hitler had the Jews, Ronald Reagan had the "evil empire" and GWB has us ...

Take a look at today's (6/7) Washington Post ... Dana Milbank takes on Sen. Allard of Colorado and "want-to-be Senator" Congresswomen Kathleen Harris. Harris says gays getting married will lead to "anarchy" and Allard tried to equate it to the reason why there are so many "fatherless" households ... huh ??


6:51 AM  

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