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Dear Cardinal George

My response to Cardinal George's letter to Catholics regarding gay marriage.

Dear Cardinal George,

My family and I will not be attending Mass this weekend, and our kids will not be attending Religious Ed.  I realize that a) you're probably not reading this and b) that our attendance can be rather spotty.  But this time, I'm not attending because of you.

Your letter to Catholics that you declared MUST be published in all parish bulletins in the Archdiocese of Chicago has way over stepped your bounds.  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.

I will not allow you to tell me that my dearest friend, who has had and held, in sickness and health, for richer or poorer, and cherished, forsaking all others the amazing partner that God sent him, does not have a "natural" love.

I will not allow you to tell my son that his friends, the most darling 7 year old twin girls, do not have a "natural" family because they have two loving moms.

I will not allow you to tell any of my friends who are still seeking their match that if God sends them someone of the same gender, it is not a "natural" love.

I will not allow a man, who has chosen a life without adult, romantic love and companionship, to define a marriage only as consummated by vaginal intercourse. 

I will not allow you to place more legitimacy on Kim Kardashian's 72 hour sham marriage than any gay couple who have been patiently waiting for a lifetime for their relationship to be recognized.

I will not allow you, Cardinal George, to define God as one who denies anyone the great love that He sends them. Your statements fly in the face of every teaching I have ever received from my Catholic education; that God is good, and loving and that His plan for us is a mystery and the love and people he sends us are the gifts that we are to receive graciously.  That God does not exclude or deny us good things.

Should the citizens of Illinois vote to recognize committed, loving homosexual relationships as the marriages they are, there is no statute requiring a religious organization to perform the marriage ceremony or recognize it as the sacrament of marriage.  It would simply confer the same rights I enjoy as a married person (tax benefits, inheritance privileges, recognizing a legal relationship) and responsibilities (alimony and child support in cases of divorce).  These laws are outside of your jurisdiction, Cardinal.

So my family will not be joining you this Sunday at Mass.  We will, however, keep you in our prayers that you realize the error of your statement.  We will pray that God sends you some sign that God has made us all different in His infinite Wisdom and that God, not a priest, bishop, cardinal or pope, creates a marriage.

"For whenever two or more of you are gathered in My Name, there is love"-- The Wedding Song (There is Love), Paul Stookey

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Dan Johnson January 15, 2013 at 03:12 AM
Jennifer. I neglected to thank you for standing up for equal rights and for speaking out against the harmful actions of a very powerful man representing a very powerful institution. Your brave efforts are greatly appreciated by many, including those who are directly harmed by denial of equal treatment under the law, those who care about them, and those who care about the belief we should treat others as we would ourselves under the law. Don't let the irrational prejudice get you down. We have come a long way, and now, the majority of fair minded people support full legal equality.
Dan Johnson January 15, 2013 at 03:18 AM
Refusing to treat others as you would yourself under the law, causes harm in a wide variety of ways. You can find bible verses to support genocide, slavery, apartheid, segregation, crusades, inquisitions, and many other atrocities. They are currently being used to dehumanize and demonize gay people, even though there is no rational, reasonable, or scientific reason to treat gay people differently than you would want to be treated. The only excuse for prejudice and discrimination remains in a few questionable religious texts, which have been misinterpreted and mistranslated over time, and which are contradicted by other verses including the most important one according to Jesus, namely that you love God and love others the same. Accepting alternate interpretations of those few verses that seem to condemn same sex love does not require abandoning your religious beliefs, only expanding them to include the idea that God created all things, including gay people, and He wants you to love them as you love Him, not judge and harm them.
Matt January 15, 2013 at 01:32 PM
Jennifer, I have too say, I NEVER saw anything that was condescending or aggressive in tone. Even though we dissagree on whether or not the Cardinal has the right and obligation to ask the faithful to contact our legislatures, I have not seen anything from you that would be considered arrogant or aggressive. Most of us had a very good discussion. There have been some people who have been aggressive. I enjoy our discussion. Even though we have agrued over some of the issues we have gone over, and probably will continue, I have to stick up for you here. You have not been a bully in anyway. You have not been aggressive, or condescending. I think His Emminence, Cardinal George would agree and even have welcomed this conversation and agruments on this blog. So lets keep going...
Mary J February 03, 2013 at 07:09 PM
Jenifer, I am south of you in Illinois but your words reflected how I feel. Thank you for having the courage and words to state what other Catholics feel. I hope you do not mind but I shared this on fb.
Melanie February 18, 2013 at 08:05 PM
Thank you Jennifer, for expressing so well what so many of us believe.

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