Opposing the Ban & Ending Poverty--For the Church it's the Same

What a week! Sunday night I talked with a group of Catholics at the Good Shepherd Catholic Parish in Menomonee Falls. This church is the home of a Gay & Straight in Christ group, which hosted the forum. On Monday, I wrote about the UCC church in Wisconsin taking a strong position opposing the ban at their annual meeting. Later, Josh reported that the United Methodists in Wisconsin re-affirmed their position opposing the ban on Tuesday. Such news about the faith community all in one week leads to a question--what’s happening in the hearts and minds of people of faith around the state?

To answer that, let’s go to a text in the gospel of John I used last Sunday in Menomonee Falls. In John 21:15-19, Peter is forgiven for his denial of Christ before the crucifixion, but Christ is also issuing to Peter four distinct commands to the apostles and the church: “Feed my lambs,” “Tend my sheep,” “Feed my sheep,” and “Follow me.

What does that say? What does that mean? How does that relate to the ban? Short answer--the Christian church is to care for the people of God throughout the world and to do so by following Christ’s example. That means work to end hunger, win the unfinished war on poverty, clothe the naked, house the homeless and less fortunate, and educate all people. And all those things can be done by a church that opposes discrimination.

The church is being called and moved to live a life led by love that takes actions to heal people’s pain (“Tend my sheep”) and does it in the example of Christ who opened his arms to all people (“Follow me”). The church cannot just do one of these things without the other. Service to our fellow humans and opposing discrimination are not exclusive of each other, but rather are together in the one work of the body of Christ.

But don’t just take my word. Read this prayer, written by one of the heroes of the Christian faith, that combines a life of service and a life of love for all humans.

Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love; for it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.



At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Keith said...

These are great things coming from Catholics, Eric. And it's all quite faithful to the Catechism and Church teaching. If only our biships were as clear about this as they are about some of the other issues about which they are prophetic.

It plain and simple, what our parent's generation call The Corporal Works of Mercy. The second sentence of the ban is EVIL because it prevents people from doing their Christian duties of Mercy.


SHELTER THE HOMELESS. How many widows lose their homes when their partners pass? The amendment can create homelessness by invalidating titles and leases.

VISIT THE SICK. How many partners are prevented from being at the bedsides of their loved ones?

VISIT THE IMPRISONED. Do non-married partners of prisoners have any rights?

FEED THE HUNGRY. The ban cements the unfair taxation of gay and lesbian families.

GIVE DRINK TO THE THIRSTY. Echoes of stonewall, and the closing of the M&M Club in Milwaukee! (Okay, the amendment wouldn't have changed that.)

CLOTHE THE NAKED. Why are our opponents so obsessed with our bedrooms?

BURY THE DEAD. How many stories have we about estranged families barring partners from the funerals of their estranged deceased? Are there any legal protections?


Post a Comment

<< Home

A Fair Wisconsin Votes No
Add this banner to your website