Should agencies with “sincerely held religious beliefs” be free to refuse adoptions to gay and lesbian couples? The Kansas legislature just said yes with its new Adoption and Relinquishment Act.
Let me now ask another question that is, perhaps, unfair. During recent decades, would it have been safer to place young children in the care of male Roman Catholic priests, or with committed gay and lesbian couples? The question is unfair because the huge majority of Catholic priests do not sexually molest children. Still, hundreds have abused children and were long sheltered from prosecution by their church hierarchy. The problem is worldwide.
Given that history, would it be unjust for the state to pass laws forbidding all priests from participating in child care? Of course it would be unjust. How strange, then, that the new Kansas law shows again how some church authorities aim their sniper rifle of discrimination narrowly at LGBT people, while allowing monstrous offenders to slip by for decades.
During the 2016 presidential election, the Greater Kansas City Catholic hierarchy listed support of gay marriage as one of five “inherently evil acts” which should disqualify any political candidate — not to say a gay couple who seek to adopt. That same year the United Methodist church drove from her pulpit an Edgerton, Kan., pastor who told her congregation that she is a lesbian. Ninety United Methodist ministers joined in this statement:
“We simply cannot abandon the Bible’s teaching on the practice of homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Your proposal would put us, who believe that same-sex relations are sinful, in the position of having to deny our consciences.”
True, the Holy Bible in Leviticus 20:13 actually demands that homosexuals be killed. But why stop there? What about people who divorce and marry someone else? Mark 10:11 states that “whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another committeth adultery against her.” Leviticus 20:10 says: “The man that commiteth adultery with another man’s wife...the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” The Bible thus seems to require killing a huge proportion of the adult U.S. population, all of the divorced and their new spouses.
Don’t forget those naughty young brides who cannot bring forth proof that they are virgins. Deuteronomy 22:21 dictates: “Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die...”
The Bible condemns to death many others, including “he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord…” (Leviticus 24: 10-16); “whosoever doeth work on the Sabbath… (Exodus 35: 2); “and “every one that curseth his father or his mother…” (Leviticus 20:9). What a host of targets for discrimination: divorced and remarried people, non-virgin brides, blasphemers, Sabbath breakers and kids furious with their parents. But these are not the sinners targeted by the new law.
No, in Kansas certain churches with their “sincerely held religious beliefs” know where to focus blame. It is gays and lesbians, even legally married ones, who must be denied the right to adopt children.
Contact Charles Hammer at firstname.lastname@example.org.