Sunday, September 8, 2013

In recent news, a adoption agency is under fire for refusing to allow same sex couples to adopt from their facilities. Catholic Charities of Boston is a renown adoption organization that has provided homes for countless children.  The organization consists of several adoption facilities that are scattered throughout the state.  Unfortunately, the organization's charitable reign is coming to a screeching halt due to a controversial battle between religious freedom and gay rights.

In the state of Massachusetts, it is against the law to discriminate based on an individuals sexual orientation.  The state's stance is that the Catholic Charities of Boston has violated this law by refusing to give children up to same sex couples.  It is the organization's stance that due to religious beliefs and obligations they simply cannot help same sex couples.  The organization specifically cites a statement by the Vatican which prohibits Catholic adoption agencies from giving children up to same sex couples.  Ultimately, the demise of the CCB was due to the states refusal to license the adoption facilities due to an unwillingness to adhere to the state's "discrimination on orientation law".  Some will argue that any organization who accepts state funds should satisfy the state, however that is beside the point.  The CCB's religious beliefs remain the main issue not state funding.  "Even if Catholic Charities ceased receiving tax support and gave up its role as a state contractor, it still could not refuse to place children with same-sex couples."
This  particular incident is far from isolated.  Cases similar to this are sprouting up throughout the country.  In Illinois, agencies are shutting down due to the state's unwillingness to permit religiously run adoption facilities to make judgments based on their religious beliefs.  In Illinois, the states are using their political might and wealth to ensure that individuals like Bishop Thomas Paprocki (Bishop of Springfield, Ill.) cannot continue contributing to the lives of orphaned children and families who seek to adopt.  It appears that religiously affiliated adoption agencies simply can not survive the states secular agenda. The silver lining of this decision is that our Catholic Charities going forward will be able to focus on being more Catholic and more charitable,” he said, “while less dependent on government funding and less encumbered by intrusive state policies.” - Bishop Thomas Paprocki

These incidents are very troubling due to the implications they have on religious freedom.  As a country, we are now seeing a social shift that is allowing Americans to enjoy their inherent freedom, however not everyone is reaping the benefits.  More specifically, religiously affiliated organizations will no longer be allowed to adhere to all of their beliefs.  A pick and choose attitude will be instilled when it comes to religious adherence. It is becoming increasingly more difficult for individuals to use their religious beliefs to explain their actions.  In some instances it is considered illegal to act on religious obligations that could be mentally damaging to others. It is as if the religious can only truly practice and preach in the sanctity of their homes.  The state is attempting to fix "discrimination" by discriminating against the religiously adherent. The secular repercussions to the issue at hand are equally as disturbing.  As a result of these rulings there will be less resources for orphaned children.  The care that these organizations provided was unparalleled and now this remarkable service is unavailable.  Hundreds will suffer from the loss.

If it was not clear already I feel that the Catholic Charities of Boston, and similar organizations, are being discriminated against due to their beliefs.  I feel it is within their rights to adhere to Vatican Law and continue providing exceptional care.  I refuse to entertain the state funding argument, due to its implications.  It appears the state feels that they are doing the CCB a favor by funding them, however it is the other way around entirely.  The CCB is doing the state a favor by protecting orphaned children and promoting morality and family values.  We are not an extension of the state the state is an extension of us.  On the other hand, I understand that same sex couples may feel short changed, however it is not a personal attack.  Religious adherence is something that is between an individual and their god(s), it is not something Piers Morgan can debate on television.  When we are able to respect each other and our beliefs we will truly understand, however all we have until then is what our founding fathers blueprinted for us.          


SC said...

I agree that this is a clear case of religious discrimination. The fact that they cited a Vatican law makes me think that they are indeed trying to do what is right in regards to their religion, as opposed to using there religion as a false pretense for their bigotry. However, I don’t think that allowing them to refuse same-sex couples is a good solution either, as then the couples would be subject to discrimination. In addition, the children could be losing out on chances to find good families. Unfortunately there is no good solution in this situation. Someone would have to lose out on some rights one-way or the other.

Dylan Smith said...

I would tend to agree here with the author. I know there must be a balance when it comes to first amendment rulings, but the balance is shifting. Free exercise of religion is being overshadowed. I agree with everything that was said here but I would like to add the thought, "can the couple simply go to a different adoption agency?" It is as if, because our country is evolving becoming a host to people of many different beliefs, those who have held some traditional beliefs are being asked to not only accommodate new beliefs, but to forsake their own on behalf of these new beliefs. I might induce the slippery slope principal to ask the question,"
when will catholicism be outlawed all together?"

Dylan Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicole D said...

I personally think the state is in the right with this case. Although I understand the legitimacy of the points being argued above, it seems to me that this catholic organization is simply refusing to adhere to the changes of the time, and using religion as a cover. Yes, the vatican may be leading this, but the vatican law was determined by people, just the same as the state laws, and therefore it should not be a legitimate source to verify that it is not a cover. The founding fathers used the arguments that God guaranteed the right of equality, and therefore so should we, so why is it okay for the church to support discriminating? Years ago people argued that it was okay to discriminate based on race because of religion. We look at that argument now and see it as ridiculous, so why is that not also the case when talking about gay couples? Furthermore, if the organization simply said that they would only allow catholic families to adopt would we have a different case? If so, well then why should the catholic church think it is okay for non-catholic families to adopt but not for homosexual couples to adopt?

Sayeh B said...

I would have to agree with the state in this situation. While I respect the religious views of any organization, one must recognize that this adoption agency is funded by the state and therefore it must follow the laws of the state. State law dictates that a person cannot be discriminated against based on his/her sexual orientation, and that is exactly what the CCB is doing. What must be recognized is that times are changing: people are becoming more liberal, accepting, and concerning themselves with secular issues. While the CCB is doing a wonderful thing taking in orphaned children and raising them/teaching them good values, a child can learn these things without the cover of religion. I think one of my main questions - with regards these types of religious organizations (like hospitals, for example) - is why they must be religious in the first place? Why does a secular service, like being medically treated or taking care of orphaned children, have to be related to religion at all? This co-mingling of secular services with religious undertones seems to be the focus of our issues: an orphanage does not have to have a religious affiliation to effectively take care of orphans, so why must it be associated with any religion in the first place?

Terry B said...

Like everyone else that comment I would have to agree with the author on this issue. The adoption agency can not expect to be funded by the state government and not abide by there rules and regulations. Yes, the adoption agency is a Christian organization but you can not receive money from the government and try to run the organization differently. The agency must follow the state law that prohibits discrimination of all kind. By denying these people the service f adopting a child is against the state government rules and regulations. The government can not allow this ordeal to pass because it will open up the other arguments of discrimination. What is next if we don't allow adoption based on sexual orientation we can say they want allow adoption based on race,religious belief, and gender.