"In a statement published in connection with a bond prospectus, the Boston archdiocese listed its assets at Six Hundred and Thirty-five Million ($635,891,004), which is 9.9 times its liabilities.
Taken from “Vatican Billions” written by Avro Manhattan
The defeat of Proposition 8, and the fact that in most of the states gay marriages are banned, epitomized the fact that the queer community although directly impacted underestimated the opposition. They thought that there were good people on both sides of the debate, only different in views but would not resort to telling lies, and spinning the truth. They were Christians after all, and claim to be moral and upright. The Queer population has hitherto seldom focus or attempt to understand the motivations behind the very strong anti-gay movement. If they did, they may have responded far more comprehensively and deliberately.
An example for how unawares the Gay community, is their reaction, smiling with glee when it was announced that Focus on Family will be shedding staff again, and thought that this may be deserving since they wasted 800K on supporting Proposition 8. This is not insightful as without Proposition 8, they may have shed more staff. Christian Right fund raising action such as Proposition 8, receives millions of dollars funding for which require staff from Organization such as Focus on Family to manage the “battle” fund. Without any hot button issues, would this staff been gainfully occupied? Without war, why need so many troops.
In order to respond effectively, we should first understand the motivations behind each of the antagonists, who have paid such a high price of over USD 35 million and also forsaking their strong differences to share a united front. However, as we examined each of the motivations, it becomes clear that they had a lot at stake, more than just a moral issue, each with a different but very valid reason to support Proposition 8. We all know that the defense of marriage was a red herring, so what were the real reasons:-
1. The undermining of the Catholic Faith
“a few fragments of human bones found under the Basilica of St. Peter are the authentic mortal remains of the Apostle”. Pope Paul VI, 1968.
The Catholic Faith is built upon a sincere motivation to retain pride, control, power and wealth – their heaven on earth. They went to the extent of recreating history by claiming that Peter was the first pope, not because Peter was ever a leader of the Catholic Church but that he was supposed to have the keys to heaven. But the Catholic Church had to, in order to substantiate their claim to power. The truth was that Peter was the leader to the Jewish Church whilst it was Paul who ventured beyond Judea and was the Apostle to the Gentile world. Therefore, such is their eagerness for power that they would not mind not only adding to the bible, but fundamentality changing it. When there was a power struggle with the Eastern Church at Constantinople, the Roman Church went to the extent of redirecting the crusades to attack Constantinople, hence weakening the power of that city and later ushering in the fall of Asia Minor or Turkey to the Moors. Hence, none of the bible cities in Asia Minor are Christian today.
There is a unique simplicity of the Gospel Message being a direct relationship between the common man and God without intermediaries, and by faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. That means, the church and its massive hierarchy and structures were not required and people would not be controlled tightly in a structured framework. A religious framework was created to keep people in their proper place, so that the church would have absolute control and power. At the top was no longer Jesus. Mary was now the co-redeemer. Next, was the Pope, or Pontifus Maximus, the bridgehead between man and God, the same title used by the Roman Emperors whom were considered human gods. A human notion of inherited power was instituted where by the authority was handed from Jesus, to Peter, and then to the long line of Popes.
Therefore the individual relationship with God is taken away from the very top. We now pray to Mary who will intercede for us (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 973), via the Pope who has the authority as if he was god on earth. What the Pope said must be right, since he is infallible and a god. The entire religious framework was to prevent people going directly to God, to be empowered by faith to have a relationship with God. The next layer of authority is the Priests. As much power lies in the Pope and the Priests, in order to ensure full allegiance to the church, they are not allowed to marry. Hence, the power and wealth could not be handed down to the descendents but remained in the church to perpetuate its power. That was the main problem of the Roman Emperors where their children always fight for power many times weakening the empire.
The next layer is man with the link between the next layer – the priest – being through confession. Therefore, instead of a relationship with God resulting in communion and fellowship where we share our failures, we have to go through the priests. The man could not read the bible, as it was the priests who will read and rightly interpret it. The last layer is woman and the link to man is through marriage. Therefore, in a relationship, the man always have the rights and leadership role. The notion of woman priests is an absolute “no” as they are not supposed to rule over the man.
So how does Gays undermine the Catholic Church? The system is a “perfect” religious framework and has worked very well for the last 1500 years. However, Gays have the small potential to wreck this and the catholic church is concerned, always paranoid at the small possibility. For marriage is what links the man to the woman. If gays are allowed to marry, then who is the man and who is the woman? . The structure would be undermined. In reality with the very small number of gays, this would never be an issue except for a paranoid church and this paranoia helped them to remain in power for 1500 years, longer than any dynasty on earth. Gay marriages and Women Rights are in the same basket for the Catholic Church, not to be opened lest control is lost. The Catholic Faith is a religious system that can keep people in deep bondage, and separation of God without them ever knowing it. The Gay Marriages and Women Priests have the potential to impact this system.
2. The undermining of the Christian Right.
The Rev Derek Hong of Church of Our Savior often declares that Homosexuality will destroy the Christian Faith. This may be true, not because Gays ever have a monopoly on immorality. There is a strong fear that it will undermine the notion of “Sola Scriptura”, or “Scripture Only”. If this is undermined, then the Gospel message may also be undermined. There has been a battle between the Christians Fundamentalists and their Liberal Counterparts, who hold the bible with far less enthusiasm and calling that which they find hard to accept, a “mystery”, or continually challenging the authenticity of the bible. In response, the Evangelicals have been pushed further to the right. The Gay Issue became a battle of Waterloo. The Fundamentalists have feared that Gays would be an exception to their religious framework hence undermining their interpretation of the bible, and hence their basis of existence, power and authority which they consider stemmed from the bible.
Liberal Christianity has deduced that the solution lie in being “thinking Christians”. In reality, this is a charade with the Catholics and the Fundamentalist Christians doing far more thinking, and planning, to spreading their beliefs and hold on power. The Christian Right has held onto the scripture, so tightly until their knuckles are white in color. But they do not realize that they are holding on to both the Old and New Testament, and the Law within and the Pharisees whom Jesus roundly condemned. They are reading the bible very literally without addressing the issue of who it was written to, the motivation, and the religious, and cultural circumstance. Why? Not because they were not thinking, but because these are often subjective. At the end, they are worshiping the bible, and not the revelation of Christ within. For the Fundamentalist, almost everything is an absolute whilst true Christianity has few absolutes. For the Liberals, there are no absolutes.
So how does Gays undermine the Christian Right? It is undermining their literal reading of the bible, albeit very selective readings of the bible. These will also expose the fact that the Christians themselves never followed the Jewish Laws or the commandments very carefully despite all their assertions. For example, when the War in Iraq started, the “This is Your Day” from Pastor Benny Hinn showed a clip of the army and the navy, with the background music “onward Christian Soldiers”. The OT commandments also tell us not to kill, with the exception that we can only take life out of maintaining justice, ie when someone is killed. It is a one to one arrangement. But the Christian Right went out with the American Army and killed hundreds of thousands, many times more than those who died at 911.
The Christian Right is so Law conscious taking absolutes to the extent that they seldom consider God’s grace and mercy or what they were doing might be wrong. And Gays, posed a major problem. Just like the first Christians had to abandon their notion that Christians must be first a Jew, the Fundamentalist Christians are very afraid of how wide and deep God’s grace is because it undermines their absolute certainty of their faith and religion. How far do we give Grace and Mercy? How wide is God’s grace and mercy?
3. The undermining of the Mormon Faith
The founder of the faith was Joseph Smith, a polygamist, who treated women as things owned. It is therefore a very strongly patriarchal faith. Again, one would not see Mormon female missionaries. The recent news of Mormon Groups having isolated and very large compounds with lots of wives and children, and underage heterosexual sex, exemplifies how important this religious framework is to their faith. In order to maintain this promiscuous lifestyle, they altered the Christian Faith to one based on the worship of their founder, Joseph Smith.
Gays wanting to get married and having a monogamous sexual relationship just smacks at the hypocrisy of the Mormon Faith who are allowed much promiscuity just because they are heterosexuals. The Mormons have the HQ at Salt Lake City, Utah. And this is really not too far away from California. If Gays get married, then who is the man or the woman in the relationship? They are afraid that the wave from Long Beach will hit Utah! And 10 million is also small change for a religion that owns billions.
The Catholics, Christian Right, Mormons have so much at stake that they are willing to bear false witness, to distort the truth, and to do everything to maintain the status quo because Proposition 8 may impact their pride, control of power, and wealth, and biblical understanding. Each has a totally different agenda. They have in the past shown a disregard to the biblical faith, or to basic humanity or decency in the pursuit of power and pride. History has taught them to be over zealous and paranoid. There are billions of dollars of wealth, power, and control at stake, and a very long tradition and history to hold.
If Gay marriages were to be accepted, would it change anything in reality? It would change nothing as the New Hampshire has shown. However, there is a small risk of opening up the Pandora Box, and $35 million against Proposition 8 is really loose change and a very small price to pay for insurance. It would be ironic that the whole grand scheme of religious power and control that has lasted for 1500 years be undermined by the smallest and most insignificant people group, who is really neither really man nor woman ie representing the wide spectrum of humanity itself. God really uses the weakest and smallest to humble the biggest and most powerful, that all glory may go to Him alone. He will never destroy earth again for the evil deeds done, but perhaps His grace and mercy through the Rainbow people will bring us redemption.
(Mat 16:18 NKJV) "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
(Mat 16:23 NKJV) But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men."
We are now at the start of the 21 st century, almost 2000 years from the birth of Christ. Christians are expecting Jesus to return any time. The time and the season is ripe they say. Yet, it is the Gates of Hades that have almost prevailed because we have worshipped Peter instead of Christ, and we have worshipped ourselves, our self righteousness, our tradition, culture, and dogma instead. We have a world religious system that has its basis on pride, power, wealth and control. We have been more mindful of the things of man instead of the things of God. It is for good reason, for our own survival. Amazingly, it may be the people that we despised most and considered as worst sinners, that may bring a change.