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Sacraments and the Entitled

By The Reverend Published: January 8, 2012

There was yet another Republican presidential candidates debate last night conducted by ABC and Yahoo.

Here is the transcript....

Same old...same old, really. However, the topic of gay marriage came up.

Question.... “Given that you oppose gay marriage, what do you want gay people to do who want to form loving, committed, long-term relationships? What is your solution?”

GINGRICH: Well, I think what I would say is that we want to make it possible to have those things that are most intimately human between friends occur. For example, you’re in a hospital. If there are visitation hours, should you be allowed to stay there? There ought to be ways to designate that.

You want to have somebody in your will. There ought to be ways to designate that. But it is a huge jump from being understanding and considerate and concerned, which we should be, to saying we therefore are going to institute the sacrament of marriage as though it has no basis.

The sacrament of marriage was based on a man and woman, has been for 3,000 years. Is at the core of our civilization. And it’s something worth protecting and upholding. And I think protecting and upholding that doesn’t mean you have to go out and make life miserable for others, but it does mean you make a distinction between a historic sacrament of enormous importance in our civilization and simply deciding it applies everywhere and it’s just a civil right.

It’s not. It is a part of how we define ourselves. And I think that a marriage between a man and a woman is part of that definition.

Definition of the word sacrament:....a visible sign of an inward grace, especially one of the solemn Christian rites considered to have been instituted by Jesus Christ to symbolize or confer grace: the sacraments of the Protestant churches are baptism and the Lord's Supper; the sacraments of the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches are baptism, confirmation, the Eucharist, matrimony, penance, holy orders, and extreme unction.

Gingrich is seeking the office of the presidency of a nation which governs itself, at least theoretically, on the dictates of the Constitution. The separation of religion and state is part and parcel of the laws governing our secular state. The first amendment grants freedom to all U.S. citizens to practice any form of religion they so desire without governemntal restrictions and/or interference...and the first amendment also guarantees citizens freedom from governmental "establishment" of religion. Not one or the other....both, simultaneously.

Newt Gingrich, clearly, would use the power of the government to "establish" the "sacrament" of marriage as the sole entitlement of heterosexual couples. As far as our government is concerned, establishing laws for religious sacramental reasons is entirely lawless....and yet that's what Newt Gingrich plans on doing should he be elected president.

Because of the constant drumbeat from the right that America is a "Christian nation" and that evil and hellbound liberals are out to destroy Christianity.....while assisting Muslims in setting up their worldwide Caliphate to destroy America.....we need some clarity on this issue.

Newt Gingrich helps us out with that clarity.....from last night's debate....

GINGRICH: I just want to raise -- since we’ve spent this much time on these issues -- I just want to raise a point about the news media bias. You don’t hear the opposite question asked. Should the Catholic Church be forced to close its adoption services in Massachusetts because it won’t accept gay couples, which is exactly what the state has done? Should the Catholic Church be driven out of providing charitable services in the District of Columbia because it won’t give in to secular bigotry? Should the Catholic Church find itself discriminated against by the Obama administration on key delivery of services because of the bias and the bigotry of the administration?

The bigotry question goes both ways. And there’s a lot more anti-Christian bigotry today than there is concerning the other side. And none of it gets covered by the news media.

These are the words of a man who believes that Christians and Christian groups are "entitled" in ways that no other groups are entitled. In Newt's entirely phony answer, he conveniently leaves out the part where the Catholic Church takes federal tax dollars. The Catholic Church takes federal tax dollars to assist in their adoption services as well as other charitable services to the poor and needy.

Gingrich knows that when a religious group takes federal money they are bound to obey all federal laws with the use of that money. Part of the federal laws the Church is bound to obey, when taking tax dollars, (also known as federal welfare) is discrimination laws. But that's the exact issue that Gingrich says the Church is "entitled" to disobey. Gingrich is telling Americans that Christians and Christian groups stand outside our national system of secular laws. They, alone, deserve entitlements that others never qualify for. In this case, the Church is especially entitled to willfully violate federal discrimination laws WHILE also sucking at the secular government teat.

Why? Apparently, because the Church is in charge of "sacraments".....and those "sacraments" are based on a higher authority than our nation's Constitution and rule of law.

Gingrich's words are the words of a person seeking higher religious office....not the presidency of the most powerful secular country on earth. They are the words of a bigot who justifies his bigotry by insisting (wrongly) that the Church, because it controls the keys to the "sacraments", the holy things, is entitled to violate federal law with immunity.

The Christian Church is not being persecuted and/or singled out for special governmental punishment, as theocons tell us. Instead, many Christians and Christian Churchs have simply grown accustomed to a misplaced sense of entitlement.



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