Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mixing state and religion.. gay rights and protecting kids

I read this today--

The copyright says I can't reprint what the article says so you will have to go to the link. What it comes down to is this: The state of Illinois has a Department of Social Services which has been contracting with Catholic Charities for about 40 years to find foster homes and adoptive homes for children. The state wants to end that contract, and Catholic Charities is trying to say that they can't end it. That somehow they are obligated to continue doing it because they have been doing it for so long.

The gay rights people don't like Catholic Charities because the Catholics don't support gay rights. So for the gay rights people this is a victory.

Lots of religious based charities do good work. Salvation Army is another big one. If I stopped to think about the religious beliefs of the Salvation Army I would probably never donate another used toy or pair of jeans to them. However I cannot argue with their success. They do a lot of community service, community outreach, a lot of good stuff. Catholic Charities does a lot too. I know that both organizations run homeless shelters and feed the poor.

Kids need good homes. We have a real shortage in this country, and around the world of homes for children. Homes where abuse does not take place. Homes where there is enough food to feed everyone who lives. Homes where there are heat, running water, and electricity. Homes where no one is passed out or doing illegal drugs. Home where kids have access to health care. Home where kids have access to an education. Homes where kids don't have to worry about being beaten or sexually abused. We have a huge shortage of homes for children. It is a sad but true fact in this country, and around the world. If you are a parent of schoolaged children then you probably even know some of these kids. Kids who are living without enough to eat, kids who go home to abuse, kids who live in homeless shelters with their families... these are the facts.

It is great that Catholic Charities wants to help these kids. However this work needs to be done by the state, or by a non-religious organization. It isn't fair to anyone to have religion play a part in who gets to take care of these children. This is not a job to be "outsourced" or contracted out to a particular religion. This needs to be done by secular society. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered parents are all capable of being good parents and providing loving homes. They should not be left out of the pool. Let them be parents, let them help. Let them be foster parents and adoptive parents if they want to.

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