But what has upset many gay-rights advocates is the extent of the Mormon church's support for Proposition 8, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and overrides a ruling that a ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional.
Top church leaders urged members in California to do all they could to support the proposition, and members gave millions. [story here]
A South Carolina Roman Catholic priest has told his parishioners that they should refrain from receiving Holy Communion if they voted for Barack Obama because the Democratic president-elect supports abortion, and supporting him "constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil."
The Rev. Jay Scott Newman said in a letter distributed Sunday to parishioners at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville that they are putting their souls at risk if they take Holy Communion before doing penance for their vote.[story here]
I have an idea for people who think that their religious beliefs should be imposed on everyone: let them live under a theocracy (Iran or Saudi Arabia perhaps?) for a few years and see how that works out.
The really odd thing about this support? Mormons and Catholics were initially - and reluctantly - tolerated in this country because of their minority position. In part because of their tendency to insist on making reproduction actually productive, their numbers as a percentage of the American population have grown. Now that they are not just tolerated but have been made a part of the American landscape, they are going to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of us? Could anything be more absurd?
We tolerated their odd religious beliefs and have come to accept them. Perhaps they could be gracious enough - and wise enough - to tolerate the rest of America and perhaps even accept them.
(And lest my Mormon and Catholic readers think that I'm unnecessarily picking on their churches, let me say that many members of my own faith are even more absurd. At least Catholics and Mormons are a sizable minority. We have no name and don't even make up one-tenth of one percent of the population and yet I've heard a number of folks from my faith talk as intolerantly as any Catholic or Mormon. I can only attribute it to a lack of awareness. There is no majority religion in this country. No state religion. We all ought to have the common sense to tolerate beliefs that are unlike our own. Christ taught that believers would be forgiven only as much as they were willing to forgive. Maybe we should have a secular law that a religion will be tolerated only as much as it is willing to tolerate.)