Posted by Joseph Knippenberg
Joseph Bottum reflects on the case of a Maryland transportation commissioner who lost his job, fired by a Republican governor for his conservative (or, if you will, orthodox) religious opinions.
I have been following this dreadful case carefully. Bottum has it all right, but I believe it is a mistake not to note that this is a case of a non-Catholic Governor summarily firing a Catholic appointee for publicly expressing Catholic moral teaching on the moral character of homosexuality. It made no difference that he used the term "deviant" (which means departing from norms) instead of the word the current Catechism uses, "disordered." The Governor did not even bother to contact his appointee or try to find out whether he correctly expressed the moral teaching adhered to by the 23% of his state who are Catholic. Its a case of plain old religious bigotry, not a debate about homosexuality. Thus when the Governor states that his administration is supposed to be "inclusive," he has given the term a new meaning: it means believing Catholics need not apply for work in the Erlich administration. The Erlich re-elect campaign is desperate to picture him as a "moderate" or "centrist" unbeholden to the extreme right wing -- so now you know who THEY are!
In executing his act of religious prejudice, the Gov. may also unfortunately have taken down his splendid Lt.-Gov. Michael Steele, who is indeed a serious Catholic, now running for the US Senate. Steele will be compelled to address his Governors religous bigotry. Whether he agrees, distances himself, or remains silent, the Governors foolishness may cost him the election...and conceivably even the Republican majority in the Senate. Some "moderation"!
I will (to your opting for "orthodox"). A worrisome reflection, well worth highlighting. Thanks.
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