Rev. Ray Atwood of Traer recently wrote a letter telling Catholics how to vote on the right-to- marry issue. Atwood is either a very young man or has had his head in the sand for several decades. John F. Kennedy went to Texas to tell people - Baptist clergy - that being a Catholic does not make one a stooge for the church to instruct.
Atwood's heralding Catholics to vote as he says reminds me of something said by Irish writer, John Keane: "...It was just a few decades ago that some in Ireland believed that a priest could turn them into a goat." Apparently Atwood craves such authority - to make stooges of us all.
My mentor on such matters so deeply important to so many people was the late Monsignor Smith the Vicar General of the Sioux City Diocese. He said that in matters of such great depth that it was OK to use your conscious and heart. Nobody but God is to judge. Most Catholics know that - even if some priests do not.
I believe it is a fair guess that Atwood does not have any close family members who are gay/lesbian. Most of us do. I also doubt that he has ever sat down with gays or lesbians - and engaged in dialogue about his literal biblical beliefs. I am certain none would come to him because of his rigid intolerant beliefs.
But, why so sure? "Why, it's in the book!" - as one old time comedian used to say.
These uneducated campaigns against gay/lesbian marriage remind me of the "Know -Nothing" attacks on the Catholic Church and the Irish, circa 1850s. Thinking Catholics, or at least those who haven't already left the church, will vote their minds and hearts on the right of gays/lesbians to marry. Some will just go along with those who agree that Catholics should not think for themselves.