Recently I sent a friend working in China a link to this article that discusses a Virginia lawyer who faces “severe disciplinary measures” at his law firm.
The firm circulated an e-mail announcing that a federal judge in Florida struck down the state’s constitutional marriage protection amendment. In response, this lawyer sent a “reply-all” e-mail so it was received by everyone who got the announcement.
Perhaps that wasn’t so smart. “Reply-all” can be trouble sometimes. But the e-mail he composed was not a tirade; it actually provided some legal analysis supporting his argument. You can read the entire e-mail message in the linked article.
The lawyer was truthful; I would not call it “hate speech.” But the firm “denounced his statement as ‘reprehensible’ and ‘inappropriate,’ saying it ‘would not be tolerated.'”One commenter in blogoville wrote that the e-mail was “stupid, bigoted, dumb—, hate-filled, verbal feces.”
Cardinal George (despite undergoing experimental cancer treatment at the University of Chicago) offers some excellent insight into the problem for Catholics in secular society in his most recent column at Catholic New World. He writes:
“Throughout history, when Catholics and other believers in revealed religion have been forced to choose between being taught by God or instructed by politicians, professors, editors of major newspapers and entertainers, many have opted to go along with the powers that be. This reduces a great tension in their lives, although it also brings with it the worship of a false god. It takes no moral courage to conform to government and social pressure…. Swimming against the tide means limiting one’s access to positions of prestige and power in society. It means that those who choose to live by the Catholic faith will not be welcomed as political candidates to national office, will not sit on editorial boards of major newspapers, will not be at home on most university faculties, will not have successful careers as actors and entertainers. Nor will their children, who will also be suspect. Since all public institutions, no matter who owns or operates them, will be agents of the government and conform their activities to the demands of the official religion, the practice of medicine and law will become more difficult for faithful Catholics.
When I sent the story about the lawyer in Virginia to my friend in China, she wrote back with an anecdote:
A couple weeks ago I had an interesting conversation with a taxi driver over here. It was a 10 minute ride, so not a very long chat. It started with him asking if men in America were allowed to have multiple wives. He had heard of places where that was allowed and he thought it was not such a bad idea. He was a bit confused when I suggested that perhaps women wouldn’t care much for such an arrangement.
The conversation then turned to gay marriage and he was shocked to hear that was an option in some States. He was totally confounded. “How is that even possible? It totally goes against human nature! It isn’t possible! Why??? How do they have children? Even if they adopt you still have to have a man and a woman make it possible for them to adopt. This goes against human nature. It just isn’t possible.” He went on and on about the violation of human nature.
I was totally fascinated that this taxi driver in Beijing could see so clearly what has become foggy to so many. If we had had another 10 minutes maybe we could have returned to the question of polygamy and cleared up that water as well…
China has experienced more than 60 years of Communist rule. Pray for the Church there. The country is set to become the largest Christian nation in the world. This particular taxi driver certainly doesn’t have everything correct, and yet there remains an awareness of what goes against human nature. Meanwhile, an American attorney who proclaims that homosexuality is condemned in Scripture is subject to being severely disciplined.