In an unusual step, the advocacy group Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry has directly targeted Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley and other Catholic leaders for trying to push legislation that interferes with their own faith tradition’s stances on gay marriage. O’Malley, along with other Catholic bishops, have been leading an aggressive campaign for a repeal of same-sex marriage laws in Massachusetts. The RCFM has decided that it isn’t just or moral for one religious institution to use their political clout to decide policy for all religious institutions.
“We respect the Roman Catholic Church’s desire to speak in a public forum about this, but it has come to a point where their advocacy about same-sex marriage has come to impinge on our own religious practices, because not everyone believes same-sex marriage is wrong or sinful or against religious beliefs…” – Rev. Tiffany Steinwert, a United Methodist minister, and pastor of Cambridge Welcoming Ministries
The RCFM has several Pagan members, including Church of the Sacred Earth, the local chapter of The Covenant of The Goddess, and the Society of Elder Faiths. I’m glad these groups are on the front lines fighting for some of our most basic and sacred truths as modern Pagans. That no one faith should dictate, control, or unfairly influence the legal status of the sacred rites of another, and that where matters of love and the gods are concerned no human agency should meddle. While many of my readers are not practitioners of religious Witchcraft, I think this phrase from Doreen Valiente’s “The Charge of The Goddess” is most appropriate.
“Let my worship be with the heart that rejoices, for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.”
While the powerful and influential will continue to try to hold a monopoly on truth, they can’t stop our sacred rites from happening. We will continue to marry and handfast those who are joined by love, no matter their gender, and eventually, the walls of a manufactured single truth will crack and crumble and all those joined will be lifted up together free of the boundaries that separate us.