Illinois Catholic Democrats and Same-Sex Marriage
Now that the Illinois primary is over, the state’s electorate can pick between the incumbent Gov. Part Quinn, a Democrat, and Bruce Rauner the Republican, in November’s general election for Governor of Illinois.
Preparing for the coming campaign, both men are no doubt relieved that the same-sex marriage question is off the table, for now. Illinois passed same-sex marriage a few months ago and Gov. Quinn signed the bill into law. In doing so he removed a political issue that was a problem for many Republicans and some Democrats.
Nevertheless, Gov. Quinn, a professed Catholic, demonstrated by his signature that hypocrisy is the hallmark of Catholic Democrats in Illinois. Hypocrisy is the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform. Hypocrisy is a form of pretence. In Illinois politics pretence is everything.
To be clear, the issue here is not same-sex marriage, per se. The issue is hypocrisy about same-sex marriage. Professing one thing while doing another, saying you’re a Catholic yet furthering same-sex marriage in Illinois, is the issue. In other words, do Illinois voters, regardless of their religion or their stand on same-sex marriage, want to cast their vote for a hypocrite?
For Catholics, same-sex marriage is not a passing political dustup that is relatively unimportant in the long history of the Church. Nor is opposition to same-sex marriage clinging to a phantom righteousness of the past. Same-sex marriage is an existential issue that goes to the heart of what it means to be Catholic. Catholics must oppose same-sex marriage, not just tolerate it.
Ironically, the proponents of same-sex marriage know this better than some Catholic politicians or bishops. The enemies of the Catholic Church in Illinois know how crucial their victory was in their war against the Church. They know they won a victory by using Catholic politicians.
Gov. Pat Quinn claims to be a Catholic, and in so professing, accepts the moral standards of the Church. Yet, by signing into law same-sex marriage, his behavior does not conform to those moral standards. There’s no getting around it. Gov. Quinn had a moral choice to make. He could choose to be what he professes to be, a Catholic, or he could choose the same-sex law the Church opposes. He chose not to conform his behavior to the moral standards he professes.
Another example of what looks like a hypocritical Catholic is State Rep. Marty Moylan. Rep. Moylan also says he is both a Democrat and a Catholic. Moylan is a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) 134, and believes in “showing support for his fellow union brothers and sisters and collective bargaining rights.” Moylan represents Illinois’ 55th district that includes the city of Des Plaines, the “City of Destiny.”
Voters have to wonder what destiny Rep. Moylan has in mind for the children of Des Plaines by furthering the confusion of same-sex marriage. Voters have to wonder, too, if Moylan considers the destiny of his immortal soul by his alleged act of violence against the Catholic Church.
Moylan’s vote in favor of same-sex marriage was not an unconsidered act. He had plenty of time to weigh the Church’s teaching on this issue. He was endorsed in 2012 by one of the state’s largest groups lobbying for same-sex marriage, Equality Illinois.
What is significant about Moylan’s vote is that is seems purely political. Moylan didn’t have to vote YES, because the bill would have passed even with his NO vote. Moylan could have accepted the teachings of the Church and kept his integrity.
Moylan’s YES vote on the Illinois same-sex marriage bill shows us he is like many politicians in Illinois, a Democrat first and a Catholic second. Rep. Moylan decided to follow the Democratic Party’s ideology instead of the Catholic Church’s truth.
In support of his seeming hypocrisy, all Rep. Moylan had to offer was a distortion of Pope’s Francis’s words. We have no record of Moylan’s struggle with his conscience or the theological reasoning that lead him to oppose the teaching of the Church.
We do have a record that Moylan was following the party line on same-sex marriage. The Illinois Observer reports, “the powerful House Speaker (Michael Madigan, a professed Catholic) brought 13 to the winning tally, according to a top House Democratic source who reviewed the roll call. The five that got the “green light” included four of five freshmen members.” Marty Moylan was one of the five.
To be fair, we should recognize that Rep. Moylan may have been suffering from an invincible ignorance. The Democratic Party has infected the Catholic Church in Illinois for so long, that Moylan may not have had the immunity of conscience to guide him.
Beyond that, we should recall that Aristotle maintained politics was practical science, not a theoretical one. Perhaps Rep. Moylan was simply being practical. Nevertheless, after Moylan’s vote and Quinn’s signing same-sex marriage into law, not one priest in Moylan’s parish is on record as speaking against their actions.
Is there a better example of the cesspool that is Democratic politics in Illinois then this blatant display of hypocrisy on same-sex marriage? It boggles the mind how someone can claim to be a Catholic, and yet support gay marriage. Is there a better example of the teaching that no man can serve two masters? Who do Quinn and Moylan serve, Francis Cardinal George or Mike Madigan?
The hypocrisy of Catholic politicians in Illinois who support same-sex marriage must be remembered when voters go to the polls in November. Furthermore, the Catholic Church in Illinois risks its existence if it does not excommunicate soon those Catholic politicians who in their hypocrisy use the Church to further their own political power. The full implication of the evil that is same-sex marriage is yet to come.
Recently, Pope Francis spoke out against the Mafia in Italy. “The pope warned mobsters that their life after this one would be spent in hell if they did not convert and repent.” We have to wonder if next on the Pope’s agenda will be the drug cartels of Mexico and then the Democratic Party of Illinois.