07 July 2005

It's the Lord's Table, Father. You're just the waiter.

This little story about a member of parliament and his wife being denied eucharist because of the MP's stand on social policy issues is yet another argument for the firm legal separation of church and the state in this country.

Throughout the equal marriage debate, several Christian denominations attempted to impose their individual doctrines on all Canadians, adherents or not by fighting against the equal marriage bill.

Well, my solution is simple.

If the churches, like say the Roman Catholic Church or even the English Catholic Church want the government to ban equal marriage, then... let them accept civil divorces as having an equal status as church-authorized annulments but... and this is a big but since money is involved... without forcing people to pony up any form of special surcharge to the church for the privilege of cleaning off the marriage slate. Indulge me on that one.

Better still, let's just wipe out tax-exempt status for churches.


In this province, we languished for too long with clerical control over secular education. Now it's time to break the ties between church and state across the board.

As a local aside, I find it amusing that an organization which tried to claim it didn't exist here in order to avoid ponying up compensation for past crimes like child molestation, now has no problem throwing its own very real theological weight around to try and crush individual parishoners.

Then people wonder why parishoners were afraid to speak up against the child molesters hiding beneath vestments.

As another local aside, Bruce Gregerson, who is quoted in the Citizen story linked above used to be the minister at Gower Street United Church here in St. John's.

I like his take on things.

It's the Lord's Table.

I'd go a step farther.

That makes the priest a waiter.

And the bishop becomes the maitre d'.

If I were the MP, I'd take my weekly offerings to another church, just like you'd do if some snooty wait staff made your trip to another table and humilating experience instead of an enriching one.

See how long the Church agents stick to their guns when the bills start adding up and the pews start emptying.

Money really does change everything.

Just ask the guys who wanted us to believe they are really just a figment of our imaginations.