By Robert Klein Engler -
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.