At 10:00 am Pacific time, the Washington Marriage Equality bill will go before the Senate Committee, followed by its encore appearance at 3:00 pm for the cheap seats in the back (aka the House Committee).  Then, we’re off to the races.  The Seattle Times believes that the one-two-three of this bill’s passage will be fairly speedy and click-track.  In all likelihood, the bill could move out of Senate Committee by Thursday the 26th and out of the House Committee as early as Monday the 30th!  Isn’t that exciting?!

Something has changed in me where news of a Senate Committee in Olympia, Washington having a regular BM is exciting.  But I’ll take my thrills where I can get them.

We are still one confirmed YES vote shy of sure passage, but these senators love to keep us on edge.

What I’d like to talk about while we sit and wait so patiently, or maniacally as some anti-gay rallyers are doing in Olympia right now, is talk about pride.  Not civic pride, as this now involves churchiness, templiness, and synagoguliness, but cleric pride.  What is the ethical duty of a parishioner to his parish?  Should his beliefs be his own, or does he take his beliefs from Pope Benedict?

Is the very nature of belonging to one faith that you are in lockstep with that belief system?  If you sit in church and, let’s say, you don’t share the view that gay marriage is an abomination, even though that’s what the spittle coming out of your priest’s mouth seems to suggest?  What, then, do you do?  Trace the lines of the church roof’s wood beams like I did when I was a kid?  Do you stand up and walk out?  Do you confront your priest and find out what he really believes?

OR do you keep your frustration inside and direct your beef towards people who don’t deserve it, such as Facebook friends who have the nerve to suggest that Catholics are anti-gay?

I think it’s that last one.  For every one person of faith who tries to change the hearts and minds of their fellow believers, there are a thousand who think their time is better spent haranguing non-believer friends that not all “Catholics/Christians/Muslims/Jews” think that way.  I don’t have animosity towards someone of faith.  I do have animosity towards large groups of believers because that is when someone fails to become reachable.  Literally preaching to the choir.

Can a priest not have a discussion with his congregation?  I know this is probably why I would burst into flames if I went to a church now, but what would happen if a priest asked everyone in the pews to start talking about gay marriage, instead of him (or her– HAHAHAHA no, no women priests) telling them what they think.  How many disagreements would arise?  How much more would they learn about each other?  How much closer to an emotional and spiritual truth would everyone come to if they knew the guy sitting next to them had a gay kid, and he’d like to go to his wedding someday?  It’s a very un-Christian idea, I know.  Just heretical as all get out.

No, I don’t think that’s going to be happening.

Instead, what IS happening is a shit-running-down-hill effect.

The Catholic Church has gotten rightier under Pope Benedict, who thinks gay marriage will stop anyone from wanting to fuck their wife (Take my wife, please!  No, literally.  Take her.  Take her off my lap.  I can feel the warmth of her vagina.  It makes my skin crawl!  TAKE MY WIFE, PLEASE!!!!) and therefore not make tomorrow’s children.  What does he think?  We’ll just get whittled down to 100 gay guys who wouldn’t at least TRY to make some new humans?  This is not going to happen ever.  The closest Pope Benedict will ever get to seeing 100 aging buttfuckers looking around at a dying humanity and doing nothing to stop it is if he pops into “Trunks” in West Hollywood.  AW YEAH!  Up high, readers!  (raised hand, waits for someone to slap it, no one does)

So, anyway, Washington says Go, but Pope says No.  Archbishop Peter Sartain of Western Washington has auto-shipped “Protect Marriage” bulletins to all 175 of his parishes.  Everyone is so fucking old.  Use your e-mail!  Anyway, all parishes are required to distribute these bulletins that say “marriage is man-woman, sun go down, moon come up, et cetera et cetera” (I’m paraphrasing) to be placed on every ass-groove in every pew of every parish.

The Stranger warns that Washington could follow Minnesota’s example, where Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt (NIEN!) demanded every one of his priests to lead their captive audiences in a “marriage prayer.”

“This effort coincided with a lobbying and fundraising campaign,” writes Dominic Holden of The Stranger.  “And just last week, Nienstedt warned clergy there will be no “open dissent.”  In Washington state, we may be witnessing the beginning of a similar crusade to turn pulpits into stages for political rallies.”

Because even if the bill passes, a Prop 8 style vote awaits Washingtonians in November.

I say the burden of proof is on believers.  When things like this happen, where edicts from the Pope are forced to become everyone’s official opinion, when a tax-exempt organization meddles in public policy, I say YOU must prove to ME that you are not like the others.  If that sounds harsh, so does an archbishop declaring there will be no open dissent.  Church, you have broken your trust with the public.  You have to prove to us that you aren’t a cheating man anymore.  Your plan is failing, unless your plan is to shrink your flock smaller and smaller until it has no sway whatsoever.  You are secularizing this nation, not us.

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Written by Adam Sass

Adam Sass

ADAM SASS begins all his writing in Sharpie on dozens of Starbucks pastry bags. This may cause him to be late making your cappuccino, and he sincerely apologizes. His Writer’s Digest-honored story “98% Graves” appeared in the anthology STARTLING SCI-FI: NEW TALES OF THE BEYOND. He lives in New York City with his husband and two dachshunds.

Find Adam at, his pop culture writing at, or keep up with him on his (over)active Twitter @TheAdamSass.