In my life I do a lot of different things. One thing I love to do is play zombie video games with other queer gamers. One thing we like to do is use the zombies as what we call a “meat shield.” Instead of using an in game shield, we pick up a zombie and use them as a shield against other zombies or other in game players. The meat shield philosophy is also used in real life. The meat shield philosophy is when a person or group with considerable power/advantage/privilege uses an underprivileged or representative group as a shield against another group who also has the same or similar lack of power. The most recent use of the meat shield is in Washington D.C by the Catholic Archdiocese. Their shield, the homeless and foster care services.

The Catholic Church is the biggest provider of services to the homeless in DC. They have a contract from the city in the amount of 2.8 million that they use to provide various services to homeless including pantries and shelters. Back in September they announced that if the city council approved the marriage equality bill that they would be forced to cut services. One aspect of the bill that is causing the most dysfunction in the Catholic Church is the fact that they may have to extend same sex partner benefits to employees in the DC area.

There are of course, many things wrong with this argument. I am only going to focus on the doctrine that they so believe. As a queer Christian, the fact that they are threatening to stop serving the homeless is about as un-Christian as you can get. 1 Peter 4:6-11 states:

“Listen to the Message. It was preached to those believers who are now dead, and yet even though they died (just as all people must), they will still get in on the life that God has given in Jesus. Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God's words; if help, let it be God's hearty help. That way, God's bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he'll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!”

As Christian people we are implored to reach out and work for justice, help the needy, clothe the naked and house the homeless. So Catholics, I ask you, where do you stand with God, going blatantly against what he implores all of us to do?

Jumping trains from faith to politics, which these days seem to run on the same track, Catholic Charities receives DC taxpayer money to fund its services. If you are going to receive tax payer money, you have to abide by all rules. You can’t just pick and choose which ones you want. You want to play by your own rules, then play your own game, and fund it yourself. While the Catholic Church does get a good chunk of money, city insiders have said that they are not an integral part the city social services programs. Basically, they are expendable.

Even though they are expendable, the work they do cannot go unaccounted for. They do amazing work by providing shelter and food to one third of the homeless in DC. As a Christian man it breaks my heart that marriage equality is what continues to pull the church apart and could potentially lead to more people not getting the help and services they need.

Christ says in Matthew 25: 34-36 “Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why: I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.”
And that is to me is the bottom line, so Catholics, make your decision really live up what it means to be Christ like.

For more information check out:

D.C. to Introduce Same-Sex Marriage Bill
D.C. Council Approves Same-sex 'Marriage' Law
Catholic Church gives D.C. ultimatum
Catholic Church Holds Poor People Hostage Over DC Marriage Equality

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