Having read Mr. Gaffney's response to my last letter ["No Place for Bigotry," Harry Gaffney, Letters, TBT #588, Jan. 10, 2008] I feel it necessary to write another one in order to clear up a few issues.
First of all, Mr. Gaffney suggested that we leave politics to the politicians without any meddling from the church. I would respond by saying that in a representative democracy, we don't leave the politics to anyone. The entire purpose of a democracy is to keep governing authority in the hands of the citizens, not the professional politicians. Cardinal Pujats is a Latvian citizen, and he represents Latvian Catholics, and therefore, has a right to be just as involved in politics as any other citizen.
Secondly, I agree with Mr. Gaffney that politics should not be the primary focus of the church. However, the church's mission on this earth is not limited to one hour a week on Sunday morning. Furthermore, while church attendance is important, the church clearly cannot measure its success or failure by how many people sit in the pews on Sunday. In fact, church attendance is relatively meaningless if it does not inspire a desire to at least be a part of fixing the things that are wrong in this world, even if only through prayer.
Lastly, I agree with Mr. Gaffney that bigotry and hatred have no part in the modern world. But, I have to ask, how do we define bigotry? It's easy to label anyone who objects to the homosexual agenda as a bigot, but that doesn't make it true. We hear the same thing here in the U.S., the notion that anyone who wants to defend traditional marriage, or prevent our kindergarteners from being taught about homosexuality in the classroom is somehow a bigot. However, homosexuals who mock the Christian faith, are merely expressing their opinion. This is a blatant double standard. While neither I, nor the Catholic Church, nor the Lutheran church believe that it is right or acceptable to hate anyone, that does not mean we have to stand by and keep our mouths shut while they redefine the nation's value system, the institution of marriage, or whatever else they're out to change.
In the end, homosexuality is not a race, or a nationality, or a religion, it's a behavior pattern. The fact that Cardinal Pujats, along with the Catholic Church, frowns on this behavior pattern does not make him a bigot.