Friday, July 15, 2005

No Irish, No Blacks, No dogs Catholics

Bethany Christian Services, a private adoption agency with offices in 75 US cities, is one of 24 agencies in the state of Mississippi that receives funds from the sale of "Choose Life" license plates that advocate against abortion. As a faith-based organization, Bethany has a policy against considering Catholics as adoptive parents that they willingly share with potential candidates for adoption.
"It has been our understanding that Catholicism does not agree with our Statement of Faith," wrote Bethany Christian Services director Karen Stewart in a July 8 letter to Sandy and Robert Stedman, a Catholic couple in Jackson seeking to adopt. "Our practice to not accept applications from Catholics was an effort to be good stewards of an adoptive applicant's time, money and emotional energy."
Catholics challenge that they are not in agreement with Bethany's Faith statement and assert they are being discriminated against solely based on the fact they are Catholic (and, possibly, deep-seeded Southern antipathy against Catholics).
While going through fertility treatments, Loria Williams, 33, called Bethany in September 2004 because she and her husband decided also to pursue an adoption.

"When you go through infertility, you only have so much energy you can give certain things," she said, explaining she heard a rumor that Bethany didn't accept Catholic couples and wanted to confirm it before applying with the agency.

Like the Stedmans, she said she was told the agency didn't work with Catholics because they don't agree with Bethany's faith statement.

"I can't believe an agency that's nationwide would act like this," Williams said. "There was an agency who was Christian based but wasn't willing to help people across the board."
Somehow, I don't think Mrs. Williams or Mrs. Stedman would have difficulty believing or agreeing with Bethany's policies against considering Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Wiccans or Gays as adoptive parents.

"I know of a lot of Catholics who get those tags," she said. "You're talking about something that goes through the Catholic faith — anti-abortion."

She added: "If it's OK to accept our money, it should be OK to open your home to us as a family."
I should feel sorry for the couples, but I don't. I'm willing to bet the voted for Bush who's all for faith based discrimination.

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