a popular lay Catholic publication, features in its August 23 edition an essay by Joseph Bottum
, in which he makes the case that the Roman Catholic bishops of the United States should cease their campaign against same-sex civil marriage. Entitled, 'The Things We Share: A Catholic's Case for Same-Sex Marriage,' Bottum
says "We are now at the point where, I believe, American Catholics should accept state recognition of same-sex marriage simply because they are Americans."
In introducing the article, Commonweal editorialized that Bottum's article is "thoughtful and personal."
Bottum says that there is no longer any coherent jurisprudential argument against same-sex marriage, adding "Campaigns against same-sex marriage are hurting the church, offering the opportunity to make Catholicism a byword for repression in a generation that, even among young Catholics, just doesn't think that same-sex activity is worth fighting about."
"I find these practical considerations compelling," Bottum says, "just as I think most ordinary Catholics do."
Bottum also said that sex scandals involving Catholic clergy and religious have put the Catholic Church in "its weakest public position since the 1870s," when thirty-eight of the American states passed anti-Catholic amendments to their constitutions. "[W]hat kind of loony, pie-eyed judgment," Bottum asks, "could lead the bishops to engage in a sex-based public-policy debate they are doomed to lose -- feeding mockery of the church while engaged in the process of losing that fight?"
is a former editor of First Things
, a lay Catholic journal favored by political conservatives.