It seems a sign in front of a Catholic church in Massachusetts has ignited a fiery response from same-sex marriage proponents. Presumably, the pastor of St. Francis Xavier parish in Acushnet put this billboard message outside his church: "Two men are friends, not spouses." An array of dissenting signs were hung on a nearby fence referencing the ecclesial opinion as 'hate'. A telephone caller also ---allegedly---threatened to torch the house of worship.
Certainly, no righteous person will condone threats of violence. The issue of same-sex marriage like many other issues in the public arena can and should be civilly debated. But inevitably on both sides there will be passionate contentious adherents who may cross the line. When advocacy stampedes into criminality, condemation of it must be unamimous in both camps.
This being said, it befuddles me why a Catholic pastor would be so provocative. What purpose does it serve the civic dialogue? None. Of course, let me emphasize again that a gratuitous taunt like this does not in any way justify criminal behavior. But why pour gasoline on smoldering embers?
The reality is that in Massachusetts two men can be friends and spouses. It's the law. You may disagree with this particular law. If you do, then actively support candidates for public office who agree with you. It's your constitutional right.
As for that benighted pastor in Acushnet, how about promoting this message: "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God"?