Accidentally worked a lesbian "wedding," did I sin?


#1

I’m a guard at an art museum, where weddings/receptions are held every Saturday during wedding season. Guards can sign up to work events, which are briefly titled something like, “Smith-Jones Wedding.” In other words, nothing to indicate it’s two women (or two men) getting “married.”

Last night I worked a lesbian “wedding.” Obviously if I had known ahead of time, I would never have signed up for it. Did I sin by participating in such a celebration? It didn’t occur to me to try to leave, since I don’t drop the ball on my team unless I’m sick or there’s an emergency.

Also, I’ve signed up for every Saturday wedding in September…should I try to find out if any others are homosexual, or just pray the odds are in my favor? My working the events has already been approved by management so I can’t just remove my name, a manager has to do it. The reason I signed up for all these weddings is that I just had $1,000 in repairs done to my car and the weddings fit best into my schedule to earn extra money to make up for the cost.

Complicating the matter further, the museum recently unveiled a new diversity plan, which of course has language indicating acceptance of homosexual lifestyles. If I raise a voice in protest, I fear I’ll be labeled a bigot without anyone attempting to understand my position.

I’ll admit, I’m rather afraid to rock the boat. Historically I’ve had zero success whenever I’ve complained about something at work (different jobs than this current one), so I’m leery of speaking up when it seems I can just keep my head down and finish the month, then avoid signing up for future weddings to be safe (other events are held).

I really love my job, and finally feel I’ve found a place where I’d be happy to work for decades. That said, if the new diversity plan somehow required giving approval to homosexuality, I wouldn’t hesitate to object on religious grounds, but I just don’t think that now’s the time for that particular battle.

If you’ve read this far, thanks for sticking with me. Advice greatly appreciated!


#2

If it’s an accident, it’s not a sin. Also as a guard I don’t think you’re celebrating in a sin. Others can correct me on that. But you’re not participating in it. You’re just ensuring security in the place you work.


#3
  1. One cannot sin without knowledge.
  2. Working as a museum security guard is not a sin, even if the museum is hosting a same sex wedding event.

#4

You didn’t have knowledge of the event, and certainly didn’t consent to it. So you’re fine. Not a sin.


#5

No.

You did not celebrate or participate in the wedding. You were not a guest. You worked at your job. Big difference.


#6

You’re a security guard.
It’s not a sin to guard people’s safety


#7

A). You can’t sin on accident

B). Being a guard at an event location is not “participating” in anything

C). I suggest you look at the Church’s teaching on cooperation with evil. Your role was in no way integral to the event.

http://archphila.org/HHS/pdf/CoopEvilChart.pdf

If it happens again, it’s fine. Not a sin.


#8

As this type of stuff (SS"M") becomes more common, it becomes more difficult to avoid it altogether.


#9

You cannot accidentally sin.


#10

There is no sin in guarding a museum during an event. You are acting as a security guard, not taking part in the event – whatever that event might be.

People have a right to safety, regardless of their beliefs and world views. And those in charge of the museum have the right to protect their property. Your job allows you to be a part of providing that safety and protection.

Be at peace.


#11

Thanks for the responses everyone!

I guess it strikes me as similar to situations like the baker, florist, and photographer declining to work since it goes against deeply held religious beliefs. I’m not using my creative talent the way the vendors are, of course, but isn’t it essentially the same?

Also I don’t think I agree with the “just doing my job” excuse, at least when it comes to morality. Each of us is responsible for doing good and not doing evil, even if it goes against orders. Perhaps if this didn’t involve homosexuality, an intrinsic evil, I could agree.


#12

Sin to be mortal requires three things

Serious matter (you will find moral theologians on both sides of this. Some will call even looking into the room where a same sex wedding is taking place as sin, others will tell you working at a venue to earn $$ where you do not control the bookings is at worst remote material cooperation.

Knowledge (you have to know this is sinful)

Intent (do it on purpose)

If you did not meet all three, if there were any sin you are not guilty of it.


#13

These people are directly contributing to the wedding, guards are not. It’s not the same


#14

God works in mysterious ways. Pray silently throughout your shift. God put you there for a reason. Call on the Holy Spirit to be present and open the eyes of peoples hearts.


#15

I really wouldn’t worry about this. It’s not a sin. You are providing security for the museum…the wedding particulars really aren’t any of your business.

You are not directly or indirectly supporting the wedding by being in the background as a security guard. Plus, you are so uninvolved that you don’t even know if it will be a same-sex wedding till you show up.

I would totally not worry about it. Fulfill your shifts and sign up for any available shifts you can get, and then pray for everyone at every wedding, no matter who is involved.

Lifting up everyone in prayer would be a wonderful act of mercy you could perform and is better than the hardship involved with trying to avoid those weddings.


#16

I think people are a little too dismissive of the sin question. If you are working at an event which is immoral then you are materially cooperating with evil. That is, you are assisting in some way in that evil.

The analysis doesn’t end there, but it isn’t as simple as some people have made out. The reality is many of us materially cooperate with evil in our work and leisure.

Being a security guard is less of a cooperation than making a cake, doing flowers etc. But it is some degree of cooperation. I’d think security is a more minor form off cooperation.

Besides the level of cooperation you also have to consider your needs. If you have financial needs and have few choices in how to earn money then that would make it more acceptable to work at events like this.

As I said many of us face the same issue. Increasingly employers promote homosexuality and same sex ‘marriage’. Not only do many of us face work situations like this but we also might go to restaurants, coffee shops and other places that promote this. Our purchases are a form of cooperation with evil.

We should try to limit our cooperation with evil. This means, if we can, not cooperating by our work. For you this would mean if possible not working at these events.

A big problem these days is people make no attempt to not cooperate with evil. They just assume nothing can be done. But that isn’t often true.


#17

The Church does not require these people to do so. Selling a commercial service like baking or flowers is in no way sinful, even when selling products and services to people whose lifestyles and activities we disagree with.

Most of those refusing to bake or do flowers for SSM are evangelical protestants. You won’t find a directive from the Catholic Church on this as it pertains to commercial enterprises serving the public.

What the Church does talk about is officiating, being in the actual wedding party, attending as a guest, and the couple themselves.

No. You are an employee of the museum scheduled to work security. You did not engage your services directly with the couple.

Again I encourage you to read the document I linked to. We are Catholics, not fundamentalist Protestants. Don’t form your moral conscience with their views of the world.


#18

And thank God for those evangelical Protestants.

It is the evangelical Protestant areas of the US doing the most legally to stop abortion and same sex marriage. The Catholic areas of the country just go along with it. Of course there are serious problems with Protestant theology and it leads to terrible things like alcohol prohibition. But in my opinion Catholics go way too far the other way.


#19

Absolutely on point no 1. I have serious doubts that this post is genuine. It looks a lot more to me like someone trying to stir the pot.

Even having said that… cooperating with evil is a sin. This museum couldn’t host these events with out the security staff. If someone were to knowingly assist these event to take place there is some culpability. The scenario laid here is that these “wedding” events are above and beyond the normal line of duty. He (she) can continue work as a security staff under normal time.


#20

Your employer has a mind reading machine? Do they wire tap the confessional when you go there?


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