Archbishop Dolan published a blog post yesterday that is as disingenuous as it is preposterous. This is going to be a little long for one of my blog posts, but I feel I must push back against this garbage. My comments are in italics. Here we go!
July 7th, 2011
Almost two weeks ago — hauntingly, on the Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist, whom King Herod would behead because the saint dared to defend the God-given truth about marriage — our state sadly attempted a re-definition of marriage. Is there anything left to say?
For one, thanks to those courageous millions who valiantly fought this unfortunate project of social engineering. You can hold your heads high. Sanely, civilly, thoughtfully, vigorously . . . you did not cave-in. The forces on the other side were a Goliath indeed — with tons of money, “glitterati” from entertainment circles, political powerbrokers, and the media — but you proved a worthy David.
I think it’s more than a little odd that Dolan should point out the money spent on the pro side of the argument. It’s public knowledge that the catholic church has spent tens of millions of dollars lobbying against same-sex marriage. It’s also public knowledge that these tens of millions were extorted from church parishes by fiat from various Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals who sent letters ordering parishes to pony up the bucks. The fortune raised in this manner is not subject to any lobbying law nor is the church required to register as a political entity. It’s all very shady – how are we to discern which politicians are in bed with the church, protected from inquiry, shielded from the type of publicity this church involvement in politics requires? And how much money did the church spend lobbying against same-sex marriage that would have been better used to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, etc. etc. etc.?
You will understand my special word of gratitude to people of faith — evangelicals, Mennonites, Jews, Moslem, Catholics, Amish, and so many more, led often by African-American and Latino believers — who simply believe that marriage is a given, at the very foundation of civilization, which the state has the duty to defend and protect, not to mutate.
It seems the special provenance of conservatives that they cannot or will not accept change. Change is an inevitability. The universe runs on change. Weather and the tides and the orbits of planets are all part of a huge engine of change. Existence is change. Living is change – and yet organized religions and conservative politicians “kick against the pricks” and try to stave it off. The oft used (by me) expressions “heads up their asses” and “out of touch with reality” spring from this exasperating stance.
My brother bishops of New York were particularly prophetic. When I arrived here a little over two-years ago, they told me realistically that we faced a looming battle over the defense of marriage. They advised me that the odds were not in our favor, and that some experts were even suggesting that we give-in and not put up a fight.
But they were also resolute in their conviction that such would have been a dereliction of duty. As Blessed John Paul II often commented, the Church is “counter-cultural,” like Jesus, often at odds with what passes as chic, enlightened, and progressive. In their writings, sermons, personal lobbying, interviews, and our common statements — backed up by indefatigable efforts by our New York State Catholic Conference, bolstered by ecumenical and inter-religious cooperation, and, especially, supported by countless thousands of our faithful Catholic people (one legislator told me he received 47,000 e-mails against the measure from the Catholic Advocacy Network) — the bishops were on the frontiers. We have been bloodied, and bruised, and, yes, for the moment, we have been defeated. But, we’re used to that. So was the Founder of our Church.
Poor abused Dolan – poor bloodied and bruised Dolan! I’ve long advocated that Dolan be dragged into a parking lot and taught to eat cured concrete, but I’ve never seen that fat shining overfed arrogant and ever so slightly obscene with a bruise on it. As archbishop he’s never sported a bloody lip that I’m aware of. Again, it’s odd how spending tens of millions of dollars and losing the battle somehow equates to getting beaten.
Here Dolan treats us – once again! – to the delightful vision of this most powerful and wealthy religious organization on the planet throwing a pity party for itself – as if it’s an entity that can be bullied or cowed or threatened. Aw – poor catholic church got beat up by the big mean homosexuals! Hah hah hah hah hah!
Two, the Church neither has nor wants political “clout.” As Cardinal John O’Connor commented, “The only ‘clout’ the Church really has is God’s Truth, the assurance of His grace, and the simple yet sincere conviction of our people.” Blessed John Paul II again reminds us that “The Church never imposes, she onlyproposes.” And as our current Holy Father has often observed, all the Church wants is its freedom to serve humanity by bringing the light of the gospel to the world.
Liar! Pants on fire liar! Naked falsehood! Here Dolan washes himself in God’s truth – trying to hide even the church’s centuries of political interference behind the piety of “God’s Truth” and “the assurance of His grace.” What a bowl of puke.
But, three, we do worry indeed about this freedom of religion. Editorials already call for the removal of guarantees of religious liberty, with crusaders calling for people of faith to be coerced to acceptance of this redefinition. If the experience of those few other states and countries where this is already law is any indication, the churches, and believers, will soon be harassed, threatened, and hauled into court for their conviction that marriage is between one man, one woman, forever, bringing children into the world.
“…calling for people of faith to be coerced to acceptance of this redefinition.” My oh my! I had no idea that each and every American has been coerced into accepting such horrible definitions of things like, say, Freedom, or freedom of the press, or the right to assembly! Dolan – if you don’t like to be coerced by the Bill of Rights then I suggest you relocate to Rome where you can live an even cushier life than you have in New York!
Four, the real forces of “intolerance” were unmasked here. The caricature, of course, is that those defending traditional marriage were the right-wing bigots and bullies. However, as one out-of-state journalist, who was following the debate closely, commented to me, “From my read of the columns, blogs, and rhetoric, it’s not your side that’s lobbing the grenades.” A Catholic who wrote to criticize me for my defense of marriage still conceded, “But I must confess that I am sickened by the amount of anti-Catholic venom that has surfaced in this debate.” As one respected columnist has observed, the problem is not homophobia but theophobia— a hatred by some of God, faith, religion, and the Church.
Yes, the real forces of “intolerance” WERE unmasked! Those forces were the side that lost. Neener! Neener! Neener! And what is wrong with anti-Catholic venom? I’m sure Dolan dislikes that venom as much as we gays dislike the venom the church has poured onto us for years on end.
Five, though, if we did hurt anybody in our defense of marriage, I apologize. We tried our best to insist from the start that our goal was pro-marriage, never anti-gay. But, I’m afraid some within the gay community were offended. As I replied recently to a reporter who asked if I had any message to the gay community, “Yes: I love you. Each morning I pray with and for you and your true happiness and well-being. I am honored that so many of you are at home within our Catholic family, where, like the rest of us, we try, with the help of God’s grace and mercy, to conform our lives to Jesus and His message. If I have offended any of you in my strenuous defense of marriage, I apologize, and assure you it was unintentional.
“…our goal was pro-marriage, never anti-gay.” Another bald and vile canard. Just saying something does not make it so. And what, Dolan, are you smoking that makes you believe that gays “are at home” within your bilious Catholic family? Dolan is so disconnected he believes his own bullshit – or is so devious as to want us to believe that he’s sincere. Well, like I indicated to Nazi Ratzi – shove your insincere apologies, your empty words and your false sadness up your holy asshole. No one believes you are sincere.
Point six, the Church has always stood-up for marriage — one man and one woman, united in lifelong and faithful love, leading to new life in children – whenever and wherever it was in danger. Veterans my age and over can remember sixty years ago when we fought widespread, no-fault divorce, convinced it would lead to a cheapening of the marriage bond and harm our kids (as, of course, scholarly studies now report has, indeed, happened). Recall how the Church resisted the “contraceptive mentality,” fearing it would rupture the sacred bond between love and the procreation of children. Then, remember how the Church sounded the alarm over rising rates of promiscuity, adultery, pre-marital sex, and cohabitation prior to or instead of marriage. And now we ring the steeple bell again at this latest dilution of the authentic understanding of marriage, worried that the next step will be another redefinition to justify multiple partners and infidelity. If you think I’m exaggerating, within days of the passage of this bill, one major newspaper ran a flattering profile of a proponent of what was called “nonmonogamy.” Apparently, “nonmonogamy” is the idea that society is unrealistic to think that one man and one woman should remain faithful in marriage, and that openness to some infidelity should be the norm!
Divorce doesn’t harm kids, parents who don’t know how to deal with it harm kids. Contraceptives do not cause any rupture between love and procreation. I love this “worried that the next step will be another redefinition to justify multiple partners and infidelity.” LOL! I should think that the Archbishop of New York has far better and constructive things to worry about than fantasies of cultural wars yet to come. Ooooh! I bet Dolan gets a hard on thinking about “multiple partners and infidelity!”
Dolan’s escalating hyperbole is a lovely example of conservative propaganda: demonize the problem in grossly general terms, and then state an outrageously preposterous future occurrence – frightening those sheeple who have no idea how nor any inclination to think critically.
Let me say it again. None of this is anti-anybody, but simply pro marriage.
Again, repeating a lie does not make it true.
(By the way, as Professor Robert George at Princeton University eloquently points out, in warning about promiscuity, divorce, cohabitation instead of marriage, adultery, and “same-sex marriage,” the Church is hardly some shrill, bitter, reactionary, naysaying prude, but actually prophetically right-on-target. Recent studies by people such as Myron Magnet and Kay Hymowitz show that the weakening of stable marriage and families is the cause of most social and cultural woes, especially burdensome on poor women and children.)
Robert George is a professor of religion – a known conservative thinker who is the current darling of Catholicism in America.
And how dare Dolan cite “poor women and children?” The church’s institutionalized misogyny has repressed women for the last 15 centuries – keeping them poor, keeping them out of the priesthood, trying to deny them birth control and family planning – even to the point of advocating NOT using condoms to help stem the tide of HIV in sub-Sahara Africa. Make no mistake: the church is the enemy of women just as much as it is the enemy of gays or of same-sex marriage or of children.
And yes, the church IS shrill, it IS bitter, It IS a naysaying prude – but it is NOT reactionary. It’s as stick in the mud as stick in the mud can be. And it is waaaaaay too easy to claim “prophetic” when you’ve lost ever major cause the church has pursued in the last 60 years! Again – stating a lie does not make it true.
Finally, last point, for us in the Church, not much changes. We continue to hold fast to the God-given definition of marriage, and acknowledge that no unfortunate legislative attempt can alter reality and morality. Yes, we have a big catechetical challenge, in that we have to admit that quite a few people no longer hold to this timeless moral truth. (Although I still believe most people do; thus the fear of a referendum on the issue by those who still claim this is a “grassroots movement” sweeping the nation.) Yes, we do have our work cut out for us, as even some Catholics, and, scandalously, even political leaders who claim to be Catholic, tell us the Church is “out of it,” and has no claim on truth.
This is the paragraph in which Dolan descends into absolute buffoonery. Again stating a lie and basing unfounded claims on it. Truth is that any (unfortunate or otherwise) legislature CAN alter reality – easily and effectively. And the church is grossly “out of it” to the point of pathological self-deception.
So, we try our best to witness to the truth, encouraging our married couples and their kids to be loving, radiant, “lights to the world.” We acknowledge that, as St. Augustine taught, if something is wrong, even if everybody else is doing it, it’s still wrong; and, if something is right, even if nobody else is doing it anymore, it’s still right. Like St. Thomas More, we’re willing to take the heat and even lose our head from following a conscience properly formed by God’s revelation and the teaching of His Church, even if it is politically incorrect, and clashes with the King’s demands to re-define marriage.
Am I the only one that finds these platitudes of right and wrong just plain tacky? And then he equates these hate-mongering anti-gay cadres to St. Thomas More? More was a humanist through and through! Like Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman, Dolan revises the realities of history by ignoring the facts. Watching this unholy trio spew its revisionist history I can almost see them thinking, “if it sounds good it must be true! If I invoke iconic figures I’ll appear to be an iconic figure too!”
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Dolan’s blog post is nothing but propaganda – full of words that are misleading, concepts that are unambiguously wrong, and chock full of lies, distortions and bullshit.
You’re a fool Dolan – and you’ll never realize it.