Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York who ran one of the most offensive and hate-filled anti-marriage equality campaigns last month, nevertheless culminating in the passage of Governor Cuomo’s same-sex marriage equality bill, now writes that he is “worried” that the New York same-sex marriage law will lead to polygamy, infidelity, and “the churches, and believers” being “hauled into court for their conviction that marriage is between one man, one woman, forever, bringing children into the world.”
In, “Some Afterthoughts,” Dolan’s seven-plus point diatribe on The Archdiocese of New York’s blog, Dolan goes through a veritable journey through fear and loathing in New York, Dolan runs the gamut of misplaced homophobia, and Catholic victimhood.
Curiously leaving out Mormons, Dolan infuses the battle against marriage equality with race.
“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.”
Dolan exhibits his total inability to understand that the LGBT community doesn’t want to “mutate” marriage, we merely want to participate! In the 1950s, if a black child jumped into a “whites only” swimming pool, you could see the adults recoiling in horror, but did the pool “mutate?” No. Merely the perception of it did. Same pool. Same water. Same swimmers, sans the ones so offended they decided to jump out.
Dolan throughout cites nameless friends, journalists, parishioners whom he claims all support his “facts.” If they exist, no doubt they do. But has Dolan ever bothered to have a discussion with those with whom he disagrees? A The New Civil Rights Movement writer contact Dolan and was summarily dismissed.
Perhaps this is the one that is most-offensive. Archbishop Dolan claims that 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.”
Oh, so easy to wrap one’s self in Jesus, as Dolan does when he writes earlier, “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.”
This “hatred,” to use the Archbishop’s word, is not of God, not of faith, but of religions who usurp the true meaning of God and faith, the true intention, and claim to know best — by excluding large portions of society from the rights and benefits God and faith promise and provide.
Does Archbishop Dolan pretend he is unaware that his partner in religious-cum-political hatred, New York State Senator and Reverend Rubén Díaz — who gleefully announced just days before the final marriage equality vote that the Archbishop had invited him to be a guest on the Archbishop’s radio show — did not attend a marriage rally during which another pastor told the attendees that gays are “worthy of death?” Did the Archbishop admonish New York State Senator and Reverend Rubén Díaz for not denouncing cries for genocide? Did the Archbishop admonish New York State Senator and Reverend Rubén Díaz for lying, using the Archbishop’s own words, to attack the gay community?
Tell me again whose acts are those of hatred?
The equation the Archbishop pretends is equal is not, not at all.
The Church has lost nothing. The stakes were, if marriage equality failed, the Church remained untouched. If marriage equality passed, the Church remained untouched. And so it has remained.
But for the LGBT community, indeed, for all who care about our constitutional democracy and about equality, the stakes were far greater. If marriage equality failed, not only would we have lost the potential to partake in one of the most-important institutions of life, but our fight nationwide would have lost major ground. Hundreds of thousands of children would continue to live with less protections and with less support, and the message to all would have been that the LGBT community isn’t important.
Does the Archbishop pretend he did not call same-sex marriage equality “unjust and immoral,” and “perilous?”
Does this win for equality change anything for the Church? Do they lose freedoms, tax benefits, parishioners, money, stature? No.
No doubt Dolan’s confidante “out-of-state journalist” was reading New York Times’ op-ed columnist Maureen Dowd at the time. Dowd wrote, “The church refuses to acknowledge the hypocrisy at its heart: that it became a haven for gay priests even though it declares homosexual sex a sin, and even though it lobbies to stop gays from marrying.”
“If God and nature are so clear about what marriage is, why do the well-connected have an easier time getting the church to sunder their marriages with annulments? (Yes, we’re talking about you, Newt Gingrich.)
“In his blog, “The Gospel in the Digital Age,” Dolan invokes not just God but Orwell, denouncing the “perilous presumption of the state” in reinventing the definition of marriage, which, he says, “has served as the very cornerstone of civilization and culture from the start.”
“The Starchbishop noted with asperity that “Last time I consulted an atlas, it is clear we are living in New York, in the United States of America — not in China or North Korea,” where “communiqués from the government can dictate the size of families, who lives and who dies, and what the very definition of ‘family’ and ‘marriage’ means.”
“Yeah. Not like the Vatican.
“In the same blog, Dolan snidely dismissed the notion that gay marriage is a civil right. “We acknowledge that not every desire, urge, want, or chic cause is automatically a ‘right,’ ” he wrote.
“And, what about other rights, like that of a child to be raised in a family with a mom and a dad?”
“And how about the right of a child not to be molested by the parish priest?
“Dolan acts like getting married (when done by gays) is a self-indulgent act of hedonism when it’s really a leap of faith and a promise of fidelity.”
I should point out that Dolan “apologizes” to the gay community, (using the “if” apology,) saying,”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.”
Apology not accepted, because I know you would do it again, and will.
On Dolan’s post, “Some Afterthoughts,” I left the following comment.
“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.”
Really, Archbishop? Is polygamy the law of the land now in the first state to honor marriage equality, Massachusetts – which boasts the lowest divorce rate in the U.s.? What about in Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Washington, D.C.? What about in the U.K.?
What about in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain,or Sweden, all of whom honor marriage equality?
No. Polygamy is a straw horse, a false slippery-slope argument. You have nothing to back it up.
What the Church refuses to understand is that same-sex couples want marriage for the exact same reasons opposite-sex couples do. We honor the sanctity of marriage. Why can’t you?
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