Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Will the Catholic Church declare war on Obama over gay equality?

NY Archbishop Timothy Dolan
In something which should be remembered - because I have a feeling that it may be the opening salvo to something huge and sinister - NY Archbishop Timothy Dolan has sent a letter to President Obama claiming that he is alarmed about recent actions by the President's administration that supposedly "escalate the threat to marriage and imperil the religious freedom of those who promote and defend marriage."

These "threats" named by Dolan are positions made by the Obama Administration to ensure lgbtq equality. They include:

1. The Justice Department no longer defending DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) and raising questions about the law's constitutionality.

2. The Obama Administration supporting the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in foster care and adoption placement

3. Sexual orientation sensitivity training for federal employees

4. The repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Dolan claims that these actions undermine what he calls the "natural family:"

In sum, these recent actions undermine certain fundamental truths about the nature of the human person—the equal importance of mothers and fathers to children, and the unchangeable meaning and nature of marriage as a communion of the sexes. They also oppose the deeply rooted consensus among the American people in support of the authentic definition of marriage and laws that reflect it. These actions also harm the common good by imperiling the religious freedom of those who hold these truths and defend these laws.

Dolan also makes what can only be seen as sort of a passive-aggressive threat to the President in regards to Catholic bishops speaking against the Obama Administration:

The Justice Department's move, in addition to other troubling federal decisions occurring recently, prompts me yet again to register my grave concerns. The content of this letter reflects the strong sentiment expressed at a recent meeting by more than thirty of my brother Bishops who serve on the Administrative Committee of our episcopal conference. I know they are joined by hundreds of additional Catholic bishops throughout our nation. My observations are offered in the spirit of respectful, but frank dialogue.

The Catholic Bishops stand ready to affirm every positive measure taken by you and your Administration to strengthen marriage and the family. We cannot be silent, however, when federal steps harmful to marriage, the laws defending it, and religious freedom continue apace. 

In lieu of how the Catholic Church is suspected of funding the National Organization for Marriage - an organization attempting to stomp out marriage equality in all 50 states - and the fact that next year is an election year, one would be dumb not to take Dolan's words as a threat.

While I respect Dolan's beliefs and his position, he is way out of his bounds here.  Furthermore, I think Dolan is dangerously stuck in the past. We no longer live in the time of the Middle Ages where government decisions had to be agreed upon by the Catholic Church before they are made.

The laws of this country are governed by the Constitution, not papal authority. No one elected Dolan to public office and he has no standing - other than that of an ordinary American citizen - to demand that the President reverse his standing on DOMA or any other law or decision.

 Dolan forgets that he does not live a theocracy, but a secular country which is home to many different people with many different religious beliefs.

And also different families.

Not every family has the mother and father dynamic but that does not make them inferior to those who do. All families which provide love and support to their children should be embraced and supported.

That's the most obscene thing about Dolan's letter. It is totally disrespectful to these families. It sends a message that since they don't abide by his definition of what makes a family, they are automatically inferior.

That same message of inferiority is also sent to those of us who are lgbtq. Granted, Dolan's letter includes the customary "we value all human beings and reject any hatred or unfair treatment of all people" line that's present in all religious right dogma in regards to the lgbtq community right before they lower the boom on us.

But the fact of the matter is the boom is still lowered, making us feel that we are not worthy of equal treatment.

So as a gay man, I don't buy Dolan's phony platitudes of love.  And as a citizen of this country, I am highly offended by his letter.

Lastly, I would suggest that before Dolan or any Catholic official takes it upon themselves to attempt to dictate policy to our elected officials, they follow the homily about "tending to their own gardens."

Based upon what I hear in regards to the sexual abuse of children in the Catholic church, some folks have been letting their gardens go to rot. 

Related post:

Is the Catholic Church overstepping its bounds in marriage equality fight?

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Bigot sending nasty tweets about DADT repeal and other Wednesday midday news briefs

The Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber just can't help himself with the nasty tweets. The following is what he said last year during President Obama's State of the Union address when the President promised to overturn DADT:

The sad thing is that as you can see, Barber hasn't stopped sending hateful tweets. But he did block me from seeing them after my post on his attack of  the DADT repeal last year. It's just as well though. Ignorant #^! like Barber only make our victories taste sweeter.

In other news:

Maggie Gallagher Attends Staged Reading of “8″ In New York
- Good. As much money as she makes off of our community, it is about time that she give some of it back.

Fox News Largely Ignores Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal - Color me surprised.

Gay Buffalo Teen Kills Himself After Years of Bullying - UNACCEPTABLE! Pray this young man's family. And also let us work to do more to protect our children.

Nashville paramedic suspended for anti-gay postings - I DARE the religious right to make this new man their "gays are persecuting Christians" cause celebre.

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Hate group promising to 'monitor' DADT repeal

As I noted yesterday, several folks on the right aren't happy with yesterday's repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

But now, the SPLC-designated hate group, the Family Research Council, has weighed in with a nonsensical scathing attack on President Obama and an ugly promise to "monitor" the effects of DADT:

FRC will continue to monitor the consequences of this reversal of 236 years of American military policy, limit the damage--and demand that the Defense Department do the same. Expect to see celebrations from homosexual groups and fawning stories in the media about how "the sky has not fallen." That's only because there will be no press releases from the new victims of sexual harassment or assault, the soldiers exposed to HIV-tainted blood, the thousands of servicemembers who choose not to reenlist rather than forfeit their freedom of speech and religion, and the untold number of citizens who choose never to join the military. It's clear this President is more interested in appeasing sexual revolutionaries than in fighting America's enemies. 

Knowing FRC's history, the organization's definition of "monitoring" will probably mean passing along inaccurate anecdotes about gay soldiers allegedly "harassing" heterosexuals or gay soldiers allegedly "harassing" chaplains, etc.

Case in point seen here is FRC's resident phony researcher and spokesperson, Peter (gays should be deported out of the United States and 'homosexual behavior' should be made illegal) Sprigg in a one-sided interview with Pat Robertson's 700 Club:

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