Wednesday, May 8, 2013

U.S. Catholic Bishops Continue "Fortnight for Freedom" Events, Call on Catholics to Pray to Uphold DOMA and Prop 8

As the day ends: note the bulletin insert that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has produced under the leadership of San Francisco archbishop Salvatore Cordileone to be placed in bulletins of Catholic parishes throughout the U.S. It's entitled "Marriage and the Supreme Court," and asks Catholics to pray, fast, and sacrifice with the intention that the Supreme Court uphold both the Defense of Marriage Act and proposition 8 in California. I say that this insert comes from Cordileone because he heads the USCCB subcommittee on marriage and family, though it's, of course, an initiative with the backing of the entire USCCB.

The insert notes that the USCCB will sponsor another round of the Fortnight for Freedom circuses this summer--an initiative that failed spectacularly last summer. The insert purports to "love" gay folks and support their human rights, as it states that "[e]veryone has inviolable dignity and deserves love and respect." But it simultaneously maintains (love, but; welcome, except; rights, however) that "[t]here are many ways to protect the basic human rights of all . . . ."

I wonder how those words about inviolable dignity, love, respect, and protecting the basic human rights of all will ring in the ears of Nicholas Coppola, Carla Hale, Mike Moroski, Lennon Cihak and his parents, Trish Cameron, Al Fischer, Steav Bates-Congdon, Barbara Johnson, Jim St. George, Jodi O'Brien, Timothy Nelson, the lesbian parents whose children were denied admission to their parish's school in Colorado, the ten folks denied admission to St. Patrick's cathedral in New York this past Sunday, and thousands of other LGBT folks who have experienced ugly discrimination at the hands of Catholic institutions.

Can you imagine this all-stops-pulled-out, no-holds-barred kind of campaign to get Catholics to support the outlawing of divorce, which is far and away the biggest threat anywhere to the sanctity of marriage in our culture? Or to get Catholics to pray, fast, and sacrifice for the elimination of contraception and for outlawing it as a threat to the sanctity of marriage?

Can you imagine the millions of dollars that our Catholic "pastoral" leaders have spent and the lavish funds they continue to spend to snatch rights from gay citizens being spent to single out any other minority group in this morally filthy way? Can you imagine how the bishops behaving this way and issuing this mendacious statement about how they "love" gay folks and respect the rights of gay folks believe they have any moral credibility at all, given their continued pastoral malfeasance with cases of clerical abuse of minors?

As I wrote two days ago, vis-a-vis the poison-pen letters church officials relied on to remove Nicholas Coppola from ministries in his parish in New York, take away Carla Hale's job in a Catholic school in Ohio, and rescind a contract offered to Timothy Nelson at a Catholic school in Wisconsin, 

What kind of church that has any vital connection to Jesus and the gospels conducts its business by giving attention to poison letters from morally filthy anonymous tipsters who pore over obituaries to determine who belongs to God's faithful and who's outside the circle of salvation?

What kind of church leaders who claim to represent Jesus to those they lead, behaves the way the U.S. bishops have long behaved and continue to behave towards their gay brothers and sisters, while expecting people to see the church they lead as a sacramental sign of God's all-inclusive love in the world, and a continuation throughout history of Jesus's life and ministry? The U.S. bishops are very seriously deluded if they imagine that they're scoring points for the moral credibility of the Catholic church as they continue the Fortnight for Freedom spectacles and advocate for laws that people of sound conscience have long since found morally unacceptable, because they single out a targeted minority group and seek to foster discrimination against it.

(Thanks to Chris Morley for posting a link to the USCCB bulletin insert here earlier today.)

The graphic depicts the shifting view of Americans about interracial marriage from 1958 to 2007, and is based on Gallup polling data. It was only in 1991 that Gallup found a majority of Americans supporting interracial marriage.

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