Thursday, February 24, 2011

Obama Administration Won't Defend Unconstitutional DOMA: Official Catholic Reactions from U.S. Bishops and Maggie Gallagher

In case you're wondering what the moral teachers of the Catholic church in the U.S. have to say about the decision of the Obama administration yesterday no longer to defend the Defense of Marriage Act--because enshrining discrimination in federal law is unconstitutional!--wonder no more.  The bishops hastened to get out a press statement right away.  Their take?

1. "Traditional" marriage has always been one man with one woman (memo to bishops: you may want to double-check those stories in your holy scriptures about, oh, Abraham and Solomon and David and all the biblical patriarchs--the fathers in faith, as we like to say in the Catholic church--and their many wives).

2. We don't discriminate.  We loves us some gay folks.  But our right to religious freedom trumps your alleged human rights.  And we're all about defending and promoting human rights.  For everyone.

Will American Catholics listen to this toxic brew of nonsense?  Not likely--not most American Catholics, who staunchly oppose discrimination against gays and lesbians, for the most part, and who move closer and closer to a majority acceptance of same-sex marriage with each poll that solicits their input on that topic

Will that deter the bishops from continuing to fight for their "right" to discriminate, while they claim that they deplore discrimination?  Not in the least.  After all, remember that they are the teachers.  They do the talking.  We do the listening.  And how they themselves behave as moral exemplars in, say, their cover-up of cases of sexual abuse of minors by priests doesn't, in their minds, have anything to do with what they teach.  Or with their credibility as teachers.

Though the rapid mass exodus of Catholics from the church of which these bishops are pastoral leaders says otherwise.

And lest you wonder what Maggie Gallagher might have to say about the president's decision not to defend DOMA, wonder no more.  Since she's the first person to whom FOX news turned for commentary when the announcement came down.  They turned to Maggie for "the" Catholic reaction to the decision.  

And Maggie didn't disappoint.  Rather than address the argument on which the Obama administration bases its decision no longer to defend an unconstitutional law, Maggie simply tries to turn the tables.  She accuses Obama of being "unconstitutional."  As her reply makes plain, she simply does not and will not accept the argument on which the decision rests: namely, that it is impossible to make a strong or credible case for excluding gay and lesbian persons from the legal defenses afforded by the equal protection clause of the constitution.

When we can all easily see that gay and lesbian persons are, indeed, a stigmatized minority in the United States, subject to discrimination solely because they are gay or lesbian.  Solely due to an innate characteristic over which they have no more control than someone does of her gender or his skin color.  An innate characteristic that ought not, in any universe calling itself moral, to matter, when it comes to doling out rights or shielding a minority from discrimination.

It is this--it is this hateful discrimination--that the U.S. Catholic bishops are defending by their statement, and intend to continue defending.  And it is this hateful discrimination that the Catholic-inspired, Catholic-funded National Organization for Marriage and Maggie Gallagher exist to spread around anywhere their deep pockets can gain them influence in the U.S.

And that's, of course, precisely why FOX turned immediately to Maggie.  Her agenda fits theirs, hand in glove.  And the deep pockets funding her agenda of discrimination and demonization matter intently to FOX.

P.S. To read the map that is the graphic for this posting, simply click on it to enlarge it.

No comments: