Cardinal Dolan laments gay marriage in an interview with David Gregory on "Meet the Press" that will air on Sunday and blamed being 'outmarketed' around the issue of marriage equality. From what has been reported in the Associated Press, Dolan also said that the Catholic Church has been "caricatured as being anti-gay."
No Cardinal Dolan, the Catholic Church hierarchy hasn't been 'outmarketed' on gay marriage, nor have you been 'caricatured' as anti-gay. The hard truth is that, while right on so many of the most important issues of our time, the Catholic Church leadership in America is wrong on the question of gay marriage and someday (probably centuries from now) you will have to own up to it.
First of all, marketing isn't the problem. We know where the Catholic Church bishops stand on the issue as they have been engaged in a full on anti-gay marriage campaign including a recent exorcism against gay marriage in Illinois and using communion as a hostage against same sex marriage in New Jersey, not to mention the firing of a lesbian teacher from a Catholic school in Arkansas after her same sex marriage.
The logic of the Catholic position against gay marriage seems to go something like this -- marriage is ultimately, and most importantly about procreation, if you can't naturally procreate, you shouldn't get married. This, of course, doesn't sit that well with heterosexuals who don't want, or are unable, to have children. And of course it is an intentional non-starter with homosexuals who have the wrong body parts.
Stability, life long commitment, fidelity and love are not as crucial to the idea of marriage as procreation which is elevated above all else. For instance, the love between Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer that lasted over 40 years and including a final 30 years of Windsor caring for Spyer through her debilitating multiple sclerosis is demoted and diminished in the 'procreation' argument. Their life together, and love for each other doesn't rise to the level of marriage.
What is happening with increasing speed is that Americans do understand the Catholic Church's position but that people just don't agree with its conclusions. In fact, even Catholics themselves don't agree with the Bishops position as polls show a majority of them are for gay marriage. In fact Catholics in the pews are more in favor of gay marriage than the national average.
The other Cardinal Dolan comment that requires a response is that the church has been "caricatured as being anti-gay." The hard reality that Cardinal Dolan and all Christians need to face up to is that the Catholic Church along with every other church whether Orthodox, Protestant or Catholic has been horrifically, persistently and vehemently anti-gay for almost all of its history.
This is a fact. There is no 'caricature' needed.
The Church has inspired deep hatred of the LGBT community, and the fact that many of us who are LGBT still feel called to participate in the Church is perhaps the most powerful testimony to the presence of Christ that one can find in the world today.
But for one to deny that the Church is anti-gay in one sentence and then to maintain a stance against gay marriage in the next adds injury to insult. Let's just be very clear here -- if you are against marriage equality you are anti-gay.
You can not say you are supportive of me as a gay man, and then say but you are against my marriage to my partner Brad. It just doesn't work that way. If you are against gay marriage you are against gay married people. In the future, if you want to know if your actions or words are anti-gay -- try asking a gay person. We'll be glad to let you know.
The truth is, the Catholic Church, along with most religious traditions will eventually have to change their positions on LGBT people. It will take a long, long time. I certainly don't expect to live to see the Catholic Church hierarchy change official dogma on the issue.
But I have faith that they will. And then a simple 'we're sorry' would be appreciated.
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