Thursday, September 23, 2010

Catholics In Minnesota Start Receiving the Church's Anti-Gay Marriage DVDs in the Mail Today

     Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis has taken the Catholic Church's war on LGBT civil rights to a new level.
     Yesterday, in order to "rally the troops" before Minnesota's gubernatorial election, Nienstedt sent DVDs to the 800,000 Catholics in his archdiocese.  The DVDs argue for civil marriage laws to exclude same sex couples.  The DVD was produced by the no-women-allowed, anti-gay Knights of Columbus.

     Without making any assumptions about Nienstedt's sexual orientation or any comments about the church's colossal failure to protect its children from priest-pedophiles, Nienstedt's hypocrisy is evident in his statements to KSTP Eyewitness News that the DVDs are not political:
     Nienstedt spoke to KSTP-TV at the Catholic Defense League's annual Mass and banquet at St. Helena's Catholic Church in south Minneapolis. The archbishop was the keynote speaker at the dinner, delivering a speech to more than a hundred people titled, "In defense of Marriage and Family."  Before the speech, Nienstedt said he hoped the DVD would be a "teaching tool" to parishioners in the 217 archdiocesan parishes.
     "It's not partisan politics in any way. But you know, it's kind of rallying the troops around this issue and pointing out to Catholics that this is an important issue in every election year," archbishop Nienstedt said.
     The DVD will arrive in homes less than six weeks before the Nov. 2nd elections. Candidates for Minnesota governor Mark Dayton (DFL) and Tom Horner (IP) support legalizing gay marriage; Tom Emmer (R) does not.
     "We're not a political force," Nienstedt said, "but we are a religious force. So we think we should be part of the conversation."
     If that is really the case, if the Catholic Church is not a "political force," then why are they pumping money into taking away and denying American citizens' their civil rights?  And six weeks before an election?  Is Nienstedt really so arrogant as to believe his lies that this isn't a political move?  Of course his is.  He's a prince of the church, after all.  This is what he was "formed" to do in seminary and in the priesthood.  

     Yesterday Archbishop Nienstedt was interviewed by Tom Crann of Minnesota Public Radio.  In the interview, Crann challenges Nienstedt and the Catholic Church's inconsistencies hypocrisies surrounding their ever-changing definition of  civil marriage, which for gay is also sacramental, but for straights who want a divorce is only civil.  Crann also confronts Nienstedt on the claim that it is not a political move to call for a ballot initiative to limit same sex couples' civil rights.

     On divorce, same-sex marriage, and the inconsistent distinction between civil and sacramental marriage:
Crann: If same-sex marriage is a 'dangerous risk,' as you put it, in society, wouldn't also divorce, as well, be such a risk?
Nienstedt: Obviously. That's obvious. And it has been a dangerous risk and it is a dangerous risk to our society today.
Crann: And yet there has been no effort from the Catholic Church over the years to outlaw divorce.
Nienstedt: No, the church doesn't permit divorce. I don't know - the use of your word 'outlaw.'
Crann: In a civic sense.
Nienstedt: But divorce is not acceptable. Divorce is not part of our teaching, no.
Crann: No, but in a civil sense. And I suppose what I'm saying is there has been a difference historically in the secular and civil world with marriage and divorce and in the context of the Catholic Church and other churches, too. And I'm wondering if there always will be that difference or do you want to see the civil definition of marriage be more aligned with your church's definition.
Nienstedt: There is no difference between the civil and the religious definition of marriage because marriage comes to us by virtue of creation and our creator. And so the state does not establish marriage. Marriage came long before there was any government. [Then why isn't the church lobbying for laws to outlaw divorce?]
     On Nienstedt's hypocritical claim that his call on the DVD for a ballot inititiative to ban same-sex marriages in Minnesota not being political:
Crann: You also make a political statement at the end (of the video segment) that you feel that this issue should come before the voters of Minnesota.
Nienstedt: Well, that's not so much a political statement as it is saying that, as other states have done, we need to bring this to the people, rather than have it decided by the judiciary or by the legislature... We need to let the people say what the reality of marriage is going to be. I don't see that as that big of a political statement.
Crann: Let's hear that, if we could.
Audio excerpt from Nienstedt's remarks: The archdiocese believes that the time has come for voters to be presented directly with an amendment to our state constitution to preserve our historic understanding of marriage. In fact, this is the only way to put the one man, one woman definition of marriage beyond the reach of the courts and politicians.
Crann: Is that, in fact, a political statement?
Nienstedt: I don't believe so, no. I think that's a reasonable, common sense thing.
Crann: And you're calling for something to be put to a vote. Isn't that a political action?
Nienstedt: That is a political action, yes, but I think it also, in the context of the whole video, I think it makes sense.
     The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is a political action group and should be stripped of its tax exemption status!

     Here is one heterosexual, married, and Catholic Minnesotan's take on the situation: