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Catholic Archbishop Warns of “National Conflict” Over Marriage Equality

Jim Burroway

September 23rd, 2011

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, who heads the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, warned President Barack Obama that his refusal to support a federal ban on same-sex marriage would “precipitate a national conflict between church and state of enormous proportions.” The letter, dated Sept 20, marks a notable escalation in the political rhetoric from the Catholic Church:

Dolan said the bishops are especially upset that the administration and opponents of DOMA are framing their argument as a civil rights issue, which he said equates “opposition to redefining marriage with either intentional or willfully ignorant racial discrimination.”

…“The administration’s failure to change course on this matter will … precipitate a national conflict between church and state of enormous proportions and to the detriment of both institutions,” Dolan warned.

The two-page letter was followed by a three-page analysis from the USCCB’s legal staff that charges the administration with “hostility” to traditional marriage and a “new, more aggressive position” on behalf of gay marriage. In especially strong language, it also argues that the administration treats millions of Americans who oppose gay marriage “as if they were bigots.”

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Emcee, cubed
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

“In especially strong language, it also argues that the administration treats millions of Americans who oppose gay marriage “as if they were bigots.””

If the shoe fits…

Priya Lynn
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

…“The administration’s failure to change course on this matter will … precipitate a national conflict between church and state of enormous proportions and to the detriment of both institutions,” Dolan warned.

If that’s true then its equally true that the CHURCH’S failure to change course will do the same.

“it also argues that the administration treats millions of Americans who oppose gay marriage “as if they were bigots.””.

They are bigots. If they don’t want to be treated as such then stop being bigots.

Kathy
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

Why do they always ignore all the denominations who love their gay and lesbian members and clergy? At this time, our gov’t is telling the UCC and UMC and others that their marriage ceremony can only be valid for straight members. Why does one religion have preference over another?

PhilDC
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

” the administration treats millions of Americans who oppose gay marriage “as if they were bigots.”

I’ve heard this argument before from NOM and their ilk that the government will start “treating” anti-equality individuals as “bigots” or “racists”.

But here’s the thing; the government doesn’t treat “bigots” or “racists” like ANYTHING. Bigot and racist are not legal terms; white supremacists, anti-semites, etc. are in no way punished by the government for holding those views.

What they are really afraid of is that their view will become unpopular and people won’t like them, so it is therefore the governments job to ENFORCE the popularity of their opinions.

Generally the reaction on our side is to say they are bigots and compare them to racists; this is true but I don’t think this is the most effective messaging strategy.

Rather, i think we should compare same-sex couples to interfaith couples. Many religions oppose interfaith marriage and no one claims adherents of this view are bigots. At the same time, no expects the government to ban interfaith marriage i n order to support “religious liberty”.

I think “gay couples are like interfaith couples” is a lot more palatable, less inflammatory message then “gay couples are like interracial couples”. Just my two cents.

Intrepid
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

If the Catholic Church wants to ban marriage that’s their protected constitutional right. This has NOTHING to do with Civil Gay Marriage – the right to get married under state and federal law. The Catholic Archbishop needs to read the US Constitution and the US Supreme Court decisions on Separation of church and state. He apparently thinks that the Church should control US Law.

Robert
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

I see, the Catholic bishops think that it perfectly reasonable that their gay followers as clerics can marry Jesus but their non-cleric followers who choose another partner can’t marry. The clerics who marry Jesus can and should get full tax breaks paid for by the public, including those public who don’t believe in Jesus, but the gays married to same sex partners should get absolutely no political recogition and in fact should be penalized. So these are people who present themselves as being good? And by the way, even non-Catholics should follow these rules and discriminate against gays because the Catholics say they know what is right for everyone. Forgive my sarcasm.

MJC
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

Well said, PhilDC. It is an ancient trick of religions to get governments to do their bidding for them—but our constitution forbids it, because our founders were all too familiar with it.

Priya Lynn
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

I second MJC – well said Phillip, I’m impressed with your insight.

Terry T
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

Archbishop Timothy Dolan, you ARE bigots.

iDavid
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

To the catholic clergy who finds young boys more attractive than women or the reinstatement of marriage for clergy, don’t you have your own fires to be addressing re relationships via “gods” approval? Stones and glass houses etc….

Kate
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

Speaking as a resident of Milwaukee, can I just say I am SOOO glad that Timmy decided to pack up his bag of bigoted rhetoric and leave us for the Big Apple? My condolences, Ney Yorkers, but I guess Beer City just wasn’t a big enough podium for his ass-hattery.

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