Yeah, Bishop, be an asshole. That’ll show ’em

Timothy Kincaid

July 8th, 2011

The Catholic Church is an institution with a reputation that few would wish for. Currently perceived by many as an international pedophile ring and headed up by a man who looks like he was cast for the role of Evil Sorcerer in a cheap Hollywood thriller, the Church’s public image problem has seldom been worse. And in response to this image catastrophe, the Church seems to have collectively agreed upon one course of action: whenever possible be an asshole.

Now this doesn’t seem to me to be the most effective way of regaining the trust and goodwill of the people, but it certainly seems to be what they’ve decided.

You can’t help but wonder who came up with this gem of a strategy: Rather than be known as a caretaker of sacred art, an ancient tradition of spiritual learning, a voice for personal integrity, and an advocate for the downtrodden, make your church’s highest visibility all about denying rights to gays and encouraging the poor to disregard economic realities in deciding family growth.

Oh, and to really prove your point, find those few areas in which you still have public goodwill and be a great big puckered oozing asshole.

If people respect your adoption programs, shut them down and blame gay people. If people see nuns as being selfless and devoted, close the nunnery to pay settlements for pedophile priests. And be sure that your spiritual leaders take actions that make them look like corrupt back-room finagling politicians; Because who doesn’t love a politician?

And at all times be an asshole in the most obnoxious, hostile, arrogant and truly hateful way. If you need a presence on television, why who could be better than Bill Donohue? And if social trends show that society is coming to see same-sex couples in a positive light, then make sure that the public sees you as the primary party seeking to uphold discrimination (and be certain to talk a lot about destroying society and perversion, that will be remembered well).

Ah yes, it’s a brilliant plan.

And right in line with this strategy is the response of the Bishop of Brooklyn to the New York marriage vote: If you voted for marriage equality, then you can’t give to needy children.

I kid you not. (Christian Post)

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio

Joseph Lentol, an assemblyman representing Brooklyn’s 50th district, saw firsthand just how serious the Brooklyn Diocese was. The Catholic legislative assembly member who openly voted for same-sex marriage made a donation to Our Lady of Mt Carmel Parish School. The donation was declined.

Along with the return of his $50 donation, Lentol received a letter from Monsignor Joseph Calise, the church pastor. The letter stated: “Bishop DiMarzio has requested that all gifts received from politicians supporting same-sex marriage legislation be refused.”

Marketing genius, I tell ya. Sheer marketing genius.

David Roberts

July 8th, 2011

At first glance I thought the title might be a little over the top. Now I don’t think that. Just incredible.

David Foreman

July 8th, 2011

I don’t know. Maybe being so over-the-top-fucked-up will help a few people see the insanity of it all, and start to re-evaluate some of their beliefs.
Hey, I can dream.

David Foreman

July 8th, 2011

For clarification, that remark was written before seeing Mr. Roberts use of “over the top” and had nothing to do with that. It was simply in reference to the crazy man in the picture.


July 8th, 2011

The Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Church and the Mormon Church can’t commit Hari kari soon enough for me.

David C.

July 8th, 2011

The Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Church and the Mormon Church can’t commit Hari kari soon enough for me.—TampaZeke

The more appropriate ritual would be inseki jisatsu, which is suicide to alleviate guilt.


July 8th, 2011

Seriously, doubling down on the dogmatism when one is in a bad situation is just NOT a good way to get out of that situation. It’s not a good way to “win friends and influence people” either.

I realize some of these guys probably miss the days when kings would bow to the will of the Church. Not very many kings left in the world though, and a majority of dictators seem to be in strongly non-Catholic countries.

Maybe someone could invent a time machine for His Holiness and/or the minions? You know though, I’ve been watching a History Channel series on the history of Christianity and I’m not at all sure they’d have survived all that well in the very time periods they look back to with such longing.

The Borgias for example were much better at intrigue.


July 8th, 2011

Also…shouldn’t it be Pope Palpatine? There’s even a bit of a resemblence…and Darth Vader was a much more badass villain, he’d Force Choke the Pope and appoint another one on the spot.

Mark F.

July 8th, 2011

Wow, I’m trying to figure out how voting for civil same sex marriage violates church teaching. There is a distinction between civil marriage and religious marriage. The church does not recognize the second marriages of divorced people as being valid, but I have not tried to see them outlaw divorce.


July 9th, 2011

The church does not recognize the second marriages of divorced people as being valid, but I have not tried to see them outlaw divorce.

That is because they know they don’t have that power in the US. They did get it outlawed in Ireland in the 1930s (it was allowed again in the 1990s after a bitter battle) and just lost a battle to keep the ban in Malta.


July 9th, 2011

Also remember that in 2009, the diocese in Portland, Maine cut off funding for a homeless shelter b/c it was seen to be opposed to Question 1. The shelter begged the diocese not to cut off funding and pointed out that any statements on Question 1 would have come not from the shelter, but from a separately governed political affiliate. The diocese cut them off anyway. And this is how they acted when they WON.

Ben in Oakland

July 9th, 2011

Timothy…First, I don’t think you should malign a perfectly gooD and useful orifice by coMparing these people to it.

Second, I am far more concerned about the archbishops outright lies, like telling how much good christians have been oppressed in every jurisdiction even foreign countries, that has marriage equlity.

Bearing false wtness is so Old Testament, and therefore one of those ghings that good christian can either ignore or cherry pick, depending on which he values more…

Convenience or pie.

Gregory Peterson

July 9th, 2011

Ohio Catholic Bishops Oppose “Race for the Cure!”

Gay marriage, bishops and the crisis of leadership


July 9th, 2011

Every so often it is good to recall JFK’s speech on religion when he was running for president:

“I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.”


July 9th, 2011

The Catholic Church might have image problems among the highly educated anglophones, but I can assure you that if you go to several Catholic communities in Boston or around Rhode Island, their image is just fine.

I see a barely shaken church whenever I take a trip back to Venezuela or Italy or Spain. Faith operates like team sports, and quite frankly when the players are assholes the fans couldn’t really give a damn about it so long as their team is winning.

Part of why child abuse victims in the church get such hostility from fellow Catholics for dirtying the image of their team (even if the blame lies on the priests and hierarchy).

Nah, Catholicism is doing quite fine in non-Protestant dominated environments, and being assholes to a small sector of the population is hardly going to move straight people to reconsider their faith.

Steve Kellmeyer

July 9th, 2011

Alright, what if a Grand Kleagle of the Ku Klux Klan successfully got a law passed that said white crowds may lynch blacks anytime they wanted.

Now, the Catholic Church has been opposed to that kind of thing for a long time, fought against it, actually excommunicated racist political leaders in the South during the 1960’s.

But, once the KKK got their law in place, in order to show what a white guy he was, the Grand Kleagle sent money to the local school.

The bishop refused the donation.

Would you whining idiots complain about that?

Of course not.
You’re just complaining because the bishop refuses a sodomite his victory lap.

The backdoor baboon in this scenario doesn’t give a fig about children – he only gave the money in order to make sodomites look like something other than depraved.

The only people who are going to be upset about this are (a) homosexuals (b) fallen away Catholics who want to act superior and (c) idiots who don’t understand the motivations of the first two groups.

Ben In Oakland

July 9th, 2011

Yes, becuase murdering people is exaqctly the same as two people committing their lives together.

Thank you for proving Timothy’s point.

Priya Lynn

July 9th, 2011

Lol, Ben – there’s just a little flaw in Steve’s logic.

Timothy (TRiG)

July 9th, 2011

It isn’t just the Catholics, of course. What about the man who murdered a four-year-old boy because he suspected the boy was gay?


Richard Rush

July 9th, 2011

Timothy K., you hit another home-run with this post.


July 9th, 2011

Steve you people just can’t get sex off the brain can you? I just love the reference to back door baboon, the sodomite doing a victory lap. Love thinking about anal sex don’t you? Oh and you seem to think that this person is Gay. Just how do you know that? Oh and thanks for the mind reading.

I note you don’t say anything about the disgraceful Church hierarchy mantained scandal of protecting pedophile priests.

As noted above thanks for equaling samesex marriage support with gunning for murder.

Regan DuCasse

July 10th, 2011

Thank you Gregory, for those links.
When it comes to medical intervention, or certain medical options, different religious groups are going to have to confront the difference between personal choice, and invoking the government to keep it from the entire public, regardless of individual religious choice.

And these same religious groups are using blackmail and libel of the gay community, instead of common good to get their way.
We all know there in fundamental religions, an objection and ban on contraceptive sex. The issue of homosexuality is an extension of misogyny and artificial gender roles, and objection to non procreative sex (even by oneself).

However, we know too in nature and in individual benefit as well as respect for individual freedoms or physical limits: contraception and contraceptive sex isn’t grounds for denial of ALL civil and human rights whatsoever for ANY citizen or individual.

If the CC by engaging in the war on gay people, cuts off benefits to whatever medical research, or intervention that might benefit EVERYONE, then their whole reason for being isn’t about the common good they CLAIM, but massive and invasive control over their adherents, no matter the costs to that adherent’s health or financial well being.

And if, because of this, the CC loses more and more people in their church, because their church ignores their real life and real world needs, then it’s on them.
And hopefully cooler heads will know this instead of taking the bait that gay people or feminists are to blame.


July 11th, 2011

So, they refuse to take a donation from some guy that simply cast a vote, but they are happy to have serial child rapists working in many of their churches 24/7/, gotcha. Yeah, their logic is totally flawless. >:( Complete insanity!


July 11th, 2011

Steve, fallen away Catholics often act superior because we realize that the teachings of the Catholic Church are so much crap, and we feel that many Catholics are mindless minions who can’t be obliged to think for themselves.

Joe O'Leary

July 11th, 2011

The $50 was refused because it was an insultingly trivial sum. If it had been $50,000 I am sure there would have been no problem with getting it accepted.

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