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Archbishop Nienstedt urges support of gay marriage ban, says it's not anti-gay

Archbishop John Nienstedt pens a column today urging support for the state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, which Minnesotans will vote on in November 2012.

In his column in the Catholic Spirit newspaper, the head of the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese says that the media have it wrong: they "have chosen to mischaracterize this measure as anti-gay, mean-spirited and prejudicial. This is not the case or the intent behind the initiative."

He said:

The Minnesota Catholic Conference, made up of the seven Catholic bishops from the state, support this amendment not for prejudicial or political reasons, but rather for reasons that are theological, biological and pastoral.

Nienstedt also quotes from an article written by Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York:

We are not anti-anybody; we are pro-marriage. The definition of marriage is a given: It is a lifelong union of love and fidelity leading, please God, to children, between one man and one woman.

 History, natural law, the Bible (if you’re so inclined), the religions of the world, human experience and just plain gumption tell us this is so. The definition of marriage is hardwired into our human reason.

 To uphold that traditional definition, to strengthen it and to defend it is not a posture of bigotry or bullying. Nor is it a denial of the “right” of anybody. As the philosophers remind us, in a civilized, moral society, we have the right to do what we ought, not to do whatever we want. Not every desire is a right.

 To tamper with that definition, or to engage in some Orwellian social engineering about the nature and purpose of marriage, is perilous to all of us. If the definition of marriage is continually being altered, could it not in the future be morphed again to include multiple spouses or even family members?

 Nor is it “imposing” some narrow outmoded religious conviction. One might well ask just who is doing the “imposing” here: those who simply defend what the human drama has accepted from the start, a belief embedded in nature and at the core of every civilization — the definition of marriage — or those who all of a sudden want to scrap it because “progressive, enlightened, tolerant culture” calls for it.

And more from Dolan:

If big, intrusive government can re-define the most basic, accepted, revealed truth that marriage simply means one man + one woman + (hopefully) children, in a loving family, then, I’m afraid, Orwell’s works will no longer be on the fiction shelf. As someone commented to me the other day, “Wouldn’t it be better for our government to work on fixing schools than on redefining marriage?”

And resistance to this rush to radically redefining the ingrained meaning of marriage cannot be reduced to an act of prejudice against people with a same-sex attraction.

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Comments (11)

So, the Archbishop's argument is: "This isn't anti-gay, it's pro-marriage, and if you disagree, your position is a social-engineering, Orwellian affront to humanity"? That sounds pretty closed minded, not to mention hardly being 'not anti-anybody'.

Additionally, if government has no role in 'redefining marriage', what role does it have in defining marriage? It is already illegal in MN, so where is the justification for the amendment under the "gov't should focus on schools over marriage" argument?

The argument strikes me as vague, abstractly worded, bigotry.

It is a sad day when the Church comes down on the WRONG side of civil rights. What were we to expect, though, from an Archdiocese that would squander time, money and postage on sending out a ridiculous DVD to all its parishioners, urging upon them the ridiculous notion that "gay marriage destroys families and encourages single-parenthood," among other ridiculous notions. One of my favorite priests, Father Valit, urged us NOT to support Michele Bachmann's marriage law, reminding us that "prejudice is a serious sin."

I wonder what kind of rhetoric the segregationists (of course, being against the "social engineering" of the civil rights movement) used before George Orwell was around to be employed as metaphor.

Fairly simple question, to my mind: do you want the church making your laws? Nienstedt says yes. Thomas Jefferson says no. I'm going with Jefferson.

I like his use of the phrase "people with same-sex attraction." He clearly believes it to be a disease or a disorder. I'm going to start referring to myself as a person with "opposite-sex attraction." Sounds reasonable, doesn't it?

What a pity that there is so much suffering and social injustice in the world - and yes, in our State and communities - and gay marriage is the thing the Archbishop deems important.

"To tamper with that definition, or to engage in some Orwellian social engineering about the nature and purpose of marriage, is perilous to all of us."

HOW? Who does it hurt? Can someone tell me? Certainly not so far.

"If the definition of marriage is continually being altered, could it not in the future be morphed again to include multiple spouses or even family members?"

Jeez, what crap. I though that stuff went out with "Man on Dog" Santorum.

"If big, intrusive government can re-define the most basic, accepted, revealed truth that marriage simply means one man + one woman + (hopefully) children, in a loving family, then, I’m afraid, Orwell’s works will no longer be on the fiction shelf."

Inquiring minds want to know: d'ya spose the rev intended to be ironic here?

"As someone commented to me the other day, 'Wouldn’t it be better for our government to work on fixing schools than on redefining marriage?'”

Now you're talking. Let's see some of this bigoted energy directed in a positive direction. If you really want to defend traditional marriage, lets see your amendment to ban divorce. Next, let's see your heavy duty campaign to purge the church of pedophile priests AND the bishops who enable them. Yes, I said purge. That means "throw the bums out." All of them.

I also urge you to get counseling or something to try and rid yourself of your abhorrence of homosexuality. The fact is, some of the things your hetero parishioners do behind closed doors would probably horrify you, too. So what? It's none of your business.

BTW, the issue here is that you're backing a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage, not opposing one that would redefine marriage. This amendment is not needed, since the courts and state law have already prohibited gay marriage. So, why are you expending so much time and energy on something that is not only wrongheaded, but not needed?

As a practicing Roman Catholic with a gay nephew, I find the Archbishop's views and statements regarding same-sex marriage and civil unions both sadly prejudiced and misguided.

If the Catholic Church does not want to recognize gay marriages fine, so be it. Just like they won't marry individuals who have been divorced.

However, that doesn't mean the State of MN should not recognize them too.

The Archbishop is missing the mark on marriage...

His support of the marriage amendment is wrong, misses the whole idea of marriage and comes from a very myopic point of view.

Read More...
http://www.archspm.us/node/66

Slavery, Segregation and Same Sex Mariage

Theological, biological, pastoral, and biblical justifications for slavery were widely proclaimed in the nineteenth century, in some cases, by the Catholic Church. Natural law and history were also favored justifications. That sad story was repeated in the twentieth century in opposition to desegregation and the civil rights movement, again, in some cases by the Catholic Church--my church.

So it's not wrong and it's not prejudice now? Well, it was then.