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Bil Browning

Catholic Archbishop: 'These People' Don't Deserve Jobs

Filed By Bil Browning | November 28, 2011 7:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: adoption rights, Catholic bishops, employment protections, gay marriage, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, Timothy Dolan

Archbishop Dolan's remarks about being "deceived" by politicians that marriage equality wouldn't pass have garnered some attention in the LGBT blogosphere. What Dolan said after that segment timothy-dolan.jpgis what should be highlighted though if we want to win full equality nationwide. (emphasis mine)

"Not only are we...upset with the bill, we're upset with the way it was done," [Archbishop Timothy Dolan] said. "This was hardly democracy in action."

"If you were so convinced that this was the will of the people, why didn't we have a referendum, and why did you literally have to lock the doors and not face any public, because you knew it really wasn't going to go over, right?"

Dolan's latter statement appeared to be a reference to the fact that the public had reportedly been barred from committee meetings on the bill.

Dolan also said that the bishops were deceived on the question of the protection of religious freedom in the final bill.

"We said the next thing will be we'll be sued if we don't do marriage, we're going to be harassed if we don't do receptions, we're going to be penalized if we don't allow adoption, we're going to be booed if we don't hire these people," Dolan told Arroyo.

Take a moment and digest what the good Bishop is actually saying in that last paragraph.

My thoughts and the video of Dolan's appearance after the break.

Really quickly, let's look at Bishop Dolan's obvious lie in the second paragraph that the article tries to explain away. New York legislators didn't "lock the doors and not face any public." The vote was live-streamed, televised, and we posted several videos from inside of the Statehouse. It's just blatantly untrue.

Now, let's examine the heart of the matter one more time. This is where the bishop's unChristian attitudes come to the surface proudly. They might as well be waving a flag. A red flag.

"We said the next thing will be we'll be sued if we don't do marriage, we're going to be harassed if we don't do receptions, we're going to be penalized if we don't allow adoption, we're going to be booed if we don't hire these people," Dolan told Arroyo.

Dolan is claiming that New York's marriage equality legislation doesn't include any religious exemptions and the church can be sued for refusing to officiate same-sex weddings. The New York Times, however, points us to the exact wording in the legislation that says the exact opposite of what the holy bishop is claiming. The article's title? Glad you asked. It's called "Religious Exemptions Were Key to New York Gay Marriage Vote."

The amendment that was passed stated that barring access to same-sex ceremonies, or failing to provide services for them, would not "result in any state or local government action to penalize, withhold benefits, or discriminate against such religious corporation, benevolent order, a not-for-profit corporation operated, supervised or controlled by a religious corporation."

For the second time in the short statement, Dolan blatantly lies.

The religious exemption would also give them the immunity to refuse to hold receptions on church property, but notice Dolan uses a different framing for this tidbit. He says the church will be "harassed." In other words, he knows that the church has the right to refuse to host a same-sex marriage reception; now he just doesn't want to be bothered by the people who would be upset at being discriminated against. They have no legal recourse, but the sound of their anger and dismay is apparently too much for the disciple of Christ to bear.

Next the holy man addresses the issue of gay adoption. While the Catholic church has repeatedly threatened to close adoption agencies if they had to abide by non-discrimination laws, no state has threatened to "penalize" them. The charities have all voluntarily closed their doors after refusing to provide homeless and parentless children loving homes if the parents are gay or lesbian.

Jesus instructed his followers to care for orphans and widows and he neglected to put any limitations on the commandment. He didn't say (as he could have) "everyone except prostitutes" or "everyone except Pharisees" or "everyone except..." He instructed his followers to love each other - the most important aspect of parenting. Perhaps Bishop Dolan needs a refresher course on Christ's teachings.

Last of all we get to Dolan's big fear - being "booed." He wants to be liked, dammit! God is about love, not catcalls! Right?! He doesn't seem to want to be brushed the tarry goodness of being called a bigot.

Unfortunately for him, that's exactly how he painted himself. Notice the language choice - "these people." Can you feel the distance between him and the "others" who are not like him? Isn't that the definition of bigotry - disliking others because they don't conform to your point of view or share common characteristics? There's not a rational basis for it; it's just you and then there's "them."

Dolan spends a good bit of time in the beginning of the segment talking economic justice and the need for good jobs in America. These are human rights. Yet minutes later, Dolan argues that "these people" shouldn't be able to get a job and he doesn't want booed for saying so.

If you're looking for what the Catholic church truly feels about LGBT people, Archbishop Timothy Dolan leads the way. He doesn't think you should be able to have access to the church (deny marriage), your friends or family (deny receptions), doesn't think you're fit to be a parent (deny adoptions), and doesn't think you even deserve to have a job (deny employment opportunities).

I'd say that the bishop would prefer that LGBT people be kept as slaves by the Godly, but slaves had the Christian church shoved down their throats constantly. Think about that for a second. You're not even worthy of pay for your work. After all, the bishop doesn't advocating turn away the gay volunteers who donate hundreds of hours to the church weekly.

With these sort of leanings, can you expect Dolan's heartfelt leadership on racism issues? Combined with Catholic teachings about the role of women and stance on both abortion and birth control, do you expect this man of God to stand firm for women's rights? After the many sex abuse scandals, can you trust him with your children?

And when one man has perverted the teachings of the God he claims to follow so broadly and thoroughly, can you trust him to teach you the deeper inner meanings of life his tradition teaches? Or will it be warped by his own bigotries and beliefs?

If he cracked open the book he bases his religion on, he'd notice that Christ actually warned God's bureaucracy about their tendency to follow the letter of the law so closely that it obliterates the larger message of "love thy neighbor." He has become, by definition, a Pharisee instead. From Matthew 23:

13 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. [14]
...
25 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

27 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
...
37 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 38 Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"


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