Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Persecuted "Enemies of the State"? Or Just Sore Losers?

Some very thoughtful comments have been shared on the website of the Archdiocese of New York in response to Ed Mechmann's op-ed, "We Are Now Enemies of the State." The "we," in Mechmann's view, are the "defenders" of so-called traditional marriage, and the person who has supposedly labelled these folks "enemies of the state" is none other than New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (pictured at right).

Here's what the pro-marriage equality, Catholic Cuomo actually said, when, at a recent gay rights event, he was asked if he found any of the anti-marriage equality arguments persuasive:

There is no answer from the opposition. There really isn’t. Ultimately, it’s, ‘I want to discriminate.’ And that’s anti-New York. It’s anti-American.

Of course, not everyone agrees with Mechmann's take on Cuomo's remarks, as the following comments attest.


Christian Francis Cooper writes: Governor Cuomo’s remarks are being misinterpreted, I fear, deliberately by some. The governor did not say holding “traditional” views on marriage is anti-American; he said that trying to force those views on others is anti-American . . . and he’s correct. (Note that the new [marriage equality] law neither forces anyone to enter into a same-sex marriage, nor denies anyone the right to marry someone of the opposite sex. Opponents of same-sex marriage, by comparison, want to deny others they disagree with the right to marry.) So those with “traditional” views are still free to live their lives as they see fit. The only difference now is [that] those who believe in same-sex marriage are free to do the same.

Gregory writes: When you stop using scare quotes around terms such as “gay marriage” and “gay rights,” I may start taking your hysterical arguments a bit more seriously. Your denigration of the lives and truths of your fellow citizens is indeed anti-American. Pity you can’t see that. The fact that you would suggest that the governor is simply a “thug” . . . proves that you are indeed “pernicious” and certainly as irresponsible in your language as you accuse the governor of being.

Continuum writes: I am not understanding the victimhood of religious organizations when it comes to same sex marriage. Aren’t all religions protected from marrying two people of the opposite sex? Just like two Jewish people can’t walk into a Catholic church and expect to get married? If that is the case, then it does become anti-American because people and organizations want to force their religious views on a secular government or other religious institutions who wish to marry people of the same sex. So, which religious views are the “right” one to guide our country? I feel like the constant push by the Catholic [hierarchy] to end same sex marriage when they are protected is only going to make some members of the church seek out another faith. I have seen it happen already in my own family.

Jonesy writes: Religious freedom applies to all Americans, not just those with conservative religious beliefs. What about people who’s religious beliefs are open and welcoming of gay marriage? In my experience NOBODY who supports LGBT equality, not the governor or anyone else, considers it objectionable in any way for you to hold “a different belief or opinion.” This is a critical distinction, please try to understand: it is NOT your religious beliefs that are discriminatory, it is attempts to require OTHERS, by force of law, to abide by YOUR religious beliefs.

Stephen writes: Now you can know a little of how it feels to be gay and have the whole weight of the Catholic church vilifying and slandering you.The difference is that this so-called persecution by the governor is entirely imaginary. The very real persecution of gay people by the Catholic church, however, is a blight that affects our lives every day.

Robert Donohue writes: The Catholic church has sought to deny LGBT citizens the protections of fair housing and employment laws. The church also wants to deny us the rights and protections of civil, non-religious marriage. A certain pope has said, in effect, that anti-LGBT violence is just human nature taking its course. And yet the church feels it’s the aggrieved party?

John writes: At its core, this issue is a civil issue. It is not a religious issue. Churches are protected from having to perform sacramental rites that defy the tenets of their beliefs — but that same protection is not extended to the government. Equality under the law is the rule of the land. I am an active practicing Catholic, and agree with [Ed Mechmann] on many issues, but on this point, there is no equivocation. The battle for “marriage equality” is over and the Church has lost.

Recommended Off-site Links:
Bishops Condemn NY Marriage Law, Other Catholics Celebrate – Joshua J. McElwee and Zoe Ryan (National Catholic Reporter, July 5, 2011).
Catholic Hierarchs Lose Marriage Battle to Catholic Laity – Jamie L Manson (National Catholic Reporter, June 28, 2011).
Did The Roman Catholic Church Abandon Marriage Fight In New York? – Bridgette P. LaVictoire (LezGetReal.com, October 15, 2011).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Responding to Whiny Catholic Bishops Who Cry Victim
In New York, a "Breakthrough Victory" for Marriage Equality
Quote of the Day – July 24, 2011
Responding to Bishop Tobin's Remarks on Gay Marriage
Quote of the Day – October 24, 2011
The Bishops' Reaction to Marriage Equality: "Wrong-Headed and Counterproductive

1 comment:

colkoch said...

The point Mecham tries to make about gay marriage not being a religious issue, but a natural law issue, is pretty pathetic since the Church ignores so much science which contradicts their PHILOSOPHY of natural law.

I actually found myself feeling sad for Mecham and perfectly understand why he refrained from responding to any of the very articulate responses in opposition to his thesis. There is none.