Tuesday, September 21, 2010

OutFront MN’s Advice to Catholics Receiving the Bishops’ Anti-Marriage Equality DVD . . .

Here’s a follow-up to my recent post, The Minnesota Bishops’ Last Ditch Effort . . .

It’s being reported that the Minnesota Conference of (Roman) Catholic Bishops has produced a DVD urging Catholics to “defend traditional marriage” - ostensibly against the very real possibility that same-sex civil marriage will become legal in Minnesota with the election of a pro-marriage equality governor come November. Hundreds of thousands of copies of this DVD, labeled a “teaching tool” by Archbishop John Nienstedt of the St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese, are being mailed out to Catholics throughout the state. The cost of this campaign, according to OutFront Minnesota, the state’s largest gay rights organization, is over a million dollars.

Following is OutFront Minnesota’s media release about the bishops’ misguided campaign.


OutFront Minnesota to Catholic Archdiocese:
Do Your Anti-Marriage DVDs Feed Hungry People?

In an election year when the minds of Minnesotans are focused on critical issues such as jobs, feeding the hungry, providing homes for people out of work or facing foreclosure, and an unprecedented budget deficit, the Catholic Archdiocese of Minneapolis and Saint Paul has decided to pour its time and energy into opposing legal equality for same-sex couples.

Poll after poll continue to show that Americans are steadily increasing their support for marriage equality,” says OutFront Minnesota Executive Director Monica Meyer. “In Minnesota, two of the three leading gubernatorial candidates support marriage equality and together consistently enjoy stronger support than the one candidate who does not. Americans, and Minnesotans, get the point: allowing same-sex couples to marry legally strengthens families and communities. For the Catholic Archdiocese to divert funds badly needed to help people in crisis in order to respond to something that is patently not a crisis shows a mind-boggling detachment from the realities facing Minnesotans.”

The Archdiocese has announced plans to mail 800,000 DVDs to Catholics across Minnesota. Assuming a cost of just two dollars to produce and mail each DVD, the Diocese has determined that $1.6 million dollars is better spent denying same-sex couples legal protections than on responding to the critical issues facing the state. “How many meals could $1.6 million have provided?” Meyer asks.

“It is no accident that the Archdiocese’s clarion call for discrimination comes in the closing weeks of the 2010 campaign season,” says Meyer. “Using the lives of GLBT people, immigrants, and poor people to provoke fear and advance a political agenda is a time-honored tradition among those whose vision for Minnesota is based on exclusion, marginalization, and demagoguery. It is shameful for a religious institution to stoop to such tactics when there are so many real, pressing issues facing people daily.”


In an e-mail alert sent out today, OutFront Minnesota offers the following advice to Catholics receiving the bishops’ DVD.

If you are one of the 800,000 Minnesota Catholics [that the bishops are] targeting with this message of exclusion, intolerance and discrimination you can send him a powerful message about his misguided priorities by writing “RETURN TO SENDER” on the DVD and leaving it in your mailbox.

Good advice if ever I heard it.

Recommended Off-site Links:
A Defense of Same-Sex Marriage – Daniel Maguire (Catholics for Marriage Equality, February 3, 2010).
Do Religions Reject Gay Marriage? – Daniel Maguire (Consortimnews.com, August 18, 2010).
Young Catholics Will Change the Church on Gay Rights – Michael A. Jones (GayRights.org, September 15, 2010).

See also the related Wild Reed posts:
The Minnesota Bishops’ Last Ditch Effort
A Message for NOM
Archbishop Nienstedt Calls (Again) for a Marriage Amendment to the MN Constitution
Archbishop Nienstedt’s Unconvincing Argument
Archbishop Nienstedt Has It Wrong
Distinguishing Between Roman Catholic Theology and Civil Law in the Struggle for Marriage Equality
Dale Carpenter on the “Win-Win” Reality of Gay Marriage
At UST, a Rousing and Very Catholic Show of Support for Same-Sex Marriage
Minnesotans Rally for Equality and Love at the State Capitol
A Catholic Voice for Marriage Equality at the State Capitol


Mareczku said...

Wow, Archbishop Neinstedt really has a hate on for gay people. Sending out DVD's. It seems that this guy really wants to stir up hatred against gay people. With so many people in need why does he think it is so important to pick on gay people? Does he stop to think of how the gay people in the pews (many of whom are closeted out of fear of prejudice, discrimination and hatred) will feel about this. SHAME ON HIM!!!

Mareczku said...

This is upsetting to me. Perhaps after the people send these back they should send a letter to Archbishop Neinstedt telling him to send them to Fred Phelps instead. Fred would surely be glad to get them. I realize that Archbishop Neinstedt views gay people as defective and inferior but I wonder if he realizes that he is the Archbishop of all there not just people that think like him.

sara said...

I have not seen one of these yet, but ifyou want to do the Return to Sender option, make sure that it was either mailed first class, or has an endorsement like Return Service Requested or Address Service Requested. If it was sent bulk mail with no endorsement, the post office will just trash it. On the other hand, if it has the endorsement, the original sender pays extra to get the piece back. (Sometimes its just a copy of the piece.)

Anonymous said...

I am awaiting my DVD. I will return it to the sender but promise it will not be a condition that it can be resent to some other poor soul.

As I life long Catholic involved in Social Justice, I say this does not reflect Social Justice values!

thanks for the opportunity to comment.

Peace and Sunshine...

Deb Bittner said...

A group of Catholics are planning a peaceful demonstration objecting to the archbishop's anti-gay message. We are gathering in front of the archbishop's residence (across the street from the Cathedral)on Sunday, October 10 from 10:45-12.