Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Torquemada@Inquisition.org

As grateful as I am for email, links to videos of Japanese cats jumping into cardboard boxes of varying sizes, and updates from friends who keep me informed about when and where they are buying black olive ficelle and four leaf almond milk tea with tapioca pearls, the greatest thing about the Internet is that it contains the sum of human reason and experience.  Plus some pushy marriage advice from confirmed bachelors.
According to his bio, "Timothy Michael Dolan was named Archbishop of New York by Pope Benedict XVI on February 23, 2009." According to the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), "Dolan conveniently brokered his promotion to New York just in time to leave Milwaukee before the archdiocese filed for bankruptcy."

The bankruptcy may have had something to do with the local Milwaukee brand of the Catholic sex abuse scandal that occurred on Dolan's watch, and which caused the diocese to pay out millions of dollars in settlements and attorneys fees. Or it may have been a legal move to keep Mr. Dolan out of court, since it was filed two days before he was scheduled to be deposed. But even the bankruptcy judge was flummoxed by just how poorly the Bishop had handled the victims of his employees.
Judge Susan Kelly told attorneys from the Milwaukee archdiocese that the church’s so-called victim “mediation” program established by archbishop Timothy Dolan in 2004 to address child sexual abuse by priests was “completely inept” and “not at all what had been described to her” by archdiocesan officials.
...
Clergy sex abuse survivors who testified before Kelly detailed how, instead of receiving healing and assistance from Dolan’s program, they were re-traumatized by it. One victim, for instance, described in painful detail how, if she was to receive any assistance through Dolan’s program, she was forced to travel to the church grade school where she had been repeatedly sexually assaulted and point out to a diocesan official each room and every hallway where she had been molested by the priest.
Anyway, the Archbishop thinks it's pervy for gays to marry, and he's a little put out about it.
The True Meaning of Marriage

The stampede is on. Our elected senators who have stood courageous in their refusal to capitulate on the state’s presumption to redefine marriage are reporting unrelenting pressure to cave-in.
Sounds like they're facing a desperate, Horatius-at-the-Bridge clash of sinew and iron.  I hope everyone oiled up properly before the battle. 
The media, mainly sympathetic to this rush to tamper with a definition as old as human reason and ordered good...
...although lately, especially if you're a victim of clerical molestation who's gotten the runaround from the manager of your local participating Catholic franchise, it seems like good is back-ordered.

Anyway, if the Archbishop's definition of marriage does indeed date to the dawn of reason, then this presents a serious problem, because that means homo habilis got married, and I didn't bring a gift.  It also screws with continuity a bit, since the Judeo part of our common Judeo-Christian heritage practiced polygamy, so we're going to have to have a DC Comics-style universe-wiping Crisis and retcon events so that Jews only existed on Earth-2, except for Jesus who crossed over to our dimension when the Flash accidentally used the Cosmic Treadmill to open a portal between our worlds.
...reports annoyance on the part of some senators that those in defense of traditional marriage just don’t see the light, as we persist in opposing this enlightened, progressive, cause.
After all, defenders of traditional marriage aren't threatening LGBT New Yorkers with some form of modern atimia -- they're still perfectly free to keep their second-class citizenship.  Which, when you think about it, is actually better than the deal these same traditionalists have offered the President of the United States, because his citizenship is a hybrid status so weird the Fourteenth Amendment doesn't even apply to him.  And if we take the Chinese view that crisis is opportunity, we could use this same approach to create a whole new caste system that would turn America into a giant, awesomely efficient desk organizer:

Second-class citizenship for gay men.  Second-class (with fetus clusters) for married women.  Third-class citizenship for black men (which will carry all the same rights and emoluments of second-class status, with the sole proviso that tertiary citizens can furnish, upon demand, two forms of photo I.D.).  Third-class citizenship for legal Hispanic immigrants; second-class (with oak leafblower clusters) for immigrants who keep the landscaping in good shape and don't bitch about their employers "forgetting" to pay their Social Security.

Or maybe we could take a tip from cigarette marketing, and just have brands of citizen, some more premium than others.  You could have have Newtizens -- citizens who've passed a Newt Gingrich-designed poll test and now have the right to vote.  Citizettes -- girls who may be sufficiently smart and well-informed to cast a ballot, but not emotionally mature enough to make decisions that won't haunt them for the rest of their lives -- who would enjoy all the perquisites of male Newtizenship, except Roe v. Wade doesn't apply.

We've already proven, by taking America back to the Gilded Age, that society-wide time travel is feasible; so I say set the WABAC Machine, and don't stop until we start mowing down serfs!
But, really, shouldn’t we be more upset – and worried – about this perilous presumption of the state to re-invent the very definition of an undeniable truth – one man, one woman, united in lifelong love and fidelity, hoping for children – that has served as the very cornerstone of civilization and culture from the start?
Well, the Romans were monogamous but polytheistic, so I guess if we really want to look to the past for guidance on the future, then the cornerstone of civilization is one man, one woman, and two dozen gods.
Last time I consulted an atlas, it is clear we are living in New York, in the United States of America – not in China or North Korea. In those countries, government presumes daily to “redefine” rights, relationships, values, and natural law. There, communiqu├ęs from the government can dictate the size of families, who lives and who dies, and what the very definition of “family” and “marriage” means. 
Yeah, last time I checked Google Maps, we weren't living in Vatican City, either.
But, please, not here! Our country’s founding principles speak of rights given by God, not invented by government, and certain noble values – life, home, family, marriage, children, faith – that are protected, not re-defined, by a state presuming omnipotence. 
I just did a quick search of the Constitution, and the words "family," "marriage," and "children" don't occur anywhere in the text.  "Life" does, in the section of Amendment 14 which prohibits states from denying "to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws," and "faith" does too, in Article IV, which requires that "Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State."  Unless it's something icky, like gay marriage.
Please, not here! We cherish true freedom, not as the license to do whatever we want, but the liberty to do what we ought; we acknowledge that not every desire, urge, want, or chic cause is automatically a “right.” And, what about other rights, like that of a child to be raised in a family with a mom and a dad?
I had that right?  Why didn't somebody tell me?  Whom do I sue?
Our beliefs should not be viewed as discrimination against homosexual people.
"Because it makes us look like oddly-dressed hypocrites who are trying to put the screws to local pols like any other greasy ward-heeler."
The Church affirms the basic human rights of gay men and women, and the state has rightly changed many laws to offer these men and women hospital visitation rights, bereavement leave, death benefits, insurance benefits, and the like. This is not about denying rights.
It's about a tax-exempt religious organization lobbying the legislature like it's Exxon-Mobil.
 It is about upholding a truth about the human condition.
And that truth is: Some people are jerks, and while you can stick a mitre on a jerk, that doesn't automatically make him no longer a jerk, it simply makes him a jerk who looks like he's just bitten into a piece of toast slathered with Imperial margarine.
Marriage is not simply a mechanism for delivering benefits: It is the union of a man and a woman in a loving, permanent, life-giving union to pro-create children. Please don’t vote to change that. If you do, you are claiming the power to change what is not into what is, simply because you say so. This is false, it is wrong, and it defies logic and common sense. 
Imagine if legislators had arrogated that right for themselves in 1868.  "This is a slave, and you're claiming the power to change what it is into not what it is -- a free man -- just because you say so?  This is false, it is wrong, and it defies logic and common sense!  Thus endeth the lesson, and I hope you all feel a little closer to Christ.  And don't forget to hit the tip jar in the narthax on your way out."
Yes, I admit, I come at this as a believer, who, along with other citizens of a diversity of creeds believe that God, not Albany, has settled the definition of marriage a long time ago.
...with various little tweaks, regarding the establishment, addition, or elimination of features and services such as polygyny, polyandry, consent, divorce, annulment...well, you should probably check our Terms and Conditions, since we update them frequently.
We believers worry not only about what this new intrusion will do to our common good, but also that we will be coerced to violate our deepest beliefs to accommodate the newest state decree. (If you think this paranoia, just ask believers in Canada and England what’s going on there to justify our apprehensions.)
And if you think it's unfair to criticize religious leaders for promoting anti-gay legislation, just ask gay people what's going on in Uganda.  By the way, padre, as NY State Senator Diane Savino says (via Roy):

"And I know there are many people in the religious community who feel that we're going to force this on them, when that in fact is not true.  We have never done that.  I'm a Roman Catholic.  The Catholic Church has the right to deny me the sacrament of marriage if they determine the person I choose to marry is unfit, or our relationship doesn't meet their standards.  City Hall does not have that right."
But I also come at this as an American citizen, who reads our formative principles as limiting government, not unleashing it to tamper with life’s most basic values.
I like how the padre slipped a little Tea Party rhetoric into his sermon at the end there, to help connect with the Upstate rubes.  It's not like the Crusades, or the days of the Papal States anymore; if you're a radical cleric seeking to exercise supreme executive authority, you've got to give 'em the carrot and the crosier.  This racket has been a lot tougher ever since that Gutenberg bastard blew the gaff.

22 comments:

Aimless in Florida said...

"Marriage is not simply a mechanism for delivering benefits: It is the union of a man and a woman in a loving, permanent, life-giving union to pro-create children."

Seems to me that when you consider the stats on divorce rising regularly over the years, a mechanism for delivering benefits is about the only thing you can count on in a marriage.

ckc (not kc) said...

...one man, one woman, united in lifelong love and fidelity, hoping for children...

Well, that's one approach - not nearly as much fun as how we got ours, though.

Mechanophile said...

(If you think this paranoia, just ask believers in Canada and England what’s going on there to justify our apprehensions.)

Speaking as a resident of the first who knows a fair number of Catholics, I still have no idea what he's talking about. Did Parliament pass a new Disenfranchising Act or something while I wasn't paying attention?

KWillow said...

The Catholic vision of marriage is a woman bound forever to a man, having a baby every year until she reaches menopause or dies. You can see how gays marrying would really mess up that Ideal Vision.

M. Bouffant said...

Another four-eyed, balding, pudgy baby-faced Catholic prelate. There's a surprise. Do they have a mold they stamp them out of?

Scott said...

Passing on this emailed comment from Anntichrist S. Coulter:

What the fuck is his deal with RE-DEFINING and MUTILATING the word "procreate" into "PRO-CREATE"?!?!? What is that, the status that one achieves after giving up their AMATEUR breeding status and decides to get those Pampers & Similac endorsements as they compete for "BEST CATHLICK OVER-POPULATER"?!?!?! Or would that be "populatOr"? At any rate, it's obvious that the never-got-none-off-a-WOMAN Boy here is co-opting that word for the purposes of blue-haired old bitches in Ocala, FL, who picket the gynecologist's office next to the Firestone shop with the same tired Papist bullshit and rosary-swinging. Expect to see "PRO CREATOR" on the next wave of cathlick signs out front of Planned Parenthoods the country round, as their operatives slip around the back to sniper-assassinate the doctors.

A big fuckin' ATTABOY!!!! for you, for never failing to mention the gay-murdering frothing-at-the-mouth rabid frenzy that so-called "xians" gone to Uganda, have created out of their superstition, fear, bigotry & small peckers amongst the natives, whom George Carlin would describe as the "missionaries" having NAILED LIFTS ONTO THEIR FEET.

James Briggs Stratton "Doghouse" Riley said...

Our country’s founding principles speak of rights given by God, not invented by government

Uh, no. Our unalienable rights--chief among them equality--are natural rights, bestowed by our Creator, who makes no other appearance in any founding document. The whole fucking point is the institution of a government to protect those rights. Maybe the Archbishop should stick to misinterpreting texts he's more familiar with.

Lauren Hairston said...

Living in Kansas, it's easy to forget that there are people in this country who aren't crazed right-wingers. This post was the perfect antidote for what I stumbled across last night (while looking for reviews of Weck canning jars!): http://paratusfamilia.blogspot.com/2010/06/feminizing-of-america.html. Scary!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the AnntiRant (TM). Much needed in these ridiculous times.
Suezboo

KWillow said...

I have missed Anti, wondering if she's OK. One thing I really like about her comments is the heavy use of ALL CAPS!!! Why should wingnuts have all the fun?

Anonymous said...

Scary, but I'm actually in total agreement with the "father" -- marriage always has been and should continue to be a religious sacrament, and the state should stay the F out of personal relationships, period. Let each church define what marriage means TO THEM and bestow it on who they will -- while the gov't provides rights and benefits to us AS INDIVIDUALS instead of giving preferential treatment to those who happen to find someone (and only one someone) to shack up with.

Somehow I don't think father would like that idea any better though.

Brian Schlosser said...

"The Church affirms the basic human rights of gay men and women"

Yes indeed, The Gays are given, free of charge, Basic Human Rights®! However, people who want to upgrade to the full Deluxe Human Rights® system, with the exclusive Bonus Marriage Rights Package™ will need to be members of the NoHomo Club®.

Anonymous said...

This guy would've been a laff riot back in 1954, hen he doubt would've been bitching about how those pesky nig-rahs were forcing us "to daily "redefine right, relationships, etc, etc...."

Also: Judging by the way Archbishop Dolan's compatriots have acted, they may hate 'em some gay marriage, but they LOVES 'em some gay sex out of wedlock...

Anonymous said...

I fantasize marrying several inanimate objects, a polytech architecture that keeps me in awe.

Is a non-sexual marriage to an animal perverse? A friend asked.

Can one marry a copyright or patent?

Can one marry real property?

Can one have a marriage license between oneself and one's business, partner or superior?

If one marries a snowball is it because one is afraid of commitment?

Woodrowfan said...

I never took classes in calculus or trigonometry. I never took Physics in school. I have read a few articles about math and physics in Discover magazine but that's it. So I am as qualified to discuss advanced mathematical theory as this clown is to discuss marriage and sex.

Tell you what Sparky. You finish cleaning up all the child abusers and rapists in your church and then, MAYBE, we'll listen to you moralize about how awful it is that two single adults in love want to get married...

commie atheist said...

So, how much did Newt have to pay the holy Fathers in order to have his first two marriages annulled and marry Calista in the bosom of Holy Mother Church? Maybe that's all it will take - pay the Church a large enough sum of money, and they will allow non-breeders to bend the rules a little, and Father Dolan and his fellow boy-fuckers will sit quietly in the corner.

Li'l Innocent said...

I don't know where either Father (or Fadda, as G. Carlin would've had it) Dolan or the person above who reluctantly agrees with one or two of his points are getting this basic assumption about marriage being, and always having been, a religious matter. What period of human history or pre-history are we talking about? How much info does anyone have about the nuptial practices, philosophies, and preferences of, say, the ancient peoples who colonized Australia? or China? or who crossed the Bering Straits into the Americas?

Whatever else they were doing or thinking about marriage or anything else, they weren't getting it out of the Old Testament.

Rebuscado said...

Here in Argentina we have gay marriage (thanks to the "Matrimonio Igualitario" law passed last year) and no, no apocalypse is upon us. On the contrary, now some babies have legally the last name of both of his mommies, and even we had the first "gay divorce", opening new job opportunities for lawyers.

not a gator said...

F*** Dolan right up in his stopped-up bunghole!

I'm embarrassed to be Irish!!!!

not a gator said...

At any rate, it's obvious that the never-got-none-off-a-WOMAN Boy here is co-opting that word for the purposes of blue-haired old bitches in Ocala, FL, who picket the gynecologist's office next to the Firestone shop with the same tired Papist bullshit and rosary-swinging.

No freaking way, Annie! I live in Gainesville. About once a month the blue hairs come out to picket some women's clinic or other. They piss me off so much but at least it's only ever one or two. Still! Much hate! And the Christian dominionists put one of their "crisis pregnancy intervention" clinics literally next door to Planned Parenthood and masquerade as a women's health clinic. Those fucking shits.

Brian said...

First of all, this: "second-class (with oak leafblower clusters)" is industrial-strength awesome. Bravo.

Now, the pedantic schmuck will speak: The SCOTUS has held that the Full Faith and Credit clause does not apply in all cases, when "morals" are at issue. I don't want a country where one state can deny recognition of a marriage in another, but that is the status quo of the law.

Scott said...

Your pedantry was entirely schmuckless, Brian. (That didn't come out quite the way I meant it, but thanks for the clarification; always appreciated.)