Friday, June 17, 2011

"Ominous Threat" from Gay Marriage Says NY Archbishop Dolan

New York's Archbishop Dolan recently claimed in an interview that gay marriage, as is being considered in the New York State Senate, represented an "ominous threat" to society.
Granted, Dolan is not as woefully undereducated and uninformed as some recent gay marriage opponents such as NFL receiver David Tyree and comedian Tracy Morgan. Yet, even with his education, he can't manage to make a case that would convince the average middle school student that gay marriage is any kind of serious threat at all.

Consider that gay marriage is already legal in a handful of US states, and a smattering of European countries. Religious people, including Dolan, all bemoaned such developments, and insisted that the sky would fall if this were permitted. Then it was permitted and basically nothing happened. There were supposed to be all these terrible consequences of gay marriage, according to naysayers, and yet, here is the only dubious harm that Dolan could come up with in his interview. He claims that an anonymous couple in England who wanted to adopt a child was turned down because the interviewer didn't like the fact that they were opposed to gay marriage.

Even if this suspicious, urban-legend sounding claim were true, which I seriously doubt, since religious people constantly make up this kind of "evidence" out of thin air, discrimination can happen for any reason. A person could decide that he doesn't like the color of your shirt or the way that your nose looks, and therefore discriminate against you. However, discrimination on the basis of religion still remains illegal, and gay marriage laws would not change that. If these people really existed and could prove discrimination then the law would back them up. In fact, in the US, it might serve as a basis for attempting to overturn gay rights legislation, if similar discrimination could be proven. The problem is that it turns out that these stories usually just turn out to be hot air.
The rest of Dolan's "arguments" basically amount to Vatican sour grapes over the fact that they no longer rule the world and appoint Holy Roman Emperors. He whines darkly about the "the presumptive omnipotence of the state", as though this is a new development. It's been that way since this nation was founded.

Most hilariously and ridiculously of all, he continues the Vatican's boilerplate fulminations against "secularism". With no sense of irony or hypocrisy he laments about a "new religion of secularism that feels it’s going to come to a theocracy and impose its values on society". This man has a lot of nerve to talk about a theocracy, when he is a member of one. He is the one calls himself by a lofty, regal title and wears vestments normally reserved for a medieval monarch. That is just too much for an Archbishop who's word is law in his tiny little bishopric to accuse others of plotting to impose theocracy. I guess he doesn't appreciate the competition from others attempting to horn in on his monopoly.

I wish just one time that religious fanatics had the intellect to understand this point. If you are right that secularism is a religion then it is protected by the very same religious prerogatives that you claim for yourself. See the reality is that religious people can never make up their minds on such things. One minute they declare that non-religion is a religion, like an empty glass being a beverage, and then when we ask them why we don't get a tax break like churches, they decide that secularism shouldn't be considered a religion.

It's also funny that they feel that marriage is the purview of religion, and yet the state has been doing it for centuries without their blessing. Make up your minds whether marriage is religious or not. If it is then religion does have official state sanction, as it stands, and receives special treatment which it is not supposed to get. If it is not religious then they should not feel threatened by legislation about any form of marriage, whether straight or gay.

Of course, most people look at marriage as both. You have a civil agreement, and then you can also have other, optional parts that only church members are interested in doing. It would be like the difference between infants being circumcised at the hospital, versus at a bar mitzvah. Nobody thinks that what the hospital does is a religious ceremony. Nobody demands that Synagogues circumcise non-members and non-Jews just for the heck of it.

I think that the reason that the majority of people now support gay marriage is because they are just tired out by all the nonsense objections coming out of the other side. They just want the incessant, incoherent babbling of religious know-nothings to come to an end, at least on this topic. It's not like they won't have plenty of additional nonsense to obsess and babble about. We just hope that they can go back to their churches and do it there.

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