Archbishop campaigns against the poor

/ 22 September 2010

Driving home from Luther today I was stuck in traffic in the rain. Sitting in the long line of cars, listening to NPR’s All Things Considered (local edition) I was treated to a long interview with our local Archbishop John Nienstedt. Why was he on the news? Because he’s just sent out more than 400,000 dvds to Minnesota Catholics urging us to fight any attempts to legalize gay marriage.

I was speechless. Our church is spending precious dollars on sending out DVDs to fight gay marriage? Given all of the challenges our archdiocese is facing, all of the very pressing needs, THIS is what he's spending money on? Eric is right:

Think about that. Whether you support or oppose gay marriage, I suggest that as a catholic Minnesotan this is offensive. There is only one race where gay marriage is even an issue this year: the race for governor. Mark Dayton and Jack Horner support gay marriage, Tom Emmer opposes it. But this is a fringe issue, the real issue in Minnesota as in most states is our budget. How will we trim? How will we raise revenue? The answers to these questions are life and death issues for some, especially the poor. Our candidates differ drastically on these issues too, and the candidate opposed to gay marriage is also opposed to extending many services to the poor.

Our Archbishop is telling us to make a decision based on a single fringe issue when it could cost us the opportunity to care for the most fragile and vulnerable in our society. Is this really what the gospel calls you to do?</blockquote>

So here's the thing: my brilliant spouse has a great plan for a thoughtful response. All of us should simply take our DVDs and give them back to our churches in the collection plate, instead of a financial contribution. If that's what they want to spend money on, then let's give it right back to them in the tangible form in which they gave it to us.

UPDATE: Two more responses on the subject, both at the Wild Reed. One, Two.