Posts Tagged “archbishop of new york”

New York StatehouseAs most of my readers are probably aware, gay marriage is tantalizingly close to being legalized in the state of New York (WebCite cached article). The Religious Right in that state, naturally, is throwing fits over this possibility. Among them is New York’s Roman Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan. He’s known for his screaming irrationality, which I’ve noted previously, for example, in a diatribe he penned on his own blog, accusing the New York Times of being “anti-Catholic” because it was insolent enough to dare run stories on the reports of abuse within the Catholic Church in Ireland. It was worldwide news for months, as first the Ryan report and then the Murphy report were released there — but the Archibishop thinks that newspapers who reported on them must — by definition — be “anti-Catholic.”

It almost goes without saying, then, that Dolan’s knickers are again in a knot, as Albany edges closer to allowing gay marriage. In his irrational, sanctimonious rage, he made a comparison that is, quite frankly, completely unreasonable (cached):

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, communiqués from the government can dictate the size of families, who lives and who dies, and what the very definition of “family” and “marriage” means.

Dolan dislikes the idea of gay marriage, therefore if the state of New York allows it, then New York will have become a vicious totalitarian regime that will kill people at will.

I have to ask: Your Excellency, are you serious? Or are you daft?

Dolan is — as usual — just being childish. The legalization of gay marriage has no relation to totalitarianism, no matter where it’s practiced. Permitting gay marriage will not — repeat not — affect anyone other than gays who wish to marry. Heterosexual people will not be forced to marry others of their own gender. It will never happen. If gay marriage is permitted in New York, it will not change the lives of heterosexual couples in any way. Period.

Note also that His Excellency’s complaint is, more or less, the fallacious debate tactic known as reductio ad Hitlerum. The only difference is that he’s naming different bogeymen than the Nazis or Adolf Hitler. Otherwise it’s the same thing.

Hat tip: Religion Dispatches.

Photo credit: J. Stephen Conn.

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