Tag archives: New York

Cardinal Dolan and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

by Hon. Bob Marshall

September 8, 2014

New York’s Cardinal Dolan, appointed as Grand Marshal of the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade, praised the decision to allow an openly gay group to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. “I have no trouble with the decision at all … I think the decision is a wise one,” he said.

His action has left many Catholics, including elected officials like myself, puzzled and disheartened especially when we measure Cardinal Dolan’s new policy with that of his predecessor, Cardinal O’Connor.

In 1993, when LGBT groups and government officials demanded that openly homosexual groups be included in the Parade, Cardinal O’Connor vowed in a St. Patrick’s Day sermon that he “could never even be perceived as compromising Catholic teaching. Neither respectability nor political correctness is worth one comma in the Apostles Creed.”

Would Cardinal Dolan, as Parade Marshal, applaud the inclusion of Irish abortion clinic owners or Planned Parenthood employees in a Parade honoring a Catholic Saint? On what logical grounds does he applaud openly LGBT group marchers and reject openly pro-abortion Irish Catholics, including some “Catholic” nuns?

Perhaps organizations which advocate to legalize prostitution and pornography should also be permitted to march? What about promoters of euthanasia for the elderly and disabled or those who champion physician assisted suicide? Where does Cardinal Dolan draw the line?

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade, sponsored by the Irish Catholic Ancient Order of Hibernians under the auspices of and with the blessing of the Catholic Archdiocese of New York, is not a purely secular event, despite the fact that secular politicians participate. It honors a Catholic saint who converted pagans in Ireland away from immoral behavior.

Promoters of homosexual behavior take part in many “gay pride” marches and parades, but these are not events sponsored by the Catholic Church or a Catholic organization. Therein lays the problem.

Same sex “marriage” advocates say they feel marginalized by the Church, yet the Church has been very clear that it is a hospital for sinners, and no one is sinless. Jesus saves us from being “marginalized” by our sin, so long as we seek Him and seek to do His will.

Everyone who rejects God’s word, or who ignores or violates the Ten Commandments (and we all are guilty of that at times) feel “marginalized” but we don’t re-write the commandments to make us feel less marginalized.

News reports indicate that NBC which televises the Parade, New York’s Mayor, Guinness Brewery and others were pressuring the Parade sponsors to include openly LGBT groups. Choosing money over truth is never a good choice.

This situation is not about judging individual souls. God loves all his children, and fortunately He is the only one who judges men’s hearts, but we live in a world of actions that have individual, social and legal consequences. Equality of persons is not the same as equality of behavior. What message does this decision give? Federal judges and policy makers are also influenced by the words and actions of moral leaders.

We do our brothers and sisters no service by pretending that God’s teaching or the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” are not as important today or giving the impression that millenia-old truths can change. No one can change Natural Law or the Word of God, written in the blood of Our Savior for our wellbeing and redemption.

God invites us to lead lives of love and peace and joy by following Him. Just as parents seek what is best for the children they love, try to protect them from harm, set limits and standards of good behavior, and hopefully set a good example for them, so too does the Church do the same for Her universal family.

Jesus told His disciples, “Go, teach all nations.” The English words “disciple” and “discipline” come from the same Latin word, “docere” which means “to teach.” Sadly, this action breeds confusion and scandal.

As society continues to disregard what America’s Founders wrote about the laws of Nature and Nature’s God, the moral fabric of our nation is disintegrating to the point of becoming thread bare, unable to hold together even the most basic values upon which our nation was founded. For a Church authority to embrace political correctness at such a time will have consequences which extend far beyond the parade route.

Delegate Bob Marshall
Virginia House of Delegates
Co-Author, Virginia Marriage Amendment approved in 2006 by voters

An Eternal Perspective on Cultural Disarray

by Rob Schwarzwalder

February 8, 2012

Proposition Eight, the California ballot initiative that declared marriage exists solely between one man and one woman, has been struck down by a federal court. President Obama is planning to compel religious institutions to pay for abortifacients and other contraceptives as part of their health insurance programs. New York City is about to prohibit churches from meeting in public schools.

Is the sky falling? Are the nation’s moral foundations so eroded that they are on the verge of collapse?

For two reasons, I will answer no. In the past year, in states across the country, there have been wonderful wins for the cause of life and family. Ultra-sound bills and abortion clinic regulations have been enacted and polls show that Americans are more troubled than ever by abortion-on-demand. There have even been some Supreme Court judicial rulings (e.g., Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC and Spencer v. World Vision) favorable to religious liberty.

These things should inspire us to keep working for faith, family, and freedom in the public square. Although the assaults on the Judeo-Christian moral tradition, the very nature of the family, and the religious and economic liberty we cherish are manifold, not to fight them would be to surrender our biblical obligation to work for justice and stand for the oppressed (Proverbs 31:8-9). For the sake of the Just One Himself, this we must never do.

Second, Jesus Christ is Lord of time and eternity. He is Lord when we rejoice and when we weep. He is the sovereign before Whom every knee shall bow (Philippians 2:9-11). Who sustains all things by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:2). And according to the Psalmist, God is unthreatened by the machinations of political man: (Though) the kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed … He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them (2:2-4).

In other words, God is accomplishing His will in ways our limited human understanding might find puzzling but which are fully commensurate with His character and plan for humanity.

The Most High rules in the realm of mankind, we read in Daniels prophecy (4:2). He has called us to stand for righteousness and human dignity in every sphere of life. Whatever external wins or losses we might experience in the moment, these truths should sustain us in our efforts at all times.

No Religious Exemptions Can Redeem Homosexual Marriage

by Peter Sprigg

June 24, 2011

Efforts to legalize homosexual marriage in New York remain stalled, at this writing, with the supporters of redefining marriage needing one more Republican vote in the states Senate.

Reports indicate that efforts are underway to draft expanded religious exemptions that could protect the liberty of religious organizations that disapprove of homosexual conduct or of homosexual marriage.

It is true that pro-family groups (including FRC) have argued that legalizing homosexual marriage would create a threat to religious liberty. The most often cited example is how Catholic Charities was forced out of the adoption business in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia after those jurisdictions legalized homosexual marriage, because the group was unwilling to compromise its principles by placing adoptive children with homosexual couples.

But even if religious non-profits like Catholic Charities were to be protected, what about Christians in business, like the wedding photographer in New Mexico who was sued for declining to photograph a homosexual commitment ceremony?

The only kind of religious exemption broad enough to completely protect rights of conscienceone saying, basically, Any person, organization, or business that does not approve of same-sex marriage will not be required to recognize homosexual relationships as marriageswould be completely unacceptable to the advocates of homosexual marriage. Forcing the rest of society to affirm and celebrate homosexual relationships is precisely the goal of their movement.

However, even such an absolute religious and conscientious exemption to a homosexual marriage bill would not make the redefinition of marriage acceptable, or even tolerable, for one simple reasonthe principal objection to homosexual marriage has nothing to do with religion. This is something that people on both sides of this debate need to be constantly reminded of.

We are not just fighting for the right of religions to define marriage for themselves, apart from the definition of civil marriage. This is because, at its heart, marriage is neither a civil institution nor a religious institution.

Instead, marriage is a natural institutionrooted in the order of nature itself.

The reason marriage is defined as the union of one man and one woman is because it takes precisely one man and one woman to create a new human life. Marriage is treated as a public institution because it is in the public interest (not just in the private interest of particular couples) for the human race to reproduce and continue into future generations.

It is also in the public interest for society to work at bonding each child to the mother and father whose sexual union produced them. This was evident even to the ancients, but modern social science has confirmedbeyond a shadow of a doubtthat children raised by their own married mother and father are happier, healthier, and more prosperous than children raised in any other living situation.

I wrote a pamphlet earlier this year listing The Top Ten Harms of Same-Sex Marriage. The threat to religious liberty was only one out of the ten. Even if that harm could be thoroughly forestalleda grade of 10% is still a failing grade.

The core message of the opposition to homosexual marriage is not just, Dont make us perform same-sex weddings in our church. Instead, it is: Society needs children, and children need a mom and a dad.

Thats true whether you are a Christian, a Buddhist, or an atheist.

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