Setting the Record Straight on the Church in D.C.
The leftist blogosphere has gone bananas over the role that the Church has played in keeping abortion funding out of health care legislation, as well as defeating the gay marriage initiative in Maine. The utter chaos into which House Democrats were thrown upon the success of the Stupak amendment has trickled down into the “progressive” blogosphere as a torrent of hatred and vitriol, epitomized by this entry at the Huffington Post by Allison Kilkenny.
The topic is the Church’s war with the District of Colombia in the event that gay marriage is legalized there, but of course the author takes an opportunity to unleash a stream of hate-ridden filth upon the entire Church, insulting Pope Benedict, the Virgin Mary, and the “unenlightened masses”, that is, the American public. Though the D.C. bill exempts religious organizations from having to perform gay wedding ceremonies, it would force them to abide by discrimination laws and provide benefits to homosexual employees who are married.
Ms. Kilkenny based her vicious attack on an article that appeared in the New York Post, titled “Catholic Church gives D.C. Ultimatum.” The article states that
The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said Wednesday that it will be unable to continue the social service programs it runs for the District if the city doesn’t change a proposed same-sex marriage law, a threat that could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness and health care.
At first glance this doesn’t look so good, does it? But it turns out that the Post’s spin on the article wasn’t accurate. In a follow-up piece that same day, the Post interviewed an associate professor of law at Georgetown University, Patrick J. Deenen, on the controversy. The following exchange took place:
Washington, D.C.: How can the Church claim that they have “no choice” but to abandon their assistance to the homeless and needy of the city? Even if you accept their opposition to gay marriage, being forced to extend employee benefits to same-sex partners seems like a much lesser evil than ending social services to the poor and needy.
Would it be possible for the Church to continue to provide services without contracts with the city?
Patrick J. Deneen: My best understanding is that the Church will continue to provide social and charitable services (in this sense, the Post’s article today was not strictly correct – the Church is not threatening to withdraw services as such); it is only in cases where there is a contracted or licensed service that the District would adjudge the Church to be ineligible to provide those services on a contractual basis. If DC does not grant the exemptions that would be in keeping with the Catholic’s tenets, the assumption is that the Church would no longer be eligible to be licensed or contracted to provide those services.
So there are two Big Lies in Ms. Kilkenny’s attack on the Church: 1) The Church has not – and never would – threatened to stop feeding the hungry or offering charity in general simply because of a falling out with the local secular government, and 2) it would be the city of Washington D.C. canceling its relationship with the Church and not vice-versa, it would be the Church declared ineligible by the city. In spite of that the Church would continue charitable efforts on it’s own. The Post, I believe, owes the Church an apology.
We will never see an apology from Ms. Kilkenny, a retraction, or anything similar from the Huffington Post. Most likely, they aren’t even aware of the follow-up interview, and I don’t think they would care if they were. So fired up are the leftist bloggers over the major political triumphs of the Catholic Church in recent days that they will say and do anything to bring it down.
On this note, it is also worth pointing out that Kilkenny’s piece is a contradictory mess: a hallucinatory fantasy in which the Church is actually losing power and influence, yet still able to enthrall the “unenlightened masses” (her words) with its religious propaganda. The deep-seated contempt with which the Kilkennys of this country hold for the great majority of Americans is at the same time their most humorous and debilitating flaw. While she thunders about how America has a new attitude towards gays that the Church has chosen to ignore at its own peril, gay marriage amendments have gone down in defeat dozens of times across the country, red state and blue state alike, from California to Maine and everywhere in between.
Kilkenny has no idea what the American people think, want, desire, or hope for – only a rigid and obscene dogma that she and her colleagues embrace with as much fervor as any 17th century Puritan iconoclast or 21st century Ayatollah. They persecute and harass all those who dare to disagree with it with just as much fervor as well, while portarying themselves as the tireless victims of oppression. They know no scruples in their dealings with facts and opinions, seeing in lies nothing but another weapon in their own holy crusade to force the rest of America to think as they think, feel as they feel, and worship as they worship their false gods and political idols.