Earlier this month when Minnesota Archbishop John Nienstedt sent out a letter urging every Catholic church in the state to create ad-hoc committees which would work to pass a constitutional amendment against marriage equality, he caused a deserved uproar regarding the idea that a tax-exempt entity would take such an aggressive role in a political issue.
However, there is another issue in this situation which needs more attention:
According to Nienstedt’s letter, the church captains will be organized by the Minnesota Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the Catholic church, which will in turn report to the Minnesota for Marriage coalition for statewide efforts. Minnesota for Marriage is made up of the Minnesota Family Council, MCC and the National Organization for Marriage.
We all know the exploits of the National Organization for Marriage – how the group moves from state to state scaring up the populace against marriage equality via lies and scare tactics such as claiming that gays are “corrupting” children while fighting state laws demanding that it reveal its donors.
However, let’s focus more on the Minnesota Family Council. People should be reminded that group has a sordid history of homophobia. According to People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch:
Tom Prichard, the MFC’s president, maintained that LGBT youth commit suicide because they live an “unhealthy lifestyle” and that anti-bullying programs are ways to have children “indoctrinated in homosexuality.” Prichard also criticized Gay Straight Alliances, saying “it’s sad and harmful for kids to celebrate homosexuality when in fact it’s not a healthy lifestyle;” he went on to claim that Matthew Shepard’s murder wasn’t a hate crime and that his “death served an important ideological purpose for homosexual activists.”
Earlier this year, MFC was called out for having materials on its website which accused gays of pedophilia, bestiality, and the consuming of bodily wastes. Prichard later actually defended the inaccurate data. However after much outcry, the materials were removed from the webpage without any comment.
The Minnesota Family Council is scum. It is a group devoted to demonizing and stigmatizing the gay community through junk science and ugly propaganda.
Yet it is the same group which Archbishop Nienstedt seems no problem in teaming up with in order to stop marriage equality in Minnesota.
There is a great deal more at stake than talk of tax-exempt status. The question has to be is Nienstedt ready to barter the integrity of his Catholic diocese in order to stop marriage equality?
Could it be that Nienstedt is so concerned with the verses of the Bible which supposedly speak against homosexuality that he is abandoning the ones which speak against lying and bearing false witness?