Churches that play politics should pay taxes
By: Cahir O'Doherty | Published Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 2:37 PM | Updated Friday, September 9, 2011, 10:23 PM
I have written in recent weeks about the anti-gay marriage amendment that Minnesota's state GOP placed on their 2012 ballot.
Critics have seen it as a particularly blatant attempt to write Minnesota off President Obama's 2012 win column by offering a tempting carrot to draw out the evangelical vote - at the expense of an apparently disposable minority.
Remember that same-sex marriage is already prohibited in Minnesota by statute. So the truth is there's just no way to talk about this unnecessary amendment other than to call it what it is: a political ploy wrapped inside an anti-gay attack.
But the state's most prominent conservatives get very upset when you call it that.
Minnesota Archbishop John Nienstedt wrote a column this week defending the Catholic Church's decision to lobby for the amendment insisting that it's not 'anti-gay, mean-spirited and prejudicial.'
Really, Archbishop? You want to deny gay people the right to protect their relationships and their families under the law and you want the public to believe that's not anti-gay?
No one's buying it. If you try to limit someone's behavior without actually protecting them or anybody else from anything, it's an attack.
To justify his position Nienstedt echoed the sentiments of New York's Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who claims if same-sex marriage is legalized, it could lead to polygamy and incest.
It could, I suppose, but it hasn't. Same sex marriage has been legal in Canada for years, and no one has applied for a liscense to marry their mother - or multiple partners.
Untruths told in the name of religion are still untruths. If you plan to influence public policy shouldn't you at least make a special effort to be honest?
No one anywhere is advocating for polygamy or marrying their relatives, so Nienstedt must either be willfully misleading us or delusional.
Is anyone else becoming increasingly uncomfortable about the Catholic Church's deep involvement in this state issue in Minnesota, New York and elsewhere?
It's become clear church officials are using their influence to encourage citizens to vote a certain way, whilst retaining their tax exemptions. As it becomes obvious to all how deeply they're involved isn't it time we taxed them like any other PAC?