Today, the New York Daily News carried a story (“NY’s top Catholic officials seek to halt Senate vote on legalizing gay marriage”) about Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s latest effort against New York’s pending same-sex marriage legislation. The story cites a blog post by the archbishop himself, published today, which I decided to check out for myself. You can, too, here. It’s called “The True Meaning of Marriage.” I think it’s fair to assign this post from Archbishop Dolan the oh-so-technical rhetorical term of ‘doozie.’ The Daily Newscited part of the same excerpt, but I want to give the longer quote — sometimes, more is more when it comes to amazing rhetoric:
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.
But, please, not here! Our country’s founding principles speak of rights given by God, not invented by government, and certain noble values – life, home, family, marriage, children, faith – that are protected, not re-defined, by a state presuming omnipotence.
Please, not here! We cherish true freedom, not as the license to do whatever we want, but the liberty to do what we ought; we acknowledge that not every desire, urge, want, or chic cause is automatically a “right.” And, what about other rights, like that of a child to be raised in a family with a mom and a dad?
Whoa — those are some pretty impressive rhetorical gymnastics.
Ok, it’s not really new — the whole government-as-evil-agent-of-godless-control image is pretty common. I’m more comfortable hearing it from Rush Limbaugh and Michele Bachmann than from the Archbishop of New York, however. But tell me, how exactly does a gay or lesbian couple being able to legally marry in the state of New York equate to forced abortions under the one-child policy in China, or the famine and political imprisonment of North Korea?
Last time I studied logic, expanding the rights of people to marry is not oppression — and that seems to be a “true meaning” that the archbishop has overlooked.