Allman, a Catholic, has written an op-ed in the Post-Dispatch today which, seemingly, tries to be controversial for its own sake. Much like the old Kevin Slaten ad--"People say I'm controversial, but I don't buy that. I believe controversy is a good thing."
In the piece, Allman takes issue with the recent donation by the Archdiocese to the effort to defend marriage in Maine. I will re-post section-by-section below, with my responses. From STLToday:
Is gay marriage a bigger priority than illegal immigration in St. Louis?
I think I have a dynamite way for gays who want to get married to avoid the cross hairs of Catholic bishops: They should find a way to become illegal immigrants.
St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson chased nuptial-hunting gays all the way to Maine earlier this month when he used an Archdiocesan fund to drop $10,000 into the coffers of those fighting to defeat gay marriage.
Too bad for the gay people. Had they been illegal immigrants, the Archdiocese might have run to Maine to rescue them and relocate them. That's what the Archdiocese did in Valley Park when the city dared threaten to enforce the law.
Wit, thy name is Jamie Allman. I would suggest some of the confusion comes when avowed Catholics in the public eye feel free to criticize Bishops who uphold Catholic teaching. Allman's target happens to be traditional marriage, while others fault the pro-life efforts of the Church.
What the public sees is just the tip of the mitre when it comes to confusing actions.
In 2002, a St. Louis priest admitted he sexually abused a kid. In the summer of 2003, Archbishop Justin Rigali let one of his buddies, Monsignor Richard Stika, increase the priest's salary. By the fall of that year, Rigali was hammering the board of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church for being "out of communion" with the church. Who is more "out of communion": the abusive priest or the Polish parish?
Rigali became a cardinal in Philadelphia, Stika became bishop of Knoxville, Tenn., and the St. Stan's board wound up being excommunicated.
When you are really out of ideas, just bring up the sex abuse issue. I love how you hear all the time--even out of the USCCB bureaucracy itself-- that homosexuality is not involved in the abuse situation. Yet the statistics bear a different story. Nearly all of the pedophilia cases (children yet to reach puberty, as opposed to that term being defined to include any minor under 18) involved the abuse of boys by men. Same sex. Is there a term to describe that situation?
Then of course Allman pulls another non sequitur and pairs this situation to the St. Stanislaus situation. The funny thing is that he presents this as a way to make the St. Stan's junta look like victims. Funny he should mention Bozek in juxtaposition to the abusive priest. What was Bozek but an abusive priest? He disregarded the authority of the Bishop. He preached a Gospel different than that of Jesus Christ. He supported heresies and publicly opposed infallible Church teaching. And I am only talking about his public statements here.
Gee, am I wrong or wasn't it Allman's job to explain Archbishop Burke's position in this matter? How good a job did he do on that, I wonder? Maybe because Jamie Allman never thought he was in the right when he did so?
Give me a break. You can be against both pedophilia and "gay marriage". In fact, you ought to be--and as a Catholic you must be. In Allman's view, if any leader of the Church ever did anything wrong at any time, the whole Church loses the ability to advocate in the moral realm.
So heaven forbid you're gay and want to get married in Maine. Now you've got ten grand and more against you, courtesy of Catholic bishops. Better you commit a crime by sneaking into the United States. Then you have legions of bishops surrounding you with protection, condemning raids on you and even harboring you from the law.
Heck, as long as you're an illegal immigrant and not eyeing a gay marriage, the bishops will even push for government health care to be thrown your way.
Oooh. Ten grand in the context of a statewide referendum, where the other side is backed by tens of millions of dollars. That is scary. P.S., gays can get married in any state in the union. They just have to actually get married, which is to say to someone of the opposite sex, like anybody else. That strikes me as equality.
This then leads to the straw man of the nefarious "illegal immigrant". Should people follow the civil laws governing the flow of immigration to the United States? Absolutely. Does the government have the right to regulate this process to ensure order, maintain sovereignty and promote the common good? Sure.
But don't tell me that a person from another country is not a person who doesn't deserve basic human dignity and due process of law. If an immigrant without status needs to go to the emergency room because he would die otherwise, is Allman saying he shouldn't get care? If he is the target of crime, should the police not protect him? If he is charged with being out of status and deportable, does he get a hearing or can anyone just judge the case on their own and ship someone out? If his spouse, or children, are U.S. citizens is it always proper to deport? No matter what? That may or may not be Allman's view, but it isn't the Catholic view. The bishops are right in wanting certain basic rights for everyone.
This is a far cry from Allman's baseless charge that the Church harbors illegal immigrants from the law. Giving a hungry person a sandwich is not harboring.
And regarding the health care takeover-- readers surely know what an awful idea I think this is, that aids in the destruction of innocent human life and violates the principle of subsidiarity. But I will say this: the bishops aren't advocating that homosexuals shouldn't be covered, so at least their position vis-a-vis the two non-related issues is consistent. Allman might phrase it that "Carlson chased nuptial-hunting gays all the way to Maine to ensure they had health insurance."
As keenly opposed as Catholic leaders like Archbishop Carlson are to gay marriage, it's too bad they aren't more determined on abortion. Sure they all lobbied to ban abortion funding in the House health care reform bill. But that came after an election season in which they mumbled incoherently about a "scale of values" in voting for a president.
With some notable exceptions, the Bishops as a group strongly advocated for life in the last election. And since he is talking about the Archbishops of Saint Louis, past and present, with regard to them both the stance of the Church was crystal clear. But don't let the facts get in the way.
What you get with your "scale of values" is confusion and hypocrisy.
See above. This is laughable.
You get St. Louis Catholics with Obama buttons pinned to their purses hollering at priests when they have the audacity to hope during a homily that people consider the abortion issue in voting.
Or you get Catholic commentators like Chris Matthews on MSNBC who will on one day declare that it's not wrong for someone to "call al-Qaida," but the next day declare that it is wrong for Catholic bishops to call lawmakers.
So Catholic clergy DID speak up for life in the election, and leftist Catholics ignored them and spread confusion?
Bishop Carlson's $10,000 wire to whack gay marriage in Maine got very little attention among St. Louis Catholics. (Be lucky your name isn't Raymond Burke, your excellency. You'd still be on the front page about this one.)
Maybe a good Director of Communications could help.
The lack of attention may be because Catholics — especially the ones who voted for a pro-choice president — may feel they have to stand up for something they deem to be a moral issue. Putting the hammer on gays is cleansing. It's absolving. It feels, well, Catholic.
I mean, really, this is asinine. How many Catholics who voted intentionally pro-choice are anti-gay "marriage"? One? Even one? More than three?
But I'm sure there are many uses for ten grand. Last Sunday, Catholics heard appeals from priests for donations to the seminary. Kids at one local parish started a Pennies For Priests collection. Ten grand would go a long way there. Or could the Marriage Enrichment Program at the Archdiocese use some cash?
Before you cue the lightning strike, please make no mistake. As a Catholic I do believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman. I'll be sure to teach my children that. Otherwise it's none of my business. And I certainly don't believe the government should be involved in dictating who gets married and who doesn't. That's why I'm a conservative and not a Republican.
I'm personally opposed, but...
But maybe I'm totally wrong. Maybe Archbishop Carlson and his guys finally have found the American sweet spot by mixing their fight against gay marriage with their wave to illegal immigrants. After all, both the Democratic and Republican parties seem to share a disdain for gay marriage and a soft spot for illegals. Maybe the bishops have finally found a bipartisan comfort zone.
Catholic bashing from an avowed Catholic. Does it get any better?