Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk

Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk

Campaigning against same-sex marriage

The, ah, irrepressible GOP candidate for governor of New York, Carl
Paladino, managed to stick his foot in it by assuming the anti-gay
posture in a speech to Orthodox Jewish leaders in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(part of the GOP base in the Empire State). As the NYT reports:


“I just think my children and your children would be much better off and
much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don’t
want them brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally
valid and successful option — it isn’t,” he said, reading from a
prepared address, according to a video of the event.

And then, to applause at Congregation Shaarei Chaim, he said: “I didn’t
march in the gay parade this year — the gay pride parade this year. My
opponent did, and that’s not the example we should be showing our
children.” reported
that Mr. Paladino’s prepared text had included the sentence: “There is
nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual.” But Mr.
Paladino omitted the sentence in his speech.


The Paladian spokesman, Michael Caputo, explained that the Buffalo real estate mogul was “simply
expressing the views that he holds in his heart as a Catholic.”
Right…in prepared remarks contrasting himself to the Catholic
Democratic candidate delivered in a campaign appearance with the
election less than a month away. Thanks for sharing your faith, Carl.

And thanks too, to the Archbishop of Minneapolis, John C. Nienstedt, for sending out
400,000 DVDs to Minnesota Catholics denouncing same-sex marriage as the
greatest threat to marriage in their state and urging support for a
constitutional amendment to ban it a few weeks before a gubernatorial
election in which one of the three candidates opposes it. Not politics, he said, but just a “teaching tool.” Fr. Michael Tegeder of St. Edward’s Church was not convinced, and wrote to the Minneapolis Star Tribune
to say so. (“Most scandalous is that Archbishop Nienstedt has
compromised his office with the use of anonymous money to fund this
effort.”) Good luck to him, as the archdiocese announces its reorganization of parish life next weekend.


Meanwhile out here in Mormon country (I’m in Logan to give a couple of
lectures at Utah State), there’s a good deal of talk about the recent
speech of Elder Boyd K. Packer declaring the LDS Church’s position on
gender roles to be “revelation”–which contention was then suppressed in the official transcript. Coming on the heels of Elder Marlin Jensen’s apology
for the Church’s handling of its anti-Proposition 8 campaign, there’s
evidently some considerable roiling of the waters going on here too.


In his new book The Religious Test,
Damon Linker thoughtfully offers some rules of the road for sorting out
our differences over religion in public life. But in a public square
that these days resembles a carnival midway more than a New Republic
editorial meeting, it’s the hooting and hollering, I’m afraid, that
politicians and spiritual leaders from getting completely out of

Comments read comments(6)
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posted October 11, 2010 at 11:41 am

I taught my kids that they could be gay if they wanted, but that it did not grant them the right to avoid their responsibilities – for instance, if they make a baby with someone, I expect them to honor and respect the mother or father of that child, whether that person happens to meet their needs sexually or not, and I taught them that if they wanted to be parents, I expected them to make decisions based on what was best for the kids first and foremost – not just use the kids without regard to the real needs and feelings of the child.
So, yes, there is something in between either “being gay is not allowed” vs. “I am gay so therefore I have the right to pick and choose which social roles, obligations, expectations, and duties, I feel like honoring”.

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posted October 11, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Anyone running for an important office, in this case a job to govern the state of New York should be knowledgeable about important matters involving the people he is trying to govern. He has the ablility to read and make money but what else? He hasn’t bothered to read and understand homosexuality or anything pertaining to it obviously or he wouldn’t have said what he did at the Orthodox Jewish Synogogue. Oh, I know he was trying to buy their vote, and I’m sure he has it now. He is a staunch Catholic and he has bought the Orthodox Catholic votes, and some tea party votes. Thank God most New Yorkers aren’t in this catagory. He said he has a nephew that is gay and he knows he is having a hard time, hello? Does he also know that the three men, two gay that were attacked and tourtured in N.Y.C. also had a hard time? Does he know that his words cause hate crimes? Nine young men within two months, gay, have committed suicide, does he know that they were having a hard time being riduculed, demeaned, put down in every bully-way that the anti-gay can think of?

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posted October 11, 2010 at 7:33 pm

“Elder” Boyd K. Packer is a dirty old man who deserves to be told to go to Hell and to be given explicit directions.

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posted October 11, 2010 at 10:31 pm

You seem to be confused about what it means to actually be gay. (Hint: it isn’t about making babies.)
And, re: “I am gay so therefore I have the right to pick and choose which social roles, obligations, expectations, and duties, I feel like honoring”, never once in my 59 years on earth have I ever met a gay person who adopted such a, er, ‘philosophy’. That is simpy not how most people, let alone gay people, think about their lives and participation in society.
Having/making/raising babies is not an “obligation” or an “expectation” (except by pushy would-be grandparents), nor a “duty” of any citizen – gay OR str8.

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posted October 12, 2010 at 12:42 am

If you want to be able to pull of the alleged heterosexual schtick convincingly, you have to learn a few facts. First, homosexuals rarely have heterosexual sex. Hence, they aren’t likely to be involved in driving up the abortion rate.
I’ll try not to overwhelm you and hope the first point sinks in before I move to the next one.

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posted October 12, 2010 at 8:47 am

Is it too late for me to move to NY and register so that I can vote for Paladino? We need more politicians who will take a stand on this serious moral issue, and I salute Paladino for doing so. Most candidates of both parties are too cowardly to come out and be forthright on this issue.

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