There comes a time in many a man’s life when he’s got to put on a dress and tell other people what to do. If they’re, say, belting out “It’s Raining Men” on stage, we call them drag queens. But if they’re authoring flyers to hand out during Mass that say gay families are evil, we call them the Catholic bishops of New Jersey.
Two weeks ago, New Jersey’s Catholics were given a flyer titled, “The Call to Marriage is Woven Deeply into the Human Spirit: A Message on Marriage from the Catholic Bishops of New Jersey.”
The flyer warns that society is turning into a denizen of secular heathenism, especially Jersey, which is already pretty friendly to gay families.
“As Catholics, we must not stand by in silence in the face of the many challenges that threaten marriage and, in turn, children and the public good. We must not shirk from our responsibility,” the flyer reads.
Taking responsibility? The Catholic Church is all about that. Because if there’s one thing the Catholic Church knows how to do, it’s protect children. In the Church’s twisted logic, children are in danger when it comes to the gay and lesbian parents who love and care for them.
“We must protect and promote marriage,” the flyer continues. “We must not abandon the teaching of the Catholic Church on marriage and the complementarity of the sexes.”
Obviously, when you want the authority on “the complementarity of the sexes,” you ask a bunch of celibate dudes. Just like when you’re looking for the best steakhouse in town, you call your vegan friend.
“In these troubled times, we … offer here some basic truths to assist people in understanding Catholic teaching about marriage and to enable them to promote and support marriage and families,” they write.
But why all the fuss about marriage at this particular moment? Well, New Jersey already allows for civil unions and second-parent adoption for gay and lesbian couples. And marriage probably isn’t far off.
The Catholic Church isn’t happy about this. And they claim they’re the real victims of discrimination in the fight for marriage equality.
“Catholics,” the flyer reads, “have the right and responsibility to oppose laws and policies that unjustly target people as bigots or that subject them to charges of unlawful discrimination simply because they believe and teach that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.”
And gays and lesbians have a right and responsibility to oppose laws that view them as lesser on the chain of humanity. Even if that pisses off the Catholic Church.
D’Anne Witkowski is a freelance writer and poet. She teaches writing at the University of Michigan.