Sunday, March 18, 2012
My Open Letter to Cardinal Timothy Dolan and the Catholic Church
I was going to write this in the comment section of Cardinal Dolan's most recent vitriolic blog post on contraception. I figured it had the better chance of seeing the light of day right here...
Dear Cardinal Dolan,
Until recently, I never knew you existed. I wish I still didn't.
My acquaintance with you all began when I first got to know you. It wasn't very long ago. You appeared on my television, a wide, Christian smile, that cute Santa-like face. You seemed so benevolent. So at peace. Then you opened your ignorant, hate-filled mouth. And it all went downhill. How could someone smile so wide and say such terrible things? Be such a bully to people who never picked a fight with him? I assumed you wouldn't go very far and that I should just ignore you grandstanding behind your bully pulpit.
Until, a month ago, the church elevated you to the position of Cardinal. Which scared me even more: it meant your holy higher-ups actually agreed with everything you were saying.
Thanks to the absurd anger and almost infantile reaction of you and your robed brothers to both women's use of their own bodies, and the existence and love of homosexuals, I have lost ALL faith in the Catholic Church. I was once a weekly church-going, donation-basket-tipping, strongly devout Catholic. Now I refuse to set foot in a church. And why? How was I driven away so quickly? Easy, really.
I was raised on a diet of Turn the Other Cheek and Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself.
Not Thou Shalt Expect Control Over Women's Vaginas and Uteri. Not Thou Shalt Love All Neighbors Unless They Are Gay. Not Thou Shalt Expect Everyone To Say "Merry Christmas" In December, Lest They Be The Devil Incarnate.
Once upon a time, the Catholic church meant something good in my mind. You brought peace and hope, you took care of the poor and the destitute. Now, in the past year, you have transformed right in front of my face.
The Catholic Church has turned into a cross between a mean, vicious bully, and a whining infant. You throw your heft around to get your way, and then stomp and cry and snivel when you don't get exactly what you want.
A few months ago, you fought that you had a right to NOT pay for your female students' and employee's contraception. And so the Obama White House went ahead and said "Okay, Catholic Church, that's fine. The insurance companies will pay."
Then what happened? Was that enough for you? No. You stomped and moaned and continue to cry that suddenly it's NOT about the money. It's about something else.
And that something else makes me sicker than anything else you do: The Freedom of Religion. This has become a catch-all excuse for you to demand ridiculous things and expect even worse. Let me tell it to you plainly: FREEDOM does not mean the right to take away someone else's FREEDOM.
Religious Freedom, you say, should spare you from granting gays the right to marry. Too bad that's actually TAKING AWAY the freedom of gays to marry.
Religious Freedom, you say, should spare you from having to give your employees, regardless of their religion, contraceptive support. Too bad that takes away THEIR freedom to receive contraception and protection that should be given to all humans.
Religious Freedom disgusts me. It's hypocritical, evil, rude, unkind, and, dare I say it, anti-Christian.
I am sick and tired of seeing you get on television and spew hate, demand control, and assert your dominance over people - those who are members of your flock, and those who are not. When did the Catholic church turn into the devil? When did it think that the best use of its power was to take away the power of other people?
It's disgusting and shameful. It's hypocritical and infantile. I used to see Catholicism as a source of peace. Now, for me, it's an endless source of fury.
STOP hating. STOP discriminating. And STOP playing the victim in order to make other people YOUR victims.
You said in your post: "We’d prefer to concentrate on the noble tasks of healing the sick, teaching our youth, and helping the poor, all now in jeopardy due to this bureaucratic intrusion into the internal life of the church."
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. You can still do all those things. Especially since the insurance companies are paying to keep your employees' vaginas healthy. But you're too busy whining and crying and stomping as you fight the natural progress of humanity to drag us kicking and screaming back to the past when you had the world in your hands.
You have all the money you ever did (especially since our taxes help to pay for those huge churches you have everywhere, you being tax-exempt and all).
So put it to good use. Go on the air to preach love of your fellow neighbor - regardless of who he or she is or loves or what she does in privacy. Jesus protected Mary Magdalene, one of the most famous prostitutes in history. You can't even abide by two men who want to get married and spend the rest of their lives together.
What went wrong? What turned you so sour?
I haven't the slightest idea. I just hope that, someday, you'll find your way back to light. Because, right now, you have a lot more in common with the Satan you condemn, than the God you revere.
- Justin Luke