Rhode Island Roman Catholic Bishop , Thomas J. Tobin emerged from his manse to opine that he is in a lather over “homosexual marriage.” These days, each member of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops is trying to outdo their peers in a) gay hate and; b) the zeal to impose their religious views on civil law. Bishop Tom has five problems with marriage equality:

  1. It’s a “redefinition” of hundreds of years of tradition
  2. Gays are immoral
  3. It’s experimental
  4. It’s a threat to religious liberty
  5. The debate is a distraction

The two items that I find most offensive are four and five.  Josh Israel at ThinkProgress has written an excellent piece on the imbecility of the threat to religious liberty. I have nothing to add. That brings me to item 5; “The distraction.”

The Catholic Church had no problem orchestrating a referendum down the block in Maine to repeal marriage equality legislation in 2009. 

So that wasn’t a distraction? The diocese re-tasked their top secular employee to lead the campaign; they brought in NOM; they spent a considerable amount of money for a diocese with financial problems and they blew that dog whistle, once again, that gay people are a threat to children. Right now, those same Catholic bishops are leading the charge against marriage equality in Washington State and Maryland through ballot initiatives. And don’t get me started with Prop 8 and Bishop Cordileone.

So let’s see if I fully understand the hypocrisy:

  • It’s a distraction if the debate might lead to marriage equality.
  • It’s not a distraction if the debate is intended to lead to curtailing gay rights.

Nice job, Bishop Tom. Your integrity is duly noted.

Oh, and his concluding note:

Please be assured, dear readers, that if the debate over same-sex marriage finds its way to the State House once again, the Diocese of Providence, joined by its allies in our community, will be fully engaged in the battle. We will work hard and pray hard for the defeat of this immoral, misguided proposal that erodes the foundation of our society and offends the moral values we cherish.

Back! Back to the confines of your imperial residence. You have done enough “man of the people” shtick for one day. This guy has a helluva nerve making claims about what is offensive and misguided. These bishops over-estimate their own importance.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.