Perhaps this past week you have seen or heard about three strange stories related to preserving Iron Age dogmatism, which is the root of much mischief, if not evil.
First, we have Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, who is upset that Catholic employers might be required to follow the law and provide to their employees access to birth control. He metaphorically gave Jesus a divine dope-slap by uttering this rather ungodly threat:
If these mandates click in, we’re going to find ourselves faced with a terribly difficult decision as to whether or not we can continue to operate…As part of our religion, it’s part of our faith that we feed the hungry, that we educate the kids, that we take care of the sick…We’d have to give it up because we’re unable to fit the description and the definition of a church by, guess who? The federal government.
Ah, that evil federal government, from which the Cardinal and his Catholic Charities and its affiliates received nearly $3 billion dollars from taxpayers in 2010. But how weird is it that Dolan would hold “the hungry, ” the kids,” and “the sick” hostage in order to retain unsullied the Church’s rather creepy dogmatism on contraception?
Second, and speaking of creepy dogmatism, there is the story of yet another nutty North Carolina pastor, Charles Worley, who a few weeks ago in a well-received sermon (lots of amens and other affirmations) offered a Bible-supported Final Solution to nature’s tendency to produce non-heterosexual folks:
Build a great, big, large fence—150 or 100 mile long. Put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out, feed ’em, and you know what, in a few years, they’ll die out. Do you know why? They can’t reproduce!
At least Pastor Worley offered to “feed ’em,” which is more than Cardinal Dolan offered to do for the hungry his Church is supposed to be serving.
Finally, since creepy dogmatism always comes in threes, there is the following story, courtesy of our Missouri legislature:
Disturbing a worship service could become a crime in Missouri under legislation headed to Gov. Jay Nixon.
The House gave final approval Friday to a bill making it a misdemeanor to intentionally disturb or interrupt a “house of worship” with profanity, rude or indecent behavior or noise that breaks the solemnity of the service. The Senate passed the bill in March…
Violators could face fines of up to $500 and six months in jail. Repeat offenders would face increasingly harsher penalties of up to five years in state prison.
Now, I don’t know whether this law would cover profane preaching, like Pastor Worley is guilty of, or rude or indecent preaching, like Cardinal Dolan is guilty of, but if it does, I’m all for it.