Yes, that’s a serious question. And I wish someone would put it to Pelosi, in person and in public. As readers know, last week, following the historical completion of President Obama’s evolution on marriage, the House Minority Leader uttered the sort of Preposterous Pelosi Platitudes that have caused many good Catholics to tear out their hair and wonder, “What does this woman have to do to be publicly admonished by bishops? Endorse Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget?”
A reporter asked Pelosi: “Many of the people that are opposed to gay marriage cite their religion as the reason why they’re opposed. You’re a Catholic that supports gay marriage. Do you believe that religion and the idea that you can support gay marriage can be separated? And how do you grapple with the idea that you support gay marriage as a Catholic?”
Pelosi responded: “My religion has, compels me–and I love it for it–to be against discrimination of any kind in our country, and I consider this a form of discrimination. I think it’s unconstitutional on top of that. ”
Pelosi spoke glowingly of the comments President Barack Obama made Wednesday when he said he supported same-sex marriage.
“So I think that yesterday was a great day for America because the president in a very personal, as well as presidential way, made history, and hopefully this will bring people together on the issue,” Pelosi said.
Since “discrimination of any kind” is, according to Pelosi, so horrible and contrary to all that is good, Catholic, and American, she surely must be all for pre-teen siblings marrying. To be against it—especially if they really love each other (that is the criteria, isn’t it?)—would be obvious discrimination. As would be opposing the marriages of a fifty-year-old man to five woman, ages fourteen to forty-four. And she must not oppose the right of a Muslim to beat and even kill his wife who he suspects of adultery, because to do so would discriminate against his religious beliefs. And to say in reply, as she might, that to do such a thing is not a “right”, but a “crime” is only to beg the question, because wasn’t it law at one time for some men to be slaves, just as it is currently law in the majority of states that homosexual couples cannot marry?
One curious bit of sophistry in play is Pelosi’s confusing way (whether purposeful or simply due to abject cluelessness is not clear) of mixing together sources of authority that shouldn’t be, well, married to one another. She says her Catholic faith “compels her”—that is, exerts a moral authority upon her—to be against “discrimination of any kind” (a false statement, strictly speaking, as we are here), but then said, “I consider this a form of discrimination…” One doesn’t have to be a moral theologian, just a respecter of commonsense, to see the problem: anyone can “consider” anything to be “unfair” or “intolerant” or “narrow minded” or “discrimination”, depending on his whim, pleasure, prejudice, or (ahem) political agenda.
(The term “discriminate”, unfortunately, has been shrunk into a hard, ugly weapon of identity politics; it no longer carries the fuller meaning of “distinguishing” and making judgments based on differences. There is good and bad criteria by which to distinguish and discriminate; the good is evident by how it used to be a compliment to say someone had “discriminating taste”. Alas, both good taste and good judgment are of limited interest these days.)
There must be, however, an objective authority to which an appeal can be made, otherwise society quickly comes to the edge of moral and social anarchy, even if external appearances remain placid and normal. That “objective” authority for Pelosi, I have no doubt, is the State, which rides the inevitable wave of history while being guided by a benevolent, highly evolved leader:
“It’s a matter of time. It’s all about time. And on these issues, what is inevitable to some of us is inconceivable to others,” she said. “And what we want to do is shorten the difference between the inevitable and the inconceivable,” she continued. “And I think the president went a long way in doing that yesterday.”
But the central Preposterous Pelosi Platitude can be put simply: “My Catholic faith compels me to disobey the Catholic faith.” Melinda Gates did the same thing in her well-intentioned but cringe-worthy reasoning offered for gifting Third World countries with contraceptives and related modern wonders. The fact is, I can understand the Cuomo, Kennedy, Kerry, and Co. approach of “personally opposed”, even while I think it is morally bankrupt. I say “understand” in the sense of recognizing the perverse but attractive “logic” of the approach; it is based in a sort of amoral pragmatism that attempts to both take the high road and wink at all those taking the low road.
In contrast, Pelosi’s approach, which has become the norm among today’s “Catholic” politicians, is simply immoral. It relies on lying and willfully skewing the truth. Pelosi knows the Church’s clear teaching about abortion, contraception, and homosexual acts—and yet she not only promotes those evils as good things, she has the gall to say she does so as a serious and faithful Catholic. She states before God and men that she is compelled to do so. The insult to faith and the assault on reason are equally repugnant, even if the focus of her attacks was merely the institution of marriage and not cuts in the growth of the federal budget.
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