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By Deacon Keith Fournier

1/23/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

This Governors comments should rouse the ire of every Catholic who knows our history in the United States of America. This kind of arrogant, dismissive, loaded language against Catholics is not new. It utilizes the same old anti-Catholic rhetoric which has appeared at other times in our National history.

Governor Cuomo's comments are an affront to every Pro-Life and Pro-Marriage citizen in New York and throughout the Nation. They are blatantly anti-Catholic and an affront to every faithful Catholic New Yorker.The Governor's derogatory dismissal of those who believe in marriage as between one man and one woman as being "anti-gay" was similarly offensive, bigoted, overtly anti-Catholic and loaded. Those  who believe that the truth about life and marriage is revealed in the Natural Moral Law - and is not simply a religious position - have been insulted by this Governor. That includes every faithful Catholic. If they live in New York, they have been told they do not belong in the State.

I do not know where Governor Andrew Cuomo stands on the faith in which he was raised. I will pray for him to choose again to follow it. However,  I do know where he stands on the rights of faithful Pro-Life and Pro-Marriage Catholics and other New Yorkers. He does not think they should live in New York. This Know Nothing Governor should apologize to Catholics and Pro-Life and Pro-Marriage New Yorkers.

I do not know where Governor Andrew Cuomo stands on the faith in which he was raised. I will pray for him to choose again to follow it. However, I do know where he stands on the rights of faithful Pro-Life and Pro-Marriage Catholics and other New Yorkers. He does not think they should live in New York. This Know Nothing Governor should apologize to Catholics and Pro-Life and Pro-Marriage New Yorkers.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/23/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Governor Andrew Cuomo, Know Nothings, anti-Catholic, bigotry, marriage, Pro-Life, anti-Life, religious persecution, Deacon Keith Fournier


NEW YORK, NY (Catholic Online) - In a radio interview with WCNY radio on Friday, January 17, 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo got very animated in a discussion with Susan Arbetter. She is the host of a program called "The Capitol Pressroom".

In the context of comments concerning his opinion of "who New Yorkers are", he railed disparagingly against proponents of the Second Amendment, those whom he called conservatives and others he simply does not agree with -  including Pro-Lifers.

He did this in an apparent effort to sound somehow insightful, while purporting to analyze what he called a "schism in the Republican Party", a Party he said was "searching for identity; they are searching to define their soul." He also made intolerant and anti-Catholic comments which should lead him to consider the state of his own soul.

After the interview, in the wake of an unexpected backlash, the Governor then tried to soften the impact of his comments. He sent out surrogates who have now appeared all over the media, attempting to spin the comments.

They hope to convince people that the Governor was giving commentary on the Republican Party in New York and did not really mean what he said.Well, his words were clear and they are failing miserably in their efforts to persuade anyone who heard them or read them.

I will not address his entire offensive diatribe against all of the people he does not agree with. The media storm which the comments rightly elicited is doing a fine job of that. The furor will continue over the next few days.

Instead, I will zero in on this comment:

Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that's who they are and if they are the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that's not who New Yorkers are.

I write as a Catholic citizen who is Pro-Life. I do not just believe the truth concerning the dignity of every human life as a religious position , I know that every single human being at every age and stage - from the first home of the whole human race, throughout the course of life up to and including natural death - has a fundamental and inalienable Right to Life.

They also have an inherent human dignity - whether they reside in a womb, live in a jail cell, frequent a soup kitchen or hold public office. No-one and nothing can take that away. Including a misguided politician attempting to sound politically astute

This conviction is not simply a religious issue for me. It is the very foundation of my entire approach to life and world view. It informs all of my political, social, cultural and economic participation. I am a Catholic. I believe what the Church teaches about life, marriage, freedom and our obligations in solidarity. That means I believe the Social Doctrine of the Church as a whole package. I am not an extremist because I believe this!

The truth concerning the fundamental Human Right to Life and the dignity of every human person is revealed in the Natural Moral Law which can be known by all men and women through the exercise of reason. In addition, medical science confirms what our conscience long ago affirmed, the child in the womb is our innocent neighbor and it is always and everywhere wrong to take innocent human life. 

Governor Cuomo's comments are an affront to every Pro-Life and Pro-Marriage citizen in New York and throughout the Nation. They are blatantly anti-Catholic and an affront to every faithful Catholic New Yorker. To be Catholic is to be Pro-Life, period. If a professing Catholic claims anything otherwise, they are being unfaithful to teaching of the Church they profess to belong to.

If they then claim to care about the poor, they are being morally incoherent. Children in the womb are the poorest of the poor. Those who claim to care for the poor and refuse to hear the cry of our youngest neighbors are deluded and misguided.The Pro-Life position is a solidarity position.

The Governor's derogatory dismissal of those who believe in marriage as between one man and one woman as being "anti-gay" was similarly offensive, bigoted, overtly anti-Catholic and loaded. Again, those who believe that the truth about marriage is revealed in the Natural Moral Law - and is not simply a religious position - have been insulted by this Governor. That includes every faithful Catholic. If they live in New York, they have been told they do not belong in the State.  

This Governors comments should rouse the ire of every Catholic who knows our history in the United States of America. This kind of arrogant, dismissive, loaded language against Catholics is  not new. It utilizes the same old anti-Catholic rhetoric which has appeared at other times in our National history.

The Know-Nothing Party was rooted in the anti-Catholic bigotry which flourished in America between 1852 and 1856. America was the home of a nativist movement that opposed the immigrations of that era, especially from Ireland and Germany. The influx of new Americans brought many Catholics "yearning to be free" as promised by Lady Liberty.

Some Americans simply did not want Catholics in the United States of America. Governor Cuomo seems to now share that sentiment. He simply does not want Catholics in New York. 

At the beginning, the Know Nothing movement was predominantly a movement of Democrats but shifted to include Republicans as well. Then as now, the political labels were a problem. After all what characterizes a political party is its ideas and the people who lead it. Governor Cuomo clearly thinks he should be a leading voice in his own political Party.

This movement was known as the Know-Nothings because its members answered "I know nothing" when asked about their true anti-Catholic aims. They hid their bigotry behind such denials, with a wink and a nod. They were sophists and they used surrogates as well to attempt to explain away their bigotry.

The Know Nothings did not like the way Catholics believed, lived or practiced their faith, especially in the public square. They hated the way Catholics refused to separate their faith from their daily lives. The fact that they believed that what the Church taught should actually inform their political positions made the Know Nothings question their patriotism. 

It angered the Know Nothings back then that Catholics infused the values informed by their faith within the cultural framework in which they lived. Ironically, Governor Cuomo's ancestors were numbered among those Catholics. His father fell to the lie of the private/public dichotomy which still infects so many Catholics and other Christians. You know the line, "I am personally opposed to abortion but..." .However, he at least claimed to be "personally" Pro-Life.

Sadly, his son seems to have turned against the faith he was raised in - and forgets the proud Catholic heritage of his own American story. He is an example of a the emergence of a new Know Nothing movement which really feels the same way as the earlier movement did-  at least as it relates to serious Catholics who refuse to compromise the truth.

Ironically, some of its leaders purport to be Catholics themselves.  However, such Catholics in Public Life often oppose the infallible teaching of the Church on the dignity of every human life. They also oppose the truth concerning the nature of true marriage as between one man and one woman, open to children and formative of family. They claim it has no place in public policy. When they do, they are not only wrong, they are being unfaithful.

Just as faithful Catholics in the nineteenth century opposed the original Know Nothings so we must now expose and oppose the new Know Nothing movement. We must expose even those of its members who profess to be Catholic, and then purposely misstate the teaching of our Church and fail to heed its clear direction.

I do not know where Governor Andrew Cuomo stands on the faith in which he was raised. I will pray for him to choose again to follow it. However,  I do know where he stands on the rights of faithful Pro-Life and Pro-Marriage Catholics and other New Yorkers. He does not think they should live in New York. This Know Nothing Governor should apologize to Catholics and Pro-Life and Pro-Marriage New Yorkers immediately.

---


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