Monday, April 17, 2006

False Prophets

Before there was the Mass Family Institute, Sean O'Malley, or even Chicken Little, there was Henny Penny and Jataka. The paranoid and irrational character who screams, "The sky is falling!" or the like is both a legend and an insult to all of us.

Today, it is about same-sex marriage specifically and homosexuality more generally. We can look to some legislators, to the professional anti-gay groups, and unfortunately to a few clerics who bwak-bwak their Chicken Little-style dramas, exciting the other feeble minded around them.

One would think that the doomsday cults would have overplayed their hands far too many times to have any credibility. Yet, as surely as cold sores and hemorrhoids, they remain part of the human condition. Their threats of imminent demise, ruination and end times come and pass. The emotionally needy do not learn, rather they believe the next one or even (pity them) make excuses for the failure of these false prophets.

For example, consider the dire warnings of the anti-same-sex-marriage folk here. If we expanded marriage to include same-sex couples:
  • Marriage was to be "redefined out of existence."
  • God would bring a terrible vengeance on Massachusetts.
  • We as a species would no longer reproduce.
  • Heterosexual marriages would be meaningless, and those in them would no longer feel bound to their oaths.
That was all rhetorical horseshit, of course. Yet, the simple-minded and emotionally driven folk who believed and believe those were tools to the politicians and priests, our current false prophets. Even now, the Mass Family Institute, our local RC archbishop and others have fallen back on the song of the coward -- Just You Wait...My Predictions Will Happen...Eventually."

Consider a few samplings of Nellyism and hysteria. Last week, for example, the Rev. Joseph Johnson, assistant chancellor of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul, testified before the Minnesota legislature in favor of a DoMA amendment to the state constitution.

He bwaked his Henny Penny bawk, ""The right order of our society is in grave danger. Humanity would cease to exist without this order."

That's right. End of the world. So there.

In contrast, Ann DeGroot, executive director of OutFront Minnesota, testified, "If this constitutional amendment passes, it will do absolutely nothing to help any family in this state. It does a great deal of harm to some of Minnesota's families."

The legislature believed her side and trashed the amendment.

Locally, the not-yet-Cardinal Sean O'Malley spoke many times against SSM here. He often cited totally wrong, dishonest and misleading stats. "Between 1960 and 1990, the number of children who experienced the divorce of their parents increased from less than 1% to more than 50%, and 1/3 of the children born today are born out of wedlock."

Not only is that nothing like real, but the actual stats from the U.S. Census show instead that all the problems attributed to the two-year old Massachusetts institution of same-sex marriage began in World War II, six decades before SSM.

Note: This blog will run a dry piece on divorce stats within a week. We waded through hundreds of pages of them. We'll damned well put the electrons out for all.

O'Malley then did his doomsday jive with, "Any redefinition of marriage must be seen as an attack on the common good. The weakening of the institution of marriage has already had too high a social cost. Our concern must be to strengthen marriage and create a climate that will be supportive and indeed promote the traditional paradigm of marriage."

Bwak. Bwak. Bwak. There we have it, in Henny Penny speak.

In his case, you see the quicksand in which he continues to sink. A Catholic-raised chum warned me that Franciscans who don the red hat and stole lose yielded their minds and souls. Maybe, but certainly, we see that they are surrounded by toadies who will not contradict them.

O'Malley's veneer of statistics is an odd distraction to his barnyard panic. You'd think that some lackey would correct him to give him a kind of Jesuit legitimacy. But nooooo. Be it Pope or Cardinal or Archbishop, they are in a deferential world, in which the military style rank-has-its-privilege holds sway.

Remember that Papal infallibility is a new concept in RC terms, only dating from a political/theological construct formalized in 1870. The priest-as-man idea has muddled with jive ever since.

It would take a most remarkable Pope or Cardinal to surround himself with honest and honorable priests to advise him. How much easier to listen to agreement from lickspittles.

On an even baser level, we can look to the doomsday prediction of the straight haters. Consider the Christian Civics League of Maine:
Many words have been expended to warn our citizens about so-called “Gay Rights” laws. To add anything now would be superfluous. The best commentary on this law will be the harm that it causes. In the coming months and years, as the apostles of unreason and disorder uphold pleasure as man’s highest good, society will continue to unravel at an alarming rate, and the havoc they have wreaked will rise up as a witness against them.

We fully expect the push for sodomistic “marriage” to begin at once. Indeed the call for “full equality,” a code word for sodomistic marriage, is already being heard among gay rights organizations in Maine. Such a development does not represent social progress; rather, it is a giant step backwards, for it heralds the imminent demise of the family, the institution on which all other institutions rest.

Today, as in all times past, the debauched and maniacal call for gay rights and homosexual “marriage” is not to be celebrated, rather it is to be mourned as the harbinger of the death of a civilization.
Bwak. Bwak. Maine finally joined the American family of civil rights for gays and...and...and...and...we are still waiting for civilization to crumble. We'd best move from watches to calendars to geologic indicators.

And in New Hampshire, the Cornerstone Policy Research Group sent legislators thousands of letters supporting a DoMA amendment:
Marriage is under fire! We are on the slippery slope toward court ordered redefinition of marriage. There are couples who already live in NH who are part of the Freedom to Marry organization who very much desire to redefine the oldest institution known to man. There are couples who were married under the court ordered redesigned laws of Massachusetts who are moving to NH to reside. Make no mistake. There should be no question in your mind. These people are getting poised to file a law suit to challenge the current NH marriage laws..
If you have the stomach, read the whole absurd thing here.

It is far too easy to find such ninny examples of looming disaster. Support gay rights and you point us hellbound to SSM, which in turn means the end of procreation, diddling of little children by perverts and the end of civilization.

To those of us not careering to nowhere squawking our panicked squawks, the question immediately arises, who can believe any of this crap? Given that one doomsday prediction after another 1) was made with nothing other than dull-witted emotion behind it and 2) did not come happen, when will the Henny Penny characters stop squawking?

The bad news is that they'll never stop, whether they are archbishops or fundy retirees or Peter-Principled legislators. The good news is that many of us, most of us in fact, eventually see through it, get tired of being jerked around and say, "The sky did not fall. It is not falling. It will not fall."

There are fewer Henny Penny characters every day, but the remaining ones are damned annoying.

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