Minnesota Atheists Denounce Minnesota Catholic Conference

Published by MNA on

Photo of the rainbow pride flag flying next to the U.S. flag.

Minnesota Atheists denounces the Minnesota Catholic Conference for mailing 400,000 DVDs to the homes of Catholics as a clear intent to influence the upcoming state elections.  The videos, which feature John Nienstedt, Archbishop of Minneapolis and St. Paul, call for Catholics to take political action to demand an amendment to the Minnesota State Constitution to restrict marriage to opposite-sex couples.

Archbishop Nienstedt asserts that the videos are educational, rather than political, but the timing of the mailing belies this claim.  Catholics will receive this video less than 5 weeks before the November 2 elections, just in time to boost the campaign of Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, the only major party candidate who opposes same-sex marriage.  The identity of the donor who funded the mailing is being withheld, raising suspicion of a political connection.

The videos are reportedly similar in content to others mailed out by Catholic dioceses during the campaign for California’s Proposition 8.  Those campaign videos conveyed to voters that same-sex relationships are inferior to opposite-sex relationships and dangerous to children.  These contentions were found by Judge Vaughn Walker, in his meticulously documented decision reaffirming the right of same sex couples to marry under California law, to be baseless. 

“Without such a booster shot of hateful indoctrination, Catholics might lapse and treat their gay and lesbian family members, friends, and coworkers as people deserving of equal treatment under the law,” said August Berkshire, president of Minnesota Atheists.

Several studies have shown that there is no significant difference in parenting outcomes whether the resident parents are of opposite sex or the same sex.  The only justifications for opposition to same-sex marriage are ancient religious prejudices.  To ensure that government remains secular, we must be vigilant to justify our laws by their consequences in peoples’ lives rather than conformity to religious dogma.

“In America, social progress has been in part accomplished by rebelling against religious orthodoxy,” explained Berkshire.  “That is one of the many benefits of separation of state and church.”

Minnesota Atheists supports the right of same-sex couples to marry based upon the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.  To view the Minnesota Atheists position on the civil rights of gays and lesbians, please read our public policies at https://mnatheists.org/content/view/133/71

Minnesota Atheists is the state’s oldest, largest, and most active atheist organization.  It is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides a community for atheists, educates the public about atheism, and promotes separation of state and church.

Contact: George Kane, Public Relations Officer, pr@mnatheists.org, 651-488-8225

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