The Rise and Fall of the National Organization for Marriage

Should Hundreds of Catholic Churches Really be Promoting a Political March?

June 15, 2014, by Jeremy Hooper, Guest Contributor

I stopped at fifty because I just couldn't click anymore of them.  But when I stopped my search, I had at least fifty more tabs open on my desktop that I could've sifted through, had I been so dedicated.

I'm talking about Catholic Church bulletins that have posted advertisements and/or recruitment notices for NOM's so-called "March for Marriage" and Lobby Day, which will be held this week, on June 19.  Within minutes of poking around these interwebs, I found churches in Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island using their bulletins to promote NOM's march and overall cause against civil marriage equality.  

I even found dioceses from as far away as Maine, Florida, and even California with bulletin notices.

All of the notices go something like this:


And keep in mind, these are only some of the bulletins that I found through a very cursory Google search.  There are many more I didn't include, many more I stopped clicking on, and surely countless more from churches that don't post their bulletins online.  Then there were other bulletins that made reference to a separate insert promoting the march, so that's apparently going on as well.  It's safe to say that this behavior is status quo among northeastern dioceses, in particular.  

Is this really what everyday Catholics, who credible polling tells us support marriage equality, really want to see when they open their bulletins?  I mean, Catholics are using to reading about "the banns of marriage," which is the phrase given to the list of names of parishioners who are considering marriage and that are typically printed in parish bulletins.  But is banning marriage in the eyes of civil law really what the average Catholic is hoping to learn about when he or she shows up to pray for a better and more peaceful world?  Is this either the time or the place to promote a D.C. special interest group's march and (especially) lobby day?