The Catholic Culture has been facing a perilous shift over the past 6 decades that has seen the secular world infecting the Catholic world.
Many Catholics today identify first as nationalists and patriots, secondly, by their political party or political disposition, and lastly, as Catholics. They’ve allowed all of their other identities to inform their Catholic identity, rather than putting their Catholic identity first and allowing it to form every other identity that forms their character.
That’s what we’re seeing in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. They say everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. Unfortunately, no one seems to be Catholic on St. Patrick’s Day; the feast day of the Patron Saint of the emerald isle. That’s never been more apparent than it is now. After political and financial pressure, the organizers of the parade have, for the first time given the “ok” for openly gay groups to march under their own banners at next year’s parade.
The decision apparently has support from Cardinal Dolan, who, at a recent press conference, said “I have no trouble with the decision at all, I think it’s a wise one”—that’s according to the New York Times.
Let’s look at that wisdom for a moment. Political pressure, pressure from advertisers, pressure from NBCUniversal, which broadcasts the event has resulted in submission and surrender by the parade’s organizers who, it would seem, have chosen to maintain this monument to Irish Identity by betraying their Catholic identity. That doesn’t sound wise, it sounds like a culture of people ruled by hubris. Is it wise to show the world how accepting of gay people we are by letting those people use the parade as a platform to advertise a lifestyle which the Catholic Church deems disordered and wrong?
Now let’s cut to the chase. Are there going to be gay groups with banners that say “Gay is Ok?” or “Become Gay today”? Of course not! You’re more likely to see banners from a group of gay irish police officers, or a group of Irish Cultural Center workers who happen to be gay. But that’s exactly the problem. In advertising an identity we’re advertising the characteristic of that group’s lifestyle. If I marched under a banner that said “Catholic Broadcasters United” what I’m really saying is “Catholic broadcasters are different from non-Catholic broadcasters” otherwise there’d be no point to the distinction. A label represents identity, and identity connotes lifestyle—there is no way around it! Don’t be fooled for a second by anyone telling you that marching under a gay banner is innocuous or that we’re blowing this out of proportion.
To be Catholic means that your life is ruled by the faith. This decision by the organizers of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade—and supported by Cardinal Dolan—is a betrayal of the Catholic faith by those who call themselves Irish, or American, or Liberal, or anything else before they call themselves Catholic. Is that wise? Well let’s see what God’s wisdom has to say about it
From the book of Ezekial
“If I tell the wicked, ‘O wicked one, you shall surely die, ‘ and you do not speak out to dissuade the wicked from his way, the wicked shall die for his guilt, but I will hold you responsible for his death. But if you warn the wicked, trying to turn him from his way, and he refuses to turn from his way, he shall die for his guilt, but you shall save yourself.”
Not only is this decision not wise, it’s plain deadly. Yet if you look out there you see generations of Catholics who don’t see it for the recipe for disaster that it is. And, of course, you’ll also see many who do. So what should those Catholics do about it? What should YOU do about it?
Take a stand and send a message. Boycott the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Don’t attend the parade, don’t watch the parade on TV, and do not patronize those advertisers who held back their advertising dollars in order to force the parade to betray the faith of the patron saint it presumes to honor. Take to social media! Use the hashtag #BoycotStPatsParade when you talk about this on you social networks. Show the world who you are, what you stand for, and show them that there are still Catholic in this world who are willing to stand up for the faith regardless of the costs.