Chuck Darrell, Communications Director for the campaign to amend Minnesota’s constitution to limit the freedom to marry, had this to say to the Pioneer Press about the role faith will play in the November vote:
“There should be very little doubt that the vast majority of churches with members will support the amendment. And the marriage amendment campaign focused on turning them out. Amendment opponents will have to find a whole lot of atheists if they want (to) win.”
Yes, you read that right, Vote No Supporters. You’re all a bunch of godless heathens.
Wow. This is quite the first shot across the bow. Fasten your seat belts everyone – we haven’t even yet seen the TV ads aimed at scaring the bejeezus out of parents, trying to con them into thinking that if they vote no their kids will suddenly be forced to attend cross-dressing “genderless marriage” lessons in school.
The article that quotes the charming Mr. Darrell followed Tuesday’s press conference Minnesota for Marriage (M4M) featuring Archbishop Neinstedt and a Whole Lot of Men. (Seriously, the images were downright creepy – where my ladies at?)
At the press conference, the Archbishop insisted that the Amendment is “not intended to be hurtful.”
I know it’s not a biblical saying, Your Grace, but surely you’ve heard the one about the concrete to hell being poured with the kindest of sentiments?
No, they Don’t Own God and Religion
Really, I think Vote No supporters can take some solace in yesterday’s performance of All The Archbishop’s Men. You see it, and Mr. Darrell’s subsequent offensiveness, were inherently defensive.
You see, the campaign to defeat the Amendment in Minnesota has done what no other campaign on our side has done before: engage in aggressive organizing in faith communities. As the campaign pointed out in response to Mr. Darrell, the coalition to defeat the freedom-limiting Amendment includes 118 Churches and religious communities; the Episcopal Church in Minnesota; Catholics for Marriage Equality; the Minnesota Rabbinical Association; 404 members of Clergy United for All Families; five synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America; the Minnesota United Methodist Conference; the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area; and, yes… also atheists.
The kickoff press conference of Clergy United for All Families was attended by over 100 clergy. Check out the picture of that press conference for a study in contrasts.
That is what All the Archbishop’s Men was responding to – the fact that the Vote No campaign has boldly and aggressively stated that their side does not own God and does not own religion.
The Unbearable Victimhood of Vote Yes
It seems that the fact that M4M has far fewer public and media events than Minnesotans United, whenever they do send out even the thinnest of press releases all of the press corp rush to cover them. That’s the only explanation I can find for the coverage they received this week for absurdly claiming that Minnesotans United is “stalking” Vote Yes supporters.
How are we “stalking” people? We’re using today’s technology (heard of Facebook?) to help supporters reach out to their friends and family and have conversations with them about marriage and the amendment. It’s a tool used by other campaigns, including Obama for America. It’s the modern day version of the traditional phonebank or doorknock. It’s voters talking to voters. In other words, it’s what campaigns do. But they call it “stalking.”
If you follow M4M on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll notice a familiar ring to this insipidness. M4M sure spends a lot of time talking about how victimized they are. Even though they are seeking to put their particular reading of Scripture into our state Constitution, it is their religious freedom that is being infringed upon. Even as they push the lie that children in gay families are psychologically damaged, they are being oppressed!
Any time any random person at the state fair looked at an amendment supporter, their campaign spokesman Andy Parrish would breathlessly tweet his horror. People are being mean to us!
Get used to it, folks. As a very smart friend said recently, “Every time a leaf falls on one of them, we’re going to see a press release about it.”
Because remember – they chose to put this divisive amendment on the ballot. They chose to divide our state and focus other people’s marriages. This week, they declare Vote No supporters to be godless heathens. But, really – they are the victims.
Minnesota will not fall for it
The Archbishop and His Men must have been annoyed that their press day was stepped on. You see, Minnesotans United for All Families released its first television ad the morning of their Capitol press conference. The ad features Kim and John, a couple from Savage, Minnesota who are straight, Catholic, and Republican. And they’re Voting No. Watch:
Our state and our culture are in the middle of a conversation about the meaning of marriage. Proponents of this amendment want to stop that conversation. I believe with all my heart, that if we do the work we need to do in the coming weeks Minnesotans will not stop the conversation about marriage.