Thursday, April 26, 2007

Some clarifications on the Abp. Burke -- Sheryl Crow brouhaha

  • What does Abp. Burke mean that this charity event to benefit children with cancer is a "scandal?"
    Abp. Burke didn't say that the event itself is a scandal. He said he would be giving scandal if he were to remain a chair of the event with Crow performing. This has a very specific meaning for Catholics -- he would be giving the appearance that Ms. Crow's support for embryonic research is not a big deal (see below for why it is).

    If you think that giving scandal by being associated with those advocating policies one considers evil isn't a problem, you probably haven't seen this picture or this one or this one or this one.
  • But those are evil people. Sheryl Crow is just a singer who holds political views which are very much in the American mainstream.
    Sheryl Crow appeared in an ad urging Missouri voters to vote for an Amendment that stripped the state of any ability to regulate research on embryos. The orthodox Catholic belief is that these are human persons, so from our perspective, what Ms. Crow supported is the moral equivalent of supporting something like slavery. Abp. Burke feels he cannot go along with it.
  • But that's Abp. Burke's personal religious belief. He has no right to impose that on others.
    First, it is the belief of the Catholic Church, with which Cdl. Glennon is associated. Second, he's not imposing anything. He's just saying he can't personally go along with it.
  • But the organizers say they don't impose any political litmus tests.
    The hell they don't. I stongly suspect that if Don Imus had been scheduled to appear, he would have been nudged aside. I don't think they would have put on the Dixie Chicks at the height of their controversy. They wouldn't put up a white supremacist, homophobe, or sexist.
  • This is to help kids with cancer. Can't we put aside our political differences and come together on this?
    Abp. Burke likely believes that Cd. Glennon Hospital is able to help the children with cancer in part because of its Catholic identity, which includes seeing human life in all stages as a gift from God. To move away from that would be to disconnect from the driving force of its mission.

Unfortunately, the relationship between Abp. Burke and the local media has never been good, and they seem to relish every opportunity to portray him as an ultraconservative jerk who's primarily interested in promoting Republicans. Would this were not so.

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