New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo is undoubtedly making his father, former New York governor Mario, proud by continuing in his dad’s very un-Catholic rationalizations on major social issues.1,2
In The Capitol Pressroom radio show last Friday, Andrew Cuomo said that Conservative Republicans with their right-wing views have no place in New York because “that’s not what New Yorkers are.” The New York Post reported that he answered his own “Who are they ?” question with “Right-to-life, pro-assault weapons, anti-gay — if that’s who they are, they have no place in the state of New York because that’s not who New Yorkers are.” He tried to appear conciliatory by adding that moderate Republicans, like those in his state’s senate have a place in their state.3
Cuomo’s officials said that the governor’s remarks were not aimed at the general population, but only against “extremist” candidates. It’s “fine” if Republicans oppose abortion, gun control and gay marriage. It’s just that 70% of New Yorkers believe otherwise.3
Severe Exaggeration of Those Protecting Gun Rights
First, let’s start with the most secular issue at hand — gun control. Cuomo tried to suggest that defenders of the Second Amendment are those who believe civilians should be able to own assault weapons as they would a basketball or tennis racket. He won’t acknowledge the logical reluctance of people to bet their lives on a police force which cannot possibly respond instantaneously to every mortal threat from a would-be criminal. In addition, those who refuse to surrender the inalienable right to protect themselves do not also believe that just because the Army has assault weapons, tanks and missiles, then the citizens should be able to own them, too.
Popularity Never Justifies a Change in the Morality of Intrinsic Evils
Even if it were true that 70% of New Yorkers believe it’s OK to kill an unborn human, that doesn’t authorize anyone to put White-Out on Moses’ tablets. A mutation in public opinion doesn’t change the fact that humans in pre-Commandment days knew that murder is wrong. Contrary to another un-Catholic’s (Nancy Pelosi) claim a few years ago, the Church is certain when human life begins.4,5 No one in the public eye can promote laws which allow any form of murder and still call himself a Catholic.
Not Condoning Disordered Behavior Does not Make an Individual “Anti-Gay”
There are some conservatives who would deny members of the LGBT community fairness in housing, jobs, etc. on the basis of what they think is right. They often proclaim themselves to be Christian, but if that is so, then they are not being true to genuine Christianity. For example, an excerpt from Paragraph 2358 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states this regarding those with homosexual tendencies: “…They must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided…”6
Nevertheless, Natural Law and the earliest teachings of Christianity going back to its Jewish roots in the Old Testament also prohibit anyone from changing the definition of marriage which states that it is a union between one man and one woman. That some Christians misused Scripture to deny racial equality, including interracial marriage, does not automatically disqualify all uses of Scripture with regard to any other social issue.
Marriage originated from religious institutions. Civil law became involved in order to address the physical aspects of marriage including break-ups (tax status, alimony, child support and separation of property). It can deal with the effects of marriage, but it cannot make up its own definition of what constitutes a marriage.
Message to Governor Andrew Cuomo
Political Conservatives, including many independents, normally do not advocate assault weapons for civilians as part of their defense of the Second Amendment. Lumping everyone together only damages your credibility.
The use of “anti-gay” is much more inflammatory than fact. Most adherents of Natural Law and those truly respectful of Judeo-Christian values do not hate those of LGBT persuasion. They merely acknowledge that marriage is not a secular invention which can be modified by public opinion.
Finally, you should be commended for your using “right-to-life” instead of the implied negative “anti-abortion.” However, if you really considered the complete form of “right-to-life”, you would realize that it also includes the abolishment of capital punishment — something you support. Perhaps you could better appreciate these “conservative issues” if you would listen to the wisdom of the Church you claim to belong to instead of the rationalizations of many other un-Catholics in the Democratic Party.
1 – Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo changed his position on abortion. Advocates for abortion said it was due to his recognition that “the political significance of abortion had grown dramatically in the wake of a recent United States Supreme Court decision allowing states to limit access to abortion.” He further employed a Pilate-like washing of his hands with, “’I feel absurd,’ he said. ‘Like I don’t know why the judgment is mine. Or an all-male court, except for one woman, or a mostly male Congress.’” from “Cuomo Takes Abortion Stance Favoring Women’s Right to Choose,” by Elizabeth Kolbert, www.nytimes.com, 9/11/1989
2 – Mario Cuomo tried to discard our entire human history and the meaning of marriage which elevates our male/female relationships above those of animals. In the interview, Cuomo said, “What does “marriage” mean? Well, to a lot of people, it means only heterosexuals joining in a permanent union. Fine. And if your religion, like Catholicism, says that it has to involve just heterosexuals and can’t involve people of the same sex, great! Then they won’t be married in the Catholic Church. And if your religion does allow it — whatever your religion is — fine!” from an “Interview with Mario Cuomo” by Religion & Ethics Newsweekly correspondent Lucky Severson on 4/23/2004 and posted 4/30/2004 on http://www.pbs.org
3 – from “Cuomo: Pro-Lifers ‘Have No Place’ in New York,” by Sandy Fitzgerald, www.newsmax.com, 1/18/2014
4 – Pelosi in an August 24, 2008 interview: “I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the Church have not been able to make that definition. And … St. Augustine said at three months. We don’t know. The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose.” Posted on www.ewtn.com. There is more to a discussion of what St. Augustine actually wrote, but that is not the purpose of this article.
5 — In addition, every pope in Andrew Cuomo’s lifetime has reaffirmed the belief that life begins at conception. Pope Paul VI in his Humanae Vitae item #13, referred to Pope John XXIII’s statement, “Human life is sacred, from its very inception reveals the creating hand of God.”
In item #14, Paul VI wrote, “In conformity with these landmarks in the human and Christian vision of marriage, we must once again declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun, and, above all, directly willed and procured abortion, even if for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as licit means of regulating birth.” This paragraph carried a footnote relating it to the writings of Pope Pius XI in 1930, Pius XII in 1944 and 1951 and John XXIII in 1963.
6 – The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Liguori Publications, Liguori, MO, 1994.