Political cartoon distorts the Minnesota Marriage Amendment

My fellow Minnesotans will have the opportunity on election day this November to vote in favor of an amendment to the Minnesota state constitution which would define marriage as being between one man and one woman. Minnesota is ground-zero for this nationwide battle over nature versus distortions of nature provoked by appetites or errors about true friendship.

In the local press (liberal) there is a telling political cartoon. It is telling because it reveals either that the cartoonist is ignorant of the issues and players involved and is simply waving his arms around, or that he is adopting – maybe consciously – a page from the tactics of Saul Alinsky, namely,

RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

The cartoon is an attack on the institution (of marriage, of the coalition of groups supporting the amendment).  It targets Archbp. Nienstedt as a way to attack support for the amendment.

This cartoon is pernicious for various reasons, not the least of which is that it falsely asserts that the Minnesota Marriage Amendment is Archbishop John Nienstedt’s project.   Note that “HIS marriage amendment”.  He supports it, but it isn’t “HIS”.

Minnesotans: GO to the polls in November.  When you vote the pro-abortion, pro-infanticide, anti-liberty Pres. Obama out of office, also vote in FAVOR of the Marriage Amendment, not … not… not… because this is a politically partisan issue, but because the laws of the land ought to be in conformity with the laws of nature and of nature’s God.

Perhaps some Minnesotans will chime in to explain how people all over the country can help the effort.

Begin by praying for Archbp. Nienstedt, who is taking it on the chin.  Taking it pretty well, too!  No glass jaw.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. JonPatrick says:

    I believe that cartoon was in the Minneapolis Star Tribune as it is on their web site. Looking at their editorial page, they seem to be in the same league (politically) as the NYT/Devils Bible or the Boston Globe. Yuck.

  2. teevor says:

    Telling in other ways as well?
    The targeted demographic is well fed, unisexually clothed, middle aged.
    The very model of brain-dead complacency while Church and society are falling down in pieces around them.

    (I am being a little bit facetious)

  3. Richard Aleman says:

    JonPatrick, you are correct that it was the Star Tribune that ran the political cartoon.

    Thank you for bringing attention to this cartoon, Father. The Archbishop needs our prayers and support. If anyone would like more information regarding the mailing, please go to the Minnesota Catholic Conference’s Media Statement: http://www.mncc.org/mcc-media-statement-regarding-the-statewide-marriage-amendment-mailing-from-minnesota-bishops/

    If Father will indulge me, I’ve been asked how non-Minnesotans can help the campaign for marriage and my suggestions are the following:

    1. Frequently visit our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Ask your pastor to dedicate Holy Hours for marriage and ask for Our Lady’s intercession. Without reparations, without fidelity to our Lord we cannot succeed in our endeavors.

    2. Learn more about the civil importance and significance of marriage. Visit http://www.mncc.org. Educate others or, if you live in Minnesota, invite us to give a talk at your parish. Remember to speak calmly, charitably and find commonality with those who disagree (think of Chesterton and his friendship with George Bernard Shaw). Don’t forget, there is no “us” and “them” – we are all called to holiness.

    3. Take action. Even if you live in another state, send us a donation https://donate.minnesotaformarriage.com/contribute.php or reach out to others who can do so. We need phone bank and literature drop volunteers. I would also like to bring attention to the October 5th Candlelight Rosary Procession (6pm) from the Capitol building to the Cathedral of St. Paul. http://www.familyrosaryprocession.org/ It’s important for Catholics to band together and join us as we pray for the strengthening of marriage next week. No doubt we expect opposition.

    Stand up for the Holy Family and for the Archbishop!

    Now is the time to ask yourselves, what and in whom do you truly believe? Christ suffering and death is so great when compared to the small suffering of those of us defending marriage. Yes, they will insult you and they may spit on you as they did to him. What greater glory exists on earth than the joy of being persecuted in his name?


  4. FaithfulCatechist says:

    I lived in the Twin Cities when I was in high school and college (Golden Gophers!). I cut my writing teeth responding to the nonsense in the Star-Tribune and Pioneer Press. Even had a few letters published.

    I was a freshman at U of M when Reagan won his 1980 landslide. The reaction I witnessed on campus convinced me beyond a doubt that the American Left was off the rails.

  5. LisaP. says:


    I’m not sure you’re far off at all, there’s an undercurrent there — I’m comfortable, I’m unchallenged, I have my stuff, I’m not rocking the boat by following this crazy bishop.

  6. Angie Mcs says:

    Beyond the local issues that are referred to in this distorted cartoon, it is bigoted against Catholics, portraying them as so money hungry, they will infiltrate your personal mailbox to get at your funds. There is little difference between this and the cartoons the Nazis created to portray Jews as dirty money lenders. It also never ceases to amaze me how easy it is to press the same old tiresome PC buttons and get the same old tiresome, hateful and ignorant PC comments. For Sack, it was a no- brainer – lucky for him.

  7. Angie Mcs says:

    BTW, I wrote to the Star Tribune and wrote them what I had written here. Just a little voice but I do feel better when I know someone will read a comment that doesn’t give them a pass on such poor journalism.

  8. frjim4321 says:

    Are the polls that address this topic? I don’t see anything on RCP or any place else that I have looked.

    From what I can read on the subject it seems that the results are trending toward not approving the extension of marriage rights.

    Think it’s an uphill battle for proponents of universal marriage rights . . . think it might go over in WA but WI is a different story.

  9. paladin says:

    Frjim, forgive me, but: do you care, even in the slightest, what your Church teaches on this matter (of the true definition of marriage, and the objective moral law re: human sexuality)?

    Honestly… you seem to be so very captivated by your political tastes that any and every obedience to the Truth taught by *our* (plural is intentional) Faith becomes an “optional matter of discretion” for you. Otherwise, how could you possibly speak of “universal marriage rights” while referring to attempts to dignify homosexual relationships with the word “marriage”? Nonsense, man… “marriage”, so called, cannot refer to anything except the one-flesh union of man and woman, within the bonds of at least a natural union which satisfies the minimum conditions for validity (which homosexual activity–however sentimentalised–does not)!

    As a favour to me, please tell me: do you reject that teaching?

  10. Sissy says:

    frjim4321: this poll is fairly recent; can’t attest to validity:


    My guess is that the amendment will pass, probably by at least +5. I have no idea what “universal marriage rights” might be, other than the right of one man to marry whichever woman will have him.

  11. frjim4321 says:

    I have no idea what “universal marriage rights” might be, other than the right of one man to marry whichever woman will have him.

    not LOL funny, but cute funny . . . thanks

  12. frjim4321 says:

    My guess is that the amendment will pass, probably by at least +5.

    Jives with what I heard.

  13. TomG says:

    I think you meant “jibes”. “Jive” is what we usually hear from that “frjim4321” guy, whoever he/she is.

  14. Sissy says:

    That’s ok, Father Jim. I don’t mind when you talk “jive”. [having made more than my share of typos!]

  15. In 1970s speak . . . It jibes with the vibes he getting?

  16. frjim4321 says:

    I’m just doing the happy dance here.

  17. monmir says:

    Time to watch again Alan Keyes on marriage -brilliant (Illinois Senate debate on Cspan) , it is also very interesting to watch the look on the face of the person next to him.

    Why are most of our Bishops unable to bring such a short, logical and irrefutable demonstration? We usually get lost in “fuzziness”.

  18. LisaP. says:

    That was a great clip. Stunning.

  19. frjim4321 says:

    He gets two things wrong:

    (1) Impotence does in fact undermine the validity of marriage; it does in fact go to the principal of marriage. Equating infertility and impotence is a major error.

    (2) At the end he errs by including only one of the meanings of marriage which is procreation. There are two interdependent meanings of marriage which are the unitive and procreative elements.

    Think we was too impressed by his own pedantry that he bungled two of the basic element of Theology of Marriage 101.

    How did that election work out for him?

  20. Sissy says:

    “How did that election work out for him?”

    The way it turned out for him wasn’t nearly as tragic as the way it turned out for America.

  21. Bill Foley says:

    There is a natural argument against so-called “marriage” between two persons of the same sex.
    The basis is THE PARTS DO NOT FIT.
    This applies to the psychological, emotional, and spiritual aspects—three areas in which a man and a woman do fit.
    The other facet is the physical dimension. The sexual-generative parts of the male and female bodies do fit, THEY ARE MEANT FOR EACH OTHER LIKE A LOCK AND A KEY, and this fit is IN ACCORD WITH NATURE. This natural fit also follows a natural purpose, namely, the generation of a human life. The sexual-generative parts of two males or of two females DO NOT FIT and do not fulfill the natural purpose of generating human life.

  22. Sissy says:

    frjim4321 said: “At the end he errs by including only one of the meanings of marriage which is procreation. There are two interdependent meanings of marriage which are the unitive and procreative elements.”

    I don’t think he was addressing marriage from the standpoint of Catholic teaching (which would encompass the spiritual aspects of marriage), but rather from a historical/legal/cultural standpoint that would be universal across all cultures and times. In that sense, I think his statement is correct.

  23. Elodie says:

    @Bill Foley: I’ve been making that point on secular media sites for years. I’ve asked leftists to defend gay relationships from a Darwinistic point of view. How does a gay relationship make sense from a survival of the species outlook on things? NEVER have I gotten an intellectual response to my efforts. If I haven’t been ignored, I’ve been told some very rude things about myself.

    The parts do not fit. You can try to force two positive ends of a magnet together from now until the end, but the laws of nature have the last say.

    You CANNOT find anyone who will address this: What would Darwin say?

  24. Facta Non Verba says:

    As a Minnesotan, what worries me is that I have watched my fellow Minnesotans elect a pro wrestler as governor; a clown as a US Senator; and a man of questionable mental stability as governor. This is also one of the most reliable “blue” states in the country. I have shaky faith in the judgment of the voters of Minnesota. Please pray for us.

  25. frjim4321 says:

    Sissy, no, he was casting himself in a professorial role and flubbed up on the basics. He’s an embarassment.

  26. robtbrown says:

    Sissy says:

    I have no idea what “universal marriage rights” might be, other than the right of one man to marry whichever woman will have trapped him.


  27. frjim4321 says:


  28. Sissy says:

    fyp = “fixed your post”

    Har, har robtbrown. My husband will tell you that he chased me until I caught him. So, I suppose you’re right.

  29. Sissy says:

    frjim4321 said: “he was casting himself in a professorial role and flubbed up on the basics.”

    I don’t concur with your assessment, Father Jim. I think he was addressing the basis for the legitimate state interest in marriage. Historically, it has been the orderly transfer of property from one generation to the next (among other social concerns) that has driven state regulation of marriage. I think that was the aspect of marriage he was addressing, not a Catholic view of marriage such as you might find in the CCC. But people of good will can disagree. [People with PhDs from Harvard often sound professorial…sometimes even JDs from Harvard come off a little pedantic, don’t you think?]

  30. SKAY says:

    Father Z gave very good advice for Minnesota..

    Vote Obama OUT and vote the marriage ammendment IN.
    I am pretty sure that the people I know from Minnesota will vote that way even though they are not Catholic. It’s just common sense.

  31. The Masked Chicken says:

    Just to clarify for those unfamiliar with basic Catholic teaching:

    frjim4321 wrote:

    (1) Impotence does in fact undermine the validity of marriage; it does in fact go to the principal of marriage. Equating infertility and impotence is a major error.

    That is permanent impotence before marriage. Impotence after marriage does not affect the validity of a marriage.

    The Chicken

  32. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    (2) At the end he errs by including only one of the meanings of marriage which is procreation. There are two interdependent meanings of marriage which are the unitive and procreative elements.

    I prefer a different approach. The unitive (consortium totius vitae) aspect should be considered as the end (cf intention) of the concrete three goods of marriage (proles, fides, sacramentum–procreation fidelity, permanence). Thus, the three goods are ordered toward the unitive aspect.

    I recommend the following article.


  33. Sissy says:

    robtbrown: Thanks for that link; that was very helpful.

  34. Richard Aleman says:

    We Catholics need to be aware of the non-religious reasons why civil marriage is between one man and one woman, so for the sake of Catholics who live in states that will experience an assault on the institution of marriage, I write the following about the amendment in Minnesota:

    As the US Supreme Court has clearly stated, marriage is an institution with a public purpose. Unlike other relationships, marriage is unique because it is an exclusive, presumptively procreative, presumptively permanent relationship uniting one man and one woman and binding them with any children born of their union. The purpose of government is not to affirm loving relationships or commitments – in fact, government is not involved in affirming friendships, courtships, or loves at all.

    Minnesota law, in fact, allows a spouse to seek an annulment after 30 days should a married couple fail to consummate their marriage. So yes, marriage is presumptively procreative in civil law and not restricted to religious opinion.

    Discrimination is to treat two things that are equal as if they are not. Other relationships, while valuable, are not the same as marriage. To treat two different things equally, therefore, is unjust. When two different things are treated equally, the consequences impact civil liberties, religious, economic, and free speech rights. Any attempt to deny that an apple is the same as an orange will be viewed as discriminatory because we have enforced by law and education that non-life-giving relationships are the same as life-giving relationships. Check Parker v. Hurley. Check Willock v. Elane Photography. Ask Bishop Pla of the Diocese of Alcala, Spain. Ask Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A. Read the responses made by the mayors of Boston, Chicago, and D.C. Ask the Lutheran Church in Denmark or the Catholic Church in Canada. Check out our vandalized yard signs and Church banners in the state of Minnesota.

    No one has a right to marry whomever they love. In the state of Minnesota one may not marry a sibling, marry several people, and the psychologically disabled are barred from marriage. If marriage is simply “love and commitment,” if it is an adult rather than a child-centered institution, then why do opponents of the amendment wish to limit marriage to two consenting adults? There is no logical basis, if marriage is just about love, to limit marriage at all. And when marriage means everything, it means nothing as we have seen in Scandinavian countries where marriage has been redefined and marriage rates have nose-dived.

    Marriage and the raising of children directly impact the common good and welfare of society. Social science demonstrates that children do best when raised in a home with their mom and dad. In fact, when compared side by side, we can see that marriage is clearly a social justice issue, because purposely disadvantaging children affects the social welfare. Marriage, while important for the regeneration of society, also provides that society with important social benefits. Ideas have consequences and so the “rewards” of disregarding the needs of children are detrimental to the common good. As one of the important roles government plays is to correct the imbalances of society, if we ignore that children need a mom and a dad, we will pay the costs of that decision with more homelessness, higher rates of drug abuse, prison and a larger apparatus of public assistance. So for those who say the Church should stay out of marriage and should just serve as an agent of the poor, redefining marriage will increase the services the Church already provides.

    To ignore the root causes of poverty is to bury one’s head in the sand.

    While it is true that economic factors contribute to the well being of our families and communities, we cannot ignore the cultural factors that also play a role in undermining the common good. We live in a nation where 40% of our children are raised without a father. Do we really wish to institutionalize a fatherless society? Do we wish to ignore the role mothers and fathers play in the development of our children? If so, who is expendable, the mother or the father?

    Finally, Jesus embraces every person, not every idea. We are not judging motivations, but outcomes. And outcomes, unlike motivations, are not politically conservative or progressive.

    Christ calls all of us to holiness – whether you are attracted to the same sex or not. If you are being discriminated against Catholics will stand with you. No one, however, has a right to redefine marriage.

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