Wait, Baltimore’s archbishop is a national voice on WHAT?

As one would imagine, the editorial team that produces the newspaper that lands in my front yard in the liberal environs of greater Baltimore was celebrating a great victory yesterday.

I am, of course, talking abou those U.S. Supreme Court decisions that were consistent with the newspaper’s longstanding and clearly stated editorial stance on all matters linked to gay rights.

Thus, it would have been miraculous to have seen any degree of editorial balance in the large package of coverage published by The Baltimore Sun in the wake of this major victory for the moral, cultural and religious left. I mean, check out the strategic variation in the newspaper’s “Light For All” slogan in the header graphics used with key elements of the NEWS package (as opposed to an opinion weblog) for the day.

Still I think it is fair to pay attention to the material included in the main story that represented the views of traditional Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and countless others who believe that the word “marriage” should not be redefined to include same-gender unions.

In particular, I was interested in how the Sun team would deal with the two primary realities in Maryland debates about sex, marriage and family.

The first is the majority of the state’s African-American Christians who do not back same-sex marriage and, also, continue not to equate race and sexual orientation.

The second is that the city’s archbishop serves as the chair of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ ad hoc committee on religious liberty, a First Amendment issue that — for leaders on one side of these public debates — is directly linked to the future of U.S. laws and policies on marriage and family. In fact, would the story deal with the impact on religious believers and institutions at all?

So, what do we see in the main story (or in the whole package, for that matter)?

Trust me, this will not take a lot of your time.

Here is all of the material in this A1 story that is dedicated to the Maryland defenders of marriage as traditionally defined.

Critics of same-sex marriage, including some religious leaders, condemned the rulings.

Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori described them as “the latest in a troubling trend of decisions by lawmakers, judges and some voters” to change the notion of marriage in the country.

The “decisions will undoubtedly have far-reaching consequences, most especially for children, and are another serious blow to the institution of marriage,” he said.

Wait a minute: “Notion”?

Yes, that’s all of the material. Did I miss something elsewhere?

Once again let me stress that I was not expecting balance in this day’s coverage. I had, of course, expected the obligatory sidebar dedicated to the views of those who lead major groups in Maryland that oppose same-sex marriage (as opposed to civil unions or similar strategies). I can’t find the obligatory sidebar.

In this case, it’s crucial to note that while Lori was quoted, his national role on religious-liberty issues was not even mentioned. Why would the Sun avoid that detail, when debates about same-sex marriage in Maryland have featured — time and time again — discussions of the impact on religious-liberty rights of individual believers and also religious institutions, both large and small?

Now, I realize that not every agrees that First Amendment and religious-liberty issues are central to this debate, even though President Barack Obama as repeatedly treated it as a key element of the discussions.

However, religious-liberty concerns are central to the views of leaders on one side of this national debate and, once again, the archbishop of Baltimore — the premier see in American Catholicism — is THE national voice for Catholicism on this matter.

Oh yes, and how did Lori end his public statement reacting to the Supreme Court decisions?

Today’s decisions will … undoubtedly contribute to concerted efforts not just to redefine marriage but to dismantle it, efforts which represent a serious threat to religious liberty and conscience rights for countless people of faith. This threat to religious freedom is one of many, locally and nationally, that has prompted our current Fortnight for Freedom, which we hope will inspire people throughout the country to prayer, education, and action to preserve religious liberty.

Meanwhile, what about the views of those African-American believers and churches? Their voices have been central to Maryland debates on same-sex marriage.

Don’t hold your breath, Sun readers.

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • John Pack Lambert

    With Kennedy being so quick to reduce his opponents views merely to animus in his ruling, I am not sure why we even expect anything better from the media. The ruling represents a dismissal of those who want to continue a definition of marriage grounded in it as a child-rearing institution as merely having antagonism towards a “politically marginal group” as their aim.
    I wonder if Black Christians in Baltimore would be better off starting their own newspaper to advance their views if the Sun continues to act as if they do not exist.

    • JoFro

      My question – why haven’t they? I mean cmon, enough with the whining! I do not believe Baltimore is forcing its residents to read the newspaper. Create your own paper where your views will actually be printed!

    • The Truth Will Set You Free

      Or buying a child through surrogacy in India or any other means…

  • Brad

    “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer light-bearer, who didst rise in the
    morning? how art thou fallen to the earth, that didst wound the nations?”

    But our battle is with you, barely hidden marionette master, and your powers and principalities! Not your fools and dupes in their flesh, which endlessly fascinates and enrages you. Their flesh reminds you of the Incarnation, which should have been yours!

    The fallen prince of angels rubbing our noses in his presence, as he has done in countless media, especially the charming journal of the fin de siecle satanist/anarachist movement, “Lucifer the Lightbearer.” This became more palatably retitled as American Journal of Eugenics in 1907. But then the boys from Brazil and Margaret Sanger made even that unpalatable.

    So you are here, in this Baltimore “Sun”, as naked as you please. You even throw in a perversion of the Father’s rainbow, just to thumb your nose at Him as you drag his creatures down to hell.

    The New Eve is our Lady of Perpetual Help. She will snatch many of us from you even at the last moment. She crushed you 2000 years ago and continues to do so now to your utter agony.

  • tmatt

    OK, readers, let me ask: Is it safe to say that, at this point, no one has the slightest expectations that the Sun would cover this story in a journalistic manner, one that takes the opposition seriously at all?

    • Richard Mounts

      tmatt,

      Many years ago I lived in Balto. County. The Sun hasn’t changed. The short answer to your question is YES.

    • Kodos

      Journalists might (at the very least) start with a summary of Justice Scalia’s written dissent. His objections to yesterday’s ruling raise troubling questions about the judicial and ideological reasoning behind the majority decision.

      • Proteios

        Well articulated. It seems as if the strings are being pulled when such highly intelligent individuals resort to name calling and platitudes. What happened to scotus.

  • DeaconJohnMBresnahan

    There are some other angles to the Court decision story mightily ignored. First, the decision did not completely steamroller states rights like it did with Roe V. Wade making abortion the law of the land in every state. The traditional marriage laws of 36 states seem protected from a Supreme Court bulldozer. Even some of the liberals on the Supreme Court have been making comments about the abortion decision having been court overreach and an unconstitutional trashing of state sovereignty on social issues.
    Second, every mainstream media story I have heard or read talks about the issue of marriage only going in one direction–all states eventually going in the direction of gay “marriage.” But that is left-wing propaganda, I think, at its most typically fraudulent. I’m no lawyer, but I didn’t see anything in the decision barring people in states where gay “marriage” squeaked into law or came into law through corrupt judicial or political chicanery (like here in Ma.) from bringing honesty and sanity back to its state’s laws with a strong movement in favor of traditional marriage.

    • John Pack Lambert

      On the other hand, Justice Kennedy’s refusal to recognize any motivation other than marginzalizing homosexuals for defining marriage as the union between a man and a woman makes it hard to see how he could come on a law against man-man marriage and see it motivated by other than animus. He may think he is avoiding a Roe v. Wade situation, but he has poisoned the debate on the issue even more, and presented those who disagree with him as bigots. This is a ruling that says that the mob reaction and hateful boycotts out of jobs after Prop 8 passed were rightful actions. At least how else can we read a ruling that affirms that ones opponants are moved by animus?

    • John Pack Lambert

      Likewise Kennedy’s characterization of homosexuals as a “politically marginalized class” is highly questionable. How does that work, when in California no official will stand up with the majority of the voters because they are so afraid of raising the ire of this “politically marginzalized class”? When a group has the media, the business elite and the movers and shackers all firmly on its side, the description of them given by Kennedy rings hallow.
      Coupled with a failure to understand that the debate is about the meaning of marriage, that to the defenders of man/woman marriage it must be in a form that links it to child rearing, the ruling is truly disturbing.

  • Proteios

    But to the gay advocates (media) and the gay activists and their supporters….marriage IS just a “notion”. The fact we know its a sacrament is not in their value, so don’t expect them to use the same terminology. They do view it as another consumer based option that should be available to them like buying bacon, a new outfit or a car. It’s a mere choice in a supply side economy. W however, attempt to ration this sacrament to the truly committed. We even pressure those who seek to disparage the sacrament through divorce or infidelity to reconsider and get in line that this isn’t a fad or cutesy. But a sacrament through which God Himself lets his grace enter the world. It isn’t a way to say that you really really like someone or that if others can do it I should too. It’s a great honor. Gods punishment on us not taking marriage as a sacrament…is gay marriage.

    • John Pack Lambert

      Except marriage is a legal institution that confers government recognition on a union, and may likely create a situation where the government can compel objecting parties to support it, although in New Jersey, Colorado and New Mexico it has been seen that those who oppose same-sex relationships can be hurt for refusal to endorse them even when they are not fully endorsed by the state.
      Marriage is a legal set-up, it is more than just a notion.

  • John Pack Lambert

    The Sun did way better than my local “Macomb Daily”, which just had a report from Ferndale, a true hot bed of pro-homosexual advocacy, talking only with people in support of the ruling. You would wonder how Michigan ever came to have a constitutional admendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a women from it.
    On the other hand, the Deseret News, which has never tried to present itself as other than an advocate of man/women marriage, ran balanced articles quoting people on both sides of the issue. They even limited their article actually giving space to the arguments that Kennedy ignored in his ruling to an opinion piece.

  • John Pack Lambert

    This http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765632930/Gay-marriage-opponents-stereotyped-by-ruling.html Deseret News opinion peace actually does pay attention to what Scalia said, but that should not be surprising since the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has clearly stated they do not agree with the ruling, as can be seen from this article http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865582248/LDS-Catholic-and-other-religious-leaders-react-to-DOMA-Prop-8-Supreme-Court-rulings.html

    • John Pack Lambert

      That article does link to a Washington Post one a few months ago that suggested African-American churches were big in pushing Prop 8. The only African-American I have spoken with on this ruling since it was handed down expressed her strong opposition to same-sex marriage, but she is a Mormon , so would not generally be lumped in an African-American religious demographic.

  • John Pack Lambert

    The Deseret News also ran an article on the pending Federal Case against Utah’s man/woman marriage admendment, which had been put on hold until after this ruling was handed down. Here it is http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865582338/Attention-now-turns-to-Utahs-Amendment-3.html I have to say it strikes me as very one-sided reporting in opposition to man/woman marriage. Even this http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865582293/Supporters-of-traditional-marriage-regroup-after-SCOTUS-ruling.html article on the supporters of man/woman marriage holding a pro-marriage event seems to give to much space to the handful of protestors considering the whole affair.


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