Archbishop Timothy Dolan, whom we’ve dubbed “Cardinal Cutup” for his famously endearing sense of humor, ventured beyond the bounds of religion yesterday to address politics and science. In a wide-ranging chat with the editorial board of the New York Post, Dolan said that advocates of marriage equality (including Governor Paterson, Mayor Bloomberg, and Senators Gillibrand and Schumer) “are asking for trouble” as they try to change the law. “There’s an in-built code of right and wrong that’s embedded in the human DNA,” Dolan explained. “Hard-wired into us is a dictionary, and the dictionary defines marriage as between one man, one woman for life, please God, leading to the procreation of human life.” Dolan said the Catholic Church is “not anti-gay,” but that they are “pro the most basic definition of marriage.”
Let’s talk about what Archbishop Dolan is doing here. Not only is he stepping out from behind the pulpit to weigh in on state politics (it was a week ago today that Paterson introduced his gay-marriage bill), but he’s also purporting to be a scientist. Surprising as it may sound, it doesn’t bother most gay people when others say that God tells them spiritual marriage should be between a man and a woman. But by making broad claims about the biological science of DNA and whether homosexuality has a genetic cause, something that actual scientists don’t even understand yet, Dolan is the one “asking for trouble.” He should know better. After all, he probably doesn’t much like it when scientists start talking about the Church. Let’s try to keep these things separate, shall we? They don’t tend to mix well.