The whole point of the Al Smith Dinner is to force opposing politicians of both parties to sit down with each other and treat each other like human beings. It doesn’t make any kind of endorsement. It is to teach and demonstrate the basic civic virtue of polite public behavior, which Al Smith always maintained despite much provocation. It is for political men to have to act like gentlemen.
It boggles me that people don’t understand this. It’s not like the purpose of the dinner is some kind of state secret.
Actually it does endorse the governing consensus of this country. I might root for the Redskins, or I might vote for the team they are up against, but either way, I’m rooting for professional football in general. There is nothing wrong with professional football of course. There IS something wrong with our regime of Abortion, Usury, and two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner. Bishop “This isn’t about contraception” Dolan ought to have scotched the idea altogether.
So when Al Smith was dealing with KKK politicians and judges with equally literal blood on their hands (including the blood of white Catholics as well as blacks, Indians, etc.), or with crazed socialists like FDR and his buddies who had nothing better to do than ruin people’s lives while trying to run them, or with the federal government poisoning hundreds of thousands of American citizens to death in the name of enforcing Prohibition, or doctors who thought it was a great plan to sterilize and kill people with the wrong grades in school or poor parents or the wrong ethnicity and religion (like Catholic), that was all just nothing to worry about.
Yeah, I’m sure that didn’t take him any effort at all, to be polite with people like that. Because if it had been hard and distasteful, I’m sure he would have retreated from the public square and let them have it all to themselves.
…and that’s why Egan and O’Connor didn’t invite certain candidates, right? The men who were “disinvited” were such polite gentlemen, they didn’t need this type of schooling opportunity.
The purpose of the dinner is to support Catholic Charities not to give politicians an opportunity to be forced (your word) to “behave” politely in public. Instead, it became a national campaign event. How many voters (even Catholics, nationally, and even in NYC) have a clue as to the identity of Al Smith? Probably not as many who consider CC as anti-gay over the adoption stance?
My apologies for boggling you.
I DO know who Al Smith was and I do understand the purpose of the dinner, so please don’t be so condescending. Why is it that Cardinal Dolan was willing to sit down to dine with the biggest pro-death president in history, but not with Judie Brown in 2009 at the Pro-Life Wisconsin dinner because she was “castigating” the bishops for not enforcing Canon Law 915. Can it be that Dolan is fine with sitting down with those who insult Christ but not with those who appear to “insult” him? Are our faith and our church worth fighting for or not? If you don’t think so then leave! But please stop looking down on us who think that it would have been much more of an act of moral courage to follow the examples of his predecessors Cardinals O’Connor and Egan than to spout the mantra of the Church of Nice (Why can’t we just all get along?)!
JPII did not endorse the Polish government when he went to visit Poland. It was a pastoral visit to the people. Here, Card. Dolan is making, as it were, a pastoral visit to the rich and powerful. Obama could learn a lot from the Cardinal and it’s not Dolan’s job to close that door.
The real problem, as Mrs. VRF reminded me on our way home from Mass this morning, is in the people, and our catechesis of the last few decades. The real problem is not that Dolan and Obama both appeared at a fancy dinner, the real problem is that half of Catholics voted for Obama, while either knowing or tuning out his support of abortion. The reason they tuned out what they didn’t want to hear was that on any given Sunday they heard a homily about social justice that called on the state to take care of the poor rather than a homily on the importance of life issues. So they figure, reasonably enough, that they have permission to vote as they please.
I’m a bit late to the party here, but I think what rankles is HE’s sometimes glib jocularity. For instance, I listened to his radio show this past weekend, and he joked that some triviality (I can’t recall what precisely) “was something we Catholics can be ‘pro-choice’ on.” It was off-putting to say the least.