Saturday, August 15, 2009

A case in point: Doug Manchester

Doug Manchester is a businessman-hotelier in San Diego who caused an uproar and a boycott when he donated $125,000 to Prop8. (The campaign against his flagship hotel was , "careful who you sleep with!") He offered to donate a similar sum to gay causes, just not supporting marriage.

Recently he announced that he and his wife of 43 years are divorcing.

As commented in the Box Turtle Bulletin,
Manchester said he made his Prop 8 donation to “preserve marriage” because of “my Catholic faith and longtime affiliation with the Catholic Church” — the very same church that condemns divorce. His Catholic faith doesn’t restrain him from thumbing his nose at the Church in ending his own marriage, but it does serve as a convenient excuse for denying others the right to marry. There’s a word for that, isn’t there?
Hmmm, ya think?


Erp said...

Strictly speaking his wife seems to be the one suing for divorce so he might still be against divorce.

She is also accusing him of hiding some of their community property including an 8 million dollar US tax refund check. Perhaps he is trying to force her to give up the divorce by impoverishing her.

IT said...

Oh, it's nastier. He went to their house in La Jolla and picked up the mail from her attorney. It's getting nasty.

It's sad, after 43 years, don't you think?

The San Diego Kiss-In was at his hotel, today.

Erp said...

Agreed. I feel sorry for the children and 10 grandchildren (and given they've been married for 43 years some of the grandchildren are probably teenagers or even young adults).

Next a mass vow renewal and party for same-sex couples there? (I know his hotel is being boycotted but for a vow renewal an exception might be warranted.)

Did you and BP participate in the kiss-in?

BTW a lectionary reading for tomorrow is

9:1 Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn her seven pillars.
9:2 She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine, she has also set her table.
9:3 She has sent out her servant girls, she calls from the highest places in the town,
9:4 "You that are simple, turn in here!" To those without sense she says,
9:5 "Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed.
9:6 Lay aside immaturity, and live, and walk in the way of insight."

Good strong woman, Wisdom, Sophia, Hokmah.

IT said...

BP and I wanted to attend but had a previous commitment. Weekends are rather hectic in this household.

Erp, you gotta start going to church. ;-)

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

The appropriate "word" is America is fantastic! Sorry.

Erp said...

Actually I do attend church. It is a nice mixed one with a unitarian universalist minister (who follows the lectionary), a rabbi, and an episcopal priest.

Fred Schwartz said...

As an interesting side note or Off topic (sorta) is the fact that about 20 years ago you could not be a Rector (cultural norm) in the Episcopal Church if you were divorced or in many cases single.
In the Roman Church, what will happen is one (or both) will sue in religious court for an annulment which on some wonderfully creative grounds, i.e., despite the children and grandchildren, will be granted. No, I do not think that makes the kides "out of wedlock". The RC has a way of working around those really simple issues. Once done, both can marry again in the Church and live happily ever after.

My magic word is sants, as in aren't we all sants of God? ;-}

IT said...

We know someone RC who was not able to get an annulment because her ex was not a nice guy. When she remarried (civilly) the priest told her that she could no longer take communion, but of course they'd be glad if she continued her extensive volunteer work for the parish.

I know someone else whose parents got their marriage annulled. My friend was in her 20s and was deeply, deeply hurt.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

An anulment does not bastardise the children. The good faith of the parties upon contracting marriage - even if later seen as erroneous - is enough.

It's a mess.

Fred Schwartz said...

Thanks Goran,

I had an aunt and an Uncle, worked literally for years on their annulment and finally, long about their 30 yr anniversary finally had the prior marriage annuled. I loved these folks dearly and I am not disparaing the results or the process as much as the cirucitous methodology a church will go to when it "wants" to or more frequently when it is in their best interests. Annulments used to be almost impossible to get now just pcik one of the closet tree. Of course if it doesn't fit into the cshceme of things then we get a proposition. What a crock!

IT said...

I know, technically that's true Goran. But to my young friend, it was still profoundly hurtful that the church would decide her parents' marriage somehow never existed.

her mother wasn't too happya bout it either.

It's widely viewed as a racket available to those with sufficient dollars.

Erika Baker said...

"it was still profoundly hurtful that the church would decide her parents' marriage somehow never existed."

When my partner told her adult children that she would divorce and start living with another woman, the only thing the children were deeply concerned about was to be reassured that all their childhood memories hadn't been a fake, that their parent's relationship had been as real and deep as it had seemed to them.

I cannot imagine the damage it does when someone declares that what you had never existed!

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Quite. The same goes for defrocking.

To demand that the priest to be deposed signs a statement that he never really had a calling is cruel beyond words. And denigrating to the church that demands it.

And the same goes for denying the Eucharist to divorced persons.

Dollars are required - or Euros. And, not least, connections in high places...

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

In Sweden on the contrary, regardless of the Swedish Canons in the 17th century, Chapters, responsible for adjucating marriage or divorce, allways tried to accomodate the wishes of the parties...

Absolutism changed that.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Harmony in the local Community was the awowed goal of all Law before Absolutism.

Fred Schwartz said...

Aas an intersting side note. I had a friend of mine that used to work in a RC dicoese within the office of taht dealt with annulments. He worked the "side of no annulment. When the time came, this man petitioned Rome, was granted a dispensation, left the the priesthood and married a nice Catholic girl. Now, please do not misunderstand, this perosn and I are good friends, I a mnot disparaging the person but the process within the office just seems odd.

IT said...

About as odd as Doug Manchester deciding that he should prevent CIVIL marriage for gay people as required by his Catholic faith, while availing himself of CIVIL divorce.