Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ed Martin Uses Dishonest Talking Points to Insult Catholics' Intelligence

Ed Martin, unwilling to answer a simple question, has decided instead to try to insult the intelligence of Third District Catholics by telling them that questions about Martin are actually an attack on Catholicism.

Ed Martin fliers appeared at some Catholic churches over the weekend that looked like this:

These fliers ridiculously state, "every Catholic in American should be offended by what Congressman Carnahan has done." First of all, Congressman Carnahan was not behind the criticisms. Martin and the tea party have tried to pretend the Carnahan campaign was behind the criticisms on the Real Ed Martin website (even though the campaign specifically parted ways with the researcher because they didn't want to touch on such a controversial subject), but these claims have been shown to have no merit. Second, and more revealing of the absolutely shameless and unprincipled character of Ed Martin, is the fact that the web site brings up very specific concerns about Ed Martin. It points out Ed Martin's close relationship with the Archbishop and the fact that Ed Martin served on the Curia, a governing board charged, among other things, with providing guidance on ethical issues. The web site then asks, based on these facts, whether Ed Martin knew anything about the sexual abuse allegations and the fact that priests were being moved around to different parishes rather than being disciplined. Thus, in no possible way could it be construed as an attack on Catholicism: it was very specifically asking about Ed Martin. Ed Martin has been carefully avoiding answering the question of whether he knew about the abuse cases; in fact, he refused to appear on the Charlie Brennan show for the first time in his life because he was afraid of being asked directly.

Notice also how incredibly long the text was on the flier. Wouldn't it have been easier if Martin could just say, "I had no knowledge about the abuse allegations?" Instead, he has consistently given a legalistic response to questions that only says that he had no "authority" to do anything.

Martin's behavior here is truly shameless, and I think insulting to people of faith. Rather than simply answering the question or even just claiming it was an unfair attack on himself, he is desperately trying to spin this as if it were an attack on all Catholics. I think most people would agree that some leaders in the Catholic Church have made serious mistakes in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse, and that these mistakes are not attributable to the membership of the churches or to all practicing Catholics. Yet Ed Martin tries to blur this distinction and shift attention away from the questions raised about what he knew.

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