Friday, December 10, 2010
The offical press was kept outside the Chancery door but word can still get out now that "we are the press" thanks to the web. Francesca made this great little home movie of the return of thousands of DVDs by returnthedvd.org and myself. Approx. 4,000 DVDs were returned to the Chancery today... while the archbishop wouldn't meet with us, we were able to have an interesting exchange with his representatives.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Truth to Tell is the name of a radio show hosted by Andy Driscoll and Lynnell Mickelsen on KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/Online @KFAI.org.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
The censoring of these very worthy editorials was done by the school, as MPR reports: “Dennis McGrath, a spokesman for the archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis said, 'We were not involved in this process, but we are supportive of the decision by school authorities.'"
Funny, those were almost his exact words about my suspension from the Basilica. We didn’t do it, but we support those who did.
As a friend who works for the Church said to me, “when you create a climate of fear, you don’t have to do your own dirty work”.
The Knight Errant student editors did an excellent job of scrutinizing the claims on the DVD. For example, in dealing with one of the most offensive falsehoods, the editors wrote:
The DVD also aimed to reject the notion that the issue of gay marriage is an issue of civil rights. They did this in the most subtle way imaginable: by having a black man quote Martin Luther King Jr. The quote in question was from “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” and stated that for a law to be just it must be in line with natural law.
What the speaker fails to address is the very next line of the letter that states, “Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statues are unjust because segregation distorts the soul.” Clearly this omitted line proves that MLK would not have supported discriminatory policies against any group, including homosexuals. The fact that the Church would go as far as to evoke MLK in an issue, which he clearly wouldn’t have supported, speaks volumes to the argument which the DVD presents.
Coretta Scott King--who should know best-- has been quoted as saying MLK would support gay rights. She stated: "Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriage." I think it is safe to say these students’ claims are on very firm ground.
But dissent, even when speaking the truth, is no longer tolerated in today’s Catholic Church. The student reporter told me that while students wanted to talk about the DVDs, the school staff was very afraid and wouldn't speak openly. They rightly feared for their jobs if they dissented.
Since I was suspended, multiple people have contacted me to say they (too) lost jobs with the Church through direct interference or indirect fear of the archbishop. For a variety of reasons, these people have mostly chosen to go quietly--but with very heavy hearts.
The DVD to ART opening took place in a space surrounded by large plate glass windows. A number of people who worked for the Church risked attending. A friend, who knew some of these folks, was startled by how paranoid they were. Some of them asked him to patrol the street to make sure no one was photographing them entering or leaving the exhibit. They were afraid of being spotted and reported. But they are the brave ones... I give them credit for showing up, because their fears are legitimate.
At the start of the project, when I was collecting DVDs outside the Basilica, a woman I’d never met before came to drop off her DVD. Since there was press around, she shielded her face with her hands and the DVD, so she wouldn’t accidently get caught in a photo. “My husband works for the Church,” she sheepishly explained.
The Church of not that many years ago was talked about as a big umbrella, where family--who didn’t always agree--sheltered together. Now instead of hearing “all are welcome”, we instead hear talk of “a smaller and purer Church”. Our own archbishop responds to letters by suggesting dissenters might be happier in other faith traditions--as well as questioning their salvation.
Over and over lately, I find myself saying, “you know something’s wrong when the Church is ruling with fear instead of guiding with love”.
I applaud the student newspaper staff at the Knight Errant who dared to speak out. When I was their age I was proud to be Catholic because I knew my Church let me think for myself and ask big questions. I didn’t see the point of having a faith that was so limiting that it couldn’t withstand dissent. A God constrained by that kind of faith felt too small for me then, and still does.
I hope we can return to days when we were proud to say "catholic means universal"--and felt it held true not just for the "little c" catholic of the creed but for the "big C" Catholic of the Roman Catholic Church. Over-quoted, but true: "we are the Church" and "we need to be the change we want to see".
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine."
(Words in blue-gray are live links.)
Monday, November 15, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Today I took a bunch of photos of the notes tucked into the Wailing Wall Quilt, which is the "bonus art" on view with The Wave. All the photos posted here are of notes that the writers left loosely tucked, so they could be read by others. I believe I am honoring the writers' intentions by giving them a larger viewing here.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
By Lucinda Naylor,
in collaboration with two thousand households.
Media: Repurposed DVDs.
These discs originally carried a divisive message sent in the name of the Catholic Church, seeking to block the civil rights of same-sex couples. I say sent in the name of the Church, but not the Church I know. The Church I know is inclusive, not exclusive.
For fifteen years, as artist-in-residence at the Basilica of Saint Mary, I used whatever materials I could scrounge from a budget-strapped liturgical department to create art for all the seasons of the church year. When I heard about these DVDs, I thought “Free art materials! I’ll turn them into art.”
I put out a call on Facebook, asking people to donate their DVDs to my project. I called it DVD to ART.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
The first DVD arrived in a bag of bagels. People slid DVDs through by mailbox, passed them to me in the pews, threw them into collection boxes outside several churches. They sent them to Return The DVD with notes saying “Turn me into art.” Church workers passed them along, laughingly, “under cover of night”. Over and over, I heard, “Thank you for changing this message into one of love.”
Some DVDs came broken, scratched, written on: “Return to sender, offensive material.” “Not in my name.” “You are not alone.” Repeatedly they quoted Jesus: “Love one another, as I have loved you.”
Thank you to everyone who passed along a DVD.
The Wave is about the Spirit of inclusion and love, which is sweeping though the Catholic Church as it continues to change, as usual from the people up to the hierarchy.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
"Catholics get creative in response to archbishop's anti-gay-marriage message" is the headline of a front page story in today's Pioneer Press. (Click on title for link.) The subtitle is "Anti-gay marriage message has local Catholics buzzing"--and that really captures the focus of the story: people's reactions to the DVDs.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
One envelope was covered in notes of different handwriting in colored markers; each family member had written something on the envelope:
"Jesus taught tolerance".
"Please focus your energy on helping. Spread love and not hate. Embrace."
"They're not hurting anyone. What is love?"
"My best friend is a gay Catholic. Doesn't the word "catholic" mean universal and inclusive?"
"There is so much to do now! Why are you spending so much time spreading hatred."
"Heschel: "The opposite of good is not evil, the opposite of good is indifference."
Other DVDs had small letters tucked inside them:
"Thank you for taking these DVDs. My husband does not believe in gay marriage and I am undecided. However, we feel the Catholic Church has over stepped their boundaries in mailing the DVDs and even creating them. It is not the Church's place to force their "rules" on the flock, their purpose should be to guide us and lead us but let us make our own decisions."
"Thank you so very much for turning something so hateful into something beautiful. When we received our DVD, my partner and I watched it... mostly out of curiosity. When the video was finished we were stunned and very sad. It's difficult to listen to a leader in our church say such terrible things when the church where I visit is so far from hateful. I am saddened for all my GLBT family that are self damning and not able to see beyond those words of hate and be part of the church--as is--and feel Christ's ever present love and acceptance."
"Thank you! I was so angry when I got these DVD's in the mail all I wanted to do was shred them. Shame on the catholic church and the knights of columbus!! Please give my DVD's to the artist so that she can make something beautiful out of this ugly, ugly propaganda the catholic church feels it needed to spread with this DVD!!!!"
Lot of DVDs had one-liners:
"Thank you for giving me a positive way to express my anger!"
"What a sad waste of money * Turn me into Art!"
The envelope that caught at my heart arrived completely anonymous. Tucked into the case with the DVD were 4 small photos of a young boy--at different ages-- posing in his hockey gear. I don't know the story that prompted these photos to be sent with this DVD, but I can guess... and offer my prayers.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
This morning, after meeting with the owner of a fabulous, yet vacant, space-- I walked out with key in hand. Now the creative process can begin full tilt because I have a space to build and show the art in.
A number of the DVD jackets I've received are their own little works of art already. Here's one that contrasts the priority of homelessness with the message of the DVD.
Monday, October 4, 2010
(The audio story is different from the written story.)
Click on Catholic Marriage DVD a Work of Art for a story about Sundays DVD collection from Fox 9 news.
Click on Collecting Controversial Catholic DVD For Art for WCCO's take on the story
(warning this one comes with commercials).
Sunday, October 3, 2010
When we were collecting DVDs at the Basilica this Sunday (tally to follow soon) a thirteen year old named Annika, approached us with handouts she had made titled "What can $1,000, 000 do".
The following is an exact quote of Annika's handout and what her brilliant research uncovered:
It can feed 2,325,581 people with a cheese sandwich.
It could house 185 people for a year in a one bedroom apartment.
It could buy 800,000 bus passes.
It could heat the Basilica of St. Mary for 8 years.
It could change peoples lives.
But 1 anonymous donor decided to donate $1,000,000 to send 400,000 DVD's across Minnesota to deny the right of gay marriage.
What do you think this is right?
Now here's someone who truly understands the Christian message!
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
To the editor,
Regarding the Minnesota Catholic bishops DVD campaign, they might listen to one higher in the pecking order. , Christoph Schoenborn, main author of the and friend of the Pope, recently publicly stated that the Church needs to look differently at committed same sex relationships. Obviously, to raise such questions in the media let alone in an artwork is not to "lobby" against the teachings of the church as the Archbishop's spokesman awkwardly opined.
Rev. Michael Tegeder, pastor
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Suspended archdiocese artist moves forward with same-sex marriage DVD project
Monday, September 27, 2010
St. Martin's Table
2001 Riverside Ave., Minneapolis.
Hours are Monday-Friday: 10:00 a.m - 3:00 p.m., and Saturday: 9:00 a.m - 3:00 p.m.
DVDs can be left anytime at the counter.
Or send it by mail to:
Please note on your DVD that you would like it to directed to DVD to ART.
If you are interested in hosting a drop off site, or standing on the public sidewalk, with a DVD to ART collection box, near a Catholic church this coming Sunday, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org