Archbishop Nienstedt's courage has provoked a firestorm of protest in Minnesota, some of which has taken the ugly form of threats to take away the Catholic Church's tax-exempt status, or otherwise suggesting that the Archbishop communications to his flock were somehow illegitimate. The Star-Tribune, in the best Minnesota tradition, reiterates its support for gay marriage--but defends the Catholic Church's right to speak:
"Advocacy is nothing new to the Catholic Church or many other religious groups. Clerics have historically been at the forefront of politics in debates over (among other things) slavery, child labor, prohibition, obscenity in books and films, civil rights, Roe vs. Wade, the war in Vietnam and the war in Iraq. . .The perceived insensitivity of the DVD in such a climate may cost Catholics some parishioners. Others will be inspired to see their church sailing into the headwinds of unsettling social change. As always, each individual must decide what conscience dictates.
“But a free society should respect the Catholic Church's right to advocate for its principles"