The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner is an annual white tie fundraising gala to benefit Catholic Charities USA, and it’s attendance sheet each year is filled with enough important names to make you wonder if the Jews are maybe losing their foothold in this city. Between Mayor Bloomberg, Cardinal Dolan, Gov. Cuomo, Sen. Charles Schumer and Police Comissioner Ray Kelly, the event last night at the Waldorf-Astoria was not only a political powerhouse, but one that managed to raise over $3 million.
And lest you think this was a lot of podium guilt-talk, The Dinner had a 16 minute keynote address from Stephen Colbert, which you can listen to below
Church and State
Grab any time machine you can find, take it back to any year from the founding of the Republican party until about 1970, and show the bios of this year’s GOP presidential ticket to the party leaders of the past. No doubt, their first response will be, “Weren’t there any Christians available?”
After all, the very first Republican party platform grouped the Mormons in with slaveholders, labeling polygamy and slavery “twin relics of barbarism” and calling for their eradication. President Lincoln later tried to do just that, signing into law the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act, which specifically outlawed polygamy in the frontier territories. Its sponsor, Congressman Justin Morrill, called the practice “a Mohammedan barbarism revolting to the civilized world,” and likened it to “cannibalism or infanticide.”
And that’s nothing compared with what some Republicans used to say about Catholics.
Though the Catholic Church may not be known for its quickness, Cardinal Timothy Dolan made a few changes to his political prayer in the week between the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Dolan’s Democratic prayer largely mirrored the words he gave to Mitt Romney and company at the Republican National Convention last week, with a few tweaks that injected a little bit of the pastor’s politics.