At Catholic Advocate, I’ve posted the remarks I made at the Catholic League’s rally in NYC last Thursday in front of the Empire State Building.
The rally was well-attended, around 3000 people stretched down 39th street.
Bill Donohue was his usual bigger-than-life self, completely in his element introducing the seventeen speakers and keeping the proceedings lively and moving along.
I must confess as I stood waiting for my turn near the end, I felt like the proverbial “misplaced person.” The speakers were all from NYC and didn’t have a trace of the Texas drawl that still creeps into my public speaking voice.
Rather than get rattled by being the only ex-WASP on the podium, I decided to reach down deep for a bit that residual Baptist preacher within my breast, and let it rip. (Bill assured me I held my own!)
Here is how I started:
It has been said Mother Teresa belongs to the world. Well, New York City belongs to the world as well, and the world can’t understand why New York would treat Mother this way. New Yorkers have the reputation of being tough and talking tough, but those who know this city know that underneath that toughness lies a large and generous heart. That’s why so many are asking how New York could allow this insult to the memory of Mother Teresa. They are asking, “Where is the heart for the woman and her sisters who have given this city so much and asked for nothing in return?” Where is it?
And here is how I ended:
Many of you and Bill Donohue have been wondering why Mr. Malkin would do something like this. You have lain awake at night — well, maybe not Bill, nothing ruins his sleep! — pondering how Mr. Malkin could refuse the simple honoring of Mother Teresa by turning on the lights of the Empire State Building on her 100th birthday. Well, there is one person here who knows why he did it. She dealt with people like this her whole life, people who refused to care for the unborn, the homeless, the suffering, and the dying. Mother Teresa knew the fear that was in their hearts.
Many thanks to Bill and his staff at the Catholic League for not backing down in the face of the ingratitude towards the saint who served the city so well.