Check your mailboxes later this week, Minnesota Catholics, because your bishops are sending you a very special present!

More than 400,000 DVDs are being mailed to the homes of Minnesota Catholics on Wednesday, courtesy of Catholic bishops in the state who want to stop the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in its tracks.

The 18-minute DVD includes an appearance from St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt in which he says it is time for Minnesotans — not the “ruling elite” of legislators and judges — to vote on a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Thirty-one states have passed such an amendment.

“It is the people themselves and not politicians or judges who should make this decision,” Nienstedt says on the DVD. “This is the only way to put the one man, one woman definition of marriage beyond the reach of the courts and politicians.”

How exciting! So, eighteen full minutes of movie time about hating gay people, sent by men in dresses, sounds like a lot of fun. Are there any problems with this plan?

“It’s an effort to have Catholics vote the way the bishops want them to vote, but by and large Catholic voters are well-educated and they are independent-minded,” said Brian McNeill, president of Dignity Twin Cities.

Educated?! Independent-minded?! GAH, that’s no good if you’re a religious leader trying to force your people to act a certain way.  No good at all.