Tag Archives: Knights of Columbus

Number 4 Bigot of the Year 2012: The Catholic Church

28 Dec
Number 4 Bigot of 2012

Number 4 Bigot of 2012

Regular TSM readers know that I have real suspicion of organized religion and its role in privileging dominant forces in the power structure, thus sustaining a white, heteronormative discourse. While some denominations have inched toward inclusion and social justice, the Catholic church leadership of the 21st Century has abandoned its traditions of caring in favor of narrow political dogma and oppression–completely abandoning any dedication to social justice. This year, the hate filled voices of Pope Benedict XVI and his bishops have proved that more loudly than ever.

Not content to stick with centuries old traditions of misogyny and homophobia, the bishops danced a cruel jig across the lines of church and state, issuing proclamations about candidates and electoral issues willy nilly. Some, like Newark Archbishop John Myers, went so far as to suggest that priests refuse communion to parishioners who support marriage equality, reproductive choice, or progressive candidates–my, Who Would Jesus Hate?

The church spent the year emptying its venomous purse as well. The single largest contributor to anti-equality campaigns in the four states that voted on marriage equality this fall was the Catholic Church. It spent over $2 MILLION fighting fairness. When added to money contributed by the Catholic group Knights of Columbus and the National Organization for Marriage, a church ally that uses local congregations to raise funds, Catholic contributions exceeded $6 million. How much poverty could that fight? How many lives could have been saved instead of harmed?

Just to add insult to injury, the Pope used his biggest speech of the year, the Christmas Message, to spew a little more homophobia and transphobia.

There is no denying the crisis that threatens it (the family) to its foundations — especially in the Western world. When such commitment is repudiated, the key figures of human existence likewise vanish: father, mother, child — essential elements of the experience of being human are lost.

Again I ask, who would Jesus hate?  I don’t want to dismiss the progressive Catholics that exist, but I feel it necessary to remind everyone that every time you tithe, a portion of that tithe goes to Rome and the Pope.

Sadly, there are a number of homophobia dishonorable mentions this year. High on the list, nearly taking the crown from Benedict’s head, is the Boy Scouts of America, which pretended to consider its anti-gay policies and then doubled down on them. Fake researcher Mark Regnerus and his “gay families are harmful” study funded by NOM and its Catholic allies wraps up this unholy trinity in a foul shroud.

Additional dishonorable mention goes to NOM itself and to the ironically named Family Research Council. Both spent huge amounts of time and energy spewing homophobia and pretending to offer “balanced” views to common sense positions of equality. Happily, they lost just about every issue they supported.  So much fear, misogyny, and homophobia.  I guess it is true, the squeaky wheel (Pope Benny the Rat) wants the grease.

Bigot of the Week Award: November 2, Rev. John McTernan

2 Nov

Bigot of the Week

Curses! Another practitioner of far-right religious rituals has gleaned insight into the power of the Gay Agenda! Thank you to my friend and LGBT ally CJ Hurley for inspiring me to write this story. This week the Not-So-Rev. John McTernan, host of the website Defend and Proclaim the Faith, discovered that the mere hint of marriage equality was sufficient to create SuperStorm Sandy. While watching the news (one shudders to think what network he prefers), this nasty KKKristian saw a story on the impending hurricane in the Northeast followed by what he took to be a sign from God. President Obama, following up on his party’s platform and his personal statements, endorsed the three marriage equality initiatives in next week’s elections. Clearly, the two must be related. Sound the warning! Jesus is weeping, and his tears will flood the Sodom known as Manhattan!

Ordinarily, a penny ante preacher like McTernan wouldn’t merit elevation to BWA. Sadly, he is media savvy enough to blend the election, the storm, and the threat of the Gays — a perfect media moment. He’s received huge amounts of attention by being the latest in a sad series to blame death and destruction on the LGBT community. With a nice twist, he managed to blame the President, too. Racist much?

The hypocrisy of the so-called community of faith around civil rights is palpable. All three state marriage initiatives have been receiving strong support. In the last week, huge ad campaigns opposing equality have suddenly appeared. They play the fear card (Gays are coming for your kids! Teachers will have to talk about gay sex!) which has worked so well in the past. And they are largely funded by fundamentalists and out-of-state Catholic organizations like the Knights of Columbus. Let’s show McTernan and his ilk that America is tired of their ballot box bullying and get a pro-marriage sweep on Tuesday.

P.S. – a related thank you to my friend Madeleine for sending me this lovely link that shows how Gay Power can be harnessed for good!

And Why Aren’t They Losing Their Tax Exempt Status?

7 May

All Gussied Up to Prevent Marriage Equality

Oh you Malicious Madcap Mormons.  Some of you may have heard that the homophobic bigot Peter Vidmar has resigned Friday from the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC).  Vidmar is reported to have resigned because of the media attention he was getting around his anti-gay involvement.  Vidmar, a Mormon, made a $2,000 donation for the successful 2008 Prop 8 (Prop Hate) ballot initiative in California defining marriage as between a man and a woman.  Vidmar also participated in several demonstrations supporting Prop Hate, saying:

It’s good for our society to have a traditional definition of marriage.

And where did this enlightened Vidmar receive instruction on how to become a bigot?  Yes, that fun-loving Mormon Church.  Vidmar reports:

The Church wanted to take a stand on the issue, and they invited their members to take a stand, I chose to be involved.

Apparently the USOC had no problem with Vidmar holding his own personal beliefs but he did cross a line when he became an activist against marriage equality.

The question I have is when do churches, such as the Mormon Church that spent over $200,000 dollars on Prop 8 lose their tax exempt status and just finally become the political activist group they are?  The Catholic Church also needs to lose their tax exempt status, as they too were big financial backers of Prop 8 and lest we forget the Knights of Columbus, in their beautiful frocks, and their $1 million dollar donation to prevent marriage equality. With all of that money going to prevent marriage equality, I can only assume that a marriage between a man and a woman must be exceedingly fragile. Click here to read the full story on the bigot Vidmar.

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