Tag Archives: Who Would Jesus Hate

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.

Ugandan Anti-Gay Bill Poised to Pass

14 Nov

The Speaker is a drag in every sense of the word…

It’s baaaack! Thanks to my friend Jennifer Carey for inspiring me to write this story.  Sadly, Uganda may finally pass its toxic anti-gay legislation. First proposed in 2009, the bill has sat in three successive legislatures without final action. That may be about to change.

David Bahati, a member of Uganda’s parliament, not content to merely criminalize homosexuality as many sub-Saharan nations do, created this bill to “protect the cherished culture of the people of Uganda, legal, religious, and traditional family values of the people of Uganda against the attempts of sexual rights activists seeking to impose their values of sexual promiscuity on the people of Uganda.” If that language sounds familiar, it should. Bahati had help from a number of far-right U.S. evangelicals — including the notorious Scott Lively — helped craft the bill, imposing yet another layer of colonization.

The original bill called for the death penalty for any acts of “aggravated homosexuality”, which includes the broad categories of homosexual behavior by a person impacted by HIV, is a parent or authority figure, or who administers intoxicating substances, homosexual acts committed on minors or people with disabilities, and repeat offenders. The mere “offence” of homosexuality incurs life imprisonment. After an outcry by human rights groups and the threat of the loss of foreign aid — including from the U.S., where President Obama has called the bill “odious” — the death penalty was lowered to life imprisonment for most offences. Isn’t that lovely?

All the debate and international pressure have left the bill’s final fate uncertain — until this week. The Charm Free Rebecca Kadaga, Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, has said that she will ensure its passage before the end of the year as a <wait for it> CHRISTMAS GIFT to her people! Hey Jesus, who do you want imprisoned as your birthday gift this year?

Kadaga insists that the people of Uganda are demanding that the law be passed to “protect the children” and curb the “destructive behavior.” Sounds like more hate speech imported by Mr. Lively and his minions, doesn’t it? It seems likely that the parliament will pass the bill. That will leave things up to President Museveni, who could veto it. He has strong ties to Lively’s group, the Fellowship, but is also concerned about international reaction.  We must stand in solidarity with our LGBT brothers and sisters in Uganda–take action now! Let President Museveni know this is a crime against humanity!

p.s. I’m pretty sure David Bahati was on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Bigot of the Week Award: November 9, University of San Diego

9 Nov

In a horrific abuse of power, the Catholic run University of San Diego revoked a scholar’s fellowship. Tina Beattie, a British scholar visiting USD’s Frances G. Harpst School for Catholic Thought and Culture on a research fellowship, annoyed the administration by expressing an opinion. She joined in a letter to the Times of London supporting marriage equality. It included the declaration that it is

perfectly proper for Catholics, using fully informed consciences, to support the legal extension of civil marriage to same-sex couples.

In a blow against academic freedom that ironically displayed respect for neither thought nor culture, USD President Mary Lyons unilaterally revoked the fellowship and sent Beattie packing. The thrust of her argument?

In light of the contradiction between the mission of the Center and your own public stances as a Catholic theologian, I regretfully rescind the invitation that has been extended to you.

Lyons — who appears to have reacted to an aggressive blogging campaign against the scholar — did not discuss the matter with Beattie beforehand, nor did she even bother to consult Gerard Mannion, director of the Harpst Center. Beattie requested a reconsideration but was rebuffed, prompting her to issue a resounding condemnation of the attack against her.

The cancellation of my visit is not the most important issue in all this. The real issues are academic freedom, the vocation of lay theologians in relation to the official magisterium, and the power of a hostile minority of bloggers (some of whom are ordained deacons and priests) to command the attention and support of the [Catholic doctrine overseer Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith]. The latter is the most sinister development of all, and it is a cause for scandal which brings the Church into disrepute.

Faculty and students have arranged protests in support of Beattie, but the damage is done. So much for Christian charity. Who Would Jesus Hate?

Michigan Endorses Bullying: LGBT Youth Targeted by Religious Groups

7 Nov

Shame on Michigan

Thanks to my dear friend and fierce LGBT ally, Jen Lockett, for inspiring this post.  Michigan has managed to completely turn my stomach in disgust.  The Republican-controlled Senate in Michigan managed to pass a bill that now legalizes bullying of LGBT youth if you claim to be bullying for Jesus.  Yes, it is now okay to torment and torture LGBT kids in the name of religion.  I should take this time to point the audience to a Message From God.

What is worse is that the new law protects both teachers and students to bully LGBT youth.  The mortifying irony is that they have co-opted language and called this the Matt’s Safe School Law. In 2002, Matt Epling committed suicide due to being bullied. Thank goodness for Senator Gretchen Whitmer for calling out this atrocious and bigoted behavior:

You may be able to pat yourselves on the back today and say that you did something…But in actuality you are explicitly outlining how to get away with bullying.

While I’m grateful for the efforts of Senator Whitmer, the sad truth is that now those who truly believe homosexuality is wrong are free to torment classmates consequence-free. Shame on Republican Sen. Rick Jones for sponsoring this bill!

Bigot of the Week Award: March 4

4 Mar

"Jesus said bully the homos."

Tea Party’s favorite tea bag in Kentucky, Rep. Mike Harmon, wants to make it legal for “Christian” students to bully gay kids about their sexuality.  Harmon’s act of unmitigated hate earns his this week’s BWA. Who would Jesus bully and hate?  How proud the people of Kentucky must be. Not only do they have Rand Paul, but now Mike Harmon as well. What’s next for the state of Kentucky? Will they just start wearing their White Hoods in public? Will they reinstate slavery? Force all the homos to wear pink triangles? Sounds like an ideal place for Bobby Franklin to live. Click here to see the full article.

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