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02/08/2010

Weird how far-right turns all of prez's LGBT picks into 'bigots'. Funny how that works, huh?

by Jeremy Hooper

200905131602-1April of 2007: A Wyoming couple was barred from taking communion because of their marriage equality advocacy. This prompted the Human Rights Campaign's Harry Knox to say:

“In this holy Lenten season, it is immoral and insulting to Jesus to use the body and blood of Christ the reconciler as a weapon to silence free speech and demean the love of a committed, legally married couple. The Human Rights Campaign grieves with the couple, Leah Vader and Lynne Huskinson, over this act of spiritual and emotional violence perpetrated against them.”
Human Rights Campaign Responds To Catholic Church Barring Same-Sex Couple From Receiving ‘The Body Of Christ’ [HRC]

And he was right: It is insulting to use communion as a political weapon against certain kind of human beings. For religious Christians who think that Jesus embraces everyone regardless of sexual orientation, the denial is, in fact, insulting to their vision of their Lord. So Harry said this not because he's anti-Catholic or anti-Jesus -- he said so because he's pro-both!

December of 2008: The Vatican opposed an initiative to decriminalize homosexuality. This prompted Harry Knox to say:

“As faith leaders we were shocked by Vatican opposition to this proposed initiative. By refusing to sign a basic statement opposing inhumane treatment of LGBT people, the Vatican is sending a message that violence and human rights abuses against LGBT people are acceptable. Most Catholics, and indeed most Catholic teachings, tell us that all people are entitled to live with basic human dignity without the threat of violence. The Catholics we know believe that Scripture asks us to be our brother and our sister's keeper. Many are speaking out against this immoral stance in the name of religion.
Faith Leaders from LGBT Groups Issue Joint Statement Denouncing Vatican, Supporting UN Resolution [HRC]

And he was right: The casual support of worldwide criminalization does, quite demonstrably, foster human rights abuses. The only way to create change is to take a stand for peace, in hopes that this peace will catch on. So Harry said this not because he's anti-Catholic or anti-Jesus -- he said so because he's pro-both!

March of 2009: Pope Benedict tried to defend the church's anti-contraception stance by saying that condoms increase rates of HIV infection. Harry Knox responded by saying:

“The Pope’s statement that condoms don't help control the spread of HIV, but rather condoms increase infection rates, is hurting people in the name of Jesus,” said Harry Knox, director of the Human Rights Campaign’s Religion & Faith Program. “On a continent where millions of people are infected with HIV, it is morally reprehensible to spread such blatant falsehoods. The Pope’s rejection of scientifically proven prevention methods is forcing Catholics in Africa to choose between their faith and the health of their entire community. Jesus was about helping the marginalized and downtrodden, not harming them further.”
Human Rights Campaign Responds to Pope Benedict’s Remarks that Condoms Increase HIV Infections [HRC]

And he was right: Discouraging condom use is disturbingly short-sided, and undeniably puts people at risk. It's more than fair to say "in the name of Jesus," because that is the source from whom the Pope is claiming to glean his views. So Harry said this not because he's anti-Catholic or anti-Jesus -- he said so because he's pro-both!

But of course none of this matters to the far-right, for whom rational extrapolation and analysis take a back seat to reductive attacks. Which is why House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), and a host of conservative Catholics are now using the conservative CRC Public Relations (the same firm that NOM uses) to paint Harry Knox as an "anti-Catholic bigot," and President Obama as supportive of "hatred." Check out the unreasonably considered, borderline defamatory words to which the highest-ranking House Republican has proudly lent his name:

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500-0003

Dear Mr. President,

The self-proclaimed anti-Catholic bigot you appointed to head up faith-based partnerships has reiterated his deep seeded prejudice against the Pope and the teachings of the Catholic Church, and your failure to remove him from office speaks volumes about how much you really value respect for diversity and religious differences.

We first warned you in a May 2009 letter that Knox’s long and tainted history of bashing the leader of our faith stood in direct opposition to the community he was tasked with building.

But you never responded. You never acknowledged that his appointment to the Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships stood in sharp contrast with the Council’s mission to “bring everyone together – from both the secular and faith-based communities.”

In fact, you never even acknowledged that Knox’s comments were the least bit offensive, even when we gave you the benefit of the doubt that perhaps you were unaware of Knox’s prejudices before appointing him.

Now that Mr. Knox has again offended millions of Catholic Americans – standing behind his brazen assertion that the Pope “is hurting people in the name of Jesus” – we can only interpret your continued silence and complicity with his grave offense as wholehearted support for this bigot and his words of hatred.

We are now forced to demand the firing of Harry Knox. It is the only remaining action you can take to dissuade faithful Catholics that your Council is not a sham and that your “commitment to diversity” is an absolute mockery.

Sincerely,

John Boehner
House Republican Leader
Member of Congress

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter
Member of Congress

L. Brent Bozell, III
Founder and President
Media Research Center

Alfred S. Regnery
Publisher
The American Spectator

Richard Viguerie
American Target Advertising

Thomas Peters
American Papist Blog

Dr. Kevin Roberts
Executive Director
Catholic Families for America

Larry Cirignano
Faithful Catholic Citizens
Boehner Joins Bozell, Other Conservative Leaders in Demand That Obama Fire Anti-Catholic Bigot Harry Knox [CRC]

Well speaking of hurting people in the name of Jesus....

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Your thoughts

The goal of those promoting the anti-gay agenda is to eradicate gay people (as they are trying to do in Uganda). In order to implement this strategy in the US, they need to take away our rights and silence us. It's more difficult to silence us when we are in positions of power so radical anti-gay activists must make sure we are removed from those positions.

The reality is that the Catholic Church does not even follow its own rules as respects God's gay children. It claims to "respect" gay people and to advocate for fair treatment of us and our lives. It does none of this and instead sides with the radical "religious" right to insult, revile, harm and harrass us.

The letter posted above from the militant anti-gay activists in and out of Congress reviles gay people. The Bible is clear in more than one place that revilers are going to hell. While it may upset urepentant homophobes to hear the truth, as Christians, we must speak the truth regardless of the consequences and outcry from those wishing to continue gripping tightly to their sin of homophobia. They would do well to focus on their own sins (and repent) instead of throwing stones at others.

“…nor revilers…will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:10)

Posted by: Michael | Feb 8, 2010 11:39:53 AM

"deep seeded"

That letter is quite poorly written, on so many levels. But if a "PR" firm is going to attempt to use a colloquialism, they should probably try to get it right. But, then the good folks over at CRC are probably hampered by the fact that they probably went to a safety school, like Liberty U, or one of the other equally underachieving religion-24-7 schools.

In the future, CRC, the correct phrase is "deep seated" prejudice. Of course, it could be Freudian slippage... I mean, with all of their corollary farming analogies about reaping and sowing, the fact that they might confuse their "seeded" ("inseminated"??) religious dogmatic bigotry with their other deeply seated biases, and as such, subconsciously see them as one in the same. In which case, it's just a rather telling slip of the tongue.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Feb 8, 2010 11:59:42 AM

Michael, your words are unfortunately much like what I've heard from the religious right regarding lgbt's. I don't have a Bible with me, but if I'm not mistaken, another portion of the very passage you're using is used against lgbt people and those of us who advocate for them.

And my Catholic fundamentalist boss prays for my own soul because I advocate.

I'll take all the prayer I can get for whatever reason, but I will not condemn anyone to hell based on what I believe the Bible says, because someone will invariably turn it back on me.

God is our judge. No one else.

Posted by: Bonnie Half-Elven | Feb 8, 2010 12:17:41 PM

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