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Catholic Cardinals around the country funded Maine’s Yes on 1 Campaign

Timothy Kincaid

November 11th, 2009

From the St. Lewis Post Dispatch

Campaign finance records for a ballot measure that last week defeated a law legalizing gay marriage in Maine show that the St. Louis Archdiocese contributed $10,000 toward that effort.

Only two other dioceses in the country – Phoenix and Philadelphia – contributed more ($50,000). The dioceses of Newark, NJ and Youngstown, Ohio also contributed $10,000.

The Catholic church led the charge to reject the new law. In the quarter leading up to the vote, 45 dioceses around the country contributed a total of $180, 550 to the effort, according to the campaign finance records.

You have to wonder whether the poor Catholic widow in St. Lewis who sacrificed to give to her church knew that her money was going to pay for a political campaign in Maine. Or if the Methodist Maine voter knew that the campaign of lies being fed to him was funded by out-of-state Catholic diocese.

In time, American opinion on the civil rights and freedoms of gay citizens will become strongly supportive. I cannot imagine that it will reflect well on the Catholic Church that it spent church funds to fund campaigns designed to deny rights to some Americans.

Although today many “conservatives” can hide behind popular opinion or social status quo, in 20 years it will be very difficult for the Catholic Church to explain how its actions taken this year can be viewed in any context other than religious oppression and bigotry.

And even today, some may find themselves questioning the priorities of the church.

The contribution from the St. Louis Archdiocese was received by the Portland diocese on July 16.

Less than a month earlier, on June 22, the archdiocese eliminated four positions at Catholic Charities, the largest private provider of social services in Missouri. Catholic Charities president, Monsignor Mark Ullrich, said at the time that the job cuts were “due to our need to economically downsize.”

Choosing exclusionary politics over care for the poor does not yield itself to many PR successes. And if that religious institution wasn’t so dedicated to causing harm to my life, I would feel pity.

Comments

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Alex
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

“I cannot imagine that it will reflect well on the Catholic Church that it spent church funds to fund campaigns designed to deny rights to some Americans.”

I want to agree with you, but let’s be realistic. The Catholic Church has tortured and executed people whose only “crime” was disagreeing with church dogma, waged “holy wars” despite the Bible’s clear commandment to love one’s enemy, protected child molesters rather than turn them over to the police, denied condoms and sex education to the areas of the world that need them most, unashamedly discriminated against women, etc., yet it STILL has over one billion loyal, unquestioning members. I seriously doubt that this latest act of dishonesty and evil will make a bit of difference.

Rich
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

remind me again…exactly why does this organization enjoy tax-exempt status?

Emily K
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

I’m ashamed that the Philadelphia Diocese was a part of this. And you know, I’ve met so many loving and supportive (even progressive!) Catholics. One woman refused to say who was going to Hell, because in her mind, the only beings she was certain were in Heaven were Mary and Jesus. Not even the Saints have a guarantee in her head. And while this might sound cruel, actually it is her way of accepting all souls, because it shows all human beings are on equal ground – judged by God, in a manner that will be realized (according to her faith) when we meet our Maker. I was glad to know her when I did; I’ve since lost touch.

And you know, it makes me feel bad because that show “The Flying Nun” is so cute (and weird, but that’s what makes it fun). It’s sad to think that the Church that essentially brought us that quintessential off-the-wall 60’s sitcom has also brought such devastating impacts against humanity.

John
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

And yet not one of these dioceses has found the time to say ANYTHING about what’s going on in Uganda.

Not one.

Dennis
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

The position taken by many of my religious Catholic friends that they support equality and voted for Prop 8 gets harder to hear each day. Until they stand up and say to the Church in public what they say to me in private, I do not consider them supporters. Faith is a personal issue but membership in an organization such as this one without challenge is a choice. I can love the sinner but hate the sin.

----
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

Every person (gay or straight) who supports marriage equality should boycott these churches and encourage members to get out of them.

andrew
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

How is it that this continues to amount to tax-deductible advocacy being funneled through religious institutions? Why aren’t they losing their tax-exempt status?

Burr
November 11th, 2009 | LINK

So banning gay marriage in Maine is a “SPECIAL NEED” to a diocese in Missouri?

Makes perfect sense!

And they’re tax-exempt because they’re supporting an issue rather than a candidate, even though that issue tends to drive turnout to one particular group of candidates.. Yeaaaahhh..

Susan Oliver
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

No Right To Do Wrong

Mr. Kincaid’s article is based on a misunderstanding of the term “Rights”.

The Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights – the right to Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. However, the term “pursuit of happiness” cannot include any activity that is morally wrong and in conflict with Gods Laws. No one has a “right” to do something that is wrong, and the homosexual life style is morally wrong. Therefore, It is not discrimination to deny a person something to which he has no right to. It is not discrimination to deny Gay people the “right” to marry because they have no such right. This so called “false right” does not exist. Gay “marriage” is not marriage, it is an abuse of marriage.

It is true that we should not discriminate against people; but it is equally true that can not approve of their sins. God loves the sinner, but hates the sin; we must do the same. Homosexual activity is unnatural, intrinsically evil and a grave offense against God. Regardless of how unpopular this truth may be, we must remember that It is better to incur the displeasure of men, for speaking the truth, than to incur the Wrath of God for remaining silent. See: Ezechiel 3: 17 – 19

We see the same mis-application of “rights” in the abortion issue. Women do not have a “right” to abortion. This is a false right which conflicts with the 5th Commandment, just as homosexual activity conflicts with the 6th & 9th Commandments.

However, being free from discrimination, is not the primary goal of the SSM agenda. It is a well orchestrated attack on our Christian religion and beliefs. These people are determined to impose homosexual marriage on the rest of the country. They are determined to impose their will on other people.

The whole purpose of so called hate “crime laws” is to intimidate and silence Christians. The Gay’s and their Democrat allies in the White House and Congress, want a godless society. They want license for any perversion they can dream up. This is not freedom from discrimination, it is tyranny, and if unopposed, will destroy the country. These efforts must be opposed.

At the very end of their book, “After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90’s”, authors Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen state that “anger” is the driving force behind the Gay agenda.

Homosexual attraction is a learned, environmentally induced, behavior resulting from some traumatic event, or series of events, in ones past life. These people are hurting and full of anger. They need counseling, love and compassion, not laws that will confirm them in their condition.

As Vincent P. Miceli wrote in his book “The Roots of Violence”, “The tap root of evil, is a godless society.” Those “roots” are now overgrowing our country, our government & our lives.

William
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

“These people are determined to impose homosexual marriage on the rest of the country. They are determined to impose their will on other people.”

So people who want homosexual marriage for THEMSELVES are imposing it on OTHER people? In what way?

“The Gay’s [sic] and their Democrat allies in the White House and Congress, want a godless society. They want license for any perversion they can dream up.”

Evidence?

“Homosexual ATTRACTION is a learned, environmentally induced, BEHAVIOR…” [emphases added]

Some confusion of thought here, I think.

“…resulting from some traumatic event, or series of events, in ones [sic] past life.”

Mere dogmatic assertion.

Ephilei
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

@Susan

“It is a well orchestrated attack on our Christian religion and beliefs.”

The grave error in this thought is the millions of Christians, like myself and “Mr” Kincaid, who support marriage equality and most of us aren’t lesbians or gay. You think we are attacking ourselves? I feel upset that some Christians are pretending that we other Christians don’t exist.

I believe lesbian and gay marriages are moral because 1 studies show no difference in stability between them and heterosexual marriages and 2 Scripture has no objection to it. 1 is simply a fact; there are heaps of such studies and no studies to the contrary (and anecdotes are not studies). 2 is also inarguable. You will nowhere find the Bible speaking anything about same-sex marriage. Sex Yes; marriage No. The Bible condemns extra-marital homosexual sex just like heterosexual sex. Further, the homosexual in the Bible is unrelated to homosexuality today. In Romans 1, that sex is clearly explained as the result of idolatry. No one, not Exodus, not Catholics, not even you claim anyone is gay because of idolatry. Either every person alive is wrong, the Bible is wrong, or the two kinds of sexual activities are different. I’m pushing the last option.

Ben in Oakland
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

“As Vincent P. Miceli wrote in his book “The Roots of Violence”, “The tap root of evil, is a godless society.” Those “roots” are now overgrowing our country, our government & our lives.”

Honey, you’re ignorant and blind. The history of the catholic church is one of violence and war. Crusades, anyone? Hitler was a big believer in the church: “Children. church. Kitchen.” was his prescription for women.

Lots of christians would disagree with you, especially the ones who are not molesting children (everyewhere) and abusing them (Ireland).

Burr
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

However, the term “pursuit of happiness” cannot include any activity that is morally wrong and in conflict with Gods Laws.

Gee.. don’t you think that if Thomas Jefferson and the other founding fathers really meant that, they wouldn’t have.. oh.. you know.. WRITTEN IT THAT WAY?

Ben in Oakland
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

by the way, I think you should read the 96th comment at this link

http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2009/11/04/16329#comments in its entirety.

It might give you a bit of perspective on your morality.

Robert in San Diego
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

“You have to wonder whether the poor Catholic widow in St. Lewis who sacrificed to give to her church knew that her money was going to pay for a political campaign in Maine. Or if the Methodist Maine voter knew that the campaign of lies being fed to him was funded by out-of-state Catholic diocese.”

No they know where their money is going to. My family has been catholic our whole lives and I’m pretty sure that when my aunt goes to church every weekend and gives money that she is reassured that they are doing everything in their power to stop us evil homosexuals and our hidden agenda.

Besides if they were not spending their money trying to defeat us, then the church would be spending it on feeding the illegals.

John
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

Susan: Your understanding of the Constitution and the foundations of our rights and freedoms guaranteed by it are seriously flawed. The interpretations you glean from the Bible are meaningless when discussing civil law. Try again.

Burr
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

Besides if they were not spending their money trying to defeat us, then the church would be spending it on feeding the illegals.

You say that as if it were a bad thing..

Timothy Kincaid
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

Ms. Oliver,

Contrary to your assertions, the Declaration of Independence does not have an asterisk explaining that the pursuit of happiness excludes that which you believe to be “morally wrong” or “in conflict with God’s laws.”

The simple fact is, Ms. Oliver, that you have a dilemma.

Your patriotism tells you that the bold statements in the Declaration of Independence are wise and good. But you don’t actually believe them. You do not think that all men are created equal and you most definitely do not believe that they are entitled to pursue happiness.

In fact, you are devoted to the notion that people should be banned from pursuing happiness and that instead they should be restricted to the dictates of the church to which you belong. You hate freedom… or, at least, freedom for those whom you find to be “sinners”.

I pity you. You are in such conflict.

You think that you are proud of the “land of the free”, but you wish it were less free.

And all you can do is apply imaginary asterisks where they do not exist and try to change the meaning of a noble document to be the opposite of what it says. Such self delusion is not healthy.

I’d advise that you seek professional counseling to help you overcome your conflicts and help you decide, once and for all, whether you believe in freedom for everyone – including those who do not follow “God’s Laws” – or whether you endorse the enforcement of the dogmas of your church on non-believers by legal and police enforcement threat.

And if, as I suspect, you choose to agree with your church, you need to give up any pretense that you admire or agree with the founders of our nation. You need to embrace honesty and admit that you hate the principles on which this nation was founded.

Ben in Oakland
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

Beautiful, timothy. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

I will make one small correction, necessary, but hopefully, witty.

You wrote: “…admit that you hate the principles on which this nation was founded.”

She’s a good Christian. She doesn’t hate the principles upon which this nation was founded.

She hates what they DO.

Joel
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

“You think that you are proud of the “land of the free”, but you wish it were less free.”

This should go on a t-shirt. Maybe a small “@ ant-gay christians” somewhere in there.

It feels as if Susan copy pasted that from somewhere… Maybe she paid a visit to the AFA or Exodus. *shrug

Sol Invictus
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

Every one should thank Susan for sharing her beliefs. Susan believes what she says, and so do many other people.

That does not make them haters or bigots.

In fact describing them as such only confirms that their initial thoughts are correct.

People who label others as hateful or bigots because they have opposing views, in reality are engaging in projection behavior.

If it was not for Christians the “gay” rights movement would be DOA. The liberal beliefs of Christians have allowed progress to date.

If you believe different, find a country that is untouched by Christianity, and there are many, but find just one where “gay” people can wed. Hint: There are none.

All it will take for the media to walk away from the “gay” cause is ONE, one fatwa against homosexuality by a prominent Muslim scholar or Imam. All are frightened to death of Muslims.

Désirée
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

but those aren’t Susan’s beliefs. they are the beliefs of whatever website she cut & pasted it from that she has been brainwashed into accepting as her own.

And yes, it does make her a bigot. She uses her religion to look down on and deny rights to people not following it. That is the very definition of bigotry.

Donnchadh
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

Mr Unvanquished Sun, if you want to find fatwas against everything gay you’ll find plenty on http://www.islamonline.net. Most of them are repetitions of what Christians fundamentalists have been saying for decades, some even quote American colleagues.
(It’s a recurring problem; Muslims, and many of other faiths, condemn the war in Iraq but also gay marriage, secularism and pornography. This makes allies hard to make, apart from marginals like Pat Buchanan.)
The media as a rule have respect for Muslims, but not for their clerics.
Personally I look ahead to the days when the more dogmatic and traditionalist of all faiths look past these artificial divisions and unite against the secularists, atheists, deists and various non-conformists. It’ll make for a clearer fight.

Donnchadh
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

You know, I just figured out why our “Muslims are feared! Christians should be too!” poster takes the name of a Roman religious festival. It must be a very clever pun on Unvanquished Sun.
He has more cunning than I gave him credit for.

Timothy Kincaid
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

Susan believes what she says, and so do many other people.

That does not make them haters or bigots.

Indeed. Believing that what one says is true is not what makes one a hater or bigot. Choosing preconceived biases over rational thought, observation of fact, and introspection is what makes one a hater and a bigot.

We all have biases. We all are raised with stereotypes and preconceptions about others.

Many of us decide that we will review those preconceptions and biases and see if they measure up to reality. We apply principles and ideals to measure our notions and see if they are consistent with what we believe or hold true.

Others will measure their biases through the vague notions of “tradition” or “religious belief” or “everyone says so”. Although they usually think that these are objective measures, most ignore the fact that there are countering traditions and religious teachings and other communities that do not share their biases. Some give true consideration to counter-claims. But most simply say, “well, this is MY religion, culture, tradition which I will not question”. Such persons are foolish and weak minded. But they are not haters and if the traditions or religious doctrine or community opinion changes slowly enough, they can adjust along with it.

And then there are those who invest in their biases and preconception. They may justify their beliefs with an appeal to religion or political affiliation, but the basis of their stance is more grounded in animus and fear. Should their faith leaders unanimously announce that the need to abandon such biases, they would still hold them as treasured and simply find another faith leader who agreed with them. If politicians started finding accommodation for the subject of their biases, they’ll denounce them and seek to replace them with those who are “real” party believers. These are the haters and bigots.

It is up to each of us to decide how we will respond to the biases and preconceptions with which we were raised.

Ben in Oakland
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

This is what CS Lewis had to say:

“of all tyrannies a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent busybodies. The robber baron secretly may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will, and cured of states which we may not regard as disease, is to be put on a level with those who have not yet reached the age of reason…. You start being ‘kind’ to people before you have considered their rights and then force upon them supposed kindnesses which they in fact had a right to refuse, and finally kindnesses which no-one but you will recognise as kindnesses and which the recipient will feel as abominable cruelties.”

And as Ben in Oakland had to say to someone who just had to express his sincere religious beliefs:

“You’re right. It doesn’t make you a bigot. It makes you a busybody, expressing your opinion of other people’s business when it is none of yours, and who is obsessed with someone else’s sex life enough to comment on it.

What makes someone a bigot is when you denigrate a whole group of people whom you don’t know and clearly know nothing about, when you make it your business to make their lives as difficult and unpleasant as possible, to deny them what you take for granted for yourself, to insist that in every legal way, you have a right to express your disapproval on their backs, spewing hate in a church and calling it love, telling any lie, no matter how vicious and untrue, just because it makes YOU feel better.

That’s what makes someone a bigot. Only you can tell whether you are a bigot or just a busybody.”

William
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

Sol Invictus wrote:

“If it was not for Christians the “gay” rights movement would be DOA. The liberal beliefs of Christians have allowed progress to date.

‘If you believe different, find a country that is untouched by Christianity, and there are many, but find just one where “gay” people can wed. Hint: There are none.’

It’s certainly true that gays weren’t treated any better under atheistic communist regimes, and that usually they were treated much worse.

It seems to me that, if there is an inference to be drawn from this, it is that, despite the fundamentalists who want to cling grimly to the more primitive and retarded elements of morality to be found in the Bible and particularly in the Mosaic Law, Christianity contains within it the seeds of something essentially progressive.

Timothy Kincaid
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

If it was not for Christians the “gay” rights movement would be DOA. The liberal beliefs of Christians have allowed progress to date.

If you believe different, find a country that is untouched by Christianity, and there are many, but find just one where “gay” people can wed. Hint: There are none.

Yes, indeed, that is true. And those countries that have been Christian the longest tend to have a greater respect for the rights of gay people.

You see, one of the underlying principles of the faith is that all are equal in the sight of God. And that all are to be treated as we each wish to be treated.

Over time, those who were inculcated with these values have come to see society in just such a way. And as troubling issues arose, those most Christian were able to apply these principles. Those who, as Paul talks about, have set aside childish things are able to – as adults do – stop seeing “the rules” and instead see the principles.

And those mature Christians were able to see race as immaterial and gender as inconsequential and orientation as negligible in the way that they treat each other. Even in the way they see each other as brother and sister.

Of course, not all Christians are mature. Some, especially in “newly Christian” areas in Africa and Asia are still in the “what are the rules” phase of childish approach to Christianity.

But in time they, along with the less adult Christians in the US, will apply the principles and learn to treat their gay brothers and sisters with dignity and equality.

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