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Cardinal George’s self-delusional narcissism

Timothy Kincaid

December 28th, 2011

Have you heard of the Ku Klux Klan? They were that group best known for marching through cities in the forties in order to stifle Catholic worship. Or so Cardinal George seems to think.

In defending his bizarre comparison between the Klan and gay people, George issued the following statement:

The Chicago Gay Pride Parade has been organized and attended for many years without interfering with the worship of God in a Catholic church. When the 2012 Parade organizers announced a time and route change this year, it was apparent that the Parade would interfere with divine worship in a Catholic parish on the new route. When the pastor’s request for reconsideration of the plans was ignored, the organizers invited an obvious comparison to other groups who have historically attempted to stifle the religious freedom of the Catholic Church. One such organization is the Ku Klux Klan which, well into the 1940’s, paraded through American cities not only to interfere with Catholic worship but also to demonstrate that Catholics stand outside of the American consensus. It is not a precedent anyone should want to emulate.

It is terribly wrong and sinful that gays and lesbians have been harassed and subjected to psychological and even physical harm. These tragedies can be addressed, however, without disturbing the organized and orderly public worship of God in a country that claims to be free. I am grateful that all parties concerned resolved this problem by moving the Parade’s start time so as not to conflict with the celebration of Mass that Sunday.

Cardinal George is like a child in his thinking. He is only capable of seeing the world through the prism of his own immediate wants. And Cardinal George believes that as he is a child of God, his Father is very important and very powerful and therefore the Cardinal is entitled to get what he wants. When and how he wants it.

Cardinal George might be more compelling if he were not the spiritual equivalent of Veruca Salt.



Lynn David
December 28th, 2011 | LINK

I’ll just point this out. Here in Indiana back in the 1920s the Klan was very powerful; so much so they even elected a governor. There were instances of anti-Catholic violence. Two of which I know from the accounts of first-hand witnesses. The KKK tried to burn down the oldest Catholic church in the state (idiots forgot it was brick) and robed KKK members would drive around at night in the areas of Catholic farming communities (around country Catholic churches) firing weapons.

George shouldn’t have voiced such a comparison; but it is not well that we should forget history either.

Timothy Kincaid
December 28th, 2011 | LINK

Lynn David,

True, the KKK was anti-Catholic, especially in its second incarnation. But I think that we can agree that this position is not what leaps to mind when one thinks of KKK imagery.

They were also anti-gay… but I don’t think that we get to claim that any anti-gay organization has “invited an obvious comparison” because of that common attribute.

Lynn David
December 28th, 2011 | LINK

I agree that most would not associate the KKK with Catholic oppression. But to some Catholics in certain areas the problems started for their ancestors in the 1840s with the Know-Nothings and revived again with the KKK.

Jim Burroway
December 28th, 2011 | LINK

I would have to go with Lynn David here. I grew up Catholic in the Midwest/Appalachian area, and for as long as I can remember, I recall talk about the KKK to be as anti-Catholic as anti-Black. The talk in our area was about the KKK’s ascendency in the 1920s. Supposedly, the Klan marched against the laying of a cornerstone for a Catholic church in our area, but in the multiple re-tellings, I have no idea the actual veracity of the memory. But it was, and may still be among older Catholics, a very deeply ingrained association between the Klan and anti-Catholicism among Catholics in the Midwest.

This is what makes Cardinal George’s comments so incendiary. He is intentionally tapping into a very strong historical zeitgeist among Catholics by tying the supposedly “anti-Catholic” gay community to the the KKK. He knows full well how strongly his evoking the KKK resonates among Catholics who remember their grandparents talking about the 1920s.

December 29th, 2011 | LINK

There is a very vehement history of anti-Catholicism in the United States that the KKK was a part of. Where I think Cardinal George jumps the shark here is that the organizers of Gay Pride in Chicago are nothing like the KKK and haven’t displayed any behavior that could be interpreted as antagonistic towards Catholics.

It bears repeating, that while the Cardinal was grabbing all the headlines by being a divisive ninny that the organizers of the Pride Parade and the representatives of the Roman Catholic Church along the parade route worked out an arrangement that was agreeable to both sides (moving the parade start from 10AM to Noon). Among these parties there was no vitriol, name-calling or hatred expressed. In fact, the particular parish involved has a reputation as being friendly towards LGBT people and stated that their concern was not with the parade being a Pride Parade, but with the impact of a large crowd.

I can guarantee that in the 1920’s the KKK would not have sat down with the parish counsel of the local Catholic parish and work out any agreement. The Cardinal’s statements make no sense because there is no sense to be had in his statements. He has purposefully misrepresented what actually occurred. I think that is called lying.

This is just another attempt on the part of this particular cardinal (and others) to create a false dichotomy: Catholic vs. Gay. In reality there are many, many LGBT Catholics, some of whom might be organizing the parade in question.

Timothy Kincaid
December 29th, 2011 | LINK


I believe the city councilman involved in the negotiation is both gay and a member of that particular parish.

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