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“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for November, 2012

Bill Donohue: Gay Marriage Is Just Like Slavery, Racism, and Genocide

Jim Burroway

November 14th, 2012

Earlier this week, the Vatican announced that it wasn’t going to back off in its opposition to marriage equality. In fact, after looking at last week’s marraige equality victories in three states and the defeat of an anti-marriage constitutional amendment in a fourth, the Vatican somehow decided they were actually winning the battle. Now Bill Donohue has added his two-cents’ worth and told Focus On the Family that the Church is never gonna change its mind:

The Catholic Church is not going to change its position on marriage any more than it’s going to change its position on slavery or racism or genocide. These are fixed principles that are there, and those people who are in the Catholic ranks who keep thinking that the Catholic Church may want to change now because the country seems toward gay marriage — really, they’re in the wrong religion. And I think it’s time that our society has to reset its moral compass and think these things through.

Ahem. Cough. Ack!

Priest molestation victims are “pitiful bunch of malcontents”

Timothy Kincaid

January 9th, 2012

Do you get the sense that just maybe perhaps the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue has priorities that are a teensie bit skewed? In the direction of disgusting evil asshole?

(Click to enlarge)

I’m flabbergasted.

The entirely bogus “religious convictions” objection

Timothy Kincaid

July 20th, 2011

One of the whiny complaints made by anti-gay activists about New York’s new marriage equality bill is that it is not sensitive to the religious convictions of public employees. The Catholic League’s Bill Donohue (who appears to waging a PR campaign to equal Catholicism with pigheaded bigotry) is all wounded and martyry about it in a commentary today:

Indeed, under New York State law, the onus is on the employer to show that it would cause “undue hardship” if an employee were to exercise his “sincerely held” religious beliefs.

Now it is fatuous to say that it would cause an “undue hardship” in the workplace if clerks, and deputy clerks, who do not have an issue with giving marriage licenses to homosexuals handled these matters for those who do. It cannot be said too strongly: Bullying those who have religious objections is despicable.

There is an obvious hole in New York’s gay marriage law: religious exemptions need to be extended to lay people, not just the clergy.

Well, I’m all for respecting sincerely held religious beliefs. But I’m failing to find one here.

Sure there are people who sincerely believe that I should not marry a person of the same sex. And due to those beliefs, they would not attend my wedding, conduct the vows, offer a blessing, or even congratulate me. And I wouldn’t expect them to.

But while I’m familiar with the Bible and pretty up on how religion is practiced in America, I am unaware of any doctrine of any sect that forbids its followers to hand me a piece of paper . That’s what we’re talking about, issuing a form, typing responses in a database. And there are no doctrinal assessments I know of which assign responsibility or any presumption of participation – not even those of the Catholic Church – from the issuance or filing of forms.

Some Christians read in the verse portion from Habakkuk “woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors, pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk…” a prohibition on working in a bar or liquor store. Some are even troubled at serving alcoholic beverages as a waitress or grocery clerk. But I’ve never heard even the most conservative of Christians argue that they have some obligation not to hand out the form to request a liquor license.

And it goes without saying that many churches, the Catholic Church in particular, oppose the very existence of medical clinics which offer abortion services. Yet they do not suggest that the County Building Inspector refuse to issue a building license or that the city Clerk refuse to process a Business License. None of this administrative process is considered to be a part of, or the administrators culpable for, the abortions that will be conducted at the site.

There simply are no religious beliefs held by any of these public employees, sincerely or otherwise, which forbid them to administer the paperwork involved with any other businesses, marriages, divorces, or other vital statistics which they find morally objectionable. And if there were, their argument is a bit specious considering that they’ve been violating those beliefs with regularity for years.

Now I have less of a problem with Rosemary Centi, the city clerk in upstate Guilderland, who resigned from her position as marriage officer out of her religious conviction that she should not conduct gay marriages. But she will continue to remain the elected town clerk and issue marriage licenses to all eligible applicants, including gay couples. While I think it a rather peculiar belief that allows you to officiate at marriage between divorcees or people of mixed faith but not gay people, I don’t doubt that her decision is sincere. And I have to respect that Rosemary was able to distinguish between her own personal involvement as officiant and the processing of paperwork.

And I think that this distinction is perfectly obvious to any who think about it.

Why is it that some people would rather quit their jobs than treat gay couples with the same bureaucratic procedure as anyone else standing in line at the clerk’s counter? What is behind the peculiar notion that a public employee can deny civil services to a member of the public if they don’t pass their personal religious test? It certainly isn’t Scripture or doctrine or consistent moral character.

So perhaps Bill Donohue should consider whether he’s doing his church a favor by making this a big deal. His efforts to make Catholics look like victims may result in making them look like something else entirely.

Bill Donohue Sticks Catholic Nose Into Presbyterians’ Business

Jim Burroway

May 11th, 2011

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League is mad at the Presbyterians for allowing ordination of gay people. Where’s the Presbyterian League when you need one?

SF Supervisor Introduces Resolution Condemning Church Vandalism

Jim Burroway

January 7th, 2009

Here’s something worth noting. San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty introduced a resolution condeming the recent vandalism of the Most Holy Redeemer Church. You can read the text of the resolution here.  By the way, this is especially notable because Bevan Dufty is gay.

On Monday, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League issued a long and convoluted statement denouncing the vandalism, and blaming the gays for it despite a complete and total lack of evidence, adding this latest incident to a long laundry list of “attacks” — both exaggerated and imagined — against Catholicism. He also implied that the San Francisco City Board of Supervisors were partly responsible. Now that the Board is on record condemning the attack, I wonder if we’ll hear a mea maxima culpa from Donohue? Don’t bet on it.

[Hat tip: Joe My God, Towleroad]

TWO Calls Out Becket Fund in Full Page Ad

Jim Burroway

December 10th, 2008

We’ve already talked about the full-page ad placed by the Becket Fund in last Friday’s New York Times which falsely characterized the peaceful protests against California’s Proposition 8 as “mob violence.” And we also provided evidence of some of that ad’s cosigners’ undisguised hatred against gay people.

Tomorrow, Wayne Besen and Truth Wins Out will counter that ad with a full-page ad in the Salt Lake City Tribune. TWO’s ad calls attention the the Becket Fund’s ad demanding an end to “anti-religious bigotry” against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints:

“Beginning today,” they wrote, “We commit ourselves to opposing and publicly shaming anyone who resorts to the rhetoric of anti-religious bigotry, against any faith, on any side of the cause, for any reason.

TWO responds by including some rather shameful anti-religious sputterings by three of the Becket Fund ad’s cosigners:

“Hollywood is controlled by secular Jewswho hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular.” – Bill Donohue, Catholic League

“Mormonism either affirms historic Christianity, or it doesn’t. Since it doesn’t, it can’t call itself Christianity – a fact that all the good will and public relations in Utah can’t change. …”While Mormons share some beliefs with Christians, they are not Christians.” –Chuck Colson, Prison Fellowship Ministries

“Most evangelicals still regard Mormonism as a cult.” — Rich Cizik, National Association of Evangelicals

Here is the TWO ad. (Click on the image to see the full-size version.)

The Protectors from “Anti-Religious Bigotry”, in their Own Words

Timothy Kincaid

December 8th, 2008

Below are listed a few choice comments by those who oppose “mob veto“. These do not encompass all that they may think on the subject and some, like Ron Sider, may have views that have evolved over the years. But, nonetheless, these are statements that hardly add credibility to the position of the Becket Fund and it’s coaltion of indignant objectors to gay protestors.

Ronald J. Sider – Evangelicals for Social Action

We cannot ignore this general truth when we come to the issue of AIDS. If the Bible teaches that homosexual practice is wrong, as I think it does, then it is right to suppose that violating God’s law in this area will have negative consequences.

This is not to say that the AIDS virus is some supernatural divine creation to punish homosexual practice; have emphasized that I reject that view. But I refuse to bow to today’s widespread relativism and deny and ignore the clear biblical teaching that some actions are wrong no matter what Hollywood or Greenwich Village says. Ignoring the moral order of the universe has consequences.

As a citizen. I insist on the right to say that and to seek to shape public policy in ways consistent with that belief without being called a bigot. [Emphasis added]

Chuck Colson – Prison Fellowship

It’s these attitudes, and the worldview that produces them, that have fueled the gay-rights movement. It rolls on because it resonates with what many Americans believe. And that means that the only way to slow it down is to change the terms of the debate: to once again establish that we are not lower than the animal species, that sex is not for recreation-it is for procreation.

This is why, for example, we need to pass a federal marriage amendment. If we do nothing, we are going to be facing the same future that Christians in the UK are facing: a future in which preaching the truths of the Gospel is against the law.

Dr. Alveda King – civil rights activist

God hates racism and God hates homosexuality.

Add to this Mr. Obama’s unprecedented support for homosexual rights and anti-procreative marriage legislation, which includes his promise to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and which would unleash a storm of sexual immorality such as America has never seen: then we can see which way the wind is blowing.

That’s what we’re facing today in the debate over homosexual rights. Homosexuals can either choose to be victims, or choose to make a change.


William J. Donohue – Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

Who really cares what Hollywood thinks? All these hacks come out there. Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It‘s not a secret, OK? And I‘m not afraid to say it. That‘s why they hate this movie. It‘s about Jesus Christ, and it‘s about truth. It‘s about the messiah.

Hollywood likes anal sex. They like to see the public square without nativity scenes. I like families. I like children. They like abortions. I believe in traditional values and restraint. They believe in libertinism. We have nothing in common. But you know what? The culture war has been ongoing for a long time. Their side has lost.

Name for me a book publishing company in this country, particularly in New York, which would allow you to publish a book which would tell the truth about the gay death style. There are certain things that the left won’t tolerate. They are censorial at heart.

Marvin Olasky – The King’s College, New York City

Last week’s Washington tempest blew in when Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., said that if the Supreme Court in a pending case rules that homosexual practice is constitutionally protected, “then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.”

Instead of being defensive, Republicans who are both wise and shrewd will go on offense. They should ask gay interest groups and Democrats to respond to Santorum’s challenge: Make a constitutional argument that will differentiate the right to consensual gay sex from a right to bigamy, polygamy, incest, or adultery. … As Santorum knows, once we move off that [“developmental spec sheet” that God has given us], anarchy reigns.

But what happens when individuals or their churches believe that homosexuality is wrong? Gays need strong governmental action to keep people from speaking out against it. They need criticism of homosexuality to be declared “hate speech.” They need government to force religious organizations to hire gays or facilitate adoption by gays.

Roger Scruton – writer and philosopher

The propaganda that has tried to rewrite heterosexuality as an “orientation” is really an attempt to persuade us to overlook the real truth about sexual union, which is that it is, in its normal form, the way in which one generation gives way to the next.

This truth is recognised by all the great religions, and is endorsed in the Christian view of marriage as a union created by God

Equally novel is the loss of the concept of normal sexual desire. In 1963 we still saw homosexuality as a perversion, even if an enviably glamorous one. We still believed that sexual desire had a normal course, in which man and woman come together by mutual consent and to their mutual pleasure. We regarded sex with children as abhorrent and sex with animals as unthinkable, except for literary purposes. Thanks in part to massive propaganda from the gay lobby, in part to the mendacious pseudo-science put out by the Kinsey Institute (whose charlatan founder has now been admitted to the ranks of saints and heroes), we have abandoned the concept of perversion, and accepted the official view of ‘sexual orientation’ as a natural and inescapable fact.

Armando Valladares – former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission

[If Obama wins] more than ever, our society will be in great danger. One of his objectives is the dissolution of the family and its values. Obama supports marriage between same-sex partners. He wants to bring it to the Constitution. Obama is in favor of the adoption of children by gay couples. Rather than favoring prayer in schools, he advocates the distribution of condoms.

Not all signatories have expressed views that are so undisguisedly hateful or in opposition to equality, but by joining forces with those who expound views that are inarguably bigoted they are tainted and their argument loses all moral authority.

Homosexual Mob Violence?

Timothy Kincaid

December 8th, 2008

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty published a full page ad in the New York Times today decrying the “violence and intimidation being directed against the LDS or ‘Mormon’ church” by opponents of Propostion 8. Those signing the missive included:

  • Kevin “Seamus” Hasson – the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
  • Nathan Diament – Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations in America
  • Rick Cizik – National Association of Evangelicals.
  • Ronald J. Sider – Evangelicals for Social Action
  • Chuck Colson – Prison Fellowship
  • Chris Seiple – Institute for Global Engagement
  • Dr. Alveda King – civil rights activist
  • William J. Donohue – Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
  • Robert Seiple – Former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom
  • Douglas Laycock – University of Michigan Law School
  • Marvin Olasky – The King’s College, New York City
  • Roger Scruton – writer and philosopher
  • Armando Valladares – former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission

Although the signatories claim to “differ about a great many important things” including “the wisdom and justice of California’s Proposition 8”, I find little evidence of this assertion.

The chief signatory, Kevin “Seamus” Hasson is, on the surface, neutral. However he has on several occasions stated his opinion (and that of his organization) that marriage equality is “very expensive in terms of religious liberty”, has an impact that is “severe and pervasive”, and that he opposed the court’s actions legalizing same-sex marriage.

Some others on the list, including Alveda King, Chuck Colson, Roger Scruton, and William Donohue, represent the extreme of anti-gay activists – those who not only oppose marriage equality but any rights or freedoms granted to gay persons. Armando Valladares and Nathan Diament, while not outright haters, are on record in opposition to gay marriage as well as other rights and freedoms.

Others are lesser known and some are liberal on environmental or economic issues. Douglas Laycock advocates for the separation of religious and civil recognition. And Marvin Olasky advocates that “same-sex marriage be opposed only in ways that treat gays as still possessing human dignity”. Rick Civik supports some civil unions recognition.

But I was unable to find a single instance of anyone signing onto this list that was either directly effected by Proposition 8 or opposed to its passage. The range within the signatories is from “I oppose gay marriage” to “I really, really, really oppose gay marriage and anything else that would benefit gay people in any way.”

Now let’s examine this “mob violence and intimidation” against Mormon Churches and their members and see if it merits a full page of condemnation.

Becket and Pals listed a grand total of one objectionable event, so we’ll look at it first:

  • “Thugs sent white powder” to two Mormon churches.

It has never been determined just who sent the powder or why. That, of course, doesn’t deter those who think that gay people should quietly accept a second class status from making the baseless accusation.

The other incidences of “violence” (if you really stretch the word) through November 24th have been itemized by the Salt Lake Tribune. They consist of:

  • Disruption. A group called Bash Back! disrupted services at an Evangelical church in Lansing, Michigan.
  • Vandalism: There have been windows shot out with a bb gun, walls spray-painted, and glue poured into the locks of LDS churches. A Pentecostal church was peppered with eggs and toilet paper.
  • Minor Arson: A Book of Mormon was set on fire on a LDS church doorstep and a plastic plant lit on fire at a University. Someone tried to burn a Yes on 8 yard sign.

In addition to the items listed by the Tribune, I also know of:

Incidents of physical violence seem to have been limited to two, one on each side, and both before the election:

  • A man was hit why trying to protect Yes on 8 signs outside a church in Modesto.
  • An opponent to the proposition was attacked by a supporter and hit with a Yes on 8 sign in Torrance.

But from the language of Becket and Pals, you’d think that buildings were aflame and hospitals full from the victims of rampaging homosexual mobs terrorizing the nation:

Regrettably, some public voices have even sought to excuse the threats and disruptions simply as “demonstrations” that got out of hand. Perhaps that’s true in some cases. Far too many, however, seem never to have been demonstrations in the first place, but more nearly mobs, seeking not to persuade but to intimidate. When thugs send white powder to terrorize any place of worship, especially those of a religious minority, responsible voices need to speak clearly: Religious wars are wrong; they are also dangerous. Those who fail to condemn or seem to condone that intimidation are at fault as well. Consciously or not, they are numbing the public conscience, which endangers us all.

I condemn the behavior that is listed above. I do not, by any means, seek to justify or excuse vandalism. It is not appropriate to break someone’s protest cross even if she is seeking to insult and offend. It is absolutely not acceptable to trespass onto a church property in order to disrupt services.

But the sole instance that could even remotely be considered “nearly a mob” was the instance in the Castro. And while one incident may be “far too many”, this language is intended of obfuscate rather than clarify.

I have to conclude that this ad had nothing to do with violence against Mormons. Rather it is a way of demonizing gays and using insinuation to portray a community as violent and aggressive.

UPDATE:

Wayne Besen at Truth Wins Out lists some examples of the religious bigotry spouted by some of these very signatories.