Gee Pope, that’s mighty Christian of you…
Hat tip to PageOneQ
The Maricopa County Democrats recently posted a couple of homebrewed Flash commercials that target Jon Kyl, John Shadegg and J.D. Hayworth. It’s liberal humor, to be sure…
Hat tip to the Arizona Congress Watch
I mention Andrew Sullivan a lot on this blog. And I do so because it was Andrew who nursed me back to some sense of coherency in those early months after learning my son was gay. Now I do not actually know Andrew personally, although I sure feel like I do. But his was the first “blog” I’d ever read (heck I didn’t even know what a blog was at that time).
I stumbled upon his blog one day after a good old fashion sob-fest that left me with just enough energy to crawl to my computer and google “Catholic” and “homosexuality” in a feeble attempt to start tackling my own stumbling blocks to acceptance of my new reality. And all drama aside - he was my saving grace in those early days and I shall be forever grateful to him, hence my almost clinical attachment to Andrew.
Today Andrew had a post about an interview he did on CSPAN with Brian Lamb. In the interview Brian asks Andrew:
I don’t know quite how to ask this without sounding abrupt, but how can you then stay in the Catholic church and stay a conservative when both places are not terribly friendly?
And this was a question that I have to admit I’ve wondered many times myself. Especially in light of the fact that I could not reconcile my Catholic faith or my party affiliation with the Republican party once I knew that both were so hostile to gays and lesbians. As always Andrew has an eloquent answer here.
And of course I felt compelled to respond with an email to Andrew after reading his answer to the interview question and he published my comments:
"When I first found out one of my sons was gay I went immediately to the computer and googled "Catholic" and "homosexuality". It was the first and probably most painful of the paralyzing issues that I felt I needed to tackle in order to arrive at the peaceful acceptance I knew would eventually come. Sadly, I was already reeling from intense anger over the Church's enormous betrayal of its most vulnerable. The abuse scandal and the horrendous sin of covering it up for decades was for me so painful, so unforgivable, and so destructive that I was unsure I could remain a Catholic even before learning that I was the mother of an "objectively disordered" and "intrinsically evil" son who by loving someone would be committing the unforgivable sin of "deviant love".
I am so glad that you chose to excerpt your answer to CSPAN's Brian Lamb's question about remaining in the Catholic Church in spite of its open hostility to Gays and Lesbians. Your dogged commitment to remaining a practicing Catholic at first made me feel so ashamed of my own painful decision to leave the Church. I spent months agonizing and soul searching before deciding that my choice to leave the Church was the right thing for me to do. In spite of the fact that you and I arrived at different decisions, reading your columns and posts helped me to see another side to the story that I was not able to see because of my blinding rage and sorrow. Unfortunately, I just cannot worship in a Church that has deemed one of my children evil, especially when it is coming from a Church that has not only failed to take true responsibility for its own evil. As far as I am concerned, the moral high ground upon which they think they can proclaim gays evil, crumbled decades ago."
This may be the best report card Representative J.D. Hayworth has ever received. Too bad it is from the extremist religious right group Family Research Council (FRC), and not his constituents. The FRC is a Christian conservative non-profit think tank and lobbying organization in Washington DC started by James Dobson of Focus on the Family whose main concerns have absolutely nothing to do with the everyday concerns of the average Arizonan. But hey let’s look at the bright side, at least J.D. is striving to serve and make somebody happy, even if it is not the people of
From the FRC website:
Dear Voter and Friend of the Family:
Family Research Council presents our Vote Scorecard for the First Session of the 109th Congress. This Scorecard contains a compilation of significant votes representing a cross section of issues affecting the family. These recorded votes occurred in the
This scorecard shows how your elected officials voted on some of the critical issues involving the family. It is important to remember, however, that the votes you see here are only a few of the hundreds of recorded votes Members of Congress took in 2005. We have singled out for inclusion the most clear-cut, pro-family votes that came before Congress.
1 Rick Renzi (R) + + + + - + + + + + + + + 92%
2 Trent Franks (R) + + + + + + + + + + + + + 100%
3 John Shadegg (R) + nv + + + + + + + + - + + 92%
4 Ed Pastor (D) - nv - - - - - - - - - - - 0%
5 J.D. Hayworth (R) + + + + + + + + + + + + + 100%
6 Jeff Flake (R) + nv + + + + + + + + - + + 92%
7 Raul Grijalva (D) - nv - - - - - - - - - - - 0%
8 Jim Kolbe (R) + nv + + - - - - - + - - - 33%
Sick of politicians who care more about James Dobson, Pat Robertson, and Jerry Falwell's agendas than yours?
Vote for Harry Mitchell.
After watching this video I completely understood why the James Dobsons, Tony Perkins, and Jerry Falwells of the homophobic underworld want to keep gays and lesbians so intimidated that they remain in the closet and completely out-of-sight. As I listened to this couple I realized that I had completely forgotten I was watching a lesbian couple because I was so struck by the fact that when they talked about their hopes and dreams for their family, they sounded no different than me and my husband or my neighbor and her husband. Their hopes and dreams were no different than any other American family’s hopes and dreams. And it is a god-awful travesty that in this day and age that they should have to fight for the basic rights that everyone else just takes for granted.
And when the conversation turned to how supportive everyone in their neighborhood and community is of them and their family, I swear I could almost visualize James Dobson’s full blown panic attack. This is, without a doubt, James Dobson’s worst nightmare. No wonder these hatemongers are putting everything they’ve got into keeping gays and lesbians oppressed and out-of-sight. If people find out that gay and lesbian families are really no different than their own families, the United Church of Hatemongers will have lost their war. Denying basic rights to the evil gay boogeyman lurking in the shadows is a lot easier than denying Karen, Marcy and their children basic rights.
The Arizona Republic has recommended [JD] Hayworth’s election each of the past six times he has run for Congress. In those editorials, we noted his characteristic bluster and needlessly confrontational attitude but also praised his strong work ethic and dedication to serving his district’s constituents. Not this time. This time, we’re going to recommend his opponent, Harry Mitchell.
The biggest problem in Congress is extreme partisanship, and Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz., is among Capitol Hill's worst offenders.
Hayworth always has been an enthusiast for rough-and-tumble politics.
And there's a place for that. The outraged-partisan routine works pretty well on Sean Hannity's radio show or the Fox News Channel, where Hayworth often does yeoman's work blasting anybody who doesn't agree with him. It works poorly, though, in discussions or debates - forums in which even small measures of civility can go a long way.
And that scalding approach doesn't help get anything done.
It is high time to hit this matter squarely: J. D. Hayworth is a bully. He may not yet have reached the point where you can't take him anywhere, but you certainly can't take him to a calm, civil discussion.
The Arizona Republic has recommended [JD] Hayworth’s election each of the past six times he has run for Congress. In those editorials, we noted his characteristic bluster and needlessly confrontational attitude but also praised his strong work ethic and dedication to serving his district’s constituents.
Not this time. This time, we’re going to recommend his opponent, Harry Mitchell.
J.D. you need a time-out bud. Go back to the sandbox and let's get someone in your seat who is willing to solve problems rather than make them.
When you lose Kansas, you'd better be afraid, very afraid:
[W]hat in the world has happened?
The Republican Party has changed, and it has changed monumentally.
You almost cannot be a victorious traditional Republican candidate with mainstream values in
Johnson Countyor in anymore, because these candidates never get on the ballot in the general election. They lose in low turnout primaries, where the far right shows up to vote in disproportionate numbers. Kansas
To win a Republican primary, the candidate must move to the right.
What does to-the-right mean?
It means anti-public education, though claiming to support it.
It means weak support of our universities, while praising them.
It means anti-stem cell research.
It means ridiculing global warming.
It means gay bashing. Not so much gay marriage, but just bashing gays.
It means immigrant bashing. I’m talking about the viciousness.
It means putting religion in public schools. Not just prayer.
It means mocking evolution and claiming it is not science.
It means denigrating even abstinence-based sex education.
Note, I did not say it means “anti-abortion,” because I do not find that position repugnant, at all. I respect that position.
But everything else adds up to priorities that have nothing to do with the Republican Party I once knew.
That’s why, in the absence of so-called traditional Republican candidates, the choice comes down to right-wing Republicans or conservative Democrats.
And now you know why we have been forced to move left.
Hat tip to Balloon Juice
I cannot believe it! Finally a court courageous enough to make the right decision and all I can feel is despair, disappointment, and disgust. I knew this decision was coming down and I knew it was coming before the elections and I’ve been dreading it. Why? Because I knew that no matter what the court decided, it would somehow be manipulated to provide the perfect kindling that George Bush and his band of sorry losers needed to reignite a fire I’d hoped had long ago lost fuel. And as I’d anticipated, the news was grabbed by greedy opportunists like manna from heaven. And alas, just as I suspected it would, it has served to reawaken the most un-American and most un-Christian sentiments hidden under the carefully crafted guise of Christianity and Family Values, concepts essentially cheapened and devalued until they’ve become nothing more than a renewed call to arms for those who hide under a tattered bible while spewing their hate.
So what should have been good news has only tied my stomach in knots and left me trying to understand once again why in this great country in 2006, our President believes mob rule should determine what rights minorities are and are not entitled to. I never thought good news could hurt so much. And I never thought the word Christianity could be so badly mangled and twisted that for some people it is now synonymous with hate and bigotry. What a cruel and bitter irony.
Here are reactions from all over the spectrum.
court decision that gay couples are entitled to the same rights as heterosexual couples was bad news for social conservatives -- the bad news they were hoping for. New Jersey
I agree with Chris Crain. Moderation and patience are now what the gay movement needs. Not absolutism. We're winning the argument. So why demand total victory now when reasonable people, uncomfortable with marriage, can give us so much so soon, short of full marriage equality. Are we that impatient?
Twelve hours have passed since the NJ decision regarding civil unions, and my parents are still married and I can’t marry my cat. WTF?
Andrew Olmsted, a Major in the United States Army Reserve currently serving on Active Duty in the
But, despite my reservations about courts going too far and the possibility of bad second-order effects, it's hard not to be a little happy for thousands of gay couples who've just had a door opened to them.
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council:
"I have to think there are Democratic strategists out there thinking the words of the old Japanese admiral: 'I fear all we've done is wake a sleeping giant. They were coasting into an election with a Republican base with dampened enthusiasm. This brings it all back home to the base, what this election is about."
Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry:
"They attack gay people when the sun rises, and they attack gay people when the sun sets, so no matter what the court had done in
, they would have said Americans need to shift their attention from the real threats to our country to the alleged threat from gay couples seeking to settle down." New Jersey
Such judges need to be defied and they need to be impeached. Not obeyed.
The Wall Street Journal (in an article titled The Hitch, By DARREN R. SPEDALE and WILLIAM N. ESKRIDGE JR., dated October 27, 2006; Page A14) speaking of Scandinavian countries where gay marriage has been legal for years (by subscription – no link):
Rather than scapegoating gay couples as the attackers from which marriage needs "defending," pundits and politicians alike should look to no-fault divorce, prenuptial agreements and legal recognition of heterosexual cohabitation as the real culprits of weakened marriage. As the evidence indicates, societies where gay couples have the rights of marriage seem to be doing just fine.
And let me end this post with a reminder of what a big hypocrite and political opportunist our President is (not that at this point anyone needs to be reminded). This is a clip from two years ago of George W. Bush essentially agreeing with the New Jersey Supreme Court’s recent decision. So you’d think he’d be going on record praising this decision now – right? Well actually no, he made these comments when there was no election around the corner and essentially no political risks to being a decent human being, but now that his Party’s hold on power is on the line, it is time to go back into political monster mode and reach out to the dregs of his party and appeal to the basest of their emotions, it’s time to throw the gays and lesbians under the bus --- again.
George Bush in 2004:
Today I worked the phone banks for Harry Mitchell, the Democratic candidate running against J.D. Hayworth, the United States Congressman representing my district in
This district has always been fairly Republican so up until now J.D. has never had to work very hard to hold on to the seat and his re-election has always pretty much been a foregone conclusion. But thankfully, that is not the case this time. About half the people in this district are either deliriously happy about the potential ouster of ol J.D. and fairly receptive to my call, or they are spittin mad and none too happy about my telephone invasion reminding them that their representative may be facing impending doom. Either way, each time I dialed the phone today it was a crap shoot.
I can say with reasonable certainty that I probably never ever would have stepped into the campaign headquarters of any politician running for office and volunteered had it not been for the Republican Party’s 2004 decision to use my son as the rallying cry to drag out every bigot, racist, and homophobe from the woodwork and get them to the polls and ultimately keep George Bush in office and the Republican Party in control of every aspect of government. But when the Republican party chose to target one of my children and put my family under their microscope for dissection and judgment for political gain, they targeted the wrong g*d damn family and they messed with the wrong g*d damn momma. I can’t do anything (yet) about the man who sits in the White House, but I can damn well do my part to oust one J.D. Hayworth, a man who has worn out his welcome and needs to go. And if pounding hearts and sweaty palms are the price I have to pay to get rid of him, then so be it. It’s a pretty small price to pay for such a huge payoff.
And oh, by the way, Harry Mitchell is one great guy. I would not be volunteering for his campaign if I did not think he was the right person for the job. I certainly don’t want to jump from the frying pan into the fire! But I did my homework and I truly believe that Harry Mitchell is the man who can best represent the people in our district. And I look so forward to feeling like my family and I matter again (and not as targets for bigotry). It has been so long since I truly felt any politician sincerely cared about my family and the families of this district. It will be such a welcome feeling to finally feel represented again.
And to all of those unbelievably dedicated volunteers in the office today, thank you so much! Your enthusiasm, optimism, and hopefulness was contagious and I can’t wait to come back for more…
A few weeks ago we received an HRC sticker from the Human Rights Campaign as a token of their appreciation for a donation my husband had sent them. When my husband opened the envelope and pulled out that blue and gold sticker, our eyes met, but neither of us said anything. I knew what he was thinking because I was thinking the same thing. But neither of us was willing to verbalize it for fear of appearing disloyal to our gay son or to our commitment to fighting for GLBT equality. (And in our gay son’s defense here, I don’t even think he’d know what the HRC logo looks like nor would he have cared what we decided to do with it if he did know, so the dilemma was totally of our own making.)
But in our defense, my husband and I both detest bumper stickers and vanity license plates. In our 25 years of marriage, we’ve argued about a lot of things, but never about that. No car that we have ever owned jointly or otherwise has ever sported a bumper sticker or vanity plate -- ever. We ---- just ---- do ---- not ---- like ---- them. Period ---- end of story.
So after a few seconds of uncomfortable silence hanging between us, my husband did what he does best: he laid the sticker on the dining room table and walked away. I think he was hoping I would just deal with it so he would not have to. Unfortunately, I could not throw it away. So every time we passed that table, which was often, that damn sticker was there gathering dust and beckoning us.
And so there it sat and life went on until one day about 2 weeks later. I was out running some errands when I came to this red light with a long line of stopped cars waiting for it to change. I pulled up, stopped, and then proceeded to wait patiently with everyone else. I was deep in thought and not really looking at anything in particular when something caught my eye. Right there in front of me was a brand new silver Mustang convertible with its top down and an older man and woman inside enjoying the gorgeous day. And on the bumper of their beautiful new car was an HRC bumper sticker - just like the one we had at home on the dining room table.
When I got home I told my husband about the mustang and the sticker. It wasn’t a very exciting story, but I really needed to tell him about it just the same. And of course, he didn’t have much to say in response. But it was what he didn’t say that spoke volumes. He picked up that sticker, dusted it off, and took it outside and carefully affixed it to our car. We both then stood there in silence admiring his handiwork.
That couple will never know the role they played in the final and most important step of our journey. With their unwitting help we had finally stepped all of the way out of the closet. We had finally reached a point of peace and total acceptance. We were finally ready to announce to the world we have a gay son. It was never really about the silly bumper sticker, it was about taking that final step and yesterday we did that.
So I’m over at AMERICAblog this morning and there’s this picture of Bush doing an ABC interview posted with what looks like a gay rights flag hanging right behind him. John wonders if this might be some kind of a silent code that "gay is okay" right before the election.
And if that’s the case, here is what I have to say to President Bush:
If you’ve got something to say to the GLBT community and those who support them, then come out and say it – none of this subliminal chickensh*t crap. It is the least you can do after shamelessly using them every time you needed to rally the hatemongers in your base. And if you feel you cannot do that for fear of offending James Dobson and his gang of hateful homophobic bigots, then SCREW YOU, you are nothing but a spineless coward.
If the blowback from all of your filthy dirty politics is getting intense, tough. You’ve made your bed buddy, now you have to sleep in it.
Me thinks this guy wouldn’t know deviant behavior if it was right under his nose ---- oh yeah right --- it was under his nose for decades --- never mind…
At the risk of repeating myself, Republicans are hypocrites and they make me sick:
"You have to separate the marketing from the reality. The reality is, these members are not homophobic. For the most part, they're using this marketing to play to our base and stay in power. They have to turn out the votes,"
---- David Duncan, once a board member of the Lesbian and Gay Congressional Staff Association and a former top aide to Rep. Robert Ney (R-Ohio), who last week pleaded guilty to corruption charges linked to the Abramoff scandal.
And oh by the way, that “Lesbian and Gay Congressional Staff Association”, mentioned in the article, it now boasts over 200 members.
But I do have to thank John for giving me one of the few chuckles I’ve had today:
It never ceases to amaze me how gullible Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Donald Wildmon, Lou Sheldon, and the men at the Concerned Women for
are. Though this does explain why they constantly misinterpret the Bible - fortunately for our side, they're clearly not the smartest bulbs in the waiting line for Heaven. America
If the success of your campaign depends on demonizing, dehumanizing, or bashing any other human being or group of human beings, please refrain from calling yourself a Christian. It demeans the real Christians.
Thank you very much for your time,
I’m so tired of seething.
I’m so tired of feeling hopeless.
I’m so tired of looking in the paper everyday and seeing yet more names added to the list of young men and women killed in a war that was sold to us on false premises and then horribly mismanaged.
I’m so tired of worrying desperately about the direction of this country.
I’m so tired of feeling that my family has been victimized by politicians for political gain.
I’m so tired of feeling embarrassed to say I’m a Christian for fear of conjuring up images of Tom Delay or Jerry Falwell.
I’m so tired of seeing the list of Catholic Church molestation victims continue to grow while the Pope continues to claim the moral authority to declare gays and lesbians intrinsically evil.
I’m so tired of watching the list of corrupt “Party of Values” politicians get longer and longer.
I’m so tired of living in the aftermath of one of the worst Presidents and Congresses ever.
I’m so tired of hypocrites and sanctimonious politicians.
I’m so tired of filthy politics.
I’m so tired of feeling negative and hateful.
I’m so tired of telling my gay son it will be ok, when I have so many doubts that it will be for him.
I’m so tired of hearing people who do not even know my son call him evil.
I’m so tired of feeling like a mother bear ready to rip to shreds anyone who even so much as looks at my son cross-eyed.
I’m just tired.
I think I’ll go back to bed and have a good cry… Could someone please wake me on November 8th with some good news?
Thank you for listening,
Go back to the drawing board guys. This document is cruel and ignorant, but I guess it shouldn’t surprise me, considering the source:
The document explains the Catholic view of same-sex attraction as ''disordered,'' emphasizing that sexuality was given as a gift from God to draw men and women together to marry and have children. Gay relationships ''violate the true purpose of sexuality,'' as does adultery and contraception, the authors wrote.
I agree with Sam Sinnett, president of Dignity
…it was clear the document was prepared ''by none of us for whom it is intended.'' ''They speak in willful ignorance about people in same-gender families. They speak in willful ignorance about homosexuality—sexuality in general,'' Sinnett said. ''They are continuing to discriminate against us.''
There should be a self-help organization for people like me. And something tells me that if there was, the meeting hall would be filled to capacity. Here is what I’d say at the first meeting:
Hi, my name is Seething Mom and I am a former Catholic. Yup, I was one of those “Cradle Catholics”, born into a good Catholic family and officially baptized into Catholicism at about 3 weeks of age, indoctrinated into the Catholic faith before the world could taint me with alternatives, educated in the Catholic schools, and religiously ushered to the corner Catholic Church every Sunday for mass come cold or flu, rain or shine. My early years were so immersed in Catholicism that I wasn’t even aware that there were actually people who were not Catholic.
Yes I was Catholic, but even at a very young age I grappled mightily with some of the Church’s teachings that just did not make sense to me. At the tender age of 4 I wondered why my precious little baby brother (the fourth in as many years) had to have water poured over his head so he would not burn in hell if he should die, I could not imagine how something so little, so cute, and so helpless could already be so stained with sin that a supposedly loving God would banish him to some fiery place underground to burn for eternity. And if he was that dirtied in sin, why wasn’t it God’s fault? I mean c’mon the little thing was just 3 weeks old, fresh from the “God factory”, and completely unable to do a thing for itself let alone sin on a scale so big he’d go straight to hell if he died? And what about those babies not lucky enough to live long enough to be baptized – were they doomed for eternity because they had the audacity to die before they got water poured over their heads? If God was so perfect, why was He giving us imperfect goods?
At the age of 5 I wondered why I had to cover my head each time I walked into the church, while my 4 very naughty little brothers did not. I was far better behaved than them in church and yet I was the one God didn’t want to look at. And why did the Catholic powers-that-be suddenly decide that the once unbreakable rule of covering the female-only head was all-of-a-sudden not so important and drop it into the “never-mind” file?
And when I was 6 years old I wanted to know why on earth the nuns preparing me for “First Communion” felt the urgent need to instill so much fear in me about swallowing any kind of food or drink one hour before communion. They had me so worried that I was actually afraid to brush my teeth within that dreaded hour for fear of accidentally swallowing some of the Crest on my toothbrush, and yet I didn’t have to worry at all about going out for pancakes right after communion - when “the Body of Christ” was still sloshing around in my tummy. And then I was forced to wonder yet again why the once unbreakable rule of fasting before communion suddenly became breakable when it too was tabled in the name of updating Church traditions.
And when I got to the fifth grade I learned that missing Mass was a mortal sin, but then so was going out and killing someone (huh?). Even the “dumb” kids in class were puzzled by that one.
And when I got to high school I learned that to be a really good Catholic you had to get married, shun birth control, and have lots and lots of babies, regardless of the mother’s health, regardless of whether the family could afford to raise all those babies or not, and regardless of whether the family was emotionally equipped to provide all those babies with a healthy, stable, and loving home.
But probably the biggest problem I had as a teenager (most likely because my own mother was living the epitome of a disastrous, destructive and family-shattering marriage) was the church’s stand on divorce and remarriage. Divorcing an abusive spouse was frowned upon but “legal” as long as you didn’t ever remarry while said erroneous ex-love-of-your-life was still breathing. That was definitely forbidden in the Catholic Church. In fact it was such a big no no that you could no longer receive the very sacraments that were supposedly going to save your soul from eternal damnation if you screwed up in life, which of course was what you were doing if you remarried.
But wait --- there was a way around that pesky little rule --- if you had the money or knew somebody in the right places of the Catholic hierarchy --- you could get this magical thing called an annulment --- and then everything was all better, you could dump the lousy spouse, remain in the Catholic Church’s good graces and be worthy again for all those soul-saving sacraments necessary to get to heaven. And best of all --- according to the Catholic Church, that bad ole marriage --- “poof” --- never even existed. You could just pretend it was just a nasty dream --- and so would the Catholic Church (amazing the amount of blindness a few bucks can buy). And what about all the children of those “vanished into thin air” marriages, you ask --- well don’t, the Catholic Church doesn’t really have an explanation that makes sense.
Oh I could go on an on, but suffice it to say that there were many cracks in my Catholic faith and it was getting worse as I got older. And yet up until about 3 years ago, nothing was big enough to make me say good-bye and walk away. I stayed and became more cynical and more willing to overlook what I considered wrong with the Church. And I cannot explain why I allowed this unhealthy dynamic to continue, maybe it was laziness, maybe it was comfort with what I’d known all my life, or maybe it was an excuse to call myself a good church-going Christian, but whatever the reason, it was wrong.
And then the pedophile priest/Catholic hierarchy/cover-up scandal came to light and those cracks in my Catholic faith got oh-so-much bigger. The problems I’d been having with the Catholic Church’s nutty rules slowly began growing into a percolating under-the-surface anger and defiance. How dare those people shake their finger at me for daring to question some of their idiotic rules when for decades they have been committing horrible, unspeakable sins against children and covering it up to protect their beloved Church. And how dare they think they have the moral authority to tell anyone that they are sinners when they themselves chose to ignore and hide their own sins at the expense of so many innocent victims? I was utterly disgusted and enraged, but amazingly, not angry enough to say good-bye. I had become the classic Cafeteria Catholic, going through the motions so that I could say I was a good Catholic, but unfaithful to many of the Catholic Church’s teachings and even worse unfaithful to myself.
And then 3 years ago it finally happened --- 22 years into a good marriage (blessed by the Catholic Church of course) and 3 wonderful children later (all planned and timed with the help of birth control), the cracked and crumbling “thing” I was calling my Catholic faith finally came tumbling down around me.
We learned we had a gay son, an abomination in the eyes of God according to the Catholic Church, an intrinsically evil and objectively disordered human being according to the Pope. And even worse, according to the Catholic Church we had a son who, unlike my innocent 3 week-old baby brother I watched get baptized some 40 years earlier, could never look to a cup of water to wash away the sins he would be committing if he chose to do what loving humans do: fall in love and commit to someone.
That is what it took for me to finally walk away forever - a church telling me that my son is evil when I know in my gut he is not. God does not make babies stained with sin then doom them eternally if they are not baptized, and God does not make people gay and then deem them “intrinsically evil” if they choose to love. God does not make mistakes. But the Catholic Church sure has.
A quote from the Time magazine article, Why a Christian in the White House Felt Betrayed, written by David Kuo, the Evangelical and former second-in-command of President Bush's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives has gotten me on my high horse (again):
George W. Bush, the man, is a person of profound faith and deep compassion for those who suffer. But President George W. Bush is a politician and is ultimately no different from any other politician, content to use religion for electoral gain more than for good works. Millions of Evangelicals may share Bush's faith, but they would protect themselves--and their interests--better if they looked at him through the same coldly political lens with which he views them.
I better not even comment on whether I believe George W. Bush is a man of deep compassion or even profound faith. But I will say that a man who has raised gay bashing to an art form and cruelly used the GLBT community for political gain, shamelessly mocked Evangelicals in private while using them at election time to bolster his chance for victory, worried more about the welfare of corporations and millionaires than the people left destitute by Katrina, deceived and lied Americans into a disastrous war and then horribly mismanaged it, profoundly divided a country once united by unspeakable tragedy, destroyed decades of goodwill painstakingly nurtured with other countries around the world, consistently chosen to bully rather than negotiate, tramped, spit, and ignored the constitution, and played extreme hardball partisan politics when he knew half the country did not even vote for him isn’t really the ideal candidate for sainthood.
Lifted right from The Carpetbagger Report:
Over the weekend, the NYT's Frank Rich practically taunted the religious right about an inconsequential event at the State Department. Dr. Mark Dybul, who is gay, was sworn in as the Bush administration's new global AIDS coordinator. As Rich noted, Dybul was flanked by Laura Bush and Condi Rice.
While taking the oath, however, Dybul's partner held the Bible used in the ceremony. Shortly thereafter, the secretary of state referred to the mother of Dybul's partner as his "mother-in-law." Noting the event, Rich a) dared the religious right to raise a fuss; and b) used this as an example to highlight the fact that "trusted and accomplished gay leaders" serve in "virtually every other power center in
Peter Sprigg, vice president for policy at the Family Research Council, says the secretary's comments were "profoundly offensive" and fly in the face of the Bush administration's endorsement of a federal marriage protection amendment, though that backing be less than enthusiastic.
"We have to face the fact that putting a homosexual in charge of AIDS policy is a bit like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse," says Sprigg. "But even beyond that, the deferential treatment that was given not only to him but his partner and his partner's family by the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is very distressing."
Sprigg says in light of the Foley scandal, "it's inexplicable that a conservative administration would do such things." He also notes that Rice's comments defy an existing law on the books protecting traditional marriage. "So, for her to treat his partner like a spouse and treat the partner's mother as a mother-in-law, which implies a marriage between the two partners, is a violation of the spirit if not the letter of the Defense of Marriage Act," the FRC spokesman states.
Yes, right. Someone call the FBI — the theocons believe Condi Rice may have violated a federal law.
Indeed, in the wake of the Mark Foley scandal, the GOP's far-right base has been even more hysterical than usual about finding every gay person in the party, and driving them out as quickly as humanly possible.
Immediately after the Mark Foley scandal broke, some anti-Republican gay-rights activists composed a memo containing the names of closeted gay Republican Congressional staffers and sent it to leading Christian-right advocacy groups. The founder and chairman of one of those groups, the Rev. Don Wildmon of the American Family Association, told me he has received that memo, which he referred to simply as "The List." Based on The List's contents, Wildmon is convinced that a secretive gay "clique" boring within the Republican-controlled Congress is responsible for covering up Foley's sexual predation toward teenage male House pages. Moreover, Wildmon calls on the Republican Party leadership to promptly purge the "subversive" gay staffers.
"They oughtta fire every one of 'em," Wildmon told me in his trademark
Accuracy in Media, another far-right group, followed up with this unhinged gem:
"If you are getting the idea that gay Republicans may be closeted Democrats, then you are beginning to understand how the Mark Foley scandal could have been a Democratic Party dirty trick. […]
So if the gay Republicans are not really Republicans, what are they? One veteran observer of this network told AIM that the Foley scandal should make it crystal clear that the gay Republicans are in reality "liberal activists" who want to use the party to advance the same homosexual agenda embraced by the Democrats.
Frank Rich responded, "[G]ay people did not "infiltrate" the party apparatus — they are the party apparatus. Rare is the conservative Republican Congressional leader who does not have a gay staffer wielding clout in a major position."
Andrew Sullivan was on The Colbert Report recently, discussing this very issue. "They're going to have to purge all the gays from the Republican Party," Sullivan said, "or they're going to have to start behaving like grown-ups and treat [gay people] like human beings."
Read that report from the AFA again. I have a hunch the party's base has already decided which of the two choices they like better.
When I saw this picture of Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice swearing in Mark Dybul as the
Now how’s that for not only acknowledging Mark’s partner, but also the importance of the family ties that come with his commitment to his partner? I was so encouraged that I actually began to wonder if the Republican Party was turning a corner on gay issues.
But alas it took a headline like this to knock me back into reality:
Rice's 'Mother-in-Law' Comment Raises Conservative Hackles:
(AgapePress) - A spokesman for a family-advocacy group in
Well lookie what I found. My very own “esteemed” Representative, J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) is being recognized for something. He has made the list of “
A little snippet:
Hayworth's dimness is so legendary on the Hill that one
As I’ve said before, I cannot be counted as one of Mr. Hayworth’s fans, but far be it from me to let those feelings get in the way of being one of the first to congratulate him.
Go check out the article and see if your Representative is blessing you with as much honor and distinction as mine is.
Hat tip to The Carpetbagger
BURN IN HELL, that is the response of at least one radical Christian in
Now what on earth could get radical Christians in
With documentation of gay or lesbian behaviour among giraffes, penguins, parrots, beetles, whales and dozens of other creatures, the Oslo Natural History Museum concludes human homosexuality cannot be viewed as "unnatural".
"We may have opinions on a lot of things, but one thing is clear -- homosexuality is found throughout the animal kingdom, it is not against nature," an exhibit statement said.
Geir Soeli, the project leader of the exhibition entitled "Against Nature", told Reuters: "Homosexuality has been observed for more than 1,500 animal species, and is well documented for 500 of them."
Yep, that’ll do it - an exhibition that actually documents homosexuality (God’s little goofs) in the animal kingdom. I’m just a little unclear though who is supposed to burn in hell. The gay giraffes or the people who dared speak of them?
And I thought this kind of insanity was limited just to this country.
The split between the Republicans' outward homophobia and inner gayness isn't just hypocrisy; it's pathology. Take the bizarre case of Karl Rove. Every one of his Bush campaigns has been marked by a dirty dealing of the gay card, dating back to the lesbian whispers that pursued Ann Richards when Bush ousted her as Texas governor in 1994. Yet we now learn from "The Architect," the recent book by the Texas journalists James Moore and Wayne Slater, that Rove's own (and beloved) adoptive father, Louis Rove, was openly gay in the years before his death in 2004. This will be a future case study for psychiatric clinicians as well as historians.
Ooooh, I am trying very hard not to get too hopeful, but…
From the Advocate:
This year, however, opposition to such a measure in
Arizonais currently at 51%, with only 38% of voters supporting it, according to a recent poll, while the proposed marriage ban in is opposed by 49% of voters, with 41% in support. In South Dakota , which has ballot measures both to ban same-sex marriage and to create domestic partnerships, a recent poll showed that only 52% of voters are in favor of the former but that 58% favored the latter. Colorado
Pollsters attribute the erosion of support for marriage bans to better-orchestrated opposition campaigns as well as ever-increasing acceptance of gay people.
And from 365gay:
) The Tempe Firefighters Association and the Tempe Officers Association Thursday announced their opposition to Prop. 107, a proposed amendment to the Tempe, Arizona constitution that would ban gay marriage, civil unions and void domestic partner benefits for both gay and non-gay unmarried couples. Arizona
"Our organization is opposed to Prop. 107 because it puts our candidate pool for future firefighters at risk," said Rich Woerth, president of the Tempe Firefighters Association.
Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup, and former
Well I am going to have to temper any hopes til November, but I do have faith in the people of
Hey Pat, Jerry, Tony, Cliff, Paul, and the rest of you homophobic bigots:
It’s NOT WORKING. Americans aren’t buying your crap. Your attempt to scapegoat gay Americans has been an utter failure. The American people know the problem is lack of Republican leadership. You guys can twist the facts all
you want, but Americans aren’t buyin it:
A new just released nationwide poll shows that the aggressively coordinated attempts by anti-gay right-wing leaders and anti-gay groups to brand the Mark Foley scandal as a gay issue are a resounding failure.
And I have some more bad news for you:
The new, nationwide poll shows that, by a 2-to-1 margin, voters believe that “this type of behavior is typical of politicians” over “this type of behavior is typical of gay men.” The poll also showed support for either civil unions or marriage for same-sex couples at 66 percent, which is consistent with other polls on the same question.
So just keep talking guys, we could not have done it without your help!
“Some right-wing leaders and politicians have tried to divert attention from the congressional leadership’s failure to investigate Mark Foley’s abhorrent behavior, and their cover-up in order to hold on to power, by insisting that his being gay was the central issue,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “Conservative politicians have tried to promote prejudice against gay Americans, rather than push for accountability in this scandal. Today’s poll shows that Americans reject their outrageous claims.”
And if you need some talking points, look to the experts:
“The news is the Republicans have formed a circular firing squad, and they're firing away. It's just insane, this atavistic spirit to find blame just before an election. They'd be better to say, ‘Well, this man's gay, he does what gay people do, and so don't worry about it.’”
— Pat Robertson on “The 700 Club,” Oct. 5
“If the Republican House leadership is guilty of anything, it is of being too tolerant, of allowing Political Correctness, a fear of being called homophobic, to trump common sense. Whether we admit it or not, many male homosexuals have a thing for teenage boys, which is why so many of them wind up with black eyes when they try to pick them up.”
— Pat Buchanan, Oct. 6
“Democrats seeking to exploit the resignation of Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) are right to criticize the slow response of Republican congressional leaders to his communications with male pages. But neither party seems likely to address the real issue, which is the link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse.”
— Tony Perkins, Message to Friends of Family Research Council, Oct. 2
“We are very concerned that the early warnings of Mr. Foley's odd behavior toward young male pages may have been overlooked or treated with deference, fearing a backlash from the radical gay rights movement because of Mr. Foley's sexual orientation.” (Because we all know that the Republican Party would never gay bash)
— The Arlington Group in a statement, Oct. 3
“For the sake of honest and open government, not to mention protection of the children, the secret Capitol Hill homosexual network must be exposed and dismantled.”
— Right-wing blogger Cliff Kincaid, Oct. 9
“Where does post-modern American ethics place Mark Foley's homosexuality on a scale of 1 to 10 — a 1 being just another gay guy and a 10 being a compulsive, predatory sex offender?” (Shame on the Wall Street Journal)
— Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal deputy editorial page editor, Oct. 6
“The fact that Americans find former Rep. Foley’s alleged conduct reprehensible shows we have not bought into the false ideology that ‘all sex should be celebrated’ or that age of consent laws should be reduced as some special interest groups demand. Not all ‘diversity’ should be accepted and not all conduct or beliefs should be ‘tolerated.’ In the real world, there is such a thing as right and wrong.” (oh those dreaded no no words: diversity and tolerate)
— Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for
, Oct. 3 America
“Here is the real problem. It has been known for many years that Congressman Foley was a homosexual. Homosexuals tend to be preoccupied with sex.”
— Paul Weyrich on “All Things Considered,” Oct. 4
“I think that this -- there's an indication, there's clear research that shows that homosexual men are more likely to abuse children than straight men. And when it comes to government, yes, I have a concern that any type of sexual deviancy is a problem.” (Where did you find that piece of research Tony? Paul Cameron?)
— Tony Perkins on “Hardball,” Oct. 3
"It's early in the probe, but we may be looking at emerging evidence of a homosexual recruitment ring that operated on Capitol Hill," - Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media. The column is one of the most disgusting smear pieces yet to emerge from the bigoted swamp that is the Republican far right.
Dear Mark Foley,
It really is a shame that as an out gay man you are spending your first National Coming Out Day today in "rehab" (wink, wink). But really, Mark, perhaps it's best that you stay out of the limelight for now, because besides the fact that gays don't want to claim you, your coming out story is a tragic tale.
If oppressive religious bigots had their way, every gay man would live like you did, Mark. They aren't so much against the idea of homosexuality, they just don't understand why they have to acknowledge its existence. Between Beverly LaHaye saying kids of gay parents are better off born into a sham family and Ex-Gay practitioners saying how happy a gay person will be if they only pretend to be straight, it's obvious that they Just Don't Want To See It. They want to put us in a closet with the rest of society's skeletons, and they don't care whose life is destroyed in the process.
They fear it because they don't understand it, and it just creeps them out. (Hey, I don't blame them. Every time I see two heteros kiss in a Big Red commercial, I get kinda queasy myself. I don't mind straight people, I just don't understand why they have to flaunt their sexuality. ) They would much rather gay men like you and me remain quiet, hidden, out-of-sight. They want us to deny our own existence so they can comfortably ignore us.
But that's tough to do, isn't it Mark? It's tough to suppress sexual feelings. After all, human sexuality is a driving factor in all that we do. When we are not allowed to nurture our natural human sexuality properly, it can destroy us. My guess, Mark, is that you just never grew up. I don't think your misdeeds were so much a matter of power, and it certainly wasn't pedophilia. I think it was a matter of sexual feeling misplaced toward youth because you never allowed your sexuality to mature. You longed for your own romantic youth. I bet you actually cared for these young guys, Mark. That's the reason you were co-chair of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus, wasn't it? You wanted to protect these young men from the real predators, not from a caring father-figure like yourself. Oh, how ugly it must have been fooling yourself that way.
The ultimate point is you used the government page program that asks parents to entrust their kids' well being in congress as your own personal farming operation to find underage guys you perceived to be gay, hot, or interested. Then you contacted them once they got home and hoped to hook up with them when the became "legal." While it's still a question whether you've done anything illegal, it's pretty creepy, man, and certainly conduct unbecoming anyone who uses the word "The Honorable" in his title. (I mean I knew there were chickenhawks in congress, but still.)
Mark, THAT ISN'T HEALTHY SEXUAL BEHAVIOR. You must have been begging to get caught. That amount of hubris either comes from a feeling of absolute power or self-destruction. Were you crying out to be able to be out? Were you so desperate to not disrupt your Republican Lifestyle on the surface that you had to unconsciously risk everything in order to be who you really are?
Because uptight fundamentalists are bugged by actually acknowledging reality, they've manipulated their religion into an oppressive weapon. Along the way, Republicans like yourself sold out their conservative party to these fundamentalists and have risked turning
It was when you started to be called "disgraced" and "a pedophile" that you were willing to say, through your lawyer, that you are "a gay man." Well, Mark, I guess it's a start. It's a horrible start following possibly the worst gay coming out story ever, but it's a start.
I only hope that young gay men, lesbians, and all those questioning whether they have "normal" sexuality look at your sad tale as a warning on how living a lie can be so destructive inside and out. Will you emerge from rehab with new found understanding that you only have one life, and you have to live it honestly in order to be happy? Will you level us with excuses and accusations so common to a Republican Lifestyle, or will you allow yourself to be an example of Who Not To Be?
You only have one life, Mark. How are you going to live it now?
Happy Coming Out Day.
Hat tip to Pam.