Time to Resign for Cardinal “If You’re Gay, You’re KKK”?

[UPDATE: The moment where I seriously dislike Cardinal George]

Our friends over at Truth Wins Out (a non-profit organization that fights anti-gay religious extremism) want you to be aware of what they’re doing in response to the unfortunate statements recently made by Chicago Archbishop Francis George, wherein he compared participants in gay pride parades to members of the Ku Klux Klan.

Said Cardinal George to (gee, what a surprise) FOX News:

You don’t want the Gay Liberation Movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan …

As you’re likely already aware, there’s more to the story. (The June 2012 Chicago Gay Pride parade was going to interfere with the morning services of a Catholic church; the pastor of that church complained about that; Cardinal George, in his wisdom, sought to quell the tension [after the scheduling issue had been resolved] by likening gay people to the Ku Klux Klan.) But that’s the gist of it.

Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out, is a wonderful man whose righteous anger anyone would do well to avoid triggering.

Mr. Besen did not appreciate gay people being put in the same category as members of the KKK.

Consequently, this Sunday readers of the Chicago Tribune will find in that august newspaper this full-page ad, taken out by Truth Wins Out:

Mr. Besen and TWO would also appreciate all friends and allies of LGBTQ people signing this petition of theirs, which calls for the resignation of Archbishop George.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • Mike Kear via Facebook

    I concur, John. As a Catholic myself, I find this kind of attitude embarrassing and unChristian.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Candace-Goodwin/1048446643 Candace Goodwin via Facebook

    One of God’s finest…pfffft. Ignorant archbishop.

  • Sarah Crary Gregory via Facebook

    Can you factcheck a bit, please, and be careful about how you describe what happened? The pastor didn’t “bitch a serious bitch” about it. (Among other things, there’s a fair number of L/G folks at that parish, I’m told, and the pastor’s quite a reasonable guy.) The city and parade organizers changed the parade start time from noon to 10am. The pastor got in touch, saying the changed start time would conflict with Mass. The parade organizers & city said “Oops – sorry” – and changed the parade start time back to noon. End of story – except for the Cardinal deciding to go off the deep end with his KKK rant. Don’t go after the pastor or others about this controversy – the Cardinal owns it, period. Everyone else behaved quite civilly.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      You raise a good point; I’ve changed that wording. Thank you.

      • sarah

        Thanks. Much appreciated, and helps clarify what happened, and also highlights the discordant response from the Cardinal. If the parade organizers had responded offensively or told the Catholics to STFU or something, then the Cardinal might’ve had some reason to be angry, along with the pastor, for that matter. (And what of the city in all of this, after all? They’re the ones who initially wanted the move, from what I’ve heard, to make traffic management elsewhere easier.)

        But that’s not what happened, and even if it had, there’s still NO basis at all for the comparison to the KKK. That’s one of those slurs that should be reserved for white folks who dress up in sheets and terrorize people of color, burn crosses, engage in acts of violence – and even then, they have been allowed to march in (relative) peace. (cf. ACLU & Skokie)

  • http://inklingsofreality.blogspot.com Chris Coppenbarger

    Fact Check:

    The parade has been moved back to 12 PM. http://www.chicagopridecalendar.org/parade.shtml

    Another note is that this parade is on Sunday, an unusual day for a parade to begin with and obviously interfering with other church services to begin with.

    What’s the deal with having it on Sunday? What’s wrong with Saturday? It seems that there’s a larger agenda from the gay groups here.

    • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

      Are you serious in suggesting there’s some kind of dubious “agenda” with holding a parade on a Sunday where the millions of people who are worshipping are also accusing this population of “recruiting” kids to homosexuality, comparing their relationships to bestiality and saying they are a threat to heterosexual marriage? Seriously? Do you even understand what you just said?

    • mike moore

      Chris,

      I agree with you in part … what’s the deal with Sunday? This parade only happens once a year. Surely, once a year, churches could show us the courtesy of moving their services to Saturday?

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        score

    • sarah

      They’ve been on Sundays forever. In Portland, they’re often on Father’s Day. I have a t-shirt (wore it just yesterday, in fact), from Portland Pride, 1993. I know it was on Sunday before then, too. What’s the sudden interest, well over 20 years later, in trying to find some conspiracy?

      In many places it’s typically a two-day festival, with booths and such on Saturday, concerts, and bigger events the night before, with the parade the next day.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tonyabduncan Tonya Blevins Duncan via Facebook

    I have often wondered why it matters if you are gay or not, if you are a priest you’re supposed to be celibate?

  • Sarah Crary Gregory via Facebook

    (I do concur with the conclusion – Cardinal George should retire in January when he turns 75 – mandatory age to issue his retirement letter to the Vatican. It’s often a formality and the Vatican gives folks a year or two before they’re really gone, but it’s time for him to go. Now.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/christopherbuttner Christopher Buttner via Facebook

    Chicago Archbishop Francis George is going to be outed as a longtime pedophile by someone doing their due diligence in 5, 4, 3, 2 and…

  • Mariah

    I grew up in the Catholic church (sort-of; my mother was not very… active, I suppose?), and I left for good reason. My husband and I together have come to God, but NOT via the Catholic church. There are MANY reasons, but actions and statements like the above are definitely a major part of it. I don’t care how many letters and emails my uncle sends me about returning to the only “true” church; I am all done with Catholicism. I suspect the only reason we still have as many Catholics out there as we do is because leaving the Catholic church feels… weird. All the rituals. All the tradition. Going to a protestant church feels FOREIGN for awhile. Religion feels, for some, like… sort of like home. Like a blanket to wrap yourself in. So, to abandon all the Catholic rituals feels rather naked for some.

    …I’m okay with it, I guess. I was born naked, wasn’t I?

    I’m comfortable in my rather liberal Lutheran church. My pastor recently told me, “I don’t understand how people have so much time and energy to care about what other people are doing in their bedrooms and in their personal lives, no matter what they think is right or wrong. I don’t have the energy for all that. I just want a beer, and to go to bed.” Ha ha ha. I knew then I was in the right place.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sspencerwolff Scott Spencer-Wolff via Facebook

    Sarah is right and there’s more to this story than meets the eye. Aside from her view, which was confirmed by (Gay) Catholic friends of mine in Chicago, the history of the KKK & Roman Catholic Church is long and fascinating.

  • Anthony Archer

    There is no larger agenda here. Our parades are always on Sundays. Chicago’s is neither new nor novel. This has been the schedule for many years. The reason the parades are 0n Sundays is that we have festivals on Saturdays. Period.

  • http://www.truthwinsout.org Evan Hurst

    Yes, the parade was moved back to noon, Chris. That’s part of the point of this — it was a complete non-issue. After the priest whined, organizers rolled their eyes and, even though parades with 800,000 in attendance disrupt EVERYTHING in their paths, said, “you know, we can work this out.”

    THEN Cardinal George popped off.

    Also, gay pride parades are very often on Saturdays, very often on Sundays. In my town it’s a Sunday. Apparently also in Chicago. No agenda, just the weekend. You do realize millions of Americans, even churchgoing Americans, do other things on Sunday besides worship… (?)

    • http://skippingtothepiccolo.com David W. Shelton

      Thanks for all you guys are doing, Evan. The whole anti-gay agenda is to demonize us as much as they possibly can, but they never stop to consider how much they’re exposing their own vile wickedness in the process. But hey — hate for Jesus!

  • Gently Feral

    Chris, I’m not sure I understand you question. Unless the parade is marching right past the church and blocking entrance to/exit from the service, I don’t see how the parade “interferes” with any church service. “Competes,” maybe. And then isn’t it up to the parishioners to decide between church and a Gay Pride parade?

    ‘Course, if you’re a Unitarian Universalist, your church may very well be marching *in* the parade, but that’s another story.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sspencerwolff Scott Spencer-Wolff via Facebook

    In Oregon in the 1920′s – the KKK managed to get legislation passed forbidding Religious (mostly Nuns) from wearing religious habits while teaching – in those days the Sisters ran a great number of schools. They tried a number of other legislative attempts to limit any religious freedom other than their own, narrow Protestant mindset.

    Reasons for the Klan’s anti-Catholicism stems from both social and religious reasons. Historically, the Klan has Protestant roots (and not the intelligent, thoughtful Protestants either), from which it takes the more radical views on Catholicism. The KKK considers the pope a Roman dictator, the Anti-Christ, etc. Catholicism is notorious for its multi-culturalism, another mark against it. Socially, many of the immigrants coming to America were Catholics, (the Muslims of the day) whom the Klan felt were taking jobs away from “Americans”

    When someone, familiar with this history says, “You don’t want the Gay Liberation Movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan …” it makes perfect sense to me being familiar with the context in which the statement was made.

    Unfortunate perhaps – but hardly worth calling for the Cardinal’s resignation. He’s actually a pretty effective Pastor and well liked in the Chicago Catholic community. There are some FAR, far worse Catholic Bishops running around out there. Like the one who excommunicated a nun last year for stating that abortion “might” be permissible in some rare circumstances. Perspective is everything.

    • mike moore

      Well, you’ve just written a bunch of nonsense.

      I could list many churches, the Catholic Church being near or at the top of the list, that are spending millions and millions of dollars attempting “a number of other legislative attempts to limit any religious freedom other than their own, narrow (insert religion) mindset.”

      (By making such a comparison – while knowing his own church’s legal lobbying and politics – the Cardinal certainly confirms he has no respect for the LGBT community or denominations that believe same-sex marriage is OK)

      • Philthy

        Hi Mike!

        I’m afraid I have to agree with Scott, there was a much broader historical context to the Cardinal’s comments than meets the eye – especially the average, uneducated eye (such as mine!) I can’t help but think that many folks here are allowing emotions to outpace their reason. Your conclusion certainly seems to be more emotional and selective than rational. He emphatically stated that respect is at the basis of dialogue with the community; it’s an established teaching of the CC that every single human being is worthy of respect precisely because each is made in the image and likeness of God. And yet somehow you not only overreact to a mere parade comment, and basically ignore his bigger respect comment. Something’s not quite right with that…

        • mike moore

          Are you an effing idiot, or just trying to get a rise from us? Just in case you’re not an idiot, Philthy, here’s your lesson for today, Modern Politics 101:

          Cardinal George, is your bigotry and hatred beginning to show? No problem, simply begin to lie using words of compassion. The opposites game. Telling people that Black=White. Animus=Respect. Hate=Love.

          Use the word “respect” a lot in regards to the people whom you are disrespecting.

          Use the word “love” a lot in regards to the people you hate.

          Speak of how you are being victimized by the same people whom you are seeking to oppress. Be sure to talk a lot about how your rights are being trampled by a historically peaceful group of people who once a year want to have a parade on the public street in front of your church.

          When Cardinal George speaks of his or his church’s “respect,” in any form, for the LBGT community, he is more than disingenuous, he an out and out Liar.

          The Catholic Church and its hierarchy, like Card. George, is consistently, vehemently, politically, and socially disrespectful to the LBGT community. More than that, the Church is part of a group that causes great material harm to the LBGT community.

          Under Cardinal George, in 2011, the Catholic Church pulled out of foster care and adoption services in Illinois, because it wanted public funding while refusing to allow adoption by same-sex couples. The Cardinal and his church so disrespects gay people’s ability to parent that it would prefer to leave kids in the system and unadopted than allow the kids into a loving same-sex household. Nice guy, huh?

          Maybe you should also lecture those kids on how much the Cardinal respects them.

          The Catholic church also disrespects gay and perceived-gay children by fighting anti-bullying laws that include sexual orientation …. because there’s no way of letting the LGBT community know how much you respect them than by letting gay kids get abused at school with no legal recourse.

          The Catholic issues statement after statement against same-sex marriage, showing zero respect for the LBGT community, zero respect for the fact that we might belong to mainstream Protestant denominations which think gay is OK, zero respect for the relationships gay people have built in spite of their hate, and zero respect for the institution of civil marriage.

          Cardinal George disrespects my civil rights and actively seeks to to thwart them. I’m not a Catholic, and yet guys like George somehow think their personal faith should trump my rights in civil law.

          The problem here? I could keep going for pages, citing specific situations where Cardinal George, his Church, and their stooges, have gone way past disrespect and well into animus and hate. If you can’t see that, then try Google.

          The Catholic Church, as with many churches, has declared war on the LBGT community and is using every weapon – rhetorical and otherwise – in their substantial arsenals. There is no overreaction here.

          • Philthy

            Thanks for the lesson Mike! Unfortunately the mods won’t let me reply in earnest…

          • mike moore

            you’re welcome! and if you want to learn more about how much the Catholic Church respects the LGBT community, check out the news today:

            “(Reuters) – Pope Benedict said Monday that gay marriage was one of several threats to the traditional family that undermined “the future of humanity itself.”

            Undermining the future of humanity itself! Wow!! I feel so respected.

          • Philthy

            I don’t need the news to know the truth about what the CC teaches Mike – they produce encyclicals and a catechism for that – you might try and familiarize yourself with some of those resources. Otherwise you may continue to project your personal feelings and situation into a discussion that isn’t actually about you rather than deal with the issues themselves – such as you have done with a number of facts including the statement from Reuters.

            The CC has a belief that the family (ie man, woman and children) – the fundamental building block of society since the beginning of human history – is jeopardized by the LGBT agenda. It is a belief with reason to support it. You may disagree with it, but it is quite irrelevant whether or not it offends you. It is not their intent to offend or placate your sensitivities – they are speaking the truth as they see it.

  • Arthur Frymyer, Jr.

    John Shore, I agree with most of what you say every day. But THIS is complete and utter hogwash. Look at what the Cardinal said: “You don’t want the Gay Liberation Movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan.” What exactly do you find offensive about that? I don’t want my office party to morph into a Nazi rally. I don’t want my ankle sprain to morph into a concussion. I don’t want my chihuahua to morph into Godzilla. That doesn’t mean I think my chihuahua IS Godzilla.

    I find it appalling that an organization named “Truth Wins Out” would resort to distorting one simple statement like that into the giant propaganda campaign it’s been made into. Using propaganda to promote truth is somewhat like screwing for virginity.

    By the way, I am FOR marriage equality and gay rights. But I am AGAINST using propaganda and deception to further ANY cause, no matter where I stand on the issue personally.

    • http://www.nightwares.com/ Warren

      George’s statement is a form of concern trolling. When he raises the specter of outrageous bigotry as a possible outcome of a given event, the suggestion is quite clear that he believes it’s plausible for the event to degrade into outrageous bigotry.

      Naturally you don’t want your office party to degrade into a Nazi rally, but if someone who really hated you, your co-workers, and your company suggested that it might do so, you’d probably feel at least a bit annoyed, what with being tacitly compared to a Nazi and all.

      • mike moore

        Arthur, your writing is too intelligent for us to believe that you’re actually as shallow/dense as your comment would imply.

        You are smart enough to know that, in this specific context, when Archbishop George publicly states, “You don’t want the Gay Liberation Movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan,” he is making an expression of (supposedly) sincere concern that is meant to instill worry and/or agitate his congregations and other church-going folk.

        You know the Archbishop was not making a joke.

        You know that a Catholic Archbishop does not make such a comment without knowing he is making a comparison that will harm – politically, emotionally, and physically – the LBGT community.

        You know the Archbishop’s statement is in no way similar to someone saying, “we hope your dog doesn’t morph into Godzilla.”

        So, since you are smart enough to know these things, why are you the one writing Hogwash?

  • Joan Meyer via Facebook

    Points taken, Scott, but the Cardinal couldn’t have chosen a more incendiary comparison to draw.

  • Daniel Christie via Facebook

    Scott — no one is arguing about the history of the clan and Catholicism and there is no need for the history lesson. We are arguing that it is not relevant to what is happening in this situation and that it was extremely immature and mean spirited of the Cardinal to try and paint the ‘gay liberation movement’ using this example. And it is my understanding that the pastor involved does not see the link either. It was crude and the Cardinal deserves the back lash.

  • Mindy Brown Carney via Facebook

    That a religious leader is so out of touch with the rest of the community that he could not grasp how such a comment would be construed, even if that historical relationship is why he said it, shows that he needs NOT to be in a leadership position within the church. That he doesn’t understand the bigotry he, as a religious leader, perpetuated with that comment – or that he doesn’t care – is inexcusable. Sorry, Scott – I think it DOES call for his resignation – now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sspencerwolff Scott Spencer-Wolff via Facebook

    @Daniel – whether the Cardinal “deserves” the backlash or not isn’t the point for me – the point (for me) is whether making a lot out of this is really the highest value and standard I’m called to. I frankly (even as a former Catholic, monk and Seminary graduate) don’t pay any attention to much the hierarchy of the Catholic church says – why would this bother me?

    @Mindy – how many “religious leaders” (including my own current denomination, United Methodists) are out of touch with the “rest of the community” (if you mean the GLBT community – of which I am a card carrying member). I’m just not sure it’s helpful to selectively pay attention to much that they say – none of them should probably be in leadership positions. Should we call for the resignations of all of them?

    I just feel that our focus should be on what WE do, how WE behave and respond – and not spend a lot of time and energy on statements of others who are coming from a completely different perspective. I’ve read a lot of condemning of this guy, but no one asking him what his point was, or trying to understand his frame of reference. Isn’t that the Christian way? Just asking…

    • Donald Rappe

      “What his point was” I’m just a little older than this cardinal archbishop and also an ex-Chicagoan. I remember when he was appointed to the arch-diocese. The pope put him there to “tame” or perhaps punish this Christian community for being too liberal. His assignment was not to “listen to” the community, but, to dumb them down. Catholics in Chicago should have no problem taking his point: it was the usual one.

  • Daniel Christie via Facebook

    @Scott – I really think you’ve completely missed the point. The Cardinal is a powerful man(even if you have stopped listening to him, Chicago still has a massive Catholic population and when the Cardinal calls the Governor, the Governor answers ) and these words, in the ears of those who haven’t graduated from seminary, can lead to some frightening actions. Even in the city, with a gay friendly mayor, aldermen, and police force, there are still plenty of hate crimes. I’ve been called fag on the north side often enough that there are El stops I hesitate to use.

  • Sarah Crary Gregory via Facebook

    My son went to one of the schools in Oregon that was involved in the KKK issues generations earlier. (Pierce vs. Society of the Holy Names…) I know the history, and did read it in that context. As a Roman Catholic who’s written about the Church & LGBT issues before, and now a grad student at a Catholic seminary, I see a lot of the complexity here that’s being missed. First and foremost – lay off the parish. Period. They’re not part of this battle, and don’t deserve the vitriol or snark.

    I do think it’s time for Cardinal George to go. First of all, he’s almost 75. It’s time. He’s at the official retirement age. Second, although he’s done and said several things which I really respect, ever since some health crises he had a few years ago, he’s not been the same. This isn’t something he’d have said a few years ago. He’s also not using the moral authority he has in ways he used to, specifically regarding issues of income inequality and poverty in Chicago, immigration, racism – it’s time for him to step down.

    For the record, I’m Roman Catholic, and I’ve been out for over 25 years. I’m really disheartened by how much this has become about “sides” – “the gays vs. the Catholics” – especially since I’m both, but more because it’s emblematic of a trend in the US to see everything in polarized terms, and to use the same rhetoric we use for sports contests. “The Bears vs. the Packers” – and juvenile rhetoric to match.

    • Diana A.

      Good points. Especially your bit about how “…ever since some health crises he had a few years ago, he’s not been the same. ” That does happen–especially if any of these health crises he had resulted in a loss of blood flow to the brain or some other form of brain damage.

      And you’re right. It is sad that we tend to see everything in polarized terms and to use the same rhetoric that we use for sports contests. This attitude does tend to lead to an escalation of “rivalries” rather than a reasoned discussion of the issues.

  • Brian W

    The Catholic Church’s official position has always be decidely anti-gay, but comparing the gay right moevment to the KKK is even extreme for them…wow.

    • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

      Perhaps you might want to reread the statements in context, Brian. I think we all realize the rather tremendous chip on your shoulder you have regarding the Catholic Church but that’s not what this particular Bishop did at all.

      Lastly, you’ve said you’d vote against gay marriage yourself so I find it odd that you are calling out the Catholic church for being “anti-gay” (which they are) when you support the same positions they hold. It’s hypocritical and you should consider stop doing that unless your views have changed and you’d support gay marriage and vote for its legality if given the opportunity to do so (in previous posts you have said you would not vote for its legality).

      • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

        (Though this needs to be tempered with the acknowledgement of you putting sincere effort into learning about all of this. Change is slow.)

    • Philthy

      Im guessing you never actually listened or read the entirety of his comments Brian. If you had you would have heard him say – twice – that the foundation of the dialogue between the Church and the LGBT community is…respect. It’s hard to reconcile his actual comments with your contention that the Church’s official position is “decidedly anti-gay”. And just for the record, could you site the specific source you referenced as the “Church’s official position”?

      • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

        Here’s a link to Catholic Answers regarding homosexuality. It’s received the Imprimatur.

        http://www.catholic.com/tracts/homosexuality

        • Philthy

          I find the document coherent and compassionate and would not characterize it as “decidedly anti-gay”. How about you DR?

          • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

            I find it completely anti-gay, profoundly ignorant and pretty repulsive to boil down someone’s orientation to “behavior”. I’d love to see someone married in the church boil their marriage down to the oral sex they get from their wife in the bedroom on a Saturday night. When that happens? Get back to me.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            DR: Awesome.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JohnShoreFans John Shore via Facebook

    What vitriol and snark?

  • Sarah Crary Gregory via Facebook

    Oops – sorry. Not from you. This story is getting a lot of airplay elsewhere (and I see that you changed the language on your blog – thank you – was just posting about that over there). There’s a lot of noise calling for people to turn their backs on the parish or engage in other activities there because of the Cardinal’s response. It’s why I’m sensitive to the rhetoric used – they don’t need that.

  • Mindy Brown Carney via Facebook

    I agree with you, Sarah – that the parishes should be left out of it. Unfortunately, as long as the faithful are coming in and filling the coffers, the powerful often miss messages like this.

    @Scott – yes, I think being careful about *I* do is what I can do best to fight this kind of bigotry. But this is a powerful man, as Daniel said, and there are a lot of Catholics who do take what their archbishops, bishops, etc. say very seriously, so what he said matters. I met parents when my girls were young and in Catholic school who were otherwise intelligent, reasonable people, but when it came to church matters, their minds just snapped shut. If Father said it, it was as if God himself had spoken, so those higher up the chain than the priest *really* had credence. I didn’t get it then, don’t get it now, but know it exists.

  • Philthy

    A Catholic Bishop expresses concern that a parade might morph into a demonstration against Catholicism on the front steps of a local parish during Mass. Is that really what all this discussion is about or am I missing something? There is plenty to be angry or offended by these days, but not this. It makes me wonder whether there is an angry bias simply using his innocuous comments to justify expressing itself.

    • Lymis

      It’s worth pointing out something I have seen anyone else talking about.

      The Klan history in the Chicago area, particularly with parades, isn’t brought up at random. The KKK parade through the heavily Jewish area of Skokie was seen as a deliberately chosen attack on Jews – the Klan deliberately chose to march through an area that was not where they lived, and chose the route specifically to both frighten the Jewish citizens by sending the “you aren’ t safe from us even in your own homes and neighborhoods” message and to kick off a series of court decisions that yes, even though their message was vile, they had the right to peacefully march.

      Cardinal George’s use of the KKK in a parade context cannot have been an accident. The Cardinal is trying to put the idea that the Pride Parade is a bunch of dangerous, hostile outsiders parading specifically as an attack on Catholicism, when what’s true is that the city chose the new route because of traffic congestion issues, it is NOT a one-time protest march, and this IS the marchers home and neighborhoods.

      • Philthy

        Im sorry Lymis, but your claim that “The Cardinal is trying to put the idea that the Pride Parade is a bunch of dangerous, hostile outsiders…” simply cannot be reconciled with his comments -during the very same interview – where he acknowledges his respect of the LGBT marchers, and that mutual respect is the basis of their dialogue.

        You have, however, successfully concluded that in his KKK comment he was not drawing an analogy between the hatred of KKK members and the LGBT marchers (as the OP and others have attempted to do), but rather he was simply expressing what he did not wish to become of the parade. This validity of this latter point largely obviates the discussion IMHO.

        • Lymis

          Oh hogwash.

          This “merely stating a hope that things don’t turn into something horrible down the road” defense doesn’t fly. It doesn’t in this case, and it doesn’t in any other case.

          Would you buy it if someone said “We don’t want a cheerleading squad at the high school because we don’t want the girls to grow up to be whores?”

          Would you buy it if someone said “We don’t want black students in the same school as white students because we don’t want assaults and knife fights in class every day?”

          Then stop pretending “we don’t want to allow a peaceful, festive, and fun parade to pass in front of a church because we don’t want gay people to turn into the Ku Klux Klan” is anything other than undisguised anti-gay bigotry.

          • Philthy

            Hi Lymis!

            I think you came close to expressing the Bishops intent, but simply couldn’t help yourself by completely misrepresenting his actual statement. It shoulda been more like this:

            “we don’t want to allow a peaceful, festive, and fun parade to pass in front of our church – at the exact time and day they planned – because we don’t want it to turn into an anti-catholic situation on the doorsteps of a local parish when people will be there to worship, such as has happened with KKK paraders who also disliked the Catholic Churches positions on issues they care about. ” Now, I agree that the Bishops KKK reference was unnecessary, but I honestly don’t believe he intended to malign the gay community in the manner you and others are suggesting.

          • mike moore

            you gotta be kidding me.

          • Ursula L

            On what planet is it even possible to compare a group of people to the KKK and not be maligning them?

            If you know enough about the KKK to make such a comparison, then you know that it’s an insult to make such a comparison.

          • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

            An apology has been made for the comparison which was the right thing to do. Consider that – I know how hard it is to watch what and who validates us with such depth, love and vitality get attacked but it’s an opportunity for us to detach from the illusion that the Catholic church is perfect. It’s not, it is flawed and deeply damaged and we can still be supported and strengthened by it while acknowledging that too. It’s critical that we do, we’re called to be a part of Her restoration.

  • Dan

    It seems that many of your posts on the differences in opinions within the Christian community on highly emotional issues are meant to incite anger rather than promote understanding, compassion, empathy and love. John Paul II called for the “New Evangelization” so that the many Christian demonitions would focus on the 99% where we agree doctrinally. We need less “activism” and more thoughtful, less emotional and more intelligent discourse on issues like this. Not gay or Catholic bashing or overbroad, gross, uninformed statements about what Catholic doctrine is on issues such as this. The Catholic Church, as did Christ Himself, loves and welcomes persons of all persuasions, colors, opinions etc., because each of us, gay, black, yellow Jew, Episcopal, Catholic, Zen, etc. – are all made in God’s image – with one exception: we are sinners, all of us, and we will always fail at trying to be perfect. Thank goodness the God I know accepts me for what I am – a sinner who tries, and fails, to be more like Him – and loves me all the same, so much so that He sent His Son to carry the weight of my sin and prove His love for me and all of mankind. The following quote is from a letter John Paul II wrote to all the Catholic Bishops in 1986. The current Pope, then Cardinal Ratzinger, was the prefect who ensured its pubilication. I urge all of you to look deeper into Catholic doctrine before condemning it. After the quote you will find a link to the entire letter. The letter is well worth a read if this is an important issue to you and your friends. “The human person, made in the image and likeness of God, can hardly be adequately described by a reductionist reference to his or her sexual orientation. Every one living on the face of the earth has personal problems and difficulties, but challenges to growth, strengths, talents and gifts as well. Today, the Church provides a badly needed context for the care of the human person when she refuses to consider the person as a “heterosexual” or a “homosexual” and insists that every person has a fundamental Identity: the creature of God, and by grace, his child and heir to eternal life.” http://www.vatican.va/​roman_curia/congregations/​cfaith/documents/​rc_con_cfaith_doc_19861001_​homosexual-persons_en.html

    • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

      John is a writer – he’s not a pastor. For me this is an example of the tone policing that frequently occurs when someone is honest about how angry they are about this issue, about racism, about money, women’s rights – all of the tough issues we struggle with collectively.

      If Christians are going to engage honestly, in my opinion, in any of the issues above then we need to toughen up a little bit and be ok with getting our emotional feathers really ruffled. People are angry. We even have some examples of Jesus *losing it* in the temple, being so devastated with grief over Lazarus dying that He brought him back from the dead. Granted, it’s easy to project emotion in written text so that’s not conclusive specifically but we do seem to have patterns of Jesus that demonstrate He felt anger in huge, massive ways.

      I say all of this, knowing I can be too angry and I get that it can get way too personal and destructive. It keeps me from listening. I draw conclusions. So you’re right in asking us to pay attention to that. Though I do think Christians based on my observation and experience feel entitled to step away from conversation when it gets too heated, too angry.

      Anger is sometimes a gift – it burns and purifies. I don’t think we have a great relationship with it. And I think we’re made of really durable, God-designed material that can withstand the emotion that makes us uncomfortable, that even makes us feel accused. Sometimes we’re guilty and it’s hard to face. Jesus isn’t an immunity card where we only get to choose to deal with the people who meet our definition of civilized and remain authentic to letting Him work through us.

      • http://www.barnmaven.com Barnmaven

        DR, how many different ways can I tell you how much I love and appreciate you?

        Anger is one of the most difficult emotions, both in its proper expression and in its reception. Anger repressed is dangerous, just as anger overly expressed is dangerous. Anger must be given its voice and acknowledged, and it is appropriate when someone has done something that angers us to express that.

        Telling people they can’t be angry is like spitting at the sun to make it stop shining.

        • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

          Smooch! I’m a big bit** – there’s no denying that – I can be a jerk so I’ll be the first to raise my hand and say guilty as charged for starting an anger flash fire. But I’m better for having faced the anger, abuse and rage of those who hate Jesus as a result of Christians being evil. It toughened me up. I love that quote about the sun, I’m stealing that. xoxo

  • Dan

    In addition – I have been to the Gay Parade. The behavior exhibited there, whether by homosexuals or heterosexuals, is not fit for public consumption. I am not a prude, but I don’t want to see anyone, any color, any sexual preference, any height or weight, french kissing, squeezing each other’s rear ends half naked on a float going down the middle of a public street. This is what happens at the parade – honest to goodness. I can understand the distraction it would cause for people, especially youngsters, walking out of church, Catholic or otherwise. Flippant remarks wihtout understanding the nature, context, background and doctrine behind the Bishop’s comments is intellectually dishonest and does absolutely nothing to strengthen the Body of Christ.

    • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

      Have you been to a high school dance recently? I’d suggest skipping it if this kind of behavior offends you.

      • Philthy

        High School dances aren’t public events paraded indiscriminately for all to see – there is no “skipping” them – unless you are part of the class you are not invited.

        • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

          The obvious point I was making that you’re clearly choosing not to see is that this kind of promiscuity happens with straight people – kids! All the time. In Catholic high schools as well as public high schools. In the streets.

          The larger point is who can blame gay men and women for their public displays of affection when the Catholic church and the rest of Christianity has called that kind of behavior immoral and against God? We’re the ones who’ve shoved them in the closet – if they want to have a day where they make out with one another in public as a way of pushing back? More power to them.

          Those of you who find it immodest would do well to look at the reasons beneath those choices instead of focusing on how it makes you or your kids uncomfortable and more importantly, why.

          • Lymis

            And of course, all straight people behave with calm decorum at other major parades and events.

            Dan may have attended Pride Parades, but he’s clearly never been to a Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade, much less something like Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

            Nor, apparently, been to the beach on a hot day in Chicago – people in the pride parades are generally noticeably less “half-naked” than people at the beach – who (the horror!) actually take their kids with them, and (shocking!) force their kids to dress the same way. Why, many of these disgusting beach-goers even go to church the same morning they go to the beach!

            Nor do you get to claim that swimsuits belong at the beach but not on a parade float- because that’s manifestly not true. Summer parades often feature beauty-pageant winners in skimpy outfits, not to mention cheerleaders and other skimpily dressed people. And, of course, they’re traditional, and therefore perfectly appropriate, for Pride Parades.

            And, of course, the vast, vast, vast majority of people who march in Pride Parades are in jeans and t-shirts or some other perfectly normal streetwear. They just don’t end up in all the “be shocked! They’re coming to your town!” photos.


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