Chicago's Roman Catholic Cardinal Francis George is reiterating his odious comparison of LGBT Americans to the Ku Klux Klan, a group traditionally known for violence and racism. Wayne Besen writes: George’s offensive remarks first came during a dispute over the scheduled starting time of the annual gay pride parade in June. The event was originally set to begin at 10am, but a priest bitterly complained that the starting time would interfere with morning services.
In an attempt to demonstrate goodwill, the parade organizers had "reached an agreement with the church and moved the parade start time to noon to accommodate services." The compromise apparently had little impact on the Cardinal.
After backing off (slightly) from those initial hurtful remarks, His Worshipful Self is now declaring that it's the organizers' own fault that he was forced to liken them to murderous KKK bigots. From an official statement by the Archdiocese: (T)he organizers invited an obvious comparison to other groups who have historically attempted to stifle the religious freedom of the Catholic Church. One such organization is the Ku Klux Klan which, well into the 1940's, paraded through American cities not only to interfere with Catholic worship but also to demonstrate that Catholics stand outside of the American consensus. It is not a precedent anyone should want to emulate.
The Equal Rights organization Truth Wins Out responded swiftly, taking out this print ad in the Chicago Tribune:
(Pictured Top Left: Pope Benedict XVI with Cardinal George; Right: Benedict aka Josef Ratzinger as a lad in Nazi Germany)
During this unintentionally amusing episode of PolitiChicks TV - but honestly, aren't they all? - SNL alum and Tea Party ham Victoria Jackson dons her librarian glasses in order to give gravitas to her shrill spiel. You'll notice that the other women on stage seldom speak. Like Jackson's eyeglasses, they are merely props, dead-eyed Stepford wingnuts whose sole function is to give Victoria's persecution complex and public nervous breakdown an audience. Prattles the porcine pundit:
"Islamic law has infiltrated your community, your country, and your life!"
"Islam is our enemy. Islam is not a religion of peace. That's a lie. It's called 'tekea' - you're allowed to lie for Allah." (Aren't we lucky that Christians never lie?)
"The Muslim Brotherhood is in all of our highest positions, including the President."
"The socialists, the progressives like Hillary (Clinton) want to destroy America."
"If we're under Islamic law, then my husband can cut my head off and stone me to death."
You may recall Jackson's online tirade against the popular television program Glee, where she referred to Kurt and Blaine's first brief kiss as "sickening." This woman isn't just a trainwreck, she's a national disaster.
Rumors about Ron Paul's fear and loathing of LGBT Americans keep rising to the surface of the media pond, disavowed by Paul's increasingly-defensive political strategists not to mention his legion of hostile admirers. Although Dr. Paul cavalierly dismisses accusations of homophobia, Talking Points Memo is reporting that "his campaign seems to have no problem working with and enjoying the support of anti-gay extremists, including one supporter who has called for the implementation of the death penalty for homosexual behavior." Writes Pemy Levy and Benjy Sarlin:
Paul’s Iowa chair, Drew Ivers, recently touted the endorsement of Rev. Phillip G. Kayser, a pastor at the Dominion Covenant Church in Nebraska who also draws members from Iowa, putting out a press release praising “the enlightening statements he makes on how Ron Paul’s approach to government is consistent with Christian beliefs.” But Kayser’s views on homosexuality go way beyond the bounds of typical anti-gay evangelical politics and into the violent fringe: He recently authored a paper arguing for criminalizing homosexuality and even advocated imposing the death penalty against offenders based on his reading of Biblical law... Reached by phone, Kayser confirmed to TPM that he believed in reinstating Biblical punishments for homosexuals — including the death penalty — even if he didn’t see much hope for it happening anytime soon.
After Phillip Kayser's yearning to exterminate gays and lesbians was revealed in the media, Ron Paul's handlers scrubbed a glowing tribute to the preacher from the Republican's campaign website. From the screenshot: ("We welcome Rev. Kayser’s endorsement and the enlightening statements he makes on how Ron Paul’s approach to government is consistent with Christian beliefs. We’re thankful for the thoughtfulness with which he makes his endorsement and hope his endorsement and others like it make a strong top-three showing in the caucus... Dr. Kayser has degrees in education, theology and philosophy/ethics. He is the author of over 40 books and booklets. Dr. Kayser has degrees in education, theology and philosophy/ethics. The name of one organization he founded describes well his ministry: Biblical Blueprints. His passion is to see comprehensive blueprints of the Scriptures applied to science, civil government, education, art, history, economics, business, and every area of life..." (There's more.)
The fact that Kayser's "passion" is to apply the Bible to "science, civil government" and "education" is Dominionism 101.
Over at Think Progress, Igor Volsky exposes another of Ron Paul's virulently homophobic associations:
Mike Heath, formerly of the Maine Family Policy Council and American Family Association, came on board earlier this month to run church outreach. Heath has suggested that gay marriage was to blame for Maine’s “endless rain and gloom,” writing, “Our leaders allowed a cloud of error to hide the light of reason, and then the rain began.” In 2004, he embarked on a witch hunt against gay members of the Maine legislature, asking supporters, to “e-mail us tips, rumors, speculation and facts” regarding the sexual orientation of the state’s political leaders.” Paul’s old newsletters from the late 1980s and 1990s have described HIV/AIDS as a gay disease and Paul himself refused to use the bathroom in the the house of a gay supporter.
See what happens when you crawl into bed with anti-gay religious zealots? Their hate comes back to haunt you.
UPDATE: Don Black, the leader of a white supremacist organization called Stormfront, insists that Republican Ron Paul has until recently appealed directly to the racist subculture for support and votes. You really must read this in-depth report by Charles Johnson on Little Green Footballs.
UPDATE: If you still believe Ron Paul never read or took credit for those detestable emails, check this out.
UPDATE: For gay voters who still think they have an ally in Ron Paul, read an article in which he argues that states should be able to outlaw intimacy between same-sex adults. (Astonishingly, Paul somehow manages to insert the Religious Right's standard fearmongering about gays and the Boy Scouts.)
For ideological prayer warriors, it's not enough that Mitt Romney has signed NOM's pledge to amend the U.S. Constitution in order to prevent all future recognition of same-sex marriages and civil unions. Serious homophobes in America, mostly right-wing fundamentalists and out-of-touch Roman Catholic prelates, are not convinced that the former Massachusetts governor expresses enough loathing for gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals. They want a real hater inhabiting the White House. They want a president like Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, or Michele Bachmann.
Enter Rabid Rabbi, Stage Right: Man-on-man sex obsessed Rabbi Yehuda Levin, who almost a year ago predicted that if Congress overturned Don't Ask Don't TellGod would punish humankind with natural disasters, is speaking out against Mr. Romney's candidacy. Thank Yahweh an overwhelming majority Jewish voters are LGBT-tolerant, supportive even, and they reject the fearmongering of ultra-orthodox flame-spitters like Levin.
Although Republican Mitt Romney is no friend to the LGBT community and with each passing day leans further right on social issues, he occasionally attempts to distance himself from the more inflammatory hate speech of "values voters" and his fellow candidates. (Could this be why Romney's prospects in Iowa seem to be improving?) Jon Ward reports:
A CNN/Time poll out Wednesday afternoon showed Romney leading the field with 25 percent in Iowa, up from 20 percent a month ago... The Romney campaign has never seen Iowa as a likely success for them given the state's very conservative base, made up in large part by evangelical Christians who have shown some uneasiness with Romney's Mormon faith in the past. Romney is expected to win New Hampshire on Jan. 10, and his campaign has prepared to make that their firewall in the event that Romney was eclipsed in Iowa by a surging conservative. But as of now, the candidate surging from the right flank is former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who could do very well here in Iowa but would have a very long way to go to convince most Republicans he is ready for a showdown with President Obama. As Iowa is now within reach, however, Romney could end the presidential primary election quickly with back-to-back wins, provided he does very well in South Carolina on Jan. 21, or wins it outright.
Several months ago, Jon Stewart wittily noted that after Texas Governor Rick Perry made a public spectacle out of praying for rain, the Lone star State caught on fire. It's a fair assessment. This summer's drought and accompanying forest fires were described by NPR as the "worst in Texas history." Deep in the wooded countryside, Art and I often smelled smoke and watched the sky darken before noon. Thirsty trees toppled, branches fell, leaves shriveled, pasture grass died.
During all this, I was riddled with anxiety about our pond which was drying up fast. We managed to re-route water from the pump house across the field and divert it into the pond, which didn't raise the water level much (evaporation was brutal) but it kept the pond from turning into a puddle. We fed the fishes with pellets from the local Tractor Supply Store.
Change of Seasons. Once Rick Perry stopped beseeching God to fix the weather and he went off to embarrass himself and annoy voters in other states, the bountiful rains returned - and so has our pond!
I proudly present these before and after photos. Color me content. (I'm ready for my ducks now, Mr. DeMille.)