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    April 18, 2008

    Trolling for Catholics, dissing gays

    Posted by: Chris

    Popebush385_317573a Pope Benedict's visit to the U.S. this week coincides with the closing days before the crucial Democratic presidential primary in Pennsylvania, where Catholics are expected to cast about one-third of the votes. Many of those Catholics are the same working class whites that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are competing so vigorously to win over.

    As a result, you would expect both candidates to do a bit of papal pandering, looking for whatever edge they can find going into next Tuesday's ballot. That said, neither candidate even acknowledged Benedict's aggressive political role in challenging any sort of legal recognition of gay relationships, not to mention his vocal opposition to abortion rights and the Vatican's maddeningly unethical challenge to condom distribution in the fight against HIV.

    Both statements are in the jump to this post in full, but these excerpts are representative.

    First, Obama:

    At a time when American families face rising costs at home and a range of worries abroad, the theme of Pope Benedict’s journey, "“Christ Our Hope," offers comfort and grace as well as a challenge to all faith communities to put our faith into action for the common good.  It will not only be Catholics who are listening to the Holy Father’s message of hope and peace; all Americans will be listening with open hearts and minds.

    Now, Clinton:

    We are blessed to receive a visit from His Holiness, Pope Benedict, to the United States this week. Not only is he the spiritual leader of America's great Catholic community, he is a strong and effective voice for the cause of peace, freedom, and justice as well as the fight against poverty and disease. … His apostolic journey is built on the theme of Christian hope, and as he has said, the Gospel message is 'deeply rooted' in our country. We all pray that he will have a safe and successful visit to America, and that everyone will find inspiration in his presence and his words.

    Of the two, Clinton's is particularly appalling, with the astonishing acknowledgment of this pope as "a strong and effective voice for the cause of … freedom and justice," not to mention praising his "fight against … disease."

    Even setting aside the Vatican's shockingly immoral handling of thousands of child sexual abuse claims -- covering up claims, shuffling pedophile priests to new dioceses, then blaming homosexuality when the scandal blew up -- the Catholic leadership, and this pope in particular, is hardly a champion for peace or a warrior against disease.

    Shame on Hillary Clinton for saying so.

    (Photo of Pope Benedict XVI and George Bush via Times Online)

    Hillary Clinton's statement:

    Statement From Hillary Clinton On Pope Benedict's Visit To The U.S.

    "We are blessed to receive a visit from His Holiness, Pope Benedict, to the United States this week. Not only is he the spiritual leader of America's great Catholic community, he is a strong and effective voice for the cause of peace, freedom, and justice as well as the fight against poverty and disease. His visit to the United States this week should be a very impactful one. I particularly appreciate his going to Ground Zero with some of the families who lost loved ones there. I hope that his message about economic justice and global development will get an appropriate hearing both in our country and in the government. I also applaud Pope Benedict's example and leadership on addressing global warming making the Vatican a model in conservation for all to emulate.

    "His apostolic journey is built on the theme of Christian hope, and as he has said, the Gospel message is 'deeply rooted' in our country. We all pray that he will have a safe and successful visit to America, and that everyone will find inspiration in his presence and his words."

    Barack Obama's statement:

    Obama Statement Pending the Arrival of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI

    Today Senator Obama issued the following statement to mark the arrival of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for his apostolic journey to the United States.

    "On behalf of our family, Michelle and I want to extend our warmest welcome to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI as he arrives for his historic apostolic journey to the United States.  As committed Christians, we join millions of Americans – Catholics and members of all faith communities – in offering our prayers for the success of the Holy Father’s visit.

    "At a time when American families face rising costs at home and a range of worries abroad, the theme of Pope Benedict’s journey, "“Christ Our Hope," offers comfort and grace as well as a challenge to all faith communities to put our faith into action for the common good.  It will not only be Catholics who are listening to the Holy Father’s message of hope and peace; all Americans will be listening with open hearts and minds."

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    Comments

    1. queerunity on Apr 18, 2008 5:19:39 PM:

      well it isnt just dissing gays, it is dissing feminists, people who believe in evolution, science/health, sexual abuse victims, and those who support safe-sex condoms, birth control, abortions.

      http://www.queersunited.blogspot.com

    1. Strict Scrutiny on Apr 19, 2008 11:10:08 AM:

      I am going to take a lot of flak for my comments, but I just can't let the negative tone of this post go completely unchallenged.

      First, let me say that nothing I am about to say in any way excuses the shocking failure of the church or its leadership to address the priest pedophilia problem. Even worse was the church's misguided attempt to protect the institution, rather than the victims. I also agree that the church is out of touch on many social issues.

      That said, the Catholic church has an unparalleled commitment to social justice and the fight against poverty in modern day institutions. And I credit the Catholic leadership, including this pope and his predecessor, for instilling such strong values in the Catholic community on these issues.

      On the subject of "gay," the Pope has made conflicting statements on homosexuality, but most recently, he has made a clear distinction between homosexuality and pedophelia, stating in, essence, that gay priests are not the problem --pedophiles are the problem. Also, this pope has spoken out against violence and in favor of peace on several occasions. John-Paul II was certainly more active in meeting with world leaders and preaching the gospel of peace, but he was pope for 22 years and was in his 50's when elected. Benedict has been pope for 4 years and is 81 -- he's not going to be able to maintain the same pace.

      To sum up, the Catholic church unquestionably has much to atone for. But I am not, at this point, ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater.


    1. Tim on Apr 19, 2008 6:12:27 PM:

      being merely a humanist, I don't have to concern myself with the soul searching of gay catholics. but since his church fights so hard against gay recognition, and essentially blamed the victims in the current child abuse scandal. (blaming the society that twisted them into committing so crimes, not the state of unnatural celibacy he enforces on his priest) I find myself not impressed by his church. However on the flip side his theological battle against islam is going well and since they want to kill me for being gay and catholics don't he's by far the better of two evils. I'm still not kissing that damn ring though.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Apr 19, 2008 7:25:22 PM:

      I don't know why you would get in trouble, Strict Scrutiny.

      Maybe it's because so many gays think that religion is, quote, "just a bunch of middle eastern fairy tales and lies intended to control weak-minded fools who can't reason or think for themselves."

    1. Strict Scrutiny on Apr 19, 2008 8:35:07 PM:

      NDT-

      This is pathetic, if not disturbing. That you have the time and energy to troll through year-old letters to the editor in the Sacramento Bee, which is not even your local newspaper, to find comments I made in a local, non-blog forum is disturbing. It's one thing to pick out my comments from this blog, but to do a google search or whatever the hell you did, to find year-old newspaper comments? Who are you? Glenn fuckin' Close?


    1. North Dallas Thirty on Apr 20, 2008 12:34:20 AM:

      Funny; gay Democrats pay John Aravosis and Mike Rogers to dig through peoples' trash, illegally break into online records, make harassing phone calls, and generally try to destroy a person's life and career, rationalizing it as "exposing hypocrisy", but compare anyone who points out the utterly-contradictory statements they make to an actress who played a knife-wielding psychopathic stalker.

      Honey, get over yourself; you ain't no Michael Douglas. And, if the point had been to expose your identity, I would have done it a long time ago.

      If you've decided to change your attitude towards religion and Christians, great, more power to you. But you're going to have to explain what you were saying previously in that new context.

    1. Strict Scrutiny on Apr 20, 2008 2:08:21 AM:

      You know, I never thought I'd have to create a new, anonymous e-mail address to prevent people like you from trolling the internet for personal information about me and then posting it on blog sites. You are such an ass.

      Like I said, if you want to comment on something I post here, fine. But otherwise, stay the fuck out of my personal business.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Apr 20, 2008 4:04:10 AM:

      Again, Strict Scrutiny, I did not reveal your identity. I simply quoted something that you had posted, but did not state that you personally had posted it at any time when I quoted it. You did.

      And no, being an ass would have been calling your boss and your acquaintances, demanding that you be fired, then calling and pretending to be gathering information for the police to harass and frighten people into answering your questions -- like the paid operatives of the Democrat Party do.


    1. Strict Scrutiny on Apr 20, 2008 9:56:17 AM:

      I don't care how you want to justify it to yourself. Just don't do it again.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Apr 20, 2008 1:22:45 PM:

      Strict Scrutiny, all the drama-queen theatrics that you are pulling are simply a very pathetic attempt to smokescreen the fact that you are saying contradictory things.
      '
      What is clear is that you think religion is "just a bunch of middle eastern fairy tales and lies intended to control weak-minded fools who can't reason or think for themselves". Why on earth are you trying to pretend that you believe otherwise here?

    1. Strict Scrutiny on Apr 20, 2008 4:15:10 PM:

      Strict Scrutiny, all the drama-queen theatrics that you are pulling are simply a very pathetic attempt to smokescreen the fact that you are saying contradictory things.

      And your desire to learn more about me makes you even more pathetic AND a nut.

    1. Kevin on Apr 29, 2008 9:59:18 PM:

      Wow, there are all sorts of closets out there...All sorts of "rules" about how public a person should be, or what rights they have to their own anonymity or not.

      Curiouser and curiouser. People expect the right to free speech and opinions from behind a mask to be unfettered, and their mask to be some inalienable choice that cannot be questioned. Gay Republican staffers, and gay liberal posters on various blogs alike (this goes way beyond you, SS), and they like to use their masks and shields to throw barbs and bombs at each other but don't you dare question their shields.

      The whole thing is just ridiculous.

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