Blowhard Bill Donohue is at it again. Donohue wants us to believe that the Free Exercise clause in the First Amendment entitles Catholic Charities to discriminate against gay people. Donohue’s tirade is titled: THE LEFT’S IDEA OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY. The left, according to Blowhard Bill, consists of individuals who are not conservative Catholics.
Some of the lowlights:
When conservative religious persons speak about religious liberty, they have in mind a robust interpretation of the free exercise provision of the First Amendment. This view is not shared by the comparatively few religious persons on the left.
Apparently Justice Antonin Scalia was one among the “few religious persons on the left.” Scalia authored the opinion for the majority of the Supreme Court in Employment Division v. Smith. In brief Scalia asserted that there can be no religious exemptions to valid laws.
Melissa Rogers, the Obama administration’s director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, offered her insights on this subject to Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post.
[According to Rogers] Christian social service agencies should not be afforded the religious exemption they have traditionally enjoyed: until recently, they were never forced to place children with couples of the same sex. Rogers wants to do away with this religious liberty, thus decimating religious pluralism and freedom.
The state has every right to regulate nondiscrimination in adoption services. This is particularly true given the fact that most adoption services are supported by taxpayers’ money. Religious Liberty™ does not include the liberty to discriminate. Religious pluralism (a respect for diversity of religious beliefs) is not at issue. Were that the case then Christian agencies might opt to only place children with Christian adoptive or foster parents. An agency run by a Christian Identity church could restrict placement to white Christians.
The regulation of adoption and foster care is not designed to serve the placement agencies. If a child is unlucky enough to be assigned to a discriminatory agency then they lose the right to be placed with a couple consisting of a pediatrician and a stay-at-home web designer because the prospective parents are a gay couple.
We are desperately in need of foster and adoptive parents. Far too many kids age out of foster care without being adopted. One-third of those children will end up homeless. Discrimination reduces the size of the pool and the quality of available adoptive parents. Teens should not end up homeless because the Catholic Church absurdly asserts that gay people are “objectively disordered.” Tell that to Pete Buttigieg and his husband.
Rogers hasn’t changed since her Obama days. In 2013, she congratulated Mara Vanderslice for her yeoman work on faith-based issues. Nine years earlier I exposed Vanderslice, who was working for presidential candidate John Kerry: she was a left-wing activist who had spoken at ACT-UP rallies. This was the fascist gay group that crashed St. Patrick’s Cathedral in 1989 during Mass, spitting the Eucharist on the floor. Kerry immediately put a gag rule on her, and I was blamed for his decision to silence her.
Fascist? Fuck you Bill. I get very sad when I think of the 1980s. Friends were dying. Those who were not sick were neurotic waiting for the AIDS axe to fall on them. Many of those who were sick fell to dementia. Many more got pneumonia because of a fungus that does not affect people with normal immune systems. There were no antiretroviral therapies.
I regret that my boyfriend and I did not do more. ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) was comprised of desperate people. Many were either sick or waiting to get sick. Back then if you got AIDS you were dead.
At the time, Cardinal O’Connor took a very public stand against safe sex education in New York City Public Schools and he vigorously opposed any efforts to distribute condoms. One protestor at a rally, Tom Keane, a Catholic, did desecrate the eucharist. I do not agree with what he did but, unless you lived through those times in a major metropolitan area, you cannot appreciate the desperation or the utter darkness.
The bleakness was conveyed, in part, by the 1989 film Longtime Companion. AIDS was first identified in 1981. It took Reagan four years to even mention the disease because it largely afflicted gay people and they were disapproved of. No money was dedicated to research. By 1985 there were 16 thousand reported cases and 13 thousand deaths in the US. Ten years later there were more than a half-million cases reported and about 350,000 dead people in the United States.
I get very pissed off when people complain about ACT UP which, by the way, was very successful at getting people’s attention.
In 1976 in Philadelphia, 182 people at an American Legion convention contracted what is now called legionnaires’ disease. 29 people died. The government immediately threw massive amounts of money into that illness and there was a tremendous amount of attention. That never happened with AIDS because gay men were considered to be promiscuous perverts who brought the illness onto themselves. I will not apologize for my own diatribe.
Returning to Bill Donohue:
The left has very few sincerely religious leaders. Why not simply come out and say that religious liberty, as understood by most Americans for over 200 years, is a threat to freedom and must therefore be limited, if not eradicated. That would be the honest thing to do.
Honest? For decades Bill Donohue — a divorced man — has promoted a dishonest portrayal of LGBTQ people. Donohue has advanced the kind of prejudice that is directly associated with the deaths of tens of thousands of people. And Donohue complains about one person’s desecration of the eucharist.
Bigotry pays. In 2017, Donohue was paid nearly $600,000 which amounts to 20% of revenues.