Sometimes I Hate Being Right

I would like to begin my blog by expressing my condolences to the victims of the horrific shooting in Oregon, as well as their families. My thoughts and prayers are with all of them.

The main focus of my blog is the bigotry of a man who has up until now generally gotten a pass for his attitudes. Which of the following people said these vile, homophobic quotes?

(On gay marriage and adoption in Argentina) “In the coming weeks, the Argentine people will face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family…At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts … Let us not be naive: this is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is not just a bill (a mere instrument) but a ‘move’ of the father of lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

“Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family.”

“We know that in times of momentous change the homosexual phenomenon grew, but in this period it is the first time that the legal problem of assimilating it to marriage has arisen, and this I consider an anti-value and an anthropological regression.”

“Every person needs a male father and a female mother that can help them shape their identity …  It is often argued that a child would be better cared for by a same-sex couple rather than in an orphanage or an institution. Those two situations are not optimal. The problem is that the State does not do what it has to do.”

“The family is threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage.”

(On a 2015 Slovakian referendum to ban gay marriage and adoption) ““I greet the pilgrims from Slovakia and, through them, I wish to express my appreciation to the entire Slovak church, encouraging everyone to continue their efforts in defense of the family, the vital cell of society.”

These quotes were all said by Pope Francis. His meeting with bigoted Kentucky clerk, Kim Davis, is disgusting, but it should not be a surprise. I hate being right here, but I have been saying for the past two years that Francis is no friend to the LGBT community, and this latest event drives the point home. How much longer are we going to allow this man to make bigoted statements with the excuse that he “has” to do it to make the cardinals happy? How much longer before we hold this man accountable for his actions rather than holding him to a ridiculously low standard? How much longer before we stop praising him for vague, symbolic gestures on LGBT rights while giving comparatively little attention to those inside and outside of the Catholic Church who have taken a real stand for fairness and equality? And why is it that while Francis is treated like some LGBT rights hero despite saying and doing things regarding LGBT people that would get almost anyone else deservedly raked across the coals, while this man gets barely any attention at all despite being far more moral, trailblazing, and courageous than him? I am reminded of how the late Claude Pepper of Florida was rewritten by historians from a segregationist Senator who defended “white primaries,” segregation, and letting Southern states “handle” lynching without federal intervention to some sort of civil rights champion. It sure helps when you get held to a lower standard than almost everyone else, especially fiscal conservatives with better civil rights views. Of course, Pepper’s civil rights record improved once he got to come back to Washington, D.C. and occupy a specific House district far more liberal than Florida as a whole. Maybe the way to make Francis more supportive of gay rights is to transfer him to a position of authority in the Episcopal Church?

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