Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How deep is their hate.

My experience, as a former Christian, is that no one can hate another person so thoroughly and nastily as a committed Christian. I am not saying that every Christian is that way, just that I'd be hard pressed to find anyone as hateful in the United States, who doesn't considered himself or herself to be a strong Christian. I am fairly confident that any survey asking people to rate their level of religiousity would show that as they became more fervent in their faith they also became more intolerant and bigoted.

Consider the actions of Catholics of late, by which I mean committed Catholics. Most American Catholics are not "committed" and are pretty decent people. The more in-tune with the church they are the less pleasant they are. We saw the Catholic sect pouring millions into Maine to take away marriage rights for gay couples there. Almost all the funds, to destroy marriage equality in Maine, came from outside the state and much of it was clearly handed over by the Catholic Church. I don't mean members of the church, but the church itself. Personally I think they should lose their tax exemption if they are going to pour millions into political campaigns. Other political bodies don't have the tax exemption that they have and they consume vast amounts of government resources.

Two recent incidents show the depth of hatred that strong Catholics are capable of feeling toward gay people.

Let us start with the Republican Governor of Rhode Island, Don Carcieri, a rather rabid Catholic. The state legislature passed a law to allow the surviving partner of a gay person the right to plan their partner's funeral. That is the entire piece of legislation—letting a gay person plan the funeral for the person he/she loved, who has died. Carcieri vetoed that legislation. His view is that gay people in relationships should NOT have the right to plan their partner's funeral.

Carcieri said that allowing this is part of a "disturbing trend" and that the voters of the state should have the right to make the decision. Understand what he is saying: if a same-sex couple have been together for decades, and one partner dies, the other partner is to be excluded by law from being able to plan the funeral simply because Catholic Carcieri thinks God hates homosexuals.

The law was passed when a gay man was unable to legally claim the body of his deceased partner. The body remained in state custody for weeks instead. These people hate gays so much that they won't let a gay man or woman plan their partner's funeral. The governor's veto will probably be overridden by the state legislature, thankfully. Exactly why should the right to plan a funeral for one's partner be determined by majority vote?

And for those conservatives pretending to be libertarians, who say this matter can be "privately" decided by contract, that simply was not the case. When Mark Goldberg tried to claim the body of his partner of 17 years so he could be cremated, according to his wishes, he was denied that right. "Gold said he tried to show the police and state medical examiner's office 'our wills, living wills, power of attorney and marriage certificate' from Connecticut, but 'no one was willing to see these documents." He was only allowed to handle the arrangements after several weeks and then after the state placed an ad in the paper seeking "next of kin" of the deceased, It took over a month's worth of bureaucratic fighting before he allowed to have the funeral for his partner. Imagine being forced to fight for a month just to have a funeral for your partner.

It is a fraud when these people say that they only want to "reserve" marriage to straight couples and do not wish to deny gay couples other rights. They wish to deny all rights to gays for the same reason the Nazis wanted to deny all rights to Jews. (Hating Jews was another thing the Catholic Church did so extremely well for centuries.)

Historically the Catholic Church has no right to preach about morality, having justified repressive regimes like Franco and Hitler, and having engaged in such monstrous practices as the Inquisition and the execution of heretics, "witches," and dissenters. Denied the power to actually kill people in recent decades the church instead has worked hard to help cover up for the bevy of child rapists that fill their priesthood. Of course, to divert attention from their own utterly corrupt and immoral view of the world they have focused on such "moral" issues as forbidden condoms to stop the spread of AIDS, and legislatively bashing gays.

Another example comes from Catholic Bishop Janusz Kaleta who has something to do with tourism for a city in Kazakhstan. The Bishop was asked about groups of gay tourists and their visits to the city and to the local churches. After saying it was important to encourage people from "all" walks of life to visit he explicitly indicated that gay people should not be included in any tours. He said, "such demonstrations are just not ethical." The person who was speaking to the Bishop, Juergen Steinmetz, assumed the Bishop misunderstood. He claified that these tourists were not conducting "demostrations" they were simple visitors to the city who wanted to see the sights. The Bishop replied that just being gay itself is a "provocation" to the church and an insult to the Vatican.

The Bishop said: "I consider if someone is homosexual, it is a provocation and an abuse of this place. Try to go to a mosque if you are not Muslim. It is an abuse of our building and an abuse of this place." Strange he is worried about "abuse" that exists merely from the presence of a gay person after the church has done so much to cover up real abuse of children by their own clergy.

This is how deeply the antigay hatred of the religionists goes. One Bishop of the church says that even gay people as tourists is offensive while an antigay Catholic, Republican Governor says that gay people shouldn't be allowed to plan their partner's burial without a public vote approving it.

No person's right should be subjected to majority approval. If Catholicism needed the approval of the majority to open a church, in the American South, it would never have opened a church. The rights of black people should be subjected to the votes of white majorities. The rights of Mormons should not be subjected to the vote of a Christian majority. Majorities simply ought not have the power to approve whether minorities are allowed equal rights before the law. The very idea that it should be this way is inherently authoritarian.

I find it particularly odd, or perhaps telling, that the two sects most vitriolic in their hatred of gays, the Mormons and the Catholics, have their own sexual secrets that they want so much to hide. The first was founded by anti-monogamy activists who had dozens of wives and the second group has actively worked to hide child rapists from the consequence of their actions. I suggest they are so vitriolic because they have such pasts, not in spite of them.

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