(CNN) - Pope Francis said the church has the right to express its opinions but not to “interfere spiritually” in the lives of gays and lesbians, expanding on explosive comments he made in July about not judging homosexuals.
In a wide-ranging interview published Thursday, the pope also said that women must play a key role in church decisions and brushed off critics who say he should be more vocal about fighting abortion and gay marriage.
Moreover, if the church fails to find a “new balance” between its spiritual and political missions, the pope warned, its moral foundation will “fall like a house of cards.”
The interview, released by Jesuit magazines in several different languages and 16 countries on Thursday, offers perhaps the most expansive and in-depth view of Francis’ vision for the Roman Catholic Church.
To hear activists on the Christian right tell the story, the conservative Christian American—especially the male conservative Christian American—is the most oppressed, victimized person in the country, and perhaps the history of the world. It’s all utterly disingenuous, of course: painting themselves as victims creates a cover to actually victimize other people, usually by imposing their fanatical religious views. Here’s a rundown of various ways Christian conservatives paint themselves as victims, and who the real victims actually are.
1) The issue: Whether or not states should ban “gay conversion therapy” for minors who cannot, by definition, give their consent.
Who the right claims is being hurt: Christian parents whose supposed “freedom of religion” requires that they be allowed to try to force their kids to be straight. Matt Stave of the Liberty Counsel denounced banning this practice, calling it a “slippery slope of government infringing upon the First Amendment rights of counselors to provide, and patients to receive, counseling consistent with their religious beliefs.”
Who is actually being hurt: LGBT youth, whose actual rights to be themselves are being threatened by parents whose poor parenting decisions are tantamount to child abuse. Gay conversion “therapy” isn’t therapy in any real sense; actual therapy is about helping people become whole and well, which can only be achieved by gay and queer people by learning to accept their sexuality for what it is. These programs don’t actually convert anyone, something that even prominent “ex-gay” organizations finally had to admit. At best, they shove young people into the closet. The American Psychologial Association came out against gay conversion in 2009, and cited its use as a contributing factor to depression and even suicide.
But even if therapists did “convert” young people from gay to straight, that would not justify these programs. Religious freedom is something an individual possesses; if a young person decides to reject her parents’ religious teachings on sexuality, that is her right. Gay conversion non-therapy is not just an assault on young people’s right to wholeness, it’s an assault on their right to determine for themselves what religious beliefs to hold.
2) The issue: The new HHS regulations requiring insurance plans to cover, without a copay, an assorted list of preventive care, including contraception.
3) The issue: Businesses and the government taking an inclusive or even secular approach to the holidays. The right objects to a wide range of inclusive or secular behaviors, from governments sticking to secular expressions of the holidays season (Santa and Christmas trees instead of nativity scenes) and businesses that stick with greetings like “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”
4) The issue: Schools leading students in prayer, whether it’s the teachers or the students offering the officially sanctioned prayer. The Supreme Court bans it all.
5) The issue: Gay marriage.
Proposition 8 is dead.
The California Supreme Court pulled the plug Wednesday on any last hopes for anti-gay marriage proponents to resuscitate the law that banned same-sex marriage in the Golden State.
“Today’s decision reaffirms that all loving, committed couples, regardless of their sexual orientation, have the freedom to marry in every county across the state,” says John Lewis, Marriage Equality USA legal and policy director.
In closed session, the state supreme court “rejected arguments by ProtectMarriage, Proposition 8’s sponsors, that only an appellate court could overturn a statewide law,” the L.A. Times reported.
Proposition 8 backers are now out of legal challenges.
The National Right to Life Committee has cut ties with its Cleveland chapter after the local group announced that it would oppose Ohio Sen. Rob Portman’s re-election because of his support for marriage equality.
NRLC president Carol Tobias told [PDF] the Cleveland Right to Life that its “public criticisms of and implicit political threats against a U.S. Senator who has supported the right-to-life position” over “a non-right-to-life issue” has “violated National Right to Life policy, causing the chapter to disaffiliate itself from the NRLC.”
“We respectfully insist that you remove from your website the claim that you are affiliated with NRLC,” Tobias writes.
Senator Ted Cruz efficiently packs a day’s worth of derp into one 1:19 clip.
In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody on Friday, Ted Cruz rehashed the false right-wing claims that gay rights advocates intend to pass hate speech laws and force pastors to perform same-sex nuptials. Leading Religious Right activists made the same arguments during their campaign against the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act and in debates over state marriage equality bills. Of course, such laws would be unconstitutional and have never been used to silence religious leaders or limit the freedom of speech.
Attorney General Kathleen Kane is expected to announce Thursday that her office won’t defend the state in a federal lawsuit that challenges Pennsylvania’s ban on gay marriage, the Daily News has learned.
Multiple sources confirmed that Kane, who is named along with Gov. Corbett as a defendant in the suit, plans to make the announcement at the National Constitution Center.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit, known as Whitewood v. Corbett, on Tuesday on behalf of 21 state residents. The plaintiffs are 10 couples and one widow who want to marry here, want the state to recognize their out-of-state marriages or want equal protections granted to straight married couples.
The suit was filed in Harrisburg and is believed to be the first federal case on the gay marriage issue since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act last month.
Pennsylvania is the sole state in the Northeast without same-sex marriage or a civil-union statute.
According to the survey, a majority — 51 percent — said they disapproved of the ruling. Among African-Americans, more than seven in 10 said they did not agree with the high court’s findings. Whites disapproved at a 48-33 percent clip, while a full half of Hispanics said they were against the ruling.
Voters were more supportive of a pair of the court’s decisions on same-sex marriage, echoing similar findings in Pew and USA Today polls released earlier this week.
Of those surveyed, 56 percent say they support the extension of federal spousal benefits to gay couples legally married in their home states, while 51 percent said they backed the move to strike down California’s prohibition on gay marriage.
A federal judge has ruled that a challenge to Michigan’s statewide ban on same-sex marriages can proceed, citing the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.
The case involves a lesbian couple that wants to adopt three children, but is barred from it under both a state constitutional amendment and a state statute. As Marty Lederman at SCOTUSblog explains, the constitutional amendment, “enacted in 2004, provides that ‘[t]o secure and preserve the benefits of marriage for our society and for future generations of children, the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose.’” The state statute limits adoption to single people or married couples. Thus since they are not considered married under state law, the couple cannot adopt.
Pseudo historian David Barton said today that the United States has now become an evangelist for gay marriage at home and abroad.
As part of the diabolical plot to force homosexuality on the nation, gays - undoubtedly with the blessing of the Obama administration (who some conservatives believe is secretly gay himself…in addition to being a secret Muslim…and a secret Muslim…but those are other stories…) will join the US military in order to force chaplains to administer same sex marriages against their will.
Not only that, he says the State Department is now telling other countries that they better start marrying the gays..or else:
He accused the State Department of telling other countries that “you gonna have to get on track with gay marriage and you gonna have to get homosexuality in the nation.” And he finally named which Central American country the US is supposedly forcing to legalize same-sex marriage: Belize.
Of course, Barton was completely off base: the State Department criticized Belize over its harsh law criminalizing homosexuality and for unbridled harassment and discrimination against gays and lesbians.
But never let facts get in the way of scaring the hell out of gullible Bible thumpers.
Here David speak the truth below:
See more at: rightwingwatch.org