Thursday, April 22, 2010

Robyn Deane, Transgender Uncle to Gov. Bob McDonnell's Children, Invites Bob to Listen


     His former brother-in-law is transgendered and speaking out against discrimination in Virginia.

     Robin [sic] Deane, who is the father to three of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell's nephews and nieces and uncle to five of McDonnell's children, spoke out against discrimination at Richmond's Capitol Square, and says McDonnell had a front row seat to the discrimination he faced.
     In the video below, Robyn speaks about the peace she has found after coming out as transgendered.  She speaks about her values, her family, and her faith.  Then she boldly invites, Gov. McDonnell into dialog with the transgender community of Virginia, stating:
     Maybe I sealed an anger in him toward people like us. On the other hand, maybe I can be a bridge. So I extend the offer publicly to sit down with him sometime and just catch up, shoot the breeze, and find out what we've each been up to and what we each think. And maybe, just maybe, I can help him build a box, and, you know, I might just learn something, too.

     Best wishes, Robyn, and thanks for courageously challenging the Gospel According to Hate.

Supreme Court Split over Tax-Funded Christian Group's "Right" to Discriminate Against Gays

     The Boston Globe reports:
     The Supreme Court seemed to split sharply yesterday on whether a law school can deny recognition to a Christian student group that will not let gays join, a case that could determine whether nondiscrimination policies trump the rights of private organizations to determine who can — and cannot — belong.  In arguments tinged with questions of religious, racial, and sexual discrimination, the court heard from the Christian Legal Society, which wants recognition from the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law as an official campus organization with school financing and benefits. Hastings, in San Francisco, turned them down, saying no recognized campus groups may exclude people because of religious belief or sexual orientation. The Christian group requires that voting members sign a statement of faith. The group also regards “unrepentant participation in or advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle’’ as being inconsistent with the statement of faith.
     The case could clarify nationwide whether religious-based and other private organizations that want federal funding have the right to discriminate against people who do not hold their core beliefs. The court is expected to rule this summer.
     It sounds like the court will split 5-4 or 4-5, whether it rules in favor of allowing organizations who receive your tax dollars to discriminate is the question. 

Obama's Earth Day Gift: Kill the Whales?

     Happy Earth Day!  President Obama and the White House want you to commit to go green and restoring the health of our planet.  He gave a speech touting the success of our nation's environmental laws.  He urged Americans to do more little things, say plant a tree, replace those energy slurping incandescent bulbs with green ones, or recycle.

     But if you are President Obama, a democrat who supposedly is for supporting the environment, it's also a great day to coordinate a hush-hush backroom deal to end the commercial whaling ban, because someone's god gave us the world to rape as we please.

     "Save the Whales" has been a flagship motto of the environmental movement for decades, but on this year's Earth Day, White House officials will be meeting with foreign representatives to discuss lifting the ban on commercial whaling.
     It's already been a rough year for marine life, with sharks, coral, and the Atlantic bluefin tuna losing out on protections at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna. With whales already threatened by Japanese "research," climate change, ship strikes, and pollution, the last thing they need is the bounty of legal quotas on their heads.
     The majority of Americans [over 75%] agree that commercial whaling should be stopped. Even George W. Bush upheld the whaling ban. So what's with the Obama administration engaging in back-room deals to sell out vulnerable whale populations?
     Click here to sign a petition asking Obama not to sell out the whales on Earth Day.

     Here's his speech.  Notice the omission of a call for killing more whales.
Image from change.org

Hans Küng Pleas to Catholic Bishops: Pope Benedict "Directly Responsible for Engineering Global Cover-Up of Child Rape Perpetrated by Priests;" Time for Vatican III


     Küng is one of the few remaining Catholic theologians, who helped author the reforms of Vatican II that still active in the Catholic Church, although he's been forbidden to teach theology in Catholic universities since 1979 when he published a theological book questioning papal infallibility.  After what's been revealed this past month, how can anyone believe that Pope Benedict can speak infallibly on matters of faith and morals, when his own "morality" includes sacrificing children to be raped by priest-pedophiles?

          Here are some highlights and bullet points of Küng's letter.  In order to understand his points completely, I suggest reading it in full.

     The letter's introduction:
     VENERABLE BISHOPS,
     Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, and I were the youngest theologians at the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965. Now we are the oldest and the only ones still fully active. I have always understood my theological work as a service to the Roman Catholic Church. For this reason, on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the election of Pope Benedict XVI, I am making this appeal to you in an open letter. In doing so, I am motivated by my profound concern for our church, which now finds itself in the worst credibility crisis since the Reformation. Please excuse the form of an open letter; unfortunately, I have no other way of reaching you.
     I deeply appreciated that the pope invited me, his outspoken critic, to meet for a friendly, four-hour-long conversation shortly after he took office. This awakened in me the hope that my former colleague at Tubingen University might find his way to promote an ongoing renewal of the church and an ecumenical rapprochement in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council.
     Unfortunately, my hopes and those of so many engaged Catholic men and women have not been fulfilled. And in my subsequent correspondence with the pope, I have pointed this out to him many times. Without a doubt, he conscientiously performs his everyday duties as pope, and he has given us three helpful encyclicals on faith, hope and charity. But when it comes to facing the major challenges of our times, his pontificate has increasingly passed up more opportunities than it has taken:
     Küng's list of Benedict's missed opportunities (condensed):
     This last point, respected bishops, is the most serious of all. Time and again, this pope has added qualifications to the conciliar texts and interpreted them against the spirit of the council fathers. Time and again, he has taken an express stand against the Ecumenical Council, which according to canon law represents the highest authority in the Catholic Church: 
     (Vatican II was an ecumenical council, the place that "big-T Tradition," as in Catholics believe the will of god is revealed in the world via "scripture and Tradition," comes from, and over which, no mere pope can assert authority.  It would be like a pope suddenly declaring that Jesus was not fully divine.)

     Küng then lists Benedict's heretical (my word, not Küng's) actions against the spirit of the teachings of Vatican II, which include bringing back the excommunicated schismatic the traditionalist Pius X Society who reject central points of Vatican II; going back to the Tridentine Latin liturgy; refusing to put into effect the rapprochement with the Anglican Church and instead luring married Anglican clergy into the Roman Catholic Church by freeing them from the very rule of celibacy that has forced tens of thousands of Roman Catholic priests out of office (how's that for hypocrisy?); and actively reinforcing the anti-Vatican II forces by appointing reactionary officials and bishops in the Vatican and around the world.

     Then Küng reproaches Benedict more completely than anyone from within the church has yet to do (hopefully providing language and witness for bishops to follow suit).  Here's just a bit of Küng's scathing of Benedict:
     There is no denying the fact that the worldwide system of covering up cases of sexual crimes committed by clerics was engineered by the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Cardinal Ratzinger (1981-2005). During the reign of Pope John Paul II, that congregation had already taken charge of all such cases under oath of strictest silence. Ratzinger himself, on May 18th, 2001, sent a solemn document to all the bishops dealing with severe crimes ( “epistula de delictis gravioribus” ), in which cases of abuse were sealed under the “secretum pontificium” , the violation of which could entail grave ecclesiastical penalties. With good reason, therefore, many people have expected a personal mea culpa on the part of the former prefect and current pope. Instead, the pope passed up the opportunity afforded by Holy Week: On Easter Sunday, he had his innocence proclaimed “urbi et orbi” by the dean of the College of Cardinals.  The consequences of all these scandals for the reputation of the Catholic Church are disastrous.
     Finally, Küng calls for the bishops to act by:
     That's the summary of the letter.  For details, click here.

Kiss my aspergillum.
Image Credits:
Top Image: Wikimedia Commons
Middle Image: Cemeteries.org
Bottom Image: The Daily Dish

Pope Benedict Prays with Sexual Abuse Victims in Malta, Promises "Action"



     Reuters reports:
     Summarizing his weekend trip to Malta at his weekly general audience in St Peter' Square, Benedict said:  "I wanted to meet some people who were victims of abuse by members of the clergy. I shared with them their suffering and with emotion I prayed with them, promising them action on the part of the Church."
     Victims groups had demanded the pope say something directly in public instead of using indirect reference and generalities.  A statement Sunday in Malta after his meeting with eight abuse victims said the pope promised them the Church would do "all in its power to investigate allegations, to bring to justice those responsible for abuse and to implement effective measures designed to safeguard young people in the future."
     First of all, as a victim of sexual abuse, I don't trust a word Benedict says.  The powers-that-be in the Catholic Church have been promising "action" and failing miserably to be transparent about sexual abuse by clergy for decades.  Only now when he's been caught and exposed is he offering "action."  He's acting out of self-preservation, not generosity or righteousness toward those of us who have been abused.  I don't want his prayers, I want his papacy on a paten offered up in sacrifice for his sins.

     Ben needs to step down, and he needs to remove John Paul II from possible canonization.  These actions will prove that the church is making some serious changes, until then his words are meaningless.

     As Benedict marked the fifth anniversary of his pontificate Monday, the Vatican was swept up in another potentially explosive case.  Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, a former Vatican official who congratulated a French bishop for hiding a sexually abusive priest in 2001, told a conference at the weekend in Spain he acted with the approval of the late Pope John Paul.   Last week the Vatican spokesman indirectly confirmed that a 2001 letter Castrillon Hoyos sent to the bishop posted on a French website was authentic and was proof the Vatican was right to tighten up its procedures on sex abuse cases that year.  A U.S. victims group has demanded that the archdiocese of Washington rescind an invitation to Castrillion Hoyos to lead a mass this weekend in the American capital to mark the start of the sixth year of Benedict's papacy.