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Jan 08 2013

We the peeps

The Washington Post tells us there are some eccentric petitions on the White House’s petition site. That’s not really very surprising.

There’s a petition to designate the Catholic church a hate group. Yes well that’s not going to happen, but the idea itself isn’t crazy. The Catholic church does foster certain kinds of hatred. It’s silly to deny that.

The “We the People” petition was filed on Christmas Day and was prompted by Pope Benedict XVI’s Dec. 21 year-end address to Vatican administrators in which he denounced gay marriage as a threat to Western civilization.

The petition blasts Benedict for “hateful language and discriminatory remarks” and for implying “that gay families are sub-human.”

Well? Is that inaccurate?

Atheists and secularists could file a similar petition. What about Protestants? Muslims? Jains? Would that fly, or has the pope’s interfaith work immunized him?

I don’t know. I merely watch from the sidelines.

6 comments

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  1. 1
    suttkus

    Well, the idea itself is kinda crazy in that there is no federal “hate group” designation. You might as well have a petition to designate the Catholic Church a bunch of Tzergwaps for all the sense it makes, one non-existent designation is as good as another, right?

  2. 2
    Ophelia Benson

    Ah so you mean it’s pointless to petition the White House to do something the administration can’t possibly do. There’s something in that!

  3. 3
    MFHeadcase

    Now labeling them as a criminal organization might work.

    They have a long record of helping pedophiles flee jurisdictions, as well as witness tampering through a combination of intimidation and bribery.

  4. 4
    Morgan

    Ed’s been talking about multiple similar petitions regarding the Westboro Baptist Church. They are a hate group as designated by the SPLC, and those petitions won’t – can’t – get anywhere.

  5. 5
    anon1152

    I think it might be important to distinguish between the Church hierarchy and the laity.

    I’ve met plenty of regular Catholics who are very progressive, pro-choice, in favour of gay marriage, and care deeply about social justice. And I’ve seen survey data in the past that shows that the public opinion of Catholics in the US is in line with public opinion in general when it comes to issues like contraception, abortion, and so on. I’ve tried to find data to back this up. A quick internet search turned up this polling data on contraception, showing only a small difference between Catholics and the public at large: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2012_02/catholics_the_contraception_ma035251.php

    Anyway, my point is that I’m not sure it helps to focus on “the church” as a whole–that is, the church, including all members of the church–given the diversity of opinion within the church. I think there is a debate going on within the church. I’m not sure it’s the church versus the rest of us.

    Though as I suggested above, if “the church” just refers to the church hierarchy, I think a case can be made for the hate group designation. (Though I’m still not sure how helpful it would be… I need to think about that some more).

    I’d much rather focus on specific persons (e.g., the Pope) and specific actions and words.

  6. 6
    sailor1031

    @3: what’s a little witness tampering, subornation, obstruction of justice and helping criminals to evade justice to this gang of international criminals?

    How’s about:
    - stealing several hundred thousand babies from their parents and selling them to “more suitable” couples
    - using thousands of children taken from their “unsuitable” single mothers and using them as factory slave labour – with savage beatings, molestations and underfeeding thrown in
    - money laundering for the italian Mafia
    - suspected involvement in murder – Roberto Calvi and possible murders of Albino Luciani (Pope John-Paul 1), Mino Pecorelli (member of Propaganda Due), Graziella Corrocher (Calvi’s secretary) and several others in the unfolding of the Banco Ambrosiano affair NB the RCC is STILL money laundering through the “Vatican Bank” has just been told by the Bank of Italy that it may no longer process credit card transaction through the Bank of Italy because of that failure to clean up its act
    - aiding fascist and Nazi dictators with political assistance and influence (check into how Hitler was able to assume power…and who helped him) and political treaties (concordats – read them!)
    - the support by Pius XII and Archbishop Stepinac for the Ustase independent state of Croatia, a state responsible for murders, ethnic cleansings, exterminations and forced conversions of at least 200,000 serbs and others during WW2
    - providing safehouses, money, contacts and forged documents to Nazi SS personnel seeking to escape from europe post-WW2 – the infamous “ratline” two of whose alumni were Klaus Barbie and Adolf Eichmann.

    Sure all of this is at the behest of the higher-ups (not necessarily all the way up to the pope in every case, but often enough…) but many lowly rank-and-file clergy have been happy to go along with it. And all of this was just in the 20th century – don’t forget they’ve been around for two thousand years sometimes doing much worse shit.

    I don’t care if RCC Inc is declared a hate group or not. I want the bastards prosecuted as the vicious criminals they are! And the fucking laity who countenance it all without protest can all be hauled in too as accessories before, during and after the fact

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