You are here

Religion & Spirituality

Religion & Spirituality Logo

The Anti-Gay, Anti-Choice Politics of The Knights of Columbus

Belief Banner

  • The Knights of Columbus was founded as a mutual aid society which combatted bigotry and discrimination against Catholics. Now, more than one-hundred thirty years after its founding, it has devolved into an organization which uses such catchphrases as "life and family" or "marriage and family," and yet has such a narrow view of family and has firmly planted itself in the forefront of discrimination and bigotry.
  • The Radical Christian Right and the War on Government

Bill Berkowitz for BuzzFlash at Truthout

"@" LogoTo stay on top of important articles like these, sign up here to receive the latest updates from all reader supported Evergreene Digest.

GayRallyCA.jpg (Photo: Staffordvaughan)

Thursday, 26 December 2013 | While Pope Francis is getting most of the media attention related to all things Catholic, a Catholic lay organization that has been around for more than 130 years is starting to be the object of some well-deserved scrutiny. The Knights of Columbus is the largest Catholic lay organization in the world. It is well known for its charitable work. There's a good chance that somewhere in America on just about any weekend, the Knights of Columbus is holding an event to raise money to help the poor, feed the hungry, provide disaster relief, and support families in need. Its bake sales and pancake suppers are events that many communities eagerly look forward to and support wholeheartedly. Unbeknownst to many cookie or pancake enthusiasts, however, is the reality that a portion of the money – read that, millions of dollars -- raised by the Knights is being poured into anti-abortion and anti-same-sex marriage campaigns.

That is a side of the Knight of Columbus that is rarely reported on. According to a new report by Catholics for Choice, "The order has pushed a conservative agenda ranging from the highly specific—a complaint against highschoolers reading Catcher in the Rye—to systemic opposition to reproductive choice and marriage equality through sizable donations to programs run by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and other conservative organizations."

Bill Berkowitz is a freelance writer who has been monitoring and reporting on right-wing movements for a number of publications over the past ten years.

Full story…

Related:

The Radical Christian Right and the War on Government, Chris Hedges, Truthdig

Politics%20Banner.jpg

  • The rise of Christian fascism is aided by our complacency. The longer we fail to openly denounce and defy bankrupt liberalism, the longer we permit corporate power to plunder the nation and destroy the ecosystem, the longer we stand slack-jawed before the open gates of the city waiting meekly for the barbarians, the more we ensure their arrival.
  • How these gibbering numbskulls came to dominate Washington

Nativity, the Story of Whistle-blower Kevin Annett and the “little matter of genocide”

  • The dirty secret, the “little matter of genocide”, about which the United States of America shares considerable guilt, is the century-long history of abuse, rape and murder of tens of thousands of its aboriginal children in church-run Indian residential schools and mission schools, a subject on which Kevin is an acknowledged world expert.
  • Ebony and Ivy: The Secret History of How Slavery Helped Build America's Elite Colleges

Gary G. Kohls, Duty to Warn

PayPal DonateIf you like reading this article, consider contributing a cafe latte to all-reader supported Evergreene Digest--using the donation button in the above right-hand corner—so we can bring you more just like it.

Kevin%20Annett.com%20Logo.jpg December 17, 2013 | One of the most meaningful Christmas stories that I have ever heard came from my Vancouver, Canada friend, Reverend Kevin Annett. His story is titled “Nativity” and is printed further below.

Kevin spent a week at my home in Duluth, Minnesota a couple of years ago. The week was spent giving scheduled radio and film interviews, giving informal talks over meals, delivering a major speech to the Lake Superior Freethinkers, conducting forums at churches and answering questions following a Zinema 2 screening of his award-winning documentary, “Unrepenant”. It was a productive week, although local media chose not to cover any of his appearances.

story/45/24045/w320/EbonyIvy1.jpg.png?20131120 Dr. Gary G. Kohls is a retired physician who writes about issues of war, peace, justice, mental health and nonviolence and feels it is important to mix religion and non-partisan politics. 

Full story…

Related:

Ebony and Ivy: The Secret History of How Slavery Helped Build America's Elite Colleges, Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!

  • You know, you can find a version of that story for every college that’s established in the colonial world. You’re playing basically two degrees of separation from some horrific slaving voyage.
  • Filmmaker Uncovers Her Family’s Shocking Slave-Trading History, Urges
  • Americans to Explore Own Roots
  • The Best and the Brightest Led America Off a Cliff

A Failed Bishopric: Farewell, John Neinstedt

Belief Banner

  • Perhaps the archbishop’s Edina “apology” is best interpreted as just a preliminary to his resignation. Boil it down and you get: “I dropped the ball on the church’s most persistent and damaging problem in order to pursue a deliberate political agenda aimed at crushing dissent in my church and exerting influence in the political affairs of the state. I am no longer worthy to lead this archdiocese. I quit.”
  • Pope Francis, The Vatican: Stop Sexual Abuse For Good

Nick Coleman, The State I'm In

Starbuck's Cafe LatteIf you like reading this article, consider contributing a cafe latte to all reader-supported Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

archbishop-john-nienstedtI am shocked — SHOCKED! — to find pederasty in here. 

Dec 16, 2013 | That derisive laughter you heard Sunday was the response of many Twin Cities Catholics to Archbishop John Nienstedt’s pre-Christmas “apology” for letting down his flock — again. As reported by local media with a straight face, Nienstedt’s humbug homily was supposed to be taken as an effort to come clean by a guy who seems to have missed the past 30-year history of efforts to rein in sexual abuse in the Church. Nienstedt’s words weren’t an apology; they were just another cover up. This time, it was his own back end he was trying to cover.

This was an attempt to pass the buck for a lack of due diligence by a church leader who came to the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in 2007 with a very specific agenda in mind — an agenda that was not focused on protecting the most vulnerable members of the church but on destroying the liberal bent of an archdiocese that some in Rome — including former Pope Benedict XVI — wanted to quash. Nienstedt, appointed by Benedict to replace the liberal Archbishop Harry Flynn, was just the man for the job. He already had smashed the liberal legacy of the late bishop of the Diocese of New Ulm, Minn., Raymond Lucker, who strongly supported women in the church and recommended that married men be eligible for ordination. In St. Paul, Nienstedt wasted no time cracking down on dissenters in the Twin Cities church, his actions largely focused against gays and homosexual support groups: He supported an outfit that claimed to be able to “cure” gay Catholocs, refused Communion to gay activists, ordered St. Joan of Arc in Minneapolis to cease holding a “Rainbow Mass” during Twin Cities Pride week and even wrote a cranky letter to the University of Notre Dame opposing the school’s decision to invite “anti-Catholic” gay rights supporter Barack Obama to speak. At one point, the bully in the pulpit even told an anguished mom that she better be careful about supporting her gay child or she could end up in hell.

Nick Coleman is a Minnesota journalist, blogger (The State I'm In <http://www.nickcolemanmn.com>) and former  columnist for the Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)

Full Story…

Related:

Pope Francis, The Vatican: Stop Sexual Abuse For Good, Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, Change.org

  • Australian Catholic Bishops Geoffrey Robinson, Bill Morris and Pat Power call on Pope Francis to seize the opportunity of his appointment to establish a Council of the whole Church, inclusive of the laity from around the globe, to confront the global sex abuse scandal and address the issues that contribute to the causes of systemic sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.
  • Sign this petition Sign the petition

 

 

Child Sex Abuse Crisis of the Religious Right Grows

Sex & Relationships

  • Why should parents of high-school students feel any trust in sending their kids off to a university whose president writes a letter urging leniency for a man who molested teens?
  • Pope Francis, The Vatican: Stop Sexual Abuse For Good
  • Catholic Church ramps up opposition to Minnesota anti-bullying bill

Frederick Clarkson, Daily Kos

"@" LogoTo stay on top of important articles like these, sign up here to receive the latest updates from Evergreene Digest.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 | A few months ago I wrote about how the child sex abuse crisis in evangelical Christianity, although less reported, is at least as bad as it is in the Catholic Church. Taken together, this suggests that there is a crisis of a different kind looming for the leaders of the Religious Right, whose concern for the victims of abuse has been too muted, and too often belated when it is evident at all. There is also too often an obvious and alarming tendency to sympathize and side with the abuser over the victims. The proud defenders of what they call "family values" become bizarre self-parodies, at best, under such circumstances.  

There are signs that accountability is coming.

This week as the the world considers the life of Nelson Mandela, a leading advocate for victims of sex abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention offered a remarkable idea. Christa Brown of Stop Baptist Predators suggested a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, modeled on the one that helped South Africans put the horrors of apartheid behind them, might also help the Southern Baptist Convention come to grips with it's child sex abuse scandal.  She thinks that Baptist leaders have been long on reconciliation and short on truth, and that maybe a comprehensive effort at both might help.

Frederick Clarkson is Senior Fellow at Political Research Associates. He has written about politics and religion for thirty years. 

Full story…

Related:

Pope Francis, The Vatican: Stop Sexual Abuse For Good, Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, Change.org 

  • Australian Catholic Bishops Geoffrey Robinson, Bill Morris and Pat Power call on Pope Francis to seize the opportunity of his appointment to establish a Council of the whole Church, inclusive of the laity from around the globe, to confront the global sex abuse scandal and address the issues that contribute to the causes of systemic sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.
  • Sign the PetitionSign this petition
     

Catholic Church ramps up opposition to Minnesota anti-bullying bill, Beth Hawkins, MinnPost

  • “All we are asking folks to do is to make sure a school setting is safe and allows a child to learn,” Senator [Scott] Dibble" — a Minneapolis DFLer and the chief author of both the same-sex marriage bill and Safe Schools said. “Why should it be so hard to make sure kids are not singled out for harassment?
  • “The archdiocese has done nothing to sit down and problem-solve what would be best for kids,” Dibble concluded. “The truth is bullying is a problem we have to solve. It happens every day and it is a real problem.”

The pope vs. the bishops: Challenges to building a church for the poor

Belief Banner

 

  • Pope Francis has won over many with doctrine-based economic populism. Why is he so alone among Catholic leadership?
  • 5 reasons you should stay off the Pope Francis bandwagon

Vinnie Rotondaro, Salon 

 

Starbucks Cafe LatteIf you like reading this article, consider contributing a cafe latte to all reader-supported Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

 

pope_francisPope Francis celebrates a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) (Credit: Andrew Medichini) 

 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 | In under a year, Pope Francis has managed to rouse and inspire Catholics across the world with his calls of a “church for the poor.” He has done this without making any changes to church doctrine.

 

Last week, Francis continued his populist charge, releasing a powerful papal exhortation titled “Evangelii Gaudium.” The document decries economic inequality as “the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation,” ideologies, like trickle down economics, that “reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control.”

 

Vinnie Rotondaro is a Salon writer living in Brooklyn, NY

 

Full story…

 

Related:

 

5 reasons you should stay off the Pope Francis bandwagon, Timothy McGrath, GlobalPost

  • He loves the sick and the poor. He lives a simple life that reflects his values. He has criticized the Catholic church for its alienating obsession with social issues. And he has called out global capitalism for the greed it has produced and the social devastation it has wrought.
  • Sounds good? Not so fast.
  • The shame of the Catholic workplace
  • Pope Francis, The Vatican: Stop Sexual Abuse For Good

Pages