Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Midweek News: Maryland Marriage Equality, Mel White, Sr. Simone Campbell and Romney-Ryan

A midweek miscellany of articles commenting on topics we've been discussing here of late--the following religion-and-politics themed:

At Religion Dispatches, Peter Montgomery reports that Maryland governor Martin O'Malley told bloggers on a call organized by Marylanders for Marriage Equality this Monday that his support for marriage equality is "very much informed" by his Catholic faith and its defense of the human dignity of every person.  Meanwhile, as Montgomery also notes, Baltimore's new archbishop and the USCCB point man for "religious freedom," Archbishop William Lori, plans to host an anti-equality rally this evening.

As Nick Seaver notes at Americablog Gay, those fighting against marriage equality in Maryland are continuing to follow the strategy of the National Organization for Marriage of attempting to drive wedges between the African-American and gay community.  However, as Seaver also points out, after President Obama endorsed marriage equality, this strategy is working less and less effectively for those trying to use race as a wedge issue as they seek to strip gay citizens of rights.

Also at Religion Dispatches, Candace Chellew-Hodge interviews Mel White about his new book Holy Terror: Lies the Religious Right Tells to Deny Gay Equality (NY: Magnus, 2012).  For me, perhaps the most interesting section of the interview is White's account of a discussion he had with Karl Rove at an airport recently.

When White told Rove that the anti-gay activism of the tea party is "killing" the gay community, Rove responded with surprise, saying that he loves the gays and has some out gays working for him.  And he's been trying to get the religious right base of the tea party base to drop the gay attacks.

And so why hasn't the Republican party the tea party decided to stop attacking gay and lesbian citizens of the nation?  Rove's answer: "[T]his issue works."  And as long as it returns political profit for the investment of hate, prejudice, and discrimination, his party will continue using the strategy.

At Think Progress, Travis Waldron reports on an interview with Sister Simone Campbell of NETWORK, who says, re: Mr. Romney's recent 47% remark,

I mean, it was shocking to me that a person who says he wants to be the leader of our nation believes that 47 percent of our country is basically lazy or dependent or indolent. That was shocking to me. But then, it broke my heart that he would be so out of touch, that he would so not know the truth of folks at the margins of our society who work so hard. And he obviously doesn’t know that if you work a minimum wage job, if you’re a child care, if you’re providing janitorial services, or if you’re a day laborer, if you work for minimum wage, you’re still in poverty. He has no idea how hard it is at the margins of our society.

Sister Simone and the Nuns on a Bus group have invited Messrs. Romney and Ryan to join them in Cincinnati on 10 October as they listen to the stories of those on the margins--or, as she puts the point, she's inviting the two candidates to let their hearts be broken by "the truth of the people in the U.S."

Thus far, no response to their invitation.

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