Thursday, September 22, 2016

Glossolalia: Another Firing of Gay* Catholic Employee; Young Still Leaving Churches in Droves; Pence As "Evangelical Catholic"; Silly Media Meme About Trump Supporters' "Economic Anxiety"

Glosses on the day's news:

1. You'll be shocked at this story (not!): another day, another firing of a gay* employee of a Catholic institution in the U.S.: Bob Shine reports that this Monday, the Catholic parish of St. Mary in Providence, Rhode Island, fired its music director Michael Templeton. Because he's gay and civilly married . . . .

Templeton states that he told parish officials he was gay and in a relationship when they hired him, and then told them of his marriage in 2015. But at this point, the parish was under Franciscan leadership, and prided itself on being a welcoming community. When it went into diocesan hands two years ago, in a diocese whose bishop, Thomas Tobin, is known for taking anti-gay* stands, things changed.

My gloss on the story: Polling data indicate (and here) that Americans see the Catholic church as the religious community more unfriendly to gay* people than any other religious community in the U.S. There's a reason for that image: the leaders of the Catholic church have worked hard to earn it — though lay Catholics endorse gay* rights by a sizable majority.

The shameful abdication of pastoral and moral leadership by the leaders of the Catholic church in the U.S. goes on and on. Things are not getting better under Pope Francis — not for gay* people.

2. Kimberly Winston cites Daniel Cox, research director of Public Religion Research Institute, as he discusses the findings of yet another survey showing that younger Americans are leaving the churches in droves right now. Cox tells Winston that the study challenges the notion that younger folks are leaving religion because they are offended by religious institutions' treatment of gay* people or by religious bodies' handling of sexual abuse of minors.

Cox states,

Those things matter but they are dwarfed by this central idea that people no longer believe in religious teachings.

My gloss on this report: Losing faith and being appalled at how churches treat gay* folks are not mutually exclusive propositions. What Cox appears to miss with his analysis asserting that young folks are leaving the churches because they just stop believing is that it's precisely how the church treats LGBTQ people (and poor people and people on the margins in general) that proves to be an obstacle to faith to many people both young and old. The two are intimately interconnected.

How is it possible to believe in a message of good news about an all-loving God when the church itself, whose basic mission is to proclaim that message, singles out a segment of the human community for constant vituperation and abuse? See: point 1.

3. (Just gloss here): No, Phyllis Zagano and Emma Green, Mike Pence is not an "evangelical Catholic." He has left the Catholic church behind for an evangelical community.

And shilling for the Republican party in an election when the candidate we're being asked to baptize is Donald Trump? Astonishingly irresponsible. About as irresponsible as writing about the Pulse massacre, several weeks after it took place, and summing that massacre up with the statement, "In Florida, some others murdered club goers."

"Club goers": not gay club goers at a gay nightclub. This at a time in which the media, including the publication in which this essay appeared, were full of discussions about the tremendous harm religious groups do when they refuse to say gay* and invisibilize gay* people even as gay* people are murdered in an act of mass murder at a gay* nightclub. Astonishingly irresponsible — and, to all appearances, deliberate.

Glenn Reynolds, a conservative USA Today columnist and University of Tennessee law professor known by the moniker Instapundit, was suspended from Twitter on Wednesday for urging drivers to hit protesters blocking a highway in Charlotte, North Carolina.

My gloss: Correct me if I'm wrong, but when a bunch of armed-to-the-teeth self-styled (white) militiamen converged on the Bundy ranch and threatened federal law officials there, Reynolds did not tweet that those protesters should be run down? Did he?

What's different about the story in Charlotte, I wonder?

5. Paul Krugman's darkly satirical gloss on the preceding story:

The economic anxiety of law professors.

6. And Broderick Greer also glossing that same silly mainstream media meme about how support for Trump is fed by "economic anxiety" and "populist rage," and not about what we can hear with our own ears and see with our own eyes when we listen to Trump supporters being interviewed — about that great unmentionable, white racial antagonism gone wild after two terms of the nation's first black president: Greer points us to a videotaped interview with Trump reporters (click the link, and you'll see it), then quips,

But the rise of Trump is about "economic anxiety."

* Gay = LGBTQ.

The graphic is by Joann Lee Kim, and is from her Facebook page Tuesday.

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