Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Blowhard Bill Donohue Applauds a Texas License-to-Discriminate

Bill Donohue
On Wednesday morning the Texas House advanced a measure that would permit (indeed, encourage) discrimination by private child welfare agencies. This includes a wide range of services that these agencies provide including group homes, temporary shelters, foster care and adoption. It is important to understand that these agencies are essentially acting as subcontractors, doing the work of the state with taxpayers' money.

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, has a remarkably different point of view:
Kudos to Texas Rep. James Frank for securing the right of faith-based entities to carry out their mission without undue encroachment by the government. Under his legislation, which passed yesterday, these institutions can now proceed without fear of state pressure to compromise their doctrinal prerogatives.
If these agencies do not want government oversight, the first thing that they should do is to operate independent of state funds. Even then, legislation should serve the best interests of children, including their diversity. Donohue presupposes that the state should serve the best interests of these agencies. As the self-appointed apologist for the Catholic Church (in spite of being a divorced man) Donohue's advocacy has little to do with the welfare of children. Donohue's interest is the adoption services provided by Catholic Charities.

Donohue continues:
Faith-based social service institutions exist to serve the welfare of those they represent. Catholics, Evangelicals, mainline Protestants, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, and others all have organizations that provide services to the needy and the dispossessed within their communities. They should be encouraged by the public sector in this effort, facilitating their success whenever possible.
Children are those being served and they have little or no choice in the agency that serves them. Should, say, a Muslim couple have to shop around to find out who will place a child with them for adoption? The religion of the adoptive parents is less relevant than the needs of the child. Catholic Charities seeks to deny children the best available adoptive or foster parents if they happen to be LGBT. A gay couple might be the most economically and psychologically fit prospective parents but the kid is denied their care.

The bill also permits these agencies to to provide children with religious education. That creates a problem for gay kids given that the could be instructed, for example, that they are “objectively disordered.” And what about the welfare of a gender nonconforming child? Catholic charities would subject a gender nonconforming child to toxic reparative therapy. Just how damaged will he or she emerge from the state-sanctioned system?

Zack Ford notes that this legislation is similar to other measure having passed or under consideration. I suspect that Alliance Defending Freedom is responsible for circulating the boilerplate. This bill is sponsored by Rep. James Frank, a Wichita Falls businessman who presumably required legal assistance to draft the measure. Frank, who is a Baptist deacon, is home schooling two children and is the president of Home Educators Around Texoma. Frank probably has a relationship with Michael Farris, the new president of Alliance Defending Freedom and the founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association.

Getting back to Blowhard Bill:
It is astonishing how many “progressive” activists seem not to care about the fundamental right of Mormon adoptive agencies to place children in their care with fellow Mormons. That the right of Mormons to do so needs to be explained suggests that their critics are out of touch with reality, or that they harbor a prejudice in need of serious correction.
This is not about the rights of government subcontractors. This is first about the rights of children to receive the best care available. Secondly, the rights of prospective foster and adoptive parents supersede any supposed rights self-manufactured by adoption agencies.
The Dallas News ran a headline yesterday, “Texas Adoption Agencies Could ban Jews, gays, Muslims under House bill.” Why didn’t it mention Catholics? Is that because Catholics have been assigned the role of victimizer?

As a Catholic, I would hope that my Evangelical brothers and sisters would not hesitate to discriminate against Catholics by seeking to place children in their care with Evangelical adoptive parents. Children are best served when they are justly paired with adoptive parents who share their demographic and belief orientations.
I wonder if Donahue really understands what he is saying. A barely literate Baptist couple, both factory workers, with six kids and little formal education should be preferenced over a Catholic surgeon and his stay-at-home wife with one child who is an honors student at her grade school, because of their religion? How does that serve the best interests of the child. That doesn't make any sense at all. Suppose that Catholic surgeon happens to be a lesbian? Should that really be a factor.

The Church aggressively argues that women should be forced to give birth to unwanted children and then to put them up for adoption. Those babies have no religion. Nor do that possess a “demographic and belief orientation” to be matched with adoptive parents. If we accept Donohue's logic then a gay kid should be placed with a gay couple. That is simply not going to happen though any Christian adoption agency.

Again, these agencies are supposed to serve the best interests of children. Their self-serving interests should be irrelevant. Nobody is forcing them to provide adoption services. Bill winds things up:
President Trump said this week that he supports Black Colleges. Only an idiot would accuse him of fostering bigotry by showing preferential treatment for blacks. And only an idiot would accuse faith-based institutions of fostering bigotry by showing preferential treatment to their own.
Mr. Donohue has considerable expertise in the area of idiocy. His dedication cannot be denied.

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