Saturday, October 21, 2017

A priestly bigot - Disparages gay man's husband as "wife"

I have written from time to time about the homophobic activities of Orthodox priest, Father Mark Hodges. The man is obviously both a bigot and an idiot. Where does he get the notion that religion licenses disrespect and discourtesy.

To suggest that I am being disrespectful of Hodges constitutes a false equivalency. I am reacting to Hodges bigotry. He is free to contact me if he takes offense. In contrast, Hodges is referring to a gay man's husband as a wife. It is a deliberate act aimed at the entire community. He does not know the gay couple that he is referring to and they have done him no injury. He wants to demonstrate his childish contempt with what amounts to the kind of insult that we expect of a poorly raised eight-year-old.

This all relates to a story that emanated from Todd Starnes. Suffice it to say that Mr. Starnes tends to promote factual inaccuracies when it serves his Christian cause. These often come at the expense of the LGBT community.

According to Hodges (according to Starnes) Colonel Leland B.H. Bohannon, commander of the Air Force Inspection Agency at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, has been suspended and a promotion to brigadier general has been derailed. According to the story this is because he was disrespectful a retiring master sergeant (E-7). The senior NCO is gay and married.

It is military custom for the commander to send a thank you note to a retiring person's spouse. This conflicted with Bohannon's Christian beliefs. Bohannon asked his commander, Lt. Gen. Anthony Rock, who refused but got another general to sign the letter. When the master sergeant filed a complaint it started the process of pulling the plug on Bohannon's career. Again, this is the story according to Hodges which is according to Todd Starnes. I sent an email to the public affairs officer at Kirkland AFB and have not received a response. According to Starnes they did not respond to him either.

According to Hodges (emphasis added):
When a homosexual Master Sergeant with a male “wife” retired, Col. Bohannon asked the Staff Judge Advocate and his chaplain what he should do, because of Bohannon’s Christian faith cannot endorse sodomy.

Making matters worse, Bohannon has done what Christians tend to do when they are somehow disciplined for discrimination: They obtain an attorney from Kelly Shackleford's insane First Liberty Institute. In this case, Bohannon is represented by Michael Berry who claims to be an expert in religious liberty in the military.

Presumably Starnes has the story via Berry. It is a common tactic of FLI. Berry has done this before for Texas bakers who did not need a lawyer in the first place.

According to a letter to the review board signed by Berry:
Col Bohannon was handed several awards and certificates to sign that would be presented to the MSgt at the retirement ceremony. Col Bohannon signed all of the awards and certificates except a certificate of spouse appreciation for the MSgt’s same - sex spouse . He was unable to sign because to do so would have caused him to affirm a definition of marriage contrary to his sincerely held religious beliefs.
This gets more idiotic by the day. No — signing the certificate doesn't “affirm” anything more than the fact that the two men are legally wed according to the law of the land. No matter how much Bohannon might have disapproved due to his religion, the fact that the two men are married does not change and will not change. What these people want — the baker, the florist and now the colonel — is Christian privilege.

Father Hodges seems to be after something else. I do not know his full story but he is married and has eight kids. He seems to be very pissed off at gay people for some reason. With eight children he should be more careful. You never know. Perhaps he is insecure or perhaps he has a personality disorder. Whatever his malfunction is, his offensive behavior is unacceptable. I have sent his bishop a polite note.

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