Monday, December 23, 2019

Liberty Counsel's Attack on Covenant House

Mat Staver
The statements of Liberty Counsel reflect the views of the hate group leader, Mad Mat Staver. Staver is usually quoted within their tirades. This is true with Liberty Counsel's Chick-fil-A's Not-So-Slow Fade Into Compromise. Chick-fil-A's philanthropy stems from three separate entities: Chick-fil-A Inc., Chick-fil-A Foundation and Winshape Foundation.1

Mad Mat is incensed that the CFA Foundation donated to Covenant House but has announced that it is ceasing donations to the Salvation Army. In 2018, Covenant House (NYC HQ, Georgia and California) received $225,000. The Salvation Army Received $115,000.2

The self-righteous folks at Liberty Counsel have no problem promoting lies:
Covenant House, which is much smaller than the Salvation Army (in only 31 cities), is an LGBTQ activist organization that celebrates homosexuality and "transgenderism." …
Covenant House is not an “LGBTQ activist organization.” Covenant House's mission is focused on sheltering and counseling homeless youth. A fair number of homeless kids are gay or gender diverse. Many of those are homeless because their parents kicked them out of their home due to their sexuality.

And why would a parent relegate a child to the streets? They do so because they believe the bullshit that emanates from organizations like Liberty Counsel. Some parents actually believe that sexuality is a choice. Therefore, by banishing their children (as “tough love”) they will cause the child to make “better choices.” Sure.

Getting back to the quote, I don't know what an organization has to do in order to “celebrate” a child's sexuality. Covenant House does take steps to make sure that LGBTQ kids know that they are welcome and that they will not be judged due to their sexual orientation or gender expression. Perhaps, in Mad Mat's world, LGBTQ kids should be turned away or forced into conversion therapy.
Instead of funding Christian organizations that believe in marriage between one man and one woman, Chick-fil-A now funds organizations that advocate the opposite.
The only thing that Covenant House “advocates” is getting kids off the streets. In Mad Mat's deranged mind, being welcoming to LGBTQ children means that they are “promoting” sexuality that he disapproves of. Staver believes his own bullshit.
The founder of Covenant House, a Catholic priest, was sued for allegedly sexually abusing youth who were seeking shelter and food. Covenant House now considers itself to be secular.
That is true and entirely irrelevant. None of the allegations were ever proven. More importantly, the late Father Bruce Ritter resigned from Covenant House in 1990 — nearly 30 years ago.
Covenant House proudly promotes LGBT on its website, referring to "LGBTQ Inclusion Initiatives," and even does an "inclusion assessment" at every one of its facilities.
Exactly how does one “promote” sexuality that Mad Mat disapproves of? Allow me to quote from the page Liberty Counsel links to:
Youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer/questioning are at much greater risk of becoming homeless than their non-LGBTQ friends and classmates. In fact, a groundbreaking study of youth homelessness in the United States in 2017 by Chapin Hall of the University of Chicago says their risk is 120% higher than that of their peers. Another study (True Colors United) says that LGBTQ youth comprise 40% of all youth experiencing homelessness, while they are just 7% of the total youth population in the U.S.
It should be clear, even to the religious crazies at Liberty Counsel, that Covenant House has to be welcoming to LGBTQ youth in order to fulfill its mission. As for the inclusion assessment that they find so infuriating:
Covenant House, the largest provider of services to youth facing homelessness in the Americas, ensure that our houses are welcoming, affirming, and safe for LGBTQ youth and all youth experiencing homelessness. Across the Covenant House federation, which encompasses sites in 31 cities in six countries, we have taken and continue to take determined steps to secure just that.
Liberty Counsel is an anti-LGBTQ hate group. It, and other hate groups, are responsible — at least in part — for the problem that Covenant House seeks to address. Now Liberty Counsel opposes the efforts of another group to clean up the mess that the religious right has helped to create. In doing so they are promoting more hate and disunity.
Covenant House is recognized as a national funder of LGBT causes and even supported a drag queen story hour in New York. In addition, Covenant House does not stop at LGBT activism; it also takes girls to abortion clinics in vans that prominently display the Covenant House name.
Just to set the record straight, Covenant House has hosted a Drag Queen Story Hour and so have (in NYC) St. James Episcopal Church, Elmhurst; the Jewish Community Center; Park Church Co-op, Greenpoint; Park Slope United Methodist Church, Park Slope; St. John’s Lutheran Church, Greenpoint; the YMCA and hundreds of other organizations. It's not a sinister conspiracy.

Mad Mat Staver and the nuts at Liberty Counsel think that they have a monopoly on Christianity. As you can see from the above, most Christians disagree with Liberty Counsel.

The vans bringing girls to abortion clinics is a half-truth, at best. Liberty Counsel links to Church Militant, another hate group, providing this image:
The intended inference is that Covenant House is bringing girls for abortions. Liberty Counsel refers to “clinics,” plural and “girls,” plural. According to the story, one girl was in the van at one clinic. There would be nothing wrong with providing a homeless girl with a therapeutic abortion if legally permissible. It is also quite possible that they brought the girl to this clinic for a gynecological examination.
All of the U.S. and Canadian Covenant House programs partner with Cyndi Lauper's organization, True Colors, to ensure they are fully on board with the LGBT agenda. To work there, employees must affirm "transgenderism" and homosexual practices as part of a young person's "authentic self" and help create "a welcoming environment for LGBTQ youth …
The mission of True Colors is to end youth homelessness. A relevant quote from their website:
Family conflict is the most common cause of all youth homelessness. For LGBTQ youth in particular, the conflict tends to be over their sexual orientation or gender identity.

While rejection is the most frequently cited reason LGBTQ youth experience homelessness, it’s not the only one. According to service providers, additional reasons include aging out of the foster care system, poverty, and conflict in the home. Often, it’s not one thing that causes homelessness, but a combination of many.
Liberty Counsel's folks are confused or unable to comprehend the written word (other than an interpretation of the Bible). According to the link that Liberty Counsel provided:
This page will take you through some of the ways you can create a more inclusive and affirming environment for young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ).
This is directed at shelters and other facilities. Again, they are addressing a problem that Liberty Counsel and other hate groups have created, at least in part.
Upon arrival to Covenant House, everyone must declare the pronouns by which they want to be known, thereby coercing all others to accept faux "transgender" identity through mandatory speech.
Oh please! The “must” is probably the question: Do you have preferred pronouns? I am not transgender but I state my preferred pronouns on my email signature. The transphobic nonsense is just that: Nonsense. So is this notion of “mandatory speech.” Requested courtesy is more like it.

The rest of this very lengthy diatribe is about how CFA Foundation gives money to other organizations that are LGBTQ friendly, as if that constitutes some sort of crime, and the small contribution that it gave to the Southern Poverty Law Center which engenders another tirade about:
… an organization that grossly misrepresents and recklessly labels Christian, pro-family and conservative nonviolent groups as "hate groups," including them in with violent groups like the KKK, Neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
I fail to appreciate the distinction. Then there is a considerable amount of text blaming the SPLC for the shooting at Family Research Council which is like blaming a credit bureau for an enraged consumer who doesn't pay his bills on time. This all concludes as expected:
Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, said the following:
Chick-fil-A has betrayed the Christian community that made the company what it is today. In publicly announcing that the company will no longer fund Christian groups which believe in biblical marriage and holding up LGBT and abortion activist organizations as evidence of its current direction, Chick-fil-A has caused incredible damage to Christian groups. Already we are seeing the impact of Chick-fil-A's decision on local chapters of Fellowship of Christian Athletes that are being pressured to disassociate from their biblical beliefs. Chick-fil-A's cowardice has and will continue to cause harm unless it returns to its Christian values. While presenting itself as a Christian organization, the company has been funding organizations that work to destroy them. This is the worst kind of hypocrisy. Chick-fil-A has put foxes in charge of the chicken coop and has now reached a critical crossroad. To reverse course the company must get new leadership and it must publicly reclaim its original Christian mission. But so far, Chick-fil-A remains silent. Apparently corporate greed has replaced its Christian mission.
That is a healthy offering of matshit. Staver offers no solutions to youth homelessness.

———
1 I have reviewed the the 2017 and 2018 forms 990 of CFA Foundation and the 2017 return of Winshape. In 2017 CFA, Inc. donated (in round numbers) $11 million to CFA Foundation and $22 million to Winshape. Winshape only made $600 thousand in charitable contributions.
2 Not directly relevant is the fact that CFA Foundation will no longer donate to Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In 2018 that largess totaled $1,650,000.

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