Monday, July 27, 2020

Bill Donohue Has the Same Old LGBTQ Problem

Bill Donohue seems to have plenty of time to write idiotic polemics but cannot be bothered to file the Catholic League's 2018 tax return which is now eight months past the final extension.
Bill Donohue
The Catholic League's Blowhard Bill Donohue
via YouTube
According to Bill Donohue of the Catholic League: Unalienable Rights Panel Draws Familiar Foes. Right off the bat, Bill Donohue is making an argument ad hominem (attacking the arguer rather than the argument). Donohue continues to do so throughout.
The Center for American Progress employs left-wing experts covering 21 different issues, one of which is Religion and Values. Unlike its support for LGBT rights, it shows very little enthusiasm for promoting religious rights. Indeed, it is more interested in detailing how religious liberty can be a problem.

Thus, it was not surprising to learn that it would release a letter signed by more than "30 faith leaders" warning against Pompeo's "new push to put property rights and religious freedom at the forefront of American diplomacy." What was surprising is that the signatories—mostly pro-abortion and pro-gay rights activists (including those who falsely claim a Catholic status)—would actually go so far as to say that by giving primacy to religious freedom, the Report "will weaken religious freedom itself."

What's that? Only left-wing religious leaders would argue that giving prominence to religious freedom would weaken it. These same people would never say that giving prominence to LGBT rights would weaken those rights.
Those three paragraphs say absolutely nothing. Blowhard Bill does not like Center for American Progress and he doesn't approve of the 30 faith leaders who signed CAP's letter (to which he does not link). As for those who supposedly “falsely claim a Catholic status,” that would include Blowhard Bill because he is divorced.

The introductory paragraph of the letter reads:
As leaders from diverse faith traditions, we join together to express our grave concerns about the draft report of the State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights and the potential that its approach–which seeks to elevate religious freedom above other human rights–will weaken religious freedom itself and undermine respect for and damage the protections of the universal values of human dignity.
They go on to explain:
Freedom of religion is equally and inextricably linked with all the other interconnected rights that enable humans to live in dignity. Without the rights to peaceful assembly, freedom of speech, freedom from violence and freedom from discrimination in access to basic needs, education, employment, or health, and the right to participate in all social practices, freedom of religion would be hollow.
They also express concern that Pompeo's commission has Americanized religious freedom, making it easier for foreign government in, for example, the Middle East, to dismiss the recommendations.

Ever the victim, Donohue claims:
This so-called "independent global media platform" is comprised of left-wing philanthropists and activists from around the world. It was founded in 2000 to "ensure that marginalized views and voices are heard." For the uninitiated, that does not include the most marginalized views and voices in the Western world today, namely those of a religious or conservative persuasion.
Oh indeed. Religious conservatives are truly an oppressed minority group!

Secretary Pompeo is an ultra-conservative Evangelical Christian. Yet he is content to work for a sociopath and pathological liar whom he never criticizes. More to the point, Pompeo's unalienable rights enterprise is based upon co-called natural law.

Natural law is thought to be God's law, independent of societies, nations, legislatures and courts. It is a set of principles that remains unchanged and based upon the law of nature which is treated as objective fact that is universally applicable.

At the outset, God's law and the law of nature are subject to interpretation which varies widely. Furthermore, an elementary school child knows much more about natural history than Thomas Aquinas grasped. Knowledge improves and societies change.

Natural law provided a basis for both slavery and, eventually, the Holocaust. Natural law justified the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans.

Departing from a philosophy that is most popular among ultra-conservative Christians, pragmatically our society is concerned for human decency which includes things like equality, due process, taking care of the most fragile members of the society and so on. Many of those ideals are incorporated into our Constitution.

Our Constitution makes no mention of religion other than prohibiting a religious test for public office. There is no mention of a deity. The First Amendment balances religious freedom (as free exercise of religion against making it impermissible for government to “recognize the establishment of religion.” The two things are in the same sentence.

Pompeo seems to be operating in direct contravention to the Establishment Clause. Natural law is, in the opinion of many scholars, dependent upon religion.

Getting back to Blowhard Bill, he states that LGBTQ rights diminish religious freedom. They only do so if one defines religious freedom as a license to discriminate against those you disapprove of. Oh, it's all neatly packaged in scripture which doesn't mean that it is right.

As I said, scripture has been used for centuries to oppress people. The oppressed are typically the “others.”

Religion has created persecution of disfavored minorities since man first used it to explain the things that he did not understand. God's wrath was responsible for natural disasters. Please God and you will be spared. Honor God through your own suffering and you will be rewarded after death. There is one proviso to that: Your god must be the god of the majority.

That evokes the concept of shared guilt. The sins of others affect everyone.

Blowhard Bill is a dependable crank. More importantly, Mr. Pompeo is placing at risk our basic decency while investing considerable resources into something that is possibly unconstitutional to appease a very small fraction of society. I blame Donald Trump for pandering to the religious set to help his reelection campaign.

I have stopped blaming Bill Donohue for anything. Donohue lacks the intellectual depth to be responsible for anything other than promotion of Church doctrine. Critical thinking be damned.

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