Yesterday, local Catholics in Peoria delivered the petition with 23,000 signatures to Bishop Jenky’s diocesan offices expressing their disappointment with their bishop’s extreme rhetoric.
Watch this report on the delivery from local Fox affiliate WYZZ:
Unfortunately, Bishop Jenky’s office continues to refuse to apologize, insisting instead that his remarks have been “ misconstrued, distorted and misunderstood.” Here are Bishop Jenky’s remarks so you can judge for yourself:
Remember that in past history other governments have tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches like those first disciples before the Resurrection locked together in the Upper Room.
In the late 19th century, Bismark waged his “Kulturkamf,” a culture war against the Roman Catholic Church, closing down every Catholic school and hospital, convent and monastery in Imperial Germany. Clemenceau, nicknamed “the priest eater,” tried the same thing in France in the first decade of the 20th Century.
Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care.
In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, President Obama – with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.
Kennedy, the wife of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, was originally scheduled to be the Catholic college’s commencement speaker this year, but her invitation was rescinded after pressure from Bishop McManus — who has refused to offer examples of his objections or even meet with Mrs. Kennedy.
Bishop McManus’s actions stand in stark contrast to the approach taken by his colleague Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who has made no attempt to prevent Mrs. Kennedy from speaking at the commencement ceremonies of Boston College Law School next month.
Perhaps that’s because Cardinal O’Malley has seen firsthand the kind of ugliness this Catholic witch-hunting leads too. When the Cardinal chose to preside over Sen. Kennedy’s funeral in 2009, he was attacked by right-wing Catholics and organizations who wanted to use the tragedy to advance culture war fights about abortion. His response, calling for more civility among Catholics, is just as appropriate today.
In that interview, Matthews initially protested but ultimately admitted that “you may be right. I may agree with you, but not right now.”
Yesterday, Matthews was asked again about the problem, and he expanded on those concessions:
MATTHEWS: Why don’t you think I should have him on my show?
Q: You said that you wouldn’t have Franklin Graham on your show earlier this year because he tells hateful lies and I was wondering if you thought that was a different standard.
MATTHEWS: Well you got to make your case, you know. I talked about this with my producers last night and we’re trying to decide how to deal with it. My view is I don’t like censoring opinion and Tony Perkins has been on this show and he hasn’t said something like that on my show, he doesn’t talk like that on Hardball.*
Q: Do you think it gives him credibility when he’s on Hardball though, for what he says off Hardball?
MATTHEWS: You know I think that’s an argument — that’s a good argument. I’m thinking about it. You’re doing the right thing, you’re doing the right thing keep it up. You know where I stand on the issues that I care about, you know. And I’m probably with you on these issues but I got to think it through.
In what will likely come as a disappointment to the right-wing activists who have been celebrating Matthews’s comments as an endorsement of their “right” to spread lies on TV, Matthews clearly indicates that he’s taking these concerns seriously, doesn’t have a good answer, and has already begun conversations with his producers about it.
Faithful America, GLAAD and the other organizations and individuals who are working to educate the media about the problems with hosting spokespeople who tell hateful lies should take this as a sign that they’re making real progress and should keep up their efforts.
*As before, Matthews seems to have forgotten about his November 2010 show in which Perkins specifically cited debunked research to claim that gay men are more likely to molest children.
Responding to Catholic Bishop Robert McManus’s decision to bar Vicki Kennedy, the wife of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, from speaking at Anna Maria College’s graduation ceremonies, Faithful America has launched a new petition asking the Bishop to reverse this latest contribution to the commencement culture wars.
Vicki Kennedy is a faithful Catholic and an important public voice who deserves the opportunity to speak at Anna Maria College. Catholic universities shouldn’t be a battleground for partisan witch-hunts and censorship.
The campaign has already attracted over 13,000 signatures.
Last weekend, Faithful America members from the Boston area confronted Chris Matthews at a book signing in Framingham, Massachusetts about his track record of inviting Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on Hardball as a representative of Christian voters. FRC was named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2010 for spreading hateful lies and junk research about the LGBT community — and in part because of an incident in which a senior FRC staffer said on Hardball that there should be “criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.”
Matthews, who just received Human Rights Campaign’s Ally for Equality award, responded by falsely claiming that Perkins has never “pulled that homophobic stuff on my show,” and insisting that “every time he’s on he’s challenged.”
That’s just not true. After SPLC named FRC a hate group, Matthews invited Perkins on to defend his organization. Perkins took the opportunity to repeat his false accusations that gay men are more likely than heterosexual men to molest children, and said “the research is overwhelming that homosexuality poses a risk to children.”
Since that November 2010 appearance (which did include SPLC Senior Fellow Mark Potok), Perkins has appeared on Hardball six times — and neither Matthews nor any of his guests have brought up Perkins’ long record of spreading hateful anti-gay lies.
Instead, Matthews has gone out of his way to give credibility to Perkins, calling him an “honest conservative” with “true views” whose conscience he trusts. Viewers who trust Matthews’s judgment and honesty come away with the impression that they should do the same of Perkins.
Asked to stop inviting Perkins on the air, Matthews accused the Faithful America members of “trying to silence people” — a curious charge given that he recently urged his fellow MSNBC anchors to stop booking Franklin Graham because of Graham’s persistent false attacks on the President’s faith.
As you can see in the video, when Faithful America member Jeff Bridges raises the question of legitimizing Perkins’s off-air comments, Matthews has no real response, admitting that “you may be right. I may agree with you, but not right now.”
It’s long past time for Matthews to stop giving Tony Perkins a platform. As Bishop Gene Robinson explained to MSNBC representatives last month highlighting the shockingly high suicide rate among gay teens, the lies people like Perkins tell “are killing us and they’re killing our kids.”