Friday, January 18, 2013

Left Side of the Aisle #91 - Part 3

Clown Award #1: Catholic League President Bill Donohue

We have a trifecta of clownishness this week. I just couldn't decide which of these three seemed the most clownish to me, so I decided to take all three.

Our first entry starts with the tale of Louie Giglio, a Georgia pastor who was to be part of Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony but dropped out after his history of anti-gay bigotry came to light. MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell commented on the matter, saying Giglio was merely "quoting the Bible" but went on to point out a few of the other things that the Bible condemns, before saying that having presidents take the oath of office with their hand on the Bible is an "absurd tradition" because no one actually believes or practices everything the Bible says. The commentary was rather disjointed, but the point was clear enough once he got around to actually making it.

In response, our first clown flapped on stage with his size 25 clown shoes. His name is Bill Donohue and he's the notoriously homophobic president of the Catholic League. Last Friday, in response to O'Donnell, he proposed that President Barack Obama should swear in on a copy of Das Kapital - Karl Marx's famous analysis of political economy - rather than the Bible. Yeah, well, clowns never were known for subtlety.

Donohue defended Giglio, saying that the pastor's "only crime" was being a Christian and that "Practicing Christians, along with observant Jews, Mormon, Muslims and millions of others, accept the biblical teachings on the sinfulness of homosexuality." None of which, of course, responds to O'Donnell's actual argument about how no one believes everything in the Bible. But wasn't it nice and just so wonderfully inclusive of him to declare that "Muslims and millions of others" - non Judeo-Christians all - believe in his Bible?

And, unhappily for Donohue and the rest of his ilk, it seems that fewer and fewer people, at least in the US, agree with him. According to a survey done in November for the conservative Christian ministry Lifeway, just 37 percent of Americans believe homosexual behavior is a sin, a seven point drop from one year earlier. Meanwhile, those who say it is not a sin rose two points to 45 percent. That is a net nine point shift in just one year.

It's always fun to see the clown get the pie in the face, isn't it?


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