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Eleven Reasons Why I’m Leaving The Catholic Church

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Guest author Joseph Amodeo recently organized a vigil in front of New York City’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which led to the police threatening the arrest of anyone associated with the action. In this exclusive op-ed, Amodeo explains why he has decided to leave the Catholic Church.

A few hours after the events that became known as the “Dirty Hands Vigil” unfolded at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, I received the following message from a priest I know in Manhattan:

“so disappointing!!!!!!!”

Soon after, I found out that his disappointment was not due to the fact that ten Catholics were denied entry to the Cathedral, but rather with me because, in his view, I had attempted to cause scandal.

Well, I have a few disappointments of my own to share:

1. I am disappointed in bishops who have allowed financial interests to drive their response to the clerical sexual abuse crisis.

2. I am disappointed in a Church that has attempted to argue that same-sex couples and their families are somehow less able to live up to the Christian ideal than their heterosexual counterparts.

3. I am disappointed by a hierarchy that has attacked the dignity of women and LGBT people.

4. I am disappointed by a Church that feels it has the authority to silence academic voices like Sr. Elizabeth Johnston, Sr. Jeannine Grammick, or Fr. Robert Nugent.

5. I am disappointed by a Church that asserts free will and the supremacy of the conscience, but negates such teaching with a practical commandment to obedience and what it deems a “well-formed” conscience.

6. I am disappointed by a Church that has failed to meaningfully discern the inclusion of women in the diaconate or priesthood.

7. I am disappointed by the Church’s reliance on time. As we face progress, the Church has allowed its sluggish character to take hold of its conversations with the world.

8. I am disappointed by those who are afraid of the hierarchy.

9. I am disappointed by an institution that has used faith to bully public servants and has denied communion to those who have sought only to serve the common good.

10. I am disappointed by clergy who have used the pulpit as a means to proselytize a particular political agenda.

11. I am disappointed by the American bishops’ selfish claim of ownership of the principle of religious freedom.

In short, I am disappointed in the Church and its hierarchy. Standing in and looking around a Catholic Church, I not only feel as if I am no longer in my own home, but I also fail to recognize the Church itself. As a human being, I will not be a part of an institution that has allowed fear to drive its theology as is evident in nearly all of the issues that I cite above. For this reason, I have decided to leave the Catholic Church.

I am disappointed, frustrated, and saddened; yet amid my decision to leave the Roman Catholic Church, I am liberated. By this decision, I am following a conscience that leads me to believe that humanity has been created in the image of God. If we truly accept and believe this fundamental teaching, our world of judgment turns into a paradise of acceptance and compassion.

I am not leaving the Catholic Church because of any one particular issue or person, rather because I believe that the Church itself has lost sight of its meaning. A Church founded on hope and charity has become a tradition steeped in an approach that can best be described as “command and control.”

With this decision, some will argue that I should stay and continue efforts toward dialogue and the evolution of theology. On the other hand, some will say that I should have taken this step a long time ago, and still others will say “good riddance, so long.” The reality is that the journey of faith cannot be controlled by others, but rather is dependent only on one’s relationship with his/her Creator.
I now stand at new juncture in my faith journey. It is a place that can be described as both unfamiliar and yet eerily recognizable.

As I depart, I remain disappointed in the Roman Catholic Church and its hierarchy; however, I realize now that I am not joined by chains to the Church. In fact, it is the Church that taught me how to free myself from the bonds of oppression so as to constantly seek liberation. The question is when will the Church choose to loosen its own bonds so as to truly engage with the world around it?

 

skitched-20130709-180912Joseph Amodeo is an LGBT activist who recently organized a vigil in front of New York City’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral and who resigned last year from the board of NYC’s Catholic Charities. He is online and on Twitter.

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Republicans in 10 States Have Now Used Courts to Block Biden’s LGBTQ Student Protections

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On Monday a U.S. district judge in Kentucky temporarily blocked the Biden administration’s new Title IX protections for LGBTQ students in six states, bringing the total number of states the new rules will likely not go into effect August 1 to ten. Republican state attorneys general are fighting the Biden Dept. of Education policies that protect the minority students.

“U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves referred to the regulation as ‘arbitrary in the truest sense of the word’ in granting a preliminary injunction blocking it in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. His ruling comes days after a different federal judge temporarily blocked the new rule from taking effect in Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi and Montana,” the Associated Press reports.

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“The judge’s order makes clear that the U.S. Department of Education’s attempt to redefine ‘sex’ to include ‘gender identity’ is unlawful and beyond the agency’s regulatory authority,” Kentucky state Attorney General Russell Coleman said in a statement, despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock.

In 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that in employment, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is sex discrimination, and therefore prohibited under Title VII. That 6-3 ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County was authored by a right-wing justice, Neil Gorsuch.

Judge Reeves (photo), a Bush-43 appointee, began his ruling by writing, “There are two sexes: male and female.”

“This case concerns an attempt by the executive branch to dramatically alter the purpose and meaning of Title IX through rulemaking,” Reeves continued. “But six states, an association of Christian educators, and one fifteen-year-old girl object. As they correctly argue, the new rule contravenes the plain text of Title IX by redefining ‘sex’ to include gender identity, violates government employees’ First Amendment rights, and is the result of arbitrary and capricious rulemaking.”

Louisville Public Media reports, “Reeves also said he believed the case would win on parental rights grounds.”

“It follows that parents retain a constitutionally protected right to guide their own children on matters of identity, including the decision to adopt or reject various gender norms and behaviors,” Reeves wrote.

Democrats support the Biden Title IX rules.

READ MORE: Whoopi Goldberg Mocks ‘Crook’ Trump for ‘Black Church’ Trip

“Democrat-controlled states have widely supported the rule, and 16 Democratic attorneys general filed a joint amicus brief in one of the challenges,” LPM adds.

Right wing anti-LGBTQ activist Riley Gaines cheered Monday’s ruling: “Great news! Biden’s illegal rewrite of Title IX won’t go into effect in TN, KY, VA, WV, OH, & IN”

“A federal court granted an injunction for the Title IX lawsuit filed by mentioned states,” she added. “This is a huge win. The gender ideology house of cards is falling fast.”

But civil rights attorney Wendy Murphy responded, “Before you celebrate these ‘advocates’ remember that this lawsuit asks the court to REINSTATE Trump/DeVos 2020 #TitleIX regulations that ALLOW rape by requiring it to be BOTH ‘severe AND pervasive.’ So one rape at knifepoint is NOT covered by Title IX bc it wasn’t ‘pervasive.’ ”

READ MORE: ‘Pyongyang in the Rotunda’: GOP Red Carpet Rollout for Trump’s DC Trip Likened to North Korea

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Whoopi Goldberg Mocks ‘Crook’ Trump for ‘Black Church’ Trip

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Whoopi Goldberg on “The View” mocked “crook” Donald Trump after claims by former top Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway the largely white crowd at a Black church attending Saturday’s rally was actually “8000 people at a Black church,” which appeared to be disproven by video footage.

“80% of Detroiters are Black. This crowd was bussed into a city they don’t know to cheer for a felon they don’t know how to live without,” observed former longtime journalist Ron Fournier, a Detroit native, in response to video showing an apparently mostly white crowd of several hundred inside Detroit’s 180 Church.

Conway on Sunday told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo Trump was “talking to 8000 people at a Black church,” and President Biden’s “not doing anything like that.”

The New York Times reported Trump “spoke to roughly 200 people” as he was “courting Black voters at a church on the west side of Detroit on Saturday.” The convicted felon ex-president “sought to harness animus toward migrants crossing the border, sanitized his track record on race and sold himself as the best president for Black Americans since Abraham Lincoln.”

READ MORE: Democrats Have One Way to Correct Corruption of Justices Thomas and Alito: Expert

“Trump largely ignored his history of racist statements and his decades of calls for tougher policing that have fueled his three presidential campaigns,” The Times added, noting he delivered “short remarks before a panel.”

Fox News praised Trump for “connect[ing] the Black and white communities” and declared the importance of “Christian values.”

On Monday, Whoopi Goldberg blasted Trump on ABC’s “The View.”

“So one of the biggest crooks in the country, and by that, 34 counts is what I’m talking about,” Goldberg began, to laughter and cheers. “Convicted felon is telling Black people that people coming for their jobs. This is the narrative that is being pushed to Black voters.”

“And they keep saying, you know, Black people are going to him,” she continued, before asking for video of the church to be shown.

“Can we look at the church? Can we get a visual of the church?”

“Now, I’m not sure that most of these people even knew where that church was before they knew he was coming there,” Goldberg mocked.

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: Rick Scott’s IVF Pledge Using His Own Grandkids Slammed as ‘Lie’ by Democrats

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Democrats Have One Way to Correct Corruption of Justices Thomas and Alito: Expert

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Calls are mounting for U.S. Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin to hold hearings on Supreme Court ethics and corruption, subpoena right-wing Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, and have them explain why, as some, including Democratic Jewish Senators, believe they are promoting Christian nationalism rather than properly interpreting the Constitution and U.S. law, while accepting lavish gifts.

Chief Justice John Roberts has already refused to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Justice Alito has said Congress has no power over him or the Court.

“In the summer of 2023, Justice Samuel Alito told the Wall Street Journal that Congress has no authority to regulate the Supreme Court, despite the ethical regulations Congress already imposes on the justices,” the Brennan Center for Justice reported last month. “Around the time he made this erroneous statement, the justice saw fit to fly a flag in his yard that had been carried by January 6 rioters and associated with the ‘Stop the Steal’ insurrection movement, marking the second time since January 6 that such a flag had flown outside of the justice’s residence.”

READ MORE: Buttigieg on Martha-Ann Alito: Flags Symbolizing Love vs. Insurrection Are Different

Last week the Senate Judiciary Committee revealed Justice Thomas took even more trips paid for by billionaire Harlan Crow than he had disclosed and that had never before been reported. Thomas has received an estimated $5.8 million in gifts over the past two decades, a large portion from Crow, the government watchdog Fix the Court revealed two weeks ago.

Justice Alito’s recent remarks revealing he believes the Supreme Court has to move the nation to one of “godliness,” on top of the symbols of insurrection flying at his homes, has some Americans deeply concerned about his Christian nationalism and the effect it has on his ability to deliver impartial rulings.

Chairman Durbin has steadfastly refused to issue subpoenas to anyone on the Supreme Court. Last summer he defended not even inviting Justice Thomas to a committee hearing on ethics, saying the invitation would have been ignored.

Should Democrats be relying on the Senate to fix the Supreme Court?

No, says Vox’s Ian Millhiser, author of two books on the Supreme Court: Injustices: The Supreme Court’s History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted (2016), and The Agenda: How a Republican Supreme Court Is Reshaping America (2021).

“What can Democrats actually do about Thomas’s and Alito’s corruption?” Millhiser, who writes about the Supreme Court and the Constitution, asks in his latest piece at Vox. “Nothing, unless they win the election,” he answers.

“At the end of the day, the future of the Supreme Court will be decided by the November election. If President Joe Biden prevails, he is likely to appoint more judges like his Supreme Court appointee Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, a mainstream liberal. If Donald Trump prevails, he is likely to fill the bench with Alitos.”

Millhiser says, “what, exactly, could Durbin — or any other Democrat, for that matter — actually do about Thomas’s and Alito’s dubious relationship with judicial ethics? The honest answer is ‘not much.’ ”

“Congress, certainly could do a great deal to check these two men’s power. Congress, after all, has the power to impeach and remove justices,” he writes.

But there’s more.

READ MORE: Rick Scott’s IVF Pledge Using His Own Grandkids Slammed as ‘Lie’ by Democrats

“It also could add seats to the Court, which would quickly be filled by Biden appointees who would effectively neutralize Thomas and Alito’s votes. It could potentially strip the Court of much of its jurisdiction. It could take away some of the Court’s budget — perhaps the parts that pay for Thomas’s and Alito’s law clerks and staff. It could even evict the Court from its marble palace and move the justices’ office space to a shack in Nome, Alaska,” he notes.

“But no legislation reforming the Supreme Court, no matter how ambitious or how modest, is likely to pass so long as Republicans control the House of Representatives,” Millhiser notes.

Of course, there has to be a Democrat in the White House and at minimum a Democratic majority in the Senate to actually get progress.

Millhiser also cautions those seeking to paint Democrats as the problem.

“There’s no reason to doubt the good faith of advocates who want the Senate to pressure out-of-control justices to behave ethically and professionally. Far too many of these advocates, however, have allowed a tactical disagreement with Durbin to make Democrats the villain in this narrative and undermine the party in November.”

Or, as he puts it on social media, “I’m worried that some Democratic activists need a reality check. If two Republican justices are behaving horribly, the right thing to say about this scandal is not ‘Democrats are feckless.’ Attack your enemies, not your friends!”

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