Connect with us

Poll: Vast Majority Of Americans Blame Churches For Gay Teen Suicides

Published

on

Sixty-five percent of Americans — a vast majority — blame churches for “higher rates of suicide among gay and lesbian youth,” such as the suicides that have shocked the country in recent months, according to a new poll just released by The Public Religion Research Institute. The survey also finds that seventy-two percent of Americans believe “messages 
about 
the 
issue 
of 
homosexuality
 coming 
from
 places
 of 
worship 
contribute
 to negative
 views 
of 
gay 
and 
lesbian
 people.” Additionally, forty-three percent of Americans, a plurality, “think 
messages
 on
 the 
issue 
of
 homosexuality 
coming 
from
 America’s
 places 
of 
worship 
are
 generally 

negative.”

The Public Religion Research Institute also reports, “more than 4-in-10 Americans gave religious organizations a “D” (18%) or an “F” (24%). The number of Americans giving places of worship low marks is more than twice as many as give them high marks; Only 5% of Americans give them an “A,” and only 11% give them a “B.”

“Of all religious groups, white evangelicals are most likely to give their own church high marks for handling the issue of homosexuality. Three-quarters of white evangelicals give their church an “A” (48%) or “B” (27%). Among white mainline Protestants and Catholics, only about 4-in-10 give their church an “A” or “B.” Catholics were most likely to give their churches negative marks, with nearly one-third giving their churches a “D” (15%) or an “F” (16%).”

“A majority of Americans agree that messages coming from places of worship about the issue of homosexuality are not positive,” said Daniel Cox, Director of Research for Public Religion Research Institute.  “Americans are six times more likely to say that messages coming from places of worship are negative as they are to say that they are positive.”

It’s important to compare these factual, scientific findings with the assault that radical yet well-publicized and well-funded right-wing religious zealots are making on the issue of the severe and damaging impact religious institutions and “pro-family” groups are having on the youth and teens of America, particularly youths and teens who are homosexual or may questioning their sexuality. Even those who do not self-identify as homosexual, bisexual, or transgender, but are perceived as being LGBTQ, have suffered greatly at the hands of bullies of all ages.

And it’s no wonder the vast majority of Americans “agree that messages coming from places of worship about the issue of homosexuality are not positive.” Consider Minnesota, which is eighty-one percent Christianist. Then consider this, via The American Independent:

“Archbishop John Neinstedt says Minnesota’s bishops will be distributing “more than one million” DVDs across Minnesota just weeks before the [November 2010] election. Part of an orchestrated campaign against same-sex marriage, the DVDs were funded by an anonymous donor and produced by the Knights of Columbus, a group that donates to the National Organization for Marriage, which is also running anti-gay marriage ads in Minnesota. While Neinstedt says the effort isn’t about politics, the state’s largest LGBT advocacy group slammed the new campaign.

“Dennis McGrath, spokesman for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, told the Minnesota Independent that the campaign is titled, “Preserving Marriage in Minnesota.”

“The DVD itself,  “One Man, One Woman – Marriage and the Common Good,” is a hodgepodge of anti–gay marriage arguments including statements by Maggie Gallagher, founder of the National Organization for Marriage, who says gay marriage will be taught in schools if it is legalized.”

Compare the survey findings above with the intersection of Maggie Gallagher’s National Organization for Marriage’s misdeeds in Minnesota, and the murderous rhetoric coming from other radical, well-funded hate groups, including the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which proudly invokes god and religion in its public messaging, including in its weekly emails.

Maggie Gallagher, the Chairwoman of NOM, this week offered an op-ed in the New York Post. Titled, “Don’t blame me for gay teen suicides,” Gallagher, whom many (yours, truly, included,) indeed do blame for gay teen suicides, asks, “Do I have blood on my hands?” She then asks, “Forced sex, childhood sexual abuse, dating violence, early unwed pregnancy, substance abuse — could these be a more important factor in the increased suicide risk of LGBT high schoolers than anything people like me ever said?”

Ever obtuse, Gallagher has yet to come to the realization that people are forced into risky behaviors out of desperation. And the root cause of that desperation often is in the words, and the campaign of hate, that is Maggie Gallagher.

New York Magazine agrees, and responds:

“[W]hen Maggie Gallagher put[s] out ads comparing gay marriage to a terrifying oncoming storm as part of a campaign to maintain legal inequality, it provides more evidence to young, confused gay kids that what they are is not as good as what other kids are. (Incidentally, it provides bullies with the same justification.) She’s not just opposed to gay marriage. She’s working as hard as she can to create an environment that delegitimizes the gay lifestyle, claiming that it “takes away freedom” from other people and threatens America’s very way of life.”

Then there is the extreme right-wing homophobic columnist obsessed with homosexuality, Mike Adams, who in Townhall satirically writes of “a wave of [eight] recent suicides involving Christians who have been harassed by homosexual activists.” He ends the piece with a retort.

“These eight cases are all true except for one thing: The Christians who were bullied by gays and gay activists are all still alive. Not a single one has committed suicide. That is because they have centered their lives around Jesus Christ, rather than their sexual identity. And no amount of bullying can change my mind about that.”

Suicide, whether gay or straight, is never funny. Nor is it to be used as a satirical vehicle to twist into a misguided point.

But make no mistake. These are just two examples this week of countless ones throughout the years.

Sadly, it’s getting worse.

Already, many reputable organizations have gone on record with their belief that organizations such as Gallagher’s NOM are merely storefronts for the vast wealth that is the Mormon Church. Others see the hand of other Christianist Churches in so-called “pro-family” organizations such as Focus on the Family, the Alliance Defense Fund, the American Family Association, the Family Research Council, and other anti-gay hate groups.

Fortunately, the one thing we can all trust is the common-sense of the American people, who know a scam and a hate-monger when they see it. They have identified the Church in America as the leading cause of the anti-gay bias and bullying that has driven countless LGBTQ youths and teens to suicide.

There is blood on the hands of Maggie Gallagher, and the Church; the blood of gay teens who succumbed to suicide — teens literally bullied to death. And America — sixty-five percent of America –  knows it.


Subscribe to
The New Civil Rights Movement


<!–
google_ad_client = “pub-6759057198693805”;
/* 468×60, created 10/21/10 */
google_ad_slot = “8507588931”;
google_ad_width = 468;
google_ad_height = 60;
//–>

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

News

Another Santos Financial Concern: GOP Lawmaker Claims Campaign Paid WinRed Triple the Fees It Should Have

Published

on

According to an NBC News report there’s yet another mystery swirling around U.S. Rep. George Santos and his campaign financial activity and reports.

WinRed, the right-wing fundraising processor platform created to compete with Democrats’ ActBlue, has asked the Santos campaign to correct a financial report that claims the New York GOP lawmaker paid them more than triple what it should have – suggesting the entry on his Federal Election Commission (FEC) report is erroneous.

“Santos reported paying WinRed more than $206,000 to process donations to his 2022 campaign, records show. But that amount doesn’t match up with how much money Santos actually raised,” NBC News reports.

“WinRed charges candidates a 3.94% fee for contributions made online by credit card. At that rate, Santos would have had to have raised more than $5.2 million through WinRed to warrant a $206,000 payment to the firm,” NBC explains. “Through November, however, his campaign reported total contributions of $1.7 million, including donations that didn’t come through WinRed.”

READ MORE: ‘Deliberately Deceived the Nation’: Legal Experts Stunned by ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Report on How Barr and Durham Protected Trump

WinRed would not tell NBC News how much the Santos campaign actually paid them, with the news network offering that it could be “sloppy accounting.”

But one campaign finance expert, attorney Brett Kappel, warns, “nothing that appears on Rep. Santos’s FEC reports can be taken at face value.”

This follows reports that the Santos campaign amended two filings to indicate that a $500,000 personal loan and a $125,000 personal loan, claimed to have been from the candidate’s own personal funds, was not from his personal funds. There is no information indicating what entity loaned the Santos campaign the money, or if it actually even existed.

That bombshell was followed up this week with yet another one: the FEC reports were allegedly signed by a “treasurer” who does not and never has worked for the Santos campaign. One expert called that a “big no-no,” and “completely illegal.”

READ MORE: Watch: Santos Responds to Report He Joked About Hitler, ‘The Jews’ and Black People

Continue Reading

'GASLIGHTING'

‘Deliberately Deceived the Nation’: Legal Experts Stunned by ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Report on How Barr and Durham Protected Trump

Published

on

Legal experts are now weighing in on Thursday’s bombshell, massive and months-long reporting from The New York Times that reveals, among several previously unknown allegations, that then-Attorney General Bill Barr and his special counsel, John Durham were handed apparent evidence of suspicious financial acts by Donald Trump, and proceeded to create a false public narrative that Durham’s investigation found evidence of “suspicious financial dealings” related to Trump, suggesting it was on the part of the FBI, not the president, in order to protect the president.

“On one of Mr. Barr and Mr. Durham’s trips to Europe,” The Times reveals, “according to people familiar with the matter, Italian officials — while denying any role in setting off the Russia investigation — unexpectedly offered a potentially explosive tip linking Mr. Trump to certain suspected financial crimes.”

The Times adds that “Mr. Barr and Mr. Durham never disclosed that their inquiry expanded in the fall of 2019, based on a tip from Italian officials, to include a criminal investigation into suspicious financial dealings related to Mr. Trump.”

READ MORE: Bombshell NYT Report Reveals Bill Barr’s Special Counsel Opened ‘Secret’ Financial Crimes Probe Into Trump But Never Prosecuted

“Mr. Durham never filed charges, and it remains unclear what level of an investigation it was, what steps he took, what he learned and whether anyone at the White House ever found out. The extraordinary fact that Mr. Durham opened a criminal investigation that included scrutinizing Mr. Trump has remained secret.”

Until now.

Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law expert who literally wrote the book on the U.S. Constitution, calls the Times’ report “jaw-dropping.”

“When Durham unexpectedly found evidence of crimes committed BY rather than AGAINST Trump, he and Barr deliberately deceived the nation into thinking the opposite! This deep dive by the NYT is as jaw-dropping as anything I’ve read in the past decade,” Tribe says.

Law professor and former President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) Sherrilyn Ifill, one of TIME’s  2021 most influential people in the world, accused Barr of “gaslighting” the public.

READ MORE: ‘Moral Turpitude’: Trump Coup Memo Author John Eastman Now Facing 11 Counts of Alleged Ethics Violations – and Disbarment

“Every line of this article must be read,” Ifill implored. “Horrifying breaches of professional ethics, misuse of DOJ investigative resources, and deliberate lies to, and gaslighting of the public. A grotesque perversion of the appropriate role of Attorney General.”

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, the well-known MSNBC legal contributor and professor of law, also calls it “jaw dropping.”

“Jaw dropping reporting. Lots here including an explanation of why Durham’s colleague resigned: under pressure from Barr to release an ‘interim’ report damaging Clinton & the FBI as the election drew near, Durham had a draft prepared that wasn’t factual,” she says.

Andrew Weissman, the former General Counsel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who spent 20 years at DOJ, including working under Special Counsel Robert Mueller, calls Barr “corrupt.”

“Can anyone really be surprised by this?” he asks. “Barr was just so corrupt and so corrupted the DOJ.”

MSNBC legal analyst Jill Wine-Banks, a former Watergate prosecutor and the first woman to serve as US General Counsel of the Army was troubled by the picture The Times painted of how close Barr and Durham were, when special counsels are supposed to have great autonomy and not be shaded by any Attorney General interference.

“Even more troubling than Barr and Durham frequently having drinks and discussing the investigation is the fact that the only crime they discovered on their foreign trip was Italian intel about crimes by Trump,” she says via Twitter. “I want to know the status of that investigation!”

READ MORE: Republicans Claiming ‘Censorship’ Threaten to Haul AT&T and DirecTV Into Congress for Dropping Far-Right Newsmax

Some legal experts lament that despite the bombshells in The Times’ report, it appears nothing will come of it – certainly nothing from the House Republicans.

Former Associate White House Counsel Ian Bassin sardonically asks, “Surely McCarthy and Jim Jordan’s new Select Committee on ‘the Weaponization of the Federal Government’ will focus on this story and the actions of Bill Barr, John Durham and Donald Trump. Surely, right? Right?”

Wine-Banks also points to House Republicans’ new committee investigating what they claim is “weaponization” of the federal government.

“Barr’s relationship with Durham, his pressure on him to reach a certain result and their failure to follow up on Trump’s crime revealed during the investigation is what weaponization of the DOJ looks like — not what Republicans want to investigate now.”

Pete Strzok, who spent 26 years at the FBI including as Deputy Assistant Director of the Bureau’s Counterintelligence Division, and led the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States election, speaks from experience.

“I can see Barr allowing the stunning amount of craziness (a gentle choice of word) described in this article,” he writes. “But does anyone in the current OAG or ODAG care about this? Durham has reported to AG Garland for twenty two (22) months now.”

“This,” Weissman adds separately, pointing to The Times article, “is all about the Trump weaponization of the DOJ – but we know that the House Rs won’t give a damn about it.”

 

Continue Reading

News

Questions Raised About Another Freshman Republican’s Finances After He Refuses to Comply With Federal Law

Published

on

Rep. George Santos (R-NY) isn’t the only freshman Republican facing questions about his personal finances.

An investigation conducted by News Channel 5 in Nashville has found that freshman Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN) never complied with federal laws requiring that he make disclosures about his personal finances.

In fact, notes News Channel 5, “not only did Andy Ogles ignore that law during the campaign, he continues to ignore it today.”

The law in question requires that Ogles and all candidates for elected office to disclose their assets and unearned income, their liabilities, and sources of income paid by one source that exceed $5,000.

READ MORE: Marjorie Taylor Greene’s amendment to bar Biden from selling oil goes down in massive bipartisan defeat

Ogles’ office hasn’t responded to News Channel 5’s questions even though the Tennessee lawmaker’s refusal to comply with the law could result in up to a year in prison.

Ogles’ defeated Democratic opponent, Heidi Campbell, told News Channel that it was “frustrating” to see Ogles flout the law, which she complied with last year by releasing her personal finance information all the way back in April of 2022.

“We, as Tennesseans, deserve to have representatives who are following the rules,” she said.

Ogles was also regularly late in filing campaign finance reports, which also contained so many discrepancies that Ogles has received four different letters from the Federal Election Commission demanding that they be explained.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.