White House Petitioned to Declare Catholic Church a “Hate Group” — Will it Comply?


This isn’t as far-fetched as we’d like to imagine:

An online petition asking the White House to designate the Catholic Church as a “hate group” for its views on marriage is drawing criticism for generating unjust animosity.

The petition reveals an “underlying agenda,” which is not simply to prevent violent crimes, but to “stigmatize any disapproval of homosexuality at all and essentially to silence us,” said Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.

He explained to CNA on Jan. 3 that applying the “hate group” label to organizations that are morally opposed to redefining marriage is simply “name-calling designed to cut us out of the public debate.”

Initiated on Christmas Day, a petition on the White House website had collected 1,640 signatures by Jan. 3. [CNA]

(Nice touch, initiating the petition on Christmas Day.)

Here’s my reaction to this news: I’d love to see the White House declare once and for all that it does NOT consider the Catholic Church to be a “hate group”.

You see, this is one of the most insidious arguments used by those bent on redefining marriage: they claim, time and time again, that laws, traditions, individuals and institutions which understand marriage to be the union of one man and one woman do so because of animus towards gay people.

It’s an absurd claim, of course: the notion that thousands of years of civilized human beings all coming to the same conclusion that, to make a marriage, you need both sexes was purely a way of expressing “hatred” towards gay people.

But an absurd claim repeated often enough by powerful people can still do incredible damage.

Which powerful people are repeating this absurd claim that marriage is rooted in hatred, you might ask?

Obama’s Justice Department, that’s who:

“…The [Department of Justice’s] 31-page brief asserts that DOMA’s “official legislative record” shows clearly that Section 3 of DOMA, which limits the federal definition of “marriage” to the union of one man and one woman, and “spouse” to indicate a member of the opposite sex, was “motivated in large part by animus toward gay and lesbian individuals and their intimate relationships.” (LSN, emphasis added).

And, in another instance:

“… Stuart Delery, acting assistant attorney general of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division, argued for the government, against the constitutionality of Section 3 of the act [before the Supreme Court]… Delery said. “Furthermore, there’s clear evidence in the legislative record of animus including prejudice and stereotyped-based thinking.” (Law.com, emphasis added)

Yes, you read that right: official representatives of our own government claiming in the highest court of the land that the reason a law was passed to protect marriage was because of “animus” and “prejudice” towards gay and lesbian people.

For gay marriage activists, including many representatives of our own government, failure to support gay “marriage” makes one immediately guilty of being “anti-gay.”

That’s why I’m really curious to see how the White House answer the question: is the Catholic Church a “hate group” because of our understanding of marriage?

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org


About Author


Thomas Peters, 33, grew up in Southern California and attended college in Michigan. He has two graduate degrees in theology. He began his award-winning American Papist blog in 2006, which went on to become one of the most popular Catholic blogs in America. He was one of a handful of Americans invited to the Vatican’s first-ever Bloggers’ Meeting in Rome. Peters has appeared in dozens of TV, radio and online media outlets over the years discussing the intersection of Catholicism and political activism, debating topics related to life, family and religious freedom, in addition to writing and speaking about the future of social media and online organizing. From 2010-2016 he served as an advisor to CatholicVote.org. He and his wife Natalie live in Washington DC. You can follow him on Twitter @AmericanPapist.

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