A press release from The Catholic Action League:
THREATS AGAINST CATHOLIC CHURCH IN ACUSHNET
A Catholic parish in the Diocese of Fall River [Massachusetts] has become the object of threats of violence, and vandalism, because of a sign posted on church property supporting the traditional definition of marriage. Yesterday, Saint Francis Xavier Parish in the town of Acushnet displayed a message on the church’s billboard reading “Two men are friends, not spouses.”
In an interview this morning with Boston’s FOX 25 News, Steve Guillotte, Director of Pastoral Services for Saint Francis Xavier, said the church has received a number of menacing, obscenity laced phone calls, including one threatening to burn the church down. A sign describing the church’s message as “hate” was nailed to the church’s fence, while additional hostile signs were laid against the fence, and rainbow balloons were attached to it. All references to same gender marriage were removed from the parish’s billboard this morning.
Intimidating or interfering with someone in the exercise of their constitutional rights — such as freedom of speech or the free exercise of religion — is a crime in Massachusetts (Chapter 265, Section 37 of the General Laws). Since 1990, it has been a hate crime (Chapter 434 of the Acts of 1990).
[Note well…] The Catholic Action League characterized the episode as “compelling evidence clearly demonstrating which side in the conflict over same sex marriage engages in hate tactics.” [Get that?]
Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle stated: “At a time when homosexual pride parades monopolize public thoroughfares with police protection, it is now unsafe to post a message upholding traditional morality on private property. This event tells us all we need to know about the totalitarian instincts of organized homosexualism in America. What began as a so-called ‘gay rights’ movement, has become a neo-fascist enterprise dedicated to suppressing, harassing, censoring, silencing and punishing anyone supportive of biblical morality. Attorney General Martha Coakley and Bristol County District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter should investigate the threats against Saint Francis Xavier Parish for possible prosecution as hate crimes.”
What do you want to bet that, if the Attorney General does investigate, no one will be held accountable for a “hate crime”. Instead, the parish will be accused of being the hateful actor in this despicable round of threats and intimidation.
Not long ago I posted something from Life News about a case of church vandalism in Portland claimed by a group called “Angry Queers”.
We are going to be seeing a great deal more of this.
Have you also the impression that what is going in the press about the same-sex and what is rising up right now across every sphere of life, is more than just the usual media feeding frenzy after someone chums the waters?
It is almost as if a signal has been given and a plan is being implemented by an organized community, as it were.
Just as there seems to have been a sharp uptick of racial violence against Caucasians following on the Trayvon Martain case, and following Pres. Obama’s comments about the Trayvon Martin case, so too, following the “First Gay President’s” endorsement of same-sex “marriage”, there will probably be an uptick of vandalism and threats from homosexuals against parishes and churches – anyone, in fact, who openly stands up to defend authentic marriage.
People may have to start thinking about security and security systems for their parish property. It is worth a discussion.
Pastors! Parish Priests! Fathers!
Clear for action!
When will homosexual bullies stop hating?
I am fairly certain that homosexuality is an expression of self hate. Therefore, what can it produce but hate?
Talk about the Church Militant.
We are, indeed, in the middle of battle.
St Michael, the Archangel, protect us in battle.
I guess these protests are supposed to cow us into silence.
May this parish and parishes all across the country continue to speak up for Truth
till the cows come home.
Perhaps it’s finally time for a younger generation of the Knights of Columbus.
Oh…wel…I don’t know about this one. Just because you can make a statement on your church’s lawn sign doesn’t mean that you necessarily should. That sign was just asking for a you-know-what storm of outrage and abuse. What’s next?
“If you’re can read this and you’re divorced, you’re a damned whore”?
“If you’re an alcoholic, you’re drunk with sin”?
“Hey you fat gluttons: the devil’s got a sauna ready for you!”?
I mean, why not? If that church is prepared to taunt sinners who commit that sin, I hope it’s just as prepared to taunt every kind of sinner.
Suppose the Evangelical church down the street from your parish displays a message on their lawn sign that reads, “Papists are not Christians and the Pope is the Antichrist”. What then? I mean, it’s their right to display such a message on their own lawn sign…but do we think they should just because they can? And if Catholics of our stripe encountered that sign, do we suppose that no white and yellow papal flags would have been implanted next to it, or angry notes posted to it, or threatening calls placed to that church’s office? Right.
Church lawn signs are meant for announcements and inspirational messages, not public taunts. If you want to use it as a tool to make taunts, however, you better be prepared to roll with the backlash you’re bound to get.
I suppose we can applaud the success, right? The intention was to be provocative and it succeeded.
Centristian, so the hate and threats of violence are o.k. because you think the parish posted something they shouldn’t have? You missed the point that the hate is on the side of the homosexual lobby. Doesn’t matter how controversial the message posted, they react with hatred and threats any time the truth on this issue is spoken.
“If you’re can read this and you’re divorced, you’re a damned whore”?
“If you’re an alcoholic, you’re drunk with sin”?
“Hey you fat gluttons: the devil’s got a sauna ready for you!”?
These don’t work since the message posted did not characterize the people, nor did it pass judgement on their ultimate destination. The message did not call them sinners, the message simply stated the truth that two men cannot be spouses.
Why is it so hard for people to understand the difference between stating a truth (two men can’t be spouses) and condemnation (you are going to hell)?
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“Centristian, so the hate and threats of violence are o.k. because you think the parish posted something they shouldn’t have?”
Yes, Ann, that’s exactly what I meant…that hate and threats of violence are o.k.
Sorry if you didn’t care for my lawn sign examples. Allow me to revise them:
“Two unmarried Catholic heterosexuals who have moved in together and who sleep together are friends, not a couple.”
“An alcoholic and a beer are neither friends, nor a couple.”
“A glutton and a banana split aren’t a couple, either.”
What always astounds me are two things..the over use of colored balloons, making me want to buy stocks in a balloon company…and secondly, don’t these protestors have other, more important things to do with their hate energy?
Video of them being ‘tolerant’ by hate http://www.tfpstudentaction.org/what-we-do/news-and-updates/video-release-attacked-by-tolerance.html
here’s audio of their agenda http://youtu.be/R7oBnsR5vQo
Centristian, yes, the blurb was needlessly incendiary and it certaintly was crude and un-pithy.
If they wanted to post a comment along those lines they could have said “We Support Traditional Marriage.”
I agree that they brought the reaction upon themselves. Anyway, let law enforcement investigate and if any charges are real they can be prosecuted.
The signage in question reminds me of the KoC pretend gravestones at churches – intended to make themselves feel righteous and to instill shame in those who disagree.
Supertradmom, why do people spend time on campaigns like this, directed at some imaginary audience? I’m not sure but its very close to the same reason why people spend hours a week on blogs.
And of course I did include myself in that.
Fr. Barron comments on Religious Liberty (video: 8 min. 39 sec).
“It is almost as if a signal has been given and a plan is being implemented by an organized community, as it were.” One does begin to fear this is the case. It could be the beginning of the end of the Church in the West if we don’t wake up before it’s too late. The New Evangelization is surely the answer, but should have been well underway twenty years ago.
Clear for action!
Shall we beat to quarters, sir?
[Make it so!]
Wow, the MyFoxBoston website says nothing about threats to burn down the church or anything. The sign on the fence said “you may not be welcome in the church, but all people are welcome in this community! Spread LOVE not hate!” Hardly a threat.
Nightmares about rainbow balloons, anyone?
Frjim4321..if, uh, I had a base community, I might not blog so much…however, I get to meet interesting people like you, with or without balloons
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It’s not just churches that incur the wrath of the gay lobby, individuals are being targeted as well. World champion (and Catholic) boxer Manny Pacquiao is in the news in LA today because he opposes same-sex marriage: http://usat.ly/IYLFZv He was supposed to appear on the tv show “Extra”, which is filmed at The Grove, a very popular & trendy mall. The Grove issued a statement essentially banning Pacquiao from the premises for his “intolerance.”
Of course, this is just a follow-on to the post Prop 8 intimidation that occurred in California. Same-sex marriage supporters combed the Prop 8 donor lists and employed a combination of boycotts and media intimidation that caused businesses to close and other folks to lose their jobs.
I think soon that it won’t much matter if the sign says bingo or BBQ – they know what we believe and will attack all the same.
I think soon that it won’t much matter if the sign says bingo or BBQ – they know what we believe and will come after us all the same.
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Huh. I read this to my roommate who lives about twenty minutes away from the church in question, and he tells me that he knows who sent the letter threatening to burn the church down. Apparently an ultra-liberal Protestant homosexual. How surprising.
If one believes someone else’s words or actions or signage means they “are just asking for it”, what may I do to you if I believe you,(and your nose), are just asking for it”? “Anyone, anyone, Bueller?” I can hear the wife beater threatening his wife, “Don’t make me hit you!”
Centristian: aka Neville Chamberlain
Given the legality of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, and the virulent and aggressive attitude from gay rights supporters in that state since, my money is on the church receiving absolutely no help or support on this incident, at all.
Rhode Island has the largest “Catholic” population of any state, and it is rabidly liberal, to my utter annoyance. There was a gathering by the group National Organization for Marriage, headed by the terrific Brian Brown, a devoted Catholic and great family man, and ruffians showed up. The Rhode Island police stood by while entire families were openly threatened by the gay activists. People were really concerned for their children, and asked the police to help. They did not help. They did nothing. Most likely NOM has a link to it on their website. (NOM is also a group that is so good at organizing and taking on same-sex marriage state by state, that if I had any money, I would definitely donate to NOM.) NOM always needs money, because gay activists have lots of money. Kind of makes you question the whole discrimination theme.
In Massachusetts, the Tea Party just had a gathering at a town green, and I’m not sure if it was the Boston Common. Well, the gay activists showed up there, well organized, and aggressively marched through the crowd, yelling and screaming, preventing the Tea Party speaker from being heard. As usual, it was nothing but vulgarities and obscenities. The Police did…nothing. Actually, that’s not entirely true. They pulled a “Davenport”. They started to arrest the protestors, then stopped, to everyone’s amazement. Go to the MassResistance website to see a video of the bewildered Tea Party folks, the aggressive activists, and the detached police presence. The police have apparently been instructed, take no sides, and they don’t.
I would not take children to any more of these events. They are becoming more risky.
As far as the church in Fall River. Fall River is a rather poor community, with many people of Portuguese heritage. They are predominantly Catholic. This attack will not make them any friends in Fall River.
One of the worst developments over the past decade or so has been the creation of “hate speech law”. It is used to smother debate, which is truly, what fascists love. “I can say what I want, but you can’t say anything”. Isn’t that a dictator’s dream?
On Facebook, just today, I was accused of “gay bashing” because I said people have been given Natural Law in their hearts, and know right from wrong. Overstatement, hysteria, hurt feelings, they are all in the arsenal. We must ‘gird our loins’, as they say. Churches will need security systems.
Whether or not the sign was unnecessarily provocative. Huh. I don’t think so, but it’s making me think. The gay activists march around with signs on themselves all the time, and they are usually overtly aggressive and vulgar. There were always boundaries in society. We didn’t attack churches. These acts against the church are methods of intimidation, and they work! It’s like in Mexico. You leave 50 dead people on a highway, and, you have successfully made a statement to your enemy, don’t mess with us. Intimidation is a powerful weapon, and they are using it.
Translated from Aramaic, c. 32 A.D.
“People may have to start thinking about security and security systems for their parish property. It is worth a discussion.”
Long since time.
Incredible as it seems, apparently this matter is only just beginning to register.
I suggest the Knights of Columbus as an excellent initial partner for our shepherds to consider as a resource in this indispensable and immediate moral obligation.
My wife’s smallest cat, whenever asked anything always says, “Why yes, I would like something to eat!” Cf: the homosexualists: “Stop the hate!”
We note that if Catholics hated homosexuals, it would be us disrupting their events, rather than the other way round.
“I agree that they brought the reaction upon themselves.”
The better reaction is to address the issue with civility and rational discourse, not graffitti, threats and intimidation.
I would suggest though that the Catholic Action League’s PR people get a little more savvy – why not simply get the local press out to take photos/or film of exactly what damage was done, the sign in question and play them the recorded messages and present a sensible and clear statement condemning the extremism and appealing for calm? – goes way further in the minds of everyday people than ranting about hate crimes, gay lobby etc…
and incidentally – if Churches are worried about habitual problems with violence, crime etc – go and research the condition of Jewish places of worship etc in non-US countries which almost all have private security, CCTV etc and have a great deal of knowledge and experience of this kind of thing (and worse).
“Centristian: aka Neville Chamberlain
Just for that I shall not wave at you from the palace balcony. Nevertheless keep calm and WDTPRS.com.
@Son of Trypho
You think the media want to cover the news? WRONG. They want to tell a story. In this case, as in so many others, they’ve already decided what that story is. Facts that don’t fit into their story will be ignored.
Just ask the people behind March for Life.
You would need to demonstrate that that would be the case in this circumstance – considering that some news affiliates are reporting on this I find it hard to believe that what your suggesting is accurate.
Incidentally, there should be guidelines for collection of information of this type and the Church should use this information to report it as a hate crime against them.
Ask the March for Life people.
I find it highly amusing how Centristian and Postcatholic casually dismissed this as, “Oh! They were asking for it…”
I bet they also take offense to the idea that scantily clad women who are raped were also “asking for it”? Or would that be okay now? Because it’s their fault? Should’ve know, right?
I’m sure you’re not saying violent or law breaking reprisal is a-okay… but sorry boys, you gotta admit to the evidence that the ‘tolerant’ crowd ain’t so tolerant, but are rather hypocritical. If Catholics defaced an LGBT community place, we wouldn’t hear the end of it. It’s hypocracy, plain and simple. Much like your statements. And I’d advise you to stop being cruel to homosexuals by allowing and encouraging them to continue on in sin. When you die, you will be held culpable for what you’ve done to them, and they shall be there at your judgment accusing you for encouraging them in the state they were in when you should’ve known better. In the end, the people you think you are helping will hate you for it, because you have led them astray in your pride. Hopefully they will be saved by grace as God works in their lives, and they forgive you for it. The same I pray for you.
Centristian, I’m not sure I understand your objection. “Two men are friends, not spouses.” is by no means hateful. It’s just trying to state a fact about natural law, although it does so poorly since “friendship” is not the only thing involved. Violence is never acceptable even if it the remarks were taunting.
WRT “Papists are not Christians and the Pope is the Antichrist”, you mean like the sign 10 blocks from my home or the equivalent you regularly hear in the mass media? I’ve yet to see a single bit of vandalism on that church or media stations. Such violence would not be acceptable regardless.
WRT “Church lawn signs are meant for announcements and inspirational messages, not public taunts.” Oh please. Pick up a gospel and highlight the number of times Jesus gave inspirational speaches in yellow and the number of times he slammed one group or another in red. Notice a pattern? We’ve lost a whole generation of Catholics precisely because only the happy clappy Jesus has been shown to them.
“Centristian, I’m not sure I understand your objection. “Two men are friends, not spouses.” is by no means hateful.”
Perhaps you don’t understand my objection that the sign was hateful because I didn’t make an objection that the sign was hateful. Does that help you understand?
I pointed out that the sign was taunting. I never used the word “hateful”. It’s a pastor’s prerogative, I suppose, to taunt people with a lawn sign if he wants, but he shouldn’t then, having done so, be astonished by a reaction to his taunt.
Anyone who wants to is free to stand in front of a bull and wave a red cape, only they mustn’t then express indignant shock when the bull actually charges at them.
Mr Chamberlain (Centristian) the bull isn’t merely ruminating in his pasture but is rampaging through our society, pretending all the while to be benign, friendly and harmless. He has the approbation of the media, and right now has taken the supposed moral high ground in our culture. In fact, what of all that is sacred has he not tried to trample? So shouldn’t someone be in the streets with a red cape? Or is there some future moral outrage that will be the final straw and, finally, red cape time?
Further, how is it that you and I would never say that a woman who dressed provocatively (perhaps immorally) was “asking for it”, yet you imply that someone standing for the Truth in a provocative yet moral way is “asking for it”?
Centristian, you’re right.
And the bishops should keep silent about marriage, too. After all, their remarks might be reported in the press, and that might make someone angry. We can’t have that!
Maybe if we’re mousy-quiet, all this will blow over and they’ll leave us alone. Maybe they won’t be emboldened by silence and demand that sexual perversions be taught in Catholic schools, too. Maybe they won’t demand to hold “gay marriages” in Catholic churches. Maybe the Church Militant should be the Church Cowering.
Dear @Centristian, you seem to think that the marriage issue is about morality. It is not; it is but accidentally. It is not even about human nature, save accidentally. For we are not talking about the homosexual act or what moral theology or anthropology has to say about it, save accidentally and if it cannot be helped.
What we are talking about is whether the State should disguise what is not marriage as marriage. That’s what this is about (a bit provocatively you might say it is about linguistics). Hence also, dear @Fr. Jim, “we support traditional marriage” would be, though accurate, misleading, since it nourishes the thought that there could be such thing as an untraditional marriage.
But for the reason that in all debates though not in hidden feeling of the hidden masses, our world suffers from epidemic amnesia concerning these truisms, nothing is to be said against a short and concise billboard message as a reminder.
Also, the message is not a taunt. It is a truism that we unfortunately must be reminded of.
Might we be open to the idea that those responsible for wording the statement are not of a professional PR type, but may have wanted to break silence anyway? After many years of not engaging in the culture wars, a bit of imperfect flailing about should be expected. Better to try than not to.
I have seen my own attempts at discussion of these matters go down in flames even among beloved family members. There is a nearly unanimous stance that these issues should be accepted as presented by the main stream, and no one should wreck everyone’s peace by disagreeing.
Little efforts like this should be applauded for their bravery, and quietly counseled on how to keep the discussion going for those in the public and in their own parish whose opinions can still be properly formed.
And , yes, I think that the victim hood myth needs to be blown a bit wide also. It’s not like the sign read “all homosexuals will be hunted down and burned”. Let’s not bow down so much to calls for”civil” (which really means toothless and opinion less) discourse. What that means is SHUT UP!
Centristian has a point in that we seem to be doing what Catholics have a bad habit of doing–waving the U.S. Constitution around as if it were a string of garlic cloves at a vampire. It’s ok to use it like a tool much like when St. Paul flashed his Roman citizenship to get out of a stoning, but when you start thinking it is holy, or that Our Lord died to bring us the Constitution, then you become a tool. So, the parish should post this. They should not be surprised or outraged when the fangs come out. As another here put it, if you are not taking flak, you are not over the target.
And note the lopsidedness of this–Almost every TV program features homosexual normalization. There are gay bars, bookstores, parades, college studies programs. This is before we even get to Big Abortion and pornography and whole industries designed to corrupt heterosexuals. And yet one parish posts a rather tame slogan and the howls go up of “Incendiary!” We should rejoice obviously in the good news, but also that Chesterton is proven right–even watered-down Christianity is enough to boil the world.
@Johnno, who said…unbelievably, really:
“It’s hypocracy, plain and simple. Much like your statements. And I’d advise you to stop being cruel to homosexuals by allowing and encouraging them to continue on in sin. When you die, you will be held culpable for what you’ve done to them, and they shall be there at your judgment accusing you for encouraging them in the state they were in when you should’ve known better. In the end, the people you think you are helping will hate you for it, because you have led them astray in your pride. ”
My remarks were pertinent to the appropriateness of the wording of a lawn sign and to the lack of my surprise at the reaction to it. In nothing I wrote could it possibly be conceived by any rational person that I was encouraging homosexuals to continue in sin. It may just be that your reply was a bit over the top. It may furthermore be that you have as much to worry about at your particular judgment as anyone else, for assuming in your life the role of (unjust) judge.
I will remember you in my prayers.
ContraMundum, your comment reminds me of how a Jewish friend of mine characterizes the naive belief common in liberal Jewish circles that radial Islam poses no threat to Israel or the West: “If we’re nice to them, they won’t kill us.”
Bea said: “I guess these protests are supposed to cow us into silence.”
They (and similar tactics) already have cowed us….this church took the sign down; in Iowa, Bishop Amos made a SPECTACULAR flip this week; and the examples continue. The bullies and their tactics seem to win the day time and time again…..sad.
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I’m not much for these kinds of signs no matter what they say. Ditto for the vocational advertising on billboards and in publications.
As long as the State protects them these homofanatice will continue to bully those who have different views.
You are so on the mark Fr. Z! Whether from the President or some other “Powers that Be”, it almost seems as though they’ve been given the signal…..we are now the “blood in the water” and they are in full shark attack mode. This is only going to get much worse. There will come a day where any kind of speech anywhere, by clergy or lay people will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Persecution is on the way.
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