See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Friday, June 25, 2010

Covert activity.


Stealth activism.
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I don't receive any newspapers except for the Saturday and Sunday Minneapolis StarTribune - call me Sara Palin - but I don't read them, I only use them for my cat box area.  Otherwise, I get my news online.  I just now learned however, that the article about the Lutheran Pastor who had been outed by a gay-activist-journalist-for-a-gay-magazine and splashed across the cover of the same (Lavender magazine) is receiving rather harsh criticism from professional journalists and many others for unethical reporting.  (Not the Pastor, but the journalist, John Townsend and his editor.) 
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"I think anybody who appreciates confidential support groups would just be aghast at what they did," Fr. Livingston, spiritual director of the group said. "It's one thing to be opposed politically to someone; it's another thing to worm your way into a group like that and expose the secrets of the group."
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Kelly McBride, an expert in journalism ethics at St. Petersburg, Florida's Poynter Institute, said she found Lavender's approach "troubling."  "It's kind of like being a spy," McBride said. "For most groups that deal with something where members of the group find it shameful, there's a strong presumption of confidentiality." - Read more here and here.

I am happy people rallied to the Pastor's defense and that he will be keeping his job.  After all, he was seeking support and guidance to live chastely according to Christian teaching.  He ought to be commended for that, and at the very least, his privacy respected.  In fact, many gay journalists and activists have also joined the others in voicing objections to the unethical tactics employed by Lavender in outing the man.  Click here.    
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Two sides of the same coin.
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The situation reminds me of the post I did a  few weeks ago wherein I wrote about my decision not to infiltrate a meeting to be conducted by a progressive Catholic group which advocates positions against Church teaching, specifically as it regards a pro-gay agenda.  I had been invited to do so by a Catholic with close ties to the Chancery who informed me my expenses would be covered by the same.  I politely refused.  If you will recall I stated that if the Archdiocese is so interested in what these groups are discussing, why don't they attend the meetings openly?  In my opinion - the undercover initiatives suggested to me were not that much different from Townsend's tactics with the Courage group expose. 
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This is one of those double-standard inconsistencies in life which tend to annoy me - especially when it involves religious people.  There exists a convenient inequity amongst religious extremists - on both sides of the fence - although I suppose you'd have to label progressive elements as revolutionaries, while die-hard-trad-dogma folks are fundamentalists.  Anyway - elements in both groups like to dig up dirt to discredit and harm the other.
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Fanning the flames.
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Although it may seem to the reader I'm veering off-topic here, I was once again reminded of how inconsistent religious people can be just the other day.  After reading a post where women religious of the LCWR were roundly condemned for their alleged cover-up of abuse cases amongst their ranks, comparing their tactical evasion to the bishop/clergy sexual abuse scandals that swept the Church in the US.  The story was a year-old and it seemed to come out of nowhere.  I'm not suggesting the report isn't a concern, although I could not help but recall how not that many years ago, the same types people were voicing a  different sort of protest. 
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Back then, several faithful Catholics, along with Catholic Defense League types jumped all over people reporting on stories accusing bishops and clergy - eventually including sainted types like Maciel and the Legion of Christ - of heretofore unheard of cases of abuse and cover-up.  Not so many years ago, defenders of the Church insisted such revelations were exaggerated at best, and that the whistle-blowers behind them were anti-Catholics bent upon destroying the Church.  Likewise, many vocal Catholic defenders were virulently condemning as anti-Catholic movies such as Priest and The Magdalene Sisters, insisting their stories were exaggerated or down right lies.  Today we know differently, that the stories were based upon real events - and the good guys have joined those they once accused. 
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Such things trouble me.

2 comments:

  1. michael r.11:16 AM

    Kudos for reporting the truth! I am amazed at the lengths that people will go to, to discredit other Christians. The extremes on both sides are ridiculous.

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  2. Terry, the evidence is plain, the Church was infiltrated by men and women with an agenda: Maciel being the most egregious example. However, the recent Belgian scandal points to even darker iniquities hidden beneath the red cap of a Cardinal co-author of Sacrosanctum Concilium, Cardinal Danneels. As much as we would all like to believe these were isolated cases, there now appears to be a "conspiracy of silence". I was living in Albuquerque when the scandal first broke in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe in the 90s: my friends and I used to go to the hot springs in the Jemez mountains, on the way we would drive past the "Servants of the Paraclete" which we used to call mockingly "The Servants of the Pedophiles", one of my friends was at that time suing the Diocese of El Paso for sexual abuse he suffered from one of the highly placed monseƱors. Later a scandal broke out about a teaching brother at the parochial school there leading to nervous breakdowns for two of my friends who had been molested there.

    Like in the series "V" these guys have infiltrated the highest ranks, are indistingushable from the ordinary faithful, and have preyed on the unsuspecting enjoying the cover-up if not active encouragement of their superiors. One could consider "V" an allegory for what is going on in the Church and society: after all the "V" are reptilians, who else would these symbolize other than the Serpent and his kind?

    ReplyDelete


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