Tag Archives: intolerance

Parish Threatened, Harassed Over Sign Opposing ‘Gay Marriage’

A Massachusetts Catholic parish has received threats of arson and other harassing messages after posting a sign with the Church’s position on same-sex “marriage.”

“It went viral,” said Steven Guillotte, Director of Pastoral Services at Saint Francis Xavier Parish in Acushnet, recalling an “explosion” of responses to the message displayed on the sign in front of the church earlier this week. It read: “Two men are friends, not spouses.”

Guillotte posted the message on the morning of May 15, and responded within hours to an e-mail “saying that it was hateful.” Later that day, Guillotte’s e-mail response ended up being posted to Facebook.

“Next thing you know, the nasty telephone calls started to come, and they were coming every few minutes,” said the pastoral director in a May 17 interview with CNA.

After local media took an interest, there were “some horrible e-mails overnight,” and a phone call from a woman “saying the church should be burned down.”

“We had a group of three young men and a woman who were upset. They were actually planning on going into the church,” he recounted. Guillotte steered them away, while trying to field an inquiry from a reporter.

“She witnessed one of the guys scream across the parking lot that he was going to burn the church down. We hear that, here and there.”

Guillotte said the sign was intended to clarify Catholic beliefs after President Obama’s recent support for redefining marriage. After the president’s announcement, he recalled, “there were a lot of Catholics out there misrepresenting, or even maligning, the Church’s position on gay marriage.”

“So I came in on this past Tuesday morning and just decided to put up a sign expressing the Church’s teaching in a very concise way … saying that the proper relationship between two men – or for that matter, two women – is friendship, and not marriage.”

Opponents of the message starting posting their own signs on or near the parish property. One of them contained an invitation to “spread LOVE, not hate,” while another used a sexual insult to describe the Virgin Mary. Others read “Jesus Freaks, come to your senses,” and “Pray for death.”

Many of the phone calls “were just f-words and people hanging up,” along with others “saying they were disgusted with the sign” and asking “how could we do it, because it was so ‘hateful.’”

But Guillotte said the expressions of “hate” or “intolerance” seemed to be coming from the Church’s critics in this case.

“If the Methodist church down the street put a sign up that said they were in favor of gay marriage,” he observed, “you wouldn’t see me down their with a hammer and nails on their property.”

Another phone call came from a concerned Catholic, who worried that the sign would drive people away from the Church. Guillotte disagrees.

“We have a pastor who’s taken a firm, orthodox stand on Church teaching, and our staff is the same way,” he said. “Unlike some parishes in the area, our census has actually gone up this last year.”

Although the Church sign has since been changed, Guillotte continues to stand by Tuesday’s message as one that should be brought into the public square. He said Catholics should show patience and love in the debate over marriage, but also be “firm in our presentation of what the truth is.”

Otherwise, he warned, “next thing you know, you’re agreeing with the other side, which is exactly what they’re really striving for.”

He believes advocates for sexual radicalism “don’t really want tolerance, in my opinion; they want us to agree with them.”

“When we do that,” he said, “we give up our Catholic faith, and I think we turn our back on Christ.”

Dutch journalist threatened with torture, death following letter condemning abortion

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman,

Pro-life journalist Mariska Orbán de Haas says that she has received hundreds of death threats and more than ten threats of torture following the publication of an open letter she wrote to a pro-abortion parliamentarian asking her to reconsider her position on the subject.

The letter, which was addressed to Representative Jeannine Hennis-Plasschaert and published in the Katholiek Nieuwsblad (Catholic News), was written in response to Hennis-Plassschaert’s angry reaction after receiving a plastic fetal model from Catholic bishop Everard de Jong. The bishop had sent the models to Hennis-Plasschaert and all other members of the Dutch House of Representatives. He also included a letter in which he asked the representatives to stop the killing of the unborn in the face of impending budget restrictions, pointing out that defunding “bloody abortion clinics” would save money and help preserve future generations who could care for the elderly.

After Hennis-Plasschaert called the letter from the bishop “disgusting,” Orbán wrote to her publicly, pointing out that both she and Hennis-Plasschaert have experienced the suffering of miscarriages, and that the fetal model she received from Bishop De Jong would resemble their lost children at the time of their deaths.

“In that light,” asked Orbán, “is it not ‘disgusting’ that our society permits us to abort more than thirty thousand babies in the Netherlands every year?” She noted that children who die by abortion are “exactly the same as the mysterious little lives that we expectantly carried within us.”

The letter, published on October 27, sparked outrage in the largely liberal, pro-abortion Netherlands. Orbán soon offered a public apology, but that has not prevented her from receiving an avalanche of angry responses. French journalist Jeanne Smits reports that the letter has generated 350,000 tweets on Twitter, and various sites have created distorted pictures of her face, portraying her as a devil.

Orbán notes that she had never received such a response from readers, until she began writing as a Catholic journalist.

“I’ve previously pushed the boundaries as a journalist, in various subjects, but I’ve never had this kind of reaction,” said Orbán. “If you write something about the Catholic faith, then people react so very strongly.”

“I hear many liberals say that free speech is so important, but if you have Catholic views it’s obviously different,” she added.

This article was first published in LifeSiteNews.com, November 15, 2010.

The Middle East Is in Danger of Losing Its Christians

Dr. Nimrod Raphaeli, a senior Middle East Media Research Institute analyst, wrote about the terrible plight of christians in the Middle East. The focus of his article is how Christians are actually being treated by Muslim in Arab countries. Although not isolated to any one Muslim-Arab nation, many Iraqi Christian and their churches have suffered violaent attacks. They have been pressured to migrate to other countries. And, hundreds have been killed.

Jew and other non-Muslims are not the only ones criticizing the plight of Middle East Christians. Arab reporter are also reporting the defamation and persecution of Christians living in Arab-Muslim countries. The is an except from Dr. Raphaeli’s article.

Another Iraqi commentator, ‘Aziz Al-Hajj, argues that the experience of the Iraqi Christians is no different from that of other Christians in the Middle East, who all suffer blunt discrimination, aggression, abuse of rights, and pressure to emigrate. He points out that since 2003, over 50 churches have been burned or destroyed in Iraq; a cardinal was kidnapped, three priests were murdered, and about 800 Christians have been killed. The emigration of Christians is driven by their realization that if they stay behind, they will at best be second-class citizens. According to Al-Hajj, the number of Palestinian Christians is dwindling too: no more than 50,000 remain in the occupied territories, only 1000 of them in Gaza. Even in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ, the majority of the population is now Muslim.

If you still have any doubts about the intolerance of Muslims toward non-Muslims, you should read Dr. Raphaeli’s entire article. It is available on the MEMRI website.