I admit it... I'm a petition signer. I like adding my voice to others to make a point about something I believe in. There's strength in numbers, and it usually only takes a minute.
I signed this petition on Change.org as a gay man, a formerly active priest and as someone deeply concerned about the message that this sends to Catholics around the world about LGBT humans. It's patently untrue and more than patently screwed up.
Background (from the petition site):
Chicago Archbishop Cardinal Francis George foolishly compared the LGBT community to the Ku Klux Klan. He has crossed so far over the line of basic decency that he couldn't see it with a pair of binoculars. George's over-the-top remarks were extreme to the point where they shredded his credibility and permanently damaged his ability to serve as a respected voice of reason.
This outrageous comparison of the LGBT community to the Ku Klux Klan was so degrading and hurtful that apologizing will not be sufficient. George's only road to redemption is handing in his resignation. If he has a shred of dignity and a shard of class he will immediately step down.
George's offensive remarks came during a dispute over the scheduled starting time of the annual gay pride parade in June. The event was originally set to begin at 10am, but a priest bitterly complained that the starting time would interfere with morning services.
In an interview with Fox News in Chicago, Cardinal George said: "Well, I go with the pastor. I mean, he's telling us that they won't be able to have Church services on Sunday, if that's the case. You know, you don't want the Gay Liberation Movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan, demonstrating in the streets against Catholicism. So, I think if that's what's happening, and I don't know that it is, but I would respect the local pastor's, you know, position on that. Then I think that's a matter of concern for all of us."
Such backward and bigoted remarks cannot stand. We must stand up, speak out and fight back against the intolerance displayed by Cardinal George. If we don't take a stand when we are compared to the KKK - when will we? The time to act is now by demanding that George immediately leave his post.
Now I'm really not so naive to think that the Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago will look at a few thousand signatures and immediately resign his post, but it may give him something to think about the next time he opens his archepiscopal mouth to make ignorant comparisons. People expect more tolerance and compassion from the spiritual leader of a million people - at least I do - so I signed it. Because I also think Jesus would have expected better, too.
If you agree, sign the petition here.
It's still all about love and redemption - even when the leaders don't represent.