Here's your must-see TV for the day.
As regular Bilerico readers will know, Twin Cities Catholic Archbishop John Nienstedt is currently under investigation for allegations that he covered up sexual abuse and possession of child pornography by priests, as well as multiple claims that he engaged in sexual relationships with seminarians, priests, and other men. He's also one of the most outspoken homophobes in the American Catholic Church.
Last week, as local Catholics and even the state's largest newspaper were calling for his resignation, Nienstedt granted a round of interviews to a host of media outlets, including local Fox affiliate KMSP-TV, which sent openly gay reporter and anchor Tom Lyden to chat with the archbishop.
According to City Pages, Lyden is married to his partner of more than two decades and is outspoken in his support of LGBT equality. As you can imagine, that made for quite an interesting conversation:
Lyden... grilled Nienstedt about his own sexuality and anti-gay views. The line of questioning culminated in the archbishop acknowledging that his beliefs about the sinfulness of same-sex sexual relations don't seemingly make much sense at all.
Lyden pulls no punches, calling out point-blank the undeniable and irreconcilable contradiction between Nienstedt's claims that gays "deserve the respect and the dignity of their personhood" and his (and the Catholic Church's) insistence that we live celibate, sexless lives. He said, "Tell me," Lyden asked, "why should I lead the life of a priest?"
Nienstedt responds by telling Lyden that it's natural to "express [himself] sexually through a committed relationship"... just not the committed relationship the reporter has with his husband. Then the archbishop echoes the same ridiculous lie I heard from my "therapist" in the Bachmann clinic: that God doesn't actually make gay people at all, but rather, he creates all humans "to express ourselves sexually between a man and a woman in a committed married relationship."
Watch, after the break.
And just in case you need a refresher, here's a list of Nienstedt's worst anti-LGBT moments:
- While serving as the bishop of New Ulm, Minnesota (2007), Nienstedt penned a column warning Catholics not to watch Brokeback Mountain, saying the gay-themed film "make[s] evil look so attractive."
- In 2010, just before the midterm elections, Nienstedt and his colleagues in the Minnesota Catholic Conference mailed 400,000 DVDs to every Catholic household in the state, whether they wanted to receive it or not. The DVDs contained a message opposing marriage equality; Nienstedt recorded the introduction.
- Nienstedt denied communion to a group of students at St. John's University in October 2010 because they were wearing rainbow buttons in support of LGBT equality and in protest of the DVD campaign.
- In December 2011, he injected a prayer for marriage discrimination into the Catholic Mass itself.
- The following month, he told priests in his diocese that if they opposed the Minnesota Catholic Church's campaign to pass a constitutional marriage discrimination amendment, they'd better shut up about it. He also ordered them to organize grassroots political committees in their parishes to work for passage of the amendment -- at parish expense.
- Nienstedt's anti-LGBT spiritual bullying was endorsed by Pope Benedict XVI in March of 2012.
- He instituted mandatory marriage discrimination lectures in Catholic high schools across the archdiocese.
- His archdiocese spent more than $650,000 of church funds supporting the ill-fated 2012 referendum effort to add a marriage discrimination amendment to Minnesota's constitution.
- In September 2013, Nienstedt claimed that Satan -- "the Father of Lies" -- causes marriage equality.
- Archbishop Nienstedt was accused in October 2013 of covering up sexual abuse and possession of child pornography by priests -- all the while attacking LGBT people and crusading against marriage equality.
- Perhaps most infamously, he told the mother of an LGBT child -- who wrote to him pleading for acceptance of her gay son -- that she risked her eternal salvation if she failed to accept the Catholic Church's homophobic teachings.
- In December 2013, he was accused of inappropriately touching a young boy on the buttocks.
h/t: Joe. My. God.