Monday, February 14, 2011

The Hollow Networking Void of Chicago's Gay Liberation Network

On Sunday, February 13, 2011, Chicago's Gay Liberation Network, under the leadership of Andy Thayer, held a rally and protest in front of Holy Name Cathedral, seat for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. The agenda for this rally was to condemn the "behind the scenes effort" of Francis Cardinal George, OMI, Cardinal Archbishop for the Roman Catholic Community of Chicago, for his efforts to prevent secular to provide gender common couples the rights of civil unions and/or marriages. Andy and his group usually hold a protest in front of Holy Name once or twice a year, earn some quick air time on television and in the print media and then go home. In most cases, I usually don't too much attention to Andy's visits to the Cathedral, but this year I watched the media's coverage of this event and have become motivated to offer comment on it.

I must confess that I am at a loss to understand the true agenda behind this protest, for it came across to me as unseemly and akin to something the Fred Phelps group would engage in.

I have problems with protest in front of houses of worship and I have a problem with GLN's preoccupation with the Roman Catholic Church, for the Roman Catholic Church is NOT the only religious body unfriendly - both within their internal forums and within the secular forum - to the gay and lesbian community. I believe that I am on safe ground when I say that leaders from the various religious bodies have either directly or indirectly lobbied in Springfield and Washington against all of the various legislative attempts to provide civil rights to to the gay and lesbian community. So why single out the Roman Catholics? Could it be that protesting in front of a Roman Catholic Church would increase the odds of media attendance?

Andy and his posse negate themselves when they or anyone else choose to attach theology and doctines. First of all, we do not live in a theocratic society. We live in a society in which membership within any religious body is a voluntary act. Those who protest the teachings or theology of a religious body in which they do not belong to have no business to do so.

If Andy and his organization wishes to make a legitmate contribution to the cause of civil rights, he and they should direct their energies away from the steps of houses of worship. This is a discussion best left within the halls of our houses of government and the courts.

We already have one Fred Phelps group to deal with. We don't need another counterproductive one.

1 comment:

  1. Well stated article. It is nice to see someone asking "why just the Catholics" for a change! Yes there are other religious bodies that lobby the government against what the GLN call rights- the Church and other Christian faiths are only trying to assert their moral console-not take away freedoms. It's funny that this guy and his followers picked out The Catholic Church to pick on. I guess as Catholics, we know that we can take it.

    We have openly gay men in my Church that receive the Eucharist-like you said they have the right to participate at whatever church they please, as we aren't a theocracy. Is this a prejudice crusade against Christ, or all religions! In the Torah (see Leviticus), and the Koran (not the New Testament) clearly condemns their so called lifestyle-do they go after Jews and Muslims too with their protests. Whether or not protesting in front of a place of worship is distasteful, Jesus had the guts to show protest in a synagogue-why not GLN-or even a mosque!?!which I have yet to see! If it's just media attention that they seek-shame on them!