What’s going on with Rod Dreher?

Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher, one-time resident bigot at The Dallas Morning News, now serves as director of publications for the conservative John Templeton Foundation — or at least he did the last time we checked.

Dreher is also editor of the foundation’s Big Questions Online website. But Instant Tea reader Kip Sherling points us to Dreher’s announcement Friday that he has stopped blogging (“I hope to be blogging again s0on,” Dreher writes) and halted all reader comments on BQO.

Here’s Sherling’s take, sent under the subject line, “Karma’s a bitch for master culture baiter Dreher”:

Rod Dreher, who earlier this year tried to wrap the lips of his anti-anything-not-Dreher blogging needs around the John Templeton Foundation’s bottomless nipple, appears to have been rudely weaned.

In the last several days, Templeton has deleted most of Dreher’s most politically and culturally contentious posts while suspending both Dreher’s personal blog as well as comments site-wide at his Big Questions Online.

The sulking tone with which Dreher announced this administrative punishment online underwrites what many suspect, that Dreher’s habitual just-about-anything-baiting style has put him close in line for promotion to becoming Templeton’s next ex-editor and the first failed editor of its online adventure BQO.

What mystifies many, though, is why a multi-million dollar tax exempt foundation, which depends for its tax-exempt status on at least the appearance of its political neutrality and tries to position itself as a salon of lofty, highly civilized ideas savored by the Nobel Committee and the Vatican alike, would not want as its very vocal public face a gutter gay-baiter from the Rupert Murdoch school of tainted meat journalism. Whatever happens, this final betrayal of what, to Dreher, must surely have seemed at first blush true institutional love forged in Heaven, may forever remain a mystery.

If Sherling is right, let’s just pray The DMN doesn’t take Dreher back. Any thoughts, Jack E. Jett?

—  John Wright

El Paso priest likens gays to rapists, condemns allies to hell — and the newspaper publishes it

And you thought The Dallas Morning News was bad!

Actually, ever since resident bigot Rod Dreher left, The DMN’s Sunday opinion pages have been largely devoid of any discussion of gay rights, pro or con.

Not so for The El Paso Times, which on Sunday printed this op/ed piece from the Rev. Michael Rodriguez, parish priest at San Juan Bautista Catholic Church.

Going a step further than even the Texas Republican Party platform, Rodriguez begins by suggesting that not only gays — but also those who fail to actively oppose them — are damned to hell:

Any Catholic who supports homosexual acts is, by definition, committing a mortal sin, and placing himself/herself outside of communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

Furthermore, a Catholic would be guilty of a most grievous sin of omission if he/she neglected to actively oppose the homosexual agenda, which thrives on deception and conceals its wicked horns under the guises of “equal rights,” “tolerance,” “who am I to judge?,” etc.

Father Rodriguez goes on to say that all “homosexuals” should be treated with “love, understanding, and respect.” But he adds, “At the same time, never forget that genuine love demands that we seek, above all, the salvation of souls. Homosexual acts lead to the damnation of souls.”

Interestingly, Rodriguez concludes by making an argument similar to one we frequently hear from supporters of same-sex marriage — who note that just because a majority of voters support a law, this doesn’t make it constitutional. But Rodriguez makes the argument from the opposite perspective, saying that just because a majority of voters support gay rights, this doesn’t make them morally right. This is a relatively new twist — usually we hear anti-gay voices espousing the virtues of the popular vote — but it’s one we’ll probably see more often as public opinion shifts in our favor:

To simplify: One would have to be ghastly morally decrepit to think that if 51 percent of Americans opine that rape is OK, then rape becomes, in effect, all right. Sure, the majority is politically capable of such a vote, but this could never make rape morally right.

There is such a thing as a corrupt democracy, you know!

Abortion and homosexual acts are unequivocally intrinsic moral evils. And friends, this objective truth doesn’t depend on the opinion of the majority. Frighteningly, if the majority chooses to deny the objective moral order, then we will all suffer the pestiferous consequences.

Bigots are a dime a dozen, so it’s hardly surprising that a Catholic priest in El Paso believes this stuff (insert pedophilia joke here). The  surprising thing is that The El Paso Times would print such garbage.

We’re all for the First Amendment and an open exchange of ideas, but to borrow an analogy from Rodriguez, that doesn’t mean you let rapists write op-ed pieces from prison explaining that, “She was asking for it.”

—  John Wright

DMN columnist Dreher calls me 'a neurotic teenage girl' and 'a screaming meemee'

Last week I called departing Dallas Morning News opinion columnist Rod Dreher an “accessory to murder” for his recent piece attacking the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, an organization designed to protect LGBT youth. Well apparently Dreher just couldn’t handle this at all, because yesterday he lashed out on his Crunchy Con blog by calling me “a neurotic teenage girl in the body of a grown man” and “a screaming meemee,” whatever that is. Ironically, Dreher’s childish, homophobic rant is tacked onto the end of a blog post that features recent comments by Clint Eastwood, who laments in talking about his new movie “Invictus” that we’ve seemingly become a nation of intolerant, juvenile extremists. So basically, Dreher proceeds to do exactly what Eastwood is railing against. In case you’re wondering, Eastwood is a libertarian and a supporter of full LGBT equality, and I’m pretty sure he’d say the only thing we shouldn’t tolerate is intolerance — or, in other words, people like Rod Dreher.

UPDATE: I just noticed that Dreher’s new boss was one of the largest individual donors to Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in California. Dreher is leaving The DMN to work for the John Templeton Foundation, which is headed by John M. Templeton Jr., who along with his wife gave about $1 million in support of Prop 8. Templeton was criticized for the donation since the John Templeton Foundation claims to be apolitical and is in fact barred from political activity because it’s a 501(c)(3). Shocking!!!

—  John Wright

The blood is on their hands

Rod Dreher
Rod Dreher

A few weeks ago I noted that bigoted, hate-mongering Dallas Morning News op-ed columnist Rod Dreher is leaving the newspaper at the end of the year. But you had to know Dreher wouldn’t go quietly. In fact, ever since I found out Dreher was leaving, I’ve been bracing myself as I open The DMN’s Sunday Points section, knowing there would be a few more hateful, hurtful, harmful attacks on LGBT citizens. Today one of them came, and this time, Dreher takes on the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, an organization that seeks to protect the most vulnerable in our community, LGBT youth. I’ll spare you the details of Dreher’s column, which can be summarized by saying that he accuses GLSEN of “sexualizing” schoolchidren. (Gee, how fucking original!) But I do want to address one tactic that Dreher and other anti-gay bigots frequently use. Toward the end of the column Dreher acknowledges that he’ll be called a bigot for his views, and suggests that if that’s the case, he’ll wear it as a “badge of honor.” In other words, he’s the bully playing the victim. But instead of feeding this tactic by continuing to refer to Dreher as a bigot, I’m gonna start calling him something else. As some of you may know, the suicide rate among LGBT youth is three times as high as the suicide rate among straight youth, and it’s time to stop pulling punches. From now on, I’m referring to not only bigots like Dreher, but also newspapers that give them a forum for their hate speech, as ACCESSORIES TO MURDER. Try that badge on for size, you unenlightened prick.

—  John Wright

God grants my Christmas wish

Rod Dreher
Rod Dreher

Talk about good riddance!!! Rod Dreher, resident anti-gay bigot for The Dallas Morning News, is leaving the newspaper. The only bad part is that Dreher, who once wrote that same-sex marriage is a sign of the new Dark Ages, will now be spewing his hatred in my hometown, the City of Brotherly Love. As for The DMN, I’m sincerely hoping this will mark the dawn of a new era of enlightenment in their opinion pages, but I wouldn’t count on it.

—  John Wright