HARD RIGHT CATHOLIC HOMOPHOBIA AND RE-ELECTION SCARE TACTICS.

The Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody says Obama's alleged anti-Catholicism will be a serious 2012 campaign issue. Brody posts a letter from hard-right Catholic leaders to President Obama, demanding that he remove the Human Rights Campaign's Harry Knox from his faith-based advisory council. Knox is the director of the Religion and Faith Program at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the only LGBT rights activist on the council.

The letter makes the preposterous claim that Knox is an anti-Catholic "bigot" because he has been critical of the Pope's opposition to homosexuality and condom use to prevent the spread of HIV, and of Catholic groups who supported California's Proposition 8.

The signers of the letter, who include the Catholic League's own bigot, Bill Donohue, are, in Pastor Dan's words, pure bullies. This has nothing to do with anti-Catholicism, and everything to do with authoritarianism, homophobia, and creating phony "controversies" to discredit Obama and, more broadly, the LGBT-rights movement.

But in the tea leaves, Brody strains to find a genuine re-election problem for Obama. He writes: "[M]ark my words: one of the key religious themes of the 2012 campaign is already taking shape. We have a Catholic battle on our hands. Conservative, pro-life Catholics are going to try and label the President as anti-Catholic. Moderate Catholic groups will defend the President and his policies. The Obama team won this battle in 2008. They'll have to work overtime in 2012 to overcome a mounting offensive."

This is preposterous, of course. These "leaders" don't represent mainstream Catholics, as much as they love to pretend to. They're using Knox as a scapegoat to manufacture a "Catholic problem" for Obama. Knox has just as much a right to criticize the church's politicization of LGBT and public-health issues as Donohue does to say "Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular" or to refer to the "gay death style."

This is not a re-election issue. It's a mean-spirited, hateful stunt.

--Sarah Posner

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