A Gay Dad’s Note to the Pope: You Snubbed Us for Kim Davis? Really?

davis and the pope

Last week, I invited the pope to join my family for dinner. It was largely a symbolic gesture, although, I had a house cleaning action plan and menu picked out should he have accepted.

It was not that I wanted him to meet my family specifically, but to actually sit face to face with a family like mine. My two sons were adopted out of foster care and situations that were life threatening and dire. Our family in the world of LGBT parents is not unique. A great number have tale after tale of kids who have gone from lives of potential abuse and neglect to homes where their parents love and honor them, and that their welfare is a priority. A Cambridge study showed, as a matter of fact, that the only family structured parenting unit that picked foster care aid as its top means of creating a family are families headed by two dads.

My point to the pope was— before you judge us, before you pontificate on how our families should not be legally or morally recognized, you can at least sit with us, face to face and see what we are about.

The pope did a lot during his visit to America. The thing he did not do was meet with LGBT families. To his credit, while he was here, he did not do any overt bashing of us either.

That is, until he was on his way out.

Like a little kid who has been an absolute angel for an afternoon, and then pranks out at then end, the pope shot a spit wad as his parting gift.

He secretly met with Kim Davis and put his seal of approval on her behavior.

My letter of regret:

Dear Pope Francis,

We sat staring at the open chair at our dinner table that we had hoped would be filled by you. True, the chance that you would accept our invitation was a long shot. We were hoping that the dignity you could afford families like mine might be a possibility.

It turns out, that hope was even a longer shot.

While in America, you gave several moving speeches. You talked of the family and how you wished young people would be inspired to start one. You talked of love and bonds, and principles with which I not only agree, I live.

As you were leaving, we all could have walked away with the feeling that some common ground had been built. Instead you gave us a sense of disappointment and betrayal.

The issue is not just that you met with Kim Davis. It is that you embraced her behavior and encouraged it. You stated, following your “secret” meeting: “Conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right…

Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right, a human right. Otherwise, we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying, ‘This right, that has merit; this one does not.”

What you neglected in your pronouncement is that while one may have a right to object due to one’s conscientious beliefs, one cannot expect to do so without consequence. As with the right to free speech, one may have the right to speak freely without fear of imprisonment or jail, but it does not preclude others from both speaking back or reacting to what has been said.

A person who believes the Bible legitimizes racism and/or slavery may state their conscientious objection to anti-discrimination protections, but it does not give them the right to discriminate. A firefighter who believes flames are “the will of God” does not have the right to let houses burn down when he has agreed to hold the hose that could douse the fire and prevent catastrophe. Your right to object does not give you the right to demean others.

The most honorable objections are done with willing sacrifices.

Kim Davis reports that you thanked her for her “courage.” It makes me sad to think of defining what Kim Davis did in humiliating loving families as being “courageous.”

If you want to understand conscientious objection and bravery, I would ask you to look instead to LGBT activist Corporal Evelyn Thomas: “I served in the Army National Guard and The U.S. Marine Corps prior to the enactment of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell; during a time when “homosexuality was prohibited” under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). I survived my military career with damages. I survived a corrective rape. I was raped by four Marines; in which a pregnancy was the result. I carried the child of my rapists. I reported the crimes. Although it was traumatic and terrifying time, I survived the physical, mental, and emotional abuse… Too many innocent lives have been lost in this DADT-protestwar against inequality and injustice… Many people have viewed the iconic photo. It feels strange to think of that moment in the LGBT Movement. My comrades and I stood along the White House fence with our hands handcuffed to the metal bars, as a drastic and imperative plea for President Barrack Obama to end the oppressive, barbaric, and archaic practices of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. This is our Civil Rights Movement. Each time I look at that photo, I see 6 heroes-humans that risked their professional careers and some cases personal relationships to perform a brave act. We did not perform this act for fame or money. We did it so that the women and men serving in our military know and understand they are of value, and “their lives do matter.” We will not allow any man, woman, or government determine our worth.”

Evelyn Thomas and her comrades were brave. They made a statement for their beliefs and they understood the consequences. They did not seek to be made comfortable. They sought to be heard.

Kim Davis is not an Evelyn Thomas. She is asking for the world around her to be forced to conform to her own narrow view. The fact that you might share her worldview does not make it any more worthy or legitimate to impose on others who do not.

The afterglow of your trip is gone. Bernie Sander’s tears over your forward thinking principles have dried. It was not that you snubbed LGBT families and fell silent in speaking on our rights, it is whom you chose to see and support instead. Salt, meet wound.

We look at your empty chair at our dinner table and realize it is small compared to the emptiness you ultimately left in our hearts, and in our hopes for you. When you were told that you had been a “star” on this trip, you replied “how many stars have we seen go out and fall?”

Point taken.

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About robw77

A single gay dad who cares. His story can be read here: http://www.imagaysingleparent.com/2013/02/02/rob/ and here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/31/rob-watson-gay-family_n_4689661.html
This entry was posted in Family, Marriage equality, Mixing religion and politics, Prejudice, Religion and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to A Gay Dad’s Note to the Pope: You Snubbed Us for Kim Davis? Really?

  1. Pingback: A Gay Dad’s Note to the Pope: You Snubbed Us for Kim Davis? Really? | LIFE OUTSIDE : [ The Politically Correct (Tyranny of The Mind) ]

  2. Pingback: Et Tu Pope Francis? | Essence of Pride, Inc.

  3. The pope is trying to be like Jesus. Also Jesus surrounded Himself with whores and criminals and the Vatican already stated that the brief meeting with this woman was in no means a support for her actions and beliefs.

    • joe david says:

      Also Jesus surrounded himself with ugly people like you . Oh dear Hitler , please come back and take away this little ugly thing with you ! We don’t want him\her in our society (I can’t even tell what’s your gender) … He looks like a monster ! So , what does it feel to be discriminated ? Church = Hitler … Sorry if I hurt your feelings … This is what your ” religion” does to all of those who are not part of their ideologies .

    • Joe David says:

      Sorry Hans Schonenberg … This msg was not for you ! My apologies …

  4. Mac says:

    The Holy Father does NOT have to bow down to your LGBT society. Get over it. Live your lives, but others will live theirs lives also. And if you can’t deal with that …. Boohoo.

    • Chris says:

      And The Holy Father does NOT have to bow down to your church either ! Get over it .. And If you can’t deal with that … Boohoo ! Use your brain to think outside of the box buddy ! Cheers !!

  5. david says:

    Pope Francis is not a God ! Please stop giving credit to someone who is just like us ! He is not perfect neither the church … God loves everything he has created ! God won’t judge you because we are all part of his creation ! Love and peace !!!

    • Mariane says:

      I am totally agree with you David ! I just believe in God . We don’t need someone who is hurting the feelings of millions of people out there just because we don’t fit in their believes. Regards ..

  6. Dr. Rex says:

    Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    This is the perfect answer … this explains why this is important! Take a look …..

  7. bryan clark says:

    Of all the people you could have met with in the US, Kim Davis, really?

  8. TD says:

    People really, really don’t understand the Church.
    We are not talking of a human institution.
    Catholics believe in God.
    Catholics believe the Church tradition has been handed down directly from God through the centuries.
    Catholics believe God should be above anything and anyone else.
    There is no way whatsoever the Pope will change Catholic doctrine on homosexuality.
    There can be understanding and support toward homosexual people for sure, but not acceptance of homosexuality.
    But it’s not because Catholics want to be mean, intolerant, insensitive. It’s because we truly believe traditional marriage is part of God’s plan for humanity.
    Accepting homosexual marriage would be tantamount to rejecting God’s plan.
    We cannot sign up for that.

    • Ben in oakland says:

      Oh, we DO, most emphatically, understand the church. Religion has been used as a weapon against other people for centuries.

      Personally, I don’t care what the church decrees for its own members. Why, the pope can declare Davis a heretic for refusing to renounce her fake protestant faith and acknowledge the authority of the Bishop of rome. There was a time when that was a Catholic prerogative, and a CAPITAL offense.

      mu objection is when the church declares that people who do not accept the authority of the catholic church are subject to the laws of the church, and will use the coercive power of the state to enforce those purely theological concerns onto people who don’t share them.

    • Mariane says:

      Traditional marriage is not part of God’s plan . It’s part of church’s plan ! That’s the difference my friend … Church is just a business … I’ll be praying for your loved ones who doesn’t fit in your believes ! We are all just victims of the system !

    • Bryan says:

      Catholics believe the Church tradition has been handed down directly from God through the centuries ! Really ?? Maybe you’ve been brainwashed . Church = Business !

    • Werner says:

      And considering Kim Davis’ marital record, her adultery, and children by another outside her own marriage we can conclude that the Catholic Church and Pope, through their selective acceptance, are as stupid and irrelevant as your comment.

  9. Ben in oakland says:

    Tom, dear…

    With all due respect– i.e, none– I would suggest that you are the sanctimonious piece of shit that you accuse Rob of being.

    “This Pope is done more for the gays than any Pope ever.” The word you want is HAS, not IS. And what a low bar that one is.

    And what has any other pope, ever in the history of the entire Christian world, done for gay people? Precisely nothing. So that is a really easy one to deal with. At least they are no longer advocating our deaths or imprisonment any more, just calling us a threat to family, faith, children, morality, freedom, heterosexuality. Oh wait! Benedict did say that we should not be surprised if people act violently towards us when we claim that we are full citizens and human beings. and cardinal George did say that we had lost touch with our humanity, and compared us unfavorably to the KKK.

  10. Liz says:

    You know it’s so sad. I’m Catholic, my mom is Catholic, my brother, my dad, ect. However one thing not only my parents, but God taught me too is to embrace love. Love your neighbor. Never judge. Kim Davis I feel does the opposite of this. She discriminates, she spreads hurt to those who simply just want to LOVE. Point blank, I am disappointed with the Pope for this action. LGBT is something I feel so strongly about, and I can only hope people can really start opening their hearts to well, once again, love.

    • Kim Davies was already employed when the goal posts where moved – she could in no true conscience issue a marriage certificate or registration for two gay people. If it had been stipulated at her interview that she would be required to do this she could then have been given a choice. I feel it is unfair to expect someone already in post to be left with no choice but to go against their conscience or lose their job – it is not ethical.

      • Ben in oakland says:

        The goal posts weren’t moved. she was still issuing exactly the same marriage licenses she was issuing before. She was not participating in a marriage, blessing it, or anything like it. she was certifying that legal requirements were met. And they were.

        she was given a choice by judge Bunning– to either issue licenses herself, or to allow her staff to do so. She refused on both counts. what about the freedom of religion of her staff? what about the freedom of religion of her gay clients? She was defacto establishing HER religious beliefs as the position of the government.

        All you are claiming is that Christians of her ilk– and yours– are not required to do their jobs, not required to serve the taxpayers that pay their salaries.

        It is very telling that the only time these so-called conscience exemptions seem to arise is when a certain class of so-called Christian is required to behave decently, amicably, and without prejudice towards gay people. Davis has had, I’m sure, absolutely no problem issuing licenses to atheists, demon worshipping hindus, jesus rejecting jews, false god worshipping Buddhists.

        I suppose you would also support a staunch catholic clerk refusing to issue a license to adulterous Kim Davis, since she is on her fourth marriage, and her first husband is still alive.

        nah. somehow, I don’t think you would support that. But then, she is heterosexual. They can do whatever they wish.

      • Ben in oakland says:

        I’m going to quote a friend of mine. He summarizes the falsity of this exactly;

        What Kim Davis is doing is not the free exercise of religion. She has no rights, religious or not to use her public position, to deny people something they are entitled to under the law.

        The right to attack the liberties of people is not one recognized under our laws whether one claims it is religiously inspired or not.

        Her name need not be on the document, that accommodation was already made. But evidently accommodation is not what she is looking for. She wants to maliciously deny rights to others with impunity. To keep anyone from issuing the licenses in her office.

        Your religious liberties do not allow you to commit human sacrifice because it is illegal under all laws secular or not. Neither is there a right to engage in polygamy or use certain narcotics as sacrament.

        To claim what she is doing is a form of religious freedom cheapens the concept to irrelevance. You don’t want freedom, you want to attack others with impunity. License to be malicious.

      • Regan D. says:

        Wrong, Stuart Hartley: Setting aside Davis’s own marital history, at NO time in her office EVER, did she put any other couples seeking a license to an invisible religious test for fitness to marry. Or meet her religious belief’s requirements.
        It’s not her job to. Not EVER.
        But suddenly she and many other religious people in public office or who have businesses serving the public, saved these religious tests ONLY for gay couples.
        Why?
        Because they are the only ones who could be identified by a religious test, unlike other people. Other people, who would NOT put up with such behavior from a county clerk.
        Who would be fired, or impeached for behaving so inappropriately.
        There isn’t anything brave, moral or conscientious about her behavior.
        Especially since she was unwilling to lose her rather well paying gig to prove it.
        Instead, she imposed her will on her deputies, and altered the documents to render them invalid.
        That is religious tyranny. And our nation was founded precisely so that religion could not be required or enforced.
        THAT is what religious freedom is.

      • Gronda Morin says:

        Dear Mr. Stuart, People leave their jobs all the time due to ethical reasons. I did and others do it. She just did not want to give up her $80,000 annual salary which she probably could not get elsewhere. This was her Mom’s position.

        During the mortgage debacle, I know those who left their jobs because they could not live with the shady things that was being done in the name of greed.

        She is now doing what could have been done at the beginning which is to allow her clerks to issue the licenses who are not bound by the same value system.

        I do not believe Pope Francis would have acquiesced to this meeting if he was well informed as to the total set of circumstances surrounding this case. Also, Kim Davis is a practicing Apostolic Pentecostal Christian which does not believe in the Trinity.This is an important Catholic doctrine. Her parents were Catholic and so she knows this.

      • Werner says:

        And, once again, with Kim’s record on marriage, adultery and children out of wedlock your argument is moot. Try not to make yourself look so stupid.

      • Gronda Morin says:

        I just posted this on Dr. Rex. The Pope’s meeting on 9/23 with Kim Davis was like being in a long line with lots of peoples at Disney waiting their turn to meet Mickey for a photo op. An actual meeting was with a gay man on 9/22/15. (I feel better. This confirms my gut feelings that this meeting belied what he had been saying and that it was not the whole story.)

        This is hot off the press from 10/2/15 Washington Post:

        Yayo Grassi, an openly gay man, brought his partner and several friends to a brief meeting with Pope Francis on Sept. 23, the day before the pope met with Kim Davis.

        Grassi and a small group of people met with Pope Francis at the Vatican Embassy on Sept. 23, according to a video that was provided to The Washington Post by a friend of a friend of Grassi’s. The video shows Grassi embracing the pope and introducing him to the other guests.

        “We’ve taken up too much of your time,” Grassi says in Spanish. “No, by God, thanks for coming by,” the pope replies.

        A Vatican spokesperson confirmed that the meeting took place.

        “Mr. Yayo Grassi, a former Argentine student of Pope Francis, who had already met other times in the past with the Pope, asked to present his mother and several friends to the Pope during the Pope’s stay in Washington, DC,” the Rev. Thomas Rosica, an English-language spokesman for the Vatican, said in a statement. “As noted in the past, the Pope, as pastor, has maintained many personal relationships with people in a spirit of kindness, welcome and dialogue.”

        In an interview with CNN, Grassi said the meeting was arranged by the pope in an e-mail in the weeks before the trip. Grassi said that the pope taught him in literature and psychology classes in high school in Argentina from 1964-1965, according to CNN.

        “Grassi said the Pope has long known that he is gay, but has never condemned his sexuality or his same-sex relationship,” CNN reports. Grassi told the network he and his partner also met the pope in Rome last year.

      • Gronda Morin says:

        THE FOLLOWING IS THE VATICAN.S OFFICIAL RESPONSE TO THE 9/23/15 MEET WITH KIM DAVIS:

        Venerdì, 02.10.2015
        N. 0749
        Pubblicazione: Immediata
        Sommario:

        ♦ Statement regarding a meeting of Pope Francis and Mrs. Kim Davis at the Nunciature in Washington, DC (Fr F. Lombardi, Director of the Press Office of the Holy See)
        Testo in lingua inglese Testo in lingua italiana

        Testo in lingua inglese The brief meeting between Mrs. Kim Davis and Pope Francis at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, DC has continued to provoke comments and discussion. In order to contribute to an objective understanding of what transpired I am able to clarify the following points:
        Pope Francis met with several dozen persons who had been invited by the Nunciature to greet him as he prepared to leave Washington for New York City. Such brief greetings occur on all papal visits and are due to the Pope’s characteristic kindness and availability. The only real audience granted by the Pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family.
        The Pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects.
        [01616–EN.01] [Original text: English]

      • Gronda Morin says:

        http://www.joemygod.com/2015/10/02/vatican-observers-its-likely-that-the-pope-will-shitcan-the-guy-who-sprung-kim-davis-on-him/IT WAS A HARDLINER WHO HAD INVITED KIM DAVIS WO THE POPE’S KNOWLEDGE. THE POPE PERSONALLY INVITED HIS GAY FRIEND WHERE HE MET WITH THIS YOUNG MAN;S PARTNER FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

      • Gronda Morin says:

        OKAY!! This is final. NPR on 10/2/15 is reporting:”Sylvia adds that the Rev. Thomas Rosica, English language assistant at the Holy See Press Office, says that Francis may not have understood “the impact” a visit with Davis might have in the U.S.; Rosica also says the group that included Davis was selected by the nunciature, the Vatican’s diplomatic office in D.C.”

        The Nunciature is the gentleman that you mentioned, Carlo Maria Vigano as the Apotolic Nunciature who was assigned by Pope Benedict XVI. Yes, he is the definition of a hardliner.

        The address and phone number: 3339 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
        (202) 333-7121

  11. Dave Koch says:

    I thought his comments regarding the “Theological Rights” of Kim Davis were inappropriate.

    Now we learned that he gave Kim Davis a personal audience. Now I think the Pope is at exactly the same level as Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee – a pandering, hate mongering POS bigot. F**k You Pope!

    The United states is a nation of laws based upon its Constitution – not the POS Pope’s book of fairy-tails.

    The United States and every state and local government should send bills to the Vatican for all security and inconvenience pre, post and during this clown’s week long carnival.

    The secular tax payers should pay nothing to have this phony tool invade our nation with his theological fantasy.

  12. Mary Goodson says:

    Beautifully written. I’m deeply disappointed that Pope Francis took The LOW ROAD on this.

  13. ML Brennt says:

    Watch this 45-second video, and decide for yourself if the Pope and Davis knew exactly what they were doing with this secret meeting:

  14. bemused that two people of two sects of Christianity who hate each other are joined in their hatred of LGBT et al folks. They are both sure that the other is damned, but they can spend money and do their best to harm everyone else.

  15. Phil Armond says:

    Nothing to worry about when in perspective,Davis is a narrow minded bigot, what is so unusual that she should be supported by the “leader” of narrow minded bigots. These people think they are important, but they are only as important as we let them be, I say ignore all of them. Time will change the world, as it changes everything, they had their day when they were burning witches, the new dawn is here. A dawn of Science, truth and reality. The population of the earth becomes more intelligent with each generation. Religion is being seen for what it really is, a means of controlling people, gaining power and making vast amounts of money. Gods such as Thor, Venus, Apollo, Zues, Isis etc etc etc all went down the pan, eventually all will go the same way and intelligence will reign.

    • With all due respect, neither Thor nor Zeus demanded to be worshiped or else. If anything those deities came around as mythical stories to explain world events. Both of them happen to be Gods of thunder. People chose to offer those deities things to gain their favour, for a good harvest or to stop a catastrophy or for good fortune in battle, not because someone walked around their temple of worship with a plate or a small bag saying, please give to your place of worship.

      If anything these guys like the gods of Egypt and the original gods of Rome, Jupiter who was essentially Zeus but let’s not get into that. These guys if anything were the better deities who happened to be pushed aside. It’s kinda like people selling you a steam mop. Why have a mop and a steamer and a steam cleaner when you can have them all in one device?

      So why worship multiple gods who may not agree with one another when you can worship this ONE guy who may or may not care either way.

  16. Reblogged this on Fairy JerBear's Queer/Trans News, Views & More From The City Different – Santa Fe, NM and commented:
    I also feel let down. This is sad and frustrating and reinforces the feeling that we aren’t welcome, particularly if we are activists…

  17. the ghost says:

    I don’t think this really happened. The Vatican isn’t really confirming, from everything I saw. In fact, refusing to confirm or deny seems to send a message of “really? Are you kidding us with this crap?” I have a hard time believing that, in this day and age, those two could have been anywhere in the same zip code without someone taking a picture of Davis being in the area and posting it online. The entire visit was OVER publicized, but yet he has a “secret” un-confirmable meeting with a current “gotta bleed this 15 minutes dry” quasi famous religious zealot? Nah, I’m filing this under “attention whoring”

  18. Catherine says:

    I still have a hard time trying to process that our wonderful Pope Francis had a meeting with the vile human feces otherwise known as Kim Davis. But–I want to believe that Francis met with her not, out of support for her, but to humble her and make her see she is not the follower of Jesus (at least MY Hipster Jesus), that she thinks she is. I honestly think Francis reached out to her because she is a hate-filled, bigoted sinner. NOT because he supported her. The Pope has a lot of damage control to do right now. He’s got to make those pedophile priests pay for the suffering they caused to many Catholic children. He’s got to do something to make we divorced people feel welcomed back into the church. He’s got to allow women to become priests. He has to do a better job recognizing the LGBT community. He’s workin’ overtime. But–in spite of what he needs to do, he has made an impact on the way we need to treat each other. He remains a bright spot on our incredibly depressing world and society.

    • robw77 says:

      Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case. His remarks to the press following the meeting also signal his support of Davis. I am disappointed too.

    • a bright spot? No, he’s the head of a church that hates a lot of people and spends as much money as they can to stop people from loving each other. He claims that his god “weeps” for the abused, but funny how his god had no problem murder loads of people when they crossed him in the fairy stories. All he offers is excuses.

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