Chicago Catholics fire church choir director for being gay

Colin Collette, who served 17 years as the music director of Holy Family Catholic Church in suburban Chicago, was fired from his job in July after announcing on Facebook that he was engaged to a — dum dum DUM — man.

Interestingly, the priest who leads the church in the town of Inverness says that the problem was that Kenned “has publicly endorsed a position in conflict with Church teachings.”

In other words, you can’t play the organ at a Catholic church unless you’re opposed to gays getting married.

The American gay publication, the Advocate, named Pope Francis their 2013 person of the year.

The American gay publication, the Advocate, named Pope Francis their 2013 person of the year.

It’s an interesting irony that the Catholic church thinks it’s ecclesiastically better for gay men to hook up with strangers in private than get married in public.

The religious right, and the Catholics, have for years railed about how dangerous all those “promiscuous” gay relationships are. Yet now that gays finally want to settle down, suddenly settling down is the real problem.

Here’s more from the priest of the church:

Through the use of social media, the Archdiocese of Chicago has become aware that Colin has publicly endorsed a position in conflict with Church teachings,” Keehan wrote. “Employees who make such choices cannot remain employed by the Archdiocese.”

Note that the church didn’t fall back on its usual argument, that you can be gay, you just can’t do anything gay. Apparently, you now can’t even Tweet gay.

Of course, the Catholic Church’s position on having gay choir directors shouldn’t really surprise.  After all, this is a church that tolerates its cardinals calling gays “f*ggots.”

Then there’s Catholic Charities’ penchant for taking at-risk kids as political hostages.

In view of all that, what’s a choir director?

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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157 Responses to “Chicago Catholics fire church choir director for being gay”

  1. rmthunter says:

    Those “God fearing men” were Deists, at best — in fact, I believe Thomas Paine was an atheist.

    And the Catholic concept of “natural law” is a joke.

  2. rmthunter says:

    Interesting that they never specified which creator. There are a lot of them, you know.

  3. rmthunter says:

    How, then, do you justify the Church’s refusal to report accusations of abuse to the secular authorities? And in at least one case, to hustle a cardinal out of the States to the Vatican before he could be indicted? (That would be Bernard Law of Boston.)

    Seems there’s part of the penance missing here.

  4. rmthunter says:

    By the way — which god would that be? There are a few hundred to pick from — that we know of.

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  6. dcinsider says:

    You are absolutely correct I misspoke (or mistyped). Theist not Deist.

  7. rmthunter says:

    To which I can only respond: “Control sex and you control the people.”

    It’s not about morality, it’s about power.

  8. rmthunter says:

    Excuse me, but I think we have a terminology problem: “Deists” refers specifically to those who think there is a deity, but said deity is pretty much minding its own business now that creation is accomplished. Did you mean “theists”?

    And considering that the vast majority of the world’s population professes a belief in one deity or another (or several), even if only nominally, and yet only half subscribe to Christianity or Islam (and again, that includes those who aren’t really engaged), I still conclude that your condemnation is overly broad — unless, of course, you consider contributions to the stability and continuity of culture to be negative.

  9. dcinsider says:

    Like eating meat on Fridays? That was a mortal sin. I thought the Church doctrine never changed?

  10. dcinsider says:

    Big problem with that though. He doesn’t exist.

  11. dcinsider says:

    I actually feel bad for you. You get one life, and to live it under the mistaken notion that some set of phony principles and some deity in the sky is watching over you, seems like an awful waste of time.

    If you want to be truly Christian, get off your computer, get out of your house, and get yourself to the nearest homeless shelter, and use the time that you currently use to tell the rest of us how we should live by actually putting your efforts where your mouth is.

    Go do something and show others by actions not words what it means to live by the words of Jesus.

    I am pretty damn sure jesus never said, “go forth and write on blogs and tell others about my words while sitting in your pajamas and reading the bible.”

    If you want to profess your faith, prove it by your actions. Until then, STFU.

  12. dcinsider says:


    However, the vast majority of Deists, and it was to them I was speaking, meet my definition.

  13. rmthunter says:

    You seem to be painting religion with a rather broad brush, and it looks very much as though you’re taking the history of Christianity and Islam as the history of all religions. Offhand, I can’t think of any others that have been used as a pretext for war against unbelievers, unless you count the anti-Muslim Hindus in India after WWII, and there have been, in the history of the world, a lot of religions. In fact, unlike the “desert religions,” most others have been fairly syncretistic — instead of conquering other gods, they adopted them or found correspondences between other gods and their own. It’s only the monotheisms that laid claim to “exclusive truth.”

  14. TampaZeke says:

    You’re not half as clever as you think you are. You were busted and you try to move the goal posts. You’re a fool, and YOUR Bible tells me, in Isaiah, to walk away from you and not waste wise words on the ears of a fool. Now THAT’S a verse I can get behind!

    Bye, bye fool! I won’t waste one more second of my valuable time on you.

  15. rmthunter says:

    Withholding communion from John Kerry during his president run (,d.cGU); calls for Nancy Pelosi to be excommunicated for her support of gay civil rights and women’s reproductive freedom (,d.cGU), demands that Andrew Cuomo be excommunicated for the same reasons (and if you google “Andrew Cuomo, excommunication,” you get nearly 6500 entries).

    Those are just the ones that come immediately to mind.

    And excommunication is not a punishment? What is it, a gentle remonstrance? Sort of like “religious” parents throwing their kids out on the street for coming out as gay?

  16. rmthunter says:

    Apparently, as far as the Church is concerned, “advances in science” don’t include our present understanding of human sexual orientation.

    As for the Church’s moral teachings, I really don’t see why the cherry-picked 3,000 year old (at least) tribal taboos of a group of Middle Eastern nomads should determine the limits of everyone’s life. And the Church’s teachings on homosexuality in particular are appalling and inhuman by any reasonable standard and seem to be based on a reading of human sexuality that is arbitrary and, at best, shallow.

  17. tasteless chap says:

    And YOU know how GOD thinks?! How can a human know such a thing? To pretend that you do is the highest in arrogance!!

  18. Naja pallida says:

    It’s an entirely non-biblical concept, derived from a letter by St. Augustine written to rebuke a dysfunctional convent of nuns – where he also says they should always keep their hair covered and bathe as infrequently as possible. The old testament is pretty damn clear, in almost every case sinners should be put to death. The new testament, the supposed words of Jesus are also pretty clear, love the sinner. With no other qualifiers. Do you suppose it’s a sin to make up stuff that isn’t in the Bible and try to pass it off as scripture? Regardless, it is nothing more than a meaningless platitude, because invariably bigots hate the sin and the sinner, and demanding someone live a lie to be accepted by your faith is completely pathetic.

  19. TampaZeke says:

    How interesting that Elaine, who has had something to say to every post, for some reason didn’t respond to this one. She would have loved to but she couldn’t find a single example from her Bible to back up her claim that “love the sinner, hate the sin” is a biblical teaching.

  20. TampaZeke says:

    Please, Einstein, SHOW ME where in the CONSTITUTION it says ANYTHING about being “endowed by our (it’s actually “their”) Creator with inalienable (it’s actually “unalienable”) rights”. I’ll give you a thousand dollars if you can find that line in the CONSTITUTION.

    Not only do you not know your Declaration of Independence from your Constitution, but you can’t even accurately quote the sentence that you’re trying to use to make your point.

    You are a walking talking example of how religion breeds ignorance. Please keep your ignorance confined to your church.

  21. Don Chandler says:

    Dark Arts [penetrating catholicism]:

    “During most of the 16th and 17th centuries, fear of heretics spreading teachings and opinions that contradicted the Bible dominated the Catholic Church. They persecuted scientists who formed theories the Church deemed heretical and forbade people from reading any books on those subjects by placing the books on the Index of Prohibited Books. A type of war between science and religion was in play but there would be more casualties on the side of science. Nicholas Copernicus and Galileo Galilei were two scientists who printed books that later became banned. Copernicus faced no persecution when he was alive because he died shortly after publishing his book. Galileo, on the other hand, was tried by the Inquisition after his book was published. Both scientists held the same theory that the Earth revolved around the sun, a theory now known to be true. However, the Church disapproved of this theory because the Holy Scriptures state that the Earth is at the center, not the Sun. As the contents of the Bible were taken literally, the publishing of these books proved, to the Church, that Copernicus and Galileo were sinners; they preached, through their writing, that the Bible was wrong.” (By Nicholas P. Leveillee)

    So, the way the your church treated these scientist was not amoral? Not church dogma? Liar liar pantz on fire.

    Penalty for telling the truth:

    “Along with the order [guilty of heresy] came the following penalty: “We order that by a public edict the book of Dialogues of Galileo Galilei be prohibited, and We condemn thee to the prison of this Holy Office during Our will and pleasure; and as a salutary penance We enjoin on thee that for the space of three years thou shalt recite once a week the Seven Penitential Psalms.”

    “Galileo agreed not to teach the heresy anymore and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. It took more than 300 years for the Church to admit that Galileo was right and to clear his name of heresy.” –from a day in history, april 12

    Apr 12, 1633:

    Galileo is convicted of heresy

    the inconvenient truth: It took the catholics 300 years and you still aren’t confessing the truth.

  22. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    I wonder what Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin would say about that.

  23. pericles9 says:

    Too little; too late. Where were you 96 hours ago when your comment would have generated its deserved derision?

  24. Elaine Steffek says:

    Both documents guided by the natural laws and morals
    of the acknowledged Creator of the God fearing men who
    drafted them.

  25. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Oh dear. I thought you would know the difference between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Well, apparently not. One is basically just a letter and the other is a set of laws for governing a country.

  26. Elaine Steffek says:

    The Creator acknowledged and enshrined by the
    men who founded this country. That very One.

  27. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Would that be the Declaration of Independence?

  28. Elaine Steffek says:

    Would that be the same Constitution that says
    we are “endowed by our Creator” with inalienable

  29. dcinsider says:

    Yet, in all of recorded history, I am willing to posit that more misery and pain and death and has been inflicted in the name of religion than all other “natural causes” such as famine, disease, or natural disasters.

    That alone is reason enough to recognize that religion is not a force for social good, even if some religions meet that criteria.

    It is, at its base, divisive and destructive to the human experience. That is why I have so little regard for believers.

  30. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    I understand the role of the Lutheran Church in society. What I don’t understand is the role of a pedophile enabling church in society.

  31. Elaine Steffek says:

    Yes, but no trouble understanding the Church or her role
    in society. You should aim for the same.

  32. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Have trouble understanding snark?

  33. Elaine Steffek says:

    That is between the penitant and his confessor.
    If a penitant has broken societal laws he/she would be
    encouraged to make societal reparations i.e. turning oneself
    in to authorities. Penance involves both the spiritual and
    the temporal.

  34. TampaZeke says:

    THERE IS NO FUCKING GOD! Stop trying to shove YOUR fears and delusions down other people’s throats and keep your myths and fairy tales out of my CONSTITUTION!

  35. TampaZeke says:

    Elaine, please show me the Chapter and Verse in the Bible that teaches “Love the sinner, not the sin”. There is no record of the character of Jesus ever saying such a thing. Not even Paul, who invented Christianity, ever said that. Perhaps you have a different Bible than the rest of us or perhaps this Chapter and Verse is contained in one of your special Catholic books?

  36. Elaine Steffek says:

    I do not know which politicians you are refering to or who
    is issuing “threats”. I suspect you are trying to equate
    excommunication with being “thrown out of the Church”.
    That is not what excommunication is. It is not a punishment.
    An excommunicated person is still part of the Church but cannot
    receive the sacraments (except Reconciliation) or publicly
    represent the Church in any way. An excommunicated person
    can be restored to full communion with the Church through
    Reconciliation and penance.

  37. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    What is the penance for diddling a choir boy? Two rosaries and paying for the boy’s 30 years of psychiatric care?

  38. rmthunter says:

    Oh, so all those stories of threats of excommunication against politicians for supporting women’s reproductive freedom and same-sex marriage were just made up?

  39. Elaine Steffek says:

    Astronomy has never been a part of Church dogma.
    So it can change its opinion on those topics with advances
    in science. The moral teachings have NOT changed in
    2000 years. And Fulton Sheen WAS a bishop and he IS
    on the way to sainthood.

  40. Elaine Steffek says:

    No, that is what the sacrament of Reconciliation is for.
    Of course, receiving the Sacrament involves repentance, penance
    and the desire to sin no more. People are not “thrown out of the
    Church”. Ever.

  41. rmthunter says:

    So all those priests who have been diddling choir boys — and each other — for decades have now been defrocked and thrown out of the Church?

  42. rmthunter says:

    That’s really a breathtaking display of arrogance.

    You may think that the bishops are on the way to sainthood, but please don’t try to persuade us that they are anything other than politicians whose first priority is protecting their own privileges. The Church has been covering up its misdeeds for centuries, while pretending not to be subject to secular law.

    As for Church doctrine never changing, have you noticed that the Church now accepts the idea that the earth revolves around the sun?

  43. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    The Virgin Mary must feel inadequate in your presence.

  44. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Oh give me a break. I know Roman Catholics aren’t well schooled in the Bible, but you don’t need to be a Biblical scholar to know that the sin of Sodom was inhospitality. When I read your comments, I can’t help thinking of the phrase, “Holier than thou.” I also can’t help but think what Revelation said about those who judge.

  45. Elaine Steffek says:

    It all depends on who is the priority: God or Man.
    The answer to that determines everything, even the comments
    you write here.

  46. Elaine Steffek says:

    And only one of those churches will still be standing
    at the end, still the shining beacon of God’s Truth.
    The Catholic Church

  47. Elaine Steffek says:

    And that is indeed sad-for God’s Truth is universal.
    The bishops are merely protectors of the faith.
    To ignore their teaching is to ignore God Himself. And well, when you
    ignore God…..might wanna check the history of Sodom.
    Church doctrine is never changing. It is not a democracy
    subject to the winds of societal opinion. As Fulton Sheen
    wisely said, “The Truth is the truth even if nobody believes it and
    a lie is still a lie even if everyone believes it.”

  48. Elaine Steffek says:

    Rejoice in the Lord is the advice here;
    don’t sin, don’t lose your job. Be happy in
    the Lord’s Truth for He is the source of all Good

  49. Elaine Steffek says:

    Umm… The Church assumes fidelity to Church teaching,
    gay or straight, unless given a reason not to. Not hypocritical,
    totally fair

  50. Don Chandler says:

    Elaine Steffek puts on the sorting hate: “Slithering [House]!”

    No worries, Elaine, there is still hope that you will find the human empathy.

  51. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    You can buy an indulgence for the white and sandals.

  52. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Someone needs to explain to me why an organization would protect pedophiles, but object to two men forming a monogamous relationship. Then that organization is allowed to determine the definition of chaste for the entire world. Why is that organization able to ignore Mark 12? More importantly, why was the Archbishop of the Twin Cities able to ignore Matthew 25:36, so he could spend millions to send out DVDs objecting to marriage equality? Now he is involved in pedophile enabling. I will let others tell me what is chaste and what isn’t.

    Doesn’t the great commandment say to go make disciples? An organization that behaves like the Catholic church does can’t do that.

  53. Elaine Steffek says:

    No, rules are the same for all. Chaste is chaste honey. Chaste is chaste

  54. kingstonbears says:

    Let’s see how things would be if Jesus was here today. Adores his mother, doesn’t understand his “earthly” father, hangs around with a hooker and 12 other men of which he says, and I quote your Holy Bible, “and John, you are my favorite.” Talk about GAY!! Besides, he’s the only person who can wear white AND sandals after labour day.

  55. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Gotcha. Different rules for gay than for straights.

    I wonder why gays have such bad attitudes about the church? Hate is hate honey, hate is hate.

  56. Elaine Steffek says:

    Gay “marriage” in any faith is unchaste. Not only
    unchaste but seriously sinful.

  57. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    That doesn’t answer my question. If you believe that marriages in other Christian churches are unchaste, than have the courage to say that.

  58. Elaine Steffek says:

    You are thinking as Man thinks not as God does.
    His creation, His rules.

  59. Elaine Steffek says:

    Yes. You can be unchaste even in straight marriages

  60. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Mr. Collette wishes to marry the man he loves. What is unchaste about that? He can be married in many Christian churches. Are you telling us that people married in other Christian churches are unchaste?

  61. Don Chandler says:

    It is better for humans to be balanced than chaste. I reject catholicism as it promotes unbalanced individuals. Our country is secular, not christian nor catholic. Your church should pay taxes if it engages in politic[s].

  62. Elaine Steffek says:

    Love the sinner not the sin. The fact that a person is
    gay is not sinful.
    You can be gay and work for the Church.
    You cannot live a gay lifestyle and work for the
    Church. We are all called to be chaste, straight
    or gay. “Be holy as I am holy”.

  63. rmthunter says:

    You seem to have brought a whole boatload of red herrings. (And I’d love to see your evidence for slavery and misogyny existing for 60,000 years: I confess, I can’t imagine why groups of early hunter/foragers would keep slaves, and there have been a number of matriarchal and matrilineal societies we know of. And really — 60,000 year-old laws?) If you want to discuss slavery or misogyny, do it on a thread about those subjects.

    If you want to comment on what I wrote, comment on what I actually wrote. In case you don’t get it, I wasn’t “defending” anything — I was noting the existence of some form of religious belief far back into our prehistory in reaction to a comment calling it “foolishness” from someone whose own statements reveal bias. (60,000 years is a conservative figure; there is strong evidence of
    ritualized burial from 100,00 years ago at the Skhul site in Israel.)

    I noted elsewhere that the whole complex of mythological thinking has had substantial value for our various societies throughout history and, one may assume, prehistory: it’s a means of codifying and passing on cultural ideals, setting standards of behavior, and explaining the universe. We now have other ways of explaining the universe, but we still rely on myth/folklore/religion for the rest to a large extent. And we haven’t stopped creating mythologies: King Arthur, Paul Bunyan, George Washington, Elvis, Superman, all have mythic dimensions: they have become symbols.

    We run into trouble when people start taking myths and legends (which are, after all, metaphors) as fact. That is certainly not something I’m going to defend.

  64. rmthunter says:

    It’s not “the” poll — a single poll isn’t necessarily an indicator of anything substantive. It’s a trend, and polls by different researchers are showing very similar results. A summary from Freedom to Marry:

    Another summary of recent polls:

    And from Gallup:

  65. Moderator3 says:

    Well?!? Please tell us what the church teaches about sexuality.

  66. Elaine Steffek says:

    Mr Aravosis,
    Please learn what the Catholic Church actually teaches about
    sexuality before writing something riddled with
    misinformation. It does a great disservice to
    God’s Church and questions your journalistic integrity.

  67. Drew2U says:

    As much as I would love to pile on, there are a few problems with this man’s case. Firstly, it should come as a surprise to NO ONE that this is the stance the Church takes–at least they are consistent. As a single gay male, the church has no problem employing him, because they must assume that as a Catholic employee he is single and not engaging in the “sin” of gay sex. But once he announced his engagement, all bets were off. Secondly, He KNEW this 17 years ago when he took the job. This has nothing to do with whether it is right or fair–of course it’s wrong on the face of it–but it’s still the rules he was asked to adhere to when he took the job. And the title of this piece is not correct–he wasn’t fired for being gay–he was fired for the presumption that he is having same sex relations as a result of mentioning his engagement.

  68. Naja pallida says:

    Making it up as they go along is exactly what they do, and have always done. If they were following all the rules as God demands, instead of just picking and choosing the ones they feel are most convenient to them, the world would be a much nastier place than it already is.

  69. it’s really nice that your particular neighborhood group is cool. educated. not interested in BS. but you’ve gotta know, you’re implicitly endorsing a pedophile protecting organization. i assume you give some donations every week? where do you think that money goes? to lawsuits protecting child rapers. i could go on and on about the misogyny. the nazism. the many, many crimes of the church, going back thousands of years.

    community, neighborhood congeniality, that’s all really nice. but at this point, association with the RCC is association with a criminal organization. i respect you a lot, and your comments. but i’m very sorry to hear you go to a “catholic gig” on a weekly basis. my sister and i agree, her children will *never* be within 100 feet of a catholic priest. she’s not wrong in thinking this is a good protection.

  70. there has been slavery for +60K years. there has been misogyny enshrined in law for +60K years. there has been mythological belief about the origin of the earth and universe for +60K years. are you going to defend those too?

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  72. bpollen says:

    Because of COURSE the Vatican will allow me access to all their records. They have over a thousand years of being totally transparent, don’t they?

  73. Don Chandler says:

    It’s obvious that the NO/H8 pope is a figurehead for a gay hating world organization. The Archbishop Zeigler in Liberia blames ebola on gays. Are archbishop Zeigler’s words the consistent message of a new “Penetrating “H8 gays” in Catholicism”?” Is the firing of a choral director a part of the blaming of gays for ebola? Come on, sammy, blaming gays for everything is pure “bullshit”–and it’s irresponsible and very dangerous. Gays in Liberia WILL feel insecure with a H8/Gay Archbishop on the rampage. Carlin is right, let’s “pray to Joe Pesci” that the NO/H8 pope speaks out against this penetrating Catholic H8 against gays: it’s a 50/50 chance at best.

  74. TampaZeke says:

    Where on earth did you get the silly idea that I would think that Islam is any better than Christianity? You certainly didn’t get that from anything I said in my comment. I dislike all of the desert cults that, each and everyone, claim to be religions of love, compassion and PEACE yet the three of them are responsible for more hate, judgement and war than any other group on earth. If they’re not harassing, fighting with and killing each other they’re harassing, fighting with and killing other sects of their own faith that don’t believe exactly as they do.

  75. Sams_1 says:

    show the poll

    substantiate and lets see the quality of the researchers

  76. Sams_1 says:

    It is not hate. Idiot!!
    When we are given in scripture admonition and following it is not hate. Why do you convince yourself and then an innocent mind that THEY are hated and not the deed or “sin”?

    hate is that progressive left key word employed to get over small minds

  77. Sams_1 says:

    you live in wishful thinking and you should be very careful of that for which you wish here

  78. Sams_1 says:

    if you wish to speak with me, define your terms,

    even if you don’t wish to speak with ME

  79. Sams_1 says:

    it is not

  80. Sams_1 says:

    jobs are hard to come by and he was stupid

  81. Sams_1 says:

    You love your cartoon life don’t you

  82. Sams_1 says:

    When in doubt, find out

  83. Sams_1 says:

    did you ever think that that is s the reason in the first place? The pedophilia scandal and all the groping for money after for attys and payouts made a lot go away.
    I know ,we talk.

  84. Sams_1 says:

    NO it would be very clear. The priests would lose a coo ljob and $$$ so that will never happen

  85. Sams_1 says:

    it would seem that way. but if you are saying your would be more self respecting and gay as say a Muslim, remember they kill Homosexuals.
    The pedophiles are another thing I guess

  86. Sams_1 says:

    one i the same , but there are rules and if the big GUY says no there is no makin up as yo go along

  87. Sams_1 says:

    they are not “insecure” you are

  88. Sams_1 says:

    polls ha

  89. Sams_1 says:

    what is their due, and watta bout when you get yours?

  90. rmthunter says:

    Unfortunately, my opinion is based on facts; yours doesn’t seem to be.

    If we’re to trust polls at all, over 70% of Americans support equal rights for LGBTs; over 50% think that same-sex marriages should be recognized legally. This in a country in which about 80% of the population identifies as Christian.

    You do the math, and then talk to me again about how “most” Christians are hateful bigots. The United States is a little bigger than a few towns in Kansas.

  91. rmthunter says:

    The Church’s position is rather more nuanced than that: the official word is that everyone is deserving of respect; it’s the behavior that’s unacceptable. The Church hasn’t quite gotten to the point of acknowledging that sexuality is an integral part of the person, not just a set of behaviors, hence its ridiculous idea that being gay is OK if you’re celibate.

    And, like any top-driven, authoritarian institution, the Church’s prime rule is Don’t Rock the Boat.

  92. rmthunter says:

    Condemnation of nonbelievers by believers is a pretty thin justification for doing the same in reverse, and doesn’t have much to do with the relative merits of belief or nonbelief. It’s always seemed to me that the way to demonstrate one’s superiority to one’s opponents does not include stooping to their level.

    That we’ve engaged in some form of religious practice and or belief for millennia says nothing about whether a deity exists. It does indicate that we have a tendency toward belief in something; what that something is doesn’t seem to matter much. My own feeling is that the whole complex of mythological thinking, including religion, has been our means of identifying our group, delineating our cultural ideals, setting standards of behavior, transmitting our history and those ideals, and explaining the universe. It is not at all absurd — what’s absurd is when people take something that is based in metaphor — myth, religion, and their sacred texts — and insist that they are facts.

    Being a non-believer doesn’t make you smarter than a believer, just different. There are very intelligent people who are believers. You just have to keep in mind that religion isn’t particularly susceptible to rational thought.

  93. jomicur says:

    And yet the Catholic church is perfectly fine with hiring gays, people it purports to disapprove of. They’ll hire them as long as they’re silent and closeted. The minute they stand up for who they are, the knives come out.

  94. rmthunter says:

    Somehow, I doubt that the KKK is offering jobs to blacks — or Jews, or gays, or anyone else who is not white and “Christian.”

  95. jomicur says:

    Then why don’t we see news stories about blacks working for the KKK?

  96. dcinsider says:

    Atheists have lived their entire adult life with the condemnation of so-called believers. It is not the atheists that lack tact necessary to address the issue.

    I personally believe that people who indulge in a religious belief that involves a deity are being foolish. The fact that mankind has had some form of make believe deity for 60,000 years as you contend does not lend credence to the argument that such a deity exists. If anything, it emphasizes just how foolish we are to proclaim a deity, and then make up crap about what the deity says is good and bad. It is inherently absurd and entirely illogical, and most importantly there exists not a shred of evidence to support the concept.

    Does this make me better than a believer? Of course not. Does it make me smarter? Maybe.

    I do not need to pretend that something that does not exists does exist in order to get through my day. If you need to pray to the Easter bunny or Superman or Perez Hilton, have at it. Whatever floats your boat. However, belief in a deity does not excuse you form the ridicule of others.

    If I tell you that my belief is that Walt Disney was god, and I therefore pray to him and worship him, you would probably think I’m nuts.

  97. Blogvader says:

    You’re welcome to your opinion.

    I disagree. For most Christians the hate is still there, it’s just hiding beneath the surface so they can protect their brand.

    We saw in Kansas a few years ago several towns where non-discrimination ordinances were struck down precisely because of that hate.

  98. rmthunter says:

    I suspect that the number of people who actually “choose” which religion to follow is relatively miniscule — most of them inherit it and don’t really think about it.

    And as others have pointed out, being a church organist is a job. These days, you take what work you can get.

  99. rmthunter says:

    Given that “the inherent foolishness of religion” is a highly subjective value judgment, it’s hard to take your comment about “cheap shot artist” seriously.

    I do follow a couple of atheist blogs, and it seems there is always someone in the comments who has to decry the very existence of religion, with such reasonable, measured words as “stupid,” “idiots,” “sky fairy,” and on down the line. (And usually more than one, as seems to be the case here.) What evidence we have indicates that we’ve had religion in some form for at least 60,000 years. That in itself should lead to some reflection on why it has been an integral part of human existence for so long. To dismiss belief as “foolishness” doesn’t strike me as particularly apt or reflecting any depth.

    Some atheists are like some believers: they take their belief, or lack of it, as somehow making them better than anyone else. I just see a lot of overcompensation.

  100. rmthunter says:

    Sorry, I can’t buy that — I think the worst thing we can lay at the feet of most Christians is silence and inaction, and even that is starting to be history, as we can see from this story. The Episcopalians, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Methodists are making honest efforts to reconcile their theology with reality, and the UCC, Society of Friends, and UU have come out strongly in support of equal rights for LGBTs, up to and including marriage. There are even Baptist congregations that have told the SBC, in effect, to f**k off. There have been groups of clergy filing amicus briefs in support of same-sex marriage. They just don’t get a lot of press.

    In the case of the Catholics, you have to separate the institution from the religion. Give the bishops four hundred years — they’ll come around. Most of the laity have already left them behind.

  101. rmthunter says:

    I think it’s worth emphasizing that the congregation is supporting Collette. It’s not the first time something like this has happened, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. To anyone who pays attention, it’s a given that the overwhelming majority of American Catholics pretty much ignore the bishops.

    I suspect that holds true in Latin America as well — the Church doesn’t seem to have nearly the influence there that it once had.

  102. rmthunter says:

    I think it’s more on the order of “you can be gay, and support same-sex marriage, you just can’t talk about it.”

    Let’s give these hypocrites their due.

  103. Tom Chicago says:

    returning to the closet is the advice here; don’t ask, don’t tell. be miserable, lie.

  104. Mathew J. Russo says:

    Conflict of interest: When you play with an organ besides the one at your church.

  105. bpollen says:

    The Catholic Church had a whole slew of those “get rid of” drives. Like they had a special department within the Vatican for choosing who get’s targeted next. Fratrum De Morte, perhaps.

  106. MJ says:

    At least almost the entire parish is defending and supporting him, so….that must make him feel good. Then again, it’s not surprising. Every poll shows the American Catholic citizens (not the clergy) overwhelmingly in favor of same-sex-orientation equality. (And, yes….I admit that’s partly a shot, on my part, at the gays out there who want to fantasize about Catholics as primitive superstitious homophobic cave-folk of all the WRONG ethnicities..)

  107. Don Chandler says:

    The Catholic Church must be very insecure if they don’t tolerate musicians and their civil marriages.’s Religion is bullshit

    Probably have seen this old video of satan himself…but I hadn’t til yesterday.

  108. Colin says:

    17 years? But now he’s not acceptable huh.

  109. evan_la says:

    Hello! Yes, I’ve been in B&H a few times, but I won’t buy anything from them.

  110. Andrew Long says:

    these religious people, whether Catholic or protestant do more to drive people awy from God than their Satan does.

  111. pericles9 says:

    Hi, All,
    Until the US House of Representatives finally passes ENDA (and signed by a Democratic president), these anomalies will continue. Once passed, ENDA will create greater caution among those in the religious exemption. I’ve been a professional church musician all my life and have never been confronted regarding my affinity. The Catholic and southern Baptist faiths, among others, will become increasingly pressured by popular opinion to recognize diversity issues in their faiths and among their adherents.

  112. 1jetpackangel says:

    Paraphrasing something that floated across my facebook the other day:

    Being an atheist is okay. Being an atheist and shaming other people’s religions is not okay.
    Being a Christian is okay. Being a Christian who’s racist, homophobic, and generally hateful is not okay.
    Being a reindeer is okay. Bullying another reindeer because his nose is red and shiny is not okay.

  113. MJ says:

    Sure are a lot of extremist Protestants on Americablog lately, with the whole Catholics=bad, Franklin Graham=Good.

  114. MJ says:

    The parishioners are supporting the guy, anyway.

  115. MJ says:

    At least the Catholic parishioners are supporting the guy.

  116. TampaZeke says:

    I thought it was Pastitsio with lamb. I must be a bit rusty.

  117. TampaZeke says:

    I’m sorry but I just don’t understand how any self-respecting gay person can be Catholic, or even Christian, and I sure as hell can’t understand how any self-respecting gay person can actually work for, support and promote this disgusting homophobic, misogynistic, pedophillic cult.

  118. nicho says:

    I think it’s a third-century recipe for Spanakopita.

  119. kingstonbears says:

    Hey, the pews are empty enough as it is.

  120. nicho says:

    As usual, they have that covered. You can’t be married except in the church, as you rightly note, but “attempting marriage” outside the church is a sin.

  121. Blogvader says:

    That may be.

    But most of them don’t, and by and large, the Christian community does everything it can get away with politically to harm gay people.

  122. Jim Olson says:

    There are different flavors of Christian, Blogvader. Use a slightly smaller brush, please. My tribe of Christians truly, honestly, bravely invites and welcomes lgbt persons to the full life and ministry of the church.

  123. Jim Olson says:

    You know, I’d really love to organize a Big Gay Strike some Sunday morning. All the priests and ministers, musicians, educators, deacons, ushers, and parishioners who are gay just stay home. The church would be in a pretty sorry state.

  124. BeccaM says:

    I was brought up Catholic. They made no bones about it: There is NO marriage, save that which happens through the Church. Officially, their doctrine is any non-Catholic marriage isn’t ‘really’ a marriage at all.

    So yeah, this is them just saying a big “f*ck you” to their now-former choir director. And, “How dare you draw our attention to your gayness.”

  125. Houndentenor says:

    Usually in these cases it seems not to be the congregation that asked for the firing. In fact we can expect the choir to have a collective shitfit about this. In some denominations what the parishoners want might be taken into consideration but not in the RCC where everything is top down. Everything about the Catholic Church makes me want to puke. I have no desire to even walk past one much less go inside. They also pay the worst in my experience. As for Saturdays, temple gigs are Friday nights and Saturday mornings. And High Holy Days is the best paying gig around!

  126. Houndentenor says:

    I have refused to take Catholic Church gigs for over a decade. I don’t know why any self-respecting gay person would agree to work for an organization that actively works against their rights. I’m not saying that makes the churches actions right, but they are legal and anyone working for them has to know that.

  127. heimaey says:

    I won’t even go into B&H here in NYC because the Hasidim community is INSANE and rude. I won’t give a crazy Jewish sect my money just like I wouldn’t give it to some crazy Christian sect.

  128. The_Fixer says:

    I grew up in Palatine, and can attest that this is accurate. Some of the biggest pricks in school came from Inverness.

    I always thought that Inverness was a sort-of-town that contained McMansions and little else.

  129. heimaey says:

    Get rid of the Arians.

  130. Sam_Handwich says:

    I have a weekly catholic gig, aside from my main one. It’s a Saturday afternoon mass. Where else am i going to find that? If this particular parish were political, i suppose i would probably just give it up. But nothing about sexuality or any of the other hot button social issues ever comes up there. …perhaps because the parishioners are middle to upper middle class, educated and not interested in all that BS

  131. bpollen says:

    What Constantine told them to say?

  132. bpollen says:

    When in doubt, blame the Catholic church. An alarming proportion of the time, you end up being right. You don’t even have to know the question.

  133. Sam_Handwich says:

    Here’s the truly ridiculous party

    According to Catholic teachings, marriage is determined via taking part in the church’s sacramental matrimony ritual.

    This couple has only a civil marriage. As far as the church is concerned, there is no “marriage” between them.

    Therefore, the catholic hierarchy in Chicago is going absolutely apeshit over something they don’t even believe exists, according to their own teachings.

  134. emjayay says:

    See my brilliant comment just above.

  135. emjayay says:

    I guess maybe some guys were brought up in the Catholic church and maybe figured out their sexuality after starting work, or came out later. Or were somewhere with lots of Catholic Church jobs, or better jobs, or the best organs, or something. And the Episcopals were not much different until recenty, like a lot of institutions and other places of employment. You know, if the paycheck clears and you enjoy the work….but it is obviously the time for these guys to start shopping around for another job.

    Maybe Catholic churches can all switch to recorded music. Some are going to mariachi bands anyway.

  136. emjayay says:

    Sometimes there’s bad and also far, far worser. Also, almost as bad, Ultra Orthodox Jewish. Same roots, same area.

  137. emjayay says:

    It wasn’t modern times.

  138. This is not modern Greek :) I understand not a word :)

  139. Thom Allen says:

    A kinda sorta iffy decision by the Catholic church in South Dakota. A gay volleyball coach can continue in his job at a Catholic school. Apparently, they’re OK with him being out so long as he’s “chaste” says the Diocese of Sioux Falls. I wonder what will happen when the local Catholic conservatives and other conservatives pressure the Diocese in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1?

  140. Indigo says:

    That pretty much covers the situation as I see it. Benedict 16 was elected, I assume, because he was established as the Holy Inquisitor and the Boss of Them. So . . . little did they realize what was brewing because the cardinals were used to just going along with the Vatican’s instructions. Thinking for themselves was vorbotten! But now . . . along comes a Jesuit . . .

  141. Thom Allen says:

    Αν κυο αδχυς ρεπυδιαρε, αδ αλια ποσιδονιυμ ιυς. Περ μινιμυμ δελενιτι συσιπιθ ευ, ηας υθ κυεμ ειρμωδ εκυιδεμ!!! Ευ σοπιωσαε παθριοκυε εσθ, σεδ φερρι σιμυλ ευριπιδις εα. Δισαθ αεθερνο περ ατ, ετ δολορες φασιλισι σεδ. NO! NEIN! NON! NYET! Ετ ασυμσαν ινστρυσθιορ μει, ευ κυις αεκυε ευμ, ινερμις φολυπθατιβυς υθ σεα! Εξ σιθ ινσιδεριντ σοτιδιεκυε.

    φιμ ομνες υβικυε. Κυι κυαερενδυμ ρεπυδιανδαε ιδ, ετ δυο αλτερα ασεντιορ σριπτορεμ. Ει ιψυμ φιρθυθε σωνσεθεθυρ ιυς, σονγυε φασιλις δεσερυισε εσθ ιδ. Αν φιμ δολορες αππελλανθυρ.

  142. heimaey says:

    Do we know what the Nicean Council said about this?

  143. heimaey says:

    Oh bullshit. The Catholics are no worse than any of the others – they’re just bigger. Tell the people living under Sharia Law just how bad Catholicism is.

  144. Blogvader says:

    I’ll never understand why gay people feel the need to ingratiate themselves to Christians, honestly.

    It’s the logical equivalent of a battered housewife asking her husband to bandage her face.

  145. BeccaM says:

    And yet he said this, when Argentina was considering making same-sex marriage legal:

    Let’s not be naive: This is not a simple political fight; it is a destructive proposal to God’s plan. This is not a mere legislative proposal (that’s just its form), but a move by the father of lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God … Let’s look to St. Joseph, Mary, and the Child to ask fervently that they defend the Argentine family in this moment… May they support, defend, and accompany us in this war of God.

    In other words, marriage equality is apparently something Satan himself endorses, and Bishop Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, invoked the language of Crusades in opposition. To me, although his rhetoric is far less aggressive than his predecessor, Pope Benedict, Francis nevertheless seems to have adopted the “love the sinner, hate the sin” attitudes — which in fact was also the moral (sic) basis for the Inquisition. There, the attitude was “Better someone be tortured to death so their last words are an entreaty to the Christian deity than to live on as an unbelieving heathen, pagan, heretic or Jew.”

  146. emjayay says:

    The problem is that at this point all the bishops and cardinals and heirarchy were appointed by a string of right wing popes who have set policy all along, ever since a surprisingly progressive one back in 1960.

  147. dcinsider says:

    It is not a cheap shot to be an atheist and to point out the inherent foolishness of religion while recognizing anyone’s right to believe what they choose. Heaven forbid (pun intended) an atheist express his or her opinion on religion and not be denounced as a cheap shot artist.

  148. ClareA says:

    Hey, Pope Francis said, ” If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

    But as always, there are some people who are “more Catholic than the Pope”,

  149. Bookbinder says:

    There are an awful lot of cheap shots in the comments here, including telling people how to worship god and where.

    I am surprised by this. Chicago Catholics have traditionally been a lot more open than this church in Inverness. My folks are from Oak Park and the near north (Astor Place) and this kind of bigoted crap is usually just not tolerated.

  150. vickif says:

    I grew up in the town next to Inverness and it’s a very wealthy suburb. I went to high school with some of the kids and most of them were really snobby. Even back then-1959-1963- the wealthy kids thought they were entitled.

  151. Houndentenor says:

    In my entire life (which regularly has involved church and temple work almost every weekend for about 25 years) I have met only three organists who claimed to be straight and only one of those did I actually believe. My numbers may be skewed from 15 years in NYC but really if they insist on a straight organist, they’d better not hire any men. Of course they don’t actually care that he’s gay so long as he stayed relatively in the closet. The marriage announcement was public and they can’t have anyone blow the whistle on their culture of hypocrisy.

    In a bigger question: why are gay people still working for Catholic organizations? This would not have happened at an Episcopal Church or most other mainline protestant denominations. A UCC church would have had the wedding IN the church! Organists are in great demand and he will find another job. The question is why he didn’t find another one that wasn’t run by anti-gay bigots earlier. This crap can go on because we don’t pull out our support for people who hate us. Stop enabling the anti-gay churches. There are plenty that are at least neutral on gay rights and they pay better too. (Catholic Churches in my experience are notoriously cheap about paying for music.)

  152. dcinsider says:

    OK, everything about this is wrong, INCLUDING the fact that a gay man participates in a Catholic Church. It’s not enough that there is no god, but let’s say that it’s OK for people to make up fairies in the sky and worship them. Then let’s take that another step, and find that there about 10,000 choices of various religious groups you can choose (and it is a choice) to belong to. Some of those religious groups hate our guts.

    You choose one of the groups that hates our guts to belong to so you can worship something that doesn’t exist. OK, fine.

    Then, this group that hates your guts, fires you from your job with their organization. By the way, this happens to be the same organization that raped children for decades and hid it, but I digress.

    Now, I am supposed to get all fired up and condemn this organization for doing exactly what it preaches on a daily basis?

    In other words, the fact that the scorpion bit the frog is not news.

  153. jomicur says:

    It seems a month doesn’t go by without one or more stories just like this one. Some Catholic school teacher/principal/church organist/church secretary/what have you gets fired by “Holy Mother Church” for being gay. Now, my contempt for the Roman Catholic church is second to none. (I am currently one of nearly two dozen complainants in the biggest clerical abuse scandal ever to hit the diocese of Pittsburgh.) But I find it impossible to feel much sympathy for the “victims” in these stories. These people are adults, presumably with at least normal intelligence, who choose to work for an institution that never misses a chance to tear down their lives, their families, their rights and their basic dignity as human beings. I don’t understand it, and I daresay I never will. There’s a good reason why we never see stories about black people working for the Klan or Jews employed by Aryan Nation.

  154. Bill_Perdue says:

    We can always argue about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin and which cult is the worst but for my money it’s the catholic cult. Their anti-Semitism and anti-communism were major factors in the early victories of the Nazis and like Mussolini, Hitler awarded with a Concordant. After the defeat of the fascists the roman cult helped innumerable war criminals to escape to Spain and Latin American. ODESSA, Organisation der ehemaligen SS-Angehörigen, meaning
    “Organization of Former SS Members”
    had the help of the Vatican on many occasions. “Ratlines were a system of escape routes for Nazis and other fascists fleeing Europe at the end of World War II. These escape routes mainly led toward havens in South America, particularly Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, and Bolivia.” Wiki

    In every Latin American country where they have influence the roman cult’s hierarchy has backed ultra right and fascist groups to repress unions, radical students and our own communities.
    “The Catholic church and Pope Francis have been accused of a complicit silence and worse during the “dirty war” of murders and abductions carried out by the junta that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983.”

    Religion is the enemy. Religion is humankind’s greatest tragedy.

    It’s time to create laws and regulations that tax the cults until they fall and can’t get up and to forbid their interfere in civil and political affairs like marriage, divorce and child rearing.

    It’s time to confiscate the wealth of the roman cult to compensate their victims.

    It’s time to secularize their schools, colleges, medical and ‘charitable’ venues to prevent rape.

  155. Indigo says:

    In the good old days (ah-hem!), the expression “more Catholic than the Pope” was a not-all-that-well veiled way of calling someone a hypocrite. If the slipper fits . . .

  156. caphillprof says:

    It’s not Catholics who oppose same-sex marriage, it’s the men in dresses, the clergy, who oppose same-sex marriage. It’s not about faith or theology but personal sour grapes, folk who decided they would spend a lifetime hiding in the clergy as their uncles and aunts had for generations before.

    But music directors? In some churches music director or organist are paid positions and it’s not at all unusual for them to profess another faith entirely.

  157. MichaelS says:

    Sickening. By this same logic, does the Archdiocese not employ any Jewish or other faith accountants, cleaning or maintenance staff, or whatever? If an employee posts on Facebook their plans to celebrate Hanukah, does that get them fired? …Because I do believe the refusal to accept Christ as the son of God and the Redeemer just might be a position that is slightly more “in conflict with Church teachings” than loving another person of the same gender.
    One must also ask, why did the priests who were preying (with an “e”) on young boys receive more tolerance from the Archdiocese?…

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