The church has had enough of the racist ramblings coming from the Michigan RNC Committeeman

Dave AgemaThe Catholic Church re-issued a statement in response to Dave Agema, a Michigan RNC Committeeman, as a not-so-gentle reminder to stop using his Catholic faith as justification for his bigotry. Agema has target gays, Muslims, and Arabs in previous hate-filled rants on his Facebook page using his Catholic faith as a shield. However, his latest post claiming blacks are inferior to whites in every respect has the Catholic leaders crying foul.

According to the National Journal, in a New Year’s Eve Facebook post, Agema republished an essay from American Renaissance, a white-supremacist newsletter. The article, which Agema said he found “very enlightening,” argued that “blacks are different by almost any measure to all other people. They cannot reason as well. They cannot communicate as well. They cannot control their impulses as well. They are a threat to all who cross their paths, black and non-black alike.”

Dave Agema has a long, well-documented history for inflammatory statements that showcase his ignorance and intolerance. Agema has claimed in the past that Obama is really Muslim. He has praised Vladimir Putin for his criminalization of homosexuality. He has openly blamed Satan for the divisions in the Republican Party. And, most famously, he shared another enlightening essay asking “Have you ever seen a Muslim do anything that contributes positively to the American way of life?”

All of this has led the Catholic Church to say “enough!” In a re-posted press release, the Church uses strong language to put the Michigan Republican party on notice. Calling for civility the Church writes: “The role of the Michigan Catholic Conference is to advocate on behalf of public policies that promote the common good for the State of Michigan. The Catholic Conference does so by working with elected officials on both sides of the political aisle as well as the Executive branch of state government.

Michigan Catholic Conference does not seek to interfere with intra party discussions related to administration or partisan activity. In recent weeks, regrettable comments relating to personal classification, documented status and religion have become the source of public conversation. It is important to convey during this period that every human person is made in the image and likeness of God.

It appears the Church is refusing to be used as an excuse for hate and intolerance any longer. The Church is finally telling Republicans that it is no longer acceptable for the party to use them as a reason to pass legislation making it legal to discriminate against certain groups in the name of religion. The consequence of this very public spanking by the Church is that it exposes the Republican Party’s leaders for who they really are: anti-gay, racist, and misogynistic.

The Church has become the unexpected voice of reason calling for charity. Explaining that “Charity is predicated upon accepting and practicing the principle that every human being deserves respect based upon their God-given inherent right to human dignity. If society demands that citizens treat each other with respect, it must begin with those who have the significant responsibility of shaping policy and leading others.

Too often, and more recently, there has been an abdication of this responsibility. This must change. Policy disagreements will naturally exist among sensible and reasonable people; yet it is unreasonable to bully those who promote charity to adopt positions contrary to their faith and conscience. In the days that are to come, let there be a renewed focus on charity that relies upon respect and dignity that must be afforded to all persons.”

It is interesting that the Church has chosen to use the word “bully” when speaking of Michigan’s political leaders where Republicans are in control of every branch of government. The Republican Party in Michigan has repeatedly bullied opponents in promoting an agenda of hate. One can only remain hopeful that they will listen, but it is unlikely since it has never really been about religious beliefs in the first place. Their agenda is simply about pure, unadulterated hate.

3 COMMENTS

  1. While one finds a glimmer of hope in the statement made by the Catholic hierarchy as to the vitriol being disseminated by Mr. Agema, it is difficult to not be disheartened—even more than one might presently be—by the fact that state and national Republican leaders allow this individual to continue as a member of the RNC.

    Were I a Republican, I would be beyond appalled that a person who publicly or privately holds/expresses such sentiments represented my political party at any level. And I would be calling for state/national leadership to remove him, post-haste, from any representative position.

    The American Right has done much to undo much of the progress—cultural, social, educational, economic, political, etc.—the U.S. has made since the post-WWII years. But few things they have done have been more destructive to our cultural/social quilt than their issuance of an imprimatur for hate speech.

    It is permissible again to put one’s darkest angels on display and, indeed, right-wing politicians occasionally even compete for votes by arguing that “my dark angels are darker than my opponent’s.” And what all of that means in this instance is that, though the church hierarchy might be shaking its head at Mr. Agema’s vileness, there are millions of Americans who are reading it or hearing it and nodding their heads in agreement.

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