> Obama Appoints Pope-Basher to Religious Panel
President Barack Obama has appointed a gay-rights activist and a critic of Pope Benedict XVI to the federal government’s faith-based initiative board.
Harry Knox has been appointed to Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Knox is director of the religion and faith program at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a homosexual activist organization.
He has referred to the Pope as a “discredited leader” and attacked the Catholic Knights of Columbus because of the group’s support of Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that passed last November and defined marriage as being between a man and a woman.
“The Knights of Columbus do a great deal of good in the name of Jesus Christ, but in this particular case they were foot soldiers of a discredited army of oppression,” Knox told the San Francisco-based Bay Area Reporter on March 19.
The newspaper reported, “Knox noted that the Knights of Columbus ‘followed discredited leaders,’ including bishops and Pope Benedict, ‘a Pope who literally today said condoms don’t help in the control of AIDS.’”
During his trip to Africa, Pope Benedict said that distributing condoms was not the answer to the problem of AIDS, and asserted that the best strategy was the church’s efforts to promote sexual responsibility through abstinence and monogamy.
On April 6, Knox told the Cybercast News Service’s Web site CNSNews: “The Pope needs to start telling the truth about condom use. We are eager to help him do that.
“Until he is willing to do that and able, he’s doing a great deal more harm than good — not just in Africa but around the world. It is endangering people’s lives.”
Knox posted a statement on the HRC Web site on Monday saying that as a member of the 25-member Advisory Council, he “will support the president in living up to his promise that government has no place in funding bigotry against any group of people.”
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, told CNSNews that the appointment of Knox “is exactly the kind of bastardization of common sense that the Obama people are putting forth. Quite frankly, I would prefer to see the entire faith-based initiative closed down . . .
“I’d rather people simply be honest and say we don’t believe in faith-based initiatives as they were initially intended by the previous administration, and what we’re going to do is thoroughly politicize them with these gay activists.”
President George W. Bush’s faith-based efforts focused on religious non-profit organizations, while Obama “has changed the focus to target community groups, religious and secular,” CNSNews reported.
Other members of Obama’s Advisory Board include the Rev. Otis Moss Jr., whose son replaced the Rev. Jeremiah Wright as pastor of Obama’s former church, the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago; the Rev. Jim Wallis, who has been called the “leader of the religious left” by The New York Times; and Rabbi David Saperstein, who denounced the U.S. Supreme Court in 2007 for upholding the federal ban on partial-birth abortions.
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