Monday, November 2, 2009

Time to remove the Diocese of Portland (Maine) tax exempt status

Given that the Bishop of the Diocese instructed Marc Mutty, his Director of Public Relations, to go on leave from the Church in order to run the anti-same-sex marriage campaign in Maine, while continuing to pay his salary from Church coffers.

Funny how that little detail is missing in the latest AP coverage of the story:

Marc Mutty, on leave from a job with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland to run the Stand for Marriage campaign, said in a homestretch appeal for donations that the election "is about the future of marriage in Maine, and thus the nation."

"It is about whether marriage will continue to be between one man and one woman as God intended and human history has affirmed, or if we will plunge our state into a radical social experiment of 'any two will do,'" he said.

The diocese coordinated $550,000 in contributions to the repeal campaign and has criticized Baldacci, a Catholic and former altar boy, for signing the marriage law.

In fact, $23,995.21--or 4.4% of the money raised in collection plates at target second collections while priests asked parishoners to consider What Would Jesus Do? about gay marriage--has gone to pay Mr. Mutty's salary since June.

Mutty denies that any funds come from the church collection plates, but admits that some parishoners might be a bit hacked off at not using the money to, say, help the poor or something....

But Marc Mutty, a leader of the group seeking to repeal the law who is on leave from his work at the diocese, said parishioners should know the donated funds were not taken from the collection plate.

"The money is dedicated revenues that were provided by a donor for causes such as these and money from the collection basket or any of those types of things would never be used," he said....

Mutty said he understands why people get upset when they see that the diocese spent money on this issue, regardless of where the money actually came from.

"There's no question that some would say that it's a shame we have to spend this kind of money on this kind of issue when we should be spending it on the poor or those kinds of things," he said.

It's those damn queers--can't you see that they want to get married specifically to cause poor people to starve because the Church can't run the Food Banks while telling people about the immiment collapse of Western Civilization.

Oh, by the way: it appears that Mutty is simply lying.

From Clerical Whispers:

The Diocese of Portland, Maine has asked parishioners to donate in a second collection on Sunday to raise money to help repeal the state's same-sex marriage law.

Officials said donations like the ones collected at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception will go to pay for television ads aimed at overturning the state law that legislators passed last spring, WMTW News 8 reports.

In fact, the entire sordid affair, in which the opposition to same-sex marriage is in fact being bankrolled by four big religious groups, calls out for a yanking of tax-exempt status for the Diocese.

This burgeoning theocracy is what our local zealot David Anderson represents as his sort of democracy:

The legislature foisted same sex marriage on the voters of Maine as part of the 6 for 6 campaign. PPP shows a majority of it’s voters are not enthused and the traditional marriage measure may have majority support.

And for my liberal friends: President Obama has plenty of time to campaign for New Jersey's Jon Corzine, but other than his usual vague no-timeline swipe at saying he'll allow LGBT Americans to die openly for their country ... someday ... he has done in Maine exactly what he did in California last year: washed his hands of the whole idea of standing up for the rights of some of his strongest supporters.

Yea, yeah, I know. Limited political capital and all that.


David said...

Actually issue based lobbying does not affect your overall tax exemption. You may have to pay taxes on the amount that exceeds 5% of the yearly income. The Church is within its rights. More interesting is that the PR campaign may be seen by you as political. It is not in reality or from the Christian Church perspective. It is a message of evangelism and discipleship to protect the family and explain the value of traditional marriage. That is a core educational mission of the church.

Are we getting a little intolerant of those who disagree? In a free society we can join with people of like mind and try to persuade others to join us by whatever means that do not involve force or fraud.

Steven H. Newton said...

It does involve fraud if (a) the Church is still paying the salary of an employee told to go "on leave" to promote this cause; and (b) the same official is lying about the source of the funds the Church is using.

You lecturing people on tolerance is ... invigorating.

Anonymous said...

"on leave" means absent with permission from work or duty. Being absent does not necessarily mean compensation ceases.