I’m a little disappointed that Gov. Chafee is attempting to sidestep a skirmish with John DePetro and Bishop Tobin. Call it a holiday tree and let these two continue to alienate themselves from mainstream Rhode Island by acting like dogmatic religious bullies out of touch with the concept of equality.
Last year, Tobin likened Chafee to the innkeeper who turned away Jesus’ parents. A more apt historical comparison would be to say that Tobin and DePetro acted like the Romans who sentenced and tortured Jesus to death.
As a practical and reasonable matter – which of course has nothing to do with what DePetro and Tobin do and say – of course the public sector should call such decorations holiday trees rather than Christmas trees. There’s no church/state separation issue, but one term honors that American value and the other doesn’t. Perhaps more importantly, one term is more inherently more inclusive than the other.
What in God’s name is wrong with the Catholic Church when its highest local official chastises the governor for being inclusive! Catholicism in Rhode Island is fast becoming famous for its aversion to inclusion. No one is flocking to the church because it doesn’t respect gay people or other people’s beliefs. God bless the Church for all the good it does, but this crap is sinking it like a stone.
Catholicism, if it wants to survive, should recruit a spokesman more like Daniel Berrigan – who, by the way, used to summer on Block Island – and less like John DePetro, who’s the meanest person in our marketplace of ideas.
Check out his latest column; the only time he takes a break from being bigot is to pick on the governor’s teenage son. This, folks, is not to be confused with political commentary!! On the day before Thanksgiving, he used his radio show to chide poor people for using food stamps to buy a holiday meal. This is stuff that would make Scrooge blush.
We reported in August that the first time he allegedly “propositioned a co-worker who filed a sexual harassment suit against him was in a bus on the way to a rally to defend Christmas at the State House.” Yep, this is Christmas’ unofficial spokesperson in Rhode Island. Good luck with that one, Christmas…
But God bless DePetro too, for he is also the loudest voice for the local conservative movement too, making him the best tool progressives have in their political tool belt these days.
Every time he tries to incite a culture war, he further alienates the local conservative movement from mainstream Rhode Island. Even Don Carcieri, another fiscally-conservative Catholic from East Greenwich, was wise enough to call it a holiday tree and move on.
Far from being frustrated with him, partisan progressives should love DePetro, for he is a recipe for Republican disaster! My advice to anyone who want to foil the trickle-downers is to buy an ad on his show to help ensure that he stays the voice of the right in Rhode Island! To that end, in a sort of politically perverse way, I’m kinda hoping DePetro and Bishop Tobin incite another Holiday Hatefest.