A leftist group funded by top gay activist bundlers for Obama’s 2012 campaign coordinated both a “well planned and financed” attack against San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone for his decision to speak during the March for Marriage in Washington, D.C. in June, says Catholic San Francisco.
Faithful America is an organization that claims to be “the largest and fastest growing online community of Christians putting faith into action for social justice.”
According to Valerie Schmalz writing at Catholic San Francisco, there is “abundant evidence” that the attack on Cordileone, who is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, was coordinated by Faithful America and supported by politically powerful and wealthy individuals and foundations that have dedicated millions to promoting the LGBT agenda.
Catholic San Francisco reports that Faithful America, whose website claims over 300,000 members and states it is “dedicated to reclaiming Christianity from the religious right,” has received funding from the nation’s two top gay political philanthropists–Tim Gill of Colorado, founder of software publisher Quark Inc., and billionaire Jon Stryker, heir of Stryker medical technology company–as well as billionaire George Soros and the Evelyn & Walter Haas Jr. Fund.
Prior to the 2012 election, Stryker had given over $250 million to groups supporting gay rights, transgenderism, and the conservation of apes. In January of that year, his Arcus Foundation donated $23 million to Kalamazoo College for an endowment to fund a center for social justice leadership.
In March, Stryker’s Arcus Foundation announced a grant of $75,000 to Faithful America.
“Faithful America, in partnership with the Citizen Engagement Lab Education Fund, plans to support ‘Faithful America’ public campaigns to promote greater media visibility for Christians who denounce the abuse of religious-freedom arguments to oppose full equality for LGBT persons,” the foundation said.
The Gill Foundation partially funded the recently-launched National Park Service’s new “LGBT Heritage Theme Study,” which purports to highlight the historical achievements of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders. The initiative, according to the Washington Examiner, “could lead to the naming of new LGBT historical places, the installation of history-noting plaques and even park rangers telling the stories of ground-breaking gays.”
As Breitbart News reported in June, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (D), California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsome (D), and other gay rights supporters sent a letter to Cordileone in which they used the words of Pope Francis against the archbishop, claiming his participation in the March for Marriage would be promoting “division and hatred.”
The LGBT activists wrote:
…[W]hile not all of us agree with official Catholic teaching on marriage and family, we appreciate the many statements from Catholic leaders defending the human dignity of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, especially the recent words of Pope Francis: “If someone is gay, who searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
Pope Francis’ words echo the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which states that lesbian and gay people “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”
“We ask that you will reconsider your participation and join us in seeking to promote reconciliation rather than division and hatred,” wrote the signers, according to the SFGate.
Additionally, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), a self-proclaimed Catholic who supports abortion on demand and same-sex marriage, described the March for Marriage event as “venom masquerading as virtue” and said the participants show “disdain and hate towards LGBT persons.”
The online organization has launched more than 30 national petition drives since 2013, and the campaign that attacked Cordileone was one of more than a dozen online Faithful America petitions that gathered signatures nationwide to attack U.S. bishops, Catholic pastors, and Catholic schools, mostly around issues related to homosexuality and the activist LGBT agenda.
- A New York Times September 2012 editorial endorsed our members’ challenge to the nation’s top Catholic bishop, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, to crack down on partisan political activity in his parishes.
- In a state that’s long been synonymous with the religious right’s political power, the Kansas Speaker of House was caught forwarding an email that asked his friends to pray for the death of President Obama. When 35,000 Faithful America members demanded he resign, our petition made headline news in every outlet in the state and forced him to offer a series of embarrassing public apologies that doubtless contributed to his June 2012 decision not to run for reelection.
- After local clergy delivered over 100,000 petition signatures in July 2012, the public television system in Alabama, under the control of right-wing political appointees, reversed its plans to air a bogus documentary presenting the religious right’s twisted retelling of American history.
In San Francisco, Schmalz writes, about 75 people marched to Cordileone’s offices in June to present a petition organized by Faithful America against him, while the executive director of Faithful America emailed the archbishop the letter signed by 78 politicians and gay rights militants.
Greg Cassin, who ran the San Francisco anti-Proposition 8 rally on the eve of the U.S. Supreme Court arguments in the DOMA case last year, spoke with Catholic San Francisco and with the archdiocesan director of communications when Faithful America delivered its petition.
“However, when Catholic San Francisco later asked about his affiliation with Faithful America, Cassin said he was not part of any organized group,” Schmalz writes.
Regarding Faithful America, Rev. John Piderit, Archdiocese of San Francisco moderator of the curia and vicar for administration, told Schmalz, “To operate successfully in the public sphere, American Catholics need clear knowledge about the forces arrayed against them.”
“Similar to other groups, Faithful America is a well-funded pressure group that espouses a variety of viewpoints contrary to Catholic teaching,” Piderit continued. “Informed Catholics are aware that such groups regularly promote their viewpoints in the media.”
Jeff Walton, spokesman for the Institute on Religion and Democracy, a Christian advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., said funders Gill, Stryker, and Soros “are looking out at society, and seeing where there is resistance to the agenda they seek to promote and how they can best change that.”
“They look at these institutions such as the Roman Catholic Church as obstacles to what they would call full inclusion of LGBT persons in the life of the nation,” Walton added. “They have essentially gone ahead and sought to change that voice so it is not resistant to the proposals that they have.”
Shining a light on groups like Faithful America, however, can be somewhat challenging since, as Schmalz discovered, the organization is not independently incorporated and its financial information is not public.
Faithful America accepts tax-deductible donations via Citizen Engagement Laboratory Education Fund, which provides technical and administrative support to about a dozen progressive online organizations, according to Faithful America executive director Michael Sherrard.
The group’s website, writes Schmalz, was first created in 2004 when the domain was owned by the National Council of Churches. In 2008, ownership of the faithfulamerica.org domain was transferred to Faith in Public Life, a leftist group that claims to be Catholic and is funded in part by Soros.
In mid-2013, FaithfulAmerica.org was reportedly registered to a Panama-based company, WhoisGuard, Inc., the same third-party company to which Citizen Engagement Laboratory’s engagementlab.org is registered. WhoisGuard is a third-party purchaser of domains which enables the actual owner of the domain to hide its identity, says Schmalz.
Jack Smith, editor of the newspaper of the diocese of Kansas City/St. Joseph in Kansas, said, “Faithful America has never really existed. It’s a website name that’s been owned by various organizations.”
“In its various campaigns Faithful America deceives by pretending to be local Catholics to pressure other Catholics to be silent about the truth and beauty of marriage,” Smith added, noting that Soros has or does fund Faithful America, Faith in Public Life, and the citizen Engagement Laboratory.
“If you’ve got a Soros organization email list, you can get 20,000 signatures for anything,” Smith said.