The American Society for Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) is – you guessed it – a wingnut anti-marriage-equality group (we’ve met them at least a few times before). John Ritchie is their Student Action Director, and thus for instance responsible for their 2011 report on “pro-homosexual clubs” at Catholic colleges and universities, which was really an extended chart naming student clubs or resource centers for LGBT students and allies at such colleges, and the availability of other objectionable material at such campuses (e.g. that the “pro-homosexual film” Brokeback Mountain was available at the campus library at the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University). “Students are getting immoral messages from these clubs,” said Ritchie, “[a] sort of dictatorship of tolerance is slowly squeezing out the truth, silencing Catholic teaching right on Catholic campuses [there is much wiggle room in the “sort of” qualifier, apparently]. More and more Catholic college students are confronted with visible, active and well-funded pro-homosexual clubs that openly contradict natural law and undermine moral values.” As a response, Ritchie and the TFP were working to have 100,000 people sign a petition demanding the leaders of Catholic colleges “disband” organizations that “favor the homosexual agenda” and “push for the mainstreaming of unnatural vice.”
Ritchie was also central in the fundie attempt to prevent Desmond Tutu from speaking at Gonzaga University because of his views on legal abortion and “affirmation of the homosexual agenda” and being a socialist (“no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist[Pope Pius XI]).” According to Ritchie, Gonzaga’s “shameful” decision has “tarnished” its reputation. Here is Ritchie on whether the Boy Scouts ought to allow openly gay members.
It is worth noting that the TFP is affiliated for instance with Jeremias Wells, a hardcore creationist who, in the TFP magazine, has argued at length against the “revolutionary currents that are degrading society today from the feminists and homosexuals to the pantheists, radical environmentalists and evolutionists. We must also keep in mind that evolutionism is not only an inherent doctrine of Gnosticism but also communism and the Modernist heresy condemned by Saint Pius X in Pascendi Dominici Gregis. Charles Darwin laid the foundation for the New Age mysticism by concocting the highly popular but never-proven theory of evolution [Wells, to no one’s surprise, doesn’t really understand how science works]. This abominable theory which is nothing more than Gnostic ideas dressed up in scientific clothing denies the transcendent Creator and anticipates one of the central heresies of the Da Vinci Code by implying that the Bible is not a reliable record of Divine action.” In other words, the TFP doesn’t alwayscare about official Catholic doctrine; only when it suits them.
Diagnosis: A remarkably evil and hateful fellow. Though apparently quite out of touch with regular Catholics, these extremist, fundie Catholic groups still seem to wield quite a bit of power and influence.
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