The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See is flying the rainbow flag for Pride month and a cohort of Republican politicians, religious right leaders, and far right media figures are upset the government would promote tolerance.
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) is particularly perturbed, calling the display a “political stunt.” Ricketts’s sister is a lesbian.
“The United States respects the dignity and equality of LGBTQI+ people,” the embassy tweeted with a photo of the flag. “LGBTQI+ rights are human rights.”
President Joe Biden is a Catholic.
The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See celebrates #PrideMonth with the Pride flag on display during the month of June. The United States respects the dignity and equality of LGBTQI+ people. LGBTQI+ rights are human rights. pic.twitter.com/Xentlnr16E
— U.S. in Holy See (@USinHolySee) June 1, 2021
Brent Bozell, president of the rightwing Media Research Center and publisher of a far-right “news” site that regularly spread election misinformation, quickly took the opportunity to attack the president over his faith, calling Biden the “most anti-Catholic president in history.”
“This is a direct slap at the Catholic Church from a so-called ‘devout’ Catholic,” he tweeted.
Ricketts, who has decried marriage equality and other LGBTQ civil rights issues, tweeted his opposition by framing it in anti-abortion language and as a matter of religious freedom for the Christian sect. The church has fought for the right to discriminate against LGBTQ people in America including shutting down foster and adoption agencies to avoid working with gay and lesbian clients.
“As a Catholic,” he tweeted, “I’m curious to know if the Biden-Harris Embassy in the Holy See will promote respect for Catholic teaching on family and freedom of conscience – or whether we can simply expect more political stunts like this.”
Despite his opposition to reproductive choice based, he says, on the church’s respect for life, he supports the death penalty and secretly sent tens of thousands of dollars to India to purchase drugs to be used for state executions.
Other users were less diplomatic than the governor in their homophobia, tweeting ugly insults and defenses for attacking the LGBTQ community.
“Now all that should be done is to set the flag on fire!” one user replied with the fire emoji. “It would be a beautiful scenery!”
“I no longer identify as an American,” another user, Valerie, replied. It’s unclear why no one responded to her and asked her to reconsider.
The LGBTQ community, however, was more enthusiastic about the flag.
“This is awesome!” one replied. “Even if the Christian doctrine believes that LGBTQIA+ are bound for hell or wherever when they die, the same doctrine also teaches people to love one another. Belief in equality and in equal human rights is a show of love and respect to your fellow humans.”
As a Catholic, I’m curious to know if the Biden-Harris Embassy in the Holy See will promote respect for Catholic teaching on family and freedom of conscience – or whether we can simply expect more political stunts like this. https://t.co/SEIM2LO6OM
— Gov. Pete Ricketts (@GovRicketts) June 2, 2021
When procuring drugs for the death penalty you certainly didn’t follow Catholicism.
— Greg Smith (@gsmith601) June 2, 2021
The most anti-Catholic president in history. This is a direct slap at the Catholic Church from a so-called "devout" Catholic. https://t.co/cXkMonyjFW
— Brent Bozell (@BrentBozell) June 1, 2021
This is a deliberate provocation from the US embassy to the Vatican. It is intended to offend devout Catholic sensibilities. Trampling on human hearts is what the Left does best. https://t.co/J7CizPWBT9
— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) June 1, 2021
Now all that should be done is to set the flag on fire! It would be a beautiful scenery!🔥
— Newîd (@NeteweyMe) June 2, 2021
This is awesome! Even if the Christian doctrine believes that LGBTQIA+ are bound for hell or wherever when they die, the same doctrine also teaches people to love one another. Belief in equality and in equal human rights is a show of love and respect to your fellow humans.
— Ian Miciano #VoteThemOut2022 (@ianmiciano) June 2, 2021
The empire flying its real national flag https://t.co/rezIAqHQcQ
— Nathan (@nguoiyanqui) June 2, 2021
— Ryan 🇺🇸 🏳️🌈 (@RyRousseau) June 1, 2021
Uh, he can’t. It’s the US Embassy. And he’s likely fine with the flag.
— Cindy (@NelwynToes) June 1, 2021