Showing posts with label Mission Statement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mission Statement. Show all posts

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Holy Blog's Anniversary and a Message about the Future

     Dear Heretics,

     The Gospel According to Hate had its first anniversary on October 2.  Since going online, the Holy Blog has received over 110,000 page views by more than 55,000 visitors.  I have published over 700 posts.  Thank you for reading, commenting, and confronting the hatred that some preach in the names of their gods.

     A special thank you to the blog's followers and those of you who comment regularly: Buffy, Doorman-Priest, Truthspew, Russ, FDeF, Deldachez, and, of course, Anonymous (who can really be a judgmental asshole).  Thank you to folks who emailed me to let me know I'd missed a typo.  

     A huge thank you and hug to my Super Husband Extraordinaire (SHE) for his assistance with research, proofreading, and all his support, when I doubted myself.  

     A very special thank you to my dear friend, Iowa Soup Mama, who's guest post during last year's Twelve Hates of Christmas, "I Hate Mall Rage," has been the blog's most visited post with over 5000 hits.

     I have a confession to make: this blog began as a graduate school writing assignment.  It wasn't my intention for it to become an unpaid thirty-hour-a-week job.  I've enjoyed the research, writing, and interaction with you, my readers.  That said, I need a break.

     Every morning, I awake peacefully.  Then I spend two to four hours combing through news stories that are infuriating and listening to the hatred that people spew in the names of their gods, churches, and dogmas.  I need a reprieve from that negative energy.  Also, I have a thesis that is currently demanding my full attention and focus.  Unfortunately, the blog has become a convenient distraction.

     That said, I'm going to continue to publish, but not with my expanded commentary and not daily.  I will still post links, videos, etc. when huge stories of hypocrisy, hatred and violence in the name of religion cross my path.  Please email me at if you see a story you think should be reported.

     It's also been a painful year.  Coming from a religious background, numerous friends and family members have taken great offense to me voicing my opinions.  Thank you to my readers and friends who understand the point of this blog.  Thank you for your support.  

     Despite some people's opposition, this blog has been a success and a place of refuge.  Numerous people have emailed me to confide their own stories of being abused by church leaders, to ask support after being cut off from family because of their sexual orientation or changed religious beliefs, or to ask for guidance because they are still priests struggling with the anti-gay rhetoric of the church.  I hope that I was able to help them.  My goal in writing the blog was to help people in situations such as these to find a voice.

     Again thank you for reading.  Please continue to stop by.  Don't stop confronting religious violence, bigotry, and hatred.  Get out the vote on Tuesday!

     As we say at USC: "Fight on!"

Friday, June 18, 2010

Over 500 Posts! Blog Makeover Celebration.

     Yesterday at 11:53 AM, the Gospel According to Hate published its 500th post.  In celebration of that milestone, I gave the Holy Blog a makeover. 

     Thanks for reading. Thanks for commenting. Thanks for the leads you email to me.  Thanks for supporting the separation of church and state.  

     Most of all, thank you for continuing to confront the hatred, fear, violence, and hypocrisy that some religious individuals and institutions preach in the names of their gods.  

     Image Credits: all were taken by on my camera in 2008 at protests at the Los Angeles Catholic Cathedral and Mormon Temple following the passage of California Proposition 8.  That's me with the "Hate the Bigotry, Love the Bigot" protest sign in front of the Catholic Prop 8 supporter. 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Heretic Tom Comes Out: One More Time!

      The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. has taken the marriage equality debate to a new low.  If the D.C. Council passes their proposed same sex marriage law, then the archdiocese will withhold its social services from Washington's poor, in protest.  Don't believe the church would stoop this low?  Here's the article in The Washington Post.

     This despicable posturing is blackmail.  If the church can't get its way, it will punish the city by taking it out on the poor.  Sounds horrendous and shocking, but looking at the church's scriptural tradition, there is  precedence for such a transference of punishment onto the poor and vulnerable.    Here a just a few examples: the psychological torture of the boy Isaac; the old testament ban (when invading, kill not only the enemy's soldiers, but also the helpless women, children, and animals); the killing of the Egyptian's firstborn; god taking out the parents' sin on their unborn childJephthah's virgin daughter's blood; god killing Job's children; and the ultimate killing of the innocent Messiah on the cross

     I went to seminary in Baltimore, MD.  I was "formed" into a priest by the Society of St. Sulpice that operates the seminaries in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.  I know many priests in these archdioceses that are closeted gays.  I can no longer be silent and anonymous in this fight for gay civil rights.

     Heretic Tom is Tom Rastrelli, graduate of St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore, MD, and former priest of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, IA.  

     I have a story to tell.  It is a story of how the Catholic church, and other religious institutions, preach hate, fear, and shame.  Not love.

     "The Gospel According to Hate," will no longer be a forty day and forty night experiment in exploration and catharsis of my hatred.  In looking deep within my own anger, my own hatred, I have found that nearly all of it is stoked by religious institutions and their hypocritical actions.  This site will continue on, as a forum that exposes the hateful and hypocritical actions and teachings of religious institutions and the people that support them.

    I am here: a voice crying out in the darkness that is "The Gospel According to Hate."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Blog's Mission Revisited

This blog is not about anger for the sake of anger.

This blog is not about hatred for the sake of hatred.

A blog does not a person make.  It’s a blog.

A feeling does not a judgment make.  It’s a feeling.

This blog is not about interreligious or ecumenical dialogue.  It’s not about political dialogue.  It’s about venting the difficult frustrations and feelings that build up inside us, so that we can try to find a way to go on living in a culture where we have to constantly repress our feelings to fit in. 

This blog is about me and anyone else who needs to get those frustrations out somewhere, so that they can then go back into the Christian, hetero, white, male culture that dominates the United States and relationships within our culture without being cynical about them.  These cultures might also include ethnic minorities, religious minorities, sexual minorities, etc.  There are ways we don’t fit into every group.  Hence, my post “Why I Hate Gay Men Who Turn Their Noses up at Football.”  You haven’t even begun to hear me go off on what I don’t like about atheists or about LGBT culture!

We can all find things we hate about any group, person, or about ourselves.  This blog is an experiment in naming those things because by not venting and working through them, the anger and frustration, it becomes hate and cynicism. 

I do respect other viewpoints.  This blog may not indicate that, but again: see the purpose of the blog!  However, as I get older, as more and more people equate me with “Satan,” and as more and more people tell me they can’t be part of my life because I’m different, I do find myself angry as can be; especially at a church that taught me that god made me the way I am and loves me no matter what (as long as I’m what their version of god wants me to be). 

So, I will continue to work through my anger on this site, because people need to see how someone’s anger works in order to understand it (as do I).  And maybe, by publically venting my anger (on this site synonymous with “hate”), someone will come to understand what it’s like to be so utterly different than the majority and what a struggle it is to pass the majority’s test of normalcy day after day after day after day after day. 

On the blog, I’m going to hate.  Here we can hate, so that we don’t have to hate everywhere else. 

Monday, October 5, 2009

For Neonates

Welcome to the Gospel of According to Hate!

No matter where you're from, we're glad you're here.

We're thrilled that you're looking for a new place of worship.

Before reading more of the Gospel According to Hate, we'd like to orient you to the worldview, theological perspective, and mission of the Holy Blog.

If you want to follow the Holy Blog, please become a disciple in the Holy Blog's left hand column.

Read on, and before you know it, you will no longer be a neonate, but a fully initiated prophet crying for justice in the face of religious bigotry and hatred.

Hate be with you.
           -And also with me! 

Now, to be baptized into our prophetic congregation, please click on the picture of the baby being baptized.  (Yes, that's me. Cute, aren't I?)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Why Hate?

In the desert a voice cries out: “Proclaim a fast! Blow the trumpet. Call an assembly. Gather the elders. The time for catharsis is here. Embrace your wrath, your hatred. Forsake love for the sake of finding it again.”
-The Gospel According to Hate 1:1

For the next forty days and forty nights I’m fasting. I’m wandering into the heart of the dark forbidden desert of my hate. You are cordially invited to come along.
What lies in the heart of my hatred: wisdom, healing, or even love? Or are the shame-filled voices of my religious past correct? Will exploring my hatred breed only more resentment? Will I find only despair? Will I sink myself in a sea of ire?
“Why hate?” you ask, “Why go there? What good can you possibly find?”
You see, I have this enormous fear, one that has hounded me for decades, and, at age thirty-five, I find myself unable to elude it. My optimism has been consumed; my hope, spent. I did my best to love my neighbor as myself. I loved my enemies and prayed for my persecutors, but the truth that was supposed to set me free has failed.
Everywhere I turn, I’m greeted by fearful faces speaking with hateful voices, but no one admits it. Denial is the true “Way”—the gospel of our globalized culture. We deny not only our own feelings and how they affect our decisions and our relationships at home, but also how they negatively impact the poor, vulnerable, ill, and marginalized. Good guys are finishing last, and bad guys are reaping the benefits of their deceit, greed, and ignorance. I feel the optimism of my youth slipping away, my inner voices of hope and awe drowning in a cacophony of anger, pain, and resentment.
I stand at the precipice of my greatest fear: becoming a jaded old bastard, a cynic with no sense of awe, a misanthrope without the ability to trust or love.
I don’t want to be a hateful person, so it’s time to do something about it. It’s time to face my fear, to turn and run into the face of it, to leap into the unfathomable chasm. I’m going on a forty day diet of hate (for you religious folks out there: a hate fast or a Jesuit spiritual retreat of hateful reflection). I’m naming my fear and entering it.
Wasn’t it Aristotle who first said that the opposite of love isn’t hate, but indifference?
This will not be a journey of indifference. This will be a journey of passion and honesty. I hope that honestly naming my hate will help to understand it, overcome it, and maybe to move beyond it, but really, I have no idea where this will end, if naming my hate will temper it and transform it into something less powerful or if I will still end up like the crusty old cynics that I saw in the seminary and priesthood, no longer men, but shells of resentment and regret.
 What I do know is that the most common confessions that I heard while a priest were for anger or hatred. Many of us have been religiously conditioned to fear our feelings viewing them as sins. We’re taught to cut them out, bury them deep within, or to exorcise them with prayer. Well, that hasn’t worked for me.
So, here I go. I’m on the edge of the dark precipice. Those of you, who already hate me, may be itching to push me in. Too late! I’m diving.

The hate feast will begin on Sunday, October 4, 2009, and conclude forty days later on November 12, 2009.
Until then, it’s a Marti Gras of love!