Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Conflict Between Church & State In Rogers Park?

Gale School located @ North Of Howard section of Rogers Park

The following letter was sent to Chevanston via email June 17th

Dear Alderman Moore,

A little over a year ago I wrote you an open letter which the Windy City Times Published regarding the homophobic and antigay organization “The New Life Covenant Church” which is headed by the equally homophobic and anti gay Rev. Wilfredo ‘Choco’ de Jesús.

To Finish Reading The Letter Please Continue Reading

Here is what I wrote you then:

“I read to day with great distress that the New Life Covenant Church, headed by the incredibly homophobic and bigoted Rev. Wilfredo de Jesus, will be holding services in the Auditorium of the Gale Math and Science Academy on W. Jonquil. Gale is a Chicago Public School.

While Mr. de Jesus has the absolute First Amendment right to spew his bigoted bile as he chooses, we feel it is inappropriate for him and his hateful organization to be permitted to use taxpayer funded facilities. While they may be paying a fee to use those facilities it begs the question as to whether Ms. Washington, the principal, or the LSC would permit National Socialists or The KKK to access those facilities for a fee.

The First Amendment does not guarantee his access to our school facilities to promulgate hate.

It is particularly unfortunate that Mr. de Jesus has chosen the Easter and Passover season to deliver his and his organizations message of homophobic hate and intolerance in a Chicago Public School Auditorium on Easter Sunday.

As a teacher, taxpayer, homeowner, gay man and person of faith I wish to protest in the strongest terms the use of taxpayer funded facilities devoted to learning and the formation of future citizens to be used to further the message of hate, bigotry, and intolerance set forth by Mr. de Jesus and his hateful organization.

We hear of students being bullied and harassed, of being killed or committing suicide due to the hateful message of Mr. de Jesus, Fred Phelps, and others, and now our schools are being opened to the very messengers of hate who create the atmosphere bigotry we fight through efforts to help and support these very students.

I will be writing the principal of the school and will also be submitting letters to the editor to the local gay press. We will be spreading the word to friends, family and neighbors.”

You never answered the letter.

When I wrote  in 2012 Mr. de Jesús’s organization met only at Gale School.

Since then they have expanded to the public parks.

My partner of 32 years and I own property and pay property taxes which support and maintain the Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Schools.

The New Life Covenant Church is, of course, tax exempt.

I cannot marry my partner of 32 years because of the hateful message preached by ‘Choco’, Mr. Meeks, and the cardinal.

Mr. de Jesús’s stance on gay rights, and gay marriage in particular is well documented. Indeed he, along with Rev. Meeks and Cardinal George, pressured lawmakers in Springfield to defeat gay marriage.

We are disgusted by the fact that homophobic and antigay groups like the New Life Covenant Church continue to preach their hateful message in our parks and schools simply by laying down their thirty pieces of silver.

John Jaffe
7736 N. Paulina
Chicago, 60626


John Smith said...

Thank you John !

Davey said...

It's a great letter, but the problem is that we either keep religious activity out of public property or we don't. An all-inclusive ban would be better than picking and choosing based on the message the groups are pushing, but it would never be tolerated.

So congratulations, John, on calling out the bigots in our community. You may not get the political outcome we want, but you are helping, bit by bit, to nudge public opinion toward rationality and decency.