Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Croddy Responds: "I Have Love In My Heart For You Not Bigotry"

Three weeks after Advance Indiana posted a story criticizing Republican 7th congressional district candidate, Bob Croddy, for his sharp attacks on Congresswoman Julia Carson for her support of gay civil rights and opposition to a constitutional ban on same sex marriages, Croddy has responded with an open letter to the people of Indianapolis via a comment posted early this morning to the original story posted on June 9, 2005, entitled “Croddy’s Cruddy Campaign Against Carson.” Croddy says he believes Advance Indiana has “misstated [his] feelings on these matters.” Croddy says he has reread his press release to which Advance Indiana's criticism was directed several times, and that “[n]owhere [does he] read hatred or bigotry.” Croddy continued, “I have love in my heart for you not bigotry.”

Croddy defended his criticism of Carson by pointing to the five Democrat councilors who also voted against Proposal 68, including Patrice Abdullah, Ron Gibson, Mary Moriarty Adams, Sherron Franklin and City-County Council President Steve Talley. Croddy rhetorically asked if “these five Democrats displayed hatred and gay bigotry” as well. He suggested Advance Indiana “write more about them.” Croddy said he was “born and raised in Center Township” and “has a good pulse of the people in Marion County.” He also seemingly dismissed Advance Indiana editor because he “is from Illinois.” Croddy said, “I don’t know many people from Illinois.”

Advance Indiana is pleased that Mr. Croddy took the time to read our story and respond to it. Since Mr. Croddy does not understand how his press release displayed hate and bigotry towards gays and lesbians, Advance Indiana will endeavor to instruct him. Mr. Croddy issued a press release, which was entitled “Extreme Liberal Democrat Leaders Like Julia Carson Are Wrong to Push Same Sex Marriage," immediately after it became publicly known that Congresswoman Julia Carson had called together leading Marion County Democrats and members of the gay and lesbian community to scold the five Democratic councilors for their opposition to Proposal 68, which would protect Indianapolis residents from discrimination in matters of employment and housing on the basis of their sexual orientation or identity. Croddy’s press release said, “Julia Carson’s recent scolding of local Democrat leaders who chose not to support the city-county council proposal to classify lifestyle (emphasis added) as a special interest group shows just how out of touch those of us in Marion County.” The release continued, “She chooses extreme liberal special interest groups (emphasis added) in Washington and San Francisco over her constituents here in Indianapolis time and time again.”

Mr. Croddy’s use of the words “to classify lifestyle as a special interest group” in describing Proposal 68 says it all. A lifestyle is something you choose Mr. Croddy, like whether to live in the city or in the country, or whether to eat healthy or to pig out on junk food. One’s sexual orientation is not a lifestyle choice. Every major medical organization has long since recognized that homosexuality is a normal, natural, and fixed sexual orientation. When Mr. Croddy suggests that people choose to be gay or lesbian, he provides comfort to those who are intolerant of gays and lesbians and fuels hate and bigotry towards them. Mr. Croddy further inflames his rhetoric with the use of “extreme liberal special interest groups in Washington and San Francisco” to describe all gays and lesbians. By broadly categorizing an entire group of citizens who come from all walks of life, who include both Republicans and Democrats, who attend church, who pay taxes, who fight and die for their country, and who want the same basic rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as he enjoys as extremists, he reveals the truly deep-seated disdain he has for gays and lesbians.

Rep. Carson’s speech to local Democrats had nothing to do with the subject of same sex marriages. Yet that didn’t stop Mr. Croddy from raising the issue in his press release. He implied that Rep. Carson’s opposition to the constitutional ban on same sex marriages meant that she did not “want to protect our families”, and that she wanted to discard “thousands of years of tradition.” To suggest that a formal union between two loving people of the same sex is a threat to your’s or anyone else’s family is gay-baiting at its lowest common denominator.

As to your suggestion that the five Democratic councilors who voted against Proposal 68 were not equally criticized for their votes, that is simply not true. Advance Indiana and the GLBT community in general has been highly critical of those members, particularly Patrice Abdullah, who said he based his vote on his religious beliefs. Unlike you, however, none of those five accompanied their votes with hate-filled bigoted comments as you did in your press release. That is why you were singled out for criticism.

Advance Indiana is also very bothered by the fact that you would be dismissive of its editor, Gary R. Welsh, simply because he is originally from Illinois. He in fact was born in Terre Haute, Indiana and has lived in Indianapolis for the past 15 years, not that it should matter in the least bit. As Advance Indiana explored in earlier reporting of D.C. Stephenson’s and the KKK’s reign of terror over Indiana politics in the 1920s, nativist sentiment was one of the driving forces behind their bigoted “Americanization” agenda. Your dismissiveness of Advance Indiana’s editor because he is from Illinois originally and not born and raised here as you demonstrates that you think just like D.C. Stephenson and his KKK adherents in the 1920s.

I truly wish Mr. Croddy that I could believe you when you say “I have love in my heart and not bigotry”, but the words you chose to use in your press release and your reply letter to Advance Indiana's reporting belies that. For those of you interested, the full text of Mr. Croddy’s letter to the Indianapolis community is furnished below.

Dear Indianapolis Friends,

I believe the writer above has misstated my feelings on these matters. First, 5 Democrats on the City -County Council agree with me. To make it seem like I am extreme is kind of silly. The vote broke down 18 to 11 against ordinance 68-2005 -Democrats and Republicans together voted this ordinance down. I simply agree with City-County Councilors Patrice Abduallah(D),Sherron Franklin(D),Ron Gibson(D),Mary Moriarty Adams(D),Steve Talley(D) and the 13 out of 14 Republicans that voted this ordinance down. Do these five Democrats display hatred and gay bigotry? Maybe you should write more about them. Does Bob Croddy display hatred and gay bigotry? No -I don't think so. The fact is...I have only love in my heart for my fellow man/woman. I am no judge or jury on these matters. I have love in my heart for you not bigotry. I have read my press release several times. Nowhere do I read hatred or bigotry. The way I see it this urban Republican born and raised in Center Township has a good pulse of the people here in Marion County’s 7th. My family dates back close to 100 years in Center Township. I understand the people I come from just fine. My pulse seems to be in-line with thousands of Democrats in Marion County. I understand the man who wrote this article is from Illinois. I don’t know many people from Illinois. Again, I agree with the 5 Democrats City-County Councilors in Marion County but with only love in my heart for my fellow citizen.

Bob Croddy
2:18 AM

5 comments:

Kevin said...

The guy sounds like a total idiot. Extreme liberal special interest groups from San Francisco? Ms. Carson represents me, and I have never been to SF.

Also, who the hell cares if you are originally from Illinois? Are you not a tax paying Indiana citizen with a permanent address in Indiana? My God, with attitudes like that, no wonder nobody wants to move here. Its bad enough that people don't want those damn 'feriners here, but minus Chicago - Illinois is a carbon copy of Indiana.

Mr. Croddy will set us back even further than we are already headed, with his stupidity. Julia Carson still gets my vote.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Croddy stated facts. Advance Indiana merely fumes and calls names in response.
“…homosexuality is a normal, natural, and fixed sexual orientation.” WRONG! “If homosexuality were truly genetic, you would expect to find an absolute, one-to-one correlation of sexual orientation for identical twins. In other words, any time one twin was homosexual, the other sibling would be, too. Yet, that is definitely not the case—findings of 40% to 50% correlation don't match up to the 100% standard needed to "prove" genetic causation” (http://www.exodus-international.org/exodus_faqs.shtml).
May I ask; whose tone is sincere, and whose is sarcastic? I come to the opposite conclusion to the one of Advance Indiana.

Bob Croddy said...

Advance Indiana and Friends in Indianapolis,

To compare me to the KKK is the most absurd thing I have ever read in my life. Anyone who reads this has to discount your rhetoric. I come from a religious minority community that was persecuted by the KKK in Indianapolis. That is a well documented fact in Marion County. When I was a boy I remember the KKK burning a cross at our high school in Center Township to intimidate us. As a boy my Mother told me many stories of the persecution that our community received over the generations.

Love for humanity is in my heart not the KKK or discrimination, Gary.

If you are a homosexual and read this, I love you for who you are, but that does not mean I am for same-sex marriage. And the fact I am against same-sex marriage does not mean I hate anyone. I have met many homosexuals who say same-sex marriage is not that important to them. They understand that they came from a mother and a father and without that we would not exist. Therefore they understand the importance of a family consisting of a mother and a father like they probably had growing up.

I assume “Advance Indiana” is Gary R. Welsh. Advance Indiana stated in its last report: “then he [me} should consider running for Congress in Tupelo, Mississippi.” Your report leads readers to believe that you have a real understanding of the history of the people here in Indianapolis. That you have the pulse of this city. My point is…I have a better understanding. Gary has lived here a small part of his life and comes here from Illinois. Again my point is, I don’t know how people think and live in Illinois but I do understand Little Flower, Brookside, Beech Grove and Speedway.

I understand that thousands of voting Democrats and 5 City-County Councilors agree with me. Those 5 represent a much greater percent of people in the Democrat Party that are divided on this issue than Republicans. It appears to me that large amounts of Democrats and most Republicans agree with me. So why am I extreme and compared to the KKK?

No sir, I will not be labeled as an etremist like the KKK. I detest organization like the KKK who have persecuted people like me and my family for generations in Marion County.

The fact is...I have only love in my heart for my fellow man/woman. I am no judge or jury on these matters.

Bob Croddy

Kevin said...

If Mr Croddy is a native Hoosier (as am I) and is so in touch with what his fellow Hoosiers want, and Julia Carson isn't - then why does she keep getting re-elected by a substantial margin every election?
Perhaps Julia is more in tune with her voters than she is given credit.

Newsflash - not everyone in this congressional district is a native life long Hoosier. I know many, many people who have moved here from other cities, states and countries who now make this their home and have a right to be heard and have their opinions counted. Just because another state does something differently, doesn't make it wrong. In fact, given the current condition that Indiana is in, we could learn a lot from other states/countries. Funny how Gary's opinion is discounted because he grew up in Illinois, yet the state spends all this money trying to woo corporations to locate here from out of state and bring their professional, college educated employees with them. Guess what.....that would describe Gary.

I also know many REPUBLICANS who are progessive enough to want Indy to be a world class city and know that the GLBT community needs to be included in the HRO. I have to wonder if Mr Croddy is letting his religion speak for him and if he is only reaching out to those who are carbon copies of him and not the entire district he wishes to represent?

Advance Indiana said...

Mr. Croddy,

Advance Indiana appreciates the dialogue you have openned up with us on these important issues. Most politicians we criticize do not even bother to defend their views, such as city councilor Virginia Cain. I respect you for that.

On the other hand, I understand your opposition to same sex marriage, even if I don't agree with it, but you have made no effort to explain your opposition to Proposal 68. Also, you have not explained why you chose to use "lifestyle" and "extremist" in explaining your opposition to Proposal 68. Those comments are very offensive to the GLBT community, and Advance Indiana wanted you to understand that.

If Indianapolis is to be a world class city that is economically vibrant, it must be hospitable and welcoming to all people. I still don't understand how someone being from Illinois could be of any relevance. It is, whether you like it or not, nativist sentiment, much like that advanced by the KKK, which also used religion to defend its views.

I should explain my reference to Tupelo, Mississippi. It is home to the American Family Association, which has led a major assault on the GLBT on a number of fronts across the country, including Indiana. Their rhetoric has been very divisive and very bigoted towards the GLBT community.

Again, I very much appreciate your willingness to have a dialogue. I sincerely hope that in so doing we can all achieve a better understanding of each other's positions. Our goal is to change hearts and minds.