Activist group targeting Bob Newhart, Catholics is funded by George Soros

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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The gay advocacy group that launched a pressure campaign to block comedian Bob Newhart from speaking at a Catholic summit is funded by progressive billionaire George Soros and has close links to President Obama’s new White House counselor, records reveal.

Newhart, 84, pulled out of speaking at a Christmas Week conference in Orlando organized by the Catholic networking group Legatus, which was founded by Republican Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan in 1987 to provide networking opportunities for Catholic business leaders.

Newhart backed out after the gay rights group GLAAD launched a targeted campaign to pressure the legendary comedian and his representatives to disavow his association with Legatus, a supposedly homophobic group that believes in traditional marriage. GLAAD double-teamed Newhart with the gay Christian activist group Faithful America, which launched a petition to force the “Elf” star off the stage.

“Why is beloved comedian and lifelong Catholic Bob Newhart scheduled to perform before a group of right-wing corporate executives that uses vile language about gays and lesbians?,” reads the Faithful America petition, which cites 2013 TIME Man of the Year Pope Francis’ interpretively anti-capitalistic views.

“It’s hard to imagine an organization further from Pope Francis’ vision of ‘a Church which is poor and for the poor’ than Legatus, whose stated mission is to ‘study, spread, and live the Catholic faith,’ but whose membership is open only to top executives of multi-million dollar corporations,” according to Faithful America. “…Bob Newhart probably didn’t realize how extreme this organization is before he agreed to perform at their next summit. But now he has an opportunity to show that their brand of right-wing anti-gay politics is offensive and no longer has a place in the Catholic Church.”

So who’s bankrolling the anti-Newhart effort?

Faithful America was formed in 2004 by the left-wing National Council of Churches of Christ to serve as a “religious version of MoveOn.org,” Faithful America kicked off with an ad on the Al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya networks condemning the Bush administration’s Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal. Soros was heavily involved that year in building the progressive activist and media establishment, deemed by writer Byron York as “the vast left-wing conspiracy,” targeting President Bush’s re-election effort.

Faithful America was co-founded by Tom Perriello and Ricken Patel, who the previous year founded the Soros-funded globalist group Res Publica, for which Obama’s new White House counselor John Podesta is still listed as an Advisory Board member.

Soros’ Open Society Institute awarded two grants, each totaling $400,000, to Faithful America during Obama’s election year in 2008, according to the institute’s calendar year 2008 990’s.

Soros’ West 59th Street New York City institute enabled Faithful America to join in coalitions pushing for health-care reform and to pressure American Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan to “crack down on partisan political activity in his parishes” during the 2012 election year, an effort that was supported by The New York Times.

Hungarian-born billionaire Soros “identifies himself as an atheist” according to the FAQ’s page on GeorgeSoros.com.

For sitcom legend Newhart, dealing with progressive activist groups was like having a one-sided phone conversation, and he wasn’t going to wake up from this nightmare in bed next to Suzanne Pleshette. So he dropped out of the event.

But some Christians refused to be intimidated.

“For those who don’t know, I currently serve as chairman of GOProud, an organization of right-leaning gays and their allies. I am very disturbed by the group-think that dominates the Gay Left (heck, the Left in general).  They’ve made it their mission to publicly shame anyone who associates with any Christian/Catholic groups or teachings,” wrote conservative activist Lisa de Pasquale in an op-ed for Breitbart News.

“At no time did Newhart endorse any specific beliefs of this organization, yet he was publicly maligned for accepting a gig with a Catholic organization.  What’s next?  Shaming hotels for hosting their event?  Printers for accepting their business?,” de Pasquale wrote.

Though Newhart backed out of the Legatus event, Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson is firm in his refusal to apologize for comments he made supporting traditional marriage — comments that earned him an indefinite hiatus from A&E.

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