The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


Quote of the day

posted by jmcgee

“I fear the story of this animosity will be taken to be the story of the real America. It’s not. America was not built on hatred, but on love. This is not the real America. When you attack one religion, you attack them all.”

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, September 7, 2010.

His remarks came after an interfaith meeting
to discuss anti-Muslim sentiment in America.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(17)
post a comment
Panthera

posted September 8, 2010 at 10:09 am


Cardinal McCarrik puts it perfectly.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the Christian body is split along culture war lines, only when leaders in such Christian churches as the Roman Catholic church speak out clearly and forcefully is there a chance to end the hatefulness.
The exploitation of American Christians to achieve political ends by the politicians, first under Reagan then massively against Clinton and, finally, as Ken Mehlman has now confirmed, all out during the 2004 elections, has directly led to this mess.
For those of us in the world who are Muslim or gay or support a woman’s right to chose, an overbearingly large facet of American Christianity is hatred. No, not ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’, but hatred.
It is a very valid question, indeed, why it’s OK to endanger American troops by burning the Koran – the Cardinal is one of very few Christians speaking up – while it was treachery and insurrection against the US government to question the illegal Iraq war under Bush-the-lesser.



report abuse
 

Panthera

posted September 8, 2010 at 10:35 am


Oh, dear.
Make that, please Cardinal McCarrick.



report abuse
 

Thomas

posted September 8, 2010 at 10:58 am


Speaking for the Catholic League, Bill Donohue compared the small evangelical group’s planned actions to those of homosexual protestors, who burned a Bible in 1998 to protest an appearance of the conservative Catholic political figure Pat Buchanan.
The comparison by the Catholic League’s president did not imply an equivalence of the Bible with the Koran, but rather suggested that both forms of protest were incoherent and irresponsible forms of “agitprop.” Donohue stressed that pastor Jones “must be unequivocally condemned” for actions that would only “inflame passions” and promote a “twisted understanding of Christianity.”
“There are plenty of legitimate ways to protest the wrongdoing that took place on September 11, 2001,” Donohue concluded. “Burning copies of the Koran is not one of them.”
http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/cardinal-mccarrick-catholic-league-president-join-condemnations-of-planned-koran-burning/



report abuse
 

Panthera

posted September 8, 2010 at 11:11 am


Thomas, if I am not to be allowed to point out the – historically relevant and conclusively proved – alliance between conservative American Christians and support for torture, illegal wars and the Republican party because that is ‘painting with too broad a brush’, then I think it is only fair to point out that the vast, overwhelming majority of homosexuals are not anti-Christian.



report abuse
 

BobRN

posted September 8, 2010 at 11:48 am


Panthera,
You say that the “vast, overwhelming majority of homosexuals are not anti-Christian.” Yet you insist that “For those of us in the world who are Muslim, gay or support a woman’s right to chose, an overbearingly large facet of American Christianity is hatred.”
Could it be that, for those who are American Christians, an overbearingly large facet of homosexuals are hatred?
In other words, you insist that American Christians understand that, from your perspective, they are filled with hatred toward homosexuals. Are you equally willing to understand that, for many American Christians, homosexuals are filled with hatred toward them?
Another problem: you seem to define opposition to gay “marriage” as hatred, or opposition to the right to abortion as hatred. So, anyone who disagrees with you on these matters doesn’t simply disagree or think differently or approach the matters from a different perspective. No, they hate. Hatred is the only explanation for their opposition.
This is very disconcerting, for two reasons: first, it completely shuts down dialogue. I mean, who wants to dialogue with a hater? Or, on what basis would someone want to dialogue with you on these matters when their mere thinking differently about them is going to label them as a hater? Second, if people like you come to power, then those who think differently have every reason to be concerned that they will be shut out of the political process. I mean, what right does a hater have to participate in the political process? If my opponent is a hater, I have no obligation to take him seriously, or to respect his rights as a political player. This would explain the severe reaction to those in California who supported Prop 8.



report abuse
 

BobRN

posted September 8, 2010 at 11:55 am


Also, what do you do with those who don’t fall neatly into your box: those who are opposed to torture, opposed to illegal wars, aren’t Republicans, but still oppose the legal recognition of gay “marriage” a woman’s right to choose abortion and question the wisdom and motives of those who want to build a mosque at Ground Zero?
How do you label someone who disagrees with you on these matters and thinks that Glenn Beck is a lunatic?



report abuse
 

RomCath

posted September 8, 2010 at 1:41 pm


Anyone who criticizes or disagrees with the cuurent President is labeled a racist. Anyone who criticizes homosexual “marriage” and activity is labeled a homophobe. Criticism does not equal hate.
And for the record, how do Muslims treat homosexuals and adulterers? Not with much love I am afraid.



report abuse
 

Panthera

posted September 8, 2010 at 2:33 pm


RomCath: Your comments prove my point, thank you.
BobRN,
You mention several points, let me attempt a discourse with you.
The primary concern of the Cardinal, as I understand it, is that we, as Christians not surrender to the prevailing attitude of intolerance and hatred towards Islam and Muslims among (sorry, Deacon, but this is driven exclusively by conservatives) many Americans.
I share that concern.
Now, the Deacon has placed strict limits on discussion of homosexuality here, so we’ll just have to speak in broad terms. May I suggest you look at the matter from the perspective of the ‘official’ Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican and not from the prevailing American Catholic opinion on the matter?
Because I live between both cultures, I can assure you that Western European Christians do not have this aspect of the culture wars at the forefront of their religion.
Are homosexuals anti-Christian as a group. No. Indeed, considering the enormous hatred, the venomous attacks placed upon the gays, lesbians and transgender who post regularly here on beliefnet, I think it is a very valid point to make: Which group is attacking whom?
Now it is true that one can be opposed to extending full civil rights and full human status to me in the US and not be a homophobe. Such rejection of American principles is not new among many Christians – we saw it towards Negroes. What is true, however – and, again, I draw upon the discussions here and elsewhere on beliefnet – who is attacking whom?
A provocative question: Why wasn’t 87 million dollars spent promoting the end of no-fault divorce in California? Jesus spoke quite firmly on the subject of divorce, yet even devout American Catholics do next to nothing about that problem. In fact, several politicians who, in the eyes of the Vatican are living in adulterous relationships are supported by a very large number of the Catholics here who rage and rant against secular rights for gays.
I have no interest in changing the position of the Catholic church relative to gay marriage. I do, however, note the words spoken and written (including here) on the subject and compare them to other aspects of Christianity which get very short shrift.



report abuse
 

Klaire

posted September 8, 2010 at 2:39 pm


I’ve made this point before but it’s worth making again. By today’s “standards”, Jesus Christ would be labled a “racist” by the left. Don’t believe me, here’s a quick check list:
Let’s just take the big two, and based on the teachings of Christ, give a ya or nay to where he stood on these issues, always keeping in mind of course that it was the “sin” he despised, NEVER the sinner:
1. Abortion
2. Gay ‘marriage’
Hands down both couldn’t be more against the teachings of Christ, consequently, if Jesus were out and about walking the streets today, weighing in on American Politics, he would without question be labled a racist.



report abuse
 

Panthera

posted September 8, 2010 at 3:17 pm


Klaire,
Jesus never said one word on either topic.
I firmly believe that His acceptance of eunuchs, Romans, tax collectors, kind words on Samaritans and treatment of prostitutes shows He loves all of us.
Yes, much of the knee-jerk opposition to Obama on your side of the political spectrum is purely racist.
Much of it is anti-Islamic, although Obama is a Christian.
Your (I only mean Klaire here) own objections are neither racist nor founded in hatred.
I think it is very important for American Christians to reflect, seriously, prayerfully on the ever increasing number of ‘enemies’ of the ‘faith’ against whom so many feel the need to rave and rant:
Women who chose abortion.
Gays who demand their civil rights.
Democrats.
And, now, Islam.
All of which protests all too frequently carry an undertone of persecution and paranoia. Seriously, no single Christian has been physically attacked or killed by anyone standing up for our civil rights. How many gays, lesbians and transgender were raped, beaten and murdered in the name of the god of hatred over the last years in the US?



report abuse
 

RomCath

posted September 8, 2010 at 3:54 pm


Panthera, you should write for a soap opera with all your drama. Since when does intolerance for abortion, homosexual marriage etc etc equal hate? The inolerance is aimed at the obstinate nature of people who refuse to see the evil in these things. The hatred is not directed at the individuals as much as you would like to say it is. The intolerance is for people who call themselves Christian while ignoring the basic tenets of Christianity.
The fact that Jesus said nothing about homosexual marriage and abortion and therefore it is morally ok is just absurd. For any Christian to support the right ight to choose while worshipping a God who took on human nature and flesh is absurd. Jesus said nothing about a lot of moral evils which does not mean they are morally neutral–did he say anything about rape?
The race card card being played by the left is pathetic. The president was elected because a majority voted for him not just African Americans. Now a year and a half later I hope they are happy on the unemployment line.
While you may agree with Card. McCarrick on his comments on the Koran as I do I wonder if you agree with him on homosexual marriage?



report abuse
 

BobRN

posted September 8, 2010 at 4:07 pm


Panthera,
I don’t see a great deal of intolerance or hatred directed toward Islam and Muslims by many Americans, never mind enough to describe such as a prevailing attitude. Perhaps I’m out of the loop, but I’ve not heard of many mosque burnings, Imam murders or people losing their jobs because of their being Muslim. Nevertheless, I think we both share the concern that we as Christians not fall to that temptation. There has been much effort to identify those who are opposed to the building of the mosque near Ground Zero as religious bigots opposed to the First Amendment rights of Muslims. No doubt, some are motivated by bigotry. The great majority, however, are obviously motivated by the sensitivity of the sight and have legitimate questions about the motives of those who want to build the mosque there. Those concerns are not being addressed seriously. The opponents are simply being dismissed as bigots.
I can’t speak for Europe, but as one who sits in the pews every Sunday, let me assure you that Catholics in America don’t have opposition to gay “marriage” at the forefront of our religion, either. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I can count on no hands the number of homilies I’ve heard that have addressed the issue, and would need only one hand to count those that addressed homosexuality in any context. The Catholic Church’s position on homosexuality and gay “marriage” may be an obsession for the MSM, but it just doesn’t come up much in the vestibule. That it comes up on ballots and in the courts is because homosexual activists are campaigning for it. No one should be surprised that those who oppose it are just as active. This is America. Everyone has a right to participate in the political process. Even Christians. Even (gasp!) conservative Christians. Would you deny them that?
Full civil rights and full human status are not the issue. There are a number of groups of peoples the state refuses to recognize as being able to enter into a civil marriage. That a brother and sister cannot marry each other doesn’t impinge on their humanity. Not fifteen years ago, the right to marry wasn’t an issue for most homosexuals. All of a sudden it’s the issue that defines your humanity? Am I supposed to believe that homosexuals today suffer a comparable fate as Blacks in America did for over 400 years of slavery and another century of institutionalized discrimination, not to mention continued, persistent social discrimination, because most Americans cannot fathom re-defining the idea of marriage that has prevailed for several millennia to one that counters their religious sensibilities? Please.
Perhaps $87 million wasn’t spent on promoting the end of no-fault divorce because the issue wasn’t on the ballot. I don’t know of which Catholic politicians you speak who are in adulterous relationships and supported by large numbers of Catholics. I guess I don’t follow their personal lives too closely. You’ll have to help me with that one.
As for the “enormous hatred” and “venomous attacks” on gays posting on beliefnet, I’m not able to speak much to that, either. Deacon’s Bench is the only blog I read on beliefnet. I’m sorry that you’ve experienced that. Such behavior is surely un-Christian. As for the comments you’ve received on this blog, many are from those who disagree with you, sometimes strongly. Based on what I’ve read, you’re able to take care of yourself and give as much as you take. Most of the negative comments directed against you, frankly, speak more of annoyance and aggravation than hatred and venom. Respectfully, it seems to me that you too often equate disagreement with you with hatred of you.
Maybe other other aspects of Christianity get short shrift, at least from your perspective, because this is the issue you bring up more than others and comment on more than others. Given you personal investment in the issue, I can understand that. I, for one, would be very happy to discuss other aspects of Christianity. I recall, for instance, a pretty respectful dialogue between the two of us on the matter of the Church being necessary for salvation. So, it is possible.



report abuse
 

Klaire

posted September 8, 2010 at 5:29 pm


Panthera, your quote:
I firmly believe that His acceptance of eunuchs, Romans, tax collectors, kind words on Samaritans and treatment of prostitutes shows He loves all of us.
end quote_______
There isn’t any debate among any of us Panthera that Jeusus “loves all of us”, regardless of our sins, however that has absolutely nothing do with Jesus ‘embracing’ our sins.
As other posters rightly point out, it’s more about understanding the basic teachings of Christ than it is “Jesus on specific issues.”
Panthera you know I like and respect you, despite often being in disagreement with many of your interpretations of “Christianity.” That said, when you make a statement like “Jesus accepting eunichs”, I have to really question how much, at least to any depth, you have studied that teaching, at least objectively?
For the sake of keeping it simple and NOT getting back into the gay marriage debate, allow me to share with you a understaning of eunichs, based on the teachings of JPII. Even if you don’t agree with it, I hope you will at least respect the fact that it’s a Catholic teaching, as we don’t “interpret” our own scripture, at least to the extent it is incompatible with the other teachings of the faith, e.g., the Cathechism, the Magesterium, and Sacred Tradition.
The realtiy is Jesus DID indeed except eunichs, but I ask you to please at least respectfully consider, based on Catholic teaching, what eunichs really represent. Here’s the link to what I think is an excellent article on the subject:
http://www.christopherwest.com/article8.asp



report abuse
 

romancrusader

posted September 8, 2010 at 6:44 pm


“Jesus never said one word on either topic.”
Typical of leftists to make this rediculous claim that has no foundation. Silly people.
“Yes, much of the knee-jerk opposition to Obama on your side of the political spectrum is purely racist”
Panthera, your statement right there is an attempt to stop the discussion in it’s tracks, it’s the only ammo you have left.
“I think it is very important for American Christians to reflect, seriously, prayerfully on the ever increasing number of ‘enemies’ of the ‘faith’ against whom so many feel the need to rave and rant:
Women who chose abortion.
Gays who demand their civil rights.
Democrats.
And, now, Islam”
You have a very warped understanding of human rights I’m sorry so say.



report abuse
 

Panthera

posted September 8, 2010 at 7:20 pm


Klaire, BobRN, much as I wish to continue the discussion, this is about the point the usual suspects go crying to our poor host so we’ll just have to agree to disagree here.
Thanks for the link, Klaire. someday, we’ll get to discuss it.
BobRN, very briefly, let’s look at marriage over the last thousands of years.
I rather like the Greek and pre-dictatorship Roman approach, but am quite sure you didn’t really mean it. They permitted my marriage.
Advancing to about 1500 years ago or so, well, my ancestors married, nobles and landed gentry were required to. Everybody else had to just shack up, with, maybe, a passing priest blessing the union. Or not. Commoners had no right to marriage. Oh, and yes, my marriage was still recognized in much of Europe.
One thousand years ago to about 800…well, this is a Catholic blog with many here who really have no clue about Church history, so we’ll just leave that era as an exercise for the student at home. Don’t blame me if marriage in the late-early middle ages isn’t quite what you think it is.
Hmm, Elinore of Aquatane certainly had some choice words on being sold, not even with a slave’s rights. She did note, however, that Henry was better than the food. We’ll skip on further…but do note, please, that marriage was still arranged to meet family and regional needs, seldom love or romance. Women were still sub-human and property. Literally. BobRN, not too many women, even American Catholics, are going to be too crazy about ‘that’ aspect of ‘unchanging’ marriage. Oh, and, yup, priests were now willing to marry anybody. For a price. Negotiable on a sliding scale, so to speak.
Let’s fast forward…mid 19th century, nope, women still property.
Early 20th century…a married woman was disenfranchised, no longer a full citizen (legally), couldn’t own property or sign contracts without her husband’s or father’s or eldest living male relative’s signature. Oh, and a man could force his wife to have sex and could beat her well into the 1970’s.
Now, of course, I have skipped over many, many details but said nothing which is not absolutely historically correct. So, Bob, what do you mean by ‘unchanged’?
Which era do you wish to return to for the unchanged definition?



report abuse
 

Panthera

posted September 8, 2010 at 7:23 pm


romancrusader,
Goodness! Just how do you define civil rights? Obviously not as per the US Constitution or any of the Geneva Conventions.



report abuse
 

RomCath

posted September 9, 2010 at 7:29 am


The soap opera drama continues. Goodness! LOL



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

This blog is no longer active
This blog is no longer being actively updated. Please feel free to browse the archives or: Read our most popular inspiration blog See our most popular inspirational video Take our most popular quiz

posted 10:42:40pm Dec. 12, 2010 | read full post »

One day more
A reminder: "The Deacon's Bench" is closed! Please enjoy the archives!

posted 11:26:20pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Meet Montana's married priest
Earlier this week, I posted an item about Montana getting its first married priest. Now a local TV station has hopped on the bandwagon. Take a look, below.

posted 10:29:55pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons
Deacon Mike Talbot has the scoop: 10 men today were ordained as Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. This group of men was formally selected on the day the evacuation of New Orleans began as Hurricane Katrina approached. The immediate aftermath of the storm for this class would be

posted 6:55:42pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Gaudete! And let's break out a carol or two...
"Gesu Bambino," anyone? This is one of my favorites, and nobody does it better than these gals: Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Staade. Enjoy.

posted 1:04:10pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.