The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


“It gets better” … by making Catholics seem worse

posted by jmcgee

Well, this left me speechless.

Openly gay Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson has decided that the best way to attract people to his cause is by tearing down others.

Here, as part of the “It Gets Better” project (designed to help young people cope with their homosexuality), he goes after Southern Baptists, Mormons and the Catholic Church — and more or less decides that not only are they all “flat out wrong,” but that he alone “as a religious person” knows the mind of God. (Funny, on his laundry list of “wrong” religions, he doesn’t mention Islam, or the Muslim countries that retain capital punishment for homosexuality.)

As a friend pointed out: “Remember the stink when Benedict began the Anglican ordinariate, how he was ‘trolling’ for members? THIS is what trolling looks like.”

It’s not pretty. Robinson is entitled to his opinion, and his own moral theology.  We can respectfully disagree about his conclusions.  But I can’t respect the way he has gone about brazenly dismissing (and, in fact, misrepresenting) the moral teachings of others. 

This sort of proselytizing is both uncharitable and offensive.

UPDATE:  For a Catholic response to the tragedy of gay bullying and suicide, check out Fr. Jim Martin’s excellent post and prayer.

UPDATE II: My brother deacon, Scott Dodge, has some sage thoughts on the Robinson video. And Scott has also reminded us of how Pope Benedict addressed a question about young people and homosexuality during his recent visit to Malta. It’s worth re-reading.


Related:
Homophobia in the Church? Really?



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RomCath

posted October 16, 2010 at 3:47 pm


Wow, where do you start with such nonsense. I guess he is not into ecumenism.
God loves you the way you are! Of course God does, God is love. But to say that we don’t need to change is to fly in the face of the message Jesus proclaimed–Repent and believe in teh Good News!
For a man of the cloth to attack other Christian religions’ beliefs is incredible.



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TW

posted October 16, 2010 at 4:13 pm


Only you, Deacon Kandra, can time and time again twist heartwarming stories and people doing the right thing into something dirty.
It’s refreshing to see a man in a collar deliver a hopeful, healing message to LGBT kids for a change. That’s all it is. He’s not an authority in the Islamic world, so what Muslim kid would take him seriously?
There are thousands of these messages by people in all walks of life; Bishop Robinson’s video was just one of many until you pointed it out. If he’s proselytizing, then you’re helping his cause by giving him free publicity, not hurting it.
I’m sorry the Catholic Church is so competitive and desperate for members that it’s concerned about the Episcopalians trolling for them, but maybe if the Church managed to lead the rest of the world in compassion instead of bringing up the rear, it would have a larger flock.
[TW…Yes, it’s refreshing to see a man of the collar giving a message of hope to people in despair. I would not have objected to the Bishop’s video if he had not directly attacked other religions, including my own, in an effort to advance his own agenda. It was gratuitous and petty. I’m sorry that Robinson is “so competitive and desperate for followers” that he feels the need to denigrate others in such a public way to make his point. Dcn. G.]



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Panthera

posted October 16, 2010 at 4:27 pm


How did Gerard describe it a few threads back? Oh, yes, the sequelae of being physically attacked continue to echo, often forever, in our reactions towards those whom we associate with our attackers. Correct me if that is not right, please Gerard.
Bishop Robinson has been shot at, physically accosted, egregious lawsuits have been filed against him. He receives death threats which the authorities take seriously, and that, regularly. Members of the three main-line denominations he mentioned have made comments about and towards him in public which were not charitable.
I, too, have been physically attacked, my husband nearly murdered in defending me with his own body.
I believe, when one has suffered such attacks, especially when the attackers emphasize their Christian authority to do so – as both Bishop Robinson as well as my husband and I experienced, then one does tend to view any discourse with those Christian denominations which oppose anti-bullying laws in the US through a certain degree of prejudgment.
The Catholic church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the leadership of the Mormons all have directly and publicly voiced their opposition to ENDA before congress. The opposition by most (not all Catholic Bishops) to The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, together with the vehement opposition by both the Mormons and the Southern Baptists is a matter of public record.
Children are being tortured and beaten and murdered and driven to suicide.
I understand very well what is meant by “intrinsically disordered” (though the term is most frequently applied on this blog in anything but Christian charity). To a child, terrified, physically threatened, being told by those responsible for his or her well-being that they are intrinsically disordered is not going to be taken in as one of those disagreements which, for some, weigh more heavily than their favorite political candidates serving their wives with divorce papers on their death bed of cancer…those children will understand the term in the context of the emotional meaning in which it is delivered: You are worthless, God made junk when He made you, die.



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Panthera

posted October 16, 2010 at 4:35 pm


TW,
I think that is unfair. Deacon Kandra has permitted me, a staunch advocate of full human and civil rghts for gays, lesbians and the transgender to participate in his blog for quite some time now.
He has also, on several occasions, voiced his objections towards violence done to our community.
It is well worth noting that back when a very large number of Catholics were defending torture (it’s only against Muslims, after all), Deacon Kandra took a firm public stand against this – a stand which did not please quite a few ‘Christians’.
So, please, at least hear him out. Yes, I, too feel his reaction is overdrawn. He is our adversary but not our enemy. That is a very significant distinction in the culture wars. It is the difference between Christians working together and the hateful, spiteful fights which all too often characterize our discourse.
Bishop Robinson is a Christian, speaking to Christians. I imagine he feels no authority to address members of other religions.
[Thanks, Pan. I appreciate that! DGK]



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Panthera

posted October 16, 2010 at 4:43 pm


It is the truth, Deacon Kandra.
I should have added a warning to that URL I posted – Joel Burns has pictures of the children who died and how their parents found them in that very powerful clip. It’s a far more painful thing than I usually reference here.



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Dcn Scott

posted October 16, 2010 at 4:46 pm


The upshot of Catholic teaching with regards to human sexuality is not “God made junk when He made you, die.” It seems to me that in our current cultural moment there are few things about which we are more confused than about human sexuality. For one thing it is over-emphasized by all parties. To reduce faith to one issue, be it sex, immigration, abortion, whatever, is to make a huge mistake.
We have to be careful not to allow people to define themselves exclusively by their sexual orinetation, by whom they prefer to have sex with and how they prefer to have sex. It seems to me that the two groups we run the risk of reducing their humanity to their sexuality are homosexual young people, especially young men, and young women. Indeed, there is something ideological if not downright cynical about such efforts, which are often subtle and take on the moralism of social justice.
To the young person who is perceives s/he is different and who feels threatened and terrified we offer them our protection, our support, our love, our active care. To offer less is to fail to be a Christian. As Deacon Greg said, we can respectfully disagree about human sexuality, how it fits in to our overall understanding of the human person, especially our transcendent dimension, and how we deal pastorally people in certain situations, but to mischaracterize and make false accusations has no place in Christian fellowship, especially among Christians who disagree.
Let’s not forget what is most fundamental to Christian faith: “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8). This cuts across all humanity and applies as much to heterosexual persons as it does to homosexual persons. Hey, we’re all in this together.



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Dcn Scott

posted October 16, 2010 at 4:57 pm


I would add that in our present cultural moment our confusion about the nature and purpose of human sexuality is certainly not limited to a particular group. To wit: heterosexual people, including married couples, are just as confused as everyone else. In this light, I appreciate that Catholic teaching on sexuality invites us to consider our sexuality in the context of the totality of our personhood, especially in light of end for each one of is made. Too often our conception of even our own sexuality is mundane, earth-bound, lacking a transcendent dimension.



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RomCath

posted October 16, 2010 at 5:32 pm


I highly doubt the Bishop will gain members through this message. God knows the Episcopal Church needs them-our local Episcopal parish has 45 members.The God loves us the way we are bit sounds a lot like the old Billy Joel song. God loves in spite of the way we are, sins and all. That does not mean God does not want us to change. Perhaps the good Bishop could reread the Gospels rather than saying his Christian brothers and sisters are “flat wrong”.



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Jayem

posted October 16, 2010 at 6:35 pm


Guess what? Bishop Robinson is right. I am Jewish, and seeing someone as bigoted and hateful as Rabbi Yehuda Levin in action in the recent incident with Carl Paladino, only gives evidence that the rabbi is just another religious whack job waxing pious with the dogma and drumbeat of dehumanization that LGBT individuals have historically had to endure from the Catholic Church, Southern Baptists, Mormons, and other fundamentalist factions of organized religion. Cloaking dehumanization as moral teaching without examining the damage such “moral teaching” has done to the psyches of people wrestling with coming out is a blindspot they will never acknowledge, deacon…you didn’t. Bishop Robinson offered a message of hope without doctrinal judgmentality and that, oh my gosh, is so “brazenly dismissive” of “the moral teachings of others.” I respect the humanity of his candor more than the chilliness of yours.
[Jayem…If the good bishop had only offered “a message of hope without doctrinal judgmentality,” I would have found his speech and his intent laudable. But he used this, instead, as an opportunity to slam other religions — and to call them “flat out wrong.” No doctrinal judgmentality there, no siree, nope, not at all. Dcn. G.]



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Elle

posted October 16, 2010 at 6:48 pm


What’s offensive is those who attempt to hold God’s love and grace hostage and speak in God’s name to perpetuate hate. I’m disappointed that you would speak so poorly of someone who is trying to spread God’s love to others whom so many Christians so openly disregard, marginalize, and hate (even to the points of torture or death). I respect that you may not agree with the church he represents or his wording (I would have chosen some different words), but I cannot respect those who try to hurt +Gene’s message of God’s love for all.



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RomCath

posted October 16, 2010 at 7:21 pm


Since when is Bishop Robinson the arbiter of who is and who isn’t “flat out wrong”. I will leave that to Jesus Christ and the teaching of the Church Jesus founded not some break off communion that is in total disarray itself.



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kenneth

posted October 16, 2010 at 7:41 pm


Some things in every religion deserve to be attacked and disparaged, and Catholicism is no exception It is pointless to “speak out against hate” in a generic no-fault sort of way. Hatred and persecution of groups of people do not arise out of a vacuum. They come from ideologies and philosophies which give them justification and underpinning.
Catholic apologists will swear up and down that their church doesn’t hate gay people by pointing to the flowery language and fine distinctions found in theological volumes. But that doesn’t count for much at the day to day street level of human beings when the Church’s actions in the world move, look and smell like hate. The almost daily drumbeat from the Vatican or various bishops about how gay people are “disordered.” The aggressive funding of campaigns to deny partnership rights, not merely in Catholic marriage but in any aspect of civil law. The children of gay couples being thrown out of parish schools.
Whether or not you mean to do so, gay people in this country experience the Catholic Church as part of the forces of darkness trying to deny their humanity and right to live as who they are. If Robinson’s words feel “uncharitable,” try to put yourself in the shoes of a gay person in this country experiencing the Catholic Church. At least his words aren’t likely to cause any Catholic kids to kill themselves out of shame for who they are.



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L2P2

posted October 16, 2010 at 8:12 pm


I’m a Roman Catholic by birth, confirmation and schooling; spent about 10 years in the Episcopal Church in the diocese of Bishop Spong (supporter of Robinson). About five years ago, returned to the Roman church over social justice, i.e., poverty, issues.
Love your blog generally, Deacon Greg, but disagree with you here. I think Bishop Robinson speaks from the heart, and I think he offers a legitimate critique of the Catholic hierarchy that is not merely about “trolling” for converts.
I would refer you, should you be looking for commentary on homosexuality from a religious conservative perspective to the recent statement of U.S. Orthodox Jewish rabbis on homosexuality. It was both loving and honest about right practice.
I wish the U.S. bishops could have come up with something similarly smart but they don’t seem sufficiently endowed in the intelligence department.



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al sowins

posted October 16, 2010 at 8:15 pm


In the NT it is clearly stated that those who act out homosexually are hellbound. It is Christian to persuade them not to do so. It is diabolic to encourage or condone or even tolerate such conduct.
We must obey Jesus Christ to be saved, Heb.5.9; Mt.7.21, et sim. WE must follow the teachings of His apostles as we do His, Lk.10.16;Mt.10.40. Passages such as ICor.6.9-10 prohibit homosexual conduct on pain of damnation.
How can the Robinsons of this world really love those they encourage to sin and be damned?



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Mareczku

posted October 16, 2010 at 8:30 pm


Have any Catholic priests and bishops taken part in the “It
gets better project”? I think this would be of great benefit to our young gay people. Everyone knows that a lot of priests and even bishops are gay. It would be good if they could support young people and be positive role models. To me this would be courageous. I am waiting to hear from US bishops speaking out against bullying of our young people and the tragic suicides that have resulted.



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pagansister

posted October 16, 2010 at 9:06 pm


Am glad to see the Bishop support and encourage those children who have had to face insults, injury and some death from those who think that just because they happen to be homosexual they are not acceptable to straight Christians and their interpretation of the Bible etc. He didn’t,however, have to put down another group to do so, no matter what he thinks. The gay and lesbian teens need all the support they can get, as they, like other teens, find life hard enough just being teenagers.



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romancrusader

posted October 16, 2010 at 9:10 pm


Violence towards gays, lesbians etc. is NOT CHRISTIAN! I think, we can agree on that. And the Church has always condemned this type of behavior. Matter of fact, it condemns all forms of violence. What Gene Robinson said was totally out of line and his comments about my Catholic faith were not warranted. Nevermind the fact that he left left his wife – and mother of his two daughters – to cohabit with his male lover, Mark, made his inflammatory remarks during an address titled, “Homosexuality and the Body of Christ: Is There a New Way?” at Christ Church of Hamilton and Wenham, Massachusetts.
But I could say this and be called a hate-filled homophobic bigot. Sometimes I just wonder how many recognize just how evil, satanic such an assertion is? God a homosexual? Very, very evil.
Question: Why was a guy who ditched his wife and kids to go live with his lover made a bishop in the first place?
Here’s a hint to you race baiters out there. The Catholic Church’s teachings on same-sex unions will not change.



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Eka

posted October 16, 2010 at 9:13 pm


I object to Bishop Robinson’s distortion of Catholic teaching…that the individuals themselves are “disordered” or sinful, rather than the acts themselves. Some of you may quibble over that, but I think it is a HUGE distinction. (Btw, the church also says that contraception is “objectively disordered too). Now that may not sound very nice, but it simply means that all species are “ordered” or designed to reproduce…anything that goes against that is against it’s “order” or plan. It says NOTHING of the intrinsic value or worthiness of the person. Robinson implies that the RCC believes that homosexual individuals are not loved by God…that is a disgraceful distortion of Catholic teaching.
I quoted this several weeks ago, but let me do it again…
Pope Benedict in Malta responding to a young man who asked the pope about how people on the margins of society for various reasons (he specifically mentions homosexual Catholics) can follow and serve in the church.
Benedict16:
“Maybe some of you will say to me, Saint Paul is often severe in his writings. How can I say that he was spreading a message of love? My answer is this. God loves every one of us with a depth and intensity that we can hardly begin to imagine. And he knows us intimately, he knows all our strengths and all our faults. Because he loves us so much, he wants to purify us of our faults and build up our virtues so that we can have life in abundance. When he challenges us because something in our lives is displeasing to him, he is not rejecting us, but he is asking us to change and become more perfect. That is what he asked of Saint Paul on the road to Damascus. God rejects no one. And the Church rejects no one. Yet in his great love, God challenges all of us to change and to become more perfect.”
Now he was not talking about changing one’s sexuality, but rather changing one’s behavior. This will not satisfy many I am sure…but it totally contradicts Bishop Robinson’s assertion.



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Mareczku

posted October 16, 2010 at 9:26 pm


I don’t think that Bishop Robinson should have mentioned the Catholic Church here. I think most Catholics accept gay people and support equal rights for them. I think most Catholics think that gay people are equal in their dignity and humanity to other people. Sadly, a minority of Catholics do think that gay people are disordered and that gay people have less value or worth than other people. Some see homosexuality as a sin and gay people as defective. I think as people become more educated the number of people who feel like this is going down.



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pagansister

posted October 16, 2010 at 10:27 pm


“Some see homosexuality as a sin and gay people as defective. I think as people become more educated the number of people who feel like this is going down.” Mareczku
I certainly hope you are correct, Mareczke



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Dana MacKenzie

posted October 16, 2010 at 11:39 pm


” I’m disappointed that you would speak so poorly of someone who is trying to spread God’s love to others whom so many Christians so openly disregard…”
I’m confused. How is Robinson “spreading God’s love” by inciting hate? And I think some people are confused about what “love” is. It’s not just saying, “everything you do is perfect, all the time” Ask any parent. Part of loving is correcting. If you do not define boundaries you are not loving, you’re enabling. And usually what a parent like that enables is nothing good.
But I see you people have put aside thinking for feeling, and reason for “being nice.” All that “feeling” is destroying our government, and our society. And it has put you out of the habit of reasoning.
What a shame.
The schism, when it comes, will have lots of Catholics running to an American Catholic church that gives them everything they “want” and little that they need. It will be, in the end, as effective as the Church of England, which no one listens to, anymore, because it has little to say that doesn’t echo the sentiments of the left. It’s leftist politics with smells and bells. And you’re welcome to it.



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mom2boys

posted October 17, 2010 at 12:47 am


While I agree with what you have said Deacon,as a Catholic,I also would like to say God does love all of us, so the bishop is correct in that. However, God does not condone sin and homosexuality is a sin if you act on that sin. While many who are gay and some non-gays might believe homosexuality is the way God made them, nobody truly knows, only God knows. Scientists have been unable to confirm this, but so far it seems to be a lifestyle choice or based on upbringing rather than a genetic defect. Therefore, nobody should judge another religions moral teachings because they are questioning God in doing so.[And you are correct, he failed to mention the false teachings of Islam, which condones pedophilia, an act that Mohammed practiced, yet they will stone/murder homosexuals in Islamic countries.]



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Leo Carton Mollica

posted October 17, 2010 at 1:40 am


Yes, the Catholic Church teaches that homosexuals are objectively disordered from birth. Thing is, it also says that about heterosexuals. It’s called original sin, and it’s a Hell (I use that word carefully) of a lot worse than anything homosexual inclinations promise. So if you object to having the Church just classifying your sexual urges as fundamentally disordered, you’re in for a nasty shock.
“God loves you just the way you are, and He doesn’t want you to change. He doesn’t want you to be cured or healed, because there’s nothing to be healed from.”
Really? Brilliant! I guess that whole repentance thing is just outmoded, then? Does the same go for sin? Because that would be really useful to know.



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Panthera

posted October 17, 2010 at 5:28 am


13 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them,
14 but Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19: 13-14
Well, that certainly shows which side of the debate Jesus came down on, now doesn’t it? “Do not prevent them” is not qualified.
May I respectfully remind everyone that the deaths continued this week?
The beatings continued this week as well.



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ProfJohn

posted October 17, 2010 at 9:18 am


Gene Robinson is deliberately misrepresenting the beliefs of Catholics and evangelical/fundamentalist Protestants. Catholics and Protestants do not call gays “an abomination.” Scripture teaches that homosexual actions are an abomination, not persons. And as a Catholic, I can assure you that the Church does not view homosexual persons as intrinsically disordered. It does view the homosexual orientation as intrinsically disordered, but this does not make the person himself disordered, any more than having a psych disorder, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, makes the person himself a disordered person.
As for Panthera, the verse you quote so cavalierly does not in any way indicate what side Jesus would come down on in this debate. He is talking about accepting children as a sign of the simplicity and universality of the kingdom of God. His own position on this issue would likely have been that of a pious Jew, which would have regarded homosexual actions as gravely immoral.



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Raymond

posted October 17, 2010 at 9:30 am


Dear Deacon- You puzzle me. Why would you waste your time on this “gay” drunk ? Secondly, what is your purpose in posting results of a study showing Catholics twice as accepting of pre-marital sex as Protestants according to a study by CARA. Who is Cara, and are you really a Roman Catholic Deacon, and if so why ? God bless us all. Raymond



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Panthera

posted October 17, 2010 at 9:48 am


ProfJohn wrote:
As for Panthera, the verse you quote so cavalierly does not in any way indicate what side Jesus would come down on in this debate. He is talking about accepting children as a sign of the simplicity and universality of the kingdom of God. His own position on this issue would likely have been that of a pious Jew, which would have regarded homosexual actions as gravely immoral.
endquote
Cavalierly? I presumed the ‘debate’ was whether we continue to permit children to be tortured, beaten, murdered, raped, bullied, driven to suicide, thrown out of their homes, subject to ridicule and ignored by school officials.
If it was Deacon Kandra’s intention to have this thread be about the conflict among Christians over homosexuality or the expression of homosexual orientation through sex, then that has escaped me. Interestingly enough, it has also escaped several here who otherwise wouldn’t agree with me that today is Sunday, could they avoid doing so.
I was rather under the impression he, together with (sadly not all) Christians, Catholic or no finds these deaths and attacks abominable.
Well, at least you and I have that term in common. You find the children to be abominations, I find their torture and death to be so.
In the future, I’ll trouble you not to attack me for citing the words of our Lord, further, you assume too much authority unto yourself when passing the judgment I cite God’s position on the matter cavalierly.



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Dana MacKenzie

posted October 17, 2010 at 11:22 am


Another girl has killed herself at William and Mary…she wasn’t gay but she’s as dead as any bullied gay kid. Does anyone care?



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HappyinHouston

posted October 17, 2010 at 11:22 am


Rev. Robinson’s editorial was the most honest and accurate article I’ve read in a long time. Several comments were very accurate, such as (and I’m paraphrasing):
1. Religious voices denouncing LGBT people contribute to the atmosphere in which violence against LGBT people and bullying of LGBT youth can flourish
2. What’s the role of more mainline, more progressive denominations such as mainstream Christianity, Judaism, and Islam in these recent tragedies? Mostly silence.
3. Re: Racism: It’s not enough to be tolerant of other races. I benefit from a racist society just by being white. I don’t ever have to use the “n” word, treat any person of color with discourtesy, or even think ill of anyone. But as long as I am not working to dismantle the systemic racism that benefits me, a white man, at the expense of people of color, I am a racist. And my faith calls me to become an anti-racist — pro-active, vocal, and committed.
4. These bullying behaviors would not exist without the undergirding and the patina of respect provided by religious fervor against LGBT people. It’s time for “tolerant” religious people to acknowledge the straight line between the official anti-gay theologies of their denominations and the deaths of these young people. Nothing short of changing our theology of human sexuality will save these young and precious lives.
And one of my own observations – most church members “look the other way” when it comes to uncomfortable topics such as priests’ and pastors’ sexual abuse of children in the church, and sexual orientation. This “silence” equates to acceptance. Rev. Robinson’s analogy to racism applies here: as long as I am not working to dismantle the systemic racism that benefits me, a white man, at the expense of people of color, I am a racist. Similarly, apathy and silence regarding the acceptance of bullying and victimizing of gay people = acceptance of such behavior.
Deacon Kandra, your assessment is entirely accurate of the article – Rev. Robinson is indeed blaming religions for contributing to the bullying and hatred and deaths of gays. You claim that “this sort of proselytizing is both uncharitable and offensive.” Deacon, do you not understand the point of the article? Do you not understand that gay kids are killing themselves because religions tell them that they or their perceived actions are abominations. This is what is offensive and immoral.
I will restate my original comments on this article. I think Rev. Robinson speaks from the heart. The article is extremely relevant. You can quote and misquote the Bible all you want – if religions and its leaders continue to deningrate gay people, they are absolutely contributing to the bullying and deaths of gays. Very well said Rev. Robinson.



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Dana MacKenzie

posted October 17, 2010 at 11:26 am


Deacon Greg, thanks for the link to the Pope’s talk at Malta. Never saw it (not surprising) and it is so much more substantive than Robinson’s lollipop spiel.



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RomCath

posted October 17, 2010 at 11:43 am


“Do you not understand that gay kids are killing themselves because religions tell them that they or their perceived actions are abominations. This is what is offensive and immoral.”
So let me get this straight, kids are killing themselves because religion is telling them that homosexual activity is a sin. So now religions can’t say what is a sin out of fear that someone may harm themself. So let’s just do away with the whole concept of sin and forget the message of the Gospel. OK I get it now.



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Ffaelan Condragh

posted October 17, 2010 at 12:14 pm


Here is a simple question that will no doubt be ridiculed and lambasted. If your behavior, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, or otherwise, makes a group of people feel inferior, aren’t you now a bully.
Children and adults, gay or straight, devout or not, are killing themselves because they are being made to feel inferior or defective. When I was a kid this was called being bullied.
So why not preach the love and tolerance that your lord Jesus Christ taught to his disciples? When did your religion become a political action committee who’s mission was to hate and destroy others who are different?
Just ask yourself these questions.
Who am I responsible for?
What did God mean for me to accomplish in this lifetime?
Did I make someone smile today, or did I hurt someone, with my words?
Am I a bully?
If you can honestly answer these questions and look painfully upon your own actions, you might be worthy to walk a mile in another persons shoes.
Words can hurt, and inaction is just as bad as indifference.



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Panthera

posted October 17, 2010 at 1:30 pm


Ffaelan Condragh, I certainly won’t ridicule you nor attack you.
There is a lot of wisdom in your words.
I am deeply saddened by the tone of many here.
It is one thing to point out how compassionate the Roman Catholic church is towards us homosexuals.
It is quite another thing to actually experience, especially as a child, the day to day face of Christians in America.
There will be many more deaths, I very much fear, before this is over.
Frankly, the suggestion that I would regret the death of a young woman less because of her sexuality is the most uncharitable, un-Christlike comment I have seen on beliefnet in quite some time. This is precisely the face we Christians are showing these children.



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Tom

posted October 17, 2010 at 1:42 pm


I too denounce bullying, but stating what one believes to be true isn’t bullying if one does it in the spirit of love. I wouldn’t deny there have been times when individuals committed suicide because of lack of respect in their prospective religious communities they grew up in, though the recent suicides don’t fall into this category (unless I’m mistaken, in which case someone can correct me). To my knowledge it’s far from substantiated that middle/high school age children are bullied by pears because of “anti-gay” sermons they hear at church. I wouldn’t dream of censoring population control gurus, “climate change” fanatics and environmentalists simply because of echo-terrorism or nutcases holding TV offices hostage. They believe their views to be true, and who am I to say that they aren’t (or that more damage couldn’t occur from their remaining silent than a few isolated incidents which may or may not be traced back to their rhetoric)? This attempted “silencing” of criticism (be it constructive or otherwise) is just as tyrannical and just as belligerent as the alleged bullying that leads to these tragic events. We love people with all sorts of difficulties and shortcomings in life (and yes, it can get better with a humble and contrite heart along with a willingness to overcome). We love them too much to be silenced by the self-appointed tolerance police into tacitly approving a harmful lifestyle which can ultimately lead to eternal separation from the source of all love.
…and unlike Deacon Greg, I wasn’t even remotely surprised by Bishop Robinson’s speech. For all I know, it could’ve sprung from his most heartfelt convictions however wrong I may believe them to be. This is the free marketplace of ideas, fellas. If somebody out there has some evidence or documentation that these recent “gay” suicides are the result of preaching from the pulpit against homosexuality, then I’d certainly like to see it. Otherwise I’ll be inclined to interpret it as wild speculation (very irresponsible, and purely reactionary stemming from pre-conceived notions and the likes of urban legend).
CAPTCHA: hypocrisy lenour



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Panthera

posted October 17, 2010 at 2:01 pm


Tom,
What evidence will you accept? The last time a conservative Christian demanded such, and I provided it, they rejected the clear truth because it was not from a source they regarded as proper, i.e.: Fox.
So tell me whose word is OK for you and I’ll, sadly, be able to show you that several of the bullying and suicide incidents were, indeed, tied to the child being misused because of their perceived homosexuality.
Pending this, Tom, take a look at your side of this debate, please. Are you spending hundreds of millions of dollars on citizen initiatives to ban no-fault divorce? Are you withdrawing support from conservative political candidates who serve their wives divorce papers on their death beds, dying horribly of cancer? Are you saying “no” to requests for support from conservative political candidates who abandon their wives who have held things together on the home front for them despite disfiguring and horribly challenging physical injuries, to have affairs and then marry attractive blonds?
No, of course you aren’t doing any of those things. You have made homosexuality the focus of your financial and public relations campaigns. Do you personally wield the baseball bat being shoved into the rectum of that young man? No. Did you create the atmosphere which made such a horrible crime commonplace? Yes. Through your exclusive focus. Show me the hundreds of millions spent on public campaigns against divorce. Show me the hundreds of millions spent on campaigns against torture…oh, right, you can’t.
Please, a list of sources you’ll accept. Will Catholic blogs do as well?



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Tom

posted October 17, 2010 at 2:39 pm


Any sources, Panth, with the stipulations I previously listed (showing that recent “gay” suicides were somehow related to sermons, Church stances, etc. against homosexuality).
Regarding adulterous politicians (conservative or liberal) I imagine many go undetected, at least for a while. No, I’ve never knowingly given money to such a man of ill repute.
Regarding no-fault divorce, it doesn’t seem to be indicative of a sacramental marriage (which most probably aren’t anyway). Besides, you’re veering off on many tangents here, Panth. The contention I’m fighting in my post is blatantly obvious, and it has nothing to do with gay “marriage” which I’ve never personally given money to fight off. You have no idea whatsoever of what causes I’m involved in (and my Church still feeds the poor and clothes the naked, to the tune of astronomically many times more money than it spends fighting gay “marriage”).
…and if I’m anti-sodomy, then how could I possibly “create the atmosphere” which made such a horrible crime “commonplace” (and what do you consider “commonplace”?) What a ludicrous statement!
…are we still “torturing” with the administration changing hands in ’08 (ie is there something I’m not aware of that still needs rectifying or “hundreds” of “millions” of dollars?)
The divorce problems may be related to faulty marriage preparation (possibly from growing up in disfunctional families, lack of chastity/premarital sex, contraception, etc) It’s a complex problem, and I’m not sure where the money would be spent in a hypothetical “anti-divorce” campaign. Seeing as how the vast majority of Catholics don’t even get married in the Church now days, they don’t seek out the Church’s advice anyways, and so there’s not much the Church can do (many of these marriages probably wouldn’t be considered valid anyway upon further examination by a marriage tribunal).
Panth, we can clog up these comboxes with a lengthy back & forth concerning all the issues you threw out there. I find it preferable to focus on churchs’ stances on homosexuality, and how it contributes to gay suicides as previous commentors have implied.



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TW

posted October 17, 2010 at 3:07 pm


ProfJohn,
Jesus was by no means a pious Jew. He railed against the purity laws of his culture. Jesus was a radical, and though he didn’t have anything to say about homosexuality, he was quite clear about how his society treated other marginalized groups. Some (like Marcus J. Borg) suspect he would come down on the side of acceptance on this issue. We’ve already chosen to ignore many of the prohibitions in Leviticus (note Deacon Kandra’s clean-shaven face), but some choose to selectively cling to this one. These are new times, and they call for a re-visioning of scripture.
The funny thing is that Jesus went “trolling” for followers by denouncing other groups, like the Pharisees, whom he saw as acting without compassion. This was all well and good until the Catholic Church ended up on the unfavorable side of the denouncement. Bishop Robinson is no Jesus, but I think he’s on the right side on this one. If you have to wear a bulletproof vest while preaching compassion, then you’re walking a bit closer in Jesus’ footsteps than most people care to do.



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Frank

posted October 17, 2010 at 3:09 pm


Unlike Deacon Greg, I didn’t hear the words Catholic or Protestant in anything that Gene Robinson said.
As someone who spent the worst five years of his life as a devout Catholic in a Catholic educational institution being called f@ggot every day by students and teachers reading the worst religious pornography of anti-homosexual hatred (Chrysostom), I don’t see anything in what Gene Robinson says as resembling the typical Catholic or the typical Christian. The words, especially, don’t echo Catholic writings on the subject but some prooftexted drivel that’s not even identifiable to a particular protestant sect.
I certainly don’t see them as pertaining to Deacon Greg Kandra.
However, I have heard Christian scripture twisted and used every bit as hatefully as what Gene Robinson describes. So have many of the rest of you. From Fred Phelps rejoicing over the damnation of a young gay man to Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson blaming the 9/11 attacks and Katrina on gays and lesbians, there’s plenty of examples.
Gene Robinson has nothing to apologize for. As for calling him a gay drunk, I’d imagine he could fairly characterize St Paul as a slavery, loving, idolatrous, gay-hating serial killer and as why he should be expected to live under the curses pronounced by such a reprobate.



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RomCath

posted October 17, 2010 at 3:50 pm


“These are new times, and they call for a re-visioning of scripture.”
If the meaning of the scriptures changes with the times, let’s just get rid of them completely.



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Panthera

posted October 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm


Tom,
I think this is one of the problems between us, as Christians.
You see, neither the Mormons nor the Southern Baptist Convention nor the Roman Catholic church condone divorce. Like the rest of us Christians, they happily cite Jesus’ words on the matter.
Fine, you say – what is the point of my mentioning that? Very well, here is the point, Tom. Your side of our Christian house spent several hundred million dollars on preventing gay marriage, on defeating the Hate Crimes Bill (it passed), against ENDA, against ending DADT, on preventing any level of anti-bullying legislation on the federal level, at all. I don’t need to prove any of the above, it is all a matter of public record and many of your organizations are proud to point to how much money you spent.
This level of opposition clearly signals that your side of our Christian house considers homosexual rights – even the right not to be bullied – something to be fought against.
Fine and good, that is your right and certainly the Bible can be so interpreted, the Catechism can also be read to emphasize some aspects and downplay others (B16 made that observation recently in another context).
Just, you are not spending anywhere near those sums on fighting no-fault divorce. And, yes, it is relevant that your side of our Christian house very loudly supports several candidates for office who did just the things I mentioned, as well as supporting current candidates quite vocally whose lifestyles include mistress, wife and kids by whomever.
That, too, sends a message – and the message is very clearly that your priorities are fighting rights of any sort for homosexuals, including non-sexually active homosexuals (who, by Church teaching are on the same basis as you are).
I’m raising very valid points here. Please don’t try to obscure the matter by saying “ah, but I don’t give millions or I don’t vote for candidate X or Y”. I, for instance, tithe 10% pre-tax every year through a Catholic order because they have open books and the money goes completely to aiding widows, orphans, the elderly. You would never, ever, however, not even for one nanosecond set aside my gay marriage in dealing with me for that, though, would you?
It’s the same for both of us – we, as Christians, are very much responsible for the actions of both sides of our house.
I’ll put together a list of public stances taken which clearly showed children that their immutable sexual orientation was considered grounds to devalue them and post it for you soon. Thank you for not limiting me to NOM or FOX.



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RomCath

posted October 17, 2010 at 4:40 pm


Tom, sadly you are basically wasting your time on this. Some will never change or get off the soap box (or soap opera) of how much they tithe, take care of their parents etc. etc. while living in a same sex realtionship as though the good outweighs the bad.
The old “supporting divorced candidates” is another mantra too. Funny with all the fawning about Bishop Robinson’s supporting his campassionate diatribe, no one has mentioned that he too was married, had children and then divorced! You know the rest of the story which caused further fractures within his church.



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Panthera

posted October 17, 2010 at 4:52 pm


RomCath, I have never, not once, spoken of my oh-so-Christian siblings’ failures to care for our parents as a sign that my gay marriage is superior to them or that our coming to your country, sacrificing our civil and human rights to care for them made us better Christians. You said that, I didn’t.
It is, as you constantly point out – even when the matter is not under discussion (as in now, for instance) our duty. It is also love – letting me escape Dixie to return to the sanity of my home was a great gift to me as a child. I suppose the several fights I got into my very first week in school played a part, too – thank goodness even back then I was built like a brick outhouse and what the local yokels mistook for a “pansy” accent didn’t stop me from being able to defend myself.
Yup, I really can and do relate to these poor kids who are bullied – regardless of the grounds for the bullying.
Why don’t you just give your hatred for me a rest for a change? The adults here are having a serious conversation and your nasty swipes and catcalls serve no purpose, other than to demonstrate how blind some Christians really are to how their attitude makes such violence towards children possible.
Hmm, I take it back. Continue on, as before. You’re the best example I could hope to find.



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RomCath

posted October 17, 2010 at 5:16 pm


“Why don’t you just give your hatred for me a rest for a change? The adults here are having a serious conversation and your nasty swipes and catcalls serve no purpose”
First, I have no hatred toward as a person you but I do find your victimhood and your fixation on things sexual tiresome as has been pointed out before by the Deacon. You beat dead horses that are long dead ad infinitum and ad nauseam. Second, if you want to be considered an adult, open your mind up and try to see things the way other people, like Catholics, see them and not through the prism of your sexuality and the deprivation of your so-called rights. Third, there are hundreds of reasons why children are bullied, why do you focus on just one? Children are bullied because of weight, looks etc etc etc. None of it is right. Fourth, I have just as much right on a Catholic blog to state my Catholic beliefs as you have to state your non-Catholic ones. Do you want to deprive me of my rights?



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Tom

posted October 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm


Panth,
As I understand it, the angst about the Hate Crime bill was relative to how it might be used to silence people from speaking out against homosexual activity (one notable example in England where similar legislation was used to silence what most of us in the US take for granted as free speech). It was mostly about protecting free speech rather than denying rights to others (in none of the fifty states is it legal to murder a gay person). If conservative Christians were lobbying to make this legal, then you’d have a more compelling case. If you so choose to believe that [socially] conservative Christians are an angry mob seething to denigrate gays any way they can, then there isn’t a heck of a lot I can say to persuade you otherwise.
Regarding no fault divorce, My parents got divorced some fifteen years ago, the only ones making out like bandits being the lawyers. Though I may be against it per say, the focus is to alleviate another (albeit perhaps lesser) evil, kind of like no fault car insurance (I mean no offense to divorce attorneys; it just happened in this instance). Supposed the Church would be successful in such a campaign; would it be effective in the long run in preventing any moral evil? People would either still get married or continue fornicating.
Panth:
And, yes, it is relevant that your side of our Christian house very loudly supports several candidates for office who did just the things I mentioned, as well as supporting current candidates quite vocally whose lifestyles include mistress, wife and kids by whomever.
I’m not aware of this. What I am aware of is one notable philanderer in the Northeast US (may he rest in peace) who had a successful tenure in a state due to his family name and his advocacy for “social justice” issues. He even enjoyed hearing jokes about the poor lady who tragically drowned as the result of his egregious negligence. He also moved the bulk of his family’s money offshore to avoid paying taxes on it, all the wile preaching on how the rich need to fork over a larger share to help the disenfranchised. Another notable philanderer got elected to a second term as President (He as well was for DADT) after his superfluous frivolity came to light, while many even argued he purger-ed himself before congress and should have been impeached. Both these supported by the “progressive” or “Panthera” wing of the Christian Church, and yet I don’t hold it against them. The reason being is that voting or supporting a particular candidate oftentimes isn’t about them being a pillar of morality or a man with a proven track record of honesty. Sometimes it only boils down to taking the lesser of two evils, which IMO is a valid reason. I can count on one hand the number of politicians I fell in love with that came anything close to a stellar exemplar (we all have skeletons in the closet under close examination).
For the record, Panthera, I commend you for your generosity and philanthropy in dealing with the marginalized. I don’t believe you’re an evil person per say. What I do believe is that you prefer to “monolithize” your enemies (ie socially conservative Christians) hence making it easier to convince yourself of being in the right. I admit to reacting less charitably with you before in other blog comboxes, and for that I am truly sorry. Through it all, I’ve never viewed you as anything less than fully human, endowed with inalienable rights from your creator the same as I (we just happen to disagree on precisely what those rights entail).
Gods blessings,
Tom



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Panthera

posted October 17, 2010 at 5:32 pm


RomCath,
Of course you have the right to express your beliefs.
I seriously doubt that the majority of folks reading this thread would, however, absolve you of animus towards me.
If you really want to see how Catholics who disagree with me approach the issue at hand without being hateful, try reading some of Klaire’s conversations with me. Or Georg’s. Or, the Deacons’ – all of them.
You are so blinded by anger, perhaps you don’t even recognize the tone of your comments. They pretty well sum up exactly what these kids are experiencing.
Should we put a stop to bullying? Yes! Does that change the fact that so many recent deaths were caused by gay bashing? No. It is a very relevant topic for us as Christians because we do not agree and never shall. This means we have to find a modus vivendi.



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Panthera

posted October 17, 2010 at 5:50 pm


Tom,
The first amendment protects the right of Christian churches to preach whatever the wish to and the conservative Christians knew this. Goodness – we have a disgusting case in front of the Supreme Court right now on that very issue and, holding their noses, the whole court is going to back these folks from Kansas up.
In California, San Diego firefighters just won a major court case on the same grounds. I understand your desire to only see good on the part of those Christians who fought against anti-bullying legislation, but we all grew up knowing what the first amendment means.
I appreciate your kind words – I certainly am under constant attack on this blog and so I frequently take the approach of fighting back with what the Church has actually said (frequently in favor of my position) as well as freely accessing media to show that, yes, the earth is round. More or less. I often overshoot, mistaking genuine ignorance for lies.
Tithing is required of us. If I have more money than I need, well, that is not my doing – I was born with a strong back and the ability to work hard, for long hours. It doesn’t hurt that my grandparents left me enough money to do as I like. I don’t do enough.
Are you really sure you have never heard of McCain abandoning his wife who was badly injured in an accident and yet still raised their family while he was in captivity? The fornication and adultery? You know about Ted Kennedy, the jerk. Same for Gingerich – his wife dying of cancer? The divorce papers? His second affair (third?) during the Clinton impeachment when he would commit adultery and fornication then go to the capitol and rail against the Hill and Bill Show’s lack of morality?
Please, take a moment to view the video I posted earlier in this thread. I won’t post the link again. It is an exact description of the reality these children face.
Yes, it is a quandary for you conservative Christians. You want to impose your version of Christianity on the rest of us for our own good. I understand that. Just, an awful lot of kids are dying and they are dying because your side of our Christian house is creating an atmosphere promoting violence. Which is something we all, as Christians are opposed to. Except when Republican presidents need a war to earn money for their friends. Then, 67% of conservative Christians support torture.
I don’t ask the Church to change her position on gay marriage, I wouldn’t bring it up on this thread except to illustrate the enormous blind spot you have in defending the lack of spending on divorce – which Christ forbade us.
I’m off on another flight, so please forgive me if there’s no response for a while. And, please, do view that video.



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RomCath

posted October 17, 2010 at 5:50 pm


“You are so blinded by anger, perhaps you don’t even recognize the tone of your comments.”
Again with the drama. Please stop it.
Again there are hundreds of reasons kids are you bullied? Are you concerned about ALL of them or just one reason?



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Mareczku

posted October 17, 2010 at 6:05 pm


Panthera, thank you for your comments. I am touched by what you are saying here. You advocacy for our bullied children is commendable. Frank, I am stunned to read of how you were harassed in Catholic school. It is horrible that you were called name by the students but for the teachers to take part also was unconscionable. I can only hope that some treated you with respect. It pains me that so many of our young people have been and are being wounded and so many of the leaders of the Church are silent.



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Panthera

posted October 17, 2010 at 6:09 pm


RomCath,
It’s not drama, it’s fact.
You are very quick to take offense, hardly a week goes by that you don’t skim a comment from a person with whom you are in agreement and you flame them to a toast because you were so anxious to pronounce judgment you didn’t stop to think.
Suggesting I don’t care about the children bullied and hurt for reasons other than that under discussion on this thread is an example of just how far your anger has taken you.



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Emily

posted October 17, 2010 at 7:13 pm


It seems that many have a problem with the way the Bishop says that other religions are “flat out wrong.” While I can understand why Catholics take offense to such a statement, I think that Catholics are guilty of making similar statements about other sects of Christianity as well. Just in the comments to Dcn. Kandra’s blog posts, I have been told that what I believe is “deluded” among many other hurtful things. How is that any different from what the Bishop said about Catholicism?
[Emily…it’s one thing for bloggers to be irresponsibly batting around high-falutin’ words like “deluded” when trading insults in the blogosphere. It’s quite another for a high-profile, authoritative member of another Christian denomination to be saying similar things, and to use his religious credentials as a mark of his credibility. Dcn. G.]



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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted October 17, 2010 at 7:56 pm


If saying some act is sinful (to save the person’s soul) is what is causing gay youths to commit suicide–then why aren’t there hordes of young people also committing suicide because the Church says that fornication is a sin??? Why not hordes of adult adulterers committing suicide??? Why not legions of robbers and thieves committing suicide????
There is clearly some other dynamic at work in gay suicides–Maybe they committed suicide because the pro-gay activists have brainwashed them to believe they cannot ever change. That they might as well not repent of sinful homosexual acts (even if they come to believe they are wrong) because they are doomed to the homosexual life, trapped without hope in a homosexual body. That how one has sexually behaved was not a choice that can be repented of but a biological dictate from which there is no escape and must be obeyed.
up until about 5 or 10 years ago every month seemed to bring a front page media story claiming a gay gene had been found that compels homosexual behaviour. It all turned out to be propaganda and lies. In fact, the last I saw on the issue was a bunch of Harvard professors in the gene field blasting the media and gay activists for constantly misusing and misinterpreting their research. But some of the public–because the liberal media buried the story–still thinks there is a genetic compulsion behind homosexual behaviour–and therefore they are not responsible for what they do.



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Your NameJudi

posted October 17, 2010 at 8:01 pm


What we all need to remember is that Christ loves us–ALL. We don’t need to understand that love, just to be sure of it. We cannot understand the depths of His Love or the reasons for it. We should also remember humility and that Christ came for sinners too–we are all included. Let us pray for the good of all of Christ’s children even if we don’t understand all of them. We are judged according to the way we judge others. Mercy is given as we show mercy to others. We are here to reflect God’s love. May God give us the grace to help us rise to the task. Amen.



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cccole

posted October 17, 2010 at 8:20 pm


Bishop Robinson specifically mentioned those faiths because those are ones who most often make news publicly denouncing homosexuality in the United States. I know he mentioned Mormonism, specifically, because a high-up leader preached the message that homosexuality was impure and unnatural right after the 6 gay suicides. He was RIGHT to tell kids that the messages these churches send about their sexuality is ‘flat out wrong.’ it is SO important that someone came out to offer an alternative religious view.
He wasn’t denouncing religion- he was letting kids know that the God they may or may not believe in does love them and that they can be religious and LGBT at the same time.
The point is saving the lives of children, Greg. That goal is more important than avoiding the offense you take at the FACT that the leaders of your faith DO frequently contribute to the environment that fosters such a high LGBT youth suicide rate.



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Emily

posted October 17, 2010 at 8:25 pm


Deacon Bresnahan-
I don’t think anyone is saying that gay youths are committing suicide because the church is saying it homosexuality is a sin. They are committing suicide because of the hateful actions of their peers, teachers, and community, much like the hateful words you just wrote about homosexuality. Perhaps you should consider how you would feel if someone said that you “doomed.” It is precisely that kind of language directed toward young homosexuals that is causing them to commit suicide.
The Bishop only hopes to encourage these children to find refuge in his church by offering acceptance. While he perhaps should have been more careful about putting down other sects of Christianity, I believe his statement is quite admirable.



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cccole

posted October 17, 2010 at 8:29 pm


I actually disagree with Emily. It is damaging to tell young gay youths that homosexuality is sinful. It isn’t good enough to say ‘Jesus loves you, but this is a sin.’ Homosexual acts and relationships are the expression of homosexuality. To tell kids these are sinful is to devalue them in a profound way. You just can’t get around this and do what is necessary to prevent youth suicide.
I recommend this article: http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/sexandgender/3531/gay_suicide_and_the_ethic_of_love:_a_progressive_christian_response



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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted October 17, 2010 at 8:37 pm


“It’s damaging to tell young gay youths that homosexuality is sinful.”
Homosexuality isn’t sinful. Homosexual acts are.
But I suppose you’re on to something. We shouldn’t tell gay teenagers to avoid sin. That’s just too damaging.
And, of course, it’s damaging to tell all teenagers, of any sexual persuasion, that premarital sex and masturbation is sinful. And don’t tell them that stealing is sinful. And whatever you do, don’t tell them that lying is sinful. Or that murder is sinful.
For goodness sakes, don’t tell anyone that anything is sinful. It’s just too damaging.
Dcn. G.



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RomCath

posted October 17, 2010 at 8:43 pm


“It is damaging to tell young gay youths that homosexuality is sinful.”
Are you serious? Get a grip on reality.



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Tom

posted October 17, 2010 at 8:57 pm


Panth:
I understand your desire to only see good on the part of those Christians who fought against anti-bullying legislation, but we all grew up knowing what the first amendment means.
True, we all understand the general concept of the First Amendment, but free speech in this country is far from being an absolute right (libel and slander, communist propaganda resulting in blacklisting, inciting riots, etc.) Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s good that this isn’t an absolute right. It’s important to balance this against other rights (the right to swing my fist ends where your face begins). But if “pulpit bullying” is widely held to contribute to a rash of suicides and gay bashing, then this is where “anti-gay” preaching could make its way to the cutting block.
…and I know that not everyone who rails against homosexual acts does so in a spirit of love, especially the buffoons from Topeka, Kansas. What bothers me is when all of us are lumped in with them. I’ve never heard of them feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, etc. All I’ve ever heard of them doing is agitating bereaved loved ones. A part of me wants them to lose their case, as I believe they have the right to make complete imbeciles of themselves, but at a funeral? Quite an inappropriate venue. They should have to find another place to picket if they feel they must. Anyhow, this is what I refer to when I say you “monolithize” socially conservative Christians. Some conservative Christians have different reasons than others for believing what they believe, not all of which are on sound footing, while many anti-gays and anti-aborts are hostile to Catholics in general (as well as anybody else who doesn’t think like they do).
I did hear about Gingrich’s marital controversy, nor was I thrilled when he became Catholic, but I try to give him the benefit of a doubt (not an easy task). I wasn’t aware McCain’s first marriage ended in such dire circumstances.
I did see the councilman’s speech (on your youtube link) when it first came out and do hope youngsters come to know God’s love for them, as well as learn better coping mechanisms to deal with their situation.
Yes, it is a quandary for you conservative Christians. You want to impose your version of Christianity on the rest of us for our own good. I understand that. Just, an awful lot of kids are dying and they are dying because your side of our Christian house is creating an atmosphere promoting violence. Which is something we all, as Christians are opposed to. Except when Republican presidents need a war to earn money for their friends. Then, 67% of conservative Christians support torture.
Again, I don’t see any evidence of bullying because of anti-gay preaching. When I was growing up even in grade school homophobic slurs were the norm (before we even understood what sexuality was, these terms were flung about loosely.) Seeing as how bullying is so antithetical to Christ’s message, I’ve a hard time conjuring up images of teenagers walking out of Church Sunday morning saying amongst themselves, “Hey, let’s brutilize some ____s (fill in the blank).” The type of adolescents and young adults prone to this deviant behavior hardly listen to ordained ministers. The NY baseball bat incident was the result of gang members doing it to another gang member who admitted to homosexual acts.
…and your wrong about us willing to impose our Christianity on the rest of you. As soon as new “rights” are attributed to a group of people, that means religious organizations too must defer to these new-found “rights” be they marriage benefits, adoption rights, etc., even if it means violating their conscience (which is why Catholic adoption agencies were closed in Britian, Mass, San Fran, etc., along with DC Catholic Charities severing marriage benefits for all upcoming employees.) Were religious organizations allowed to carry on unfettered, then it wouldn’t be as big a deal-breaker. Our government funds these faith-based initiatives because it knows private charities more efficiently use the funds allocated, with considerably less red tape.
As for me personally, I’m anti-torture and anti-death penalty, which goes back to the differing perspectives theory among conservative Christians that I’m trying to convey.
I don’t ask the Church to change her position on gay marriage, I wouldn’t bring it up on this thread except to illustrate the enormous blind spot you have in defending the lack of spending on divorce – which Christ forbade us.
Perhaps I should be more clear. The Church only makes pronouncements on the validity of marriages after spouses apply for annulments. In so many words, there’s no such thing as “divorce” in the Church’s eyes. If it’s a “valid” marriage, then the couple is still married, regardless of any subsequent civil divorce proceeding(s). Seeing as how so many marriages in and outside Her walls don’t seek out the Church’s “invalidation” of the marriage in filing for divorce, then the Church can’t rightly support legislation that would potentially keep couples in invalid marriages. She also doesn’t have the manpower to investigate every marriage that ends in separation, nor would many non-Catholics concur with such an investigation. The only thing the Church can do is be more rigorous in their pre-Cana screening for those couples seeking marriage within Her walls, provided they ultimately defer to Her teaching and judgment.
Hope you had a nice flight.



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Frank

posted October 17, 2010 at 9:49 pm


Panthera and Tom,
Those Bishops who fought against the specific inclusion of sexual orientation as an anti-bullying category know that they are hobbling this legislation. The effects of bullying can’t be mitigated unless those being bullied have a clear message that they have the same right to life and the same inherent human dignity and the same right to self defense as anyone else.
This specific and clear message needs to be said in an unapologetic manner because mainstream Christianity contradicts it. St Paul himself says that God makes people gay as a curse. It needs to be said because Benedict XVI has stated that lifelong secrecy is the _only_ means permissible of civil protection for gays. (See The Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons 1986.) It needs to be said because the Church does what it can to deny gay people the right to access the legal and political systems to defend their rights against unjust discrimination.
Finally, this message needs to be clearly stated so that gay teenagers negatively influenced by the likes of St. Paul and Benedict don’t become their own judges and executioners.



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Mareczku

posted October 17, 2010 at 9:53 pm


Deacon Greg, I know that the Church doesn’t teach that homosexuality is sinful but many Catholics think that it is. Also some of the fundamentalist religions think that it is a sin to be gay and many of these groups endorse reparative therapy. Sadly, some Catholics also approve of this type of therapy even though the major medical and psychiatric organizations have deemed it useless and in some case harmful.



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TW

posted October 17, 2010 at 9:58 pm


Rom Cath said, “If the meaning of the scriptures changes with the times, let’s just get rid of them completely.”
Guess what. They do. We no longer keep kosher, and men are no longer required to have facial hair when they go to temple. That was my point about Deacon Kandra being clean-shaven. The verse in Leviticus that requires beards is not far from the prohibitions against homosexuality.
So why do we practice one but not the other? It’s because we’ve already been reinterpreting the message of scripture within the context of our modern times.
I really don’t see the big deal. Jesus primarily preached compassion, and I see nothing in homosexuality, or homosexual behavior, that violates “Do unto others.” Acts like pedophilia or adultery have nothing to do with what sexual orientation you are. There’s premarital sex, but if you guys hadn’t created a real Catch-22 around this by reserving marriage for a man and a woman, that wouldn’t be a problem either.



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Mareczku

posted October 17, 2010 at 10:04 pm


Deacon Greg, I think most parents want their children to be sexually responsible as teens and would prefer they not have pre-marital sex. The Church teaches that sexuality is a gift to be shared in marriage. On the other hand, I don’t think most parents think their teen-age sons are in a state of physical purity. I volunteer with young people and read one of the pamphlets that our parish had for parents of teens. The pamphlet said that parents should not be upset if their teens masturbated or had wet dreams. They said that it was a natural part of puberty and that the teens should not be embarrassed about these things because it was normal. So there may be some teens who are in a state of chaste purity but it is probably a very small number.



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Frank

posted October 17, 2010 at 11:13 pm


Let me be blunter. If you’re a teenager, you shouldn’t be having sex with anyone. You’re not ready for the responsibility and you have no right to stick your parents with it.
If you’re a parent and your religion makes your obedient kid feel so guilty that he no longer wants to live. Tell him to get rid of the religion and keep breathing until he gets old enough to sort things out for himself.
Remember that this is the same kid who’ll make the decision about where you’ll spend the last years of your life. If you make his adolescence hell, you’d better pray he doesn’t return the favor when you’re waiting for God. ;-)



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Patrick

posted October 17, 2010 at 11:14 pm


Perhaps this effort by Mr. Robinson will lead to the Anglican Communion to establish “Romanorum Coetibus”. Such a document would allow all those things the Catholic hierarchy has frowned upon be embraced in the Anglican Church. Since giant puppets and liturgical dance are deeply loved traditions within the hearts of these Catholics, such will require a personal ordinariate run by wymynprysts.
In the end, if you do not behave as you believe, you will believe as you behave.



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galivantstom

posted October 18, 2010 at 12:39 am


As it is, I look at organized religion with a jundiced eye. The catholic church the American Bishops Association (or whatever) lobby congress to legislate the catholic faith as do the baptists, fundamentalists, etc. I tols mys live as you would want everyone else to live. I have also taought that when anyone comes and says to go to war in the name of God or to believe this way alone because I know this God’s way.
Personalfroased ly, I have tried to live the way I expect my sons to.
I do not priests, ministers, reverends and/or pastrors trying to make my decisions for me through the law. If someone wants to lean in a given way, they must educate me first. In general, organized religion has gone to hell in a handbasket. Exclusivenes rather than inclusiveness has become the current fashion. They all remind of the Shia and Sunni whoas members of the sam religion, Islam, are fighting and killing each every day as we speak.
Churches should be open to all comers, men, women, children, gays, women and all races. Church leadership should meet the same criteria.



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diane

posted October 18, 2010 at 12:52 am


‘whoever sins belongs to the devil” as does this minister. Of course he is going to attack the catholic church and truth. He follows Satan. He is a false prophet who teaches lies.
1 Corinthians 6:9 “Do not deceive yourselves: no fornicators (premarital sex),,, no homosexual perverts, sodomites,. or robbers will inherit God’s kingdom. But if you are sorry and change He forgives all. Follow His laws to go to Heaven. For help: http://www.couragerc.net/
“Woe to those who say evil is good and good is evil”



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Frank

posted October 18, 2010 at 2:27 am


Diane,
Your own willingness to call good evil is murdering these young people.



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Panthera

posted October 18, 2010 at 3:09 am


Tom,
I am struggling with your statements explaining why divorce is not a priority – nor should it be – for the Christian, much less the Catholic church.
Frankly, this sounds far more like post hoc ergo proctor hoc argumentation than sound doctrine.
Jesus was clear on divorce. He said not word one on homosexuality.
I guess that is why we don’t agree, though. My faithful, true, loyal, monogamous, loving marriage of over 27 years is, in your eyes, greviously disordered and Gingerich gets a free pass for having a woman dying horribly, painfully of cancer served with divorce papers on her death bed.
Once the Church pronounced it OK, then her suffering and anguish never were.
Wow. Just, wow.
Except, the woman ungraciously went and up and died before he could have it annulled, not being a Catholic at the time. But, hey – pay enough and any degree of suffering didn’t happen.



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Mark from PA

posted October 18, 2010 at 7:14 am


Diane, thank you for your example of bullying. How do you think young gay people like being called homosexual perverts? I certainly don’t like it. These are good young people and they shouldn’t be subjected to hate speech. I consider hate speech to be evil. People need to follow God’s law of loving one’s neighbor as oneself.



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Tom

posted October 18, 2010 at 10:51 am


Panth, the Church is against the fragmentation of families I can assure you, and it is high priority. I wasn’t attempting to explain official doctrine, just illuminating the obstacles impeding this hypothetical “campaign against divorce” you bring up. You’re a very intelligent and educated man, Panthera. Given what you know about the Church’s official position on divorce and valid marriage along with their canonical proceedings in resolving these disputes, how would you have them proceed in such a campaign? You can’t simply say, “They should campaign against divorce.” while ignoring the specifics.
…and your consumed with this Gingerich obsession. Do you think the Church should deny him entry based on his significant moral failing during his second marriage? For all I know he confessed this to a priest, received absolution, did penance, etc. I leave it to the Church to decide, however suspect it looks in my eyes. Whatever else is between him and God, the same with you and your significant other. I don’t pass judgment on you, though yes: I see a potential impediment there based on my belief system, and I hope your able to come to terms with that.
Regarding the “suffering and anguish” of his second wife: if suffering is to play any role in the larger scheme of things, it is of the redemptive quality, the type that brings people into the mystical body of Christ, not permanently excluding them from it. I’ve never heard of anyone offering up their suffering to God in the hopes that their estranged spouse be cast into the outer darkness for all eternity. If you reread the stories of saints, they prayed for their enemies, blessed those who cursed them, did good to those who persecuted them (a couple faithful spouses of unsavory husbands included in this list, like St. Rita of Cascia and St. Catherine of Genoa). You seem to prefer a vindictive approach, seeing as how according to your belief system the Church is excluding you through faulty reasoning. In the very least, I hope you try and evaluate how you might possibly be wrong regarding the “nefarious” motives of Church authorities towards same sex couples.



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Fr. John

posted October 18, 2010 at 11:18 am


Why do we recognize a person who is gay as a religious leader? This is one form of Devil Worship (Demonic). A person who is openly distorting the human relationship of male and female is at best suggesting a relationship that cannot work as God has commanded. From a relationship that brings about a Family life with the love of God and each other to one that is vulgar and disgusting (filthy) vividly displays the workings of the Evil One known as Satan. A openly Gay religion is a direct rebuke of God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. And remember Lots wife (she was turned into a pillar of Salt.



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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted October 18, 2010 at 11:21 am


Emily–As so often those defending homosexual behaviour twist around what those who consider such behaviour sinful write or say. I very specifically targeted behaviour. You missed my point that it is gay activists who keep telling youths that homosexual behaviour–no matter how temporary or experimental– means you are a “homosexual” and you cannot change, cannot repent, and therefore–even if you come to the conclusion homosexual activity is bad for you (the life expectency of men involved in gay activity is still very much below that who do not so indulge) and harmful to society are “doomed” to a lifestyle from which there is no escape.
It is Christians who say that they are NOT doomed. That there is “escape” through conversion and repentence. Every study I have seen on suicide indicates that a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness drives people to suicide. And it is gay activists who are promoting helplessness and hopelessness to those who decide they want to change their lives around. In fact, if you want to read some real hate stuff–read what some gay activists write on the internet about those who convert away from the gay lifestyle. Vicious, nasty hate that is every bit as hateful as the garbage from that Baptist church.



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The Truth

posted October 18, 2010 at 11:40 am


You sir are an evil snake. You strike spewing venomous lies. You take truth and twist it all about and add lies to make yourself and other feel that no matter what we do we are alright with God. This is not the fact. Yes each of us is made good by God. But God gives each of us free will. We can turn from God. Being a homosexual is not a sin. Having homosexual desires is not a sin. But acting on homosexual desires is. Just because you are given a cross to carry does not make it ok for you to throw your cross down and live in sin. Each of us is given a cross. Embrace your cross for Jesus Christ. Offer your suffering up to Christ for all the sins that mankind commits that offend Him. The hours are short here on Earth. Live each second to please God as best you can and when you fail turn back to God and ask forgiveness. But at least try! Do not offend God, for God is already to greatly offended. Join the Catholic Church. Receive the sacraments of God. Try to live your life as best you can. Love God and try to please Him as best you can by living a good and holy life and pray that Our Lady strikes the head of the snake with her foot and crushes.
Truth



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Panthera

posted October 18, 2010 at 11:42 am


The interesting thing about flying in the early 21st century is that flights are far less punctual than they were in the early 20th century.
Tom said:
You’re a very intelligent and educated man, Panthera. Given what you know about the Church’s official position on divorce and valid marriage along with their canonical proceedings in resolving these disputes, how would you have them proceed in such a campaign? You can’t simply say, “They should campaign against divorce.” while ignoring the specifics.
endquote
Tom, I am certainly well educated. Intelligent? Hmm, define “intelligent”.
My cat regards me as being not quite all there, my editor dreams of the day when software can replace me (with spelling checker built in), my husband once made the statement (it was many, many years ago: Well, you’re decorative, that’s enough, isn’t it?) and my dawgs love me to death – short two paws, no nose to speak of and half-death, but those opposable thumbs, wow!
Nobody on that list would agree with you.
But thanks, anyway.
I wanted to make the point that it is more than hypocritical, it is downright absurd to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in stripping me of my rights, preventing legislation (or at least trying to) to put some teeth into anti-bullying campaigns and then to turn around and declare that divorce isn’t really enough of a threat to the Church and family to be worth spending even a tiny amount of money on. You don’t see the relevance? Really?
It is obvious that it is far easier to focus on the (supposed) log in my eye than the mote in your own, I just don’t see how my marriage is a bigger threat to a heterosexual marriage than divorce is.
Frankly, it isn’t, you know that just as well as I do and, stipulated, you see our monogamous, loving, loyal, true, devoted marriage as a sin…fine, I can live with that. Just, why pick on me when there are so many other ‘equal’ sins you flat out ignore or minimize? Or is divorce truly no longer relevant to the Catholic church.
Why, you ask, do I pick on poor Newt. Well, let’s see. First off, that was marriage number one in which his wife was dying of cancer in the hospital when he had her served with papers. Yes, I do consider that disgusting behavior and, yes, character counts for something with me. Probably the only part of my ancestral upbringing which actually finds a bit of resonance in the Dixie. At least one says it does, I’ve seen precious little of it lately.
It was wife number two (with whom he had an adulterous relationship while still married to number one) upon whom (against whom?) he committed fornication with not-yet-wife number three. This was at the same time he was thundering against Bill Clinton for his moral failings. His second wife documented it all in her recent book.
I don’t recognize Catholic annulments, they are your own instrument not God’s. God does notice such things and pretending you can fornicate and commit adultery and then have it all wiped away by paying the Church a large sum of money is absurd.
Has he had a change of heart? It would be a good thing, certainly his behavior otherwise wouldn’t suggest it.
But why, again, do I bring him and McCain and (and and and, ad nauseum) up? Simple – because you conservative Christians overlook their “sins” totally and support them. Paladino, for example. That was a very non-subtle statement from the New York Bishops last week, clearly saying that he is to be supported. Now, let’s see. He denied his own child. He lied about his mistress. He refused to support the child until publicaly forced to. He continued to fornicate with his mistress while living with his wife (tautology, I know) and taking communion. He owns several properties which he rents to gay clubs – one managed by his own son. He sends pictures of women having sex with horses, replete with comments through the internet.
Ah, but he denies I am immutably gay and he “opposes” abortion. Except, of course when he collects rent money from planned parenthood, to whom he also rents space.
Look, Tom, you’re entitled to your beliefs. Just, please, be honest enough to stop defending the indefensible and admit that you are singling us homosexuals out apart from all other matters the Church considers sinful. Honesty is good for your soul.
Do I see the Church as being “nefarious” towards us? Good question. When I am in Italy or Germany or The Netherlands or Ireland, no. When I am in the United States? Absolutely. Else, you would not be spending hundreds of millions, joining with the Southern Baptist Conference and the Mormons to attack us.
Would you care for some links from NOM and worse?



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Panthera

posted October 18, 2010 at 11:46 am


Deacon John M. Bresnahan,
Can you provide any genuine evidence that any serious board approved medical doctor in any civilized country (Italy and the Vatican included) finds these sexuality change programs work?
They don’t and if you follow current Vatican thought on the matter, there is no longer serious discussion about sexual orientation being mutable. It isn’t.
We can argue about your stripping me of my rights and preventing legislation to protect children. You can say my one and only “Christian” choice is to leave my husband of 27 years and be celibate. I won’t agree, but you can justifiably say that.
The contention that sexuality may be changed, however, no, sir – you have neither the Vatican nor science nor medicine nor the courts behind you, not even in the US.



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Panthera

posted October 18, 2010 at 11:48 am


Deacon John M. Bresnahan,
I apologize for singling you out, but those “studies” showing that we don’t live as long were purposely drawn from two sets of data. Heterosexual men with normal lifespans and male homosexual victims of Aids.
That is not only perpetuating a lie, it is also a slap in the face to all those heterosexuals (the overwhelming majority) dying of Aids in the third world.



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RomCath

posted October 18, 2010 at 12:02 pm


Divorce is not encouraged by the church nor is it desired. We recognize however that for the purposes of alimony and child support, a civil divorce is often necessary. A civil divorce has no religious effects on a sacramental marriage. It is remarriage after the divorce that creates the problem. The fact that some don’t recognize what an annulment is shows that they don’t understand what an annulment or a sacramental marriage is. Sad.
Divorce is a very sad but it does not redefine society and family life as we know it–same sex marriage does. That is why any sane religions oppose it.
While people are judgmental about politicians who are philanderers (are we supposed to judge hearts?) I wonder how many have looked into the story of Bishop Robinson who divorced his wife, found a male companion whom he “married” and then went on to become a Bishop.
The same Bishop who is now pontificating about bullying and which churches are “flat out wrong”. Talk about removing the plank in your own eye first!!



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Katherine

posted October 18, 2010 at 1:18 pm


RomCath seems to take the Protestant belief that divorce is something that is sad but not socially harmful. I would disagree.
The suicides of young gay people, the bullying and the violence has to stop. We don’t see divorcees being beat up on the street. Teh duty of Christians to teach the truth does not exempt it from an obligation to consider how these teachings are received (especially when wrongly received) and to act to correct those problems.



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RomCath

posted October 18, 2010 at 1:41 pm


“RomCath seems to take the Protestant belief that divorce is something that is sad but not socially harmful. I would disagree.”
I was responding to the complaint that the church spends more money fighting gay marriage than divorce. Of course divorce is socially harmful but it does not redefine society as does same sex marriage. Would you prefer couples in an abusive marriage stay together?
The day I take a Protestant view of anything is the day that hell freezes over. Please.
And yes bullying against anyone is wrong–fat, skinny, gay etc.



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Klaire

posted October 18, 2010 at 1:41 pm


Dana and Dcn. John B you bring up excellent points many are missing, and for SURE the MSM are “missing (intentionally).”
Here’s what I think. As horrific as gay suicides are, ALL suicides are horrific. This entire gay agenda has been a move of the left for years, all to make gay relationships “normal.” The goal of course is to destroy the family, and authentic religion, especially Catholicism (last man standing necessary to remove before the progessives can take over new godless America).
Speaking of “Feelings” Dana, did you notice that the reporting (doubt there were any more than normal), of gay suicides increase with “gay agendas?” Gee, what a coincidence, just when “Don’t ask don’t tell comes up again, with Dictator Obama, so does the “reporting” of gay suicides. Just like embryonic stem cell research always coincides with reporting of the disabled with the false hope of “jumping out of their wheelchairs.” They (MSM), got us on “feelings.”
And yes Dana you are right, at least that no one in the MSM cares! Dcn. John’s post’s compliments yours.
The reality is, suicide is everywhere, especially among teenagers. How could it not be in a culture that worships what the world has to offer, and eats off the plates of demons?
There is only one hope, and that hope is in Jesus Christ, starting with honoring the dignity of every human life, from the embryo to the disabled to the silk and elderly. And by the way, that would also include authentic love for all homosexuals, as there is certainly no sin, just a cross, in being of homosexual orientation.



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Panthera

posted October 18, 2010 at 1:53 pm


Katherine,
Good for you! Very right!
RomCath,
One of the problems of employing the literary device of “some” is that sometimes some of the “some” actually know fully well what they are talking about.
I find the above link useful for the “official” position on the matter of the Church.
Of course, (there always is when dealing with a European, RomCath, by now you should know that) I also have a personal take on this. Several years ago (goodness – it was the early 1970’s! Mei o mei!. Ma bene, several decades back,) a somewhat older cousin of mine grew weary of her marriage.
More precisely, the wife of the man she had a crush on when they were children had obligingly died. She went to the Church and swore that she hadn’t understood the consequences of marriage (she had married at 22, bore her husband four children and graduated with honors at her university in physics. As you so frequently note, I’m the idiot of the family).
Not even two months later, she was off to Firenze, where she graciously donated a quarter million (and that wasn’t in Lira) to restoration of Church property damaged by the flood.
Yup, she got her annulment, not that the one had anything to do with the other. Goodness, me, I am shocked, simply shocked some people might think such a thing!
The second marriage lasted all of two years before she discovered that childhood crushes and real life aren’t the same thing.
To the credit of the Church, she didn’t get out of that one until he conveniently died at a dreadfully young age. Family talk at the time was that she even upped the ante to a cool million.
Trying to defend weighting my marriage as a greater threat to heterosexual family life than heterosexual divorce has got to be the most absurd of all your attempts to justify attacking the gay community to date. But then, were your motives pure, you wouldn’t be arm in arm with the Mormons and the Southern Baptist Convention, now would you?
Can we please return to the problem at hand, the savage attacks on our children?



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Panthera

posted October 18, 2010 at 2:02 pm


Klaire,
I fully accept that current Church teaching opposes gay marriage. We needn’t argue about that.
There is, however, now quite a bit of data available from several countries in which gay marriage, resp. civil unions have been recognized for some time.
Every single, solitary one of those countries has either the same or lower heterosexual divorce rates than the trend before gay marriage/civil unions. All, to my, knowledge, have lower rates than the US.
Every single one has a longer life expectancy, better pre and post-natal health of their children. Lower abortions rates (vastly in most cases).
Every single one outside of Central and Latin America has higher attained educational levels for their children.
Lower violent crime rates (again, outside of Central America).
Lower elderly abandonment rates.
Oh, and lower child suicide rates, too.
Your argument that we are out to destroy society as you know it are simply false and demonstrably so. The only reason we seek equality is because we hold monogamous marriage and stable families to be the best union there is.
Oh, and, even with all the hatred towards us in the US – children from gay and lesbian households turn out just as well as do children from stable heterosexual households.
That said, thank you, O! thank you for pointing out that suicide among children is the problem.



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RomCath

posted October 18, 2010 at 2:06 pm


Panthera, perhaps you need to read up on what constitutes a sacramental marriage–not a marriage–a sacramental one. Your cousin sounds like someone who was not capable of making a sound decision–is that genetic?
Yes, same-sex marriages do far more harm to society than divorce so stop the nonsense.
And your concern for savage attacks on our children is another example of your penchant for drama. Again, are you as concerned for those who are bullied for any reason or just the gay ones?
Finally, just what is your point anyway? Do you really think the church is going to change its position on homosexual activity or unions? Seems like an exercise in futility if you do.



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Katherine

posted October 18, 2010 at 2:15 pm


Of course divorce is socially harmful but it does not redefine society
You think a society does not redefine itself when marriages are broken like a cell phone contract? I do think you have fallen to Protestantism.



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Panthera

posted October 18, 2010 at 2:27 pm


RomCath,
Even by your pitifully low standards of Christian conduct, that was inexcusable.
Insulting my family is a direct violation of the June 2010 Concord of Kandra.
Stop it. Question my intelligence if you must, I doubt not you’ll find just warrant so to do. These personal attacks, though are unacceptable.
You wrote:
And your concern for savage attacks on our children is another example of your penchant for drama. Again, are you as concerned for those who are bullied for any reason or just the gay ones?
endquote
First, this “penchant for drama”. You do love the stereotype don’t you? Sorry to disappoint, at well over six foot and built like a brick potting shed with the worst hic accent in English and equally bad in German, I’m stuck doing conventional male. Call it ‘butch drag’ if it makes you happy, but drama is out. Tell you what, though, you may imagine an upturned right palm against my temple as I say that, with a lisping sigh if it makes you feel better. Happy to oblige.
Second, I am glad you recognize that the attacks on our children are savage. Good for you. First time we’ve agreed in months on anything important and this is important.
Third, how often (and the sigh this time is for real) do I have to listen to your lies? I care deeply about violence done to all children. Oh, right – you were the one discounting violence done to young girls back during the discussion of the scandals in order to advance your “it’s all a complot made up by Teh Gayz” argument.
Your put upon act makes even Ben Affleck’s acting look good. For that, I paid first class?



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RomCath

posted October 18, 2010 at 2:28 pm


“You think a society does not redefine itself when marriages are broken like a cell phone contract? I do think you have fallen to Protestantism.”
What I think is that most of those who wind up divorced should not have gotten married when and to whom they did in the first place. Blame poor marriage catechesis on that. Society is not redefined when a marriage breaks up but society is redefined by same sex marriages. Divorce is tragic but not as “insidious” as same sex marriage. Those are the Pope’s words on same sex marriage not mine. Maybe he is drifting into Protestantism too?



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RomCath

posted October 18, 2010 at 2:38 pm


“Third, how often (and the sigh this time is for real) do I have to listen to your lies? I care deeply about violence done to all children. Oh, right – you were the one discounting violence done to young girls back during the discussion of the scandals in order to advance your “it’s all a complot made up by Teh Gayz” argument.”
As often as you continue to come back with your hyperbole and untruths, you will have to listen to my truths.
And yet again, you have lied about what I said previously on this blog. I never addressed or much less discounted violence against young girls. You have pulled this before and you are again confusing who said what.
If you doubt what I said about the drama involved in your posts, go back and reread them. They are way over the top. “I disagree with annulments” WHO CARES?
As for being put upon, if they gave an Oscar for that you would be a shoe in–deprived of fully human and civil rights and all.
If you really care about bullying, what are you doing about it?



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Panthera

posted October 18, 2010 at 2:49 pm


What am I doing about it?
Sadly, not enough.
But thank you for giving me the opportunity to post a link to an outstanding organization, the Trevor project, which is doing something. Any sum will help to save young lives.



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Mark from PA

posted October 18, 2010 at 4:05 pm


Panthera, thanks for sharing the information on The Trevor Project. I is good to hear some of your common sense comments. I am just glad that as a young person I wasn’t exposed to some of the hateful comments that I read here. I went to 12 years of Catholic school and never heard one word said against homosexuality or gay people from any teacher. I can’t believe the comment, “Divorce is tragic but not as insidious as same sex marriage.” Just more gay bashing.



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RomCath

posted October 18, 2010 at 4:29 pm


“Pope Benedict XVI has condemned gay marriage as an ‘insidious’ threat to society as he addressed thousands of pilgrims at the shrine of Fatima in Portugal.” May 2010
Thanks to Pope Benedict (a European not an American)a very learned and holy man for having the courage to speak the truth as Paul said “whether convenient or inconvenient”.



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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted October 18, 2010 at 4:39 pm


From Webster’s on line:
Insidious: 1. awaiting a chance to entrap. 2. harmful but enticing. 3. having a gradual and cumulative effect (subtle).
Bashing? Hardly.
Dcn. G.



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RomCath

posted October 18, 2010 at 6:55 pm


“Divorce is tragic but not as insidious as same sex marriage.” Just more gay bashing.”
Sorry but the victimhood doesn’t wash. Others have tried it but failed. If think that was a bashing comment you had better grow a thicker skin in the world welive in today.



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Panthera

posted October 18, 2010 at 7:34 pm


RomCath,
May I very gently bring the topic back to the children who are being bullied?
Wednesday, the 20th is “wear purple for the kids” day.
I shall. With my faded red-grey (not silver, I mean tarnished grey) hair and freckles it’s not a color I normally choose…except for Halloween. But I shall wear it!
I wonder if you realize just how little your arguments serve to make your point with anyone who is not already 100% of your convictions. Is there no sense of humor in you? Is there no room – at all to find a means of “live and let live” between us?
I genuinely believe that our battles as Christians over this matter are very much fueling these deaths. The more obvious it becomes that gays, lesbians and the transgender will sooner rather than later enjoy full human and civil rights in the US, the more the anger and fury and rhetoric will heat up among those whom Dr. Mohlers refers to as “conservative Christians” (see the Deacon’s excellent reference, it’s still in this month’s active archive).
Wasn’t it Sayers who said the first thing a principle does is to go out and to kill someone? Or was it Christie? My English literature suffers greatly in the realm of philosophy. Never was much interested in chasing after black cats, in dark cellars, with burnt out candle, at midnight…after the cat had left the house.



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Mark from PA

posted October 18, 2010 at 7:47 pm


Thank you for reminding me. I will have to wear something purple. I still wonder. Have any bishops spoken out against the bullying of gay kids and the suicides?



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Panthera

posted October 19, 2010 at 4:51 am


Mark, that’s a good question.
The major focus of the American bishops at the moment seems to be in advocating for a constitutional convention to ban gay marriage, not addressing the deaths of these children.
It’s just a matter of priorities, I guess.
“Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
11
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity–greedy, dishonest, adulterous–or even like this tax collector.
12
I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’
13
But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’
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I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
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3 4 People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them, and when the disciples saw this, they rebuked them.
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Jesus, however, called the children to himself and said, “Let the children come to me and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
*****
That’s Luke 18, by the by – I don’t imagine it’s one of the more often read passages in American Catholic kindergardens and schools, given the number of children of lesbians and gays who are kicked out these days.
Priorities, ah well, they’re the crux of the matter. I wouldn’t be nasty to children and dumb animals, but then St. Francis of Assisi is not all that ‘in’ today in American Catholic circles either….



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Mark from PA

posted October 19, 2010 at 7:20 am


Panthera, I think those readings and the words of Christ as in, in many Catholic circles. I think it is just a small number of Catholics who aren’t listening. Sadly, it appears that a number of bishops are included in those that are not listening. I get the impression that a lot of the bishops just don’t care about young gay people. They don’t want to give support or compassion to these kids because they don’t want to offend wealthy conservatives that dislike gay people. For so many years, young people were a priority in the Church. Fifty years ago a much larger percentage of Catholic children were in Catholic schools. The abuse crisis has shown people how dispensable our young people are to some in the Church. How many have been driven from the Church because of how they were treated and what was done to them? It is a real tragedy.



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Panthera

posted October 19, 2010 at 8:43 am


Mark,
I hope you are right and it is more a loud minority than a majority.
The young people will continue to be driven away – there is an almost 1:1 relationship between having a close relation or dear friend who is gay or transgender and believing we are disordered.
Now that gays and the transgender are coming out to their friends and families at ever earlier ages – and in increasing numbers, we are seeing a horrible, violent push back.
The lie that we were, at most 1.8% of the population served well to drive the hatred. Now that studies are back up in the traditionally demonstrated range of 7-10%, and so many of us are out (Ken Mehlmann!), the rage is stronger than ever.
If this truly were about showing God’s love and not about hatred, we would have all the Christian churches out there spending hundreds of millions to end child homelessness and bullying of all children. They aren’t – they are barely interested in non-gay kids and the only time hundreds of millions get focused on anything, it is to support stripping people of their rights, never to help that 14 year old whose conservative Christian parents threw out of the house in the middle of winter.
This is an outstanding opportunity for the Catholic church in America to show “love the sinner, hate the sin” isn’t just code for “I get to hate you ’cause your sin is worse than mine in my eyes”. Some are doing so. Most are doing nothing and that pretty much settles it, doesn’t it.
These are not yet sexually active children. By Church teaching, they are not yet intrinsically disordered in their behavior and they must not be treated the way we gays who are in monogamous, loyal, faithful, true and loving marriages are treated.
So, the question remains – what are they doing? By your fruits shall ye be known is not just a pretty turn of the phrase.



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Panthera

posted October 19, 2010 at 8:45 am


Oh, before someone gets all upset with me – that belief is negative. Having a gay relation or dear friend outweighs the religious based hatred, especially among young people almost every time.



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Mark from PA

posted October 19, 2010 at 1:52 pm


What you say is true, Panthera. The “love the sinner, hate the sin” line upsets me. I know that people that use that line don’t really love people like me. I would rather have them be honest and say, “I’m sorry but I don’t really like gay people.” I am lucky because as a young person I really wasn’t bullied much or mistreated. It breaks my heart to think of how so many of our children have to suffer because of the way God made them.



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pagansister

posted October 19, 2010 at 10:18 pm


IMO, no one really know the mind of someone who commits suicide, no matter what age that person might be. But with any death, the younger the victim the worse it is. Teenagers have a lot to deal with anyway, but those whose sexual attraction happens to be toward those of the same gender, have an extra situation to deal with. Religions who condemn homosexuals and what they see as “their sexual activities” do nothing to comfort or help gay teens. Glad Bishop Robinson has joined the “It gets better” campaign.



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jayeverett

posted October 21, 2010 at 9:48 am


I made a comment but I see that you have not printed it. The only conclusion is that the TRUTH is not worthy of the news or the press…..



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Warren

posted October 22, 2010 at 4:57 am


It is possible to love someone and not like what they do. It is even possible to love a person and not like them. I love my brother, but I don’t like or condone his irresponsible behaviour. I prefer not to be around him because his behaviour is frequently unpredictable and destructive. I wish him no ill, though I can say with certainty he needs to change. Likewise, I know quite a few people who claim to be gay. I love and respect them as persons created in the image and likeness of God, but I don’t condone their destructive behaviour. I love those same people even when they say nasty things to me because of my Catholic beliefs. I can recall in my thirties when I was, on many occasions, the only straight guy invited by a lesbian acquaintance to rambunctious house parties of 40 or more lesbians. I cannot begin to recount the number of young women who cried on my shoulder because of messed up relationships, date-swapping and episodes of physical abuse from week to week. I intend to continue to distinguish between the sinner and the sin, and by God’s grace I intend to continue to strive to love those who reject God’s love and refuse to conform to God’s design for sexuality. And, I give thanks to God for the sacrament of penance. Without confession, I dare say my life would be very different.



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Pere Agoutin

posted October 22, 2010 at 9:34 pm


There are several major mistakes made by certain people on this issue. The first, is the belief that a disapproval of homosexuality stems from “fear” or “religious-based HATRED.” In point of fact, the only time I meet people who really behave hysterically, fearfully and hatefully on this topic, is when I speak to people who have aborted the critical and moral thought process on this issue (i.e., those who are indulgent of the perverse dysfunction of homosexual compulsions and behaviours). I know that there are hateful and fearful people on both sides of this issue – I think of the Jonesboro Baptist Church crowd, for example. But, the overwhelming majority of the time (and in all real-life interactions I’ve had on this topic), the only people I ever observe to act with fear and hatred, are the “Liberals” (for lack of a better term). Bigoted slurs are immediately directed against conservatives (“bigot!” “homophobe!” “hate criminal”), and the assumption of leftist moral superiority is adamantine. This is not the behaviour of rational, charitable people.
Another mistake, is the assumption that disapproval of homosexuality is some kind of irrational construct based purely on hatred, which would automatically collapse if somebody had a friend or loved one who is gay.
My very, very closest friend is homosexual. I’ve known this guy for thirty years, and he’s been my closest friend since very early childhood. In addition, another close friend of mine is bisexual, and I’ve known her for 18 years.
I was raised a good little secular humanist, by the public schools and the television networks. I uncritically accepted these peoples’ sexuality until my teenage years. I became a Christian, and still for about two or three years, I (irrationally) refused to hear the Christian argument and assumed they were wrong. Eventually, I came to have faith that the teaching of all major religions (including Buddhism), that homosexuality is a disordered and sexually abusive behaviour, at least merited an honest examination. I reviewed oodles of scientific literature, and learned many facts that surprised me. Most interesting of all, is the fact that not all identical twins share an homosexual orientation. Even studies conducted by gay-friendly groups, found only a maximum of twenty percent of twins, where both twins were gay (instead of only one or the other). Since identical twins share an identical genetic code (and pre-natal environment), this is CONCLUSIVE proof that homosexuality is not an inborn, genetic trait. Funny that this obvious and conclusive scientific fact is not publicized, eh?
In fact, all of the best scientific literature conludes that homosexuality, even if influenced by some predisposing factors related to genes and conditions in the womb (though even this is not proven), yet sexual orientation is ultimately NOT indelibly fixed and is not an ineluctable product of our genes or hormonal development. It is far more influenced by “nurture” – the circumstances of our upbringing, first and foremost, but also subsequent circumstances. Sexual abuse, in fact, is found to be a very common factor in the childhood of homosexuals… especially in lesbians. Strained and distant relationships with parents (especially the father), failure to be socialized with a group of same-gender peers in formative years, and a perception that one’s traits or abilities are not “manly enough” (or feminine enough), or a failure to have real masculinity (or femininity) modeled for us, are all major factors that influence our sexual development.
Since homosexuality is a coping mechanism for various developmental traumata (ranging from mild forms of simple insecurity to intense forms like sexual abuse), it is neither charitable nor rational to seek to solidy and confirm and encourage and celebrate the homosexual pathology. It is rational and charitable to advocate for an healthier and more compassionate public policy on homosexual dysfunction, and therefore a rejection of the normalization, acceptance, praise and encouragement of homosexuality is not necessarily predicated upon hate (though, to be sure, many ignorant and lazy persons happily resort to hateful rhetoric and attitudes in their opposition to the gay agenda).
When I shared my findings with my homosexual best friend, in fact, he admitted that the research definitely mirrored his own experience, thoughts and feelings about the nature of his sexual impulses. After ten or so years of thinking deeply upon his own psychological insecurities and trying actively to cultivate healthier attitudes, he tells me that he has gone from being entierly attracted only to men, to being able to experience a fairly even-handed bisexuality, being equally attracted to men and women. He isn’t sure whether the long-established pattern of thinking of men in sexual terms will ever go away entirely. But, his discovery of his innate ability to find his sexual compliment in women, has empowered him to lead a normal and sexually healthy life. He hopes that after many years of exclusive heterosexuality with a woman (his wife), he will cease from attraction to other men entirely. And, even if it doesn’t, he is still happy to have found the healthy side of his sexuality, and to be able to enjoy it with a real wife, and from her to sire children who are, biologically and socially and relationally, his very own descendants.
My bisexual friend is a lot further to the left of the political/social spectrum, and so she regards all of this as simple hate-mongering and wishful thinking. It seems clear to me that the facts prove her wrong, but she really refuses to even discuss the topic. I love this bisexual friend and always will – we’ve been close since 6th grade – but it is clear to me that the hate, anger, fear and irrationality are entirely on her (pro-gay agenda) side of the argument. I mean, the gay friend and I were close enough to talk about anything, he found the scientific research to confirm his own experience, and this served as a catalyst for the normalization of his sexuality; he was willing to consider the other side, and it has impacted him radically, for the better. The other friend refuses even to talk about the topic (because that would “concede some level of legitimacy” to the opinion of the majority of all human beings throughout all history. Which side sounds more hateful and irrational to you?
Incidentally, I know that not all people on the left are hateful, just as not all people on the right are rational and irenic. I’m just saying that my own transition from the left to the right, has occured as I noticed that the left – despite talking a big game about tolerance and open-mindedness – was absolutely intolerant and closed-minded about every single one of their pet causes. Also incidentally, people can change their sexual orientation in both directions, not only grom gay to bi/straight. Studies show that prisoners who self-identified as entirely straight before incarceration, gradually become bisexual (or even homosexual) with prolonged same-sex realtionships in confinement. Sexuality is obviously not a simple choice; but, neither is it inborn; it is not fixed; it is not genetic.
Therefore, I have personally seen my own attitudes towards homosexuality change over the years. I have changed them based on a careful examination of the scientific literature (which is never discussed in our monolithically leftist pop culture or university campuses). As my views changed to be less tolerant of the gay agenda, I never stopped loving either of my gay (/bisexual) friends. I did not develop fear or hatred or anger towards them. In fact, I have seen how the love I had for my best friend, and my profound commitment to the moral and scientific truths underlying this debate, have borne fruit in my best friend’s life, as he moved from being “100 percent gay” until his early twenties, to being a man with a healthy functionality towards women as he goes into his thirties.
The obvious conclusion? Being anti-gay does not mean being “pro-relgious-hatred,” still less “homophobic.” Rather, I think it is more likely, that those who refuse to actually consider the salient points of this important social issue, are themselves the ones with irrational phobias and anger. I almost dubbed them “truthophobes,” but then it occurs to me that most of them would like to know the truth, if they could really believe it were the truth… they’re not afraid of the truth per se; they’re afraid of the damage the truth can do to their reputation as enlightened progressives. I know this fear well, because this fear is precisely what motivated me to continue to advocate for the gay cause for a few years even after my conversion to Christianity and my gradual awakening to the sanity of conservative thinking (real conservatism, mind you, not hypocritical American Neo-Conservatism). “Opinionophobes” would be a more accurate moniker, then, for those on the left who immediately silence discussion on this topic.
As I say, I came from being a leftist atheist with two gay/bi best friends, all of us raised by humanist parents in a liberal school system, and went on to develop a reasoned position on this issue which, even if prompted by religious faith, yet never hinged on religious faith. If I became an agnostic tomorrow, my opinion about homosexuality and the gay agenda would remain unaffected. My view is not based on hatred or fear, and I am disappointed and wearied by the leftist bigots who insist on slandering me with either term.
Also, to be clear: from my own friendship with the gay man and bisexual woman, whom I’ve mentioned, I sympathize very much with homosexuals (or other confused persons) and their plight. I know that they are not choosing their sexual impulses and I don’t regard them as evil people. When Christian tradition calls them “intrinsically disordered,” it is merely stating that their sexual psychosis is not an healthy or normal thing; but it is not saying that they may not be intelligent, good-humoured, pleasant people with many good qualities. They deserve respect. I definitely learned that from growing up with my sexually errant friends. But, charity doesn’t ignore a problem just because a friend has it. Alcoholism is an intrinsically disordered relationship to alcohol, and we wouldn’t say that it was loving or tolerant to let alcoholics suffer from their affliction. Some may respond that alcoholism is a direct threat to the life and health of the alcoholic, whereas homosexuals can lead normal lives.
The medical, pyschological and social facts, however, tell us that homosexuals endure comparable health and wellbeing risks from their affliction, many of which could not in any way be traced back to the possible anxiety of dealing with “homophobia” (and most of those that could theoretically be blamed on “homophobia” – i.e., higher drug abuse, domestic abuse, etc., etc. – are really just cop-outs considering the almost universal acceptance of homosexuality today). I, for one, don’t think that the best answer to a rash of gay suicides is to seek to confirm the sexually perverse in a behaviour that is inherently self-destructive and will lead to constant challenges to their physical and mental well-being. The added burden of being “bullied” or ostracized is just a drop in the bucket, when one considers the widespread dysfunctionality in the gay/bi/transgendered/etc. community. While the worldly-wise tell us that we should celebrate their inherently depressing and abusive lifestyle in an attempt to reduce the numbers of gays who commit suicide or are otherwise unhappy, I think the best solution is to teach them that all the “born that way” tripe is just a bunch of rhetoric born from intellectual laziness and a cultural predilection for instant gratification (rather than a willingness to endure years of difficult introspection and the cultivation of healthier attitudes and outlooks in the quest for sexual well-being). I think the best solution is to tell these kids the obvious truth, that sexuality is not something absolutely fixed, and that the potential for them to have fulfilling sexual lives with the complimentary (i.e., opposite) sex, including family life and all the joys thereof, can still lie in their future… if they can separate themselves from the throng of ill-informed cheer-leaders, who are simply feeding into the aforementioned social crises.



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pagansister

posted October 22, 2010 at 9:59 pm


Warren: It is all well and good that you try to accept a homosexual person but not their behavior. IMO that wouldn’t help a teenager who is trying to come to grips with his/her sexuality. You don’t actually accept them for who they are, as you put conditions on it—thus you really don’t accept them. That conditional attitude wouldn’t help a teenager feel he/she was a valuable human being, as you are telling him/her that being attracted to the same gender is not, in your opinion based on your religion, normal or OK. So if that is the case, and with everything else teens face, could help push a gay teen over the edge into suicide. A question I have asked in the past—WHY would a person choose to be hated, discriminated against, told they were not acceptable to a divine being, bullied and all the other things directed towards many gays and lesbians? No one in their right mind would choose to have horrible things done & said to them on purpose. Homosexuals are born to be who they are just like heterosexuals are. It is not a choice or a “lifestyle”. My hat is off to those faiths/religions that accept the total gay or lesbian person—not just the “chaste” ones.



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Mark from PA

posted October 22, 2010 at 10:39 pm


Warren, referring to people who reject God’s love and refuse to conform to God’s design for sexuality isn’t really accepting them. Did you ever think that they are accepting God’s design for who they are. You speak of the sinner and the sin but it is not a sin to be gay. Pagansister is right in what she is saying. In my opinion, your attitude is harmful to teens.



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michigancatholic

posted October 23, 2010 at 3:28 pm


It’s not a sin to have a sexual disorder, if that’s what you mean, Mark. It is a sin to act on it outside of legitimate sacramental marriage, however.



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Mark from PA

posted October 23, 2010 at 4:14 pm


Michigancatholic, I don’t think modern medicine considers people with a homosexual orientation as having a sexual disorder. They just aren’t heterosexuals. A priest explained to me that human sexuality is on a continuum and there is much variety in human sexuality. This is just part of nature.



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Grumpy Old Person

posted October 27, 2010 at 2:02 pm


Calling homosexuality (or, more specifically, acting on one’s innate and entirely natural orientation) a “disorder” is in no way “acceptance”. Nor is it “love”. Especially when one considers Who it is that does the actual ‘ordering’.
Vile and contemptible. It leads to more suicides and bullying.



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RomCath

posted October 27, 2010 at 2:49 pm


“entirely natural orientation) a “disorder” is in no way “acceptance”.
Depends what you consider natural. I guess most people don’t consider it to be.



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Your Name

posted October 27, 2010 at 4:30 pm


That would be because, statistically, “most people” are heterosexual. That, too, is an entirely natural, innate orientation. The same One who ‘ordered’ heterosexuality also ‘ordered’ homosexuality.
Heterosexuality is only “natural” for heterosexuals. DUH! (as the children used to say)
Oh, and “most people” aren’t Catholic, either. That, btw, is a chosen ‘orientation’ at best.
Get. A. Clue.



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RomCath

posted October 27, 2010 at 5:12 pm


Not matter how you slice it, Your Name, homosexuality is not natural. You see men and women complement each other physically and emotionally. If it were natural and normal, roughly half the population would have same sex attraction. They don’t. Get it? Perhaps you might brush up on your bio lessons.
Oh and BTW, I din’t choose to become Catholic but I chose to remain one.



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Sensus Fidei

posted October 27, 2010 at 9:41 pm


“No matter how you slice it, Your Name, homosexuality is not natural. You see men and women complement each other physically and emotionally. If it were natural and normal, roughly half the population would have same sex attraction. They don’t. Get it?”
Seems your standard also applies to celibacy; it’s unnatural, abnormal and who knows exactly but maybe, most optimistically, applies to 2% of the (male) population. And what are the chances that 2% are going to otherwise make for “perfect” priests!



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dennism

posted October 28, 2010 at 2:45 pm


What did Bishop Robinson say that was in error? “We” catholics can’t have it both ways – Robinson is simply telling it like it is. Maybe by reflection on how someone says it back to us we can recognize the “error” of our ways and the hurt that we do to real people and in God’s name.



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cashelguy

posted October 28, 2010 at 2:51 pm


I agree with Bishop Robinson. I do not see how he is misrepresenting anything. The Catholic Church used to burn homosexuals at the stake.
If homosexuality were unnatural then it wouldn’t exist in nature. Of course it does. It wasn’t so long ago that being left handed was considered unnatural and even of the devil. Homosexuality is no different.



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Your Name

posted October 28, 2010 at 3:11 pm


RomCath,
“Not matter how you slice it, Your Name, homosexuality is not natural.”
It most certainly IS – for homosexuals.
“You see men and women complement each other physically and emotionally.”
Um, those would be heterosexual men and women. Trust me, women do NOT “complement” me either physically or emotionally. That would be because I am a gay male. Your statement does not apply to homosexuals.
“If it were natural and normal, roughly half the population would have same sex attraction.”
Based on WHAT, precisely? Homoseuxality appearsin nearly all of nature’s species, and at the same approximate percentage rate. Go read “Biological Exuberance” for a bit of much needed enlightenment.
“They don’t. Get it?”
No. I don’t get it because you haven’t made any point nor any sense. You’ve merely spouted your opinion. It is not based on any facts.
“Perhaps you might brush up on your bio lessons.”
Methinks it is you that needs the brush up. (See above reference to “Biological Exuberance”.)
“Oh and BTW, I din’t choose to become Catholic but I chose to remain one.”
That is because religion is a matter of choice. You could leave the Catholic Church; you choose not to. Others DO choose to join it. Or not.
DO BETTER!



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RomCath

posted October 28, 2010 at 3:49 pm


Your Name, if you want to enagage in same sex activity, be my guest. I don’t really care what animals do, we are rational beings with an immortal soul. Animals in the wild will do whatever they want whenever they want with whatever they want. Animals aren;t capable of sin, humans are.
Because somethings occurs in nature, does not make it “natural”. Is being born with three arms natural? When the only means of continuing the human race depends on heterosexual intercourse, is same sex relations “natural”? No. It is an aberration. Please push your agenda in places where you might find more acceptance and/or approval. Your trying to convince ain’t happening here.
Oh and in your cleverness you might want to choose a monicker, Your Name is pretty trite.



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Michael C

posted October 28, 2010 at 3:50 pm


The fact is that all that Robinson did, was to say what the RCC teaches.
The fact is that the RCC says gays are “intrinsically disordered”, the Pope says that.
The fact is that the only other usage of that term is in the description of a cancer.
The fact is that gay teens kill themselves at four times the national average.
The fact is that the church encourages that by its words and actions.
Christian sexual guilt is taught to us from a young age.
“I and my wife are Christians. We have been married for 7 years. We have two children. We come from very conservative background therefore likewise towards sexual matters. However just before we were married, out of some loosness, we had a sexual experience but short of intercourse. However both of us reached organsm (She reached organsm with my caressing and mine through mine). Although it has been so many years and we have asked God for forgivness, I still feel that I cannot get over with it and most importantly feel not in a proper sexual relationship with her ie that experience mar i think my intimacy with her. I guess “What you sow is what you reap.” What do you think? And do you think that this sin has made our body unclean?”
Part of a letter written to the Marriage Bed.
http://www.themarriagebed.com



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cashelguy

posted October 28, 2010 at 4:29 pm


“I don’t really care what animals do, we are rational beings with an immortal soul. Animals in the wild will do whatever they want whenever they want with whatever they want.”
Romcath, animals do what ever they want? I learned in Catholic School that the difference between us and animals is that we have free will and animals don’t. I believe we have an immortal soul, but the premise that we are rational beings is debatable. I see people do irrational things all the time.



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RomCath

posted October 28, 2010 at 5:51 pm


“Romcath, animals do what ever they want? I learned in Catholic School that the difference between us and animals is that we have free will and animals don’t.”
Yes, they do what they want. If you look like food they will attack you and eat you. If they are in heat they find someone to mate with. They don’t make moral decisions, they follow instinct. They don’t need God’s grace or forgiveness. Normal rational people don’t act like that.
Too bad you didn’t learn a little more in Catholic school about the differences.



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cashelguy

posted October 29, 2010 at 1:29 am


Romcath, I learned a lot in Catholic school.
“If they are in heat they find someone to mate with.”
If animals are mating with someone, I am sure it is the person’s fault and not the animal’s.
No. It is an aberration. Please push your agenda in places where you might find more acceptance and/or approval. Your trying to convince ain’t happening here.
The premise of your argument is that because homosexuals are in the minority they are unnatural. Aberrations, like being left handed, are natural. It is clear you do not want to listen to anyone’s opinion. If that is what you learned in Catholic school, I submit that you went to a bad one.



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Your Name

posted October 29, 2010 at 2:04 pm


How dare this sodomite masquerade as a bishop. How dare he claim apostolic succession. how dare he profane the cross and the Eucharist, as he surely is in a state of extreme Mortal Sin.
And whats more, he is trying to lead others into Mortal sin.
you, sodomite/heretic need to go to confession, then retire to a monastery.



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RomCath

posted October 29, 2010 at 2:26 pm


“The premise of your argument is that because homosexuals are in the minority they are unnatural. Aberrations, like being left handed, are natural. It is clear you do not want to listen to anyone’s opinion. If that is what you learned in Catholic school, I submit that you went to a bad one.”
My belief, noy my premise, is that homosexuality is not the norm in the realm of sexuality. My belief is what the church has taught consistently that sexual expression belongs in the context of a marriage of a man and a woman–anything else is a grave sin.
If it were as “natural” as hetero, would not roughly half the population be homosexual? Why is it incapable of ever producing offspring?
The Catholic schools I went to taught what the Catholic Church teaches about human sexuality, not the opinions of people pushing an agenda. They were great schools. Sorry you got short changed when they didn’t teach you properly about the basic teachings of the faith.



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Your Name

posted October 29, 2010 at 2:43 pm


RomCath,
“If it were as “natural” as hetero, would not roughly half the population be homosexual? Why is it incapable of ever producing offspring?”
On what basis do you come to this conclusion? Being left-handed is perfectly natural (though that would come as a surprise to the nun who broke every bone in my uncle’s left hand with a rod for attempting to use it in her classroom), but not even nearly “half the population” is left-handed?
It is a curious point that you keep repeating, but it is based on – nothing other than your intuition, from what I can tell.
As for your ‘reproduction’ argument, all of my 3 sisters are heterosexuals, and yet the middle of the 3 has never produced offspring. Is she “unnatural” in your eyes because of that? Likewise for my nephew and his wife, and my parents’ best friends Tom and Marj. And for countless other heterosexuals. Are ALL non-procreative people “unnatural” to you? Or just us queers?
Perhaps if you explained yourself better, people might believe you. I haven’t seen anything you’ve written that makes me believe you.



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Your Name

posted October 29, 2010 at 2:49 pm


“My belief, noy [sic] my premise, is that homosexuality is not the norm in the realm of sexuality.”
The only way in which this statement can be construed as anywhere neaar true is in the statistical one. Statistically, you are correct; it is not “the norm”. But that does not mean it is ‘abnormal’ or, more correctly, “unnatural”.



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Your Name

posted October 29, 2010 at 2:52 pm


Exactly what IS “normal”, anyway?
Are redheads abnormal/unnatural?
Are the brown-eyed abnormal/unnatural?
Are short people abnormal/unnatural?
Et cetera.
Inquiring minds wanna know.



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RomCath

posted October 29, 2010 at 3:01 pm


Your Name, perhaps you could look it all up in the Catholic Cathechism as what is normal and natural in the realm of sexuality as you seem deficient is your knowledge of Catholic teaching. You know as Jesus said, “that is why a man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife”.
I am not taling about hair color here nor being born with no arms or legs. I am talking about what is as the Vatican has called it “intrinsically disordered”. Period.



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Your Name

posted October 29, 2010 at 11:29 pm


I wasn’t asking for a re-iteration of Catholic dogma. (I know what the HRCC teaches.)
I was asking what is normal. What the HRCC teaches doesn’t even approach “normal”.
And it seems it is you who doesn’t actually know what the Vatican teaches. The official pronouncement is that homosexuality isn’t the “sin” nor is it “intrinsically disordered”. It is homosexual acts that are so described, not the orientation.
I’m not sure how your repetition of the party line helps bullied LGBT children in the least. You are part of the problem.



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Your Name

posted October 29, 2010 at 11:32 pm


And, I notice, you till haven’t defended your speculation that half the population would be gay if it were natural. Hair color is barely germaine, but half the population isn’t blonde, either, even though it, too, happens to be entirely natural – for blondes!
Do better.



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Your Name

posted October 29, 2010 at 11:35 pm


Homophobia in the Church? Really?
Absolutely. RomCath and the ‘good’ deacon are ‘shining’ examples of it.



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Your Name

posted October 29, 2010 at 11:36 pm


Being a priest must be unnatural ‘cuz half the population aren’t priests. By your ‘logic’.



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RomCath

posted October 30, 2010 at 8:32 am


“I’m not sure how your repetition of the party line helps bullied LGBT children in the least. You are part of the problem.”
I am not going to debate with you on what the Church teaches and most moral people think about homosexual activity. It is pretty clear.
How does your pushing the agenda help those bullied children? You are the problem.



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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 »




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