Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman


Secularizing the Cross (Christian Activists: Be Careful What You Wish For)

posted by swaldman

cheerleader bible quotes.jpgThe Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week, in Buono v. Salazar, about whether a white 6 1/2 foot cross can be displayed in a national park as a tribute to World War I soldiers. Though it’s depicted as a classic clash of the secular and the religious, it actually illustrates why Christian activists should think long and hard about pushing for religious symbols in the public square.
In order for religious symbols to pass Constitutional muster, they often must have some “secular” purpose, so advocates of religious displays spend much time trying strip the item of its religious meaning. Hence this amazing exchange between Justice Antonin Scalia and Peter J. Eliasberg, the attorney for the ACLU (via the New York Times):

Mr. Eliasberg said many Jewish war veterans would not wish to be honored by “the predominant symbol of Christianity,” one that “signifies that Jesus is the son of God and died to redeem mankind for our sins.”
Justice Scalia disagreed, saying, “The cross is the most common symbol of the resting place of the dead.”
“What would you have them erect?” Justice Scalia asked. “Some conglomerate of a cross, a Star of David and, you know, a Muslim half moon and star?”
Mr. Eliasberg said he had visited Jewish cemeteries. “There is never a cross on the tombstone of a Jew,” he said, to laughter in the courtroom.
Justice Scalia grew visibly angry. “I don’t think you can leap from that to the conclusion that the only war dead that that cross honors are the Christian war dead,” he said. “I think that’s an outrageous conclusion.”

So, in order to preserve its place in the cemetary, Scalia secularized the cross. It became not an emblem of Christ’s love or sacrifice but instead a “common symbol of the resting place of the dead.”
We’ve seen this before. To pass Constitutional muster, the Christmas tree has been deemed an icon of a festive season, rather than something related to Christ’s birth. In Lynch v. Donnelly, the court found that even creches could be considered to have secular purposes.
In other words, the more you want Christian symbols in the public square, the more you have to prove they’re lacking religious meaning. A question for devout Christians: Do you really want the cross and the creche to become akin to the Christmas tree — or the Easter Bunny?
The “secular purpose” trap isn’t the only reason the “pro-religion” position can end up hurting Christianity. Legal cases pressing Christian symbols tend to argue that these efforts are acceptable as long as the government isn’t excluding other faiths. That’s how we’ve ended up with town squares with Menorahs alongside the creches. But this is the ultimate slippery slope. The Courts cannot and should not say that pluralism is imited only to Jews. Over time, Islam, Buddhism, Paganism will inevitably end up having greater public displays, too.
That means conservative Christians need to ponder a more subtle theological point. If you believe visible public displays convey important social messages, doesn’t a pluralistic scene convey a second message: that all faiths are equal? And for those who believe that God is angered by our unwillingness to advocate His presence in public places, how will He feel about your implicit declaration that Islam or Buddhism deserve equal stature?
Finally, some earthly symbols that make excellent culture war statements may be less successful at conveying the desired spiritual meaning. The residents of Oglethorpe, Georgia are fighting for the right of cheerleaders to hoist paper banners featuring Bible quotes, through which the football players can burst at the beginning of games. One quotes Philipians 3:14, “I Press On Toward the Goal To Win the Prize for Which God Has Called Me in Christ Jesus.”
Really? Is that goal — the one with the white stripe near the big yellow metal post — the one God in Christ Jesus had in mind?
I understand the impulse: residents thought they were doing a hopeful, helpful thing, and opposition from some small minority seems like part of a larger culture war against their faith in general. But I’m not sure they’re truly advancing the cause of Christ through these banners. As someone posted on a community message board recently, “Yeah that’s what Jesus got nailed to a cross for. So high school football games could be won. They’re insulting Christians and Atheists in one fell swoop.”
To be clear: I’m not arguing the Constitutional merits here; I tend to side more with conservatives on the legal matters, feeling that religious displays often can be constitutional. Nor am I questioning the sincere motives of those wanting to deepen their faith by celebrating it in public.
I’m saying that there’s such a thing as being Constitutionally allowed — but spiritually unwise. Remember, James Madison supported strict separation of church and state primarily because he thought it was good for religion. Perhaps he was on to something.
P.S. One of the parties in favor of the public display of the cross is the Obama administration’s Justice Department! I’m still waiting for my Family Research Council press release praising Obama for opposing the American Civil Liberities Union and advocating faith in the public square.



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 8, 2009 at 3:53 pm


Steven,
I’ve been observing this stuff for decades. It began with the atheists pushing against nominal religious displays in the public square. Understandably, the overwhelming majority of citizens who are believers became increasingly enraged at the unrelenting assaults and began to push back against the atheists.
The end results are the displays that you have posted here, of football games being used as….footballs in this larger contest of wills. This battle will not stop.
Bill Donohue of the Catholic League gets it right when he calls these atheists ‘gutless’ and ‘cowards’ for going after Christianity and not Islam. Europe is a good example of what happens when the government goes after christian expression but lives in fear of arousing Islamic ire.
Perhaps if Christians started slaughtering atheists for their ‘offenses’ the way muslims do, this would all go away. I certainly don’t advocate that approach, but it does seem to have a wonderfully protective effect for muslims. That really is the issue here, and Donohue has nailed it. I would have tremendous respect for Rev. Barry Lynn and Co. if they gave equal time to muslims.
Atheists should carefully consider if they wish to persist on the road that our European cousins have travelled. They may bring down Christianity, but they will find life very different under Islamic sensibilities, less than democratically imposed.



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panthera

posted October 8, 2009 at 6:58 pm


Gerard,
We do have Christianity here in Europe, still.
Really.
What we don’t have so much of, is this attempt by conservative Christians (mainly evangelical-literalistic-fundamentalist-Bible-thumping-gay-bashing Christians) to force an end to the separation of church and state.
Islam would have never been a threat to us here, had we not battered ourselves with the inter-faith wars (see, Treaty of Augsburg) nor would we have lost so much of the population that our culture stopped advancing had we not persecuted Jews and murdered every single black cat. Literally. You’re a scientist, I don’t need to run the numbers on how such a plague turned into a pandemic.
As a Christian, I personally view a cross as a fine symbol for those who so valiantly laid down their lives (and the many, many more who were murdered) in wars. I know of many towns in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands – even Austria! – which have erected crosses to the memory of the homosexuals, Jews, Roma, devout Catholics, handicapped children and other victims of the Nazis. Nobody feels like their toes have been stepped on, because the meaning is clear. The same with the eternal lights in the memorials to the murdered Jews – as a homosexual, I know I am included in those prayers written in Hebrew that such hatred should never again gain rein, I don’t have to be named personally.
That is not the case here.
Remember, should the conservative protestant Christians win, not only will homosexuals like me be tortured and murdered, you Catholics (loyal to the Pope, not to God’s own appointed Land) will be next. And you Mormons with your heathen ways, useful for the culture wars, but there’s a reason they ended up in Utah…and once they don’t need you anymore, you’ll be back to being oppressed faster than your can say “I forgot where I put those golden tablets, dagnabit. They were here just a moment ago.”
I’m serious. Europe has found a way to live together. Americans have not. For all the screaming the conservative Christians do about how their rights are being trampled, they are the ones seeking to overthrow the basis of our country, our Constitution.
Take a look, please at this video. This is precisely the twisted mentality of these, our Christian brothers. They actually place their freedom to hate above the right of others to be safe from physical violence.
This discussion has as little to do with our Christian belief as does a rape with sex. It is all about attempts by the conservative Protestants to force the rest of us under their version of Christianity. You and I disagree on abortion, torture and some other things. I disagree with the LDS on nearly all civil right issues. You, the LDS and I are far, far closer to each other in our Christian beliefs than these people. Think about it, please.



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MH

posted October 8, 2009 at 7:29 pm


Gerard Nadal, if you are not advocating violence against atheists then why bring it up and mention the possible beneficial consequences? Also, you are quite wrong about atheists not criticizing Islam as their arguments are quite general in nature.



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 9, 2009 at 12:34 am


MH,
My differences with atheists are ALWAYS dealt with over pasta and wine. That’s my battlefield. The object is to get enough wine into the system to end the night laughing. I juxtapose the treatment of atheists by Muslims and Christians to suggest that atheists are trying to silence the wrong crowd.
No, I am not quite wrong about atheists criticizing Islam. England recently accepted Sharia Courts. I must have missed the demonstrations and calls for Parliament to reverse the policy of a parallel system of justice.
Let me know when you’re free for dinner. We’ll have it out over linguine.
God Bless



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 9, 2009 at 12:35 am


Panthera,
Good post. I’m dead on my feet. I’ll respond in the morning.



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panthera

posted October 9, 2009 at 6:10 am


Hi Gerard,
Well, me Buck-o, then just concede!
:-)))
Seriously, living in Europe and traveling through countries with Islamic governments would open quite a few eyes of those who think they just want to live together ‘with us’ in peace and everybody really wants the same thing.
Hah!
Several tens of thousands of gays have been tortured, many thousands, perhaps here, too, tens of thousands murdered in the last months in Irak. This is Islam.
Sadly.



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panthera

posted October 9, 2009 at 7:21 am


Seriously, Gerard,
I hope you got a good night’s sleep. There is nothing in this world quite as necessary and desperately lacking for so many people.
Much of your politics is, correctly, colored by your child’s needs. That is what being a parent is all about. I know something is really, really wrong when one of my queens comes to me with a new-born kitten in her mouth at a time when she should be lying on her side, cleaning her paws and letting everybody chow-down. Dogs are more inclined to work with other species, but they all have something you, too, have, which is all-to-often otherwise lacking: Their only priority is their children.
We are all coming out of a near-dictatorship under Bush#43. Actually, given the secret suspension of the Bill of Rights, I suppose historians will label it a true dictatorship. Because the conservative Christians held such sway during this period and abused their authority so greatly (torture of prisoners, mis-use of tax-exempt status, blessing when not all out declaring a sacrament things Jesus considered abominations, abuse of government offices to oppress gays… just to name a few) those of us on the left of the Christian spectrum are going to be more than a bit skeptical and irritated for some time to come.
The job for both sides, yes, given the breech of faith and attacks on the Constitution, rather more for the conservative side, is to find a way to continue working together on common goals such as health insurance or honoring the dead, that there be no further unnecessary wars.
Right now, my side doesn’t trust yours one bit. Given the protestations that they could live with civil unions in California last year and the direct attacks on the establishment of civil unions in Washington State this year, that is hardly surprising. We must, though. You, too. Otherwise, we shall have gridlock and, as a direct result, many more shall suffer and die.
Where do we begin? Must every single issue be a referendum on my human status (or lack thereof) and eliminating all abortions?



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MH

posted October 9, 2009 at 9:19 am


Gerard, Pat Condells is a UK atheist who is quite critical of Islam and posts videos on You Tube. The link above discusses how he’s been hit be taken down notices as an attempt to censor him. You can also go to your local library and check out the book “Why I’m not a Muslim”, or look at other You Tube videos by atheists no the topic of Islam.



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Your Name

posted October 9, 2009 at 10:09 am


“Legal cases pressing Christian symbols tend to argue that these efforts are acceptable as long as the government isn’t excluding other faiths.”
But, of course, “the government” does exactly that. Other religions’ symbols have been excluded. Unless you can show me where the Star of David or a statue of the Buddha or of Vishnu or any Muslim symbols stand on government/public property, then you ‘conservatives are blowin’ hot air – again and as usual.



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Bubba Bill

posted October 9, 2009 at 1:46 pm


This is America, and we use to believe in freedom of religion and expression. What is missing in our country is “respect”. If we would respect one another this issue wouldn’t be an issue. To go further, I as a evangelical Christian believe that there in no problem with other faiths to display their emblems. What I have a problem with is those faiths denying me the same opportunity.



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panthera

posted October 9, 2009 at 2:04 pm


Bubba Bill,
Nobody is denying you that opportunity. The whole mess began because the right-wing-fundamentalist-conservative-gay-bashing-evangelical-literalistic-conservative Christians in the US government refused to let other religions and philosophies erect monument to the victims of these wars…and they weren’t even asking for equal space or representation.
I do not understand why the conservative Christians are constantly running around saying their rights are being trod upon when it is they who are abusing non-conservative Christians and everyone else constantly.



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Common Loon

posted October 9, 2009 at 2:15 pm


.
Great post Mr. Waldman. I fear that many (but not all) of my fellow evangelical Christians have become so caught up in symbolic culture war skirmishes that the big picture is forgotten. While every analogy has its limits, the cultural impacts of secularization in Europe are worth noting.
As a person of faith, I fully support the freedom of individual religious expression in the public square, but once a state institution (which is supposed to represent a diverse mix of citizens) becomes conflated with elevating or suppressing a particular religion, both church and state will suffer the consequences.



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panthera

posted October 9, 2009 at 2:22 pm


The Common Loon,
Right on!
How I wish I had even a bit of your un-common sense and basic Christian decency.
By the by, living both in Europe and the US, there is a very deep and living Christianity to be found in Europe. Europeans do not, as a whole, feel that serving God means bashing gays and throwing temper tantrums about every single topic because they can’t get their way on everything. So the quiet witness of Europe gets drowned out by the hatred of the American conservative Christians. No wonder so many people are turning away from Christianity. When I, a gay man, am told I am not a Christian, it surely does not inspire me to work with such hateful people. How much less must non-Christians want to have anything to do with us?



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GodsCountry

posted October 11, 2009 at 9:31 pm


In the same way our heroic soldiers died for us, so to did Jesus die for all of humanity.
In the same way that our living the way-of-life our soldiers died to protect honors their death and the cause they died for, so following Jesus honors Him and the cause He died for.
There can be no more appropriate symbol for those who have given their life for others.
Secularizing the cross? Why not? The cross is the way that the secular find hope and salvation. It is at once essentially secular and sacred, like the man/God who died there for us.



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GodsCountry

posted October 11, 2009 at 9:44 pm


>>When I, a gay man, am told I am not a Christian



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panthera

posted October 12, 2009 at 3:36 am


GodsCountry,
Comparing my marriage to raping a child has got to set a new low, even for the conservative Christians here at Beliefnet.
Steven, gay Christians put up with a lot around here and we fight back pretty hard, too.
This, however, is nothing but vitriolic hatred.



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 12, 2009 at 6:45 am


Panthera,
Good morning friend! I’ve been sick along with my little ones, so sorry for not responding sooner with a lengthier post.
About GodsCountry and the unfortunate analogy; this is the reason that the College Board made a huge mistake a few years ago in taking the analolgy section out of the SAT.
I see two issues here. The first is a valid interpretation of sexual morality in the scriptures that holds only heterosexual marriage and sexual activity to be morally licit. Obviously you approach that from a different perspective. In my early twenties, I would have treated that as red meat for debate. Now, turning 50 in less than a year, I see things much differently, more pastorally.
St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13, “I can speak with the tongues of angels, but if I have not love, I am a noisy gong, a clanging cymbal.”
How true. What matters more than anything is how we approach one another. If not in love, then the message is lost. It is one of the weaknesses of Beliefnet’s medium. Blogs can be an occasion of getting to know one another in the virtual town square, as you and I have, and in coming to respect one another despite our differences because of the value we place on our shared humanity. Blogs can also, at the worst, degenerate into shouting obscenities out the window at passers-by whom we find less than attractive. This, done in the name of ‘witnessing the Gospel’ Case in point on this thread.
The other issue is dragging the rape of children into discussions of homosexuality. It is manifestly unfair, uncharitable, and profoundly ignorant. Sure, the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church is well over 95% homosexual in the nature of the sex acts involved. Sure NAMBLA has been out there for some time. But it also true that the overwhelming amount of child rape is done in the home and is heterosexual in the nature of the sex acts involved. Most of the sex abuse of children by teachers in school is heterosexual predation.
This is complicated stuff when we begin to delve into the preponderance of pedophilia in any community: gay or straight, clerical or laity, etc… I don’t think sufficient data exist to begin to make any claims.
“Sin must be turned away from, repented of, and a fresh seeking of holiness must begin. This is the human struggle.”
This statement is absolutely true for any sin, especially for the lack of charity aimed at you in this thread , Panthera. I would remind God’sCountry that Jesus FIRST encountered individuals with love, and without condemnation. Repentance FOLLOWED as a consequence of people feeling their dignity restored by the love and acceptance for who they were at their deepest level of being, not for what they did or did not do. That’s why Paul said what he did about love.
We’ve spoken quite a bit about your past Panthera, and of the hatred and humiliation you have been made to endure. Those who have done so in Jesus’ name have much for which to account and atone. Don’t dwell on the drive-by idiocy that appears on these threads. Dwell on the fact that you are an honorable man, a beloved son of a loving God who does call you to holiness, and who leads you in His own time and in His own way, a way that respects all of your weaknesses and strengths. If we only focussed on our detractors and not on God’s love for us, we would be elevating those detractors to the status and role that God demands as His rightful place in our lives.
Be at peace friend. Ignore the bozos and rest awhile in His love.



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 12, 2009 at 7:10 am


GodsCountry,
You are quite accurate in describing the Church’s rejection of homosexual behavior and homosexual marriage. It is as uncompromising as you are in your repetition of it. However, as an evangelist, you leave much to be desired.
Have you any idea of the man you tore into on this thread? What do you know of him, of his generosity, his support for the disabled, his care of impoverished relatives, in a word, his Christianity? Juxtaposing his life with your post, you’ve got lots of growing to do before you could even fit into his shoes, let alone walk a mile in them.
While I could attest to Church teaching about the objective sinfulness of homosexuality, I can also attest to the Church’s teaching that there exists in people’s lives circumstances which mitigate entirely any subjective guilt imputed to objective sin. This is a function of God’s merciful love, and I’m glad for it with my own sins.
Better soften that stony, doctrinaire heart with some of the mercy and love you hope for yourself. Jesus teaches that He will give it in the proportion that we show it to others.
Clubbing people to death with dogma isn’t love. It’s hubris. Learn the difference, for your sake.
Then take the plank out of your own eye so that you can see clearly enough to take the speck out of Panthera’s eye. Wanna guess who came up with that one?



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panthera

posted October 12, 2009 at 11:31 am


Gerard,
Thank you.
Your approach is the only reason I am even willing to give consideration to the possibility that conservative Christians are not necessarily evil.
On the other hand, you pretty much are the exception which proves the rule around here.
I think it’s about time for me to withdraw from participation in Beliefnet. The moderation permits racists over on Crunchycon, I have to put up with being called a pedophile here, right now on The New Christians I am being told that my legal marriage doesn’t exist…
Gerard, these people may seem like your fellows in your fight against abortion. I humbly submit that you will make more progress in reducing abortions by working with those of us on the left who also want to see a reduction then you ever will with these people. By forcing us on the left into an either-or position, one in which we have to accept politicians who want to force women back into the stone age and return us gays to being tortured and locked away in mental institutions should we want to support abortion reform, you just will never get the support you need.
Work with us to find a solution to the problem and, no you won’t get everything. But you will find us far more open to working with you when the campaign to oppress women and gays is not involved. John McCain’s staff calculated shortly after the election that they lost about four million votes to gays and families of gays. So long as we are threatened by such people as Godscountry (the blasphemy of even that name!), I fear you’ll never get anywhere.
May God bless you and your family. Get well and stay well.
Your
Panthera



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 12, 2009 at 1:49 pm


Panthera,
I think that you are a bit bigger than the bigots. You do more to show their bigotry for what it is and shame them by your decency. I get smacked down all the time by well-meaning liberals for my ‘inhumane’ and ‘barbaric’ views.
We differ on a great many issues, but ceding the ground to the worst of those with whom you differ not only doesn’t advance your argument, it forces you to retreat into bitter isolation. There are far more orthodox (small o) Christians who profoundly disagree with you, but would never treat you poorly than there are strident ninnies. Gay rights is the new kid on the block. The tolerance desired must first be shown in good measure consistently. Not easy, I grant you. But Panthera, if you are the enlightened Christian, then it is incumbent upon you to respond not in anger, but in patient charity. That’s a tall order for a guy who has endured what you have, but Jesus didn’t give us that one as an option. It’s an imperative from the Son of God Himself.
Hang around. The idiots may well be your salvation. If you’ve ever prayed for humility or patience, they are the answer to your prayers. That’s how we learn humility and patience. Dealing with schmucks.
If you do depart, don’t retreat into alienation and isolation. Pray for the schmucks as you move on.
That said, go have a few drinks and come back in a few days.
Peace



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panthera

posted October 12, 2009 at 4:47 pm


Gerard,
Wise words. I am not sure humility and reflection are even possible for me, to be honest…and yes, they are on my list of demands I present to God regularly. And right now, if you don’t mind being the usual last line of the prayer…
I will take a bit of a break. And, to quote the governator “I’ll be baaackkk.” He just declared marriages performed elsewhere as having full civil-union status in California, by the way.
Take care,
Panthera



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 12, 2009 at 6:28 pm


Panthera,
“I will take a bit of a break. And, to quote the governator “I’ll be baaackkk.””
Bully for you! While you’re on break, enjoy some great pasta and some great wine. Life’s too short to do otherwise.



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K

posted October 13, 2009 at 1:28 pm


Although I am not a Christian, I have the upmost admiration for the teachings and life story of Jesus. That said, I don’t understand the need of public display of one’s faith or lack of it.
I think is somewhat diminishing and even insulting. Imagine a mostly Christian town, two high school football teams playing against each other. One uses Bible quotes, the other doesn’t. What happens if the Bible quoting one looses? How does that leave their God? Or worst, what is both use Bible quotes? What does it mean to the loosing team? And what does it say about people who, in a world where thouthands are dying of sickness, hunger and Natural Dissaters they pray to their God so he favors a sports match?
With all due respect, it seems that some Christian are McDonalising their religion: They have created theme parks where people happily pose with a fiber glass Jesus, they have turn the words of who they consider their God into T-shirts slogans, they have turned the humble (and terrifying) wooden cross into a fashion statment….I think that the best things Christians can do to promote their religion is live life as Jesus taught them do it and let the fruit of their love and compassion be the best public display of their faith.Although I am not a Christian, I have the upmost admiration for the teachings and life story of Jesus. That said, I don’t understand the need of public display of one’s faith or lack of it.
I think is somewhat diminishing and even insulting. Imagine a mostly Christian town, two high school football teams playing against each other. One uses Bible quotes, the other doesn’t. What happens if the Bible quoting one looses? How does that leave their God? Or worst, what is both use Bible quotes? What does it mean to the loosing team? And what does it say about people who, in a world where thouthands are dying of sickness, hunger and Natural Dissaters they pray to their God so he favors a sports match?
With all due respect, it seems that some Christian are McDonalising their religion: They have created theme parks where people happily pose with a fiber glass Jesus, they have turn the words of who they consider their God into T-shirts slogans, they have turned the humble (and terrifying) wooden cross into a fashion statment….I think that the best things Christians can do to promote their religion is live life as Jesus taught them do it and let the fruit of their love and compassion be the best public display of their faith.



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GodsCountry

posted October 14, 2009 at 9:50 pm


“Garard Nadal”,
Someone needed to tell that poor (now absent) fellow the truth. You were merely being accommodating, even enabling. A sinful lifestyle and non-repentance will not lead to salvation, much less holiness.
I am not an evangelist and the following are more characteristics you also inferred;
a “schmuck” (2X)
“strident ninnie”
“idiot”
“dogmatic”
“hubristic”
“immature”
“hardhearted”
“unable to judge”
…and, finally “bigot”, the WMD of Liberal lingo.
This from one who calls good, evil and evil, good, within a context of lecturing on “tolerance”.
You won’t even follow your own philosophical “golden rule”.
Drape it with all the religious jargon you like, your message is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, (who bled and died so that humanity could turn AWAY from it’s sins).
The audacity of “tolerance”.



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interpreter

posted October 14, 2009 at 11:20 pm


Let the cross stay for God’s sake.



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 15, 2009 at 12:01 am


God’s Country,
Well what can I say? If the shoe fits…
Okay, for witnessing to the OBJECTIVE component of homosexuality’s sinfulness, you get an A+. Great Job. I’ll even put a star on your paper.
But it is the teaching of my Church (Catholic) that there exists in people’s lives subjective realities that give rise to the objective sinfulness that can entirely mitigate any culpability imputed to the individual. You forgot THAT little part of moral theology in your self-righteous rant against Panthera.
The sins against sex are usually the most humiliating. The sins against charity are without a doubt the most damning.
You didn’t like seeing yourself described objectively, did you? That’s why you enumerated all of my descriptions of your behavior, and consequently the personality type they amount to. How do you think Panthera felt? Moral theology is not a club to beat people into submission. Remember that.
What you did amounts to nothing more than a drive-by shooting. Not a very effective witness to God’s love and mercy (forgot to mention those in your post). His love and mercy are, after all, what the incarnation was all about. Ever notice how Jesus went pretty easy on the sexual sinners, but gave it to the Pharisees with both barrels? He didn’t fault them for teaching His law. He faulted them for their stunning lack of charity. There’s a lesson in that for you.
You didn’t bother to enumerate the blessings of death to self and conforming one’s will to God’s, as set forth in revelation But you excel at enumerating other’s sins.Hence your lack of pastoral care or concern, your lack of charity.
Enabling? Not exactly. I’m not sleeping with him, nor encouraging his choice. Panthera is a rather intelligent fellow. I don’t need to tell him what the scriptures have to say. He already knows. But I also know that he and his husband have been beaten savagely by bigots and left with permanent physical sequelae, all in the name of Jesus. I might add that Panthera and I have famously crossed swords in the past. I have come to admire and respect him, without regard to his sexual orientation (the topic of which quite frankly bores me). I’d much rather know about HIM as a person, as an intellect (we’re both college professors).
Tolerance? I hate the word. It’s stupid. Don’t use it with me. It suggests a certain imperiousness on the part of one who deigns to permit another to think or believe as they want. It’s not my place, or yours, or Panthera’s to ‘permit’ anything. He has free will, the same as you and me. To the extent that he has been traumatized in life, or you, or me, he exercises that free will. Go back and read 1 Corinthians 13 on Love. You need it.
I stand by my every word posted here.



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Kira

posted October 15, 2009 at 6:20 pm


They want to do as always–claim it’s “secular” so they can have it on every piece of public land at the taxpayer’s expense, yet claim it’s a “sacred religious symbol” so nobody can criticize or question it. They get the best of both worlds and the rest of us get the shaft.



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Panthera

posted October 16, 2009 at 6:39 pm


Gerard,
I find myself humbled. Were that I could bear even one/tenth of your compassion towards people with whom I disagree.
Thank you!



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MH

posted October 16, 2009 at 9:03 pm


The ironic thing about the cross lawsuit is that Frank Buono is a practicing Catholic.



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 17, 2009 at 12:23 pm


Hey Panthera,
How was the pasta and wine? As for compassion and those with whom you disagree, may I offer some unsolicited insight?
Neither the gay community, nor the so-called ‘Christian Right’, nor any community is monolithic in its member’s thinking or behavior. I wholeheartedly understand how your experiences in life could lead you to revile conservative Christianity, but that is the goal of the evil directed at you: to make you as hate-filled and blind to individuals as the hate-filled bigots who think all gays are the same. That’s where you face the danger of surrendering your humanity, willfully.
I never really talk about the issues relative to homosexuality, gay rights, etc., because as I told that fellow above, it bores me. There are gays who creep me out, and there are great men such as yourself. Hardly a monolithic community. The same with heterosexuals.
However, I will take this opportunity to challenge you. Hold your breath Panthera. I want you to slip into the shoes of a conservative christian for a moment. Now let’s walk that road together for a moment.
The first thing that needs to go is the label ‘conservative’. Most would view themselves as orthodox (small o) christians. I include myself in that group. In the Catholic Church, the Magisterium holds that the scriptures maintain a clear and consistent teaching that any sex outside of heterosexual marriage is not part of God’s design, for a host of reasons. All other sexual acts, including homosexuality, are specifically mentioned. It is not for me, or any other christian to alter or abolish any component of Divine Revelation. So, when I said to that fellow above,
“Tolerance? I hate the word. It’s stupid. Don’t use it with me. It suggests a certain imperiousness on the part of one who deigns to permit another to think or believe as they want. It’s not my place, or yours, or Panthera’s to ‘permit’ anything.”
For me, as an orthodox christian, it is not my place to actively give permission for that which falls outside of the order God established. That isn’t tantamount to hatred. It just means I give God my obedience. That obedience also includes loving those with whom I disagree, and even those I consider my personal adversaries. Loving doesn’t mean accepting the other’s behaviors. It does mean accepting the shared humanity and acting in such a way as to respect their dignity.
Some of us are better at that than others. I’ve got a long way to go.
I won’t mince words on the next topic in our walk together, and that is the vile and vicious rhetoric aimed at christians by gays. I’ve been at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC during the Gay Pride Parade and watched gay men moon the Cathedral, grab their crotches while facing the cathedral and shout obscenities, throw condoms at the cathedral, and pit at it. I was there as a seminarian in the late 80’s when ACT UP would disrupt Mass every Sunday by standing and turning their backs during Cardinal O’Connor’s homily. I was there the Sunday that they came up to receive Communion and then threw the Eucharist on the floor, stepping on it and throwing condoms around the Cathedral. I was an eye and ear witness to it all.
The Cardinal they hated so much converted St. Clare’s hospital effectively into an AIDS hospice. They hated him because he would not preach condom usage (as though they, or most Catholics were waiting for his approval). O’Connor went to St. Clare’s every week in simple black clerics (no ring, no pectoral cross, no sign of office). He instructed the staff to simply call him Fr. John in front of the patients. He bathed them, emptied their bedpans, fed them, and ministered to their spiritual needs. Few ever recognized who he was.
When I worked at Covenant House in Times Square, my last two years(’89-’90) were on the ONLY residential treatment facility in the nation, at the time, for adolescents with HIV AIDS. I buried kids while I was there. Indeed, the much-reviled Catholic Church has been the single-largest private provider of services to those with HIV/AIDS in the nation, from the beginning of the pandemic to the present.
The sex abuse scandal in my Church is over 97% homosexual in its nature. It wasn’t heterosexual priests who did this to us.
If what was done to you is reason to hate, Panthera, I too have ample temptation to hate gays. I choose not to, in no small measure because of honorable men such as yourself.
The only way out of the cycle of bitter recriminations is a willful opting out on the part of individuals. I’ve seen my church ruined by gay priests, seen my Blessed Sacrament and Cathedral desecrated by gay men, seen a Cardinal whom I respected more than any other unjustly labeled a callous homophobe, by ignorant gay men. I CHOOSE not to respond in hatred.
I invite you to do the same Panthera, because I believe you’re a big enough man to do so.



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GodsCountry

posted October 17, 2009 at 1:13 pm


“”…I stand by my every word posted here…”” GN
…as do I.



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Panthera

posted October 17, 2009 at 5:41 pm


Gerard,
I will never come close to your compassion and ability to forgive.
You raised several important points and I can’t even begin to do them justice this evening – yes, I’m temporarily back in Europe – so pray your indulgence, that I might spread my answer out over several comments.
I think I am very typical of my generation of gay Christians in that I am firmly anchored in the science, medicine and jurisprudence of the early 1970’s (and continuing through to now with increasing evidence and statistically relevant findings) which clearly show that homosexuality is not a disorder, not a mental or physical illness. We aren’t sick, we don’t prey upon children, we can neither choose our sexuality nor is it mutable.
This knowledge broke the chains under which we had lived. For many gays, it led to an enormous fury at the institutions which reacted to this advance in knowledge by rejecting it out of hand. This fury was simmering, barely below the surface when Aids appeared on the scene.
I truly don’t think the nastiness towards the Roman Church was productive and I personally knew many priests and lay brothers as well as sisters who sacrificed their careers in the Church as well as taking great personal risks to help the victims of Aids.
It can’t be denied that the epidemic exploded as it did because of the irresponsible sexual behavior of many people, gay and straight (we know, today, more straight than gay, but that is only because there are more of you than of us, it wasn’t for lack of stupidity on our part). Unfortunately, it also can’t be denied that many, including quite a few in the Church, saw this disease as God’s revenge upon gays and as a weapon to be brandished. There really were many conservative Christians and Republicans who rejoiced at the decimation of gay America.
When one of the conservative Christians here says things such as “you aren’t a Christian” or, “you aren’t really married” the anger which explodes back at them from me is very much an echo of the fury I felt at these people in the mid-eighties when they consciously permitted and encouraged the epidemic to turn into a pandemic. By the time it became clear that this disease affects everyone (and is, predominately, a straight problem), the battle lines had been drawn. Frankly, writing this, I hear again the echo of comments I have read down through these last decades about how Aids is a good thing – killing Negroes and gays, two out of three really ain’t bad. Were they to be honest, I suspect you’d find many of these conservatives here would admit to this, their hatred.
Yes, I very much can understand how a person who defines their love of God through an assumed literal reading of the Bible or blind obedience to the Pope would see my happy, monogamous, faithful, true, loyal and loving marriage – a partnership of now 25 years – as more of a red flag than if I were miserable. I can understand how can reach the dual conclusion that it is a sin and yet see it as my personal sin to deal with and not something worth destroying our Christians fellowship over. I feel much the same about your position on torture.
That Europe recognizes the marriage legally, that our church blessed it just makes it even worse in their eyes. I should, at the very least, be a miserable man-whore, broke and diseased and unhappy and not someone blessed with a happy marriage, and good health. It upsets their stereotype dreadfully to see gays happy – you see this all the time in their ignorant comments over on crunchycon. Goodness, I understand we can’t all travel, but don’t they ever actually read anything about Europe besides the BS which Faux news runs? OK, that was rhetorical….
What to do? That is the question.
Our personal conflicts on the matter will soon be resolved. The Church has moved enormously forward over the last decades on recognizing findings newly won of the natural world God has given us. Goodness, it was only yesterday that the Church apologized for that unpleasantness over Galileo Galilei and I fully expect monogamous homosexual marriage to be recognized in not less than a similar span of time. By 2400 or so, we will be setting down at a sidewalk café and laughing about this.
The real problem is what to do with those conservative, predominately American, Christians who deny my Christianity, deny my legal marriage, refuse to accept what science, medicine and carefully compiled police and social statistics have so very clearly shown.
My approach – why use pretty words when thermonuclear devices are to hand – fails utterly with them.
Your erudition and compassion sails right over their heads – Godscountry, churchmouse, Matt…et al. simply refuse to entertain any position of live and let live, agree to disagree, willingness to continue in Christian fellowship.
We will, soon, win secular recognition for our rights. Whether DADT, ENDA, the Matthew-Shepard Hate Crimes legislation, DOMA or, ultimately, civil unions-marriage, Scalia was right, the Constitution won’t suffer this breech much longer.
But at what cost to us as Christians? Whether ultra-fundamentalist right-wing hyper-patriotic literalistic super-nationalist American, intellectual, devout Catholic or European Christian, we are all bound by Jesus’ two commandments: To love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
He didn’t say anything about homosexuality being the ultimate, unforgivable sin. He did say denying God was unforgivable. I take this to mean, (and I take it grudgingly, I don’t like ultra-fundamentalist right-wing hyper-patriotic literalistic super-nationalist American Christians, they are an offense) that we all, as Christians, have to find a means of getting along in the knowledge that our differences are incapable of resolution.
I will never leave my husband. Godscountry, et al. will never admit that their ‘literal’ interpretation of the Bible is based on a translation which leaves us wondering whether they really believe Jesus spoke bad Elizabethan English…and fearing we know the answer.
For the nonce, I am content to see the rule of law restored in America. For the good of my soul, I must learn to deal with these, my fellow Christians who bear me no charity. Any suggestions? I desperately need them. Christian life here is focused on the positive, Christian life in America on hatefulness.
I trust your health is fully restored and you are well…die dulce fruimini, my friend. As they say around here…
Panthera



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Panthera

posted October 17, 2009 at 5:43 pm


Hi Gerard,
I wrote you a – rather poor – reply which is ‘pending approval’. Hope it comes through and I really wish I knew what triggers this gotcha system…



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 17, 2009 at 5:58 pm


Panthera,
I think there must be key words or phrases that trigger the approval process. (The death threat might have been a dead giveaway ;o) ) .I await your reply with an open mind and heart, no matter how “poor” you believe it to be.
God Bless.



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Panthera

posted October 17, 2009 at 8:08 pm


Gerard, I think I know what triggered the silly gotcha to hold the message.
Sigh.
Here, I hope, my comment.
Gerard,
I will never come close to your compassion and ability to forgive.
You raised several important points and I can’t even begin to do them justice this evening – yes, I’m temporarily back in Europe – so pray your indulgence, that I might spread my answer out over several comments.
I think I am very typical of my generation of gay Christians in that I am firmly anchored in the science, medicine and jurisprudence of the early 1970’s (and continuing through to now with increasing evidence and statistically relevant findings) which clearly show that homosexuality is not a disorder, not a mental or physical illness. We aren’t sick, we don’t prey upon children, we can neither choose our sexuality nor is it mutable.
This knowledge broke the chains under which we had lived. For many gays, it led to an enormous fury at the institutions which reacted to this advance in knowledge by rejecting it out of hand. This fury was simmering, barely below the surface when Aids appeared on the scene.
I truly don’t think the nastiness towards the Roman Church was productive and I personally knew many priests and lay brothers as well as sisters who sacrificed their careers in the Church as well as taking great personal risks to help the victims of Aids.
It can’t be denied that the epidemic exploded as it did because of the irresponsible sexual behavior of many people, gay and straight (we know, today, more straight than gay, but that is only because there are more of you than of us, it wasn’t for lack of stupidity on our part). Unfortunately, it also can’t be denied that many, including quite a few in the Church, saw this disease as God’s revenge upon gays and as a weapon to be brandished. There really were many conservative Christians and Republicans who rejoiced at the decimation of gay America.
When one of the conservative Christians here says things such as “you aren’t a Christian” or, “you aren’t really married” the anger which explodes back at them from me is very much an echo of the fury I felt at these people in the mid-eighties when they consciously permitted and encouraged the epidemic to turn into a pandemic. By the time it became clear that this disease affects everyone (and is, predominately, a straight problem), the battle lines had been drawn. Frankly, writing this, I hear again the echo of comments I have read down through these last decades about how Aids is a good thing – killing dark-skinned people and gays, two out of three really ain’t bad. Were they to be honest, I suspect you’d find many of these conservatives here would admit to this, their hatred.
Yes, I very much can understand how a person who defines their love of God through an assumed literal reading of the Bible or blind obedience to the Pope would see my happy, monogamous, faithful, true, loyal and loving marriage – a partnership of now 25 years – as more of a red flag than if I were miserable. I can understand how can reach the dual conclusion that it is a sin and yet see it as my personal sin to deal with and not something worth destroying our Christians fellowship over. I feel much the same about your position on torture.
That Europe recognizes the marriage legally, that our church blessed it just makes it even worse in their eyes. I should, at the very least, be a miserable man, broke and diseased and unhappy and not someone blessed with a happy marriage, and good health. It upsets their stereotype dreadfully to see gays happy – you see this all the time in their ignorant comments over on crunchycon. Goodness, I understand we can’t all travel, but don’t they ever actually read anything about Europe besides the nonsense which Faux news runs? OK, that was rhetorical….
What to do? That is the question.
Our personal conflicts on the matter will soon be resolved. The Church has moved enormously forward over the last decades on recognizing findings newly won of the natural world God has given us. Goodness, it was only yesterday that the Church apologized for that unpleasantness over Galileo Galilei and I fully expect monogamous homosexual marriage to be recognized in not less than a similar span of time. By 2400 or so, we will be setting down at a sidewalk café and laughing about this.
The real problem is what to do with those conservative, predominately American, Christians who deny my Christianity, deny my legal marriage, refuse to accept what science, medicine and carefully compiled police and social statistics have so very clearly shown.
My approach – why use pretty words when thermonuclear devices are to hand – fails utterly with them.
Your erudition and compassion sails right over their heads – Godscountry, churchmouse, Matt…et al. simply refuse to entertain any position of live and let live, agree to disagree, willingness to continue in Christian fellowship.
We will, soon, win secular recognition for our rights. Whether DADT, ENDA, the Matthew-Shepard Hate Crimes legislation, DOMA or, ultimately, civil unions-marriage, Scalia was right, the Constitution won’t suffer this breech much longer.
But at what cost to us as Christians? Whether ultra-fundamentalist right-wing hyper-patriotic literalistic super-nationalist American, intellectual, devout Catholic or European Christian, we are all bound by Jesus’ two commandments: To love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
He didn’t say anything about homosexuality being the ultimate, unforgivable sin. He did say denying God was unforgivable. I take this to mean, (and I take it grudgingly, I don’t like ultra-fundamentalist right-wing hyper-patriotic literalistic super-nationalist American Christians, they are an offense) that we all, as Christians, have to find a means of getting along in the knowledge that our differences are incapable of resolution.
I will never leave my husband. Godscountry, et al. will never admit that their ‘literal’ interpretation of the Bible is based on a translation which leaves us wondering whether they really believe Jesus spoke bad Elizabethan English…and fearing we know the answer.
For the nonce, I am content to see the rule of law restored in America. For the good of my soul, I must learn to deal with these, my fellow Christians who bear me no charity. Any suggestions? I desperately need them. Christian life here is focused on the positive, Christian life in America on hatefulness.
I trust your health is fully restored and you are well…die dulce fruimini, my friend. As they say around here…
Panthera



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Panthera

posted October 17, 2009 at 8:13 pm


Ha! Got it!
When you consider that crunchycon permits racists to vomit their filth all over that oh-so-Christian site, you’d think one of Shakespeare’s favorite terms might be tolerated…guess not.
Really, the racist comments over there are perfect examples of the ‘Christian’ perspective which so characterizes conservative Christians in these discussions.



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 17, 2009 at 9:41 pm


Panthera,
If you base your perspective on conservative/orthodox Christianity on bloggers, then you end with a terribly skewed vision. It’s like dealing with family who are police officers. They have a wickedly skewed vision of the world, because day in and day out they deal with a small subset of the population who are criminals. Blogs tend to attract the more impassioned members of political parties.
Now, I don’t think I need to qualify comments between us, because we are rather comfortable with each other’s integrity–but it never hurts. So, in the interest of dealing in the truth, I do take issue with some of your assertions about the gay community.
First there was this:
“We aren’t sick, we don’t prey upon children”
Hold your breath Panthera, but the facts speak to a VERY different reality for a rather significant swath of the gay community. I would agree that your statement is true ONLY insofar as the gay community is no more monolithic than the straight community.
The sex scandal in the Roman Catholic Church is over 97% homosexual in identity. Again, these are gay priests who ruined my church, along with the bishops who aided and abetted them. And it was not a few gay priests either. As for the Church hierarchy hating gays, let me ask you to choose one of the following.
Did the Bishops run out at the first offense and have the gay pedophiles thrown in jail and then defrocked? Or,
Did the Bishops seek treatment for these men’s pedophilia and seek to restore them to health?
They chose the latter, following the advice of the experts in the field and placing them in new parishes after treatment to give them a fresh start. That occurred right up until the third edition of the DSM, which stated that pedophilia could not be cured.
Were these coconspiratorial fellow traveling closet gay Bishops, or heterosexual bishops giving these men every break in the world? What they were not, were homophobes.
Apart from scores of gay pedophile priests, there still exists NAMBLA. I’ve attended a few gay pride parades to witness how they react in front of St. Pats. I’ve never seen banners denouncing the gay pedophile clergy, or NAMBLA. Why? Did I mention all of the gay pedophiles that have infiltrated the Boy Scouts?
Then, there is my unholy rage at gay men, many married, who prey upon teen male prostitutes. When I was at Covenant House, many of the teens who had HIV got it from johns. They would pay the crack-addicted boys $10-$20 extra if they would perform oral sex without making the guy wear a condom. At $5/vial of crack, that was too good a deal to pass up. That’s how the boys got AIDS. And yet ACT UP denounced the bishops for not teaching about condoms?
(Continued on next post)



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 17, 2009 at 9:42 pm


I’m waiting for the gay community to denounce pedophilia.
I’m waiting for the gay community to denounce NAMBLA.
I’m waiting for the gay community to denounce gay men who prey on teen prostitutes.
I’m waiting for the gay community to admit that apart from blood transfusions and vertical transmission from mother to child, HIV is transmitted in the gay community through the exercise of free will.
In the very act of protesting that condoms save lives, ACT UP and the rest of the gay community admit that culpability resides with those who engage in sexual behavior. 25 years into this pandemic, and the CDC sounds more like Cardinal O’Connor and much less like ACT UP. From CDC:
Condoms and STDs: Fact Sheet for Public Health Personnel
http://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/latex.htm
“The most reliable ways to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), are to abstain from sexual activity or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.”
I’m also waiting (though not holding my breath) for the gay community to pass by St Pats at one of their parades and say thanks for all the Church has done to alleviate the suffering in the gay community with AIDS that resulted from hedonistic group sex in bath houses and sex clubs years before the first HIV cases emerged.
It’s consistent with the hedonistic narcissism of the turkish bath crowd that they would blame the Church for the consequences of their behavior.
So, in the aggregate, I would say that there exists in the gay community not a little mental illness or pedophilia. None of which the healthier members of the community have publicly denounced. 26 years and counting….
Then, there is the question of the Church permitting homosexual marriage. It will not. Ever. The arguments from biology present two questions from the standpoint of moral theology. If homosexuality is a function of biochemistry or neurophysiology, is gay sex compulsive or freely chosen?
If compulsive, then it’s a sickness.
If freely chosen, then gays are subject to the same expectation of self-control as a function of free will as anyone else.
“I take this to mean..that we all, as Christians, have to find a means of getting along in the knowledge that our differences are incapable of resolution.”
Agreed. But that means cleaning your own house of the pedophiles, NAMBLA, et al. It means excoriating ACT UP and their fellow travelers for denigrating the Catholic Church, for desecrating a Cathedral and the Eucharist, for impugning the good names of good men in the hierarchy, for disrupting our worship….
I’ve told gay family and friends, and they agree, that the gay community is rife with its own filth, sickness and intolerance.
You can’t excoriate conservative christians Panthera, when your own backyard needs years of cleaning. You’re a good man. Perhaps you can lead the charge. Gays won’t get civility and acceptance with that kind of track record. The priest sex scandal hasn’t been devastating for the Catholic Church alone. It’s been devastating for how people perceive gays.
If you have occasion to be in New York, let me know. We can e-mail and set a date for dinner. The rest of this is a two-bottle-of-wine conversation.
My best to your husband.
God Bless



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 17, 2009 at 10:44 pm


Panthera,
BTW, Yes, I am much better. Thanks for asking. As for bearing with those who bear you no charity, I guess it helps to see the sins of the gay community, ugly as they are. Then it always helps to do a nightly examination of conscience and see where we have failed others in charity.
I’ve become so acutely aware of my own sins that I’m loathe to man the barricades when it comes to others sins. The beauty of our relationship with God is that He loved us when we were least deserving of His love. That’s what the Incarnation was all about. Jesus DEMANDS the same in how we treat one another.
So, the trick is to be gracious and as objective as possible in dealing with others. I’ve learned not to put up posts when I’m hungry, angry, or tired. I’ve sometimes said things that I would give the world to take back. You and I crossed swords early on.
One day, as I thought about the raw rage in one of your posts, I came to the realization that your rage must be proportional to how badly you have been hurt in the past. Eventually, your gracious sharing led me to that understanding of what was behind your rage. Do the same for those who direct THEIR rage your way. What hurts have they experienced?
When it comes to Catholic faithful, you need to accept that the damage done to our church has been done almost entirely by homosexual men in the priesthood. That realization is only now really setting in among the laity. I fear the backlash that is building will not be a good or kind one. Still, such meditation on the truth of our personal sinfulness and that of our respective community’s ought to assuage us of much of our rage at others.
It really is as simple as treating others as we would have them treat us. The longer we do, the more our adversaries need to justify their cruelty until they are seen as the obstructionist in the relationship. Tactics with a positive purpose. But Panthera, you could honestly start by canning the worst of the invective and pray for the one you would love to run through with your rapier.
God Bless



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GodsCountry

posted October 17, 2009 at 11:26 pm


“…Any suggestions? I desperately need them…”
…live a good and holy life. In your case, that includes loving God and your neighbor whilst maintaining sexual purity.
Sorry, there is no compromise available.



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 17, 2009 at 11:39 pm


Okay Panthera,
One of your antagonists has weighed in. From an orthodox purview, he speaks truth. Here is where you get to practice patience and charity, though you may vehemently disagree. A blessing given, albeit through gritted teeth, is still a virtuous act.
C’mon big guy, show ‘em whatcha got!
God Bless



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Panthera

posted October 18, 2009 at 6:45 am


Gerard,
This will take awhile. I’ve got exactly today to make it to an exhibition here I’ve wanted to see for some time…I miss Europe when I’m in the ‘States, oh yes, I do.
I shall, however, answer. One thing to keep in mind, please – there is no monolithic ‘gay’ block. We aren’t organized in any way (I suspect one might advance that as an argument for the fundamental characteristic but you’d probably argue non-cladogenisis and away we’d go. Again.)
You already know my uncompromising position on pedophiles and NAMBLA…sexual predators should be locked away regardless of their sex or that of their victim. We will, however, be getting into quite a discussion on whether predatory behavior is orientation determined or no…and given the data on male predator-female victim (in or out of the Church), you may, in the end, agree with me to consider this a problem independent of sexual orientation.
Bear with me. First, I have to parse your text. Semantic analysis is not my strong point. I’ll give you the two bottle lead on me, tho’. Make my life easier in any case, I may have the weight of the natural sciences on my side, but you’ve got the brains in this discussion.
As for Godscountry, sorry, how shall I even attempt a rapprochement with someone who says ‘no compromise is possible’? I notice his great willingness to compromise when it comes to conservative politicians who divorce, I notice his determined refusal to follow our Lord on aiding the poor. His willfully ignoring those verses of Paul which are inconvenient to him whilst imposing only those which he holds to be relevant to me (I don’t) makes any discussion moot.
Best I can do is to offer the following: GodsCountry, I stand by my position, as a strict Constitutionalist, that you are entitled to your religious beliefs. Your position on homosexuality is not, however, key to my being a Christian and so I suggest you simply accept that on the secular plain, I am married and recognize that this won’t change. Is this difference in our sexuality really grounds for a breach in our Christian community? If so, why are the other things, many of which we agree on, not reason to split the community and label each other non-Christians?
Sorry, Gerard, can’t think of more at the moment than that. Well, actually, I am thinking quite a bit and most of it involves letter-of-the-law justice versus a merciful redemption won through Christ’s death. I sort of have the feeling that doesn’t cut much ice with GodsCountry, tho’.



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 18, 2009 at 1:12 pm


Panthera,
Ya done good!
Gotta run to Church and errands. First, I hope you enjoyed the exhibition. Second, I know that the gay community is hardly monolithic. What is appalling is the lack of outcry from ANY quarter, any constituency group in the gay community against NAMBLA, or the vile desecrations practiced by ACT UP against the Catholic Church, or even a denunciation of pedophilia, which as discussed is not at all uncommon in the gay community. Can NO group marching in the Gay Pride parade sponsor a float or a banner calling on the community to drive from the big tent these offensive constituencies? Or is it that the big tent is big enough to shelter them as well?
Rome has rightly and justly been called upon to purge the clergy of its pedophiles. It has done a pretty good job so far. Now may we count on the Gay Community to take Rome’s medicine? Am I the only one who has noted that when the participants of the Gay Pride Parade shout “shame, shame, shame,” at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, that the chants echo back off of the walls?
I think that the charges of gays being pedophiles would lose much of their steam if the community, diverse as it is, rallied around driving the pedophiles from the tent. It would most benefit good and honorable men such as yourself and your husband.
As for rapprochement, it isn’t necessary. Graciousness, however unilateral, is the order of the day.
Peace friend.



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Panthera

posted October 18, 2009 at 3:02 pm


And now he wants me to be gracious, too? Gerard, are you aiming to win Jewish and Catholic mom of the year? I was sort of hoping, having once proved that I am capable of being gracious, not to have to be so again…at least not more than once every few months, anyway.
But, no, there you go and imply it is a duty, not a whim.
Sigh.
Seriously, when I was co-chair of our university’s gay and lesbian group (there were no bi-sexuals in the 1970’s, that’s before color was invented and everything was in B/W), it never occurred to us that anyone might even associate the two – healthy sex and the perversion of pedophilia. I can only speak for myself, note however many gays in leadership positions do speak out quite loudly on the subject, including (sit down, please) Andrew Sullivan. To the extent that my insignificance is relevant in such discussions, I shall certainly continue to speak out. Those perverted monsters at NAMBLA don’t represent us any more than do those priests who have abandoned their ill children represent the norm for heterosexual priests- as the Church was at pains this last week to point out after the NY-Times took them to task.
I think this is a good point to address your concerns about gay priests in the church and pedophilia. You would, I know, allow as to how it is not fair to set rapists and those Lebensformen which prey on young girls as normal examples of heterosexuals. They aren’t and the technical fact that the monster has a p enis and his victim doesn’t only barely qualifies as heterosexual behavior by the most clinical analysis. The same is true of those gay priests who abused young boys. Their behavior is physically violent, it is not sexual any more than that of a ‘heterosexual’ rapist.
I am not Catholic, it would be arrogant to tell the Church what to do, however, I suspect the Irish scandals and the American pedophilia are only the tip of the iceberg. The Church can’t fix its pregnancy and ‘housekeeper’ problem by kicking all the gays out, much less all those gay men who have served the Church well – the overwhelming majority don’t deserve to be tarred with the same brush.
Act Up!, yes, made many mistakes while also doing some very good things. Attacking the Church was the biggest mistake possible. We have more allies in the Catholic Church in Europe (and ROM) than enemies. Stupid thing to do. Better to let those American bishops who hate us make an example of themselves than to attack an entire institution, most of which is not interested in anything but Christ’s word. Ultimately, I suspect the Catholic Church in America deciding to work with the ignorantibus fundamentalists and the heretical LDS has done so partly as a response to our foolish attacks.
You are well enough read and traveled to know that the American Church does not represent all Catholic opinion here, nor are relations universally so strained. Goodness, I remember a time when priests married and it was fine for people of my ‘station’ to be wed to other men. I do wonder, sometimes, if all those waging their silly arguments here that marriage has always been as it is in Podunk and Deep Denial, Red State America, even know that not all that long ago, the only people your Church or mine married were the nobility?
I certainly made use of the old custom to ask our mayor to marry us civilly as all nobility once had that right and tradition can be honored and should be, when it serves my purpose. A-hem.
The rest had to make do with common law and I don’t doubt my father’s stories that my own ancestors made copious use of the culagium to keep their serfs from marrying up and out to peasant status – with church blessing in wielding it. Things were different only 150 years ago, this is not a position of the Church which is cast in stone.
The exhibition was delightful. Stood in line for two hours in the rain to get in and it was worth it. I do get tired, at times, of living in a place where Hee-Haw is still broadcast in prime time.



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GodsCountry

posted October 18, 2009 at 8:40 pm


“”…I notice his great willingness to compromise when it comes to conservative politicians who divorce, I notice his determined refusal to follow our Lord on aiding the poor. His willfully ignoring those verses of Paul which are inconvenient to him whilst imposing only those which he holds to be relevant to me (I don’t) makes any discussion moot…””
…This is called the “straw man”, a rhetorical tactic,(much used by those with no where else to turn). I now invite that one to respond! But, alas, no one speaks for the straw-man, lest the truth of the matter at hand be lost, like a needle in a haystack.



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GodsCountry

posted October 18, 2009 at 8:56 pm


“”…I sort of have the feeling that doesn’t cut much ice with GodsCountry, tho’…””
Doesn’t matter a whit what cut’s it with me, God accepts repentance from sin.
You must turn from your ways, repent and seek God.
It’s that simple.
No philosophy can save you, no rationalization, rhetorical argument, heresy or whatever will substitute for the submission of your will to God’s will.



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GodsCountry

posted October 18, 2009 at 9:01 pm


“”…I sort of have the feeling that doesn’t cut much ice with GodsCountry, tho’…””
Doesn’t matter a whit what cut’s it with me, God accepts repentance from sin.
You must turn from your ways, repent and seek God.
It’s that simple.
No philosophy can save you, no rationalization, rhetorical argument, heresy or whatever will substitute for the submission of your will to God’s will.



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Panthera

posted October 19, 2009 at 5:59 am


Truly, GodsCountry,
We are accomplishing nothing here of any value. Nor, I fear, shall we.
None of the sins we commit are forgivable to a just God. Fortuntely, God isn’t just, He is merciful. A quality failing totally in the two of us.
You equate my sexuality with rebellion against God’s will. This may be mainline thought in the Orthodox churches at this moment in time, I am not, however, a member of either the Roman or the Eastern churches.
Now, if you wish to make the statement that all other churches are apostate or in heresy, fine. Ultimately, this will be the undoing of the unholy alliance against gays between the Roman church and the know-nothing fundamentalists and the Mormons.
I am, however, well within the tenets of my church. I am, if poorly, trying to follow the two commandments Jesus said summed up the Law and the prophets. Somehow, I don’t quite see your argument that because Paul wrote after Christ’s crucifixion, his writings take precedence over Jesus’ clear commandments.
It’s not a strawman when I list all the genuine sins and transgressions Jesus spoke out against and which y’all happily overlook. It’s a valid point. Jesus was clear about divorce. Unless you are going to literally pursue Paul’s view and start killing gays (and ignoring lesbians) you have no choice but to admit that your viewpoint is based on interpretation of his writings. What Jesus said on the subject of divorce was, however, too clear to be denied. And yet, I don’t see you or your ilk investing any time whatsoever in repealing the no-fault divorce laws of your country. I don’t see you and your fellow-travelers investing any time in helping the poor and aiding widows and orphans. None.
I shall never submit to your will – taking the First and Second Commandments seriously, as I do, my submission belongs to God, period.
I asked you to consider whether this difference of opinion between us must necessarily break Christian community between us. Your answer is clearly, yes.



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 19, 2009 at 1:35 pm


Panthera,
“And now he wants me to be gracious, too? Gerard, are you aiming to win Jewish and Catholic mom of the year?”
Hey, if Obama could lock down the Nobel, I figure I’ve got a shot at Catholic and Jewish Mom of the Year ;o)
Nice reply to God’sCountry. It was more in line with your thoughtful nature and not at all incendiary. One point to consider. The following has an inherent flaw:
“It’s not a strawman when I list all the genuine sins and transgressions Jesus spoke out against and which y’all happily overlook. It’s a valid point. Jesus was clear about divorce. Unless you are going to literally pursue Paul’s view and start killing gays (and ignoring lesbians) you have no choice but to admit that your viewpoint is based on interpretation of his writings. What Jesus said on the subject of divorce was, however, too clear to be denied. And yet, I don’t see you or your ilk investing any time whatsoever in repealing the no-fault divorce laws of your country. I don’t see you and your fellow-travelers investing any time in helping the poor and aiding widows and orphans. None.”
You are quite correct in enumerating many of the sins overlooked by those who cast stones at homosexuals. However, if one is discussing moral issues, merely pointing out where one another fail in regard to scripturally enumerated moral norms becomes a race to the bottom, a sort of ‘who can top this’ regarding accusations of sinfulness. Rather than discussing how we can best please the Father, we compete for who pisses Him off the most.
As I said to God’s Country, he gets an A+ for witnessing the scriptural imperative for no sex outside of heterosexual marriage. But arguing over who is most offensive in God’s eyes rather misses the point. St. Catherine of Sienna tells us that we will quite surprised in Heaven at seeing who we thought would not be there, and not seeing who we thought would be.
I don’t have any easy answers on homosexuality. Clearly I missed that boat. I bear no ill will toward homosexuals, and as I’ve said, the topic of sexuality bores me. As a heterosexual, I am much more than the sum total of my sexual orientation. Homosexuals enjoy that same dignity. On the religious front, there exists in the Catholic Church a group called Courage, made of homosexual men and lesbians who try to live a chaste life as gays in order to bring their behavior into conformity with morality as taught by Scripture and Tradition (big T).
http://www.couragerc.net/
If nothing else, they are worth a look. That’s all any heterosexual christian can really say, and having said it, should respect the privacy and personal relationships of others with God.
All of that said, are you teaching this term? You seem to be jet-setting quite a bit.
Seriously Panthera, it was a great tone in your response to God’s Country. If you persist in this, we may have to wrest that Nobel from Obama and direct it your way ;o)
My best to your husband.
God Bless



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Panthera

posted October 19, 2009 at 2:12 pm


Hi Gerard,
Nah, just wanted to prove that I could be nice. It hurt. Doubt I’ll try it again.
Seriously, you are quite right – and I know it is no excuse, but my tolerance for fundamentalist Christians was never that great to begin with and the day we had to go to court to gain visitation rights whilst both lay in the hospital was the day something in me snapped. I doubt I shall ever attain anything near your patience and self-awareness. Hmm, can I excuse it on the basis of my lesser intelligence? Let’s see you punch holes in that argument. My cat can and does outsmart me.
Yes, I am teaching, if only seminars, this semester. The jet-setting was not intended and has pretty much put an end to any hopes I had of continuing to teach regularly throughout the next years. My students are all wonderful, each and every one and that makes things easier. Videoconferencing and white-boards make much possible which would have been out of the question even 10 years ago.
I don’t know whether I want to teach in the US when I am finally settled into one place or no. I just don’t see me graciously granting equal time to some Intelligent Design cretin, whom I am obligated to let promulgate his nonsense on my time. In the end, tho’, I would have the Jesuits defending me and wouldn’t that be a seven-day wonder?!!!!
Take care and my best to your family. I hope good health will now accompany you all through the winter. I’ll look up that link. Going to be in Munich soon, will stop in and visit some gay Catholic friends whom the Church happily lets teach here. Europe is so different to the US, truly it is as if I step onto the jet in the 21st century and get out of the wire-frame and doped-cloth-wing double-decker aeroplane in the early 20th when I return to the US.



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 19, 2009 at 7:42 pm


We’re starting a Steven Waldman Sighting.
Report in if you’ve seen him. Pictures are a bonus.
Steven,
Hope you ad yours are well.



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 20, 2009 at 3:16 am


Panthera,
“I doubt I shall ever attain anything near your patience and self-awareness. Hmm, can I excuse it on the basis of my lesser intelligence? Let’s see you punch holes in that argument. My cat can and does outsmart me.”
You’re a fox, but you won’t outfox me with your humility ;o)
So, something snapped. Understandable. But there is a paradox here. We have come a long way as a society, as a civilization in recognizing visitation rights, shared benefits etc., whether one accepts the morality of the sex or not. (Being moral is not license to be indecent).
Through painful experience, you helped to win that battle and advance us as a people. If you surrender YOUR decency, YOUR civility, then the battle that you fought and won becomes for you a pyrrhic victory.
As the American Civl War was winding down, Grant and Sherman met with Lincoln and asked what his terms were for surrender and the aftermath. Lincoln left the specifics with his trusted generals, giving only this direction, “I’d let ‘em up easy.” Lincoln knew that the South would hate him, hate the North. He knew that it would last for generations. It didn’t stop him from being magnanimous in victory.
How about it Panthera? You won that battle. And you are married. And homosexual marriage is on the march here in the states. Why not be magnanimous in victory? Lincoln’s magnanimity came on the heels of the nation losing 600,000 men dead, millions grievously wounded, and the nation torn and bleeding. Magnanimity grows in proportion to the battle damage, or else it isn’t magnanimity.
Regardless of what snapped, you simply can not allow yourself to be controlled by hatred and bitterness, especially in victory. Fundamentalists aren’t bad people. They are, to an extent, orthodox (small o).
Just as I said to God’s Country, it isn’t my place to ‘permit’ anything, so too do fundamentalists believe that. If we say God has an order for His creation, we are not free to ‘permit’ modifications to that design. SOME fundamentalists get as strident as some……GAYS! That’s when fireworks fly. Most just are ordinary, hard-working people who are just trying to get by on a daily basis, trying to make sense of the world around them, trying to work out their salvation as best they know how. Those who feel more threatened become more strident.
It seems a disproportionately small threat for which to throw away your civility and decency. Do what Jesus REQUIRES OF YOU: Pray for them. It’s as salutary for them as it is for you. In that regard, please watch this clip from the movie “Gandhi”. It says it all rather eloquently.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ft4eTzhaUAc&feature=PlayList&p=FF993C0D2FBA486C&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=24
God Bless



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Panthera

posted October 20, 2009 at 5:35 am


Hi Gerard,
Valid points, indeed. Praying for ones enemies is certainly an aspect of our joint Christianity which I need to practice.
I am including a link here – who knows whether it will work, the gotcha! hates links nearly as much as it hates comments – (in this point we all have equal rights). I think the situation we experience as married couples in the US is very well summed up in this trailer. I concur, it does not absolve me of the obligation, it certainly does not make it easy for me to feel I’ve won anything more than a temporary dispensation in a minor skirmish, on the edge of a small battle…and that, only because we have the money to preserve what few rights we do have.
Should we lose next month in Maine, I think we will see the culture wars take a turn for the nasty – the fundamentalist Christians will perceive it as a sign from God and all hell is going to break lose against us. I’ve already made arrangements for Séan and me to be out of the country that first week in November.



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Panthera

posted October 20, 2009 at 6:17 am


Gerard,
Given the level of discussion and its relevance to most of Steven’s topics, I shouldn’t wonder if he hasn’t run, screaming, out of the office and is cowering in a corner, wishing a pox on all our houses.
I, too, wish he had more time to comment and participate. It can’t be easy to work for the evil empire – and the evil of Faux news is clear when you consider the way racists are permitted free reign here.



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 20, 2009 at 7:27 am


Panthera,
Why run? This is the most civilized discussion on the topic these threads have ever seen. No posts from Steven in two weeks. I just hope he and his family are well.
I saw the trailer. The ominous background music is enough to fill even the most optimistic person with dread. But let’s take a hard look at what is at stake here.
Even if gay marriage were repealed, those already performed remain valid. Even if gay marriage were repealed, the other rights attained thus far will remain in force. There is simply no return. Society will not permit it.
As for gay marriage itself, here is the issue as I see it. Marriage has universally been considered the union of man and woman. It is a heterosexual institution. In Christianity, it is much more than a contract, it is a Covenant. The question before us is this. Can a Christian dispense from God’s order for His creation? The answer from Scripture and Tradition (Big T and small t) is no. There is simply no revealed mechanism for doing so. That is where traditional Christianity resides on the issue. Do traditional Christians have an obligation to defend the order that has been revealed? Yes.
Other Christians see things differently. Many, most, Americans are not all that firmly anchored in their respective traditions to the point of fighting this issue.
Worst case scenario from your vantage point: Gay marriage is repealed. Your marriage, validated in Europe remains legally in force here under international law, if I’m not mistaken. Your other rights remain secure (visiting, health care, inheritance, etc.). Am I mistaken here?
The best way to spill the wind out of the opposition’s sails is to tone down the rhetoric. Honestly Panthera, though Orthodox in my beliefs, I have a pretty good ‘live and let live’ approach to people. As I said above, being moral is not a license to be indecent. That said, the incendiary rhetoric from the gay community, suggesting that any opposition to gay marriage is rank homophobia, is so over the top that it creates enemies and stiffens opposition needlessly.
Get a group of gay activists charging that orthodox christianity=homophobia and such denigration gets you the Mormon opposition. We are coming up on the twentieth anniversary of ACT UP’s desecration of St Patrick’s Cathedral and the desecration of the Holy Eucharist there. The rhetoric has only worsened since then. You’ll never know how many seminarians, once sympathetic to gays and AIDS victims, men I know well, turned forever against gays with that one act of desecration.
“You have nothing to fear from us,” rings hollow for so many Catholics now. The same for fundamentalists.
Losing gay marriage isn’t the worst that can happen to the gay community. Losing trust, losing respect, being seen as antagonistic towards people’s faith, and igniting in hitherto allies a rage such as that ignited in me twenty years ago, will have far reaching consequences. It took years of prayer to assuage me of that rage.
It’s not so simple as fundamentalist and orthodox christians being bigots. I’ve seen those machinations in the gay community too. People’s faith and integrity have come under assault by the gay community. It’s a piss poor tactic for a revolution where gays must live with these people, whether they win or lose in the legal arena. It’s a piss poor tactic in any debate.
I fear that the well has been poisoned a thousand times over. The gay community will never be trusted in this, or the next three generations of conservative christians. Such senseless destruction of decency from both sides.
It’s up to individuals now Panthera. That’s the only way mutual respect and trust are going to be rebuilt. But it will take generations to do so. At least you and I are leading from the front.
Be well friend.



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Panthera

posted October 20, 2009 at 12:37 pm


Hi Gerard,
I hate to say it, but yes, it is truly so that both sides are now so polarized that very little movement can be expected.
Your wrote:
Worst case scenario from your vantage point: Gay marriage is repealed. Your marriage, validated in Europe remains legally in force here under international law, if I’m not mistaken. Your other rights remain secure (visiting, health care, inheritance, etc.). Am I mistaken here?
Unfortunately, I can answer your entire paragraph with one little sentence:
Yes, you are completely mistaken.
Gay marriages performed outside the US are not recognized in the US (direct violation of binding treaties to which the US is a signatory partner).
Visting: Nope, the fact that we had to win two cases in court shows that conservative Christians just plain do not recognize legal powers of attorney. A bit of casual research in the internet will show you that this is a battle which is fought constantly and continuously.
Health Care: Nope, many states expressly forbid employers from covering gay spouses and even when they may do so, the employee still has to pay extra taxes on the value of the health insurance, in total contrast to heterosexual partners.
Inheritance: Nope. In several well documented cases, distant family members have successfully gone to conservative courts and had the legally correct will overturned.
In 37 states (could, today be 36) we can be fired for simply being thought to be gay. No proof is needed – and actually being gay is reason to be fired.
Under the Bush dictatorship, immigration officials collected the names of Americans married under European and Canadian law to non-American citizens and these foreign spouses were denied entry into the US. No green card, no visitation rights. Obama put an end to the collecting of names, but to this day, my husband is legally unknown to me under American law.
This is part of the fear and anger the gay community feels. Never mind the current fight over DADT, the not-yet-ratified hate-crimes legislation and the horrible arguments against it on the floor of the US Congress. DOMA prevents even those federal agencies which wish to treat us as human from doing so. We are legally sub-human in the United States.
Check the facts, please. I don’t expect the Church to change her views overnight (when she does, and she will in time, there is too much respect for science in the Vatican) I do expect you to realign your views in conformance with governing doctrine. (That was tongue in cheek, I know you are way out on a limb with your loving nature doctrinally).
Seriously, Gerard – check the legal situation out. You will be appalled.
And yes, after having my parents’ house attacked several years ago because of my public civil rights activities, there is no way I am going to make them the victims of hysterical red-nex. I have already hired armed guards and deposited $50,000 reward to whichever one should have to defend my parents…plus guaranteeing legal defense should they need to shoot. I take it that seriously and after the last cross burning in front of their house, have good reason to. Séan is crazy enough to try to protect them and me, best have him out of harms way.



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Panthera

posted October 21, 2009 at 7:39 am


Gerard,
I suspect you are quite involved in the currently unfolding events res the Pope’s easing the way for those in the Anglican church who wish to go over to Rome. I’m totally ignorant about the situation, having been but a wee bairn in Henry VIII’s day, so tell me if I’m wrong, but could this not be a means for Benedict XVI to do an end run around the no-marriage-for-you limitations of the last few centuries?
If one follows Osservatore Romano (and I don’t all that closely these days, I have rung up two free transatlantic flights and my flyer’s card is now literally in platinum since July), the impression comes across that he was not all that happy about the sexual transgressions by any member of the clergy, not just the gay clergy. This decision feels much more like the Cardinal Ratzinger whose texts I have read, than the decision of a committee. Too brilliant a stroke, to compelling the argument.
In any event, neither priests marrying nor gays marrying was ever delivered ex Cathredra as unfailable dogma, no? Funny, how we’ve been arguing the Church’s flexibility recently. Well, I was, anyway.
Do you think this decision will be good for both churches? I am not sure all those who now go over are quite the personality to meekly swim the Tiber and crawl on bended knee over that rough granite….sailing their barges down de Nile has seemed more their outlook until now.



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 22, 2009 at 4:02 am


Panthera,
Not all in the Catholic Church are in love with this move. I read an article some time back entitled, The Barque of Peter Should Not Pick Up Anglican Boat People.” Pretty self-explanatory title.
I think it’s a good move. Anything that moves us toward unity is good.
Benedict doesn’t need to do an end-run around celibacy. He can revoke it today if he so choses. It’s entirely his call. That said, I think celibacy is a good thing for those who can handle it. It would be nice to have some married priests around, but Catholics would have to get used to them not being available at all hours. Family comes first.
Truth be told Panthera, Catholics would have to start giving quite a bit more in order to have a married clergy. That would require tithing, which is a whole new spirituality for most Catholics.
As for this being good for both Churches? No. It’s good for us. We get seriously orthodox converts. They have been a good check on the leftward lurching in the Anglican, and especially Episcopalian Churches. Without them, I foresee the accelerated disintegration of the Episcopal Church here in America. Their embrace of contraception and abortion is appalling. The annual blessing of the animals in the Cathedral of St John the Divine, with animals defecating in the sanctuary is a picture that’s worth a million words.
No crawling or bended knees here my friend. If they come in, they walk in and are embraced as brothers and sisters. Buona Festa!! You’re always most welcome Panthera. No crawling either. Molto Buona Festa!!! (BTW did you check out the Courage web site? I’d be interested in your assessment.)
Gotta get to bed.
Ciao.



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Panthera

posted October 22, 2009 at 6:04 am


Hi Gerard,
Noted the link, haven’t had time to really look yet – since we last conversed, I have traveled more than I used to in a normal year.
I expressed myself badly, obviously Benedict XVI can do anything he feels God has called for him to do. My thoughts were more along the line of an end-run around those Catholics who have mistaken not marrying for celibacy. Probably didn’t express that thought any better.
This Pope remembers Roncalli, he worked with him as John 23, and I know him to be too intelligent and far too subtle to risk another such situation arising. I have seen the films of Ratzinger (various titles) during Vatican I. Wow. He was one unhappy guy. As his brother has frequently stated, there was no way he was going to let this happen again if he could avoid it – and he was going to get to a position to prevent it if he could.
If you have the impression I have a very high opinion of John 23, you are very, very right. His isolation and splendidly convenient death put an end to a daring, daunting era for many in the Church. Goodness, Popes aren’t there to do something, they’re there to be rocks, not instruments of God’s love and change.
I wonder, tho’ about all these proud folks returning home. The statements we are already hearing are not quite the most loving, modest, warm-hearted devout tones.
Back when we lived in our little village, we’d have American relations come to visit every so often. Those who came to visit, enjoyed it. Those who came looking for their ‘roots’, the ones who made such enormous distinctions about being hyphen-Americans as opposed to simply Americans, were invariably disappointed.
Our teeny-tiny village, post-card pretty and without the slightest pretense, is very late 17th early 18th century in appearance. This surface overlays modern infrastructures. Telecommunications, transportation, financial, medical, merchandise, education, you name it, we are at the fore.
Our language has changed far too much, everybody speaks a ‘mish-mash’ with far too much English.
I actually had a distant relation become quite upset that the greengrocer addressed me by my given name, instead of my title. Attempts to explain that ‘titles’ are just names now-a-days and really nothing more produced the reaction you’d expect from a six year old if you told her, her Malibu Barbie was made in a factory and not by Santa Claus. Honestly.
Nothing was as the grandparents had told it, Ye Olde World had mutated into a more advanced version of the American cutting edge…and they did not like it. At all. This wasn’t the old country, this was alive!
Benedict XVI will be similar to these incoming on his positions on many things. The difference will be, I suspect, in just exactly how he got to those positions. He, through prayer, education and intellect. Some, as he. Many, if not most, mainly through passion (sorry, I’m lying. Mainly through hatred and intellectual laziness). The two don’t make for an easy, er-, marriage. His conservative positions (from my perspective) are, if not quite as defensible as in a pre-science era (which is why they will change) none-the-less the result of conscious effort to know God’s will. If you think the folks who have been complaining, loudly, here at Beliefnet and elsewhere are coming home because deep reflection has led them to their true North…well, let’s revisit this one in a few years.
Those remaining in the Anglican confessions will now, I think, quickly discover that the underlying issues and problems have remained. The difference will be that they are now split into not three, but two factions. With the passionate group gone, what remains will be those who demand of themselves and their church that reflection and education and intellect be paired with prayer. Unfortunately, what will also remain are those who pretty much want the church to marry them, bury them and the rest of the time lend them an air of sophistication and social propriety while they do whatever feels good.
It is interesting – were I too leave my church for another Christian church, the Roman church here in Europe would be very close. In America, never. Your compassionate nature puts you far closer to Europe than America.
Stay well and God bless!
Panthera



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The other steve

posted October 22, 2009 at 7:45 am


No posts … is Steve well? Or traveling or …



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Panthera

posted October 22, 2009 at 8:23 am


I miss him, too.
Perhaps the gotcha! escaped from its cage and ate him? Like it just did my last text, which ‘won’t be lost’. Hah.
Or, desperate for intelligent discourse, he has gone to work in the imbecile ward of the local insane asylum. Couldn’t be much different from the majority of what’s shown up here, lately.
Whatever the reason, I hope he is well and will return to us, soon.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 24, 2009 at 3:37 pm


==…right-wing-fundamentalist-conservative-gay-bashing-evangelical-literalistic-conservative Christians…==
Name-calling will get you nowhere.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 24, 2009 at 4:26 pm


Remember that Jesus was an extremely conservative, fundamentalist, literalist evangelical who supported ONLY the marriage of a man, as husband, and a woman, as his wife.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 24, 2009 at 4:45 pm


==The “secular purpose” trap ==
What happens if the one observing the Cross sees a purpose different from the one intended?
In other words — I intend a little secular purpose. You come along and decide to see no secular purpose, and you, wanting 100% secular, sue cuz YOU say that there is no secular purpose.
So, how much “secular purpose” must there be in, say, putting up a cross? Must it be 100%? Does the Constitution require 100% secularity? If you say it does, why “Freedom of ‘Religion'” as first mention in the Bill of Rights?
Atheists say they have no belief [though they do; they believe something]. Therefore, the First Amendment’s “religion” clause doesn’t apply to them.



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GodsCountry

posted October 24, 2009 at 5:12 pm


“”…marriage has always been as it is in Podunk and Deep Denial, Red State America…””
“”…I just don’t see me graciously granting equal time to some Intelligent Design cretin…””
“”…the evil of Faux news(sic) is clear when you consider the way racists are permitted free reign here…””
“”…the victims of hysterical red-nex (sic). I have already hired armed guards…””
“”…the imbecile ward of the local insane asylum…””
Insensitivity and ignorance, from one so…so…”sensitive” and “intelligent”? In the name of transparency, perhaps, you have revealed the emptiness of your philosophy. You cannot succeed, though you have set your own rules. Proving yourself and your philosophy “right” will be about as easy as proving you don’t exist, for example.
Never mind. Say what you will, there is no hope in intelligence. Feel what you want, there is no credit for sensitivity. Only what God has done for us, through the sacrifice of His Son, makes any difference at all (it is an eternal difference).



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 24, 2009 at 6:00 pm


GodsCountry, you nailed it!



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 24, 2009 at 6:09 pm


==…God’s love…==
A parent loves his child. Does his love preclude justice and discipline? Of course not.
==… and change…==
God says that He doesn’t change. Maybe you know something He doesn’t.
Where does the Word of God say that God changes? Maybe the rest of us missed it.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 24, 2009 at 6:25 pm


panthera
October 9, 2009 2:22 PM
…I, a gay man, am told I am not a Christian…
—————————————————–
You’re most likely what’s called a “cafeteria Christian.”
You can’t be Christian AND do willingly what God says He detests.
Like phoney crab — krab — or what Norm [“Cheers”] calls “Hungry Heifer” fake lobster — lubster — you are more like a “kristian.”



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Panthera

posted October 25, 2009 at 11:30 am


Yup,
I reckon Steven saw the direction this thread was going and took to the hills.
GodsCountry and Mr. Incredible, has it occurred to either of you that not once have you succeeded in engaging those who disagree with you in productive dialogue? You aren’t interested in discussion, only in bashing gays.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 25, 2009 at 6:19 pm


==GodsCountry and Mr. Incredible, has it occurred to either of you that not once have you succeeded in engaging those who disagree with you in productive dialogue?==
That’s cuz they can’t.
== You aren’t interested in discussion…==
Yes, we are. I, for one, have posed intelligent questions, and all YOu can do is avoid answering those questions. Of course, we know the answers, and so do you, and THAT’s why you won’t answer them.
==… only in bashing gays.==
Translation: “Opposing us is automatically bashing us. Nothing short of agreeing with us is acceptable.”



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 25, 2009 at 6:31 pm


Panthera,
You say you are a Christian; and, yet, you present nothing of the Word of God, only the word of you, a slave to appetite. You never present an argument based on the Word of God, a line of scriptural thought. We know that that’s cuz you know you’d be trapped by a Scripture upon Scripture outline. This is also why the Devil never expresses a line of scriptural thought; he also knows that he can’t maintain a deception through any line of scriptural thought.
That’s one reason to refer to such people as “cafeteria Christians.”
I call them “kristians,” along the same lines, as I say, as fake crab being called “krab,” or fake lobster being called [thank you, Norm Peterson] “lubster,” or fake beef being called “bef.”



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 25, 2009 at 6:35 pm


Panthera
October 25, 2009 11:30 AM
I reckon Steven saw the direction this thread was going and took to the hills.
———————————————————–
You don’t give him much credit, do you. I’m sure he’ll make note of it.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 25, 2009 at 6:46 pm


==GodsCountry and Mr. Incredible, has it occurred to either of you that not once have you succeeded in engaging those who disagree with you in productive dialogue?==
People are responsible for their own choices whether to engage in dialogue.
Refusing to answer us lets our posts stand. We’re happy with that. We know that those refuse to respond to our posts choke on them, though they will say that they don’t. However, if they are not choking on our posts, from an intellectual standpoint — their being so high-minded, scientific, reasoned, empirical and logical persons — one would think that such persons would be overwhelmed more by that than some wild, emotional response you claim prevents them from answering. So, we understand that their emotional response controls them more than any trace of what they claim is intelligent, scientific, reasoned, empirical and logical.



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Your Name

posted October 25, 2009 at 7:39 pm


“”…only in bashing gays…””
…only in telling the truth to the mislead and the misleading. You do both. “Productive dialogue” is possible only when both sides are discussing issues truthfully. How the heathen rage…



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Your Name

posted October 25, 2009 at 7:40 pm


…GodsCountry claims the above…



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Panthera

posted October 25, 2009 at 8:10 pm


Sigh.
I’m out of here.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 26, 2009 at 12:53 am


Panthera
October 25, 2009 11:30 AM
GodsCountry and Mr. Incredible, has it occurred to either of you that not once have you succeeded in engaging those who disagree with you in productive dialogue?
——————————————-
Yes, it has occurred to me, and it also occurred to me that they have precluded themselves from engaging in productive dialogue. They chose.
Panthera
October 25, 2009 11:30 AM
You aren’t interested in discussion, only in bashing gays.
———————————————
“Bashing,” as in….



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 26, 2009 at 12:58 am


Panthera
October 22, 2009 6:04 AM
…God’s love and change.
——————————————-
You want intelligent discussion without what you allege to be “bashing” of those who claim to be homosexual.
So…
Tell us where God says that He changes.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 26, 2009 at 3:33 pm


C’mon, Panthera, explain your assertion that God changes. Tell us where we’ve gone wrong all these thousands of years.
[Everybody should notice that there is no bashing of those who claim to be homosexual in my invitation. So, there can be no excuse for Panthera’s not answering. After all, it is Panthera who brought it up.]



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 26, 2009 at 3:48 pm


See, everybody? When you confront them with their own BS, they, all of a sudden, DON’T want “intelligent” discussion. That’s cuz they don’t know what they’re talkin’ about and they’ve been caught.
Panthera claims he’s Christian. He says God changes. Every Christian knows that God doesn’t change. Panthera refuses to engage on this and tell us where, in the Word of God, God changes, nor where He says He changes. In fact, as I say, He says just the opposite.
Panthera says he wants “intelligent discussion, and, yet, he appears not to be eager to discuss this glitch, this GOTCHA. Where is Panthera’s “intelligent discussion” on this?? This is very..ahem…perplexing.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 26, 2009 at 3:51 pm


What kinda Christian says that God changes, Panthera? Explain this to us.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 26, 2009 at 3:54 pm


Can we conclude that you’re choking on this, Panthera?



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Readingbill

posted October 27, 2009 at 9:23 am


What kinda Christian says that God changes….
Exodus 32:14: So the LORD changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people.
In context:
Exodus 32:11-14:
11. Then Moses entreated the LORD his God, and said, “O LORD, why does Your anger burn against Your people whom You have brought out from the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?
12. “Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, `With evil intent He brought them out to kill them in the mountains and to destroy them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your burning anger and change Your mind about doing harm to Your people.
13. “Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants to whom You swore by Yourself, and said to them, `I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heavens, and all this land of which I have spoken I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’ ”
14. So the LORD changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people.
(NASB)



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Ann

posted October 27, 2009 at 11:08 am


There are too many examples to list in the Old Testament of God changing His mind. Read the prophets… they are constantly making pleas to God to change His mind, and he often does.
Our infatuation with the idea of a God that doesn’t change His mind comes from a Greek influence on Christianity. It isn’t a “Christian” idea, per say.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 27, 2009 at 5:11 pm


^^There are too many examples to list in the Old Testament of God changing His mind. ^^
God doesn’t change.
^^Read the prophets… they are constantly making pleas to God to change His mind…^^
What they ask and what they get are two, different things.
^^… and he often does. ^^
No, He doesn’t.
^^Our infatuation with the idea of a God that doesn’t change His mind…^^
It isn’t “infatuation.”
^^… comes from a Greek influence on Christianity.^^
No, it comes from God Who may have influenced the Greeks who, then, influenced Christianity.
^^It isn’t a “Christian” idea, per say [sic].^^
It’s “per se.”
It’s a God idea.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm


Exo 32:14
And the Lord repented of the evil – This is spoken merely after the manner of men who, having formed a purpose, permit themselves to be diverted from it by strong and forcible reasons, and so change their minds relative to their former intentions. — Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible
He did not do what he threatened to do, and seemed to have in his thoughts and designs, but did what Moses desired he would, Exo_32:12 not that any of God’s thoughts or the determinations of his mind are alterable; for the thoughts of his heart are to all generations; but he changes the outward dispensations of his providence, or his methods of acting with men, which he has been taking or threatened to take; and this being similar to what they do when they repent of anything, who alter their course, hence repentance is ascribed to God, though, properly speaking, it does not belong to him, see Jer_18:8. Aben Ezra thinks that the above prayer of Moses, which was so prevalent with God, does not stand in its proper place, but should come after Exo_32:31 for, to what purpose, says he, should Moses say to the Israelites, Exo_32:30 “peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin”: if he was appeased by his prayer before? — John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible
In answer to the prayers of Moses, God showed his purpose of sparing the people, as he had before seemed determined on their destruction; which change of the outward discovery of his purpose, is called repenting of the evil. — Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
So, “repent” doesn’t mean what YOU think it means.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 27, 2009 at 5:22 pm


If, in those verse, God changed His Mind, that would He would be contradicting Himself where He says, later, that He does not change His Mind. Of course, that’s ridiculous.
Conflict is not in His Mind, rather in the minds those who wanna find conflict.



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 27, 2009 at 8:42 pm


Hi Panthera,
Man! I go out of town for a bioethics conference and all hell breaks loose!
This isn’t the forum, and Mr. Incredible and God’s Country are not the people to do your soul searching with. I gave you the link to Courage. I’ll post it again. Get in touch with them. They are gays who have decided to lead chaste lives. You share far more in common with them, and listening to their perspective, as we say in Brooklyn, couldn’t hurt.
http://couragerc.net/
God Bless



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 27, 2009 at 10:17 pm


Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 8:42 PM
Hi Panthera,
This isn’t the forum, and Mr. Incredible and God’s Country are not the people to do your soul searching with.
———————————————————–
Of course we aren’t, especially since he supports, encourages in others and/or willfully does what God says He detests. He wants not to do his soul-searching with us cuz we don’t support his homosexuality. Neither does God.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 27, 2009 at 10:27 pm


If he is Christian, as he says, he should want to do his soul-searching with other Christians, so that he can be somewhat sure that he is doing it right and correct. He shouldn’t be seeking out other individuals who claim to be homosexual in order to justify what he says is his own homosexuality.
Of course, if he does is soul-searching with other Christians, he runs the risk of being confronted with his conscience. He does not want that. Of course he needs that. He’s allergic to that cuz-a his choice to go homosexual.



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 27, 2009 at 10:44 pm


Mr. Incredible,
The problem isn’t your theology, or even your faithful witness to scriptural consistency. In that you are most like the Pharisees, who were themselves perfect at observing the letter of the law. The problem is that you lack a vision of Panthera as a person, an individual made in the image and likeness of God. You are harsh where you should be understanding and compassionate with the struggles of another. In this too, you are like the Pharisees.
Your self-righteousness and pride are your sins, and they become a stumbling block not only for you, but for those to whom you would witness.
Don’t you see that you are supposed to be alter Christus (another Christ). If your harshness drives people away from Jesus, your soul will stand sore charged on Judgment Day.
Forget Panthera’s sins, you’ve got more than enough work to do on yourself for the foreseeable future.
God Bless.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 27, 2009 at 11:16 pm


Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
Mr. Incredible,
The problem isn’t your theology…
———————————————————–
I know.
Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
… or even your faithful witness to scriptural consistency.
———————————————————–
I know that, too.
Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
In that you are most like the Pharisees…
———————————————————–
Actually, a Pharisee wouldn’t say the things I say. A Pharisee would not rely on Christ.
Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
… who were themselves perfect at observing the letter of the law.
———————————————————–
I’m not advocating the letter of the Law, except for those who reject the Grace of God through Christ. Those who reject the Grace of God through Christ are the ones still under the Law cuz, by default, they have chose to be there.
Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
The problem is that you lack a vision of Panthera as a person, an individual made in the image and likeness of God.
———————————————————–
Initially, God made Man in His Image.
Then, Man made himself and his image.
In order to restore relationship with Him, got offered Reconciliation through Christ.
God did not make Man in the image into which Man made himself.
In order to accept the offer of Reconciliation through Christ, one must be born again. One changes his want-to’s. Panthera has not changed his want-to’s.
So, he has not been re-created in the Image of God. Cuz he chooses to do what God detests, he remains in the image into which Man made himself.
Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
You are harsh where you should be understanding and compassionate with the struggles of another.
———————————————————–
He brings his struggles upon himself by choosing to go homosexual. I’m compassionate, as Jesus was, in Matthew 9:36, that he has fainted cuz he has no Shepherd.
Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
In this too, you are like the Pharisees.
———————————————————–
Hardly, as I’ve explained.
Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
Your self-righteousness and pride are your sins…
———————————————————–
I don’t speak of myself. I say what I hear my Father say, and I do what I see my Father do.
Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
… and they become a stumbling block…
———————————————————–
Of course, you don’t understand the principle of the “stumblingblock.”
Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
Don’t you see that you are supposed to be alter Christus (another Christ).
———————————————————–
That’s not what we’re supposed to be. We’re supposed to have the mind of Christ. Not another Christ.
Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
If your harshness drives people away from Jesus…
———————————————————–
Jesus was harsh. He was uncompromising. He was intolerant.
If people are driven away, they have made the choice, and they are responsible for that choice. They won’t be able to point at somebody else and say somebody else “made” them do it.
Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
… your soul will stand sore charged on Judgment Day.
———————————————————–
I’m doing what Jesus did — bring the Word of God to bear.
Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
Forget Panthera’s sins…
———————————————————–
My job is to remember them and help him find THE Way out of that trap.
Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
… you’ve got more than enough work to do on yourself for the foreseeable future.
———————————————————–
I’m a multitasker. I can do both.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 27, 2009 at 11:56 pm


Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
You are harsh where you should be understanding and compassionate with the struggles of another.
———————————————————–
I am understanding and compassionate with the struggles of another. However, that does not diminish the urgency of that other person listening to one who tells him the way out. The way to unstruggle himself.
Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
Your self-righteousness…
———————————————————–
Explain how you know this, particularly in view of the fact that I don’t promote myself, rather God through Christ.
Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
… and pride…
———————————————————–
Again, explain how you noticed, particularly in view of the fact that I don’t promote myself, rather God through Christ.
Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
… are your sins…
———————————————————–
Is that what you have adjudged?
Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
… and they become a stumbling block not only for you, but for those to whom you would witness.
———————————————————–
Biblically, “stumblingblock” refers to a Christian who willfully sins, giving the impression and allowing the occasion to an unbeliever to think, incorrectly, that sinning is allowed in Christianity, that he can do the same thing as an unbeliever as he would as a Believer. It’s a good thing I don’t do that. Of course, that doesn’t stop you from accusing me of doing that. However, or Romans 8:1 [KJV]
Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
Don’t you see that you are supposed to be alter Christus (another Christ).
———————————————————–
No, I don’t. Perhaps you can show me — show US — where that is in the Word of God.
Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
If your harshness drives people away from Jesus…
———————————————————–
Not everybody followed Jesus. It could be said, but not by me, that He drove THEM away, too.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 28, 2009 at 12:05 am


Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
… you are most like the Pharisees…
———————————————————–
However, the Pharisees rejected the Grace offered through Christ by God. They remained Old Testament creatures. I am a New Testament creature. So, it would be impossible for me to be a modern-day Pharisee.
God, through Christ, offers EVERYBODY Grace. Not all receive that offer; they reject it. They are the ones who remain under the Law.
It’s not pharisaical to say that those who accept God’s offer of Grace through Christ are not under the Law, that those who rejected the offer are still under the Law cuz that is New Testament teaching.
So, you’re WWAAAAYYYY off on your judgment.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 28, 2009 at 5:15 am


Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
Your self-righteousness…
———————————————————–
Feel free to point out what you call my “SELF-righteousness.” Be specific.
The Pharisees referred to Jesus that way, too. They said He also testified Himself. My references have been to the Word of God, not to myself. So, explain this.
Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
… you should be understanding and compassionate with the struggles of another.
———————————————————–
His struggles are his own doing.
I’m not gonna enable him by appearing to agree with him. I’m not gonna make it easier for him to do what God detests. Were I to make it easier for him to do what God detests, to enable him, I would be guilty, too.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 28, 2009 at 5:18 am


Gerard Nadal
October 27, 2009 10:44 PM
Mr. Incredible,
Forget Panthera’s sins…
———————————————————–
That can happen ONLY if he repents.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 28, 2009 at 6:22 am


They said He also testified Himself. — — > They said He also testified of Himself.



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Panthera

posted October 28, 2009 at 7:35 am


Gerard,
This is why I said “I’m out of here on this thread”. I got your link and am reading through it.
The “A” and “B” positions are a common thread at the http://www.gaychristian.net/ and much of the “B” side’s theology is based on this Catholic group’s work. Give me some time to work through it, am rather over me ears in the worldly affairs of my client right now.
Glad you were able to blow town and enjoy (hopefully) learning new things.
I won’t be back on this thread again, I’ve had it with those two.
I know how to find you (can’t wait to see what Mr. Incredible does with that, hmm, was it Beezlebub who had that gift?) and you me, so, ’till soon.
Your
Panthera



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Husband

posted October 28, 2009 at 1:49 pm


Gerard,
“We have come a long way as a society, as a civilization in recognizing visitation rights, shared benefits etc”
No we haven’t. One word: FLORIDA. That “battle” is not “won”.
“And you are married.”
To quote an infamous southern sheriff (to Mrs. Loving) “Not in THIS State you’re not!”
“Fundamentalists aren’t bad people.”
If that fundamentalist is named Jerry Falwell, and hurricanes get blamed on gays, then I respectfully disagree. If his “family” name is Incredible, well, ’nuff said. (We can read, after all.)
You also keep repeating stuff about how “gay priests” wreaked havoc on your Church. Surely you meant pedophile priests. They were only situationally ‘gay’, as in (you should pardon the analogy) some men are in prison.
As for your contention gays don’t disassociate from (and denounce) NAMBLA, you are wrong. The Metropolitan Community Church has denounced them ad nauseam.
You speak of the carnage done at St. Pat’s. What of the 17 churches MCC has had arsoned – by homophobes?
“Marriage has universally been considered the union of man and woman.”
This is simply (and demonstrably) not true. The union of one man and many women is recognized in many countries. Why, the former Crown Prince (now King) Abdullah – he of the 5 wives – was welcomed into the Rose Garden by GWB. Or did Bush not “consider” the Prince “married”?
“Your marriage, validated in Europe remains legally in force here under international law, if I’m not mistaken. “
Sorry, but you are very, very much mistaken. Apart from a handful of individual States that will recognize Panthera’s (and my) marriage, there are more than 30 States that changed their Constitutions so that they would not have to legally recognize them. And, of course, this does not even begin to address the FEDERAL Government’s refusal to do so. Sorry, but what you typed is not at all true.
“Your other rights remain secure (visiting, health care, inheritance, etc.). Am I mistaken here?”
Yes, you are mistaken. I happen to winter in Florida. Several hospitals have openly refused to allow people in to see their legal spouses. And the State allows this. Health care? How many States have passed laws explicitly DIS-allowing ANY of the “benefits of marriage” (the legal term) from being passed on between gay spouses. Inheritance? I cannot count how many times the blood ‘family’ challenged legal wills and successfully got a legal spouse cut out entirely. Speaking of charity and decency …
“being seen as antagonistic towards people’s faith”
Gerard, you direct this towards gay people and gay people only. What of the “Christian” “right’s” antagonism towards gay people of faith? GC’s posts are excellent examples to begin with, but there are many, many more to choose from.
“People’s faith and integrity have come under assault by the gay community.”
Again, what of gay people’s faith and integrity that have come under assault by the “Christian” community?
As Panthera urged, check the legal situation out. You will be appalled.



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Husband

posted October 28, 2009 at 1:57 pm


I find it fascinating just how far from the original intent of Steve’s post this thread has devolved into, from secularizing religious imagery (in order to have religious imagery imposed into the secular public square) to the lack of separation between Church and State that the religionists still seem to wish to perpetuate (to their apparent detriment).
It really doesn’t (shouldn’t) matter what your (or any other faith) teaches on homosexuality or gay marriage (or any other topic, from alcohol to dancing to gambling to skirt length to ‘prayer’ in order to win a football game) – in a secular State wherein not every one is a member of your (or any) faith.



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GodsCountry

posted October 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm


“”…You speak of the carnage done at St. Pat’s. What of the 17 churches MCC has had arsoned (sic) – by homophobes (sic)?…””
Point out all the wrong you can, while you can, so as to obscure the point? Merely a rhetorical point, obfuscation.
“”…The union of one man and many women is recognized in many countries…””
These are aberrations, by choice. Legislated immorality. They know what marriage is.
“”…the blood ‘family’ challenged legal wills and successfully got a legal spouse cut out entirely…””
to paraphrase …”not in THIS state your not”. Polygamy, slavery, abortion and multitudes of other sins and sinful activities have been made legal, throughout history, and decent people did not (and do not now) honor the law.
“”…What of the “Christian” “right’s” antagonism towards gay people of faith?…””
Point out all the wrong you can, obfuscate.
“”…what of gay people’s faith and integrity that have come under assault…””
…see above; “obfuscation”.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 28, 2009 at 7:27 pm


Husband
October 28, 2009 1:57 PM
I find it fascinating just how far from the original intent of Steve’s post this thread has devolved into…
———————————————————–
Where are you when Bizarro Boris takes a thread WWAAAAYYYY beyond the subject of the thread?
Husband
October 28, 2009 1:57 PM
It really doesn’t (shouldn’t)…
———————————————————–
VALUE JUDGMENT ALERT! VALUE JUDGMENT ALERT! VALUE JUDGMENT ALERT!
Husband
October 28, 2009 1:57 PM
… matter what your (or any other faith) teaches on homosexuality or gay marriage (or any other topic, from alcohol to dancing to gambling to skirt length to ‘prayer’ in order to win a football game)…
———————————————————–
That’s the problem, that, to too many, it doesn’t matter.
Husband
October 28, 2009 1:57 PM
… – in a secular State…
———————————————————–
Where is that made clear?
Husband
October 28, 2009 1:57 PM
… wherein not every one is a member of your (or any) faith.
———————————————————–
So what?
Faith in God is not a club. God does not seek “members” of the club.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 28, 2009 at 7:33 pm


Panthera
October 28, 2009 7:35 AM
Gerard,
I won’t be back on this thread again, I’ve had it with those two.
———————————————————–
Translation: “I got no courage.”
Panthera
October 28, 2009 7:35 AM
… (can’t wait to see what Mr. Incredible does with that, hmm, was it Beezlebub who had that gift?)
———————————————————–
The Pharisees also accused Jesus of doing works by Beelzebub.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 28, 2009 at 7:39 pm


How much of a display on public property must be secular? 100%? Something less? What part of the intent of putting up a display on public property must be secular? The answer will be telling.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 28, 2009 at 7:42 pm


Panthera
October 28, 2009 7:35 AM
… (can’t wait to see what Mr. Incredible does with that, hmm, was it Beezlebub who had that gift?)
———————————————————–
I thought you said you won’t be back. Soooooo, which is it?



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 28, 2009 at 7:44 pm


^^Several hospitals have openly refused to allow people in to see their legal spouses.^^
“Legal” where?



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 28, 2009 at 7:51 pm


^^What of the “Christian” “right’s” antagonism towards gay people of faith?^^
What about it? On what is there so-called “antagonism” based? On the Word of God? Then, they are on the right track.
^^… what of gay people’s faith…^^
“Faith” in what?
^^… and integrity that have come under assault by the “Christian” community?^^
1 John 4:1



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 29, 2009 at 1:45 am


panthera
October 8, 2009 6:58 PM
Remember, should the conservative protestant Christians win, not only will homosexuals like me be tortured and murdered…
———————————————————–
Oh, fearmonger, puh-leez! What a pant load!



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 29, 2009 at 2:22 am


Gerard Nadal
October 12, 2009 7:10 AM
GodsCountry,
Have you any idea of the man you tore into on this thread?
What do you know of him, of his generosity, his support for the disabled, his care of impoverished relatives…
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That doesn’t cover his doing what God detests.
Gerard Nadal
October 12, 2009 7:10 AM
… in a word, his Christianity?
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You mean his kristianity.
Gerard Nadal
October 12, 2009 7:10 AM
Juxtaposing his life with your post, you’ve got lots of growing to do before you could even fit into his shoes, let alone walk a mile in them.
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Is THAT what you’ve adjudged?
Gerard Nadal
October 12, 2009 7:10 AM
While I could attest to Church teaching about the objective sinfulness of homosexuality…
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What about the Word’s teaching on it?
Gerard Nadal
October 12, 2009 7:10 AM
… I can also attest to the Church’s teaching that there exists in people’s lives circumstances which mitigate entirely any subjective guilt imputed to objective sin.
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That’s not what the Word of God teaches, however.
Gerard Nadal
October 12, 2009 7:10 AM
This is a function of God’s merciful love…
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God, through His Word, is love. The Church is not His love. The Church is not the mediator between God and Man.
Gerard Nadal
October 12, 2009 7:10 AM
… and I’m glad for it with my own sins.
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Circumstances do not mitigate sin.
Gerard Nadal
October 12, 2009 7:10 AM
Better soften that stony, doctrinaire heart with some of the mercy and love you hope for yourself. Jesus teaches that He will give it in the proportion that we show it to others.
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Show what to others?
Gerard Nadal
October 12, 2009 7:10 AM
Clubbing people to death with dogma isn’t love.
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In those who do not want to face Him, giving them the Word of God may seem like a clubbing when it isn’t. Iniquity certainly wants not to hear the Word of God. Those in darkness hide from the Light.
Gerard Nadal
October 12, 2009 7:10 AM
Then take the plank out of your own eye so that you can see clearly enough to take the speck out of Panthera’s eye.
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You read Matthew 7 through selective eyes.
Matthew 7:1-5 is for the unrighteous, not the Righteous.
panthera
October 12, 2009 11:31 AM
Gerard,
… I am being told that my legal marriage doesn’t exist.
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Well, it exists nowhere but where you live. So, for those who do not live on that planet, it doesn’t exist.
panthera
October 12, 2009 11:31 AM
By forcing us on the left into an either-or position…
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You people forced yourselves into that position, then forced us to take a position.
panthera
October 12, 2009 11:31 AM
…one in which we have to accept politicians who want to force women back into the stone age and return us gays to being tortured and locked away in mental institutions should we want to support abortion reform…
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What. A. Pant load! Where do you get all that hate?
panthera
October 12, 2009 11:31 AM
John McCain’s staff calculated shortly after the election that they lost about four million votes to gays and families of gays.
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The arithmetic ain’t gonna work the same again in that a Conservative will be in The White House in ’12.
panthera
October 12, 2009 11:31 AM
So long as we are threatened by such people as Godscountry…
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You say you perceive a threat where there is none. Sounds to me as though something’s not hooked up right.
panthera
October 12, 2009 11:31 AM
… (the blasphemy of even that name!)…
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How do YOU know?
Gerard Nadal
October 12, 2009 1:49 PM
Panthera,
Gay rights is the new kid on the block.
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What Rights do heterosexual men, for instance, have that men who say they are homosexual don’t have?
Gerard Nadal
October 12, 2009 1:49 PM
The tolerance desired must first be shown in good measure consistently. Not easy, I grant you. But Panthera, if you are the enlightened Christian, then it is incumbent upon you to respond not in anger, but in patient charity. That’s a tall order for a guy who has endured what you have, but Jesus didn’t give us that one as an option. It’s an imperative from the Son of God Himself.
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So, in YOUR view, Jesus never got angry and displayed that anger??
Gerard Nadal
October 12, 2009 1:49 PM
… go have a few drinks…
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Yeah, uh-huh, be sure not to tell him to go and read the Word of God. Nonono! Don’t do that cuz, after all, he may have to confront what’s in that mirror. Yeah, datsright, datsright, tell him to go and booze it up. Yeah, dat’s it! Dat’s the answer. My goodness.



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Panthera

posted October 29, 2009 at 7:37 am


Gerard,
If you made it through to here, my deepest, sincerest apologies that you had to read those insults.
I hate to just automatically withdraw from a thread the moment either of these individuals show up because I don’t want to give them that power. At the same time, no thread has ever survived the onslaught, especially of Mr. Incredible for any length of time. It’s like listening to a badly scratched CD which the error correction logic just can’t quite manage.
Take care, thank you for your true words and, ’till we meet again. But not here.
Mr. Incredible, God’s Country, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Gerard is a good Christian and your responses to him were more akin the howling of a demon than anything approaching civil discourse among Christian brothers who have a disagreement, not on orthodox belief, but on expressing Christian charity.



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Readingbill

posted October 29, 2009 at 10:25 am


Getting back to Exodus 32:14 and Mr. Incredible, who writes:
“If, in those verse, God changed His Mind, that would He would be contradicting Himself where He says, later, that He does not change His Mind. Of course, that’s ridiculous
That’s some tortured eisegesis engaged in by those commentaries Mr. I quotes. Spurgeon says this about John Gill, one of the commentary authors:
“Very seldom does he allow himself to be run away with by imagination, except now and then when he tries to open up a parable, and finds a meaning in every circumstance and minute detail; or when he falls upon a text which is not congenial with his creed, and hacks and hews terribly to bring the word of God into a more systematic shape.”
Exodus 32:14 is one of those occasions of hacking and hewing.
Anyway, a plain reading of the text should suffice that God changed His mind. I was away yesterday and just got back online. I quote the NASB because it is a conservative version that translates the Hebrew literally and word for word. I would need to check lexicons at home for the Hebrew and LXX readings, but we can be assured the NASB has it right with the fact that God changed His mind. The NIV translation says God relented, again an eisegetical reading to skirt the idea that God changes His mind.
But I see everyone has since moved on to other strands of this thread.



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm


Panthera,
Thanks for your kind words. At 49, I’ve developed rather thick skin. Miss Incredible is a legend in her own mind. I just shake my head in pity. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:
“I can speak with the tongues of angels, but if I have not love, I am a noisy gong, a clanging cymbal.”
I would be delighted if you established a corresponding relationship with Courage, insofar as they offer a window into the true approach the Catholic Church has toward homosexuals. It gets you beyond the boilerplate and smallness of people like these coconuts here. As I’ve told them, A+ for witness to their reading of scripture. D- on delivery, F on charity. Not the sort of report card I want to meet Jesus with.
God Bless



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 29, 2009 at 11:15 pm


Panthera
October 29, 2009 7:37 AM
Mr. Incredible, God’s Country, you should…
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VALUE JUDGMENT ALERT! VALUE JUDGMENT ALERT! VALUE JUDGMENT ALERT!
Panthera
October 29, 2009 7:37 AM
… be ashamed of yourselves.
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According to what standard, and whose?
Panthera
October 29, 2009 7:37 AM
Gerard is a good Christian…
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“Good,” in YOUR view, in the sense that he prefers to enable you. You’ll take any support you can get.
Panthera
October 29, 2009 7:37 AM
… and your responses to him were more akin the howling of a demon…
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Translation: “It is my perception, tainted by any number of wishes, that your responses to him were more akin to the howling of a demon.”
Panthera
October 29, 2009 7:37 AM
… than anything approaching civil discourse…
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To YOU, “civil discourse” means agreement with you.
Panthera
October 29, 2009 7:37 AM
… among Christian brothers…
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One is not my brother who does what God did tests and/or supports one who does what God did tests. I will not accept shared guilt.
Panthera
October 29, 2009 7:37 AM
… who have a disagreement…
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About what?
Panthera
October 29, 2009 7:37 AM
… not on orthodox belief, but on expressing Christian charity.
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Define what YOU think is Christian “charity.”



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 29, 2009 at 11:18 pm


Gerard Nadal
October 29, 2009 4:22 PM
As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:
“I can speak with the tongues of angels, but if I have not love, I am a noisy gong, a clanging cymbal.”
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What, biblically, is “love”?



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 29, 2009 at 11:26 pm


Readingbill
October 29, 2009 10:25 AM
Anyway, a plain reading of the text should suffice that God changed His mind.
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Then, you subscribe to the notion that God contradicts Himself. He thanks you for making your views clear, just for the record, and trying to make others believe that He contradicts Himself.
In fact, however, God does not change His Mind.
What God does, as noted by not one, but several scholars, is rely on men’s change of mind to determine what He will do to them. In other words, given their rebelliousness, He says He will deliver His wrath on them; but they change, and He decides not to deliver His wrath on them CUZ THEY changed. Therefore, He didn’t change His Mind, rather men changed the theirs.



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 29, 2009 at 11:43 pm


Hey Not-so-Incredible,
Usually when two people are writing on a dead thread where the rest of the herd has moved on, people recognize what is dialogue and what is fodder for open commentary. I think you missed that gene. Try a different moniker, one that fits. This one makes you look like a kid wearing his father’s shoes.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 29, 2009 at 11:55 pm


Didn’t land.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 29, 2009 at 11:57 pm


Gerard Nadal
October 29, 2009 11:43 PM
Usually when two people are writing on a dead thread where the rest of the herd has moved on…
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Accept, apparently, you.



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 29, 2009 at 11:58 pm


Accept — — > Except



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Husband

posted October 30, 2009 at 1:00 pm


Hi Gerard,
I don’t mean to be butting in on your (very respectful) conversation with panthera, but I really would like your response to my rebuttal of October 28, 2009 1:49 PM. You made some statements earlier that were absolutely incorrect (provably so), and I’d like to know if you’ve considered (or re-considered) my response. I know it’s difficult to wade through all the incredible blarney, but, if you read this, I do hope you’ll take the time and effort.
Thanx in advance.



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 30, 2009 at 2:47 pm


Husband,
No dodge here, but I’ve been giving it some thought (between teaching, the children, my research, writing, parish obligations, wife, etc). I really need more time to sit with what you and Panthera have had to say.
At first blush, I would say that things really ARE better now than in the past. Marriage, adoptions, visitation rights, inheritance, civil unions are all facts. It’s undeniable that there has been a shift in public discourse, and telling jokes using such terms as fags, queers, fruits, etc. are regarded in the same light as racial epithets. Things ave changed quite a bit from my teen years in the 70’s.
It may not be perfect from where you stand, and that’s understandable. I really do need more time to digest what you and Panthera have told me, but am I entirely wrong here?
God Bless



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Panthera

posted October 30, 2009 at 5:48 pm


Hi Husband,
I sure don’t see it as barging in, welcome!
Gerard, on the legal aspects regarding our marriage, status regarding medical power of attorney, legal will, etc, sadly, you were 100% wrong.
Really sadly.
Do check it out, it is just awful. It’s not like you really have anything else to do!
I wasn’t going to back into this place again, but, you and Husband are too valuable to me not to. I’m sure we will just all have to scroll through a bit of hatred to find each other again.



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GodsCountry

posted October 30, 2009 at 9:59 pm


“”…smallness of people like these coconuts…””
“”…incredible blarney…””
“”…a bit of hatred…””
“”…Not the sort of report card I want to meet Jesus with…””
…so blind…so blind…pathological blindness for the truth that owns this universe. You have been warned, you have no excuse. Repent. Follow God.
Certainly, all will be judged.
But, only you will be surprised.



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 31, 2009 at 12:05 am


Panthera and Husband,
I’ve spoken to a couple of attorneys about what you and husband have said. They seemed somewhat befuddled. As they understand US law, any state that has gay marriage bestows on homosexuals and lesbians all of the same rights as heterosexual couples. Medical power of attorney in the state of New York is a legally binding contract between the signatories. In New York, gays and lesbians can become the adoptive parent of their partner’s child.
I have gay family and friends who enjoy these benefits. So, please give me some understanding of specifically where I am wrong.
God Bless
God’s Country,
Okay, UNCLE, UNCLE, I repent! I promise that I’ll never be civil or charitable toward any sinners ever again. I promise to roundly condemn them and promise them an eternity of torment. But I still have this large plank in my own eye that I’m working on. When I get it out, I’m sure that I’ll be able to see as clearly as you to go after the specks in everyone else’s eyes.
You condemn Husband and Panthera. I’m too busy working on myself to go after others for whatever their inconsistencies vis scripture might be. They’re intelligent men and have read it all before. I heard a Protestant pastor once say that God says, “You love ‘em and I’ll judge ‘em.” That’s good enough for me. I’m a man of limited capacity and can’t do both at once. Therefore, I prefer to pass on condemning others.
“Certainly, all will be judged.
But, only you will be surprised.”
That’s so true. It just might be that Panthera and Husband get a seat in the Kingdom, and you and I may end up dancing on hot coals. Now wouldn’t that be a hoot?
As I’ve said about you and Incredibly Small
Witness to scripture A+
Delivery



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 31, 2009 at 12:07 am


Lost the ending:
Delivery D-
Charity F



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Panthera

posted October 31, 2009 at 7:17 am


Gerard,
Na, for you, God will re-institute Purgatory and your penance will be to explain for 1,000 years to panic stricken boulevard newspaper readers that oxydane is not toxic. No, not really. You can even bathe in it!
It was good of you to take the time to check. The situation is as follows.
Yes, in those states which recognize civil unions granted within the state, civil unions and marriages performed outside of that state are also recognized.
Unfortunately, this only works if you live in one of those very few states.
The federal rights – immigration, for instance, may not be granted under any circumstances. This is what DOMA forbids. It also puts gays in the horrible situation in which, when one partner dies and leaves the shared spousal estate to the other – even under the laws of a state which recognizes gay marriage – family members who condemned the marriage need only find a willing judge in another state (not hard to do) and bam! you’ve got a very nasty situation which is not governed by the federal marriage laws but open to law suits all over the place. Which are frequently lost by the surviving spouse. The insurance situation is universal, now that Séan is living full time in the US, we have to pay full income tax on his insurance as my spouse at home…amounts to an extra tax burden which is substantial, especially at the €:$ rate).
And so on.
There are slightly over 1,000 rights which federally recognized unions are granted and which are forbidden to us. Especially problematic are the medical powers of attorney – we saw just last month that Florida does not recognize them from out-of-state (they don’t from instate, either, but that’s another matter).
In short, regardless of one’s orthodox views on the matter, the violations of the 1,4, 10 and most especially 14th Amendments are so grievous, you are even finding judges in Texas beginning to argue this is untenable, never mind conservative state Supreme Court judges.
All the best, I appreciate your efforts to understand and your desire to discriminate between what God calls us to do and what we want to do. I’m still at the doing what I want to do stage.
Oh, and we’d come visit you, I’d bring you the latest copies of Nature and Scientific American…so you could explain them to me…but let’s be honest, here. If God can forgive me, He’ll be glad to see you.



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 31, 2009 at 4:40 pm


Panthera”
“All the best, I appreciate your efforts to understand and your desire to discriminate between what God calls us to do and what we want to do. I’m still at the doing what I want to do stage.”
I’m surprised that Little Wonder and God’s Country haven’t pounced on that admission as yet. What goes in academia these days? What courses are you teaching?
Peace



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Panthera

posted October 31, 2009 at 5:40 pm


Hi Gerard,
Just a few seminars this semester. Mainly, I am (trying) to prepare students to cope with the new EC guidelines for their Bachelor/Master’s Thesis.
With few exceptions (psychology being one, but that’s not really a science), upper level undergraduate and graduate level work is done primarily in English. This is a reasonable approach, given the pre-eminence of the language in the sciences.
Unfortunately, students are still learning English much the way I studied Latin. They arrive at the university with great vocabularies…in Elizabethan English.
We’re working through several glossaries on general sciences with the undergrads and I’m doing my best to explain the difference between an abstract for a scientific journal and a summary (What I did on my summer-vacation is about the level they are working at).
It’s useful and boring and dry as can be, but given my schedule, I am more than willing to do it – I can teach per video link most of the time, the 24 on campus hours we just finished.
The undergrads have to write a term-paper yet. I mentioned this yesterday and I swear, the new stereo pick-up caught several panicked yelps in the back. Honestly, you know today is the 31 Oct. I know it. Most undergrads have the vague feeling it is, mayhap, no longer August. Or not…
I’ve got a private seminar coming up in November, one of those delightful week-long affairs for which one is paid well, quartered in a five-star hotel and the participants are there because they want to be.
Séan will be here soon, I think I mentioned that I want him out of the ‘States this coming week. Got the book “Contacts” from James Fowler this afternoon. Yee-Haw! Something to sink me teethies into.
It’s funny, but hectic as life has been the last several weeks and as much as I miss my cat, my dawgs and my husband, things are so much more relaxed and people so totally disinterested in the culture wars over here, it’s like a long holiday.
Did you know, every single European country which recognizes our civil rights and grants civil unions or marriage has lower divorce rates and far lower abortion rates than the US? We do have an effect on heterosexual marriage, apparently – they last longer with us than without us.
Your website is on my desktop and I am working my way through. Slowly. I am rather pedantic, can’t imagine why.
I rather think I’ll pull the dihydrogen monoxide trick on my undergrads next week. I usually do something for halloween and since that will be an on-campus meeting, be fun. Did oxydane several semesters back and you wouldn’t believe the number who fell for it.
What do they teach in the schools, these days!



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Mr. Incredible

posted October 31, 2009 at 9:58 pm


Gerard Nadal
October 31, 2009 12:05 AM
Panthera and Husband…
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The Word of God says that “marriage” is between a man, as husband, and woman, as his wife.
Now, does your address mean that Panthera is the wife? A man cannot be a wife, according to God.



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 31, 2009 at 10:35 pm


Panthera,
“What do they teach in the schools, these days!”
Supposedly ‘critical thinking’
I have a bullet with tow holes drilled into the bottom of the shell (no power inside). For final exams at Christmas time I tie it to a dead tree branch and give the students extra credit if they can guess the Christmas pun. Very few have guessed it. Let me know if you get it.



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Panthera

posted November 1, 2009 at 2:00 pm


Gerard,
I’m thinking of mistletoe and a Latin expression (not together).
Hmm, give me a year or three and I’ll get it.
Panthera



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Gerard Nadal

posted November 1, 2009 at 2:45 pm


Panthera,
First, that should have read TWO holes drilled…
It’s the worst of all Christmas puns:
“A cartridge in a bare tree”
Peace.



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Panthera

posted November 1, 2009 at 3:39 pm


Oh, dear. I should have never, ever got that one. Had to look it up…
I am currently working through the three sorts of Eunuch, very interesting. Not sure we’d come to the same conclusion, but the theory certainly is not easy to set aside. I am sorely regretting my lack of Greek.
(Did I just hear the sound of a narrow mind or three exploding out there in the land of the Pharisee?)



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Husband

posted November 1, 2009 at 4:03 pm


Mere you,
“the bogey persons that have sickened our world with vice and violence” tend largely to be self-described “Christians” of late. Pace Ted Haggard et al.
“Hate is encouraging young people to embrace and engage in homosexuality.
This is not possible. Either one is or one is not a homosexual, and no amount of “encouraging” is going to ‘change’ (or ‘cure’) anyone.
Delusional as usual, I see.



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Panthera

posted November 1, 2009 at 4:21 pm


Hi Husband,
I often wonder just how these Right-wing Christians pick and choose which scientifically established facts to accept and which to reject. Do they even realize that the computer they are using would not be possible without quantum mechanics?
Why do they refuse to accept what science and medicine have shown in one study after the other for decades? Your sexuality is immutable. You can’t chose it, you can’t change it, you can’t convert it.



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Husband

posted November 1, 2009 at 4:24 pm


The above post was posted on an entirely different thread. Not sure how it appered on this one???



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Husband

posted November 1, 2009 at 4:28 pm


Gerard,
What a gentle soul. You are a shining exemplar of this morning’s All Saints homily. Thank you for your spiritual gifts, and especially for your seeking “understanding of specifically where I am wrong”, which is what I address (again) here …
“As [your] lawyers understand US law, any state that has gay marriage bestows on homosexuals and lesbians all of the same rights as heterosexual couples.”
As Panthera points out, the benefits of the Full Faith & Credit Clause and the Equal Protections Clause are specifically denied to gay American citizens (and all those ‘Amendments’ that don’t apply to gay citizens). If we legally married, our marriages should be recognized in ALL States because of them. The UN-Constitutional DOMA exempts itself from those Clauses and Amendments – awfully conveniently – but to gay citizens, the effect is that the “battle” is NOT “won”.
You admit that Panthera IS married, but it seems you (and your lawyers) ignore the example of the Lovings and the ‘Christian’ Southern response that the Lovings received – “Not in THIS State you’re not.”
You also said, “Your marriage, validated in Europe remains legally in force here under international law”. Again, this is absolutely, demonstrably not true. Bureaucrats everywhere can (and do) spit in our faces when we show them our out-of-State or out-of-country marriage certificates, despite Elizabeth Taylor’s luck having all of hers recognized ;{O)
And of course, there’s that problematic “any state that has gay marriage” since there are so few of them to begin with. Ask your lawyers about the 37 States in which one can still be legally fired for being gay – or even being believed to be gay!. If they are still “befuddled”, I’d seek out better lawyers if I were you. Ask them if they know that ENDA is not yet Federal law, because their response makes it seem like they believe it is.
“Medical power of attorney in the state of New York is a legally binding contract between the signatories. In New York, gays and lesbians can become the adoptive parent of their partner’s child.”
That’s one State. But you said “We have come a long way as a society, as a civilization in recognizing visitation rights, shared benefits etc. … You won that battle.” This is where you “specifically [are] wrong”. I can’t recall if Panthera resides in New York State or not. If not, that battle is far from “won”. There are many States that have changed their Constitutions in order to expressly deny such benefits to gay couples.
You were also specifically wrong when you said, “Marriage has universally been considered the union of man and woman.” Universally means everywhere and that just is not the case.
You believe “[Our] other rights remain secure (visiting, health care, inheritance, etc.). Am I mistaken here?”
I’m almost beginning to believe you didn’t even read my response, which was, (to refresh your memory and save you having to scroll interminably):
“Yes, you are mistaken. I happen to winter in Florida. Several hospitals have openly refused to allow people in to see their legal spouses. And the State allows this. Health care? How many States have passed laws explicitly DIS-allowing ANY of the “benefits of marriage” (the legal term) from being passed on between gay spouses. Inheritance? I cannot count how many times the blood ‘family’ challenged legal wills and successfully got a legal spouse cut out entirely.”
Please ask you lawyer friends about these things. Or, seek out better lawyers.
Thanks for continuing the discussion. I tend to rant (is it hard to tell?), but we are SOOO frustrated with the reality of the situation that you think we’ve “won”. Trust me, we haven’t.



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Panthera

posted November 1, 2009 at 4:56 pm


Husband, Gerard,
I am the only one here who is permitted to rant.
The rest may disagree civilly. The Right-Wing Christians have, after all, decided I am a 2,000 year old Centurio. As such, I demand respect do your elders.
Sigh. At least the elder part is true. You young’uns.
Well, now that we have cleared that up, Husband, I think Gerard is trying very hard to figure out some things which, when I speak to friends here in Europe, simply are too incredible to be believed (did I really say ‘incredible’? Sigh.)
Most good-hearted Catholics and those protestants who don’t define their love of God through hatred of the Other really don’t know that we are, quite literally, stripped of human status by DOMA, that it is a violation of the Constitution and that our current status in the US is in direct violation of several Constitutional Amendments. The US is in abrogation of properly ratified and executed treaties on marriage with other countries…and that we, really and truly can be fired, kicked out of our rented homes and refused access to those for whom we hold medical power of attorney.
It is so incredible (that word, oh, that word), how can we expect him to know it? Even Rod Dreher only admits it to allow as to how he finds the discrimination against us a good thing while admittedly unconstitutional. He wants an amendment to make it constitutional.
Sigh.
We are in Georgia, when in the ‘States. My parents chose to live there a very long time ago and we will see them through there because, for them, it is home. When we leave, I will use my share of the considerable family estate to establish the business in a State which grants us human status, then send the tax receipts on to the Georgia legislature to let them see just exactly what they are losing every year because of their hatred. We need to organize more such boycotts. Let the Right-Wing Christians earn the wind they have sewed with their hatred.
There, got me rant of the day off mine chest.



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Panthera

posted November 1, 2009 at 5:29 pm


do – due
sewed – sown
sigh.



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Gerard Nadal

posted November 2, 2009 at 1:05 am


Husband,
Thank you for your kind words.
In your post, you say:
“You were also specifically wrong when you said, “Marriage has universally been considered the union of man and woman.” Universally means everywhere and that just is not the case.”
What do you mean that tis is just not the case? Specifics?
Peace



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Panthera

posted November 2, 2009 at 8:44 am


Husband,
That would interest me, too.
Gerard, much of the Native American culture is lost – oral tradition cultures suffer such losses in times of crisis (this explains, I personally think, why so many of the Mexican immigrants don’t easily assimilate, but that’s another story).
From what we do have available to us, we know that several groups had established, recognized marriage for two men or two women.
The link above (I am going to be an animist this afternoon and think good thought about how much captcha likes me, so I am sure it will work.)
Forget that, here, again:
http://www.gay-art-history.org/gay-history/gay-customs/native-american-homosexuality/two-spirit-native-american-gay.html
There are sufficient properly documented biographies of two-spirited people marrying others of the same sex. We needn’t waste time arguing whether they were real marriages, or aberations, they were routine. Oh, and I am not 100% sure I trust Russel’s research completely.
Two other interesting (if not academically brilliant links) on the topic:
http://www.dancingtoeaglespiritsociety.org/twospirit.php
http://www.imdiversity.com/villages/native/dialogue_opinion_letters/pns_gay_twospirits_0305.asp
The Romans, like all Latin cultures, were pretty easy going towards a man being ‘serviced’ by another man orally or penetrating another man. We all know that, and we have the wonderful example of how Mexicans treat men who like to offer oral sex or be penetrated to other men as a fairly accurate modern referant for how much of later Rome felt about those men who took on that role – not too generously. Still, gay marriage was permitted until the Theodosian code. It is interesting to note that both the government and the Church of the day continued to collect taxes on male prostitutes until roughly the beginning of the sixth century. A-hem.
It is a natural inclination (for me, remember I have been declared over 2,000 years old here – and, apparently I am granted some status of masculinity, else why as Centurio?) to view Greco-Roman worldview as our standard. It is, more than the Judao-Christian we all pretend to. Even allowing for that, you don’t have to look far or long to see that many civilizations found acceptable roles for homosexual relationships, roles which were treated as we today treat civil unions in Europe for hetero- and homosexual marriages.
Husband, your knowledge far exceeds mine, Gerard you are a far deeper thinker than I. I can’t wait to see your perspectives and information on this.
Oh – either/both of you – ????????????? (adelphopoiesis) and affrèrement?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adelphopoiesis
(I try to avoid wikipedia, but this article is critical of the topic so am including it).
Gosh, Steven, now you decide to leave us?



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Panthera

posted November 2, 2009 at 9:09 am


Husband,
That would interest me, too.
Gerard, much of the Native American culture is lost – oral tradition cultures suffer such losses in times of crisis (this explains, I personally think, why so many of the Mexican immigrants don’t easily assimilate, but that’s another story).
From what we do have available to us, we know that several groups had established, recognized marriage for two men or two women.
The link above (I am going to be an animist this afternoon and think good thoughts about how much captcha likes me, so I am sure it will work.)
Forget that, here, again:
.gay-art-history.org/gay-history/gay-customs/native-american-homosexuality/two-spirit-native-american-gay. (you’ll have to put in the w w w. at the front and the h t m l at the back of all my links. Gotcha! struck.)
There are sufficient properly documented biographies of two-spirited people marrying others of the same sex. We needn’t waste time arguing whether they were real marriages, or aberations, they were routine. Oh, and I am not 100% sure I trust Russel’s research completely.
Two other interesting (if not academically brilliant links) on the topic:
.dancingtoeaglespiritsociety.org/twospirit.php
.imdiversity.com/villages/native/dialogue_opinion_letters/pns_gay_twospirits_0305.asp
The Romans, like all Latin cultures, were pretty easy going towards a man being ‘serviced’ by another man orally or penetrating another man. We all know that, and we have the wonderful example of how Mexicans treat men who like to offer oral sex or be penetrated to other men as a fairly accurate modern referant for how much of later Rome felt about those men who took on that role – not too generously. Still, gay marriage was permitted until the Theodosian code. It is interesting to note that both the government and the Church of the day continued to collect taxes on male prostitutes until roughly the beginning of the sixth century. A-hem.
It is a natural inclination (for me, remember I have been declared over 2,000 years old here – and, apparently I am granted some status of masculinity, else why as Centurio?) to view Greco-Roman worldview as our standard. It is, more than the Judao-Christian we all pretend to. Even allowing for that, you don’t have to look far or long to see that many civilizations found acceptable roles for homosexual relationships, roles which were treated as we today treat civil unions in Europe for hetero- and homosexual marriages.
Husband, your knowledge far exceeds mine, Gerard you are a far deeper thinker than I. I can’t wait to see your perspectives and information on this.
Oh – either/both of you – ????????????? (adelphopoiesis) and affrèrement?
.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adelphopoiesis
(I try to avoid wikipedia, but this article is critical of the topic so am including it).
Gosh, Steven, now you decide to leave us?



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Panthera

posted November 2, 2009 at 9:10 am


Ok, sorry about the double post. I really, really do not understand the gotcha system here.



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Husband

posted November 2, 2009 at 10:10 am


Gerard,
My quibble was the ‘universality’ of “man and woman”, when, as you know, many countries recognize polygamy (i.e. man and women).
Panthera has already raised the issue of the 2-spirited peoples. I remember way back in the 1970s, in the movie “Little Big Man”, where a 2-spirited man invited the Dustin Hoffman character to share his bed. That person was respected in his native community, and his living together with another man was recognized as the equivalent of marriage.
And of course there’s the Catholic (almost buried) tradition of same-sex unions in pre-modern Europe brought to light by the former/late head of the medieval history department of Yale University (Dr. John Boswell) in a book of the same name. Googling Saints Sergius and Bacchus will give more info.
So that’s 3 examples of exactly how not ‘universal’ 1 man, 1 woman marriages are.
Also, a nod to Panthera who reminds us all of the 1,176 FEDERAL benefits of marriage that do not accrue to us.
And we haven’t even touched on gay citizens not being allowed to serve their country in the military, something many other nations allow (Canada and Israel come to mind) without any apparent problems in the rank and file.
Blessing on you for keeping up.



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Panthera

posted November 2, 2009 at 11:55 am


One of the most common arguments leveled against gay marriage by Right-Wing Christians is that by granting us human status and permitting two men or two women to commit to each other for life, the Biblical marriage will be torn asunder and any number of men and women can marry.
Hallo, do these Right-Wing Christians even ever bother to actually read the Bible? Can they read, at all? The Bible opposes polygamy???
Now, personally, I am opposed to polygamy and polyamory as marriage forms. I can only be loyal to one man, not to two. And yet, they keep repeating this and the num-nuts believe them!!!!
Is a frontal lobotomy required to become a conservative American Christian?



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Gerard Nadal

posted November 2, 2009 at 6:05 pm


Panthera and Husband,
A good All Souls Day to you gentlemen. I think we’re well-enough along with one another that we may discuss these issues frankly, understanding one another’s good will as a given.(This would be so much better over dinner, because the gravity of the subject matter eventually yields to the unrelenting effects of the second and third bottles of wine, leaving Christian accord as the most indelible mark of the evening, as it should be). So in that light, I do offer the following to what you have both proffered.
As for man-woman being universally understood to be the essential components of marriage, I don’t think that I suggested that this was an absolute pairing historically, for the few exceptions that you cite. I think we would all agree that it has been pretty much a universal norm that marriage has included the pairing of the opposite sexes.
While it’s true that polygamy was in force early on in humanity’s evolution toward God, by the time of Jesus, the practice was effectively dead. And oddly enough, it is polygamy that launches one into understanding the traditional theological understanding of why it is one man and one woman in marriage that mirrors and prefigures the inner life of the Trinity.
We can have that discussion if you gentlemen wish, but I won’t go there if it presses too many buttons. In short, it isn’t that conservative christianity requires lobotomization, but rather that many people hold to the endpoint of dogma without understanding the richness of the revelation that gives rise to and animates it. It is precisely that lack of understanding that leads to a lack of charity, rather than civil discourse.
Gotta run to 6:30 Mass. (Helps to pray for the dead. When they make it to Heaven, I’ll be needing their prayers when my number comes up!)
God Bless



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Panthera

posted November 2, 2009 at 8:23 pm


Hi Gerard, Hi Husband.
Gerard, I can only speak for myself, but I am certain the three of us are in agreement that marriage is limited to two people.
Our point of disagreement is, of course, on the question of same-sex marriage.
I was being rather nasty towards those litteralists who have been pompously stating – at every opportunity – that endorsing gay marriage would lead to polygamy, and that that is unbiblical. Well, no, it isn’t, not literally.
Jesus never explicitly delimited marriage to one man and one woman and I do think we should pursue the eunuch classes in more detail, if we are to discuss just who, exactly is and who is not meant to marry.
Certainly, with roughly 90% of the population heterosexual, I think straight marriage is a wonderful thing. I just don’t see the necessary limitation on the 10% of us who are not heterosexual, as a scientist, I suspect you’ve researched the matter over time and, as someone I suspect of Jesuit inspiration, I have noted your silence on that particular matter lately.
Anyway, Séan will be back tomorrow (one kiss and hug at the airport, between planes – damn it!) so I rather expect I shall be posting with delays over the next days. Husband, I always value your ideas.
All the best to both of you!



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Gerard Nadal

posted November 3, 2009 at 1:06 am


Hi Panthera,
“as a scientist, I suspect you’ve researched the matter over time and, as someone I suspect of Jesuit inspiration, I have noted your silence on that particular matter lately.”
Actually, I have not in a few years researched any of the biological data. I’ve become somewhat jaundiced by the work of people like Levay, who use either poor controls, or no controls at all in their studies. Then there are the meta analyses, which in any discipline amount to modern day alchemy:
Take sh!t data with poor controls, no controls, n=2 for subjects, mix them together and come up with something that says whatever they want, as only about 500 people on the entire planet can even wrap their heads around this ‘methodology’.
As a scientist, I am open to any possibility ranging from entirely environmental etiology to purely genetic/biochemical. However, as a Catholic, I must say that the rush to embrace a scientific explanation is fraught with its own consequences.
No homosexual is prepared to say that, stipulating a genetic etiology, their sexual behavior is compulsive-a biochemical determination beyond the reach of free will and self-control. No heterosexual, claiming a biological etiology would say that of themselves either.
So, a biological predisposition to one’s sexual orientation may indeed help to shape the general pool from which one seeks another to love and be loved by in return, but it does not determine WHICH person within that pool is ‘the one’. That is a matter of free will, a choice, which is what makes love so radically profound in nature-that one has been chosen to be loved, and not the target of a compulsion.
That is where for heterosexuals and homosexuals alike, free will regarding sex comes into the picture. Loving another does not necessitate genital expression for that love, and the desire to engage at that level must be subordinated to God’s revealed will, as taught by the Magisterium. Of course Panthera, there are a gazillion Catholics who in a moment of honesty would admit as you did on this thread that they are still in the doing what they want phase.
I know that what I said sounds rather rigid and inflexible. It’s the truth that is binding on all people, regardless of sexual orientation, as taught by my Church.
Bringing it all back to science, the decision that each Christian must make is the determination of what discipline becomes the source and summit for their worldview. Whatever science tells me about the contributions of molecular genetics and biochemistry to my heterosexual orientation, I am still bound by the moral norms of my faith.
At this point, the objections from my own gay relatives is, “yes, but you have the option, then, for a sexual outlet, whereas your moral norms leave us no sexual means of expressing our love.”
In plain language, that’s a deal breaker for 99.999% of homosexuals. The people at Courage, who represent the other 0.001% see things differently. That’s why I think they are good to talk to, as they come from an experience that is as alien to my own experience as the far side of the moon.
You see, Panthera, it’s agonizing for me to even talk about this with profoundly good men such as yourself and Husband, because I know all about the oppression, the rejection, the violence done to homosexuals, the million injustices and inhumane, barbaric acts committed in God’s name. Then you come to Beliefnet and get treated to the sandwich board sloganeering and denunciations of the likes of Not-so incredible and God’sCountry (overly inflated monikers to match the egos). Against all of that, I attempt to witness what my faith teaches me and struggle to do so in a way that doesn’t add to the rage inculcated by the very worst ambassadors of christianity.
I appreciate your patient forbearance, and that of Husband as well. The truth as I see it, is that the Catholic Church (I can’t speak for any other) actually comes at this from a position of love, albeit tough love. In terms of the dignity of the homosexual, I believe that my Church sees that as no less than any other, and there is ample documentation toward that end. That brings us back to what we have discussed before. That even when the homosexual community in the 60’s and 70’s were contracting HIV, when AIDS broke onto the scene in the 80’s, it was the Catholic Church who reached out as the single-largest provider of HIV?AIDS services in the nation, and remains so to this day. She has NEVER rejected gays, NEVER proclaimed their dignity as any less than anyone else’s, and was there with love and compassion when AIDS patients were treated as lepers by the medical community.
I was part of that early outreach and ministry, working on the only residential treatment facility for teens with HIV/AIDS in the nation in 1989-90 at Covenant House in Times Square. I buried kids I’d known for years.
So there’s my dilemma Panthera. Reconciling science, morality as handed on by the Magisterium, and witnessing the faith to great men who have been savaged in the name of the Gospel; it’s no easy task.
My best to Sean.
God Bless



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GodsCountry

posted November 3, 2009 at 6:41 pm


“”…great men who have been savaged in the name of the Gospel…””
Metaphorically speaking, does a surgeon first tell a terminal patient he will live, knowing full well there is no hope? Does a surgeon attempt to remove a cancer with caring yet persuasive speech? No and no. A surgeon tells of the diagnosis, invades the body to rid it of disease and thus allows the healing to begin.
Even “great men” get cancer.
Metaphorically speaking, you, as a pedestrian, normally would never run screaming towards the front door of a home, proceed to pound your fists on said door and continue yelling – unless you noticed the attic of the home was aflame. You’ve saved a life! Even “great men” need to be saved.
What you have referred to as a “drive-by shooting” of a magnificent man, whom you value, really is a sinner in need of salvation and you do not have the courage of your convictions, no, you do not have the courage, to save that one from mortal danger. The situation is just as fatal, but it is you who, while not the shooter, is at best the driver of the car.



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GodsCountry

posted November 3, 2009 at 7:04 pm


“”…the wind they have sewed with their hatred…””
…is that like sowing purls before swine,(perhaps to keep them snug)?
I do not hate you, but I am the one you fear the most, judging by your continuing denigration of who you think I am.
You can be certain of only one thing; God loves you. You deny the only One who loves you perfectly.



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Gerard Nadal

posted November 3, 2009 at 10:15 pm


God’sCountry,
You sir, are no surgeon. Take it from one who has trained medical students. You have the bedside manner of a bull in heat.
Interesting that you should use the metaphor of a surgeon. Many lesser surgeons, as you rightly point out, do not use persuasive speech. They come in, state flatly that there is cancer and that it is terminal. Then they leave. In their wake, they leave behind human beings who are shattered and traumatized. As lesser surgeons, that’s all they can do. If the patient is fortunate enough to have someone guide them to a more qualified surgeon, one who will treat the whole person, not just the cancer, then they are indeed blessed.
Your analogy further betrays a view of homosexuals as somehow diseased. A pity for you that you don’t see them as humans whose sin is no more odious to God than your own. You are as ham-handed a surgeon as they get.
Again,
Witness A+
Delivery D-
Charity F
You haven’t seen me endorse homosexuality. You just haven’t seen me as one willing to burn gays at the stake the way you do here. I prefer to get to know people and leave room for the Holy Spirit to work in people’s lives. I know you think that life is as simple as pointing your finger and bellowing “REPENT”. It just doesn’t work that way.
If you believe that you are a faithful christian, then the next step is to work on love. Again you need to meditate on Paul’s reflections on love in 1 Corinthians 13. As for me, I’ll continue to witness the truth without kicking the crap out of people. I’m acutely aware of my own limitations, not the least of which is my revulsion for uncharitable people.
Yes, God’sCountry, your lack of charity is repellant to me. You’re terrific at pointing that finger, but lousy at being a decent human being. Guys like you give God a bad name. Would it kill you to witness your faith, as Paul said in Ephesians 4,
“I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.”
That ought to keep you busy for a while.



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 4, 2009 at 2:34 am


Gerard Nadal
November 3, 2009 10:15 PM
God’sCountry,
… work on love.
———————————————
What is biblical “love”? Does it adhere to a worldly definition,as YOU suggest? Or is there a more perfect definition, one that adheres to a different Standard? We’ll see what YOU say.
Gerard Nadal
November 3, 2009 10:15 PM
…you need to meditate on Paul’s reflections on love in 1 Corinthians 13.
——————————————
Again, what is biblical “love”?
Gerard Nadal
November 3, 2009 10:15 PM
As for me, I’ll continue to witness the truth without kicking the crap out of people.
——————————————
Like what you’re trying to do to him here, we guess.
Gerard Nadal
November 3, 2009 10:15 PM
I’m acutely aware of my own limitations, not the least of which is my revulsion for uncharitable people.
———————————————-
And it’s even worse when people like you misunderstand “charity.”
Gerard Nadal
November 3, 2009 10:15 PM
Yes, God’sCountry, your lack of charity is repellant to me.
————————————————
You mean worldly “charity.” You don’t understand the biblical meaning of the word.
Gerard Nadal
November 3, 2009 10:15 PM
You’re terrific at pointing that finger, but lousy at being a decent human being.
—————————————————-
Translation: “You’re lousy at being worldly.”
Gerard Nadal
November 3, 2009 10:15 PM
Guys like you give God a bad name.
————————————————–
In your worldly opinion, of course.
Gerard Nadal
November 3, 2009 10:15 PM
Would it kill you to witness your faith, as Paul said in Ephesians 4,
“I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.”
————————————————
Again, what’s biblical “love”?



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 4, 2009 at 2:54 am


Panthera
November 2, 2009 11:55 AM
One of the most common arguments leveled against gay marriage by Right-Wing Christians is that by granting us human status…
—————————————
Nobody denies anyone who is human human status.
Panthera
November 2, 2009 11:55 AM
… and permitting two men or two women to commit to each other for life…
———————————————————–
Nobody denies anyone a commitment to another. We reject the commitment called “marriage” for same-sex couples, regardless of claimed, sexual orientation.
Panthera
November 2, 2009 11:55 AM
… the Biblical marriage will be torn asunder…
———————————————————–
Well, the Word of God says that the union called “marriage” is one of a man, as husband, and a woman, as his wife. Which one are you?
Panthera
November 2, 2009 11:55 AM
… and any number of men and women can marry.
———————————————————–
Well, if the camel gets his nose into the tent…
Panthera
November 2, 2009 11:55 AM
Hallo, do these Right-Wing Christians even ever bother to actually read the Bible?
———————————————————–
Yes, but not as a newspaper, as YOU people do.
Panthera
November 2, 2009 11:55 AM
The Bible opposes polygamy???
———————————————————–
Yes, He does.
Why do you reject polygamy?? After all, the only thing important to you people is love, isn’t it?? Why do you people wanna stop polygamists from loving?



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 4, 2009 at 2:57 am


The People of the Great State of Maine have REJECTED so-called “same-sex ‘marriage.'”
This is a great blow, so to speak, to those who claim to be homosexual, their activists and supporters.
This is why they prefer to shop around for Lib judges. They KNOW that the American People are against so-called “same-sex ‘marriage.'”
THANK YOU, MAINE! MESSAGE DELIVERED!



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 4, 2009 at 3:09 am


Panthera
November 1, 2009 4:21 PM
Hi Husband,
Why do they refuse to accept what science and medicine have shown in one study after the other for decades? Your sexuality is immutable. You can’t chose it, you can’t change it, you can’t convert it.
———————————————————–
Then stop trying, and stop trying to persuade us otherwise. Cuz we know better.



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 4, 2009 at 3:36 am


Panthera
November 2, 2009 8:23 PM
Hi Gerard, Hi Husband.
Jesus never explicitly delimited marriage to one man and one woman…
———————————————————–
Except that He did.
Accosted by the Pharisees who wanted to trap Him, asking Him about divorce, He referred them to God’s joining of a man, as husband, and a woman, as his wife — WHAT, not who. He mentioned no other arrangement. That’s cuz God arranged it no other way.
In other words, Jesus was saying that only a man, as husband, and a woman, as his wife — WHAT, not who — can divorce cuz only a man and a woman — WHAT, not who — unite in Godly matrimony.
Panthera
November 2, 2009 8:23 PM
I think straight marriage is a wonderful thing. I just don’t see the necessary limitation on the 10% of us who are not heterosexual…
———————————————————–
There is no limitation that’s not on the rest of us.



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Mr. Incrfedible

posted November 4, 2009 at 4:10 am


Panthera
November 2, 2009 8:23 PM
…the 10% of us who are not heterosexual…
———————————————————–
It’s more like 1% who claim they are homosexual. Not 10%.



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Gerard Nadal

posted November 4, 2009 at 7:24 am


Not-so-Incredible,
Still going with that moniker, eh? It really fits you like a kid wearing his father’s shoes.
You’ve asked a few times. “what is Biblical love?”
You’re starting to sound like Pilate, asking Jesus what truth is. Talk about being on the wrong side of history.
Just as Jesus said that He is the way, the truth, and the life, John tells us that God is Love. Did you really not know that, or were you also doing double-duty as a Pharisee?
Now, little boy, don’t trifle with me by playing your little boy gotcha games. If you want to disagree with Panthera and Husband, that’s what this forum is designed for, in part. The other, more important part, is to share your FAITH. That faith sharing need not be wrapped in opprobrium. (See Paul on the biblical love you ask about. He explains exactly what it is and how it ought to be manifest. I’m not going to recapitulate it all here. Do your own work.)
That you can’t hold a serious and substantive discussion with these men, without being obnoxious, tells me that you are in the same boat as God’sCountry. It’s easy for cowards such as yourself, unseen, to skulk around a blog and tear into homosexuals. What if you were to share a dinner table with these men? Could you soften the tone, encountering them first and most importantly as fellow sons of God? If yes, then that ought to be your tone here, which leads us back to 1 Corinthians 13 and Ephesians 4.
I don’t disagree with your reference to scripture. I just think that your delivery, which reflects you, sucks. You’ve got a long way to grow into, “Mr. Incredible”. But hey, I guess it’s worth shooting for.
Good Luck. If unrepentant gays are going to burn in hell, then they’ll be in good company with thugs who bashed them in Jesus’ name.



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 4, 2009 at 7:50 am


Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
Not-so-Incredible,
Still going with that moniker, eh?
———————————————————–
“Not-so-Incredible”? No. That’s not mine.
Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
You’ve asked a few times. “what is Biblical love?” [Sic]
You’re starting to sound like Pilate, asking Jesus what truth is. Talk about being on the wrong side of history.
———————————————————–
So, even though you use it, you can’t tell us what biblical “love” is. We thought so.
Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
Just as Jesus said that He is the way, the truth, and the life, John tells us that God is Love.
———————————————————–
What does THAT mean?
God is love. The Word is God. Therefore, the Word of God is love.
So, if we are giving God’s love, we are giving the Word.
Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
Did you really not know that…
———————————————————–
However, “God is love,” doesn’t define biblical “love.”
Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
… or were you also doing double-duty as a Pharisee?
———————————————————–
If I were a Pharisee, I couldn’t say the things that I have written.
Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
Now, little boy, don’t trifle with me by playing your little boy gotcha games.
———————————————————–
I’m not playing games. I’m dead serious. Too bad you don’t get it.
Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
If you want to disagree with Panthera and Husband, that’s what this forum is designed for, in part. The other, more important part, is to share your FAITH.
———————————————————–
That’s what I’m doing. You don’t have to like it.
Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
That faith sharing need not be wrapped in opprobrium.
———————————————————–
As far as I’m concerned, it isn’t.
Pace at (See Paul on the biblical love you ask about. He explains exactly what it is and how it ought to be manifest.
———————————————————–
He doesn’t say what it is but how it should be manifest.
Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
I’m not going to recapitulate it all here.
———————————————————–
You can’t.
Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
Do your own work.)
———————————————————–
Already done.
Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
That you can’t hold a serious and substantive discussion…
———————————————————–
They can’t hold a serious and substantive discussion with me, though I tried.
Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
… with these men, without being obnoxious…
———————————————————–
Translation: “You can’t fall in line with us, and that is obnoxious.”
Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
… tells me that you are in the same boat as God’sCountry.
———————————————————–
God’s boat.
Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
It’s easy for cowards…
———————————————————–
You just can’t bring yourself to stay away from name-calling, can you.
Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
… such as yourself, unseen, to skulk around a blog and tear into homosexuals.
———————————————————–
I haven’t been tearing into those who claim to be homosexual. I merely respond to what is being said. You don’t have to like what I write.
Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
What if you were to share a dinner table with these men?
———————————————————–
What if I were?
Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
Could you soften the tone…
———————————————————–
How do you know my tone?
Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
… encountering them first and most importantly as fellow sons of God?
———————————————————–
Those who are not born again and not sons of God.
Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
If yes, then that ought to be your tone here, which leads us back to 1 Corinthians 13 and Ephesians 4.
———————————————————–
That IS my tone. You just happen not to like it. Not my problem.
Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
I don’t disagree with your reference to scripture.
———————————————————–
You can’t.
Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
I just think that your delivery, which reflects you, sucks.
———————————————————–
I’m not concerned with what you think about it, especially with YOUR tone.
Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
You’ve got a long way to grow into, “Mr. Incredible”. [Sic]
———————————————————–
Only YOUR opinion which doesn’t land.
Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
Good Luck.
———————————————————–
“Luck” is intended to take it out of the hands of God. I don’t recognize “luck.”
Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
If unrepentant gays are going to burn in hell, then they’ll be in good company with thugs who bashed them in Jesus’ name.
———————————————————–
The Devil couldn’t have said it better.



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 4, 2009 at 7:54 am


Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
You’ve asked a few times. “what is Biblical love?” [Sic]
You’re starting to sound like Pilate, asking Jesus what truth is. Talk about being on the wrong side of history.
———————————————————–
So, you can’t tell us what Biblical “love” is, nor can you tell us what “Truth” is.
I ask these questions only because you people use these words so often without ever telling us what they mean. I’m just curious to know whether you people, claiming to be sooooooo intelligent, scientific, logical, empirical and reasoning, know what those words mean, biblically. I’m not surprised to find that you avoid telling us and, as you do, try to distract from the fact that you are avoiding telling us.



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 4, 2009 at 7:56 am


Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
If unrepentant gays are going to burn in hell, then they’ll be in good company with thugs who bashed them in Jesus’ name.
———————————————————–
Is THAT what you have adjudged? Heh.



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 4, 2009 at 8:58 am


Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
I just think that your delivery, which reflects you, sucks.
———————————————————–
Gee, there goes another night’s sleep.



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Gerard Nadal

posted November 4, 2009 at 11:37 am


Not-so-Incredible,
1 Corinthians 13 1 Corinthians 13 1 Corinthians 13
Read it. Biblical love is spelled out there, what it is, and what it is not.



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Husband

posted November 4, 2009 at 11:56 am


Gerard,
“No homosexual is prepared to say that, stipulating a genetic etiology, their sexual behavior is compulsive-a biochemical determination beyond the reach of free will and self-control.”
Well, I am not a scientist, but in this statement, you are speaking of (and only of) behaviors. We largely speak of orientation/attraction. You are quite correct that I would never say my behavior is compulsive, but my attraction/orientation absolutely is beyond the reach of free will. As is everyone’s, gay or straight, I believe. Either one is or one is not attracted to people of the opposite (or the same) sex. This attraction – whether it is acted upon or not – is indeed beyond free will. It is innate in humans. I’m sure you see the difference, because you add, “No heterosexual, claiming a biological etiology would say that of themselves either” (even though you’re still speaking only of behavior and not attraction).
However, you added, “That is where for heterosexuals and homosexuals alike, free will regarding sex comes into the picture. Loving another does not necessitate genital expression for that love, and the desire to engage at that level must be subordinated to God’s revealed will, as taught by the Magisterium.”
I am not a Catholic and do not feel I must follow its teachings. Although I agree that loving another does not necessitate genital expression for that love, it appears to me that you believe gay people (specifically gay people of faith) haven’t subordinated our relationships (or, in your words, our “desire to engage at that level” – and do you understand how we feel when this assertion reduces our relationships, our lives, to mere physical ‘genital expression’?) to God’s will. Perhaps God’s will for gay people – as revealed to gay people – is the same as revealed to heterosexuals for heterosexuals, namely committed relationships within marriage. God has not revealed to me/us that I/we must be celibate.
“It’s the truth that is binding on all people, regardless of sexual orientation, as taught by my Church.”
And this is the crux of the problem – this “truth” is not taught by my Church. Why must non-Catholics be bound by Catholic teachings or tenets? That’s the part that doesn’t make sense to me.
“I am still bound by the moral norms of my faith.”
As are we. But, being members of different faiths, the norms are different too.
“I attempt to witness what my faith teaches me.”
As do we likewise attempt to witness (and live) what our faith teaches us. It’s just different than what your faith teaches you.
And a P.S. I would never consider either Not-Credible of “God’s Country” to be “good company” – either in Heaven or in Hades.



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Gerard Nadal

posted November 4, 2009 at 2:04 pm


Husband,
I’m running to take the kids to their afternoon appointments and will post more later.
Briefly, I understand what you are saying and agree that no one is compelled to be bound by the teaching of another’s church. That’s what the assent of faith is all about. I also understand that today is probably not a very good day for this discussion in light of the events in Maine yesterday.
You may note that I have gone after Elizabeth over on Rod Dreher’s site for her blanket assertions of bigotry. This is one very complicated issue that deserves the respect and decorum that you, Panthera and I have cultivated and enjoy. We may not agree on everything, but as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13,
“I can speak with the tonges of angels, but if I have not Love, I am a noisy gong, a clanging cymbal.”
I’m glad to have that level of respectful loving discourse with you and Panthera. It’s what’s missing from the broader debate.
More later. God Bless.



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GodsCountry

posted November 4, 2009 at 7:32 pm


“”…That ought to keep you busy for a while…””
…sadly, no, it didn’t. You, of the worldly worldview and I of the Spiritual/Biblical worldview will not be able to reconcile. Neither of us will ever “get it”, so to speak.
The Death clock waits for no arguments, no matter how eloquently stated. Furthermore, I have spoken succinctly, urgently, out of good faith and out of love for a fellow traveler who is about to be burned alive. Your judgments notwithstanding.
You are simply being a fool. There is my judgment of you, based on hard evidence, which can be rightly judged.
The audacity.



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 4, 2009 at 9:04 pm


Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 7:24 AM
You’ve asked a few times. “what is Biblical love?” [Sic]
You’re starting to sound like Pilate, asking Jesus what truth is. Talk about being on the wrong side of history.
———————————————————–
I didn’t ask you what “truth” is. I asked you to tell us what THE Truth is.
If you had a grasp of Christianity, your best answer would be,”Christ Who said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life.'” Simple to those who have His Knowledge. But you didn’t answer with Scripture, displaying, instead, your lack of His Knowledge.



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 4, 2009 at 9:07 pm


Husband
November 4, 2009 11:56 AM
Gerard,
“No homosexual is prepared to say that, stipulating a genetic etiology, their sexual behavior is compulsive-a biochemical determination beyond the reach of free will and self-control.”
Well, I am not a scientist, but in this statement, you are speaking of (and only of) behaviors. We largely speak of orientation/attraction.
———————————————————–
Yes, the flesh. We get it.



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 4, 2009 at 9:14 pm


Gerard Nadal
November 4, 2009 11:37 AM
Not-so-Incredible,
1 Corinthians 13 1 Corinthians 13 1 Corinthians 13
Read it. Biblical love is spelled out there, what it is, and what it is not.
———————————————————–
Biblical “love” is not spelled out there. What IS spelled out is what biblical “love” causes to happen.
Yours is the misinterpretation of those who skim the surface of the Word of God and miss the depth of Him.



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 4, 2009 at 9:20 pm


God is love.
Does He stop there? No.
The Word is God.
Therefore, the Word is love. It is not what the world thinks is “love.”
God sent His Son — the Word. The Word is the Christ.
So, to give the Word of God is to love — that is, have unselfish concern for the Salvation of others, as much concern for others’ Salvation as you have for your own.
Thus, the commission for those who are born again is to make the Revelation of God, through Christ, known to the world. According to the Word, THAT is truest love you can have.



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 4, 2009 at 9:32 pm


Darkness does not comprehend the Light. Darkness is afraid of the Light. Darkness shrinks from the light.
That’s why you have the children of darkness doing nothing more than presenting common, “bumper sticker,” biblical slogans; they present no insight cuz they have none. They have none cuz they are Bible-book “skimmers.” There is no depth to their reading of Him at all. So, they can present no depth.
There is one, or two, here who claim to be Christian who never present a Scripture-upon-Scripture, insightful “argument.” They are what I call, “kristians.” Like fake crab is called, “krab.”
One who is born again is eager to bring the Word of God to bear, in order to help those who are perishing. This help is the true love of the Word of God.



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 4, 2009 at 9:56 pm


Husband
November 4, 2009 11:56 AM
Gerard,
“No homosexual is prepared to say that, stipulating a genetic etiology, their sexual behavior is compulsive-a biochemical determination beyond the reach of free will and self-control.”
Well, I am not a scientist, but in this statement, you are speaking of (and only of) behaviors. We largely speak of orientation/attraction.
———————————————————–
When we grab a bank robber, we’re not terribly interested in his orientation/attraction to robbing banks, except as the psychologist may be interested in it.
In the legal sense, all we’re interested in is whether there was an illegal act and the intent to commit the illegal act. We’re not interested in the motivation that leads to the intent, except that it may explain some things to those two are interested. Motivation is not part of the required, legal tandem of the illegal act and intent to do that. The prosecution is not required to attach motivation to the illegal act; he’s required to attach intent to the illegal act.



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 4, 2009 at 9:59 pm


Regarding the motivation of those who claim to be homosexual, God has already answered that.
Summed up, God says that it’s a vile motivation, that it arises from the sin nature, not the Godly nature, that Man, thanks to Adam and Eve, is susceptible to the lures of the sin nature.



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 4, 2009 at 10:07 pm


So, then, however, while you use your fabricated motivation to try to justify your chosen behavior in homosexuality, the main focus is the conduct. No matter what your motivation, you are capable of stopping yourself from doing what God detests. Then, we can address the errant motivation through the Word of God.
However, if you also choose to ignore the Word of God, you’ll continue to do what God detests. It’s out of our hands then, except what we can do to stop you through law and the vote. You saw an example of that on Tuesday. Further examples are coming.



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Panthera

posted November 5, 2009 at 6:48 am


Hi Gerard, Hi Husband,
We won two out of three. That is good news. Losing Maine hurts, but the loss was a great deal more narrow than I ever dared believe.
Gerard, I think your interactions here (much to our defense as humans and Christians) has shown both your genuinely charitable nature. Thank you.
You have also had a very good opportunity to see just why gays and transgender need legal protection. The take no prisoners, grant no quarter hatred you have gotten quite a dose of here over the last weeks and months is precisely the reason we gays and the transgender need legal status. We live with this in the reality-based world every day. Our children live with this. Those of us who do not have the money and the physical size to be left alone are attacked – you’ve seen the hate crimes lists, you know I speak true.
I’ll continue fighting for our right to secular marriage. If the Church really means it when she says we should enjoy ‘some’ protections, now is the time for her to put the word to deed. We just saw a shameful breech of the law by the Church in Maine. It will have legal consequences.
Frankly, from the tenor of those Christians posting even at crunchycon, these hateful ones are arguing our case better than I ever could. Fascinating.
Life is too wonderful right now to spend much time here. In the immortal words of the governator, “I’ll be baaahhhck.”
Till then, my best to you both.



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Panthera

posted November 5, 2009 at 6:55 am


…shows both:
Oh, and that you are a gentleman. Means something where I come from.



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 5, 2009 at 7:40 am


Panthera
November 5, 2009 6:48 AM
Hi Gerard, Hi Husband,
You have also had a very good opportunity to see just why gays and transgender need legal protection.
———————————————————–
No more than anyone else, if, of course, you believe in equal protection under the law.
Panthera
November 5, 2009 6:48 AM
Those of us who do not have the money and the physical size to be left alone are attacked…
———————————————————–
An attack on you as no more than an attack on anybody else.
Panthera
November 5, 2009 6:48 AM
I’ll continue fighting for our right to secular marriage.
———————————————————–
You already have that Right.
All men — heterosexual and those who claim to be homosexual — may marry women — heterosexual and those who claim to be homosexual. No one is left out, given that there are only two sexes, unless you’re claiming that you are a member of a third sex.
Panthera
November 5, 2009 6:48 AM
If the Church…
———————————————————–
What “Church”?
Panthera
November 5, 2009 6:48 AM
… really means it when she says we should enjoy ‘some’ protections, now is the time for her to put the word to deed.
———————————————————–
You are already protected by the Constitution and the law, just as everybody is protected.
Panthera
November 5, 2009 6:48 AM
We just saw a shameful breech of the law by the Church in Maine.
———————————————————–
What about the so-called “separation of Church and State”? It doesn’t apply now, all of a sudden?
Panthera
November 5, 2009 6:48 AM
Frankly, from the tenor of those Christians posting even at crunchycon, these hateful ones are arguing our case better than I ever could. Fascinating.
———————————————————–
No doubt that you have weaklings sympathizing and empathizing with you.



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Panthera

posted November 5, 2009 at 8:54 am


O Magister Incredibilis, quod erat demonstrandom.
A thousand thanks for proving the point. No one could have argued against themselves better than you just did.
(Gerard, do you think he’s capable of the figuring out the second root of incredibilis? Your word games on it have gone right over his head…)



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 5, 2009 at 9:47 am


WuddooIcare? I made my points. That’s all I care about.



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Panthera

posted November 5, 2009 at 11:22 am


Yes, Mr. Incredible,
You make your points. The fact that they are “your” points and have not the slightest tinge of Jesus’ mercy is also clear.



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 5, 2009 at 12:25 pm


Panthera
November 5, 2009 11:22 AM
Yes, Mr. Incredible,
You make your points.
———————————————————–
We are all glad that you recognize that.
Panthera
November 5, 2009 11:22 AM
The fact that they are “your” points and have not the slightest tinge of Jesus’ mercy is also clear.
———————————————————–
They align with the Word of God. That’s what’s important.
Jesus had mercy, all right, but He didn’t let that interfere with His Mission to deliver the Message of God’s offer of Reconciliation to Man. His mercy did not hinder His saying that He is the ONLY Way to the Father. He was, and is, intolerant of any other ways.
To YOU, “mercy” means that I must sit idly by while you do what you want and say what you want without my saying a thing. The last thing you want is a conscience reminder. I represent that conscience reminder. Things are tough all over.



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 5, 2009 at 12:28 pm


Panthera
November 5, 2009 11:22 AM
The fact that they are “your” points…
———————————————————–
I say what I hear my Father say. I don’t testify of myself. I testify of Him.



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 5, 2009 at 12:39 pm


Panthera
November 5, 2009 11:22 AM
The fact that they are “your” points and have not the slightest tinge of Jesus’ mercy is also clear.
———————————————————–
A “kristian” wouldn’t be able to tell.
But what “mercy” did Jesus display that you claim I’m not displaying?



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 5, 2009 at 1:06 pm


Panthera
November 5, 2009 11:22 AM
The fact that they are “your” points and have not the slightest tinge of Jesus’ mercy is also clear.
———————————————————–
Translation: “If you had mercy, you’d agree with me.”
Why do you need mercy? Mercy for what? You do sumpin wrong?



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Ann

posted November 6, 2009 at 8:45 pm


I’m convinced that Mr. Incredible is nothing but a computer virus that copies other peoples’ posts and just adds snide remarks. How annoying. Is there something we can do to rid ourselves of this annoying virus?



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GodsCountry

posted November 6, 2009 at 10:04 pm


The worldly seek to please only the flesh, and indulge pathological rhetoric to defend their damnable pursuits.
God loves them, still. Repent. Go and sin no more.
He awaits you, longing for you to share in the glory of Heaven.



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Gerard Nadal

posted November 7, 2009 at 4:32 am


Ann
November 6, 2009 8:45 PM
I’m convinced that Mr. Incredible is nothing but a computer virus that copies other peoples’ posts and just adds snide remarks. How annoying. Is there something we can do to rid ourselves of this annoying virus?
That’s why God made editors. If those don’t function as designed, then the rest of us should resolve not to respond until the little boy grows into the moniker he has chosen for himself. “Mr. Incredible” is a nice goal for the present iteration of this little man. Upon growing into the moniker, he will also gain a maturity and assurance born of insight that would lead him to drop that egoistic moniker and settle on something more appropriate like, “reformed jackass”.



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Panthera

posted November 8, 2009 at 9:18 am


Hi Gerard, Hi Ann, Hi Husband!
If you can stand to wade the swamp to here, I think you might find this link interesting.
Here in Europe, where we have had civil unions and gay marriage for many years now, there has been a decline in such divorces among younger people. The Church (as I have often noted, except for Poland, the Church is far more charitable in outlook here than the American Church) does annulments for the poor heterosexual spouse with as little pain as possible.
I’ve not thought much about things the last few days, posting only sporadically (the joy of having my husband here lifted my spirits enormously) and I can get through the next several weeks enforced separation with somewhat more cheer. How my dad survived the loneliness of all those years traveling for the family business is a question I shall ask. No, I shan’t, he’ll take it to mean I resent doing what he no longer can do.
One thing which has occurred to me in the wake of our Washington State, Kalamazoo, North Carolina (!!!) and even Texas victories, is that the absolute hatred and filth pouring from the lies broadcast on TV, told to the press, spouted in forums, given as excuses for not obeying the laws on disclosure…(and that one is going to be a serious problem for the Church. You can’t claim tax exemption status, spend your tax-exempt monies oppressing people and then refuse to open your books when the law says you must)…all those things are good for us.
They make clear to Christians of good heart just exactly why we do need protections. I think most, you included, really find it hard to believe that there are so many hatefilled Christians out there, doing what they are doing. Now you have the proof.
Horribly. Sadly.
We can continue to disagree on the Orthodox position, but some level of civil union is going to be inevitable and it is these hate-driven Christians who are going to, ultimately, achieve it for us.
I note that the two links you posted recently both make clear that the Church is very aware that at some point, science (for which, I do thank God for the Jesuits) the Church ultimately does accept is going to have to be accepted. The studies keep returning the same data, the observations firmer and firmer: Homosexuality isn’t a disease, isn’t a choice, is an evolutionary advantage.
I’ll have something to say fairly soon, will have worked through both links. My Notebook actually was found in CDG, imagine that! Tomorrow, I shall be writing on a normal keyboard, using a language I understand!
Oh, Ann, your patience on Tony’s site is beyond any words I have to recognize. Wow. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I’ll fight for my human rights, but not on the heads of the starving.
Hope all is well,
Keven



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Husband

posted November 9, 2009 at 12:03 pm


Sadly, I must report that I no longer will blindly accept that Gerard is of “good will”, not after reading the calumnous, vile, poisonous toxic lies he posted on Rod Dreher’s blog (replete with links to Catholic sites as ‘proof’ of their veracity – no bias there, eh Gerard?).
Gerard, I truly am sorry that ACT-Up behaved the way they did, but to now say it was in reaction to the Catholic Church’s stance on contraception (um, hello, we’re GAY – what need have we of contraception?) instead of their sick attitude (then) of not distributing condoms as a way to lower HIV/AIDS infections is more than disingenuous of you – it’s an outright lie. As were the things you said about what has “happened” here in Canada.
I, too, have witnessed vicious things that people from your side did in and to my Church and my/our pastor(s), many of whom have been assaulted during a Church service. People on your side arsoned 17 of our Churches – a bit more than treating a host with disrespect. Wafers are objects (yes, I do know what transsubstantiation means); the people in my Church who died are actual people, not objects.
IOW, we are treated (as Panthera often refers to) as non- or sub-human. The vile things posted on the Crunchy Con blog are stupefyingly anti-human, nevermind anti-gay or anti-equality.
Sick stuff that unfortunately made me trust you less.



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Panthera

posted November 9, 2009 at 4:10 pm


Husband, Ann, Gerard,
I’m finishing up a client (oh, dear, that didn’t come out quite right in English, but when they see our bill, it might just be true) so haven’t time to comment, just this:
Yes, Gerard and I, of all of us, tend to say the hardest things. No, sometimes I don’t like what you say Gerard, but then, I am not above using my education in the classics, knowledge of syntax, studies in logic and comprehensive education on the Bible in several languages to strike back at the hateful ones.
We all have our faults (well, Ann hasn’t shown any weaknesses yet, but we keep books, you know) and I think we are just going to have to live with the fact that there is enough anger to go around.
Personally, I am enjoying enormously being able to walk down the street hand in hand with my husband and nobody even notices or comments except the occasional smile. Couldn’t do that in Georgia without bodyguards.
One thing these last weeks have made very clear: There is far more than just loving, Christian concern behind the anti-gay civil rights folks. You look at what is pouring forth right now on crunchycon or other similar websites and there is no possible Christian justification for it. Ultimately, I think this is going to sway those Christians who aren’t crazy about the idea, but tired of seeing us treated badly. It also is an object lesson on separation of church and state: If we can be treated this way, someday it might well turn out that the ultra-conservative Christians are in the minority. How well it go for them? Bush and Co. thought they were establishing a Taushendjahriges Reich, too…



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Panthera

posted November 9, 2009 at 4:12 pm


oh, I want my laptop back. Tausendjahriges, not with “h”.
Gah. Stupid thing even messes up the spellcheck. I miss my Sony!



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Ann

posted November 9, 2009 at 10:25 pm


Panthera, Gerard, Husband,
I just want to say that this is not an easy subject for people to talk about…. there is so much fear (which leads to anger and lashing out) and confusion. I myself go back and forth and just wish that God would send a memo down to earth and settle the debate once and for all. But that is not going to happen, so for the time being, we are all just going to have to deal with differing opinions on a very emotional topic for both sides.
As for SSM. I will be so releaved when all 50 states allow it and a majority of churches start blessing it. One thing the Episcopal church that I attend (Calvinist + Catholic = Episcopalian??? I guess so in my case) that drives me crazy is that allow the ordination of gay bishops, but we don’t bless gay marriage. If that isn’t putting the cart before the horse. The one thing that scares me the most about homosexuality is that it threatens to undermine my firm belief that God created sex for marriage and marriage only. How am I suppose to teach my daughter to wait when my church has bishops that are openly practicing sex outside of marriage b/c we don’t have the means to marry them. For this reason alone, all Christians should want to allow SSM.
I wonder if a better way to look at the issue would be to try to develop a positive theology of sexuality. By that I mean that is seems to me, at least, that our theology of sexuality is negative. It consists of “don’t do this” and “don’t do that”. I dare say it’s even destructive. I certainly bear emotional scars from being raised with this type of theology (and I don’t blame my parents, my mom bears more scars than I do). Why don’t we have a positive theology? Why did God give us these desires… what does it teach us about Him? I think that could be very powerful.



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Ann

posted November 9, 2009 at 10:40 pm


Panthera-
Btw…. I’m happy to hear you are with your husband! I know what it is like to miss them while they are away…. mine is stuck in Nebraska right now and I miss him dearly.



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Gerard Nadal

posted November 10, 2009 at 12:32 am


Husband,
I am sorry if the reporting of factual events has unsettled you, but you don’t get to have it both ways. A catholic site listed all of the events that are easily verified individually in a google search. The reporting of fact is hardly bias in action.
You also do not get to justify what happened at St. Patrick’s by loose and unfounded associations between my Church and the specific language of hatred aimed at gays. Sorry, no dice.
Though my understanding of Scripture and Tradition differs substantially from yours and Panthera’s, that does NOT mean that I am de facto a bigot. I put my money where my mouth is and worked for two years with a bunch of gay kids dying of AIDS. I became a NY State Certified HIV pre-test and post test counselor, working mostly with gays. All this in the mid-80’s when people with AIDS were literally treated as lepers by the medical community. I’ve held dying kid’s hands, mopped their fevered brows, cleaned their vomit, changed their diarrhea-soiled beds, all without gown, mask or gloves when the rest of the medical community was wearing full isolation garb. So if you can’t deal with a discussion of where things are from a factual standpoint with a man of good will who disagrees with you, then fine, don’t bother talking with me in the future.
But don’t come on here impugning my name, saying that I tell lies. I’ve earned the right to participate in this conversation through my life’s work and the decency with which I have always treated gays.
As for my Church not handing out condoms, it isn’t supposed to. The same ACT-UP that desecrated my Cathedral and the Blessed Sacrament was also very effective in communicating that HIV is largely contracted through risky behavior. Only a simpleton could have missed the point. If anyone wants sex, they buy their own rubbers. Pretty basic stuff. Rome is not a Public Health service. My Church teaches that only married people get to have sex. Anyone else, gay or straight, is bound by the same commandments. Rome is not in the business of teaching people, gay or straight, how to fornicate without consequence.
As for the prediction that gay marriage in all 50 states will be followed by a revocation of clergy licenses to perform weddings, that’s already been bandied about by gay activists. In conjunction with what is happening in Canada and what has happened at St. Pat’s, it isn’t so far fetched.
There has been hatred and vitriol on both sides. Panthera and I moved into a niche, away from the mob where we have had a very civil exchange between us, fully aware of the differences. As I told one of the trolls here, I’m more interested in Panthera as a person. The sex stuff is boring. You stopped in on us and I welcome anyone to have a civil discussion. However, if you are going to cherry pick my postings on Rod’s site, addressing the calumnies hurled against my Church, and then misrepresent them here, calling me a liar, when the issues I cite are available for all the world to see, then I would rather not speak with you. That’s the sort of shrill nonsense Panthera and I got away from. I don’t need it or want it. My conversation with Panthera is a drama-free zone.
Panthera and Ann,
Good Evening. I’ll post tomorrow when my blood pressure comes down.



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Panthera

posted November 10, 2009 at 7:25 am


I think we have to hold ourselves open to conversations with all who are willing to make an effort to work together. Husband makes points with an intelligence closer to yours, Gerard. Never doubt the ability of wealthy parents to confuse their high expectations and outstanding schools with true brains. I need much longer to think things out than he does. Keep him, believe me, you at your worst are no better. (I, of course, am worse than either of you, so there.)
Gerard, I value your work with the sick enormously and thank you. By the time Aids became an issue here, we already understood the vectors and patients were sparred the spectacle of lead coffins and isolation suits. Much of the first reactions were driven by hatred, many however forget that tropical diseases were all the rage in the popular media at that time and the suicide rate for herpes (!) was enormously high.
Ann, I hope your husband is home soon. Nebraska is a place I have been, I was impressed by the kindness of the people and the heavy, humid, lush greenness of the areas around water contrasting with prairie otherwise. Definitely, however, a state the politics of which made me downright homesick for Georgia. I will be there in a few months at a conference. Yee-Haw. Not.
We always have one of us at my folk’s place now. He could only fly over for a bit because one of my nieces offered to stay for a while. The one with all the kids, of course…the others are far too busy being good little conservative Christians to have time for their grandparents. The Bible, after all, only speaks of honoring one’s parents…not that they give a flying, well, they don’t even do that, with one exception. Who’s at my folks house right now…
It seems to me that the only solution is the European solution – civil union, cross sex and same sex to assure legal rights and responsibilities and Holy Matrimony in that church which welcomes the couple to bind in the community of believers and witness before God.
Everything else won’t work, the term “marriage” in American English is just too loaded. On a practical level, we won’t get anywhere in the US until we stop letting the conservative Christians set the terms of the debate. The lies about the school system were false witness and demonstrably untrue, yet studies in both California and Maine are showing the same thing: That’s where the ‘low-information’ voters pick up their impetus to say no to us.
Ann, you are right – we need affirmation of sexuality. Sex is a gift from God. In a mongamous relationship, it can build enormous trust and offer genuine comfort. Studies show the biological reactions which bond work for same sex just as for cross-sex partners, by the by.
One of the silliest arguments one reads from those whose notion of science is a very poorly developed sense that natural selection favors the individual, not the species, is that being gay is somehow a genetic defect. Mama Nature, red in tooth and claw, would not tolerate homosexuality in all the higher-level mammals were this to be true. Nor would the same sex attraction lead to positive relationships, the bonding and affection would not be there.
But it is there – our marriages hold, our relationships work. Our children turn out just as well, with slightly higher academic performance and their children do, too. They are also far neater and their clothes more fashionable, I might add.
I find it telling that here in Europe, where the only religious fundamentalists are the Muslims, the abortion rate and divorce rate are far lower than in the US and women are valued far more for themselves. This focus on hating people and condemning them doesn’t work for the Muslims and it surely has done no good in America.
Remember Shakespeare’s oft misquoted “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”? Now, if any of his plays had not-so-subtle undertones, Hamlet is it….
In the proper sense of protest, I find many of those writing here with the greatest resentment against gay men often let their own sexuality shine through. You can’t reason with them, at all. The ones from the opposition who like women (Gerard, for instance) understand perfectly well that two men or two women can be happy together, also in bed. It’s the ones who constantly natter away about how my romantic ideal of marriage won’t last (25 years of bliss, looking forward to the next 25) and marriage isn’t about love, but about the hardest job of all, men and women working together, those are the ones whom I suspect of being repressed gay men. They’ve sacrificed their true natures and entered a compromise most foul. I pity their wives, living with men who regard their marriage as pure duty to reproduce, nothing more.
They say that, here, frequently.
Horrible.
Got to run, I’m alone again for the next few weeks. My notebook was delivered overnight (no more excuses for bad spelling, I know) and now I can concentrate on my students more and work for the family less.



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Panthera

posted November 10, 2009 at 1:49 pm


Here’s another example of why we need separation of church and state.
The AMA today came out against DADT. It turns out that there is exactly one single, solitary non-combat-fitness related situation in the military where doctors and medics are required to lie to service members that they will respect their confidentiality and then turn around and report them: When they discover or have reason to believe that their patients are gay or lesbian.
Wow.
The conservative Christians support false witness to achieve their goals, this we have seen in the anti-civil rights campaigns (choose whichever civil right you like). This however, is a very significant organization, and their decision is enormously relevant to our discussion on this blog.
Wow. Just, wow.



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Panthera

posted November 10, 2009 at 2:04 pm


“The American Medical Association also voted to declare that gay marriage bans contribute to health disparities for gay couples and their children.”
OK, this is interesting. The AMA is not exactly what one would call a super-leftist-anti-Christian group of rabble-rousing-pseudo-scientists pushing the “librul agenda for teh gayz”.
To put it mildly.
Separation of church and state. How much clearer does it need to become?



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 11, 2009 at 9:11 pm


Panthera
November 10, 2009 2:04 PM
Separation of church and state. How much clearer does it need to become?
———————————————————–
How much clearer does WHAT need to become?
Where IS this “separation of Church and State”?
The triggering mechanism for what you call “separation of Church and State” came in England where the king was the high priest of the Church of England. He enforced Church law which was that one could worship God — access God — ONLY through the Church, not the Word.
Those who didn’t like that — that is, the settlers — came here to advance Christianity through the Word, not through some national Church. This sentiment was written in the First Amendment so as to prevent the State from enforcing Church law. It’s as simple as that.



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 11, 2009 at 9:28 pm


Panthera
November 10, 2009 1:49 PM
The conservative Christians support false witness to achieve their goals…
———————————————————–
Anyone who is born again cannot bear false witness to the Truth of God [Romans 1:18]. Therefore, what we relate from the Word of God is not false witness [Proverbs 14:5; Proverbs 12:17]. There is no false witness where we relate what God says. Suppressing the Truth is also bearing false witness. Therefore, we speak and write what is True.
Who is the false witness but he who tries to throw doubt on the Word of God?
(1Ti 6:20) O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
(1Ti 6:21) Which some professing have erred concerning the faith.



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 11, 2009 at 9:32 pm


^^Studies show the biological reactions which bond work for same sex just as for cross-sex partners, by the by.^^
By the by, it’s not true.
First of all, homosexuality is not Godly.
Second, man-woman sex establishes something between their differences that cannot be established in homosexuality. That establishment between the different sexes benefits society, culture and country. Nothing in the homosexual relationship benefits society, culture nor country.



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 11, 2009 at 9:50 pm


Husband
November 9, 2009 12:03 PM
Sadly, I must report that I no longer will blindly accept that Gerard is of “good will”…
———————————————————–
Translation: “Unless he agrees with us, he is not of good will.”
Ann
November 6, 2009 8:45 PM
I’m convinced that Mr. Incredible is nothing but a computer virus that copies other peoples’ posts and just adds snide remarks.
———————————————————–
Well, you’re wrongly convinced.
Of course, you pay no attention to all the times that I’ve posted something substantive and have gotten replies that look, read and sound like they came from high school dropouts. I’m just trying to write to the level of those replies.
Ann
November 6, 2009 8:45 PM
How annoying.
———————————————————–
How frustrating it must be for you to live in a world where people are different. So, I’m guessing that you’re not buying into all that diversity stuff, are you?
Ann
November 6, 2009 8:45 PM
Is there something we can do to rid ourselves of this annoying virus?
———————————————————–
No.
Gerard Nadal
November 7, 2009 4:32 AM
That’s why God made editors.
———————————————————–
I’m not breaking any of the rules. I’m provocative and confrontational. You people are just annoyed. So what?
Gerard Nadal
November 7, 2009 4:32 AM
If those don’t function as designed, then the rest of us should resolve not to respond …
———————————————————–
So what? I don’t mind letting my challenges stand.
Gerard Nadal
November 7, 2009 4:32 AM
… until the little boy grows into the moniker he has chosen for himself. “Mr. Incredible” is a nice goal for the present iteration of this little man. Upon growing into the moniker, he will also gain a maturity and assurance born of insight that would lead him to drop that egoistic moniker and settle on something more appropriate like, “reformed jackass”.
———————————————————–
See, Ann? You refuse to see those kinds of replies, don’t you?
Of course, since you’re on their side, you’ll say that it’s deserved. From my side, I say mine are deserved. So, there you are.



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 11, 2009 at 9:56 pm


GodsCountry
November 6, 2009 10:04 PM
The worldly seek to please only the flesh, and indulge pathological rhetoric to defend their damnable pursuits.
God loves them, still.
———————————————————–
However, His love will not preclude His justice and discipline. As with any good parent, His hand is not stayed.



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Panthera

posted November 12, 2009 at 2:15 am


Mr. Incredible,
A while back, we discussed the indisputable fact that many animal species show the same roughly 10% homosexual, 90% heterosexual distribution as do humans and that these gay animals were accepted and welcomed in social groups such as wolves and dolphins. Well, several literate people discussed this.
Your entire participation in the discussion was to reject this completely and totally. You had no grounds for doing so, except your personal conviction that wht you didn’t want to be must not be. Even those here who agree with you on your interpretation of the Bible and God’s will abandoned you on that one after it became clear the science was sound.
You maintained (and, no doubt will continue to do so over several lines of tortured text passages, quotes ripped out of context and obscure rebuttals which make sense to no one) that it was all lies and fabrications.
Now you are attempting the same thing regarding the bonding which arises between monogamous partners both during and after sex.
Were you more subtle, you would view this well documented and medically accepted phenomenon between monogamous partners not as the bonding it provides but as very grounds to protest gay sex. You would argue that the acceptance by the immune system of a man for another man’s saliva and semen is really only meant for the telos of facilitating contraception.
After all, if two men can so bond, then there would be another demonstrable datum of the genuineness of nature’s plan for a certain percentage of mammals to be gay. Instead, you take the cheap and scientifically false shot of instantly denying an observed phenomenon which you don’t like.
Keep it up, Mr. Incredible. It is the hatred of people like you which is forcing many Christians to see that the continued discrimination against secular marriage and protections for us and the transgender is not a reflection of God’s will.
Do keep the fires of hell burning in your “provocative and confrontational” discourse. There is naught of God’s love in you, only hatred for the Other.
Ann, Husband, Gerard, I do apologize in advance for the now inevitable outpouring from Mr. Incredible of:
blahblahblah
————
blah, blah Blah! blah blah
————
and, of course
————–
blah, blah, blah



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 12, 2009 at 3:23 am


Panthera
November 12, 2009 2:15 AM
Mr. Incredible,
A while back, we discussed the indisputable fact that many animal species show the same roughly 10% homosexual, 90% heterosexual distribution…
———————————————————–
Wishful thinking. Animals exhibit what you people would like to think is homosexual behavior.
Panthera
November 12, 2009 2:15 AM
… these gay animals…
———————————————————–
No such thing.
Panthera
November 12, 2009 2:15 AM
… several literate people discussed this.
Your entire participation in the discussion was to reject this completely and totally.
———————————————————–
BINGO!
God made Man Special Creation, apart from the animals. Additionally, He made no Covenant with the animals.
Panthera
November 12, 2009 2:15 AM
You had no grounds for doing so…
———————————————————–
Except that I have God’s grounds.
Panthera
November 12, 2009 2:15 AM
… except your personal conviction…
———————————————————–
ALL Scripture is by Inspiration of God and is not open to private interpretation. Therefore, what you say is my “personal conviction” is not so.
Panthera
November 12, 2009 2:15 AM
That wht you didn’t want to be must not be.
———————————————————–
God didn’t ask me for advice, and, so, what I want, or don’t want, is irrelevant to Him, except where my desires align with the Word of God.
Panthera
November 12, 2009 2:15 AM
Even those here who agree with you on your interpretation of the Bible and God’s will abandoned you on that one after it became clear the science was sound.
———————————————————–
Irrelevant to me. The Lord is my Shepherd, not you and not them.
Panthera
November 12, 2009 2:15 AM
You maintained (and, no doubt will continue to do so over several lines of tortured text passages, quotes ripped out of context…
———————————————————–
What context? Literal? Historical? Scripture upon Scripture?
The proper context is a Scripture upon Scripture context. I have relied on that.
Panthera
November 12, 2009 2:15 AM
… and obscure rebuttals which make sense to no one)…
———————————————————–
I refer you to the parable of the sower. I cast the Seed. I’m not responsible for the ground.
Panthera
November 12, 2009 2:15 AM
… that it was all lies and fabrications.
———————————————————–
The Devil said the same thing to Adam and Eve. I’m not them.
Panthera
November 12, 2009 2:15 AM
Were you more subtle, you would view this well documented and medically accepted phenomenon between monogamous partners not as the bonding it provides but as very grounds to protest gay sex.
———————————————————–
I reject your justification, using it.
Panthera
November 12, 2009 2:15 AM
You would argue that the acceptance by the immune system of a man for another man’s saliva and semen is really only meant for the telos of facilitating contraception.
———————————————————–
Y’know, I’ll bet that you talk that way in real life, too. Robot-like.
Anywho… I’m just going along with what God says. If you have an argument about it, argue with Him and see whether He will change His mind.
Panthera
November 12, 2009 2:15 AM
After all, if two men can so bond…
———————————————————–
They can THINK they bond in such a way, and it will seem natural. Of course, it isn’t.
Panthera
November 12, 2009 2:15 AM
… then there would be another demonstrable datum of the genuineness of nature’s plan for a certain percentage of mammals to be gay.
———————————————————–
Of course, there is no such “Nature’s plan.”
Panthera
November 12, 2009 2:15 AM
Instead, you take the cheap and scientifically false shot of instantly denying an observed phenomenon which you don’t like.
———————————————————–
What you mean to say is “what is wished to be observed phenomenon.”
Panthera
November 12, 2009 2:15 AM
Keep it up, Mr. Incredible.
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I don’t need your permission.
Panthera
November 12, 2009 2:15 AM
It is the hatred of people like you…
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I don’t hate anybody. I hate what God hates — that is, iniquity.
Panthera
November 12, 2009 2:15 AM
… which is forcing…
———————————————————–
Sooooo, you don’t buy into this “Right to choose” thing.
Panthera
November 12, 2009 2:15 AM
many Christians to see…
———————————————————–
I don’t have the power to force anybody to see anything. If I did, you’d be seeing what I see, and so everybody else.
Panthera
November 12, 2009 2:15 AM
… that the continued discrimination against secular marriage and protections for us and the transgender is not a reflection of God’s will.
———————————————————–
God hates iniquity. His hate of iniquity is not discrimination. Therefore, my hate of iniquity is not discrimination.
Panthera
November 12, 2009 2:15 AM
Do keep the fires of hell burning in your “provocative and confrontational” discourse.
———————————————————–
Impossible, given that I bring the Word of God. If I bring the Word of God AND “keep the fires of hell burning” in my provocative and confrontational discourse, that would be a house divided, wouldn’t it?
Panthera
November 12, 2009 2:15 AM
There is naught of God’s love in you…
———————————————————–
You are assigning a worldly definition to “love.” Of course, God’s love does not answer to a worldly definition.
God is love. The Word is God. Therefore, the Word is love.
Christ says that His Words are spirit. God is a Spirit.
I have the Word of God in me. Therefore, I have God’s love in me.
“Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”
The Word of God is the Abundance of my heart. My job is to speak the Word — that is, God’s love.
Nothing in the Word of God says that the Word doesn’t step on toes.
Sometimes, the surgeon must cut in order to cure.
The sinner must look in the Mirror of the Word of God to see his condition before God. It’s not pretty. That’s why he must be born again. Having been born again, he does not want to sin.
Those who willfully and willingly sin cannot have been born again. If they claim to be Christian AND continue willfully and willingly to sin, they are what the Word of God calls a “stumblingblock.” It is the job of those were born again to deliver God’s warning about sin. Those who willingly and willfully sin don’t like it. That’s tuff. However, that doesn’t mean that the Message is delivered without God’s love. It means that the sinner who wants to continue willfully and willingly sinning wants to get rid of the individual who sticks the Mirror of the Word of God in his face. In other words, the sinner would say, it’s not the sinner who sins, rather the one who makes the sinner conscious of his willful and willing sins.



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Panthera

posted November 12, 2009 at 8:36 am


Mr. Incredible said:
God hates iniquity. His hate of iniquity is not discrimination. Therefore, my hate of iniquity is not discrimination.
Well, I guess that shows me, huh? What’s that? Did I hear somebody say a syllogism based on a false premise is not valid?
Nah, must have been my poor command of the English language. Else, why should I have the impression Mr. Incredible just elevated himself to the level of a god.
Wow. Just plain wow.
This is exactly the mentality which the Nazis used to excuse their atrocities. It is the mentality of the Church through many centuries to excuse their persecution of the Jews.
It was the mentality in the antebellum South to excuse slavery.
It is the mentality of conservative Christians to justify their oppression of gays and transgendered.
Don’t see it often voiced so honestly. Got to give you credit for that Mr. Incredible.



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Ann

posted November 12, 2009 at 10:31 am


Panthera- I hate to say it, but Gerard is right and you really should have listened to him. You aren’t going to get anywhere arguing with Mr. Incredible…. but I think you already knew that. You really are brilliant and I could only wish to have a mastery of the English language like you. You take knowledge and passion and when you combine them together, you get “wow”! Me with my bachelor’s degree from a 4 year liberal arts college am definitely out of my league…. and I enjoy every minute of it.
Don’t let Mr. Incredible get to you….. all he is doing is making it clear to people like me that I can’t align myself with folks in that camp, even if we share some common beliefs. I don’t have time for hatred or fear mongering. You know that already.
I’m sure you can understand the attraction of having a closed-system of theology like Mr. Incredible where he has the answers to everything (but he also can not budge on anything b/c if he does his whole system crumbles around him). It works for some people… some people even need it (think about children…. they need a pretty simple system of black/white b/c their minds aren’t ready to deal in gray areas…. it is only with maturity that they are ready to deal with the tougher stuff). I’ve been there myself. It didn’t seem so bad when I was in the midst of it, but since I’ve been lead by God out of the areas of black/white and into the gray areas, I’ve had to lean on God more and put more of my trust in Him and I’ve never experienced such spiritual growth. Risk/Reward I guess. God certainly risked a great deal for us…. we should want to do the same for Him.
This is bringing to mind a certain book “The Great Divorce” by C.S. Lewis. I’m sure you’ve read it? It’s one of my favorite books. Anyway, remember how those folks in the grey town didn’t realize where they were? We really should feel sorry for those people b/c they are experiencing hell and they don’t even know it. And how heaven is actually a painful place to be at first. You really just have to trust God. It’s not easy for most people…. a majority get right back on the bus if I remember correctly. They just can’t ultimately trust in God and let Him shape them and show them the sheer joy of being in His presence. My God can not be put in a box. He’s never been a neat and tidy God. He’s a God that gets His hands dirty. He became man! How messy and beautiful is that? What was He thinking? I’m glad he was blinded was love. I will work my whole life to emulate that love.
Let me know what you think…. I so enjoy learning from you. No rush though…. if you are enjoying time with your husband I don’t want to take you away from him. Mine is home now! Give my best to Sean.



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Panthera

posted November 13, 2009 at 8:02 am


Hi Ann,
I prefer your lucid, clear and well-considered style to my own. Gerard can write so, too, but his emotions get carried away with him at times. Husband is just plain smart and it shows. All I have to offer is, well, blink and you’ll miss my rhetorical gifts. Or should I say, yawn, and you’ll miss them.
We all think differently. Rod Dreher, for instance, is doing his best to convince his readers that the non-first amendment protection countries’ solution to the problem of hate-speech will come to the US. He knows this falls into the realm of such near-impossibility as to be practically impossible. Yet, he uses that old lawyer’s tactic of cross-examination “But, Doctor, can you say with 100% certainty that rigor mortis can be timed to the minute?” The good doctor, of course, answers “no” and the jury, who are not competent in science, think that “no” means “I haven’t a clue” and not “there is a chance of 1 in one billion I am wrong here”.
The upcoming free-speech protests, when ultra-right wing Christians are going to DC to stand in front of the “Justice Department” (wherever that may be) and incite hatred towards gays in order to be arrested is a prime example. They know that the government will leave them alone on the actual topic at hand, so they will have two back-up plans. One, they will have “forgotten” to get a permit to hold such a public affair in a restricted area. Their red-nex audience will see the police intervention not as a matter of public order, but an attack on the first amendment. Should the police be so intelligent (we are talking about DC here) as to let the violation pass, they will have a few of “teh gayz” planted in the audience who will then “attack” them.
Either way, they win in the eyes of the simple.
See? I am just plain not made for these careful, rational analysis sessions.
You are a good Christian, I am trying to be (and failing, mostly) and all we can do is to continue to talk. Yes, I need to ignore Mr. Incredible. You are right.
Off to my seminar – it’s an on-campus day, I actually get to be in the same room with my students!



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Gerard Nadal

posted November 13, 2009 at 7:06 pm


Panthera,
Hi. I’ve been bust these past few days.
I have no emotions. I’m actually a computer program :-)
Seriously, I hope all is well with you and your husband. Best to you Ann!
Gotta run. More later, need to edit the emotion program ;-)



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Gerard Nadal

posted November 13, 2009 at 7:07 pm


That should have read busy, not bust. Works out the same.



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Panthera

posted November 13, 2009 at 9:03 pm


Oh, Gerard, and I had just the arch comment loaded and ready to go when you posted the correction.
I’ve been following the conversations over on crunchycon about the Church and opposition to secular marriage and rights for gays quite closely lately. What fascinates me most is the number of people who truly believe that gays want equal rights because we purportedly despise straight marriage. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The devaluation of women inherent in the insinuation that gays should just marry women and that will be that appalls me. All the more, because Christianity was the first religion in the mid-east to actively seek human status for women.
Down to my last month in Europe. I think, upon my return to the US, I’ll probably leave beliefnet behind. Living again in freedom has made the prospect of returning to sub-human status all the harder. It was so nice to just walk down the boardwalk by the sea holding hands, to see our village priest hug Séan and tell him how much I’d been looking forward to his return. To just be us again, without having to ‘behave’ or need bodyguards on the street should we kiss.
This focus on oppressing us has no basis in science, just this week the AMA highlighted this yet again. That’s the APA last month and AMA now both repeating the state of the medical arts for over thirty years (and our knowledge has progressed enormously in that time, yet the conclusions that we are a healthy variant on sexuality and nothing else remains) and yet America is still permitting one group of Christians to determine secular law.
Well, it’s been a long day, off to bed. All the best, emotions and all!
(Did our Poltergeist abandon us? I should feel snubbed, can’t even quite manage an Austrian “nicht mal ignorieren”.



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GodsCountry

posted November 14, 2009 at 1:24 pm


“”…You really are brilliant and I could only wish to have a mastery of the English language like you…””
Born of dire desperation, that “brilliance”, that “mastery”. The only shred of hope in people who deny God is to obfuscate the truth so that they may continue to imagine they have justified their sin. Rhetoric is the last refuge of the perverse. Unless twisted beyond recognition, not truth, faith, or love itself contains any hope for these.
Regretfully, there is no reconciliation for those who follow lies and the faithful who follow Truth.
Nonetheless, I leave you with Truth;
“Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”
Isaiah 55:6-7



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Ann

posted November 14, 2009 at 1:31 pm


Wow, now it’s a sin to pay someone a compliment. I hate to break it to you, but there are even brilliant non-Christians out there. GASP!
Sigh.



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Panthera

posted November 14, 2009 at 2:55 pm


Since Steven left, I’ve noticed that complaints to beliefnet about violations of terms of agreement (people advocating physical violence against gays is not covered by the “it’s ok to hate gays clause”) and the tolerance for racists has risen enormously.
Perhaps, and I hope this is the case, this is simply because the new leadership is not yet fully up to speed. More likely, I fear, is that the new leadership is more in keeping with the other members of their corporate group and we are seeing beliefnet now drift in directions which are antithetical to pro-choice, pro-civil-rights for gays directions.
I’ll monitor the situation, but for those here who have genuinely shown Christian charity to me over the last years, thank you. I didn’t want to just vanish into thin air – all the other pantherae on the net aren’t me so when the panther goes off-line here, there’s no where else I post under my real third name. We’ve seen folks like Old_Susan disappear over the years and worried about her.
It has been painful for me, as a Christian, to see the growth in hatred and disavowal of our Christian community here over the last months. I was going to quote from Acts but decided to leave my ego out of it and let my Lord speak.
38Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
41And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
42Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
43Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
(Matthew 5 King James Version)



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GodsCountry

posted November 14, 2009 at 7:31 pm


“”…Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect…””
…now go, and sin no more.



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Mr. Incredible

posted November 26, 2009 at 1:10 am


Panthera
November 13, 2009 9:03 PM
… we are a healthy variant on sexuality…
———————————————————–
Who says?



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posted September 20, 2011 at 5:25 am


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I’ll monitor the situation, but for those here who have genuinely shown Christian charity to me over the last years, thank you.



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