Thursday, August 25, 2011

Catholics: Your misguided compassion will come back to bite you in the rear


The culture has quickly moved from complete aversion to gay "marriage" (which was unthinkable even fifteen years ago) to the beginnings of real acceptance. I've noticed that most who have moved towards acceptance have done so out of a misguided sense of compassion.

I've seen otherwise faithful Catholics publicly declare that we should not speak against, vote against or fight against gay "marriage", because a) we heterosexuals have already messed up marriage enough on our own, and b) we cannot "judge". We can practice our Faith and also give homosexuals the right to civil "marriage". No conflict, they say, and no problem.

Well, if you're a Catholic who doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, I'm talking directly to you: Such misguided compassion (which equates to "love without truth") will come back to bite you in the arse, and with a vengeance.

Because if you believe that gay "marriage" laws will not affect you or your Church, you're already too late.


Check the writing on the wall:

This very week, an Illinois judge ruled that the state can sever its contract with Catholic Charities' foster and adoption program because the Catholic agency refuses to place children with homosexual couples. In the wake of the state's new "civil unions" law, these Catholic ministries must either formally cooperate with grave sin or end their mission.

After the ruling (which affects 2500 foster children), Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria lamented that “important elements of the political establishment in the state of Illinois are now basically at war with the Catholic community and seem to be destroying their institutions.”

Already, back in May, the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois, shut down a 100-year-old adoption and foster care ministry that helped place hundreds of children with families each year. According to diocesan official Peggy Wiegert:
Catholic Charities and other religious agencies implored the State of Illinois to allow their agencies to refer such couples to other adoption and foster care agencies so as to not violate the moral teachings of their faith. Tragically, that did not happen.
Supporters of Illinois' "civil union" law falsely claimed that its passage would have no effect on faith-based adoption agencies.

Yeah, right. Whoever believed that is a fool.

Attentive Catholics knew better, because Illinois is not an anomaly, it's a trend. Last year, D.C. passed a gay "marriage" law, effectively forcing Catholic Charities in that diocese shut its adoption/foster programs after 80 years of service. And in 2006, Boston Catholic Charities ended its century-old adoption/foster services rather than place children with homosexual couples, which was required by the legalization of gay "marriage" in Massachusetts.


From Catholic commentator Jack Smith:
Everywhere civil unions or same-sex marriages have become the law, they have been used to shut Catholic Charities out of adoption and foster care services. And there is no reason to expect they won’t be used to erode other religious freedoms down the road.

Bingo!

Now, unlike other civil union and gay "marriage" laws, the recent New York State gay "marriage" law did include a religious exemption, which placated a few nervous legislators, but which shouldn't bring Catholics much comfort. Some religious entities are protected from having to accommodate gay "marriages", but as one Christian wisely put it: "We didn't need any protection before!" True, that. Yesterday we weren't discriminating, but today we are. We are "protected" now, but protections for discriminators won't last long.

After all, dear Catholics, when grave sin is re-categorized as a societal virtue and a civil rightthen you and your Church are suddenly the ones in violation and will be penalized for speaking or acting in opposition.

If you think, as I naively once did, that the general public will be horrified by the loss of so many wonderful, longstanding Catholic charities, think again. Most Americans are clueless about what's happening, and the secular left loathes the Catholic Church. We've had at least one atheist in the Bubble state with pride that she would be pleased to see a world without the Catholic Church, and she is far from alone in her desire.

Unfortunately, the secular left have a lot of political power.

Worse still, they are aided and abetted by a cadre of dissident Catholic politicians who are more than happy to betray their own Church and Lord in exchange for worldly accolades and thirty pieces of silver. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Vice President Joe Biden --and a host of others -- all have a hand in the present and future persecution of the Catholic Church and her ministries, and all will bear responsibility for our individual and institutional loss of religious freedom.

If faithful Catholics don't stand up and fight with courage soon, we will see a day when Catholic hospitals are compelled to civil disobedience, crisis pregnancy centers (now targeted across the nation) are forcibly shut, and other religious freedoms and charities are gravely harmed (as with the new contraceptive mandate, which caused a "national violation of conscience and an attack on Catholic intermediate institutions"). Even today, merely speaking Christian truth as a private citizen could cost a man his livelihood.

And so I implore you, fellow Catholics: Stop trying to "get along" with the world. The world hates you as it hated Christ, an assurance we have from Our Lord Himself*. The new age of secularism is upon us, and its endless drone of "tolerance" does not apply to you.

Catholics-who-don't-want-to-offend, you will inevitably offend someone, and the only question is who. If any of us is more worried about offending our fellow man than we are about offending God, it's time to reassess our commitment to Jesus Christ, as St. Paul said:
Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ. -- Galatians 1:10
We cannot serve two masters. And if you are still confused about your responsibility as a Catholic in the public square, drink in the words of Pope Benedict XVI, who makes your choice beautifully clear:
As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable. Among these the following emerge[s] clearly today:

...Recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage and its defense from attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different forms of union which in reality harm it and contribute to its destabilization, obscuring its particular character and its irreplaceable social role….   (2006 speech to European politicians, emphasis mine)
Being faithful to Church teaching and courageous in the public square is our calling as Catholics! Faithful courage -- as opposed to misguided compassion -- will not only help save the Church's mission and charities in America, it might save your own butt, as well.

Not to mention your soul.





*John 15:18 (What? You don't believe Him?)



268 comments:

  1. I'm currently reading Faith That Endures: The Essential Guide to the Persecuted Church and if one thing has been hit home, it is this: if we think it can't happen to us, we are wrong. We must be watchful, vigilant, and unapologetic in living our faith to the extreme.

    Thank you for this post. It really woke me up.

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  2. You're on fire with this and I totally appreciate and applaud your honesty and bold warning. You and I just chatted privately about some stuff and I say all the grim faces and darkness in people is there because of the lack of real love and joy that only comes from (and can only ever come from) living for Jesus Christ.

    The people I know personally who "love" all the sin in their neighbor are the ones most intolerant of my love for my faith. Coincidence? Nah.

    Darkness and light cannot fellowship. The darkness cannot comprehend the light. How risky it is becoming in our own country of America to want to be a light to the world and encourage people toward God. Only the love and friendship of the One who is Emmanuel can open hearts and minds.

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  3. Officially my favorite post ever, and the one I needed to deal with a matter I'd been wrestling with. Great post, Leila! And a great explanation of why Catholics can't just roll over and play dead.

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  4. Great post. We are living this out in MA, literally. It's one reason I never leave the house much anymore.

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  5. Far more worrisome to me (and, don't get me wrong, I think that shutting down Catholic adoption agencies is plenty worrisome) are the implications toward parenting that redefining marriage to include same sex couples would have to include.

    Probably the main reason that marriage exists, and has for the span of human civilization, is in order to attach parents to their children, and children to their parents. More specifically, because moms attach rather naturally to their kids, marriage exists to attach fathers to their children.

    Right now, in law, we have what is called the presumption of paternity. That is, the husband of the mother of the baby is presumed to be the father, because, well 90-95% of the time, he is! What's going to happen (has happened in Canada, where I live) is that the presumption of paternity will turn into the presumption of parentage. That is, when a lesbian has a baby, her partner is presumed to be the second parent of the baby. In 100% of the cases, this is not biologically true.

    In fact, you sometimes see three parent's names put on the birth certificate: the mother, her lesbian partner, and the father of the child. Now, coupled with easy-access-to-divorce laws, what is going to happen when some of these couples (inevitably) split up? Custody split three ways? Children of divorce are going to end up even more messed up then they currently are.

    And I'm not just picking on gays here. Because, once you open up the option of triple parenting, it is going to be impossible to hold it back from the heterosexual community. A child with its mother, father, and the mother's new husband as legal parents? Yeah, like that isn't a recipe for disaster! It would be one thing if you could limit triple parenting to the gay community, where the number of children affected will be quite small, but once it gets hold in the heterosexual community, the damage will be severe.

    Jennifer Roback Morse does a good job talking about this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7AwGxqjPWg&feature=mh_lolz&list=FLjca297NaykDsvtHfU2y7bQ

    Sorry it's long, but the arguments don't really condense well to soundbites

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  6. Ha. I'm sorry. But yeah, the state chooses not to give money to organizations that discriminate. Like the Catholic Church. Because two gay daddies or two gay mommies can raise a kid just as well. And other adoption agencies were more than willing to take up those children and help place them.

    The religious exemption is ridiculous. We don't exempt religions if they want to only serve white people. If it's a church, fine, whatever. But I'm pretty certain that religious exemption has business connotations as well. Ridiculous.

    But I know that arguing here doesn't help.
    -zach

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  7. Excellent post!

    There are three more things that every Catholic should be aware of. First our catechism states that in NO WAY can we accept gay marriage or unions, to quote "Under no circumstances can they [gay marriage] be approved".

    Secondly, the last part of Romans 1 in the bible says that people who approve of homosexual relations (among other sins listed) are just as guilty of that sin by merely approving of it.

    And finally, the Vatican has a wonderful document about gay marriage and politicians and Catholic voting- We as Catholics can NOT under any circumstances support gay marriage or we are guilty of a grave sin- this includes in how we vote.

    If a Catholic is doing these things they need to get to Confession before they participate in Communion or they are gravely sinning. That is something all Catholics should be worried about.

    If you haven't read the Vatican's statement on gay marriage/unions you really need to- especially the part about politicians and voting:

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20030731_homosexual-unions_en.html

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  8. Ugh … this reminds me of what happened recently … in my own home.

    My daughter and her buddy, who happens to be gay (the friend, not our daughter), where staying over for a few days for vacation. The young lady who suffers from SSA used to be Catholic. So, my wife was chatting with this young lady so that she could understand her situation better. This young lady had no problems discussing her past with us.

    However, our daughter blew a head gasket when she came into the room and heard the conversation. Our daughter kept going on and on and on about how "you" Catholics are so intolerant of other people’s ways of life (uhhh … who was getting upset there?).

    But that microcosm just goes to show who is tolerant and who isn’t.

    We need to discuss these matters in the open. Unfortunately, the other side is so often closed minded they aren’t even willing to give us an inch on our discussion it is completely disgusting.

    All I can say is Heaven help us … because we sure can’t do this on our own.

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  9. Mrs. Miller you are absolutely right. This is a prophetic post and needs to be told and retold. The goal of the left (current administration, feminists, gay activist, atheists,socialists, etc.,) is the destruction of the Roman Catholic Church. They will use any means to do it and undermine orthodoxy as tool to the destruction. Unfortunately there are many deceived Catholics who either because of ignorance, misguided charity or outright malice, cooperate and actively work for this destruction. Great post.

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  10. Melissa - you hit on a concern that worries me greatly too. Not only are Catholic adoption agencies no longer able to serve effectively, but... these socially sanctioned "alternative" arrangements affect children (adopted and created through ART) for a lifetime. It is appalling to me that with so. many. studies. showing that the healthiest situation for a child is with his/her mother and father, married to each other, stable (and traditional adoption is unique but equivalent to this arrangement), that our culture has so carelessly opened wide the doors to all sorts of odd arrangements, going even as far to have three parents listed on birth certificates.

    Many respond to the idea that non-traditional homes are a hardship for the kids with, "Oh are saying a single mom can't do a good job???" No, that is not what I am saying or what others are saying. Single moms CAN do a good job. But in the past, single parenthood was seen as a hardship, as something that was not ideal, and as a situation that benefits from outreach and ministry for support. Back in the 80's, that began to change some with folks trying to convince kids like me that my "different" family (divorced parents) was "just fine", no big deal. Oh the damage that did! My generation is filled with folks my age who are struggling to make sense of love, marriage, and family thanks to their "great" arrangements growing up. My little mind NEEDED to hear, "Hey, what you're experiencing IS sad, and needs to be mourned, and will affect you." Not, "Oh, your father living across town is just another beautiful expression of diversity." Ugh. How does a child even begin to properly mourn something everyone is telling them is "great"??? And these poor kids with "three" parents will be even more confused (isn't it great that your daddy was a sperm donor??). No, sorry, for the child, it's not great. The parents may enjoy their "freedom" to live however they want, but it's not great, it's not fair, it's not a "free choice" for the kids. Can you tell I get worked up about this? Lol. It doesn't help that even secular publications will occasionally run these stories about kids brought into alternative situations having a hard time with it... yet no one connects the dots.

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  11. Zach, thank you for utterly proving my point.

    And, there are legions of African-Americans who seriously resent being told that their (morally neutral) skin hue is akin to your decision to commit sodomy. Seriously, bad analogy. Would you consider it "discrimination" if an airline were to refuse to let a chronic alcoholic fly planes drunk for a living?

    And, aren't you discriminating when you won't acknowledge polygamous marriage?

    You are smart enough to get this, Zach.

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  12. Catholic Vote does a better job than I at explaining the real life harm to those kids and families who will be devastated by this ludicrous bow to absolute sexual freedom, all else be damned:

    http://www.catholicvote.org/discuss/index.php?p=20182

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  13. Leila tells Zach that he is "smart enough" to know that his love for his partner is "sodomy".

    Leila, you are smart enough to know that there are no longer laws against what you are calling sodomy, because they were declared unconstitutional. The courts had no desire to police what goes on in someone's bedroom.

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  14. MaiZeke, what is legal and what is moral are sometimes two different things. Surely you understand that. Do you think that slavery was moral, because it was legal, for example?

    Try a different angle.

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  15. And, MaiZeke, if sodomy is not illegal anymore, does that mean it must now be called "marriage"?

    There are lots of sexual pairings (and more than pairings) that are not illegal, but that we don't demand be called "marriage". Unless you think all sexual acts should be able to form the basis of a legal "marriage"? If not, why do you discriminate?

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  16. "what you are calling sodomy"

    Sorry, has the definition of sodomy changed since it became legal?

    I will stand corrected if so.

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  17. MaiZeke, you should know by now that morality and legality are not the same thing. Just because something is legal doesn't not mean it is moral.

    Melissa, your comments reminded me of this news story, in which an Australian dad's name was removed against his will from his child's birth certificate after a lawsuit by the lesbian mother and her cohort. Although he was a sperm donor, he was active in the child's life (at the mother's request), and very much opposed being taken off the certificate. So terribly sad when a biological parent is not legally called a non-parent of the child he helped to create.

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  18. that should read, above, "Just because something is legal does not mean it is moral." Or basically, what Leila already said as I was typing.

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  19. Zach, it has nothing to do with state funding. The state is telling Catholic Charities that they CANNOT operate according to their morals, money from the state or not. The issue isn't "the state will not fund Catholic Charities anymore if they don't adopt to gay couples." The issue is, "Catholic Charities must cease and desist its operations if it does not adopt to gay couples." Can you honestly say that's fair?

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  20. I am a bit confused. I really have no problem with a Catholic organization not referring children to gay couples, seeing that there are other options out there for the couples. Is the state giving financial support to Catholic Charities, as Zach alluded to.

    "The D.C. City Council’s law recognizing same-sex “marriage” required religious entities which serve the general public to provide services to homosexual couples, even if doing so violated their religious beliefs." How is providing services the same thing as getting money?

    If I went to a male baseball team, and wanted to be allowed to play, they are not required to allow me to play because there are female teams I can play on, isn't that correct? Or if I wanted to join an all-male fraternal organization, must they accept me? I don't know the law here.

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  21. "Such misguided compassion (which equates to "love without truth") will come back to bite you in the arse, and with a vengeance..... Catholics-who-don't-want-to-offend, you will inevitably offend someone, and the only question is who. If any of us is more worried about offending our fellow man than we are about offending God, it's time to reassess our commitment to Jesus Christ."

    Amen, I couldn't agree with you more! It's one thing to judge with intentions to condemn, or judge as Christians to help lift up those falling into sin. I recently offended a family member, unfortunately she thinks I am condemning her, when I am really trying to lift her up and away from her sinful ways.

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  22. Well we live in the Rockford diocese of Illinois and let me tell you, it was a sad, sad day for us Catholics when we heard Catholic Charities could no longer provide adoptive services. Absolutely devastating on many levels. Our priests preached big time on this injustice. And Nicole is right. No more adoptive services regardless of funding. It's a MAJOR intrusion on our faith. Major. God have mercy.

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  23. Funny how that works, eh Spence? The world would rather we be morally apathetic. Unfortunately just bringing up the name of Jesus Christ offends so many. How odd, considering He always spoke the truth and He always did it in love. Yet He offended to the point of crucifixion.

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  24. Mary, the laws regarding "gender equity" in sports, etc. (such as Title IX) have been devastating. In this left-wing obsession to "make everything equal" and be "non-discriminatory" they have screwed up men's sports. For examples, read here:

    http://www.usa-sports.org/TitleIX.pdf

    Liberalism in general, and this obsession to force everyone to be "equal" and not hurt anyone's feelings usually leads to disaster. I have always said that liberal policies always are about what "feels" like it might be the right thing to do, with NO basis for what the actual outcome might be.

    With these gay marriage laws, you can bet that we will see the push to make gay acceptance a "civil right", that gays are a "protected class", and that even speaking against the gay agenda will be "hate speech" (already happening in Europe and Canada) and will not tolerated. So not serving up children to gay couples for fostering will be seen as equal to not serving a black man in a diner. It is becoming a "civil rights" issue to be an active homosexual, and violators will be prosecuted. Watch and see.

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  25. Second Chances, it IS a major intrusion and you would think secular society would stand up and defend us...future laws and regulations are based on preceding ones, and the more power we give to government the less we have ourselves. At some point they will intrude on your rights, or take away something important to you, regardless of who you are or what you believe. If there is set precedent, you won't have a prayer's chance.

    I would submit that we will see gay couples trying to force the Church to marry them-those same gay couples who have so much hatred for it will try to get the law to force the Church into submission, out of their endless need for recognition of legitimacy.

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  26. Love it... I have used this passage a bunch this week but it's so true: Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10

    It always helps me through times where I can feel the attacks.

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  27. Isn't there someplace we can move to so we don't have fight the gay marriage crowd and other "politically correct" ideologies?

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  28. Yes, Michael D. The planet is Mars and I'd be happy to speed up the process any way possible to allow you and yours to move there ASAP.

    -gwen

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  29. I have a question. Isn't it better for a child to be placed in a loving home with a homosexual couple, then in a group home with dozens of kids, and a few overwhelmed care givers. Isn't it better then them being placed in a foster home, where they feel unwanted?

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  30. Aka, can't the charities be understanding, in the hopes of allowing kids to go to loving, and good homes?

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  31. Gwen, thanks again for proving the point of the post!

    And, Michael D., the good news is that it's not really a fair fight. The Church will long outlast even America. And every other nation and sovereignty on earth. :)

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  32. How tolerant and open-minded of you, Gwen. I bet you have a co-exist sticker on your bumper. ;)

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  33. Chelsea, the Catholic Charities were willing to refer to other agencies who could provide those type of services. The state wouldn't allow it. And to force the Church to do so (which is the only option given) is to force real human being to do things which violate their most dearly held beliefs. If I were to cooperate formally with evil, my very eternal soul would be at risk. The state has no moral right to compel Catholic Charities to cooperate in mortal sin.

    But we live in a nation which no longer places religious liberty above the "right" to free sex for all, and in every configuration. Ironic, since this nation was founded on the desire for citizens to be able to practice their Faith without government interference or oppression.

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  34. Chelsea, this part addresses your question:

    "Catholic Charities and other religious agencies implored the State of Illinois to allow their agencies to refer such couples to other adoption and foster care agencies so as to not violate the moral teachings of their faith. Tragically, that did not happen."

    Ahhhh, liberal tolerance! Right, Miss Gwen? ;)

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  35. Manda: he asked, I answered.

    Clearly you are a beacon of tolerance? LOL!

    Sorry bust your bubble, no co-exist sticker on my car.

    Thanks Leila for a great example of ethnocentrism to use for my students.

    -gwen

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  36. Manda, I thought the same thing! "Coexist. Or we will run you out of business, throw you in jail, and send you to Mars."

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  37. Thanks Leila for a great example of ethnocentrism to use for my students.

    Which "ethnocentricity" are Catholics? Last I heard, we were in every nation on earth, with every color accounted for. Extremely diverse.

    I'm seriously asking.

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  38. For the record, I appreciate the hard work Catholic Charities does in communities to benefit human beings.

    What I don't appreciate is the idea that same-sex couples are inferior as parents and shouldn't be allowed to be foster or adoptive parents. If CC doesn't want to be forced to match kids with SS couples, so be it, but projecting the idea that SS couples are unfit parents is incorrect.

    -gwen

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  39. eth·no·cen·trism (thn-sntrzm)
    n.
    1. Belief in the superiority of one's own ethnic group.
    2. Overriding concern with race.


    This somehow applies to Catholicism? Hello? And you teach at the university level?

    Couldn't they just look up a definition and say "Our teacher doesn't even know the definition of her words"?

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  40. I don't subscribe to a "tolerant, open-minded" philosophy, as many liberals claim as their platform. I subscribe to Catholicism which has a certain set of beliefs with no room for compromise.

    I was simply using what you said to make an attempt at pointing out the hypocrisy which exists in the liberal mentality. Liberals claim to be tolerant and open-minded, but in doing so they push their "open-mindedness" on others, as we see in the subject of this post.

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  41. "incorrect" according to you. But not incorrect according to the Church. So now we are at an impasse. And why should anyone be compelled into mortal sin for your belief that free sex is the highest good of all?

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  42. It just seems like if the choices are:

    Allow homosexual couples to adopt, therefore allowing many children to get adopted.

    or

    Closing the whole place down and moving a whole lot of kids. Then closing the door for some prospective parents.


    Seems like the best choice whould be the first one.

    Allowing Catholic organizations to suggests other adoption agencies seem reasonable to me, personally.

    The law makers of Cnnecticut does not agree with me though.

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  43. Chelsea, you are a reasonable girl. Those on the far left don't think like you do. It's actually very totalitarian. There is a reason that the totalitarian governments are leftwing socialists. Total state control, no freedom of speech, thought, religion.

    Miss Gwen, I keep coming back to this "ethnocentrism" crack. Do you think the Catholics in Africa would appreciate that? Or the Asian Catholics? Or the South American Catholics? Or the Catholics in the Middle East?

    Just wishing you would follow up on that….

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  44. ethnocentrism is a perspective that one's own culture and way of life is correct and natural. Any other way of life that goes against this belief is usually viewed as distorted and wrong.

    I teach the concept with my students so we can all be aware of our own biases and judgements. I don't ask everyone to agree with every other person's way of life (that would be impossible), but I do teach that if we can get beyond what immediately horrifies or bothers us about another cultural practice, we can better understand the complexities of our shared realities.

    Thanks for praying for my students. I'll try to take that as a helpful compliment and not a rude assessment that I'm a bad teacher.

    -gwen

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  45. And you can always ship those who do disagree with you off to Mars. Ok, I'll stop now ;) Just playing, Miss Gwen!

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  46. hey, he asked if there was someplace to go to live w/o the "authoritarian" rule of liberal agendas and other viewpoints that might challenge his way of life. I suggest Mars if you are going to try to escape having to "deal" with people who think differently.

    -gwen

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  47. ethnocentrism is a perspective that one's own culture and way of life is correct and natural.

    The Catholics in Africa have a vastly different culture than the Catholics in America, for example, so I still don't see how this applies? If anything, you should be lauding the Catholics for the incredible diversity of cultures it spans, while the universal faith unites al those cultures of the earth in harmony and peace and love. (Did you see the World Youth Day pictures?)

    I wish you would teach that to your students.

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  48. Miss Gwen, Catholics always "deal with" people who think differently. It's just that we don't really want to lose our jobs and go to jail for "thinking differently" from our leftist minders.

    Go figure.

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  49. What I don't appreciate is the idea that same-sex couples are inferior as parents and shouldn't be allowed to be foster or adoptive parents. If CC doesn't want to be forced to match kids with SS couples, so be it, but projecting the idea that SS couples are unfit parents is incorrect.

    Oh, good God, please don't tell me you teach this opinion. What exactly do you teach, what class? Hopefully a Catholic who knows his/her faith would set this comment straight like I would if I was under your tutelage.

    It's not a matter of inferior/superior parenting. It is a moral teaching.
    Let's get over inferiority complexes.

    I would love to sit in your class.

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  50. Yeah, you try to convert them! And I don't feel like being told I'm going to hell if I don't follow mandated beliefs that supporting gay unions is a mortal sin.

    -gwen

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  51. I'd enjoy you as a student Nubby. Notice I claimed that paragraph you copied as my opinion-not as something I teach.

    Your concept of morality is completely based upon your own culture and adherence to your religion Nubby. I teach students to think critically and move beyond categorizing the world into moral versus immoral based explicitly on Catholic teaching.

    -gwen

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  52. "The Catholics in Africa have a vastly different culture than the Catholics in America, for example, so I still don't see how this applies? If anything, you should be lauding the Catholics for the incredible diversity of cultures it spans, while the universal faith unites al those cultures of the earth in harmony and peace and love. (Did you see the World Youth Day pictures?)"

    We will discuss this Leila when we get to religion! African, Asian, South American Catholics may all have different ways of practicing their faith but when it comes down to the basic principles, haven't you argued here that in order to be a "true" Catholic one must advocate against same sex marriage?

    -gwen

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  53. Gwen, do you teach any kind of morality in your class?

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  54. And I don't feel like being told I'm going to hell if I don't follow mandated beliefs that supporting gay unions is a mortal sin.

    Um, the only mandates are coming from your side...

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  55. Miss Gwen, I take it that you are fully supportive of cultures that practice female genital mutilation (aka female circumcision)*? It seems to me that, by your own standards, FGM cannot be opposed by anyone because otherwise we are being ethnocentrists imposing our moral beliefs on other cultures.

    *For the record, I also oppose circumcision for male babies; I consider it unnecessary cosmetic surgery. However, while I oppose FGM across the board, I recognize that some people have legitimate medical and religious reasons for choosing circumcision for male babies.

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  56. haven't you argued here that in order to be a "true" Catholic one must advocate against same sex marriage?

    That's not a cultural issue, Gwen, nor an ethnocentric one. It's a moral issue. The orthodox of ALL major world religions reject homosexuality. Very multi-cultural belief. Teach that to your students.

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  57. Hm, you don't say? Critical thinking. Now there's a critical thought. Wouldn't it be swell if more people thought critically about all things, morality included?

    And your assumption of me is wrong.... Again. I never grew up in the "catholic culture". I was shaped by free thinking professors much like yourself, I imagine.

    By the way, critical thinking comes pretty naturally to those in problem-solving based careers and vocations. Just throwing that out there so that you glean understanding. Critical thinking hardly ever takes place on the classroom. Those classroom walls are confining for a reason.

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  58. Also, Gwen, if you could please post the Catholic teaching (from the CCC would be fine) that clearly states, "Anyone who does not believe that gay marriage is a sin is going directly to hell," with no exceptions whatsoever, I would appreciate it. I have never seen such a Church teaching. All the teachings I've seen in that regard say that only God can determine the state of one's soul, and only God can determine a person's eternal destination at the time of their death.

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  59. Bravissima! I know a lot of young Catholics and Christians my age who are afraid of offending, but the circumstance is always the same: if you love Christ, someone will inevtiably hate you. Whitewashing and sugar-coating do harm, not good. Tell the truth with compassion, but don't lie because you're afraid of hurting someone's feelings.

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  60. * in the classroom.

    What class do u teach and where? If I'm close, I might enroll for the hell of it.

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  61. That is the one thing that distresses me soooooo much: The lack of critical thinking skills, especially among young, twenty-something college students. They base all their "thought" on their feelings! It is a horrendous state of affairs, and I think Chesterton called what we are seeing the "suicide of thought". What a wasteland.

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  62. This may be off topic but "The organization B4U-ACT sponsored the event in Baltimore last week, which was attended by pro-pedophile activists and mental health professionals. The conference examined the ways in which “minor-attracted persons” could be involved in a revision of the American Psychological Association (APA) classification of pedophilia." lifesitenews website.

    Here is the link to B4U-ACT conference program.
    http://b4uact.org/science/symp/2011/program.htm


    At 1:30pm last Wednesday.

    " This presentation will focus on the DSM-V changes to the diagnosis of pedophilia. The theoretical foundation and scientific evidence for the inclusion of the diagnosis of Pedohebephila will be reviewed. The legal, ethical, and medical consequences from the creation of Pedohebephilia will be discussed."
    speaker Renee Sorrentino.

    After 40 years (if we look at the acceptance of homosexuality) society accepts this and then, they will want to change and have incestuous relationships accepted as there is a sigma and they just can't help it and children have a right to be taught and discover properly their sexuality by their parents...

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  63. JoAnna, we were just beginning to talk about FGM today : ) You are working with a constrained, negative view of relativism that would seemingly support blind tolerance for FGM. But culture is not homogenous, closed off and static. Other factors such as politics, economy, and globalization affect practices like FGM. And many African women are working in their communities to discourage the practice of FGM. Finally, what is so horrible in your mind about understanding something? It is not the same as approving of it.

    Leila, I teach at a public university in social science. In other words, no I do not teach college students morality.

    Nubby, you'd be surprised at the critical thinking skills and engagement with discussion many of my students have.

    Okay, off to do lesson plans,
    -gwen

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  64. Thought this was appropriate to the discussion, since we're on about critical thinking. Wiki has this under "skills". I read it and thought, "we can stop after the first tick mark (logic)". Oh, the bane of godless existence: logic.

    Critical thinking employs not only logic but broad intellectual criteria such as clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, significance, and fairness.

    After another glance, Gwen, do you teach these skills accurately in your school of thought to your pupils?

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  65. Gwen, do you ever use words like "homophobic" or "misogyny" in your class?

    Do you teach that "ethnocentricity" is a morally neutral thing?

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  66. Chantal, you have hit on another big topic that is going to come to the fore soon. The acceptance of pedophilia is on the horizon. Why not, since sex is for fun, children are "sexual beings" from birth, and pedophiles may be born with their sexual dispositions (a "gift")?

    It makes sense that there are "enlightened" and "courageous" ones going down that road.

    I'm watching it all closely and I am glad you are too. The Church's wisdom will out, as it always does.

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  67. No, no. I don't think I'd be surprised. What kind of lesson plan for what unit are you designing? I'd like to contribute to make the learning experience fuller, if you will. Afterall, I've got a few years of teaching under my belt, too.

    Any higher level math or logic courses? Social sciences? Psychology? Various histories?

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  68. You are working with a constrained, negative view of relativism that would seemingly support blind tolerance for FGM. But culture is not homogenous, closed off and static. Other factors such as politics, economy, and globalization affect practices like FGM.

    But when Catholics bring up the political, economical and global disadvantages of same-sex marriage, those are irrelevant because it's all about recognizing and affirming twoo wuv.

    Yeah. That makes sense.

    You didn't really answer my question, though. How is it possible to condemn FGM without being ethnocentric?

    Finally, what is so horrible in your mind about understanding something?

    Nothing at all. In fact, when I was Lutheran, I was fully in favor of homosexual marriage and couldn't figure out what the big deal was. I taught a Sunday school class in conjunction with a homosexual couple, in fact.

    However, when I began studying Catholicism, I was faced with the possibility of objective truth as opposed to subjective truth based on feelings.

    I understand all of the arguments in favor of SSM. However, they're all based on subjective feelings, not objective truth, so I no longer agree with those arguments.

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  69. In regards to saying same-sex parents are "inferior." Again, this is taking the issue and making it all about the adults' feelings and wishes. When I say that I did not grow up in an ideal or even healthy home situation because my parents were divorced, I am not saying my mother was as a mom, an inferior mom to other moms. She was a great mom. But kids need more than mom.

    I am not even saying my father is "inferior." It's not about bashing my parents as parents. I am saying that *I* as a child would have benefited greatly from my father's presence in the home and from his commitment to my mother. No two ways around that. Again, parenting is about the kids, not just parents and their wishes and desires and sense of identity. Amazes me how this issue always gets turned back into "But what about the poor parents who want to feel good about who they are and what they have to offer?"

    Years later, both of my parents wish they could have offered us kids what we truly deserved.

    Saying kids need/benefit from a certain arrangement is not exactly the same thing as saying an alternative arrangement is all bad. However, it's important for the sake of the kids to 1. not *purposely* set up situations where a child will inherently be deprived of his/her mother and father and 2. acknowledge that children who don't have mom and dad at home, committed to them and each other, have experienced a true loss (as well as offer the tools to overcome the crazy stuff life hands them).

    I've read one too many children's books that try to paint it differently (isn't it great that daddy left mommy for his male roommate? It's a "different kind of love"). Well isn't that nice for daddy. Completely and totally unfair to the kids.

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  70. Sarah, as a child of divorced parents, I couldn't agree more.

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  71. Oh my gosh, Sarah, you said it so well! Gwen? Zach?

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  72. And Gwen, just out of curiosity, are there a lot of pro-life, pro-traditional marriage faculty members at your institution?

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  73. What another brilliant liberal idea (sarc.)! Let's shut down faith-based Catholic and Christian charities because they're "homophobic" in THIS economic climate. I guess the people they serve can look to the bloated government for help instead.

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  74. Danya, how do you get so much common sense truth into so few words??

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  75. Gwen, for the record, I taught at a large (literally in the top 10 largest public university campuses as of Fall 2010, according to Wikipedia...) public University. I taught my students to argue persuasively, use logic and facts, and think critically. Fortunately, you can be a Conservative and Catholic and still do that well. :) I don't think I'd thrive on Mars-- no chai tea lattes, I hear. My faith was in no way incompatible with my teaching, which I'm sure would be a surprise to the MANY liberal, often atheistic, professors out there who believe that someone who believes in God and the beauty of the Catholic faith has no place in the classroom.

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  76. 1. JoAnna, ethnocentrism is not necessarily an inherently bad thing. Combating FGM calls for advocating for human rights, especially organizations/individuals from communities where FGM is practiced working to stop it

    2. Leila, I don't know the religious affiliations or political leanings of a few hundred professionals. If you're concerned about a lack of Christian and Catholic presence on campus, I just passed a table on lunch break for new students interested in joining the student Catholic community. There is an Aquinas student center on campus as well.

    3. Lisa, Never said it's impossible to be conservative and teach critical thinking. Glad you were able to do it too. And actually your faith and ability to teach doesn't surprise me.

    -gwen

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  77. Hi, I followed the Catholic Vote link, but didn't see any stats on the harm done to children in gay households. I really don't know anything about the statistics. Are there any for kids brought up by gay parents? I know one guy raised by two mothers, and he seems fine to me, but it does seem a little odd to me on some level.

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  78. Miss Gwen, I know there are plenty of Christians and Catholics on campus (students). I am talking about faculty. Is there an even-handed presence of pro-lifers and those who believe in traditional marriage? That's mainly what I was wondering.

    Also, do you use words like "homophobic" in your class?

    And, you say that you don't really speak in terms of morality. Is everything morally neutral, then?

    Do you know anyone who approaches teaching in the classical sense? Education as a search for truth, goodness, beauty? Or is there another paradigm, generally?

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  79. Mary, I don't live and die by studies, but I can tell you that I don't know anyone who would clamor to be raised by two mommies (and a sperm donor) or two daddies (leaving a child without a mother in this world).

    It is "a little odd" to you because it is natural law, common sense disordered.

    We want to be raised by our mother and our father. No one wishes to be fatherless or motherless. It is sad and wrong and weird. And I won't even go into the fact that they cannot be "married" and everyone knows it's a farce, to gain acceptance. Two men cannot "marry" and two women cannot "marry". They cannot even consummate the "marriage".

    Why should a society say that there is no difference between having a mother and a father, and having "two daddies"? And yet, society wants us to say it's all the same!

    No study needs to tell you that it's not the same. You know that instinctively, Mary. We do not need a research study to tell us what is morally right.

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  80. Watch out when people cite studies saying that kids do best in households with married parents, and use them to suggest that kids with same-sex parents are doomed. From what I've seen, a lot of those studies are only comparing kids with married (presumably heterosexual) parents to kids in single-family homes or kids with cohabiting parents or kids with step-parents - there's not a mention of same-sex parents anywhere. And I don't care what you believe, that's just bad science.

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  81. Michelle, speaking of bad science, please go back to the thread about abortion…. Bad science is saying that "personhood" (metaphysical) is based on your "opinion" (subjective) of "viability" (an unstable and moving target). That is bad science.

    I really do not fully understand your commitment to "science" after that thread.

    What are your thoughts about the shutting down of Catholic Charities? Good, bad, indifferent?

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  82. Michelle, like I said to Mary, it doesn't take any science to know that a child is better off with his mother and his father. That is the obvious. You can't "prove" the obvious. But when you say "beware" the study which says that kids are better off with two married parents, can you also say "beware" the study which says there is no difference if Bobby has two daddies? Because I could imagine a scenario where that study just might have an agenda behind it.

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  83. Michelle, would that be the same kind of bad science as your whole zygote debacle?

    Let's pump the brakes on what's truly truly poor science. All by the use of our critical thinking skills. Agreed?

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  84. I know 4 SS couples raising kids at the moment. Everyone involved is healthy, happy and well adjusted.

    -gwen

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  85. And I know several wonderful single mothers with lovely children. And it's very, very sad that they are being raised without their fathers. And the mothers all agree. And the children "get it" too. A child deserves to be raised by his mother and his father.

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  86. Gwen, I'd like you to comment on Sarah's points from 12:44pm. Do you understand what she is saying? Is she just dead wrong in your opinion?

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  87. Wow, a whole lot of comments here. I see Gwen is a pretty good debater but I wonder why being "tolerant" and "politically correct" almost always end up being anti-Catholic. Whatever happened to freedom of religion?

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  88. Michael, I think it goes back to what "Choice" said in this post (she said she was "intolerant of intolerance and proud of it", but she was kind enough to back down and recant a whole lot:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2011/04/answering-choice-who-describes-herself.html

    Gwen, do you use words like "homophobic" when you teach? And, do you know of many pro-life or pro-traditional faculty on your campus?

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  89. "In regards to saying same-sex parents are "inferior." Again, this is taking the issue and making it all about the adults' feelings and wishes." And yet, Sarah is wholeheartedly against SS couples being allowed to have recognized unions and being able to legally adopt children; so in effect she is actually part of a movement that deems SS people unfit as parents. Tell me, specifically what about sleeping with a man makes Sarah inherently able to raise a child and what specifically is lacking in a gay person's ability to raise a child?

    Secondly, Sarah's argument also draws on emotion and feelings: her parents feelings about their divorce, wishing they could provide a difference scenario for her, and a tone from her own words of regret about not having a specific familial configuration.

    Now, there's nothing "dead wrong" about Sarah's argument except that is holds no scientific weight. It's her own discourse formulated from experience, emotions, and cultural practices.

    -gwen

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  90. "Gwen, do you use words like "homophobic" when you teach? And, do you know of many pro-life or pro-traditional faculty on your campus?"

    Leila, as I answered before, there are hundreds of professionals teaching on campus. I have no idea which ones or how many are politically aligned with pro-life agendas.

    I would like to know why you are so eager to know if I use the word "homophobic" when I teach? Is this some sort of bizarre trick question? I use a lot of words when I teach.

    -gwen

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  91. Leila, Is it imperative for me to be married to a man and having non-contraceptive sex in order to teach students about different worldviews?

    -gwen

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  92. Oh my Lord, Gwen. Seriously? Saying that a child needs his mother and his father is simply "emotional and cultural" and not "scientific"?

    Scientific?

    Are you kidding me? You need science to tell you what is right and good? Is this just academic mumbo-jumbo or have you really bought this crap? I want you to say straight out, Gwen, that you don't believe a child needs his mother and his father.

    Please, I hope you are not that far gone that you cannot even say that.

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  93. Because you said that you don't teach morality in the classroom, Gwen. I'm questioning that. Use of the word "homophobic" implies immorality on the part of people who oppose gay marriage. It implies that homosexual acts are moral, and that devout Catholics are bigots. I just want to know if you use that word, Gwen.

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  94. Leila, Is it imperative for me to be married to a man and having non-contraceptive sex in order to teach students about different worldviews?

    -gwen


    Absolutely not. When did I even imply such a thing?

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  95. Gwen, then let me ask this way: Do you personally know any faculty on campus who are pro-life, anti-gay marriage?

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  96. Let's hit some of that critical thinking, shall we? It's not a question of what abilities are present, Gwen. It's a question of what is best. Anyone is probably "able" to care for a child.

    What situation would be the logical if not moral "best" situation?

    But if you're talking strictly physical abilities to reproduce, then critical thinking shows that gay parents can't even do that.

    How much time is spent engaging students in all forms of critical thinking in your social science class? Can you quantify it with a ratio? A third of the course? Half?

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  97. so in effect she is actually part of a movement that deems SS people unfit as parents.

    This sort of cracks me up, because actually the ENTIRE WORLD has basically been part of that "movement" that said homosexual couples should not be parenting children as if it were all normal. How strange that you call it a "movement" as if it is some new anomaly that seeks to take away the rights and the understanding that has always been there throughout mankind and every civilization.

    Exactly the opposite is true! The "movement" which has begun (and only recently) is the "movement" to try to force everyone to accept gay parenting as normal and ordered and good.

    It's so bizarre that you would frame it in precisely the opposite way it happened in reality.

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  98. I'm sorry Leila, did you miss the memo that I'm an atheist and a social scientist?

    So every time the word "homophobic" is used it immediately refers to and implies Catholics are bigots? right, I'll try to be aware of that.

    I probably do work with some pro-life faculty. I have no idea. Some of my colleagues are Catholic, Jewish and Mormon. Guess what? Pro-life as a subject of conversation hasn't come up in when we're talking about syllabi, textbooks, weekend plans, research, grading and so forth.

    -gwen

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  99. Gwen, do you truly believe that everyone has always and everywhere pretty much been fine with gay couples becoming parents, adopting, etc., and only now some people like me and Sarah have risen up and are part of this growing little "movement" which says that gay parenting is not right? Or do you recognize the reality that in fact the opposite is true?

    I'm just trying to see how you can see a blue sky and say it is red.

    Just shaking my head at how we can have one reality in front of our eyes, and yet you and I see it in polar opposite ways. One of us has to be seeing it wrong.

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  100. Okay, Gwen, what does "homophobic" mean or imply to you?

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  101. I'm sorry Leila, did you miss the memo that I'm an atheist and a social scientist?

    I have no idea which part this refers to.

    ?

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  102. Hold the phone. Gwen, you're a social scientist and you don't know of any demographic study that's been done, peer approved and all, that supports a mother and father as the best possible social family construct?

    You're teaching this to your students? Give them back their money.

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  103. Before I get to answering what you've written above, Leila, you never answered my question: Tell me, specifically what about sleeping with a man makes Sarah inherently able to raise a child and what specifically is lacking in a gay person's ability to raise a child?

    -gwen

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  104. I think arguing over whether SS couples can or cannot raise happy, healthy and well adjusted children is really skirting the issue which is do American citizens have the freedom to practice their religion or not? If not, then we need to rewrite the US Constitution because the freedom of religion is clearly a premier right.

    Personally, I wish the Church would not take any state money but there are plenty of other adoption agencies to handle SS couples.

    Here in IL since the civil union law was passed in the middle of the night (sound familiar anyone???) there are lawsuits against people of faith who own B & B's for refusing to host same sex ceremonies or events. My thought is that gays purposefully search out these particular places to persecute Christians for not accepting their lifestyle. There are 100's if not 1000's or other locations where a SS couple would be welcomed.


    So, if you are a Christian and you think "SS unions will have no effect on me" that may be true if you are a progressive or social justice Christian or have avoided children in your marriage. But, if you really practice your faith or have a PRIVATE business or a child to give up for adoption, or children in public schools (where like in MA parents can't opt their children out of homesexual indoctrination like the case in Concord) your right to protect your child and to practice your faith is put below the unfettered right to sexual freedom and license, all promoted by the statists.

    So, what do people like Gwen, Zach etc want? For Catholics to hide under rocks and just shut up like the good, obedient sheeple the statists would like us all to be so they can do whatever they want?

    We have the same rights that you do to be part of the discussion and Leila, keep it up- this is a great post.

    Seems like progressives don't REALLY believe in freedom after all, do they?

    Sunshine

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  105. Nubby now I have to ignore you. You're rude, insulting and naive. Have a good night.

    Leila, this comment: "Gwen, do you truly believe that everyone has always and everywhere pretty much been fine with gay couples becoming parents, adopting, etc., and only now some people like me and Sarah have risen up and are part of this growing little "movement" which says that gay parenting is not right? Or do you recognize the reality that in fact the opposite is true?"

    I don't even know where to begin so I'll wait for you to answer my question from above.

    -gwen

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  106. "So, what do people like Gwen, Zach etc want? For Catholics to hide under rocks and just shut up like the good, obedient sheeple the statists would like us all to be so they can do whatever they want?"

    -No, is that you expect us to do?

    -gwen

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  107. Sunshine, exactly! We are supposed to roll over and let the sexual libertines run roughshod over us for some reason. I have quoted David Horowitz (former commie activist, now conservative) before: Liberals are only truly liberal on two things: Sex and drugs. All else, they want to control.

    Gwen, it's not the "sleeping with a man" which makes her inherently better suited to be a child's mother, it's that she is the child's mother and praise God, is married to the child's father (when they are blessed with something as precious as new life). This makes them suited to be good parents.

    Now, Nubby's question is entirely valid, and I must ask you:

    "Gwen, you're a social scientist and you don't know of any demographic study that's been done, peer approved and all, that supports a mother and father as the best possible social family construct?"

    Seriously, you need to answer that, because I have no idea how you could have missed all that social science.

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  108. What a great thread. Many great points. Sadly many Churches have sold out to culture. Anglicans and United have open homosexuals at the pulpit. And I was shocked to read that when Joanna was a Lutheran, she was allowed to teach that homosexuality was ok. Martin Luther must be clamouring to get back saying "this is not what I wanted to happen."
    This is scary stuff.

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  109. No, is that you expect us to do?

    Wait, are you being persecuted by the gov't? What are Catholics doing to make you lose your job? Did you see a Catholic in your bedroom lately?

    What do you expect Catholics to do now that practice of our very mainstream, worldwide faith is considered a violation of the civil rights of gays? What should we do, Gwen?

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  110. Vuyo, you are right. Protestantism has slowly sold out to the culture, but it's because they have left the Church and don't have that guaranteed protection of the Holy Spirit. You can count on the Catholic Church to never, ever, ever change her moral teachings. Truth is truth is truth and will be forever.

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  111. I'm not the naive one if you can't even point to one social study that shows the healthiest family construct is a mother and a father.

    As far as insulting, now that's rich considering the source and considering some sweet love I've received from you as if your etiquette is stellar.

    Way to dash from the tough questions which aren't even tough! Yet another fruitless endeavor with gwen Goodnight.

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  112. First, I like that you said "arse"... it's so much more sophisticated than the American alternative!

    Also, I've read that while the NY law provides "protection" to Catholic agency, it provides no such protection to private citizens - i.e. if a wedding photographer is Catholic and refuses to photograph a wedding for a homosexual couple, he/she can get sued and has no protection whatsoever. What happened to the Constitution? I like how the Protestants founded this country for religious freedom and Catholics are being stepped on all over the place.

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  113. Correction: I don't have to answer any question that's asked in a disrespectful manner.

    "What do you expect Catholics to do now that practice of our very mainstream, worldwide faith is considered a violation of the civil rights of gays?"

    1. So you're saying there is some legitimacy to the argument you're faith violates civil rights for gay people?

    2. How is a worldwide religion like Catholicism going to crumble if gays are allowed to have recognized unions and be parents if they wish?

    -gwen

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  114. Oh, Miss Gwen, don't get me wrong. I am not worried about the survival of the universal Catholic Church. The Church will survive us both and every nation and government on this earth. She has proven that she is going nowhere. She will outlast everything, including this earth. So don't worry about that. I'm not. :)

    As for civil rights violations: That is what YOU say. I am using the language of the left. Of course I do not for one split second believe that Church teachings violate anyone's rights, not ever. But if you and those in power suddenly slap a "civil rights!" tag on a sin, then what should we do, Miss Gwen? Bow down at the altar of the Left? Um, ain't gonna happen. But what do YOU (a liberal) expect us to do?

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  115. Gwen, what does "homophobic" mean or imply to you?

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  116. homophobia: fear or hatred of homosexuals

    seriously, why ask when we all know you have access to dictionaries and classically centered education?

    -gwen

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  117. How would that hatred or fear manifest itself in the homophobe?

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  118. What a great post. But your posts are usually great. I think people without faith look to the government for morality. So, I think they think if it is legal then it is OK. Of course, if they thought about it for one minute they would see how absurd that is. But I think that is their first incling. At least, the people I know.
    Giving in to the sin of human respect is something I struggle with not only with non-catholics but also with catholics who are "nice." Everyone wants to be liked and say the right thing and get "voted in." I want to be known as a nice person. With politicians it is ever more evident, "I don't believe in abortion personally but I won't let that interfere with my politics." We have heard that said in my country more than once by catholic political leaders. In other words, I will appear nice and tolerant of many view points so you will vote for me. The sin of human respect.
    And lastly, if you want to go to the most intolerant place in the world, go to university.

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  119. For real. That's weak, sorry.

    You won't site a study, point us to a link, copy and paste hard data because I didn't say pretty please with a cherry on top?

    Well. I got my answer. Leila, she won't point me to it cuz she's being disingenuous to the facts. They're out there and she won't be honest. Wow. New low.

    Shall I post a link of my own? For your own good, it might com in handy, you know, to share honestly with your class.

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  120. Be Not Afraid, I could not agree more.

    Gwen, homophobia is a bad thing, right?

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  121. My father works at a public university, and is also pro-life.

    My mother works at another, she is pro-choice though.

    Neither are vocal about it.

    What study do you need Nubby? My mother works in that area, and has dozens on how kids turn out alright, even if they are raised by gay parents.

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  122. Leila, as always thank you for saying it like it is.

    Just a few days ago I was listening to a Catholic Answers Live podcast about the Catholic persecution in Mexico in the 1910's-1920. In the course of less than two decades and with the steady passage of one law after another marginalizing Catholics, a formerly richly Catholic country descended into militant anti-Catholicism, resulting in the martyrdom of thousands of religious and lay people. As Patrick Madrid closed his article (http://hopeitis.com/2008/10/25/patrick-madrid-the-catholic-persecution-in-mexico-dih-2008/), "It is quite possible that we, in the US, may find ourselves in precisely the same situations, particularly if we remain faithful."

    I'd have to say that, while we certainly don't seek that, based on what's happening the evidence compels me to agree.

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  123. Leila, why do you ever need to ask me if homophobia is bad?

    -gwen

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  124. Liesl, Christians are being steeped on all over the place. Those churches that are violating God's truth are shrinking in membership. In fact I think the Pope spoke about allowing Anglicans to come back to Catholism. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
    If you don't speak the truth, The Lord is not with you, and you are doomed to fail.

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  125. JoAnna, ethnocentrism is not necessarily an inherently bad thing. Combating FGM calls for advocating for human rights, especially organizations/individuals from communities where FGM is practiced working to stop it

    Oh, I see -- so ethnocentrism is good if you're advocating for something that fits your own agenda, but bad if someone else is advocating for something that you oppose. It's relativism in action!

    What right do you have to impose your moral beliefs on those who practice FGM?

    Vuyo, to clarify - when the homosexual couple and I took turns teaching the Sunday School class, we did NOT teach anything about homosexuality or the morality thereof. We taught little kids -- 1st, 2nd grade, maybe -- and it was pretty much just Bible stories and whatnot.

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  126. JoAnna, You're not even attempting to understand what I wrote nor are you reading it correctly. It's fruitless to continue back and forth with you here in this context.

    -gwen

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  127. Gwen - yes, I used an example from personal life experience. Apparently, so many people have experienced detrimental effects from being raised in situations where one parent is missing that piles and piles of studies have been done on it. That's why my psyc professors (state university) taught over and over again that children thrive when their mom and dad are present in the home and are prone to far more issues when that does not occur. (Although like Leila said... is the idea that a child benefits from being raised by his or her dad and mom so hard to believe? I mean even taking religion out, from a biological perspective, doesn't it seem logical that when a man and woman create a child, that child is their responsibility to love and care for and raise to become an adjusted adult? And don't you think it *might* be confusing for a child to be told they have three parents... an impossibility in nature?? Just maybe?).

    "Tell me, specifically what about sleeping with a man makes Sarah inherently able to raise a child and what specifically is lacking in a gay person's ability to raise a child?"

    I don't know where you got this from based on what I said. I used an example of my parents -- male and female -- wishing they had given their kids the best possible home situation. I didn't say anything about heterosexuality inherently making a person an awesome parent. Turn on the evening news - plenty of people don't make awesome parents. Which is why at least in adoptive situations, they do background checks and home studies, etc to try to determine (based on things like morals and laws and social and cultural factors, I am sure) if a child should be placed in that home.

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  128. One Man, it's scary, but I think you are right that we are in for something ugly in the future, if we stay faithful. Mexico is a sad tale. Fr. Miguel Pro, what a hero.

    Gwen, my point is: You speak of homophobia in your class do you not? And you speak of it as if it is "bad" (i.e., immoral). So you say you don't talk about morality in your class, but of course you do. I just need you to tell me how homophobia is manifest in this culture? Please, just say it. Thanks!

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  129. PS: "homophobia" is a made-up, agenda-driven word. I don't subscribe to it, but since you do, I'm asking.

    I personally have never met anyone who is "afraid" of gay people. That is just silly.

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  130. I am not the one in need if social studies, Chelsea. It seems that a man and a dog could raise a child. Procreation and that ability is what we're designed for. "Ability" , per gwen, doesn't mean it's critically thought out as the. Best. Scenario.

    As for variables on the "happiness meter" in socially constructed studies, that's a nice way to make mint off government funds.

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  131. JoAnna, You're not even attempting to understand what I wrote nor are you reading it correctly. It's fruitless to continue back and forth with you here in this context.

    Gwen, over the months of dialoguing with you I've come to realize that this translates to, "I don't like the conclusion to which this chain of logic is leading, so I'm going pull on my cloak of superciliousness and refuse to dialogue."

    Fair enough.

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  132. There are plenty of people whom say they dislike homosexuals, what would you call them?

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  133. Homophobia=from the Greek word "Homo" meaning "the same" and the Greek word "fobos" meaning "fear of"

    That's quite an interesting take on the word Leila. I think pro-life is an agenda-driven word.

    When I discuss human sexuality, kinship and gender, I focus on what social science has added to the discussion. I don't lecture my students on what is "bad" and "good" For that, I refer people to philosophy and/or religion classes.

    off to mow the lawn before it gets dark!

    -gwen

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  134. Gwen, I am sooooo frustrated. Why won't you just answer? What was my interesting take on the word? And why won't you tell me (please??) how homophobia manifests itself? Please? Answer?

    Please?

    And as far as JoAnna's question, I think the argument is linear and fruitful. Why on earth do you dodge the question? Have we dodged yours?

    I'm still wondering how a religion which spans all ethnicities, every nation and culture, every race, can be called "ethnocentric". And as I said (and you ignored), the orthodox in every major world religion is opposed to gay "marriage". So, how is this a Catholic "ethnocentric" issue?

    And, what about the idea that a child is best when he is raised by his mother and his father? Can you not say those words?

    Again, why won't you answer the questions?

    Back to the question I most want answered: How does homophobia manifest itself in our culture?

    Please, Gwen, will you answer? I will answer any question you pose. I will never run from questions when they get tough.

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  135. Chelsea, I guess I would call them "people who dislike homosexuals".

    As for me, I dislike active homosexuality (it's a grave sin), but not homosexuals.

    If I disliked adultery, would you say I am an adulterophobe? (Fear of adulterers?)

    I didn't know your dad was prolife! Does he believe it's murder to kill the unborn? Does he vote prolife?

    Okay, off to a school event.

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  136. Critical thinking, indeed.

    I sure hope Gwen doesn't leave her students hanging like she leaves the commenters. Some frustrated students be sitting at her feet.

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  137. Excuse me, I just went to get my socks and shoes on for mowing the lawn. I notice it's always "okay" for Leila and others on here to excuse themselves to go do other activities and no one says "heyyyyy dodging the questions!!!"

    There's one of me at this end, okay? I'm going to mow the lawn before it's completely dark outside. Time permitting, I'll endeavor to answer your question Leila. Rest assured, I'm not running away from your questions, but I'm also not a left wing agenda programmed robot meant to sit here for hours on end answering every possible question posed.

    Thanks,
    gwen

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  138. I think that there are many odd words in the US, I think that Homophobia was a kind of made up word, not exactly fitting. However, always saying "people whom dislike homosexuals" is a mouthful, so homophobic works.

    My father, although pro-life, does not really vote pro-life, since he usually disagree with other things that politicians that are pro-life say. I know several people in that position.

    I think he just thinks that every-one's life is important, I do not know how far he would go to say it is murder.

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  139. The fact that no one here got my point about the studies - that you can't use a study that doesn't even mention same-sex parents to prove a point about same-sex parents - makes me wonder why I bother sometimes. If a study said that having same-sex married parents was better than being an orphan, and someone used that to say that heterosexual parents are no good and shouldn't be allowed, that would also be bad science. It has nothing to do with belief.

    And you know, if you really want to go into what is and isn't scientific, I think science has a lot to say about people rising from the dead, food turning into flesh, and virgin births. It shouldn't be okay for religion to operate and rely wholly on belief (which, I would argue, has a lot to do with feelings), but then argue that science is always on your side when someone disagrees with you.

    I'm not going to continue commenting on this post, since I think Gwen and Chelsea are doing a fabulous job of it, and I think the fact that I was immediately attacked regarding previous comments does not bode well for me commenting here much more at all. Gwen, if you taught at my school, I'd be among the first to sign up for your courses - seems like they'd be informative and very entertaining. I like your style! :)

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  140. And you know, if you really want to go into what is and isn't scientific, I think science has a lot to say about people rising from the dead, food turning into flesh, and virgin births. It shouldn't be okay for religion to operate and rely wholly on belief (which, I would argue, has a lot to do with feelings), but then argue that science is always on your side when someone disagrees with you.

    Good thing those aren't scientific questions, but rather metaphysical ones! (Although the Vatican does often employ scientists when attempting to verify or disprove Eucharistic miracles).

    It's interesting, Michelle, that you won't let science affect your "feelings" regarding abortion. Why is that subject alone absolved, in your mind, from any sort of scientific evidence or inquiry?

    Gwen, I don't think anyone here is focusing on the speediness or timeliness of your replies, but rather the content (in which you avoid questions). Take all the time you wish to answer. I'm glad I don't have a lawn to mow! (We have desert landscaping, and it was 113 degrees today... very hot for outdoor work!)

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  141. Leila, thanks for the link.
    All these debates and arguments are good as far as they go but let me quote something from Professor Richard Geraghty as to what is really important here concerning the Catholic Church:

    "Dear Karl,

    There are two approaches one can take to the Church. The first is to seek the Church founded by Christ if one is not a Catholic or to obey the Church if one is a Catholic. Everybody is capable of doing this, both the illiterate and the literate. For it is a question of eternal salvation for which God gives the necessary grace. The second approach is to study it as an historian. That is a much more complex affair requiring great historical imagination to appreciate the past. You seem to be mixing up the two approaches. Do you believe the Catholic Church is the true Church or don't you?"

    Dr. Geraghty

    COPYRIGHT 2011

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  142. "How would that hatred or fear manifest itself in the homophobe?"

    By slamming kids into lockers. By shoving their face into their lunch. By tripping them on ice. By harassing their siblings. By jaunting them at sporting events. By threatening them. You can see it by the graves of gay kids that killed themselves. I see it in scars and in rope burns. Homophobia seems pretty appropriate for a word.

    I don't know. When people say homophobia they don't think people are afraid of homosexuals in the sense that they're hiding under their covers from the elusive Flamer. They refer to a fear of things that go against the idea of "common sense". If people do something that goes against my idea of what's "natural", and it works for them, then that might mean what I'm doing isn't the best possible way to do it. It's fear we might be wrong. It's fear that we might not be superior. It's unconscious. (I doubt the kids who harassed my sister after I left high school are "afraid" of me)

    BTW, the things Michelle listed are physical occurances. I think that's well within the realm of science. And metaphysics? Seriously? I get so sick of metaphysics and theology because it's mostly just really intelligent people rationalizing things that are just wrong.

    Leila, I don't think there should be any public acknowledgement of marriage! Call me a libertarian. There are plenty of reasons to support two-person couples. But it's been shown that everyone here thinks that Catholic morality is the only "objective" system of morals. So, I mean, I can't bring my secular ideas here and expect people to listen. But, go Gwen!
    -Zach

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  143. Also, this: "And, there are legions of African-Americans who seriously resent being told that their (morally neutral) skin hue is akin to your decision to commit sodomy."

    Um, I would hope so! I think the word sodomy is hilarious, by the way. People care an awful lot about what others do in the privacy of their own bedrooms. But look, I don't choose to be gay. And no one knows if I'm committing "sodomy". And if they do, they should probably stop stalking me.

    And if the problem is sodomy--you can't know it, and you can't base discrimination off of it.

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  144. Zach-you hit the nail on the head answering Leila's question.

    Michelle-don't stop commenting! If I haven't said it before, I'm in agreement with you.

    -gwen

    p.s. JoAnna, I waited for nightfall specifically to avoid the heat! Gardening in 90 degree heat is bad enough-I can't imagine 113!

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  145. Gwen, on what do you base your belief system? It is a sincere question. I am often quite baffled by this. Take Ayn Rand for instance...a self proclaimed atheist. She rejected God's teachings for what? Her own. Yet, oddly enough she did not welcome and encourage her followers to establish their own belief systems...because hers were "right." So it was only her own individual thinking she admired...she saw herself as a little god.

    So really, the non-religious being still has a "god"...science, themselves, socialism...whatever forms and guides their opinions and beliefs. They believe they are right and make judgements based on their belief system. This includes you. You have a framework of beliefs that you think is right based on something, right? Doesn't that make you ethnocentric or are you saying that your culture is incorrect and unnatural?

    I, for one, prefer to base my beliefs on a 2000 year religion that has produced miracle upon miracle way beyond any scientific explanation. A religion that has converted more brilliant minds than any other....not on the thinking and beliefs of one mind...mine. I think I will get a t-shirt that says "I am ethnocentric and proud of it!" because I do think my monogamous married relationship is natural and correct!

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  146. Michelle, my world is one of science (true science, not agenda or personal opinion) and metaphysics. But in your world it's only science. That is why I try to hold you to the science of things when we talk about abortion, etc. You keep wanting to go off on your own "faith" issues about "personhood", etc, and I want to pull you back to the science of it. I hope you understand. When we talk about scientific things (when human beings come into existence), I ask you to stick to science. If you want to talk about things of the Catholic faith, we can talk about that, too. (We talked about logic and reason and human nature regarding the Apostles' reaction to the Resurrection… Lots more to talk about there, too, if you'd like.)

    Anyway, I hope you get my reasons for not being sure if you want to talk science, since it took so long to get you to even acknowledge the science textbooks and the truth that human life begins at fertilization.

    Nothing personal, just trying to get at the facts.

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  147. Gwen, apologies! I truly did not mean that you had to give up mowing the lawn. I have no problem with people having a life outside my blog, ha ha!

    I assumed (as JoAnna did) that you were brushing off the questions.

    Now that I know you are not, we are back on track.

    I see what the manifestations of "homophobia" are in Zach's view. Personally, I would call that bullying and criminal acts, but because it is done out of hatred for homosexuals, I see why you say "homophobia". However, in my twenty years of political activism, reading materials, papers, blogs, websites and news from the left, I see the term being used much, much, much more broadly than that. I have seen that anyone who opposes gay "marriage" or believes (and says) that homosexual acts are sinful is a "homophobe" (with the requisite claims of "hater" "hate speech", etc.).

    Do you not have any knowledge of such a use of the term "homophobic", "homophobia" or "homophobe"? I have heard the Catholic Church referred to as "homophobic" more times than I can count. Have you never heard such a thing?

    Zach, you are right I have no idea what you do, and I don't mean to imply any knowledge of your private life…. I certainly hope you are living chastely (we are all called to chastity, even marrieds are called to marital chastity), and beyond that, it's not my business to police you, or anyone! (Except my minor children.) But sodomy is the word that has been used for centuries to describe certain common homosexual acts. We sugarcoat sin so much that one day pedophilia will be called "man-boy love" by those who want it, instead of child rape. WAIT! It already is!

    I guess I am just tired of making mortal sin look and sound so pretty and white washed. Sin is sin and it is ugly and horrid and rotten to the core. Your sin and my sin and everyone else's (don't think I'm singling you out!). All rotten. It all put Jesus on the Cross. Pure Innocence took our disgusting sin on Himself and saved us pathetic, prideful, smug little creatures. I just can't sugarcoat moral evil after what it cost Our Lord.

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  148. Jan, it's such a great question. I hope Gwen will answer.

    Zach, you said:

    But it's been shown that everyone here thinks that Catholic morality is the only "objective" system of morals.

    Actually, when it comes to sexual morality and marriage, the orthodox of every major world religion has condemned homosexual acts. It's really not only apprehensible by Catholics. The moral law is apprehensible by the light of natural law. That's why all religions have always had the same understanding about it.

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  149. And if the problem is sodomy--you can't know it, and you can't base discrimination off of it.

    Actually, the problem is the redefinition of marriage. Even if a gay couple is chaste, there is no way we call a man marrying a man "marriage". There is nothing discriminatory about something being what it is defined as being. Marriage has always meant one thing, and you want it to mean something totally different.

    If you have the exact same rights as I do (you may marry a person of the opposite sex, just like everyone else), then there is no "discrimination" involved.

    At least you are honest enough to say that marriage should be abolished. But since marriage is the foundation of every society (because of the CHILDREN who come from the UNION of a man and woman), the abolition of marriage pretty much sinks your society and it will soon go "poof".

    Easy come, easy go. I will miss America when it finally falls, because I love her. But the Church will stand.

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  150. Zach,

    I am interested in why you think marriage should be abolished.

    Leila and others: Could someone point me to the studies that show that gay parents produce maladjusted kids? Everyone keeps talking about studies, but I would like to see them for myself.
    One of my major issues with gays having children, is the whole IVF issue. But...the adoption case is different.

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  151. Also, I think, (again) there is a difference (on the whole) in considering two women who want to adopt vs. two men. For example, many countries will allow a single woman to adopt but not a single man. Their reasoning is that (as unfair as it is to lots of great men out there) most sex offenders are male, and most violent crime is male, therefore they are trying to avoid issues. That said, I know some amazing stay-at-home-dads.

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  152. Mary, let me ask you straight out, no study needed:

    Here is an tiny infant. There are two couples waiting to adopt her. One is a married couple, mother and father. The other is two gay men.

    What does your instinct tell you about what would be best for that child? What is the ideal, Mary? Should that baby have a married mother and a father or "two daddies"?

    You don't need a university study to answer that question, I hope? Some things we all just know from the light of natural law.

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  153. It's interesting that Mary asked the question of Zach about abolishing marriage, because I had a lot of thoughts about that very thing last night. Here is the question I formulated for Zach:

    Zach,

    Marriage is the most enduring, most pervasive, most culture-spanning institution in the history of mankind. As long as there have been humans and human society, there has been marriage. Marriage has been a given, and a foundational unit of society for all of mankind.
    So, now Zach, you come in, as a 21st Century American college student, barely out of your childhood, and you essentially say, "Eh. I think marriage should be abolished. It's not really important to a society. There's really no point. Yawn."

    Do you see why I am concerned with your depth of thinking on this issue (and those who agree with you)? It seems we have lost our minds. This cavalier willingness to jettison the most ancient and enduring of societal institutions, of all class, race, religion, culture, for (as JoAnna mentioned) "twoo wuv" is alarming. And it bespeaks a very serious lack of critical thought and connection to anything human that has come before.

    Do you see that you might need a little more thought or wisdom of years on this issue of the abolishment of marriage?

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  154. Of course, as it happens, Chesterton said it a million times better than I just did, with his fence analogy:

    In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, "I don't see the use of this; let us clear it away." To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: "If you don't see the use of it, I certainly won't let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it."

    This paradox rests on the most elementary common sense. The gate or fence did not grow there. It was not set up by somnambulists who built it in their sleep. It is highly improbable that it was put there by escaped lunatics who were for some reason loose in the street. Some person had some reason for thinking it would be a good thing for somebody. And until we know what the reason was, we really cannot judge whether the reason was reasonable. It is extremely probable that we have overlooked some whole aspect of the question, if something set up by human beings like ourselves seems to be entirely meaningless and mysterious.

    There are reformers who get over this difficulty by assuming that all their fathers were fools; but if that be so, we can only say that folly appears to be a hereditary disease. But the truth is that nobody has any business to destroy a social institution until he has really seen it as an historical institution. If he knows how it arose, and what purposes it was supposed to serve, he may really be able to say that they were bad purposes, that they have since become bad purposes, or that they are purposes which are no longer served. But if he simply stares at the thing as a senseless monstrosity that has somehow sprung up in his path, it is he and not the traditionalist who is suffering from an illusion.

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  155. 1. Leila, using 'ethnocentric' to describe your posts seems accurate to me since anything and everything not deemed acceptable and "right" within your faith is, as you so often put it, "disordered" There's nothing wrong perse with a little ethnocentrism, but what's baffling is the refusal to even accept the merit of ideas outside of your comfort zone.

    2. I said your take on the word "Homophobia" was interesting b/c never have I heard someone say they refuse to use, don't believe in it, and so forth. I think Zach answered your question about that too.

    3. Jan, your question reads like a large, messy assumption with a giant dollop of pugilant superciliousness. Rest assured, I don't think I'm some sort of 'god' asking to be followed and just because I teach and am involved in social science hardly makes me some sort of anti-christ. Whereas you may argue your opinion from the point of view of your faith, which is fine, I argue my point of view from my own professional background, experiences, research and education. Kapiche?

    4. I have a lot to do today and don't expect to be checking in very often here. I think I've said my peace.

    -gwen

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  156. Leila, using 'ethnocentric' to describe your posts seems accurate to me since anything and everything not deemed acceptable and "right" within your faith is, as you so often put it, "disordered" There's nothing wrong perse with a little ethnocentrism, but what's baffling is the refusal to even accept the merit of ideas outside of your comfort zone.

    Gwen, many of the commenters here (including myself, and Leila) used to be liberal. We used to hold beliefs that are, according to you, "outside our comfort zone." The difference is we've come to see the logical errors inherent in those beliefs.

    It also strikes me that you yourself practice ethnocentrism by refusing to accept the merits of Catholic belief or even Christian belief. Pot, meet kettle?

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  157. "Marriage is the most enduring, most pervasive, most culture-spanning institution in the history of mankind. As long as there have been humans and human society, there has been marriage. Marriage has been a given, and a foundational unit of society for all of mankind."

    One last comment here.
    Correction to Leila's above comment: Marriage has not been around since our ancestors first walked the earth nor is it a universal institution.

    Of interest: in the 1930s E.E. Pritchard wrote about the Nuer of Africa. A Nuer woman could marry another Nuer woman, pay a bride price of a few cattle and then have a male kinsman impregnate the female wife.

    -gwen

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  158. Ahhh! I'm going to be late to work-must grab coffee and run.

    JoAnna, "It also strikes me that you yourself practice ethnocentrism by refusing to accept the merits of Catholic belief or even Christian belief. Pot, meet kettle?"

    Absolutely not. I may not agree with tenets of Catholicism or Christianity; however, just because I don't don't follow them doesn't mean I label them disordered.

    -gwen

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  159. But Gwen, you conveniently neglect to mention that traditional marriage also exists in that particular culture:

    Cattle have historically been of the highest symbolic, religious and economic among the Nuer. Cattle are particularly important in their role as bride wealth, where they are given by a husband's lineage to his wife's lineage. It is this exchange of cattle which ensures that the children will be considered to belong to the husband's lineage and to his line of descent. The classical Nuer institution of ghost marriage, in which a man can "father" children after his death, is based on this ability of cattle exchanges to define relations of kinship and descent. In their turn, cattle given over to the wife's patrilineage enable the male children of that patrilineage to marry, and thereby ensure the continuity of her patrilineage. Barren women can even take wives of their own, whose children (obviously biologically fathered by men from outside unions) then become members of her patrilineage and she is legally and culturally their father, allowing her to participate in reproduction in a metaphorical sense.

    The arrangement you mention is unique to barren women who have been unable to beget children of their own, so it's essentially their version of surrogacy.

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  160. I may not agree with tenets of Catholicism or Christianity; however, just because I don't don't follow them doesn't mean I label them disordered.

    I didn't ask about agreeing with them or following them, Gwen. I said "accept the merits of" those beliefs.

    You may not label them disordered but you do label them as misogynistic, homophobic, discriminatory, etc. I can't see how you can do the latter but condemn the former. Seems like two sides of the same coin, essentially.

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  161. Gwen, now it does seem like you are dashing away from the conversation.

    First, you never did address the "homophobic" thing. Would you describe the Catholic Church (or conservatives who are opposed to gay "marriage") as "homophobic?

    Because I hear that lingo from your side all the time. Address it, please?

    Also, really? Marriage is just a fly-by-night, culturally isolated little construct on the face of human society? Or is it more substantial and enduring than what you are now trying to imply?

    As for my "ethnocentrism": The moral code that the Church holds of sex within marriage (and the moral code of not shredding children in the womb) is what I think you are talking about, above. Mostly the sex-related issues. Sex and abortion. What I've said before is that the orthodoxy of every major religion sees the same thing. Because it's all natural law. So, if you are saying that my belief in the natural law moral order is "ethnocentric", then I would have to say that it's a pretty huge ethnocentrism. Very wide "ethno" and very big "center".

    Let me ask you, Miss Gwen: Is it "ethnocentric" to believe that rape is morally wrong? If so, please God, let me be ethnocentric!!

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  162. Gwen, for perspective, for me, can you tell me the things that you would label as "disordered"?

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  163. what's baffling is the refusal to even accept the merit of ideas outside of your comfort zone.

    Gwen, I have lived plenty of years of my life in moral "disorder" and the spirit of the age. Goodness gracious, and in the political realm, I was even a registered Democrat who voted for Bill Clinton!

    So, I am never sure what the heck you are talking about when you bring up stuff like that. Talk about baffling.

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  164. I said your take on the word "Homophobia" was interesting b/c never have I heard someone say they refuse to use, don't believe in it, and so forth.

    This illustrates so perfectly what I wrote long ago, about the liberal bubble:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2010/11/theres-liberal-bubble-too.html

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  165. Wait, whaa…????

    Miss Gwen, did you just say that "marriage is not a universal institution"? Could you name an institution that comes closer? From my studies, I know that if there are two things all societies do, it's marry and bury their dead.

    But nah, that's not too pervasive and enduring, because someone reported that there might have been a society of twelve goat herders in outer Frontubia in 3,562 B.C. (translation for liberals: BCE) who never technically got hitched.

    Some days, I wish I'd stayed in bed. ;)

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  166. What do you expect Catholics to do now that practice of our very mainstream, worldwide faith is considered a violation of the civil rights of gays? What should we do, Gwen?

    Gwen, I don't think you answered this one. Thanks!

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  167. You know, this is a really interesting conversation, but I feel like it's missing the point. I feel as though the issue is not whether or not homosexuals are fit parents or whether or not homosexuality is morally wrong or not (although those things certainly should be discussed, but the issue really is does the government have the right to demand a faith-based charity change its operations in order to facilitate something that the faith of the charity explicitly condemns?

    At least, I feel like that is the issue to me.

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  168. Eliz, we go on a lot of tangents here, ha ha, but you are absolutely right that that is the main issue here.

    I'm guessing Zach would say "yes" because the charity is "discriminating" and therefore has no right to operate, too bad.

    That is so disturbing to me on so many levels. Any secularist want to take that question?

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  169. I don't really understand how adoption agencies work, but I can't believe that the Catholic-run one was the only one in Indiana. If a homosexual couple wants to adopt, then there are secular organizations that should allow them to do so. Likewise, if a birth parent wants to find a safe, healthy, and happy home for their child that ISN'T with a homosexual couple, that should be their right as. Adoption is a business OF discrimination, and it is so for the best reason possible--to ensure the safety, health, and happiness of children whose biological parents are not in a position to provide those things. Heterosexual couples are turned down every day by adoption agencies only to be approved by another, and yet those first agencies aren't shut down.

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  170. Ru, you are exactly right, and this should be a common sense issue. The only reason it isn't is because it's entirely agenda-driven. It is about a political movement that wants to make gay sex normalized and gay "marriage" a civil rights issue. So, if an agency were to refuse a baby to a gay couple, that agency is guilty of civil rights violations. Of course there are other agencies who will place with gay couples and that should be more than enough for gay activists. But it's not enough so you have to ask why?

    It's bullying and control and coercion of conscience.
    On a small scale, this is what totalitarianism looks like. Seriously.

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  171. Hey There Leila:

    I didn't read all the posts as I don't have the time on the computer to read them all.

    I am so sad that these Catholic Charities aren't able to continue doing the good work that they have for so many years. I guess I shouldn't be suprised though.

    The Gay Agenda or whatever you want to call it has set up the stage for a host of other evils as well. Pedophilia now is becoming an accepted thing. There were conferences last week on how to deal with the pedophilie's without making them feel bad. Same thing with beastility. I can't even remember the name they want to call that. So we've gone from same sex being accepted to sex with children being accepted to sex with animnals.

    And if that's not bad enough; in Boston, some guy who murdered his wife in 1990 claims he has some gender identity disorder and is taking the department to court in an effort that would force prisons to pay for sex change operations that would cost taxpayers $20K for each inmate if they did indeed have such a disorder.

    When is it going to end? It's not. It's like this Pandora's box was opened because someone didn't want to hurt someone else's feelings or offend someone and now the rest of the world is going to have to pay for it.

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  172. I'm a big fan of Jodi Picoult's novels, but her latest is about homosexuality and I just watched a video of Jodi talking about the book and how her son just recently came out to her and her husband. She said she knew he was gay (had since he was three) and it was only a matter of time. Do you mean she had all these years to help him past this and point him in the right direction and she didn't? She talked about him marrying and having children and it made me think of this post. We cannot allow this type of family dynamic to occur in our adoption places and our churches. These are the things that will tear down what we believe in...stone by stone...

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  173. To answer Leila's question, I would say that my gut would have me place a child with a mom and dad over two daddies, but also with two mommies (all other things being equal) over two daddies. But, I can imagine there are two daddies out there who would be good parents and it would be far better for a child to grow up with them than in an institution. However, I cannot imagine "rating" parents based on their fitness related to sexuality and doling out only the least likely to be adopted to gay parents.

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  174. DD,
    From the little I know, your comment "Do you mean she had all these years to help him past this and point him in the right direction and she didn't?" means you think people can changed their sexuality. I don't think this is a Catholic notion. I think some (a minority) might have some success with this, but it seems futile and damaging with most.

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  175. Um, Mary... DD is a former lesbian, so I think she might have SOME idea of what she's talking about.

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  176. DD, your perspective, as a former lesbian, is much appreciated!

    Mary, why do you think your gut tells you that, about children being placed with a mom and dad ahead of a gay couple?

    And what do you think about Eliz's last comment, about the issue at hand?

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  177. Mary, at the very least, Picoult could have pointed him towards virtue and chastity. But she seemed to say "Ah, this is inevitable, so it must be all good."

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  178. However, I cannot imagine "rating" parents based on their fitness related to sexuality and doling out only the least likely to be adopted to gay parents.

    Mary, Catholic Charities would never place children in a home with a gay couple to begin with, so it's not a question of doling out less-adoptable kids to gay parents. That option is off the table.

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  179. Sorry DD, I am not sure I knew that! I did not mean to be callous!!!
    But, you must know that many people have tried valiantly to "pray away the gay" without any success. Actually, since I am convinced the origins and causes of homosexuality for women is different than that for men, I find it very interesting that both you and Melinda Selmys have managed to live as heterosexuals, but we have not heard from a male who has made that transition.

    Leila: my gut tells me that because that is how I was brought up and how most people carry on. I didn't even know about homosexuality until I was about 15. It seemed puzzling, but then I started meeting people who were homosexuals and were nice, so I started re-thinking my former ideas.

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  180. I agree with Liz. I think that is the issue, and I'm sorry, I thought I said before that I think they should be able to discriminate, but I am wondering about the legality....thinking along the lines of discriminating against someone because they are a different race or because they are obese.

    But...really to me it is a non-issue. They should be allowed to discriminate regarless because there are other options available to gays.

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  181. Mary, thanks! I am glad you think that Catholic Charities should be able to carry on their ministries without legal sanctions.

    This caught my attention:

    I started meeting people who were homosexuals and were nice

    What does "niceness" have to do with whether something is moral? Of course homosexuals (and all the rest of us sinners) can be "nice". But is that how we determine morality? See, I truly don't get that….

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  182. Hi Mary, I know that some have chosen a chaste life because they cannot change the way they "feel" but it doesn't make it right for them. I am still attracted to women but I do not act on it. I don't know that I could ever be with a man, but for now, I live a chaste life and, if God so chooses, then he will send the right man to me.

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  183. Leila, first, ROUND OF APPLAUSE SISTER! Thanks for shaking up the fence-sitters (aka Me) about this issue. Second, I didn't read all the comments but I did catch your little vocabulary lesson on ethnocentricism (the modern vocabulary is so frighteningly Orwellian) and it made me snort my wine up my nose. So, thanks for the laugh but not for the incredible stinging in my sinuses.

    Seriously, I love you. You're my hero. Did you catch your nomination in the Cannonballs? My vote is for you, sister!

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  184. LOL, Calah, the love is more than mutual, dear friend!! I do believe that you yourself are up for TWO Cannonballs (what did I tell you a few months ago)? We must lobby for each other shamelessly, ha ha!

    Sorry about the sinuses. I just hope it was good wine. :)

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  185. Gwen
    Essentially, my point was that EVERYBODY discriminates, we all are ethnocentric to some degree and many of these terms you throw out to insult...could describe yourself. You have ideas that you believe are right and you demean and sometimes even insult those who do not agree with you. You are prejudiced...you will instantly defend stances on social issues that are opposite of Catholicism and universal norm. You refuse to see or admit any merit in our viewpoints.

    Do you truly believe you are more open-minded than the rest of us?

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  186. Jan, that is a fair and straight-forward question. Gwen?

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  187. I have a question. Do any of those who support gay marriage/adoptions ever give one thought to the well-being and rights of children? or is it all about the subjective desires of adults. Children are not a "stage in life" or a "lifestyle choice" akin with buying a condo or living in one city or another. They are complete human beings who have a mother and a father by default. For this reason children have a right to know where they come from and to be born into a family. A fundamental part of a child's identity, of a person's identity, is knowing where you come from, knowing whom you share blood with and knowing your history. Children have a right to be the product of a loving commitment between two people and
    not to be test-tubed or turkey-basted into existence because a pair of college lezzies want to play house with human dolls. How many young men and women are now growing up with a gaping hole in their sense of themselves because they don't know one of their parents, or don't have a relationship with them...all because parents decided that their own narcissistic desires were paramount and the kids just have to come along for the ride.

    The Catholic Church is the only one who is defending the full scope of children's rights, not only the right to a stable, loving home-life but also the right to know who you are, to be created as the product of love between two committed people. Secular, liberal society only focuses on satisfying the subjective desires of adults "for a kid or something". It's squishy sentimentalism, with no respect for the rights of the most vulnerable, the guinea pigs in this social experiment, a generation of kids who are going to grow up with a whole new set of neuroses we can't even begin to define.

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  188. Jan: I was thinking about this today as I was listening to this interview with Melanie Phillips, she put it quite succinctly.

    "If you are a progressive, left wing individual you basically think that your point of view is the embodiment of virtue because your point of view is basically all about creating the perfect society. You subscribe to all kinds of ideologies, all kinds of -isms designed to make the world better. Because you stand for virtue, axiomatically and obviously, it follows that anyone who is not of your view, anyone who dissents from your view must be not just having an alternative or opposing point of view but they must stand for something really bad. They stand outside the moral sphere of goodness where you're standing. They are basically evil, and so you demonize them."

    http://www.ctstv.com/michaelcoren/?vidID=20589

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  189. "Children have a right to be the product of a loving commitment between two people and
    not to be test-tubed or turkey-basted into existence because a pair of college lezzies want to play house with human dolls."

    Oh. Classic. At least I'm pretty sure nearly all the atheists here at least refrain from petty name calling!

    Leila said: But is that how we determine morality? See, I truly don't get that….

    No, we can't get morality from someone just being nice. Morality comes up a lot here... have you considered reading one of the Horseman's books? Either Dawkin's (Delusion, I guess) or Harris (The Moral Landscape). These are obviously not representative of the entire secular body of thought, but they're good examples.

    Barbara just said: They stand outside the moral sphere of goodness where you're standing. They are basically evil, and so you demonize them

    Which is ironic, because that's what's been done to us tons of times, here and in the public sphere.

    You know, rarely do I call Catholics as antithesis to my moral view. YES, I am trying to make the world a better place, and I DON'T see how that's a bad thing.. I see Catholic charities and agencies as obviously doing a lot of good for a lot of people. But so do a lot of "secular" agencies and nonprofits. (Case in point, I'd consider a "Catholic" agency a secular one if it bothered to treat everyone. And they do. And that's what secular means.)

    So, no, I don't look to playing house with my boyfriend. I look to purchasing a house with him while we try to succeed in our careers, and maybe a little while after fostering a kid. Because it's two guys instead of one of each, that's completely immoral? Do you understand how ridiculous that sounds to us yet? Does anyone? Kids need a lot of things: absolutely. And two men can provide all of that.

    But it's still hilarious that your quote can easily be applied to many Catholics.

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  190. Eliz said: the issue really is does the government have the right to demand a faith-based charity change its operations in order to facilitate something that the faith of the charity explicitly condemns?

    If the state sees two men as being fit to raise a child (as it does, for reason), then it's discrimination to not allow them to. Particularly in the face of there being children who need adopting. I mean, it's discrimination whether its a good thing or a bad thing, because clearly I see it as bad and you see it as good. Either way, it's objectively discrimination when you are choosing selectively.

    The state obviously sees it as negligent discrimination. That is, the state sees fit couples that Catholic Charities refuse to serve. Negligence because the kids aren't getting put into healthy loving family. Insofar as I understood the news stories, IL isn't giving them state money anymore. And of course that's understandable. They are for the public welfare.

    So should an adoption agency, regardless of where their funding comes from, be able to refuse service to an interracial couple on faith-based grounds. I'm not saying it's your faith, I'm saying that's their faith. Should they be allowed to do that?

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  191. Late to the conversation, as usual. But the thread about the Nuer women (starting Aug 26, 8:09 AM)caught my eye, specifically this

    "...she is legally and culturally their father, allowing her to participate in reproduction in a metaphorical sense."

    I think that Gwen is trying to "prove" that gay marriage/parenting is accepted or natural in some people groups, but it actually proves the opposite point, because one of the women is supposed to take on the male/father role.

    Presumably, when Baby A, is born, the Nuer people don't say, "Welcome, Baby A! Here are your two mommies, Mommy B and Mommy C."

    They probably say something more like, "Welcome, Baby A! Here is your Mommy, and here is the person who will be your Daddy, culturally and legally."

    It's actaully REINFORCING gender roles, not challenging them.

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  192. Zach - I didn't see any name calling...?

    Have you ever read "The Godless Delusion" by Patrick Madrid & Kenneth Hensley? It refutes Dawkins' notions of morality as spelled out in his book.

    You said, The state obviously sees it as negligent discrimination. That is, the state sees fit couples that Catholic Charities refuse to serve. Negligence because the kids aren't getting put into healthy loving family.

    What? Catholic Charities clearly stated that it would refer same-sex couples to other agencies that had no qualms about placing children with homosexuals, so obviously it's not the case that without Catholic Charities no children would ever get placed for adoption in loving families.

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  193. I don't agree with everything Zach is saying, but I thought the comment: "a pair of college lezzies" crossed the line into being insulting.

    Zach, you said, "If the state sees two men as being fit to raise a child (as it does, for reason), then it's discrimination to not allow them to". That seems to indicate that the state is dictating all morality. What about people who are able to get exemptions so they don't have to work on a Sat. (like Orthodox Jews) even if they work for the government? The state makes lots of people work on Sat., so they don't think it is a problem, but they allow people to take exemptions for faith reasons. Not a perfect example, but there are some connections.

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  194. And two men can provide all of that.

    Can they provide the child with a mother?

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  195. JoAnna - "pair of college lezzies" isn't name calling?

    Barbara, I find the Phillips quote rather ironic, as the fact that she's saying such things at all suggests that she finds progressive, left-wing individuals evil, that she thinks "they stand outside the moral sphere of goodness where you're standing" - basically, she's doing exactly the things she attributes to them. And, do you really think that same-sex parents are just "playing house," that the fact that there's two moms or two dads means that the whole thing is a farce, that it can't possibly be successful? I don't know, I just found your whole description a bit mean and close-minded.

    Leila, I know Gwen touched on this at one point, and I don't think you addressed it fully - what is it, specifically that a mother and father can provide that two mothers or two fathers cannot? I know you say it's intuitive and obvious, but I think for your argument to be really solid you need to be able to spell out what the difference is for those of us who don't see it as obvious. Thanks!

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