Sunday, September 8, 2013

Do you think she caught the irony? Can you?


So, I was terribly saddened to read an article about Christian bakery owners who had been bullied by gay activists into closing their doors, and I ventured into the comments.

At one point, a Christian who upholds natural marriage was answered by a pro-gay "marriage" Christian named Patricia. Patricia said to him:

Sending unconditional Love to you, in the spirit of the Christ in whom I believe. Peace be with you. 
And could you please share the passages in which Jesus told us not to love someone? My Bibles don't seem to include them.

I decided to jump in and answer:

Patricia, I would be glad to show you what Jesus said very explicitly about marriage: 
http://catholiclane.com/was-jesus-really-silent-on-same-sex-marriage/ 
It would be the height of disingenuousness to claim that gay "marriage" could fit in with his words.

Patricia came back with a comment that left me shaking my head at the magnitude of the irony! See for yourself:

If you or the writer of that post has an original copy of the Bible, please share. 
Your evidence is from a book that has been documented to contain thousands of mistranslations and errors, and reflects the limited knowledge of the writers. My goodness, if you're going to promote adherence to everything the Bible mandates about a man sleeping with a woman, we must demand that every husband and wife who have slept together during her menses should be banished from town. 
Let's be real: There is a lot of truth in the Bible; but everything in the Bible is not true. Earth is not flat, and it's not the center of the Universe. Jesus was not born in a barn AND in Mary and Joseph's home in Bethlehem. The Bible commands us not to kill, but gives us 52 reasons that we should kill each other, ranging from murdering adulterers to impudent children. 
We have absolutely no way of knowing what Jesus actually said. None. And it amazes me that those who call themselves followers of Jesus go through great pains to obfuscate his overarching message: Love ye one another. 
Jesus taught that we should love everyone unconditionally, including our enemies. He taught that even if someone has offended us, we should forgive them seventy times seven. He said that we are One: Whatever we do to the least of us, we also do to him. 
How anyone could conclude that Jesus would object to people who love each other making a lifelong commitment to each other is beyond my comprehension. But, I respect your right to believe it.

I responded:

Patricia, you may not recognize the irony in your own comment. Let me ask you a simple question. You say you are a follower of Jesus: By what authority do you know about or believe in Jesus and what he said? Thanks!

Not sure where it will go from here, but as an exercise in critical thinking, can anyone spot the myriad ironies in Patricia's thinking?


399 comments:

  1. Myriad, yes. But here's a start: "we can have NO idea what Jesus said, except that he said x, y, and z, therefore what YOU think he said is obviously wrong". Which is ironic because I thought she said we can't know what He said.

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  2. Hi, Leila. :-)

    That article was extremely helpful; Thank you!

    But, I need your advise (if you don't mind)!

    What would you say to the person who you present that scripture to (as proof of Jesus' stance on marriage) and whose main argument is then "but, the bible also says x, y, z (listing rules/laws that we don't follow in today's world)...so why are we picking/choosing?"

    Or, even "Well, if our lifestyle is a sin, what about lying/killing/etc..."

    I have very close friends who are gay and I've tried to be as honest as I can in our discussions, but I'm still a new Catholic (who as you know hasn't been in the best spiritual state for the last years..) and not the best at presenting my case.

    P.S. Just to be clear, my friends would not be struggling to see what Patricia in your example is (the irony of picking and choosing Jesus' own words), rather their argument is "then we should be following every rule".

    Thank you so much for any help/advice/direction you can give!

    xo


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  3. Hi Casey! I'd say two things. First of all, the New Testament is the fulfillment of the Old Testament, so what Jesus says trumps (completes) all that came in the OT.

    Second, it is imperative that folks understand the difference between doctrine and discipline. Doctrine (the Deposit of Faith) is unchanging. Disciplines can and do change. Here is a succinct explanation:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2010/09/catholics-you-must-understand-this.html

    If people don't understand this distinction, it leads to an incredible amount of confusion.

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  4. Casey, one more thing. You mentioned lying/killing (i.e., murder), etc. We would say that those are wrong, too, and would never have them elevated to a good, or celebrate them or sanction them as a positive, virtuous thing. So yes, we have to follow those rules (the moral law).

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  5. I can't tell you how helpful is, Leila! Thank you again.

    Also, I hope you don't mind, but somewhere down the road I may email you directly with another question or two. It is regarding this same topic, but a bit more personal (but, don't worry...not TOO personal. lol) in nature.

    You have always been so easy for me to understand. :-)

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    1. P.S. Sorry to take your original post on a bit of a tangent!

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  6. Casey, any time! littlecatholicbubble@gmail.com :)

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    1. Oh, thank you! I think I still have it, but just in case. :-)

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  7. "Because the Church says so" is not an argument that will convince many people, let alone non-Catholics. You will have to explain to her *why* your position is right and hers is wrong.

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  8. Somebody needs to brush up their Aquinas!

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  9. captcrisis, do you think that her comments point to a logical thought process that would get us anywhere? The basis of her argument is:

    1) Show me in the Bible where Jesus said x and y (presumably because she believes in the Bible).
    2) I believe in Jesus.
    3) I don't believe in the Bible.
    4) I believe the Bible sometimes.
    5) We can know NOTHING Jesus said.
    6) Here is what Jesus definitely said.

    Etc.

    And as for the Church's position. Oh, my. It's been said so many times and in so many ways. It's everywhere. I cannot remember "because the Church says so" as being the basis of how the Church speaks to the world. Is that how you've seen the Church argue? If so, where?

    I gave the lady what she asked for (Biblically) and she dismissed it immediately.

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    1. What I meant is that references to the Deposit of Faith, or the Magisterium, as if that ends the discussion, are not going to convince a whole lot of people.

      The quote from Matthew 19, in the page you linked to, might be a mistranslation. "Those unable to marry" is usually translated as "eunuchs" and Jesus is not talking about eunuchs being able or unable to marry. It was a vastly different culture than ours, in which (for example) female subservience and slavery were not questioned, and you could prevent a guy you didn't like from entering the temple by crushing his testicles. (Really, does that sound fair?) Ancient kings would have young men (involuntarily) castrated so as to look over their harems, or perform other household tasks, without the danger of them grabbing the kings' wives. That was the role of eunuchs in the ancient world. I guarantee you, if that custom returned, the Vatican would condemn it and find some Biblical justification, probably having to do with Jesus saying to love one another.

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    2. I will answer you at the bottom of the thread.

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  10. That Patricia took quite a tumble from logic.

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  11. "Because the Church says so" is not an argument that will convince many people, let alone non-Catholics. You will have to explain to her *why* your position is right and hers is wrong.

    Captcrisis, just checking. You realize that Patricia identified herself as a believer in Christ, and asked for biblical evidence, no? I answered her based on that assumption. So, I'm not sure why you brought this up in light of the actual post?

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  12. As I re-read, I see so much more that is wrong in her thesis. For example:

    He said that we are One

    No. He said that He and the Father are One.

    And, I think she may never have actually read the New Testament, nor Jesus' words (which she says cannot be trusted anyway). Jesus actually spoke often about sin and hell and the narrow path. Goodness, the Church's gospel reading today is very blunt and not so "nice" in the way we like to think of "nice" in 21st Century America.

    I always wonder about the people who like to domesticate Jesus (as Fr. Barron likes to say). Where are they getting this milquetoast Jesus? Certainly not from the Bible or the Church. Of course, it's an invention by the folks that do not like what the Church has always taught, and who want to remake Jesus in their own image.

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  13. The baker who lost her business for something as stupid as refusing to put two brides on a wedding cake is truly a tragic figure. What did she think was her calling as a Christian that would cause her to jeopardize her business over something so silly? She home schools her five children. What is she teaching them about life?

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  14. She's teaching them that truth and principles and virtue is more important than profits. It's called "integrity". God bless her courage. Will you be one of the people standing by smiling when Christians start going to jail, Bill?

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  15. Bill, I want to ask a personal question, and please feel free to refuse an answer. You seem bitter and unhappy. I may be wrong. But could you be depressed? And, what makes you hang out at this blog?

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  16. Her calling is to serve Christ. That is the primary calling of all mankind. And within that calling is to bear witness to Christ teachings. It is totally worth loosing everything over.

    In three gospels it says "he who finds his life will loose it. He who looses his life for my sake will find it."

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  17. This may be late: (I've been at a LifeTeen mass but I came back to a request to put my comment on the blog) "What?????? If she doesn't believe in the Bible or in what Christ said, after she even asked someone to point out where Jesus would have said that, how can she be a Christian?"

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  18. After reading some of the comments, I feel compelled to also state for the record: I have many friends, family, people whom I deal with in life who don't have the same values, morals, opinions, etc. that I do but I respect them and pray for them because Christ calls me to do that - everyone is precious in his sight (whether they choose to believe or not). However, he also holds every one of his followers to an extremely high standard - if we are to truly be his disciples, then we are to follow his rules, his values "“If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother,
    wife and children, brothers and sisters,
    and even his own life,
    he cannot be my disciple.
    Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me
    cannot be my disciple.
    Which of you wishing to construct a tower
    does not first sit down and calculate the cost
    to see if there is enough for its completion?
    Otherwise, after laying the foundation
    and finding himself unable to finish the work
    the onlookers should laugh at him and say,
    ‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’
    Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down
    and decide whether with ten thousand troops
    he can successfully oppose another king
    advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops?
    But if not, while he is still far away,
    he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms.
    In the same way,
    anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions
    cannot be my disciple.”Luke 14: 25-33 In other words, you have to be "all in". If we aren't, if we don't stand up for Christ's values, then we are dishonoring him and everything we stand for - we can not go before our Last Judgement and say, " Oh God, we decided that we had to go against our morals because we didn't want to hurt that person's feelings who was committing a mortal sin in your eyes when you were really telling us to show them the way to Your Truth - even if it cost us our very life". That's our perspective - that isn't hatred - that is loving OUR FATHER more than life itself. Peace and love be with all that take the time to read these words.

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  19. Catholic Grammie, thank you. Today's gospel readings were particularly powerful, esp. in light of this whole issue of gay "marriage" and loss of religious liberty.

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  20. Exactly, and the priest had an awesome take on it! Might I also point out to your readers about my good friend's son (whom I would gladly adopt) who has homosexual attractions, acted upon it during his college years and had a huge crisis of faith. Through many intercessory prayers of several of us ( he refers to us as his St. Monicas) he has returned to the church and has remained celibate for over two years now. We have had many late night discussions via Facebook (I was once his teacher) and he has become a teacher himself. His great desire is to become a monk (not a priest). He said he came back because he discovered he loved His Father and His church more than any earthly desires.

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  21. Casey - here's another article that may be helpful. People who say that if you oppose homosexuality you must also oppose shellfish, etc. are engaging in what's known as the "God Hates Shrimp" fallacy.

    Bill S. - I'm curious, are you also of the opinion that kosher Jewish delis should be forced to serve bacon, if requested to do so by a customer? Should restaurants or grocery stores owned by a Muslim be forced to sell or serve alcohol? Should a printing shop owned by a Jewish family be forced to print signs for a KKK rally?

    Because if you agree with forcing Christians to participate in sin, then you must also be a proponent of all of the above.

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    1. argh, the link got screwed up - see here: http://courageman.blogspot.com/2009/03/god-hates-shrimp-fallacy.html

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  22. I find that illogical people are impossible to have a meaningful conversation (real life or online).
    Their comments usually make me wonder "what the heck are they thinking?" And then I laugh to myself.
    I admire you for taking the time and energy to converse with Patricia! May God bless you!

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  23. Catholic Grammie, what an inspiring story! And Julie, I totally understand, ha ha. I always do it for the other readers, or the lurkers. People should know that there are answers to these questions and they should also not be afraid or intimidated when people sound like they know something, but in reality are saying… nothing. So, I try to show that to people: That most folks like this lady are just blowing smoke.

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  24. JoAnna, great points - interesting link. Julie - I very rarely get into the discussion - that is Leila's forte. Many times I've forgotten and asked Leila for help!

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  25. Since we're (sort of) talking about the reliability of individual Bible passages: According to Catholicism, is every quote ascribed to Jesus considered literally authentic? Can we know if Jesus specifically said X or Y?

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  26. captcrisis, "those unable to marry because others have made them so" is indeed a reference to eunuchs. How would that be a mistranslation? It is perfectly logical. What do you believe the translation should be (assuming you have the capability and authority to translate and interpret the Christian Scriptures)?

    Eunuchs cannot marry because they do not possess the faculties to become "one flesh". Christ could not have been more clear. It's right there. Some were born so (birth defect), some made so (eunuch) some because they are celibate for the Kingdom. Easy to understand in light of what he said about man and woman coming together as "one flesh" in marriage.

    As to your first paragraph in your last comment: Yes, when speaking to non-Catholic Christians, references to the Bible and Jesus' words should be enough. Especially since that is what she asked for. However, it's clear that she is really not a believing Christian (in another thread on another post she lauded Episcopal Bishop Spong [an admitted atheist!] as a good authority on all things Christian). So yes, for her, no appeal to Jesus or Scripture would ultimately help. But I had to answer her challenge first, and I had to, in charity, assume that she held to Christian belief since she said she was a follower of Christ.

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    1. And to clarify, when I say "non-Catholic Christians", I mean Protestants, evangelicals, etc. Other Christians.

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    2. In Matthew 19:

      1) Jesus is asked if a man can divorce his wife. Jesus says no. The Pharisees ask him why Moses allowed it. Jesus overrules Moses, citing the creation story (Eve is made from Adam's rib, and marriage is rejoining the rib to Adam), and says that only sexual immorality by the wife is grounds for the husband to divorce her; otherwise he is committing adultery as soon as he marries another woman.

      2) The disciples, reflecting on this unrealistically strict rule, tell Jesus that it's better not to marry in the first place. He seems to agree. He mentions that there are born eunuchs, and eunuchs that were made that way by others. But -- he's not talking about them and is not making any ruling on them. His point is "there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven". And "the one who can accept this should accept it".

      1) Now if you have a problem with thinking that man was first, and woman was created from him, a secondary creature, who is only complete when rejoining the man, then Jesus's words present a problem. No doubt greater minds than mine have explained them away. (Jesus, at least as he is quoted in the Gospels, says a few things that everyone agrees have to be explained away. For example, that thing about hating your parents.)

      2) Jesus seems to agree that it's better not to marry. To the early Church, marriage was a second-class existence for those not strong enough to resist "the urge" ("it is better to marry than to burn"). In fact sexual desire was itself sinful. You could have sex with your wife, but you couldn't feel horny for her. If this sounds odd, remember that for most of its existence Catholic teaching on sex and marriage has been promulgated by celibate males who have never had a happy, long-term sexual relationship. Some of them even denigrate romantic love as illegitimate, or as necessarily transitory. Maybe *they* don't think it can last, but how would they know?

      To return to your dispute with Patricia, we see here a division between the old "Catholic" idea of marriage, which seems related to ancient and even prehistoric ideas of marriage as being essentially a property transaction and a means of producing legally recognized heirs. Catholic marriage is based on sex -- specifically, it requires a working penis going into a vagina. Modern marriage is based on love -- whether penis-to-vagina sex is possible or not (like with paraplegics), whether other kinds of sex are possible or not, and nowadays, whether the two people are the same gender or not. I can't believe Jesus would insist on the former, and condemn the latter. The idea that Jesus placed love over everything else -- an idea which Patricia has adopted -- is, I think, a good thing.

      Now to get back to the bakery that won't put two guys on a wedding cake, what happened to them was a wrong thing. They should be free to refuse to do that. I'm sure for gay people there are other bakeries.

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    3. Captcrisis, you missed the part where Jesus said, "from the beginning He made them male and female."

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    4. Hi Captcrisis, I have to say it seems like you're getting jumped all over for this and I hope I don't come off as not dignifying your position as thoughtful. I'm glad you're commenting and I appreciate hearing you position. It sounds like you've done some research and I'm also glad for that, but you have missed some clear distinctions in Catholic teachings. Sexual desire itself is not sinful. As Leilia explained, it is lust that was then, is now and will always be sinful. Lust objectifies, uses and then betrays. In fact, lust is one of the 7 deadly sins:

      6)Lust is the vehement disorder of sexual desires, as in the case of the so-called "homosexual lifestyle" or the widespread phenomenon of "living together." Lust reduces human sexuality to genitality. As a result, lust tends to distort human sexual genital activity into a form of recreation. Ironically and tragically, lust leads to a fear of fertility and to an animosity for children, as expressed in practices such as rape, sterilization, contraception, abortion, pornography, child molestation, adultery, and divorce.
      http://www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showmessage.asp?number=362724

      Surely you can see why we must clearly distinguish between the love and desire a husband and wife feel for each other and the lust that is destructive to not just man and woman but all of society. In my opinion, it does not take someone who has had a happy, long-term sexual relationship to understand that.

      If modern marriage was based on real love, as you say it is, then why is divorce more common now than ever before? I believe it’s because from a young age we’re socially “untrained” to feel like it’s ok (even a good a thing) to be horny for another person even those we love. And then what when that horniess goes away, do we stop loving them? Isn't true love everlasting? Lust certainly isn't!

      There is a lot to unpack in your comment, and I really hope others carry on the good discussion. I want to say more, but as a mother of a few small legitimate heirs, I have to get going.

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    5. Jessica,

      Lust is O.K. as long as it doesn't take over. I admit, when I grab my wife's "grapefruits", I do it out of lust. It doesn't mean I love her less. Most couples are secure enough to accommodate lust, sex, and love all in the same relationship. A young priest who isn't even allowed to masturbate, by contrast, must go crazy with pure lust at times. Being in a sexual relationship means you can uncloud your mind from lust a good part of the time.

      For 12th grade catechism our teachers were a husband-and-wife team. He once told me, "man to man", how to decide which woman to "pursue". He said, imagine you're walking into a room full of women. You should go for the one you *least* want to have sex with.

      Well that is a recipe for disaster, in my view. And his marriage was not a happy one. They kept on affirming their love for each other but they got on each other's nerves too. They didn't seem to enjoy each other's company. There are a lot of Catholic couples like that, trapped in a theology devised by celibate men which is at odds with how the human mind and body work and which makes people ashamed of feelings that are just natural and are a part of any relaxed, happy relationship.

      Later in life I came to the conclusion that there are three things to look at when deciding whether to marry someone. 1) Do I love her/him? 2) Am I turned on (can I feel lust) for her/him? and finally, 3) Is this marriage a good idea? Think of it as 1) heart, 2) genitals, 3) head. I think even Leila can, with some translation of terms perhaps, agree with this.

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    6. Guys, I'm giving my response at the bottom. It's much too hard for me to go and seek comments when they show up in my email inbox. Thanks….

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  27. Wow, Patricia's thought process doesn't make any sense at all. She clearly contradicts herself. I wonder if deep down inside, the irony of it all registers?

    Sadly I think there are many people who, when they come to something challenging that Christ taught, decide to "re-make" Jesus into their own image of what they think He should be. They like to setup their own god to worship, who conveniently agrees with them.

    Also Catholics who support traditional marriage and speak out against so called same sex "marriage", are called bigots and haters. But is it really loving someone to pat them on the back in their sins? Does not love rejoice in the truth? Does not love challenge the one who is loved to turn away from their sins and errors and rejoice in the truth? If we love those who are homosexuals, and as Catholics we are called to love them, we must treat them with charity, patience, mercy, of course, but we must not say that homosexual behavior is "no big deal". We must love them, but not the sin. We must hate the sin, because the sin separates them from God, who is love.

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  28. Hey captcrisis,

    You do realize there are different kinds of "love" right? Have you heard of agape love? It is the ultimate love, divine love, that wills the other person's best interests.

    What you and too many others seem to confuse it with is romantic, affectionate love. When Jesus said to "love one another" - He didn't necessarily mean romantically, but rather to agape one another - to love selflessly, and putting the other person's best interests first, even if it involves self denial. We are all called to carry our crosses. While Jesus tells those with same sex attraction to renounce romantic love, He also promises that He will fulfill them with agape love.

    Marriage is not an entitlement for all people, but rather a serious responsibility to which only certain people are called. It is not just meant for personal pleasure, but rather for a man and a woman to cooperate with God in carrying on the human race.

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  29. Chris, I think your question got lost in there: can we "know"? if Jesus specifically said X or Y- well, maybe not literally - but this is what the catechism has to say:"In keeping with the Lord's command, the Gospel was handed on in two ways: orally " by the apostles who handed on, by the spoken word of their preaching, by the example they gave, by the institutions they established, what they themselves had received - whether from the lips of Christ, from his way of life and his works, or whether they had learned it at the prompting of the Holy Spirit", or in writing - "by those apostles and other men associated with the apostles who, under the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit, committed the message of salvation to writing". So, yes, we believe that everything attributed to Jesus fully conveys his message - the same way you would tell a story and you would repeat the conversation back to every one else only one big difference - the Holy Spirit is going to make sure that they got it right! Make sense?

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  30. Hear ye! hear ye! Hear ye, good citizens one and all!

    According to the latest and most enlightened exegesis of certain verses of the Bible, Jesus Christ emphatically and undeniably declared that it is loving, tolerant, inclusive, holy, sacred, open minded, big hearted, edifying, life giving, ennobling and sanctifying for men to take up residence in other men's alimentary canals!

    Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye!

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  31. Catholic Grammie, thank you! Chris, another excellent source for answers to your questions about Scripture is Dei Verbum, from Vatican II.

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  32. captcrisis, are you kidding? First, you skip the part about being "capable" of marriage. What is that "capability" if not the coming together in conjugal union? This idea that the "new" view of marriage is "twu wuv" is just silly! Then, why on earth shouldn't a man marry his cat? Or his car? Or his Mama?

    And this is not to mention that your exegesis on Matthew 19 is all.messed.up. I have asked you before -- what are your sources? Where do you get this stuff?

    As for your understanding of Church history and Church teaching…. I almost roll my eyeballs out of my head when reading it. Captcrisis, you realize, don't you, that lust is still a sin? Yes, even in marriage? Lust means: Looking at another human being as an object, a means only for which one might satiate oneself, and not as a partner (yes, that is what Eve/Woman was… taken from the "side" not the "foot") and a lover and a human being with dignity.

    Sigh.

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  33. My view is the view of most Catholics these days, and should be treated with a little more thoughtfulness.

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  34. How much more thoughtfulness do you want? Would you like me to provide a more in-depth explanation of the 4 kinds of love? Agape, Eros, Philia, and Storge? Would you like me to explain what true, authentic agape love is and how it differs from affectionate love?

    What exactly do you want from us?

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  35. Captcrisis, I think everyone is respectfully trying to figure out exactly what your view truly is. Are you saying that you are a bonafide Catholic? If so, then I would expect your view to be more in line with the Theology of the Body by JP II. Don't be put off by my moniker - yes, I'm older, but I have three children who are even more well-versed in their apologetics than I am (one has her M.A. in Theological Studies, another is beginning her M.A. in Theology, the third spent a year in service with the Dominicans). Most young practicing Catholics seem to be very traditional in their faith and well-versed in their catechism - it seems to me that "cafeteria" Catholicism is on its way out. As todays' Gospel reading called us, we must be "all in".

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  36. Sorry, captcrisis, but I asked for your sources, not whether or not the average (ignorant and poorly catechized and dissenting) Catholic agrees with you. What are your scholarly sources? Whose exegesis is this?

    Why should I treat dissent and confusion with "thoughtfulness"? What does that even mean? The Church defines what is Catholic. The Church proclaims Jesus. The Church wrote and translated and interprets Scripture. So I'm with Margo and Grammie: What exactly do you want? And, what are your sources (sorry to repeat and repeat)?

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  37. No view, (even it is of the majority), makes truth.

    The wise man accords his respect, honor and worship only to authentic Truth, Who is Christ the Lord, proclaimed to mankind by the one and only infallible Church which He Himself builds, according to His promise.

    Understandably, then, the learned man disdains the Lie posing as the Word, and strikes its deadly head with all his power at every opportunity.

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  38. I forgot to subscribe to this thread. So I didn't realize that there were so many comments. It's actually too many and I don't want all those emails. In answer to the questions asked of me: no I am not bitter and depressed. No, I do not think Jews should be forced to sell bacon or Muslims should be forced to sell alcohol. In fact, I don't think anyone should be forced to sell anything. But if you in the business of selling wedding cakes, then you should sell them to everyone. It's just good business to cater to the customer. It's not against anyone's religion to put two brides on a wedding cake.

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  39. I think I understand Patricia's "logic."

    It is, the truth and all evidence for it is whatever she wants it to be.

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  40. Bill- Yes and no. Putting things on cakes are morally neutral. Its the intent behind it. If for example a person wanted a penis on a birthday cake for a joke one should ask why. Would it be causing scandal? Then you cant comply. But if it was supposed to be David on a birthday cake of an art expert then no. I wouldn't say it causes scandal.

    Same for a wedding cake verses a going-away cake between friends.

    Scandal as defined by the Church is any attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. In this case making a gay wedding cake is essentially condoning homosexual sex and marriage. As Catholics we cant cause scandal. So yes it's against our religion to photograph, create cakes for, or flower arrangements for gay marriages.

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    1. Source http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_P80.HTM

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  41. Leila,
    I know this is off topic, but how do we as Catholics reconcile Jesus' command to hate our parents, spouses,and children to be disciples, with his command to love one another. It's been bothering me since yesterday and the priest didn't really address it in his homily. (it also didn't seem to mesh with Ephesians 5:25 "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her."

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  42. You're not creating scandal by putting two brides on a wedding cake. You are providing a service that you are in business to provide. You don't have to go to confession and tell a priest that you didn't discriminate against a gay couple when you should have. The whole thing is silly and those who try to make it out to be more than it is by raising the argument that to provide a service to people whose lifestyle your religion condemns is creating a scandal are just being silly as well. What if you knew that the couple getting married were divorced and would be committing adultery by marrying one another? Would you refuse to provide a wedding cake for them as well? Would that also be creating a scandal. Why not just run your business correctly and stop judging your prospective customers? There's a thought.

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  43. Bill, the Jewish deli owner doesn't have to EAT the ham or bacon, does he? Why shouldn't he have to provide it, based on your logic? You've already given him a pass....why? Isn't bacon extremely popular? Wouldn't it be in his best business interest to provide it? How do you - logically - reconcile the fact that you don't see it necessary for him to provide ham or bacon, but yet you see it necessary for a Christian or Catholic baker to provide a wedding cake for a wedding that is against his religion?

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  44. In regards to the "hating your parents" thing from yesterday's gospel, our priest had some cool insight on that in his homily. The word "hate" for us means something different than it did for them, in Hebrew. To love something means to put it first and foremost, and to hate something means to put it second, or after that. So we are called to love Jesus first, and "hate" or put everything else after Him. You can read a little more about that here in the footnotes: http://www.usccb.org/bible/luke/14/ Following Jesus requires total dedication to Him, and if that means losing your job like these bakers? So be it.

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  45. Bill,

    The point seems to have completely eluded your rapid fire head that two brides (by their very definition, for crumbs' sake!) make not a marriage! Nor do two grooms. Two men or two women (or however many of the same sex) playing at "marriage" is a mockery of a critically fundamental societal institution that has been raised to the level of Sacrament by Jesus Christ Himself. And we're now (after time immemorial) supposed to co-operate in any way, shape or form in its distortion and disassembly? Really, Bill, your vapid little treatises are becoming quite a pain to read, you know. At this rate folks will soon be skipping/ignoring any comments that are preceded by your name. Take a break and have a think before you fire off your next bit of wisdom, old chap.

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  46. Heidi. Jewish business owners can carry whatever products they want. I doubt that a Rabbi would get bent out of shape if he came across ham or bacon in a store owned by a Jew. I doubt that the store owner worries about scandal if he causes his customers to eat it because he sells it. The whole thing is ridiculous.

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  47. @ cittykat555: Perhaps this amazing homily by Fr. Barron answers your question:

    http://www.wordonfire.org/WOF-Radio/Sermons/Sermon-Archive-for-2013/Sermon-661-The-Awful-Gospel-of-the-Cross.aspx

    It's a bit long, but well worth your while.

    Sorry Leila for jumping in, the question was addressed to you, but I just couldn't resist sharing Fr. Barron's thoughts on this potentially difficult Gospel reading.

    I'll also share with everyone, unrelated to the above, yesterday's excerpt from YouCat (via Flocknote) on the 7th commandment ("You shall not steal"), regarding the significance of the poor . Make of it what you will (special dedication to Francis, whose comments I adore):

    "There is material, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual poverty. Christians must look after the needy of this earth with great consideration, love, and perseverance."

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  48. Thanks Katie, that makes more sense. I was starting to hypothesis that people with families couldn't get into heaven, but then why is marriage a sacrament and married Saints? And now I have a new resource to look up these things. :)

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  49. No problem cittykat555 :) During that reading yesterday in Mass I was a bit surprised as well at first! I was glad our priest explained it. Also if you're interested in other resources Word Among Us (http://wau.org/meditations/current/) is really great; they have daily meditations on the Mass readings, and theirs discussed it as well. I don't know how to find yesterday's on their website, but they always have the current day's meditation up. They also have monthly booklets you can receive with them in it (with the Mass readings).

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  50. citykat555,

    Katie's response to your query is correct, and is backed up by this:

    Four Descriptions Of Discipleship: A Sermon For The 23rd Sunday Of The Year

    P.S. Read some of Msgr Pope's other blog posts when you have time. Bookmark his site if you like. He explains clearly and in depth so much of Scripture and matters of our faith.

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  51. Two men or two women (or however many of the same sex) playing at "marriage" is a mockery of a critically fundamental societal institution that has been raised to the level of Sacrament by Jesus Christ Himself.

    That's a heavy burden to place on the decision making process of a baker. Don't you think? As a business owner, myself, it pains me to see what has happened to this family. I am simply lamenting that it was foolhardy and so unnecessary. I'll shut up about it now.

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  52. Bill, you didn't answer my question. I didn't ask about the Rabbi. I asked why YOU had said it was okay for a Jewish deli to not have to carry ham/bacon (answer to JoAnna's question above), while it was not okay for a baker to refuse to bake an item for a same sex marriage.

    To refresh your memory, here's your answer:

    "... No, I do not think Jews should be forced to sell bacon or Muslims should be forced to sell alcohol. In fact, I don't think anyone should be forced to sell anything. But if you in the business of selling wedding cakes, then you should sell them to everyone...'

    My question was - and please explain, logically - why is it different for a deli than a bakery? Wouldn't it be "good business sense" to sell everything in a deli?

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  53. Bill,

    Jewish business owners can carry whatever products they want.

    And so can Muslims and Christians (I am sure there are some Christians who will provide cakes for gay "weddings" and even divorce parties, porn parties, abortion parties, etc.). But the difference is that Christians are being FORCED by the government and by new "anti-discrimination" laws to do so, on pain of ruin. Are you good with that? Let's force Jews and Muslims to carry pork in their stores on pain of fines, ruin, jail. How's that? You okay with it? I wonder if you will be quietly smiling as you eventually see Christians, priests, sisters, regular folks, hauled off to jail in this great, free land of ours?

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  54. Sebastian, Katie, Francis, thanks for taking citycat555's question! I love to wake up to all these great answers! Keep it up. My readers are the best part of this blog.

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  55. I wonder if you will be quietly smiling as you eventually see Christians, priests, sisters, regular folks, hauled off to jail in this great, free land of ours?

    I'm being misunderstood. I totally regret what has happened to that poor family. But no one should encourage them to put themselves in harm's way. Everyone should simply say: "just give them their damn cake". Hopefully, two males will come in so you can use the remaining grooms that you have from breaking up the sets. People. This is not the Macabees being forced to eat pork (although I could have given them some wise advice as well).

    If there are laws against discrimination, then stop discriminating. How hard is this to understand?

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  56. Um, Bill, Christians are always to "discriminate" against sin. We are always called to no cooperate with it.

    Have you ever seen the movie For Greater Glory? Or A Man for All Seasons? Both are excellent and should be illustrative.

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  57. I think Bill you are confusing refusing to coorperate with and adopting a compliant attitude toward sin with discriminating against gay persons. Nobody is saying dont hire gay persons or bake them them birthday cakes because they are gay. We are saying we cant bake them a wedding cake because to use they cant get married nor can we endorse gay sex (unless they intend to be celebately married which just seems and sounds odd).

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  58. I've always believed that you have to pick your battles. I would choose to live and fight another day. I can't imagine myself taking such a costly stand on something so frivolous. I guess there is nothing else to say about it.

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  59. So, per her comments in the OP, Patricia doesn't trust translations of Scripture, and she doesn't trust that we can know what Jesus actually said about anything. Then why is she a professed Christian?

    Does she know anything about tradition, oral or written? Does she consider anything to be an authority on the matter of Christ revealed? If not, then why does she espouse Christ?

    If I couldn't trust a religion logically or historically, I certainly wouldn't be a professed follower of it. Hello logic, have we met?

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  60. Bill- So what is worth it if not the salvation of your soul? Which would be in jeopardy if you caused scandal.

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  61. Nubby, I am glad you asked. Yesterday, she posted a rather lengthy comment explaining her beliefs. She is definitely not a Christian, even though she claims to be a follower of "Christ". She was baptized Catholic. But her beliefs are very New Age, not in keeping with the Christian belief of Jesus or the Bible -- at all. She refutes just about every Christological doctrine there is, as well as basic Christian teaching on other subjects. So, that cleared that up!

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    1. In other words, the "spirit of the Christ in whom I believe" is not the Christ that Christians worship.

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  62. Bill- So what is worth it if not the salvation of your soul? Which would be in jeopardy if you caused scandal.

    Come on now. Does anyone really believe that providing this stupid cake is going to put anyone's soul in jeopardy? I'm trying to find my way back into the fold, but you're not making it any easier with that nonsense.

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  63. She has a plethora of opinion based on no fact?

    You pointed the right question at her: Authority.

    Is it clear to her that we can trust our reason? Or doesn't she trust her own senses to discern fact from fiction?

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  64. So, Bill, say yes to everything and try to live a principled life.

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  65. Bill- what? I've already explained that it would plus provided the source. Being a Catholic isn't easy. Christ says to take up your cross for a reason.

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  66. So, Bill, say yes to everything and try to live a principled life.

    OK. I'll try. But I'm not making any promises.

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  67. Bill, you said:
    I doubt that a Rabbi would get bent out of shape if he came across ham or bacon in a store owned by a Jew. I doubt that the store owner worries about scandal if he causes his customers to eat it because he sells it.

    Are you aware of Jewish dietary law, known as "kosher" or "kashrut"? A Jewish business owner who builds his business based on kosher food would be in serious trouble if a rabbi saw any non-kosher food (including any items from a pig, shellfish and such) in his store. Kosher laws also cover how that food (chicken, steers, etc.) is raised and slaughtered. If a Jew in the food business is found to have sold non-kosher food as kosher, it will cause scandal and loss of business.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2013/mar/29/local/la-me-ln-allegations-that-kosher-butcher-sold-nonkosher-sparks-anger-20130329

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/07/nyregion/07chicken.html?_r=0

    http://www.jewishanswers.org/ask-the-rabbi-category/the-jewish-legal-system/business-law/?p=2895

    What you might think is stupid, frivolous or unnecessary is a serious matter to faithful Jews. Go tell them they have to sell bacon or shrimp and see what they say.

    captcrisis:
    If your view is not of Church dogma, then it's not the authentic Catholic view and thus does not deserve "thoughtfulness" but rather correction. You and "most Catholics" who hold different beliefs than those of Church teaching are Protestants as you are protesting Church doctrine. "Most Catholics" who were "raised in the Church" from the 70s on, including myself, were taught water-downed, mushy feel-good crap for the most part, not authentic teaching nor the wisdom behind it. Hence, when you meet individuals such as Leila who've taken great pains to learn and understand the faith, it blows your mind (as it did once mine) that f-f-f-feelings don't count, only Truth and logic do. Feelings get you into trouble.

    Further, I don't care if "most Catholics" include famous or political "Catholics" such as Nancy Pelosi. No person's stage in life sets or trumps authentic Church doctrine, which was made to stand all time and not bend to fads, fancy or popular thought.

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  68. Deltaflute and Girl from New York,

    It is my opinion that we agree to follow a certain religion and at that point we become subject to the rules of that religion. A sin is a violation of a rule that we have agreed to follow by being part of a particular religion. If that is the case, then you really are not facilitating someone's sin unless they belong to the religion for which that is a sin. It is therefore not right for a Catholic to tell a non-Catholic gay couple that they cannot marry. Religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam provide for great discipline. But they can't be imposed on other people. That is why the bakery owner was wrong to refuse to serve the gay couple.

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  69. Bill, that is wrong because is our Catholic faith, it is wrong to facilitate or support others in their sins. Not sins that deal strictly with Church discipline (like eating meat on Fridays, or attending mass), but sins that deal with the natural law, also known as the universal moral law (i.e., the proscription against gay sex acts is universally wrong, for everyone. Just like lying, cheating, stealing, murder -- we could not help with those either).

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  70. i.e., the proscription against gay sex acts is universally wrong, for everyone. Just like lying, cheating, stealing, murder

    That is not true. There is no natural or universally accepted law, as you claim, against gay sex acts. I don't know where you came up with that idea. Natural law is a philosophical concept that was advanced by Thomas Aquinas among others. Catholics think that this natural law is consistent with Catholic rules but there really is no such thing and if there were, it would not address homosexuality. That is part of a Catholic prejudice against homosexuality.

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  71. That is not true. There is no natural or universally accepted law, as you claim, against gay sex acts.

    What is your authority to make this pronunciation? What is your proof that the natural law does not exist? Have you read "What We Can't Not Know" by J. Budziszewski, and written the definitive refutation? Why should I believe what you say when you offer no compelling evidence to the contrary?

    Also, I just want to clarify one example that wasn't addressed -- Bill, you believe a printing shop owned by a Jewish family should be forced to print signs for a KKK rally? If they decide to make signs for one rally they should do so for all of them, correct? Is this what you believe?

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  72. JoAnna,

    I've never said that anyone should be forced to do anything by anyone. My only opinion has been that a business should provide its services without discriminating against gays. It is just good business. I oppose the state taking action but I can see where they might have no choice.

    Where is the evidence, other than an opinion by some one like Thomas Aquinas that there is even such a thing as a natural law? Gravity is a law of nature. There is evidence for that. Where is the evidence for a natural law that prohibits homosexual sex acts?

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  73. My only opinion has been that a business should provide its services without discriminating against gays.

    In the case of the bakers, they had happily provided cakes to homosexual customers -- indeed, they had provided a cake to the customer in question before this, for birthday celebrations and such. Can you explain exactly how the bakers were "discriminating against gays" by refusing to provide a cake for an event that they considered sinful and wrong? If they were "discriminating against gays" they would refuse to provide a cake to any gay person regardless of the event being celebrated, wouldn't they?

    Do you believe that Jewish printers should be forced by the government to print signs for a KKK rally? Isn't it discrimination on the basis of race to refuse to do so?

    As for natural law, again, by what authority do you declare that natural law does not exist? What credentials make you more knowledgeable on this subject than St. Thomas Aquinas or anyone else? Why should I listen to you instead of him?

    What proofs do you have AGAINST its existence? Have you read "What We Can't Not Know" by J. Budziszewski and written a definitive refutation?

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  74. I oppose the state taking action but I can see where they might have no choice.

    Bill, read what you wrote. How chilling!

    And, really? They have no choice? Because a gay couple's right to a cake (which can be gotten elsewhere) trumps the right to religious expression and liberty? Huh? There is no choice but for the government to start putting Christians out of business because if this?

    Shiver.

    And I think you may be confusing "natural law" with "laws of nature". I agree with JoAnna's suggestion that you read some Budziszewski.

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  75. Where is the evidence for a natural law that prohibits homosexual sex acts?

    Is it rightly ordered, even biologically, to use the reproductive organs in the digestive tract?

    This is not rocket science, if you will forgive me.

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  76. That is not true. There is no natural or universally accepted law, as you claim, against gay sex acts.

    Your claims fall up against the fact the the orthodox of every major world religion (not just Christianity) has always asserted the sinfulness of homosexual acts. Not to mention that the world's atheist regimes also do not allow gay "marriage". So, can you tell me how you reconcile your statement with those facts?

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  77. Bill- It's ironic that you say that to be a Catholic you follow rules and to not to is a sin. Causing scandal is a sin. To be apathetic or worse allow sin among any persons is a sin. To make a gay wedding cake is to cause scandal and therefore a sin you take upon yourself. Doesnt matter the other persons beliefs.

    It's scandal to force someone to lie or steal. It's scandal to give a person a piece of pornography even if you've never looked at it. It's scandal to say "well their gay and who cares if what they do is wrong. They arent Catholic."

    Once you stand back and let sin happen whether through action or attitude YOU'VE sinned and your salvation is at stake regardless of the sins another commits. And that imposes on you.

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  78. JoAnna,

    Again, I'm not for forcing anyone to do anything. At this point, I will just defer to the applicable state law. If they broke the law, and I'm not going to keep insisting that they did, then they have to face the consequences.

    My only argument is that none of this would have happened if the baker did not see it as her duty to impose Catholic teachings on non-Catholics or non-practicing Catholics.

    As a Catholic, you agree to be governed, in a sense, by the Catholic Church and you agree to recognize the Catholic concept of sin. One of those sins involves homosexual acts. To you they are sins. To others they may not be. They aren't to me.

    The lesbian couple live according to a moral code that does not define their lifestyle as sinful. It may be sinful to the baker, but it is not sinful to the couple. So, providing a wedding cake to them does not cause them to sin.

    There is no law against what they are doing. If there were a so called natural or universally accepted law against it, it would be illegal. The fact that it isn't shows that the law is not universally accepted. As far as natural law, gravity is a natural law. Is there anything like gravity at work here? Something that is against a natural is against it because it can't happen. Sexual relations can happen between two women. They might not seem normal or natural to you, but they are to the only two people to which they have to be.

    I don't know if that answers enough of your questions. It is just my opinion. That's what we are doing, exchanging opinions. We're all entitled to one.

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  79. To be clear I'm not talking about violating someones free will. I'm saying that you cannot comply and you must say as much. Once you've said that you can't bake the cake you no longer cause scandal. They are on their own if they go elsewhere or get married.

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  80. Bill,
    Gravity is a law of physics.
    Human nature and/or moral law is not.

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  81. My only argument is that none of this would have happened if the baker did not see it as her duty to impose Catholic teachings on non-Catholics or non-practicing Catholics.

    Bill, are you sure you are using the word "imposing" correctly…

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2013/06/is-church-imposing-or-is-it-someone-else.html

    Also, I think you are not understanding this at all: It is a sin for a Catholic to cooperate or facilitate or celebrate a sin. So, by definition, to bake and sell a celebratory cake for a gay "wedding" is a sin for Catholics. We are not permitted to sin. End of story.

    As for two women and sex acts: They can perform sex acts (heck anyone and anything can be a party to sex acts), but they cannot have a "one flesh union". The cannot consummate a thing. They cannot have a conjugal union that unites them in marriage. There is no marital act. That is just fact.

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  82. Yes, that's what I said. You favor the state forcing, by power of law, a business owner to be complicit in an act or event they feel is morally repugnant.

    My only argument is that none of this would have happened if the baker did not see it as her duty to impose Catholic teachings on non-Catholics or non-practicing Catholics.

    ...except that the baker in question is not Catholic. You haven't even read a single article about this situation, have you?

    As a Catholic, if I condone to or celebrate sin, I am personally complicit in that sin -- as Deltaflute said, it is the sin of scandal. It does not matter if you believe this to be true or not, because you are not the one who determines what the Church teaches or how I follow those teachings.

    The customers in question are free to commit any sins they wish to, but they cannot and should not force me to condone, celebrate, or approve of those sins. If two women want to pretend to get married, they can do so, but they cannot and should not force me to participate, condone, or approve; nor should they get the state to punish me if I refuse to participate, condone, or approve.

    You argue that the state should have the power to force me to commit sin and/or punish me if I refuse to commit sin. Essentially, you oppose the free exercise of religion. Why?

    You still won't answer my question about a Jewish-owned print shop being forced to print signs for a KKK rally. Is it just for the state to force them to do so, if the KKK cries discrimination on the basis of race?

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  83. It does not matter if you believe this to be true or not, because you are not the one who determines what the Church teaches or how I follow those teachings.

    The only thing I am trying to get out of these conversations is an assessment of just how out of touch the Catholic Church is with the real world. People in the real world don't worry about going to hell for providing a wedding cake for a gay wedding. And I now realize that this particular baker was not Catholic. But the same considerations are at work here.

    I've come to believe that you really can't go too wrong just striving to comply with federal, state and local laws and using your own common sense. If you want more self discipline, join a religion or enlist in the service.

    Since discontinuing practicing my faith, my self discipline has gone out the window. I miss how fighting temptation and going to confession when I fail kept my life in order. But I just can't accept the way of living and looking at life that is being portrayed by the commenters on this blog. The fact that I no longer believe in the supernatural also isn't giving me any incentive to submit myself to Catholic teaching.

    I need to remember that I am the one whose opinions coincide with the laws of the land. So there must be something right in my arguments.

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  84. Bill, I read your last comment and my mind immediately went to this, by Fulton Sheen:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2013/04/final-sheen-post-easter-so-appropriate.html

    I pray that God will bring you back to Him again someday.

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  85. The world proclaims that the seven deadly sins (lust, greed, envy, jealousy, etc.) are actually virtues to espouse and not vices to discard. The world says that killing unborn children is a blessing and a glorious act, not a travesty and an injustice. The world says "twerking" is hip and cool while chastity is boring and lame. The world says that as long as it feels good, you should do it, and that consent is the sole criterion of the good.

    The Church is most thankfully and gloriously out of touch with the world, and thank God for that!

    As G.K. Chesterton wrote, "A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it."

    And as Venerable Fulton Sheen wrote, "Look for the Church that is hated by the world, as Christ was hated by the world. Look for the Church which is accused of being behind the times, as Our Lord was accused of being ignorant and never having learned... Look for the Church which is rejected by the world as Our Lord was rejected by men... and the suspicion will grow, that if the Church is unpopular with the spirit of the world, then it is unworldly, and if it is unworldly, it is other-worldly... and therefore is divine."

    I've come to believe that you really can't go too wrong just striving to comply with federal, state and local laws and using your own common sense.

    Do you believe there is such a thing as an unjust law?

    My common sense says that two women and two man cannot have a conjugal, valid marriage. My common sense conflicts with the current law of the land. Which one should I follow?

    I want to push you a little farther on this statement, Bill:

    I need to remember that I am the one whose opinions coincide with the laws of the land. So there must be something right in my arguments.

    Were Catholics who lived in 1835 South Carolina right about following slavery laws?

    Were Catholics who lived in Germany in 1935 right about following the Nuremberg laws?

    Are Catholics who live in modern-day China right about following laws regarding forced sterilization and abortion?

    Are you saying that the government is always right? Because that's what it sounds like.

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  86. Bill- I have to disagree. Not all laws are moral. One example is China. In China you can't be married until age 27. And then you have to get a birth permit to have a baby. If you aren't or don't then they can fine you or you will have to abort. Do you think that is moral? Should a poor woman be forced to abort?

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    1. Totally didnt catch JoAnnas comment. Great minds think alike?

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  87. The world says that killing unborn children is a blessing and a glorious act, not a travesty and an injustice.

    There is a lot to the world. You have to take the good with the bad. You just can't take the worst of the world and the best of the Church and compare them. This is the world we live in. You can criticize it, but you have no choice but to live in it or die. I'm basically ok with the world I live in. It's not perfect. Never was. Never will be.

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  88. You just can't take the worst of the world and the best of the Church and compare them.

    The problem is, Bill, that the world (including Dawkins and his ilk) say that all the things I mentioned are the BEST of the world, not the worst!

    Care to address any of my other points?

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  89. Bill- Now I'm confused. I thought we were talking about obedience. Are you saying that you would rather obey unjust laws than obey just laws of God? Both involve sinners.

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  90. I still want Bill to address the KKK question.

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  91. I'm a Catholic and try to follow the Church's teachings best I can. I fail a lot.

    This war against gay marriage from Christians is so puzzling to me. I don't understand what you are attempting to accomplish by inflaming people who have different beliefs. Gay marriage is legal many places and it's going to be legal across the country in a few more years. Nothing is going to stop it.

    If all the religious opposition somehow does work, what's going to happen to the gay couples that are legally married? Is their marriage going to go up in smoke? Will their children all of sudden not be part of a family? The Church will be able to deny marrying people just as they do when someone is divorced so that isn't a issue. I just don't get it. In my parish the gay couples who are legally married are providing a much better example of committed and loving couples than the heterosexuals having affairs in the choir, the divorces and living in sin.

    Please try to explain what you are trying to accomplish because I sincerely don't understand.

    Selling a wedding cake is not a sin. It goes against their principles but it isn't a sin and wouldn't need to be confessed according to my priest.

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  92. I admit, when I grab my wife's "grapefruits", I do it out of lust.

    Now, see, captcrisis, I find this really sort of offensive, even repulsive. What a turn off. It's like junior high -- "grapefruits"?. Sorry, but blech…

    And by saying that I want to move past junior high, it doesn't mean I don't have a high appreciation for sexual union between spouses. After all, I think this is pretty telling:

    http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/07/17/devout-catholics-have-better-sex

    We treat sex as great fun and enjoyment, but also as something holy. Taking a Renoir and lining the birdcage with it is not what God intended, so to speak. We keep the Renoir elevated and though it gives us untold satisfaction and pleasure, we don't degrade it.

    You really see all sexual attraction as lust? It's not. Lust is a vice, and again, it's about treating people as objects, not as people. It's using them, not loving them. Catholics are called to live virtuously, not because it makes us "better" than anyone else, but because virtue is what makes human beings flourish. All human beings.

    Lust results in all the things that Jessica named, none of which are good. Loving never could.

    I really don't know what to tell you about the catechetical teacher you mentioned? That is weird. I guess I'm not getting the full context. Perhaps he was just saying some unfortunate things, or perhaps he was making a different point than what you were receiving? I just don't know.

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  93. Hi LizaMoore,

    You said: I'm a Catholic and try to follow the Church's teachings best I can. I fail a lot.

    We all fail at living out the virtues and Church teaching perfectly. Praise God for a savior and God's mercy! :) But while we may fail in action, we must assent with our intellect and bend our will to Church teaching. For example, one may have a hard time living out the virtue of temperance, but one would not then say, "So, I disagree with the Church's teaching on temperance." We assent to the Truth, even if we fail in the living out of that Truth. Hope that makes sense.

    This war against gay marriage from Christians is so puzzling to me. I don't understand what you are attempting to accomplish by inflaming people who have different beliefs. Gay marriage is legal many places and it's going to be legal across the country in a few more years. Nothing is going to stop it.

    Wow, this is totally not the mind of the Church. First of all, nothing is inevitable, and good can win, unless good men do nothing. Can you imagine if we had that attitude about abortion? But anyway, I have written many, many times on this issue, and in the interest of my own weariness, I will just refer you to some pertinent posts to help you understand why the Church upholds the natural law and the common good:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2013/08/we-dont-need-to-reinvent-wheel.html

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2013/06/should-children-sit-down-and-shut-up.html

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2013/06/is-church-imposing-or-is-it-someone-else.html

    And things that should sound an alarm to all Catholics and Americans, frankly:

    http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/otn.cfm?ID=993

    http://www.crisismagazine.com/2013/conscience-freedoms-denied-by-liberal-courts

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2011/08/catholics-your-misguided-compassion.html

    If you have time, this would also be an amazing primer on these cultural issues. I know people who changed their mind when they heard Princeton's Professor Robert George and all the dots were connected:

    http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/36603963

    To be continued….



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  94. If all the religious opposition somehow does work, what's going to happen to the gay couples that are legally married? Is their marriage going to go up in smoke?

    I suppose their relationship would be the same as it was before. It's ontologically not a marriage. I would assume most would still continue to live together, as they had before gay "marriage" laws?

    Will their children all of sudden not be part of a family?

    What and where were the children of gay people before gay "marriage"? I suppose they will be in the same place, regardless. None came from the union of the partners, so there was always a broken situation to begin with, and one or more biological parent missing (and always a mother or a father missing). This is covered by adoption law, I suppose, and the entire mess of IVF and surrogacy law (such as it is). All of it is ultimately harmful to the kids (see the post I linked above, called "Should the Children Sit Down and Shut Up?").

    I just don't get it. In my parish the gay couples who are legally married are providing a much better example of committed and loving couples than the heterosexuals having affairs in the choir, the divorces and living in sin.

    I don't get how there are all sorts of "legally married" gay people there? Are they, along with the adulterous members and divorcees living in sin, going to confession? Are they in a state of grace before they receive the Eucharist? Is the pastor preaching on salvation and explaining about sin and what is required of Catholics before they approach the sacraments?

    Please try to explain what you are trying to accomplish because I sincerely don't understand.

    The Church is trying to preserve the foundational societal unit, which is marriage. Most folks have forgotten what marriage is, but it's the Church's job to speak the truth in season and out, for the good of all. It's actually her mission, no matter how unpopular it is in any given society. If you check out the link above (the one about "reinventing the wheel"), there is a great quote from Brandon Vogt that I think will help answer your question.

    Selling a wedding cake is not a sin. It goes against their principles but it isn't a sin and wouldn't need to be confessed according to my priest.

    Does your priest submit to all the teachings of the Church? He took a vow to do so, so I pray that he does, but many priests do not. If one cooperates with sin, one is committing a sin. We are not allowed to directly facilitate or celebrate sin, or else we are committing the sin of scandal. Is it a sin to bake a cake? It depends on what one is baking the cake for. What if someone asked me to bake a cake for a porn film wrap party. Or a divorce party? Or a party to celebrate 45 years of legal abortion?

    I hope you can see.

    Many blessings!

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  95. I really don't know what to tell you about the catechetical teacher you mentioned? That is weird. I guess I'm not getting the full context.

    I think what he meant was:

    If you want to be happy for the rest of your life,
    Never make a pretty woman your wife.
    From my personal point of view,
    Get an ugly girl to marry you.

    It makes perfect sense.

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  96. It doesn't make perfect sense to me -- or maybe you're being ironic.

    Maybe he thinks that pretty girls necessarily have wandering hearts (or eyes). My wife, who's got the prettiest face I've ever seen, certainly doesn't.

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  97. I'm just kidding. My wife has a pretty face too and we used to laugh when this song came on a cassette we used to listen to in the car. She always said I should have married a fat Italian girl from East Boston.

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  98. I still want Bill to address the KKK question.

    Leila. Am I the victim of some sort of running joke or something? Why would I think that a Jewish printer, or even a black printer, has to make signs for the KKK?

    Remember, I never said that I thought the baker should be forced to do anything. I am just saying that it is STUPID not to. You have all kinds of reasons for why it is not STUPID. None of which I agree with. But I am an atheist. So what do I know?

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  99. Are you saying that you would rather obey unjust laws than obey just laws of God?

    Every law that has ever been written has been written by a human. There is not a single exception to my knowledge. I am an atheist even though I might agree that there is an intelligence behind all this and that some people attribute that intelligence to the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God. In that case, this God would have authored a law such as the Law of Gravity. Or the Law of Electromagnetism.

    I pay attention to those laws and the laws of my town, county, state, country and the international community.

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  100. BILL- not sure why you think it was careless. I'm sure they put a lot of thought into their decision. It took courage to stand up for what they believe in. What would you stand up for regardless of the cost? What principles do you value?

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  101. Bill- so its your belief that God doesnt author laws on morality?

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  102. Deltaflute,

    If you asked, what is an atheist doing on a Catholic website, i could at least understand your question.

    The answer to your question is obviously yes.

    I am searching for a reason to not be an atheist because it brings no satisfaction. But the comments I read only confirm my unbelief.

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  103. What would you stand up for regardless of the cost? What principles do you value?

    Nothing. Every decision I make has a benefit and a cost. If the benefit exceeds the cost than the decision is yes. If the cost outweighs the benefit, then the decision is no.

    Problem is that some temporary benefits are outweighed by long term costs and some temporary costs are outweighed by long term benefits. I don't seem to be able to deal with those situations. I always go with the temporary benefit and I always avoid the temporary cost.

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  104. Bill, seems like you subscribe to an ends-justify-the-means morality. Is that correct? Since there is no principle that cannot be transgressed, depending on the goodness of the cause or the benefit to you?

    In that case, this God would have authored a law such as the Law of Gravity. Or the Law of Electromagnetism.

    I'm confused. Of course God authored the laws of science. All Truth comes from God. What "intelligence" could be something other than a god or gods? I am sincerely asking. I don't get it.

    As for the KKK question: Is it stupid for a printer not to print for the KKK? (I think that "stupidity' is the reason you gave for the bakers refusal to bake for a sinful event). And, you say on the one hand that folks should not be forced, but then you also say that sometimes the government has to force when necessary in cases like this. That seems contradictory.

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  105. What "intelligence" could be something other than a god or gods? I am sincerely asking. I don't get it.

    A god is something that a human being worships or at the very least prays to or whose influence it tries to invoke.

    If there is an intelligence behind say, the Big Bang, the Laws of Nature, the physical constants that had to be finely tuned even for the formation of stars and galaxies to exist at all, for the formation of the first living cell from which all life has descended, are you trying to say that this intelligence has to be a god that we must worship? They are two totally different things. One is a primitive creation of humans. The other is the source of our being.

    I'm done discussing the KKK signs. It would be STUPID not to print them if it meant having my business shut down or burnt to the ground. But that's just the way I am now that I am an atheist.

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  106. @leila

    My catechism teacher was making the point that lust was bad. If you lust after someone, then you don't want to have a relationship with them let alone marry them. It was his view of Catholic teaching, which is why I brought it up.

    It's perfectly O.K. to call your wife's breasts "grapefruits", at least when you're alone. The various slang terms for breasts (and penises) are almost endless and should be exploited to the full. Your view of martial sex seems to be (despite what you say) too solemn, and too much like walking on a knife-edge to be any fun (you get offended pretty easily -- "grapefruits" is actually pretty tame). But that's just you. I prefer being more down-to-earth.

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  107. @leila

    "In my parish the gay couples who are legally married are providing a much better example of committed and loving couples than the heterosexuals having affairs in the choir, the divorces and living in sin."

    You responded by saying that these couples can't be "legally married", but you didn't deal with Liza's point.

    "By their acts shall ye know them."

    These gay couples act better than a lot of heterosexuals -- in fact, outside the bedroom, they are models of how married people should act. How do you explain that?

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  108. Captcrisis, I know people who are living in adultery (while spouses are still alive) and some who are cohabiting, who "act better" than a lot of heterosexuals. So? That does not touch the issue of whether adultery or fornication are immoral.

    And if "by their acts shall you know them", then by the acts of sodomy, I guess we know them? Since sodomy and homosexual acts are a sin? You see, you don't prove your point using Bible verses against Christian teaching.

    As for what you do with your wife, the "grapefruits" thing was not the first thing you said that I found offensive, if you recall. ;)

    But yes, I think it's juvenile.

    No worries about my sex life. ;) Remember, I've lived both ways: The Planned Parenthood way, and the Catholic way. I am in a position to judge which is better between the two.

    I think your catechism teacher was sadly misguided and in no way reflects Church teaching on the matter.

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  109. Bill- Just to clarify. You said that God created the laws of physics but you dont think God created any laws about morality? You believe in a God of creation but that God does nothing else? Because that sounds like deism.

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  110. Deltaflute,

    I could call myself a deist, but it is easier to say I am an atheist and then explain what atheist beliefs I reject. I actually reject the way atheists use random mutation and natural selection as the answer to just about everything including molecular machines and human consciousness.

    I don't have it all sorted out by any stretch of the imagination.

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  111. Bill- So you are more of an agnostic? My husband is essentially a deist but he doesnt completely reject divine revelation. He's just not completely sure. When people ask I just tell them he's confused which is true. You sound like you're in a similar boat except you reject divine revelation. Is that correct?

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  112. Yes, Deltaflute, I do reject divine revelation. So your husband believes that a supreme intelligence created everything, revealed the scriptures, and now leaves us to our own devices. I don't buy the part about the scriptures. My wife gets knocked out by the Holy Spirit at healing masses. She is totally out for five to ten minutes. I think it is a hypnotic suggestion but I would never tell her that.

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  113. Bill- No. He believes in a creator God but is unsure about God's influence in our lives or about the truth of the scriptures. He neither rejects or accepts other than creator God exists. So he's more of an unsure deist. But he's not agnostic which is unsure about God nor atheist which rejects God. He's a cross between deist and theist. And until he figures it out he remains unsure. You sound more like a deist than he does.

    He derives his morality based on how how he was raised. He was Baptist. You say ends justify means. And I would agree some morality situations work that way but not all. Would you say gay sex is immoral?

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  114. "Every law that has ever been written has been written by a human."

    Erm, no. Here are a few principal ones not authored by any human; until yesterday they used to be carved in stone in courtrooms across a nation under God, before its shocking moral decline began:
    Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.
    Honor thy father and thy mother.
    Thou shalt not kill.
    Thou shalt not steal.
    Keep holy the sabbath.
    Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife.

    And here's one that is still written in the DNA of humans (and even the birds and the bees):
    Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.

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  115. You say ends justify means. And I would agree some morality situations work that way but not all.

    Just a quick clarification. Morally, the ends never justify the means. Both means and end must be moral for an act to be moral. Okay, carry on… ;)

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    Replies
    1. Sorry. That did come out confusing. Sometimes my kids distract me. I meant that some moral situations cooincide with the ends but of course thats not how morality is discerned. Speaking of which my youngest is playing with a statue ....

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  116. These gay couples act better than a lot of heterosexuals -- in fact, outside the bedroom, they are models of how married people should act.

    Oh, my. Not quite what one witnesses at the annual LGBT Mardi Gras, with every manner of depravity, nudity and promiscuity on shameless display. With "pride", in fact. Even animals would refuse to flaunt their genitals in like manner. Until yesterday, if heterosexuals dared behave like that, they'd be arrested under public decency laws. But that was when intellects, not base passions, ruled the West. Heterosexuals looking to homosexuals as models of chastity, marital fidelity and sobriety? Bah, humbug!

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  117. By their acts shall ye know them."

    Erm, it's actually "By their fruits ye shall know them."

    And homosexuality is barren; incapable of producing any fruit whatsoever. Unless AIDS counts.

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  118. Francis,

    Don't kid yourself. The only reason you know the Ten Commandments is because they were written by some human, sometime, somewhere. Don't say that God wrote them on stone tablets. That's just a fable and you know it. There is no written law that was not written by a Homo sapien.

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  119. He derives his morality based on how how he was raised. He was Baptist. You say ends justify means. And I would agree some morality situations work that way but not all. Would you say gay sex is immoral?

    I don't think I have ever said that ends justify means. I do however believe in a utilitarian morality where whether something is right or wrong depends on its effect. I have a gay son in his early 30s who, as far as I know, has never had a partner. If he ever chose to marry, I would support his decision. He is more the kind of gay who has lots of female friends but is not attracted to them sexually. He is quite popular and happy doing what he is doing playing the piano for comedy skits at an improv theater and running a music program for a grammar school, which he is just starting.

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  120. Bill- actually scripture says that God dictated them to Moses. So Moses wrote them on stone tablets. And that's not a fable.

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  121. This war against gay marriage from Christians is so puzzling to me.

    There's no "war against gay marriage", Liza. One can't wage war against something that doesn't, in reality, exist. So called "gay" "marriage" is simply a demonic fabrication, a delusion, a mirage, a surreal sinful hallucination, a diabolic mockery of the real and the good - exploiting the disordered passions of some unfortunate people. The actual war, launched by powers and principalities neither of this earth nor of humankind, is against life, marriage, family and the very foundations of human flourishing. Christians haven't declared war. They (and a host of other sane folks) are defending humankind/the Western world against the deadly offensive launched against it by the powers of hell.

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  122. Bill,

    "Don't kid yourself. The only reason you know the Ten Commandments is because they were written by some human, sometime, somewhere.

    Some exceptional human, you reckon, given that those laws have lasted for so many centuries and have been foundational for most modern laws across the world? Strange the authorities didn't think to attribute the laws to him by inscribing his name along with the laws in stone for our courtrooms. Mighty strange indeed.

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  123. So called "gay" "marriage" is simply a demonic fabrication, a delusion, a mirage, a surreal sinful hallucination, a diabolic mockery of the real and the good - exploiting the disordered passions of some unfortunate people.

    There is someone who knows nothing about gay marriage and should never be placed in a position of authority except perhaps within his own church.

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  124. "There is someone who knows nothing about gay marriage and should never be placed in a position of authority except perhaps within his own church."

    Not some "one", Bill. About 6 billion people actually. The world awaits your treatise on "gay" "marriage" for its enlightenment.

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  125. Don't just count the number of people in the world who are straight. Just count the ones who are bigoted and/or homophobic. It's a much smaller number and getting smaller by the day.

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  126. "bigoted and/or homophobic"

    Yet another erudite comment from Bill. This one parroting the hackneyed old terms disingenuously employed by the purveyors of perversion (offence being the best form of defence...).

    Sigh.

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  127. Marriage is a commitment between two people to love and honor one another for life. Christians further define it as being between one man and one woman. They also believe that when the penis enters the vagina, the man and woman become "one flesh".

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  128. Bill- How does your description differ from mother and child, friends, or those not married but live together (like roommates or lovers)?

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  129. I will second Deltaflute's questions and add these:

    What does the government have to do with it?
    When in the history of the world (not just the "Catholic" world) was marriage not inherently heterosexual?

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  130. The same way marriage between one man and one woman would not be between a brother and a sister, a mother and a son, a father and a daughter. These are just arguments intended to defend the Church's stand. Secular authorities don't play those games.

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  131. Bill, I'm not trying to be funny or trick you when I say I honestly have no idea what that answer meant. Can you rephrase, or directly answer the questions?

    Also:

    Secular authorities don't play those games.

    Secular authorities will annul a civil marriage for non-consummation. What does that say?

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  132. Yes equally confused. What way is marriage different than between siblings? You say that marriage is to love and honor for life. But I love and honor my children for life. We're not married.

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  133. People ask why, if a man can marry a man or a woman can marry a woman, why can't this marry that, with this and that meaning all kinds of things. It's a meaningless question. Gay marriage is way underway and under control. We are not seeing the floodgates opening for all kinds of weird marriages. In fact, the only problems are due to Christian opposition. Other than that, life is moving on.

    What is the problem with annulment for non-consummation?

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  134. "Marriage is a commitment between two people to love and honor one another for life. Christians further define it..."

    I'm committed to loving and honoring my mother for life. Sheesh, I've just realized: according to Professor Bill, I'm married to my mother! And my real name must be Oedipus! :)

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  135. Bill, you are dodging the pointed questions. What is marriage? We fight over it, so what is it? Let's define it. You gave a definition that could mean anything, really. The point about non-consummation invalidating a civil marriage is that it implies that consummation is intrinsic to marriage. Something you had earlier denied, then said that "secular authorities don't play those games". What games? That sexual intercourse and marriage are intrinsically connected?

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  136. As for no floodgates opening, you might want to do more reading on that. All sorts of groups are now queuing up. Polygamists, pedophiles, those who want to marry inanimate objects, zoophiles. Some of the push is coming from academics, as did the whole gay "marriage" movement (imposed from the elites down).

    Please, read #1 below, carefully. I think you will see that the Church's predictions are being vindicated, even by the other side's admission:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2013/07/quick-takes-vindication-and-other-cool.html

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  137. Bill- completely not true. There are polygamous marriages challenging the courts as well as people marrying their car. Id have to dig out a US link on google but this has also been an issue in Canada.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2011/11/23/bc-polygamy-ruling-supreme-court.html

    Canada has legal gay marriage. That was a case of polygamy involving minors in 2011. I picked Canada because I live there so its more convenient to search.

    Not to mention that gay marriage is not under control when businesses are threatened and in the US adoption agencies are being shut down because they refuse to place children with gay couples. Or in Canada a bishop being threatened

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  138. My point is that these people consider themselves married. The state government considers them married. Their children think they are married. Their family thinks they are married. Their friends think they are married. They receive the same benefits as I do with my marriage. If one of them drops dead, they will receive survivor benefits to help them raise the children they adopted from foster care. You can say it isn't a "marriage" but that isn't the reality. That's why I'm so confused.

    I don't know about whether they are in the state of grace before they receive the Eucharist. I have my own sins to deal with before I can start calling out others on theirs.

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  139. I do not see any evidence of a pro-zoophile movement, or a pro-inanimate object movement, and little tolerance of pedophiles since victims started suing the pants off the Catholic Church.

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  140. captcrisis, the movement to lower the age of consent is pretty substantial worldwide (so "progressive"!) and this speaks to the latent movement for the zoophiles, no?

    http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/2009-08-20/news/those-who-practice-bestiality-say-they-re-part-of-the-next-gay-rights-movement/

    http://www.campusreform.org/blog/?ID=4646

    And what of the fact that Slate could publish something like this:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/04/legalize_polygamy_marriage_equality_for_all.html

    Remember, the key to any movement that is distasteful at first is desensitization. Works like a charm:

    http://library.gayhomeland.org/0018/EN/EN_Overhauling_Straight.htm

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  141. Polygamy is a movement. It has roots in LDS and Muslim groups as well as secular groups. Notice the article i linked above talked about polyamorous people. How long before those people want some sort of legal recognition?

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  142. Liza- doesn't matter what it looks like. God instituted marriage from the start. And he says its not a marriage. Children play wedding all the time or family but that doesn't make it real.

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  143. I'll keep trying but I still don't understand. Thank you for trying to help.

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  144. Liza- what part is difficult? Maybe we can pin it down. Is it why God says it or about the emotional part?

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  145. Liza - "I don't know about whether they are in the state of grace before they receive the Eucharist. I have my own sins to deal with before I can start calling out others on theirs."

    We are all poor sinners, yes that is true. However it is different when someone is living in sin (actively practicing homosexuality - homosexual acts). That creates scandal, which does affect others. Plus we should want to protect Our Lord in the Eucharist from being received sacrilegiously. It is the same for politicians who openly support abortion. They should be denied Communion, for the good of their souls and to avoid scandal. Again, we aren't judging souls, but those who are openly living a homosexual lifestyle (which is so clearly against Church teaching) is public, so the redress should also be public.

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  146. Let me just add my two cents worth - I can understand partners of any kind wanting legal protections - particularly if they have no other family. So go ahead with civil unions - don't try to force any priest to perform a nuptial mass when it isn't warranted. Marriage is a sacrament between a man, a woman and God - laws can be passed in this country saying that homosexual unions are "marriages" but deep down there will be an emptiness because it won't be truly blessed because it isn't a marriage - it's just semantics. As has been stated, it can't be consummated, there can be no fruits, and it defies moral laws. That's not homophobia - that's just Truth. (and before you say that no one will ever force a priest to go against his religion - understand that there is already a lawsuit in England trying to do just that)

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  147. Liza,

    In little Amy's bath tub is a plastic duck. It looks like a duck, it paddles like a duck, and (if you push certain foreign objects into various orifices in its body), it even quacks like a duck. Nevertheless its functions don't include many of those of real ducks - for starters it doesn't even have the necessary, productive parts. Should we delude ourselves and insist on convincing little Amy too that it's a real duck?

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  148. "Gay marriage": sodomy's desperate attempt to gain respectability by donning the mask of something else.

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  149. Read this today:

    "People were created to be loved.
    Things were created to be used.
    The reason why the world is in such chaos today is that
    things are being loved
    and people are being used."

    How true this is, considering how our "partners" and even our children are being increasingly objectified to merely satiate our base passions and provide us with aggrandizing adornments. All in the name of "wuv" and "parenting", of course.

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  150. "We are all poor sinners, yes that is true. However it is different when someone is living in sin (actively practicing homosexuality - homosexual acts). That creates scandal, which does affect others. Plus we should want to protect Our Lord in the Eucharist from being received sacrilegiously. It is the same for politicians who openly support abortion. They should be denied Communion, for the good of their souls and to avoid scandal. Again, we aren't judging souls, but those who are openly living a homosexual lifestyle (which is so clearly against Church teaching) is public, so the redress should also be public."

    I don't know that they are having sex just like I don't know if married heterosexual couples are doing things in their bedroom like contraception or sex acts that are against the teachings of the church. Am I supposed to walk up to people at Mass that only have 2 kids and ask if they are contracepting?

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  151. That creates scandal, which does affect others.

    Ehh! WRONG! This is the crux of one of the worst attitudes of this whole gay marriage issue. MYOB.

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  152. I want to be clear that I'm not saying the Church needs to change their teachings or that even I disagree with them. I'm just having trouble applying those teachings to real situations.

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  153. Bill - As the body of Christ (or humanity) it affects all. This post discusses where gay marriage conflicts with religious freedom. We've also shown that it opens up other marriages like polygamy. Leila linked her insightful article about children as commodities. We haven't mentioned the case in MA where parents weren't notified about teaching about gay marriage in public school or the refusal to allow a father the right to withdraw his student from the teaching.

    Blatantly ignoring the gay lifestyle saying its not affecting anyone ( causing scandal) has been proven false repeatedly. If you dont stand up you allow people's rights to be ignored. As Leila pointed out the gay agenda has always been to desensitize.

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  154. Liza- could you give a specific scenario? Its hard for me to understand how its not applicable without an example.

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  155. We have cradle Catholic gay couples in our parish. It is legal for gays to marry in my state. Some are married and raising children. One couple has kids because their brother and his wife died in a car crash and there was no one else to take them because the other siblings were unsuitable for many reasons like drugs and alcohol and not wanting kids. Another gays couple adopted siblings from foster care.

    Right or wrong, this is reality and will be the reality across this country in a few years.

    Is the answer that these people should not be welcome at Mass? Is the answer that we don't want their children to be faithful Catholics?

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  156. I don't know if I'm putting my comments where they are supposed to be. I apologize if I'm not. I don't understand the difference between reply at the bottom of others or what the thread option means.

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  157. You are putting your comments in the right place. I personally believe that gay married couples are better served at Christian churches that welcome and embrace them. Life is difficult enough without having your church on your case for doing something that is perfectly normal and natural to you and to people who don't take religion to extremes.

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  158. What should we take more seriously (or "to extremes") as you say, Bill, than our religion? What is more important than God, the worship he deserves, obeying his rules, and (hopefully)gaining eternal life?

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  159. Liza- Your comments are fine. The thread option allows you to post to reply directly within all the comments.

    The Catholic church welcomes all sinners. However they cant present themselves for communion or other sacraments. In other words if anyone is in a state of mortal sin regardless of what that sin may be they aren't eligible for the sacraments. This is called excommunication. Not to be confused with public excommunication where a bishop or priest excommunicates you. They rarely public excommunicate. They would prefer you do that yourself.

    Children can be raised Catholic or rather baptized. Even the Pope had said that children are different.

    Does that make more sense? Personally I'm not sure why if you intend to live the gay lifestyle you would want to attend. You should be deciding whether you want to stay in the church which means give up the lifestyle or not stay in the church.

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  160. Liza and Bill,

    What is the Church for, in your opinion? And, what does it mean to have the kids of gay couples be "faithful Catholics"? How can that be, if the kids are taught that a grave moral evil is actually a great and positive good, to the point of being elevated to "marriage"?

    What of souls and eternity?

    My parish is full of young families, with loving priests. No one is yelling at the parishioners. But with love, the parishioners are taught the truth from the pulpit, about contraception, abortion, gay "marriage", and all the issues that seem to be popular with the culture at this moment in history and in this place. Priests are to ultimately be about the care of eternal souls and about salvation of those in their charge.

    What else, ultimately, is there?

    And Deltaflute is right: Christians have begun to be persecuted. Watch the trends, read the news, look at recent court decisions. Things are going from bad to worse, rapidly. The Church has recognized it, and we must prepare, too.

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    1. And yes, all are welcome to mass! But from St. Paul onward, we know that being in a state of mortal sin precludes us from receiving the Eucharist. But yes, all Catholics should and actually are obliged to participate in the Holy Sacrifice, even if they are not receiving. And, non-Catholics are welcome to come to mass, always, as well.

      The children of gay couples can of course be catechized and receive their sacraments. But it would be incredibly difficult for them to be faithful, as you mentioned, if their parents do not believe and even act against the very clear teachings of the Church. Children are smart. They get if their parents don't really believe the Church. They will likely not stay Catholic once they hit the teen years. Why would they bother, if even their parents do not take the faith seriously, but pick and choose which teachings to accept?

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  161. What is more important than God, the worship he deserves, obeying his rules, and (hopefully)gaining eternal life?

    As scandalous as this will sound to you, my answer to that is "just about anything else but that". My wife, my kids, my health, my business, etc.

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  162. Bill- I suppose this all comes down to a matter of respect. Do you agree that God had a hand in creating you? And if so does that earn your respect as much as any earthly parent? If not than the point is moot. You can't begin to understand unless you first take a leap of faith.

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  163. "My wife, my kids, my health, my business". Yes Bill, that is the source, the origin of all unbelief. Me, me, me, me. Not You, God, the All Loving, in Whom I trust to will my best, but me. I know best. Original sin. Pride. Don't you see what is happening? Have you not said how miserable you were since you "lost your faith"? Does it not all somehow come together? Have you never had the experience of at first not fully understanding a Church teaching, even difficulty accepting it, but eventually finding that the teaching was right? Bill, you know that the path you are on is not the one leading you to truth. Please listen to God (God, not yourself), when in Mass, or at home, or some well-chosen retreat. It's worth it, for yourself, and you have little to lose.

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  164. I'm sorry that I'm not explaining myself clearly. Maybe we have to wait until gay marriage is legalized across the country and world so you can experience what I see in my state and parish.

    Their children will be with your children at CCD. They will be in school with your children if you don't home school. You'll see them at coffee hour. You'll see them at potluck night. They will be in the choir. They will be there when the rectory needs repainting. These people aren't campaigning on blogs or anywhere else that the Church is wrong. They are just trying to live their lives the best way they know how.

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  165. Liz- It sounds like you want to know how to treat them and their children. Ill refer you to CCC 2358. As for children you treat them with the same dignity and respect. And if the subject comes up you say its immoral in whatever age appropriate way that may mean. Like I have 2 mommies can be answered with. Well really you have a mommy and a daddy because that's how God creates babies. And that's how you can explain it to your own children. If it infuriates their parents than so be it. Sometimes the truth and speaking in charity hurts. But it needs to be said.

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm

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  166. Liza,

    One of our principal duties as Christians is to love others. However, Christian (or Christlike) love is not a mere feeling or emotion. It is an act, a firm resolution, of the mind, to always will the good of others. Naturally this includes doing whatever one can to facilitate the spiritual (and physical) good of others: spiritually by praying for others, sharing the Good News with them, and helping them to lead good (holy) lives. At times it also means participating in Christ's work of redemption by doing whatever we can to save others from the fires of hell. Thus, among the Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy which we, as Christians, are obliged to perform, one is: "Admonish the sinner."

    The term "admonish" is an old word and sounds harsh and intrusive in today's language, but the intent is far from either. It actually means to correct with love someone (anyone – kings, queens and presidents included) who may be heading down the wrong path in life - someone who is at risk of losing their priceless soul. It means truly seeing all people as our own brothers and sisters and loving them as we would love our own blood brothers or sisters. It means being our brother's "keeper". It constitutes real love, true love, holy love, in action.

    We mustn't ever go looking for or conjecturing about the sins of others. In fact, such a practice would be gravely sinful. Heaven knows we have enough sins of our own to worry about! However, if someone is openly sinning or openly admitting that they are living in a state which we/they know to be sinful, we are duty bound to do whatever we reasonably can to point out the consequences to them, to help rescue them from the jaws of death - which is the wage of sin. It's no different to what you'd do for your brother or sister or child if any of them were putting themselves in some form of danger. And sin is the gravest danger of all in our lives. Having said that, if someone has been "admonished" but insists on continuing to live in sin, it's entirely their own decision, made of their own God given free will. Once our Christian duty to "admonish" has been discharged, we aren't required to do any more - save perhaps pray for that person to receive more grace from God to rise from their deadly sinful state.

    Receiving Holy Communion with mortal sin on one's soul is a sacrilegious act - a suicidal one as far as the spiritual life is concerned. You can read up on it here:

    Communion – Dispositions to Receive

    And you can read up on the third Spiritual Act of Mercy here:

    "Admonish the Sinner": The third spiritual work of mercy

    (continued in next comment...)

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  167. Bill, go on wordonfire.org, Written Word, Sermons. At the top you'll find Fr. Barron's homily for next Sunday's Gospel reading. This is about YOU! Enjoy

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  168. Liza,

    (continuing from previous comment...)

    Speaking up against sin in the world, even when it is done with love, to encourage others to stay out of its clutches, is never an easy task, and often brings us only hatred in return. For example, when I write on a blog such as the Bubble - even in general terms - against the sinfulness of perverse sexual acts, someone or other will jump immediately to brand me a "bigot" or a "homophobe". (Scroll a little way up this page for proof).

    But that doesn't matter. If our words or actions can turn even one soul back from the road to eternal death, that soul will become our best friend for eternity. Time and time again after healing someone, Jesus would say, "Go and sin no more." Not one of the people who had received healing and experienced the true love of God ever objected to His words of "admonishment". Indeed, they went away rejoicing - many of them experiencing true joy and inner freedom for the first time in their lives. But you can bet that many of those witnessing the incidents were deeply upset - because the saving words of Jesus reminded them of their own sinfulness and their own need for forgiveness, healing, and amendment of their lives. This is precisely why they eventually banded together and killed Him. And this is precisely why Catholics will always be persecuted. We know our history and our fate as followers of Christ. We get it. We cop the abuse and the hatred. And it doesn't faze us. Our peace in discharge of our God given duties cannot really be taken away. By God's own grace we remain faithful to our call to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

    Of course one should never go looking for trouble. But if trouble comes to us because we're faithful followers of Christ, we don’t flinch or take a frightened backward step. We are the living vessels of God's grace, which, when all is said and done, remains the only hope for the world.


    P.S. In answer to your latest question, all people are welcome at Mass - even sinners (like you and me). As someone once said, the Church is not a museum of saints, it is a hospital precisely for sinners. If a homosexual "couple" are living a celibate life (not indulging in sinful sex acts, even though they are attracted to each other), they aren't living in sin, and may receive Holy Communion as well.

    And regarding your other question regarding comments, Leila asks that we add new comments only via the box at the bottom of the page, and not by hitting the "reply" button below someone else's comment.

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  169. "We mustn't ever go looking for or conjecturing about the sins of others. In fact, such a practice would be gravely sinful. Heaven knows we have enough sins of our own to worry about!"

    None of the gay couples I know have ever said to me that they practice homosexual sex. They have never said they are celibate either. It hasn't come up as I'm uncomfortable talking about sex with people other than my husband.

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  170. http://vox-nova.com/2009/10/06/homosexuals-in-chaste-relationships/

    Why can we not encourage gay catholics to live in community with one another? The fear of being lonely is real. Many gay people who are also religious don't want to be lonely. I believe that is a reason so many leave the church because they are offered only two ways- celibacy or being labeled "mortal sinner." There can be a third way. No, it is not marriage, but chaste companionship.

    Too many of the people commenting here confound gay politics with actual gay people. Not every gay person is dancing on a float at a gay pride parade or having random sex with people at the park. Gay people come in many different forms.

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  171. "Too many of the people commenting here confound gay politics with actual gay people. Not every gay person is dancing on a float at a gay pride parade or having random sex with people at the park. Gay people come in many different forms."

    Yes, this is exactly right. Acting in love with gay people is not equating them with immoral people.

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  172. Liza,

    "None of the gay couples I know have ever said to me that they practice homosexual sex. They have never said they are celibate either."

    That's cool then! There's nothing for anyone to say or do, just because someone has (or appears to have) homosexual tendencies! We all have one sinful tendency or another! We're called to act only when we know for a fact that someone (whether homosexual or straight ) is actually entrapped by (any) grievous sin. The our loving concern for that brother or sister of ours should kick in.

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  173. Approaching bloggers critical mass...

    Liz- I wouldn't fret. If you are personally concerned than a priest/ confessor is best to speak with. Hopefully your parish priest is already councelling them anyway.

    My neighbor from what I gathered was devorced and had a child out of wedlock with her boyfriend. When I met her her boyfriend was jail. Did I evangelize? Only through example. I stayed out of her personal life and made no inquiries about her getting married. We never discussed faith.

    You'll know when to say something if you ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. Otherwise there is no point as Francis put it in guessing the state of someones soul.

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  174. Priscilla- I take it that you haven't read Leilas post about Steve Gosham? http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.ca/2011/07/gay-catholic-and-doing-fine.html

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  175. Liza, agreed. No need to go digging for sins of others when we have our own!

    But if two women were to talk about themselves as each other's "wives" (an impossibility) and if that was said in front of my children, I am duty bound to speak (in charity and love), if not to the women themselves, then to my children, who will no doubt be very, very confused at how there can be a wife and a wife, but no husband. How tragic that kids have to even know about homosexuality (at every turn, it's everywhere now) when they have a right to a latency period. It's kind of like when Bill Clinton was having his affair and all we heard on the news and in conversation was "oral sex". It was a tragedy that parents had to tell little kids even a little bit about that, because we don't want to sexualize our children (I hope we can agree on that). And when there is a culture of "wife and wife" or "two grooms" (again, an impossibility), it affects all of us. That is why our priests and our Church must reiterate at every chance, the real meaning of marriage and why this issue is a non-negotiable (as the popes have said) for Catholics in the public square.

    So, it's not simple, this "new reality". Not simple at all. It affects so much, and so many. And the Church cannot be silent, even as we love individuals (as always).

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  176. Priscilla/Liza,

    Too many of the people commenting here confound gay politics with actual gay people. Not every gay person is dancing on a float at a gay pride parade or having random sex with people at the park. Gay people come in many different forms.

    I assume this relates to a comment I made earlier about behavior at LGBT Mardis Gras. Mea culpa, my fault. I admit I should've worded my comment better. My objection wasn't to homosexuals per se, it was against the disgusting behaviors of *some* homosexuals. In fact I dislike even using the word "gay" to describe anyone, as if people with homosexual tendencies are in some way different from "straight" people who have other sinful tendencies. Do we categorize the latter in line with their specific tendencies? So why only one group? Indeed, "straight" people can act just as immorally as "gay" people can. The point is *all* of us are obliged not to.

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  177. Oh, I've read his blog. Living as a chaste single adult is difficult and sometimes very lonely. He deals with these issues. I bet he'd love to have a chaste partner with whom he could share his life.

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  178. who will no doubt be very, very confused at how there can be a wife and a wife, but no husband.

    Not if you tell your children that they are gay (the women, not your children) and instead of marrying men, they married each other. That's what most people would do.

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