I’m taking a break from my other blog project in order to post a few more items this week.
These are difficult times for those who support the suddenly outdated tenets of ethics, morality or natural law. Foundations that have existed for thousands of years and responsible for building civilization are swept under the rug like dustbunnies. We, and those tenets, are simply wished to be out of sight and out of mind.
It is not easy to stand firm against the tornadic winds that wish to sweep you under the rug as well. The easier thing to do would be to compromise the Catholic faith for the world much as many Catholic politicians do. Vice-President Biden, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of State John Kerry, Kathleen Sibelius of the HHS Department and pundits such as Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity have all done so. If we’re being completely honest I myself have done so in the past. The list of those who distort the teachings of Catholicism and thus present an image of the faith that is confusing to non-Catholics as well as Catholics is endless. This is not a failure of Catholicism. This is a personal failure on the part of human beings for they (and I) possess human flaws just as we (and I) all do.
But the general population doesn’t see that. They see it as a failure of the faith itself.
In what may be the most beautiful commentary I’ve seen yet from a Catholic layperson point of view Miriam Brower writes:
It was just another typical night out with a good friend. I was in my early twenties and life back then seemed so carefree. We had finished getting something to eat and my friend was about to drop me off at home. While enjoying a great conversation, he turned to me and said in a slow, steady voice: “Miriam, I’m gay.”
My mind reflects back on this night and the conversation that followed as the issue of same-sex “marriage” is once again in the media spotlight. There seems to be a constant stream of lies that fills every article, every news story, discussing same-sex attraction and the teachings of the Catholic Church. Catholics are portrayed as hateful, bigoted people willing to victimize same-sex attracted individuals with our “archaic” doctrines and “homophobic” notions.
Listening to those in the media, you would have no choice but to conclude that the Catholic Church hates people with same-sex attraction–our eighth sacrament.
Miriam goes on to write about her long-time friendship with her friend, as well as the importance of the thing so many pundits, bloggers, social-media participants and combox warriors neglect: the vital importance of a personal relationship. I agree, and my disagreements the past few weeks during this entire issue’s dust-up has not been with personal friends of mine who are gay, but with those bandwagoneers who in order to elevate their own sense of self-importance have gone to war with meme symbolism, burning through friendships or any sort of relationship like Sherman through Atlanta, so that they might appear to be “on the right side of history.” (Don’t even get me started on the stupidity surrounding that particular phrase and its use on either side of the political aisle.)
Indeed, the one thing that has become painfully clear to me in all of this is just how fickle people are, and just how much I must be wary of them. I can recall many occasions in a history class when I would ask the question to myself, my teacher, or fellow students: “How did people allow this (insert historical event) to happen? Didn’t they know? Weren’t they aware? Where was their courage…their moral outrage?”
I am not equating the attempts to redefine marriage with historical atrocities against humanity. But I am finding myself in the uncomfortable position of asking that question again in our modern age. I’m growing ever more uncomfortable with the fact that I am and have been so open in discussing my faith, a faith that is under attack more than ever in America, to the point where I have to be brutally honest and say that I’m beginning to seriously have doubts about friends of mine and what their actions might be in the future when the rubber meets the road. This is not hyperbole. This is historical fact. Today we have a government led by a president whose modus operandi is pitting its own citizens against one another in a most polarizing and dangerous way. And thus you get instances like this one at George Washington University where two homosexual students had their feelings hurt when a Catholic priest Fr. Greg Shaffer was guilty of being well, a Catholic priest. Thus they are determined that he must pay the punishment by being ousted from his position and swept under the rug. Thus they reinforce the growing sentiment that you must not simply tolerate their lifestyle when they throw it in your face but you must celebrate it as well. If you do not then it’s simple: you are an intolerant homophobic hater and you must be erased from any and all public life.
For more on this:
- Click here to view a short video by Fr. Robert Barron on the breakdown of our ability to have a coherent moral discussion. It is must-see viewing by those who support either side of a moral issue.
- Supporters of Fr. Shaffer have created a webpage for those who support him: The Chaplain We Know. Catholics both straight and gay, Protestants, Evangelicals…all are posting testimonials to his positive impact on their lives and are displaying more tolerance than the under a dozen who initiated the campaign against him “in the name of tolerance”.
This is becoming an increasingly dangerous temper tantrum. Tell me again how once marriage is redefined to include SSM that no one will be forcing Catholic or Christian churches to allow a SSM in their church. Twenty years ago the argument for civil unions was “nobody who is gay would ever want to redefine the word marriage to include their relationships. Why would a gay person want to be married? It’s obviously not working for heterosexuals.” Apparently this is a model case of that was then, this is now.
As a result churches and religious people are being demonized, harassed and threatened – with no punishment for the perpetrators. Since the state of Massachusetts legalized gay marriage in 2004 those who publicly disagree with “gay marriage” or the normalcy of homosexuality – or hold events promoting traditional beliefs – are targets of retribution by homosexual activists. Police and public officials show no interest in stopping this. As an example:
In 2012 someone threatened to burn down a Catholic Church in Acushnet which posted the words “Two men are friends, not spouses” on its outdoor sign. The church immediately received a flood of profane phone calls. At least one person threatened to burn down the church. An activist nailed a sign to church’s fence saying, “Spread love not hate.” Activists staged a protest outside of the Sunday Mass to intimidate parishioners with a sign saying, “It is legal for two men or women to be spouses.” Neither the police nor the District Attorney pursued the threats as a hate crime or other offense.
[Click here for more examples from Massachusetts]
Historically there is a phrase used by those who look back on past events of a tragic nature: “That could never happen here.”
But here we are today seemingly determined to rush to the same places we’ve already been. Will we ever learn? Or will we once again mutter those words with shame?
Unless we put away the politics of offense and outrage and employ reason to talk with one another it surely will “happen here.”
In an upcoming post I will touch upon the importance of personal relationships over social media.
Equal sign image source: Digitaltrends.com