Rage against the dustbunnies

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These are difficult times for those who support the suddenly outdated tenets of ethics, morality or natural law.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.

equal sign_done my part

Internet slacktivism

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

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7 thoughts on “Rage against the dustbunnies

  1. Please don’t stop blogging!!! I just discovered you, but I already need you. While there are many excellent Catholic blogs out there, yours is special. You capture a bit of the angst with beautiful, poignant insight. This particular post leaves me with both a sadness (for the world we live in) and an encouragement (for the spiritual realm that is bigger than us all.)

    Like

    • Thank you Faith. I don’t intend to quit. I just continue to struggle to find my voice or niche. I’m exploring a few other ways to go about it but one thing’s for sure: I don’t intend to stop. Thanks so much for your kind words and for reading me. It means a lot!

      Like

  2. I read above that you’re a husband and father. I’d imagine those things are important to you. The next time you think about Religious opposition to Gay Marriage, consider that for a very long time that they have made it impossible for other men to be in those 2 aforementioned roles that are obviously of great import to you. How hard would you fight for the right to be married to your wife? How hard would you fight for the right to adopt or have your child? Unless you believe that a homosexual is somehow innately flawed or less humane than you, you must understand that they want for the same things that came to you without contention. Imagine what your life would be like, how void, if you lived in a Theocratic nation that was not a Christian one, and they disallowed you from your lifestyle “choice” – that being to practice Catholicism, marry your own kind, and raise a child in a household with your chosen beliefs.

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    • Thank you for your comment and I apologize for the delayed response. I am a husband and a father as you point out. In that part of your comment you were correct. However, where have you read anything written or said by me in which I object to gay marriage on religious grounds? After that assertion you present a series of hypothetical questions and then attempt to bait me into saying that homosexuals are “somehow flawed or less humane” than I am. Using your style of argument I can assume that you’re in favor of burning churches and threatening people of faith believe in “Jeebus Crispy”, but I reject that style of argument and false assertions. Here’s an idea: instead of trying to neatly cast me into a stereotypical role so that you may quickly dismiss anything I say and justify your prejudices, you try to communicate in a more honest manner instead.

      I do not object to SSM solely on religious grounds as you say. I object to the dishonest attempts to remake the world in your own image in order to destroy a foundation of civilization. In 2013, there is no ban on homosexual civil rights. In all fifty states homosexual citizens stand equally before the law and their civil rights are unequivocally protected. LBGTs can live alone or together, vote, run for elected office, open any bank account, live anywhere they choose, buy property, eat in any restaurant, attend any play, enjoy picnics in any park, choose to start their own or join a religious community that blesses their relationship(s), choose any workplace, write any binding contract, seek any physician, attend any hospital, visit a domestic partner in any hospital, buy any car, travel freely, gather freely, protest any cause, start any business, join the military, buy health insurance from any one of 7,400 insurers that offer domestic spousal benefits, contract to designate legal inheritances, write any legally binding will, and make legal end-of-life contracts. Contrary to published, widespread misinformation, the IRS recognizes community property. It is not possible, however, for a homosexual citizen to extend citizenship to an illegal, same sex partner — but that illegal partner can obtain citizenship through established, lawful means. There are no inequalities for LBGTs in government benefits or rights. Marriage grants no advantage that legal domestic partnerships, legal reciprocal beneficiaries, or legal same sex unions do not provide. Hence the repetitive mantra that equates homosexual choices with Jim Crow “separate but equal” atrocities is not valid. (comment edited 4/19/13 to add correct source for the above paragraph)

      I object to the dishonest attempts at destroying a word in the name of obtaining something already attainable in this nation. The “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage” manifesto written in 2006 states that legal equivalence (marriage) will not satisfy most LGBTs and gay marriage is not the end goal — “it is a way station on the path to a post-marriage society.” The end goal, according to “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage” is not to have the same recognition, rights, and benefits as heterosexual married couples, it is to legalize a radical redefinition of marriage that includes unlimited diversity of families until the very idea of traditional marriage itself is “stripped of meaning.” (http://www.beyondmarriage.org/full_statement.html)

      Tell me, please, what is it that is truly wanted by gay marriage proponents if not the redefinition of a word. And be honest instead of setting up straw men. Don’t take away my chance to listen.

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  3. I’m going to have to do a line by line interdiction of your response in order to be thorough. It is beleaguered with false assumptions on your part about my opinions. As well, I would describe the integrity of your facts as leprotic.

    You state:
    “where have you read anything written or said by me in which I object to gay marriage on religious grounds?”

    Answer:
    Your blog.

    You State:
    “I do not object to SSM solely on religious grounds as you say.”
    ….But you do object to them even in part on religious grounds then? Your words — so which is it? All the opposition you have stated is based on conflict between the Biblical view of Marriage and Gay marriage. All of your statements of “redefining” are new definitions in contrast to the original Biblical one. I would consider that religious grounds.

    You state:
    “Using your style of argument I can assume that you’re in favor of burning churches and threatening people of faith believe in “Jeebus Crispy”

    Answer:
    It is not possible to be a Catholic who is against Gay Marriage unless you believe that sex between people of the same sex is a sin.* A sin of homosexuals. To call this act/lifestyle/choice a sin would be synonymous with saying that they are flawed and therefore accountable for enacting this sin. Do you seriously want to tell me that the act of homosexuality is not flaw in the homosexual? ….Or perhaps you also share this flaw. Do tell….

    A sin is an ontological flaw or imperfection, let’s not quibble over minutia…
    Because if you don’t believe that Homosexuality is a sin, yet you still wish to disallow Gay Marriage, then you’ve got some serious accounting for prejudice and bigotry to do.

    *(and don’t bother to dig up people who are 1. Catholic 2. against Gay Marriage 3. but don’t think gay sex is a sin. I don’t find the Chris Christie political approach to this to be ingenuous at all, and I will shoot that down the moment you attempt it). ….More on that gluttonous Catholic later.

    You State:
    “I object to the dishonest attempts to remake the world in your own image in order to destroy a foundation of civilization”

    Answer:
    Wow. Destroy a foundation of civilization? No one wants to stop Heterosexual Christians from marrying each other first of all,…only you are interested in doing that to others. No part of Marriage Equality is to pursue a Federal Ban on Traditional Marriage. That’s your schtick. And whilst I freely admit, as would many others pro-SSM, that marriage and families do provide value and stability and growth to society—the inclusion of an additional form of union toward that same ideal does not take away anything from one man/one woman. That is unless the foundation you speak of is not nearly as sturdy and effective in its segregated form as you would suggest. I think your real fear lies in the insecurity you have about the veracity of your own Religious worldview—that being the necessity of traditional marriage and traditional values to be upheld in order for an ideal society to even exist. I think the light being shed in on this by your own disastrous divorce rate of 50+% must be a frightening indication to you that these arcane notions of control are being evolved out of, and your jig is up. If 50% of the straight married couples truly believed that divorce was a sin and could put them in Hell like a good Catholic does, then 50% of the married couples would not be getting divorced. …It must really eat you up when that many people, of your own kind, are thumbing their nose at you. This, is where the real seat of your protestations lie. That you have lied about Protestants, reform, and evolution at large, since time immemorial. The scent of death is on the Catholic worldview. It is impossible for you to maintain the breadth of lies that you have with consciousness being as connected as it’s about to be. Adieu.

    Furthermore, what is dishonest about two people wishing to have their love recognized by law? Isn’t that what you’re doing when you get married? And the bit about remaking the world in “your own image” is histrionic, baseless and presumptuous, which is I believe something you chastised me for earlier. I am not Gay. And I have never even heard of a Homosexual stating that they are for Marriage Equality because it will alchemize the world into their own Gay image. Such degrading rhetoric is why you encounter the dismissive opinions that you complain about.

    You State:
    “In all fifty states homosexual citizens stand equally before the law and their civil rights are unequivocally protected”

    Answer:
    What an utter load of horse spit.
    http://www.upworthy.com/29-states-can-fire-you-for-being-gay-is-your-state-one-of-them
    http://www.ranker.com/list/8-things-gay-people-can_t-do/cdu827?page=1
    …And that is to say nothing of the additional discrimination that Trans people face. Nor are these two links meant to imply the extent of how Homosexual citizens are unequal under the law. This was that integrity of fact problem I had alluded to before..
    The research you could do to edify your self on this manner is abundant, and would not have been difficult. Your abdication of effort in doing so suggests a viewpoint rife with the very prejudices and bigotry that you chastised me for assuming you had.

    You State:
    A litany of things that Gays can do under Civil Unions that are the same as the Marriage Equality they desire.

    Answer:
    Here is a litany of things that are not the same:
    http://lesbianlife.about.com/od/wedding/f/MarriageBenefit.htm
    http://lesbianlife.about.com/cs/wedding/a/unionvmarriage.htm

    You State:
    “the repetitive mantra that equates homosexual choices with Jim Crow “separate but equal” atrocities is not valid.”

    Answer:
    Yes it is.

    You State:
    “I object to the dishonest attempts at destroying a word in the name of obtaining something already attainable in this nation.”

    Answer:
    As was elucidated to you, an equality in Marriage is not already attainable. And I still have no idea what you mean to imply by calling the attempts ‘dishonest.’ There is no agenda in the pursuit of equality beyond equality. To suggest otherwise is to fraught your argument with a level of irrationality that I think you’d like to think you are above. No one wants to destroy anything. They just want to be included in what you claim that they want to destroy. So can we sit for a minute and see how your assertion doesn’t make sense…

    You State:
    …What are tantamount to out right lies regarding the “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage” statement. This has to be the low point of what you’ve written here, as you purposefully mislead your readers in a way that can’t be construed as anything other than biased and nearly hateful. You actually put into quotations two derisive statements that are not contained anywhere in “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage” statement that you linked to. They were:

    “it is a way station on the path to a post-marriage society.”

    -and-

    “it is to legalize a radical redefinition of marriage that includes unlimited diversity of families until the very idea of traditional marriage itself is “stripped of meaning.” ”

    Neither of the phrases in quotation are found ANYWHERE in the “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage” statement. In fact your first quote is from a FICTIONAL conversation made up by blogger Stanley Kurtz on the right wing blog EPPC. It is NOT a statement quotable to “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage”. It was someone else’s writing meant to express his interpretation of opinions he didn’t agree with. It was never in fact, stated verbatim by anyone. In addiction to that intentionally misleading plagiarism, your entire second paragraph was lifted and uncredited as well:
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/03/lgbts_can_thrive_by_building_courageous_bridges.html

    It is amazing to me that you began your rebuttal with, and I quote: “Here’s an idea: instead of trying to neatly cast me into a stereotypical role so that you may quickly dismiss anything I say and justify your prejudices, you try to communicate in a more honest manner instead.”

    Absolutely shameful.
    …And to think you are to be representing the ideals of an honest Catholic man.
    You have stolen content, intentionally mislead, and outright LIED.
    Congratulations on nullifying your own viewpoint beyond any way I ever could hope to.

    Like

  4. Pingback: Crucifying A Straw Man | HomoSapienAgenda.com

  5. Matthew 22:37-40

    37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

    How can one be opposed to ANY marriage based on love, traditional or LGBT, without violating the second commandment?

    (Raised in the Catholic Church, with passionately Catholic parents (a man and a woman who have been together since high school & married over 30 years), & taught Catholic education, by the way.)

    Liked by 1 person

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