Tag Archives: new york

Same-Sex Marriage: A Novel Notion of Justice

Gay. But happy?

SOURCE: I~ARI Same-Sex Marriage: A Novel Notion of Justice.

By ROBERT R. REILLY

The extent to which people will go to advance their rationalizations for sexual misbehavior grows ever more amusing and ambitious, with consequences, however, that are less jolly. The ultimate level of absurdity has now been reached by the claim that justice requires the legalization of same-sex marriage. Consider the following two protestations.

Celebrating the recent passage of such a law in New York, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen wrote: “I am the brother of a woman in a longtime same-sex relationship… This is a cause whose justness has long been apparent to me. The opponents have no case other than ignorance and misconception and prejudice.”

And when Edwin O’Brien, the Catholic archbishop of Baltimore, attempted to remonstrate with Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, a Catholic, over his sponsorship of a same sex marriage bill, the Governor responded that: “When shortcomings in our laws bring about a result that is unjust, I have a public obligation to try to change that injustice.”

So now it is no longer tolerance, but the demands of justice that seem to require legally equating homosexual marriage with heterosexual marriage, something no other civilization in recorded history has done.

One does not get to make up what things are. If that were the case, then justice could be anything that one said it was.

But before justice can be enlisted on behalf of this cause, we should ask ourselves: what is justice? The classical answer to this question is that justice is giving to things what is their due according to what they are. In other words, to act justly, one must first know what things are. When one knows what something is, one then understands what it is for. The purpose of the thing then determines whether our actions toward it are a use or an abuse. This is where the matter of justice comes in.

One does not get to make up what things are. If that were the case, then justice could be anything that one said it was. That is what tyrants do. This would be arbitrary, and what is arbitrary is by definition tyrannical. It is based upon pure will, unguided by reason. Those who wish to base their freedom upon the supposed purposelessness of things should face the consequences of this view. What seems unmitigated freedom is, in fact, the foundation of tyranny.

Unfortunately, this solipsistic view of reality has reached high places. In the 1992 Planned Parenthood vs. Casey ruling, the Supreme Court opined that, “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” Well, actually not. The universe is already here. It has already been defined for us; otherwise, it would not be in existence. Our choice is not to make up the meaning of the universe, but to discern its meaning and then either conform ourselves to it, or revolt against it. The choice today is revolt. Igor Stravinsky once wrote, “The old original sin was one of knowledge, the new original sin is one of non-acknowledgment.” It is the refusal to acknowledge anything outside the operation of the human will — most especially “the good” toward which the soul is ordered. “The good” is what ultimately informs human justice.

The modern premise, so evident in the campaign for same-sex marriage, is that any pre-existing rational end constitutes a limitation on human freedom. Therefore, “freedom” requires the denial that rational ends inhere in things. Things are tabula rasa, blank slates upon which we can write anything we desire. Things, being purposeless themselves, only have the ends we give them by our will and choice. They serve whatever purpose we wish. This is a very dangerous teaching, especially as it affects the issue of justice.

As mentioned earlier, it is necessary to apprehend things as they are in order to act justly. A simple example suffices. If one does not know the difference between a man and a dog, one may end up treating a man as if he were a dog. This would be acting unjustly. Justice in no way pertains to how we feel about things but rather to what they are. In our anthropomorphic enthusiasm, we may feel that our pet dog is human. However, it would be absurd to pass legislation requiring the dog’s consent to its owner’s rule, because the dog is not human and is incapable of giving its consent. Dogs do not have free will. It is therefore just for men to rule over dogs.

Likewise, no feeling can justify the enslavement of another human being, because a human being has the inalienable right to consent in his or her rule. This, of course, was the problem with slavery. Only the understanding of what a human being is allows one to make this vital distinction between the human and the nonhuman. It is something one knows, or does not (or refuses to acknowledge), with huge consequences. It is precisely the loss of this distinction upon which the practice of abortion is based.

Once we know what something is, we can know what it is for. Its purpose is within it. How does this pertain to the issue of the justice of same-sex marriage? It has to do with the procreative and unitive powers of our sexual organs. What are they for? Today, we seem to know what every other part of our body is for, except our genitals. This is a case of selective epistemological amnesia.

Sex has a natural purpose

In using or treating any part of our body, the critical question is: what are the ends to which the nature of the thing directs it, and is the action outside of, or within those ends? For instance, our lungs are for breathing. Breathing oxygenates our blood through the alveoli. If anyone suggested that our lungs are for imbibing water, they would be set straight in short order and informed that water in the lungs would lead to drowning and death. If they nonetheless insisted that water is good for the lungs and applied this teaching to themselves, they would soon be asphyxiated.

No one has really been tempted to do this. However, people have found a great deal of pleasure in smoking cigarettes. This has been shown to be a misuse of the lungs, because the tars and nicotine from the tobacco smoke cause lung cancer. Therefore, we can say with some confidence that the end or purpose of the lungs is not pleasure from smoking. The purpose of a thing cannot be fulfilled in an action which leads to its destruction. On the basis of this, the government has taken vigorous steps to dissuade people from smoking. Laws have been passed prohibiting young people from buying cigarettes and requiring the labeling of cigarettes as injurious to health.

However, no one today can publicly suggest that our genitals are not made for sodomy or even, without becoming the objects of obloquy, point out the health consequences of this unclean practice. Well before HIV/AIDS arrived on the scene, the life expectancy of practicing homosexuals was substantially below that of the heterosexual male population because of the deleterious health effects of this behavior. What things are have a way of fighting back against those who deny what they are and who act in such a way as if they weren’t.

So what is sex for? The purpose of sex is to make “one flesh.” Two becoming “one flesh” encompasses both the generative and unitive nature of sex. By nature, only men and women are physically capable of becoming “one flesh.” (Otherwise, the pieces don’t fit.) The end of sex is not simply pleasure; otherwise, any kind of sex that produces pleasure would be “natural.” That something occurs, or can occur, does not make it “natural.” Cancer occurs, but one would not say, by that fact, that cancer is therefore natural to, say, the lungs. Why not? Because we know that lungs are for breathing, and that cancer impedes and eventually prevents breathing.

A great deal of human ingenuity has gone into finding other uses for sex that go directly against its unitive and generative nature. Those who misuse its powers perversely are saying, in effect: We will take the pleasure, but not the thing toward which the pleasure is directed: the imago Dei. As Fr. James Schall has written (CRISISSense & Nonsense, March 1995), “Whenever we seek pleasure without it being grounded in what is right in the action in which it exists, we isolate the pleasure, the act, from reality.” Every act of coition presupposes the unitive and the commitment within which it must take place. And when it is not there, it is felt as a betrayal, a lie. It is followed by emptiness. There is something inherently false about sexual acts outside of marriage.

Only marital love can tame erotic passion

However, sex is a very strong passion, and it is difficult for anyone to contain. The only thing that can tame Eros and direct it to an end that can satisfy the sexual passion is love, which leads Eros away from death and, quite literally, toward new life. When a specific person is the object of love, no substitute will do. Love demands exclusivity, and receives it in marriage. The desire for oneness in marital union is also a thirst for fecundity. The wild and complete abandon of the marital act is a joyful affirmation of the possibility of more — in children.

In their souls, what people truly love is goodness. And when they love goodness, it is what they seek to serve. This is true with sex, also. Sex is directed to goodness by love. Love sublimates lust and restores the original innocence of sex. It is no longer self-seeking, self consuming, but self-giving and life-generating. It seeks the unity that is only available in “one flesh.” So it seems spousal love requires becoming “one flesh.”

This is not a matter of “who says,” but of how we are constituted by nature. Anything else is counterfeit. To make the counterfeit official, as in legal same-sex marriage, is to substitute the unreal for the real. If you cannot become “one flesh” with the person whom you love, that is nature’s way of telling you that the character of your love is not spousal, but something else.

Love has its proper expression according to its subject and object – sisterly love, parental love, conjugal love, the love of friendship are each distinct and are expressed accordingly. A child does not love its father with parental love, because the child is not the parent of its father. It may seem silly to state something so obvious, but this is what must be done when reality is being contested. It is just as necessary and obvious to say that two men, or two women, cannot become husband and wife because that relationship requires a person of the other gender. No matter how many times homosexual advocates say it, two flesh of the same kind is not, and cannot become, “one flesh.” Homosexual marriage is not, as some have suggested, “inclusive,” simply making room for another kind of marriage. Its legalization requires the denial of the true nature of marriage. Militant homosexuals are trying to conform reality to themselves, rather than conforming themselves to reality. They will say, no doubt, that their reality is that they are homosexuals. But that is no more persuasive than an alcoholic acknowledging the reality of his condition.

Abnormality and normality

Many who think that homosexuality is a genetic condition believe that this, in and of itself, justifies homosexual marriage. That is why a great deal has been invested in the argument over whether homosexuality is a genetic trait or learned behavior. This issue, however, is immaterial to the morality of homosexual acts. The same kind of argument could be made over alcoholism. There appears to be a missing chromosome – the Y chromosome – that predisposes certain people to alcoholism; others seem to acquire alcoholism through their behavior. In either case, drunkenness is no less evil because of an inherent predisposition to it. Likewise, sodomy.

Of course, it is very hard to live with such predispositions, and profound sympathy and assistance is due to those who suffer from them. The worst disservice that could be done in either case, however, would be to encourage or participate in the celebration of the afflictions, as in “Gay Pride Day.” Why is “Gay Pride Day” any less absurd than an “Alcoholic Pride Day” would be? Both conditions exist as aberrations, as abnormalities in the light of what is normal by nature. To substitute an abnormality for normality destroys the distinction between the two, and closes off the path to recovery.

In moral terms, this would be analogous to substituting a cancerous lung for a healthy lung on the basis that we cannot tell the difference between them. Such a claim would obviously subvert medical care and would represent a huge injustice to cancer patients. Sodomy is the cancer version of coition. Substituting it for spousal intercourse on the basis that there is no difference between them is an act of injustice that will subvert marriage and the soul of the society that accepts it.

This makes richly ironic Richard Cohen’s and Governor O’Malley’s invocation of justice to advance a cause based upon the denial of the nature of marriage. They are, in fact, complicit in perpetrating fraud. “Thinking against nature,” wrote Irenaeus in Against Heresies (180 AD), “you will become foolish. And if you persist you will fall into insanity.” No one can say we were not warned. The path ahead to the asylum is clear, but in this case the asylum will be the entire society.

This article originally appears in MercatorNet.

Bishops — Non-Communion Means No Communion… Now!

In an op-ed Sunday in the New York Daily News, Nicholas DiMarzio, bishop of Brooklyn, called on members of his diocese “not to bestow or accept honors, nor to extend a platform of any kind to any state elected official, in all our parishes and churches for the foreseeable future.”

This we presume extends to Catholic lawmakers who made the shack-nasty marriage of same-sex couples the law of the land in New York.

And what greater bestowal or acceptance of honor can one give or receive than that of the presence of Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar?

The only sound of reason I’ve found today on this subject is the voice of The American Papist, and his father.

The time for using “pastoral reasoning” as an excuse in failing to deny Holy Communion to sinful Catholic politicians has long past. As “fishers of men” you have a responsibility…

Fish, or cut bait.

END OF POST

Full Text: USCCB President Tim Dolan’s “State of the Union” Message to U.S. Congress

SOURCE/WHISPERS IN THE LOGGIA

Dear Member of Congress,

As a new Congress begins, I write to congratulate you and to outline principles and priorities that guide the public policy efforts of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). As President of the Bishops’ Conference, I assure you of our prayers and hopes that this newly elected Congress will advance the common good and defend the life and dignity of all, especially vulnerable and poor persons whose needs are critical in this time of difficult economic and policy choices. We continue to seek ways to work constructively with the Administration and the new Congress and others of good will to pursue policies which respect the dignity of all human life and bring greater justice to our nation and peace to our world.

As bishops, of course we approach public policy not as politicians but as pastors and teachers. Our moral principles have always guided our everyday experience in caring for the hungry and homeless, offering health care and housing, educating children and reaching out to those in need. We lead the largest community of faith in the United States, one that serves every part of our nation and is present in almost every place on earth. From our experience and our tradition, we offer a distinctive, constructive and principled contribution to the national dialogue on how to defend human life and dignity, promote and protect marriage and family life, lift up those who experience economic turmoil and suffering, and promote peace in a world troubled by war and violence.

Most fundamentally, we will work to protect the lives of the most vulnerable and voiceless members of the human family, especiallyunborn children and those who are disabled or terminally ill. We will consistently defend the fundamental right to life from conception to natural death. Opposed to abortion as the direct killing of innocent human life, we will encourage one and all to seek common ground, reducing the number of abortions by providing compassionate and morally sound care for pregnant women and their unborn children. We will oppose legislative and other measures to expand abortion. We will work to retain essential, widely supported policies which show respect for unborn life, protect the conscience rights of health care providers and other Americans, and prevent government funding and promotion of abortion. The Hyde amendment and other provisions which for many years have prevented federal funding of abortion have a proven record of reducing abortions, and should be codified in permanent law. Efforts to force Americans to fund abortions with their tax dollars pose a serious moral challenge, and Congress should act to ensure that health care reform does not become a vehicle for such funding.

In close connection with our defense of all human life and particularly the most vulnerable among us, we stand firm in oursupport for marriage which is and can only be a faithful, exclusive, lifelong union of one man and one woman. There is good reason why the law has always recognized this, and why it should continue to do so. In a manner unlike any other relationship, marriage makes a unique and irreplaceable contribution to the common good of society, especially through the procreation and education of children. Children need, deserve and yearn for a mother and a father. All human societies in every era of history, differing greatly among themselves in many other ways, have understood this simple wisdom. No other kinds of personal relationships can be justly made equivalent or analogous to the commitment of a husband and a wife in marriage, because no other relationship can connect children to the two people who brought them into the world. For this reason, we will continue to vigorously support the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and strongly oppose legislative or executive measures that seek to redefine or erode the meaning of marriage. We suggest Congressional oversight of executive actions that have the effect of undermining DOMA, such as the expansion of spousal benefits to two persons of the same sex, and the weak defense of DOMA in court against constitutional challenge. We will seek to reflect respect for the family in every policy and program, to protect the rights of children, and to uphold the rights and responsibilities of mothers and fathers to care for their children. We will also continue to monitor legislation and federal regulations that protect our children and families from the destructive repercussions of pornography, which degrades human sexuality and marital commitment.

Our nation faces continuing economic challenges with serious human consequences and significant moral dimensions. We will work with the Administration and Congress for budget, tax and entitlement policies that reflect the moral imperative to protect poor and vulnerable people. We advocate a clear priority for poor families and vulnerable workers in the development and implementation of economic recovery measures, including appropriate new investments, finding ways to offer opportunity and strengthening the national safety net. Poor families and low-income and jobless workers have been hurt most of all in the economic crisis. The difficult choices ahead on how to balance needs and resources, and how to proportionately allocate the burdens and sacrifices need to take into account the vulnerability and capacity of all, especially those most affected by poverty, joblessness and economic injustice. We urge the Administration and Congress to seek the common good of our nation and people above partisan politics and the demands of powerful or narrow interests.

With regard to the education of children, we call for a return to the equitable participation of students and teachers in private schools in programs funded through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. When students in private schools are counted in order to determine the total amount of federal education funds a public school district receives, the funds generated by these students should benefit them and their teachers, not be used for programs in which only public school students and personnel can participate. We also continue to support initiatives, such as tax credits and scholarship programs, which provide resources for all parents, especially those of modest means, to choose education which best addresses the needs of their children.

We welcome continuing commitments to empower faith-based groups as effective partners in overcoming poverty and other threats to human dignity. We will continue to work with the Administration and Congress to strengthen these partnerships in ways that do not encourage government to abandon its responsibilities, and do not require religious groups to abandon their identity or mission.

As the Internet continues to grow in its influence and prominence in Americans’ lives, we support legislation and federal regulations that ensure equal access to the Internet for all, including religious and non-profit agencies, as well as those in more sparsely populated or economically distressed areas. True net neutrality is necessary for people to flourish in a democratic society.

The Catholic Bishops of the United States have worked for nearly a century to assure health care for all, insisting that access to health care is a basic human right and a requirement of human dignity. Basic health care for all is a moral imperative, not yet completely achieved. We remain committed to our three moral criteria: 1) Ensure access to quality, affordable, life-giving health care for all; 2) Retain longstanding requirements that federal funds not be used for elective abortions or plans that include them, and effectively protect conscience rights; and 3) Protect the access to health care that immigrants currently have and remove current barriers to access. We will continue to devote our efforts to improving and correcting serious moral problems in the current law, so health care reform can truly be universal and life-affirming.

We will work with the Administration and the new Congress to fix a broken immigration system which harms both immigrants and our entire nation. Comprehensive reform is needed to deal with the economic and human realities of millions of immigrants in our midst. We realize that reform must be based on respect for and implementation of the law and for the legitimate and timely question of national security. Equally, however, it must defend the rights and dignity of all peoples, recognizing that human dignity comes from God and does not depend on where people were born or how they came to our nation. Truly comprehensive immigration reform will include a path to earned citizenship, with attention to the fact that international trade and development policies influence economic opportunities in the countries from which immigrants come. It also must foster family reunification, the bedrock principle upon which our national immigration system has been based for decades. Immigration enforcement policies should honor basic human rights and uphold basic due process protections.

On international affairs, we will work with our leaders to seek responsible transitions to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and promote religious freedom for all, acting against religious repression of our fellow Christians and others. The recent attacks against Christians in Egypt, Iraq and Nigeria and the assassination of a Pakistani governor who opposed blasphemy laws highlight an appalling trend of increased violence aimed at vulnerable minority communities. In all foreign policy deliberations, we urge a greater emphasis on human rights, especially religious freedom, which we view as an essential good so intricately tied to other human rights and to the promotion of peace. We especially urge continued and persistent leadership to bring a just peace to the Holy Land, to promote peaceful change in Sudan, and to rebuild Haiti. We will continue to support essential U.S. investments to overcome global poverty, hunger and disease through increased and reformed international assistance. Continued U.S. leadership in the fight against HIV-AIDS and other diseases in ways that are both effective and morally appropriate have our enthusiastic backing. Recognizing the complexity of climate change, we wish to be a voice for the poor and vulnerable in our country and around the world who will be the most adversely affected by threats to the environment.

This outline of USCCB policies and priorities is not complete. There are many other areas of concern and advocacy for the Church and the USCCB. For a more detailed description of our concerns please see Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship(USCCB 2007), pages 19-30.

Nonetheless, we offer this outline as an agenda for dialogue and action. We hope to offer a constructive and principled contribution to national discussion about the values and policies that will shape our nation’s future. We seek to work together with our nation’s leaders to advance the common good of our society, while disagreeing respectfully and civilly where necessary in order to preserve that common good. I am enclosing a brochure from our Office of Government Relations, directed by Nancy Wisdo, for your future contacts with the Conference.

In closing, I thank you for responding to the noble call of public service and I renew our expression of hope and our offer of cooperation as you begin this new period of service to our nation in these challenging times. We promise our prayers for all of you, and in a special way for your colleague Gabrielle Giffords and all those killed or injured in the horrific attack in Tucson. We hope that the days ahead will be a time of renewal and progress for our nation as we defend human life and dignity, seek greater justice for all God’s children, and bring peace to a suffering world.

With prayerful best wishes, I am

Faithfully and respectfully yours,

Most Reverend Timothy M. Dolan
Archbishop of New York
President, USCCB

END OF POST

The 9.1.1. Mosque: Saying no to a monument on our graveyard…

 

“We were so oblivious to the beauty of the twin towers as we sat with our kids in the park all those years ago. Gabrielle was in the second grade at P.S. 41 on 9/11, and by the time we walked home that day our clear view of the trade towers from Sixth Avenue and 11th Street was gone.” — Debra Weinstein

 

Starting to say ‘no’

By ANDREW C. McCARTHY

A Tectonic shift is in motion: How fitting that its focal point is Ground Zero, the inevitable fault line between Islam and the West.

Only the blink of an eye ago, uttering the unpleasant truth that in terms of doctrine there is no such thing as “moderate Islam” resulted in one’s banishment from what our opinion elites like to call the “mainstream,” by which they mean the narrow-minded, viciously defended circle of their own pieties and fictions.

You could say it, but your skin had better have an extra coat or two of thick: You were in for a fusillade of rage, the likes of which our candor-phobic elites would never dream of unleashing at our Islamist enemies — no matter how clearly those enemies announced their intention to destroy us.

The fusillade still comes, but now its blows only glance. The elites and their mainstream have been exposed as frauds: Being on the wrong side of enough 70-30 issues will do that to you.

It should never have gotten this far. Sponsors of the Ground Zero mosque neither own the property in question nor possess the means to build and operate the palatial Islamic center they envision. The more light that shines on their record of murky real-estate dealings and the dubious circumstances of their limited stake in the Ground Zero property, the more questions arise.

In a more sensible world, those questions would get answered before we plunged into a rancorous public debate. That hasn’t happened, though. In spite of the implacable determination of the mayor (and the attorney general who would be governor) to look the other way, the issue has galvanized the public. What has long bubbled beneath the surface did not need much more heat to boil over.

For the better part of two decades, Americans have been murdered by Islamists and then lectured that they are to blame for what has befallen them. We have been instructed in the need for special sensitivity to the unceasing demands of Islamic culture and falsely accused of intolerance by the people who wrote the book on intolerance.

Americans have sacrificed blood and bottomless treasure for Islamic peoples who despise Americans — and despise us even more as our sacrifices and gestures of self-loathing intensify. Americans have watched as apologists for terrorists and sha ria were made the face of an American Muslim community that we were simultaneously assured was the very picture of pro-American moderation.

Americans have had our fill. We are willing to live many lies. This one, though, strikes too close to home, arousing our heretofore dormant sense of decency. Americans have now heard President Obama’s shtick enough times to know that when he talks about “our values,” he’s really talking about his values, which most of us don’t share. And after 10 years of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’s tired tirades, we’re immune to Feisal Rauf, too.

We look around us and we see our country unrivaled by anything in the history of human tolerance. We see thousands of thriving mosques, permitted to operate freely even though we know for a fact that mosques have been used against us, repeatedly, to urge terrorism, recruit terrorists, raise money for terrorists, store and transfer firearms, and inflame Muslims against America and the West.

As Islamists rage against us, we see Islam celebrated in official Washington. As we reach out for the umpty-umpth time, we find Muslim leaders taking what we offer, but always with complaint and never with reciprocation.

We’re weary, and we don’t really care if that means that Timemagazine, Michael Bloomberg, Katie Couric, Fareed Zakaria and the rest think we’re bad people — they think we’re bad people anyway. So finally we’re asking: Where is this “moderate Islam” you’ve been telling us about?

Why would a self-proclaimed bridge-builder insist on something so patently provocative and divisive? How can we be sure that if imam Rauf builds his monument on our graveyard, it won’t become what other purportedly “moderate” Islamic centers have become: a cauldron of anti-American vitriol?

It turns out that there are no satisfactory answers. When finally pressed on the taxonomy of moderate Islam, the best our elites can do — besides shouting “Islamophobia!” — is debate whether there ever was a “golden age” of Islamic tolerance. They have to confess that the Islamists — whom they’d like us to see as a handful of “extremists” but who are in truth a mass movement — are in the ascendancy.

It is embarrassingly obvious that while some of us have been working to defeat Islamism in our midst, our elites are of the incorrigibly progressive mindset that counsels accommodating them — in the delusion that they will be appeased rather than encouraged to become more aggressive.

That is precisely the mindset that makes an Islamist think: Maybe now is the time for a $100 million mosque at Ground Zero.

“Moderate Islam” is a dream, not a reality. It is a dream with potential — because there are millions of Muslims who are moderate people, and because there are dedicated Muslims working to transform their faith into something that is institutionally moderate.

But they work against great odds. They confront Islamists whose dedication to theocratic principles is deeply and undeniably rooted in Islamic scripture. And they confront American opinion elites who, wittingly or not, serve as the lifeline of the Islamists.

The reformers’ slim chance at prevailing hinges on the American people’s will to say “no” to our self-anointed betters. Ground Zero, once again the site of epic Islamist overreach, may be remembered as the place where we started to say “no.”

Andrew C. McCarthy is a Na tional Review Institute senior fellow. His latest book is “The Grand Jihad.” From nationalreview.com

SOURCE/PIC NYT

END OF POST

Faith and Morals: My Response to the claim of bashing Muslims and Gays

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...
Image via Wikipedia

The following is a reply to a long-time friend on the baited-subject of bashing Muslims and Gays…

Dear Ron- There is no earth-bound moral argument from the left or the right that will suffice; all faith and moral arguments are predicated on attaining the spiritual truth about man, and thus, the will of God for him: his sanctification leading up into eternal life…

On Bashing Moslems: Faith

Before any debate on the subject of Bashing Muslims resumes, you should know the actual Church (Christian) position in its spiritual relationship with the Muslim religion…

As a convert to the Church not born of flesh and blood (that is, not evangelized by men) but of God, such conversion requires obedience and adherence to revealed truth placed within the soul and discovered within the Church; this comes by the Spirit, Who established and maintains the Church in the truth about God and man throughout the ages; that is, upon the foundation of Christ Jesus Who when in the flesh as God on earth said of Himself:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” [John 14]

So it is with the Church on all things pertaining to faith and morals (our subjects) according to the same Spirit of Truth. The Spirit teaches the truth about faith and morals through Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and through the Teaching Magisterium of the Church—The Pope and those Bishops united within him.

 With all that in mind Ron, this from the Catechism (the authoritative teaching) of the Catholic Church:

841 The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”[330]

842 The Church’s bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common origin and end of the human race:  All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the day when the elect are gathered together in the holy city. . .[331]

843 “The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as ‘a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life.’

All this is my position according to the same obedience to the Spirit of God. God is spirit and we must worship in spirit and truth.

As for the Mosque near ground zero in New York, I do not oppose it as a constitutional right and freedom, or on religious grounds, I oppose it because it betrays the victims of 911 and their lost right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; rights which both victims and their surviving families alike were denied by Muslim extremists; Extremists, yes, to be sure Ron, but Muslim nonetheless. And for what little my opinion matters, it’s the wrong place and time for a Mosque. Period.

On Bashing Gays: Morals

The immoral sexual act(s) of homosexuality is an impure act against nature and natures God. Even the non-spiritualized soul recognizes the Natural Law found within our hearts, which tells us the act is wrong. (i.e. morally sinful). Which goes a long way to explaining why most every state and people continues to vote against Gay marriage; and also why homosexual activists must use the U.S. court system or international bodies to override the people’s natural God-given gift of telling right from wrong.

From a Catholic moral standpoint, the Church teaches within the Catechism:

 Chastity and homsexuality

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,140 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”141 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

Homosexuality has indeed taken on a great number of forms throughout the centuries, and Christianity has remained steadfast in warning and declaring the spiritual dangers involved with such behavior [CLICK HERE]. Remember Ron, the object and aim of Christianity is God’s love for all men and the salvation of their souls. It is an act of charity to inform the uninformed or sinful soul that their temporary immoral behavior on earth imperils their eternal happiness in Heaven…

END OF POST

NY billboard from unemployed greets president today — ‘I need a freakin job. Period.’

This sign greeted President Obama in Buffalo today:

From USA Today:

President Obama isn’t getting an altogether friendly welcome in Buffalo today.

Critics have put up a billboard with a New York-type of response to the 9.9 percent unemployment rate: “Dear Mr. President: I need a freakin’ job. Period. Sincerely, inafj.org.”

The INAFJ Project is the creation of Buffalo businessman Jeff Baker, who lost his small business 15 years ago.

“We employed 25 people and it was the most heartbreaking situation I’ve been through in my life,” Baker told CBS News.

(By the way, what does INAFJ stand for? Why, “I Need A Freakin’ Job,” of course.)

A more traditional critique comes via an op-ed in The Buffalo News by local Republican Congressman Chris Lee.

Lee said encouraged Obama to “really listen” to the people of western New York, and said too many presidential policies threaten to choke off economic recovery.

“We also need to recognize that Washington’s spending is linked to our economic health,” Lee wrote. “In just two more years, according to the president’s own estimates, the debt will surpass the size of our entire American economy.”

END OF POST/SOURCE

Reaping the Whirlwind of Abortion

By Bishop Thomas G. Doran

The Observer, the Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Rockford, where it appeared in the August 11th issue.

I want to touch on this matter before we get too close to the November madness. As human beings, as citizens of a “first world country,” as Americans, and as Catholics, most importantly, we have to take count of the circumstances in which we live. We know that the only creatures of God that outlast time are those created having intellect and will. All other things, with the passage of time, break up or break down.

Many of the issues that confront us are serious, and we know by now that the political parties in our country are at loggerheads as to how to solve them. We know, for instance, that adherents of one political party would place us squarely on the road to suicide as a people.

The seven “sacraments” of their secular culture are abortion, buggery, contraception, divorce, euthanasia, feminism of the radical type, and genetic experimentation and mutilation. These things they unabashedly espouse, profess and promote. Their continuance in public office is a clear and present danger to our survival as a nation.

Since the mid-1940s we have been accustomed to look askance at Germans. They were protagonists of the Second World War and so responsible for fifty million deaths. We say, “How awful,” and yet in our country we have, for the most part, allowed the party of death and the court system it has produced to eliminate, since 1973, upwards of forty million of our fellow citizens without allowing them to see the light of day.

They have done their best to make ours a true culture of death. No doubt, we shall soon outstrip the Nazis in doing human beings to death.

I do not think that we should spend a great deal of time in lamentation over the children whose lives have been snuffed out by the barbaric practice of therapeutic abortion. They passed from their lives quickly in this world and have gone into the hands of the Lord of Life and Mercy for all eternity. We must make it clear too, that many who have sought to have practiced on themselves therapeutic abortion are in many instances driven to it by persons heedless of their welfare, or by well- meaning but inept parents or guardians who regard abortion as a solution and not as what it is – an immense problem. There are some, I think few, largely given over to immoral lives who regard abortion as a good, but their number is not great.

What we have to remember is that violence breeds violence. When we tolerate unjust attacks upon the tiniest innocents among us, we habituate ourselves to violence. And so we have allowed these barbaric practices to corrupt our laws, our medical practice, and even our ordinary lives. How accustomed we have become to the immense loss of life in our wars throughout the world! Those who have killed millions under their mother’s hearts cannot be expected to balk at a mere few thousand killed in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Somalia, in Darfur, in Bosnia, in Madrid, in London, in Baghdad, in Beirut, in Washington, in New York. The violence of abortion coarsens the lives of all of us.

Once it was said, “… for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” (Matthew 26:52) So we see the rise in the number of predations among youth, even among the youngest, the rise of domestic violence. We speak of road rage as a common thing. It is true what the theologians have said, that sin darkens the intellect, and weakens the will. Having sown the wind of abortion we now reap the whirlwind. This appears in every quarter of our culture and on every day. And that just from the first of the “sacraments of death” of our secular human culture.

The toleration of sexual perversions among inverts, widespread contraception, easy access to “no fault” divorce, the killing of the elderly, radical feminism, embryonic stem cell research – all of these things defile and debase our human nature and our human destiny. Should we cry out with the prophet “To the mountains, ‘Cover us,’ and to the hills, ‘Fall on us'” (Hosea: 10:8), lest other peoples see and, God forbid, imitate us?

I ran across, in one parish, prayers of the faithful with the intention that “we pray for those who work and demonstrate for the cause of life and the unborn, the aged and the defected, that they may persevere in spite of the ridicule they receive sometimes, even from pastors and priests.” I shudder to think that might be true. We know from the sad experience of recent years that some Catholics (even among priests) are so warped and perverted from their Catholic vocation, that they are capable of enormities. But, they should know that it was no prelate or bishop or pope that said, “Suffer the little children to come to me and do not hinder them” (Matthew 19:14). The Invisible Head of the Church will one day come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire, particularly those who have either by acts of omission or commission, destroyed innocent human life.

It is the duty of every Catholic to support the work of the parish Pro-Life directors and commissions and to work for the extirpation from our society of all those who in any way foster or promote these things. I wholeheartedly endorse the activities of our Pro-Life Office in the sure and certain knowledge that divine justice will not allow those who act against human life to prosper. These unholy sacraments of our secular culture are the seeds of the destruction of our nation.

Think for yourself: what nation that kills its young, perverts marriage, prevents new life, and destroys the family, kills those deemed useless, makes the war of the sexes into a real war, and manipulates the genetic basis of human nature, can long endure?