22 November 2008

How should we respond?

I'm very interested to hear what HancAquam readers think about this "call to arms" video. I have a very definite opinion (imagine that!), but I would like to hear from others how they were or were not moved, persuaded, put-off, etc.




As I watched via Youtube supporters of legalized same-sex "marriage" attack supporters of traditional marriage out in California after the passage of Prop 8, I was struck by the raw hatred, violence, and near demonic intolerance of some in the gay community toward supporters of this amendment.

I'm not surprised that they were upset with the success of Prop 8; I am just shocked at how quickly and how completely the more radical elements of the community adopted the violently repressive tactics of street thugs.

I was also surprised and somewhat disappointed when conservative Catholic commentators called for these activists to be arrested for committing "hate crimes" against Christians. Now, this is a strategic question, a question about tactics: do Christians really want to use the rhetoric of "hate crimes" and then urge the state to patrol the speech of our political and spiritual enemies? It seems to me that if we do this, we concede the question of free speech to the forces of leftist politically correct fascism and admit that speech is that sort of thing that needs government regulation.

Please note here I am not talking about behavior--the assaults, the church-invasion,s the destruction of propery, the so-called "prank threats"--all need to be handled according to applicable law. I'm just not sure it is in our best interest as Christian citizens to use the brainless P.C. tactics of the Left against the Left. As satisfying as it is to watch these radical morons destroy what little credibility they had with the larger community, we risk setting a precedent for future persecution if we admit by surrender to the Left that the tactics of the Left are ours as well.

NB. Commenting: on a topic as controversial as the Church and sexual morality the passions get heated and folks write things they shouldn't. I'm going to protect you from your intemperance (yea, me!) by deleting comments that attack persons rather than arguments, that name-call, or appear to me to be "hit and run," that is, swoop in, drop a bomb, and run. And please show some intellectual integrity and avoid embarrassing yourself by dropping the 1980's canard about "you hate gays, so you must be gay." It's just dumb beyond all believing.

32 comments:

  1. I like the video - it's obviously well-produced, and it puts the emphasis on the spiritual battle, which I think is excellent.

    The music is a bit happy - for maximum effect they could have changed that. :)

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  2. Anonymous6:23 AM

    As usual, you're exactly right.
    Except that "watch these radical morons destroy what little credibility they had with the larger community" gives too much credit to the 'larger community' and MSM to see this for what it is.
    timh

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  3. I'd say the music is hopeful. It reminds us that we follow Christ Victorious. The Church has faced greater foes than this. We can prevail again.

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  4. The music is completely ridiculous and is just asking for laughs. Unfortunately that turned a very good video into a mockery.

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  5. I did think it was interesting that those 'Christian groups' the Prop.8-ers were attacking were Mormons (they clumped them there, not me) and Evangelicals--not Catholics. Gee, I wonder why Catholics weren't singled out.

    I'm with you on the hate crimes shtick; I don't think Catholics need to use the weapons of the opposition since those have a nasty habit of turning in your hand at an inopportune moment.

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  6. "Hate crime" is a very sharp sword, that will soon be used against us, like the Human Rights Commissions wield it in Canada. It will be the narrowing, if not the death by judicial interpretation, of the 1st Amendment.

    Don't go there, fellow Christians.

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  7. Daiane10:58 AM

    Fr. Philip is right. It is not in anyone’s best interest to use PC tactics against the Left because the risk for setting a precedent for future persecution is too great. I made reference to this issue on another Catholic blog not too long ago.

    In Canada we had laws against hate speech or hate crimes before same-sex marriage was forced upon us by the courts. We now have the “thought police” who decide what is considered hate speech and who control the kangaroo courts of the Human Rights Commission where the freedom of speech across this country continues to deteriorate. Recently an evangelical Christian charity, Christian Horizons, was fined $23,000 and told to rescind its morality code. Orville Nichols, a marriage commission was fined $2,500 for refusing to officiate at a same-sex wedding and lost his job. Stephen Boissoin was convicted by the HRC Tribunal for hate speech and fined $7,000 and also slapped with a gag order because he disagrees with the radical homosexual agenda. I have lost count of how many complaints have been filed against our Bishop Henry and other Roman Catholic priests who continue to be harassed by the Tribunal.

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  8. Anonymous11:59 AM

    As a professional videographer, I think the piece is ill conceived. But, then, I find your own language offensive. "Enemy" "Moron" and so forth.

    Being in LA, I know plenty of gay people. For the most part, they are living quiet lives and not screaming. Nor are they talking about enemies or calling anyone morons.

    I suggest prayer is the answer but you seem hell bent on offending anyone outside your highly contracted circle of sheep.

    They're winning. Why? Your kind of rhetoric. It sounds like a narrow rube.


    It's a large and glorious world. I suggest respect is in order as never before.

    Now: ready, set: BELLOW.


    Marc Jacob

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  9. Marc...

    I was very careful in my description to distinguish btw the the larger community of gay folks and the radicals who are being morons.

    Since that simple distinction doesn't serve your agenda, you chose to ignore it. Your loss.

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  10. David, exactly. Please note that these courageous crusaders for justice have yet to confront a black Christian church or mosque. Blacks voted overwhelmingly for Prop 8. Muslims were outspoken in their defense of traditional marriage.

    Why is it that these brave culture warriors are only targeting Mormon and suburban Prot churches with their cutting edge made-for-Youtube protests?

    I know the answer but I can't think of a family-friendly way to phrase it just now...

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  11. well, muted, it was okay....and yes, a call to arms is needed......but WHAT is the best way to get people to actually pray and write?

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  12. I really like the message, especially:

    "Be not afraid."

    "We are all called to be Saints and follow in the footsteps of the Lord and proclaim the truth!"

    "Pray for our pope and priests"

    and

    "The time for complacency is over."

    Very important messages all.

    I do hope they replace the soundtrack. The music is very dated and sort of cheesy. I knew it had to be from some 1970s movie or TV soundtrack, even before I read Fr. Z's mention that it is from "Rocky." It's
    fine for "Rocky." Not fine for a video about the spiritual warfare we face today as Catholics.

    Now, Father, do give us your opinion! :)

    Heather

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  13. The video's message and accompanying phrases are on-target.

    I submit, though, that the main 'enemies' in this spiritual battle are not those who are practicing self-degrading lifestyles championed by The Left (nay, they are the ones who are to be pitied and their conversion to the truth is the ultimate goal of this spiritual battle) -- but instead the lukewarm Christians who just don't see what all this fuss over marriage and family and 'pro-life' is about.

    Let us examine our individual and collective consciences, lest God rebuke us as He did Laodiceans (Rev 3:15-16)!

    As for the cheezball pseudo-Rocky 70's click-track (did I hear that peculiarly 70's instrument that makes the crescendo-decrescendo Wak-ak-ak-ak-ak sound?!) -- well, I have no stong opinions about that...

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  14. Anonymous10:55 AM

    This kind of approach won't convince anyone of anything they aren't already holding up as the Truth.

    "Too much talkin' and not enough shootin'" is the way they used to phrase descriptions of Westerns.

    I think Catholics are less likely to lend a hand than Protestants when people are in need, for instance.

    I am a convert and it's taken me a LONG time to understand that all the comfort has to come from the sacraments and not from my fellow parishioners.

    I am gay and they think I will bite them. I live like a monk and do my part to adhere to the Church's teachings. Do I find them welcoming? No.

    Do I even find them to be a kind lot? No.

    It's difficult. And I'm not "flaming"...

    I frankly don't "get it."

    For obvious reasons, I won't sign my name.

    And isn't THAT pathetic. But I've learned, people are not kind when they're "conservative." Just my own empirical evidence.

    Apologies to anyone I've offended.

    Lord knows I've forgiven a TON. People assume anyone gay sleeps around like a dog and lives a degenerate life. Not so.

    At all.

    While I'm thinking about it, the Emmaus House has a "branch" for sexual redemption or something of that nature. That is ludicrous to my way of thinking.

    It has now been proven that "gay" isn't a choice, at least for the most part. It's due to hormones in utero. That's the most recent upshot.

    But, in any case, it's not catching and you won't get it from shaking one's hand at the "kiss of peace."

    I've been left standing with no one willing to say "peace of Christ."

    Nice, huh?

    Btw, I'm a clean, attractive person. Not leprous or any hint of bad hygiene.

    Just kidding. As best I can...

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  15. Anon,

    It's not entirely clear from your post if you are "out" in your parish...

    There is no excuse among Christians for anyone to feel "left out" of parish life. The Church is a hospital where the spiritually weak come to get better. Conservatives can certainly be unwelcoming and unkind. As an orthodox believer, I can tell you that my most estranging moments in the Church have come from diversity-loving, difference-preaching, tolerance-promoting liberals. In fact, most of my religious life has been lived on the defensive against those in the Church who don't much "like my tone," i.e., my tendency to ask embarrassing questions and insist on answers...anyway, conservatives have no corner on being nasty. I have the liberal scars to prove it.

    It has not been "proven" that sexuality is determined hormonally. In fact, the lead scientist for the Genome Project...and I can't think of his name right now...has said, "There is no gay gene." And, even if there were a "gay gene," same-sex attracted Christians would be no less obligated to remain chaste. The biblical prohibition against same-sex sexual activity has nothing to do with the arrested state of the biological sciences when the prohibitions were handed down.

    Anyway! Quite apart from all of that...there is no good Catholic reason why anyone should shun you at the Peace...even if you were unhygienic, hideously ugly, or unfashionably dressed.

    So, I wonder again: are you "out" in your parish?

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  16. "It has now been proven that "gay" isn't a choice, at least for the most part. It's due to hormones in utero. That's the most recent upshot."

    And that is just a copout.

    I'm a recovering alcoholic, alcoholism has been shown to have a strong basis in our genetic background ie, it gets passed on from parent to child. Does that excuse my getting snotslinging drunk? Not quite, some drunks try to use that but it doesn't wash.

    Just because the genetic predisposition is there doesn't mean we have to give in to it. Thats what free will is all about. After over 22 years of continous sobriety I think I know what I'm talking about there.

    So if you're really wanting help with same sex attraction I'd suggest going to the program you mentioned. Otherwise you're just treading water, getting more and more bitter until the time comes when you'll justify any actions you wish to take.

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  17. Anonymous5:34 PM

    No, I don't speak to a lot of people at my parish. They're not a particularly friendly lot. They "cluster."

    I tell you: the recent information is hormones in utero. But you can tell my all about being gay. You all know more about it than I do.

    Geeeez. Why did I BOTHER?

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  18. Anon,

    God's grace be with you in your struggle; it is really no different than the struggle of any other unmarried person striving to live chastely. I happen to be 'genetically determined' to have heterosexual attractions -- that doesn't excuse me one bit from living according to Our Lord's commandments, either.

    You are right to rely on the sacraments, and do not be troubled about your fellow parishioners' reaction (or lack thereof) to you on a personal level [here, I would echo Fr. Philip's question of whether or not you are 'out' to your parish -- not that you need to be 'out' at all, but if you weren't, then I suspect you are projecting your own insecurities onto your pew neighbors, who probably don't know you from Adam].

    We live in an unchaste world; I know many gay people myself, few of them living chastely -- and I know many heterosexuals, most of whom are not living chastely, either. These heterosexuals have been the trailblazers of today's rampant sexual license in its varied forms (fornication, serial divorce and adultery, sodomy, bigamy, etc. – they are all of the same fabric); this fact coupled with the now common notion of marriage (and by extension, children) as a right, instead of a privilege proper only to certain members of society so disposed, has spawned the perceived injustices which fuel ugly scenes like that of the Prop 8 imbroglio in California.

    Today it is de rigueur for an individual to define his essence -- his very existence -- solely by his primary inclination, instead of in terms of his being created in the image and likeness of God -- a truth that, if one truly knew and integrated it into his core, would set him free from the attractions of the world -- whether they be to women, men, drink, drugs, food, or anything else -- to the exclusion of God and His commandments.

    In Pace Christi

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  19. Ma Tucker7:36 PM

    Fr. we had an old man at Mass we used to nickname choker as in choke. He used to cough up his lungs at every Mass, complete with gurgling phlem sounds etc. Nobody came within hand shaking distance. As regards Anon, maybe your just boring or paranoid or have a sour looking puss on you. Why do you assume its because you're gay? Hell what does that mean anyway you are not your inclination so why not drop the false id of being gaaaaay.

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  20. Anon,

    You bother because from your initial comments it seems you love Our Lord in the Church and her sacraments despite any real or perceived lack of charity from her very human members.

    Do not give up the struggle due to lack of human consolation, which will always ultimately disappoint:
    It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man (Ps 118:8).

    I understand you want answers as to your origins and why you are the way you are -- everyone seeks this to some degree -- but ultimately, whether our individual crosses are inscribed in a genetic defect or a product of our environment, in or ex utero, the truths remain the same: you are made in the image and likeness of God and you are made to love, serve, and know Him in order to be with Him in eternity. All the other details of our human existence are mere accidents (in the Thomistic sense).

    Cling to the words of Our Lord -- whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me (Matt 10:38).

    As Archbishop Sheen would say, God love you, Anon!

    PS. Fr. Philip -- Francis Collins was the lead investigator for the Human Genome Project. I highly recommend his book, The Language of God, if you haven't read it yet.

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  21. Wow... I have a possibly naive question. Is it the use of the word "marriage", or is it the whole idea of two committed people in a same-sex relationship that is making some folks hate mongers?

    I am really asking the question with true curiousity.

    By no means am I scholar, nor theologian, but God calls us to love one another, and treat others as ask to be treated. Too simplistic? Perhaps, but when you bring it all down to the base, we are all God's children and created in His image.

    So there I am... I suppose that it all feels like a war and that we should be against everyone... it doesn't to me though.

    I will be praying for those who struggle with this topic, we all need the guidance and tolerance to be good Christians.

    Cheers,
    Holly

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  22. Cheers Holly,

    the answer is that both the "marriage" and the physical part are both serious problems.

    Marriage is a misnomer bc there can be no sacramental "same sex marriage".
    The physical portion bc it is plainly sin.


    We all struggle with sin on some level.
    but we should never hesitate to call a sin just what it is.
    To do otherwise itself is sinful.

    I think the old saying, hate the sin, love the sinner is appropriate.

    As far as loving the sinner, some are easier to love than others but all are deserving of our love.

    Pray for me and I will pray for you.
    Peace be with you and yours,
    Ernie

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  23. Anonymous1:29 AM

    Everyone deserves a crack at sexual and affective happiness. When I see celibates denouncing ordinary people in this way, I can only wonder how happy they are with their own sacrifice of sexual fulfillment...

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  24. Anonymous1:39 AM

    "And, even if there were a "gay gene," same-sex attracted Christians would be no less obligated to remain chaste. The biblical prohibition against same-sex sexual activity has nothing to do with the arrested state of the biological sciences when the prohibitions were handed down."

    Amazing that clerics so glibly prescribe absolute continence for gays. Shows their own lack of experience in my view.

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  25. "Amazing that clerics so glibly prescribe absolute continence for gays. Shows their own lack of experience in my view."

    Amazing that anonymous posters in comboxs so glibly attribute evil motive to clerics that they know nothing about. Shows lack of charity and deep bigotry in my view.

    I didn't take a vow of celibacy 'til I was 36 years old. Do the math.

    Fr. Philip, OP

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  26. WOW...the combox is loaded with ignorance and presumption today...

    "When I see celibates denouncing ordinary people in this way, I can only wonder how happy they are with their own sacrifice of sexual fulfillment..."

    1. I'm the only celibate commenting on this thread and you haven't seen me denounce squat.

    2. Um, I'm an ordinary person. But thanks for trying...

    3. I'm quite happy...a whole lot happier than I was when I wasn't celibate.

    4. And why does being celibate mean a sacrifice of sexual fulfillment? You are assuming that I wasn't born with the gift celibacy and that my non-celibate days were a violation of my true nature.

    I think you are hateful and celibatophobic. Such a small, narrow little mind you have...

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  27. slam dunk Fr Philip......remind me NOT to tick you off anytime soon okay??

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  28. templariidvm12:13 PM

    Aren't most crimes essentially hate crimes? The language is unnecessary. Stick with the facts - assault is assault, destruction of property is destruction of property, etc. We MUST not ask for special privileges, just for those that are guaranteed by our Constitution. Pigs are not more equal - look to Canada to see the road that "hate crime" mantra can lead.

    My 2 cents.

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  29. termplariidvm12:18 PM

    Regarding celibacy - I was for many years! I was actually quite happy with it. Then I met my wife and we married, so that ended. Nonetheless, it is a decision and a commitment. All are not up to the challenge of such a commitment, though few will try. Chastity is HIGHLY underrated!

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  30. Anon (the one struggling with SSA, as I assume there is more than one anon. here),


    FWIW, here are my two cents: While I can't be sure, I think there's a strong possibility that you might be projecting some of your fears and insecurities onto the antisocial people at your Church.

    I say this because from where I sit, you seem to do a lot of labeling in your posts:

    "And isn't THAT pathetic. But I've learned, people are not kind when they're "conservative."

    and

    "No, I don't speak to a lot of people at my parish. They're not a particularly friendly lot. They "cluster.""


    Speaking as (I hope) a garden variety Catholic, I think I'd probably be guilty of what you'd attribute as a "snub", but truth be told, it's not because I (or those like me) don't like you or have anything against you, it's that a) some of us are shy and tend to cluster around the few people we know, b) we're so involved with the Mass that we're really not thinking about who we're sitting next to and c) in my personal case, we always look intimidating.

    I kid you not, people always tell me that I'm a scary looking dude who seems ready to strike someone down in judgment... So I completely understand if someone would interpret a glance from me as a look of condemnation, but coming from the other side, I assure you that looks and actions can be deceiving. People similar to me are really happy people who'd be a bit scared to talk at first (Gah! Another person is talking to me! Red Alert!), but we would probably befriend you easily after we got over our own issues.

    Anyway, I dunno if I'm necessarily representative, but take it from one self-acknowledged cold stare-giver: We mean no harm or judgment. It's just the way we are... Perhaps you could try to introduce yourself after Mass or participate at Parish events?

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  31. Holly4:12 PM

    Dear Ernie,

    Thank you for your kind reply.

    "I think the old saying, hate the sin, love the sinner is appropriate."

    Yes, I quite like this, and honestly had forgotten. My granny used to say something similar to this.

    "As far as loving the sinner, some are easier to love than others but all are deserving of our love."

    Too true, too true. Thank you for reminding me... and us I suppose for those who actually took the time to read your reply.

    "Pray for me and I will pray for you. Peace be with you and yours."

    Thank you, and the same to you. Blessings!
    Holly

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  32. I am gay and they think I will bite them. I live like a monk and do my part to adhere to the Church's teachings. Do I find them welcoming? No.

    If you "live like a monk" ad do your part to adhere to the Church's teaching, how do they know you are gay?

    Also, what could the folks do to make you feel more welcome? This is a serious question. I would like to make any visitor to our parish feel welcome so they'd want to come back next week. And I don't care what particular sinful proclivities they have (since I have enough of my own).

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