This is the world in which we now live. A celebrity, Elton John, is exploiting a child and the world is applauding. The same people who rejoice in the killing of children in the womb applaud at a child being placed in a situation where he will never know what it is like to have a mother. This is our world, where children are commodities to be destroyed both physically and emotionally to satisfy the whims of adults who believe the world revolves around sex.
I’m a bit fascinated by the discussion on Robert P. George’s Facebook page in the aftermath of his article at Public Discourse on ‘gay rights’ and religious freedom. (I responded to that here.) It’s amazing to me that so many details can be discussed in the course of legal arguments.
I live in something of a “limbo” area, if you will, between government and the Church in regard to marriage. I was married and obtained a civil divorce in accordance with the precepts of the Church and in accordance with the laws of the state. In the eyes of the state, I used to be married and am now “divorced.” There is no divorce in the Catholic Church, though. In the eyes of the Church, I am married (sacramentally) but have obtained a civil divorce which is essentially a piece of paper from the state allowing me to separate legally and permanently from my husband.
There are reasons to believe that my husband and I should never have married to begin with, not the least of which is the fact that I have Bipolar Disorder. I had no diagnosis at the time that I married. If it is true that we should never have married to begin with, we could turn to the Church and ask the Church to consider issuing an annulment. An annulment is a ruling that we were not capable of marrying to begin with and, so, no marriage occurred.
In the Church, we have seven Sacraments. Generally, people consider that Sacraments are conferred by the priests, but this is not always the case. Anyone, technically, can administer the Sacrament of Baptism. In the sacrament of Holy Matrimony, the priest does not administer the Sacrament. Rather, the bride and groom administer the Sacrament to each other. It is through the bride that the groom receives the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, and it is through the groom that the bride receives the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. If either the bride or the groom have an impediment to administering the Sacrament, there is no marriage.
Because I did not have full capacity of mind at the time that I was wed, I was not able to administer the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony to my husband, therefore, we are not “really” married. Of course, this has not been officially ruled on by the Church, to date, but I would expect that it would be the ruling of the Church if the matter were considered.
Meanwhile, these things do not cause me any kind of anguish. They are what they are and I accept the reality of my situation. What I find fascinating is that so many seek to complicate matters by claiming the Church is “unfair” because their ideas of “fairness” are not exactly the same as the Church’s view of what reality is.
So, here I am, deemed by the State to be “divorced,” deemed by the Church (officially) to be married but legally and permanently separated through a civil divorce decree, and most likely in reality never to have been really married to begin with.
I will never understand why people get upset over such things as this, claiming the Church is “unfeeling” for saying so-and-so can’t marry, and for saying so-and-so should not get an annulment, and claiming the Church “allows divorce” because of the annulment process. The rules don’t upset me. They comfort me. Despite my state, which would upset a lot of people, I suppose, it isn’t even something I really think about. These things are what they are. God is King. What everyone else thinks about things is just “extra.”
I have really struggled with this crazy world and how “normal” people think about things, and how upset they get over things that they shouldn’t be upset about, and how they ignore things and do not get upset about things that should upset them. I know now that the way to contentment in my heart is to try not to live in a state of blaming people all the time for stuff that seems so utterly insane to me, things that I can’t possibly ever understand. That is a new thing I have to learn, and I trust that with God’s help, I will learn it in time.
At Public Discourse, via Memeorandum, Robert P. George explains the futility in believing that some “grand bargain” can be made on the issue of “gay rights” versus religious liberty.
In the name of “marriage equality” and “non-discrimination,” liberty—especially religious liberty and the liberty of conscience—and genuine equality are undermined.
The lesson, it seems to me, for those of us who believe that the conjugal conception of marriage is true and good, and who wish to protect the rights of our faithful and of our institutions to honor that belief in carrying out their vocations and missions, is that there is no alternative to winning the battle in the public square over the legal definition of marriage. The “grand bargain” is an illusion we should dismiss from our minds.
It’s a key point, and one that has to be made, that there is no “grand bargain” and that “gay rights” in and of itself will undermine religious liberty. I spent months making this point myself, but it took a great personal trial for me to understand that some points will only: (1) amount to preaching to the choir, or (2) fall on deaf ears. How do we reach people? We reach people by responding with the essential truths of our Faith that will speak to their hearts.
The point that many are missing is that “undermining religious liberty” is precisely the intention undergirding the “gay rights” argument, as well as other arguments presented in our public discourse that are opposed to religious liberty. As Catholics, we know (or, we should know) that Satan intends to attack the Church. All who advance the “gay rights” agenda (and other agendas) have, on some level, bought into Satan’s lies. Though people advancing these agendas may not willfully intend to attack the Church, the ultimate intention is that of Satan, and it is to attack the Church using the weaknesses and errors of human beings. Certainly, some people do willfully intend to use this issue to attack the Church. Unless we respond to this onslaught with the truths of our Faith, instead of merely using legal arguments, the attacks will continue. We must respond with the truth, and we Christians know that the truth is about love or it is not truth at all.
The truth is that same-sex attraction is a mental disorder that should be responded to with the same compassion that any other person with mental disorder receives. The problem is that when we say it is a mental disorder, the reaction is often one of disgust. The disgust is due to the stigma about mental disorder. I know because I HAVE a mental disorder. When I say that same-sex attraction is a mental disorder, I am called a “bigot” even though I myself have a mental disorder. I experience this painful reality ad nauseum.
My greatest cross is not my mental disorder. My greatest cross is in learning patience and mercy as people call me a bigot for saying same-sex attraction is a mental disorder…when I myself have a mental disorder.
Unless we speak the truth in love on this issue, there will be more and more suicides, and more and more people lost to the lies of Satan. We must call this what it is, let the chips fall where they may. Love and truth are the only response to this. All other strategies will fail.
Father Roger Landry writes about some important points regarding President Obama’s policies and views on religious freedom and same-sex marriage. He points out that since the Justice Department characterized defense of traditional marriage as bigotry, and since the president’s public position was that he supported traditional marriage, he was essentially acknowledging himself to be a bigot until he had his “evolution” on the matter. Further, since his administration had been arguing for “gay rights” in foreign countries, in opposition to religious freedom, he could not for long carry on with the claim that he personally supports traditional marriage.
The most disturbing thing of all, though, is that the president characterizes his “evolution” as a theological one. He uses theology to make the case for his agenda.
Most striking of all, however, is that the particular type of evolution the president said he had gone through was above all theological. “I’ve been going through an evolution on this issue,” the president said to Roberts, describing how politically he has gone from supporting civil unions to same-sex marriages. “I was sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people, the word Marriage was something that evokes very powerful traditions, religious beliefs and so forth, but … at a certain point, I’ve just concluded that for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married. … In the end the values that I care most deeply about and [the first lady] cares most deeply about is how we treat other people. … We are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing Himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated. And I think that’s what we try to impart to our kids and that’s what motivates me as president and I figure the most consistent I can be in being true to those precepts, the better I’ll be as a dad and a husband and hopefully the better I’ll be as president.”
The president uses the Bible to attack the freedom of the Church. The insanity of the world in which we live is that Rick Santorum was attacked throughout his candidacy as being a “theocrat” even though he did not make his arguments about these issues by specifically citing the Bible or Catholic teaching. He knew that wouldn’t fly, and he also knew that it wasn’t appropriate. What is appropriate in America, in discussion of law, is the Natural Law — truths all of us are born knowing, cited by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence. On the other hand, the president cites Christianity as being the reasoning for his switch.
This is the insanity of the Left, to attack Rick Santorum as a “theocrat” for standing on Natural Law, while applauding the president for advancing his Bible interpretations on all of us. That’s just insane…but insanity is what you get when your mind has become so corrupted that you reject the truths you were born with (Natural Law) and embrace disorder instead.
Father Landry points out that the president’s interpretation of the Bible that he wishes to force on America is not in keeping with the interpretation of the Catholic Church. The misapplication of the Golden Rule makes the president’s argument “false gold.”
When people are hocking false gold and others are buying it, so many people get hurt. And that’s something none of us would want to be done to us, and that we should never do to others.
In Springfield, Illinois, activists are pushing identity in same-sex attraction disorder to be a legally protected status in that city’s anti-discrimination ordinance.
In August, Springfield’s city council will take action on a proposed change to add gay and gender identity rights into the anti-discrimination ordinance. Already, people are protesting the change.
Members of Reclaiming Missouri for Christ spoke at Monday’s city council meeting, while another group waved signs at the traffic along Chestnut Expressway.
“When I found out what was in the ordinance, I was in shock,” said Mark Kiser, president of Reclaiming Missouri for Christ. “We want to educate the public on what’s really in this thing.”
Currently, race, age, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability are protected groups under the Mayor’s Commission on Human Rights and Community relations. A task force created to diversify the city recommended sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes.
As I noted earlier, if they had not insisted that same-sex attraction disorder is not a mental illness, they would have protection already under disability status, just as I do with my Bipolar Disorder. People with same-sex attraction disorder should not be discriminated against. It IS a disability. To force a government entity to recognize “gay” as an “identity,” however, would make that government entity complicit in things like “gay” teen suicide.
I couldn’t find any videos of Identity Festival that are appropriate to post here. Suffice it to say, it’s rather like Woodstock with electronic music. I’ve been trying to find out why it is called “Identity Festival” now, instead of Electric Daisy Carnival, but no reasoning has been given.
Methinks reasoning isn’t exactly among their top priorities.
As the Catholic Church is dealing with issues involving Catholic identity, so too are protestant communions dealing with identity. Columbus Baptist Association has expelled an American Baptist church in Ohio.
A past issue of the church newsletter indicated that members of the congregation knew it might result in separation from the association and region when they voted Oct. 30, 2011, to join the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, an organization of about 75 mostly American Baptist churches that extend full membership to persons regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Considering that they voted to join an association that believes homosexual acts are not sin, it makes sense that they would be expelled from the Columbus Baptist Association.