Thursday, May 29, 2014

HOW DOES A CATHOLIC MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL PRESERVE ITS CATHOLIC IDENITY AS IT CONCERNS HANDING ON THE FAITH AND MORALS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AS WELL AS TEACHING ABOUT THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS INCLUDING MARRIAGE?

ERICKSON: Mt. de Sales firing about marriage, not sexual orientation

May 28, 2014 
The Sisters of Mercy founded the Academy of the Sacred Heart Jesus in 1871. Five years later, the school changed its name to Mount de Sales Academy. In the 20 years I have lived in Macon, I have met more than one parent who railed on the racism of Macon’s private schools while still sending their own children to Mount de Sales.

The school predates public education in Macon. Some north Macon parents could pat themselves on their backs by claiming that all the north Macon private schools were created in response to segregation and, therefore, racist. Then they could send their kids to Mount de Sales because it was a Catholic school that allowed them an escape from public schools without surrendering their smug superiority.

That all came crashing down on them last week when the school showed its band teacher, Flint Dollar, the door. Dollar intends to marry his partner. Many in our community are stunned at what they see as the breathtaking bigotry of the Catholic Church. They should be stunned at their own ignorance.
I have seen some otherwise very well educated people show just how extremely ignorant they are of the Catholic Church’s teachings on homosexuality.

Most Protestant churches view homosexuality itself as a sin. The Catholic Church does not. Catholic doctrine supposes that one can have same sex attraction, but the physical sexual act is the sin. But that sin, like all others, allows for grace and repentance. Many Catholic educational institutions are much more tolerant of hiring gays than their Protestant counterparts.

Members of the community shocked that Mount de Sales would fire Dollar for being gay are wrong. Despite the spin and sympathetic portrayals, Dollar being gay has zero to do with him being, in effect, fired.

The Catholic Church, unlike most every Protestant Church, believes that marriage is one of seven sacraments of the church. A sacrament is a ceremony, sign and instrument of God’s grace. God created man as male and female and their union together, commanded by God, creates a completed oneness that glorifies God.

Dollar cannot marry another man without instantly corrupting a sacrament of the church -- divorce and adultery may do so too, but not upon initiating participation in the sacrament. Mount de Sales is, in effect, a ministry. One cannot corrupt a sacrament of the church and participate in that ministry. Being gay is fine. Being gay and corrupting a sacrament is not. Had Dollar been heterosexual and abused the Eucharist, the same thing would have happened.

Herein lies the problem this and similar situations create. The Catholic Church tends to be much more tolerant of homosexuality than Protestant denominations. The mischaracterization of Dollar’s firing by many, the demands that the Catholic Church be tolerant of the corruption of its sacrament, and the hysterical rhetoric of those who oppose the church are only going to incentivize both Catholic schools and Protestant schools to be more rigorous and less tolerant in their hiring to begin with.

Many people think the church should have to let its sacraments be corrupted. They preach tolerance without being tolerant of the church. And in the past week, a lot of people have shown themselves to be pretty ignorant of what the church even teaches. A Protestant evangelical school would most likely have never hired Dollar. There are more and more Catholics wondering if it might be safer to go that route, too, just to avoid legal and public relations headaches stemming from so much ignorance about what the church actually believes.

Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor and radio talk show host in Atlanta. 

 

33 comments:

Supertradmum said...

The problem is that a person with tendencies may not be sinning. SSM is a statement of sexual partnership. That is a huge difference.

I know people with same sex attraction difficulties but they do not live the gay lifestyle. And, then I know some who do. Entering into the lifestyle, of gay bars and gay identity is not the same as the chaste lifestyle one needs to pursue.

BTW. as a single woman, I have to be chaste as well and I cannot enter into a civil union as a Catholic. Fornication covers both heterosexual and homosexual sex outside of marriage. But, the BIG difference is that homosexuals cannot be married as that union is the result of a disorder.

A Catholic school should not be hiring a hetero in fornication, either. Not difficult to understand...

Father Pablo said...

Here's a great movie that portrays what the church teaches about homosexuality. The priest behind the making of the movie lived in my hall in the seminary my first year there. It's excellent.

http://vimeo.com/93079367

Anonymous 2 said...

As usual Erick Erickson makes some excellent points and then ruins it by his lack of good judgment and understanding.

First, he invites people to point out his own “smug superiority” when he uses the contemptuous tone in talking about the parents who send their children to Mount de Sales (I am one of those parents).

Second, ironically he speaks of people’s woeful ignorance about Catholicism and then seems unable to make the elementary distinction between a civil union recognized by the sate and the Church sacrament of Holy Matrimony.

How sad!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

A2 the Catholic Church recognizes civil marriages if these are between a man and a woman as a marriage. If both are Christians that marriage is considered a sacrament. the marriage ceremony has little or nothing to do with the sacrament. It is only a Church law that Catholics must be married in the Church, this could be dispensed for good reason and the Church would recognize even common law marriage as long as it is recognized by the state. The Church teaches that the state has no right to redefine marriage as anything but between one man and one woman. There is a huge misunderstanding here about what the Church recognizes and doesn't.

Anonymous 2 said...

Thanks, Father.

I agree that there can be a huge difference between civil unions recognized by the state and marriages recognized by the Church. Just because the state calls something a marriage or a civil union or whatever does not mean the Church will recognize it as a sacramental marriage. Unfortunately, Mr. Erickson seems not to understand this basic point because he says that “Dollar cannot marry another man [under civil law] without instantly corrupting a sacrament of the church.”

Perhaps I am missing something but I do not understand how the Church’s own sacrament of Holy Matrimony can be corrupted by what the state does, unless of course the state tries to tell the Church what to do within its own jurisdiction, which I do not think the state can do, at least not in the United States. So, even if the state uses the term “marriage” the term can mean quite different things in the two contexts. Similarly, just because the state calls something a divorce does not mean it is a divorce in the Catholic Church or that the Church’s sacrament of Holy Matrimony has been corrupted by the state.

Have I understood correctly?

Benjamin Land said...

Choosing not to hire or employ individuals who are married in violation of Church teaching is one thing. As an institution, one could argue that the Church has that right. (One could also argue that this is ostensibly the wrong choice and sends the wrong messages, but I digress.) However claiming that "the state has no right to redefine marriage as anything but between one man and one woman" is entirely against the purported grievance of the Church that the "gay lobby" should not impose its beliefs about marriage onto the church. For clarity: this argument works both ways - the Church should not impose its beliefs on others of differing beliefs. Basically, the state is not a Catholic institution and is not in the slightest sense obligated to conform to Church teachings, regardless of how right and God-given one may claim these teachings to be.

In a historical sense the Church adopted a preexisting concept of marriage and transformed it into a sacrament sometime in the last thousand years (1184 Council of Verona). It's a bit silly to claim a monopoly over all marriage after the fact and then be upset over people continuing just as they always have.

Here I tread very close to this "natural law" argument that I keep seeing referenced. This is a post hoc argument based on the assumption that any union besides that between a man and a woman is inherently wrong, and nothing more. The "natural law" argument will not hold up in nature, where homosexual behavior is readily observed in many animals https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_behavior_in_animals and it will not hold up historically in cultures that predate the Church https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_homosexuality Though it does have a nice ring to claim that your beliefs are a "natural law" it is objectively untrue.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

A2 just 10 years ago a professed homosexual who disagrees with the Church's teaching on chastity and entered a civil union in the most public way and in fact called it marriage contradicting the Church's teaching on what she recognizes as a civil marriage would have been fired and the press would have stayed out of it and at least Catholics would have known what, that the person working in our Catholic institution worked against our mission and was fired for that. He wasn't fired because of discrimination as though he worked in a secular institution that does not have the same mission of the Church. That I have to explain something as obvious as this to Catholics tells me that Catholics have been cooked in the crockpot of the gay lobby that has made the Church look like bigots for upholding God's law in our institution! If that isn't the smoke of Satan then I don't know what is!

Gene said...

The old argument about homosexuality in animals is a red herring. Such behavior in nature generally occurs in adolescent animals or in animals under stress or in conditions not normal to them. Other instances are a small percentage and are considered anomalous by biologists.

Anonymous 2 said...

Father:

Are we talking at cross-purposes? I was simply questioning Erick Erickson’s contention that if someone, even a Catholic, enters a civil union or a marriage or whatever it will be called that the state recognizes as legally valid under the civil law but that the Church does not recognize as a sacramentally valid marriage, that this action ipso facto “corrupts” the Church’s own sacrament of Holy Matrimony. It did not do so in pagan Roman times; I do not see how it does now.

Mr. Erickson does not appear to be suggesting that the “corruption” only occurs when a teacher in a Catholic school does this but when anyone does it.

How does the saying go? – “Render unto Caesar etc.” If Caesar wants to call it a marriage, that is Caesar’s business. The Church does not have to call it a marriage. I read Benjamin to be saying something similar.

Gene said...

The Church needs to reject the State's definition of marriage and combat it because the State will use it as a weapon against the church. Have you not yet figured out that we are at war? We are also losing because the Church seems to be populated with Neville Chamberlains? The State has already raised the black flag and declared "no quarter." We should do the same.

John Nolan said...

Benjamin Land

The term natural law can be used to describe a universal law of nature, but its more usual definition is 'the sense of right and wrong which arises from the constitution of the mind of man, as distinguished from the results of revelation or legislation' (Chambers). Man does not base his moral or ethical principles on his observation of what goes on in the animal kingdom.


a different anonymous said...

A2,

I disagree with Erikson's idea of corruption, but I don't think you have it right either. Isn't the question whether, by employing this person who has publicly embraced a state definition of marriage that violates Catholic doctrine, a Catholic institution is seen to be tacitly ratifying/approving this state definition of marriage? I think that gets to the true heart of the matter.

To state it another way: Can a school affiliated with the Catholic Church employ an openly gay teacher who is publicly engaging in (and thus declaring as a positive good) a behavior that the Church cannot condone without undercutting its own educational mission, a behavior that likely amounts to mortal sin?

I also think that "positive good" point is important. Everyone sins, but isn't there a difference between recognizing that you're sinning on the one hand, and stating on the other that your behavior is not a sin as defined by the Church, but, rather, meritorious--i.e. that the Church is in doctrinal error?

Benjamin Land said...

Gene, in response to, "The old argument about homosexuality in animals is a red herring. Such behavior in nature generally occurs in adolescent animals or in animals under stress or in conditions not normal to them. Other instances are a small percentage and are considered anomalous by biologists." Please research uninformed opinions before you present them as fact. If you would check the wikipedia link that I posted https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_behavior_in_animals there are numerous cited examples of homosexual behavior that explicitly contradict every point you made. It is clear that you did not bother to check my source as the first example listed states "An estimated one-quarter of all black swans pairings are of homosexual males." If you follow the citation this claim is made by a well published Australian biologist who studied Black Swans in the wild. This behavior is not uncommon in bids, as it seems. Further these "small percentages" you refer to are greater than the estimated percentage of homosexual tendencies in the human population. Would you care to revise your statement?

John Nolan, this alternate definition of "natural law" is of course fine, but I would like to note that the "natural law" in question opposes reality while it may agree with your personal opinions on the matter. It is inappropriate to use such an opinion as a blanket justification for discrimination.

John Nolan said...

Gene, Neville Chamberlain did actually declare war on Nazi Germany on 3 September 1939. The USA remained neutral until attacked by Japan in December 1941, and it was Germany that declared war on the United States, not the other way round.

Chamberlain also began rearmament in 1937. It is true that 'appeasement' which had positive connotations at the time has since acquired a pejorative meaning, and no British Prime Minister has since appeared in public carrying an umbrella. But to use his name as an archetype for spineless passivity does him a severe injustice.

Benjamin Land said...

To better understand my personal stance on the matter, allow me to propose a hypothetical. Say, for instance, that at some point in the future the Church chooses to revise its stance on homosexuality and allows these unions to be considered appropriate expressions of the Sacrament of Marriage and not violations of some "nautral law" or against the will of God, whatever the case may be. This sort of policy reversal is not unheard of, in fact there are examples of the Church reversing a teaching that it took a much stronger stance against. Consider the case of heliocentrism vs geocentrism where opponents to the Church's former teaching (geocentrism) were excommunicated for their beliefs and only pardoned hundreds of years later. An in depth discussion can be found here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocentric_model#Historical_positions_of_the_Roman_Catholic_hierarchy

My question to anyone who wishes to respond is this: How would your opinions on homosexuality change if the Church reversed its stance on homosexuality? Would you disagree with the new teaching of the Church and continue in your ways signifying ultimately that your view on homosexuality was not derived purely from Church teaching, but your own personal opinions about the world? Would you align your views with the new teachings of the church and accept your past actions as contradictory to Church teaching and seek forgiveness? Or perhaps, there is some other stance that someone would like to share with me.

What I fail to see, and what signifies the untenability of the typical Catholic stance on homosexuality, is where homosexuality is inherently, objectively, or justifiably wrong. Some of these conditions must be met, in my opinion, before beliefs are acted on. Otherwise we must accept the action of any individual as long as he or she believes they are right, which I hope anyone can see is an entirely unsuitable conclusion to draw.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Benjamin, you are mixing apples and oranges in terms of your perception of what the Church has changed and what it hasn't changed.

the things you say the Church has changed were never a part of the deposit of faith. These were conditioned by what the Church understood as science and how it interpreted the bible, which is in the realm of discipline, not immutable truth. For example celibacy is a discipline but not a dogma. Celibacy for priests can be changed.

However, the teachings of the Church on marriage, either when it is a sacrament between two Catholics or between two unbaptized persons of the opposite sex it is still considered a natural right for the health of the human race and the propagation of new life. Thus marriage is between one man and one woman for begetting children, pure and simple. Sex in marriage is complimentary and between a man and a woman ordered to new life.

Homosexual sex or self-eroticism is not oriented to new life and thus is always considered sinful in some way or another--it is selfish and in the case of same sex marriage narcissistic.

Bottom line, the Church has no authority to change its teachings on marriage or sexuality.

But if the pope could or had the authority to do so, which he does not nor even an ecumenical council, I would accept it.

John Nolan said...

B Land

'John Nolan, this alternate [sic] definition of "natural law" is of course fine, but I would like to note that the "natural law" in question opposes reality while it may agree with your personal opinions on the matter. It is inappropriate to use such an opinion as a blanket justification for discrimination'.

It's difficult to know where to start on the rebuttal of this, but here goes:
1. The natural law I defined is a construct of reason regarding ethics and morals, not a scientific theory based on observation of the natural world. So it cannot 'oppose reality'.
2. I have not evinced any personal opinion and so you are not in a position to infer anything.
3. Whether 'such an opinion' is appropriate or not is therefore irrelevant since there was no opinion in the first place.
4. The 'blanket justification for discrimination' is our ability to reason and to make choices. I am a discriminating person. I would hope that you are.

By the way, the Church cannot 'reverse its stance' regarding homosexual practices since they are explicitly condemned in both the Old and New Testaments.

Anonymous 2 said...

A Different Anonymous:

I think we are still talking at cross purposes. Yes, that is a different question and one I explored at length in an earlier thread (see “No Proselytizing” of May 24). But Mr. Erickson makes sweeping statements in much broader terms when he talks about same sex unions recognized by the state as corrupting the Church’s sacrament of Holy Matrimony. It is those statements I was addressing here.

And we do need to be able to show that our sacrament of Holy Matrimony and the Church’s conception of what is a true marriage are not corrupted by anything the state may do because soon same sex marriages, let alone civil unions, will be the law everywhere. This is a reality that the Church in the United States must confront and address, and of course she will, as I am sure she must already be doing on many other countries where same sex marriage is now the law of the land.

Father McDonald himself has made similar points in several earlier posts between 2010 and 2014, so I am saying nothing surprising here. And if I am being controversial, then so is he. If necessary, I can give you the links or quote the relevant passages.

Desiree said...

Oh goodness. The old "animals are gay too" excuse.

Animals do not reason. Animals are not human. Animals were put here for humans...Not here as our equal. God gave Adam Eve for his equal and companion.

Do people who compare us to animals also think we should lick our butts clean?

Anonymous 2 said...

Sorry, Benjamin, I have to agree with John Nolan, Desiree, and other on this one. Thomistic Natural Law is quite a different animal (pun intended) from other types of natural laws or natural behaviors. Natural law reasoning applied to natural inclinations that are “self-evident goods” (again upon reflection), such as the inclination to procreate, for example, is quite different from concluding that what animals or even people just “naturally do” must necessarily be good. For a now classic treatment of this, see the following book by my old tutor at college:

http://www.amazon.com/Natural-Law-Rights-Clarendon/dp/0199599149


Aristotle made an argument for “natural slavery” in which some people are just “natural” slaves in the natural order – Persians for example, who lived under despotic rulers; not Greeks, of course, who could engage in “self-rule.” There was considerable empirical evidence to support his contentions when he looked around at the world he knew. I am not blaming Aristotle. He was a creature of his times, as are we. But we now know more than he did, and so we now know better.

Desiree: Are you a contortionist? =)




Desiree said...

I am not, but if others are and choose to lick themselves clean then they should be free to do so since animals do it too.

Desiree said...

I was talking to one of my friends about the gay "marriage" thing. She is Baptist. She was trying to complain and say that all churches are going along with it because they recognize what the government does. I had to teach her what happens when a Catholic is actively gay, and tell her the Church doesn't go along with it. Active gays are not supposed to receive communion, so they are not in full communion with the Church while they are being immoral...just as no Catholic is while carelessly continuing any mortal sin. Protestants are more open and do not have the Eucharist, so it's no big deal to hang out in the Bible club meeting as usual.
Our government should have a separate folder for these homosexual unions. They are not marriages and should not be mixed in the same pot. Heterosexual marriages are sacraments.

Ideally, these would all be Catholic marriages. Ideally, we'd all be Catholic, and nuns would teach school.

Well played, Satan, with the Protestant Reformation. Well played.

Benjamin Land said...

There may have been some misunderstanding on my part on the meaning of the "natural" in Natural Law which I sought to refute with evidence that the naturalness of this law (i.e. how well this law agrees with nature) is nonexistent. I see now that I was ignorant of a particular definition (thank you John and Anon2): Natural Law, as defined by Aquinas, "whereby each one knows, and is conscious of, what is good and what is evil." So if my understanding of natural law is now correct, the argument seems entirely circular. (Homosexuality is immoral because it violates natural law -> Homosexuality is immoral because it is immoral.) One cannot assert that a thing is immoral and then use that assertion to justify its immorality. Homosexuality is immoral to you [as an institution] because you [as an institution] believe that it is immoral. As John astutely pointed out, Natural Law is not an observation of the natural world. It is, however, a belief on which people will have differing opinions. The key point here is the existence of an opinion. If one asserts that a thing violates natural law, they are not asserting some global truth but rather, and implicitly, their own [collective] opinion on what they believe is good or evil. In this sense, John, you did evince an opinion, but perhaps not your personal opinion.

However, I believe Father McDonald's statement on “natural right[s] for the health of the human race and the propagation of new life” is falsifiable by my previous statements on the matter.

In short, shame on me as a scientist for trying to derive the justification for an argument from something real and tangible. I would say we are right back to me asking the audience what justification there is for the belief that homosexuality is immoral. Natural Law, as defined, is a non-argument for reasons cited, at least in my book.

On the topic of definitions, when I use the word "discrimination" I do not mean "to tell the difference between two or more things" but rather I mean "to treat a group of people or a person as lesser than oneself and subject to sanctions to restrict their freedom." In this sense, John, I am not a discriminating person.

George said...

If one wants to speak pejoratively of any human action, it would be to characterize it as being or acting like an animal.Unlike lower forms of life such as animals, we are gifted with an intellect,reasoning ability and a conscience. I will not ascribe certain observed animal behaviors which appear homosexual (as some are wont to do) as being such. Animal behavior is governed by instinct and the input and reaction to external stimuli without consideration of rightness or wrongness or moral judgement.Unlike man, an animal cannot be guilty of sin, even though some of the observable behavior thy engage in would be sinful if engaged in by a human being.

Saint Thomas Aquinas
“our sensitive appetite surpasses that of other animals by reason of a certain excellence consisting in its natural aptitude to obey reason.”

A good document to read is
Defending a Higher Law: Why We Must Resist Same-Sex “Marriage” and the Homosexual Movement".

From:

The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property
1358 Jefferson Road
Spring Grove, PA 17362

Gene said...

Ben, let's get right to it. Do you believe the Church should change her teaching on homosexuality and bless same sex marriages, etc? If so, what in the Hell are you doing on this blog?

Desiree said...

Benjamin,

Catholics are not an institution governed by ourselves. We are a group of people who are following Christ and His teachings as closely as possible. Christ had said it is immoral to be an active homosexual. In the Bible, it's in the same verse that condemns beastiality.

If you do not believe in Jesus, there is no point in arguing this with you.

I believe it was Gene who explained it all very well in RCIA why Jesus condemns homosexuality, birth control, and casual divorce. The base reason was love. I wish I could remember it exactly.

Benjamin Land said...

Desiree, I will grant that there may very well be irreconcilable differences in our beliefs, but I am not intending to attempt to change people's beliefs with the statements I make here. Rather, my intent is to put a damper on the overblown claims being made in regards to the Catholic Church's stance on homosexuality. As it is a bit scattered on this blog, I will summarize.

- The Church apparently claims a monopoly on marriage of any form and wishes to prevent those who do not even follow Her belief system from seeking their own happiness. I assert that this is an indefensible position.
- Whether you believe homosexuality is a sin or not, it is a person's prerogative to sin if they so choose. As I understand it, in the Catholic faith (please correct me if I am wrong) this is a God given right.
- The stance that homosexuality is objectively immoral or against nature (as opposed to Natural Law) is indefensible. You are free to believe that it is morally wrong per your belief system just as much as another person is free to believe it is morally agreeable.
- The church is taking a very hypocritical stance by claiming the right to enforce its beliefs in its own institutions but claiming that others do not have the right to enforce their own beliefs in their own institutions.

I will not deprive a Catholic of their beliefs about homosexuality, but I will challenge their authority and attempts at justification for forcing this belief onto others. I will admit, I cannot prove to you that homosexuality is morally right. At some point, as has happened here, this argument boils down to personal or collective convictions that are not testable or provable, and nothing more. That is the nature of a belief.

George said...


In the physical universe constant values exist which provide references for scientists to make comparisons and perform calculations and if these values did not exist what kind of knowable existence would we have? The Universe is constructed such that it follows laws and has an order to it. So it is likewise for the natural and moral laws which come from God, the Creator of all things.
Catholics and other Christians are ridiculed and mocked for believing in things that are out of date or no longer in fashion according to the philosophy of the world. Truth never goes out of fashion, however.
God created the universe which contains absolute values and physical constants. Without these it would be difficult for man to discover anything about reality since everything would always be in a constant state of flux with no unchanging values to rely on as a reference frame. The God Who created the laws which govern the physical universe also created laws which govern the Spiritual Universe.
Like the laws and constants of the physical Universe, there exists spiritual laws whose source is God and these are not subject to opinion , dispute or arbitration. These laws constitute a true reference frame and guide whose purpose is to restrain the behavior of men who, having the gift of free will, can misuse that gift to disobey God's laws.
Unlike the physical laws of the Universe, which man and matter are compelled to obey, God gave us free will with which we can choose to obey or disobey His laws. We are subject to His spiritual laws even though we can choose to disobey them. We are subject to them because of the consequences that will result when we do not obey them. Just as man and all that exist are subject to the laws of motion and gravity and other laws written into the Universe, men and women are subject to God’s laws which are needed to govern their human and spiritual nature.

Desiree said...

Benjamin,

You are not understanding that it is not a group of people saying homosexuality is wrong. It is God...He is our authority. It was said and written long before any of us were alive. Your opinion is yours, even though others share it. You all have nothing to back you up except your feelings and comparing humans to animals.
The Church has followed Christ's teachings for 2000 years. Remember how Ancient Greece did whatever felt good? It didn't last.
Also, I don't think you used the word "deprived" correctly. Can beliefs be taken away? I don't think so. You may not agree, but that's about it.
I get the impression that you are trying to come across well-educated, but you still have some things to learn.

I'm praying for you. You are not going up against people. You are going up against God.

George said...

If one does not believe in a constant unchanging Truth which originates from a Source superior to ourselves then one is at the mercy and whim of the of the effects of whatever philosophy or philosophies predominate. Even if one is not affected in their present situation , if everything just comes down to the relativism of opinion it will progressively lead to adverse consequences for the individual and society as we can observe in what we see happening around us.

We kill our unborn for the sake of convenience. We do experiments on the unborn in the name of “Science”. We seek to euthanize the elderly. We make a mockery of marriage. We create mediocre,ugly, and profane things and call it music and art. We become ensnared by drugs and chained to electronic devices. It is no wonder that a good percentage of the young have become atheist or agnostic.

Millions upon millions of people perished in the last century because of the false allurement which drew many people into the Godless philosophies of Fascism and Communism. Will we never learn?

Technological advancements and the influence of the material world have become a predominant influence in the lives of too many people who do not have the counterbalance of a true religious faith. The faculties of the intellect and will, no longer governed by faith in a higher power, succumb to pride and become disordered in too many people who then can no longer discern the true from the false. One opinion has equal legitimacy to another.
.
Modern man cannot know true freedom if does not obey the precepts given to us by God. By ignoring or discounting traditional values and religious teachings he will end up a slave to his passions, and his selfish desires or to the governing opinions of others who happen to be in power. Things are the way they today in large part because the governing restraint and guidance that comes from a faith in God is lacking in far too many of us today.

Benjamin Land said...

Desiree, I think you are not understanding that the position you are asserting is not provable as it is a matter of faith. It is [your] God who [you believe] is the one true God who [as you have been told by a long line of imperfect humans] stated homosexuality is wrong. I am explicitly and intentionally not arguing against your beliefs because I accept that I cannot prove they are wrong. (Which, I might add, does not prove they are right.) However, the things that you assert as facts I can and will argue against, and that is my intent.

For instance, your claim about Ancient Greece is a type of circular cause and consequence. You are assuming that Ancient Greece fell because it defied the teachings of Catholicism and then use that to justify that defying the beliefs of Catholicism caused Ancient Greece to fall. This does not follow.

But I see this has devolved to semantics and ad hominems. For reference, I am a Physics PhD student at UC Berkeley currently employed by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, not an English major or similarly linguistic person, so if I blundered on word choice (which I'm not convinced I did) I apologize and hope you still captured the meaning of the statement. All I will say further on the matter is thank you for the prayers, and the fact that I do still have a lot to learn does not preclude my being well-educated.

Anonymous 2 said...

Father McDonald:

I have now located John Nolan’s comment about Chamberlain. On May 30 at 11:44 a.m. he responded to Gene on the thread “How Does a Catholic Middle and High School etc.”

Gene had said (at 7:34 a.m. I think in response to me):

“The Church needs to reject the State's definition of marriage and combat it because the State will use it as a weapon against the church. Have you not yet figured out that we are at war? We are also losing because the Church seems to be populated with Neville Chamberlains? The State has already raised the black flag and declared 'no quarter.' We should do the same.”

John replied:

“Gene, Neville Chamberlain did actually declare war on Nazi Germany on 3 September 1939. The USA remained neutral until attacked by Japan in December 1941, and it was Germany that declared war on the United States, not the other way round.

Chamberlain also began rearmament in 1937. It is true that 'appeasement' which had positive connotations at the time has since acquired a pejorative meaning, and no British Prime Minister has since appeared in public carrying an umbrella. But to use his name as an archetype for spineless passivity does him a severe injustice.”

P.S. I carry an umbrella sometimes but have no prospect of becoming Prime Minister. =)


Anonymous 2 said...

Sorry, I just posted the last comment on the wrong thread.