Wednesday, August 15, 2012
TRUTH TELLING THROUGH THE USE OF HYPERBOLE CAN GET YOU INTO TROUBLE WITH THOSE WHO ARE NOW REJECTING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH'S AUTHORITY ON THE TRUTH
The following is my bulletin letter in our Church's bulletin for this past weekend of August 11/12. I got an unsigned rebuttal concerning it. IF it had been signed, I would not be writing about it in this post but would have happily engaged this parishioner in a dialogue privately. However, since it was unsigned, I have no reason not to discuss it publicly as I have no idea who wrote me this letter. This person wrote: "It is disheartening to see a leader of the Church that I belong to and love, espouse such acrid, venomous hatred and resort to name-calling in a religious document." I'll write more about that after you read this:
Well, we just experienced a little bit more of the culture wars that are directly attacking traditional Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. I won’t be chicken about it; I will tell you directly what this culture war is! It is about fascist, liberal, social progressives in our country and throughout the world who are framing the debate on the nature of marriage as a “human rights” issue when, in the name of God and all that is holy, the debate is really about forcing the issue of same sex marriage down the throats of traditional minded people by shifting the debate to a “human rights” issue and thus marginalizing the opponents of same sex marriage as “anti-gay” and “anti-marriage equality.” Thus people like the practicing Southern Baptist CEO, Mr. Dan Cathy of Chick-Fil-A is not even allowed the freedom of speech by these liberal, intolerant fascists to proclaim his belief that marriage is a divine institution, created by God and for one man and one woman and for a lifetime and that natural law and procreation of children are intrinsic to the nature of marriage. Liberal politicians have threatened to ban his business in their communities! Will the Catholic Church be marginalized in such a way and banned next in these communities?
It does not take a giant leap for all practicing, believing Catholics to know that what the liberal, progressive fascists are trying to do to the Southern Baptist, Dan Cathy and his Chick-Fi-A business is exactly what they are trying to do to the Pope, our bishops and what we as practicing, orthodox, believing Catholics believe about the nature of marriage and our total opposition to the progressive “social engineers” in our time who are trying to redefine it for political gain and godless secular politics.
All of this is part and parcel of the current government’s administration to force the Catholic Church in this country to obey a government mandate and law that went into effect on August 1st that all employers provide health insurance that covers artificial contraception, abortion inducing drugs and sterilization under their policies, including the Catholic Church for our Catholic institutions except for those who work directly in our parish church.
President Obama and his Catholic dissident head of the Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius have in their “great” generosity given the Catholic Church an added year to comply or else! The “or else” is that the Catholic Church will have to pay a $100 fine on every employee eligible, every day. The amount of the fine will be astronomical to say the least! This is dictatorial fascism through and through and a presidential intrusion into the revealed faith and morals of the Catholic Church which has not been experienced in this country since the ratification of the U.S. Constitution.
Today, Catholics, unlike any other time in our American history, are called to make our orthodox Catholic faith to hit the pavement and make a difference in this world where godless, fascist government secularism wants to destroy what the Church is called to do. Some will be martyrs for standing up for the Church. Every Catholic, clergy and laity alike, have a greater mandate to put into practice that supersedes President Obama’s mandate and what the social engineers of our time are trying to do to us as practicing, believing Catholics. God bless you.
Fr. Allan J. McDonald
My Comments: Yesterday I received an "unsigned" letter from a concerned parishioner who was "vacillating between outrage and sorrow" over what I wrote in my bulletin letter. This person calls me intolerant, bigoted and hateful! Then this person says, "If you want to be outraged by something, how about the abuse of children by priests? That is a cause most of us would appreciate." Never mind that I've written and spoken about the sex abuse scandal from the pulpit about it many times and in the most outraged manner and laid blame where it belongs, on the poor leadership of our bishops as it was happening in real time and subsequently.
But the point this person makes is that bishops and priests have no right to moral outrage about same sex marriage proponents trying to ban a Christian man's business in their community because he believes what the Catholic Church believes about marriage because bishops and priests have failed in another very extremely important venue. although I hasten to add no one in the hierarchy is saying that those who are outraged by the sex abuse scandal are "anti-pedophile equality!"
This person also uses the typical "bleeding heart manipulation" when they write, "I must challenge some of your hatred toward persons who are gay. These human beings are as deserving of respect and love as everyone else...They do not "choose" this status. They should not however be treated as lepers, In fact, Jesus bathed the lepers in love and kindness. The only intolerance that I see is yours."
This is a political talking point that you will hear left-wing pundants using on MSNBC and other outlets when they go after Christians for not being tolerant of homosexuals because Jesus was. Jesus was never tolerant of sin although he loved sinners and called them to repent and sin no more. Make no mistake about that! Modernists in the Church would gladly change revealed Church teaching on sex, contraception, marriage and other areas all coming from Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and Natural Law in order to appease and accommodate the anti-traditional Catholic, anti-traditional Christian understanding of sexual morality and marriage.
(For the record, I spoke not of "gays" or "gay" bashing in my letter, but "fascists" who would want to ban Chick-fil-A because its CEO believes about marriage what the Catholic Church teaches and believes about marriage, thus you see how liberals are truly the intolerant ones and the means by which they will go to undermine the Church and her teachings on marriage--it is a political ploy and a talking point of the Democrat party today! Make no mistake about that! And finally, Jesus did bath the lepers in love and healed them too. He does the same with the sick and sinner, not just bathing them in an "enabling" love which isn't love at all, but healing them of their sins and calling them to go and sin no more. He bathes all of us in His blood on the Cross too!)
So, we as Christians are intolerant when we call a spade a spade, a liar a liar, and a fascist a fascist. My 93 year old Italian mother lived to see the rise of Hitler in Germany and Mussolini in Italy. Mussolini had a great, charismatic personality and was well liked by Italians because he was so Italian in outward character and he made the trains run on time. But he was a fascist. Fascist try to suppressed the truth and any objections towards them. My mother had to deal head on with them and she and her family only by the grace of God are still alive today because of what they wrought upon Italy, Germany and the world! She saw them face to face and was threatened by them too and could have been killed by them as easily!
Are progressive liberals in the Catholic Church being seduced by the trends of our godless, political secular culture much like the Italians were seduced by Mussolini and the Germans by Hitler? Is this hyperbole or is it the truth? Yes, it is a combination of both and hyperbole is used to make the point in an exaggerated way.
For the record, I don't hate active homosexuals. I don't hate heterosexuals who fornicate or married people who commit adultery. But from the religious point of view we can call them adulterers, fornicators and sodomites. These are Biblical terms that refer to sin and the call to repentance. If the Church isn't allowed to do that by so-called well-meaning Catholics and government officials then maybe we are giving into fascist tendencies that want to sterilize the Church and her message of sin and repentance.
But shall we silence St. Paul in First Corinthians, chapter 6, when he writes, I presume using hyperbole: "9Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."
And Jesus, did he use harsh names for those who opposed him, especially the leaders of the people (who happened to be religious leaders too)? Keep in mind, my "fascist" term was directed toward "government" officials who have become "Pharisaical" in their opposition to Christian truth, to the point of some "progressive" or "modernist" mayors in large cities wanting to ban Chick-fil-A as a business in their communities. Keep in mind that what the CEO of Chick-fil-A pronounced as his belief as it concerns marriage is what the Catholic Church teaches, believes and and proclaims to be revealed by God the same thing that Cathy announces. Will the Catholic Church be banned by these "Fascists" or "Pharisees" in government?
Throughout Matthew 23, we find Him renouncing the Pharisees - using various derogatory names. In using them against these religious leaders, it was not His intent to manifest hatred, resentment, wrath, or malice toward them for opposing His ministry. He simply called them names in order to reveal to them their true character and in hopes that they would "wake up" and repent of their sins.
In Matthew 23:15, He called them - "hypocrites" - simply because they were stage-players in religion. They were show-offs, frauds, and impersonators. They were acting the part of someone who is holy. Under the mask of godliness, they hid their polluted hearts. Their whole life was a lie.
In Matthew 23:15, He referred to them as being a - "child of hell." He mentioned that their converts were "twofold more the child of hell than yourselves." "Child of hell" was a Talmudic phrase - a Hebraism for an excessively wicked person who might very easily claim Hell for his Mother and the devil for his father. It was one who was fitted and destined for Hell.
In Matthew 23:16, He called them - "blind guides." These who professed to be "guides of the blind"(Romans 2:19), He was calling the total opposite - "blind guides." They professed to be leaders but were themselves blind because they closed their eyes to the Truth and became ignorant of divine things.
In Matthew 23:17, He called them - "fools." Didn't He say in Matthew 5:22 that if you call your brother a "fool," then you would be "in danger of hell fire"? Was He contradicting Himself here or breaking His own law in doing so? No, He was not maliciously calling them "fools" in a fit of rage or anger. He referred to them as such to open their eyes to their own stupidity, irrationality, absurdity, and moral delinquency. Their minds were so blinded by their love for money that they weren't thinking "straight" or reasoning rationally.
In Matthew 23:27, He called them - "whited sepulchres." On the fifteenth day of the month Adair - right before the Passover feast - the Jews would whitewash all the spots where the graves of the poor were situated in the fields or along the roadsides. They did this practice in order to beautify these graves or to alert the pilgrims to the areas where the dead lay. On their way to keeping the Feast of Passover, they did not want to be defiled through contact with the dead. Jesus referred to the Pharisees in this manner because - on the outside like the "whited sepulchres" they appeared pure and clean - but on the inside, they were filled with death.
In Matthew 23:28, He told them that they were - "full of...iniquity." This came as a great insult to these pretenders of holiness and righteousness.
In Matthew 23:33, He called them - "serpents" and a "generation of vipers." They were as deadly as serpents in that they expressed craft and subtlety and were of a venomous nature. They were a generation of envenomed, enraged, and spiteful adversaries to Him and His ministry.
In Matthew 23:34, He prophesied that they were - "murderers" - because they would "kill" the "prophets," "wise men," and "scribes" that He would send unto them.
I wonder what my secret letter-writer would say about Jesus and Saint Paul? I guess they should be banned too! Keep in mind, one cannot make the leap from the Pharisees as religious leaders to the bishops and priests of the Church, who are the successors of the apostles. Jesus never speaks of the apostles or their successors as he does of the Pharisee because the apostles and their successors promote the truth of Jesus and have been commissioned to do so by Jesus in the most authoritative way. Pharisees refers to those in total opposition to Jesus and who will conspire with the political authorities to kill Jesus. That's the difference and Catholics, even if they are lay or clergy, who conspire with the political authorities of the day to oppose Christ, the Church and her infallible teachings on morality and natural law are the Pharisees in other words, they are the fascists, not those who support the Church and Christ!
Posted by Fr. Allan J. McDonald at Wednesday, August 15, 2012
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I suggest that you pay no attention to unsigned letters. You only give a platform to someone who is unwilling to engage you personally.
I normally don't but what this person writes indicates a number of things about the current state of the Church and our catechesis. The person does that they work in the medical community, have relatives in relgious orders and is 60 years old. That so many Catholics today would marginalize what the Church teaches about sexual ethics, morality and by extension of that marriage and natural law is mind boggling. So I use the letter to shore up Catholic teaching on the subjects listed.
The most difficult aspect of this is that we do love sinners and the fact of the matter is that homosexuals have been so poorly treated and harmed psychologically and physically by people who do hate them some of whom are Catholic or Christian. But can we not call this hatred wrong too? And we should by all means. But that does not then mean we compromise revealed truth to accommodate sin but we treat sinners and those in invincible ignorance with love, tolerance and respect.
Very well done, Father. Would that I had ever seen such direct language in my own diocese.
Good show, Fr. You have laid out a solid position. The profile of the person fits very well the population that is on the other side of this struggle: older (60+) members of educated classes that have indoctrinated themselves to a certain view point and have programmed themselves to react violently against other opinions. The medical community along with the universities reversed course on the diagnosis of homosexuality and have squashed differing opinions through openly fascist methods. The reason for this change is only the attraction of unrestricted sex and they have devoted considerable time and effort to rationalising getting all they can. They have simply joined in with abortion supporters to reach a common goal: unrestricted access to Tax money. Strange bedfellows, indeed.
Paying no attention to this person is not a bad idea, but in this case I think the teaching point is too valuable to pass. BTW, I think the sin and religious aspect of this position is a Red Herring. You will spend all day trying to get people to believe in God and never address the issue. that has been a daily effort for the last 2000 years and will not end anytime soon. Rather I think your contribution, and indeed the Church's contribution is to address your secondary point of this post first: violence and oppression of people is wrong. Exploitation of people is wrong, too. If there is a common link between the sex abuse crisis in the clergy, abortion crisis, and exultation in sodomy it would be the exploitation of another human for personal pleasure. They are blinded by lust to this link and I think it is the cool heads of Shepherds such as yourself that will prevail by teaching that fact.
Hey Father, if you're going to be friends with Jesus, you're always going to have some enemies. Right now, our worst enemies seem to be those who pretend to be His best friends.
Well done, indeed! I have heard similar language from the pulpit, with the same result. Why are these people almost anonymous or behind the back with their complaints?
I commend you father for being brave in telling the truth the way it is. To echo the cries of the Cristeros: "Viva Cristo Rey!"
I was pleased when I read it in the bulleti; I am not surprised that the offended liberal contacted you anonymously (they usually don't want to have the conversation, just tell you how wrong you are); and I am doubly pleased by your response here. A true example of Charity.
rcg: Careful with those comments on my age group! ;)
Not all of us drank the Kool-Aid.
WM, my apologies. But seriously, I was raised with an almost fanatical reverence for parents and the elderly, so when I see the LCWR, Priests and Bishops who support gay rights, and older parishioners who attack the Liturgy, I naturally balk. Reminds me of the closing scene in RoboCop where the robot was programmed to forget his past and take no action against employees of the company. His 'ethics' prevented him from addressing the evil within. Until the bad guy was 'excommunicated'....
Father, are you going to publish your response in an upcoming bulletin? You should!
I have no idea who the parishioner might be, but I do have a suggestion regarding why your Bulletin letter may have provoked the reaction it did. Without being placed in context, the use of certain words often has the effect of producing strong emotional reactions. The use of the label “fascist” in the phrase “liberal progressive fascist” is such a word. It is, of course, most often used by those on the Left to shut down conversation on the part of those expressing more traditional conservative views, but, like the word “racist,” it is an inflammatory label that so often serves as a shortcut for thought. That said, your explanation here provides the context for your use of the term, which therefore now appears in a quite different light. Let’s hope the parishioner sees that explanation. Also, if such positions as you expressed are made in the context of a broader condemnation of immorality that is contrary to natural law and Church teaching (since we have been talking about it recently, the heartless philosophy of Ayn Rand, for example), they would also appear in a different light. Condemning the child abuse scandal as you have done also helps to provide such broader context.
Of course, there is probably more going on with the parishioner than simply a reaction to the use of an inflammatory word (if indeed I am even correct in that supposition). There is a perception that those who oppose same sex marriage or the homosexual lifestyle are people of hatred. The word “hate” or “hater” is, again, another label that serves as a shortcut for thought that shuts down the conversation. On the other hand, as you yourself recognize, some people do seem to be motivated by genuine hatred of homosexuals and even engage in violence towards them, and it is sad that those who seek to challenge the “liberal” position on the issue on perfectly reasonable grounds are often tarred with the same brush.
There are so many of these labels today. They produce so much static that it is often impossible to “hear” what another person is trying to say. As an academic committed to the search for truth and greater understanding, I am dismayed at any attempts to shut down reasonable conversation, and as a Catholic I am dismayed at any attempts to silence the prophetic voice of the Church. I do not know much about Dan Cathy, but I have no reason at present to impugn his character or his motives by pinning the label of “hater” upon him.
I do so wish that we could get past the nastiness and small-mindedness that infects so much of our national conversation, on this as on so many other issues. As you know, I support dialogue that is designed to enhance mutual understanding – even with Ayn Randians =) – without compromising core beliefs and values. Am I wrong to think that God wants us to understand one another better? That He wants homosexuals to understand why many Christians have a problem with the homosexual lifestyle and same sex marriage? And that He wants those Christians to understand the situation and feelings of homosexuals? I am sure that when you minister to homosexuals individually – in confession, for example – you present the loving face of Christ without compromising any principles. I have absolutely no doubt about that. Why can’t our national conversation strive to reflect something of the same spirit? Isn’t that part of the Church’s witness too?
P.S. I would like to clarify my final sentence by expanding it to say: "Isn't urging and modeling conversation in this spirit part of the Church's witness too?"
A2, I completely agree with your sentiments and even you reasoning. but FrAJM didn't create nor assign those labels. He is simply reading the label the person has affixed to themselves. These attacks are coming from those sectors and they are proud of it. Why on earth would calling them what they call themselves be a problem? the only answer is that they are creating their position based on the beliefs in liberal politics and radical Leftist agendas rather than looking at the teachings of the Church, which accepts these people distinct from their sins, rather than attacking them as they would do to people with opposing values.
It seems humourous that these folks establish the strength of their opinion based on educational achievement, in this case medicine, then claim the support for their position is supported by popular opinion. Doesn't it hurt their head to say such things? Where is their Objectivity?
I have a friend who says his wife is bisexual...if he buys her something she gets sexual...LOL!
The writer of the letter apparently didn't read your bulletin letter very closely.
I have re-read it several times and connot find any name calling, bigotry, nor hatred toward gays.
I was re-reading this past Sunday's gospel before I read this blog post.
Jesus said to listen to the Father and learn from Him.
If the anonymous author would listen while he/she reads your bulletin letter, then perhaps he/she would learn something.
However, it seems that this person read but didn't listen. He/she must have looked at the words and quickly closed his/her mind instead of trying to understand your point of view.
Any good debater would do that much at least.
You wrote apples and he/she wrote oranges.
In every article, column, radio show, TV show I have read , listened to, or looked at I have not yet heard one ounce of bigotry or hatred toward homosexuals....ever.
While this letter is upsetting, perhaps it is a gift...A reminder to us to make sure that the message of the Church's love for ALL her children remains, even as she insists on good behavior, and will remind her children what is expected of them, despite their temper tantrums.
Like Templar, I really appreciated seeing what you put into the parish bulletin. Thank you.
Good Father, I suspect the person who complained about your bulletin letter would have been far less likely to do so if you had not couched your defense of the Church’s teachings in such pointless demagoguery. Remember Marshall McLuhan’s words: “The medium is the message” and “The form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived.” Without being subjected to your hyperbole and exaggeration, this person may have been better able to hear and to receive your defense of the Church’s teachings.
Your claim that Dan Cathy “is not even allowed the freedom of speech by these liberal, intolerant fascists…” is false. But making false accusations against one’s opponents is what demagogues do in order to gin up fear and anger against those with whom they disagree. Mr. Cathy has demonstrated that he is free to express his beliefs and opinions by . . . expressing his beliefs and opinions. [Understanding that this is the case is one of those things you like to refer to as a “no-brainer.”] His freedom of speech remains completely intact. And I, for one, and very glad that that is the case.
Boycotts against Chik-Fil-A are not attempts by fascists to take away his freedom of speech. Whether you agree with the protestors or not, they are exercising a legitimate right, much the same as protests by Right Wing groups against J C Penny, Starbucks, Toys-R-Us, Kodak, Citigroup, American Airlines, Disney, Allstate, Coca-Cola, etc. It seems that you would deny to those who, with Constitutionally protected freedom of expression, choose to exercise that freedom through a boycott against Chik-Fil-A. Cathy’s freedom of expression you defend, while, at the same time, the freedom of expression by those who disagree with Cathy you denounce.
Demagogues also play fast and loose with the facts, usually relating only those facts that support their positions. You have done this in your statement, “Liberal politicians have threatened to ban his business in their communities!” Indeed, two or three “liberal politicians,” such as Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, reacted with such threats. But they have, since those initial outbursts of intolerance, moderated or retracted those threats. Surely, as a careful follower of the news cycle, you are aware of these retractions. But they don’t show up in your bulletin letter because demagogues don’t tell the whole story.
Demagogues make dire predictions (“Will the Catholic Church be marginalized in such a way and banned next in these communities?”) for the purpose of stirring up emotions and engendering anxiety. Every practical politician knows that hate and fear offer more forceful tools for organizing than love and respect. But dire predictions are often nothing more than inflammatory rhetoric. You will remember, I am sure, the dire predictions made in the 1950’s regarding Southeast Asia; how if we did not defeat communism in Vietnam, then Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, India, would fall into the communist camp. We lost the war in Vietnam, but those dire predictions have not been fulfilled. Like you, am very glad that that is the case.
Demagogues choose to demonize and caricature those with whom they disagree. They are “godless,” “fascist,” “liberal,” “social progressives,” “dictatorial,” “secular,” “intolerant.” This accomplishes nothing positive; in fact, it exacerbates and coarsens the conversations we have in our society, limiting the possibility that one side may hear and be influenced by the thinking of the other. We don’t need this; we don’t need greater acrimony and division. We are better than this.
Father McDonald, it is my opinion that your letter to the parishioners was written precisely as it should have been. I admire you greatly for saying what every good Catholic should want to hear. The fascist, liberal and social progressives are doing all they can to destroy the Church and the United States of America. I do not think that God's desire for us to understand one another better has anything to do with the problem we face. We are facing the devil head on, and you do not compromise with the devil. May God Bless you bountifully for your efforts to enlighten those in the dark.
Ignotus, You are a hoot. I find it interesting that the longest post you have made to date on this blog is this one. I think we know where your sympathies lie...
The President and several of his minions spoke against Chik Filet. Every lib news media has tried to demonize them all in the ongoing effort to portray homosexuality as a normal, desirable lifestyle. This is about far more than mere free speech, and you are using that red herring to distract from the actual propaganda campaign being carried out by liberal forces.
Oh, and with regard to Vietnam and the dire predictions of falling under Communism...Obama got elected. That would never have happened if we were not a long way down the road to a Socialist/Communist government.
Oh, speaking of demagogery, you just provided us with six paragraphs dripping with it.
Oh, a housekeeping issue that needs your attention. Several of your parishioners came to Fr. McCarthy's Benediction and talk about the TLM at St. Joseph's. They were the first to leave the Sanctuary after Benediction then, during dinner (I sat at their table), they talked about nothing but themselves, and while Fr. McCarthy was speaking they whispered, giggled, and passed notes. One left early. If you are not going to teach them the TLM or provide it for them, you might, at least, teach them some manners. The apple don't fall far from the tree, do it? LOL!
rcg: I was raised in the same way. It is a scandal when a bishop uses "social justice" to bypass dogma. A scandal when priests wink at abortion. A scandal when priests continue to act in denial of their vows by ad-libbing in the liturgy.
Worst of all, it is a scandal that decades of lacking or inadequate catecesis has not already been corrected, and that dissidents remain in charge of RelEd departments, even if only in one parish!
PI, I gotta call foul on that post. Cathy was the object legislative action and administrative rules in those cities for his beliefs. The mayors of those cities didn't have an epiphany, they had a cold chill down their notochords (no evidence of spines, yet) when they saw (a) the reaction of all those registered voters (ref Ghost Busters) and realised they would also have to make the same threats against every Halal and Kosher deli in North America. Compare Cathy to the mayors and the some of the more aggressive city councilmen and you'll note that Cathy does not discriminate in the hiring nor the service provided to homosexuals, the cites cannot make that claim with Christians.
Southeast Asia: Cambodia was no picnic during the reign of Pol Pot a Communist in the same vein as Stalin and the Kims of NK, Vietnam did and does oppress opposition through force, but because the area is under the political sphere delegated to the Chinese, who openly oppose your boss the right to assign clergy, it is ignored.
I do not think being called 'godless', 'fascist', 'secular', 'progressive', or 'liberal' is a bad thing if a) that is what one claimed to be when everyone approved of your actions, and b) it is what one has become through consciously following those teachings. Why is it offensive if someone who is not any of the above notices it? That is called hegemony.
So the serious question here is how does someone who takes exception to so many fundamental Church teachings remain Catholic. For crying out loud, Martin Luther had much less differences and he got a new sect named after himself. So why do they remain in the Church? I hypothesis it is because they know their philosophy is not compelling and would have so few supporters it would disappear in short order. Secondly, this weakness means that by standing in contrast this evaporation would happen faster, so they dishonestly remain inside the Church sneakily contradicting Catholic teaching, or more insidiously teaching slight deviations as the New Way and excluding Latin Mass so that people don't even know it is allowed, or that their communion in one species is as 'powerful' as both, or that kneeling is actually elevation. They are actually parasites.
People are beginning to see that the Post Modern Mass failed perhaps when the tiny car with the clowns failed to start one Sunday. The latest ripple is to claim that a deconstructed Mass that harkens back the Early Christians, fresh off the Pagan ritual tour, is closer to the real Mass. Womyn Priests everywhere with a Meta Testament by Dan Brown.
The protests, even screams of pain, we are hearing are the cries of addicts and sick people clinging to their disease. You know that people in that condition will contrive every possible way to maintain their addiction and will flit from threats to appeals to Christian Charity to keep their fix. We are witnessing a mass psychosis that appeals to the most organic desires. It has been said that we are not bodies with a soul, but souls with a body. Which are we going to let rule?
I believe that several of your points are well taken. First, as will be clear from my earlier comment, I agree that some of Father McDonald’s language in his Bulletin newsletter, when read in the sole context of that letter, may well have interfered with effective communication of his message (however, when read in a broader context, to which the parishioner may not have been privy, his words appear in a different light).
Second, I agree that it is important to be as accurate and as complete as possible in one’s account, and to admit when one does not know something (assuming one knows that one doesn’t know it – echoes of the famed Donald Rumsfeld there =)). So, thank you for the additional information regarding the retractions. However, Father McDonald may not have known about them. Along the same lines, I am somewhat puzzled regarding the characterization of the health care mandate on Catholic employers. It may not be a satisfactory solution, but perhaps it might have been appropriate also to mention the Administration’s accommodation in having the insurer, not the employer, provide the contested coverage. Assuming that my recollection about that matter is correct, I trust that this omission is an unintentional oversight on Father McDonald’s part.
Third, clearly I agree that we do not need any more acrimony and division but an honest and respectful conversation in which each side shares their deepest values and concerns. In that regard, each side will likely frame the issue differently. It is not EITHER a human rights issue OR an anti-traditional values issue. It is both at the same time because each side sees the issue through a different lens. Understanding this is the beginning of understanding how to find the way forward.
However, we may disagree regarding the boycott. Isn’t it dangerous in a pluralistic democracy to boycott businesses for expressing political views (as opposed to boycotting them for practices one might regard as immoral, such as unfair labor practices or child labor overseas or environmental irresponsibility), whoever is engaging in the boycott? That seems a slippery slope to me. Where does it end? I assume that if a boycott is to be more than symbolic, its purpose is precisely to coerce the business to stop doing what it is doing or saying what it is saying. Aren’t there other legitimate ways to express one’s opposition to offensive speech or political positions? Even though the boycotters may have a constitutionally protected freedom to engage in the boycott (in that the government cannot prohibit them from doing so), that does not mean they should exercise such a freedom. I may be missing something basic here. I also profess no expertise regarding the relevant constitutional or other law in the area. I stand to be corrected, therefore, as so often, by those who know more than I.
I have one final question. Has Dan Cathy done more than just express his views on same-sex marriage? Are there any questionable actions in which he may have engaged regarding this issue? I really do not know, but perhaps someone else does.
"...perhaps it might have been appropriate also to mention the Administration’s accommodation in having the insurer, not the employer, provide the contested coverage"
What you seem to fail to understand is that most Catholic healthcare services are SELF INSURED. Calling them insurers instead of employers makes no difference, the same entity is required to pay.
While I generally agree with your first post, and in fact boycott certain businesses myself for certain reasons, there's one addendum I need to make to it: The fact that the mayors of Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago, together with a city councilman of the last, made not-very-veiled threats to prevent Chik-fil-A from operating in their cities in retaliation for Cathy's expressing his views. That, at the very least, would be an unconstitutional attempt to chill Cathy's First Amendment rights.
Did these people men their threats or not? If so, such an attempt to use state power to coerce social conformity in violation of the Constitution comes close to being fascist in my book. If it was merely designed for consumption by the politicians' supporters, then that speech is the true demagoguery--a highly irresponsible incitement of the masses to approve of state power to silence legitimate speech, if only theoretically.
Likewise the HHS ruling. It flies in the face of nearly 70 years of constitutional jurisprudence, and is the sort of thing that the classical liberals of the mid-twentieth century (e.g., Warren, Brennan, Black) would never have tolerated, much less practiced. But the new, collectivst Left has no qualm about pushing the envelope and hoping that somehow it will get lucky in the Supreme Court, where this litigation is undoubtedly headed. I don't think that will happen, but in light of the general spinelessness of the Catholic leadership in America for the last 40 years, I can see why the Left had some basis for hoping that the Church would knuckle under and not even litigate the ruling. I still don't know why the hierarchy has, at the eleventh hour, finally found its voice and its guts on an issue widely ignored by the laity (as a result of the Church's rotten catechesis of the past four decades), but I'm glad that it has. Perhaps all is not lost.
You raise many good points in your posts, but I think you're very mistaken in calling what the administration did an "accommodation."
First, the so-called accommodation expanded the mandate to cover every Catholic employer, removing the exemption of parish employees.
Second, the idea that insurers will not pass on the costs in some way is either naive (on the part of the administration, which sometimes acts as if it has never studied the basic concepts of capitalism) or just plain deceptive. Church dollars will pay for immoral activities.
As an additional matter, regarding moral theology, it doesn't matter whether Church dollars pay for these things or not, if the Church is somehow facilitating them. For instance, what if the HHS mandated that all employers (including churches) hand out state-suppied and funded contraceptives for free to all employees? We could go even further and posit a situation where all employers, including churches, had to merely open their doors once a month to a visit by a government employee who himself handed out the contraceptives? I would argue that both of these would consist of material cooperation with evil and thus be unacceptable. The former might even amount to formal cooperation with evil. So the problem here, ultimately isn't who pays for it but whether the Church is helping provide it.
I also said "It may not be a satisfactory solution, but perhaps . . ." Thanks for helping us to understand why more precisely the proposed accommodation is not a satisfactory solution. My understanding after refreshing my memory about it today is that, for those Catholic institutions that are not self-insured, there are other objections. And all of this, of course, is presumably being addressed in the litigation.
My goal was to suggest the importance of as complete account as possible and I was concerned that Father's letter seemed to imply that the only accommodation offered by the Administration was the one year grace period, which is not quite accurate, even if the additional accommodation is still deficient.
Of course, all this could have been avoided if a public option had been created (Isn't the Church urging now that the government pay for such services directly or have I misunderstood that also?) But, in the current dysfunctional conditions in Washington, we cannot expect a rational politics when money, ideology, and short-term political calculation drive the decision-making. And people wonder why Congress has the lowest approval rating in the recorded history of such matters!
Anon 5, Thanks for the additional clarifications, which only appeared on my screen after I sent my previous comment.
I am struck at how Ignotus bases his attack on Father MacDonald on the unspoken assumption that there is a moral equivilancy between those who boycott company A because they support Abortion, and those who boycott company B because they support Traditional Marriage. AS if these 2 parties are entitled to the same "rights". Maybe under US Law they are, but who cares about US Law, how about right and wrong? There is no moral equivilancy between the 2 groups and weaselly Modernist Priests like Ignotus always want to ignore that.
PI, The fascism that I was referring to is government officials, meaning the mayors of three major cities indicating they would prevent Chick-fil-a from coming into their city as a business! That's not a boycott by any group of citizens this is governmental fascism. Normally fascism is associated with right wing dictatorships, in this case it is left-wing, progressive politicians and local government officials. i think this fits the fascist definition. Your smoke screens no longer work to divert attention away from the facts you find uncomfortable!
My other point was that if a mayor or local politicians can keep a business out of their town simply because a CEO is stating what he believes about marriage which happens to be also what the Catholic Church teaches,if these fascist left wing progressive politicians rule the day with Chick-fil-A who is to say that the Catholic Church isn't next. Fascism in this country is becoming cool, if it left leaning!
PI, thank you for the response. I am very skeptical of boycotts inside the free markets. For starters, if the person is really breaking a law, just arrest him. Secondly, there is too much collateral damage, that's my beef with 'Free Trade'. It's social coercion and hurts the regular employee the most.
As far the possible questionable actions of Cathy: I would be very surprised if I could not find some fault with him. But this is why he needs broad support to help temper his actions. That is exactly the issue with the HHS ruling and the National Health Care law. It is excluding consideration for certain folks. So how would it be different if I held back my help for Cathy in support of a good cause because I didn't like something he did? The hope is that I can contribute not only to a common cause, but to Cathy, too.
FWIW, this question reminds me of a discussion in another web site about whether we should scorn or rebuke people who are not part of our group who are acting in the name of God. The question was based on the incident where the Disciples asked Jesus if they should stop a person who was not one of their followers from casting out demons in His Name. Christ told them to let the guy continue because he who is not against us is for us. He was not saying all are the same, for after all He is the one way to God. But he was saying there is more than one way to do God's work in this world.
Temp - I do not assume moral equivalency. However, under the Constitution, all people - those whose behaviour we consider moral and those whose behaviour we may consider immoral -have the same right to freedom of expression, no?
Good Father - the mayoral threats have been withdrawn or amended, no? Why is this not in your bulletin letter? Your reportage is incomplete and, therefore, unreliable.
The mayors would not have recanted if not for the fact that they were made to understand their fascist dictates by people like me who raised holy hell.
I mean, really?
"However, under the Constitution, all people - those whose behaviour we consider moral and those whose behaviour we may consider immoral -have the same right to freedom of expression, no?"
I am a Catholic before I am an American. I don't care what Rights the Government grants if God does not grant them also.
Temp - Saith Thos. More, in "A Man for All Seasons" to his son in law Roper who was opposed to man's laws, "And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you—where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast—man’s laws, not God’s—and if you cut them down—and you’re just the man to do it - do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?
Temp, sorry to split hairs, Governments grant no rights. They either defend them or attack them.
Actually, the passage Pater Ignotus quotes is stronger even that that because More goes on to say “Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!” That is why More would not agree that the “dangerous” and “bad” Richard Rich be arrested, for he had committed no crime.
As someone trained in the law, this is one of my favorite quotes from the play or indeed any work of literature because it underscores the importance of the Rule of Law and of safeguarding legal rights.
Of course, sometimes human law is so iniquitous that it must be resisted and civil disobedience, or even armed resistance, is justified. But the natural law tradition requires a very high threshold before that becomes the case. This is addressed in the CCC. We have been over this ground before but here are the references again:
Civil disobedience is addressed in section 2242 and the right of armed resistance in section 2243.
These sections could be clearer in their explanation (especially section 2242). However, both responses are subject to conditions that must be satisfied before the response is regarded as legitimate and the conditions for the second seem, appropriately, to be stricter than for the first. Also, both draw upon a long tradition of Catholic thought about these issues.
PI, He that holds the kingdom, holds the law.
"On this scaffold
Thomas More lies dead,
Who would not separate
The body from the Head."
Ignotus, be reminded, as you smugly quote More, that one of the tenets of his Utopia is that law and social order are primary to "liberty." In fact, liberty can only truly exist where there is strict law and order. I thought you might need to be reminded of that since you and other progressives like to call conservatives fascists, racists, and homophobes.
One might extrapolate his thinking to the Mass and say that the structure, order, and tradition of the Traditional Mass are superior to individualistic interpretation, self-expression, and innovation.
Pin - I was not quoting St. Thomas More. I was quoting the script from a movie about St. Thomas More.
I don't call conservatives "fascists, racists, and homophobes." I leave the presbyteral name-calling to the owner of this blog. He's far better at it than I.
And I celebrate the Traditional Mass every time I "go to the altar of God...".
I'm sorry that PI is so politically correct that he has abandoned the long, long prophetic and bibilical tradition of name calling for God's sinners. I hope that PI did not sanitize today's first reading from the Prophet Eziekiel in Friday daily Mass where the prophet puts on the words of God his displeasure at his beautifully arrayed bride who has take on the harlotry of the pagan world and disfigured their beauty and God's bride. He call them a HARLOT! My "presbyteral name-calling" is in imitation of my God and Savior! I witness to Him and His ways. PI has an alternate form of prophesy that is Beelzebub inspired evidently. :)
Good Father - You name-calling is not a reflection of godliness. Isn't this what you warn small children (third graders, maybe) about on the playground?
But sometimes little Willy really is a Bastard.
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