Tag Archives: gay marriage

Big Sports vs. Religious Liberty

Every day it seems, we descend further into madness.  And I’m not even referring at the moment to the presidential race.  Last week, Republican Georgia governor Nathan Deal, in typical spineless Republican manner, folded under pressure from big corporations including Disney and Apple, and vetoed a bill that would ensure religious liberty as guaranteed by the first amendment by, among other things, ensuring that ministers would not be forced to officiate “gay marriages” against their will.  In North Carolina, there is a lawsuit against another bill that would protect private business owners against such things as being forced to cater “gay weddings” or allow gender-confused dudes to use the ladies’ room.   The NBA has declared that unless that bill is vetoed, the All-star Game will not be played in Charlotte.

I don’t get ESPN, but it is on regularly at the break room at my place of work, and the channel seems to every day be less and less about sports, and more and more about pushing left-wing political propaganda.  It has heavily covered  the above-mentioned brouhaha concerning the NBA’s proposed boycott of North Carolina, siding with the NBA as if they were making a stand of great heroism and courage, as well as running sob stories about the alleged horrible plight of “transsexual” athletes in schools around the country – such as the epic struggles of strapping young “biologically male” jocks fighting for the “right” to play on the girls team and use the girls’ locker room.  (Sign me up, dude!)

I’m really not sure why the issue of “transgender” bathrooms and such is of such pressing importance to the NBA.  Are there really that many pro basketball players demanding to use the ladies’ locker rooms?

At the same time, ESPN is also heavily covering the epic struggle of heroic litigators against the Big, Bad Corporate NFL regarding the concussion issue.  (And in case you miss the larger political context, the commentators explain that in denying the danger of concussions from playing pro football, the NFL is exactly the same as the evil “climate-change deniers.”)  However, with regard to LGB-alphabet-soup issues, we’re supposed to root for the Big Heroic Corporate NBA against some tiny Christian-owned bakeries and such.  Now, Goliath’s the good guy, and David the villain.

The left (including ESPN) is always screaming about the power of Big Evil Corporations, and their undue influence on government.  However when the Big Corporations are pressuring and influencing government for socially “progressive” causes, this influence is applauded and celebrated.  And increasingly, large corporations push leftist social causes, helping win the favor of leftist politicians in our crony-capitalist system.

 

The enforcement of politically-correct social causes such as those mentioned by law on the national level is likely to happen if Hillary wins the presidency, and the packing of federal courts—and the Supreme Court—with leftist activists continues.  Basic freedom of religious practice will become a thing of the past.  (Though such judicial activism may prove unnecessary if Republican governors continue to act so spinelessly.)

One more reason Republicans and conservatives need to get their heads out of their arses and rally behind Ted Cruz before it’s too late.  And that loser Kasich should have gotten out of the race long ago.  He’s only helping Trump—and Hillary.

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(Another) Day that Will Live in Infamy

(Blogger’s note:  Originally I was going to write a rant this weekend concerning the politicization of the recent vile murder in Charleston, and the ensuing brouhaha over the Confederate flag.  But today’s news is of far more serious consequence to the country, so I’ll put that one off for now, and write on today’s travesty.)

Well, the U.S. Supreme Court did it again, and in a major way.  Once more, the Supreme Court made a ruling on the case Obergefell  v. Hodges, that not only spit in the face of Christians, natural law, and millennia of human tradition, but also was a blatant rape of the U.S. Constitution, whose job the Supreme Court justices is to uphold.  This decision to make homosexual “marriage” the law of the land was hot on the heels of another SCOTUS decision upholding the unlawful monstrosity of Obamacare (the majority opinion being written by that two-faced piece of filth John Roberts, who at least took the right side on the “gay marriage” case).

(But I must give credit to Alito and Thomas for fighting the good fight in their brilliant dissent.)

If the Supreme Court was actually doing its job of interpreting the Constitution, this case would be thrown out.  In the Constitution, the powers belonging to the federal government are limited and enumerated, and the power to define marriage is nowhere granted to federal courts.  Barring an amendment of the Constitution, such matters are left to the states and the people.

And before you bleeding hearts start lecturing me on “precedent,” I’m well aware that the SCOTUS now has a long history of rulings that rewrite the law to force a left-wing social or political agenda down the nation’s throat, rather than legitimately interpret what the Constitution actually says.

And that’s exactly the problem.  (I hold the old-fashioned, troglodytic view that the job of the Court is to uphold and interpret what the law actually says, rather than force a political agenda. And you can go shove your emanations up your penumbra.)

And any Christian who believes the line that today’s ruling will have no effect on religious liberty is deluding himself.  We’ll see more Christian bakers, florists, photographers, etc. being forced against their will to cater to homosexual “weddings” or lose their business.  And of course, kids in all public schools will be forced to learn about same-sex “marriage” as a legitimate option.  Churches that refuse to perform or lend facilities to “gay marriage” will likely face lawsuits and lose their tax-exempt status.  The goal of the militant homosexual lobby was never just tolerance, but elimination of any resistance.

This, of course, was immediately followed by jubilant celebration everywhere in the “mainstream media” (which I’ve made a point to largely avoid, though I do see the headlines), and by corporations, such as Google, Android, and others touting their support on Google’s Chrome homepage.

Our media and corporate elite apparently see sexual perversion, sodomy, and genital mutilation as unqualified goods to be universally celebrated; as if it were utterly unthinkable that any of us could possibly have any problem with it (except, of course, for us few right-wing bigoted troglodytes).  “Gay marriage” is to be universally celebrated like it’s the U.S. team winning an Olympic gold medal.  And Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner is an American hero!  (Or is that heroine?  But don’t call our troops “heroes,” because that can get politically complicated.  Don’t want to offend terrorists, do we?)

Hell, even flippin’ WordPress, which I’m publishing on, now has that goddamn rainbow flag at the top of their edit page.

While making a cash withdrawal at a Chase ATM, I was first greeted by a cheerful on-screen invitation from the good folks at Chase to join them in celebrating National GLBTQ-whatever-the-hell-the-current-alphabet-soup-is Month.  As if this was as nice and uncontroversial as, say, wishing customers a happy Father’s Day.  (Of course, for today’s left, I suppose the entire idea of fatherhood is indeed greatly problematic.  Not like, say, a man getting himself castrated and mutilated and calling himself a woman, which is happy and healthy, and worthy of universal celebration.)

But if a bank, or similar institution serving the public, wishes customers a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Easter” during the appropriate seasons, that’s out-of-bounds, and calling for lawsuits, or at least major controversy.

Welcome to the twisted, through-the-looking-glass world of 21st century “progressive” America.

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Imposing Immorality

A lot has already been said about the recent uproar by “gay rights” activists and liberals in general over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and Governor Mike Pence’s subsequent spineless folding in typical Republican fashion.  Protesters even forced a local pizza parlor to close because the owner said in an interview that she would not cater “gay weddings.”  (Though the news is that the shop has now re-opened.)

(I tried to keep Holy Week at least somewhat holy, and thus held off on commenting on the ungodly cesspool of current politics, but I thought I’d share a few thoughts.)

At this point no one can still harbor the foolish and naïve notion that the political-cultural left has anything whatever to do with freedom, tolerance, or diversity.

Talk about, for instance, any proposed laws even restricting abortion, and liberals will howl like rabid banshees about how we must never “impose our morality” on others by law.  This is typically followed a lecture on the evils of “theocracy,” with grim warnings about how parental consent laws or whatever are just one slippery step away from beheading infidels and burning heretics at the stake.  (Personally, I prefer my heretics just well done.)

However, as illustrated by the hullabaloo in Indiana, the same secularist bleeding hearts are more than ready to impose their own “morality” on those who disagree with politically-correct orthodoxy on issues such as “gay marriage.”  (Or, rather, to force others against their will to cooperate in immorality.)

As I pointed out earlier regarding similar issues in Texas, choosing not to cater or a homosexual “wedding” is not about discrimination against individuals, but about not catering a particular type of event that is contrary to Christian morality.

Forcing persons in private business to cater or support events contrary to their beliefs against their will not only violates the free exercise of religion guaranteed in the First Amendment, but the basic right to freedom of association, regardless of religious belief or lack thereof.  (Deroy Murdock makes this point eloquently in a National Review article, giving a wide variety of potential non-religious examples where this principle would apply.  Should a feminist be forced to do photography for a strip club?  A black musician play at a KKK event?  Etc.)

Prior to the passing of the Indiana statute, there was never any actual issue of discrimination.  Gays have no problem finding bakers and such to cater their “weddings.”  The hysterics of the likes of Al Sharpton notwithstanding, who scream that unless Christian bakers are forced by law to bake gay wedding cakes, the return of Jim Crow is imminent.  (You know, back when gays were forced to sit in the back of the bus.)  Hell, it will probably set us back to the days of slavery, when gays were put in chains and forced to pick cotton from dawn to dusk in the hot Southern sun, to the tune of the slave-driver’s whip.  (Though I hear some of them liked the whole whips and chains thing.)

(If I were black I’d be absolutely disgusted at the comparison of “gay rights” issues to slavery and segregation.  Hell, I’m not black, and I’m still disgusted.  But that’s another rant.)

But the very thought of a few bakers, wedding photographers, or caterers out there who don’t conform with pc orthodoxy on “gay marriage” so enrages the bleeding heart fascists that they are willing to force people at gunpoint to conform and comply.

Freedom of religion and of association be damned.

For the left, “gay rights” has become an all-important all-trumping sacred cause, which they pursue with the fanaticism of religious crusaders (or perhaps Jihadists?).

Perhaps most disappointing is that Catholic response to this blatant assault on religious freedom seems largely lacking.  Though that is hardly surprising, given the weak and tepid response to Obamacare’s contraception mandate.  And the sad truth is that most of the bleeding heart social-justice “Catholics,” who salivate like Pavlov’s dogs at any statist activism claiming to be on behalf of The Oppressed, and who piously obey every dictate of political correctness, side with “gay rights” against the teachings of their Church.

For many, the issue of a few gay wedding cakes and such may seem too trivial and petty to be worth  bothering with.  And by itself, perhaps it is.  But wars are won or lost by many small battles, and freedoms once taken for granted in this country are being steadily and relentlessly chipped away piece by piece.  If (as expected) the Supreme Court (absurdly) declares “gay marriage” to be a “constitutional right,” things will only get much worse.  How long before we wake up?

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Liberal “Tolerance” Strikes! (Round II)

An “Equal Rights” ordinance in the Dallas suburb of Plano passed in December has created ongoing controversy , with citizens of the town signing petitions for a recall of the ordinance (I couldn’t find what the current status of this situation is, though if the petitions are verified a repeal could be put before the city council) .  This ordinance expanded an earlier ordinance barring “discrimination in places of public accommodation, employment practices, housing transactions and city contracting practices” to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”  Churches and religious freedom groups have led opposition to the ordinance

Sounds reasonable enough, right?  Before I’m accused of being a heatless homophobe (well, I am, but that’s beside the point), let me say this.  If this was about someone being denied a burger and a beer at a bar/restaurant simply because he was gay, then there might be a genuine issue, but that’s not what this is about.  The reality is that similar ordinances in other cities have led to such things as bakery owners threatened with jail time for refusing to bake “gay wedding” cakes.

The ordinance also sparked concern about private establishments being forced by law to allow “transgendered” persons to share bathrooms and such with persons of the opposite “biological” sex.  In other words, Big Bob must be allowed to share a restroom with your daughter if he declares himself a woman in a man’s body; unless the owner wants to pay a hefty fine.  And if any of you ladies have any issue with that, well, you’re just hateful bigots.

The problem is not people being denied service because of their sexual preferences, but about business owners being forced by government to provide products with a message that violates their sincere moral/religious beliefs.

Those bleeding hearts who think such ordinances are a great idea, or even morally necessary, should ponder the following scenarios.

Should a bakery be forced to bake cakes with a blatantly racist or anti-Semitic message?  Or should a business be forced to cater KKK or neo-Nazi meetings?

My point isn’t that a “gay marriage” is the same as Nazism, but about where does one draw the line when forcing private business owners to provide products or cater events that violate their sincere moral or religious beliefs?

Much as one might find the hateful and racist messages or groups I mentioned appalling, refusing to cater to them would still in fact be discrimination against certain types of customer demands, just as refusing to bake a gay wedding cake would be.

Let’s be honest; the real issue here isn’t that GLBTQs – whatever the current alphabet soup is – being unable to find businesses that will cater to them.  In any town or city of any size, I’m sure there is no shortage of businesses happy to cater to the demands of homosexual customers.  Wherever there’s a demand, supply will exist to fulfill it and profit from it . That’s the beauty of the free market.  If one baker doesn’t want to bake you a gay cake, another will be happy to bake it for you instead.

The ordinance makes about as much sense as forcing Christian bookstores to sell porn or copies of The Satanic Bible.  (Okay, I should probably shut up now  lest I give the liberals ideas.)

Of course, these local skirmishes will be all but forgotten in the shadow of the upcoming Supreme Court hearing on “gay marriage,” which liberals confidently assure us will result in all states being forced to recognize “gay marriage,” whether the people of those states want it or not.  (If they are right, it will be yet another example of SCOTUS granting the federal government powers found nowhere in the Constitution, but that’s a whole other rant.)

It should be obvious to everybody now that the “gay rights” movement is no longer about tolerance (if that was ever truly the goal).  Tolerance is about simply leaving other folks alone, whether we agree with their actions or not.  Now, we must all be forced by law to give approval and support to sexually deviant behavior.  And non-compliance will not be tolerated.

 

Update:  Shortly after this rant was published, the mayor turned down the petitions on the ground that they were bogus or not sufficiently documented, or something.  I don’t know all the facts on this, but I think we can generally trust our public officials – to lie to us.)

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More Rotten Business as Usual

More rotten business as usual in politics last week.  (Again, been busy,  my apologies for the lateness of this post.)

First, once more we see the noble bipartisan cooperation between the Jackasses and the GOP “leadership” as they both agree to raise the debt ceiling with no spending limitations, and accelerate our nation’s plunge into bankruptcy to the point of no return.

There should be no doubt left that there is no substantial difference whatever between the Democrats and the Washington establishment Republicans – they are simply two heads on the same insatiably ravenous statist beast, and both are equally contemptuous of true conservatism, and of true conservatives.

Every single Republican Congressman and Senator who did nothing to stand up for conservative principles and oppose the runaway growth of the Leviathan State needs to be tossed out.

Also, in federal tyranny rules, a federal judge ruled the Commonwealth of Virginia’s law (passed by popular vote) limiting legal marriage to a man and a woman “unconstitutional” – showing typical disregard for actual Constitution, which nowhere grants the federal government the power to define or redefine legal marriage.  (See the woefully neglected 10th Amendment.)   Once again, liberal activist twist the actual meaning of the law of the land beyond all recognition in order to advance a left-wing social agenda.  No doubt, this issue will head for the Supreme Court, though I’m not exactly optimistic about how that will turn out – especially given the record of the that traitorous weasel John Roberts as Chief Justice, who puts political game-playing above interpreting the Constitution, and thus gave a green light to the Obamanation of Obamacare.

Dr. Jeff Mirus writes of this issue in CatholicCulture.com, “One of the dangers of any constitution is that eventually it will be used to enforce policies which those who wrote the constitution never even dreamed would be desired in the first place.”

But the danger is not in the Constitution, but rather in the government – made up of power-mad men who are not ones to let a mere piece of paper stand in the way of their power or ideological agendas.  It is just as happy to ignore the Constitution altogether, as its judges are to radically “reinterpret” it.

Without virtue or morality to reign in ambition, the restraints of the Constitution are broken as easily, as our second president John Adams so memorably phrased it, “as a whale goes through a net.”

Given the active on-going onslaught of our courts and federal government against our deepest moral principles, you’d think it time more serious Catholics get behind efforts to reign in the Leviathan State, rather than support its expansion.  The hour draws late.

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Immigration and the Suicide of the Right

Republicans in Congress are debating the passing of an “immigration reform” bill that would grant amnesty to 11 million aliens living in the U.S., as well as make it easier for non-immigrant workers to enter the U.S.

Today’s wishy-washy “moderate” Republican “leadership” (McCain, Boehner, & co.) would have us believe that this is somehow a good thing for America and for their party.  For time now, I’ve heard the line from many Republicans and self-described conservatives that Mexicans and other Hispanics are natural conservatives, who will happily flock to the GOP if only we do more to grant amnesty and open the borders.

This is despite the fact that Hispanics, as well as most other immigrant groups, consistently and overwhelmingly vote Democrat.  Democrats won over Hispanic voters by landslide numbers in every single presidential election since 1980, including two years after Ronald Reagan granted amnesty to millions of Mexican immigrants in 1986.  And this was with the GOP running largely “moderate” candidates who would do nothing to restrict immigration, such as Dole, Bush II, McCain, and Romney.

However, I keep seeing conservatives casually state things such as, “all the Republicans need to do is grant amnesty, and their problems with Hispanic voters will be over.”  (While on the internet, this appeared to be said with a straight face.)  This, despite the fact that Republicans granting amnesty has completely failed to win over Hispanics in the past, and the fact that polls show that the majority of Hispanic voters oppose amnesty for illegal aliens.

The truth of the matter is that the majority of Hispanics and those from other immigrant groups vote Democrat rather than Republican, not because of perceived Republican opposition to immigration and amnesty, but for the simple reason that they tend to be more liberal/socialist on just about every issue.

Polls show, for instance, that they are far more in favor of big government policies, and things like gun control, than most Americans.

But, aren’t Hispanics religious, pro-family, pro-life people who are socially conservative?  Some years back, a pro-life conservative woman cheerfully informed me, with a tone of absolute certainty, that Mexican immigrants would create a pro-life Republican majority in America.

Well, not exactly.  Polls show that Hispanics are actually more in favor of legal abortion than Americans as a whole, as well as somewhat more in favor of “gay marriage.”  (That last one actually surprised me.)

The reasons Washington politicians like unrestricted immigration and amnesty are clear enough.  The big-gov Jackasses like it because it ensures a steady supply of new Democratic voters, ensuring that they become a permanent majority and remain in power forever.  The big-business corporatists who have the GOP “leadership” bought and paid for like it because it ensures a steady flow of cheap labor to be exploited.  (Even though it will ultimately ensure the end of the GOP.)  In neither case does it have a damn thing to do with genuine concern for the poor and downtrodden stranger.

However, plenty of well-meaning ordinary folks, including many conservatives and Catholics, have their heads far up their pious posteriors on this issue.  The US Bishops, those reliably enthusiastic cheerleaders for welfare state socialism, continue to crusade for amnesty and open borders, as well as universal tax-payer-supplied benefits for illegals – all in the name of hospitality for the stranger.  (At least one good Bishop went so far as to declare that those opposing amnesty or “immigration reform” are “not pro-life.”)

One conservative commentator (a family friend) even condemned alleged conservative opposition to immigration as a form of “right-wing idolatry of the state.”  This sparked pious gushing from a reader about how much the influx of those holy Mexicans with their “deep devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe” would improve our country.

And plenty of libertarians adamantly support open borders on “anti-statist” grounds.

The brutal truth is that unrestricted immigration and easy amnesty policies will in fact do nothing to advance the cause of either social conservatism or of liberty, but will result in the increased destruction of both, by ensuring continued left-wing statist rule into the indefinite future.

In fact, it will ensure that Catholics, conservatives, and libertarians will lose on almost every single issue.

The brutal truth is that unrestricted immigration and easy amnesty policies will in fact do nothing to advance the cause of either social conservatism or of liberty, but will result in the increased destruction of both, by ensuring continued left-wing statist rule into the indefinite future.

In fact, it will ensure that Catholics, conservatives, and libertarians will lose on almost every single issue.

Hospitality to the stranger does not mean we must blithely accept and welcome anyone who sneaks or breaks into our homes, much less that we make them members of our household.

Conservatives want enforcement of existing reasonable restrictions on immigration, and not granting law-breakers the same path to citizenship as those who played by the rules.

And anyone who thinks that a country can maintain its unique culture and identity while being flooded with new-comers who do not share it need only ponder the fate of the American Indian after the coming of the white man.

The irony is that if our current trends continue, America will no longer be prosperous land of opportunity that for hundreds of years drew immigrants from over the world to her shores.  Immigration from south of the border actually slowed considerably in the Obama years, not because of increased border security, but because of lack of jobs in the dismal U.S. economy.

My point here is not to bash Mexicans, Hispanics, or immigrants in general (of which, in fact, there are many wonderful, and even conservative, individuals). Rather, Catholics, conservatives, and libertarians, need to wake up and get their heads out of the sand before they give enthusiastic support to policies that will ensure their own demise, as well as that of America.

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The Great Religious Right Schism & Other Fantasies

You gotta hand it to the folks in the “mainstream” liberal press.  Their consistent ability to cram enormous amounts of nonsense, distortions, and falsehoods into brief articles – especially with regards to religion, especially with regards to the Catholic Church – is nothing short of amazing.

This piece I stumbled across last week from some guy named Peter Weber is pretty typical.  It’s titled, “Why Pope Francis Won’t Cause a Schism in the U.S. Religious Right,” and the gist of it was that the current Pope’s allegedly liberal “pro-choice,” “pro-gay” positions had failed to create a rift between faithful Catholics and conservative Evangelical Protestants on hot-button “culture war” issues such as abortion and “gay marriage.”  Shocking.

Perhaps it’s just me, but I detected a hint of disappointment in the piece’s title.  Maybe even a tear or two.  You see, it seems those darned orthodox “conservative” Catholics will just stubbornly cling to their unenlightened positions against abortion and “gay marriage” regardless of what the Pope says.

After quoting some rather ignorant statements of alarm at the Pope from some conservative Evangelicals, Weber quotes some typical delirium from lefty gay-activist “journalist” Andrew Sullivan, who crows, “The Catholic hierarchy has been knocked sideways by the emergence of Pope Francis and his eschewal of their fixation on homosexuality, contraception, and abortion. That fixation — essentially a Christianist and de facto Republican alliance among Protestants and Catholic leaders — has now been rendered a far lower priority than, say, preaching the Gospel or serving the poor and the sick. Francis has also endorsed secularism as the proper modern context for religious faith.”

(Ooh!  There’s that scary, scary word, “Christianist”!  If you’re pro-life, or don’t want “gay marriage,” you’re some blood-crazed fanatic eager to lop the head off of Infidels.)

And never mind, of course, that not a word of Sullivan’s gushing is actually true, but more on that later.

Weber disagrees with Sullivan’s liberal triumphalism, concluding:

“The long papacy of happy culture warrior John Paul II didn’t turn Ted Kennedy or John Kerry or Joe Biden or Nancy Pelosi — Catholics all — into anti-abortion activists. And Pope Francis’ shift away from cultural politics won’t convert John Boehner or make any of the conservative Catholics on the Supreme Court — Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas — less eager to overturn Roe v. Wade.”

True (excepting, I’d argue, the eagerness of Roberts & co. to overturn Roe v. Wade).

But Weber (like most of his media brethren) remains completely clueless.

Both Weber and Sullivan, like most in liberal press, are unable to see Catholic moral teaching in any context other than American “liberals vs. conservatives” politics.

They apparently labor under the delusion that opposition to abortion and homosexual activity is a recent invention of the Republican Party, rather than what the Christian Faith has always taught for 2000 years, as found in the epistles of St. Paul and in the Didache.  (And, unlike the GOP “leadership,” the Church is actually serious about what it says.)

Besides the fact that personal papal interviews contain zero magisterial authority, and, as I noted previously here, Pope Francis did not change or do away with any of the Church’s moral teachings, which remain clearly stated in the Catechism.  (Excellent article in Catholic Culture by Phil Lawler here.)

The notion that Pope Francis reversed the Church’s teachings on abortion, etc., and that pro-life Catholics are now just as much in dissent from Church teaching as Pelosi, Kerry & co. were back in the pre-Francis days, is a heaping load of absolute and total excrement.  Sorry, if you ain’t pro-life, you still ain’t Catholic!

Those who think the current Holy Father is “pro-choice,” “hates dogma,” or wants the Church to just shut up about abortion and other moral issues, need to read his recent address to Catholic physicians, where he spoke of the importance of the right to life of all persons from conception, proclaiming:

Every child who, rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord . . .  And every elderly person, even if he is ill or at the end of his days, bears the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded, as the “culture of waste” suggests! They cannot be thrown away!

Hardly the words of a Pelosi-esque “pro-choicer,” or of one who thinks the Church needs to “get over its fixation” on abortion.  Of course, those words of Pope Francis got almost no “mainstream” media attention.

Much as lefties may eagerly anticipate it, a socially-liberal Catholic Church leading the faithful to the light of acceptance of abortion and sexual immorality remains a deluded fantasy.  As it always will be.

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Habemus Papam! (Holy Smoke and Yet More Papal Bull)

Wednesday, white smoke issued from the Sistine Chapel, and soon after it was declared that former archbishop of Buenos Aires Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio had been elected Pope, taking the name Francis.  Thus ended weeks of nail-biting suspense on the part of the mainstream media concerning whether the next pope would be a “progressive” who would change the Church’s teachings on contraception, homosexuality, abortion, and the priesthood, and bring the Church into the glorious new modern era of gay marriage and womyn priestesses – or another nasty old “conservative” who would keep the Church mired in the Dark Ages of Oppression and teach what the Church has always taught for 2000 years.  I suppose the whole suspense wasn’t quite so nail-biting for me, as my money was always solidly on the latter.

I admit to being a rather lazy Catholic, and having done little research on most of the contenders for the papacy,  I was completely unfamiliar with Cardinal Bergoglio.  When scouring the news on teh interwebz for information on the new pope after first learning of his election, most of the “mainstream” news stories seemed to read mostly: “sex abuse, sex abuse, sex abuse . . . scandal, scandal, scandal . . .” (and liberals accuse the Catholic Church of being obsessed with sex).  Of course the commentary from the readers’ peanut galleries was even more depressingly predictable.  While some progressive souls took initial comfort that Bergoglio was apparently a “moderate” and a Jesuit, they soon expressed profound disappointment on finding that (in the words of one gent) he was yet another “dour homophobe” who had – gasp!—opposed the legal institution of homosexual “marriage” in Argentina.   (That profoundly inane pc epiphet “homophobe” again.  The Church has always taught that any “heterosexual” behavior outside marriage is mortally sinful as well, yet it would be just as moronic to decry the Church as “forniphobic” or “heterophobic.”)

This brings up a rather interesting issue regarding all the self-described “Catholic faithful” who are so insistent that the Church needs to change her moral teachings to match their own opinions.

If the Church can simply change her teachings on faith and morals to jive with whatever happens to be popular at the time, then what moral authority would the Church possess at all?  If Church teachings on faith and morals are changeable, and based on popular opinion – rather than on timeless eternal truth –  what’s the point of belonging to the Church in the first place?  The belief that Church teaching can be changed on whim implies that the Church’s teachings are not based on any divine authority, but merely human opinion and politics.  If you feel a need to belong to an organization governed by democratic principles and preaching sexual libertinism coupled and salvation through humanitarian good works (conveniently done by the government), there’s already such an organization for you.  It’s called the Democratic Party.  Or if you really insist on the whole churchy thing, the Episcopalians will be happy to take you in.

Before some of you get all upset, I’ll make it clear that the following is purely hypothetical, and I have faith that it will never happen; but the moment a Catholic Pope reverses the Church’s unpopular teaching on contraceptives, or abortion, or homosexuality, or any other moral matter, I will promptly leave the Church and no longer consider myself Catholic.  No, not because I place my own personal rightwing troglodyte prejudices over the teaching authority of the Church, but because such a reversal would prove the Church’s moral teachings to have no divine authority built on the Rock of Peter and the Fire of Truth, but to be built on the shifting sands of human opinion.  If Church moral teaching is nothing more than a weather vane blowing in the winds of popular opinion, there is no reason for me to subjugate myself to it.

On the other hand, if you are an unbeliever, and consider the Catholic Faith to be a bunch of superstitious nonsense, then, really, why should you even care what the Pope teaches?  I myself am not inclined to insist that Mormon leaders, or the head of the Church of Scientology, change their teachings to be closer to my own beliefs.  Indeed, I think effort would be better spent trying to get people out of those absurd cults, and to know the actual truth.

But I suppose the reality is that liberals both outside and inside the Church – having no tolerance for any beliefs or viewpoints outside the dictates of political correctness- want to turn the Catholic Church into nothing more than yet another mouthpiece for liberal political opinion.

Another thing I find both amusing and confounding is how those demanding change in Church teaching seem to always explicitly or implicitly blame the evils of sex abuse and its cover up in the Church on the Church’s rigid “conservatism” and doctrinal orthodoxy, and talk as though somehow more liberalism in the Church, with a good dose of “gay marriage” and womyn priestesses, would fix the problem.  However, many of the bishops most guilty in the cover-up of priestly sexual abuse were anything but conservative.  The disgraced Cardinal Mahoney, for instance, pretty much epitomized “liberal Catholicism,” and has been a bane of “conservative” and orthodox Catholics for decades.  As had the notoriously liberal and heterodox Archbishop Weakland of Milwaukee, who was involved in one of the first of the major sex scandals to come to light.

While there are shrieks of condemnation and gloom-and-doom for the Church from both the left and the hysterical “rad-trad” right, I think we can rest assured that, for whatever the pros and cons of his reign, will continue preaching the exact same Faith and moral truths that his predecessors have since St. Peter.  May God grant him a long, holy, and glorious reign.

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A Defense of Legal Recognition of Marriage from an Evil Statist Theocratic Catholic Bastard

(Note:  This piece was originally published in the blog, “. . . the hell with it” in which I guest-blogged in response to an article by ‘Johnny Peters” as part of a debate on the Church, the state, and marriage  You can read both articles and the following commentary/debate here.)

 

In this piece, I will argue that the state should  in fact recognize and promote marriage, as taught by the Church, and that the law should recognize the true definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.

Contrary to our gracious hostess’s statement on this blog, I could care less whether or not the state has a vested interest in recognizing marriage between one man and one woman.  Rather, I believe that society–that all of us–have a vested interest in marriage being thus correctly recognized by the law.  In accord with the consistent social teaching of the Church, the state has a duty to promote the common good, whether it happens to benefit those in power or not.

While Mr. Peters has given us a rousing libertarian rant against various abuses of power by the state, from Mayor Bloomberg’s War on Soda-pop to Prohibition, he fails to adequately address Catholic social teaching on the proper relationship of the law to marriage.

As Catholics, our primary concern should not be with what Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Barrack Obama, NOM, the ACLU, or any other politician or political lobby has to say about this issue.   Rather, we should be concerned with what Jesus Christ’s One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church has to say about it.

The Church’s teaching on legal recognition of marriage, and on homosexual “civil unions” is not arcane or esoteric, but is pretty straightforward and direct, and can be easily read by all in this 2003 document written by a certain Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger in the office of Prefect of the Congregation for the Defense of the Faith:  “Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons.”

There isn’t space here to go into this entire document in depth, but I strongly recommend that every Catholic with an interest in this debate read the entire document.   Cardinal Ratzinger’s learning, wisdom, and holiness far exceeds my own, and it is best to read it in his own words.   However, I will quote the document’s conclusion here:

 The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behavior, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself.

Many Catholics today decry state recognition of marriage as “giving the state power over a sacrament,” and talk as though this is similar to the state deciding who should be baptized, or allowed to receive Holy Communion.

While the Church has in fact elevated Catholic marriage to a sacrament, marriage is in fact an institution of the natural law, and is a good in the natural order.   Marriage between a man and a woman simply provides the best situation for the procreation and raising of children, and is the most fundamental unit of human society.  As such, it is in everyone’s interest to promote and support it, as the Church recognizes.   Study after study confirms that it is best for children that they be raised in stable homes with both a mother and a father, and our society is currently suffering from the effects of fatherless homes and broken homes associated with the decline of marriage.

Thus, marriage between man and woman is not only a religious concern, but rather a good essential to the proper functioning of society, which deserves to be supported by law and government, just as the law should support such goods as human life and property rights.

While much more could be said about the above-cited CDF document, two main points are relevant to this particular debate.

First, law-makers have a duty to ensure that the law “recognize, promote, and protect marriage.”

While there can certainly be legitimate debate about how the law should best do this, this is obviously contrary to the law not recognizing marriage at all, as Mr. Peters proposes.  If the law does not even recognize marriage in the first place, then it follows that it can do nothing to promote or protect it.

Secondly, it is wrong to give legal recognition to homosexual unions, and “place them on the same level as marriage.”

While Mr. Peters claims to be opposed to state recognition of homosexual unions, this is exactly what his proposal to “get the state out of marriage” would in fact entail.  If legal recognition of the marriage contract were scrapped, as Mr. Peters proposes, and replaced entirely with contracts by private attorney, then the state would indeed place homosexual unions and marriage on the same level.  (And I hardly think it beneficial to married couples if, after getting married, they have to make a separate visit with a lawyer simply to receive any legal recognition as being related to one another.)

A marriage between a man and a woman, in Mr. Peters’ brilliant proposal, would receive exactly the same legal recognition as a private contract between two or more cohabiting homosexuals, or any other grouping of persons having nothing to do with marriage.  Such a move would utterly fail to promote and protect marriage in any way, but would utterly devalue it, as to make marriage legally meaningless.

Likewise with Senator Paul’s absurd proclamation (reverently quoted by Mr. Peters) that “There should essentially be no limits to the voluntary definition of marriage.”  If there are essentially no limits to the legal definition of marriage, “marriage” becomes essentially meaningless.   This “voluntary” redefinition of “marriage” to mean anything and everything you want it to mean, would in reality force the state to recognize as “marriage” not only homosexual “unions,” but any other couplings or groupings of persons (or animals?  inanimate objects?  Let’s not be limiting!) that one can come up with.   In Senator Paul’s brave new world, states would have to legally recognize your “marriage” to your gay lover, or your sister, or your grandmother, or your Rottweiler (or all four if you’re feeling particularly adventurous)  No limits, baby!

But, the libertarian opponents of legal marriage will say, so what if the law gives no special status to marriage between man and woman, and places it on equal footing legally with contracts between homosexuals or others?  After all, it’s not the place of the law to promote moral values!

But this is where Catholic social teaching differs sharply from secularist libertarian doctrine.  The Church has always recognized and taught that it is the responsibility of law and government to promote the common good and natural law morality, rather than oppose it.  Thus, “legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behavior, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity.”

Laws both reflect and affect the moral values of a society, and people’s ideas of what is right and wrong.  The Church teaches that the law has a “teaching” function.  If you doubt this notion, consider whether you think it is easier or harder to convince people in our country that abortion is wrong and evil after it has been officially legally enshrined via Roe v. Wade as “a woman’s constitutional right to choose.”  Or you might consider whether you think the outlawing of slavery has had any effect on people’s general attitudes toward “the peculiar institution.”

If the law does not recognize and promote marriage, but regards it as having no more value than homosexual shack-ups, it sends the clear message that marriage is of no value.

Now that we’ve shown that the Church teaches that the law must recognize and protect marriage, and that abolishing all legal recognition of marriage is contrary to the Church’s teachings, let’s deal briefly with a couple of Mr. Peter’s objections.

“The Church shouldn’t need permission slips from the state to perform marriages!”

Fair enough.  I don’t have a problem with getting rid of state marriage licenses, though I don’t think they’re quite the horrific oppression Mr. Peters apparently thinks they are, given the big scheme of things.   The law should still recognize and promote marriage though, and this can be done without marriage licenses – as the law did in fact recognize marriages before state licenses were introduced.  I think a written document with the signatures of the spouses would do fine.  Just so long as the state only recognizes marriages between a man and a woman, as nothing else is, or ever can be, a marriage.

“Catholic churches will be forced to perform gay marriage ceremonies!”

This is simply a hysterical slippery-slope non-sequitor.   This scenario would be a direct violation of the first amendment’s religious liberty clause, which even the most liberal lawyer would have trouble weaseling around.  And yes, I realize religious liberty is under attack, but we should stand and defend religious liberty on its own grounds, rather than duck and run by failing to promote and defend marriage.   While the law recognizes the right of persons to get married, no one has a “right” to get married in any particular church, synagogue, or mosque.   Religious clerics are not forced to marry any (heterosexual) couple in violation of their religious beliefs.   Time and energy would be much better spent defending first amendment religious liberty rights, than trying to abolish all legal recognition of marriage.

(Besides, I’m sure the local liberal Episcopalian church would be more than happy to oblige any homosexual couple looking for a quaint and atmospheric location for a “wedding” ceremony that would beat the local Catholic architectural monstrosity hands-down.)

The Church always calls on us to stand up and defend what is right and just, to be a shining light on the hill, rather than run for the cover of darkness at any sign of a tough fight.  She doesn’t call on us to stand up for what is right only when we deem it politically expedient or popular, or “on the right side of history.”

The Church continues to exhort Catholics to do all we can to ensure that the state and the law defend and protect all innocent human life, born and preborn.  She does this regardless of the fact that the government of our country (and many others) has failed miserably in this regard over the past forty years or so.

In the same way, the Church calls on law-makers to defend and protect the good of marriage.  We Catholics should step up our efforts to evangelize society, and take a stand for what is right, rather than declare surrender, and pursue a legal agenda blatantly at odds with the Church’s teaching.

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“Tolerance” Strikes!

Ironically, not long after I posted my previous rant, “Holy Hysteria, Batman!” about how for the left everything is political, and the desperate attempts by folks in the liberal media to pin blame for acts of senseless violence on conservatives and Tea Party members, a shooting occurred in which the gunman himself actually did give political reasons for his attempted killing, telling his victim, “I don’t like your politics.”

Only, of course, the shooter wasn’t a crazed right-winger, or Tea Party activist, but instead a fellow active in the “gay rights” movement, who shot a security guard (but failed to kill him; the guard disarmed him) at the headquarters of the Christian lobbying group, the Family Research Council.  Apparently, one of the self-described advocates of “tolerance” could not tolerate other people having a different point of view on the issue of homosexual “marriage,” and sought to execute them for their horrific crime of having politics he didn’t like.

While this shooting/attempted murder got some cursory coverage from the mainstream media, you can be the bank that if some conservative activist had attempted to shoot up the headquarters of a gay rights group, or other liberal advocacy group, the media would never shut up about the shooting, and how the “climate of hate” fostered by conservatives and those who oppose homosexual “marriage” was to blame.

The liberal Southern Poverty Law Center had in fact labeled the FRC a “hate group” in 2010 for their stand opposing “gay marriage,” and some conservatives had made an issue of this regarding the shooting.  (Some years ago I once happened upon the SPLC’s magazines lying around, and it appears that this organization, which once fought against racist groups, has morphed into primarily a “gay rights” group.  I’m really not entirely sure what exactly homosexuality has to do with Southern poverty.)   Of course, you won’t see any liberals in the press blaming equating Christians opposed to state-recognized “gay marriage” with neo-Nazis; for those on the left, this will only yet again illustrate the urgent need for further restrictions on our second amendment rights.

While the SPLC’s statements regarding the FRC are utterly asinine, it’s their constitutional right to utter them, and the blame remains on the man who made the choice to pull the trigger.  (Charles C. Cooke here makes an argument essentially identical to what I said in my “Holy Hysteria” rant regarding responsibility for killings here:  “Words Don’t Pull Triggers.”)

Of course, the “mainstream” media continually tries to paint conservatives, and particularly Christian conservatives, as uniquely hateful and violent folks, but this caricature has nothing to do with reality.  (There’s few places I’d feel safer than among a gathering of conservative Christians.)  Over the past century, in fact, the majority of political violence in this country has been from the left, rather than from the right.

While I certainly don’t think most people in favor of “gay rights” are violent or advocates of violence, I think it telling that it is social liberals who regard it as a “hate crime” merely to have views different from their own, and a social liberal who was willing to kill simply because he “didn’t like” a group’s political views.

Among the largely socially-conservative crowds filling restaurants at the “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day” events, there was nary a hateful face to be seen, while it was “liberal” mayors trying to bluster and bully the restaurant into submission, simply on account of the owner’s religious views that marriage is only between a man and woman.   For the self-appointed promoters of “Tolerance,” divergent viewpoints and ideas simply cannot be tolerated.

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