View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Monday, October 12, 2009

President Obama continues attacks on traditional faiths

At the Human Rights Campaign dinner Saturday, President Obama pledged support for the homosexual agenda and continued to express his dismissal of traditional religious - and Catholic - beliefs.

"For despite the real gains that we've made, there's still laws to change and there's still hearts to open. There are still fellow citizens, perhaps neighbors, even loved ones -- good and decent people -- who hold fast to outworn arguments and old attitudes; who fail to see your families like their families; who would deny you the rights most Americans take for granted."

Outworn arguments and old attitudes?

The Bible?

The doctrinal and moral teachings of the Catholic Church?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church?

The teachings of many other Christian Churches?

And some Catholics continue to support him???


Blogger Ben Anderson said...

and don't forget human reason and the natural law.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Good point, Ben.

4:23 PM  
Blogger In the choir loft said...

Isn't this a perfect time for Bishop Clark to say something to counter Obama's statement. When is he ever going to get into the ring and defend the teachings of the faith. You know, after awhile, I just lose respect for him. Shouldn't he be stridently defending his flock at times like this, offering the flock some encouragement to stay the course on Church teaching.

Who said if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. We shouldn't have to shepherd ourselves.

Pray for Bishop Clark.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Choir loft - It's highly unlikely that he would say anything about this particular issue or President Obama's remarks. He rarely says much even about local issues.

But he is my bishop, and so I must respect him even when I am disappointed.

6:16 PM  
Blogger In the choir loft said...

I always respect the office, but his continued silence on issues really gets to me. I can't help but lose respect for the person; never the office. I dunno maybe it's just time to accept the way it is and just not say anything because when I do, I just get frustrated.

Thanks, Lee.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

I share some of your frustrations!

8:52 PM  
Blogger Rich Leonardi said...

Ben's point is worth expanding. The Church's social doctrines, grounded as they are in natural law and accessible by reason, are nonsectarian, and the Church expounds them along those lines. Anyone with an open mind can grasp them.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Rich Leonardi said...

Here is Pope Benedict in his now-famous 2006 "not negotiable" address to the European People's Party; pay particular attention to the last paragraph:

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable. Among these the following emerge clearly today:

- protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death;

- recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family - as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage - and its defence from attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different forms of union which in reality harm it and contribute to its destabilization, obscuring its particular character and its irreplaceable social role;

- the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.

These principles are not truths of faith, even though they receive further light and confirmation from faith; they are inscribed in human nature itself and therefore they are common to all humanity. The Church’s action in promoting them is therefore not confessional in character, but is addressed to all people, prescinding from any religious affiliation they may have. On the contrary, such action is all the more necessary the more these principles are denied or misunderstood, because this constitutes an offence against the truth of the human person, a grave wound inflicted onto justice itself.

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Todd said...

There's always a danger in taking someone's words and trying to apply them to a second situation. Rich's quote illustrates this:

The pope's first point is what we all stand on.

His second has yet to be supported by any empirical evidence. My marriage is strengthened or weakened to the degree my wife and I take seriously (or not) our mutual sacramental responsibilities to one another.

The secular institution of marriage may well be damaged by certain attitudes in the culture: acceptance of adultery, the prevalence of divorce and the easy acceptance of it as an option, corporations selling sex, serial monogamy, drug abuse, military separations, and the like. The Church promotes strong marriages in movements like Marriage Encounter, and might do well to look at the sociological problems of young marrieds who aren't inspired to get involved in their faith.

Blaming problems on gays and lesbians is lazy. The SSA culture, or its imitation of marriage, or its advocacy for promiscuity or other immoral aspects doesn't harm marriage one whit--not that we've seen proved, at any rate.

Strong marriages don't happen by denying SSA people a bedside visit at the time of death. Strong marriages are hard work.

The pope also errs on his last point. Parents don't have a "right" to educate. They have a responsibility to do it. A right implies that a person may do something. A responsibility is a mandate, and for Christian marriage, education of children is a given--not an option parents are free to choose.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Ben Anderson said...

I'd agree we need to do what we can to strengthen marriages.

"Blaming problems on gays and lesbians is lazy. The SSA culture, or its imitation of marriage, or its advocacy for promiscuity or other immoral aspects doesn't harm marriage one whit--not that we've seen proved, at any rate."

I don't think anyone is blaming the entire problem on this. It is one of many contributors (but more than one whit). And the whole notion of needing scientific verifiable data in order to endorse social agendas is just nonsense. You can make such data say what you want. That's why reason (which is pretty much neglected in our modern culture) is so important.

"denying SSA people a bedside visit at the time of death."
I don't think anyone is supporting that idea. The big question is whether to legitimize homosexuality by allowing same sex "marriage" or unions. This is scandalous because it redefines marriage and will be another contributor in the breakdown of the family.

6:51 AM  
Blogger Persis said...

Interesting comments, and for the most part I agree with you. Please clarify for me, what does SSA refer to?

9:57 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

SSA refers to Same Sex Attraction. It's one of the euphemisms used to try to help make homosexuality sound more acceptable.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Ben Anderson said...

actually, Lee, I think the term SSA should be preferred for those of us (any Catholic in good standing) who oppose homosexual behavior. I believe it better represents our understanding. Yes, some people are attracted to those of the same sex, but that doesn't validate it as being morally acceptable. I'm attracted to sexy supermodels I see on the covers of magazines, but I don't indulge myself by making that temptation a sin (at least I do my best not to). And that's the point. We must fight against our desires - not just say, "well, that's how God made me." So I think SSA is better than homosexual or gay because our desires don't define us, they are simply an attribute of our being.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

You make some good points, Ben.

I have only seen the term SSA used by those who seem to want to soften the Church's teachings or to make homosexuality seem more "normal" or acceptable, however. Perhaps there are those who follow your line of thought and use it and I simply have not encountered them.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

On further review (and after thinking for a while), I have to give admit you make sense Ben when it comes to SSA.

Thanks for raising the point. I eat humble pie.

Pass the salt ...

5:57 PM  
Blogger RailRider said...

"denying SSA people a bedside visit at the time of death."
I don't think anyone is supporting that idea.

Ben - the legal result of not being "married" or joined in a civil union is that people are denied bedside visits at the time of death or health trauma and are denied inheritance rights with people they've built a life with; that's why many people see this as a civil rights issue.

9:24 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Railraider: Built a life with - or engaged in sinful activities with?

You're mixing emotalionalims with what's right and wrong. The two individuals should never have been in this postion in the first place.

The law is not perfect. It does condone morally wrong activities in other instances. But that still does not justify relaxing standards to condone actions that violate moral and natural law.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Ben Anderson said...

I just really don't think this whole debate is about bed side visits. It's about legitimizing the homosexual lifestyle. They want the stamp of approval. They want to indoctrinate the children. They want to hush anyone who disagrees.

10:03 PM  

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