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The Catholic Church is Becoming an Enemy of the State

July 20, AD2013 37 Comments

\"Greg

All Catholics should justifiably be concerned – especially after actions by the U.S. government during the final two weeks of June. How can anyone doubt that Catholics are in the midst of a real struggle to maintain our religious freedom…even more so than many other faiths.

The reality is that the past four weeks is simply the most recent stage in the degradation of faith in the United States. The undermining of religious faiths has been occurring for decades, in bi-partisan fashion, through the gradual erosion of moral standards. Many will say that secularism impacts all religions, and this is a safe assumption. However, my contention is that the Catholic faith, as well as a few others, especially the older orthodox religions such as Judaism and Islam, are particularly affected.

So why is the impact of the secular political and social transformation been especially challenging for Catholic faithful?

There are a couple dominant reasons, but all are related to the fact that the Catholic Church is stands behind specific doctrines and refuses to compromise its core beliefs.

The subject matter that has most recently been the coalescing force of discussion is sex and marriage, which of course, also encompasses abortion, same-sex unions, and contraception. (For another great article on Catholicism, contraception, and same sex marriage, see Mary Rice Hasson’s article from July 8, 2013.)

Results of Standing Firm

The non-Catholic perspective increasingly portrays Catholics and the Catholic Church as intolerant, bigots, anti-woman, unfeeling, etc. Unfortunately, due to an inability or unwillingness to defend the faith and/or themselves, many Catholics hold this perspective as well.

In some ways, discussing these perspectives with “practicing Catholics” is more difficult, yet it is also the key for overcoming portrayals from those outside the Catholic faith. If we, members of the Catholic faith, cannot understand and explain why our faith is what it is, then how do we expect to explain it to non-Catholics, which is what our life’s mission, as apostles of Christ, is to be in the first place?

Wisdom is the Word

Education and experience leads to wisdom. The U.S. used to include the Bible as part of its public education as a reading resource and a tool for learning. Over the years, the “freedom of religion” terminology in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has evolved into practice as the freedom “from” religion.

The motives for this can be discussed elsewhere. However, the U.S. governments’ continual practice of replacing a religious-based culture, which this country was founded, with a more secular culture through policies and actions is showing no signs of slowing. In fact, on June 17 of this year, President Barack Obama singled out the Catholic Church as a root cause of divisiveness in the world.

This is on top of the excessive dialogue and current legal fight to exclude Catholic institutions from being mandated to offer abortion and contraceptive “health care” as a part of the bi-partisan Affordable Care Act.

First, and preeminently important, is that nothing is forcing any individual to be a member of the Catholic faith and/or be employed, treated, or educated by a Catholic institution. It is a choice. This is as valid for current “cafeteria” Catholics as it is for non-Catholics. While it is the true belief and mission of Catholics to help others gain eternal life through our faith, it is not accomplished through force.

Without delving completely into the “why” the political angst against Catholics exists, let’s get back to the reality that there is often little understanding as to why we believe what we profess to believe.

In an effort to summarize as briefly and succinctly as possible the Catholic dogma on sex and marriage, I will attempt to do so in as few generic words as possible.

The Catholic teaching is that: Marriage is a Sacrament whereby two consenting individuals become one for the purpose of creating children as granted through the love of the Holy Spirit.

The simple but more explicit translation is as follows:

Sex is intended for procreation, not for individual pleasure. Sex is reserved for those that have been blessed by the Holy Spirit through the Sacrament of Marriage. Marriage is the self-sacrifice of individuals to become one. Since sex and marriage is for the purpose of procreation, it must biologically be between a man and a woman.

As a result of this simple teaching, the following implications confuse and sometimes anger Catholics and non-Catholics alike:

1) Sex is for the procreation of children – if this activity is conducted outside of the Sacrament of Marriage, it is a sin (regardless of what genders are involved). This sin does not discriminate.

2) The use of contraception between married Catholics is also a sin because it denies the Holy Spirit’s creation of a child – the purpose of the Sacred Marriage.

3) Abortion should be clearly understood by now as the killing of God’s child.

All of these points can be discussed in much more depth, using expanded explanations and teachings found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and in scholarly and theological discussions. My goal is to allow others – common Catholics – to explain our Catholic faith to others.

Archaic Beliefs

Another common complaint is often asked, “Why doesn’t the Catholic Church change along with societal beliefs? The world is changing and the Church needs to catch up.” This plea is uttered by Catholics and non-Catholics.

While I do not intend to be brash, but we express the answer to this at virtually every Mass within a single line of the Nicene Creed: I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

The Catholic Church is based upon the teachings of the apostles, starting with the original 12 and continuing over the years with the pope, who is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the first Apostle. Therefore, for the Catholic Church to change its teachings, it would require it to abandon original teachings of the faith. This is exactly how many other religions got their start – they chose to not follow certain beliefs of the Catholic Church.

Therefore, regardless of the non-partisan U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on June 25, 2013 to redefine marriage for the country, it is virtually impossible to expect the Catholic Church to ever redefine marriage because doing so would redefine the faith.

The simple realization is that yes, the Catholic Church does have archaic beliefs – because these beliefs were delivered directly from God to Jesus and through the Holy Spirit to the Apostles.

Distracting Argument

Undoubtedly, we have heard the argument that the Catholic Church has no right to “regulate” the sexual and marriage rights of society because of the numerous and disgusting sexual abuses perpetrated and protected by many Church officials.

Casting the failings of individuals, including those in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, as a reason to dismiss the apostolic teachings of God is ridiculous and almost not worthy of further discussion. However, it is a reality that needs to be addressed in our culture today. Albeit way too late in most instances, the sins have been adjudicated legally and within the Church. There is nothing that we can do to erase what has happened. It does not, however, warrant the dismissal of more than 2,013 years of apostolic teachings.

© 2013. Greg Yoko. All Rights Reserved.

Filed in: Politics

About the Author:

Greg Yoko possesses almost 30 years of experience in a variety of communication-related positions, primarily as a communication and marketing strategist. He has served as an author, editor, publisher, educator, consultant, entrepreneur, marketing manager, and speaker throughout the United States and Canada. His focus is on practical implications and results, not the theoretical. With an extensive career in marketing, Greg has worked in numerous industries. For over 10 years, Greg published international digital and print magazines, newsletters and books in the land development industry. He has authored hundreds of articles for numerous newspapers and magazines. Currently, Greg is the Director of Business Development for a custom plastic manufacturer and is an adjunct professor at the University of Dubuque. He is also owner of Thy Will Be Done Publishing (ThyWillBeDonePub.com). In his spare time, Greg is a licensed youth, high school, and college official. He earned a Master’s degree in Communication Studies (Message Design) from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 1995 and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication-Journalism from Mercyhurst University (Erie, PA) in 1985. A native of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, Greg currently lives in Dubuque, Iowa with his wife of 26 years, Kim, and two college-age sons.

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  • Mary Ann

    Maybe it’s not entirely fair to imply there is increasing government discrimination against Catholics. There is just an increasing absence of morality in society in general, and the legislative body is willing to accommodate that decline by giving people the laws that they request. Unfortunately, there is a large percentage of Catholics who actually WANT the laws that are currently being implemented.

    The ability of Catholics to vote as a unified block on any moral issue may have been possible many years ago, but is impossible today. Over the years a sort of “continuum” of loyalty to Church teaching has developed, whereby Catholics feel free to use their conscience to pick and choose which tenets of the faith they will agree with and adhere to. President Obama is just doing what any successful politician does when his agenda meets with resistance – distract from the real issue, and label and demonize any group of people who appear to stand in the way.

    • Greg Yoko

      Mary Ann – I did mention that it is not only Catholics, but also other
      “strict” older religions such as Judaism and Islam. You will never,
      however, here these faiths directly targeted by American politicians –
      despite the fact that one of the primary reasons America is repeatedly
      attacked (verbally, politically, and militarily) by some of the Middle
      Eastern countries is because of the U.S. social policies which we, as
      Catholics, are also opposed.

      You are correct that the Catholic “voting block” does not exist any
      more. The cafeteria Catholics who pick and choose what parts of the
      faith they want to abandon have more loyalty to political parties and
      personal preferences.

      It does not help that we have “Catholic” American politicians that do
      not uphold the tenets of the faith, but outwardly flaunt this and do so
      without earthly repercussions by the Catholic hierarchy.

      Thanks for your comments.
      Greg

    • Tom Lewis

      If Catholics are the moral fiber of the world, the Salt of the World as it is sometimes put, where do they obtain and refresh that saltiness so-to-speak. If we Americans promote the idea of Pelegianism, (one must engage in much action and avoid idleness of prayer) sometimes called “Americanism,” how do we achieve the moral fiber necessary: Through the Protestant Work Ethic? I don’t think so.

      Prayer, the Mass, the Rosary, Catholic Doctrine, the Sacraments, all help proved the necessary graces to be a moral people. Who provides these elements the Catholic Church, the Trinity, Those who stand between man and God, Catholic Priest. What Happened? Why is there a Fr. Pfleger in Chicago?

  • Jim Carroll

    Excellent article! I frequently post on several different end-times boards, where I am frequently the only Catholic present. I’m not sure if that makes me a glutton for punishment, or if it is simply giving me experience in practicing charity while preparing for my future martyrdom. Regardless, I’m going to post a link to this article on every single one of those boards. While the focus of this article is on the RCC, it is clear to everyone that is reading the signs of the times that Catholics will not be the only ones “suppressed” during the times to come. (Whether the “Tribulation” spoken of by Protestants will be the same as the “Chastisement” spoken of by Catholic prophecies, I’ll leave to wiser heads than mine.)

    • Greg Yoko

      Thanks Jim. It is amazing to me how many people simply are not “connecting the dots,” if you know what I mean. Many just do not see the connection between the freedoms granted in the constitution, government’s policies and actions, and the consequences for not only our country, but also our Catholic faith.

      Greg

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  • Denny

    Good article, but the affordable care act was not bipartisan. The Democratic Party rammed it through.

    • Greg Yoko

      Denny – you are correct. When I edited the article I was not clear. The Republicans did support health care reform in years prior to the eventual passing of the ACA. As the details and mandates in the ACA changed, the R’s removed their support in both the Senate and the House. In fact, there was bi-partisan votes AGAINST the ACA – but it still received enough support to pass.

  • cminca

    “The Catholic teaching is that: Marriage is a Sacrament whereby two consenting individuals become one for the purpose of creating children as granted through the love of the Holy Spirit – ”

    Is anyone stopping you from believing that? Is anyone stopping you from preaching that? Is anyone stopping the CC from performing the sacrament of marriage?

    NO.

    What society is saying is that the CC doesn’t get to define the laws of a secular, plural society and believes that ALL citizens should be equal under those laws.

    Has anyone written laws prohibiting Catholics from private or public prayer?

    Has anyone written laws that would punish Catholics from practicing their religion? (Be careful–the issuing if marriage licenses or baking wedding cakes is a vocational act–not a religious one.)

    Has anyone written laws that preclude Catholics from specific jobs, the military, housing, public benefits or services? That precludes Catholics from adopting children or seeing to their loved ones in a health care facility?

    NO.

    Has anyone written laws stating that the CC is held to a different standard than any other religion? Has CC property been confiscated by the state? Have CC bank accounts been frozen? Has the CC been singled out for taxation or other financial burdens?

    NO.

    So please show me how you are arriving at the conclusion that the CC or Catholics are being singled out? So please show me what proof you have of this political angst?

    “….reason to dismiss the apostolic teachings of God is ridiculous….” No one is dismissing God. No one is even dismissing the CC. The enjoyment of this fictional persecution is what is truly ridiculous. And—just so we’re clear—Catholic does NOT mean Christian. All Catholics profess to be Christians. Not all Christians are Catholics.
    You believe that the CC truly represents God’s will for men. Fine–you are entitled to your belief. Understand that some of us DON’T believe that the CC truly represents God. Just because someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t mean you’re being persecuted.
    Last week another gay teen committed suicide because he’d been driven to it by almost a decade of bullying. That is persecution. Not getting your way all the time isn’t persecution. To suggest it is mocks those who are truly persecuted–including those Catholics living in societies that truly DO persecute Catholics and other Christians.
    And BTW–if you are going to try and have any legitimacy stop disingenuously interpreting the President’s remarks to mean something he never said or intended to say.

    • Greg Yoko

      @cminca – For the most part, I do not disagree with your self-answered questions because I did not claim differently from any of those allegations/questions. The problem is that you apparently did not read the words that were written and instead jumped from the headline to the comments section.

      Starting AFTER the last “No”…
      The article accurately refers to provisions in the Affordable Care Act that do force Catholic institutions to offer and pay for procedures and contraception that are strictly against the teachings of the Church. By the way, I am also not misrepresenting nor misinterpreting what President Obama said in his speech in Ireland.

      Perhaps you are unfamiliar with term “apostolic teachings” as I was commenting on the basis of the Catholic faith. It has nothing to do with “dismissing God.” It is very clear – and I never stated otherwise – that Christians does not equal Catholics, or vice versa. There are millions of Christians who are not Catholics. I am not sure who you are arguing with on this point.

      I did not state that Catholics are being persecuted in the United States. My main point, if you care to re-read the article, is that our Freedom of Religion is being eroded away – not just for Catholics, but for everyone. The focus of the article wa its impact on Catholicism because this is forum for Catholics.

      Thank you for your comments. I pray that you find peace.
      Greg

    • cminca

      Actually–what the Affordable Care Act requires the CC to do is to pay for insurance. Insurance that can be used to fund any number of things. The insurance funding is fungible.

      I have to pay my taxes which indirectly subsidize the Catholic Church (as a tax free entity). I don’t get to pick and choose what my taxes pay for. My taxes are fungible.

      There is also a history of Catholic organizations paying for the insurance before the Affordable Care Act required it.

      So why, all of a sudden, did Cardinal Dolan have an issue with it? Because he wasn’t happy with other directions that Obama was going and he wanted to throw his weight around. Problem is, Dolan’s found out his weight is all personal, not political.

      So you can all wring your hands about the fictitious erosion of religious liberties in the US. But the reality is that the hierarchy is just upset that it doesn’t have the political weight it once did–within or outside the church.

    • Greg Yoko

      cominca – you are wrong. The Affordable Care Act REQUIRES that all insurance plans offer contraception and that most cover abortion “services.” You are quickly losing your credibility.

    • cminca

      Show me an insurance policy that outlines what specific diseases or procedures you are paying for coverage for.

      When you purchase insurance do you mark a box stating you are buying insurance for prostate cancer testing, but not for colon cancer? Of course not.

      The church is NOT paying for contraception. It is buying insurance. The funds are fungible.

    • Jim Carroll

      The funds are not so fungible as you might think. Unless it’s specialty insurance, you don’t check boxes for the diseases you want covered under insurance. BUT… every insurance plan I’ve ever had has limitations and exclusions. If I have a heart attack and go to the hospital, my current plan will cover me. (Unless I’m going to a hospital that is out of my coverage circle in which case MOST things are covered… maybe.) Having stomach reduction surgery is probably not covered, unless it’s part of a treatment plan for type II diabetes — I would have to check with my insurer to find out.

      In the past, contraception, abortion, and other “reproductive services” were usually part of some rider that the insurance company may or may not attach to your policy, and it may or may not cost extra. In those circumstances, those funds paid to the insurance companies are NOT fungible — funds for riders covering abortion and contraception would have to be set aside for those purposes and not used to cover general health insurance.

      The Affordable Care Act removes the choice of whether or not to buy the additional coverage for “reproductive services”. It is as if you were a vegan, and went to the local vegan restaurant for their special seitan stir-fried with broccoli and served with peanut sauce (which is pretty good, if you’ve never tried it before). When you dish arrives you find covering your meal are 3 slices of crispy, smokey-good slaughtered unclean animal. You object, because you didn’t want any scorched slaughtered animal. The owner of the place tells you to just be quiet — by law they now have to include the bacon with every meal they serve. What’s more, you have to pay for the bacon, even if you didn’t order it or want it. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t order it and don’t want it, the law says you have to buy the bacon.

      Now, one reason you became vegan was because you didn’t want to take part in the slaughter of any innocent animals, and yet, you are forced to support the system that slaughters animals. By your own argument, you shouldn’t be upset, because the funds that bought your meal are fungible — you’re paying for everything including the bacon. No one is forcing you to eat the bacon, you just have to pay to help support the inhumane treatment of these animals AND get a delicious meal. So tell me, please, how fungible ARE these restaurant meals?

    • cminca

      The restaurant offering meat is not an accurate argument because vegetables and meat are not freely exchangeable.

      Total fail.

      “In the past, contraception, abortion, and other “reproductive services” were usually part of some rider that the insurance company may or may not attach to your policy, and it may or may not cost extra.”

      You’ve never addressed that fact that many Catholic institutions were buying insurance coverage that included birth control before Dolan got on his high horse.

    • Jim Carroll

      cminca, peace be with you. Your message is too long for me to respond to each of the points you bring up. If I don’t respond to a particular point it isn’t because I think your point is valid (trust me, I don’t) or because I can’t show it is false (trust me, I can), but because it’s dinner time and I’m hungry. So before the microwave calls my name…

      You need to start by looking at the examples of those nations with similar legal systems and cultural backgrounds who have gone down this path already: Canada and Great Britain. Look in those locations and you will find the actions that you have mentioned in your post. I do not think it is unreasonable to believe that their actions are paving the way for the US to follow. For example (and since we’re not permitted to post HTML in our messages, you’ll have to do the Google search yourself), an American street preacher was arrested in London for preaching that homosexuality is a sin. In fact, he was preaching against all sexual sin, but was arrested for his statements regarding homosexuality. He was arrested, booked, and interrogated for the crime of “hate speech”. After 7 hours he was released without explanation or apology. Now we haven’t had anyone arrested for preaching against homosexuality (yet), but we have had people beaten for preaching against homosexuality. You can find the videos on YouTube. (No one was arrested in that assault, BTW.)

      You ask if any laws have been written to hold the Catholic Church to different standards than any other religion. The answer is yes. In New York State and in California, laws were introduced to change the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse. However, the laws specifically exempted police, fire fighters, and public school teachers from the changes in the laws. The effect is to leave ministers and parochial school teachers the only ones affected. You can say that it doesn’t target Catholics because it doesn’t mention them by name, but the effect is the same. The New York law was defeated in the legislature; the California one is still under consideration.

      I personally have been the subject of discrimination due to my Catholic faith. In grade school my dad lost an election to the school board, because people that had been guests in our house started a whispering campaign: you can’t really expect a Catholic to be able to fairly deal with public education. I have been in church during services when people have thrown stones at us and cursed the Church. (This was at a public university that prided itself on its tolerance.) More than once I have had women I was dating break off with me because their friends learned they were dating a Catholic.

      In short, I don’t think you grasp the sea change that is occurring here. You don’t have laws against having religious articles in your cubicle at work (such as a crucifix or an icon), but you do have corporate rules that are designed to protect the company from lawsuits since being open with your religion creates a hostile workplace. You don’t have laws against teaching that homosexuality is a sin in your church, but you can’t speak about that belief openly in public without being seen as a hate monger. (Do a little research on the people in Canada who have had lifetime speech bans placed on them.) Are they obvious examples of persecution that can be taken to the courts? No, of course not. But that makes them even more frightening, because by the time they become obvious, it’s because the courts are no longer protecting you.

    • cminca

      Jim–

      The street preacher in London was NOT arrested. He was stopped, questioned, and then let go without charge. Because a member of the citizenry complained. No matter what the Catholic press calls it–that is NOT an arrest.

      You mention a “vicious attack” and assault during a gay pride event. I went on You Tube and saw a shoving match.

      Tell you what–why don’t you sit down with Matthew Sheppard’s parents and explain to them how afraid you are about that “vicious attack” on religion? How dangerous and harmful this “discrimination” against your religion is. Then why don’t you ask to see the crime scene photos and then try and defend your use of “vicious attack”.

      “You ask if any laws have been written to hold the Catholic Church to different standards than any other religion. The answer is yes. ” Try again. The police, fire departments, and schools are NOT religions.

      You want to claim discrimination? Nothing you said comes close to codified LAW saying the LGBT community are not allowed the same rights and benefits of citizenship as others. Laws against partnership, job discrimination, adoption, housing. CODIFIED DISCRIMINATION. You’ve mentioned nothing even remotely close.

      “….but you do have corporate rules that are designed to protect the company from lawsuits since being open with your religion creates a hostile workplace.” So you want a company to allow you, on their time and property, to evangelize their employees? You want them to allow you to call their employees “fornicators” and “abominations” without being charged with creating a hostile workplace. Right?

      A couple of years ago a lesbian was gang-raped in Oakland. The six assailants targeted her for her rainbow bumper sticker. As they gang raped her they screamed anti-gay epitaphs at her. They were Hispanic. I’d bet a years pay they were all raised in the CC. I’d bet another year’s pay at least one was an ex-alter boy.
      So please–don’t give me the “love the sinner hate the sin”. Do you think the assailant’s were contemplating the finer points of Catholic theology or do you just think they heard “abomination”?

      Some REAL information. 40% of homeless teens are LGBT. 41% of the LGBT community (including yours truly) have been “gay bashed”.

      And the best you can do is claim that you are worried that, in some perceived future, you won’t have the right to be a bigot without being called on it.

      Cry me a river.

    • Jim Carroll

      I am trying very hard not to get into a “my pain is greater than your pain” contest. No one wins those. I am replying only to correct what I see as errors in your reply.

      Regarding the street preacher: you say that he was not arrested. However, in a video of the arrest the officers clearly say that they are arresting him “because people have been offended by what you’ve said.” He was taken to the police station, where he was photographed, fingerprinted, and a DNA sample obtained — all things that are done to you when you are placed under arrest. So I think it’s pretty clear that he was, in fact, arrested.

      As for the “shoving match”, you and I obviously saw different videos. The incident took place at the Seattle Pridefest on June 30. You can find it on YouTube by searching for “brawl at pride fest in Seattle”. I don’t think being punched in the head and kicked counts as a “shoving match”.

      The laws that are being passed are being written to focus on a particular group without actually specifying that group. For example, you can’t pass a law that focuses on blue-eyed people. What you do is pass a law that purportedly covers ALL people, yet in the law are provisions that exclude people with brown eyes, hazel eyes, green eyes, etc. from the law. The practical effect is a law that is geared toward blue-eyed people without explicitly naming them. No, the “police, fire departments, and schools are NOT religions”, but by eliminating them from being covered by the laws the practical effect is a law that affects only religious institutions.

      In bringing up corporate rules, I said nothing about “evangelizing” or calling co-workers names. I’m simply talking about having a religious picture posted at your desk, perhaps a “Bible Quote-a-Day” used as your desk calendar.

      As for the gang-rape, my prayers will be with both the victim for her healing, and for the rapists for their conversion and repentance. I do want to ask a question: your descriptions lead me to believe that you are assuming that because they are Hispanic, they were raised Catholic, and so they must be practicing Catholics now, and so the rape is a direct result of being Catholic. Do you consider all Catholics potential rapists because they’re Catholic?

      And in the end, I had expressed the concern that we won’t be able to speak against homosexuality without being considered a hate-monger. You have never met me, you know nothing about my experiences or upbringing, yet you feel confident enough to state that I am a bigot. So please tell me that my fears are without merit.

    • cminca

      On July 21 a cross dressing Jamaican youth was chopped and stabbed to death.

      Nine days ago a New Mexico gay teen committed suicide because of the bullying he had encountered since the third grade.

      Last month a gay leader in Cameron was found dead. His neck had been broken and this hands, face and feet had been burned with irons.

      The month before that a gay activist in France was left brain dead after being attacked. He is 18.

      You demean the real attacks on gays as some sort of “contest” that I’m trying to win. As I stated before–by suggesting that American Catholics (including the guy in London) are being persecuted is to mock those who really are. But if you want to have the contest about attacks on American gays vs. attacks on American Catholics I’ll be happy to have that contest. And I’ll win–hands down.

      “The laws that are being passed are being written to focus on a particular group without actually specifying that group.”

      (You mean like the sodomy laws that were only enforced against gays and that the hero-of-the-right Scalia wanted to uphold?)

      Sorry–the law in being proposed for ALL religious organizations. Saying that it isn’t fair because the fire company isn’t effected is comparing apples and oranges.

      “In bringing up corporate rules, I said nothing about “evangelizing” or calling co-workers names. I’m simply talking about having a religious picture posted at your desk, perhaps a “Bible Quote-a-Day” used as your desk calendar.”

      First of all–let’s make sure you understand that the first amendment stops the government from infringing upon your freedom of religion. A private enterprise is NOT so restricted. They can adopt any rules they want so long as they don’t discriminate.

      Second–If they say “no religious artifacts” and don’t discriminate against any particular religion–they are well within their rights to do so. Don’t like that? Work for a different company.

      (And as an aside–why is it that two men holding hands is “shoving your sexuality in our faces” while straight people can do it without being accused of anything? Why is it that a woman referring to her partner in an acceptance speech for a lifetime achievement awards a horror to the right wing, yet should a man have neglected to do the same for his wife you would all be condemning his bad manners. Double standards?)

      Do I think the 6 Hispanic men were Catholic? As I said-I’m willing to bet a year’s pay they were raised Catholic. The rest of your paragraph is just another disingenuous word game I find so often on these sites. Sorry–I’m not playing along.

      I didn’t call you a bigot. I referred to your bigotry.

      The same difference as loving the LGBT person, but condemning them for action upon an inherent trait and calling that act “disordered”.

      See how that works?

      “And in the end, I had expressed the concern that we won’t be able to speak against homosexuality without being considered a hate-monger”.

      Don’t want to be considered a hate-monger? Stop being one.

    • Leila Miller

      The same difference as loving the LGBT person, but condemning them for action upon an inherent trait and calling that act “disordered”.

      Just to clarify: You believe same-sex attraction to be “inherent”, and that that makes the trait “ordered” or moral to act upon. Is that correct? If an attraction or orientation is inherent, then it’s good?

    • cminca

      Leila–

      You have proven yourself to be a disingenuous questioner on numerous occasions.

      Here’s what you are hoping will happen– I answer “yes” and then you bring up harmful behaviors that may be inherent but that society deems as “bad”. For example–alcoholism or pedophilia.

      Yes–same sex attraction is inherent. The same way handedness is inherent. There is no identified gene for handedness. Are you therefore going to claim that it is a choice?

      The problem with your argument is that the “bad” behaviors you name all have VICTIMS–either the person himself or someone else. There is no victim to a sexual relationship between two consenting adults. It is not immoral.

      I’d suggest that you read a blog by Greg Damhorst over on Huffington Post. “When doing the Christian Thing isn’t the Right Thing”

      “I believe that the problem evangelicalism faces today is that we have forgotten the very example that we claim to follow. The example of a servant, preacher, and prophet who was a friend of those that religious leaders considered sinners and outcasts. In fact, Jesus seemed to value relationships over regulations and rituals, whether that relationship was with someone of a different tradition, someone society hated, or someone religious leaders considered immoral.”

      You, and Stacy, and all the other self-congradulatory “Christians” act more like Pharisees than you do like the person you claim to follow. If I ever felt like joining an organized religious group all I’d have to do is read one of your blogs for 5 minutes. The venom dripping out of every sentence would cure me quick.
      I also got a real kick ready Stacy’s blog about debate when she regularly erases comments she doesn’t agree with. I’d post a comment but then I’ve been banned from commenting on Stacy’s blog. So much for “debate”.
      So that is my answer. Fire away. Just know that I’m not going to play your silly word games. You want to convince me that the “Christian” way is the right way? Start acting like the person you profess to follow. If you can.

    • Leila Miller

      cminca, the problem is, you’re not allowed to “define” that Person that I follow. You fundamentally misunderstand Christianity, which is a revealed religion and not subject to your interpretation. I wrote about that here:

      http://catholicexchange.com/sorry-youre-not-allowed-to-do-that/

      As for your claims, are you suggesting that nothing can be a sin or immoral if it’s consensual? Is consent the sole criterion of the good, then? No act can be immoral if it’s done between (or among) consenting adults? That’s not a Christian principle, but is it yours? Thanks!

    • cminca

      Leila–you don’t follow the teachings of Christ. Matthew 22:37-40 tells us all we need to know about the teachings of Christ.

      In practice you, and the others like you, worship the CC.

      You claim that the CC is a “revealed religion”. I say it is quite convenient (and very common) for someone to tell the gullible masses “do as I say because this is what was revealed to me by God.”

      I’d remind you that Jim Jones claimed he was preaching a “revealed religion”. The CC has just been at it longer and they had the good fortune to edit the bible–so they got to “cook the book” at the ground floor.

      The church you worship is the result of MEN altering, editing, interpreting and politicking about the “rules”. Because no where did Christ talk about the need for a multilevel bureaucracy being necessary to speak to God.

      The Lord’s Prayer starts with the words “Our Father”, but in the original Aramaic the word first word translates as “Daddy” (actually it translates as an affectionate name for a parent of either sex).

      It does not begin with “Our Father, who is to be approached as per the rights and requirements of a large multinational corporation as per the dictates of the chairman, the board, the regional managers and branch managers, who art in heaven….”

      You, and the Stacy’s and Rick Delanos, and the others are so busy quibbling about the form that you’re missing the meaning entirely. Going back to Matthew 22:

      “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

      You and the Stacys and the Ricks, with your dripping venom and self-loving smugness do NOT “love thy neighbor as thyself”. It seems to me like you’re not only enjoying the idea of non-believers going to hell–your anticipating showing up and roasting marshmellows.

      But getting back to your attempt to lure me into word games. No–I am not suggesting that nothing can be immoral if it is consensual. I stated that two consenting adults having same sex physical relations is not immoral. Period.

      I am stating that it is not for you, or the CC, to determine what is, or is not, legal in a secular, pluralistic society. It is not for you to determine what is, or is not, immoral.

      And I’ll continue to speak out against those who preach hate from the pulpit and disguise it as love. And I’ll continue to call out people who complain that their intolerance is not being tolerated, in silence, by those they wish to subjugate.
      And I’ll continue to call out people who claim to be “persecuted” when they don’t begin to fathom the actuality of real persecution.
      Got it?

    • Leila Miller

      cminca, thanks, but could you clarify: On what authority do you say all of this?

    • cminca

      I am speaking as a thinking human being and citizen of the US who is making observations about those who are trying to use their man-made religion to deny me the same rights and benefits as other tax paying, law abiding citizens.

      Now refute any of my positions or statements.

    • Leila Miller

      Wait, making observations and giving opinions does not give you authority, does it? On what authority do you say these things are true? I observe and think too, and come to opposite conclusions (which I have refuted time and again for years, painstakingly, on my blog). Ultimately, I do not have any authority to be the arbiter of truth, though. So, on what authority do you claim to be speaking truth, over and above what I or any other “thinking human being or citizen of the US” thinks or says? Isn’t it all just your subjective opinion?

      You say, for example, that “Matthew 22:37-40 tells us all we need to know about the teachings of Christ” — but who says? If that were true, then that would be the only thing in the Bible, the only truth revealed. Clearly, even just in the Bible alone there are a thousand more truths to integrate. And even if that passage were the only thing Christ left, you still would have no authority to interpret it, any more than I would have authority to interpret it. So, we would still have no answer, and we would still be at loggerheads.

    • cminca

      “I observe and think too, and come to opposite conclusions (which I have refuted time and again for years, painstakingly, on my blog). ”

      No Leila–what you do is parrot the CC authorities and attempt to mock anyone who disagrees with you.

      I’ve told you before I’m not going to get involved with your silly word games.
      You may claim to be a Christian, but your words, and the venom behind them are, in my opinion, as far removed from Christ’s teachings as you can get.
      I’m done. After dealing with you I feel like I need a shower.

    • Leila Miller

      “parrot the CC authorities” — yes! The authority that I follow! The leaders of Christ’s Church. The successors to the Apostles, in whom Jesus vested His own authority to teach Truth in His name. Amen. Now you understand.

      I am sorry that the Catholic Church makes you so ill. But she is the arbiter of Christ’s teachings and she protects them. You have no right or authority to say or determine what Christ meant. His Church speaks for Him. Many blessings.

    • cminca

      Why do I do this? It is like watching a car wreck…you can’t pull yourself away.

      “parrot the CC authorities” — yes! The authority that I follow!”

      So you are acknowledging that you can’t observe or think for yourself when it comes to religion. Therefore you are agreeing with me when I say that you and Stacy are following the rules but missing the meaning. Glad we’ve got that cleared up.

      “The successors to the Apostles, in whom Jesus vested His own authority to teach Truth in His name. Amen. Now you understand…But she is the arbiter of Christ’s teachings…”

      So you are acknowledging 2000 years of editing, interpreting, altering and politicking about the words.. And you’ll acknowledge that, in the area of LGBT issues for example, the CC cherry picks the bible to bolster their stance while ignoring the underlying meaning or any contradictory passages. Again, glad we’ve gotten that cleared up.

      “….and she protects them.”

      That is as much a statement of opinion as any reference to “revealed” is. And like I said—-Jim Jones claimed to represent “revealed religion”.

      “You have no right or authority to say or determine what Christ meant. His Church speaks for Him.”

      Well–I have as much right or authority of any child of God.
      But you’ve once again stated that in matters of religion you purposely don’t observe or think.
      The CC is the supreme example of what Twain meant when he said “Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” And you are their definition of a good catholic–”pray, pay, and obey.”

      “Many blessings.”

      First of all–I don’t need or want blessing from you.
      Second–Hypocrite.

    • Leila Miller

      “So you are acknowledging that you can’t observe or think for yourself when it comes to religion. Therefore you are agreeing with me when I say that you and Stacy are following the rules but missing the meaning. Glad we’ve got that cleared up.”

      Nope, not at all. Let me see if I can put this clearly for you: I observed and thought (through an exercise of reason) that Jesus’ claims to be God are true. I then observed that He founded a Church to teach and sanctify in His name (evidence is overwhelming, both biblically and historically and logically). Then, after finding such legitimate authority, I put my trust in that authority and have not been disappointed. Not that it’s been easy (I have had to bend my will), but the rewards have been otherworldly. Not sure about your “missing the meaning” part. The meaning to Christ’s words and actions are taught in His Church. So, you are giving your subjective opinion (as someone who has rejected Christian Tradition) that I am missing the “meaning” (according to… you).

      “And you’ll acknowledge that, in the area of LGBT issues for example, the CC cherry picks the bible to bolster their stance while ignoring the underlying meaning or any contradictory passages.”

      Nope, not at all. I acknowledge that Christ’s Church has always taught that homosexual acts are intrinsically immoral, still teaches that homosexual acts are intrinsically immoral, and will always teach that homosexual acts are intrinsically immoral, from now until the end of time. Perfectly consistent. Watch and see.

      “That is as much a statement of opinion as any reference to ‘revealed’ is.”

      Actually, that’s a teaching of my Church. If you want to say it’s the Church’s “opinion”, then fine. Yes, it is. It is the “opinion” of the Church that Christ founded to teach Truth in His name. And I submit to that authority.

      “Well–I have as much right or authority of any child of God.”

      Which is exactly zero. You have no right or authority to interpret the words and meanings of Jesus outside of Christian teaching and Tradition. Neither do I.

      Seems you have a huge issue with the virtue of obedience (and chastity). What other Christian virtues do you want to do away with and still say that you know what Christ meant? And, whom do you obey? Unless you are infallible (or submit to an infallible teacher), then how do you know what to obey? Or is obedience anathema to a “thinking” person? If so, then you need to square that with Jesus’ mandate to be obedient unto death. Was He not a “thinking” person? Were His followers not? Were the saints and martyrs not?

      Hypocrite? How? I profess a Faith and I submit to it (even if I fail at living out the virtues). I believe everything that the Creed says, and I profess to believe the Creed. So, isn’t that actually integrity, not hypocrisy? Help me understand how I am living at odds with my professed beliefs.

    • cminca

      “You have no right or authority to interpret the words and meanings of Jesus outside of Christian teaching and Tradition. Neither do I. ”

      Congrats. You’ve proven that you, contrary to your claims, do not think at all.

    • Leila Miller

      Okay, now you are just making me laugh. Did you actually read my comment?

      But yep, I guess I’m just not a thinker. I’ve never thought a day in my life. Have a great day, cminca, and God bless!

    • guest

      Thank you, cminca, very well said.

  • Tom Lewis

    When the concept of “The Catholic Church” is pitted against “The Government,” historically nothing has changed. Unless a King be Catholic almost a saint, or a Republic be filled with Catholic representatives, governments will always under non-Catholic leadership be at odds with the Catholic Church. The question as the Catholic voting block not being one solid monolith says much about the disruption of the actions taken by Popes, Bishops and Priest, than it does regarding the personal choices made by American citizens. If one faith is to be believed by those who call themselves Catholic, there might just very well be a Catholic Voting Monolith. However, there is not, more so since Vatican II than at any time in American Catholic history. WHY?

    If Catholicism and Socialism are antithetical to each other – Why did 51 per cent of American Catholic voters support Barack Obama in the 2012 election. Is it because the 49 per cent who did not vote for him are UN-informed Catholics who do not comprehend Catholic Doctrine. Of course not! Then the 51 per cent must be UN-informed Catholics, and how did they achieve this low level of comprehension of Catholic Doctrine – from TV, or from their priest?

    I will suggest that it was the lack of knowledge of the Catholic Faith that gave this country Barack Obama. The question is who specifically told who that “Progressive Catholic concepts that differ from Catholic Doctrine are OK for Catholics to believe in. If that is the case that there are two sets of Catholic Doctrines, then there must be two Catholic faiths, and very likely two Catholic Churches in the United States. Hence two Catholic Voting Blocks.

    • Greg Yoko

      Tom – Excellent. I could not agree more and could not have said it better myself. ;-)

    • Tom Lewis

      Sometimes you do it Right!