‘You can’t be both Catholic and Pro-Homosexual’

April 4, 2011 at 10:28 am 152 comments

Cross-posted at Good As You

By Jeremy Hooper

Does the National Organization For Marriage’s Ruth Institute agree with this post’s headline? We ask, because they are currently linking to a video from the uber-over-the-top TFP (American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property) group — a video that features this very claim in the text directly underneath the clip:

You can’t be both Catholic and Pro-Homosexual

Two emotionally charged parents stopped to discuss the issue. “We’re good Catholics. Our son is gay and it’s not wrong. You want us to hate our son?” A TFP volunteer explained how one must hate the sin, but love the sinner. “We must hate the sin, love the sinner and pray that your son returns to the path of virtue.”

The parents disagreed: “No. We don’t hate the sin. Our priest told us it’s OK.”

“Catholic teaching is very clear. You cannot be a good Catholic and support homosexual acts,” replied the TFP member. “Homosexuality is like abortion, it’s part of the culture of death.” [SOURCE]

So TFP’s not only denying a Catholic’s freedom to be pro-marriage-equality and faithful: It’s basic gay support that TFP is painting as a non-starter. Love your gay son or the Pope: Not both.

So we ask again: When the Ruth Institute links to a TFP video (as they’ve done several times before this one) and talks about how good the clip gets…

Screen Shot 2011-04-04 At 12.04.37 Pm

[SOURCE]

…are they just cherry-picking which parts of the incredibly eye-opening group’s rhetoric they support, or do they want to take it all on. Is picking and choosing even possible in this case?

***

*SEE ALSO: More of TFP’s eye-opening words and deeds.

***

*EVEN MORE: In a new interview with the American Family Association (an SPLC-designated “hate group”), TFP’s John Ritchie says this about pro-gay people who recently countered one of their anti-gay demonstrations:

BrownunivbannerIt just highlighted the fact that those who preach tolerance — who subscribe to the culture of death, the homosexual lifestyle — when it comes to God’s law and natural law, they behave in an intolerant fashion even to the point of violence,” says Ritchie.

Promoters of ‘tolerance’ exhibit opposite during rally [ONN]

So basically TFP wants to show up on America’s street corners telling gay people they are part of a “culture of death” and flouting “God’s flaw,” with everyone else forced to either shut up and take it or be painted as intolerant? Oh yeah, that logic’s totally gonna hold water. That is, if by “hold water,” you mean “leak like a wooden pipe amid a nest of particularly hungry beavers.”

Entry filed under: Right-wing.

Exclusion doesn’t lead to revolution Politicians and Gay Bashers: This Week in Prop 8 for April 4, 2011

152 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ed Cortes  |  April 4, 2011 at 10:32 am

    first?

    Reply
    • 2. Straight for Equality  |  April 4, 2011 at 10:58 am

      Yes, you are! Congratulations!

      Reply
      • 3. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  April 4, 2011 at 1:06 pm

        subs

        Reply
  • 4. millennialdad  |  April 4, 2011 at 10:35 am

    That’s strange, as I’m a Catholic that supports gay rights.

    I must have missed the part where I let TFP tell me what I should believe.

    Reply
    • 5. James Sweet  |  April 4, 2011 at 10:52 am

      I think you also missed the part where you let the Pope tell you what you should believe….

      Snark aside, I’m really fascinated by this position. Do you think the Pope is wrong then? If so, how do you reconcile that with your self-identification as a Catholic? And if not, how do you reconcile that with the Pope’s unequivocal condemnation of homosexuality? I’m really interested, honestly…

      Reply
      • 6. Carmen Marin  |  April 4, 2011 at 1:56 pm

        Jumping in to say that I haven’t listened to the Pope, ever. Rarely in our church was what the Pope was up to was ever mentioned and in the majority of my Catholic schooling, we didn’t even talk about him. Mostly about how the Pope came to be and the history.

        Being Catholic has nothing to do with the Vatican or the Pope these days. It’s a set of beliefs and ways, usually taught through a community.

        I only care about the Pope when he apologizes for past atrocities.

        Reply
        • 7. James Sweet  |  April 4, 2011 at 2:05 pm

          That’s really weird to me, but nevertheless I sincerely thank you for the honest answer. The thing that most concerns me about that attitude is that it seems to me that “[b]eing Catholic has nothing to do with the Vatican or the Pope these days” in the US and Europe. Not so much in Latin America, Africa, etc. I would worry about implicitly lending my support to an organization (the Vatican) that tells Africans that condoms do nothing to stop the spread of AIDS…

          Still, though, I want to reiterate my appreciation for the honest answer. It makes some sense.

          Reply
          • 8. millennialdad  |  April 4, 2011 at 6:16 pm

            The Pope has a higher disapproval rating amongst American Catholics than approval. In addition, a majority of American Catholics support marriage equality, and even amongst those that go to Mass every week, a majority support marriage or civil unions.

            I think if you took a random sampling of American Catholics, most of us don’t go in lock-step with the Pope.

          • 9. Straight Ally #3008  |  April 4, 2011 at 8:58 pm

            There’s a kind of love of tradition and ceremony and ritual, as well as good works and charity, among most American Catholics that tends to supersede what comes down from the Church hierarchy. As much of a disconnect as that might seem to be, it’s pretty common, and ultimately it explains the relatively high percentage of support for marriage equality.

        • 10. Ray in MA  |  April 4, 2011 at 3:16 pm

          When I was 18, I had the chance to see the Pope visiting Boston or get my wisdom teeth pulled… I chose the latter,.

          Reply
        • 11. Richard A. Jernigan  |  April 4, 2011 at 6:21 pm

          And I am still waiting for him to come completely clean about his time as a Nazi in his youth. He can claim conscription and lack of choice all he wants, but other families left, his family could have left also. And don’t get me started on his other glaring disrepancies!

          Reply
      • 12. millennialdad  |  April 4, 2011 at 6:19 pm

        I echo Carmen really, the Pope has little to do with my Catholicism. It may sound weird to many outside the Church, but I go to Mass every week, and rarely is the Pope even mentioned.

        I think many American Catholic churches are seeing this too, homilies tend to focus more on the love of Christ, our mission as Catholics to love one another, etc. rather than a lecture about how we should be out standing in front of abortion clinics or protesting gay marriage.

        Reply
  • 13. Ronnie  |  April 4, 2011 at 10:37 am

    “You can’t be both Catholic and Pro-Homosexual”

    The first amendment says otherwise…ok moving on…..<3…Ronnie

    Reply
  • 14. NetAmigo  |  April 4, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Really, the Roman Catholic Church has more to worry about than attacking the gay and lesbian community. For a starter, they should turn their attention to the rape and sexual molestation of our children by their clergy. There is, also, the never ending coverup of such abuse by the Church.

    Reply
    • 15. Rhie  |  April 4, 2011 at 2:07 pm

      Well we know that the Catholic church cares way more for covering their ass than anything else. They always have done. I don’t know why people are surprised by the abuse scandal. That’s par for the course, considering their history.

      I will listen to them when:

      they stop saying they are forced to close their doors when really they just don’t want to stop being bigots.

      They turn over child molesters to the cops and allow a full, legal, in-the-papers investigation.

      They stop hiding behind bankruptcy and other financial laws to avoid paying restitution to the victims.

      Reply
      • 16. Steve  |  April 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm

        I’m all for using child abuse law cases to drive them into bankruptcy. It may not put a diocese completely out of business (and that’s literally what it is), but it forces them to close some churches and services and puts a damper on their activities.

        Reply
        • 17. Carpool Cookie  |  April 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm

          “I’m all for using child abuse law cases to drive them into bankruptcy.”

          Yes, please.

          Reply
        • 18. Rhie  |  April 4, 2011 at 5:00 pm

          Oh me too. I want to see the Catholic church gone completely and no more relevant than Greek gods.

          I’m talking about the church in Connecticut (I think) that are using the convoluted bankruptcy law to avoid to paying any kind restitution or legal fees for victims. Remember, legally bankrupt != doors closing.

          Reply
  • 19. James Sweet  |  April 4, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Welllll…. of course one can be both Catholic and pro-homosexual, but I’m afraid it’s not really a logically coherent position. Catholicism entails a belief in papal infallibility; the Pope says homosexuality is evil. Done and done.

    I don’t mean to undermine those forces working for change within the Catholic church. It’s a worthwhile endeavor, I suppose, as many people are simply not going to give up on their religion no matter what. The excellent movie Because the Bible Tells Me So opened my eyes to the fact that facilitating this sort of doublethink is so crucial, that as rationally absurd as it is to an outside observer, it can make the difference between a family coming together or being torn apart.

    But if you’ll excuse a bit of prodding from the sidelines, maybe the core problem here is the idea of papal infallibility. Which is — as of this moment — pretty central to what would commonly be referred to as “Catholicism”. Just sayin’…

    Reply
    • 20. James Sweet  |  April 4, 2011 at 10:50 am

      To be fair, one could say the same thing about the logical coherency of being a Catholic and thinking birth control is acceptable. Which many, many, many Catholics in the West do believe.

      (Of course, due to papal decree, a whole lot of Catholics in Africa don’t see it that way… which has led to thousands upon thousands of deaths from HIV… I dunno, I mean, it’s great that people who self-identify as Catholic can nonetheless find it in themselves to be pro-LGBT and pro-birth control, but if you self-identify as Catholic, aren’t you giving implicit endorsement to a very influential man who says otherwise, at the cost of countless lives? Worth thinking about…)

      Reply
      • 21. Lynn E  |  April 4, 2011 at 12:12 pm

        I think your perceived problem in these identifications is a mis-understanding of the infallibility of the Pope. Many Catholics (including the Pope) misunderstand this as referring to ALL teachings of the Pope on faith and morals. The actual teaching is far more complex than the “what the Pope says goes” attitude that it is given by uneducated Catholics.

        Reply
        • 22. James Sweet  |  April 4, 2011 at 1:24 pm

          Right you are, I see! (I checked the Wikipedia article) Interesting, you learn something new every day. Thank you for the clarification!

          I still remain baffled that anyone who was pro-LGBT would self-identify as Catholic and/or Mormon (or hell, that any woman at all would self-identify as such, for that matter) — but it does seem less obviously a logical contradiction in the case of self-identified Catholics.

          Reply
          • 23. grod  |  April 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm

            @James Sweet
            .
            Must to the consternation of the leadership of the Catholic Church, two Canadian prime ministers played significant roles in the achievement of marriage equality here. One later said in writing about thiat matter – ” Even though I am a Roman Catholic, I wasn’t elected as a Roman Catholic and in a multi-racial, multi-religious society, a prime minister has to leave his religion at home.”

          • 24. Kami Strife  |  April 20, 2011 at 5:11 pm

            I am a Catholic woman who goes to church every Sunday, and I am strongly pro-LGBT. And yes, perhaps that is a logical contradiction. However, it’s my opinion that beliefs must evolve with the times, and the Pope is just as human as the rest of us. I prefer to believe in the ideals of the Catholic faith — tolerance, love, and God. Besides, I feel that discriminating against people because of their sexuality is akin to racism or sexism. Maybe that’s not in line with mainstream Catholicism, but if that’s the case, then everyone else has forgotten what being Catholic is all about.

        • 25. Ray in MA  |  April 4, 2011 at 3:21 pm

          “uneducated Catholics” ?!?!

          You can’t be Catholic and educated.

          Reply
          • 26. Rhie  |  April 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm

            I am assuming you are using “Catholic” to mean “bigoted” which is provably incorrect. Even there, depending on what definition of educated you use the statement is still incorrect.

          • 27. Ray in MA  |  April 4, 2011 at 6:10 pm

            Oh come on, a play on words given the subject matter…

            ‘You can’t be both Catholic and Pro-Homosexual’

            Lighten up.

          • 28. Rhie  |  April 4, 2011 at 6:38 pm

            Ah the “I was just JOKING” defense. Yea, doesn’t work, especially not after the fact, and especially not in context of your other comments. You clearly have no respect for people of faith.

          • 29. Ray in MA  |  April 4, 2011 at 7:04 pm

            RHIE… what’s you’re point? I never said that I had respect for people of faith. (?)

          • 30. Lynn E  |  April 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm

            By the term “uneducated Catholics,” I refer to those Catholics who are uneducated about their faith (bishops and popes among them). I did not indicate that being Catholic and being educated are mutually exclusive. Only that some Catholics choose to rely on the learning of others when it comes to their faith. And, sadly, this is not exclusive to Catholics, or to people of faith. As I read the comments here, it is equally applicable to those of no faith.

        • 31. AnonyGrl  |  April 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm

          Additionally, the infallible thing is not even that strong when it IS invoked.

          There have been cases where one pope speaks “ex cathedra” and another one later declares that the first one was NOT doing so, and that he was wrong. So the church reverses itself from time to time.

          And the best way to make that happen is if the members stand up and say “Nope, sorry, not buying it. You want to keep our support? It is time for YOU to learn and grow.”

          Reply
          • 32. James Sweet  |  April 5, 2011 at 6:05 am

            Or maybe realize that the church has NOT learned or grown (not sufficiently at least — they pardoned Galileo in the 80s, right?) and go ahead and, you know, revoke their support… just a thought…

    • 33. Rhie  |  April 4, 2011 at 2:10 pm

      I don’t know that trying to change the church from the inside is that worthwhile. People have tried for 2,000 years and have gotten burned, raped, crushed, exiled, and generally made miserable for their trouble. Why would now be any different?

      I do understand the reaction from an emotional and psychological point of view. It just doesn’t make any rational sense.

      Reply
      • 34. Steve  |  April 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm

        Change from the inside can work in some Protestant denominations that allow a large degree of lay influence or are even set up along democratic lines. If not, there can always be a schism to create yet another sect.

        But Catholicism is a dictatorship at worst and an absolute monarchy at best. The whole system, from top to bottom, is set up to be resistant to any change.

        Reply
        • 35. Richard A. Jernigan  |  April 4, 2011 at 6:52 pm

          And the worst part of it is that they are even perverting the true meaning of the name of the denomination. You see, before the Church became the Catholic Church with a capital “C,” the word catholic meant universal. In fact, when you look up catholic without the capital “C,” it still means universal. Universal means that you include all, you don’t limit it to those who believe the exact same way you believe.

          Reply
    • 36. Cat  |  April 4, 2011 at 2:26 pm

      I’m sure the then-Pope (I hope a vibrant middle-aged woman) will formally apologize in the year 2411 for the misguided teachings on homosexuality.

      Reply
  • 37. Sagesse  |  April 4, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Actually, that’s exactly what the Church hierarchy says. Many Catholics, and many American Catholics don’t see how their God could be so cruel, but the Church will ‘shun’ (not a Catholic word) an unrepentant gay Catholic, any tolerant Catholic, and any clergy member who doesn’t preach ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’. The only Catholic solution that is acceptable is celibacy.

    As I understand it.

    Reply
  • 38. Kathleen  |  April 4, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Reply
    • 39. Ann S.  |  April 4, 2011 at 11:05 am

      §

      Reply
      • 40. JonT  |  April 4, 2011 at 2:55 pm

        Reply
  • 41. Richard A. Jernigan  |  April 4, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Of course, we all know that the TFP is supremely misogynistic as well as homophobic. This is also the same group that claims a single-parent family is not a family. We have the video of one of their members saying that very thing on the NOM Fail Tour last summer.

    Reply
  • 42. Joel  |  April 4, 2011 at 11:12 am

    As someone raised in the Jewish tradition, and as someone who has had a small amount of exposure to some of the other “great” religions, I find Catholicism to be alternately the most mysterious and most ridiculous incarnations of Chtistianity. There is no mandate for a Pope in the NT, as far as I can tell; neither is there a mandate that a man chosen by other men can be “infallible.”

    That one must entreat the Saints to intercede on their behalf with Jesus, who then entreats G-d, even though he himself is G-d is something I find ironically like Hinduism. And against the background of my Jewish upbringing, slightly ludicrous. We Jews talk to G-d directly, after all, and sometimes with little respect! Witness Abraham and Moses!

    Reply
    • 43. Rhie  |  April 4, 2011 at 2:15 pm

      I actually don’t have a problem with the Saints or Marian doctrine. There are a lot of misconceptions about both but they basically boil down to the same idea: Asking the Saints or Mary to pray for you is like asking a friend or family member or church leader to pray for you. It’s not necessary to get God’s or Jesus’ attention. It just makes you more of the community. The idea behind Mary is that the Mother of Jesus could have more influence than the average which makes sense to me.

      If I get this wrong, someone Catholic is welcome to correct me :)

      Reply
      • 44. millennialdad  |  April 4, 2011 at 6:23 pm

        No, you’re correct.

        Catholics don’t “pray” to Mary or Saints, it’s more of an asking for them to intercede on behalf of us to God. Like you said, no different than when I ask my mom to pray for me for something.

        And I figure it doesn’t hurt to shoot St. Anthony a quick message when I’m running late for work and can’t find my keys ;)

        Reply
    • 45. Ray in MA  |  April 4, 2011 at 3:26 pm

      Speaking of “rEdiculous incarnations of Chtistianity”…

      I recently watched a Gay/Jewish film with sub titles.

      Every reference to God was G-d.

      Now THAT is ridiculous. (Do you think it will sneak by “HIS” search engines?!?!? LOL!)

      God help us!!!

      Reply
      • 46. Steve  |  April 4, 2011 at 3:45 pm

        Their god is so vain and petty that he will send people to hell if they don’t spell or capitalize his name and pronouns correctly

        Reply
        • 47. Richard A. Jernigan  |  April 4, 2011 at 7:05 pm

          I take it that you are going by what you have heard about us rather than actually doing any research into Judaism. Perhaps you would like to send me a message via my link above so that I can have my husband address your concerns. He is, after all, a Lubavitcher rabbi. trained and ordained at 770 Eastern Parkway in New York. Or are you afraid to learn about a belief system that is not your own?

          Reply
          • 48. Steve  |  April 4, 2011 at 9:25 pm

            I could learn all I want about it. I know the general reason and knowing all the details about it wouldn’t change a thing. I would still find it silly.

            The hell comment was hyperbole of course, but the idea that a god would care about how people spell his name is still absurd.

      • 49. Joel  |  April 4, 2011 at 5:11 pm

        @Ray and Steve,
        Sorry, but you are both uninformed and slightly insulting. Ridiculing others’ beliefs from an ignorant standpoint only makes you seem ignorant.

        Reply
        • 50. Ray in MA  |  April 4, 2011 at 5:22 pm

          and you don’t think “rEdiculous incarnations of Chtistianity”…

          is not insulting?!?!

          Reply
          • 51. Joel  |  April 4, 2011 at 5:55 pm

            No it’s not an insult, it’s an observation, based on study of the different kinds of Christianity. A lot of Catholic doctrine was invented separately by men with no regard for their own holy documents.

            Your comments were born of ignorance. For your information, Jewish people do not commit the name of G-d to paper out of respect and reverence for a name that they believe is holy. And out of the concern that the Holy name might be destroyed, either inadvertently or by design.

          • 52. Ray in MA  |  April 4, 2011 at 6:16 pm

            So a difference of opinion or a different point of view is ignorant?

            Are you with NOM or with us?

            I can express my poiint of view on the same terms here that you can.

            You aere insulting an atheist’s perspective.

            So who’s gonna win?

          • 53. Joel  |  April 4, 2011 at 6:35 pm

            “Now THAT is ridiculous. (Do you think it will sneak by “HIS” search engines?!?!? LOL!)”

            That is a remark born of ignorance, sorry.

            Is there anything in your Atheist doctrine that insists you insult other people based in their beliefs?

            As far as “winning” is concerned, there can be no winners or losers in a discussion of the numinous, regardless of one’s position. The attitude that someone can “win” is the precise cause of most of the world’s ills, both past and present.

            I never called Catholics “stupid”, nor did I imply that they were. I called a part of their purports belief system ridiculous, as it can tend to look from the outside looking in. You, on the other hand, implied that people who adhere to a certain belief are stupid, without even knowing the reason behind the particular quirk that got your knickers in such a twist.

          • 54. Rhie  |  April 4, 2011 at 6:49 pm

            Ray,

            Oh come on. Now the “I’m going to pretend you I don’t now exactly what you mean and am going to build straw men based on that feigned stupidity” defense? You are just hitting all the bingo squares today.

            Your assumptions and comments are based on a flawed understanding of religion. That makes your point of view ignorant.

            No one is mocking people or insulting people for atheist beliefs. I do find it interesting that you are equating correcting the clearly wrong statements about religion and assumptions regarding those who practice with an attack on atheism. That implies that your atheism is based on ignorance.

            The disagreement now is not that you have atheistic beliefs and choose to express them. It is with how you choose to express them. And, no one is arguing that you don’t have to right to express them however you want. NOM has the -right- to say what they want about gay people. That doesn’t make what they say correct, moral, polite or not hurtful. Same applies to you. you have the RIGHT to say whatever ignorant trash talk you want about religious people. It doesn’t make it not ignorant and not hurtful.

            Oh, and that right applies both ways. People have the right to correct you, say your understanding of religion and religious belief is flawed, and generally call you out for being unpleasant and rude. If you don’t want to read that then I suggest you modify your behavior accordingly.

          • 55. Richard A. Jernigan  |  April 4, 2011 at 7:32 pm

            And I am a former 3rd degree Knight of Columbus who left because of Prop 8 and the child abuse coverups. And the only time I regularly heard overt and repeated mention of the pope was in the council meetings. And even when I was a Catholic and studying the Catechism book, there were a lot of things that I found to be ridiculous, mainly because they actually served no practical purpose in living out my faith. However, when there was anything about someone else’s faith or belief system that I did not understand, rather than attacking them, I asked them questions about it so that I could better understand where they were coming from. Perhaps others would do well to do the same.

          • 56. Ray in MA  |  April 4, 2011 at 7:46 pm

            Thank you Richard, I was hoping someone would come to my defense.

          • 57. Steve  |  April 4, 2011 at 9:21 pm

            > “I called a part of their purports belief system ridiculous, as it can tend to look from the outside looking in.”

            I feel the same about the peculiar habits many Jews and Christians have about writing the name of their god. It’s simply ridiculous to me. Like he would care.

            Capitalizing “God” is one thing, as it’s technically a proper noun and can distinguish that particular god from a general god concept. But I draw the line at capitalizing pronouns.

            So there is really no difference between our comments

      • 58. Rhie  |  April 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm

        Yea, respecting the religious tradition of the group about whom the film is made is TOTALLY ridiculous LOLOL

        Yea, no.

        And the reason why they don’t use God’s name is not because they think God will send them to hell. First of all, Jews don’t believe in hell. That’s a Christian construct. Second of all, Jews believe the name of Yaweh is to be so respected that they aren’t to say it aloud.

        Now, if you actually bothered to look up things before you speak you wouldn’t look like such an ass.

        Reply
        • 59. Ray in MA  |  April 4, 2011 at 6:20 pm

          Like such an ass? Like you often do here? Try reading the U.S. Constitution with cognitive understanding of each point.

          Reply
          • 60. Joel  |  April 4, 2011 at 6:45 pm

            What? Hunh? The Constitution? What has the Constitution to do with this? No one has questioned your right to believe as you like! All we have asked for here is a modicum of respect for other people’s beliefs, something you have consistently failed to show on thea boards!

            You have been called an ass before, or the equivalent, several times by different people. What’s that saying? “If it looks like a duck…?”

          • 61. Ray in MA  |  April 4, 2011 at 7:09 pm

            …refering to Rhie another thread, Joel.

            My My you are hot headed tonight!

        • 62. Richard A. Jernigan  |  April 4, 2011 at 7:15 pm

          In fact, for anyone here on P8TT who would like to learn more about Judaism, I have a rabbi in the house. click on my name and leave a message, and I will give him your email so he can contact you and answer any questions you may have that I can’t answer.

          Reply
        • 63. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  April 5, 2011 at 9:45 am

          God is not his name it is his title…the name of god is Jehovah
          Ps 83:18

          Reply
          • 64. Richard A. Jernigan  |  April 5, 2011 at 9:47 am

            And in the original Hebrew YHWH (There are no vowels per se in Hebrew).

    • 65. AnonyGrl  |  April 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      The whole Pope thing developed out of Jesus saying that Peter was the rock on whom his church would be built. Well, maybe Jesus said that, or maybe some pope had that bit inserted later on to justify things… :)

      Reply
  • 66. Michelle Evans  |  April 4, 2011 at 11:24 am

    There is a similar dichotomy within the Mormon Church, and I’m sure just about every other type of church there is, where many people within that church do not necessarily believe, nor follow, all the practices and teachings of that particular church.

    And please don’t think that I am in any way attacking those people of faith here on the P8TT, but I am very curious as to the following question: If you do not believe the basic tenants of a particular faith that you choose to be a part of, what is the point of being part of that faith?

    It would seem to me that if a church holds itself as infallible, and then provides certain doctrines that supposedly must be adhered to, and a person within that church understands some of those doctrines to be wrong (such as supporting LGBT people, birth control, etc), doesn’t that call into question the fallibility of everything else within the overall church doctrine? In other words, if they are obviously wrong on even one point, how can you subscribe to everything else? Wouldn’t knowing they are wrong even once call into question everything that they say is true? Sort of like having a person on the witness stand in a trial. If you can poke a hole in even one statement as not being the whole truth, then you pretty much have to discredit everything else they have said, too.

    This is at the heart of arguments by people such as NOM. They believe the Bible says being gay is an abomination, yet reject all the other so-called abominations such as wearing polyester, or having a nice plate of shrimp, or working in their yard on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. To my way of thinking, if you believe one, by definition, it would seem you need to believe each and every one, otherwise your religious belief must be something other than Catholic, Mormon, etc.

    I would love to hear from some of the people of faith here on their thoughts on these questions.

    Reply
    • 67. James Sweet  |  April 4, 2011 at 11:37 am

      I second that. I raised the same question in regards to millenialdad up top there, though perhaps not as politely as I ought to — what you have said here is what I should have said if I wasn’t such a snarky bastard :)

      I do think there is a difference between picking and choosing Biblical decrees (which has its own problems, of course) vs. the problem of ascribing to a church with a centralized hierarchy the way Catholicism and Mormonism do. It’s one thing if you consider yourself Christian and pro-mixed fiber, pro-shellfish, or pro-LGBT… there are many, many Christian sects who believe many, many different things, and some of them may condemn none, some, or all of mixed fibers, shellfish, and homosexuality.

      But there is only one Catholic church and only one LDS church. And the people who, by doctrinal decree, speak for those churches are unabashedly pro-shellfish, pro-mixed fiber, and anti-LGBT.

      I could see it being a coherent position to be pro-LGBT and consider oneself a Catholic, but also believe that either Benedict is not a legitimate Pope and/or reject the notion of papal infallibility. But, at least in my experience, those Catholics who are pro-LGBT seem unwilling to explicitly do either (they seem to imply a disbelief in papal infallibility, but given the centrality of that doctrine to Catholic dogma, it seems quite odd to me to reject it without making it explicit). Similarly, if you are going to be pro-LGBT and Mormon then it seems to me you have to flat-out state that the church leadership is wrong (which, to their credit, many pro-LGBT LDS members seem to be willing to do — the lack of an explicit infallibility doctrine in LDS dogma proves advantageous here, it seems), and furthermore, that a question asked by virtually every bishop in virtually every temple recommend interview is not acceptable (this is where pro-LGBT Mormons seems to go silent).

      Michelle Evans is right — I don’t want to seem as though I am attacking people of faith who, much to their credit, share my values in regards to supporting LGBT individuals and marriage equality. I really am honestly baffled by how someone can maintain these two apparently contrary beliefs. I’d be fascinated if anyone could provide a coherent justification for that.

      Reply
      • 68. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  April 4, 2011 at 12:45 pm

        I’ve asked that question of fierce straight Mormon allies before….a common trend I hear is they feel they can do more good from inside the church then out. I applaud them : D

        Reply
        • 69. fiona64  |  April 4, 2011 at 1:17 pm

          This is just what I was going to bring up — there are good people trying to work from within for change. More power to them, I say.

          Love,
          Fiona (who has indeed left a church — and a religion, for more than 20 years — who told her that she had to think/feel a certain way in order to be a “true believer.” If my own rationality wasn’t allowed, I was not going to be their “true believer.”)

          Reply
          • 70. Felyx  |  April 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm

            Interesting question regarding ‘pick-and-choose’ devotion to a religion. I have come up with only one practical answer to this one and it is this:

            Those devoted to a religion really haven’t thought it through.

            And if they have, it was not a thought process based on either logic or non-emotional rationality. Just about the one position of religious adherence that I could not dispute was the one that said, ‘I do it because I feel like it.’ or ‘It makes me feel good.’ I respect feelings and emotions. If a belief in something unprovable makes an individual feel a certain way… well, that is what they feel and it is not really any one individuals place to dictate otherwise.

            I suspect the reason so many people can take such seeming irrational and illogical views on things they profess to believe in is solely because there was very little rational or logical though used in the process.

            I started out as very devoutly religious just as my family and church expected of me. Later on, as I could not justify certain parts of the belief system I was professing at the time, I changed over to ‘devoted to god and good’ but not religious. Lately, having found precious little reliable proof on anything metaphysical, I have moved into ‘spiritual’ of a sort but mostly ignostically* science oriented. I am going to stick with all the good practical things that I know for a fact are real, replicable and useful to pursue.

            Spiritually yours,
            Felyx

            *Ignostic- not going to even attempt to discuss ‘god’ related issues until we can demonstrate that there is something factual to demonstrate. Ie, say all you want that god exists but until there are some replicable facts I will table the discussion in favor of doing something productive and useful with my life.

        • 71. James Sweet  |  April 4, 2011 at 1:38 pm

          I suppose… but given that we are talking about an organization that fought tooth and nail against racial equality, and is now fighting tooth and nail against marriage equality, I am not really convinced that reforming the church is “doing more good”.

          Is it really a good thing that the Mormon church decided to allow African Americans to hold the priesthood in 1978? (Yes folks, that second number is a “9”, not an “8”) I mean, what was the benefit here — now African-Americans are allowed to join the anti-gay club too? Yippee!

          So say the church reforms its position on sexual preference and same-sex marriage… now LGBTQ people can be full members in the anti-masturbation club? The anti-birth control club? The anti-woman club? (Yes I know some Mormons self-identify as feminists… how can you be a feminist and belong to a club that says only men can hold positions of authority? I don’t mean to offend; I am really truly baffled)

          I guess the answer, as I hinted at in an above allusion to For the Bible Tells Me So, is that the anti-gay anti-masturbation anti-birth control anti-woman club isn’t going away any time soon, and every single one of those anti-‘s that gets cleared up means real happiness for real people in real families, right now. Ultimately I accept that, and ultimately I too applaud those who work for change within organizations that they (for reasons inexplicable to me) feel an inseverable allegiance to.

          But even though I applaud them, I’m not going to stop pointing out the apparent contradiction here. There is the tactical battle of trying to get these authoritarian organizations to stop commanding people to do hateful things; and then there is the strategic battle of trying to get people to stop listening to the commands of these authoritarian organizations, and stick to their own good conscience instead. Both fronts are worth pushing on.

          Reply
          • 72. AnonyGrl  |  April 4, 2011 at 4:16 pm

            Allow me to toss out an answer to some of your questions… prefaced by the fact that I am NOT a believer. I personally don’t see the need for a god; I am perfectly happy to take responsibility for my own choices.

            That being said… religion is an interesting thing. It provides a great deal of comfort and support to a large number of people. The reasons why this is so range from simply “that is the way I was raised” to “I have nothing else strong enough to hold me up in my life” and beyond. God is a very powerful meme, and has been throughout human history. Whether or not a god actually exists is far less important that the BELIEF that one exists, and that belief can be very sustaining.

            People who need god can also find a great deal of comfort in the community of other believers. Those communities are churches, and, like any other communal group, you don’t need to be a slavish follower of all the rules to be a member of the group. Sometimes, the difference between what the group believes and what the individual believes is so great that the individual MUST leave the group, but often, those differences are what keeps the group alive and vital. A congregation forced to look at its own beliefs by one or more of its members may eject those members, may accept and/or embrace their beliefs, or may just grow around them and tolerate the irritation. But just because one belief is questioned doesn’t necessarily mean that all the others are thrown out the window.

            So, people who do not hold with everything the Catholic Church believes will still consider themselves Catholic because of other shared beliefs, because of the strength of the community as a whole and because of their need for that community.

            And best of all of that are those who, when finding a belief that is harmful, work to change it.

          • 73. James Sweet  |  April 5, 2011 at 6:23 am

            A couple comments here… First of all, I am not at all convinced that religion really does provide people true comfort. People may drink to excess to escape depression, but does that make alcohol an effective means of combating depression? By the same token, I am quite sure that many people turn to religion for comfort, but I am far from convinced that they actually derive real comfort from it, or at least more comfort than they could from other pursuits. It may be the case, but I am unconvinced. People wh.o believe in an afterlife seem no less sad than I am when a loved one dies. It is true that people who attend church regularly live longer on average, but the effect reverses itself with a higher level of education, so it seems at least somewhat plausible that it’s merely the fact that they have social connections that helps them live longer, not anything intrinsic to religion. Faith-based charities are great and everything, but they are a competitor for government-sponsored social welfare programs, which are able to operate much more effectively and on a much larger scale since they can impose compulsory taxes, thereby avoiding the Tragedy of the Commons problem inherent in all charitable endeavors. Color me unconvinced on any actual benefit to religion that couldn’t be provided much more effectively in another way.

            Secondly, I want to make explicit something that is implied in your remarks, because I think it’s a sentiment that some would agree with and some would strongly disagree with: You are saying that the truth is not all that important, that benevolent lies can be just hunky-dory. Some people see it that way, I know. But let’s be explicit here: If the truth matters, well… look, I know there are a lot of believers here, so I will say no more on that, but I think from an unbiased perspective the truth is pretty obvious here.

            Lastly, I avoid the position you are taking — to be a nonbeliever because you don’t need religion, but saying that some people do — because it smacks of elitism. “Well, *I’M* strong enough to face the truth, but those illiterate unwashed masses, they need their comforting delusions.” I’m not trying to be mean, I know that’s not how you are framing it in your own mind, and in many ways your position is a compassionate one. But in the absence of powerful evidence to the contrary, I am going to assume that every competent adult can handle an honest look at the big existential questions. I am not going to assume that some adults need to tell themselves silly stories about the big questions so they don’t get nightmares or something. If I were presented with strong evidence to the contrary, so be it, but so far I don’t see it. And my default assumption is to give people the benefit of the doubt, that they can handle reality.

            I have mentioned For the Bible Tells Me So several times here. For those not familiar with the film, it is a documentary about religious families who have a gay or lesbian child, and who (to varying degrees) come to accept that. Now, that movie was pretty eye-opening to me as to the value of the (IMO somewhat convoluted) religious apologetic efforts that seek to reconcile LGBTQ tolerance with the long history of anti-gay church teachings and the apparently transparent condemnations of homosexuality in the Bible. Those families were simply not going to give up their faith, and given this the justifications they found were the only thing that truly allowed them to accept their son or daughter. It is an important and useful thing.

            But do I think those families would have been better up just throwing in the towel on the whole dogma thing altogether, if they’d been able? Damn right I do. They wouldn’t even NEED these convoluted justifications if they didn’t have an epistemologically defective reliance on so-called revealed truth. And as I said, I’m not buying that it gives them real comfort.

            So if people want to work on the tactical front of modifying their collective delusions to be more tolerant, that’s great; I’m going to keep hammering on the strategic front of convincing people that maybe delusions are a bad idea to start with, and perhaps it would be better if, instead of inventing convoluted ways in which Leviticus doesn’t actually condemn homosexuality, maybe just, you know, privilege your own good conscience over the scribblings of Bronze Age goat herders… Just sayin’…

          • 74. AnonyGrl  |  April 5, 2011 at 9:47 am

            Ok… While I do understand your point of view, I have to say that it is all colored by your own obvious dislike of religion in general. And while that is ok for you, you end up unnecessarily denigrating people who hold different beliefs, which I think is unfair and somewhat cruel.

            Frankly, there are people who find comfort in astrology. There are people who find comfort in jogging, there are people who find comfort in reading dictionaries. It doesn’t matter what you think a person gets out of a particular practice, what matters is what they think they get from it.

            Ultimately, it also matters greatly what they DO with what they get. So those who take their religious convictions and use them to brutalize others get no respect from me, but there are many people who are religious and do a great deal of good with it. You think other things might suffice, but my question would be, why would you need to substitute other things, if religion is working for people? And it does work, for some.

            As to what you wanted to make explicit… what is truth? We can get into a debate about whether god exists, but that is, ultimately, unimportant in this issue. What is important is what people BELIEVE to be true. And since there is no possibility of empirical proof, and, in fact, when discussing religion proof is not even an issue, then what you call “benevolent lies” and others call “faith” IS the issue. What I am saying is that a belief, whether fact based or not, can provide a person with strength. I, for one, believe in love. Can I document love scientifically? No, but I’ve experienced it, I am sustained by it, and it means something to me.

            I am not sure I agree with your qualification of my religious stance as elitism. I was merely stating a fact as I see it. People who are religious will tell you they need god. I am telling you I do not. Perhaps there is a better way to express that, but I don’t mean it to be derogatory, just a different way of looking at things.

            I think, perhaps I was not clear. I don’t think that the ONLY reasons people believe are because they were brought up that way or because they lack strength. I was listing A COUPLE of reasons as examples. Some of the strongest, most honorable, centered and reasonable people I know also believe in a god. For some, that belief is central to why they are so strong and honorable, and I cannot see that as a bad thing.

            I am not sure how I ended up as the theological apologist in this debate… and I am finding it interesting that I have.

            Do you live in the USA? Do you think that every single law currently on the books is a good one? Is every single elected official the exact person who should be in the job they have? Or do you, possibly, disagree with some and want to change them, but like others? Would you think it reasonable that I were call you delusional to think you can fix the country, and to tell you that if you think some of the laws and politicians are bad, you should scrap the whole thing, walk out and form your own country somewhere else? Or, perhaps, if the USA is a country that you LIKE overall, that you are happy to live in, that you feel is a good place for you to be, don’t you think you might work to get some laws changed? You might stick around and get some of those officials out of office? You might suffer through some of the bad to continue to experience what you find good?

            Same difference.

          • 75. James Sweet  |  April 5, 2011 at 10:25 am

            I’ll let it go for now, but I just want to comment briefly on the “What is truth?” gambit. Yes yes, nothing is ever provable, and FWIW I am of the mindset that the Problem of Induction is completely unsolvable. That said, you can’t prove that I’m not an intelligent computer program talking to you right now, but I think you’d be rather silly to seriously entertain that proposition. The fact that nothing is ultimately provable is basically irrelevant for the everyday process of sifting reality.

            It’s also true that some truths are quite relative (to borrow from the examples in your first paragraph, whether or not jogging is enjoyable would be one of those) but others are not. If you get hit by a bus, you got hit by a bus; doesn’t matter if you don’t believe it. That ain’t relative.

            There are three separate questions at play here:

            1) Are the truth claims of any particular religion factual? In the interests of not continuing to seem “cruel”, I will leave this unanswered :)

            2) In its most benevolent form, is religion a net positive or a net negative? Despite my earlier remarks, I don’t actually know the answer to this question, nor do I think anybody really does. There is conflicting evidence on this point. A world in which the vast majority of religious people were UUs or Quakers or something like that? In that world, I might buy your comparison to jogging — not for me, but hey, live and let live, right?

            3) As it exists in the world today, is religion a net positive or a net negative? I’m sorry, but I think the answer here is a clear negative. It is true that many theists practice their faith in a way that is at worst mostly harmless, and may even be beneficial (again, I do not think the evidence at this time is clear enough to make an assertion either way). But unfortunately the attitude that, “Hey, it’s the person’s faith, and that’s personal — how dare you can’t criticize it!”, unfortunately that provides the cover for people whose theism is not so benevolent. It starts with, “You can’t tell me Jesus isn’t real!” and ends with “You can’t tell me teh buttseks isn’t a sin!” Furthermore, it’s easy for hidden harm to creep in when beliefs go unquestioned. As such, I am highly interested in stripping away the special deference afforded to religious belief.

            Heh, I guess I didn’t really “let it go for now”, did I? Meh, anyway, the important point I wanted to make is that I feel what you are saying only addresses question #2 above. Question #1 matters to me, but it’s not necessarily of crucial importance — people believe all sorts of false things. Question #3 is the real key here. Religion needs less respect, not more (if you don’t think so, ask yourself why we have exactly one open non-believer in Congress, eh?). I’m trying to push things in that direction, even if it’s occasionally unfair to people whose religious beliefs aren’t really doing anybody any direct harm.

          • 76. James Sweet  |  April 5, 2011 at 10:37 am

            Oh, as to the comparison to working to change America for the better… A few things don’t work about that analogy. I need to live somewhere, and in practice that’s probably going to be somewhere with a government — I don’t need any religion (and as I said earlier, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, I am giving everybody else the benefit of the doubt and assuming that they don’t either). Next: In theory our government operates as a representative democracy (though too often as a plutocratic oligarchy, alas) so there is a procedure in place for changing the laws — religious dogma is based on revealed truth, and there’s no set procedure in place for changing it (and as much as I applaud people who say that God loves us all equally whether gay or straight, such an assertion is epistemically hollow. How would they know?!? Frankly, Fred Phelps’ hateful bile is equally valid, since there is no basis by which to discern correct revealed truth from incorrect revealed truth). Lastly, the cost of changing religions, while it can be quite large from a social perspective, and even from a financial perspective depending on the religion, is still far less than moving to a different country! I gotta tell ya, as much as I love the good ol’ USA, there are days when if moving to Denmark was as easy as accepting Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior… well, you know :)

            That all said, I feel ya, and that’s why I said that in the end I suppose I do applaud those who work for change from the inside — but I also have to point out the problems with that, because that’s my role. As I said before, there is a tactical battle to get religions to stop being so dick-ish, and there is a strategic battle to get people to stop listening to religious dickishness to begin with. There’s room for people in both roles — even if we do end up criticizing each other a little too often ;)

          • 77. AnonyGrl  |  April 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm

            Some of what you said made me smile…

            Let me address a couple of points.

            Re: Question 1: I don’t think true=factual when dealing with religion. You can ask for facts, and facts certainly would prove a concrete truth, but you won’t get facts when dealing with religion. What you get is belief. And for some people, belief=truth. The problem is, you are not talking about two ends of a spectrum, where facts are on one end and belief is on the other. And there is a world of difference between believing things that are factual and believing that things are factual.

            RE: Question 2 and Question 3: Net positive for who? RELIGION as a whole may fall on the negative side in your estimation when all is said and done, but for individuals, BELIEF may be a greatly positive thing. And around here, you are dealing with individual religionists who are quite bothered by people who insist on smearing all beliefs with one giant brush. And there are many, many religious organizations that do very fine things. Churches, and individuals, feed the hungry and tend to the sick. They nurture and support and do lots of good work that no, I have to say, the government does NOT do as well.

            As to the respect that religion needs… it only needs respect where it is doing things worthy of respect. So when NOM uses the bible to suggest hanging gay couples, absolutely no, they do not deserve respect. When Fred Phelps screams that Elizabeth Taylor is going to hell because of her charity work for AIDS, they will not get one iota of respect from me. When a Catholic Church choses to close an adoption agency rather than take government funds that require them to allow same sex parents to adopt, they are worthy of only derision. But a church that runs a soup kitchen for runaways, or one that sends people out to work with Habitat for Humanity, or one that runs a hospice, or shelter, or anti-bullying seminar, or whose members knit blankets for the elderly because they believe that helping is the right thing to do? And there are a lot of them, at a lot of levels, some doing things that the home office doesn’t like. Some Catholic Churches host LGBT support groups, for instance. Them, I respect.

            And I respect individuals until they prove unworthy of it. Fred Phelps? Tony Perkins? No. No respect. But the people around here who are religious and who are working to make this world a better place? Absolutely I respect them, and I respect it when they say that their beliefs are a strong part of who they are and why they do what they do for the world. I don’t have to subscribe to it, but I do respect it.

            The America analogy does work, because those who are religious feel the same about religion as you do about the need to live somewhere. Your “benefit of the doubt” is actually an insult. For some, religion is as much a part of them as breathing, even if you don’t believe that it is. And changing religion is not nearly as easy for many as moving to Denmark would be for you. In fact, changing religion for some would be as difficult as finding religion would be for you.

            All that aside, yes. We need to work from both the inside and outside to make sure that those various religious organizations are not working to hurt people. That I agree with entirely. And being a gadfly and criticizing something that does not work is not a bad thing. I say we should DEFINITELY call out the evil when we see it. But we should not lose the good in the process.

          • 78. JonT  |  April 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm

            @Anonygrl: ‘Some of what you said made me smile…

            Let me address a couple of points.

            Very well said, as usual :)

            My feelings exactly.

      • 79. Ray in MA  |  April 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm

        I wholeheartedly THIRD that.

        Reply
      • 80. Michelle Evans  |  April 4, 2011 at 5:10 pm

        Been gone for a while, but now returned from the doctor, so thought I’d jump back into the fray.

        I fail to understand why many people stay with their religion even when they disagree on such basic tenants, but I do understand the need to be a part of a community, and things of that nature. Is that enough to justify the support being given to that church? I would say from my perspective, probably not.

        The idea of changing it from within is something I have heard often, but I have to ask, does anyone really feel that anything is going to change in the Catholic or Mormon churches at anytime in the foreseeable future? Look at the idea of birth control. The pope has continued to reject this for more than half a century, no matter what the rank and file may think.

        Yet during all that time, the members who stay with it, in spite of believing that birth control is okay–or that supporting LGBT people with full equality is okay–have financially supported the church so that the church can go on providing this doctrine that hurts and kills people.

        How is staying with the Catholic or the Mormon church any different than shopping at Target, even after you know they have actively worked against the LGBT people of America? Do you think that shopping there–and giving them your money so they can continue with their business plan unimpeded–is going to change what they did, and what they continue to do? If you boycott Target, you should have the same conviction against any church that does exactly the same thing.

        If people left the churches that did not support their beliefs, whatever they are, then those churches would die off and be replaced by ones that would support the faith doctrines that are so important to so many.

        Would anyone here actually consider going out and joining Phelps church in an attempt to change it from within? I doubt it very much. And yet I would say that getting the WBC or the Catholics or the Mormons to change from within is about the same chance overall.

        If enough people left, maybe they would rethink their policies and change those policies and doctrines. Then you could feel good about returning and supporting that church as well.

        Reply
        • 81. James Sweet  |  April 5, 2011 at 6:33 am

          does anyone really feel that anything is going to change in the Catholic or Mormon churches at anytime in the foreseeable future? Look at the idea of birth control. The pope has continued to reject this for more than half a century, no matter what the rank and file may think.

          Don’t be so pessimistic. It only took the Catholic church a few centuries to reject the heliocentric model; at that pace, I expect both denominations to practice gender equality, LGBTQ tolerance, and stop their general policies of sexual oppression at least by the year 3010. What’s the hurry?

          Reply
    • 82. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  April 4, 2011 at 12:41 pm

      That crossed my mind as well Michelle, re: The Mormon Church….which is on my mind as it was the Mormon semi-annual world conference in SLC this past weekend.

      I didn’t follow all of it but the main trend of the conference was about Eternal Marriage (to OPPOSITE sex, of course) here is one sample (which I commented on) from Church President, Thomas S. Monson, he advocates all young men get married asap:

      http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/51553124-76/monson-lds-priesthood-marriage.html.csp#disqus_thread

      How depressing for LGBTQQ young men to hear a talk like this : (

      Reply
      • 83. James Sweet  |  April 4, 2011 at 1:41 pm

        How many suicides do you suppose that little speech will contribute to, eh? Nice…

        Reply
      • 84. Mark M (Seattle)  |  April 4, 2011 at 2:14 pm

        Loved all the comments telling Monson how out of touch he and his opinions are. :-)

        Reply
      • 85. Ray in MA  |  April 4, 2011 at 3:34 pm

        to him, “GET MARRIED” = “Breed new members for money and power”

        Reply
        • 86. Steve  |  April 4, 2011 at 3:49 pm

          Exactly.

          Which is the motivation behind the Catholic anti-birth control stance as well. Especially since the only place where the religion grows is South America and Africa. In Europe people are leaving by the hundreds of thousands each year. It also helps that those regions tend to be poor. Lots of followers praying for a better life. So the church also has no real reason to improve the conditions there – just to keep them from dying.

          The difference is just that Mormonism is far more cult-like and has a lot more means to control people’s lives. For Catholics there are really no consequences to not following church teachings.

          Reply
          • 87. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  April 5, 2011 at 5:45 am

            Question for Steve:

            Have you ever been part of the Mormon church? You sound much like anti-Mormon baptist I know from Atlanta, Kentucky and Indiana who are quick to criticize, but do not know the inner workings or culture of the Mormon church. Their philanthropic efforts are extraordinary. Many do practice unconditional love and sacrifice….

            Annoyngrl mentioned some valid reasons why someone would choose to follow religion. Joseph Campbell has other reasons (aka “Power of Myth”) I chose to leave the Mormon church and much happier to have done so and I do not EVER see myself go back to that church no matter what polices change. However, My mother, one of the least judgement persons on the planet I know of, loves going to the Mormon church and to the temple. As does my hubby’s parents who teach in church…and help in small ways to educate the “sisters and brothers” in the church about loving and supporting their gay children.

            Its not for me, but I can’t say it is not for others. Since people like my mom does exists in the church, I appreciate the efforts by our Mormon Mom’s here, Dave and Allison Black (Ogden UT PFLAG President) to challenge and educate w/in the church.

          • 88. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  April 5, 2011 at 5:47 am

            p.s. didn’t intent to bold…not shouting ; )

          • 89. James Sweet  |  April 5, 2011 at 6:30 am

            The “Its (sic) not for me, but I can’t say it is not for others” line only holds up as soon as the church stops trying to influence the political process and/or all the members stop paying tithing to an organization that tries to influence the political process.

            I could say that salsa dancing is not for me, but I can’t say it is not for others… until the National Salsa Dancing Association starts asking its members for 10% of their income and using a big chunk of it to finance anti-equality political campaigns. The day that happens, I’m going to speak out loud and clear about salsa dancing and how much it sucks and how nobody should do it. :D

            (Of course it’s worse than that, because nobody believes in a Flying Salsa Dancing Monster who will grant them eternal life if they only will follow His Rhythmic Commandments….)

          • 90. James Sweet  |  April 5, 2011 at 6:42 am

            As to Steve’s assertion that the Mormon church is more “cult-like” than the Catholic church, I find such assertions to be more often than not unnecessary, and often distracting from the topic at hand. I think a case could be made for what he said (e.g. take a step back and think about fast-and-testimony meeting from an outsider perspective… we’re going to have everybody not eat for 24 hours, then get up one at mtime and tell everyone how much they believe. Hmmmmm…) but lots of people are plenty damaged from the Catholic church as well, so I think most of the time such discussions are a needless complication.

          • 91. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  April 5, 2011 at 7:52 am

            Hi James! I like “The Bible Tells Me So” and distribute/recommend it, along with “8: The Mormon Proposition” freely.

            I do understand the church wields much clout and some kill themselves in despair because of their policies. Therefore I protest by talking to uniformed family members about the potential harm in President Monson’s talk on Sunday for all young men to Marry a woman soon as possible after their Mormon Missions.

            And sometimes I take to the streets in protests:
            https://picasaweb.google.com/104478088423940456823/TempleSquareProtestOctober72010#

          • 92. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  April 5, 2011 at 8:56 am

            comment I posted in local paper yesterday…

            Gregory_in_SLC
            “on Monson urges young men to quit wasting time, get married | The Salt Lake Tribune”

            As a gay man that had a temple marriage for 22 years, went to approximately 10 years of reparitive therapy including Evergreen, LDS social services, faith and prayer of mine, my wife and church leaders…for me, not everything “can be worked out”. I take issue of Pres. Monson alluding to being Gay as “emotional problems”

            I’m divorced, now with a same gender partner for 3 years and emotionally more happy, and feel more in tune spiritually than I have felt in years.

            This advice for hetersexual marriage is not good for all. The church is ignoring 3-10% of their members…causing some of those to kill themselves in despair. I survived my “despair” but many do not.

    • 93. Kami Strife  |  April 20, 2011 at 5:42 pm

      I’m a Catholic woman — have been for all of my life, really, and I was interested by your comment. Thank you for being so polite while expressing your views — that isn’t something that is found often in a discussion about religion.

      I have been pro-LGBT since high school, and I believe whole-heartedly in what Catholicism preaches: peace, love, tolerance, acceptance, and God.

      However, my parents are both Air Force pilots. My father was a fighter pilot in Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield and my mother was an expert markswoman long before I was born. Growing up, I watched my parents balance their faith with their lives as soldiers — perhaps that is why I’m more committed to the ideals of Catholicism than its doctrines? I also plan to join the Air Force as a surgeon (as soon as I finish med school). At some point in my career, I’ll probably be deployed to a war zone.

      My point is, (and I’ve certainly taken my time getting here) is that, sometimes, you have to rationalize your faith in the real world. I certainly don’t believe the church is infallible; everyone makes mistakes. Catholic doctrine hasn’t evolved very much over the past couple centuries, but the world has evolved a LOT. So I may not be a die-hard “you-must-follow-the-rules-or-you’re-going-to-Hell” Catholic, but I believe in God and I believe in the love, peace, and tolerance that Catholicism stands for, and that’s enough for me to identify myself as Catholic.

      Does that kinda make sense? I’ve never really rationalized it outside of my own mind before, so I might have just been spewing a whole lot of nothing.

      Anyway, hope that might have cleared it up a bit.

      Reply
      • 94. Mark M (Seattle)  |  April 20, 2011 at 6:01 pm

        Thank you for your post Kami. I understand what you’re saying completely.. I’m not Catholic myself, but from just as rigid a denomination.
        I have long believed that I do NOT have to agree lock step with the church to still have my beliefs and my relationship with God. For me there is no conflict……….

        Reply
  • 95. Kathleen  |  April 4, 2011 at 11:25 am

    UPDATE: LCR v. USA (DADT case)

    Amicus Brief filed by Lambda Legal and others in support of plaintiffs.

    Reply
    • 96. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  April 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm

      tx !

      Reply
    • 97. Leo  |  April 4, 2011 at 5:13 pm

      It bears emphasis that changing homosexuality requires not only eliminating sexual attraction to members of the same sex, but creating such attraction to members of the other sex.
      This seems to me like faulty logic in an otherwise excellent brief. Changing homosexuality is not synonymous with changing homosexuality to heterosexuality.

      Reply
  • 98. CaliGirl  |  April 4, 2011 at 11:45 am

    I’m sorry if I’m getting a little caught up on the details, but… culture of death? Really? Really? *headdesk*

    Reply
    • 99. Nicole  |  April 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm

      Don’t worry. I did the same thing when I heard that.

      What the hell are they going on about? That’s like saying “If you liter in a public park, you’re engaging in the culture of pedophilia” – it’s like, come again?

      Reply
      • 100. James Sweet  |  April 5, 2011 at 6:50 am

        It’s worse than that… they think “culture of death” means that you don’t think a woman should be forced to carry a pregnancy to term if it will definitely kill her. So the analogy would be more like, “If you don’t molest children, you’re engaging in the culture of pedophilia.”

        Reply
  • 101. Mark  |  April 4, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    The bible says: And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination. It does NOT say SIN…so when they say ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’…it is NOT a sin. Not meaning to be picky, but if they want to quote scripture, they need to get it right. And they need to stop focusing on just ONE verse from the entire bible. The bible also says ‘He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone’. I wish these so-called Christians would read the ENTIRE bible before preaching to me from one selected verse.

    Reply
    • 102. Mark M (Seattle)  |  April 4, 2011 at 12:59 pm

      I couldn’t agree with you more Mark. Not only do they pick and choose which verse to mangle, but also which of the OT laws to keep and which to ignor.
      They give the rest of us Christians a very very bad reputation to say the least.

      Reply
    • 103. Kevin S.  |  April 4, 2011 at 3:06 pm

      It’s also referring to male Caananite temple prostitutes, who would dress as women (and assume their sexual role) for various pagan rituals. Fits right in with one of Leviticus’ big themes, drawing distinctions between the Hebrews and their neighbors. It’s not referring to consensual same-sex relationships, which did not exist at the time. The Judeo-Christian Bible never (outside of Revelations) refers to something that isn’t relevant at the time of the writing.

      Reply
      • 104. Richard A. Jernigan  |  April 4, 2011 at 6:56 pm

        And actually, even Revelation was in fact only a coded message to the Jewish members of the church, letting them know what was going to happen during Nero’s reign, so that they could be ready for it. The use of Revelation to justify a Rapture theology only came about in the late 1880’s here in America.

        Reply
    • 105. JonT  |  April 4, 2011 at 3:10 pm

      It also says that slavery is A-OK.

      But strangely, I do not see these people trying to revive slavery in this country.

      Reply
      • 106. Richard A. Jernigan  |  April 4, 2011 at 6:59 pm

        And even with slavery, there are laws laid down. For one, you have to treat your slaves as members of your family, providing proper clothing, food, shelter, and medical attention to them. The actual Torah practice of slavery was not slavery as we came to know it here in the US, but actually indentured servitude. After six years, all your slaves were to be released. If any of the slaves refused to leave your service there was in fact a ritual and a binding ceremony that had to be properly administered in front of the priests and the civil legal authorities of the day to bind this person to you permanently. In the Jewish practice, slaves would even inherit in the absence of biological children.
        And there were severe penalties that were enforced if you mistreated your slaves in any way, shape or form.

        Reply
        • 107. Steve  |  April 4, 2011 at 9:35 pm

          Except that a wife married during his time and slave and any children they had aren’t set free after those six years. There were plenty of non-voluntary ways to make it permanent. Daughters sold into sex-slavery also don’t fall under that rule. And yeah slaves were treated awesomely. If survived a beating for a day or two, their owner isn’t punished.

          Nice try at sugarcoating. It doesn’t really make it much better though. Roman house servants also certainly had it better than slaves in the mines and farms. But they were still slaves.

          Reply
          • 108. Richard A. Jernigan  |  April 5, 2011 at 6:18 am

            I was not sugarcoating. The situations you are talking about were those that came about here in the US because of misinterpretations, misquotings, and other inaccuracies put forth by those who, like yourself, have never taken the time to understand things that are not identical to their own ideological fallacies and perceptions. If someone were to marry, their entire family went with them in the seventh year (the sabbath year). The only exceptions that were permitted under the laws were if the slaves refused to leave. And when you try to compare the Jews to the Romans, you are definitely going directly into the realm of ideological fallacy, as these were two totally different cultures. Especially because unlike the slaves of the Romans, and the slaves here in the US, ours were to be paid a living wage. And no, I am not sugarcoating. All I did was state what Talmudic law and the original parameters of how we were commanded to treat our slaves has laid out. That there are those who would violate those laws was not something I ignored. All I did was point out that you were comparing apples to oranges. There is quite a huge difference there. Again, I extend to you the opportunity to learn more about Judaism from an inside source. However, your refusal, as noted above, plainly shows that you are very much afraid to do so.

          • 109. Steve  |  April 5, 2011 at 10:22 am

            That stuff is all in the Bible. Exodus and Leviticus.

            You honestly think that misinterpretation and mistranslations are modern phenomena? Really? Please don’t tell me you’re that naive. Especially since in those days people tended be illiterate and relied on their secular and religious leaders to tell them everything. So some people treated their slaves well and followed “the law”. But certainly not everyone.

            I didn’t compare Jews to Romans. I said that a well treated slave it still a slave.

          • 110. Richard A. Jernigan  |  April 5, 2011 at 10:34 am

            And even there, as I explained in another post, the only reason I used the term slavery is because that was the term which was first brought up, which is very inaccurate. Yes, there have been abuses to indentured servitude, and yes, there are people of all stripes, including atheists, who are abusive. But that was not the point I was trying to make. And yes, you did compare the Jewish indentured servitude to Roman slavery. In fact, here is the very statement you made in which you did so, once more comparing apples to oranges:

            “Roman house servants also certainly had it better than slaves in the mines and farms. But they were still slaves.”

            If that was not a comparison to the Jewish practice, then you should have stated so at the outset. Since you did not, however, it must have been your intent to compare the Jewish practice wrongly termed slavery to the roman practice. In fact, it was the practice of the Romans placing blonde wigs on the women they captured and placed into slavery, who they then used for very sordid sexual practices and sexual abuse, which gave us the line “Blondes have more fun.” And that is no more called for than your attacks on Judaism simply because you choose to be an atheist and refuse to even make any attempt to accept an honest offer to help you learn more about us before you condemn us. In your statements here that have been directed at me, you have been no better than
            Adolf Hitler in his attempts to justify his attempted genocide. Because he used the same unfounded arguments you have been slinging here.
            Also, what has happened to you in your past that has so harmed you that you are willing to continue to attack all of us who are people of faith and run off our allies who are people of faith? You are doing exactly what NOM accuses all of us of doing! Your actions here are doing nothing but harming the cause of equality! You are doing just as much damage to the cause of equality and our civil rights as NOM has ever dreamed of doing. You do not have to agree with my faith system, but if you are as moral and as human as you have claimed to be, then the very least you can do is to stop attacking me and our other people of faith here. However, I think you are too bitter to stop attacking those who do not agree with you, and therefore, that makes you no better than NOM!

          • 111. Steve  |  April 5, 2011 at 12:08 pm

            Are you for real? Get the fuck over yourself! I wasn’t attacking Judaism. Nothing what I said was anti-Semitic. I was criticizing your defense of slavery. Not Judaism – either in its current practice or 2000 years ago. I was referring more to the Bible than the Torah. They overlap in the OT, but the interpretations are hardly identical.

          • 112. Richard A. Jernigan  |  April 5, 2011 at 12:20 pm

            Actually, when you attack the Torah (the first five books of what is commonly called the Old Testament), then yes, you are attacking Judaism. And when someone makes an offer to show you via the texts and a rabbi where you may have been misled and you pointedly refuse it, then the one who needs to get over oneself is you! Until you actually know what you are talking about, you may wish to refrain from bashing someone’s faith practices.

          • 113. Steve  |  April 5, 2011 at 12:21 pm

            Oh, and for the record, I find Judaism to be a lot more sensible than Christianity.

            The theology is equally silly in certain aspects, but the lack of a belief in Jesus, holy ghosts, hell, original sin and other far-fetched and/or revolting concepts make it a lot more palatable.

            But where I find it more appealing is that – with the exception of (ultra-)orthodox sects – the many rules there are tend to be far more reasonable, human and practical than the social rules Christianity comes up with. For the most part there are concrete reasons behind them. They aren’t just arbitrary or a blatant attempt at exercising power. And especially the liberal sects have found nice ways to apply those teachings to modern times – which can’t be said for the vast majority of Christianity.

        • 114. James Sweet  |  April 5, 2011 at 6:54 am

          And even with slavery, there are laws laid down

          Richard A. J., are you really honestly truly saying that it’s okay that the Bible condoned slavery, because it was well-regulated? Really?!?

          Okay, different time and place, but that’s only a fair excuse if these were uninspired writings, the mythology of ancient goat herders. If you take that tack, then fine, you can argue that, for the time and place, only keeping a slave for six years was a progressive position. But if you want to argue that the people writing this book were receiving revealed truths from an omnibenevolent being, then no, sorry, “different time and place” doesn’t cut it.

          I dunno man, I hate to pile on here, but look: If you want to say, “I don’t believe everything in the Bible, but I’m still a Christian,” then okay, great. But if you want to argue that it’s just hunky-dory for the Bible to condone slavery, because, you know, the Jews weren’t allowed to starve their slaves, I’m calling bullshit on that.

          Reply
          • 115. James Sweet  |  April 5, 2011 at 6:57 am

            Sorry, my final paragraph should have read, “If you want to say, ‘I don’t believe everything in the Torah, but I’m still a Jew'”. Reading comprehension fail on my part :)

            Still — my point is that, whether you are “sugarcoating” or not, I find it mildly offensive that when someone points out that the Torah condones slavery, your response is to say how much more liberal their slavery practices were than the Romans. Really?!?

          • 116. Richard A. Jernigan  |  April 5, 2011 at 7:14 am

            Again, you are misinterpreting what I wrote. Just as those who have used the Torah and the writings which came afterward to justify so many hate-filled actions. What was mistranslated as slavery when the Torah was translated from the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Chaldean was actually indentured servitude. That is why there were so many regulations regarding the practice. I merely used the term “slavery” because that is how so many others brought the topic up. I never said it was hunky-dory, I just tried to point out that everyone was comparing apples to oranges. And if you and the others are going to continue to berate and harass me over trying to bring you to the truth of the matter, then don’t bother responding to any more of my posts. It is bad enough when those who are anti-gay attack me, but to be attacked by others of the Rainbow Tribe merely because my belief system is different from theirs is uncalled for, and that is what I am calling bullshit on! Take it or leave it, but from here on out stop bashing hose of us who are believers in a higher divine. Just because you don’t believe in it that does not give you the right to trash those of us who do! And when you do trash those of us who have a belief in a higher divine, you drive away many of our straight allies because you are behaving exactly the way Fred Phelps, NOM, AFA, Focus on the Family and all the other groups of their ilk accuse us of behaving.

          • 117. James Sweet  |  April 5, 2011 at 10:58 am

            Citation needed on that last point. You really think there’s even one person in the whole world who was like, “Well! I was going to support same-sex marriage, but then that guy over there who also supports same-sex marriage said my religion doesn’t make any sense, so now I’m against it!” Not buyin’ it.

            Anyway, sorry that I offended you. I feel that all ideas should be vigorously examined and questioned, and I don’t generally think that some ideas should have a special status as being off limits. Sometimes that can come across as “cruel”, I suppose…

  • 118. Mark M (Seattle)  |  April 4, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Nice little email this morning from one of Senators
    Patty Murray

    Dear Mark:

    I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on recent developments regarding rights for LGBT Americans that I thought you would be interested in. I look forward to continuing to work hard on behalf of the LGBT community across our state.

    I am proud to say that the 111th Congress was one of the most productive legislative sessions for ensuring equality for LGBT citizens. I cosponsored legislation to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” a policy which unfairly excluded LGBT citizens from openly serving in the military. After a long history of this discrimination existing in our military, I proudly fought to pass this legislation, which passed the Senate on a 65-31 vote, and I was honored to attend the ceremony when President Obama signed this bill into law on December 22, 2010. LGBT Americans will now no longer be excluded from serving in our Armed Services based on their sexual orientation.

    Also in the 111th Congress, I cosponsored the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA). The HCPA gives the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) the power to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated violence where the perpetrator has selected a victim because of the person’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. It also authorizes grants to cover costs associated with investigating and prosecuting hate crimes, and requires the FBI to track statistics on gender-identity-based hate crimes. I was proud to support this bill, which was signed into law by President Obama in October 2009.

    I am also committed to expanding benefits for same-sex couples. During the 111th Congress, I cosponsored S. 1102, the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009 and S. 1153, the Tax Equity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act of 2009. These bills would have extended tax and health care benefits to same-sex couples. Unfortunately, these bills failed to pass the Senate, but I look forward to supporting them as they are considered in the 112th Congress.

    Though we have recently made great strides, I firmly believe that we must do more to secure equal rights for all Americans, especially our nation’s youth. This year, I signed on as an original cosponsor of S. 555, the Student Non-Discrimination Act of 2011 and S. 506, the Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2011. Both these bills would work to prevent bullying and harassment in our schools. While these bills await further action by the Senate, you can rest assured I will continue to push for protections against bullying and discrimination against LGBT individuals, whether in our schools or in the workplace.

    Most recently, on February 23, 2011, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that DOJ would stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in cases before a U.S. federal court. Attorney General Holder announced this decision upon the determination by President Obama that defining a marriage as only a legal union between one man and one woman is unconstitutional. I strongly support and applaud the President’s decision. Shortly after this announcement, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced S. 598, the Respect for Marriage Act of 2011, which would repeal DOMA and provide certainty with regard to Federal benefits and obligations for legally married couples. I am proud to stand with my colleagues as an original cosponsor of this bill, as we fight to end this fourteen-year-old policy and ensure all married couples are treated equally in the eyes of the federal government.

    Please know that I will continue to fight for equal rights for all Americans. If you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please feel free to sign up for my weekly updates at http://murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=GetEmailUpdates. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to reach out to you, and please stay in touch.

    Sincerely,
    Patty Murray
    United States Senator

    Reply
  • 119. Kathleen  |  April 4, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    From the Advocate
    Hate Msg’s for Prop. 8 Plaintiffs
    “Prop. 8 plaintiffs Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier were subjected to more than a dozen antigay voice mails during the 2010 trial from a man who was later convicted of making threatening telephone calls to Nancy Pelosi. Listen to the messages here.”

    http://www.advocate.com/News/News_Feature/Prop_8_Plaintiffs_Targeted_With_Antigay_Harassment/

    WARNING: Audio clip NSFW or for the faint hearted

    Reply
  • 120. DaveP  |  April 4, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Regarding the title fo the thread – Um, YES, you CAN be both Catholic and ‘pro-homosexual’ (or pro-equal rights or anti-bigotry).

    True, the Catholc Church has a hell of a long way to go (pardon the phrase) but there ARE catholics who are not anti-gay bigots. And these are not just isolated individuals who are at odds with their church.

    For example, Most Holy Redeemer church, located in the heart of the Castro: http://www.mhr.org/

    From their site:
    “MHR Parish, located at 100 Diamond Street (at 18th Street) has existed as the Roman Catholic religious center of the Castro neighborhood in San Francisco since 1900. Located just 2 blocks from the heart of the historic Castro district, the parish reflects the diversity and excitement of the surrounding neighborhood. MHR is an inclusive Catholic community — embracing all people of good faith — Catholics as well as those people interested in learning about the Catholic experience — regardless of their background, gender, race, social status, gender identity or sexual orientation.”

    My point is not to say the Catholic church as a whole is on our side (it clearly isn’t) but it most certainly is possible to be Catholic and pro-LGBT rights. So the TFP is wrong even when they are talking about their own religion.

    Reply
  • 122. IT  |  April 4, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    The title is wrong. remember that the Roman Catholic laity are the BIGGEST supporter of any religious group of LGBT rights.

    That’s why the Bishops, the TFP and groups like them are fighting so hard — because regardless of what the INstitutional church says, they’ve already lost the people.

    One in 3 people born Catholic in this country will leave Mother church. A good number of them have become EPiscopalian, liturgically very close, plus with married, gay, and female priests, and in many dioceses, same sex weddings or blessings.

    There are plenty of gay-positive religious groups, who are putting their insittutional efforts on our side. See for example the web site of the estimable Episcopal Rev Susan Russell about the Washington DC pro-equality clergy call.

    Reply
    • 123. grod  |  April 5, 2011 at 10:19 am

      @ IT
      Thanks for the perspective. This contributors to this blog’s focus on the institutional church forgets the denominations are groupings of people, in this instance claiming to be the people of god. Like any other large grouping of people, there is diversity. RCs are a world-wide religion. If the range of available diversity isn’t wide enough, membership can be transferred, where fellowship can be found. Christians have a common creed and not a dissimilar message.

      The contributors to this blog struggle to understand how a community of believes in Jesus, can be so judgemental, mean spirited and so hypocritical yet profess to be true believers. That the people of God find it difficult to be faithful to God’s message ought not be surprising. Their struggled is chronicled in both the old and new testament, and in the AD history of the people of god. So let’s not fain surprise that humans are fickled.

      NOM , reflecting the conservative wing of the RC and Mormon Church, will continue to do its thing. The more progressive wing of these churches will continue to be supportive of inclusion, diversity and justice for all.

      What the LGBT community, though the actions of CC, and this and other blogs can do is work with those of faith who are open to equality for all. It is the moveable middle that will make the difference.
      Apparently it was a struggle for Jesus to be an effective agent of change. His statements – love one another, forgive one another were not well received. In three years, he had so disquieted the leaders of the religion of the day, that they arranged his death. Did his followers – the guys he chose – stand with him?
      Despite being warned not to be judgemental by their Master, NOM ignores that advise. The leaders of the religion of the day ignore His message. Ought we be surprised?

      Reply
  • 124. Carpool Cookie  |  April 4, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    “You can’t be both Catholic and Pro-Homosexual”

    What does “pro-homosexual” even mean? If you think, say, Cubans, should have equality and freedom from oppression, does that mean you’re “pro-Cuban”?

    I think it’s more about anti-hatred, than pro-anything.

    Reply
    • 125. Phillip R  |  April 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm

      I agree. I’m not pro-homosexual….I’m just pro-people. I’ve always thought that terms like that just serve to further draw the line between ‘us and them’.

      Reply
      • 126. AnonyGrl  |  April 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm

        It is very much like the whole pro-choice = pro-abortion thing that some conservatives try to push.

        Words are important.

        Reply
    • 127. DaveP  |  April 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm

      Well I, for one, think that homosexuals are just great and I really like them (some of them I really, REALLY like) so that makes me ‘pro-homosexual’.

      But I doubt that this is what the TFP meant…..

      Reply
      • 128. Ed Cortes  |  April 4, 2011 at 3:57 pm

        Thanks for that – It made me laugh! Now, it’s time to do a REAL NICE dinner for our 20th anniv!!

        Reply
        • 129. AnonyGrl  |  April 4, 2011 at 4:02 pm

          I giggled too, Dave… and have a VERY wonderful anniversary, Ed!!

          Reply
  • 130. Kathleen  |  April 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    UPDATE: LCR v USA (DADT case)
    Amicus Brief by Asian American Justice Center and others in support of plaintiffs

    Reply
  • 131. Judy  |  April 4, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    The sooner we shed all our superstitions and mythologies the better for everyone.

    Reply
    • 132. Ray in MA  |  April 4, 2011 at 3:48 pm

      I’ll say a prayer for that!. (LOL!)

      Reply
    • 133. Rhie  |  April 4, 2011 at 5:35 pm

      Actually, that would lead to anarchy since that involves getting rid of all social construct including laws, customs, and traditions that generally help to create a structure in which people can function.

      I am assuming that you mean religion, and in that case it won’t help either. Even if people suddenly stopped believing in god, gods, etc tomorrow, evil people would fasten on to some other reason – like, say, the state or the Greater Good – to back their bigotry. Read Animal Farm sometime or do a Google search of Stalinism or North Korea or China to see what I mean.

      Reply
      • 134. Ray in MA  |  April 4, 2011 at 6:25 pm

        Bad assumption… “evil people would fasten on to some other reason”.

        I don’t blame people’s actions on evilness… they are just bad people. The person is to blame… there is no excuse,

        Reply
      • 135. Judy  |  April 4, 2011 at 10:34 pm

        Yes, Rhie, I meant religion. I do like your references and will look further into those. However, I still believe we need to rid ourselves of superstitions and myths. I know humans are bred for survival from the innermost circle outward (preservation of self is first, then preservation of family, community, race, etc.), which leads us to always want to identify in-groups and out-groups. But I’d rather deal with that sans myths. We can do it.

        Reply
      • 136. James Sweet  |  April 5, 2011 at 7:00 am

        Even if people suddenly stopped believing in god, gods, etc tomorrow, evil people would fasten on to some other reason – like, say, the state or the Greater Good – to back their bigotry. Read Animal Farm sometime or do a Google search of Stalinism or North Korea or China to see what I mean.

        Or do a Google search for secularism or Sweden or Denmark to see what I mean.

        If you are trying to argue that atheism was the cause of the ideological degeneracy of Stalinism, etc., then you are putting the cart before the horse. The totalitarian ideology came first, and state-enforced atheism was an outgrowth of that. Any anyway, state-enforced atheism is not secularism by any stretch of the imagination.

        Anyway, North Korea isn’t really atheist anyway, not really. Google for “Juche” to see what I mean.

        Reply
  • 137. Kathleen  |  April 4, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    UPDATE: LCR v USA (DADT case)

    Amicus Brief by Palm Center in support of plaintiffs

    Reply
  • 138. Ronnie  |  April 4, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Hmmmmm… : / ….Ronnie:

    NOM supporter cuts and pastes from white supremacy page to make argument.

    http://nomaniacs.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/nom-supporter-cuts-and-pastes-from-white-supremacy-page-to-make-argument/

    Reply
  • 139. Zak  |  April 4, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Meanwhile, over at the NOMblog….

    1. Equal2you
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 2:35 pm
    You guys are scary.

    2. Marty
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 4:59 pm
    Find yourself a nice woman E2Y. Settle down, have a nice family. Something scary about that?

    3. Zak Jones
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 8:40 am
    Marty wrote: “Find yourself a nice woman E2Y. Settle down, have a nice family. Something scary about that?”
    There is nothing scary about that…if you were talking to a straight guy. But E2Y is a lesbian. Is there something scary about that? Not to me.
    I am a gay guy. I cannot find myself a “nice woman” & settle down with her because she would not be happy with me. Are you saying that you want all gay guys to marry women? Are you saying that you think a gay guy COULD be happy with a straight female as a wife?
    If you really believe this, then you need to seek some professional help.

    4. Marty
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 10:57 am
    Zak, I’m saying that the only thing stopping you from marrying a nice gal is yourself. Not me, not NOM, not religion or anything else.
    It’s your choice, and nobody is forcing you to make it.

    5. Mike Brooks
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm
    Zak – I’d add to Marty that “happiness” has never been a requirement for marriage. Society has no interest in your happiness in deciding to get married. Love is irrelevant, for that matter.
    I’d bet that lots of guys who prefer sex with guys have decided to marry women so that they could be married and create and raise kids with their spouses. I’d even bet that many of them are happy.

    6. Chairm
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 1:08 pm
    Zak Jones, choosing a one-sexed type of relationship does not require that society treat such a relationship as the legal, ethical, and moral equivalent of the union of husband and wife.
    But that choice of a one-sexed relationshipo is a liberty exercised, not a right denied.
    If you reject the union of husband and wife, for whatever reason you might harbor, then, it would be best for you not to enter into such a union.
    Marriage is two-sexed, not one-sexed. Your choice is for a nonmarital type of relationship. Affixing the label, marriage, to it is not justified; affixing the special status of marriage to it is not justified. But the choice is a liberty you are free to exercise.

    7. Andrew J. Bellamy
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 1:29 pm
    Zak, I’m sure there is a nice woman out there for you, don’t settle for a false marriage, hold out for the real thing.

    8. catholicdad
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 8:00 pm
    So Zak wouldn’t be happy with a woman and a woman wouldn’t be happy with him?
    Sounds like a great basis for not getting married.
    Lots of folks don’t, Zak.

    9. Zak Jones
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 8:06 pm
    Happiness is not required for marriage????
    Wow, why would I choose to be unhappy?

    Reply
    • 140. millennialdad  |  April 5, 2011 at 4:44 am

      And people wonder why divorce is so rampant amongst those who proclaim themselves as “evangelical”

      Reply
    • 141. Carpool Cookie  |  April 5, 2011 at 10:32 am

      I like the typo “relationshipo”

      Maybe that’s what we should call marriages between straights and closet gays….”They’re trapped in a very sad relationshipo, that’s becoming increasingly strained for the children.”

      Reply
  • 142. Ray in MA  |  April 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Let’s not start religious wars here… the faithful have to let the faithless express themselves and vice versa.

    I hold back here to keep a minimum of decorum.

    We have a common goal here… to live and let live.

    Reply
    • 143. grod  |  April 6, 2011 at 5:36 am

      “Let’s not state wars here” is a very insightful comment. NOM knows that it has succeeded when it has shifted the war on civil marriage equality to religious marriage. Jeremy Hooper likely knew that as well when he writes “So TFP’s not only denying a Catholic’s freedom to be pro-marriage-equality and faithful: It’s basic gay support that TFP is painting as a non-starter. Love your gay son or the Pope: Not both” He mixes religion and the secular matters as NOM leadership does well. And we, the commenters have allowed ourselves to be drawn into NOM and their proxies’ war of words on their turf.
      Religious marriage is not the ground on which a civil right war ought to be fought. Yet we and legislators have allowed ourselves to be drawn into it by blurring the distinction. The rules of religion are not the rules of secular society. The faithful and faithless. Both share the rule of law – i.e. civil rights of freedom
      The intellectual/emotional/spiritual grounds in which Catholics inform their conscience to stand with Jesus against their church’s teaching is an interesting inquiry, but not here.
      Do Catholics divorce? That a significant number of Catholics distinguish between the spiritual/religious sphere and the secular sphere is noteworthy. Awareness that this is possible and done often may help in taking on NOM in the secular sphere. Two regular church attending Catholic prime ministers played significant roles in the achievement of marriage equality in Canada. Much to the chagrin of the institutional church. One wrote: ‘in a multiracial, multiracial society, a prime minister has to leave his religion at home.’ In a multiracial, multiracial America, NOM must be encouraged or taught to park its religion at home, ok at the office.

      Indeed we have a common goal: the freedom to Love and let love. G

      Reply
  • 144. Ron  |  April 4, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    I couldn’t care less what the catholic church or the f’ing pope think or say. The pope can bite me.

    Reply
    • 145. Ray in MA  |  April 4, 2011 at 6:28 pm

      Oh my! That is so offensive to all Catholics everywhere… you are an evil evil ignorant person!

      Reply
      • 146. grod  |  April 5, 2011 at 10:00 pm

        @Ray in MA
        Does Ron know that Benedit has false teeth?
        [I’m confused, he has false beliefs] G

        Reply
      • 147. Kami Strife  |  April 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm

        I completely agree with Ray here. Ron, not all Catholics are “anti-gay”, and what you said was extremely rude and ignorant.

        Reply
  • 148. Michael  |  April 4, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Cleary the real “culture of death” is the immoral anti-gay lifestyle, also known as the “anti-gay agenda.” This deathstyle leads to suicide of gay people and murder. It snakes its way from Uganda to Malawi, through hate crimes all over the US and lately to Montana, where anti-gay activists are working feverishly to use Big Government to re-criminalize being gay. After that, what will the legislate against us next? The real goal of anti-gay pressure groups was summarized this summer at a NOM Hate Tour rally in Indianapolis when a NOM supporter graphically called for the hanging of all gay Americans. THIS, is the real “lifestyle of death” in America and around the world.

    Reply
  • 149. fiona64  |  April 5, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    :-( I am almost sorry that I read this entire thread.

    Honestly, it is just too bad when we start eating our own young because some people belong to faith communities and others don’t.

    I walked away from church for 20+ years. If I had never met a pastor from our local MCC, I never would have gone back. The progressive, amazing faith community I found there has done much to heal the wounds that I as a *straight* person got from church bigotry.

    That said, over the past couple of months I have (due to some of the posts here) begun to think that straight people who happen to go to church are not really welcomed any more.

    It was nice while it lasted.

    Reply
    • 150. Phillip R  |  April 5, 2011 at 12:44 pm

      That’s no good. You and I may have had our previous disagreements but this community would be lacking without you around. I hope that you won’t let some of the more extreme views around here represent the rest of us.

      Reply
    • 151. Richard A. Jernigan  |  April 5, 2011 at 12:58 pm

      And apparently, neither are gay people who happen to be members of any faith at all.

      Reply
      • 152. grod  |  April 6, 2011 at 9:01 am

        @fiona64
        I join with Philipp R, Richard A. and Ray in MA in reminding myself that the faithful and the faithless have a common goal. Jeremy Hooper has exposed a faultline among us and among society at large. NOM understands it too well. It exploits it to their continued advantage.
        CC and the contributors here need be able to turn tables on thier ability to do so.

        Fiona your contributions here are valued. Peace be with you.

        Reply

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