Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Confessions of a hateful, close-minded, homophobic bigot.


by FrSteven Beatty on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 11:26pm ·

This week, President Barack Obama made history by being pretty much the last adult in the nation to recognize that President Barack Obama supports same-sex marriage. North Carolina voted not to recognize same-sex marriage, as has every state which has taken up the question democratically. So it's in the news. And it's all over my newsfeed.
Americans oppose same-sex marriage by a narrow but collapsing majority. Looking at the state of the question among younger people, it seems heavily probable that thirty years from now same-sex marriage will be the law of all 50 states. Less clear is how much tolerance will be extended to those who obstinately hold an older idea about marriage.
I'm writing this primarily for anyone who supports same-sex marriage and believes that we who disagree with you are hateful, prejudiced, homophobic bullies ('bully' seems to be the epithet du jour). I wouldn't have thought that audience existed in significant numbers, but my newsfeed this week convinces me otherwise. I'm making an extremely modest effort to elevate this discussion. The human psyche can only withstand so many stupid memes; this is me breaking under the strain. So for all 3 people who are bored enough to read this:
1) Let's begin by all acknowledging the possibility that those who disagree with us may not therefore be stupid or evil. The world is not divided between 'people who agree with me' and 'ignorant bigots,' no matter how many Facebook posts assume this distinction. So: if you support same-sex marriage, I solemnly declare my respect for your premises, the soundness of your mind, and whatever intellectual process has led you to your conclusion. If you grant me the privilege of engaging in dialogue on this or any other topic, I hope we can both learn from each other.
2) There are people who find it acceptable to look down on anyone who is attracted to his/her own sex, who feel justified in discriminating against them in any way, who feel justified in using the most hurtful language against them, and who in extreme cases even endorse physical violence. I know these people exist. I am not personally acquainted with any of them. I'm sorry if you are. Positions such as I've described can be accurately called bigoted and hateful.
3) To oppose same-sex marriage is not to endorse everything about the current state of marriage. Many same-sex marriage supporters (can I just start using "SSM?") have observed that the so-called "sanctity" of marriage is threatened more by 72-hour celebrity marriages and serial divorce than it is by two men who might stay committed for life. I agree. So do most of the people who oppose SSM. If that surprises you, consider that you may have failed spectacularly to understand the position of your opponents. I readily admit that marriage in the status quo is a total wreck. Legal marriage in our nation is nearly meaningless. So when I say that two men can not be married to each other, it does not follow that I am totally on board with the status quo. So you think Rush Limbaugh's four marriages are more socially destructive than Elton John's one? I tend to agree. This is a red herring.
4) As a Catholic Christian, I believe it is God's divine will for every human person to be happy and fulfilled. I believe that homoerotic relationships are contrary to this goal. I accept that many people find this position wrongheaded, but I object to it being misrepresented. I'm not saying that "gay people can't be happy." We have a legitimate disagreement about where and how happiness is to be found. Call my position stupid, and we can have a great discussion and remain friends. Call it hateful, though, and you are being disingenuous to the point where further discussion is hardly possible.
5) If we can dispense with name-calling and straw-man bashing, our point of disagreement is more fundamental than the question of legally recognizing SSM. We will never agree about SSM as long as we disagree about this more fundamental question. Our real point of divergence is about the very nature and purpose of human sexuality. Our secondary divergence is about the purpose of marriage. Only tertiary is our divergence about the role of the State, its laws, and the res publica generally in acknowledging and regulating this institution.
I guess I won't get into that discussion here in my Facebook echo chamber unless someone shows up here wanting to have it. I would like that very much, because I like understanding people, and because this is an important question.
It deserves better than a parade of mindless memes and supercilious self-congratulatory grandstanding by those who think everyone who doesn't agree with them is obviously either stupid or evil.
...........if you can't tell, I am smiling as I read this..............
HT - Catholic Parents Online

Monday, May 7, 2012

Upcoming Raymond de Souza talks......

St. Felix Catholic Church Wabasha, MN

Tuesday, May 15 2012 at 7:00PM  -  The de-Christianization of Western Culture

Tuesday, May 22 2012 at 7:00PM  -  The Natural Law:  What is good and evil

Tuesday, May 29 2012 at 7:00PM  -  Why be a Christian:  The Divinity of Jesus Christ

Wednesday, May 30 2012 at 7:00PM  -  The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist

Mr. de Souza is an excellent speaker and presenter of the faith.  The parish is blessed to have him come explain the faith.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Good clean fun...

I enjoy my career.....a lot.  As in all jobs, some days are better than others.......this was such a day.

Training photos

New Feminism? A partial response......

So, I read an article recently about a so-called new feminism that is being promoted, or lived, or taught. Time permitting I will be going through this article and speaking to its points. While not having the time currently to discuss it ad nauseam, I do have a strong desire to address femininity since reading said article.  If I understand the author correctly, I find serious flaws and misunderstandings in it.  I am not equipped presently to address the feminine from a feminine perspective. However, I know who can. Here is an article I re-read recently.......take some time and enjoy.  More to come.


Says Women Can Escape a Trap by Imitating Mary's Strength and Humility

NEW ROCHELLE, New York, NOV. 26, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Women in the secularized world need to be reminded that fulfilling their maternal role is infinitely valuable in God's sight, says the wife of philosopher Dietrich Von Hildebrand.

Alice Von Hildebrand, author of "The Privilege of Being a Woman" (Sapientia) and a philosopher in her own right, shared with ZENIT how every woman can find supernatural strength in what feminism perceives as her weakness and look to Mary as a model of perfect femininity.

Von Hildebrand earned her doctorate in philosophy at Fordham University and is professor emeritus of Hunter College of the City University of New York.

Q: What inspired you to write this book?

Von Hildebrand: The poison of secularism has penetrated deeply into our society. It did so by stages. Men were its first victims: They became more and more convinced that in order to be someone they had to succeed in the world. Success means money, power, fame, recognition, creativity, inventiveness, etc.

Many of them sacrificed their family life in order to achieve this goal: They came home just to relax or have fun. Work was the serious part of their life.

Innumerable marriages have been ruined by this attitude. Wives rightly felt that they were mere appendixes -- a necessary relaxation. Husbands had little time for loving exchanges, as they were too busy. The children saw very little of their fathers. That wives suffered was not only understandable, but also legitimate.

Q: Why do women need to be convinced that it is good to be a woman?

Von Hildebrand: The amazing thing is that feminism, instead of making women more profoundly aware of the beauty and dignity of their role as wives as mothers, and of the spiritual power that they can exercise over their husbands, convinced them that they, too, had to adopt a secularist mentality: They, too, should enter the work force; they, too, should prove to themselves that they were someone by getting diplomas, competing with men in the work market, showing that they were their equals and -- when given opportunities -- could outsmart them.

They let themselves become convinced that femininity meant weakness. They started to look down upon virtues -- such as patience, selflessness, self-giving, tenderness -- and aimed at becoming like men in all things. Some of them even convinced themselves that they had to use coarse language in order to show the "strong" sex that they were not the fragile, delicate, insignificant dolls that men believed them to be.

The war of the sexes was on. Those who fell into the traps of feminism wanted to become like men in all things and sold their birthright for a mess of pottage. They became blind to the fact that men and women, though equal in ontological dignity, were made different by God's choice: Male and female he made them. Different and complementary.

Each sex has its strengths; each sex has its weaknesses. According to God's admirable plan, the husband is to help his wife overcome these weaknesses so that all the treasures of her femininity will come to full bloom, and vice versa.

How many men truly become "themselves" thanks to the love of their wives. How may wives are transformed by their husband's strength and courage.

The tragedy of the world in which we live is that we have become apostates. Many have abandoned the treasures given to us by revelation -- the supernatural.

Original sin was essentially an attack on the hierarchy of values: Man wanted to become like God, without God. The punishment was terrible: Man's body revolted against his soul. Today, this reversal of the hierarchy of values goes so far that Peter Singer denies man's superiority over animals, and that baby whales are saved while human babies are murdered.

The whole is topsy-turvy: Marriages break down; many do not even consider getting married; partnership lasts only as long as it satisfies one. Unnatural relationships so severely condemned by Plato are fashionable and claim their rights to be put on the same level as those that God has ordered.

Q: How can women's purported weakness be seen as a source strength?

Von Hildebrand: Granted that from a naturalistic point of view, men are stronger: not only because they are physically stronger, but also because they are more creative, more inventive and more productive -- most great works in theology, philosophy and fine arts have been made by men. They are the great engineers, the great architects.

But the Christian message is that, valuable as all these inventions are, they are dust and ashes compared to every act of virtue. Because a woman by her very nature is maternal -- for every woman, whether married or unmarried, is called upon to be a biological, psychological or spiritual mother -- she knows intuitively that to give, to nurture, to care for others, to suffer with and for them -- for maternity implies suffering -- is infinitely more valuable in God's sight than to conquer nations and fly to the moon.

When one reads the life of St. Teresa of Avila or St. Thérèse of Lisieux, one is struck by the fact that they constantly refer to their "weakness." The lives of these heroic women -- and there are many -- teach us that an awareness and acceptance of one's weakness, coupled with a boundless confidence in God's love and power, grant these privileged souls a strength that is so great because it is supernatural.

Natural strength cannot compete with supernatural strength. This is why Mary, the blessed one, is "strong as an army ready for battle." And yet, she is called "clemens, pia, dulcis Virgo Maria."

This supernatural strength explains -- as mentioned by Dom Prosper Gueranger in "The Liturgical Year" -- that the devil fears this humble virgin more than God because her supernatural strength that crushes his head is more humiliating for him than God's strength.

This is why the Evil One is today launching the worst attack on femininity that has ever taken place in the history of the world. For coming closer to the end of time, and knowing that his final defeat is coming, he redoubles his efforts to attack his one great enemy: the woman. It says in Genesis 3:15: "I will put enmity between you and the woman." The final victory is hers, as seen in the woman crowned with the sun.

Q: Why do you think women have moral power?

Von Hildebrand: The mission of women today is of crucial importance. In some way, they have the key to sanity -- the first step toward a conversion. For supernature is based on nature, and unless we go back to a natural soundness, the sublimity of the supernatural message will be lost to most of us.

Why do they have the key? Because their influence on men is enormous when they truly understand their role and mission. Again and again I hear priests say that they owe their vocation to their grandmother or mother.

St. Monica, in collaboration with God, brought back her wayward son to God. St. Bernard's mother, St. Francis de Sales' mother -- who was only 15 years older than he -- and St. John Bosco's mother were key factors in their spiritual way to holiness.

Q: How is Mary a model of femininity?

Von Hildebrand: Women have the key because they are the guardians of purity. This is already clearly indicated by the structure of their bodies, which chastely hides their intimate organs. Because their organs are "veiled," indicating their mystery and sacredness, women have the immense privilege of sharing the sex of the blessed one: Mary, the most holy of all creatures.

Feminism began in Protestant countries, for the plain reason that they had turned their backs on Christ's mother, as if the Savior of the world would feel deprived of the honor given to his beloved Mother.

Mary -- so gloriously referred to in the Apocalypse -- is the model of women. It is by turning to her, praying to her and contemplating her virtues that women will find their way back to the beauty and dignity of their mission.

Q: How did writing this book help you grow in appreciation of being a woman?

Von Hildebrand: Writing this book has been a privilege. It gave me a unique opportunity to meditate on the greatness of the woman's mission, following in the steps of the Holy Virgin.

Mary taught us two rules leading to holiness. One is: "I am the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done to me according to thy word." This indicates that the woman's mission is to let herself be fecundated by grace -- holy receptivity. The second is: "Do whatever he tells you."

This is the holy program that the Church offers us. No doubt, if women understood this message, marriage, the family and the Church would overcome the terrible crisis affecting us. As the liturgy says, "God has put salvation in the hands of a woman."