Sunday, October 17, 2010

HOMOPHOBIA IN THE CHURCH: What Catholics Are Doing About It, and What Still Needs to Be Done - By Michele Somerville, October 10, 2010 The Huffington Post

I attended a Roman Catholic baptism about two weeks ago. A crowd of young parents and others of all ages stood in semi-circle around the font. The atmosphere was reverent yet festive. Toddlers squirmed. The church was exquisite. Blades of late-morning light slid down through colored glass. The priest exuded hope and delight as he kicked off the rites. As the two parents approached the font to offer their child to the church, I began to tear up. My 11-year-old daughter Grace, not unaccustomed to my poet's penchant for being capsized by moments so tender, saw my waterworks start up, rolled her eyes as adolescents do, smiled, and handed me a tissue. As I often do when my emotions get the best of me in the presence of my children, I get all pedagogical on them. I whispered sidebars to Grace: "That's litany of the saints, it's beautiful when sung in Latin... And that the part about Satan and the empty promises -- it's technically an exorcism!" Photo

I didn't have to explain that it was no ordinary baptism we were witnessing. She knew it was extraordinary, because I had taught her. The two parents at the font were bravely (or so I believe) demonstrating their desire not to throw the baby out with the baptismal water.

They were two gay dads asking a church governed by bullies to bless their child.

My daughter later asked how it was that gay people could have their children baptized in Catholic churches but not be married in them. Good question. I broke it down for her. I told her a far greater percentage of Catholics support gay marriage than support the Vatican. I characterized the failure of my church to offer gay Catholics marriage in the church as just that -- "a failure." And a sin. Photo - not the 2 dads in this article
Read complete article:

Same-sex marriage is a fundamental right
by Menachem Z. Rosensaft,
Cornell Law School, October 14, 2010
The Washington Post

New York Republican gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino is far from alone in his bluntly stated opposition to same-sex marriage. Pope Benedict XVI recently reiterated the Vatican's uncompromising stance on this controversial topic: "The Church cannot approve of legislative initiatives that involve a re-evaluation of alternative models of married life and family," he said. "They contribute to the weakening of the principles of natural law and ... also to confusion about society's values." Along the same lines, Rabbi Noson Leiter, executive director of the ultra-Orthodox Torah Jews for Decency, has declared somewhat incongruously that "gay marriage poses an existentialist threat to religious liberty." 

Regardless of anyone's religious or moral views on homosexuality, a review of the historical bidding seems to be in order. Not all that long ago, Americans also opposed marriages between Whites and African-Americans by a wide margin. In 1912, Rep. Seaborn Roddenberry, Democrat of Georgia, sponsored a constitutional amendment to prohibit interracial marriages on the ground that "intermarriage between whites and blacks is repulsive and averse to every sentiment of pure American spirit. It is abhorrent and repugnant." 

…While the statistics may be interesting from a sociological perspective, we must not allow our constitutional rights to be determined by Gallup polls or popular referenda. Does anyone doubt that a majority of the good people of Virginia might well have voted to retain the ban on interracial marriage in 1967? Should the Supreme Court have deferred to prejudices that, I suspect, even most of the opponents of same-sex marriage find despicable today? 

And what about the invidious 1935 Nuremberg Laws that criminalized both marriages and extramarital intercourse between Jews and Aryans in Nazi Germany? Does the fact that most Germans had no problem with this legislation make it any less reprehensible? 

We must never lose sight of the fact that divisive rhetoric and demagoguery have consequences. The delegitimization or demonization of any group threatens our society as a whole. Any muddying of the separation of church and state encroaches on the religious liberty now enjoyed by all Americans. Unlike most European countries, the United States has never had an established church or religion, and most Americans like it that way just fine. "The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate," wrote James Madison in 1785 in his Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments.

Generations of immigrants, my parents and I among them, came to these shores "yearning to breathe free," and Emma Lazarus' poem engraved on the Statue of Liberty does not bestow this privilege exclusively on those of "your tired, your poor, your huddled masses" who happen to be heterosexual.
Read complete article: by Menachem Z. Rosensaft is Adjunct Professor of Law at Cornell Law School and Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at the Syracuse University College of Law. Photo

[Unsubstantiated] --- RELIGIOUS BELIEFS that gay and lesbian relationships are SINFUL or INFERIOR to heterosexual relationships
HARM gays and lesbians.
Judge Vaughn Walker Ruling
California Prop 8. August 4, 2010

On Prop 8, it's the evidence, stupid
By Lisa Bloom
and related links:

California Prop 8, Aug, 4, 2010 
Deep misunderstanding 
"We the People" 
means - US Constitution – DANGERS of majority rule - a reflection of prejudice, intolerance, ignorance, panic and crude self-interest…
by Geoffrey R. Stone - Chicago Tribune

…The framers of our Constitution fully recognized the dangers as well as the strengths of majority rule. They understood that THE MAJORITY will sometimes act in ways that are not truly public-regarding, but are instead a reflection of prejudice, intolerance, ignorance, panic and crude self-interest. A profound puzzle the framers encountered was how to deal with this danger…

Dan Savage helps gay and lesbian teens deal with bullying, 
October 14, 2010 – 
PRI Public Radio International

Sexual orientation - INTERNALIZED HOMOPHOBIA - “Auschwitz – Benedict XVI - Christmas 2008 -A flashback far more severe than in Brokeback Mountain” GAY TEENAGE SUICIDE - Fr. Marty Kurylowicz

No Antigay Religious Norms - Gay Children Not Harmed
Fr. Marty Kurylowicz, Thalamus Center

“Most religious denominations continue to condemn homosexuality as sinful and provide a rationale for marginalizing LGB people.” 
Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)

Bittersweet victories for gay rights advocates 
By Sandhya Somashekhar, October 17, 2010
The Washington Post 
It has been a groundbreaking year for gay rights advocates, who have won a series of courtroom victories on issues including same-sex marriage and adoption. Last week, a judge ordered the government to end its "don't ask, don't tell" policy barring gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

But several recent incidents point to a harsher reality on the ground. At least five teens across the country have taken their own lives after allegedly being taunted as gay. Authorities in New York have recently arrested 10 people in the Bronx in connection with brutal assaults on two teens and an adult who police say were tortured for being gay. And Carl P. Paladino, the Republican candidate for governor of New York,grabbed headlines for saying that children should not be "brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option."

The incidents have sparked outrage from gay rights advocates, who say they are evidence that much work is left to do despite the movement's significant and rapid progress.

"It's a very odd moment, because there's all of these horrific things happening, and they are happening at a moment when we're making faster progress than, I think, ever before," said Kevin Cathcart, executive director of Lambda Legal, an advocacy group.
Read more:

maybe, there will exist 
well considered 
yet fervent public conviction 
that the
most deadly of all possible
is the mutilation of
child’s spirit.”

…whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Matthew 18:6

Important note:
No disrespect meant to Pope Benedict XVI or the hierarchy, the one and only concern is the safety and well-being of children.

Kids Are Being Hurt !!!

The Trevor Project

Overturning Catholic Moral Teaching on Homosexuality:
Are Salzman And Lawler Right?
By Phyllis Zagano,
9/29/10 – The Huffington Post


…So the question is: what's "natural" or "unnatural?" That, in turns, leads to a more overarching question: Is homosexuality a status or a choice?

Some thinkers, including several members of the Supreme Court, seem to reason that homosexuality is an inborn status.

Catholicism--and, indeed most religions--teach that while homosexuality exists, homosexual activity is a "disordered" choice against the laws of nature.

If homosexuality is indeed a status rooted in biology or genetics, then homosexuals, like left-handed people, act according to their nature. But if homosexuality is a choice rooted in behavior, then homosexuals act against nature…

In terms of civil rights, individuals deserve and are afforded protections for both status (say, skin color) and choice (for example, religious affiliation).
In terms of morality, status is neutral, while choice has implications and consequences.

Catholicism argues that homosexuals deserve legal protections, but not because homosexuality is a status. Catholicism says homosexual activity is a choice. So while bishops support non-discrimination policies, they won't agree that homosexuals are protected because of their genetic makeup.

Catholic thinkers have grappled with this question for ages. Creighton University professors Todd A. Salzman and Michael G. Lawler are the latest voices on the Catholic circuit, Their 2008 book, "The Sexual Person,"…

Salzman and Lawler's dense academic argument turns traditional Catholic teaching on natural law on its head…

Salzman and Lawler argue that what is "natural" for a heterosexual is not "natural" for a homosexual, and therefore homosexuals and heterosexuals must act in accord with their personal "natures".
Read complete article:

The Sexual Person: Toward A Renewed Catholic Anthropology 
By Todd A. Salzman, Michael G. Lawler 2008

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