February 25, 2013 by 34 Comments
February 5, 2013 by 20 Comments
“Jesus Christ in the conversation embarrassed her the way sex did her mother.” So said Flannery O’Connor of one of her characters in the short story “The Displaced Person.” Sex, though, today is out in the open. But religion, to be socially and politically acceptable, must be closeted.
The great sociologist Peter Berger (a Lutheran) surveys the array of lawsuits in the United States and Europe against open displays of Christianity. Here is what he concludes:
In all these cases the authorities accused of violating the plaintiffs’ rights operate with a definition of religion as a private matter to be kept out of public space. . . .There is a very ideological view of the place of religion in society. In other words, religion is to be an activity engaged in by consenting adults in private. [Read more...]
February 4, 2013 by 144 Comments
The Boy Scouts are caught between Scylla and Charybdis–or, as more of them might put it less classically, a rock and a hard place. The organization has had to deal with scandals involving gay scoutmasters and some incidents of child sexual abuse. So it tightened its standards and its scrutiny. Now the organization is under fire for being anti-gay. The organization has announced that it is reconsidering its policies banning openly gay leaders and scouts. Barton Gingerich (a former student of mine) has some inside information about what is going on. [Read more...]
January 24, 2013 by 35 Comments
Actor Mehcad Brooks made this ad for the Center for Reproductive Rights, celebrating the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and legalized abortion. What do we learn from this video?
January 15, 2013 by 13 Comments
You have GOT to read A. N. Wilson’s article in the London Mail entitled ” I’ve lived through the greatest revolution in sexual mores in our history, the damage it’s done appalls me”. An excerpt, with my emphases:
“I have been divorced. Although I was labelled a Young Fogey in my youth, I imbibed all the liberationist sexual mores of the Sixties as far as sexual morality was concerned.
I made myself and dozens of people extremely unhappy — including, of course, my children and other people’s children. . . . [Read more...]
January 3, 2013 by 70 Comments
A New York archbishop shut down a “gay mass” that was held regularly in a SoHo church. His explanation why there must not be a distinct worship service for homosexuals–the one mass is for everyone–makes a further interesting point about human identity:
First among the principles of pastoral care is the innate dignity of every person and the respect in which they must be held. Also, of great importance, is the teaching of the Church that a person must not be identified by their sexual orientation. The moral teaching of the Church is that the proper use of our sexual faculty is within a marriage, between a man and a woman, open to the procreation and nurturing of new human life.
Comments David Mills:
That “must not be identified by their sexual orientation,” for example, also means “must not identify themselves by their sexual orientation,” which is to say, must not assume they can or must act upon their desires.
You are not first a homosexual, the archdiocese is saying to the people who attended that Mass. You are first and primarily a human being, and therefore someone called to chastity, and the proper expressions of your sexuality are defined and limited and do not include homosexual practice. Being homosexual is only the personal context in which you are called to be chaste, as being heterosexual is the context for most people. But it is not an identity that brings with it a way of life.
How does this help to frame the issue of homosexuality and pastoral care to gay people (that is, to human beings with same sex attraction)? On the other hand, what is distinctly Catholic about this formulation?