The Dictatorship of Sentimentality

Have you ever had to deal with a female work colleague or family member who, just as the argument got interesting, turned on the tears? Immediately they win. It’s a not-too-subtle form of emotional blackmail. The tears shift the conversation away from reasoning and evidence and you have to stop and feel guilty and compassionate and find the Kleenex and ask if they’re okay and be caring. It’s a neat form of bullying. Most often it is not conscious or intentional, but it still works for all that.

Lest we lambast the ladies too much, the guys have their own emotional blackmail tricks. We use rage. If we don’t actually get mad we simmer. We use the silent threat of rage. We use stonewalling, isolation and fear. We block them out and keep them guessing and worrying that we might be “mad at them” or that we “don’t like them anymore”.

The problem with these games we play is that in both cases we are using the jackhammer of sentimentality. We’re using emotions to manipulate rather than reason to convince. We’re using emotions to control rather than compassion to serve.

In a relativistic age, in which people have neither the skills or time to speak reasonably, sentimentality is used more and more within the political and religious debates. I happened across a comment on the Chick-Fil-A demonstration yesterday–written by someone who I guess is a Christian who is compassionate towards homosexual people. It read something like this:

I am so very sad to see the throngs of people lining up at Chick-Fil-As around the country. The pain in my heart radiates to every fiber of my being. I am heartbroken to see so many “Christians” enjoying the pain they are inflicting on their neighbors. It is a travesty of the faith we share. Every smug sip you take from that lemonade tells the world that your version of following Christ includes inflicting pain on your neighbor.

This is the dictatorship of sentimentality in full swing. Read more.

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Beautiful Balance in the Pope's Final Speech to the Synod
Answering Margery Eagan on Homosexuality
Apologetics 101
  • Deblette

    Wow. Well, I have had pain radiating to every fiber of my being, but that was pretty much brought on when my husband of 30 years said he was having an affair and wanted a divorce. I really can’t imagine that truly happening by seeing people buying a chicken sandwich. If it is, you might want to seek professional help. I am guessing that whomever wrote that had never really experienced true pain or even has a clue as to what inflicting consists of. I suppose remarking, “What a dork” wouldn’t be very Christian like, would it?

  • o.h.

    Dang, Father, don’t be too hard on the weepy among us. Some people, and especially some women, just cry easily in stressful, emotional situations. My very patient priest got used to just going straight to giving me absolution when I can’t carry on in the confessional for the tears (I learned quickly to get out the big sins first). It’s often embarrassing – who wants to come across as the stereotypical over-emotional woman? – but it isn’t manipulative.

  • Reluctant Liberal

    Or possibly people cry because they are upset.

    Maybe it isn’t an attempt to win the argument so much as simply pain. And no, emotions should not win every argument, but they should be acknowledged. They should be taken into account. If you win an argument, but make someone cry in the process, I question whether or not winning was worth it.

    Yesterday was spiking the football. It was simply a chance for opponents of marriage equality to get together and say, “There’s a lot of us. We’re right!” It wasn’t some brave stand against anything. It didn’t make some great point. It framed the marriage debate with “ordinary Americans” (your words, Padre) on one side and (by extension) people who weren’t ordinary on the other side. It widened the gulf between both sides, and if it accomplished anything (besides reassuring the participants that they’re right), I don’t know what that would be.

    Father Longenecker described yesterday as “brilliant” and “historic.” He was clearly pretty pumped about the day. If he was justified in using those terms, wouldn’t it only be natural that people on the other side of the issue to have negative reactions every bit as strong.

    I know some people with chronic pain disease. Pain is always real. It doesn’t matter if it has physical causes, psychological causes, big causes, or little causes. Pain, no matter the source, is always experienced as pain (and conversely, if sticking your feet in sauerkraut for ten minutes relieves pain [some actual advice I've heard about, though it didn't work], then you should stick your feet in sauerkraut). I’m sorry about your husband, but it doesn’t give you the slightest ability to declare to another person that their pain isn’t pain.

  • veritas

    It’s about time that people like Reluctant Liberal took a long hard look at exactly what the homosexual lobby are aiming for.

    The stability and sanctity of the family – husband wife and children – is nothing less than the base on which the whole of civilisation stands or falls. Denying this stability to children is one of the worst forms of child abuse. The consequences of the destruction of the family are causing pain and suffering to literally millions.

    The attack by the homosexual lobby on Chick-Fil-A, simply because its owner said he supported traditional marriage, is a small glimpse of the totalitarian ruthlessness that the anti-family lobby are going to unleash as they sense they have more power.

    The protest by some Christians was both heroic and essential. The enemy is well and truly within the gates and the war has begun.

  • Glenn Juday

    Next stage in the maneuvers of the “framing artists” who wish to silence and denigrate ordinary people who simply wish to stand for the ordinary understanding of marriage: “What’s so bad about fascists anyway? They had a full employment policy, people were only looking for a government to organize things and show a little concern for the citizen. Why are you critical all the time, drawing all these distinctions, clinging to ideas that just have to change? Don’t you know that you’re just bringing this reaction on yourselves? You know when people are that stubborn, it really ticks people off, don’t you? And who can blame somebody if he really gets mad and does something about it? There are just somethings that have to change, and if you don’t like it, well just don’t expect us to get all that upset if some people lash out a bit. It’s not like your old ideas are respectable or something. Look, I’m not saying that I would ever do something, but just don’t expect any sympathy from us if somebody gets a little hot, alright, even a little rough about it. It’s just the way things have to be, because, you know, freedom is at stake.”

    It’s always the twisted, self-rationalizing ideas about freedom that are the most determined enemies of real freedom.

  • Tom Usher

    “If you win an argument, but make someone cry in the process, I question whether or not winning was worth it.”

    I don’t question that at all. The only question I ever ask is whether something is true or not. The truth often hurts because it require us to deny ourselves and accept things we may not “agree” with. But what’s better – living in a painful reality or a comfortable lie? Personally, I’ve found that the pain will fade, generally being replaced with the comfort of living in accordance with reality. The lies, on the other hand, may seem more comfortable in the beginning but will always introduce progressively greater amounts of chaos into ones life.

    So, what’s a few early tears balanced against the clarity and surety of truth? It seems a rather small price to pay.

  • Dorothy

    The person who was so unstrung by the people supporting Chick-fil-A, should be pitied for her (I assume it is a her) inability to get a grip. The people going to lunch were not, in any way, hurting those who want gay “marriage.” They were supporting a person’s right to speak out on an issue. True, they probably agreed with the speaker, but they in no way showed anger or bias against any one. The idea that if one is hurt emotionally by an action the hurt trumps truth or freedom is an insidious lie. We should respect others’ feelings, and try to be gentle, but being “sensitive” does not mean that your sensitivity thwarts truth.

  • Sarcasm rocks

    I am tired of all the haters out there. You hate illegal immigrants because you just don’t give them automatic citizenship, you hate Polygamists because they cannot get married, you hate kleptomaniacs because you won’t let them steal, you hate gun owners because you want to restrict their ability to buy guns, you hate pot heads because you make it illegal to own marijuana, you hate vegans because you allow meat to be sold in stores, you hate those who have sex with their animals because bestiality is illegal, you hate alcoholics and tell them they have to attend meetings and stay sober sometimes you even take away their driving privileges, you hate bullies even if it is in their DNA to be dominate and stomp on those they see under them, who are we to judge them, to not allow them to be who they are meant to be. When will we learn to love people and stop all this hate, let’s end all the rules and laws that discriminate against people just trying to live their lives how they see best. For to love means to let anyone do whatever they want no matter the consequence to themselves or others, and never let them know what those consequences might be. Live and let live, be in peace with the universe and the universe will be in peace with you.

  • Reluctant Liberal

    The media has been greatly misportraying this controversy. Informed people are upset because Chick-fil-A gives money to groups that go after gay people.

  • Reluctant Liberal

    A. There are usually gentler ways to correct people than making them cry. B. Winning an argument is not the same as getting at the truth. C. It seems a small price to pay to you because you’re not the one crying.

    One of the things I remain grateful to the Catholic Church for is my appreciation for the truth. But I’m also grateful that I learned that truth without love was worthless (a harder lesson for an abstract kid like myself). The new evangelization should be reaching out to people, not debating them.

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    It is possible to win an argument and lose a soul.

  • Reluctant Liberal

    Proponents of “Traditional Marriage” want to legally enshrine in law that their relationships are better than other people’s relationships. And hetero relationships might BE better, but people in gay relationships were entirely reasonable in being upset at being told their relationships are inferior. So yeah, the people going to lunch were hurting those who want gay marriage. It might be a good kind of pain that comes before conversion, but it is still entirely justified pain. Just because people weren’t saying gay relationships are inferior and gay people are broken (disordered) WITH ANGER, doesn’t mean they weren’t saying it.

    And no, sensitivity should not thwart truth, but throwing a party because other people are wrong does seem unnecessarily insensitive.

    And remember, this controversy got started because gay groups got upset first, so don’t tell me this wasn’t a message to those gay groups.

  • AnneG

    I could not help but “feel” that this person reminded me of a 15 yo willful teenager trying to get her way. Next, as you said, Fr D is the screaming tantrum. Fortunately, the 15 year old is a mature adult now who no longer springs tears to get her own way. Even more amusing was one comment that hit every one of the manipulative techniques to control behavior and, if possible, thought of others, down to “making somebody cry”. I chuckled.

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    Nobody is commenting on the quality of anyone’s relationships. Defenders of traditional marriage are simply saying that marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s it. For all we know or care two homosexual men may ‘love’ each other and have a better relationship than loads of married people we can think of. Fine. But it’s not marriage.

  • shadowlands

    This post brought tears, to my eyes ;)

  • Reluctant Liberal

    Context is important. The original controversy was about Chick-fil-A giving money to groups that referred to gay people as terrorists and accused gays of wanting to legalize pedophilia. Other groups claimed to be able to “cure” homosexuality. So you and the other people at Chick-fil-A might not have said anything against gays (and in looking over your recent posts, I didn’t find anything that condemned gay people, so kudos to you) but what you DID was go financially support a restaurant that uses its money to denigrate gay people and their relationships.

    Another thing Catholics should understand (because Catholic tend to be better about this kind of thing) a lot of groups supporting “traditional marriage” are not nearly so restrained and respectful. So when traditional marriage folks go out and high five each other, everybody gets painted with the same brush. It might not be fair, but “liberals” get painted with a broad brush as well (I’m looking at you Sarcasm rocks). I think it’s unhelpful on both sides, but ignoring it doesn’t make it go away.

  • Will

    Informed people are also upset that mayors around the country threatened to restrict Chick-Fil-A stores in their towns because of the comments made by Mr. Cathy. Informed people view that as a clear cut violation of the Free Exercise and Free Speech clauses of the First Amendment.

  • Sarcasm rocks

    My comment was not to paint liberals with broad strokes, but in frustration combating all those that are out there saying you are against gay marriage therefor you hate gays. It was sarcasm. The problem is that even people who know me and know I have never been mean to or hated gays in anyway, someone who has worked with them, been friends with them had great conversations with them and great discourse is now being called hateful because I reaffirmed I am against gay marriage. my point was to be sarcastic in all the posts about hate. There may be conservatives using the same argument. It was against an argument not a person.

  • CatholicMinnesotan

    That comment is exactly what he was talking about! I am the son of one of the previously mentioned weepy women. (the quality of a “little house on the prairie” is measured in kleenex boxes.) I have learned to hate any use of emotion in an argument. I prefer straight logic, which is not as easy to find as it should be. You say that the crying is not manipulative. That might be true for you some of the time, but by and large, it is manipulative. (think “baby sister tattling on you”.) I must admit my personal bias of being an extremely non emotional person.

  • CatholicMinnesotan

    I would argue that whenever emotions are taken into account, bad decisions are made. These types of decisions include laws about young drivers, anti-discrimination laws (especially Title IX), politics, and economics. I am probably going to take a lot of flak for the title 9 comment, but I am a cross country runner, so I have less opportunities for scholarships, even if I was a fast runner, because I am a boy.
    A bleeding heart is a bad part of your anatomy to use when making a decision…

  • CatholicMinnesotan

    Ah, but if you lose the argument, will you win the soul?

  • Jill

    Trust me, I get the point of the article, but aren’t we as Christians *supposed* to be compassionate towards homosexual people (whether that means those who struggle with SSA through no fault of their own or those who have embraced a gay lifestyle or anything in between)?

  • CatholicMinnesotan

    WAIT a minute here…
    ‘Proponents of “Traditional Marriage” want to legally enshrine in law that their relationships are better than other people’s relationships. And hetero relationships might BE better, but people in gay relationships were entirely reasonable in being upset at being told their relationships are inferior.’
    so, if I was to say that the New York Yankees were a better basball team than the New York Giants (yes, I mean the New York ones, not the Frisco ones), do Giants fans have a right to be outraged? Same principle. Marriages are one type of relationship. (Baseball teams are one type of sports team) A marriage includes a husband, a wife, and eventually at least one child. ( A baseball team includes a starting rotation, a bullpen, a coaching staff, and some position players) It is hypothetically possible to have different roles make it up, with multiple people in either parental role, or without one even. (it is possible for a head coach to manage, a QB to pitch, a referee to umpire,etc.) However, it just won’t work as well. (Odds on the NY Giants ( the footbal team) beating the NY Yankees in a best of seven series of baseball games, or the NYY beating the NYG in a football game? between 0.00 and 1/infinity)
    So, is it wrong for them to be told the truth? Should we care about how they feel about being proven/shown to be wrong?

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    Where in the article did I say we should not be compassionate? In fact I specifically said we should be. Why not read the article to the end carefully rather than jumping to conclusions?

  • wineinthewater

    For starters, I rather dislike the politicization of shopping like has happened with CFA. But it brings together the two primary American religions, consumption and politics, so it should not be surprising.

    But yesterday was not spiking the football. Yesterday was a response. A response to politicians trying to punish a business by barring it from their towns, a response to partisans trying to get a business banned from campuses, a response to activists going to restaurants and bullying an everyday worker. It was a response saying, “Hey, yours isn’t the only voice, yours isn’t the only valid opinion, you don’t get use your political office or your bully pulpit to try to *punish* people for the crime of disagreeing with you. Our voice matters, our opinion matters, we won’t have our opinion marginalized as invalid, and every person has the right to advocate for what they think is right and you don’t get to use the big institutions of this country – the state, the university, the media – to take away that right. Ours is an opinion in an unsettled national debate, you don’t get to end the debate as defining our position as de facto hateful and illegitimate. You don’t get to be a bully.” Yesterday was an example to what often happens on school campuses when the kids get tired of the bully, they rally around the bullied.

  • Jill

    Father you misunderstood my tone completely. I did not realize there was a jump at the end of the above (my apologies) and I was asking a sincere question. You clearly took issue with what the woman was saying and you had labeled her as a Christian who was compassionate toward homosexual people. The reason I was wondering if there was something wrong with that on it’s surface is because I sometimes feel I am being told (in general, not really here) that ultimately I should not associate with people who support same-sex marriage. That would blow 95% of my friends. (Which I am willing to do if I felt God was asking me to do this, even thought it would be hard and I would suck at it.) What bothers me about that notion is that I don’t get the sense about people who have premarital sex, or use birth control etc. all of which goes against God’s natural law. So yes, I do worry at times that we single out gay people for more scorn than others. But no, I was not trying to be snarky. I have a bad tendency to think what I write conveys everything my mind is struggling with. And for people like me the struggle is very real. I have undergone a significant conversion over the past year (one that involved a lot of tears I might add!) and most of what I previously thought I don’t anymore – God has been very merciful to me. But it is very hard to navigate the people in front of you and know how to meet them with compassion and yet be principled.

  • Carmen

    When I was younger, I would cry in an argument or after an argument, but it wasn’t to win the argument. I was very passionate and was frustrated that I couldn’t get through to my “opponent” or didn’t have the words I was looking for. I have since learned to turn off the water works simply by disengaging and sticking to the facts. But I have seen people who are emotionally super-sensitive, and it’s not always manipulation. I know because I know these people. They are just that sensitive and are frustrated when no one is on their side or someone takes offensive when they try to be polite. Of course, after reading the thread of comments, there is no denying that sentimentality comes before facts and simple truth. Sad. Very sad.

  • Mr. Patton

    You prefer “straight logic”? A wonderful tradition, when learning logic, has been the examination and analysis of fallacies that are common and often quite “natural” mistakes in reasoning.

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    Sorry for being sharp. We agree.

  • Father Paul from Greenville, TX

    The title of your article reminded me of the famous line of Flannery O’Connor: “Sentimentality always leads to the gas chamber.” And, today just happens to be the anniversary of her death in 1964. In my opinion, she would be in hearty agreement with you, Fr. Longnecker. Recall the Holy Father’s words at his famous speech at Regensberg wherein he stated that dialogue is possible only when reason is present at the table. The emotions, be it tears or rage, can smother a conversation and prohibit dialogue. Terrorism is terrorism is terrorism. Ducking the argument via an appeal to emotions is conversational terrorism. Father Paul from Greenville, TX

  • Kamilla

    That blog post as well as the blogger have been promoted on twitter by the current darling of the lib/prog left (they like to think of themselves as Christian, but when they go around calling God “mother”, not so sure I can go along with that), Rachel Evans.

    Can you reproduce the whole quote from Flannery O’Connor? I think it is a good reminder for all of us.

  • William Tighe

    The only sense in which they “go after” gay people is to contribute to organizations that strive to prevent sodomitic pseudogamy from being recognized as “marriage,” upholding in doing so both common sense and the perennial sense of mankind.

  • William Tighe

    Obviously you have no sense of the meaning of words, since you use “hate” as though it were synomyous with “oppose” or “disagree.”

  • StephC

    Former insta-tears gal here. Why no longer? Because early on in my marriage, I was lucky enough to stumble upon the same thing Fr. puts forth here: it was manipulative, no matter how heartfelt my tears might have been. I had never in my life been called out and told the effect my tears had on someone. I just was allowed to win.
    Now I can still howl and sob when I need to for release (that’s still hard for my husband to understand) but I do my very best to *never* shed a tear when we are having a deep discussion or debate.
    It is possible to master one’s tears. It takes a lot of effort, but can be done over time.

  • rob

    the catechism is clear on this point. see sec 1762-1774…
    -passi0ns are neither good nor evil. they are morally qualified only to the extent that they effectively engage reason and will (and) It belongs to the perfection of the moral or human good that the passions be governed by reason. (1767)
    -emotions are taken up by the virtues and perverted by the vices (1774) thus our aim should be the virtues, and uplifted emotions will be a side effect

  • Reluctant Liberal

    True. I’m not sure you could get the mayors on legal grounds (literally, I’m not sure), but what they’re doing is ethically disgusting and corrupt.

  • Reluctant Liberal

    Fair enough. It looks like a lot of stereotypes that normally apply to liberals, but since I’m the one who interpreted it that way, no fault to you. I apologize for misrepresenting your post.

  • Reluctant Liberal

    You’re assuming your own premise. I don’t accept that gay relationships are fundamentally different from straight ones, which is all I really need to do to invalidate that whole metaphor.

    (Also, I think professional sports are a fantastic waste of resources. The Middle Ages built cathedrals. We build superdomes)

  • Paolo

    A good line also from Dr. Kreeft:” Is there anyone here who still literally believes in Santa Claus? No. But do you remember how good you were and how happy you were when you were three years old, especially in December, because you did believe that? See how honest you are? You can’t sacrifice truth either for goodness or happiness. The only honest reason why anyone should ever believe anything is that it’s true. Other motives can count too – that it makes you good and that it makes you happy are valid selling points; but truth has to come first as the foundation for absolutely everything else.”

  • Evelyn

    I think you missed the sarcasm alert.

  • Evelyn

    Hmm. I am a woman who has a great deal of difficulty expressing emotion, including crying. Can’t do it. Easier to vomit than cry. I have found that sometimes people don’t take me as seriously in arguments because how committed can I be to my position if I’m not even emotionally involved. Except that I am, and they just can’t see it. I’m sure there is a nice place right in the middle where expression of emotion is helpful but not manipulative.

  • Hieronymus

    Right on, Father. Sentimentality (or emotionalism) is one of the greatest curses of our times. However, it is not unprecedented. I remember reading about an early sitting of the Revolutionary Tribunal in Paris during the French Revolution. The tribunal members were to judge, for various reasons, a group of prisoners some of whom had children to support. When they went to the back room to discuss the verdict, many of the judges first burst into tears over the fate of these families; they then wiped their eyes and sent everybody to the guillotine. Beware – sentimentalism has claws and teeth behind its soft facade.

  • Hieronymus

    Flannery O’Connor wrote in her collection “Mystery and manners”:
    ” It is tenderness which, long since cut off from the person of Christ is wrapped in theory. When tenderness is detached from the source of tenderness, its logical outcome is terror. It ends in forced-labor camps and in the fumes of the gas chamber. (p. 226-227) Walker Percy made a similar observation: “The nihilism of some scientists in the name of ideology or sentimentality and the consequent devaluation of individual human life lead straight to the gas chamber. (‘Signposts in a Strange Land” pp. 394-396) (Source: )

  • C.M.Hardin

    I’ll be honest, I’m a fence-sitter with regard to Chick-fil-A. I’m tired of JCPenny and the Girl Scouts, too.

    To again, be perfectly frank, I’m not sure there is any winning this culture war over homosexuality. Maybe the best we can hope for, at this point, is simply to retain religious freedom for the Catholic and Orthodox among us. Make sure the legislation explicitly states our rights to object as Catholics and as Catholic businesses, but let the rest do what they will. Freedom also means freedom to make mistakes. Maybe we should just let them have their mistake, carve our a niche for religious objection, and wait for them to come around on their own?

    I’m trying to hold my line: that religious freedom *is* important and that no one “hates” the gays, we just disagree. I’m finding it particularly hard because I tend to get involved in/love the arts. It’s like tight-rope-walking over a lava pit. I’m genuinely worried that more overt religious persecution is coming within the next two decades. Maybe it’s time to let them have their own ruin, while staking out a territory where we can still be free to disagree under the law.

    I don’t know. I’m sick of the whole mess. And as much as I’d like to jump right in with the Chick fil A love, I’m not feeling it. I’m suspicious of all corporations at this point–even if they give the appearance of being “on the right team”.

  • C.M.Hardin

    Probably not, but “how ignorant” is the first thing that came to my mind. There are a lot of accusations flying and not much in the way of thinking going on for either side. Did you see the fellow who got himself canned over this for a silly sentimentalist YouTube video? I can’t shake the feeling we’re (the people, particularly Christians) being manipulated by both sides.

  • C.M.Hardin

    Oh Jill, I’m so with you on this one. I’m trying to navigate this, too. I’m also a convert. How do we speak with compassion without make others feel rejected? I’m struggling with this and welcome thoughts on the topic. I don’t reject the individual, but I do reject the lifestyle.

  • Rick DeLano

    C. M. Hardin:

    Your weariness is exactly the goal of the opposition’s strategy.

    The battle is now at its critical stage and they hope to persuade enough waverers to quit the fight that they can win it.

    Thank God your place was taken by at least a couple of hundred new marriage defenders on Wednesday.

    (PS: I you need some motivation, consider for a moment what will happen to schoolchildren, once the marriage laws are rewritten by the gay fascists, who will use them precisely as intended: to indoctrinate young children in homosexualist anti-values while they are too young to notice.

    Here are the first two soul destroying lies with which the next generation of children will be indoctrinated, if the rest of us join you on the sidelines:

    1. Not all fathers are male
    2. Not all mothers are femaleHaving established these “first principles”, one can be led to believe anything .

    At all.

  • MaryS

    Re: the guy who was fired: he recorded the video, posted it, and it went viral. People easily found out that he was an officer at his company. (I doubt he’d have been fired if he wasn’t an officer.)

    Here you can read what the guy said, plus there’s a link to the video:

    Though you may be right about us being manipulated. While we’re all busy defending one definition of marriage or another, bad things are happening in our economy and in the middle east… I wonder if we aren’t being given some distractions specifically to keep us from rising up against possibly worse evils.

  • MaryS

    You “don’t accept that gay relationships are fundamentally different from straight ones”? But they clearly are, and have been recognized as such since the dawn of time. Surely you’ve noticed that?

  • MaryS

    I agree: we may be weary of the battle, but we must not give up. And it is a fool’s dream to think we can carve out a space for religious liberty. Remember the Cristeros war and the Vendee? Wasn’t it Stalin who said the Church was his worse enemy, so he tried to destroy it?

    While most same-sex attracted people just want to live and let live, there are some who want to re-make our society into something very different from what us older folks grew up with (when “gay” meant “happy”, and nobody ever questioned what “marriage” meant). There are some who are in rebellion against God and the Church, and they are succeeding here and there, whough we know that they will not win in the end. Despite our failures and weakness and weariness, we must not give up the fight.

    Chick-fil-A did not seek to enter the battle. The CEO was questioned by the Baptist press during an interview about his opinion on marriage, and he simply gave his opinion. The same opinion that was A-OK for candidate Obama back in 2008. But now it’s “hate speech”…? He didn’t do it for the publicity.

  • savvy

    There is no such thing as gay marriage. You can have a legal wedding, but it won’t be a marriage.

  • C.M.Hardin

    “I wonder if we aren’t being given some distractions specifically to keep us from rising up against possibly worse evils.” This is my thought. This gay marriage battle is really dividing us and crumbling a sense of community. Exactly the sense of community that could make us band together to fight against war, poverty, pollution, and other serious evils. Not that the open mocking of marriage and verbal attacks on Christianity aren’t serious enough :(

    I saw the video. That unfortunate woman at the window handled it with grace, though. Clearly being CFO (having lots of money) didn’t mean this man also had lots of sense.

  • C.M.Hardin

    Rick DeLano :

    I know you’re right. It’s just miserable dealing with people who constantly spout off about how stupid, evil, and ignorant Catholics are. We enjoy the arts, but we may find ourselves giving it up and sticking exclusively to Catholic spheres of existence. You can’t get a word in anywhere. Even the most innocuous of statements draws fire. It’s hard not to have a moment of just saying, “Well, why not let them go hoist themselves on their own petard if that’s what they want?” but you’re right… it isn’t just them blowing themselves up, they’re blowing the entire society up with them. I already have zero faith in the public school system. My kids, though a financial stretch to do so, are in Catholic school. If nothing else, I want the Church to remain free of it and free to teach as it will. But there are many among the atheists and GLBT crowd that wouldn’t even allow for that. They want to make it illegal to say “boo” to them on any point–no matter how trivial. Saying no and disagreeing are “bigotry” and “bullying” and “hate speech”. I’ve read this in history. It doesn’t end well.

  • C.M.Hardin

    True. It’s like the Camel Nose in the Tent story. First the nose comes in, then the head, then the neck, then the whole camel. Before you know it, you don’t have a tent, but the camel does.

    I feel sorry for the “live and let live” SSA individuals. They are misguided, but I don’t wish them any ill-will. Many of them, I like as individuals–even if I don’t agree with the lifestyle.

    The rebellion against God is very real, though. I used to be an atheist, and I can tell you what they say behind closed doors is far worse than even what they say in public. Even some of my Protestant family sides heavily with the rebellion (pro-abortion, pro-gay-marriage, pro-euthanasia). I voted for prop 8 in 2008 while my family members voted against it–telling me I should “think of the children”. It’s a mess.

    I’m sorry if I’ve misjudged the CEO, but I do feel we’re being manipulated. I don’t think the political class gives a feather or a fig about homosexual causes or abortion or anything else outside their own selfish goals for wealth and power. Distraction and division is the only purpose this cause serves. :(

  • Rick DeLano

    It is exactly the lack of courage of Catholics to stand up and fight against the bigots and fascists of the gay “marriage” movement that has allowed them to come so perilously close to a rewriting of the marriage laws which will provide the legal cover for an assault on the liberty of the Church and the innocence of children.

    How in the world can we possibly care for an instant about our comfort comes at this pointy?

    We are talking about a profoundly fascist movement, which has as its goal the destruction of Christian Faith in America.

    It is time to bloody stand up and fight and if we do not then woe, woe, woe to us.

    PS: Yes I know the bishops have failed us. Not the first time.

  • c matt

    I don’t know if it is so much a distraction, as much as the proponents see this as an opportunity. If we have so many “big” things to worry about like the economy, war, pollution, etc., then SSM should be a no-brainer, right? Not worth fighting over given the big picture?

  • c matt

    Emotions serve their purpose – that is to move us to action. But that is precisely their point – to move us to action, not to determine the appropriate action. that determination needs to be left to proper reason.

  • C.M.Hardin

    Rick DeLano:

    We do need courage, but the nuns and other clergy muddying the water lately doesn’t help. It’s very disheartening and difficult, especially for someone who is a convert and has very little support from extended family ,etc. and who relies heavily on the Church for guidance at this point.

    I will say our local bishop is quite good and holding in there, but I can tell you from what I’ve witnessed, not everyone is getting the message. Even among the Catholic laity there is scoffing behind the scenes with regard to gay marriage and reproductive “rights”. It’s hard not to feel like a rube when you’re a convert and have more kids than the rest of the Catholics present who openly talk about birth control once they’re out of earshot of the priest.

    We need to stand together or we’ll hang together, and I see your point. Thank you for setting me back in the right direction. I’ve had too much recent influence from a non-faith-based attitude.

  • Rick DeLano

    God bless you for your Faith, C. M.

    Sorry if I got a little DeLanoish on you there :-)