Rick Welts Comes out of the Locker Room

Rick Welts, president and chief executive of my hometown basketball team, the Phoenix Suns, is gay. Since Mr. Welts is 58, this is not news. The newsworthy part is, he now feels confident that professional sports can tolerate openly gay men in the front office, and ultimately, on the playing fields. As the Times reports:

In many work environments, this would qualify as a so-what moment. But until now, Mr. Welts, 58, who has spent 40 years in sports, rising from ball boy to N.B.A. executive to team president, had not felt comfortable enough in his chosen field to be open about his sexuality. His eyes welling at times, he also said that he planned to go public.

By this point, Mr. Welts had already traveled to Seattle to share his news with another friend, Bill Russell, one of the greatest basketball players ever and the recent recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He had also met with Val Ackerman, the founding president of the Women’s National Basketball Association, in New York, and would soon be lunching in Phoenix with Steve Nash, the point guard and leader of the Suns and twice the N.B.A.’s most valuable player.

In these meetings and in interviews with The New York Times, Mr. Welts explained that he wants to pierce the silence that envelops the subject of homosexuality in men’s team sports. He wants to be a mentor to gay people who harbor doubts about a sports career, whether on the court or in the front office. Most of all, he wants to feel whole, authentic.

“This is one of the last industries where the subject is off limits,” said Mr. Welts, who stands now as a true rarity, a man prominently employed in professional men’s team sports, willing to declare his
homosexuality. “Nobody’s comfortable in engaging in a conversation.”

I can’t say for sure how any of the Suns will react to Welts‘ revelation– I’m guessing even the die-hard homophobes among them will shrug and mutter something about rank having its privileges. As for gays serving openly in the ranks, I’m fairly sure that’s on the way, too. That Braves’ pitching coach Roger McDowell’s colorful tirade might earn him a day in court with Gloria Allred won’t do much in itself — nor should it. The lawsuit is the modern man’s martyrdom. But it seems some athletes themselves have taken to stumping against homophobia.

Ben Cohen is a world-class English rugby star, and Hudson Taylor is a three-time college all-American wrestler. They live on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean. They barely know each other.

Hudson Taylor, left, an American, and Ben Cohen, an Englishman, say they help spread a message to a broader audience.

But they have something quite unusual in common. They may be the only two high-profile heterosexual athletes dedicating their lives to the issues of bullying and homophobia in sports.

The question that each one frequently gets — besides “Are you gay?” — is why are they involved in something that does not directly impact them, or so it would seem.

That is just the point, they said. In much the same way that the hockey player Sean Avery’s recent endorsement of gay marriage resonated in large part because it came from an unexpected source, their sexual orientation helps the message cross to broader audiences, Cohen and Taylor said.

“It’s massively important,” Cohen said Friday in New York, a stopover on a cross-country campaign for his fledgling Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation. “Massively. Of course it is. I’m the other side of that bridge.”

Rugby seems to be among the most progressive of sports. In 2009, former Wales captain Gareth Thomas publicly identified himself as gay.

Now, some Catholics may feel disheartened. I see no reason why they should. I doubt very many people have been driven to conversion by hearing themselves derided in locker rooms. As I argue in “Gays and Lesbians, Affirmative Orthodoxy, A Changing World,” this new tolerance of homosexuality presents the Church with the challenge of selling continence to gays and lesbians in a way that affirms their identity. Once she manages to do that, there’ll be no room left to confuse her teachings with crass bigotry, or to claim that the first is riding the coattails of the second. Here’s yet more incentive.

Others might worry that every locker room in America will soon groan under the yoke of enforced niceness. If you can’t attack someone’s race or his sexual orientation, what’s left? I have to admit, I panicked a bit myself. But then it hit me: the mother. There’s always the mother. I see no reason to believe that Mothers Against Drunk Driving will drop a “D” and rename itself “Mothers Against the Dozens.”

  • Greta

    Jesus taught us that we must pick up the cross if we are to follow Him. He said getting to heaven is hard and compared it to a camel going through the eye of a needle. He told the woman adulterer to sin no more. When some said His teaching was too hard and went away, He did not run after them saying “wait, let me modify the teaching so it is easier.”

    Some think that the Church teaching on various things should change with the times and new moral beliefs. Many who presented with the ability to use birth control pills to deny God the right to create life, chose to do so and were supported in this effort by those who wanted the wide road made OK. Pope Paul VI told what would happen to a society that followed that wide road and every prediction he made in Humane Vitae has proven true. At the time, most of those in dissent said he was a fool and none of this would happen. It is easy to see how abortion, invitro fertilization, and killing embryo’s for research like the nazi used the jews is directly tied to that choice long ago to normalize birth control use.

    The Church, if it is fulfill its role as set up by Christ is to help us gain eternal life by God in a world that is on the fast track to the wide road. To change the teaching of the church in these important areas which have long been declared and in fact have been reaffirmed just recently is like a doctor with direct intent committing malpractice that caused a death, only worse for it is putting someone on the road to eternal damnation. Those who think the Church should change teaching like one changes their clothes are on a road that would lead to the destruction of Christ Catholic Church. We do not need more change, but to a return of the very reason to exist as a Church.

    Thinking a gay person would accept limitations that mean for them to not live the lifestyle is a joke unless they are serious about their soul. Telling them that the lifestyle is accepted as normal and you should still not live that lifestyle makes no sense. It only makes sense if you are consistent and say it is grave sin and doing it will put you on a path to eternal damnation that might cause one to stop as it should with all sin. We made that mistake with birth control and many will not make paradise with God as a result of that sin leading to others. It kills babies and this will never be accepted by God, even if some priests and bishops have erred in their role..

  • Bender

    Why should I care who Rick Welts is, and why am I supposed to care about his sexual practices? Just exactly how is where he likes to put it any of my business?

    And how is it that the so-called “right to privacy” has now transformed into this apparent right to publicly shove a person’s sexuality in our faces? That is not freedom, that is sexual imposition.

  • kenneth

    “If you can’t attack someone’s race or his sexual orientation, what’s left? …”

    We’ll always have Canadians, Max. And whatever sociopath makes late night TV commercials 25 decibels louder than the show….

  • kenneth

    The existence of gay men in professional sports is a surprise only to the segment of the hetero populace who have spent their lifetimes carefully cultivating a blind spot to such things. Gay men drawn to an enterprise which celebrates masculinity and pays extremely well? Who would have ever guessed! In the popular imagination, gay men are all skinny, lispy queens who go into fashion design or hairdressing. None of them could ever seep their way into a “real man’s” profession! Why, we have safeguards against that.

    Those industries are all full of red-blooded All American boys with huge biceps and perfect pecs who can hang around each other naked in the locker room all day and never have a stray glance. No sissies here, sir! The irony is that the more red-blooded and butch the profession – firefighting, police, the military, blue-collar, rodeo etc., the bigger the gay subculture within it winds up being!

    One of the most beautiful things I’ve had the privilege to witness in my 40 years is the rapid loss of our obsession with these things. The more guys like Welts make their painful journey, the more the rest of us realize his orientation is germane to exactly nothing. It has about as much shock value as when I let it slip that I have a little Native American blood in my line. The bottom line is “can you do the job?”

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    I have been a harsh critic of gay marriage, as some can see in my various comments. However, I find nothing wrong with any gay person wishing to be openingly gay, or expressing what must be a central core of their being. For whatever reason, homosexulaity is part of humanity, and therefore part of God’s creation and plan. We are all God’s children.

  • Sue from Buffalo

    Manny, that is so wrong.

    It is true that we are all God’s children. As his children, we are supposed to go along with what he teaches us. There is no question for people who honestly follow the Bible’s teachings that active homosexuality is an aberration to the Lord. Embracing a grave sin is horrible. Anyone who honestly loves God should not embrace things that he finds offensive.

    Active homosexuality is like having chains around your soul. I refuse to honor the chains that bind my fellow brothers and sisters.

  • Pete

    @Bender, you are being naive about the issue. It is your business to understand what homosexuality is, how your homosexual brothers are treated on God’s earth, and what your responsibility is towards him. Perhaps it is your responsibility to end his life, as the Bible demands. Or as some civil laws require. Perhaps it is your responsibility to protect him from others.

  • Pete

    @Sue, many US citizens interpret those bible passages differently from the way you do. In fact, many christian scholars interpret those bible passages differently fom the way you do. Same is true with respect to bible passages and teachings on masturbation, divorce, eating shellfish, etc. etc. etc.

    I encourage you to consider this issue with a critical mind.

  • Sue from Buffalo

    Pete, it is so clear in the book of Romans. The teachings that you describe are from the Old Testament. Now I know that that can get pretty complicated to explain and discuss, etc but it is so clear in the New Testament that I can’t blow it off. To say that there are different interpretations does not matter.

    I am a devout Catholic convert. The Catholic Church is very clear on the mortal sins of active homosexuality. I am using my critical mind.

    Also, God does not demand that we “end” his life. Where the heck do you get that from? The Old Testament? The ways of the Old Testament has been fulfilled. I am going by Christ’s and his followers. (The Apostles taught what Jesus taught them).

    In Timothy 3:16, it says that the church is the pillar and foundation of truth. That’s the Catholic Church. It doesn’t matter how many different Christian scholars interpret differently. Here you have the Bible being perfectly clear and the Catholic Church says that we don’t end their lives nor do we support them in their chains. That is compassion.
    Supporting them in mortal sin is not compassion although I think that people mean it to be.

  • Sue from Buffalo

    And Pete? I have no problem with eating shellfish but you can’t believe that masturbation and divorce is a good thing, do you?

  • tempus fugit

    “rising from ball boy”

    Forgive me, I had to laugh at that.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    And, of course, Sue, modern Jews don’t demand homosexuals be killed, or punish adultery with stoning or punish those who, say, eat shellfish with fines, or imprisonment; Israel is, I believe, the only Middle-Eastern country that has an openly gay rights movement, complete with Pride parades.

    And, of course, Christians do interpret the Old Testament differently from the New Testament (I know, I know—big shock, right?) But, of course, this makes no difference for those with axes to grind.

    (And, in Egypt, Coptic Christians are attacked, and Christians are being persecuted in Gaza, and Iraq, but who cares? Far more interesting to focus on famous gays in sports, I guess. . . )

  • Pete

    @Sue. I belive the passage you find to be as clear as bell was described by the Archbishop of Canturbury as follows: “Many current ways of reading miss the actual direction of the passage. Paul is making a primary point not about homosexuality but about the delusions of the supposedly law-abiding. ”

    You should phone him and share with him your scholarship on this topic.

  • Pete

    @Sue: While I rarely share my personal beliefs on a blog I must say that yes, I firmly believe that a certain amount of masturbation is indicative of a normal and healthy life. I also believe there is ample historical, social, cultural and medical evidence to support that statement.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Hootie-hoo for the Archbishop of Canterbury, Pete!

    I didn’t realize he now spoke for all Christians, or that his pronouncements on the Bible must now be accepted by one and all, unquestioningly. The last time I checked, he was talking up Islamic Shari’a law, and trying to explain how it would be a asplendid thing if England were to incorpore it into its own legal system; he was also quite upset that Bin Ladin was killed.

    The co-joined Anglican/Episcopal churches, have been trying to re-wrie any, and all, Biblical verses that condemn homosexual acts for some time, even, yea, verily, twisting them into pretzels, if need be. They’ve had a hard time getting their own congregations to accept this (as witness their dwindling numbers), let alone anybody else.

    The situation, for Catholics, is different, as Sue quite rightly points out. As she says, the Catholic church always has been quite clear on the sinfulness of homosexual acts, and, as a devout Catholic, she accepts their teachings on this. Sue believes, and she knows what she believes; she is being honest, and not doing the tiresome “Waaaal, I am a Catholic, but. . . ” unlike those “Catholics” who try reconciling their faith with abortion, or Marxism—and get cranky when called on this.

    I’m not a Catholic myself, Sue, but I admire your clear-headedness, and adherence to the faith.

    To demand the Church drop its teachings on this in order to get along better with the world, and be seen as liberal and tolerant, is wrong. The arguments, “Well, nobody disapproves of gays anymore”, or “The younger generation now accepts gays”, or, “Look at all those good looking gay sports stars!” are mendacious, silly or beside the point. (And strategiessuch trying to get gays to embrace celibacy, while well-intentioned, are just not going to work.)

    We live in hard times. Someday, all Christians might find themselves being persecuted like the Copts; best to know what you really believe, and what’s really important.

  • Pete

    @RS, perhaps I made my point too subtly for you. Sue states that the bible is “clear” in its proscriptions against homosexuality. Others would disagree with that statement, and as evidence I offered the example of one such biblical scholar.

  • http://drgaellon.dreamwidth.org Randy

    @Greta and @Sue:
    YOUR church and YOUR faith. Not mine. Stop forcing your beliefs on those who do not share them. My relationship with the Divine as I understand it encompasses and accepts many forms of sexuality which yours rejects. You have that right; you do NOT have the right to force anyone else into what you consider right. I’m sure you also believe all Jews, Muslims, Wiccans and other non-Christians are going to Hell as well, but you wouldn’t dream of telling one of us (I’m Jewish) that we are committing a “grave sin,” now would you?

    @Bender:
    When gay teens are killing themselves because the discrimination and soul-crushing abuse is too much to bear, and they have no role models to show them that they can survive and be healthy and happy… it is incumbent upon us to be out. I’m sorry if that makes you uncomfortable. It’s not an imposition; it’s hardly like anyone is propositioning you.

  • pam

    Rhinestone Suderman: While I agree with most of what you said I want to make you aware of a wonderful and very successful Catholic apostolate that helps people who have same sex attraction to live a chaste life. Here is their website: http://www.couragerc.net/

    We are all attached to our own form of sinful behavior. If I were to “come out” and tell the world that I am filled with pride and I just want you to accept it and tell me it’s okay, I would hope that my friends would tell me that sin is deadly and left unchecked it can seperate you from God for all eternity. That is the loving response.

  • Sue from Buffalo

    Pete, I heard you but I think you missed what I was saying.

    It doesn’t matter one whit what the Archbishop of Canterbury says. At least…not to me. I can respect the man in a lot of different ways but he is not in communion with Rome and therefore, I don’t listen to him on theology (and this pertains to theology).

    Your response to me was beneath you. I am just as entitled to my beliefs as you or the Archbishop is. And I believe what the Catholic Church teaches with every ounce of my being. It took me 10 years to come into the church so that should indicate how much convincing I needed. To do such I had to use my critical mind.

    And your beliefs on masturbation is something I disagree with, too. It is an abuse of the body. There is also evidence to support that; however, this is another topic for another day.

    ————————
    Rhinestone Suderman: Thank you. That blew me away.

  • kenneth

    “Son, it’s ok to be gay, but I’m afraid you’re going to have to deny yourself all expression of a key piece of your humanity because we’re pretty sure we found some veiled references in some ancient manuscripts which were ghost-written by fourthand sources hundreds of years after our savior’s death.

    No, HE never said anything on the matter himself, but lots of old men who claim divine authority insist this is God’s word. Besides, we’re Godly people and we think homosexuality is really, you know, “oogie” and we just know in our gut that God feels this way too.

    Don’t take it too badly son, we have programs and training centers that will give you the discipline to help you deny this sick need for affection you feel for the next 70 years or so. Maybe we can get you a spot in the Vulcan Academy or something….

    Call me names (as you surely will), but this to my mind conveys about as much love as the caress of a skinhead’s steel toed Doc Martin against a prone man’s ribcage….

  • Sue from Buffalo

    kenneth, ok. Why are you writing on a Catholic blog if you’re so anti-Christian?

    Is this what they mean when they say, “troll?”

  • Sue from Buffalo

    Well, I fell for it. You’ve written before so I guess you’re not a troll but that was possibly the most offensive post I’ve seen in a while.

    Kenneth, a little respect goes a long way. I’ve shown love to our homosexual brothers and sisters (whether you want to admit it or not). A real discussion on controversial subjects always goes better when you don’t mock people out for their beliefs. Especially when they’ve been respectful.

  • kenneth

    Does my contempt for one particular doctrine (and one much disputed even among Christians) make me “anti-Christian”? If so, that’s a very low bar. It’s rather like calling someone an “anti-Semite” because they happen to criticize Likud’s policies. (For those who don’t get the reference, that happens all the time.)

    I’m not mocking anyone. I’m mocking a line of reasoning and conclusion which I find to be badly misinformed and grotesquely immoral. It is not Christianity’s adoption of this belief which elicits my contempt for it. In fact the same belief was prevalent in pagan circles many years ago and continues to exist in some circles, albeit a distinct minority these days.

    I’ve always understood a “troll” to mean someone who provokes outrage for its own sake without ever engaging the relevant argument in any way. For better and worse, I am engaging the issue. If doing so in a way that is pointed but heartfelt makes me a “troll,” I’ll proudly wear the jacket….

  • Bender

    See Pete, that’s what I mean.

    TMI

    For you to pull it out like that and tell us all how much you like to masturbate is a gross imposition that exceeds all boundaries of social propriety and is in essence a form of sexual harassment.

    It is no one’s business. Neither are the sexual proclivities of this public figure or that public figure any of my business.

  • pam

    Kenneth, I have a question for you. I get my authority from the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church (the one you think is “badly misinformed and grotesquely immorral.”) Where do you get your authority?

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Sue in Buffalo, many thanks! Also, thanks to you Pam, for the interesting link. You’ll be in my prayers.

    Kenneth, as I said on another thread, you are a modern pagan, self-admitted, and, as such, you have a great deal of hostility towards Christianity, which skews your outlook.

    If you find the Catholic church’s position on homosexual acts too “Ooogie” you do not have to join that church. You are free to worship as you please, or not worship at all. And Catholics are free to worship as they desire.

    I suspect this is not the only Christian/Catholic doctrine for which you feel contempt—which begs a reiteration of Sue’s question, “What are you doing on a Catholic blog?”

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    You’re not too subtle, Pete, just mistaken;

    The Archbishop of Canterbury is an Anglican (and a rather kooky one at that, but we’ll set that aside for the moment); he is not Catholic—remember all that stuff about Henry VIII/Anne Boelyn and the Protestant Reformation? Whatever he believes about the Bible, Catholics don’t need to pay attention; they have their own Bible experts. And he’s just one man, there are a lot of Bible commentators out there.

    I once studied Hebrew, and the Old Testament, with a Jewish teacher. He said that, yes, in the OT, homosexuality is, unequivacally condemned. (He also said that the sin of gluttony is the one most frequently condemned in the Old Testament. . . food for thought. . . )

  • Pete

    @Bender;

    “Pull it out”??? Tell you “how much [I] like to masturbate?????” I’ve neither of those things. How offensive, in an intellectual discussion. I’m not even sure what the first statement means, although I suspect a more vigilant moderator might choose to have excluded your entire post, if I get your drift. In that respect, please don’t write me again.

    Moreiover, if you don’t like discussing our understanding of human sexuality in a public forum, then don’t. But saying that it is “nobody’s business” advances nothing.

    Social propriety indeed!

  • Pete

    @RS: You’ve just supported my point. Thank you. If you are acknowledging some authority (persuasive authority? binding authority?) to your Jewish OT theology teacher in these matters, why not acknowledge that the AoC also has some persuasive authority?

    None? Really? Not an iota? His years of education, scholarship, reading, writings, learnings and minsitry about the same bible passages as you read mean nothing to you b/c he comes from a different faith tradition?

    I don’t believe you.

  • kenneth

    The thing is, Rhinestone, if this were truly just an internal matter for the Catholic Church (or any other), I wouldn’t waste a millimole of ATP thinking about this, much less typing responses to the issue on this forum. I truly don’t care what you keep as doctrine and beliefs among yourselves. You will never find me sounding off about the fine points of Mass forms, the nature of purgatory, meatless days in Lent etc.

    Gay marriage, and by extension, the Church’s position on it, are very much in the public sphere and affect us all, whether Christian, pagan atheist or whatever. The Church has chosen to insert itself into this public debate in a very active fashion, almost to the point of exclusion of the rest of its historical ministries. It’s beliefs and actions are therefore very relevant to all of this country’s citizens and subject to the same criticism and debate as any idea from any source.

  • Pete

    @Sue, you cant really be opposed to divorce can you? I mean, notwithstanding what Christ said about it, isn’t a civil divorce a REQUIREMENT of your church in certain instances? For example, isn’t it a required step towards a church annulment? Please tell me if I am wrong on that.

    Maybe all this thinkin and learnin isn’t as easy and clear as you suggest.

  • pam

    Rhinestone Suderman: I suffer from an inability to express myself coherently. While I appreciate the prayers, I must tell you that I am a wife and mother of six children. The sin I am most attached to is pride. That said we should all pray for our brothers and sisters who suffer from same sex attraction.

  • Bender

    I didn’t “write” you in the first place, Pete. In fact, I was very clear about maintaining a proper sense of privacy, i.e. not writing or talking about one’s personal and private inclinations in public at all. You are the one advocating for letting it all hang out.

    But, from your continued comments, now jumping around from topic to topic, it is also clear that you are not open to discussing what the Catholic Church actually teaches on such matters. Dialogue is not possible.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Oh, believe it, Pete!

    I actually came from a tradition close to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s—I was an Episcopalian, once. He didn’t impress me that much then, either.

    He has some persuasive authority, but he does not persuade me; I once took Bible classes, in which the same sort of things were argued—that the condemnation of homosexual acts in the Bible really didn’t mean what they said, but something else entirely. They didn’t convince me then, nor do they now.

    I can take or leave the Archbishop, and mostly, I choose to leave him.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    LOL, not to worry, Pam! We all have problems with coherence sometimes.

    I will pray for you, and our brothers and sisters who suffer same-sex attraction.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Kenneth, when I last checked, the church was still very actively carrying out its mission to feed the poor, preach, teach and distribute the sacraments. It still runs the St. Vincent de Paul in our area, and still feeds the homeless. It hasn’t closed down its doors and devoted itself solely to persecuting gays.

    You are aware, aren’t you that the majority of Christian denominations are, at best, lukewarm about gay marriage, and most are actively opposed to it?

    You’re just going to have to accept the fact that, in Christianity, and Judaism, marriage means union between a man and a woman. Christ blessed a heterosexual marriage at Cana. He never blessed a same sex union. The church cannot, and should not, change its beliefs in order to fit in with the world. The church is supposed to change the world.

    Judaism definitely disapproved of homosexuality, and, as you yourself point out, many pagan cultures did also. Even the ones that glorified, such as Athens and Sparta, still considered male/female marriage as the basis of society.

    Your problem is not just with the Catholic church, but with most human societies up until now, including the non-Christian ones; none of them has sanctioned gay marriage, even the ones that, as I said, tolerated homosexuality.

  • Pat

    I feel like this needs to be added to the conversation since it came up:
    You cannot compare the ban on eating shellfish (or other dietary laws) with the condemnation of homosexual acts because dietary requirements were for purification purposes. Active homosexuality is a moral issue. This is an important distinction. The statements of morality made in the Old Testament are very much still relavent to Christians. The purification requirements (and the punishments for breaking God’s law (ex: stoning)) are different because of the New Testament–punishments and purification issues were addressed. The morality of the Old Testament is still firm.

  • Sue from Buffalo

    Pete, as I understand it, a civil divorce is required for an annulment. An annulment (in the Catholic Church) is saying that the marriage was never a valid marriage to begin with.

    As seen by society today, divorce is one of the things killing our culture. It is horrible. I’m not saying that it is never necessary but without an annulment, one should never remarry. And yes, I’ve witnessed people who have lived through all of that and choose not to remarry out of obedience to the Church and for love of God.

    No one ever said that living what the Catholic Church teaches is easy. I am looking at the much much bigger picture. I would love to be in heaven someday. I know that I’m failing miserably. I’m trying though. Gee whiz, it’s not easy.

    I have my own crosses just like everyone else. With people who have homosexual desires, people who have to endure painful divorces and all the other crosses that humanity has to carry, we are supposed to hold each other up in mercy and in grace. If we take the easy way out and just say “go and do whatever makes life easier for you” then we are condemning our brothers and sisters to even more trials in life and very possibly an eternal one hereafter.

    Last night, I had to take a break from the internet. I should never respond with anger even when provoked and I did. It was later that I realized that Kenneth and Pete are in pain. (and yes, your posts sounded very much like that).

    I am sorry about whatever it is that makes you answer the way you have been in your later posts. You both started out reasonable and then went…south. We weren’t being provocative, just stating what we believe.

    Kenneth, your post was so anti-Christian. Why deny it? It wasn’t simply mocking a doctrine. It was mocking those who put the Bible together. That is not such a low bar that I’m setting.

    ““Son, it’s ok to be gay, but I’m afraid you’re going to have to deny yourself all expression of a key piece of your humanity because we’re pretty sure we found some veiled references in some ancient manuscripts which were ghost-written by fourthand sources hundreds of years after our savior’s death. No, HE never said anything on the matter himself, but lots of old men who claim divine authority insist this is God’s word.”

    The above is what I was referring to.

  • Pete

    @Pat: Agreed. The morality of the OT is still firm: including the morality of a man having several wives. And the morality of capital punishment, and nothng short of capital punishment, for all gay people. [Sarcasm].

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Pete, give it up, please.

    As Sue points out, you’re now heading south—simply snarling, and lashing out and pulling up different things to be indignant about: divorce, the Old Testament, whatever.

    You are in pain, and I’m sorry about that. And I also suspect that this pain has nothing to do with the Catholic church, or the fact that some people believe differently than you do.

    God help and guide you.

  • Sue from Buffalo

    Randy, I do not believe that all those people you listed are going to hell. That is a misconception you have of me and of Catholicism. God, in his infinite mercy and love, determines that. He knows what is in the hearts of man.

    How am I “forcing” my beliefs on you? This is a Catholic blog, is it not? And even if it’s not, you don’t have more rights than I do.

    The homosexual community and their supporters do not have more rights to force their beliefs on me than I do on anyone. I have the right to speak out just as you do.

    Sin is sin, Randy. Yes, I would say that anyone, regardless of faith, is committing a grave sin if they commit homosexual acts. If they aren’t aware that it is a grave sin then it is not considered “mortal.”

    Truth is truth, Randy. I’m trying to speak it charitably but I’m not going to shut up and go away. Believe it or not, I do this out of love for my brothers and sisters and for God.

    If you saw someone getting ready to go over a cliff and you did nothing to warn them then how is that charitable? How is that compassion?

    How is that love?

  • Pete

    @RS, I think that sarcasm, satire and irony have SOME place in an intellectual discussion. They are tools we are taught in writing class. The have a place.

    Tone is hard to convey in a blog post which is why I took the extra step to underscore what I meant as sarcasm. As stated, sarcasm and satire have a place in advanced writing. But Snarling? No, not snarling.

    Re: the “pain” comment: you do see how incredibly patronizing it is, don’t you? I assure you I am in no pain. When you fall back on labels like that it says more about
    you than about me. you see that don’t you?

    But that’s all beside the point. The point being that some people (like Sue) think the interpretation of scripture is easy-peasy lemon-squeezy, and some people, like you and me, think its not so easy-peasy and that we should afford some credit to and try to listen to the many christian and jewish scholars who are working to understand the word of God.

  • Sue from Buffalo

    Pete, it is a problem with internet writing that you can’t tell what we’re saying through our tone. When we talk about the pain in your posts, we’re being honest. I know that after I was away for a little bit, I got to thinking that when people write angry (and that’s what I heard in your posts) then there is usually pain involved.

    And when RS and I commented on the pain we heard, we were looking at your posts in a different light. I definitely didn’t mean it to sound patronizing and I don’t think RS did either. If I have offended you by saying something about pain, then I apologize.

    You have to remember that I read the scriptures through the lens of the Catholic Church. This is 2000 years of scholarly study, much prayer and the guidance of the Holy Spirit as promised to the apostles. So when I say that it is simple…that is why. I never said it was easy, just simple.

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church states this:

    #2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

    #2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

    With respect, this is what I submit.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Pete, I don’t think Sue believes Biblical interpretation is “Easy peasy lemon squeezy.” (And, yes, this does sound more like snarling, than wit, or clever sarcasm.)

    And, if you are not in pain, why are you here, picking fights on a Catholic blog? It’s been repeatedly explained to you what Catholics believe, and why they believe it; you don’t like it? Well, that’s your right. But they also have a right to their own beliefs.

  • Pete

    @rs: I am participating here b/c I believe the Anchoress has a comment section for the purpose of encouraging robust debate and the sharing of ideas. If there was nothing worth discussing there would be no comment section. I am motivated to reply to a particular post usually when I read something that is patently false or ridiculous or shows a lack of thought and a likelihood to discourage others from critical thinking or contrary to what I think Jesus would say. But now we are really off topic.

  • kenneth

    I couldn’t help but notice when I just last took a look at this thread, two ads on the side came up next to each other: a place that sells licensed Chicago Bulls gear and a gay bath house/hotel ad depicting two well-proportioned young men wearing only towels and come-hither glances. That, as the American Express ads would say, is priceless! :)

  • Sue from Buffalo

    If you say so, Kenneth. I can’t find it.

  • pam

    Kenneth, the ads on the side come up because of where you have been on the internet. For instance I was searching for a down comforter on the web and all day long the ads I saw on the sidebar were stores that sold comforters.

  • kenneth

    It came up on this very page! Probably just keywords in the post. Something to do with basketball and gay. It’s just funny the happenstance and odd juxtapositions that happen on the internet

  • Sue from Buffalo

    I saw the Chicago Bulls ad last night but not the other.


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