It’s just a few bad apples. It’s just a few bad apples. It’s just a few bad apples.

It’s just a few bad apples. It’s just a few bad apples. It’s just a few bad apples. May 21, 2012

When they threaten Bristol Palin and her family with death. When they smash church windows in Portland and again in Massachusetts.  When they threaten a 14 year old girl with death.  When they physically assault a peaceful group of demonstrators.  When they banish a Spanish bishop for the thoughtcrime of believing what the Church teaches….

Why would anybody think that at the heart of the gay agenda is a persecuting intolerant faith that itches to muzzle, exile, and do violence to those who resist the demand for approval of homosex and that something in gay culture fosters and encourages this?

Prop 8 Supporters have some experience here.

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  • Faith

    Hi Mark, you’re first link isn’t working.

  • Careful….NDAA…..they’re tunneling under your house…

  • Jennifer

    Thank you for saying it. It ain’t just a few bad apples.

  • MarylandBill

    I occasionally read the CNN belief blog (I know, I know… lets just call it a penance I impose on myself) has convinced me in very clear terms that there is a segment of the population (hopefully a small one, but I am not convinced) who deeply hates religion and morality in general and Catholicism in particular.

    Last night I was trying to respond to a post by someone who was trying to say that as Christians we should support same-sex marriage trying to claim that we should never limit blessings from God. When I tried to respond with a rational argument I first encountered CNN’s filter that literally stops any post with the letters s-e-x in them from being posted (even in a post about homosexuality, you can’t use the word). Once I had worded my argument to get around the filters, I was immediately attacked, not based on my argument, but personal attacks (I was called a bigot and an idiot).

    • Ted Seeber

      On the plus side it’s Catholicism in Particular. As in the Protestants are not moral enough to worry about.

    • Charles

      Indeed a significant number on Beliefnet hate the Church (or religion and its natural limits on and the torment of their conscience from their libertine behaviors). And they are the contributors and the editors! The combox is a whole other hell that one must have strong faith and extreme charity to delve into and survive.

    • hohum

      That would be due to the obvious (albeit, oblivious to yourself) fact that, indeed, YOU ARE a bigot (and quite possibly an idiot), according to what you just described. But you are absolutely right about one thing: it’s actually the vast majority of people in this country, who have come to hate organized religion for the hatred and intolerance that it breeds among mankind… not at all a mere “small sect”.
      One does not need to subscribe to the cult of religion, in order to follow the basic moral code by which ALL LIFE on Earth is allowed to prosper in harmony. One needs only to look to the natural world in order to see how absolutely foreign and laughable the idea of organized religion truly is.

      Another joke, is the notion that mankind is the highest order of intelligence on Earth. If that were even remotely true, then how come the whole Earth (including all manner of life existing on it) has always naturally been able to prosper in harmony —that is, until we humans came forth and began destroying the planet, the animal kingdom… and even one another.
      I mean, it’s pretty clear that mankind isn’t even intelligent enough to rise above our petty differences (mostly religious-based, btw) in order to ensure the survival of our own species. Why our own survival isn’t tantamount to ALL ELSE (ie – the political talking-points that are regurgitated from the tube, ad nauseam —sans any sort of meaningful, productive compromise or conclusion —ever) is beyond absurd. The ever-present distraction of brainwashing garbage that gets churned-out by the mainstream media is poisoning our minds. I sure do hope that enough people manage to figure that out, before it’s too late. Perhaps it already is.

  • Noah

    Anecdotal evidence:
    Percent of friends/acquaintances who I know are LGBT and who have been beaten by Christians on account of their LGBT status: 25% (threatened: 100%)
    Percent of friends/acqaintances who I know are Catholic or other Christian and who have been beaten by LGBT persons on account of their Christianity: 0% (threatened: 0%).

    Turnabout is fair play. Note that while the original is hyperbolic in the extreme, this is, historically, no exaggeration at all:
    “Why would anybody think that at the heart of the [Catholic] agenda is a persecuting intolerant faith that itches to muzzle, exile, and do violence to those who resist the demand for [dis]approval of homosex and that something in [church] culture fosters and encourages this?”

    “But these are real cases of intolerance! Are you denying them? What am I missing?”
    This is what is missing:
    It’s easy to remember what the other side did wrong and not so easy to remember what we did wrong ourselves. Sure, point out bullying and intolerant behavior among LGBTs and their supporters, but doing so out of proportion to reality is simply another form of lying.

    • CJ

      “Turnabout is fair play.”
      “Sure, point out bullying and intolerant behavior among LGBTs and their supporters, but doing so out of proportion to reality is simply another form of lying.”

      If turnabout is fair play, why does proportionality matter? They had it coming, right?

    • I don’t question your numbers (I trust you are being truthful), but I will question the Christianity of those who did the beating/threatening as I don’t recall being encouraged to do that in my CCD class, or reading that in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

      To wit:
      Catholic Tradition (2357)
      Homos*xuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience s*xual attraction to others of the same s*x. Although homos*xuality has taken many forms, its psychological source remains largely unexplained. Catholic Tradition (based on biblical texts) has always taught that “homos*xual acts are intrinsically disordered” (Congregation for Doctrine of Faith). They are against the natural law, are closed to the gift of life, and do not proceed from a genuine s*xual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

      Called to Chastity (2358-2359)
      The number of persons with homos*xual tendencies is not negligible. They did not choose their condition and they must be accepted with respect. *All unjust discrimination must be avoided.* They are called to do God’s will and to unite their sacrifices to the Lord’s sacrifice on the cross.

    • Dale Price

      “Shut up,” he explained.

    • MarylandBill

      So wait, listing actual examples of pro same sex marriage activists (not all of whom are gay of course), is out of proportion to reality?

      Also lets keep in mind that Mark and a whole bunch of other Catholic Bloggers (and many Catholics in general) are generally supportive of equal rights for homosexuals. They (and I include myself here) simply believe that same-sex marriage is not a right, but in fact is an attempt to redefine marriage.

      Also, here is some proportion for you, there has been an estimated one million christians martyred for their faith in the years between 2000 and 2010 (source ). Fortunately few or none of these have occurred in the United States… yet. But if we remain silent about “proportionately” small attacks, how long before American Catholics join the annual count of martyrs for the faith.

      • Noah

        Yes, it is out of proportion!

        First off, it’s agreed that worldwide, the martyrdom of Christians is numerically *much* worse. For what it’s worth, recognized that, in places were Christians are murdered, LGBTs are, too.

        In the U.S. things are very different. Here you go:
        The number of anti-LGBT hate crimes in the U.S. in 2010 was 13.5 times higher than the number of anti-Christian hate crimes. Per capita, that means LGBT people are 27,000% more likely to be the victim than the aggressor. The severity of the crimes against LGBTs is also worse than against Christians. Someone committed to representing the state of persecution and intolerance in our country honestly and accurately would condemn intolerance toward LGBTs by Christians vastly more frequently and forcefully than the reverse, rather than cherry-picking the extremely rare and sensational stories when the reverse does happen.

        If Mark can throw Nazi analogies for the most trivial of semblances, here’s mine: We ought to spend a great deal more emphasis condemning the intolerance of the Nazis toward the Jews than of the Jews toward the Nazis, even though some of the latter no doubt existed.

        • MarylandBill

          First, the FBI statistics are interesting, but they are only valid in cases where actual crimes have been reported. Obviously any group that has experienced persecution knows that most persecution is of a softer type that skirts the law. I was called a bigot last night simply because I tried to point out that CNN’s religion blog almost never allows people to speak for the traditional interpretation of Christianity. It may not have been a crime, but name calling certainly falls under grounds of prejudice and persecution. Also, I have witnessed people call my brother a pedophile when they heard he wanted to be a priest. And of course, in almost any debate on Catholicism, relevant or not, the sexual abuse crisis is brought up regardless of how irrelevant to the discussion. In another recent example, I know of someone whose job was threatened because of his faith (I would say more, but I don’t know if the person would want the information public).

          Further, lets remember that Mark’s blog is not a general news blog; it is a blog about Catholicism. There are plenty of main stream news stories that cover hate crimes against gays. Stories about persecution against Christians, in the USA or world wide tend to get ignored. Add to this that Catholics have frequently in the past been persecuted severely in this country, why shouldn’t we speak up now that the pendulum seems to be back toward a period of persecution.

        • Ted Seeber

          That’s because the FBI doesn’t count anti-Christian hate crimes when it’s coming from their own agents.

    • Mark H.

      Unfortunately, it’s the acts of a radical minority that often get the attention from the mainstream media. Whether you’re talking about Christians or other religions, atheists, political or social rights movements, the radical, fringe elements get the exposure, and the public often bases it’s opinions on that .

    • Kristen inDallas

      Be fair, read some older posts. Mark speaks out against bigotry against SSA individuals all the time. He has the habit of pointing out the problems with violent and hateful behavior on both sides of the fence, and he’s not wrong. It may just be a few bad apples on either side, but either way those few bad apples do spoil the bunch. Christians need to start taking some responsibility for our bad apples, just as the GLBT community needs to take responsibility for theirs. from the linked article:
      “Arguments for same-sex marriage are based fundamentally on the idea that limiting marriage to the union of husband and wife is a form of bigotry, irrational prejudice, and even hatred against homosexual persons.”
      When you couple the idea that anyone who disagrees with you is bigoted (rather than engaging in their reasoning for disagreement) with the idea that “turnabout is fair play” you give yourself permission to act like a bigot. (Generally not a good thing).
      My own anecdotal evidence number of my GLBT friends and christian friends who have have been physically assaulted by the other camp for their views (0%). Percentage of my GLBT friends and Christian friends who have been verbally harrassed or threatened for their views (100% of both groups, generally in comboboxes).

    • ds

      Turnabout is not fair play. It was wrong when they were persecuted and it’s wrong to do it back to Christians.

      However the horrible shock and blaming something intrinsic “at the heart of the gay agenda” is a bit rich. These people who have been suppressed and abused for centuries are really mad! What a bunch of violent thugs!

    • Ted Seeber

      You can add one to the number of Catholics you know who have been threatened by LGBT forces. Heck, with the NDAA, you can count about 64 million of them.

  • Dale Price
  • leahlibresco

    Mark, I don’t think this reasoning is valid, and I don’t think you would accept it as valid if we translate it into other contexts. The rape and death threats that Damien Fowler and Jessica Alquist got after protesting school-run Christian prayer in their public schools did not reveal that a desire for violence and theocracy is at the heart of the Christian faith.

    The people most likely to make the news are the extremists. The people most likely to contact people they disagree with in anger are the extremists. I don’t call on you to disclaim the threats Fowler and Alquist received because I can pretty reasonably assume you’re not for killing kids if they try to enforce the Establishment cause in the courts. What’s more, the people who made those threats are mostly anonymous, so it’s not clear that anyone’s in authority over them who could try to dissuade them. All I’m asking is that you extend the same courtesy to me.

    And to remember that comboxes are a really imperfect census.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      And to remember that comboxes are a really imperfect census.

      Thank the Lord for that. If I knew as many sociopaths in real life as I’ve met online, I think I’d become a hermit.

      • leahlibresco

        Arguably, people who spend most of their time in comboxes are hermits. They’re cut off from real human contact and engaged in what must be a grotesque form of penance. 🙂

        • Andy, Bad Person

          Ha! I’ll try that one next time I’m in confession: “But Father, I spend a lot of time in comboxes! Surely that’s good enough.”

          He’d probably say something like, “That’s like complaining that your burned your hand when you’re holding it in a fire.”

        • Interesting theory, but I don’t buy the bit about combox penance.

  • The example of a city council having the chutzpah to dictate the removal of their bishop reminds me of the real origins of the separation of Church and State. I fear that homosexuality is simply an excuse to execute a power grab by the secular authorities. The irony is that when the State throws them under the bus the Church will remain to defend their human dignity even as she challenges them to the same repentance she calls us all to.

    • ds

      Guys, I finally figured out a way to execute our power grab – we’ll have sex with men!

  • Jonas

    If Christians object to being lumped together with the Westboro Baptists and Pat Robertson style fundamentalists maybe you could extend the same courtesy to gays and atheists?

    • Ted Seeber

      It is precisely because gays and atheists cheer their bad apples on and throw parades for them and the like, that I have problems extending to them the same courtesy.

      • ds

        Can you be a little more specific? Who was thrown a parade?

        • Gay pride parades in Frisco in years past, up to and including the most recent one (whenever it was held last). The route always includes churches, including Catholic churches and in addition to general run-of-the-mill LGBT people, the obscene always seems to be a part of it where they simulate s*x acts and other types of “whips & chains” type stuff.

          While there is a right for LGBT’s to have pride parade, they should not be obscene.

          • ds

            This isn’t violence or vandalism or abuse. As far as being obscene, yeah kinda I guess but it’s not intending to offend or intimidate. It’s comic farce and pride about their own community and culture and re-appropriation of stereotypes all wrapped up together. It’s a joyful celebration. I think you don’t understand the gay community is why you think it’s so bad. Not that you’d ever come to love it, but it’s not so bad as you seem to think.

            • “it’s not intending to offend or intimidate”

              Not all, I was trying to be careful in saying that. The ones who walk completely naked and/or dressed in sado-masochistic outfits and enacting pretend “s*x acts”, I believe are trying to offend.

              I would not approve of the Klan of intimidating a black church or Neo Nazis a synagogue either. They have the right to have their parades, but when it becomes to lewd or crass acts, that’s stepping over the line of decency.

              • Dale Price

                Come on, CP. “Hunky Jesus” contests and the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” are just good, clean fun, and not a sharpened stick in the eyes of Christers.

                Get over yourself, beadsqueezer.

            • Art

              “It’s a joyful celebration”

              As are pornography conventions for some people. Not that you would love it, but it’s not as bad as you think.

  • Richard Johnson

    “I don’t question your numbers (I trust you are being truthful), but I will question the Christianity of those who did the beating/threatening as I don’t recall being encouraged to do that in my CCD class, or reading that in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.”

    Ah, right…it’s not Catholic, so it doesn’t count here. Sorry…nothing to see here.

    • You conveniently skipped over my point that I *question* the Christianity of idiots like this “pastor”.

      But I can’t say that I am not surprised. Any time you can take a stab, you will.

      Nice try.

  • Faith

    I think it is odd that almost every comment focused on Mark’s first point about gays doing aggressive, violent things to push their agenda in re Palin but didn’t focus on what happened in Spain. A few days ago we had some atheists jeering at those who are afraid the gay agenda will become oppressive by throwing countries that have ssm and how tolerant they behave towards Christians as proof that we are nothing but a bunch of chicken littles. Spain was one of the examples given and now we find out that a bishop who mentioned in his sermon (in a Church on a Christian holy day) the sinfulness of gay bars has been banned by a city council who are also seeking to have him removed from their area. If that isn’t oppressing the religious I don’t know what is.

  • Richard Johnson

    “You conveniently skipped over my point that I *question* the Christianity of idiots like this “pastor”.”

    That’s OK. Having once been a member of a church not unlike this pastor’s, I can assure you that he probably questions your Christianity as well. After all, Jack Chick tracts sell really well to Independent, Fundamentalist Baptist churches.

    But the important part, and the part you originally overlooked in your blithe response, is that these other churches identify *themselves* as Christian. If the Holy Roman Catholic Church were the only church in existence perhaps your statement would have some weight. As it is, it means nothing, and simply comes off as the usual “no true Scotsman” argument.

    • The problem with painting with a broad brush is that you paint with a broad brush.

      It’s anyone’s problem that is participating in this particular discussion.

      While you are correct in pointing out the hypocrisy of this so-call Christian pastor and his “church”, I cannot for the life of me, and I am not saying it’s not out there, where a Catholic priest, bishop or the Holy Father himself, advocated physical or mental attacks on the LGBT.

      • ds

        So don’t paint the other side with a broad brush. I don’t know anyone that supports gay rights and also supports death threats or vandalism.

        • ds – who said I was? I prefer not to advocate lumping a whole community into one barrel because of bad actors.

  • Richard Johnson

    “While you are correct in pointing out the hypocrisy of this so-call Christian pastor and his “church”, I cannot for the life of me, and I am not saying it’s not out there, where a Catholic priest, bishop or the Holy Father himself, advocated physical or mental attacks on the LGBT.”

    And from the same standpoint, as a member of PFLAG, I cannot for the life of me find where one of our chapters, regions, or national offices or leaders advocated for such attacks on the Catholic Church.

    Now that we have both played Pontius Pilate, I’m certain we both feel much better that it isn’t *our* people involved in this. So let us return to our broad brush work in the comforting knowledge that it ain’t our fault.

    That makes it much better, doesn’t it?

    • “as a member of PFLAG, I cannot for the life of me find where one of our chapters, regions, or national offices or leaders advocated for such attacks on the Catholic Church”

      I don’t look at this as playing Pontius Pilate, Richard. You are acknowledging that that organisation does not advocate any kind of attacks…which I believe to be the high ground.

      I don’t really understand the rest of your point. There are many Christians and Catholics that look beyond what a person is. Our faith calls us to love one another as Jesus loves us.

      Call it naive if you want, but thats’ how I see it.

  • Art

    It is interesting that we can find people of extremes in any world view. I always try to look at the foundation of a world view in order to see if it is true or false. There is no doubt false accusations of world view’s by opposing sides. It is difficult for me to be compassionate with anything in extreme in nature. Extreme is also a word often used in the public square to demean or win an argument… anymore extreme improperly used in order to define those who hold absolute truth and will not budge.

    I can probably find examples of bad things that happen in any world view. All that being said there comes a moment where truth exists and something is false. In our day in age to say something is false is frowned upon because of moral relativism and tolerating everything, unless of course it is status quo to say something is wrong.

    We as Americans, and most if not all that live in the western culture, live in pluralistic society where the freedom to live as you wish as long as you don’t hurt anybody is the end all be all. This is what our world defines as true freedom. That is not the freedom defined in the gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    I say that to say this. If you contain a world view of absolute truth and still treat people with due respect, love, and compassion… it will not matter. You will still be viewed as a bigot and intolerant. If you want to call it a battle, it is one which our culture will inevitably win.

    I have no angst against people that have SSA. My angst is against those who want redefine marriage. Simply put, without going into all the reasons and justifications of marriage in its proper context, marriage is really and truly unique and is more than just love between 2 consenting individuals.

    There is something more to this fight/battle/disagreement than just redefinition marriage. Our culture is opening itself up to extreme moral relativism to the point where those who adhere to absolute truth, mostly Christians, will be enemies in the public square.

  • By the way, we often focus on the extremes because of the damage that extremes can do. Muslim extremists may be few, but look at what they accomplished. Mark mentions extremes in all groups and does so often. I see no reason why those extremists who happen to have SSA, and who represent agendas linked to SSA, are to be cleared and let go simply because they have SSA or represent the same. There is no reason that we should follow the Protestant welcoming and affirming tradition of putting a fence around SSA and saying it is imune to what is applied to everything else.