Friday, December 5, 2008

A Tale of Two Bishops

Roman Catholic Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco was the architect of the unholy alliance that used Mormon money to fuel the passage of Proposition Hate. In his recent letter, he essentially tells the GLBT community to get over it and resign themselves to second class citizenship, as though it's all our fault for being hurt. This after many Catholics (including mine own spouse) endured anti-gay hate sermons during the campaign. This letter is widely perceived as a big "eff-you" from the Abp. to the GLBT community and is steaming up the blogs, as you can see by the link.

Compare this to Episcopal Bishop James Mathes of San Diego who writes a moving editorial:
On Election Day, we voted to take away a right, a right that hurt no one and that did not threaten traditional marriage. In taking that right away, we hurt people and demeaned their humanity.
I find the contrast striking. Which one is the shepherd caring for ALL of the sheep?

Incidentally, have you ever considered how ironic it is for churches to use the metaphor of sheep? Homosexuality in rams is common and biologically determined. About 8% of domestic males have this behavior, with predictable economic consequences to the sheep industry. Just saying.

43 comments:

Wormwood's Doxy said...

There are simply no words left, IT. I'm glad that +Mathes could put a human face on *some* aspect of Christianity---but it can never make up for the hatred and the lies spread by our coreligionists.

I am praying for BP and sending cyberhugs to you. I know it isn't close to being enough...but we will keep working until justice is achieved.

And thank you for the info on the sheep. That will come in handy at some point, I assure you.

Love,
Doxy

rick allen said...

"In his recent letter, he essentially tells the GLBT community to get over it and resign themselves to second class citizenship, as though it's all our fault for being hurt."

Where does he say that? I didn't see it anywhere--though I appreciate the fact that you provided a link. Still, I don't see your characterization matching the words written. Surely if you want to contrast the two positions fairly each side should be allowed to speak in his own words?

Fred Schwartz said...

Mr. Allen:

Read this:

"The fact remains that, under California law, after the passage of Proposition 8, same sex couples who register as domestic partners will continue to have “the same rights, protections and benefits” as married couples. Proposition 8 simply recognizes that there is a difference between traditional marriage and a same sex partnership.
What is the way forward for all of us together? Even though we supporters of Proposition 8 did not intend to hurt or offend our opponents, still many of them, especially in the gay community, feel hurt and offended. What is to be done?
Tolerance, respect, and trust are always two-way streets, and tolerance respect and trust often do not include agreement, or even approval. We need to be able to disagree without being disagreeable. We need to stop talking as if we are experts on the real motives of people with whom we have never even spoken. We need to stop hurling names like “bigot” and “pervert” at each other. And we need to stop it now."

That pretty clearly says what this blog has stated.

JCF said...

I'll stop calling Niederauer a BIGOT, when he stops acting as one. Organizing a campaign to take away people's civil rights, is bigotry par excellance.

rick allen said...

Fred, thank you, the words do speak for themselves.

The only things the archbishop says people should "get over" are intolerance, name-calling, and de-humanizing one's opponents. I see nothing there suggesting that the dispute is over, only a suggestion that it should be carried on with simple decency.

IT said...

Yeah, I'm not seeing in there any pastoral response to the pain he has caused.

IT

Kevin M said...

The only thing I see is that he seems to think that the pain he and others have caused IS an appropriate pastoral response.

Of course, since we get to stay in the big house, we should be grateful. The crumbs from Master's table are basically the same food (except with the appropriate difference and separation).

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Kevin M speaks the truth!

Wormwood's Doxy said...

C'mon, Rick! What the Archbishop has said is "Hey, we left you with civil unions! It's the same thing, really, so you should be grateful."

Of course, it isn't. And we aren't. (I count myself here, straight though I may be. And we all know that the Church has actively fought civil unions too--talk about hypocrisy!!!!)

I wouldn't normally say this, but I can't seem to help it today....

Rick, why do you keep coming here and adding to people's pain?

I assume that, as a Christian, you feel it is part of your responsibility to "win people for Christ" (for lack of a better phrase). But I can tell you---all you are doing is driving people away from God by coming here and posting what you do.

You are never going to get people like IT (the atheist) and me (the liberal, Nicene-believing Christian) to agree with you---but I think it highly likely that you are going to drive even fiercely loyal Catholics like BP out of the church. Is that what you want?

Using scripture and tradition as its battering rams, the Church has acted to strip existing civil rights from people who do not necessarily share the Christian faith. You can argue that Christ and the Church do not support same-sex marriage all you like---but the Church has used its money and its power to forcibly remove people's secular rights.

To GLBTs and to straight Christians like me, you represent those who have turned Christ and the Church into symbols of hate and bigotry. You can argue until you are blue in the face that this is not the case. But the people who are most deeply affected--like IT and her wife--are telling you it is.

In Christian charity, you should listen to them and just shut the hell up.

You do the cause of Christ no good here, and you do active harm to people who are already hurting. No matter what you believe about scripture, tradition, and same-sex marriage, I find it hard to believe that you want to do this. But I will state categorically---that IS what you are doing.

Doxy

JCF said...

[Hmmm: that's what I think about PaulB (IT disagrees), whereas Rick I find civil. But we all perceive our pain invididually: Rick, you're hurting Doxy at least. Consider that.]

Wormwood's Doxy said...

JCF---I, too, find Rick to be civil.

But this is all about context. I will happily argue with him at Tobias Haller's site, or at PRELUDIUM.

But not here. The pain is too raw and overwhelming here. And he needs to hear that.

Pax,
Doxy

rick allen said...

"Rick, why do you keep coming here and adding to people's pain?"

Because I thought it was a place for serious discussion, and, if some needless heat was being added to the discussion, I thought it was in the form of characterizing the Archbishop's rather innocuous statement as "a big "eff-you"."

Additionally, I didn't think I was so much trying to persuade here as show that a disagreement on this issue didn't mean anyone necessarily hated anyone else as a result. There are reasons for the tradional position which, even if not accepted, should be understood.

But I'll be happy to henceforth stick with Toby's place on these issues.

IT said...

Thanks Doxy. You are a wonderful ally!

Rick, I agree you ahve been civil, though you have a completely tin ear as Doxy has told you. All I, an atheist, hear from the Abp is "eff you" and my wife BP, the cradle Catholic, hears pretty much the same thing. There is NOTHING in his letter that in any way acknowledges the pain his church has caused to either of us. NOTHING.

You want to know one of the reasons that I (baptised RC, RC school through 8th grade, confirmed RC) was driven to atheism? You have a fine example. THe saddest thing is that my wife thought I was wrong in my anti-Catholicism. Can you even begin to understand the pain that this has caused her? she didn't expect or ask the church to approve. She knew that they didn't. But when they reached into the civil sphere to forcibly divorce us, it was an act of great violence. Being told, "get over it" does NOT work.

I am a secularist, Rick, and I resent enormously that I am forced to live as though in a theocracy where my rights are determined by a mediaeval church which I consider to be hypocritical, authoritarian, homophobic, and misogynistic . That's not to say the church isn't entitled to believe that with its own believers. Fine, believe as you will. But to force your belief on the rest of us is hideously offensively.

This isn't a hypothetical or abstract to me: it's MY marriage this man has attacked, and now he thinks we should all "be friends". Fortunately my side prefers ridicule and humor to violence. See ya later, Sinners, as Jack Black's Jesus says.

JCF, Rick and Paul B have both been civil HERE. I will give them that, though neither of them really grasps the PERSONAL nature of the discussion to many of us. We have tried to convey that to them. But at some level I'm done. If they haven't figured it out now they won't.

From now on, I will not acknowledge any straight person's marriage. If you say "husband" or "wife", I'm telling you that I don't recognize or acknowledge that. You can have partners, the same way we can. Try jumping over a broomstick for a change.

IT

Cany said...

Rick Allen: Let me add my two cents if I may.

What the bishop said WAS a big F-U. He says, be kind about the fact that you have fewer rights. Accept that you are second blass citizens. And those of you that believe (rightly) they are, stop calling them names. And those of you that think we, the civil-rights dispensors are bigots... oh, gee, stop that too.

This is all about being nicey nice in words, and not in deeds.

Let me see if I can put in my own verbage something special for the good AB Niederauer: Sit on it, you freaking sod!

This is not a theocracy, Niederauer, no matter how much you and your ilk don't like that little fact.

Get out of my bedroom and out of my personal life Niederauer. I have O interest in what you think or espouse.

And, BTW, if I were still an atheist I would remain so given how the various so-called Christian churches have responded to their fellow human being. We Christians are often thought of as being A-holes, and Prop 8 certainly proved that case.

But hey, it's just a little Christian love dispensed only to those in the church, right? Some secret love of God that is only open to those that know how to read it.

Just like the Gnostics... who they disavow.

Freaks.

This kind of patristic bullshit just drives me off the edge.

FranIAm said...

I am very late to this because I have so struggled with the horror of what I believe the archibishop's words mean.

Rick, I have come to know you over this time and I have to say that while I appreciate your right for expression, you do tend to look at all things - in my experience - rather juridically and from a very head oriented position.

Not - to paraphase Seinfeld- that there is anything wrong with that. In general.

However, as you detail the letter of law peoples lives are demeaned and hurt very terribly.

It is harder and harder for me to show my face on this blog as I live with the conflict of my faith as I know it, live it and more in my life and in my own community. However, the faith at large is very divided.

I know that you will find endless ways to analyze this but to me it comes down to love and law and love wins the day for me, not law.

If that sends me to the seventh circle of hell, so be it.

However, I am doubtful that it will.

Please respect - as others have said before me in this space - that this is someone's real life here.

I don't think that you disrespect it, but I am not sure that you enter into it with your heart. Your intentions are good but this is too painful, too hard, too raw.

The archbishop has made a deal with the devil in this one and the devil will demand his pay.

Whatever you have done to the least of these are the words in my heart and in my head right now.

David said...

Doxy asks, "...but I think it highly likely that you are going to drive even fiercely loyal Catholics like BP out of the church. Is that what you want?"

Sadly, I suspect the answer is "yes" for most conservative Christians.

The more I'm around such people, the more I get the distinct impression that they feel the Church won't be pleasing to God until all "impurity" is driven out of it.

Of course, we all know how purity movements end up - but ignoring history, and basic decency, seems to be another of this group's characteristics.

(to say nothing about the fact that "purity" has nothing to do with anything I've ever read in the Gospels, except for the type the Pharisees were so keen on ;)

Grandmère Mimi said...

I know that you will find endless ways to analyze this but to me it comes down to love and law and love wins the day for me, not law.

Fran, amen to that.

Rick, you seem to have quite a few blind spots, when it comes to the reality that humans are not walking heads. The RC hierarchy has the same blind spots.

You came from Calvinism to devoted loyalty to the pope. What was the transition like? A rhetorical question, surely, since you say that you will not be back. Too often, you come across like a Puritan as Mencken saw them:

"Puritanism - the haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy."

It's a matter of 'tude, Dude - too often popping up to rain on the parade.

Anonymous said...

What I hear when Abp. Niederauer speaks: Blahblahblahblah blah blahblah blahblahblahblahblahblah blah. Blah blahblahblah blah blahblahblahblah.

He also touches on procreative sex and mentions the (biological) mother and father as the ideal family composition. Hmmph. I get miffed at the worship of "biological" parents, as I am an adopted child and consider this rude to adoptive parents.

NancyP

IT said...

Cardinal Mahoney (LA) has chimed in with his own "Eff you, and sit down and shut up."

"Your intrinsic value as human beings and as brothers and sisters continues without change," Mahony and the bishops write. "If we had ever thought that the intent of this proposition was to harm you or anyone in the State of California, we would not have supported it. We are personally grateful for the witness and service of so many dedicated and generous homosexual Catholics. We pledge our commitment to safeguard your dignity."

Yeah that makes BP feel SO MUCH better.

IT

Wormwood's Doxy said...

You know, I told Rick I wouldn't argue here, but his last post stuck in my craw and continues to piss me off...

Additionally, I didn't think I was so much trying to persuade here as show that a disagreement on this issue didn't mean anyone necessarily hated anyone else as a result.

But here, people experience it as hatred. Don't you "get" that?

This is NOT academic, or a theology debate, Rick---as IT has noted, you represent those who are forcibly divorcing IT and her wife.

She was legally married under existing California law. She is an American citizen and a taxpayer. You represent those who will take her tax money but declare her marriage invalid and consign her to second-class citizenship.

Tell me again why we shouldn't see that as hatred and bigotry? And while you are explaining, leave the church out of it--because we are a nation under the Constitution, not under the Church or the Bible.

There are reasons for the tradional position which, even if not accepted, should be understood.

What makes you think that ANYONE here fails to understand the "traditional position"?! I'm pretty sure that everyone who posts here has a brain and an education--and most of us have multiple scars from our wresting with "the traditional position." It's incredibly condescending of you to assume that you need to educate us on "the traditional position."

The "traditional position" would be fine, if you kept it in your church. It was when you insisted that your INTERPRETATION of scripture and tradition (one that clearly all Christians do not share) be used to strip people's existing civil rights away from them that you ensured a fight.

The more I'm around such people, the more I get the distinct impression that they feel the Church won't be pleasing to God until all "impurity" is driven out of it.

I think you are right, David. And I suggest that every last one of them needs to leave the building RIGHT NOW--because the last time I looked, there was only one pure person in the history of the universe.

Of course, what they really believe is that they ARE pure. They have put themselves in Christ's Judgment Seat and appropriated for themselves His power---leaving His grace and mercy at the door.

If I were them, I'd be MUCH more worried about how He is going to react to that, than what He is going to say to those of us who support same-sex marriage. As Fran notes, Jesus chose love over law--even when He was dying on the cross. He has shown us--in the most poignant and graphic way possible--what it means to be both fully human and fully divine. It means to love and forgive--not judge and destroy. I trust in that.

Doxy

IT said...

I posted this thought experiment for PaulB on the thread below, although it has dropped off the front page. I think it may be a useful thought experiment for Rick too.

But for you, Paul B, I want you to say nothing. Just do a thought experiment....go home and imagine telling your partner (formerly your wife whom I know you love beyond measure) that your legal marriage is now outlawed and you have been forcibly divorced by the voters for the sin of being Catholic. But you can marry a non-Catholic, just like everyone else, if you simply stop behaving this way.

Meanwhile, better hire a lawyer and get a good accountant. Because you just lost medical decision making rights, spousal health insurance (even if you have an employer who will offer partner insurance, it's taxable!), pension and inheritance benefits, property tax benefits, community property laws, and 1400+ rights. Hope you do it soon because if you die suddenly, she will probably lose the house because of the taxes, and so I hope the kids are out of school too. if your brother doesn't like your partner-ex-wife, he can probably find a lawyer to help him take the house from her entirely. You can try to protect yourself with trusts and powers of attorney but they don't have nearly the clout of "marriage". And of course you'd better be able to afford a good lawyer and keep affording him because all this keeps costing.

Don't count on some "civil union" protecting you because they are routinely ignored --expect to be told "we do't do that here" even in states that have them. So also careful where you travel, because your relationship of 20+ years will evaporate in many states, or in rural or conservative districts.

That car accident in a different state could lead to you sitting in the parking lot while your partner dies in the ER, because you have no standing despite your many years together.

And even if you make more $ than your wife, and contribute more than she to the household, y'all are liable for gift tax. Just [for paying] the mortgage or the utilities. But don't worry, your lawyer for a fee can probably draw up some documentation for a "forgiveable loan" to try to avoid that. Yes, simply for living with your partner-former-wife, you incur a tax burden.

But if you just recognize your sins and repent, you can rejoin society.

IT said...

Oh, I forgot the final insult for the thought experiment:

everyone knows that it's only about sex and You People aren't capable of REAL commitment.

Paul B said...

IT, I have been thinking.

I think I've said before that I believe gay people can love and be committed and hurt and have joy and sorrow and have the same hopes and desires as straight people.

Your post does give me food for thought.

I'm still picking straw out of my monitor from Lisa Miller's hatchet job over at Newsweek. Good job if you can get it - create a strawman and then hack it to death, creating great publicity at the same time. Pondering what to do with my subscription.

I will say that I continue to believe that marriage is between a man and woman, as it has been from the beginning. The majority of Americans believe that.

However, society needs to make provisions for gay unions, to protect the rights of the individuals and the children involved.

JCF said...

As I think numerous people have said before (including here), it would be a FINE solution, to have civil unions for ALL couples, same- OR opposite-sex.

[And then just leave "marriage" for faith-communities to decide---as they do religious marriage anyway]

But can you see heterosexual couples being satisfied w/ civil unions (even if they NEVER darken the doors of a church, synogogue, etc?). Furthermore, can you imagine married couples remaining silent, w/ the knowledge that, for legal purposes, their "marriage" is now regarded as a "civil union"?

I believe, that heterosexual couples would regard that change as a DOWNGRADE of their marriage.

Now, why would same-sex couples be satisfied w/ such a downgraded (not to mention legally dubious) status?

I will say that I continue to believe that marriage is between a man and woman, as it has been from the beginning. The majority of Americans believe that.

But that majority is getting smaller w/ every passing day, PaulB.

[Outrage of the Day: Pat Boone has publicly compared anti-H8 demonstrators, w/ the terrorists who shot up Mumbai. Slander suit anyone? Is that possible, I hope?]

Anonymous said...

Yeah, this idea that they get to hit us and we can't even say "ow"? HRC takes it on at Demand the Truth

AND please read Susan Russell's blog, the pro-8 forces are now comparing gay rights activists to Al QAEDA!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that anon was me, IT. I had to run post about this outraqe on DailyKos and TPM.

IT

Paul B said...

jcf said , "But that majority is getting smaller w/ every passing day, PaulB."

oh, goodee! When we are the minority, will WE got OUR way?

[Shaking my head that something that snarky came out of this keyboard]

IT said...

No Paul B, I am confident that we will protect your rights as a minority from the tyranny of mob rule. It's called a Constitutional Democracy. You should google it sometime.

IT

JCF said...

PaulB: IT nails it.

You can't seem to distinguish between your "rights" (no more and no less than any other group), and your "way".

One is protected under the Constitution, and the other isn't.

[Geez, IF ONLY my way were guaranteed: everybody send me $20 bucks, RIGHT NOW!!! ;-p]

MarkBrunson said...

Sorry, IT, I posted this on the ". . draw the line" post before I saw you ask us to further discuss here.

Then what good is this god of yours?

You've given me, not God, but your construct of god, which is not the same, so what good is this god? Your construct of god is no different from those of "the nations" - just greedier for souls - every bit as selfish, demanding, and petty. What good is that god? What is the benefit of worshipping it? Keep in mind this construct you're offering is no more verifiable than mine, and you haven't convinced me it's real at all. Seems like a bad dream.

I'll answer your questions when you actually, finally answer mine.

You'll find that I'm little impressed or moved by Augustine of Hippo, by the way.

Paul B said...

Mark, I do keep trying to answer your question. My last basically said, 'Hey, He's GOD'. It's self-evident that following GOD, the creator, is the way to go.

Yes, it's hard to follow Him, as he said it would be. The reason to follow him is that is what we are created to do, and the reward it eternal life with Him. If you don't like him, and don't want to spend eternal life with Him, well, you know what to do.

MarkBrunson said...

It's self-evident that following GOD, the creator, is the way to go.

What's not self-evident is that you actually are talking about God.

You keep going on as if you have the answers, and I'm telling you you don't.

Your god is a lousy god, Paul. That's how you present him.

Now, given that I am quite faithful in the God that I know, and He's much greater and more compassionate than the small god you posit, why follow yours?

Your "answers" are built on the concept that my experience of God is not God, and the god you talk about is.

I believe it's the same God, but that you are letting your ingrained bigotry, taught to you by a church you don't question, to cloud your understanding.

Paul B said...

Mark, well, you went quite a few posts without calling bigot.

I find your last sentence is very telling; not the name calling, but the idea. The fundamental difference is I picked a church (with a belief system), and subscribed to it, the things I understand and the things I don't, the things I agree with and the things I don't.

You, and others, seem to be of the idea that you go to a church and change it to conform with your belief system.

If you create your own belief system by picking and choosing what to keep and what to throw out, aren't you saying that the deposit of faith handed down is just suggestions; the doctors of the Church, the men and women of faith before us, are idiots; that which has been believed for thousands of years doesn't matter? Do you really understand God better than 2000 years of believers?

IT said...

On the theme of this post:

Cardinal Mahoney has joined the effort to get us to sit down. He writes,to the GLBT community,

"Your intrinsic value as human beings and as brothers and sisters continues without change," Mahoney and the bishops write. "If we had ever thought that the intent of this proposition was to harm you or anyone in the State of California, we would not have supported it. We are personally grateful for the witness and service of so many dedicated and generous homosexual Catholics. We pledge our commitment to safeguard your dignity."

My BP asks, "How can we have intrinsic value and be intrinsically disordered (with a great moral evil) at the same time?"

She's not buying it.

IT said...

By the way, PaulB, the sun goes around the earth. Took the church centuries to admit that and forgive poor Galileo. Slavery is not so good. Ditto. And that burning people at the stake? Definitely NOT a good expression of God's bountiful love. Did that for centuries, too. Also women as property. Check. And leprosy as a curse, left-handedness as a sign of the devil that must be broken... lots of changes. So 2000 years of believers aren't exactly infallible. NEither is the Pope.

I may be rusty but I remember pretty clearly that the Bible states that judgement is up to God. Yet the conservative side is so ready to set itself up as judge (let alone jury and executioner).

Seems that it is not up to you or any other believer wilfully to cause suffering. A person's choices should be between themselves and God. But your side won't even admit the possibility that you might be wrong....and you have the audacity to arrogate unto yourselves the right to make the most personal decisions about other people's lives. Breathtakingly arrogant.

And as Doxy points out, certainly NOT going to win converts. Especially here.

IT

Paul B said...

IT, yes, the Church at times isn't very good at dealing with people. I am with you on that.

However, make no mistake, neither side in this debate is open to being wrong. It leaves us with no way to compromise. If the conservatives said that you could have anything you want, just don't call it marriage, you would consider it second class and not acceptable.

The Bishop also said this:
Indeed, to insist that citizens be silent about their religious beliefs when they are participating in the public square is to go against the constant American political tradition. Such a gag order would have silenced many abolitionists in the nineteenth century and many civil rights advocates in the twentieth. Quite a number of important political issues regularly touch upon the ethical, moral, and religious convictions of citizens: immigration policy, the death penalty, torture of prisoners, abortion, euthanasia, and the right to health care are some such issues.

By the way, Catholic Charities is the nation's largest private social services network. They served over 7.7 million people last year, over half of whom where living below the poverty line. Is that an acceptable intrusion of religion into the public sphere?

IT said...

I'm with Hippocrates, PaulB. First, do no harm.

Go upthread and read Doxy's responses to RickAllen before you consider whether to respond.

What you and RickAllen completely fail to grasp is that we GET your point of view. We GET your justification of intrusion into the civil sphere. We REJECT it. The same way your church has rejected my partner. And, yes, she's probably leaving. And based on what she says, I suspect more than a few will be leaving with her. I'm sure you'll be satisfied with a ritually purified fag(-friendly) free church.

Mahoney and Niederauer have failed even to acknowledge the pain they have willfully caused. They are spinning rapidly. having told the gays we are crap, having actively participated in the hate? (My partner endured a vile hate-sermon before our wedding that reduced her to tears.) now they want to make nice? No way. These queers are not going to sit around being kicked by the men in skirts any longer. We aren't going to sit in the back of the bus any longer. We didn't pick the battle: you did. You reap what you sow.

And let's be clear about the difference in our sides. Our side is saying NOTHING about being wrong religiously. That's an internal matter for the churches, and irrelevant to this. You are more than welcome to believe what you want.

We are only interested in the civil, secular rights of all people to be treated equally with equal respect for their different religious views.

Your side has decided that civil right are religiously determined and that the US is a theocracy. You are forcing me to live under Catholic rules, and I rejected your medieval church years ago and I reject it now as misogynistic, homophobic, patriarchal, autoritarian, and hate-filled. Your church prefers gays dead. (See new post).

Your side didn't just state an opinion one way or the other. You didn't simply tell your parishioners the church's views and left it to their judgement as the Episcopalians did. You vigorously attempted to control the debate. You and the Mormons provided the majority of the money (Knights of COlumbus were a major donor). And you lied, cynically, deliberately, and viciously, over and over again.

So don't try to deflect the argument by talking about feeding poor folks. that's not relevant.

You attacked MY civil rights and you challenged founding ideas of our constitutional democracy. And now you are suprised the queers are fighting back?

We will not forget. We will not give up. AND WE ARE NOT DONE.

Paul B said...

IT, in the civil realm I reject your premise that gays are a "group" like women or blacks that are somehow lacking in "civil rights".

AND, please, stop bringing up the Mormons. They are just defending that which the US Government forced on them in the 1800s. They are not being religious, they are being patriotic.

Also, I know you are not done. If somehow the Cali Supreme Court invalidates Prop 8, you have 48 states, the District Of Columbia, and the US Government to go.

IT said...

47 actually. Marriage is already legal in MA and CT. NY may follow sooner rather than later.

Fortunately, the CA Supreme Court disagrees with your rejection that gays are a group, having ruled in June that gays are likewise a "suspect class".

You like that little glib comment about the Mormons. You use it all the time. I'm sure I"m not the only one who finds it strained. It's not the same thing, and in no way justifies their money or their lies.

Your side fought with lies and hate. And now you are whining about it.

Fine, you disagree. Of course you have a right to do so. We aren't going to agree with you. And I think you're done here. I wouldn't want to see you cross into being a troll.

MarkBrunson said...

Mark, well, you went quite a few posts without calling bigot.

I find your last sentence is very telling; not the name calling, but the idea. The fundamental difference is I picked a church (with a belief system), and subscribed to it, the things I understand and the things I don't, the things I agree with and the things I don't.

You, and others, seem to be of the idea that you go to a church and change it to conform with your belief system.

If you create your own belief system by picking and choosing what to keep and what to throw out, aren't you saying that the deposit of faith handed down is just suggestions; the doctors of the Church, the men and women of faith before us, are idiots; that which has been believed for thousands of years doesn't matter? Do you really understand God better than 2000 years of believers?


If you don't like being called bigot, then don't engage in bigotry.

That's not name-calling, that's witnessing to your sin. Get over it and stop acting like a petulant child whose not getting his way.

Your "witness" so far has been dismal. If I didn't have a direct, personal experience of God's goodness, IT would've made her case a lot better than you would have. Given your example here, why should we trust people like you? Why should we believe it when you protest how much you "care" about us? Because you deigned to speak to us? Big deal. The whole conversation has been about you; your comfort level, your beliefs - you.

Idiot is your word for people who were wrong because they didn't know any better, and, yes, the "doctors" of the church didn't know any better. You do. There's the difference. You do this harm willingly, happily, remorselessly and with absolutely no repercussions. Bully for you.

And - YES, I do know about me better than 2,000 years of your church.

You presume to know my belief system, just like you presume to know anything about us, because, at heart, you are convinced of your own superiority.

IT,

If you want to continue stroking this person's ego, then best of luck. I'm done letting him pretend what a good guy he is and how much God's work he's doing by beating up on us.

MarkBrunson said...

And - YES, I do know about me better than 2,000 years of your church.

Should be "And - YES, I doo know about me and my relationship to God better than 2,000 years of your church."

That mistake shows how absolutely disgusted, hurt, outraged and bewildered I am.

Here's a few last thoughts for you, PaulB:

How come, in that 2,000 years, this great teaching on human sexuality hasn't worked? I'm sure you'll put it down to some "mystery" or some such nonsense, but the fact is, it hasn't worked. It's failed.

Why hasn't this great teaching been accepted, if it is actually a good thing? Why hasn't it made lives better, rather than worse, PaulB?

Look outside yourself - for once, for God's sake - and ask yourself why, if you're the good guys, the results of your witness have been so downright bad? You want to know the results, look at the pain in IT, look at the anger and despair you've brought me; you don't even have to look at the uglier things, like people beaten to death for being presumed to be gay.

That is what you've accomplished, Paul, you and your great 2,000 years of witness: you've given us pain, danger, distrust, bitterness, misery and emptiness.

We've had to turn away from the God you preach just to find a reason to keep living, to feel loved - some of us still find God, others you - and this 2,000 year witness - have cut off from that joy forever!

And that's my cross, I guess, that I keep coming back to make myself miserable and sick - literally - to deal with you people, to show you that you really, really, really are doing something bad, and to stand up for others who will have the relationships I have no interest in.

Merry Christmas, Paul. There's what you've given us - pain, misery and death. What a victory for Christ.

JCF said...

in the civil realm I reject your premise that gays are a "group" like women or blacks that are somehow lacking in "civil rights".

IT has already given you a list of all that the RCC has, in the past, "rejected."

Then, it changed its mind (and the better Roman Catholics among you will actually admit shame for the past sins of the Church. Don't worry, PaulB: I know you're not one of those).

Sometime in the future, the Roman Catholic Church---if there still IS a Roman Catholic Church---WILL repent of the SIN of supporting Prop H8. Believe it.

...or don't, and stay in your own, narrow, little world, w/ your narrower, littler god.

For me, however, it's Advent: Jesus Christ, my Lord, and the Lord of the Episcopal Church, is on his way (again!). :-)

Now, I'm off to comfort IT, the precious child of God you've beat down so heartlessly.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Paul(B), you are incorrect about many things--including Catholic Charities. The Salvation Army is the nation's largest private provider of services to the poor--they serve double the number of poor people that Catholic Charities does. Just FYI...

If you create your own belief system by picking and choosing what to keep and what to throw out, aren't you saying that the deposit of faith handed down is just suggestions

You do this as well, Paul(B)---have you still got both your hands and both your eyes? Then you have picked and chosen what you want to believe.

That you refuse to see this about yourself, while accusing us of doing it, reminds me of something about logs and specks...

Doxy