New year, same old hate

The Catholic Church in England has issued a broad denunciation of child abuse, including child sexual abuse, and called for a full investigation of any individual or organization involved in systematically molesting children or aiding and abetting in such molestations. Or wait, I read that wrong. The real evil they want to combat, according to the NY Daily News, is two adults being able to experience the same kind of loving, committed marital relationship as any other couple.

Roman Catholic leaders in England and Wales took to the pulpit on Sunday to rail against proposed legislation that would allow same sex couples to legally marry.

“Government policy cannot foresee the full consequences, for the children involved or for wider society, of being brought up by two mothers without a father’s influence or by two fathers without a mother’s influence.” Most Reverend Bernard Longley, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham, told parishioners in a letter that was read aloud during Sunday services.

Ah, see, I knew there was something about children in there.

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Dutch website helps people leave Catholic Church

Reuters is reporting some good news: in the Netherlands, you can go to a web site that will help turn Catholics into ex-Catholics, and the Church’s anti-gay stance is driving traffic to the site.

Tom Roes, whose website allows people to download the documents needed to leave the church, said traffic on ontdopen.nl – “de-baptise.nl” – had soared from about 10 visits a day to more than 10,000 after Pope Benedict’s latest denunciation of gay marriage this month.

“Of course it’s not possible to be ‘de-baptized’ because a baptism is an event, but this way people can unsubscribe or de-register themselves as Catholics,” Roes told Reuters.

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Don’t ask, don’t say “I do”…

…is over.

Cadet Chapel, the landmark Gothic church that is a center for spiritual life at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, hosted its first same-sex wedding Saturday.

Penelope Gnesin and Brenda Sue Fulton, a West Point graduate, exchanged vows in the regal church in an afternoon ceremony, attended by about 250 guests and conducted by a senior Army chaplain.

via West Point chapel hosts its first same-sex wedding, Boston.com.

The New Bigots

Here’s an interesting transcript, published by newsbusters.org (“Exposing & Combating Liberal Media Bias”). It’s from an interview with Rick Warren on CBS This Morning, which newsbusters describes as “hounding” Warren on his anti-gay bigotry. Apart from one or two asides, though, most of the post consists of excerpts from the original transcript, including this particular nugget:

WARREN: The problem is that ‘tolerant’ has changed its meaning. Tolerant used to mean, I may disagree with you completely, but I’m going to treat you with respect. That’s what tolerant means. Today, to some people, tolerant means you must approve of everything I do. That’s not tolerance. That’s approval. There’s a difference between acceptance and approval. Jesus accepted everybody no matter who they were. He doesn’t approve of everything I do or you do or anybody else does either. So, you can be accepting without being approving. That’s an important point.

I originally wrote this as an exercise in imagining a society in which Christians were “tolerated” the same way Christians have traditionally “tolerated” gays, i.e. being given verbal “respect” while not allowing them to practice anything unless everyone else agreed with it. On re-reading the full transcript, however, I’m beginning to wonder if we’re seeing a shift in Christian tactics.
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Vatican vows to fight equality

The Chicago Tribune reports that the Vatican is determined to fight to limit marriage exclusively to heterosexuals, calling the privileged status of heterosexuals “an achievement of civilization.”

“It is clear that in Western countries there is a widespread tendency to modify the classic vision of marriage between a man and woman, or rather to try to give it up, erasing its specific and privileged legal recognition compared to other forms of union,” Father Federico Lombardi, said in a tough editorial on Vatican Radio.

Hmm, special privileges for people like us, with vigorous enforcement of laws excluding people who are not like us. Where have I heard that before?

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What to do in your second term

Congratulations on your re-election, Mr. President. I’m glad you got a second term, because there are still a few items that need to be finished up from your first one. And now that you don’t have to worry about being re-elected, I hope you’ll have the time, the freedom, and the will to fix some of our worst problems:

  • Transparency. We cannot afford to elect a government that can be blackmailed by anonymous power brokers with big bank accounts. We the People need to know who is writing the actual text of our laws, and who is profiting from them.
  • The Constitution. I know you’re busy, but can we have our Constitutional rights back, please? Particularly the First and Fourth Amendments? Bin Ladin is dead, yet as long as our nation remains so terrorized that we won’t take our families on board airplanes without government agents fondling our kids, the terrorists are winning. I’d like to live in a FREE country again.
  • Wall Street. It shouldn’t be legal to cheat people out of house and home. Nuff said?
  • The deficit, aka tomorrow’s taxes. Yes, that needs to come down, but can we start with wasteful “defense” spending? It’s one thing to speak softly and carry a big stick, but that stick gets kind of hard to carry when it reaches sequoia proportions.

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Daily dose of irony

Writing on the Minnesota Public Radio web site, Prof. Savage of the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity decries the breakdown of traditional gender roles.

But, as advocates of gay marriage point out, marriage as an institution is not exactly the exemplar of stability it used to be. The sad fact is that the same factors that have contributed to its fragmentation — a misunderstanding of the complementarity of men and women, the divorce between the procreative and unitive dimensions of the sexual act, promiscuity, etc. — are at work in the breakdown of traditional marriage as well.

You see what happens when you forsake the original Biblical commandments for the roles men and women are supposed to play? St. Paul is quite clear that correct, Biblical gender roles are essential, not just for society and social institutions like marriage, but for salvation as well (at least for women).

Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection. But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over a man, but to be in quietness. For Adam was first formed, then Eve; and Adam was not beguiled, but the woman being beguiled hath fallen into transgression: but she shall be saved through her child-bearing, if they continue in faith and love and sanctification with sobriety.

By the way, did I mention that Prof. Savage’s first name is Deborah? Speaking of the “breakdown” of traditional, Biblical gender roles…

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No rights for heteros.

Over at LifeSiteNews.com, one Greg Quinlan shares his predictably hysterical opinion.

The homosexual push for “equal marriage,” otherwise known as genderless marriage, can only lead to a ban on heterosexual rights.

And what rights would those be?

“parents in California are now prohibited from taking their children to see a therapist to resolve their child’s unwanted same-sex attractions.”

How terrible. Parents not allowed to spend huge sums on abusive “therapies” with a clinically-proven zero percent success rate in changing a person’s natural sexual orientation? Next you’ll be telling us it’s somehow wrong to raise your kids to be self-loathing hypocrites.

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A dialog between materialists

One more point I’d like to mention about the abortion debate is that it’s a dialog between materialists. Most pro-lifers are generally religious, and quite a few are conservative evangelical Christians, but when it comes to making pro-life arguments, they’re even more materialistic than the pro-choice side. All this stuff about souls and spirits is fine for sounding holy in church, but for real-life issues even believers turn to materialism.

Think about it. What is it that allegedly makes a fertilized egg qualify as a person? It’s not that the fertilized egg is “made in the image of God,” unless God is also a single cell with no thoughts, no feelings, no will, no knowledge, and no perceptions. But no, according to pro-lifers, it’s the DNA—the presence of a particular physical molecule within the physical structure of the physical cell. And it’s not just the DNA, because virtually all species have DNA of one sort or another. It’s the physical arrangement of physical nucleotides in the physical DNA molecule that form the basis for the pro-life claim that this is a real, live human being. They’ve reduced humanity down to a chemical formula, and called a mere molecule the essence of what being human means.

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Spot the difference

The boston.com news section is reporting a new TV ad being run in Maine that tries to make gay marriage look like a religious liberty issue—which it is, but not in the way the ad attempts to spin it.

In the ad, Jim O’Reilly of the Wildflower Inn in Lyndonville says he and his wife paid $30,000 to settle the lawsuit and can no longer host any weddings simply because they don’t support gay marriage because of their religious beliefs. A voiceover on the 15-second ad then says, ‘‘Vote No on Question 1 to avoid this in Maine,’’ a reference to the Nov. 6 ballot question asking residents if they want to legalize same-sex marriage.

Gay marriage opponents say that the ad sends a message that legalizing same-sex marriage in Maine will have a chilling effect on free speech and that people no longer will feel free to follow their religious convictions.

Let’s have that same report again, with one slight edit.

In the ad, Jim O’Reilly of the Wildflower Inn in Lyndonville says he and his wife paid $30,000 to settle the lawsuit and can no longer host any weddings simply because they don’t support mixed-race marriage because of their religious beliefs. A voiceover on the 15-second ad then says, ‘‘Vote No on Question 1 to avoid this in Maine,’’ a reference to the Nov. 6 ballot question asking residents if they want to legalize mixed-race marriage.

Mixed marriage opponents say that the ad sends a message that legalizing mixed-race marriage in Maine will have a chilling effect on free speech and that people no longer will feel free to follow their religious convictions.

Can you spot the difference? Me neither.