September 22, 2005

"Objectively disordered."

The Catholic Church is going to bar homosexuals from entering the priesthood -- even if they are celibate:
Although the document has not been released, hints of what it will say are already drawing praise from some Catholics, who contend that such a move is necessary to restore the church's credibility and who note that church teaching bars homosexuals, active or not, from the priesthood.

Other Catholics say, though, that the test should be celibacy, not innate sexuality, and they predict resignations from the priesthood that can worsen the church's deep shortage of clergy.
One explanation given is that the Church has long considered homosexual orientation to be "objectively disordered."

UPDATE: Sorry for misspelling "celibate" again. Corrected now. Remember to celebrate celibacy!

IN THE COMMENTS: I'm not participating in the comments on this one, but there is a huge argument going on in there! Enter at your own risk. I generally avoid arguing with anyone about religious beliefs. If you don't agree with the beliefs of a religion, then you don't believe in the religion. Doesn't the problem solve itself -- in a free country? Not entirely. Children have religion imposed on them, and members of a religion may want to change the beliefs of the religion rather than leaving it. You might think you know what the true substance of your religion is, that the leaders of it have gone wrong, and that you have a responsibility to rescue it from those who have distorted it. Anyway, if such things interest you, there are a lot of vigorous comments inside to read. The comments are not one-sided and do not go over the line into hate speech, in my opinion.

137 comments:

Paul said...

The big problem I have is that it is an article from The New York Times.
I'll wait for the full text from the church to see what it may actually say.

Goesh said...

-banning is better than stoning i suppose, unless i were a muslim that is-

Bruce Hayden said...

I agree with Paul. I am reserving comment until it comes out in a media more reputable than the NYT.

downtownlad said...

I blogged about this.

Was Father Mychal Judge "objective disordered" as well? Remember - that is the catholic Priest, who was also open gay, who died giving last communion to victims of 9/11.

So if he were alive today - Father Mychal Judge would now be banned from entering the priesthood.

Freeman Hunt said...
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Tony said...

Was Father Mychal Judge "objective disordered" as well?

Objectively disordered? Yes. A hero and probably a very holy man? Yes

Being objectively disordered and being holy are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

So if he were alive today - Father Mychal Judge would now be banned from entering the priesthood

Quite probably. Being "openly gay" puts a political spin on the disorder. It's actually reveling in the disorder. It's a small jump from "God made me this way" to "it's ok, and is as good as marriage".

If gay priests follow the teaching of the Catholic Church who teaches that homosexuality is an objective disorder, they have to admit they are disordered, or keep it between themselves, their confessor and their therapist if they have one.

bearing said...

Can I just jump in to interject a little bit of theology? I don't know if it will help or not. Please don't flame me!

One of the ideas that comes out of the Theology of the Body, a philosophy developed in the last 30 years or so and mainly by John Paul II, is that the Catholic priesthood is a vocation that requires --- for want of a better term --- the full application of a man's intact masculinity. It is meant to be "fatherhood" in a real, if spiritual, sense.

There is this mistaken impression in the media that because it requires celibacy, sexuality is irrelevant to the priesthood. But our understanding is that the priest, in accepting celibacy, is not doing something "negative" but rather is making a positive gift of all his masculinity to Christ and to the Church through his priesthood. It is analogous to marriage.

It is unpopular to say so, but males with significant attraction to the same sex and no attraction to the opposite sex --- through no fault of their own --- have seriously damaged masculinity. This is the "disorder" alluded to; and no more moral judgment should be read into this term than if I were referring to, say, celiac sprue as an autoimmune/digestive "disorder."

There's a very rough analogy here: the Church also cannot validly marry a couple if the man is known to be impotent...

Thanks to all who are waiting to read the Church's documents before commenting... the NYT is sure to get something wrong.

Eddie said...
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downtownlad said...

Oh - I get it Tony. The Catholic Church prefers that these priests lie.

They should get therapy? Is that what the Bible says? I didn't think psychotherapy was invented until the late 1800's. And last I checked - no respected psychiatrists saw homosexuality as a disorder. The only ones who do are all religious nuts who are trying to reconcile their religion with their career. Kind of like Evangelical scientists, who feel that they need to disparage Evolution, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Pretty dumb religion if you ask me.

And that's why I'll never be Catholic.

downtownlad said...

Eddie - How nice if you to wrongly equate being gay with being a pedophile. Every legitimate scientific study has proved that there is zero correlation.

One thing I can equate though is spreading lies and hate about an entire group, as you are doing with gays as being the equivalent of the way the Nazis demonized Jews.

Eddie must be objectively disordered if he is full of such hatred.

ricksamerican said...

To further elucidate the last three very excellent comments.

The fundamental error in the NYT story is in the following statement:

"Other Catholics say, though, that the test should be celibacy, not innate sexuality . . "

The Church simply does regard this as a question of "innate sexuality." From the teleological and natural law standpoint from which the Church begins its moral reasoning, the argument that same sex attraction is innate is, prima facie, falacious. It makes no sense.

The NYT writer, as one would expect, is an outsider looking in and hasn't a clue.

downtownlad said...

No Rick - The NY Times does have a clue. The Catholic Church is tying themselves into knots trying to justify their positions.

They insist that there are no gay people - just gay acts. But then we'll go ahead and ban gay people.

Pure hypocrisy. But are we surprised that we get this from a Pope who was once a member of the the Nazi Youth. Talk about being objectively disordered . . .

Mark Daniels said...

An infinitessimally minute point: It's "celibate," not "celebate."

To the main point. "Openly gay," I take to mean "homosexual in orientation."

Accepting the notion that the practice of homosexuality is a sin, mere orientation to that sin would be nothing more than to be "tempted" by a forbidden act. Biblically speaking, to be tempted is not to sin. Jesus was tempted but didn't sin.

All of us have our obsessions, I suppose. That would include the temptations that obsess us.

If we start defrocking clergy for their obsessive sinful orientations, there will soon be no clergy left. Some might deem that a good thing, I guess. But the "keys to the kingdom" aren't a license to vote everybody off the island.

Simon said...

Maybe they should start by banning pedophiles first, and see if THAT fixes the problem? But presumably, we don't have time for rational solutions.

My wife and I went to see Chris Titus recently, and he suggested something to the effect that "what the church needs to do was to get serious about these child molesters - never mind moving them around, never mind prosecuting them, CRUCIFY them, in church, and let the victims throw rocks at them. And if that sounds a little harsh, all you have to do is give me the case FOR raping children".

Joe Sims said...
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Goesh said...

-rich, powerful religions can pretty much do what they want and they will ignore the bleating of pagans, after all, the Pope is infallible just as Al Qu'ran is the exact word of God-

Too Many Jims said...

It is fairly clear that, regardless of The Times credibility in these parts, the story has the basics (i.e. homosexuals will be barred from the priesthood) right. http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=60630

Simon,

You are right that I cannot think of one rational reason to let a chld molester live rather than be killed. Of course, if one believes in the presence of a compassionate, loving and forgiving God who is open to a repentant soul, who understands that we all are sinners, then one might have a different view.

Bob said...

Press reports on the church sex scandals avoided acknowledging overwhelming homosexual culpability. They weren't as shy in properly blaming church leadership who gave endless second chances.

So now some would have us ignore a sincere effort to fix the problem at its source. It isn't enough to have leadership that meets the minimal requirements. Frequently it requires more.

Too Many Jims said...

On a PR level this may have something to do with the sex-abuse scandal. You know: "Let's get rid of the gays and we will have more pedophilia." In my view this is short-sighted and wrong. But it may be good PR.

If the church wants to make a move to address the sex abuse scandal they should return Bernard Law to the States and stop protecting him. Not only would it advance accountability, this would be the best thing they could do to tell the heirarchy that they will not accept complicity in such acts. Of course, they won't do this because they prefer criminals to victims.

Freeman Hunt said...
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Tony said...

Pure hypocrisy. But are we surprised that we get this from a Pope who was once a member of the the Nazi Youth. Talk about being objectively disordered . . .

I was going to discuss this with you, but I see it is a waste of my time. Have a nice day.

downtownlad said...

Well Tony. There is ample evidence that your Pope was a member of Hitler Youth. There is zero evidence that gay people are objectively disordered.

It's obvious who is doing the slandering here. And that is you.

Freeman Hunt said...

downtownlad wrote:
Eddie - How nice if you to wrongly equate being gay with being a pedophile.

Where did Eddie do that?

downtownlad said...

Freeman - When he said the following:

"why would you allow a murderer and a thief into the church and then allow a homosexual? Hasn't the church already had enough scandals with pedophiles?"

It's funny how Catholics and other Christians think it's perfectly ok to slander gay people by calling them pedophiles and "objectively disordered" and then they go beserk when you return the fire by calling their religion bigoted.

leeontheroad said...

oh, charming. "Doubting Thomases" abound.

* Some denying facts because a newspaper you don't like wrote about them. The National Catholic Reporter was on this story already.

* Some denying half the Gospel about how to treat other human beings, because that person speaks of feeling harmed by a doctrine.

The common Christian doctrine of God's forgioveness of our transgressions is a very useful thing, isn't it?

Bruce Hayden said...

DownTownLad,

It is good to have someone I assume is Gay here keeping us honest. And, I agree that there isn't that much correlation between homosexual and pedophilia.

But you can't totally divorce the two - since the vast bulk of the pedophilia in the Catholic Church was homosexual - older men preying on boys, and not girls. (I should note that I still believe it a strategic mistake that the Gay movement allows NAMBLA essentially to be considered part of it).

I prefer to view the world here as a two dimensional matrix or grid. You have homosexual and heterosexual on one axis (with maybe bisexual in between), and pedophiles and not on the other.

Your suggestion that there is no correlation between homosexual and pedopilia I assume implies that the ratio of pedophiles in the heterosexual class is roughtly equivalent to the percentage of pedophiles in the homosexual class.

But the problem remains, why are most of the molestations by Catholic clergy of this later, homosexual pedophile type? I frankly don't know.

Eddie said...
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Eddie said...
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downtownlad said...

I should note that I still believe it a strategic mistake that the Gay movement allows NAMBLA essentially to be considered part of it). - Bruce Hayden

Care to give me one piece of evidence for that? Or do you just like making up lies out of thin air? There is ZERO relationship between the gay community and NAMBLA. Zero. The gay rights organizations have made that quite clear, and this is pretty much the only group that has been BANNED from gay pride parades.

Now NAMBLA might be trying to latch onto the gay community, but the gay community wants nothing to do with them.

Are you aware that there are straight equivalents of NAMBLA? How would you like it if I tried link those groups to the heterosexual community. There are quite a few men in their 40's or older who are marrying 12 year old girls LEGALLY in this country. Do you favor that? Do you denounce that? I do.

And last time I checked - gay people wanted to have sex with men. Pedophiles like to have sex with children. There is a difference.

Are you aware that most pedophiles abuse both little girls and little boys. They don't really care about the sex of the child, they just want to molest children. And did you know that the vast majority of pedophiles lead a STRAIGHT lifestyle when they have sex with adults.

But you don't really care about facts. You just want to stigmatize a whole class of people, i.e. gays.

And then you have Eddie, who lives in Bizarro world, and wants to think that all of the pedophile acts by the Catholic Church were against boys, and there were zero against girls. Again - the facts say otherwise - but he just wants to be a bigot.

Well - he's allowed to be a bigot. But I'm allowed to point it out.

Eddie said...
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Freeman Hunt said...

Downtownlad, that quote does not equate being gay with being a pedophile (at least not the way that I read it). I think he was asserting that Catholic clergy being gay could cause a scandal, and the church has already had enough with scandals after their problems with pedophiles. I'm not saying that I agree with that reasoning, just that I didn't read Eddie's comment the way that you did.

Also, Eddie is right about your Hitler Youth comments being pretty ridiculous. Also your constant bashing of Catholics and Evangelicals makes you seem pretty bigoted yourself. I am not Catholic, but I am an Evangelical, and surprise surprise, I am not prejudiced against gay people, and I do believe (if you can really call recognizing science "believing") in evolution.

downtownlad said...

Here is a USA today article on the subject.

http://www.glaad.org/publications/resource_doc_detail.php?id=2888

Brendan said...

Celibate gay men? No--such--thing. Men are dogs, but gay men are really dogs. And the odds of a moral "slip" go up exponentially when you herd gay men in close quarters. If I'm the Church, I accept "celibate" gay men at their word, but then it's "one strike and you're out."

Simon said...

Jim:
You are right that I cannot think of one rational reason

Note that I was paraphrasing someone else's thoughts, not introducing my own. My personal view is that they should be tried, convicted, and sent to a jail where every inmate knows what they did. Thereafter, I suspect that nature will take its course.

downtownlad said...

Let's put it this way. I have zero respect for any Catholics or evangelicals who want to believe that gay people are inherently evil, objectively disordered, or who go around spreading lies about gay people.

I don't need to waste my time with these people, in my private or personal life. But I think it is necessary to point out the lies that are being spread about gay people.

Some of my family members happen to be devout Catholics who believe this crap. But just because they are family members, doesn't mean I have to give them the time of day.

I do have self-respect after all, and it would demeaning to myself to tolerate their bigotry and hatred that is directed against me. Bigotry and hatred that is being directed from the Pope.

Freeman Hunt said...

Downtownlad: Thanks for the link. Interesting reading.

I was not, however, impressed with Sipe after reading this quote, "There's strong psychological research showing that sexual deprivation can lead a person to turn to children." I think that's utterly ridiculous, and I would like him to cite his evidence for that.

The rest of the article was interesting though.

downtownlad said...

"Gay men are dogs" - Brendan

And you guys wonder why I call this bigotry?

Freeman Hunt said...

Actually it was "Men are dogs, but gay men are really dogs." Not that that's better.

I will say that I think men are generally more promiscuous than women (whether that's due to social pressure or nature is another discussion), and so opportunities to be promiscuous are greater for gay men than for straight men since the gay men don't have the mitigating female factor to deal with. That allows your average promiscuous gay man to be more promiscuous than your average promiscuous straight man, but it makes no difference for non-promiscuous men, gay or straight.

Eddie said...
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downtownlad said...

Why doesn't the Catholic Church kick out those who were accused of pedophelia? Why doesn't the Catholic Church kick out those who protected the pedophiles?

Oh yeah - it's much easier to just lay the blame on gay people.

Well when you get your second abuse scandal a few decades hence, you'll have only yourselves to blame.

Steven said...

Okay, ex-Catholic atheist here to go nuts on the issue . . . ,

First, "celibacy" is the state of being unmarried. "Chastity" is the avoidance of all extramarital sex. Yes, common English usage has made both "refraining from sex", but that makes them both less useful for discussing the beliefs of the Catholic Church accurately.

All Catholic priests, except for priests of other Christian faiths who were already married before they converted to Catholicism, are required celibate. As all Catholics are required to be chaste, and celibacy means they have no spouse, they are required to abstain from sex as a consequence.

Despite the claims above, the Catholic Church does not teach "there are no gay people." It accepts gay people exist -- but that homosexuality is a disorder. As an analogy, schizophrenia is not a matter of choice, it is not curable, schizophrenics certainly exist -- but they are suffering a disorder.

And it's at this point moder psychology cannot inform Catholic doctrine. Modern psychology only counts something as a disorder if it interferes with the ability to live life as a normally productive citizen. But the ability to be a normal, productive member of society is not sufficient, under Catholic doctrine, to become a priest.

Priesthood is not merely a job or an office in Catholic doctrine, it is an ontological change; a priest is fundamentally different than an unordained person. Some people are suitable to undergo the change, some people are not. A homosexual is "disordered" -- a man unsuitable, by his disorder, to be transformed into a priest. Similarly, a woman cannot become a priest.

(By analogy, think of a priest as a maple desk. You can't make a good maple desk out of water-damaged maple, and you can't make a maple desk out of oak at all.)

Now, of course, if one considers that hogwash, one can argue the doctrine is rationalization for bigotry. But it's at least possible to hold those beliefs out of sincere conviction, unmotivated by bigotry.

downtownlad said...

I'll agree with that Freeman.

There are many gay men who are in monogomous relationships, or even celibate. I know several gay men in their late 20's who are virgins. Can you name one straight man you can say the same of?

And let's not forget that societal pressures actively DISCOURAGE gay people from settling down. You don't let us marry. You want us to stay in the closet.

I'd really like to see a straight person carrying on a relationship like that. Hiding your partner from your family and friends. You think it would last long???

Eddie said...
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MrsWhatsit said...

What I will never understand is why the Catholic Church obsesses so constantly over issues of sexuality and reproduction. The world is drowning in poverty, hunger, terrorism, oppression, genocide, tyranny, and the rest of the sad litany -- but where has the Catholic Church invested what seems to be all of its energy for the past few years? Refusing to ordain women. Prohibiting the use of birth control. Fighting abortion. Insisting on celibate priests. Protecting pedophile priests. And now, it's gay priests!

Honestly, with the possible exception of abortion, does anybody really think that these issues come close to representing the most important concerns facing humanity -- or for that matter, God? This perpetual focus on sex, to the exclusion of almost all else, is profoundly depressing in a religion that ought to be leading the world in service to those in need. Eddie's right, of course, that the answer for those who don't agree with the Catholic Church is to leave it. That's what I did.

Eddie said...
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Freeman Hunt said...

I have to agree with Eddie there. The Catholic church works very hard to address all the issues you mentioned. It's just the sexuality stuff that is harped on in the Western media.

leeontheroad said...

Eddie, Steven and others,

Please do not use Christian and Catholic interchangably. Please also do not use Catholic as though it referred only to the Roman Catholic Church. While the reference is common, it is in accruate.

The Anglican Church is historically the Catholic Chuurch in England, which the Elizabethan accords recognize. (American Episcopalians are often confused by this, and the British Anglo-Catholic movement further confounds it.) Read Richard Hooker on this issue before lecturing others about what they do or don't know about Catholicism.

Anglican and Episcopal pastors are ordained PRIESTS. They may marry. Some of them are openly gay. There are well-known rifts in the Anglican Communion over this issue.

Further, Orthodox pastors are ordained PRIESTS. They may be married, though they are typically permitted to marry prior to ordination but not after. They may not be openly gay and ordained.

All of these and more are Christian, God help us.

knoxgirl said...

The problem is pedophiles in the priesthood--and the church's tendency to overlook, even facilitate their behavior by transferring them around or not turning them over to police.

The fact that Bernard Law is safely ensconced in the Vatican now reveals a major moral problem in the Catholic Church--and makes it clear they do not take seriously the rape of children within their own institution.

There's no worse crime than the sexual assault of a child. I would expect to see any initiative that has to do with the priesthood directed at this problem, not at gays.

Brendan said...

Actually it was "Men are dogs, but gay men are really dogs." Not that that's better.

Here are some other mind-blowers: women like shoes; men are lazy lumps who like to watch football; mothers-in-law are generally a pain in the ass. Sorry, but I retract nothing. The AIDS crisis didn't explode because of dirty needles, you know.

Here's the Craigslist premable for "men seeking men" ads:

1. I am at least 18 years old.

2. I understand men seeking men may include explicitly sexual content.

3. I am not bothered by explicitly sexual content.

4. By clicking on the men seeking men link below, I will have released and discharged the providers, owners and creators of this site from any and all liability which may arise from my use of the site.

Needless to say, the "men seeking women" and "women seeking men" ads do not carry this warning. Face it: gay men are different, and the Chruch shouldn't be excoriated for bowing to emperical facts.

Pastor_Jeff said...

"I have zero respect for any Catholics or evangelicals who want to believe that gay people are inherently evil, objectively disordered, or who go around spreading lies about gay people... Bigotry and hatred that is being directed from the Pope."

downtownlad,
I'm sorry if you've been on the receiving end of hatred or bigotry from Christians. While there sadly are Fred Phelpses out there, the Pope is not directing people to hate you -- because he does not believe that you are inherently evil. Christians believe that we are all objectively disordered in different ways and that hope, healing, and joy are found in the grace and life that God offers through Jesus Christ - who came not to justify good, "religious" people, but to mend those who know they are broken.

Freeman Hunt said...

Here are some other mind-blowers: women like shoes; men are lazy lumps who like to watch football; mothers-in-law are generally a pain in the ass.

And here are some more: I detest shoe shopping and have thus worn the same pair of heeled leather shoes almost everyday for the last three years, my husband played football but shows zero interest in watching it, and my mother-in-law is one of the nicest people I have ever known.

The only reason that the "men seeking women" ads are different is that those men have to deal with women. See my other post above. Women are the mitigating factor, not the fact that the men are straight.

Too Many Jims said...

Undoubtedly there are many catholics who do great, good and saintly work. This does not, however, mean that the Church is not obsessing "so constantly over issues of sexuality and reproduction". I am not sure it is an "obsession" but I do think if you surveyed Americans and asked them what the Catholic Church stood for and the choices were (for example) (a) an end to abortion or (b) an end to world hunger; I suspect that "a" would win (though I would hope not). I am not sure how american Catholics would answer it (nor am I sure how it should be answered).

One example of the focus on sex and reproduction over other "justice" issues can be seen in how the Church handled Catholic politicians support for the Iraq war. Is the war a "just war"? No. Has the Church expressed that, I believe so. Has the Church called for Bishops to inform Catholic politicians what the Church's moral teaching is on this matter? Not that I am aware of. Has the prospect of denying communion to Catholic politicians who support the war been raised? I doubt it.

Freeman Hunt said...

Jim,

Whether or not the Iraq War meets the specific criteria for a "just war" is arguable. I would say that it did.

I think it is inarguable that abortion is immoral under Catholic doctrine.

Brendan said...

The only reason that the "men seeking women" ads are different is that those men have to deal with women. See my other post above. Women are the mitigating factor, not the fact that the men are straight.

Oh, I totally agree that women are the "great civilizers who save us men from our baser instints," but that's not a line of thought that most feminists want to hear. Too domestic, you see. Nor does it get gay men off the hook. There is such a thing as free will and self-control. Which is why I would give openly gay priests the benefit of the doubt and expel them only if they betrayed that trust.zvm

FZ said...

With regards to the position of considering refusal of communion in the case of support for abortion but not in the case of support for the Iraq war, I believe Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI)...

"Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."

Jim, with regards to surveying American Catholics regarding Catholic Church teachings, I would recommend as an education exercise performing a compare/contrast between three reference points.....the doctrines of the Church as presented by the Vatican (Holy See), the doctrines of the Church as presented by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the doctrines of the Church as presented by a cross-section of the average American Catholic. The variance between them I believe most would find utterly astounding. Or if you wish a truly humorous sight....ask 100 Catholics two questions:
1. Do you own a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church?
2. Have you READ the Catechism of the Catholic Church?
I'd be willing the bet the number that would say yes to both questions would be easily below 20.

I would also protest the contention that the Church is the one obsessing over such topics as contraception, abortion, or priestly celibacy. The Church is merely reacting to the continual disregard for core Doctrines of the Faith. Out of every person, even those Catholic, I've asked who disagrees with Church teachings on such various topics, most have never even heard of names such as Humanae Vitae, Evangelium Vitae, or even know what the Holy See is! It boggles my mind when one opposes the teachings of the church but cannot even recognize where the form of such teachings exists! For the same reason I laugh when people rail against 'papal infallibility'. Most of them don't even know the words ex cathedra, much less understand what they truly mean.

And as for the original point of the article......my belief is this has very little actually to do with the pedophilia issue. Most people aren't aware of just what is going on at many of the seminaries here, and how long it has taken for the Church to finally address these issues. Whether or not this is the right way to address the issues, that I cannot say. I prefer to wait for the specific words of the edict from the Vatican, and not media impressions of anonymous sources (fake but accurate...), before passing judgement.

bearing said...

Hey folks: "inherently evil" and "objectively disordered" ain't the same, so don't put those phrases in the Church's mouth as synonyms.

One thing about pedophilia.

Would you call a heterosexual adult male who has sex with a 16-year-old girl --- and is thus a statutory rapist --- a pedophile?

I am not speaking here of legal language, but of common English usage.

My understanding is that males who are attracted to girls who have gone through puberty, and thus to persons who are biologically (if not legally) women, are not classified as pedophiles.

But a male who is attracted primarily to pre-pubescent girls may be classified as a pedophile.

The same language operates when the -philia is a same-sex attraction. Attracted to the pre-pubescent: pedophile. Attracted to the post-pubescent: not a pedophile.

So, three questions:

1. Is there a problem with priests molesting boys aged 14 and older?

Yes?

This is a problem with homosexual priests, not pedophiles.

2. Is there a problem with priests molesting girls aged, say, 14 and older?

Yes?

This is a problem with heterosexual priests, not pedophiles.

3. Is there a problem with priests molesting boys or girls aged, say, 12 and younger?

Yes?

This is a problem with pedophile priests.

Now, which of these three is the most common, do you think? (I don't know, I'm just asking.)

Steven said...

leeontheroad --

Yes, Anglicans claim to be a Catholic Church. And? So do the Lutherans. Neither the Elizabethan settlement nor Hooker's definition of Catholic is not accepted outside of the Anglican Church.

The visibly-continuous ancinet Catholic Churches, Eastern as well as Roman, hold that married men can become priests, do not allow married men to become bishops, do not allow the ordained to marry, only ordain men. The Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church does not ordain already-married persons unless they were ministers in their own faiths before conversion, but it is not and never has been a universal rule of the Roman Catholic Church.

downtownlad said...

Just so everyone knows - Brendan is deliberately misleading everyone about Craigslist ads.

He doesn't bother to mention that "casual encounters" on Craigslist has the exact same warning as "men seeking men". And "casual encounters" is for straight people.

So straight people have two options. They can either go into "men looking for women" which is a dating site, or they can go into "casual encounters" which is for hookups. The hookup one has the warning.

For gay people - well they happen to lump them all into the same category, i.e. both dating and hookups are all mixed together, thus the warning.

That's the fault of Craigslist, not gay people.

So I think that makes Brendan a liar, as he is deliberately misleading people. But what else should we expect from a bigot.

downtownlad said...

"tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil"

That's how the Catholic Church classifies all gay people.

Yes - the Catholic Church does call gay people evil.

And to say otherwise is a lie.

aidan maconachy said...

Apart from anything else this is non-Christian.

I think it is fair enough for Christians to balk at homosexual clergy who are actively engaged in the lifestyle, since the tradition doesn't support it. Sure you can point to sub-cultures within the church and claim that Jesus never actually said "nay", but the received opinion of the WORLD laity and clergy (as opposed to those progressives domiciled in the U.S.) would be a resounding "no" to homosexual clerics who pursue a gay lifestyle.

But to ban a man/woman from serving in the church because they are homosexual, is quite simply wrong. It is almost like saying that you can't be redeemed by Christ because you are homosexual, which is clearly untrue.

This is not the correct way to go about rectifying the moral crisis of the past few decades.

bearing said...

Downtownlad carefully snips a quote:

""tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil""

"That's how the Catholic Church classifies all gay people."

"Yes - the Catholic Church does call gay people evil."

He had to snip it extremely carefully to get it to come out the way he wanted.

The full line is (google it):

"Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is
a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil."

(The evil being particular sexual acts.)

Nowhere is any person described as evil.

Read it in context here and decide who is telling the truth.

Straw men are easy to tip, huh?

Freeman Hunt said...

So I think that makes Brendan a liar, as he is deliberately misleading people.

In light of the explanation of your snipped quote from Bearing: pot kettle black?

It's absurd to keep calling people bigots while constantly making anti-Catholic comments.

leeontheroad said...

Steven,

Unless you, individually or as part of a denomination, lay claim to the power of defintions, your terminology was inaccurate.

As far as "Anglican Church," well, that's 38 worlwide provinces. A fairly large group, I would say, not merely a splintering.

In any case, being more "ancient" or "visibly continuous" (to whom) says nothign with regard to one's walk with God.

All churches, all denominations, are human structures. Surely we are all or most of us tryignt o make our way in accord with what we believe we are called to do-- and by the way, not by the WORLD as you capitalize it.

Thomas Merton, a rather famous Roman Catholic, said: "the fact that we think we are following your will does not mean that we are actually doing so." (Thoughts in Solitude). World opinion has very little to do with following the Gospel.

bearing said...

There are some really great comments here. Steven, I appreciated your point of view.

I was wondering today exactly how people can read the Church's statement "homosexual acts are intrinsically evil" and understand it to mean "people who engage in homosexual acts are intrinsically evil." It's certainly not there in the plain text. Yet so many claim they mean the same. How to explain it?

It occurred to me that such a mishearing can only (logically) come from a philosophy in which a person is wholly defined by his or her acts. Only if the person is synonymous with the act can an evil act imply an evil person.

(Of course, this doesn't rule out that those who make the mistake simply aren't thinking logically.)

I am a Catholic. It is an article of my faith that a person is more than the sum of their acts. So it isn't hard for me to see the distinction between "this act is evil" and "this person, the actor, is evil" --- or, far worse, "this person, who is merely inclined towards that evil act, is evil."

Eddie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
downtownlad said...

The quote is not out of context. It implies that any gay person who (gasp) actually has sex is evil.

So let's see. The Catholic Church says that any gay person who has sex has an "intrisic moral evil".

Your answer: If a gay person refrains from sex, he's not. Therefore the Church did not say that all gay people are evil.

But of course - you then go on to say that there is no such thing as a celibate gay person. And the Catholic Church says the same thing too. They're banning gay priests, because they imply it's almost impossible for them to stay celibate.

Therefore - the Catholic Church says that all gays are evil.

Your religion is full of hate. And you propagate this hate simply because of some silly fictional book written by a bucnh of loonies over 2000 years ago. So if you want to know who is really "objectively disordered", you should take a look in the mirror.

downtownlad said...

Tell me Eddie.

What exactly is a bigot then?

Do you like gay people? Are you friends with them? Would you rent a room to them? Would you let your kids by taught by them?

Tell me Eddie. We really want to know.

Then we'll let Anne's readers decide who's a bigot.

I bet the KKK goes beserk when people call them bigots as well.

If it talks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it's a duck.

You, my friend, are clearly a bigot.

Freeman Hunt said...

So let's see. The Catholic Church says that any gay person who has sex has an "intrisic moral evil".

No, it doesn't say that. It says that gay sex is a moral evil, not gay people who have sex. There is a huge difference between the sin and the sinner. A sin is evil. A sinner is not.

Your religion is full of hate. And you propagate this hate simply because of some silly fictional book written by a bucnh of loonies over 2000 years ago.

You shouldn't be calling other people bigots when you're making comments like these.

downtownlad said...

Here's the definition of a bigot by the way:

"One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ."

So who's the intolerant one here? Who's the group that is banning gay priests from their ranks? Who's the group that that is spreading lies aboug gay people by saying they are all pedophiles?

Sorry - but I have zero tolerance for intolerant people. But that, my friend, does not make me intolerant. It makes me sane.

Freeman Hunt said...

So you would argue that this comment

Your religion is full of hate. And you propagate this hate simply because of some silly fictional book written by a bucnh of loonies over 2000 years ago.

is not an example of being intolerant of those who differ from you in religious matters?

downtownlad said...

Freeman Hunt -

Tell me, when did they Bible become immune from criticism? You think you can sit here and call me evil. You can call me objectively disordered. You can call me a pedophile. You're allowed to say all of those lies, but I'm not allowed to speak a simple truth?

Sorry - but any rational person who actually studied the issue would come to the rational conclusion that the Bible is fiction.

Christianity is simply a cult that gained legitimacy through the typical manner - oppression, killing, war, etc.

But it's still fiction. And anyone who wants to believe in it has to do so based on "faith".
Because the facts say otherwise.

Like I said - you have to be rather "objectively disordered" to base your entire life on a book of fiction.

downtownlad said...

Freeman Hunt - Would you ever call the Koran a book of fiction? Is it intolerant to do so?

I don't think it is. That's nice that people think their religion is sacred, but as agnostic - I think all religions are open to scrutiny.

Debate me all you want. I'll listen. Show me one iota of evidence that the Bible is true.

Eddie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bearing said...

Don't feed the trolls.

Freeman Hunt said...

You think you can sit here and call me evil. You can call me objectively disordered. You can call me a pedophile.

I haven't done any of these things.

Sorry - but any rational person who actually studied the issue would come to the rational conclusion that the Bible is fiction.

A hollow comment. A mere five years ago, I was a member of American Atheists and planning to serve as their director for my state. I am an expert on arguments against Christianity. Now I'm a Christian. Others who have studied all the same things are atheists. People well educated on the issue come down on both sides.

When you act as you have in this thread, you are no better than those you rail against.

downtownlad said...

Eddie - I'd rent out a room to a Catholic who didn't think I was "objectively disordered".

If they did - there is no way in the world that I would rent out to them.

Would you expect a black person to rent out to a member of the KKK?

Not sure what you're implying. That I'm bigoted against anti-gay bigots? Yup - I plead guilty to that.

Answer the questions Eddie. We want to hear them.

Eddie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Freeman Hunt said...

Freeman Hunt - Would you ever call the Koran a book of fiction?

No.

Point taken, Bearing. I'm done as far as the he's-a-bigot-you're-a-bigot thing goes. Open to other discussion about the post though.

bearing said...

So, Ann, what do you think about where this thread has gone?

downtownlad said...

When you act as you have in this thread, you are no better than those you rail against.

Frankly - statements like this piss me off. Big time. Care to point out one place where I have "acted" inappropriately.

This is simply a tactic to silence gay people. "Bearing" is guilty of the same thing by calling me a troll.

If you want to call gay people "objectively disordered". If you want to say gays are pedophiles. If you want to say that gay people are "evil". If you want to say that all gay people are promiscuous. All of those things have been stated on this thread by various people.

And you think it is innapropriate for a gay person to defend himself.

Sorry Freeman - but I will defend myself when attacked. And when you attack the entire gay community - you attack me.

You chose to be Christian. I didn't choose to be gay. There is a difference.

downtownlad said...

I think the thread ended up exactly where Ann thought it would.

Whenever the word "gay" is mentioned, the anti-gay bigots come out in force.

I'd put a lot of money that any post that has the word "gay" in it, gets a hell of a lot more comments than other threads.

I always find it amusing that straight people spend so much time harping on the sin of homosexuality, and almost none harping on other sins.

Maybe that's because they know it's the one sin they aren't likely to commit.

Eddie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bearing said...

Thanks, Freeman. I'm trying to sift through the points that are actually... shall we say... substantially on topic. Sounds like (my paraphrasing):

1. Waiting for the Church's actual text to comment.

2. a question: was Mychal Judge objective [sic] disordered?

3. a question: if celibate, how can you be straight or gay?

4. "Being objectively disordered and being holy are not necessarily mutually exclusive." Openly gay = political.

5. Sexuality is not irrelevant to the celibate; the priesthood requires an intact, healthy masculinity.

6. If you don't agree with the Church you don't have to belong to it.

7. "If we start defrocking clergy for their obsessive sinful inclinations, there will be no clergy left."

8. What the church needs to do is get serious about pedophiles.

9. It's only pedophilia if the victim is pre-pubescent. Otherwise it's homosexual abuse (if the victim is male) and heterosexual abuse (if the victim is female). Which is the biggest problem?

10. The words "Catholic" and "priest" aren't precise enough.

Does that get us back on track? (I'm sorry if I left anyone out who made a substantial point, there's a lot to sift through here.)

downtownlad said...

Well Eddie - You haven't answered my questions yet. We're still waiting.

And since you've never actually spoken to a gay person in real life, stop trying to act as an expert on the "gay community". You are fooling nobody.

I am a Republican by the way, so I think I can speak very effectively for what Log Cabin members think. And all of them are offended at being called "intrinsically evil" and "objectively disordered".

downtownlad said...

Bearing - Please stop trolling.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Downtownlad,

Obviously, this issue is very personal and important to you. But you seem to be wilfully misreading others' comments and assigning the worst motives. No one has said that homosexuals are evil except you. And your logic is full of tortured non sequiturs because you've not made an honest attempt to understand what others sincerely believe.

I don't know if Eddie is here or not, but I'll answer your questions:

Do you like gay people?
No more or less than any other people. I know nice gay people and gay jerks.

Are you friends with them?
Yes. The ones who don't come across as angry jerks.

Would you rent a room to them?
Don't have a room to rent, so that's hard to answer. If I owned a rental apartment, I don't think their sexuality would be an issue.

Would you let your kids by taught by them?
Our 1st grader is taught by a wonderful man whom we think is gay. We don't know, he hasn't offered details, and we don't care. He's a great teacher who loves the kids.

If you want to know how Jesus would treat a homosexual, read John chapter 8 (the woman caught in adultery). As I stated above, Christians believe that we are all in need of grace, forgiveness and transformation from every kind of disorder. If you've been on the receiving end of hatred from Christians, I'm sorry. But I haven't seen that in these comments.

downtownlad said...

Pastor_jeff - you seem like a nice guy. So what you are saying is:

I shouldn't be offended by Brendan who says "Gay men are REALLY dogs".

I shouldn't be offended by the Catholic Church that says all gay people are "objectively disordered".

I shouldn't be offended by those who say that all gays are pedophiles?

I shouldn't be offended by the Catholic Church who says I am heading towards "intrinsic moral evil" by being gay?

Are you joking???

Eddie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ShadyCharacter said...

Off the top of my head, and not aimed at anyone on this comment thread I'd summarize the hijacking of this thread as follows -

Teddie: "The Catholic Church teaches hate the sin but love the sinner."

Urbanboy (apparently in response): "I am NOT a pedophile! Quit calling me a pedophile. I hate Christians!"

What's that thing called where a person responds so defensively to an innocuous statement that it seems almost telling?

downtownlad said...

Well Eddie - If you hadn't implied that all gays were pedophiles in your first post, I would believe you.

But you did say that, so I don't believe your answer.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Downtown,

Thanks for the kind words.

I agree with you about Brendan's comment.

You should be offended if people said all gays are pedophiles, but I don't think anyone said that. I certainly don't think that.

Chrisitanity essentially says we are all heading towards moral evil all the time, in thoughts, words and deeds that go against God's revealed will for his creation.

Yes, I believe that sex among people of the same gender is wrong -- along with adultery, fornication, drunkenness, deceit, greed, gluttony, and on and on. From a Christian perspective, I am as objectively disordered as you or anyone. Christianity says we are all messed up and need help. And I don't say that from a position of moral superiority, but as one beggar who has found food and wants to tell the other beggars where to find it.

Sorry - have to run take my son to a soccer game.

ShadyCharacter said...

This is not a solitary occurence either. If this is the same "urbanboy" that derailed a series of postings over on Professor Volokh's thread a couple of weeks ago, it followed a very similar weird pattern. Even people on his side of the argument eventually started turning on him...

downtownlad said...

Shadycharacter obviously can't read.

why would you allow a murderer and a thief into the church and then allow a homosexual? Hasn't the church already had enough scandals with pedophiles?

Anyone who cannot see that the statement above implies that all gay people are pedophiles has zero reading comprehension abilities.

downtownlad said...

Shadycharacter

Tell me - why do you think that it's perfectly acceptable to attack gay people, but it's not acceptable for gay people to defend themselves?

I know the answer. And it is spelled B-I-G-O-T.

bearing said...

Downtownlad quotes someone as saying:

"why would you allow a murderer and a thief into the church and then allow a homosexual? Hasn't the church already had enough scandals with pedophiles?"

Downtownlad then asserts:

"Anyone who cannot see that the statement above implies that all gay people are pedophiles has zero reading comprehension abilities."

While I acknowledge that the first quote is ambiguous, let me offer an alternative possible implication.

The writer means: The church already has enough scandals IN GENERAL, because it has a lot of scandals involving pedophiles.

The writer means: Allowing homosexuals into the priesthood -- I assume the writer misspoke, meaning "priesthood" and not "church," because everyone is allowed into the Church -- would likely result in more scandals *in general.* Not the same scandals as the ones involving pedophiles, but new ones that would add to the scandals caused by pedophiles.

Would the writer of the original statement comment on whether I am correct?

ShadyCharacter said...

Believe me, everyone on this thread knows that you are an expert in B-I-G-O-T-R-Y! :)

To respond to your specific point:

[why would you allow a murderer and a thief into the church and then allow a homosexual? Hasn't the church already had enough scandals with pedophiles?

Anyone who cannot see that the statement above implies that all gay people are pedophiles has zero reading comprehension abilities]

I would point out that, as on Volokh.com, you were loudly proclaiming your innocence to a charge no one had laid well before that comment was made.

ShadyCharacter said...

Actually, I see that I didn't respond to your specific point. I like Bearing's answer and hereby steal it!

ShadyCharacter said...

Downtownlad, there is a pertinent discussion going on at Volokh right now. You argue incessently that there is no connection between the "mainstream" political homosexual movement and outfits like NAMBLA. Volokh has highlighted some interesting historical evidence on this very point:

"Likewise, the National Coalition of Gay Organizations' "1972 Gay Rights Platform in the United States" called for "Repeal of all laws governing the age of sexual consent." According to Laud Humphreys, Out of the Closets: The Sociology of Homosexual Liberation 162 (1972), the meeting at which this was adopted was apparently a pretty mainstream event within the liberal activist movement -- "[s]upportive telegrams were received from Democratic candidates John Lindsay and George McGovern," which suggests that it wasn't just an entirely irrelevant fringe group."

Sounds pretty mainstream to me. And given that upwards of 85% of the recently come to light cases that make up the current Catholic scandal involved priests and post-pubescent boys, it's enough to make you wonder if maybe there isn't some connection...

bearing said...

Hey, as long as we're hopelessly embroiled in metadiscussion (though not without faith and charity! badabing!), I do think that Downtownlad has raised a very interesting question. It is:

Whenever the word "gay" is mentioned, the anti-gay bigots come out in force.

I'd put a lot of money that any post that has the word "gay" in it, gets a hell of a lot more comments than other threads.


I wonder if he's right? It is certainly a testable hypothesis.

Of course, I'd want to run the same test on the word "Catholic." ;-)

bearing said...

Test run!

Google "gay" on Ann's site. First 10 posts that come up have the following numbers of comments:

0, 16, 2, 0, 7, 6, 13, 0, 2, 0

Average: 4.6

Google "Catholic" on Ann's site. First 10 posts that come up have the following numbers of comments:

0, 5, 9, 18, 0, 7, 0, 9, 0, 22

Average 7.0

Conclusion: Gay is more boring than Catholic. ;-)

vbspurs said...

Ugh, what a set of commentaries where just one faction calls the other bigot.

Boring, typical and not for me.

My only commentary is this:

I am Roman Catholic. I don't want to have priests who cannot practise their vow of celibacy.

This includes straight priests, gay priests, Other priests, or Something Else priests.

That it has taken the Vatican until the year 2005 to address the question of homosexuality in seminaries, is incredible.

Heterosexual priests who could not maintain the vow of celibacy escaped through the cracks, left the priesthood, or were sexually active but caught after a while.

Some, alas, have never been caught.

To have a different, or hands-off standard applied to homosexuals who are future priests in the Roman Catholic Church is obscene.

At the end of the day, it's not the flavour of the sexuality that is the problem -- it's the sexuality, stupid.

After hundreds of years of silence on the topic in public, finally the Vatican addresses one-half of a modern problem within their ranks.

Cheers,
Victoria

downtownlad said...

Victoria - They are banning CELIBATE gay priests.

Priests who molest little girls can stay.

downtownlad said...

I don't read Volokh anymore. Volokh is one of the most vehemently anti-gay bloggers out there. Of course, he tries to obscure it by saying that he favors gay marriage.

But.

He bans any gay commenter who dares to stand up for the gay community.

And he never bans the anti-gay bigots who say that gays are child molesters (as shadycharacter is now doing).

Thus, what you end up with are a bunch of commenters who make outrageous statements about gay people, and there are hardly any gay people to object.

Typical of all the right-wing blogs. They have zero tolerance for those who disagree with them.

And then Volokh publishes crap like this:

http://volokh.com/2003_03_16_volokh_archive.html#200030290

So it doesn't surprise me at all that Volokh is again maligning gay people.

MrsWhatsit said...

Eddie -- I should have made myself more clear. I was speaking of the Catholic leadership in Rome, and not, of course, of the many fine and selfless activities of Catholic organizations and individuals all over the world. But as to the Vatican, I stand by my original point. And from what I hear from the other members of my large, vocal, Catholic family, I am hardly alone in my views.

downtownlad said...

Sorry - this is the offensive Volokh link. Yes, it was written by Clayton Cramer, but Volokh links to him all the time. As does Instapundit unfortunately.

http://volokh.com/2003_03_16_volokh_archive.html#200030290

downtownlad said...

I checked her most recent posts that were actually about gay subject matters:

Having two mothers - 28 comments

Roberts and 3 men and a pie - 83 comments

Asylum for gay people - 13 comments

Pro-Bono work to help gay activists - 24 comments

And of course this thread.

downtownlad said...

I'll drive home my point.

The Catholic Church can say anything they want to about gay people. That's their prerogative.

But if it's offensive, gay people are going to call those comments bigoted.

Sorry - but don't think that you can call ALL gay people "objectively disordered" and expect gay people to stay silent.

We won't.

Don't want to be called a bigot? Then don't make those comments.

And you can call me an anti-Catholic bigot all you want. I really don't blink an eye when people say that, mainly because I don't really care if I am. That's up to Catholics to decide.

But why do all the people who slander gays get so defensive when they are called an anti-gay bigot?

vbspurs said...

Victoria - They are banning CELIBATE gay priests.

No.

They are INVESTIGATING homosexuality in seminaries.

Should they find proof of it, they will no doubt ask them to leave from now on.

But unless they have actual proof of homosexual activity, they can't root out homosexuals if they are closeted.

And you can't have proof until (are you sitting down) YOU INVESTIGATE.

Sheesh.

Cheers,
Victoria

downtownlad said...

Victoria

And what about the gay priest who is celibate who will not lie if they ask him if he's gay.

Like Father Mychal Judge. Who was open with his friends about being gay.

Why would you ban that great man from the seminary?

downtownlad said...

And by the way Victoria describes it sure sounds like they'll have no problem if they find out that seminary students are having sex with other women.

Kick them out? Nah.

Shouldn't anyone who has sex while in the seminary be deemed unfit for the priesthood????

Oh - but I guess that would be logical.

vbspurs said...

Why would you ban that great man from the seminary?

I'm not a member of the Curia, Downtownload. I cannot ban anyone.

I can just accept the good-faith efforts of my Church leadership today -- especially in redressing hundreds of years in ineptitude and laxness towards one section of their clergy.

It seems you want to have a long to-and-fro argument with anyone who is willing to do so with you about this topic.

I suspect you don't care a whit about Catholicism, specifically, and your previous Christian-targetted remarks on Ann's blog have been discreditable.

I suspect you're just concerned with the topic of homosexuality.

I'm not.

There's nothing in my life that so defines me, not even sadly my beloved religion, that would make me so unicentric in my viewpoints.

So I suspect you and I should probably keep our own counsel to each other about this.

We're at an impasse.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go tease Ann some more about her TV-viewing.

Cheers,
Victoria

downtownlad said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
downtownlad said...

Victoria,

I know one thing about Catholicism. I know that when I came out to my family, my debout Catholic brother-in-law banned me from ever seeing his kids, he convinced the rest of my family that I could become straight if I wanted to (which they desperately wanted to believe) causing my relationship with my family to be severed.

All of this was because of the advice from his priest. So I know VERY well that Catholicism is a hateful religion. It's aim is to break apart gays from their family.

And trust me - they're doing a very good job of it.

vbspurs said...

All of this was because of the advice from his priest. So I know VERY well that Catholicism is a hateful religion. It's aim is to break apart gays from their family.

No, it's not, Downtownload.

But I'm not going to be so gauche as not to perceive your pain regarding your family situation.

I'm sorry for that. It must be awful.

But in the case of Catholicism/Christianity -- it's like you have personal revindications which don't allow any kind of normal discussion regarding the topic.

It sounds like simplistic blather coming from a crank.

And no one talks to people like that.

The sad part is -- that people like this often fashion the idea that people reject them because of WHO they are (in this case, a gay man).

But in reality, people step away nervously because of WHAT they yammer on about, incessantly, without balance.

You can't hang a hat of reason with a person like that, at least not about their bĂȘte-noire topic.

Then suspicion rises in their minds about something else, because it can't be they that are at fault.

Finally, let me just say this:

I was twice held up at gun-point by two young black males -- one in Washington DC, one in Salvador, Brazil.

One would imagine that I have concrete proof enough based on personal knowledge, that something is going on with young black men -- perhaps enough to make me project those feelings towards others like them.

But no.

Not for my personal experiences am I going to lump all black males as potentially violent criminals.

That's just prejudice by another name.

Good night,
Victoria

Bruce Hayden said...

Downtown

I don't think that you understood what I was saying about NAMBLA. Obviously, you don't agree with them. I don't agree with them. The problem is that, as far as I can tell, they have tried to associate with the Gay movement and have not been turned away. Been allowed, for example, to march in Gay Pride marches.

I frankly have never met a gay man who condoned what NAMBLA stands for. My only point was that because much of the Gay movement does not condemn them, and make obvious that they are not a part of the Gay movement, some may get the idea that they are part of that movement, and, thus, that you (meaning the Gay community) condone their orientation (which, I think the Gay community does not).

Bruce Hayden said...

DT Lad

I also respectfully disagree about Eugene Volokh. He does have some posters whom you probably consider homophobes. Heck, you probably consider a lot of us such.

But Eugene is the one who brought me around to accepting, and even pushing, Gay Civil Unions, and, may, some day, even Gay marriage. We shall see.

I would suggest that there are plenty on the other side of the Gay issue who think that he is fairly pro-Gay. I see him a lot more middle of the road than almost anyone.

Just my personal opinion, which you aren't going to change, just as I am sure, I won't change yours.

Elizabeth said...

Bruce,

You're wrong about the history of NAMBLA and gay activism, parades, and the gay community in general, if there really is such a thing.

NAMBLA did develop in conjunction with the gay rights movement post-
Stonewall, in the late 1970s, but in a very short time, no more than a decade, was ostracized and pushed out of any association with the gay rights movement.

Gay men and lesbians have no more reason that any other person to condone sexual abuse of children. But NAMBLA was able to make a play for acceptance for a time by connecting itself with the issue of age of consent laws, which typically set that age higher for same-sex relationships. To support having the age of consent be the same for same-sex relationships and heterosexual relationships is not the same as supporting pedophilia, and the gay rights movement made that assertion fairly quickly, as national movements go.

This conflict played out mainly in the lesbian and gay press, so maybe your familiarity with its history is understandably limited. But NAMBLA has long been banned from gay pride parades, nor is NAMBLA is attached to any reputable gay rights activities and organizations in any way, shape or form that I am aware of. In a google search, the only places I could find the assertions linking NAMBLA and GLAAD were not ones to which any credible thinker would pay attention.

I would like to take your word that you have an open mind toward gay rights, but surely that open mind will lead you to do more research on this issue, and stop parroting that inflammatory and dishonest accusation.

Daryl Herbert said...

Eddie: The local arm of the Catholic Church was complicit in the Rwandan genocide:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=rwanda+genocide+catholic&btnG=Google+Search

If that was your proof that the Church is not bad, then I think we can safely agree that the Church is bad.

knoxgirl said...

I'll just reiterate that there is no worse crime than the sexual assault of children.

If NAMBLA was able to, at any time, successfully win acceptance or allegiance from GLAAD, or gay rights activists in general, for ANY reason, then I'd say there were some serious moral issues with that movement as well.

Ironic that both the Catholic Church and the gay rights movement have, in their own way, struggled with ejecting pedophiles from their ranks.

Bruce Hayden said...

Elizabeth,

Calm down. I don't follow the Gay and Lesbian community because it frankly doesn't interest me. What they do is their business.

Years ago, they didn't push back against NAMBLA, like I thought they should. Apparently, they feel the same as I do, that not pushing back against pedophiles sends the wrong message, and, thus, did so.

So, I am glad that you and DT Lad enlightened me here. I won't make the mistake again.

But let me suggest that your (joint) agressive approach here may be counterproductive, driving away some who might agree with you.

I think much better would have been a less heated post that simply stated the facts - that for a short period of time, NAMBLA wasn't turned away, but then has been in recent years, would have satisfied at least me.

(And note, I never suggested that they actually belonged in the Gay and Lesbian movement, but rather that that movement had made a strategic mistake not to turn them away - a mistake that was, apparently, according to your post, soon corrected).

Bruce Hayden said...

DT Lad,

I empathise with your problem with the RC Church. But remember, its members and its clergy are human. Some very good. Some not so good. No different than any other religion, or even, most other groups of people.

My girlfriend became somewhat estranged from that church when she caught her husband cheating on her. Actually, it was the 2nd kid out of wedlock that made it obvious that he had been doing so for the entire 10 years of their marriage - with multiple women. In other words, a cronic, serial, adulterer.

The problem was that apparently he would sin, go into Confession, get his penance, and do it again next week. Or at least that is what it looked like to her.

But then, the same priest asked her to forgive her husband. She told him that she could forgive him, but could never forget. That if she stayed married to him, she would worry (justifiably) every time he went down to 7-11 for milk that he was sneaking off to be with another woman - which he just might be doing.

The thing is that this priest appears to have pushed some teachings more than he pushed others. He seemed to her to condemn her getting divorced much more strongly than he did her husband's serial adulteries. I think a different (IMHO better) priest could have both saved the marriage and her faith in her church.

I would say the same about the priest who turned part of your family against you. I believe that there are plenty of RC priests who would have done just the opposite - breached acceptance, instead of intolerance. I expect in this country, more would preach tolerance than would preach intolerance in your situation. Many more.

Diane said...

Here's a question in the neighbor hood of the topic:

If homosexuality is a choice, then isn't religion a choice as well? We don't even have a "genetic" argument for religion.

Yet, religion is a kind of *behavior* and we discriminate against it.

So I propose this for all who would ban homosexual activity:

I see nothing wrong with this as long as you allow me to ban Christianity. I feel it is an immoral religion, and I can point to studies that show that it can harm people. You can be Christian in your heart, but you cannot practice Christianity. No prayer meetings, no celebrating mass, no soliciting Christianity in public places. . .

Now, I'd think everyone can point out how this is wrong. What I can't see is how my proposal is all that different from banning homosexual activity.

So explain to this simple minded housewife how we should be allowed to regulate homosexual activity and treat it differently from religion. Both are activities that are engaged in by choice. Both are practiced by consenting adults (homosexuality more so that Christianity). I don’t see why one should be protected and the other not.

Freeman Hunt said...

So I propose this for all who would ban homosexual activity:

What are you talking about? Did you even read the thread of comments?

No one here is discussing banning or outlawing homosexual activity.

Diane said...

I admitted it was a bit off topic. It seemed tangentially related, as it involved both homosexuality and religion. . .

The discussion got me thinking along these lines. Sorry for the detour.

downtownlad said...

All I can say is that Victoria is the most amazing person on this board.

Victoria can read minds and she can tell everyone all about the personal history of someone she never met.

Amazing Victoria. Simply incredible.

Care to tell any more fiction about my relationship with my family to others on this board?

Despite the lies you want to spread about me, the facts are simple. I told my family I was gay and that I just wanted to let them know, and I would never discuss the matter with them again. My family asked me to become straight. When I refused they forbade me from seeing my nieces and nephews (because they believed the lies spread by Catholics and the Pope that all gays are pedophiles) and all contact with my family ceased. Except for my brother who thought they were insane and religious nuts.

And of course they are religious nuts. Especially my brother-in-law who's Catholic and believes this crap.

The good news is that all of my friends think my family is insane and have lost all respect for them.

downtownlad said...

And I should add that last time I checked lying was a sin.

Victoria lies. She has never met my family and for her to pretend to do so is fraudulent.

Victoria is obviously inclined towards an intrinsic moral evil.

Elizabeth said...

Bruce,

Nothing I wrote warranted that patronizing "calm down" comment. You got called out on a lie; accept it gracefully and move on.

My tone was reasonable, and focused on facts. So why mischaracterize my response? You seem to have a problem with gay people standing up for accuracy and truth about our lives, and you try to spin your discomfort as a failure of gay people to argue nicely. Why oh why can't gay people just be nicer when straight people make analogies between gayness and pedophelia, theft, murder, alcoholism, and assorted evils and addictions? I don't know, Bruce, but if you figure it out, please share.

downtownlad said...

Bravo, bravo, bravo Elizabeth!

I couldn't have said it better.

What do they expect us to do when we are slandered with lies? Say nothing.

Funny, because they are VERY vocal as soon as you criticize their religion.

It's a complete double standard.

downtownlad said...

Bruce - My brother-in-law attends mass daily, and goes to a an arch-conservative Church where they still say the Latin Mass.

I'm quite confident it's a church than banned gay priests long, long ago.

So I don't there are any tolerant priests there. And after the Catholic Church gets rid of all gay priests (I've heard as high as 30%), I suspect there won't be many tolerant priests left.

The situation with my family is really bad now. My mother is heart-broken and miserable.

A great way for them to spend the "happiest" years of their lives. They're getting old and they aint got many left.

Unfortunately - I'm not going to "choose" to be straight anytime soon. So I guess my parents will continue to be sad and upset all the time.

Gee - thanks Benedict!

vbspurs said...

Despite the lies you want to spread about me, the facts are simple.

Wow. I think I've just stepped into the Twilight Zone.

Cheers,
Victoria

Elizabeth said...

downtownlad,

I'm surprised no one's called you "hysterical" yet. You're right about that double standard. And it's just lousy rhetorical tricks, too; nothing I posted was overwrought, but hey, I need to "calm down." Oh well, nothing we haven't heard before.

I was surprised by Victoria's mind-reading, or maybe it was projecting. I've enjoyed a number of her comments, and often find her quite witty. This is a topic that makes sound minds turn all wonky.

I'm sorry about your family situation. My family is Protestant, and I came out not longer after my sister, with whom I was very close, turned fundamentalist. We didn't speak or write for nearly 15 years, and after my mother moved in with her and her husband, my relationship with my mom was much harder to maintain. I was welcome to visit, but only alone, not with my partner. Too icky for them. But over time, it made me closer with my other siblings; they were slow to figure out how painful this was for me, but once they did, they took my side. My older brother, who is afraid to fly, drove two days without sleeping to attend our mother's funeral, to ensure I was comfortable and essentially stand by my side.

My partner's family includes many gay people. Two of them are devout Catholics, and have lived celibate/chaste lives as adults, and both work in the church as lay ministers. I imagine they are dismayed by this turn of events. How foolish of the heirarchy to throw good, faithful Christians by the wayside.

Do you think these people understand the irony of their "family values" as they tear apart actual families?

ploopusgirl said...

Witty my ass. Victoria is nothing but obnoxious.

Fucking cheers!
PloopusGIRL!

Diane said...

ploopusgirl;

I am on the same side as you here. Please cut down on the personal insults. You can do more harm to your cause and beliefs than good by being vitrolic. Please?

XWL said...

Wow, around 40 posts from a single commenter, and an equal or greater amount of responses to his responses to other's responses.

(need I say of whom I speak?)

I do not agree with the Catholic Church about homosexuality (or just about anything else, for that matter)

But, I do think I can state with some degree of objectivity that this comment thread has achieved a rather "disordered" state.

(not that there is anything wrong with that)

downtownlad said...

Well LeRoy - What can I say. Gay people are obviously a hell of a lot more productive than straight people.

Father_Ted said...

The Pope's teaching on human sexual relations is objectively disordered. I heard somewhere that the ex-nazi Popess had her dress raised to show off her pretty lavender pink shoes - oooohhh! Me thinks, the reason she screams against the gays is that handsome Hans at school didn't ask her to go around the bike shed at school for a bit of 'how's your father'? The Catholic Church needs to look at its internal problems of child sex abuse. Leave us adults alone to enjoy our mutually consensual sex lives! Yo! Enjoy the holidays all!

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