Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Arc Of Justice Has Curved Through Michigan

So did every kid wish their parent's marriage was a little more gay and they took advantage of the 'complimentary' roles by playing one parent off against the other.


Federal Judge Bernard Friedman issued a ruling which struck down Michigan's constitutional ban on gay marriage.  Unlike other Federal judges, Friedman made his decision after allowing for a jury trial.  I followed the day to day doings and often found myself laughing or just stunned with the testimony on behalf of the State.  The testimony of Mark Regnerus was especially humorous, but the take down of his position by other witnesses was even better.  I'll have more on that later, but first the following is the full editorial from this morning's Detroit Free Press.  It's well worth reading.

Editorial: A victory for marriage and children of Michigan

By The Detroit Free Press Editorial Board - 3/21/2014  
Marriage had always commanded the law’s reverence and protection. Now, in a ruling that breathes new vitality into that venerable institution, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman has struck down the discriminatory Michigan law that excluded thousands of same-sex couples and their families from the advantages of wedlock.Friedman’s carefully reasoned decision is a victory not just for plaintiffs April DeBoer, Jayne Rowse and their three adopted children, but for thousands of other Michigan children, including those currently languishing in foster care. Experts called by the plaintiffs testified that same-sex couples are disproportionately likely to adopt such hard-to-place children, and Friday’s ruling will make it easier for them to do so. (Pope John Paul I argued for gay adoption in Italy back in the mid 60's precisely for this reason.)

The ruling is also a humiliating defeat for Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who squandered hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars to mount a pathetic legal defense that demeaned his office and disserved his constituents. He would be well advised not to compound his bad judgment by appealing Friedman’s decision. (Pathetic is actually a generous description of a defense that even included the 'expert' testimony that gays are going to hell.)

This newspaper opposed the state constitutional amendment that barred legal recognition of same-sex marriages before voters enacted it in 2004, and we have remained skeptical of the suggestion that it promotes any legitimate public interest. Judge Friedman’s carefully reasoned opinion makes it clear that our skepticism was well-founded.

Friedman’s ruling makes short work of the state’s specious arguments that the same-sex ban was calculated to “promote responsible procreation” or assure that Michigan children are raised in an “ideal family structure” headed “by two biological parents.” The judge noted that Michigan has never withheld legal recognition from opposite-sex couples who were unable or unwilling to conceive, and said, “The overwhelming weight of the scientific evidence” contradicted the state’s assertion that children raised by heterosexual couples fared better than those raised by same-sex couples.”
\
The real threat to such children was a discriminatory marriage ban that “undermines the very aim ... of civil marriage, namely, family stability.”

Friedman did not even address the state’s contention that allowing same-sex couples to marry would “dilute the public socialization of young people into a marriage culture” or “send a message to women that they have no significant place in family life.” (Yes, the State did argue that gay marriage would send the message that women have no significant place in family life.  This in a trial about the adoptive rights of two lesbians no less.)

Ironically, DeBoer and Rowse never set out to challenge Michigan’s dubious grounds for prohibiting their marriage; they sought merely to secure their family’s future by cross adopting the special-needs children they have been raising together for years.

But Michigan law permits only married couples or single people to adopt, a policy to which Friedman recognized no obvious constitutional objection. The real obstacle to the joint adoptions that DeBoer and her partner sought, he reasoned, was the same-sex marriage ban that barred them from obtaining the credentials required of adoptive parents.

At the judge’s suggestion, the plaintiffs amended their lawsuit, transforming their challenge of Michigan’s adoption law into a frontal assault on the Michigan Marriage Act (MMA) that voters adopted in 2004.
The state’s argument that the MMA was a designed to further the best interest of Michigan’s children was a loser from the get-go. Even the attorney general had to concede that DeBoer and Rowse’s children had flourished under the couple’s care. A series of experts called by the plaintiffs testified that a deluge of research established that children raised by same-sex couples fared just as well across a broad series of metrics as those of similarly situated opposite-sex parents. Friedman said he found their testimony “highly credible” and “entitled to great weight.”

Whatever personal objections he may have to same-sex marriage, Schuette should have recognized that the constitutionality of Michigan’s 2004 ban was on shaky ground after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year. The Windsor ruling prompted attorneys general in many states to abandon their defense of bans like Michigan’s, and Schuette might have saved a lot of time and taxpayer dollars by following their lead.

Instead, Michigan’s messianic attorney general pressed on. Schuette insisted that he was only defending the democratic prerogative of Michigan voters. But that was a political slogan, not a legal argument, and Schuette’s courtroom defense of the same-sex ban was paltry grab-bag of junk science and religious chauvinism.

The first of the so-called experts that the state summoned to defend the marriage ban was disqualified outright; the second was publicly censured by his academic peers, and the third memorably ended his testimony by opining that unrepentant gays and lesbians were doomed to burn in hell.

In his ruling, Friedman dismissed the state’s experts as “unbelievable” representatives of “a fringe viewpoint that is rejected by their colleagues across a variety of social science fields.”

The attorney general has yet to disclose the tab for this parade of incompetents, but it represents only a portion of what taxpayers will ultimately for his Pyrrhic legal crusade; inevitably the state will be ordered to pay a substantial share of the victorious plaintiffs’ costs, too.

Schuette’s ideological proclivities dictate that he will appeal Friday’s ruling to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. But the U.S. Supreme Court will have the final word, and the extensive record created in the DeBoer case has provided new evidence that bans such as Michigan’s cannot be squared with constitutional principles of equal protection and due process. (This is precisely why Judge Friedman insisted on a trial, to get the point across that gay marriage bans are not grounded in legal reasoning, but in emotional and religious arguments.)

We have no doubt that, before the current decade is out, most Michiganders will regard their state’s legacy of discrimination against same-sex couples as an indefensible lapse of decency. Gay or straight, they can be grateful for a federal judiciary that stands ready to defend the dignity and liberty to which every citizen is entitled.

****************************************

I'm not going to rehash all the testimony in this trial.  Judge Friedman pretty much stated the only conclusion a rational person could draw about the State's experts:  "unbelievable" representatives of a fringe viewpoint that is rejected by their colleagues across a variety of social science fields".  Mark Regnerus irritates me personally because he has utterly compromised the whole notion of objective scientific study.  It galls me that he is getting paid as an expert witness in these kinds of cases through the use of tax payer money.  It also galls me that he took 700,000 from the Witherspoon foundation, a right wing religious think tank, and then lied about this at the same time he is caught asking the Heritage Foundation what they 'expect' from his study.  This is sadly reminiscent of the kind of research bought and paid for by the tobacco companies.  It is nothing less than scientific prostitution.  Unfortunately, Regnerus being the conservative Catholic he is, is also one of those conservatives who doesn't truly believe rules of engagement apply to him personally when he is on a crusade.  The end justifies the means.   Unfortunately for Regnerus and his other fellow 'experts',  in this case their means most certainly justified this end. 

Michigan's Tea Party Attorney General has asked for a stay on this ruling, which he will undoubtedly get based on the similar Utah decision which was stayed by the Supreme Court itself.  I agree wholeheartedly that gay marriage needs to go to the Supreme Court and be decided once and for all.  It's not equal justice for a gay couple,  if in having to move from one State to another,  their marriages or adoptions are nullified by having to do so. There is also the additional fact that many special needs kids are in foster care that could be in stable families if gays could adopt.  The idea that keeping these kids from being adopted by gay couples who would provide for them is somehow protecting these kids from a less than optimum environment can only be seriously believed by people who are totally unfamiliar with the foster care system.  In the foster care system the 'parents' are paid for taking these children.  In most cases foster care parents do a wonderful job in difficult circumstances, but in others, these children are commodities and pay the price for that status.

Of course the Catholic bishops of Michigan have issued their objections to this ruling in their usually galling form which always includes 'persons with same-sex attraction should not be judged, but rather accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity'.  They never add, 'and given second class status as citizens'.  Here is part of their statement: 

“Today’s decision from federal district court Judge Bernard Friedman to redefine the institution of marriage by declaring Michigan’s Marriage Amendment unconstitutional strikes at the very essence of family, community and human nature. In effect, this decision advances a misunderstanding of marriage, and mistakenly proposes that marriage is an emotional arrangement that can simply be redefined to accommodate the dictates of culture and the wants of adults. Judge Friedman’s ruling that also finds unconstitutional the state’s adoption law is equally of grave concern.

“As this case will likely move forward through the courts, it is necessary to state clearly that persons with same-sex attraction should not be judged, but rather accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity......
......Going forward, we, the Catholic bishops of this state, working through the Michigan Catholic Conference, will collaborate with those who are upholding Michigan’s Marriage Amendment and adoption statute and will assist to the greatest extent possible efforts to appeal Judge Friedman’s most regrettable ruling.”

I feel sorry for Michigan's Catholics, not only will they get to see their tax dollars wasted going forward, they will also get to see their donations wasted in the same effort.  They get double dipped.  I certainly hope those married Michigan Catholics understand that their bishops think may of their marriages are about 'an emotional arrangement and their wants as adults'.  They should at least begin to wonder why their bishops don't object to heterosexual marriages that are childless by choice or infertile because of age issues.

In the meantime the Arc of Justice continues on it's path to the Supreme Court Building in Washington DC and the wind behind it is getting stronger.

128 comments:

  1. https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/t1.0-9/163361_330129313754913_545558398_n.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well you say that, but you and your compadres here are happy calling for people to abandon the Church for protestant religions without valid sacraments, and happy for people to follow paths contrary to authoritative teaching. That's hardly struggling to remain true to our calling.

    ReplyDelete
  3. But the Church does use orientation and gender as definitions which preclude access to Sacraments. For gays and lesbians it means no access to ordination or marriage. For women it means no ordination. God may not see us all any differently, but there is no question that in practical application the Church most certainly does.

    ReplyDelete
  4. As I said, that is not my experience.

    ReplyDelete
  5. That is not injustice though, that it just the nature of marriage and the nature of priesthood as ordained by God.
    It is equivalent to bewailing the injustice that the Church does not recognise men as mothers, or bachelors as married. It is just not a possible thing, and would be beyond the power of the Church to declare.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Apples and oranges. And puhlease, do not stoop to using the men can't be mother's argument because guess what, men really can't have babies fer real. Ordination is a different story.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Many biblical scholars are pretty sure Jesus never said any of it. But I do like the use of memes.

    ReplyDelete
  8. BaptizedBabyBoomerMarch 22, 2014 at 9:50 PM

    "Even the attorney general had to concede that DeBoer and Rowse’s children had flourished under the couple’s care."

    That pretty much says it all right there, that children who are cared for and loved in a loving home, whether they are same-sex or heterosexual couples can do a great job at parenting and adopting children who might otherwise have disintegrated in every way.

    If the politicians and Bishops had to pay out of their own pockets for the expense of being discriminatory to their constituents and parishioners they'd be homeless by now. Yet, the alliance of the going backwards fundamentalists T-partiers & US Bishops continue "going forward" on this charade, "this parade of incompetents."


    Thanks for posting this, Colleen. May the Arc of Justice prevail.

    ReplyDelete
  9. No reputable scholars, therefore no relevant scholars! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ordination is the same story. It has been authoritatively declared, confirmed, and explained. It is impossible.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Correction is not unloving. I am correcting you - not hating you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I don't know what you have been reading, but Christian teaching on contraception and abortion is not based on penises. That's an extremely bizarre assertion.

    ReplyDelete
  13. You are conflating private sins with teaching error. If a priest who teaches correctly about sex/marriage/etc then has an affair, that makes him a hypocrite and yes a sinner, but that does not make the teaching untrue or invalid.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Well, what the Church does instead is fulfil its full mandate as given to it by Jesus.
    We should probably trust that God knew what He was doing, and that when Jesus said the Holy Spirit would protect it, He was not lying to us.

    ReplyDelete
  15. We are indeed all God's children, and all are completely loved. This is why it is important for as many people as possible to have as much access as possible to the sacramental founts of God's loving grace. Not to be starved by the errors, falsehoods, and incompleteness of false religions and defective sects (sedevacantists/SSPX included).

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sorry. Men have determined women can not be ordained, but God in the evolution of His creation decided men can't have babies. OK.
    One is a biological reality, one is not. Huge difference.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Be careful that the 'correcting' doesn't become ego gratifying. Then it's not love.

    ReplyDelete
  18. The Archbishop was passionate and articulate when discussing the rape of Africa by multi nationals. I missed that upon first viewing of this tape.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Exactly. Keep struggling. The struggle is good.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Well, thanks for that. But you are sanctioning that correction as God's. You are saying, "You can't be led to God that way." However, as in Mass today, I've tried to "harden not" my heart, and this dangerous territory is where I was led.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Not men. Mother Church. Mother Church, safeguarded from error by the Christ-appointed protection of the Holy Spirit.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm not try to be God. I'm just informing you of Christian teaching where you depart from it, so that you might have the opportunity to reexamine and return to the fullness of the faith.
    What you do with that information is down to your own free will, but we do have a responsibility to correct with charity, as they say.

    ReplyDelete
  23. My wife was a social worker for nearly 30 years working mainly with abused and neglected children. The last years of her career were spent trying to have foster children, (those children removed from parents who were abusive or neglectful and raised in institutional settings), adopted. She found that gay couples were the ones most willing and able to adopt those children who, for whatever reason; physical, mental, or emotional, were difficult to place. "Straight" couples wanted to adopt the little cute healthy ones. Older children with problems were anathema. Gay couples did adopt. These kids flourished.

    ReplyDelete
  24. BaptizedBabyBoomerMarch 23, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    My comment was deleted?

    ReplyDelete
  25. BaptizedBabyBoomerMarch 23, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    Invictus_88 - I'm not hearing the voice of love from you or the Church Invictus. The Catholic Church is full of people who are angry and bitter and some of them are just in denial about that. I can at least admit my anger. At least the reasons I have to be angry are really issues to be angry about. What is really bitter is your comment against legitimate protest. You like to add bitter to what is angry only because you ain't so sweet yourself. The Roman Catholic Church continues to act bitter towards the laity. That is what is bitter.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Well, that got personal fast. What's that all about?
    Anyway. The Church is not bitter. You have been blinded somehow, and you should try to have more faith in the gifts God has left us.

    ReplyDelete
  27. BaptizedBabyBoomerMarch 23, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    You are an abusive person, Invictus and I am sick and tired of you and every other abusive person who claims to have all the answers when you know nothing. You especially know nothing about me or about love either. You are very personal in your attacks. You are bitter and you are angry at people who can think for themselves and outside the box of the cult of the unreasonable all-male chauvinists club in the RCC. I am especially sick and tired of people such as you. You drive people right out of the Church and then probably feel good about doing that.


    I am sick and tired of bullies such as you. That's what it is about.


    Gifts? What do you know about gifts when you agree with traditions that keep the gifts of women out of the Church. Go join Opus Dei. I am sure they'd be happy to have you in their cult of misogynist.

    ReplyDelete
  28. That is pretty abusive language there. I'm not in the least bit angry though, nor bitter. Some people might call your language here an example of "projection".

    What do I know of gifts? I know what the Church teaches us, and I know what I experience. None of that is misogynistic or angry in the slightest.

    ReplyDelete
  29. BaptizedBabyBoomerMarch 23, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    All of your comments are nothing but abuse & arrogance. You are in utter denial of your own pronouncements to obey and never question the authority of the Magisterium. If they told you to not use your intellect you have said to obey them. You imagine that the magisterium is God. Your sense of God is man-made and not inspired by the Holy Spirit. Maybe you are the Protestant. But you will deny it.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I think people reading this exchange will see that the anger and bitterness is only on one side of the conversation.
    I bear you no ill-will, none whatsoever. I'm sorry that you find me so distressing though, as all I have done is introduce orthodox Christian belief. I really didn't anticipate this explosion of animosity.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I have said nothing that is not the official and timeless teaching of the Church, handed down from the apostles from Jesus. I am sorry that you find it so distressing, and I did not anticipate such an explosion of animosity.
    I bear you no ill-will.
    Pax vobiscum.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Invictus_88 BaptizedBabyBoomer
    a minute ago
    I have said nothing that is not the official and timeless teaching of the Church, handed down from the apostles from Jesus. I am sorry that you find it so distressing, and I did not anticipate such an explosion of animosity.
    I bear you no ill-will.
    Pax vobiscum.

    ReplyDelete

  33. I have said nothing that is not the official and timeless teaching of the Church, handed down from the apostles from Jesus. I am sorry that you find it so distressing, and I did not anticipate such an explosion of animosity.
    I bear you no ill-will.
    Pax vobiscum.

    ReplyDelete

  34. I have said nothing that is not the official and timeless teaching of the Church, handed down from the apostles from Jesus. I am sorry that you find it so distressing, and I did not anticipate such an explosion of animosity.
    I bear you no ill-will.
    Pax vobiscum.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I haven't been keeping count, but have there already been at least two Appeal Circuits that have affirmed marriage equality as a constitutional right, and scores more circuit judges. It will be very hard to the Supremes to spit against that wind.

    ReplyDelete

  36. I have said nothing that is not the official and timeless teaching of the Church, handed down from the apostles from Jesus. I am sorry that you find it so distressing, and I did not anticipate such an explosion of animosity.
    I bear you no ill-will.
    Pax vobiscum.

    ReplyDelete

  37. I have said nothing that is not the official and timeless teaching of the Church, handed down from the apostles from Jesus. I am sorry that you find it so distressing, and I did not anticipate such an explosion of animosity.
    I bear you no ill-will.
    Pax vobiscum.

    ReplyDelete
  38. It is certainly mine as a person that spent a few years in a seminary. I found my freedom by studying science. Some who tried to study theology got there minds murdered by Ratzinger.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I suspect my experience is a bit more recent than that, a bit more current.
    In my experience, fear is not at the core of seminary life or of military life.
    Have you actually read anything by Cardinal Ratzinger? Your reaction suggests not. God is Near Us? Jesus of Nazareth?

    ReplyDelete
  40. That is exactly what JPI testified too. That gay couples would adopt the damaged and hard to adopt and that white straight couples were looking for 'cute puppies'.

    ReplyDelete
  41. No, I found it in the Spam folder. I rarely check that unless someone loses a comment. There was your comment and one from three weeks ago.

    ReplyDelete
  42. BaptizedBabyBoomerMarch 24, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    Okeydoke. TY

    ReplyDelete
  43. Have read all that he wrote during the second Vatican Council and I watched him censor some of our great theologians, and refuse to understand the way science works. Yes, Perhaps you are just a little wet behind the ears. I have seen that fear is very much part of seminary life in many seminaries. If you have been in one that it wasn't so then perhaps you saw the best, but by your reactions of not understanding that the leadership of our church are manipulating people, you seem to be part of one of the cultish practices inside the RCC. They have pledged never to speak poorly of their leaders.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I am saying both, the church is in error both scientific and theologic with its BC teaching and yes most of the clergy are indeed hypocritical in this teaching and in their own sinfulness.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Say as you wish Invictus, your actions are degrading words and they speak loud against you and are not at all Christ-like PAX.

    ReplyDelete
  46. You have introduced your own cultish brand of Catholicism which is arrogant, omniscient and non Christ-like! PAX

    ReplyDelete
  47. Again, like any cult member, you are overly defined.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Many of the People of God were not at all faithful to the popes and this will continues especially if the leadership remains so arrogant, so self centered and by most standards so poor!!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Seminarian or young priest or simple cult member, your way of thinking is very cultish indeed. Hopefully you will grow and develop in your later life.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Colleen, I tend to forget that John Paul I defended adoption by same-sex couples on the ground that those couples often adopt children others don't want. And, as you say, he did this back in the 1960s, which is mind-blowing to me.


    What happened to our Catholic church from that time up to now, that we have come to seem to much of the world as the institution most resistant to the human rights of LGBT people?

    ReplyDelete
  51. Perhaps you could read this article by a Benedictine nun:

    http://ncronline.org/blogs/where-i-stand/new-religious-group-just-deadly-ones-preceded-it

    ReplyDelete
  52. If it is degrading behaviour to share correct teaching with those who jave strayed or been led astray, then I will have to accept your verdict.

    ReplyDelete
  53. It isn't possible to be fully faithful to God whilst being unfaithful to His Church. The contradiction is obvious, and scriptural.

    ReplyDelete
  54. We all do grow and develop. We do not all grow into error and disloyalty though.
    There's nothing cultish about Christianity.

    ReplyDelete
  55. If this thesis of yours is reasonable, you will find it easy to correct my statements of Christian teaching by reference to the Catechism.
    Please do, for all our sakes.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Nobody could take seriously your claim to know more about Christian truth than the full teaching history of the Church as handed down by the disciples.

    ReplyDelete
  57. You shouldn't tell me so personally how I seem. It has been tempting me to speak as bluntly about how you seem.
    And that will do us no favours at all.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Dennis, I gave up. I looked back on this stream, and I found debating non sequiturs, veiled insults, wounded puppy how-darest-thous that mimic a discussion but never become one. You can't have a discussion with the lessers, the heathen. You can only correct with charity, as they say, and await the day when God comes to tell everyone that you've been right all along. For as we all know, Jesus asked us to be correct.

    ReplyDelete
  59. You are correct, this man seems to be in a very adolescent stage of emotional and intellectual development, yet he is probably about 26 and he has plenty of time on his hands. So who is paying him to express such comments. Seems like he has a sponsor some where.

    ReplyDelete
  60. You have already called me a Protestant, a Catholic with weak faith, and anti catholic. I have never stooped to that level.

    ReplyDelete
  61. You see, I have never made that claim. Had I made a claim to that type omniscience then no one would be able to take me seriously at all. I make claims that you and I and everyone especially the poor RCC leadership make mistakes..;;;;;;

    ReplyDelete
  62. Yes. There is a difference though.

    You have said things which are definitively Incompatible with the faith. Whereas what I have said is not indicative of cult membership or radical traddism, but has been simple unadorned Christian belief.

    ReplyDelete
  63. You're claiming that the Church is in error! You are giving yourself greater authority than the Church to discern truth and falsehood.. no?

    ReplyDelete
  64. "For as we all know, Jesus asked us to be correct."


    Shoot, I knew I was missing something. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  65. Unadorned Catholic belief would be more correct.

    ReplyDelete
  66. I'm sorry, but I can not equate the statements of men with the in your face reality of biology. And I believe Christ protects the People of God from the mistakes of clerical men.

    ReplyDelete
  67. I know Bill, it's mind blowing that JPI was advocating for gay adoption 50 years ago. I've thought about that a lot actually and it always makes me sad that the Church lost such a prophetic pope. I can't begin to imagine what Catholicism would be like now if JPI had the kind of time in the papacy that JPII did. Francis is so good in some areas and so Benedict in others. He is not JPI when it comes to cultural/sexual issues and that is going to be the Achilles heel of his papacy.

    ReplyDelete
  68. So much free time that even with Internet on my phone there are whole months between bouts of posting?
    You try 18 hour days, and then tell me I don't deserve time off here and there. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  69. The truth in there is very laudable, though it does make the falsehoods more insidious. Sister Joan Chittister is notoriously dodgy, very close to the line indeed in terms of whether or not she is orthodox.

    ReplyDelete
  70. So, overlooking the invention of your own new theology, could you tell me where it is you think that Church teaching is incompatible with the realoty of biology?

    ReplyDelete
  71. To follow Him, one ought to know what that entails, and what it does not.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Hi Colleen. You comment caught my eye.

    I agree with the comment, it makes perfect sense to me but I am intrigued with your claim that JP1 testified to this.

    Can you provide me with a reference? It would help me out...

    thx.
    Conrad.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Can't speak to seminary life as I am the wrong gender. But as retired military I can speak to military training; and Colleen is right. Every last bit of military training is based on fear:
    Fear of your drill instructor, training instructor or CPO
    Fear of being left out of the crowd or inability to fit in
    Fear of letting your team down
    Fear of failure
    Fear of the enemy

    All this fear is drilled into a person in basic or boot camp. It is guaged specifically to turn as many civilians into useful soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines in as short a time period as possible. It continues through a career. Yes, they do use certain tools like the wearing of the uniform and the respect of your teammates as reward. But the carrot simply does not negate the stick.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Cool. Which bit of it vs which bit of biological fact?

    ReplyDelete
  75. Might have been a big part of training longer ago, perhaps up to the 1990s indeed, but in modern western armed forces there are quite progressive training methods. Obviously it is rough, physically and emotionally challenging, and frequently painful, however it is not based on fear, but on collective identity, mutual respect, controlled aggression and selfless commitment.
    That is the real nature of 21st century military training in the West, and is as true for the blanket-stackers as for the special forces.
    But, I digress...

    ReplyDelete
  76. There are many cults that claim to be Christian and several of them claim to be Catholic. They are marked by zealots who follow a leadership no matter how wrong. They are marked by brainwashing and the are marked by refusing to engage in any discussion other than their own message points. So if the shoe fits then wear it.

    ReplyDelete
  77. The real sin is here is an arrogant clerical system that claims to not make mistakes. The claim of infallibility is absurd when they go against know scientific and theologic authoritative information. Is there a worse sin than the failure to listen to the Holy Spirit as She speaks in each generation? I am not unfaithful to the church, I am unfaithful to faulty leadership. It is really impossible to be faithful to Christ or Christ-like to obey such arrogant and false leadership and clerical system.

    ReplyDelete
  78. The pilar of truth can not be essentially known by finite men. It would be the same as having the Mind of God. God alone knows truth not finite leaders of a human organization.

    ReplyDelete
  79. You are sharing correct teachings as your cultish part of the church sees them, not as the whole vast part sees them. You have no more truth than any other finite man and with your obedience to authoritarian figures, you are not able to even think for your self.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Must reply to this..... "To follow Him, one must understand what that entails, and what it does not."


    An innocuous statement, devoid of nouns and yet with an accusatory subtext. The implication (correct away if I'm wrong) is that you understand, and I/we/y'all don't. The reason you understand is that the church understands, so you don't have to. Simply follow the church, who follows God, and the rest takes care of itself. Y'all are doing it wrong. And the correction given is true caritas.


    So then the problems need to be explained away. Changes in the teachings? God wanted it that way all along, and it was all there for men to get it the entire time. Perfect popes? Only when necessary. Disagree with something? You must be in sin. When Augustine or Catherine or Athanasius or Francis disagrees, well, that's only because God proved them right all along. Pope was wrong, then? Only misinformed. Still perfect.


    One more time - you have God in this little pinched box. God does indeed live there, I believe. However, He just doesn't stop where you (or pope or church) say, isn't caught by your boundaries. And this is where God has led my faith, to try (poorly) to stop throwing boundaries on Her.


    Summary: you don't understand. I don't understand. Pope Francis doesn't understand. Jesus knew we wouldn't understand. So love, and learn to recognize it when you see it. Or read it. Because what you're doing here doesn't smell like the sheep, unless you only consider the hind end.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Off the top of my head, my biggest problem is it's philosophically based in the biology of male sexuality, while giving short shrift to female sexual biology. Which is ironic given the whole thing was about 'the pill'. The majority of sexual acts with in marriage occur during infertile periods of the woman's cycle. NFP is based on that, but if the Church's sexual morality was to be consistently applied such sexual acts should be sinful since they are by definition, incapable of creating life. The theologians, at least the honest ones, on the papal BC commission had real problems with this very issue and the hypocrisy of NFP.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Here's a link to a piece I wrote in 2008. Lucien Gregoire's book on JPI is an excellent source for more.

    http://enlightenedcatholicism-colkoch.blogspot.com/2008/11/oh-what-might-have-been-had-john-paul-i.html

    ReplyDelete
  83. Not so easy as that I'm afraid, though I'm obviously flattered at the care taken in this latest sophistry.

    It's a common line though, the one that takes three truths to create one lethal falsehood.

    Truth 1: God is infinite.
    Truth 2: Authentic teaching is the mandate of the Church.
    Truth 3: The Church is composed of those who err.
    Satanic falsehood: "God cannot be contained by Church teaching".

    One, two, and three are all true, and yet they can be exploited to lead people to 4. The fourth statement is not merely wrong, but is a fundamental warping of the truth of God and His Church.

    Church teaching is not restrictive, even though it is difficult, just as Jesus' documented instructions were not restrictive even though they were difficult. And if we think God cannot match His commitment when He says that His Church will be protected, then we project our own limitations onto God, then we project them onto the Church He formed to lead us in faith.

    We need only to look at those sects through history which have broken away from the living Church to see how grave errors sneak in and truth withers. The Church doesn't box God into its own parameters, it signposts the way to unity with God and accordance with His divine will.

    When you reject Church teaching, you are not bravely seeking God outside of a hidebound hierarchy's narrow viewpoint, you are blundering off and ignoring the signposts which God has placed for our guidance to Him. Just as a signpost is smaller than the summit, God is greater than the Church; this does not mean that we find the summit when we reject the signposts.

    Do you still say God can't teach us everything He wills us to know through the Church He instituted for that purpose?

    ReplyDelete
  84. It would be AS correct, because they are the same thing.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Two differwnt threads here. An NFP one and a male/female philosophical basis one.
    Could you explain clearly in what way Humanae Vitae is 'based on male biology not female biology'. That seems odd to me.

    ReplyDelete
  86. I retired 4 years ago. My experience isn't that old. And it does not change. Yes, they do use the carrots. But the carrots do not negate the stick used at the core.

    ReplyDelete
  87. That's a very clever last paragraph Invictus. In point of fact, it's one of the best ideas supporting the hierarchy I've ever read. God only wills so much info and the hierarchy is the only current website that gets that info.


    Unfortunately, it's not precisely true because there is another interpretation of the 'Gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church' text. It can be interpreted to mean that hell will not prevail against the Church as the People of God, even if the source of that hell is the clerical leadership of the Roman Catholic Church. In other words, God speaks to His whole church and sometimes as a needed corrective for it's leadership.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Basic training, OCS, and AIT have now and always will be based in fear because the nature of kill or be killed necessitates being able to function in high stress fear inducing situations, and that means following orders without the cognitive delay questioning those orders might cause. This is precisely why those folks who have the keys to the nuclear weapons also wear side arms. They aren't there to stop an intruder. They are there as a constant reminder of what will happen if one's fellow key carrier decides not to use his key. Coercion through fear.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Well, if it ever was based on fear, then is has changed.

    End of.

    ReplyDelete
  90. The sidearms thing is an urban myth actually, so don't believe everything you see on tv.
    And I cant speak for the American system.

    ReplyDelete
  91. I never said that "God can't teach us everything He wills us to know / through the Church / He instituted for that purpose." I suppose that would be your latest sophistry.


    God asks us to love. Knowledge helps me do that, but is not a sine qua non.


    Some of my faith comes from overcoming a proud hierarchy who lies and lied to me. So I suppose that's God teaching me through the church hierarchy, but cannot be seen as incarnational.


    Jesus instituting the Church as we see it today is nowhere near a settled theology. I can agree if we call it a means to an end. The church's goal is to become obsolete, not omniscient. We die to rise.


    As to "rejecting the signposts", I can only say that my Catholic church taught me well enough that I've been able to reject supposed signposts when evil ensues. Things like, "Keeping this priest confecting the Eucharist is so important that you should keep quiet when he sexually abuses children." Or "Priestly leadership requires a penis, but not testicles. Ovaries disqualify." Or "The only way you can be in this church is if you close your eyes to the pope's human imperfections. " Or, "The church is never wrong, even when things change." Or, "The bling bishop could be ousted within a year, but Finn in KC requires time because....." well, they can't explain that one either. As I've noted, I could be wrong on these. As you've noted, you must be right.


    Finally, church teaching contains God ? God is contained ? And I'm preaching a satanic falsehood ? Please stop condemning me to hell. It's not good for your soul. I hope in the Lord.

    ReplyDelete
  92. I can. I've been down in an SAC Command Center responsible for 100 mirved missles and they most certainly were wearing side arms and not because the Russians were coming.

    ReplyDelete
  93. I had hoped you'd respond along those lines, as the thinness of the ice betrays the flimsy foundation of the whole argument.

    What I have told you is only "not precisely true" IF your alternative interpretation of that part of scripture is true. If your interpretation is NOT true, then what I have told you is correct.

    Your interpretation of that part of scriptire is not only at odds with the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, but it is at odds with the whole historic teaching of the Church.

    Now, if I had found myself with such a completely disconnected interpretation of an important piece of scripture, I would have to ask myself very seriously whether it had truly come to me from God, or whether perhaps it had come from an error of my reasoning, or from the father of lies.

    Because it is certain that that interpretation conflicts.

    ReplyDelete
  94. I'm not condemning you, I'm warning you, but by your bitter mockery of the Church it seems like slow work.

    ReplyDelete
  95. I'm not bitter, either. And mockery implies falsity. I'm being as honest as I can.

    ReplyDelete
  96. Or I saw in the traditional interpretation by the historical Church leadership a self justifying use of this particular scripture passage...and perhaps that justification came from the Father of lies.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Honesty?

    "Keeping this priest confecting the Eucharist is so important that you should keep quiet when he sexually abuses children."

    Peetty disgusting, suggesting that is something the Church has advocated. The entire rant is false and grotesque.

    ReplyDelete
  98. So the Holy Spirit has given You an insight which was hidden from the Church, the Apostolic Fathers, and the Doctors of the Church..
    HAHAHA!

    I think we have struck upon the tragicomic essense of heresiarchs from 2Peter 2:1 through Martin Luther to Leonard Feeney.

    Hopeless.

    ReplyDelete
  99. So says Invictus born in 88.

    ReplyDelete
  100. So you claim that the Holy Spirit has given You an insight which has been hidden from the Church, the Apostolic Fathers, and the Doctors of the Church..
    HAHAHA!

    I think we have accidentally struck upon the tragicomic essense of heresiarchs from 2Peter 2:1 through Martin Luther to Leonard Feeney.

    Hopeless.

    ReplyDelete
  101. I have spent my whole life in academics and have had close contact with even some current seminarians, and yes I have read Ratzinger. Have you read Einstein or Bion?

    ReplyDelete
  102. Yes your ideas seem to spring from the zealotry of a Catholic cult. You can not be wrong because you have defined them as the One truth. Too bad, it is all a bunch of mumbo jumbo...

    ReplyDelete
  103. I don't claim that at all. Stop condemning me. It is not good for your soul. I remain hopeful in the Lord, for you as well as for me. But yes, it seems like slow work.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Uhmmm, I didn't claim the Holy Spirit gave me this insight. Nor did I claim my particular insight was hidden from the Apostolic Fathers or Doctors of the Church. What I alluded too was it was certainly in their best interests to interpret said passage as they have, as all about them and their 'bad selves'.

    It seems to me you have a need to see their interpretation as TRUTH because then it may one day apply to you and your 'bad self'. Personally, I think it's all self justifying blather from men who would rather quote each other than do the hard work of bringing forth the Kingdom.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Thank you Colleen. At the time Albino Luciani died I felt a great loss, but I never really understood why.

    The more I learn about the man the more I realize what was lost with his untimely death/homocide.

    ReplyDelete
  106. I take my time, but I get there in the end. Great post Colleen.

    ReplyDelete
  107. You seem to warn anyone that disagrees with your take on things. That seems a bit arrogant to me.

    ReplyDelete
  108. You're repeating the same error.

    You're rejecting the authoritative interpretation of the Church, the Doctors, and The Apostolic Fathers to put forward your own.

    You surely see how damaging.that can be, and how arrogant it is.

    ReplyDelete
  109. So when Boniface VIII gives us Unam Sanctam in 1302, he interprets the story of Jesus telling Peter to put down his sword during the arrest at Gethsemane. Boniface describes the "two sword" theory. He says the story means that the church wields the spiritual sword, while kings and generals wield the temporal sword for the church, and that Jesus sanctions all this sword wielding with these statements.


    Do you believe this? Who were the arrogant Catholics who damaged the words of the papacy? The interpretation lived for centuries. How could it be incorrect? How could it change? Is the change an attack on the church, or a defense of it?


    Slavery. Democracy. Soldiering. The Jewish people. Crusades. Scientific findings vs. the biblical story. The existence of Adam and Eve. The flood. (Off the top of my head)


    From which part of the cafeteria would you like to be served?

    ReplyDelete
  110. I am above averagely chilled out about people disagreeing with my take on things. Tea vs coffee. Political parties. Best holiday destinations. Happy to have a good chat, weigh up pros and cons etc.

    Catholic teaching is not opinion though, it is established. When people get it wrong, it is right to point out and correct in charity.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Sure, my interpretation is damaging to the 'authority' of the teaching magisterium but it also leaves room for advancement in knowledge to further the teachings. What damages the authority of the teaching magisterium even more is the belief our current knowledge base has no bearing on past teachings.



    That is not just arrogant, it is the Achilles heel of the magisterium. When it comes to gender roles and sexual morality it is driving the millennial generation into the 'spiritual but not religious' category. In less than 30 years the same exodus out the doors that is now happening in the West and Latin American will be happening in Africa and the Orient.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Been reading ROTC manuals, have you?

    ReplyDelete
  113. And don't forget what life is like in the service academies. You just can't get to the high-stress part without invoking enough fear.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Exactly tpel. One does not get to high stress levels by poring on the peace, love, and joy.

    ReplyDelete
  115. The Church does not advocate that. You are libelling the Church on the basis of nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  116. What. The liberals are breaking out the AGEISM now? Wicked sick yo.

    ReplyDelete
  117. Invictus, you'd rather accuse me of lying than admit to what is right in front of you.

    ReplyDelete
  118. Why do you have a problem with his theology then? 'God is Near Us' is beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  119. That's pretty cool. How recent was that?

    ReplyDelete
  120. You don't seem to understand. I do not define these things. These things are already defined.

    ReplyDelete
  121. You don't seem to understand. I do not define these things. These things are already defined.

    ReplyDelete
  122. Unam Sanctam is not incorrect, and certainly cannot be incorrect on your beloved scientific grounds.
    So, you've still yet to show me a firm example of the Church teaching error.

    In contrast, I've shown beyond doubt that you reject the authoritative interpretation of the Church, the Doctors, and The Apostolic Fathers to put forward your own personal and disconnected one.

    ReplyDelete
  123. Your second paragraph is just weird waffle, so I'll stick to the first which is pertinent.

    You're repeating your baseless claim that modern knowledge invalidates Church teaching. I have asked you for evidence, but as yet we've seen nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Look. Why can't you just accept that I know what I'm talking about?

    ReplyDelete