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Catholic diocese quits Maine Council of Churches

The Most Rev. Robert Peter Deeley blesses the congregation during the closing procession after he was installed as the 12th Bishop of Portland at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland, Maine, on Feb., 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Portland Press Herald, Gabe Souza, Pool)

The Most Rev. Robert P. Deeley blesses the congregation after he was installed as the 12th bishop of Portland at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland, Maine, on Feb. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Portland Press Herald, Gabe Souza, Pool)

(RNS) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, Maine, is withdrawing from the Maine Council of Churches in a bid to distance itself from LGBT advocacy and other stances that the church says could compromise its public moral witness.

The decision comes after a council decision to let its public positions be determined by a majority vote among its members. Previously, the council would only take a stand when its eight denominational members voted unanimously to do so. The council’s membership will drop to seven after the diocese leaves at the end of June.

“Our continuing participation could result in me advocating for two different, and even contradictory, positions,” writes Portland Bishop Robert P. Deeley in an open letter published by the Portland Press Herald. “What I advocate for cannot be simply determined by a majority vote. It is expected that my advocacy is grounded in the teachings of the Church. Any other position would be contrary to my responsibility as the bishop of Portland.”

Deeley added: “I do not take this decision lightly or happily. Our corporate religious witness in a secular society has been a value to the people of Maine.”

The Rev. Jane Field. Photo courtesy of Maine Council of Churches

An informal code requiring unanimous support for public statements had created tensions within the council, according to Executive Director Jane Field. She noted that mainline Protestant churches represented on the council have become more affirming of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people as full participants in their churches and ministries. Roman Catholic teaching holds that homosexuality is “intrinsically disordered” and does not condone same-sex relationships.

“Remaining silent on issues, especially related to LGBTQ justice and equality, wasn’t tenable for all of our other seven denominations,” the Rev. Field explained. “It was enough of a discomfort that it needed to be addressed openly. It wasn’t healthy to be silent anymore.”

Field said member denominations discussed the option of issuing a minority report in situations when not all members could support the council’s stance. But the diocese opted instead to withdraw.

A spokesperson for the Diocese of Portland did not respond to RNS requests for comment.

Until now, the Maine Council of Churches had been among a small handful of state councils of churches ever to count Catholic dioceses among their members. Other dioceses in recent years left state councils in New Hampshire and North Carolina, Field said.

The Diocese of Portland has been a member of the Maine Council of Churches since the early 1980s, Field said. The council regards the diocese’s departure as a loss, she said.

“We’re deeply saddened by it,” Field said. “We’re sad because we spent 20 months in a discernment process seeking for a resolution to keep everyone at the table.”

 

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Mark A. Kellner

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  • One small step for the Diocese of Portland, one giant step for the “smaller, holier Church”.

  • Doctrinal positions and acting them apparently gives you hives.

    It must be “mythology”.

  • This is helpful. It helps the massive numbers of millennials who have walked away know they made the right decision, and helps LGBTQ young people know that, if they want to remain churched, they should look anywhere by the Catholic church for welcome and support.

    It’s good to have the church offer such clarity as people make decisions of conscience about where to find Christian community and spirituality.

  • It certainly helps Catholics understand that a popular vote by those without authority in the church doesn’t make a doctrinal revolution.

  • “Deeley added: “I do not take this decision lightly or happily. Our corporate religious witness in a secular society has been a value to the people of Maine.”
    Or not. It was certainly not to gay people, their families, friends, and neighbors during the marriage wars.
    One more time, the conservative religious obsession with all things homosexual causes more harm to the church and the people it allegedly serves.

  • A responsible and reasonable decision. Good for them! I walked away from those sorts of interdenominational and interreligious groups years ago.

  • I checked it out and boy is it ever far left “social justice” stuff! Thanks for the link!

  • Well, to be more accurate, traditional Christianity – which is the majority of Christianity – does not please you personally.

  • Yeah, we can’t have a Catholic diocese treating LGBT people like they were real human beings. The institutional homophobia must be preserved.

  • Of course this Catholic diocese leaving had nothing at all to do with treating or not treating LGBT people like they were human beings.

    It had to do with the fact that as bishop of the Catholic Church Bishop Deeley could not appear to be endorsing same sex behavior, which his church teaches can never be considered morally acceptable.

    http://mainecouncilofchurches.org/memberspartners/

    Most of the other member churches are performing same sex marriages.

  • Yeah, fear and loathing of gays is such a responsible, reasonable and Christian attitude. Re member what Christ taught, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Unless that neighbor is gay; that neighbor you shall despise.”

  • Any Catholic who can read can access the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which does not reject gays, but rejects same sex sexual activity.

  • Matthew 18

    15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

    1 Corinthians 5

    5 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, of such a kind as is not so much as even named among the Gentiles: that one should have his father’s wife.

    2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

    3 For I verily, though absent in body but present in spirit, have judged already as though I were present concerning him who hath so done this deed:

    4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, I being there in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

    5 deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the Day of the Lord Jesus.

    6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

    7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us.

    8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

  • This one Catholic Diocese did the right thing, the Christian thing, for sure. But there’s NO chance that their brave decision, their “clarity”, will appear on the Big National Media gigs tomorrow. Mm-mmm.

    The public face, the public voice, of the entire Catholic Church is the media’s oh-so-darling friend, Pope Francis. And why is he their oh-so-darling friend?

    Because Francis says exactly what the Big Media — and the Gay Goliath — want to hear. He gives them the instant soundbites (“God Made You Gay”) that they deploy like cruise missiles against all Christians — including Catholics.

  • I lived in Mexico and was a member of the Anglican Church of Mexico when the main group of folks left TEC for the reason this diocese has pulled out of the Maine Council of Churches.

  • It’s funny how the “gay” issue has become the single defining issue of Christianity. It has replaced their historic creeds and every thing else down through the centuries to become the only issue that defines whether one is a Christian or not. Whether one believes that gay people are human beings deserving of full and equal equality has become THE dividing line between the orthodox Christians (no) and all the other Christians (yes). Nothing brings out the rhetorical long-knives like that issue.

    Christianity was divided over slavery at one time and had just as much fervor over it as we’re seeing on this issue. Denominations split over it. We’re seeing that play out again. I think the vast majority of Christians will come to believe that gay people are human beings deserving of full and equal rights just as the vast majority came to that conclusion (not all of course) that black people were full and equal human beings. The fight is nasty and dirty just like dirt was then. A lot of people were branded heretics for being popped to slavery and later to segregation. So it is now.

    But Christianity wasn’t paying attention to the fact their feuding over the central humanity of others is causing people (gay and straight) to walk away from Christianity. People are sick and tired of religions singling out a people group for hate, discrimination, and mistreatment. Christianity is a sick religion that needs a people group to mistreat. Ordinary Americans are tired of that shit. They aren’t going to attend any church that speaks hate toward their gay family members, co-worker, friends, and neighbors. And gay people sure as hell aren’t going to put up with that.

  • Yeah, best to leave, Catholics should be fighting the Protestants anyway.

    And just how many people are actually left in Maine? Maybe the Catholics could offer some indulgences to get people to live in Maine. — But none of you gay-affirmers — you stay out of the RCC and become a schism Methodist.

  • IT’s funny how the organizations that lecture the most about ‘morality’ are the ones who prove not to have any. We’re well rid of them.

  • It’s the issue that conservative Catholics and evangelicals have chosen to fight and die on. Society will move on without them, and surviving Christians will look back and wonder what they were thinking to embrace bigotry and hate in defiance of the teachings of Jesus.

    You don’t even need to go back to slavery for an example. The same thing happened with the black civil rights movement; right-wing Christians who opposed it are now pretending they were on Dr. King’s side all along.

  • Yep. These boys know that Jesus preached nothing but exclusion and condemnation 24/7; that’s why they’re so amazingly popular!

  • It’s always funny when religious nuts post bible verses and claim them as ‘facts.’ It’s like they’ve forgotten that their magic book doesn’t actually turn people into believers. (More often the opposite, in fact.)

  • Indeed. A lot of Christian churches seem to have trouble understanding that they need society a lot more than society needs them. And they’re not doing a very good job of selling their product.

  • Oh, cut the baloney. That “fear and loathing” shtick is getting old. I would suggest it is you who really need to “Remember what Christ taught”. The very first thing he taught when He began His ministry was: “Repent”. Urging people to repent of their sins (yes, even sexual sins!) is hardly “fear and loathing”; it is fulfilling the teaching of Christ Himself.

  • You’re welcome to peddle your toxic anti-Christian version of Christianity and label it “authentic” all you like, Mr. Lee.

    But in the real world, I’m afraid you will have to live with the consequences of your behavior, like anyone else. One of the big consequences is obviously that people seeking authentic Christianity are heading elsewhere to find authentic Christianity. They’re repudiating — in droves — your nasty male-entitled heterosexist and misogynistic gospel in version of what they can plainly read in the actual gospels.

    Where Jesus never says a single word about what obssesses you as the center of his message — homosexuality. Not. A. Single. Word.

    Not a single word about what obssesses you.

    And where people know the real score about “Gay Goliath,” where they know who has the power in his hands and uses it to attack, lie about, vilify, and restrict the rights of a minority group whose members experience actual physical assaults on an ongoing basis throughout the U.S. and around the world.

    You’re welcome to all of this and to your right to pretend it’s real Christianity and has some real connection to Jesus Christ. But I have rights, too, as a Christian. I have the right to call you out and to challenge the claim of men like you to own Jesus and the gospels, when what you do and represent are absolutely antithetical to Jesus and the gospels.

    Causing a mass exodus of younger Christians from the churches today — for which you and men like you are responsible….

  • As with so many other topics, it doesn’t matter what the user manual states, it’s how the employees carry out the message. Very few folks from the LGBTQ community feel welcome in Roman Church parishes.

  • Ah, yes, the inevitable “arc of history”, Mr. “Lindsey”.

    “We will bury you.”

    As to “the massive numbers of millennials” – they don’t exist.

  • Why else would zealots keep posting verses over and over and calling them “proof” of something other than their own opinion?

  • Ahh, I hoped you’d fall for it, and you did. I post Bible verses when people claim to be following the teachings of the Bible–to prove that they’re not. (And quite successfully, too.) But then, I don’t pretend the Bible is anything special, and they do. It’s quite delicious when I expose that I know their book better than its True Believers(TM) do.

  • In order to buy any of your posts, you do have to “fall for it”.

    But you have a line of cr-pola yourself that repeat as little mantras, over, and over, and over, even after they’ve been debunked.

    In short, you are the pot calling the kettle black.

  • Debunking requires evidence, and you’ve already stated that you can’t be bothered to provide any. You’re not very good at this, are you?

  • I am a lot better at it than you are.

    Or are you still touting mind mavens?

    Gadflies never win.

  • If one is going to have an ecumenical or interfaith group , then the only position that can be taken is a unanimous decision or none at all. What if they took a vote on whether wine, grape juice or no liquid is OK when serving communion to congregants? The reason there are eight or more denominations on this council, is the fact each has a difference of opinion which keeps it separated from other denominations.. The only thing in common is that these each believe they are the true church that God intended.

  • Reading Kruschev again, huh?

    It’s amazing how the “inevitable arc of history” is never inevitable.

  • As younger people walk away from Christian churches that show to the world a cruel, compassion-empty face while claiming to represent Jesus Christ, it’s not lost on them that the gay-bashing some Christians engage in is the antithesis of the message of Jesus Christ.

    Who never said a single word about the topic that obssesses so many Christians today — about the condemnation of LGBTQ people . . . .

    But who embodied compassion and hinged his entire moral proclamation on the obligation to love . . . .

    It’s not lost on young people leaving the churches in droves that there’s something cruel and deceitful about the pretense of some Christians that the LGBT community is “Gay Goliath,” when Chris Huizar and Gabriel Roman were stabbed in Denver last week simply for walking down the street holding hands.

    There there are these names:

    Celine Walker

    Tonya Harvey

    Phylicia Mitchell

    Amia Tyrae Berryman

    Sasha Wall

    Nono Fortson

    Those are the names of African-American transgender women killed in the U.S. in 2018 alone — killed because of who they were.

    When people are being assaulted and killed due to their sexual identities, the claim that the LGBTQ community represents some “Gay Goliath” is especially sickening to hear — and all the more when it comes out of the mouths of Christians who profess to represent the African-American Christian community. Young folks today are not stupid. They are not ill-informed. They are technologically skilled.

    They can read the latest headlines and learn what’s going on in the world around them — who’s the real Goliath, who’s doing the oppressing, who’s the object of the oppression.

    And if they’re Christian young people, they will make their choices accordingly. Why would any informed young Christian want to remain connected to Christian churches that lie about fellow human beings in this way, and show such an ugly, compassion-devoid face to them — while claiming to represent Christiantiy in a more authentic way than anyone else in the world?

    It’s good the Catholic diocese of Portland has let people know on whose side it stands in these matters. They can and will make their moral and religious decisions accordingly.

  • It has not become “the single defining issue of Christianity”.

    It does appear to be the single issue about Christianity that Christophobes stopping by from JoeMyGod like to chew on.

  • Well, this is a bit calmer than your off-the-top-of-your-head effort earlier this morning was, which you wisely deleted.

    The evidence that younger people are walking away from Christian churches in response to what you like to call “gay-bashing” appears to be slim and none.

    The Who who never said a single word about the topic that obsesses you is probably the same Who who never mentioned fornication, and for the same reason.

    When the Supreme Court of the United States overrides 3,000 years of Judeo-Christian tradition and over 250 years of consistent American law, placing its foot squarely on the neck of the people with Obergefell v. Hodges, the claim that the LGBTQ community does not represent a “Gay Goliath” rings hollow.

    It is good that the Catholic diocese of Portland has let people know on whose side it stands with its church and traditional Christianity.

  • If you look at “This comment was deleted” below, that is the only trace of your correspondent’s knee-jerk reaction to your comment.

    I wish I had archived it – it was a doozy.

  • The one thing we do know for certain is that the communion bread has to contain gluten. We know this for sure, because Cardinal Sarah told us so. No doubt, he has also informed Jesus of his decision.

  • FYI – there have been approximately 450,000 abortions in the US this year; just for being who they are. They never had a chance to have a name.

  • Placed its foot on the next of Good Christians like yourself?

    After 2000 yearsof prisons, murders, executions, suicides, destroyed families, destroyed careers, destroyed lives?

    No one is every going to force you to get gay married. This is exactly what Nr. Lindsey was saying.

    Disgusting, most holy bob, even for you.

  • Well, when are you going to “expose” that? So far you’ve intimated that the Jesus of the Bible directed no accountability between believers and had your proposition easily disproved. What else have you got?

  • None of those were born people. But its good to know about your desire to treat women as your chattel property who must do as you command. It keeps everyone else from mistaking you for a moral person.

    Your need to interject that bit of nonsense also shows that “good Christian folk” like yourself probably condone such murders

  • I guess if you feel like defining your Christian belief by whom you hate, then it is a good decision. If one is looking for moral and spiritual guidance from such beliefs then one definitely needs to look elsewhere. Good to know.

  • You don’t have to be born to be a person.

    Birth is nothing more then a stage in development.

  • Nope – actually agreeing that’s it’s wrong to attack a certain group because of who they are.

  • Says the Christian spammer who can’t comprehend the fact that his religion is going the way of the dinosaur.

  • You always miss the point, it would seem, namely that gay people are sick and tired of being tortured and murdered by Christians.

  • Riiight, that was your intention with that remark. No, you seem to be a one trick pony with only one issue you want to talk about.

    The whole purpose of your remark was to derail the conversation against the point made. That Conservative Christian bigotry against LGBT people has a body count of actual people.

    Your alleged concern for life evidently doesn’t apparently extend to those outside a womb. Oh well.

  • As a Young person, I can assure you that Young people are totally leaving the church in response to “gay bashing”, as well as the rampant pedophilia. The “Anti-gay Goliath” that is your religion is going the way of the dinosaur. Get used to it.

  • There is no such thing as “mind mavens”. You are just afraid of people who think.

  • Actually you do.

    Being born is the clearest definition of a person. It means being physically autonomous and independent existence from all others. Personhood is not a zero sum existence. You can’t grant it to a fetus without removing it from the mother.

    “Birth is nothing more then a stage in development.”

    One where their existence is entirely conditional on the will and bodily systems of a person with their own lives and choices.

    But its also good to know you would rather discuss this nonsense than address the fact that Conservative Christian bigotry against the LGBT has a body count which is not only growing but actively encouraged by the likes of you.

  • Gay-bashing is the single defining feature of Christianity that homophobes such as yourself like to chew on.

  • Yes, we do. You are simply in denial about the fact that you raging homophobes are outnumbered by younger generations. Bye-bye, LOL!

  • Homophobia is not morally acceptable in the 21st century. Hurry up and get raptured.

  • Your effort to create “moral equivalency” with that impersonal statistic only serves to show what a cold, heartless effort the anti-abortion movement actually is as an arm of the equally cold and hateful Christian White movement of social conservatives who are motivated by personal animus, resentment and greed, not love, hope and charity as they falsely try to claim. The fact that you acknowledge that the aborted fetuses were never named is also an admission that they lacked the vital element of “personhood.” The Trans women who were all murdered by “good Christians” were real people with real lives, not statistics to be tossed out like water from a garden hose.

  • Nope. You were trying to cancel the impact of the previous statement by pushing your anti-abortion agenda. All you do is highlight how that movement places no value on the lives of humans once they are born. Anti-abortionists only worry about “life” in the context of sticking their noses into the lives of women in emotional crisis over unwanted pregnancies and force their own twisted values on those women.

  • Wrong again. “Personhood” under the law is granted at birth, even when the birth is premature. No civil rights accrue to the fetus under the law pre-partem.

  • Sounds like a classic case of “taking my ball and going home if the rules of the game aren’t to my liking.” How childish.  

  • “When the Supreme Court of the United States overrides 3,000 years of Judeo-Christian tradition and over 250 years of consistent American law, placing its foot squarely on the neck of the people with…” pick any civil right you choose to put here and you will be just as historically wrong and bigoted as you were in trying to put the weight of history behind your ridiculous effort to turn homophobia into a “virtue.”

  • Wrong again. Putin is Kruschev’s heir, making Trump and all Trumpkins the acolytes of Russian evils, not the social progressives.

  • Your homophobic reading of the New Testament does not constitute “fact” in any empirical sense of the word. That’s just “false pride” getting in the way of common sense.

  • But you gotta admit, Vladimir Putin is sorta cool in his own way. He’s the only president who beat Barack Obama in the style department.

    They say Putin has so many martial-arts black-belts, the man doesn’t even need a Secret Service anymore.

    (Now THAT’s leadership !!)

  • It’s always funny when bible-thumpers like yourself claim to believe in “magic”, like virgin birth.

  • It is playing to the pews. Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer in the pews. In time, the only people left in the pews will be the dogma addicts.

  • Yuck. Thanks for sharing your true colors and that’s not a compliment. The mix of Marxism and Racism in among “social conservatives” is very ugly in fact.

  • “Traditional” Christianity thinks that gay people are less than human. So, no, it does not please gay people to be dehumanized by religious bigots like yourself.

  • You think that a virgin gave birth, therefore your grasp of the “facts” is clearly lacking.

  • What do you know about my pet situation? Nothing, which is also what you know about abortion and gay rights.

  • The unborn are the dominion of the born. Whose dominion are you under, exactly? Bob Arnzen?

  • Putin is cool?????????????????

    Tell that to the families of the people that he persecuted and ordered murdered — including Skripal and Litvinenko..

  • Spoken like a stupid Christian who actually believes that a virgin can give birth. Your grasp of human reproduction is clearly lacking.

  • Oh, putting people into groups again are we? I thought that you don’t like those types of things…. interesting. Do as I say, not as I do.
    Oh yeah, about attacking people; you seem to do that pretty well too.
    You should try to be more nice.

  • Thank you. Exactly. Real people being harmed for just being themselves, their whole real lives destroyed by someone who wanted to play God.

  • To someone who thinks they have the right to force people to breed against their will? Why even bother? It’s not worth the trouble.

    Maybe you should try adjusting your attitude to reflect the reality of life in the 21st century, where people have control of their own bodies.

  • So God gives them a name when they get to heaven — or maybe a number?

    Miscarried people too — and embryo’s in the lab? How does God identify them?

  • Sandi and JP can join you — but they may not be a Catholics…So you will have to fight over who gets in to heaven, faithm, works, purgatory, etc…

    …unless John Calvin was right all along !!

  • I believe what you meant to write instead of “homophobic reading of” was “reading consistent with 3,000 years of constant Judeo-Christian exegesis of the Old Testament and”.

    Either that or you been getting your exegesis from comic books.

  • Odd, isn’t it, that it you and your friends who keep threatening “We will bury you!”?

    “Social progressives” seems to be a synonym for “doctrinaire Leninists”.

  • This “civil right” appeared from nowhere beyond the fertile mind of Justice Kennedy.

    The quality of Kennedy is not strained; It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the beneficiaries beneath.

  • You’ve been rather singularly unsuccessful in producing any of your own.

    How is your project on sourcing minority rights sans natural law coming?

  • Placing its foot on the neck of society.

    How many times have you been murdered, imprisoned, executed, committed suicide, had your family, career, or life destroyed?

    We live in a society. We get to vote on what it looks like, except of course when 5 appointed justices start fabricating things out of thin air.

  • Nice try at making personal prejudice appear to be based in logic and reason but you fail. Cases arrive at the US Supreme Court at the end of a long process. Equal Marriage is just one part of an ongoing struggle for full LGBTQ Civil Rights that has been going on since the Stonewall Riots of 1969. Your pretense of a lack of history or historicity in the matter only serves to underscore your own disingenuous intent.

  • You keep trying and failing to equate social progress in a free democracy with the regressive policies of totalitarian dictators, having yourself helped to elect as President someone who admires dictators and is in the pocket of Putin.

  • Your claim to 3K years of religious historicity is silly and farsical on its face; the translations alone are the modern doodles of bigots without anthropological root in the cultures and societies that produced the mythical texts that you try to foist on society as some absolute “truth” when the whole thing is itself a fraud.

  • Putin is KGB-trained from Day One, Alexandra. Everybody knows what can happen if those guys perceive you (rightly or wrongly) to be an enemy of the state.

    But President Trump, you’ll remember, shut up the liberal media VERY quickly when asked about Putin and “killers”:

    “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?”

    Ouch! Nobody saw that coming. You and I, as Americans, tolerate certain unspoken things just like Putin does for Russia. Hello?

  • Your claim against 3,000 years of Judeo-Christian belief is silly and farcical on its face.

    The notion that there was any contrary opinion in any school of either Abrahamic religion prior to 1900 +/- 50 years is completely imaginary.

  • A decision by 5 justices overturning over 1,200 years of Anglo-American law and jurisprudence and imposing a basic change on entire society based on nothing but fortune cookie aphorisms is dictatorial on its face, beyond what even Putin has attempted.

  • The case arrived at the Supreme Court after a long and expensive propaganda campaign tailored to appeal to Justice Kennedy’s ego and desire to go down in history.

    Beyond that, nada.

  • Oh come on already. This I-hate-Putin political schtick is so fake. The Cold War is over already.

    And yes, for whatever reason, Putin did actually defeat Obama in the “most influential” department or something. Which is why their relationship was less than amiable.

  • For the record: in this thread, Mr. Arnzen states that a comment I deleted below addressed Mr. Lee and was a “doozy.” As anyone looking at the thread and the deleted comment to which he is referring below can easily see, my comment was addressed to Mr. Arnzen, not Mr. Lee. It was addressed to Mr. Arnzen’s comment which says, “It certainly helps Catholics understand,” and then blah, blah, blah.

    My “doozy” of a comment simply said to Mr. Arnzen, “Whatever you need to tell yourself, Mr. Arnzen.”

    Then I thought better of engaging this poster, who continuously responds to almost anything I post at RNS with comments attacking personally and who has a fast and free relationship with the truth, and I deleted the comment.

  • It’s true that America has perpetrated evil — slavery and Jim Crow among those that head the list. Our support for right-wing dictators, like Pinochet and Moammad Reza Pahlavi, to name just two, our dismal history in Central America, our ongoing racism and xenophobia…. the list is long.

    However, given all of that, if you think that the US can be compared to Putin’s Russia — well, I suggest improving your knowledge of world history and a closer investigations of life in today’s Russia for those who disagree with Putin.

  • Nope. Obama as a real American simply and rightly disapproved of the same Putin corruption and criminality that Trump so openly embraces, no conspiracy theories needed to explain the difference.

  • That is just more of the same nonsensical horse manure that the Christian White tells itself to feel self-righteous in their unchristian bigotry.

  • The vote count on the Supreme Court is just another day bigotted scam to discredit the rule of law under the US Constitution.

  • Unless you have something substantive to add to the conversation, which to this point you have not, I understand you won’t mind if I block you so I don’t have to weed through your assessments to respond to intelligent comments worth responding to.

  • Unless you have something substantive to add to the conversation, which to this point you have not, I understand you won’t mind if I block you so I don’t have to weed through your various assessments to respond to intelligent comments worth responding to.

  • There are 3 Abrahamic religions not just two. And our modern understanding of sexual orientation is what did not exist back then. By your view, you should get offline because the media upon which we are having this debate has even less history than our understanding of LGBTQ.

  • We were discussing the two in Anglo-American jurisprudence, Islam having until very recently zero effect.

    Their understanding of sexual orientation was sufficient for the purposes. For example, even if someone was an overheated heterosexual, it did not serve as an excuse for disrupting society by doing a Harvey Weinstein.

  • I recall the difference, watching our children being born.

    Seems they were quite active before & after birth, especially vocal .

  • So that makes you dishonest rather than foolish for clearly ignoring such important facts and distinctions. Oh well.

  • Which is hate, but a spineless form of it. One which pretends it is not obvious about it. Yet in both words and practice the hate is obvious.

    Even your own quotes from the catechism denoted gays as lessers among them. “Disordered” folk up be treated with a patronising behavior rather than as a full fledged members like all others. Something to warrant exclusion but short of obvious attack.

    Yet entirely in practice from Cardinals all the way down to parish priests and lay school administrators, gays are treated to nothing but hate, discrimination, and malice. Anything to avoid treating gays like human beings and willing to spite anyone who disagrees with such stances.

    Conservative / Reactionary churches have always taken to defining themselves by those they hate and to supporting discriminatory status quo. The only major difference we it’s the RCC is its central leadership, age and resources.

  • Because I recognize that a virgin can’t give birth, for one thing, nor do I tell you how to have sex with your wife. Ever tried anal, or masturbation, for that matter? They’re really not as sinful as you make them out to be. No one cares about your millennia-old bigotry. You need to deal with the rampant pedophilia within your ranks, before anyone will take your opinions about “sexual sins” seriously.

  • That you do not understand that the One who created the universe can do whatever He wishes, is not a reason to take you seriously.

    As for your sexual advice, no thanks. We really don’t care about your approval of perverted acts.

    I am not aware of “rampant” pedophilia in our ranks; no greater than among the general population.
    Perhaps most of our Priests being married men (no mandatory celibacy requirement) is helpful in this vis a vis churches that do require celibate priests.

  • Fascinating. We LGBT+ people really don’t care about your approval of “perverted” acts, either. Seriously, try masturbation.

  • My brother did not “have difficulties” with the Catholic Church. He was rejected by the people running the Church. “Intrinsically disordered” is the insulting term used to describe gays. And don’t give me that twaddle about “oh, they are talking about the ‘homosexual tendency’, not homosexuals”. The “homosexual tendency” is an amorphous nothing, people are homosexuals.

    Yes, Christianity should not alter itself to fit your tastes, including your dislike of gays. Christ said that there are two great commandments: Love God and love your neighbor. When asked “who is my neighbor?”, Christ gave an example of a member of a group despised by Jews. We are to love everyone, including our LGBT brothers and sisters. Not to do so is to reject the most fundamental part of Christianity.

  • Have you asked Floyd how he “knows” that “ex-gays” scare us or make us nervous? Can you read his mind?

  • I never said I could read his mind. It’s Charlotte who claimed that. You should ask her about it.

  • I’d rather ask Floyd. Hopefully he’ll see this because I don’t feel like writing it twice.

  • You’re correct. I probably should have written, “…wafers look like real bread.” Thanks.

  • Justice Kennedy’s comments in this opinion make his near total lack of a clue about Americans and American society absolutely obvious.

  • My understand from what you have written is that he was told that same sex activity couldn’t be squared with being a practicing Catholic in good standing.

    That happens to be what that church teaches, whether you or he agree or agreed with it or not.

  • Masterpiece:

    “The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.”

    The man is in LaLa Land.

  • He was living a quite chaste life. He was rejected because he admitted he was gay. It was homophobia, pure and simple — like the fear and loathing of your LGBT brothers and sisters that you practice.

  • That version contradicts some other versions of the same story you’ve offered over the years.

    I seem to recall some words being exchanged.

  • Hi, John! Remember me? I hope you’re doing well and your wife’s health is better. Some folks have asked me to set up a new site to get some of the NCR gang back together. If you’re interested, contact me at [email protected] — even just to let me know you’re ok. – Monica.

  • I have NEVER changed that story, RD. Once again, you are lying. But then,. you lie more often than not. Are you ready to aplologize for falsely calling me a liar, when I proved you had done so? Or did your Opus Dei guru tell you that lying is not a sin?

  • Fortunately this discussion is sufficiently old that this all the reply I feel you’re entitled to.

  • Translation: Bob knows that he is lying, but has neither the grace nor the honesty to admit it. Bob is a conservative.

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