The Court Opens Door to Christian Persecution

Bible-Chains

Plutarch, the first-century Greek moralist who outlined four stages of a civilization, said that a society that has become libertine is in its next-to-last stage before its final descent into tyranny.  When tyranny is mentioned, most people, if they are old enough to remember, think of Mussolini and his secret police or Hitler and his jack-booted thugs.  After all, dictators are essentially cowards who not only operate in ambiguity but invariably get underlings to do their bidding.  Under the current Obama administration, government bodies such as the National Security Agency, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency, to name only a few, are amassing more and more power and becoming increasingly intrusive and tyrannical.  Obama himself really doesn’t have to say anything to the heads of these agencies.  Forget paper trails.  All he needs to do is give a “wink and a nod.”

Add one more body to the tally of tyrants who may have gotten Obama’s “wink and nod.”  The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has given its affirmative nod to homosexual marriage by striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The wording of their decisions doesn’t matter.  After all, if the SCOTUS is not against homosexual “marriage,” it is for it, just as our Lord said whoever is not for Him is against Him.

Furthermore, the SCOTUS betrayed a lack of judicial restraint as evidenced by an appeal to emotionalism in criticizing the defense of traditional marriage as serving to “degrade or demean,” to cause “injury and indignity,” to “disparage and injure” same-sex couples. Attorney Andrew M. Greenwell, citing the dissenting judges, particularly Justice Scalia, points out that the “fundamental premise of the majority opinion … is that any sort of held view that marriage and its benefits should be limited to one man and one woman … can only be motivated by ‘malice’ and ‘bigotry.’”

And it is this fundamental premise, which may seem ambiguous, that is extremely dangerous.  Unlike Roe vs. Wade, that led to the bathing of the American landscape with the blood of the innocents, this decision has the added potential of criminalizing the speech of anyone who supports traditional marriage.  Indeed, pro-lifers have a tough time, particularly in healthcare, but the added emotionalism of this latest decision will be more far-reaching in attacks on the First Amendment.

A decade ago in the spring of 2003, I was working at a healthcare facility in the Cleveland, Ohio area.  The human resources department began using a document that evaluated its workers on “open-mindedness, tolerance, and understanding,” politically correct, ambiguous words that often mean being accepting of moral depravity.  I received a lower mark in this particular area than anywhere else on the document.  When I pressed my nurse manager on this matter, she described me as “rigid,” and cited my religious beliefs regarding abortion.  “Rigid” is the secular humanist’s pejorative term for any individual who is a moral absolutist. I began challenging the nurse manager and the human resources department on this issue, which led to me being subjected to written scrutiny.  Fortunately, a strongly worded letter from an attorney pointing out the hospital’s unlawful behavior caused them to cease and desist.

In that same year, a Catholic philosophy professor, Dr. James Tuttle, came under attack for his religious beliefs.  In one of his classes he taught at a college in Lakeland, Ohio, a student asked him what the Catholic Church taught about homosexuality.  When he answered honestly, another student took issue, reported him to the school’s administration, and Tuttle was threatened with “monitoring,” and he eventually lost his job.  Apparently, it doesn’t pay to exercise integrity regarding the Catholic Faith in academe.  Tuttle did file a civil lawsuit and settled out of court in his favor.

These instances show not only how out-of-touch administrators are regarding the Constitution—particularly the First Amendment—but also a lack of rational, judicious restraint.  They often confuse political correctness as law.  The confusion is extensive.  It is unfortunate because it makes the lives of persons who live by deeply held religious beliefs very difficult.  Striving to live with integrity, they become inconvenienced, which causes suffering not only to themselves but to their families as well.  And now that the highest court in the land has used language that marginalizes traditional religious beliefs—which many will interpret as enshrined in law—we can expect an epidemic of inconveniences.  The language will invariably make its way into human resources department policies across the land.  Any objection to homosexuality will not be tolerated.  Federal employees will not even be allowed to be silent on the matter, as this will be interpreted as disapproval.  The effect will be beyond chilling.  This is worse than 1984, and George Orwell is turning in his grave.

Homosexuals will waltz into rectories and demand to be “married.”  Bet on it.  No doubt some denominations would be more than happy to accommodate them, but that isn’t enough for them.  Evil always expands of its own accord.  It is never content to be limited in any way.  After all, some homosexuals through litigation successfully coerced Christian bakers to provide cakes for their weddings.   And that was prior to the June 26, 2013 SCOTUS decision.  The backdrop of our currently all-intrusive, tyrannical federal government ensures difficulty for the Church.

Our Lord told us that following Him would not be easy.   Obedience to Christ will often cause inconveniences.  As our society continues its libertine decline and rejection of Christian Truth, we may see a lot of white martyrdom.  The red cloaks of our cardinals remind us of the blood of the martyrs.  Martyrs are not made overnight.  They are persons who consistently lived lives of integrity and clarity, and when their moment of Truth arrived, they were ready owing to the grace of God.  They could experience joy in the midst of great difficulty because their integrity opened them up to God’s infinity.  They did not tie God’s hands by getting caught up in webs of lies and distortions.  They courageously stand in bold relief and contrast to the deliberate ambiguity of cowards who lust for temporal power.

When we cooperate in Truth and truthfulness, we are allowing our Lord to continue creating us and moving us to greater, integral human fulfillment. Our “yes” will not bring the world’s  “wink and a nod,” but it will bring God’s.  Furthermore, the Church as a whole will need to differentiate itself from society through clarity.  Bold preaching is in order.  As Msgr. Charles Pope suggests, the Church should stress the use of the term “the sacrament of Holy Matrimony,” as opposed to “marriage” which secular society has muddled.   Pope writes, “the Biblical and Ecclesial definition of Holy Matrimony as heterosexual and procreative is reaffirmed by the term itself.”  This clarity and specificity bears witness to a confused society in a time when it is needed most.

Deborah Sturm

By

Deborah Sturm is a registered nurse and serves as the secretary of the National Association of Pro-Life Nurses. Her writing has appeared in several publications, including Lay Witness, the Catholic Social Science Review, and the Journal of Christian Nursing.

  • jacobhalo

    Thank you for your excellent article. Liberals like to tell us how opened-minded they are, but it seems that they don’t tolerate anyone who disagrees with them. e.g. a conservative who speaks on campus has to have armed guards lead him to the auditorium and more than likely the speaker will be shouted down by those (liberals) who disagree with him or her.

  • Steven Jonathan

    It is no small irony that malice and bigotry are the hallmarks of the homosexualist agenda. And as our public schools would have it, the majority of citizens hold opinions whose underlying ideology is undetectable, and further, awareness us such ideology is unwanted.

  • poetcomic1

    John C. Wright said it best:
    “You see, dear reader, have been sold a lie. You have been told from every television show and comedy routine and political cartoon since you were a child that tolerant and easy-going do-your-own thing vices are willing to live and let live, and that blue-nosed intolerant angry and judgmental virtues, motivated only by hate, are seeking out vice in order to destroy harmless pleasures, and will not leave well enough alone.

    The opposite is true. Vice is intolerant of virtue and cannot stand to share the same world with it. Saints know all men are sinners and forgive all. Sinners go mad trying to pretend sin is good and goodness is sin, and condemn all.”

    • newguy40

      Well saiid. AB Sheen said it pretty well too…

      “America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance. It is not. It is suffering
      from tolerance: tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue
      and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so much overrun with the
      bigoted as it is overrun with the broad-minded. The man who can make up his
      mind in an orderly way, as a man might make up his bed, is called a bigot.” Fulton
      J. Sheen

      • poetcomic1

        Wm. F. Buckley summed it up as well when he said today a man will have far greater qualms about throwing a piece of litter from his boat than about committing adultery in his boat.

        • Bono95

          Amen.

  • Florin S.

    Aug. 12th: and the reason this happens is because Christians and others play nice…we should start turning the table and bringing law suits against those who do not tolerate Christian beliefs and practices. It should start now!!! If we wait too long, it will be too late. Remember, one woman, Madeleine Murray O’Hare caused all prayer to be banned from public schools. One atheist causes Christmas decorations to be prohibited…why? Because Christians stand back and let them get away with it…

  • Uuncle Max

    The wheat is being separated from the chaff as we speak.

  • Uuncle Max

    History has shown us time and time again that the Church gets stronger in times of persecution.

    We will get through this – be not afraid. At the same time let’s not make the mistake of underestimating what we face.

  • Tony

    Academic leftists are aggressively intolerant — they SEEK occasions to take offense, as ambitious people seek power, and as sharks seek blood.

    • Adam Baum

      It’s profitable, Tony. Somewhwere along the line, courts began deciding that contrived indignities were actionable offenses, to be met not only with estoppels and other equitable remedies, but good old cash. The litigants get to experience the intoxicating effects of power, get rich and the judiciary gets power and the acclaim of the legal echo chamber.

    • Me

      Yes, it’s only academic leftists who are taking offense over US . Windsor.

  • Me

    ” The wording of their decisions doesn’t matter. After all, if the SCOTUS is not against homosexual “marriage,” it is for it, just as our Lord said whoever is not for Him is against Him.”
    It’s a little ironic to claim persecution and tyranny while simultaneously complaining about marriage equality. In striking down DOMA, the Supreme Court removed persecution and tyranny.

    • James1

      Please explain how declaration of Truth is tyranny.

      DOMA merely attempted to codify what marriage IS. Marriage existed prior to the US – as well as what we know as Western Civilization – so how does a “young pipsqueak” of a country like the US get to change something that is God’s design?

      • Me

        Firstly, nobody is saying that your right to declare what you believe to be true is tyrannous. Under many circumstances, people have a constitutional right to use hate speech (the Supreme Court even upheld Fred Phelps’ right to picket military funerals.) It’s simply that an increasing number of people disagree with your understanding of “Truth.” You have every right to disagree with them vociferously; you have no right to silence them or to impose your own opinions on the courts.

        Secondly, we don’t live in a theocracy run by extremist ultra-conservative Christians. We live in a pluralist society. Not everyone agrees with your understanding of “God’s design.” 54% of Catholics, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll, support marriage equality. You may not like it, but you are not going to be allowed to impose your individual world view on everyone else.

        Now if marriage is ever legally restricted to being only between two people of the SAME sex, you might have a point about tyranny and persecution. If that were to become the case, perhaps you’d be able to relate to how two gay men must have felt under DOMA.

        • James1

          Apparently, logic escapes you.

          The Church declares certain Truths which are obligatory on one who claims to be a catholic. Should one reject outright those Truths negates one’s claim to be a catholic.

          If you are in any way familiar with Christ’s teachings, you would recall at no time did Christ poll the populace before teaching. A Truth as declared by the Holy Church is not subject to an individual’s whim.

          My original comment placed the US (and by extension, the SCOTUS) in an inferior position to God and His designs. Therefore your argument that we do not live in a theocracy is pointless, as the structure of ANY government – of ANY State – is irrelevant to the Truth as set forth by Christ and His bride, the Church.

          My authority on this matter is higher than the USA, any of its appendages, or anyone’s personal urges (mine included).

          • Me

            What you see as Truth is and should be important to you. It isn’t necessarily either true or important to anyone else. Your right to believe and express your views are protected. What is totally illogical here is to claim you are being persecuted when anyone expresses disagreement or when a law is changed. Your claims about being Catholic are fodder for another thread. All I will say here is that I think you should avoid setting yourself up as the arbiter of who is or isn’t “properly Catholic.”

            • newguy40

              “…isn’t necessarily either true or important to anyone else…”

              A perfect screen name for the modern secularist. “Me” That about sums the nihilist approach that says, “..there is no truth or my truth is as good as your truth” Go back read both my posts.

              You are wrong, “me”. The Truth can be known thru Faith and Reason. Christ is the Way and the Truth.

              • Me

                “That about sums the nihilist approach that says, “..there is no truth or my truth is as good as your truth” ”

                Perhaps you don’t see the irony here. There are differences of opinion even among popes as to what constitutes “the real truth.”

                • James1

                  “There are differences … as to what constitutes ‘the real truth.'”

                  Examples, please, especially those that demonstrate a pope denying Divinely Revealed Truth.

                  Also, when a pope expresses an opinion, it is not infallible, doctrine/dogma, nor binding on the faithful.

                  • Me

                    Francis’ recent comments have suggested openness to the idea of gay priests; Benedict XVI opposed the ordination of gay priests. Google “popes slavery” and “popes usury” for some other interesting developments. However, the point is not whether or not there is Absolute Truth. No doubt there is. The point isn’t even whether or not any of us holds a claim to know the Absolute Truth. The point is whether or not any of these claimants to the Absolute Truth should make decisions for the rest of us. Absolutism is a problem in the Islamic theocratic world. We don’t want a theocracy here at home either. While your views may be very admirable and you may fully believe they represent Truth, we live in a pluralistic society where we are free to disagree. In as far as the political process makes it possible, we share in law-making decisions as a society. So, yes, of course you can go on opposing SSM, but don’t claim to be persecuted by tyrants when you can’t overthrow the existing system and impose your own views as law.

                    • Bono95

                      I haven’t heard his Holiness’s comments on the subject, but I have heard that they were taken out of context by many and thereby misunderstood. Whatever he said, I am certain he wasn’t open to the idea of condoning homosexuality in any way.

                    • Me

                      He didn’t condone it, but he did say, “Who am I to judge?” He is right. Who is any of us to judge? The “taken out of context” comments seem to translate roughly into “I really wish he hadn’t said that!”:-) But read what he said and decide for yourself.

                    • newguy40

                      In all charity, you have not provided any reputable sources of any holy father contradicting divine revelation or Tradition. These should be in the form of a letter from the Holy Father. If you have such, then pls provide. What you heard in the media is not acceptable. And, frankly, if you are as engaged as you appear to be, then it shouldnt be good enough for you either.
                      Let us be clear here. Francis is rightly saying, “Who am I to judge” This reflects Christ teaching’s very well. However, you may be mistaking mercy for tolerance. Mercy is for the sinner and not the sin. In this case, homosex. While Christ was merciful and forgiving he was not tolerant of sin. One has only to review the Gospel of the woman taken in adultery. Christ did not tolerate her sin any more than he tolerated the sin of those juding her. But, the difference is that she repented and “went” and sinned no more. We are not to tolerate sin. We are not to accept or excuse it by the wrongful tolerance you appear to be ascribing to.

                    • Pay

                      I read it. He did not endorse “gay” anything. He spoke about people who fall and seek Christ not who lobby for immorality.

                    • James1

                      Well, why should *anybody* make decisions for us, then? And I mean the mob that votes.

                      Would you rather be subject to the decision of the one who knows Truth, or the one who knows little-to-no truth?

                      And, by the way, explain how those in the US are “imposing” their views as law, when the only process available is the (supposed) republican form of government extant? That “We” are stating what the Church declares as Truth is hardly an imposition on anyone.

                      The imposition of “views” seems mighty one way of late.

            • James1

              In the context of a Catholic discussion, Truth is not “what I see,” it is what is divinely revealed and taught by the Magisterium of the Church. It is also what you ignore when you continue to couch your argument(s) in a secular context of “legality.”

              You also fail to realize I made no claim to persecution “when anyone expresses disagreement…” The evidence is to the contrary, as those who argue for “homosexual marriage” show by their actions.

              I am no arbiter of who is or isn’t “properly Catholic,” but I can make a conclusion that rejecting that which defines one as catholic (accepting, sincerely and with humility, those defining Truths as set forth by the Church), pretty much makes one reject their claim to be catholic.

              There is no “catholic church” that allows its members to decide for themselves what is Divinely Revealed Truth.

          • Michael Paterson-Seymour

            “The Church declares certain Truths which are obligatory on one who claims to be a catholic.” That is certainly true and, in a democracy, “we do not call upon the people to decide because we are aware of our ignorance of what is the good, but because we know this truth, and this good, that the people have a right to self-government,” as the Catholic philosopher, Jacques Maritain pointed out. That is the true meaning of pluralism.

        • newguy40

          “…we don’t live in a theocracy run by extremist ultra-conservative Christians.”
          Thanks for proving the point of the thesis.
          When you start equating those who support natural union between and a man and a woman as advocating for a theocracy, you’ve lost all credibility.
          Oh and btw, who gives a darm about some poll. The Truth is the truth even if few people recognize or accept it.

          • Adam__Baum

            What would be funny if weren’t so sad is that the high priests of the church of indifference don’t seem to understand the old dictum “nature hates a vacuum”. Given the pace of change in the modern world, they might get to see “a theocracy run by extremist ultra-conservative”(s) of the Islamic variety.

          • Me

            “Oh and btw, who gives a darm about some poll. The Truth is the truth even if few people recognize or accept it.”

            No doubt, but ask three people what “Truth” is, and you’ll get three different answers. It’s when you start claiming your Truth is the only one that counts that we need to start worrying about theocracy.

        • newguy40

          Here is another one for you. It’s from the Catechism.

          “157 Faith is certain. It is more certain than all human knowledge because it is founded on the very word of God who cannot lie. To be sure, revealed truths can seem obscure to human reason and experience, but “the certainty that the divine light gives is greater than that which the light of natural reason gives.” 31 “Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt.” ”
          Get that? Faith is certain because it comes from God who neither decieves nor can be decieved.
          This is not a matter of “…understanding of the truth…” as you put it. This is secular relativism.
          You would relegate Catholicism to Sunday “services” and only an interior relationship. This is false. We are called to be the light on the hill and the leven in the bread. Our Faith informs all our actions. It cannot be otherwise.

          • Me

            “Get that? Faith is certain because it comes from God who neither decieves nor can be decieved. ”
            You’re trying to get yourself from “Faith” to your own personal understanding of how your own faith should manifest in public policy to public legislation. Sorry, but there are over 300 million people living in the US, and you’re only one of them. It’s OK for you to want all laws decided and approved by newguy40, but it’s not going to happen.

            • Bono95

              “Own personal understanding?!”

              Newguy40 is quoting from the Catechism of the Catholic Church; the understanding taught in the CCC is the same understanding held by all faithful Catholics in all times and all places.

              • Me

                Yes, that is his own personal understanding. The CCC is clear about homosexuality but does not advocate for any particular policy position (such as upholding DOMA) and condemns any unjust discrimination against gays. EVEN IF they accept the teachings of the CCC uncritically, faithful Catholics are perfectly capable of figuring out the intersection of policy and theology for themselves by using their minds and consciences and will arrive at different conclusions about implementation of their faith in publi policy. I have no problem with James’s position. He is free to hold it. The points I’m trying to make are: 1) He (and others like him) should not feel entitled to impose their own views on others as law; and 2) He (and others like him) have no room to whine about being persecuted and tyrannized when they don’t get their own way. We live in a diverse and pluralistic society here in the US, not one dominated by a small group of ultra-conservative Christians.

                • James1

                  The key word is “unjust.” It is just to deny homosexuals that which, by God, belongs to heterosexuals.

                  The faithful are to use their *properly-formed conscience*. A properly-formed conscience is more likely to result in decisions much closer to Church teaching than what you seem to advocate.

                  I raise my brow that you claim no problem with my position.

                  Now, by the numbers:
                  1) I feel just as entitled as you seem to be. You STILL refuse to recognize that those “own views” are those of the *Church*, not my own. I accept them as better than my own. “We” do not impose them any more than the sexually disordered impose their views on “us.” In fact, I would argue “We” do so to a much lesser extent.

                  2) WHINE?! What in the name of God’s green earth are the sexually disordered doing when they do not get *their* way?! It’s not enough that “We” work/eat/play with them, rather they demand we defer to their *every* desire. Perhaps *everybody* should demand the “right” to their every desire? Please try to tell me that would result in a well-ordered society.

                  It’s a mob. Diversity and pluralism of the type you seem to note is fragmenting society. That is disorder. A mob that advocates indulgence in every pleasure advocates its own ruin.

                  Examine history.

                  • Bono95

                    Yeah, “diversity” by definition is NOT strength. It has the same roots as the words “divide” and “division”. A group can be different in appearances, backgrounds, personalities, and certain opinions, but for them to be strong and united, they must have at least one unifying principle on which they all agree.

                • Michael Susce

                  “He (and others like him) should not feel entitled to impose their own views on others as law”. This statement logically undermines everything that Me has asserted. Their own view, i.e. Supreme Court and proponents of homosexual marriage HAS been imposed on others as the law. So it is a self denying statement. Law is an imposition of a view. This is inescapable.
                  And by the way, Me, what is your position;) on the Man Boy Love Association with their motto: Sex before eight before it’s too late?
                  Using your argument, we are a pluralistic society and your truth is different from my truth then certainly we must be compassionate and loving to those of differing beliefs.
                  NPR produced a documentary that compared the black civil rights with the gay civil rights clearly implying that hatred of homosexuals is the same as hatred of blacks.
                  And by the way the only thing that replaces a theocracy is an atheocracy which produced the likes of Hitler, Stalin and Mao. No thanks.
                  And finally, to accept as natural the insertion of an erect penis into a rectum full of feces is beyond the scope of basic human dignity.

                • newguy40

                  This is not my personal understanding. Here is the Catechism specifically on homosex.

                  2357 Homosexuality
                  refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or
                  predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a
                  great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its
                  psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred
                  Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave
                  depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are
                  intrinsically disordered.”142 They are contrary to the natural law.
                  They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a
                  genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be
                  approved.

                  Acts are Grave depravity.
                  Acts are intrinsically disorder
                  No where here or in any other post of mine am I advocating for discrimination of homosexuals. If you see such, then pls point them out to me now.
                  Shall I quote the catechism to you on other subjects that you appear to be ignorant of?
                  Necessity of defense of natural marriage and the reasons?

            • James1

              The Church requests the faithful be active in a society that allows such activity, so those faithful may help lead that society toward a more Christian order. Those faithful that promote what is counter to Church teaching, put their own souls in jeopardy, as well as society (and by extension, the souls of others).

              If you consider yourself a catholic, why do you not argue from the grounds of Church teaching? Sure, you quote back some CCC, but you avoid that the Church teaches – and holds to – that Marriage is a sacrament, is between a man and a woman, and is instituted by God. God, by the way, is smarter than the millions within the US, has more authority than the SCOTUS, and has the Church to teach His Truth.

              It is irrelevant how many people live in the US, and it is irrelevant what the mob wants. Sheer numbers does not make them right. That the mob may get its way in no way leads to a better society.

        • Bono95

          James1 is not imposing his individual world view on you or anyone else. He is explaining and defending the truth. In doing so, he must necessarily expose falsehoods, but he is not passing judgment on anyone who adheres to those false views or forcing them to accept “his” view (which is not just James’s, but God’s, the Catholic Church’s, and that of all faithful Catholics, including myself, and all non-Catholics who are honest truth-seekers). And he is doing it for the sake of those who hold the false views. The truth will set them free, if only they will listen to it and accept it, and James cannot truly “make” them accept without their free will and consent, even if he were to use force.

          • Me

            No problem with that, but that’s not the issue here. The issue is whether those who oppose SSM are being “persecuted” because they’re not getting their own way. The answer is they are not.

            • Bono95

              Not everyone who opposes SSM has been persecuted, but several have, and several more will be before this is over.

            • James1

              No, the issue is *we will* face persecution for refusal to accept – as *marriage* – a homosexual “togetherness” that is *called* marriage.

              As mentioned in the article about the required recognition of a child’s sexual “choice,” the weight of law will require one to accept what is counter to their faith, let alone fact.

              Those who have refused to sell pastries, flowers, and what-not to homosexuals – in the exercise of their conscience – have faced much negative media, lawsuits, and other threats. Just one incident: http://www.wcsh6.com/news/national/article/230102/44/Oregon-bakery-refuses-to-sell-wedding-cake-to-same-sex-couple

              In light of the above, the striking down of DOMA, and the defeat in California, I have no doubt the demands for mandatory recognition of any whim will follow. After all, the SCOTUS said so, yes?

            • windward

              The problem is (1) calling something marriage doesn’t make it so, but (2) it does, when made the law of the land in a misguided attempt at fairness, interfere BIGTIME with people’s religious freedom, one of the foundations of this country’s origins, by having the effect of forcing schools, churches, businesses, lawmakers, social service workers and private citizens to accept and be complicit in something which their belief systems tell them is immoral and contrary to God’s laws, or FACE PENALTIES. Such laws and the interpretation thereof are acting aggressively to STIFLE free speech on the subject, not only for religious people but for serious thoughtful atheists who consider that the institution of marriage between one man and one woman is foundational to society. So, not only is religious persecution already a real issue, but freedom of speech is being cavalierly dispensed with as only one possible opinion is now allowed – or face the consequences. This should disturb you.

    • Steven Jonathan

      Me,
      Your comments on here are decidedly not Catholic, and worse, the words you use do not correspond to reality. Do you really arrogate to yourself the authority to invent the meanings of the words “persecution and tyranny?” DOMA, and proclaiming that marriage is between one man and one woman is not tyrannical at all. In fact it is an act of charity to speak truthfully about the damage done to both body and soul by intrinsically disordered homosexual acts. The tyranny comes from the homosexualists who refuse Catholics the right grounded in human dignity to even hold a contrary opinion. You may not call Truth tyranny and persecution and maintain integrity, but I am sure everyone on here would respect your right to hold your opinion even though it be in grave error.

      • Me

        I disagree about my comments being “not Catholic,” and I’m certainly not the one arrogating to myself the authority to invent the meanings of the words “persecution and tyranny.” You are utterly free to support DOMA; others are equally free to oppose it. What some people are claiming as religious persecution is looking very like an attempt to assert an extreme Christian hegemony.

        • Kathy

          Oh, Me, oh, my. That is not the point. No one is saying that you are not free to oppose DOMA. You can think whatever you dang well please. The point is do you believe that the Catholic Church can or should be forced to perform gay “marriages?”

          • Adam__Baum

            If you look at any novelty (say birth control) that became an invasive disorder, it follows a familiar pattern. opprobrium, oddity, option, obligation. The first three stages of this metastasis are complete-and the fourth is beginning.

            Consider the stories of confectioners who have the temerity to wish not to provide a cake to celebrate that which they consider objectionable. Trade in the activist lawyers with their writs for the jackbooted interrogators insisting “you vill cooperate” under a blazing light and the picture is complete.

          • Me

            Obviously not. What on Earth gave you the idea I want any Churches to be forced to perform same sex marriage? My point is that nobody is being persecuted or tyrannized by the new openness to marriage equality. If one’s right to marry someone of the opposite sex were taken away, one might have a point, but to whine about SSM being an imposed tyranny is absurd.

            • slainte

              How do you reconcile “equal marriage” with Catholicism?

              • Me

                1) “Who am I to judge?”

                2) CCC 2358: The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

                3) Primacy of conscience.

                • slainte

                  I am asking these questions in an attempt to understand your position.
                  How do you define “conscience”?
                  What is your definition or understanding of “social justice”?….what does it mean to you? how is it supposed to work? does it entail instructions from the church (i) to governments, or (ii) lay persons or (iii) both?

                • Adam__Baum

                  What?

                • newguy40

                  I believe you are again confusing tolerance of sin with prejudice against homosexuals.

                  1.) Judgement does not equate to tolerance or equality. Scripture and the Magesterium are clear that homosex acts are sinful.

                  2.) Completely agree with this CCC2358. But, what the CCC refers to her is a CHASTE life if one experiences homosex attractions. As Christ states in Mt 19:12″Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.”

                  3.) In all charity, you are misunderstanding the primacy of conscience. 1799 Faced with a moral choice, conscience can make either a right judgment in accordance with reason and the divine law or, on the contrary, an erroneous judgment that departs from them.
                  God chose to be born in to the man and woman marriage. He could have incarnated in any way He chose. But, He chose to sanctify marriage unions between a man and a woman. This fact should help us make right judgements for marriage and it’s true purpose.

                  • Bono95

                    Our Lord also chose to perform His first public miracle at a wedding, a wedding between a man and a woman.

            • Kathy

              Stop playing the naive card. It is coming and to pretend otherwise is living with your head in the sand. Did you not read how in Great Britain they are already suing the Anglican church to force them to perform these things?? Do you truly think it will be any different in America? Think again.

              • Me

                Can you be more specific? Who exactly is suing the Anglican Church in the UK? Thanks. And even if there is a specific case in the UK, I do in fact think things will be different in the USA where separation of church and state is well-established.

                • Kathy

                  Do a google search and the story is there. The First Amendment supposedly protects religion from the state not vice versa. The current administration is doing all in its power to confine the practice of religion to church on Sunday only. The idea of incorporating your faith into your daily life is foreign to this president. The HHS mandate is a perfect example of his ideas of separation of church and state. Do you truly think gay “marriage” will be any different? Chills ran down my spine when Obama said he would “never force churches to perform gay marriages.” That is probably the clearest indication of what is to come based on his previous behavior. Please, Me, wake up and smell the coffee!

                • tamsin

                  Tony Drewitt and Barrie Drewitt-Barlow: “I want to go into my church and marry my husband.”

                  Not sure which one is the husband and which one is the wife.

            • Bono95

              Tell that to all the bakers, photographers, florists, and clergy who objected to assisting at same sex “weddings” and took heat for it. Tell that to the parents and teachers who objected to teaching or having their children taught that the whole shebang of perverted sex is totally OK and even great and good if one “feels” that it’s “right” for one and took heat for it. Tell that to anyone who has honestly spoken out against the evils and dangers of homosexual acts or unwittingly made a “homophobic slur” and taken heat for it.

              • Me

                Unfortunately you are going to get a certain amount of impolite rhetoric on both sides of any disagreement. Gays have been on the receiving end of insults and often violence for decades. They have been denied the right to marry their partners and have experienced discrimination in areas such as housing, education, social opportunities, and employment. Anyone wanting to disagree with their lifestyle can do so with respect and compassion. There is no need to make “homophobic slurs.”

                • Adam__Baum

                  “They have been denied the right to marry their partner.”

                  And Mormons aren’t allowed polygamy, and prepubescent brides are disallowed and you can’t marry your sister, even if you really, really, really want to. So?

                • Bono95

                  No one has the “right” to marry anyone else. Marriage (true, traditional marriage) is first of all a sacrament and a gift from God to man, and secondly a gift from a man to a woman and vice versa. A gift is something given freely, something that does not hinge upon the recipient’s rights or what he deserves.

                  And yes, unfortunately, there have been and still are people who make the grave mistake of hating the sinner along with the sin in the case of people with SSA, but the ever expanding and overreaching homosexual lobby regards anything it considers remotely critical, however polite, charitable, well-meant, or accidental it may be, as highly offensive, and very often, it has no qualms about firing back insults and retaliations that can be far more insulting or damaging than the original “slur” ever was. Not all individual homosexuals are like this of course, but their backing lobby does them no favors in winning support or respect.

                • Micha_Elyi

                  Don’t say “gays” when you really mean “perverts”.

            • Loyd McIntire

              Priest will be persecuted when they refuse to marry homosexuals. Just hold on because it’s coming.

    • Adam Baum

      It’s not “equality”. It was equality when miscegenation laws were repealed. This is deformation.

    • Bono95

      So everyone who has ever supported or celebrated traditional marriage, as defined in DOMA, including those who did so before there was DOMA, or the Supreme Court, or the United States, or recorded history, were all persecutors, tyrants, and bigots?

      • Me

        That’s an absurd representation of anything I have said. One can support and celebrate traditional marriage while simultaneously accepting that one cannot impose that same standard on others. Nothing has been taken away from traditional marriage. Another option has simply been added to the smorgasbord, and nobody is being forced to adopt it.

        • Adam__Baum

          Civil marriage is not a private contractual arrangement, it imposes duties of recognition on society at large, so everybody is forced to adopt it.

        • Bono95

          My apologies for misinterpreting your words, but you were rather unclear in the post I commented on, and your words in it were very easy to misunderstand thusly.

  • RChaplain

    Thank you Deborah. I believe you are right on target on what we can expect in the future, meaning persecution of Christians. It is so disappointing, to see so many Catholics, supporting this administration in it’s attempt to separate the people from Jesus and separate the people from the Church. It appears the administration, the secularists and some clergy are separating the people from the teachings of the Church..
    George

    • Adam__Baum

      “It is so disappointing, to see so many Catholics, supporting this administration in it’s attempt to separate the people from Jesus and separate the people from the Church.”

      And a good bit of this is due to those clerics who identified holding certain political positions with the authentic practice of the Faith, for decades.

      I guess they never thought about the risk that the deep-rooted mighty oaks they were so busily growing in fits of “silvimania” would ever be felled by a sudden wind-right on to the house they were supposed to be taking care of for the Master. I imagine He’s not going to be too happy to find all the structural damage-he’s going to need repair-because they were derelict in attending to his House.

  • cestusdei

    We must be prepared. The homosexual lobby is gearing up. Things are only going to get worse.

    • Adam__Baum

      That which is intriniscally “unsustainable” must advance by subordination and conquest.

  • hombre111

    I loudly agree with your last point: The Church needs to distinguish between “the sacrament of marriage,” and “marriage.” Actually, she already does this in her matrimonial courts. The sacrament cannot be broken. The courts determine whether or not a sacramental marriage, which requires sanity and maturity, actually existed.

  • WalterPaulKomarnicki

    As Sen Daniel P Moynihan put it so well:

    “You may be entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.”

    Cohabitation is not synonymous with marriage, any resemblance is a work of fiction, and not truthful.

  • WRBaker

    What of the primary/secondary teacher(s) who teach their students from the catechism and maintain fidelity with the Church while the principal(s) berate and, eventually, oust them?
    Don’t think that this hasn’t already happened in our Catholic schools.

  • Randall Ward

    When queers were in the closet, I could tolerate them but now that they are militant and in your face, I despise them.

  • Deborah Sturm

    When it all comes down, these matters are an issue of “illusion vs. reality.”

    Would not most folks agree that there is absolute, scientific, physical truth? For example, “The sky is blue.” It is what it is. Who has the authority to declare a “blue sky” purple? If there can be absolute, scientific, physical truth, why can’t there be absolute moral Truth? Keep in mind that the Catholic Church–nor its predecessor Judaism–invented marriage. They simply agreed with this Natural Law that already existed. The Catholic Church has as much authority to declare that homosexual unions are morally legitimate as it does in declaring a blue sky purple. She simply cannot do it. Again, a blue sky is what it is. Likewise, marriage is what it is. Remember the movie “1984?” Someone was being forced to say that 2 + 2 = 5.

    Now children who attend public schools are being taught that the unnatural is natural.

    Does anyone here believe that our children should be taught that 2 + 2 = 5? Does anyone here believe that children should be forced to believe that a blue sky is purple?

    Our Constitution is based on a “Natural Law Jurisprudence.” How, then, can its language be understood to mean that homosexual “marriage” is legitimate? I’d be willing to bet that many of today’s law school graduates are far-removed from the term “Natural Law Jurisprudence.” That is by design.

    If the Catholic Church–or Judaism for that matter–does not have the authority to declare that homosexual “marriage” is legitimate, where does the SCOTUS get its “authority” to do so?

    Does the SCOTUS have the authority to declare a blue sky purple? And if so, where does it get that authority? Can the SCOTUS declare that 2 + 2 = 5? And if so, where does it get that authority?

    As I see it, children have as much a right to the moral teachings of the Natural Law as they do that a blue sky is blue and that 2 + 2 = 4.

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  • CharlesOConnell

    “Socrates abhorred vice, not only in himself, but in everyone besides. To prove which, I need only relate his conduct toward Critias, a man extremely addicted to debauchery. Socrates perceiving that this man had an unnatural passion for Euthydemus, and that the violence of it would precipitate him so far a length as to make him transgress the bounds of nature, shocked at his behaviour, he exerted his utmost strength of reason and argument to dissuade him from so wild a desire. And while the impetuosity of Critias’ passion seemed to scorn all check or control, and the modest rebuke of Socrates had been disregarded, the philosopher, out of an ardent zeal for virtue, broke out in such language, as at once declared his own strong inward sense of decency and order, and the monstrous shamefulness of Critias’ passion. Which severe but just reprimand of Socrates, it is thought, was the foundation of that grudge which he ever after bore him; for during the tyranny of the Thirty, of which Critias was one, when, together with Charicles, he had the care of the civil government of the city, he failed not to remember this affront, and, in revenge of it, made a law to forbid teaching the art of reasoning in Athens: and having nothing to reproach Socrates with in particular, he laboured to render him odious by aspersing him with the usual calumnies that are thrown on all philosophers: for I have never heard Socrates say that he taught this art, nor seen any man who ever heard him say so; but Critias had taken offence, and gave sufficient proofs of it: for after the Thirty had caused to be put to death a great number of the citizens, and even of the most eminent, and had let loose the reins to all sorts of violence and rapine, Socrates said in a certain place that he wondered very much that a man who keeps a herd of cattle, and by his ill conduct loses every day some of them, and suffers the others to fall away, would not own himself to be a very ill keeper of his herd; and that he should wonder yet more if a Minister of State, who lessens every day the number of his citizens, and makes the others more dissolute, was not ashamed of his ministry, and would not own himself to be an ill magistrate. This was reported to Critias and Charicles, who forthwith sent for Socrates, and showing him the law they had made, forbid him to discourse with the young men.…” – Xenophon (2012-05-16). The Memorable Thoughts of Socrates (p. 7). Kindle Edition.

  • fmo123

    fmo123
    I’m sent a lot of things about this whole aspect of religious persecution and I really don’t see it in this society. I am a member of a religious order in the Catholic church and we applauded Pope Francis when he made the comment about refraining from judging gay priests – “who am I to judge?” Who are we to judge the live styles of people? I know and respect many gays in the Catholic Church who are more faithful to the church than most Catholics. Some of our greatest musicians in the church are gay. I would rather see us, as a church, to start dealing with “homophobia” get over our anger and resentment of people who are different. Instead of putting all of this energy against gay marriage I would rather seet straight couples who have destroyed the sanctity of marriage after they’ve been married in the Catholic Church realize that what the marriage really needs is love and fidelity. I will not judge anyone just as Christ tells us, but rather love and respect all people. Why judge others when “eye has not seen or ear has not heard what God has ready for those who love him.” We will never know what God has in store for us until we all meet God face to face. It is then and only then, that we will find out all who are truly invited to his banquet.

    • Mike

      But Christ conferred upon the Church the power to teach proper moral action and to judge sinfullness and wrongdoing, esp. the sinfullness and wrongdoing of Church leaders. What you will bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven.
      Pope Francis has said he cannot judge priests who live their life according to proper moral teaching, that is, he cannot judge a priest who has homosexual tendencies but does not act upon them. That being said, he can judge and punish a priest whose actions violate moral teaching according to canon law.

      • Bono95

        Exactly.

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  • ActivistWannabe

    What the Church desperately needs are Catholics willing to hold up paperboard signs around the institutions that the Gramsciites have already conquered, like the universities, media, bureaucracies, etc. with messages on them such as “homosexuality is sick and evil”, “many perverts are bigots”, “Catholics aren’t bigots”, “‘gays’ are sterile”, “perverts aren’t romantic” “don’t shove your sin down my throat”, “adultery is evil” and my favorite, “‘gay’ is boring”. By using strong words, it dramatically shifts the political spectrum in favor of Catholics and morality. Using supposedly offensive words such as pervert, bigot, and twisted are important; mildness in the face of a moral plague is evil. (Diplomacy and charity are still important, but now getting in figurative faces has become critical, too.)

    In particular, taking the fight to the Ivy League is important. (I discourage enrollment at these places, however.) Always using Catholic terms is important, unless one puts words like ‘gay’ in quotation marks.

    The trend is so bad that without such an effort, Catholics will eventually face either the waterboard or the rack. In the interim, good men will lose their jobs or opportunities for failing to toe the line.

    We MUST attack (with charity) on this issue, or we will lose, and we will be ostracized.

    Fortunately, we can win.

  • Rose-Marie

    Concerning baking cakes for homosexuals …. I wonder… Is it wrong to bless sinners ? did not our Lord blessed them and healed them and served them ? How can we maintain asdialogue with them if we refuse those opportunities ?
    I had lesbian neighbors and we had a good and healthy relationship .. this led me to knowing quite a few of them and whenever there was a birthday or a feast, I had frequent opportunities to share the Gospel.
    When one of them wanted a good address to get help, she knew she could ask me.
    I never regretted being friendly towards them, making cakes, receiving them at home… it opened the way to dialogue .. to this day.
    Marrying them is of course another issue. It touches our consciences before God. The notion of what is right and wrong to Him, three times Holy.
    But we should bake them cakes !
    God bless you.

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  • schmenz

    A fine article, Mrs Sturm. Please send a copy along to Mr Austin Ruse, who doesn’t seem to be all that worried about such things judging from his recent Crisis article about homosexuals in Russia.

  • Howard

    “Obama himself really doesn’t have to say anything to the heads of these agencies. Forget paper trails. All he needs to do is give a ‘wink and a nod.'”

    Well, since you already brought up Hitler, it’s worth pointing out that he rarely if ever acknowledged exactly what was going on in the “Final Solution”. It was easier to cloak himself in grandiose but abstract rhetoric which strongly implied, but perhaps did not explicitly state, what he wanted done. The next tier down arranged the details, but still from a safe distance, rarely visiting death camps. (Himmler certainly did, but only once or twice.) So those who were making the decisions did not have to deal with the evidence of their eyes the brutality they were inflicting on other human beings, and those who saw and actually implemented the policies could comfort themselves that the decision had already been made at a higher level. Nothing facilitates inhumanity like bureaucracy.

    To be perfectly fair, George W. Bush did the same thing. He and his administration liked to portray themselves as tough guys who would “take off the kid gloves.” Everyone knew what “taking off the kid gloves” means with regard to the treatment of prisoners. Of course when the Abu Ghraib story came out, they pointed out that they had never EXPLICITLY ordered the degrading of prisoners, only the occasional waterboarding — a harmless prank!!

    This is a bipartisan problem — or more truthfully, it is a problem of one class pretending to be two parties. It is the “good cop / bad cop” routine, where both “cops” are on the same side.

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  • Valentin

    I’d be willing to say we live in tyranny right now considering Obama as well as previous presidents try to sneakily get away with what they for example Bill Clinton or Lindon Johnson or Eisenhouer throwing out the western military tradition of sportsmanship because the Soviets impressed him and he didn’t want General George Patton to get his way with the Commie bastards.

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