Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Church Doesn't Hop on Bandwagons.

Where does one begin responding to such non-sense?
Mike Sweitzer-Beckman writes in a recent article at the NCReporter , "This past month, I read with a heavy heart about the multiple reports of gay teenagers who took their own lives as a result of bullying."
I do hope he has the same heavy heart for straight teens who take their own life because of bullying.  Why is it significant that these individuals were gay?
Some people say that bullying happens to everyone. I would say that there is a difference between getting picked on because you got some new glasses or braces and being bullied because of a marker of your human identity.
Whoa there, since when does your sexuality orientation define human identity?  I thought it was being made in the image and likeness of God that define human identity.
Who is missing from this list? I have not heard any prominent Catholic Church clergy speak out on this catastrophe.
Why this matters I have no idea.  As time and time again the Catholic Church has said the same thing over and over and the world refuses to listen.  But Mike might want to read the USCCB's statement on violence against women in which it states very clearly, "The Catholic Church teaches that violence against another person in any form fails to treat that person as someone worthy of love. Instead, it treats the person as an object to be used."
I think the better questions is not why are catholic leaders not speaking out, because they already have, but why was the Catholic Church ignored?
It is time for church leaders to stop waiting for the bandwagon to pull on past and to take a stand to lead the charge.
Since when is jumping on a bandwagon a good thing?  I thought most people hated bandwagon jumpers because they are individuals who aren't true to the message.  Also, the problem is exactly as Mike states, bandwagons pass on by.  Bandwagons are trends and fads, something the Church has never been and has never stood for and those trends soon too will pass.
Do we want our church to pull another Galileo and get it right some 500 years later?
When in doubt, throw Galileo at the Church.  Won't people allow the Church to move on?  Also, does this guy know anything about the Galileo the Church Canon case (yes he was a Canon of the Catholic Church)?  Galileo's views were 'condemned' as something incompatible with the catholic faith at the time because Galileo, at the time, did not have sufficient evidence to support his , at the time, theory.  Moreover what got him in real trouble was when he started acting as theologian insisting that scripture needed to be reinterpreted in light of his theory.  Lastly, it was a panel of 12 cardinals who made the decision.   Twelve Cardinals hardly speak for the entirety of "the Church."  The ruling of the 12 cardinals was not an infallible decision.

The church has a mission to be prophetic, to listen to the social and natural science experts around us
Which social experts?  The ones who say homosexuality is a mental disorder?  The ones who say that people have certain inclinations to sin (oh wait a sec. this sounds like church teaching)? 
Also, being prophetic means to proclaim God's message and not to hop on board with the latest trend.  Being prophetic means standing for the unfailing and eternal truths of God.
Moreover, who would want to jump on with social and natural scientists who promote a lifestyle that is clearly unhealthy?  The Center for Disease Control writes in HIV among Gay, Bisexual and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) that "Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM)1 represent approximately 2% of the US population, yet are the population most severely affected by HIV and are the only risk group in which new HIV infections have been increasing steadily since the early 1990s. In 2006, MSM accounted for more than half (53%) of all new HIV infections in the United States, and MSM with a history of injection drug use (MSM-IDU) accounted for an additional 4% of new infections. At the end of 2006, more than half (53%) of all people living with HIV in the United States were MSM or MSM-IDU. Since the beginning of the US epidemic, MSM have consistently represented the largest percentage of persons diagnosed with AIDS and persons with an AIDS diagnosis who have died." 
Who in their right mind would want to promote a styling of living that accounts for over half the new cases of HIV?
Last month a group of students and even some clergy at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University in Minnesota attended the weekly Mass wearing rainbow-colored bands to stand in solidarity with those in the gay and lesbian community who are being bullied across the country.

They did not raise a ruckus. They did not shout out during the homily.

Regardless, they were refused the Eucharist by Archbishop John Nienstedt of the Minneapolis/St. Paul archdiocese.

The Minneapolis StarTribune reported [3] that Dennis McGrath, the spokesman for the archdiocese, said people wearing a rainbow sash are not allowed to receive the Eucharist because they are making a political statement.

However, in denying these Catholic faithful the Eucharist, the church is ironically making a political statement. It is a case where a church leader took a stance and it doesn't seem to agree with Jesus' teachings on justice and love for neighbor.

The Acrhbishop was not making a 'political statement'.  The Archbishop was making a THEOLOGICAL and MORAL statement.  People really need to stop politicizing the Church.  It is only a political statement in the eyes of many because they foolishly think that an ancient institution and religion that is nearly 2000 years old is Left or Right.  Why does noone every ask if Ghandi is left or right?  Also, I would be willing to bet the Archbishop would have done the same for individuals who wore "I Hate Fags" buttons.
Also, the Archbishop was forced to make a decision on the spot.   As a teacher, I have learned that if it looks questionable and smells fishy, it often times is.  The Archbishop saw something questionable and instead of letting others unknowingly eat and drink condemnation on themselves, he saw it fit as the pastor of their souls that they refrain from receiving the Eucharist at the celebration of the Eucharist.  It was a very pastoral response to the situation.
There is plenty of scriptural basis for treating our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters with dignity and respect.
Jesus commands us to live in right relationship with one another in John 15:12-13, 17:
"This is my commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends ... This I command you, that you love one another."

Dignity and respect, yes.  Remember, love does not mean letting others do harm to themselves and others at the same time.  Love does NOT mean never having to say "I am sorry."
They crack open another story from the Gospel of John when Lazarus is called out of the tomb by Jesus and begins to live a new life. This is a metaphor for gay and lesbian people who have just clarified their sexual orientation to the world. Rather than hiding in a closet, a gay or lesbian person is given new life.
SEXUAL ORIENTATION HAS NOTING TO DO WITH THE RASING OF LAZARUS!  The story isn't even about Lazarus.  It is about Christ being the Resurrection and the Life.  It is aimed at showing how Christ fulfills his words with actions.  This is a horrendous misuse of Sacred Scripture where its focus is turned off of Christ and onto the reader.  Such an interpretation does violence to the Word of God.

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