Posts Tagged Catholic Church

Recognizing the Enemy in Orlando

The massacre in Orlando is an unconscionable act, evidence of the demonic motivations of its perpetrator and the satanic inspiration of the ideology to which he subscribed.

This inhuman slaughter is also being shamefully used.

Remains of the dead hadn’t even been removed from the building before politicians began screaming about “gun violence”, and how the “gun lobby” needs to be taken down.

Politicians and media alike instantly labeled the massacre as an “anti-gay” crime, although to CNN’s credit they did attend to the fact that the murderer, Omar Mateen (let’s not say “shooter”; that term can apply to those who shoot targets to train to defend their own lives and the lives of their families) had ties to Islamic extremism. CNN also reported that Mateen had called 911 and pledged his allegiance to ISIS.

However, CNN was quick and emphatic to state – repeatedly – that there was absolutely no evidence that Mateen was directly affiliated with ISIS.

It’s hard to know where to start here.

Let’s work backwards.

If someone expresses allegiance to ISIS, they are affiliated with ISIS. That’s the only thing a person has to do in order to “affiliate” with ISIS: agree with that group’s ideology. But the Obama administration, the media, and the liberal left in general will never admit to this, because it challenges Obama’s narrative that ISIS “does not represent an existential threat to the United States.” The Orlando and San Bernardino massacres were both one-offs, isolated incidents. “Lone wolves.”

As long as they don’t carry ISIS membership cards they must not be official ISIS members, right?

It’s the ideology of ISIS, however, that is responsible for the Orlando tragedy. It’s not firearms. Just ask the Pink Pistols, an international LGBTQ organization that advocates not only the right to own firearms, but the right to carry concealed weapons, so that LGBTQ persons can defend their lives against attacks exactly like the one in Orlando. If a Pink Pistol had been in Pulse that night, you can bet the loss of life would have been a lot lower.

But perhaps the most insidious result of this mass murder is the toll it will take on anyone and everyone who disagrees with the gay lifestyle.

It’s already hard enough to express anything but enthusiastic endorsement of every single sexual behavior possible to the human imagination. We’re already at the point where attempting to engage in a rational, civil dialogue about the inadvisability of redefining marriage or accepting transgenderism labels people as haters. There have already been calls in some circles to officially define the Catholic Church and any other faith tradition that refuses to cave to the dominant cultural paradigm on such issues as hate groups. Public verbal disagreement is labeled as hate speech. We’ve already seen business owners and employees of some companies, or of state or local governments, lose their livelihoods because they insist upon defining marriage as being, by nature, between one man and one woman. We’ve already seen schools punished by the federal government for refusing to allow biological men into restrooms with little girls.

Imagine how it’s going to get now, because of Orlando.

I don’t have a crystal ball – and being Catholic, I couldn’t use one anyway – but allow me to make a few predictions.

Prediction 1: Religion will be added to background checks for purchasing firearms – even, possibly, for purchasing ammo. If a background check shows that the applicant belongs – or has ever belonged – to a faith tradition that objects to the LGBTQ lifestyle, that person will not be allowed to purchase a firearm for their defense and the defense of their families. Not even if an ISIS-inspired “lone wolf” beats down their doors.

Prediction 2: The media and the political left will make sure that ISIS is shunted out of the picture, and that the nation believes that the Orlando massacre was caused by anti-gay sentiment within right-wing culture. That means that anyone expressing any ideas that run counter to the liberal left narrative will come under increased scrutiny. This is a favorite tactic of the left: distract the public’s attention away from the actual culprit and re-direct attention to a scapegoat, which is always a group that holds an ideology that the left would love to silence forever. So in the coming days, expect to see blame for Orlando cast on anyone and any faith or belief system that disagrees with gay marriage and transgenderism, instead of on the real guilty party, the real enemy that the left refuses to name – Islamism.

Islamists hate gay people. Enough to kill them. ISIS has been killing gay persons the whole time they’ve been cutting their swath of bloodshed throughout the Middle East. Liberal progressivism cannot – or will not – acknowledge that anyone who disagrees with the LGBTQ lifestyle is any different than ISIS, because liberal progressivism can’t or won’t see the difference between emotions and actions. Liberal progressives don’t accept that disagreeing with certain actions does not indicate hatred of persons. Liberal progressives insist on “love me, love my lifestyle.” There is simply no concept within liberal progressivism that anyone could possibly disagree with behavior without hating the person performing the behavior. Therefore, in the liberal progressive worldview, Catholics, Orthodox Jews, and any others who disagree with gay marriage and transgenderism are exactly the same as Omar Mateen, and given the chance would commit the same crime he committed.

It is a foundational principle of logic that a conclusion is only valid if all premises are sound. So let’s break this down into the Logic 101 “chalkboard” version.

Premise 1: Disapproving of certain behavior equals hating the person committing       the disapproved behavior.

Premise 2: People of certain faith traditions disapprove of LGBTQ behaviors, such as gay marriage and allowing biological men into restrooms with little girls, and won’t sanction those behaviors in their faith communities.

Conclusion: Therefore, people of certain faith traditions hate LGBTQ people.

Anyone with the tiniest fraction of a sense of logic can see that the conclusion is not valid. Why? Because Premise 1 is not sound. It does not follow that disapproving of particular behaviors equals hatred of those who perform those behaviors.

Parents disapprove of their children’s behavior All. The. Time. Yet unless the parents are psychopaths, they don’t kill their children. They (usually) don’t even throw them out of the house. When a child breaks a house rule, that child is disciplined and taught the right way to behave. That does not indicate that the parent hates the child. We might say the same thing about genuine friendship: a friend (a true friend, as opposed to a “drinking buddy” or the like) will tell you when you’re going off the rails. A friend will express concern about your behavior. Why? Because the friend hates you? Of course not.

In this regard, ironically, the ideology of ISIS isn’t far off from the ideology of the liberal left – both espouse a worldview in which disagreement with behavior equals hatred of the person doing the behavior. ISIS can’t separate Islam’s forbidding of the LGBTQ lifestyle from enacting violence against LGBTQ persons themselves. Liberal progressives insist that Catholics and others who disagree with gay marriage hate gay people, and therefore insist that Catholics et. al. will become violent towards LGBTQ persons.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear: Homosexual acts are morally wrong. Unjust discrimination and violence against LGBTQ persons are also morally wrong. Respect the person while not condoning the behavior. It’s actually very, very simple.

Unless you’re promoting an agenda that depends on shifting blame from the truly guilty party to the group/s you’ve always wanted to silence.

The left will use the Orlando mass murder to silence and punish those who had nothing to do with it: Catholics, Orthodox Jews, Evangelical Christians, non-extremist Muslims, all of whom refuse to acknowledge that marriage can be between two men or two women (or whatever else one feels like marrying). The Holy See has condemned this mass murder, but that won’t matter, because liberal progressive ideology won’t accept that any belief system could legitimately state that it was wrong to murder these people and yet still insist that they not be allowed to marry anyone of their own sex.

Meanwhile, ISIS’s evil will remain unchecked, because the left will continue to insist that ISIS isn’t the problem.

Get ready.

 

 

Further Reading:

“Catholic Leaders Urge Prayer after Horrific Orlando Shooting,” Catholic News Agency

“Pope Francis Decries Deadly Massacre,” Vatican Radio

“Pope Horrified by Deadly Attack in Orlando,” Catholic News Agency

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Catholic – and Unconventional

Greetings and welcome to the first post on “The Unconventional Catholic.”

Full disclosure up front: I am a “revert” – that is, a person who was baptized as a Roman Catholic, practiced Catholicism at one time, left the Catholic Church for a time, and then returned to it. We can’t be called “converts” because a convert is a person who has changed his or her religion from one church or organization to another. We are reverts in the sense that we have “reverted” back to something we once were.

My story will be revealed in time. In fact, I might end up writing a whole book on it (though I might have to publish it as fiction, since no one will believe it could possibly be true outside of Soap Opera Land). For now, I think a bit about myself would be in order.

I believe in the doctrine established by the Catholic Church – if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have returned to the Church after about a ten-year absence. In fact, one of the reasons for my return was my observation that the Catholic Church was one of the only vocal opponents of the doctrine of current cultural trends. Whether or not you agree with Catholic teaching, it would be wise to defend its right to speak out publicly – it’s healthy to have multiple voices in the public square. Anything else, or anything less, amounts to a form of cultural fascism.

So if I agree with the teachings of the Catholic Church, what makes me so unconventional?

I’m divorced.

The popular conception – even among practicing Catholics – is that divorced persons are “excommunicated” – that we have no voice or place in the Church. This is far from the actual case.

I was married outside of the Church because my now-estranged husband had at one point in his life been married and subsequently divorced. We were married by a Unitarian Universalist minister. A few months after our wedding, I was received into the Episcopal Church. I was done with the “Church of No,” as the Catholic Church has recently been called.

In the fall of 2012, though, due to a series of events and a multitude of factors, I decided to return to the Catholic Church as asked my then-husband to pursue an annulment from his first marriage. He agreed and began the annulment process by filing a petition with the local diocese.

I began attending a local parish church, though I followed church doctrine by refraining from receiving Holy Communion. To shorten an extremely long story, I will skip to my separation from my husband, which occurred at the beginning of 2014. Right after we decided to separate – and I mean right after – I left our marriage counselor’s office and headed straight for my pastor’s office. He heard my confession and I attended a noontime Mass in a neighboring town (as my own church has no noon Mass). I’ve attended Mass and received the sacraments ever since, even in the wake of my divorce.

I think it’s fairly unconventional for someone to be married to a divorced person outside the Church, leave the Church, return, subsequently divorce the person she married outside the Church in the first place, then become a lector in her parish, seek employment in a Catholic school, and even join the lay branch of the Dominican order. All of this is exactly what I’ve done, and that makes me an Unconventional Catholic.

There are plenty of blogs out there that reach out to non-Christians. My blog is intended to address people of faith in an effort to help them understand their own scriptures and the doctrines of their own faith tradition. Of course, I will do this from a Catholic point of view, since that is who and what I am. Still, if you’re a curious non-Christian, by all means feel free to read and comment.

No doubt I will end up posting things on here that will seriously cheese some people off, considering that the Catholic worldview has become radically counter-cultural. But it’s not my intention to be antagonistic – I want to develop a dialogue and hopefully get folks thinking in a different way. I’ve found that if people know the reasoning behind certain moral and theological arguments, they can at least develop an understanding even if they continue to disagree. That’s part of my goal here – to lay out the Catholic positions on various issues in a way that clarifies the reasoning behind those positions. I will also engage current events through the lens of my own faith.

With all this in mind, I also welcome suggestions for issues to tackle on this blog. The thornier the better!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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