Posts Tagged religious beliefs

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

, , ,

Leave a comment

The Hobby Lobby Conundrum

Here’s the crazy thing about the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of Hobby Lobby, which ruled that corporations need not provide health insurance coverage for medical practices the corporation’s owners/officers find morally objectionable:

Hobby Lobby says: “You can’t force your beliefs on us.”

Those who disagree with the court’s decision say: “You can’t force your beliefs on us.”

So who wins?

Perhaps a fresh look at the age-old example of the “suicidal friend” will apply. Say for instance that you, the reader, are my friend. And say, just for the sake of the argument, that you tell me to go out and purchase a gun for you.

“What for?” I ask.

“So I can kill myself with it,” you hypothetically reply.

Now, you believe that you are doing absolutely the right thing by killing yourself and have no moral objections to suicide. I, on the other hand, am radically opposed to suicide because of my deeply-held religious beliefs.

I don’t wish to live my life as a hypocrite, as I strive to apply my convictions to my everyday decisions, rather than constrain my moral and ethical senses to one hour in a church building every Sunday morning. So I refuse to give you the gun. Actually, I go a step further and do my best to talk you out of the whole thing.

“You can’t impose your beliefs on me!” you (hypothetically) yell in frustration.

But I can. I’m not going to give you the means to do something that I find morally objectionable – that I in fact see as a grave moral evil.

“Fine,” you say, “just tell me where I can get a gun.”

I’m not going to do that either, because then I would be complicit – responsible, though indirectly, for an action that I am convinced, in my informed, reasonable, rational conscience, is deeply wrong.

In fact, aren’t you imposing your beliefs on me by asking me to assist you in committing suicide?

What if I own a gun shop and you come in to buy a gun, and tell me you’re going to use it to shoot a restaurant full of people? Do I have the right to refuse you the gun?

“You’re a businessperson,” you tell me. “You have to sell me the gun because it’s your profession to do so. You have to separate your business from your personal beliefs.”

In essence, you are telling me to divide myself – to believe X but to act according to Y. It doesn’t take a degree in neurology to see that this is an absence of personal integrity.

I’ve noticed a paradox in the predominant thought of our present culture: On the one hand, many people view persons of faith as hypocrites. The thinking runs something like this: “You Christians” – and I don’t choose this particular faith at random, since Christians are, in my experience, the folks most often accused of hypocrisy – “are a bunch of hypocrites because you go to church on Sunday and then commit all kinds of sins on Monday.” Even worse is the accusation against Catholics: “You Catholics go to Confession on Saturday and then commit all kinds of sins during the rest of the week, because you just think you can go to Confession again the next Saturday and everything will be okay. Hypocrites!”

In the first place, one of the requirements for a Catholic to receive absolution – that is, the pronouncement of God’s forgiveness from the priest as His representative – is something called a firm purpose of amendment – the sincere intention to no longer fall into the sins you’ve just confessed. So the attitude of “I can keep committing these sins and just go to Confession all over again” is an abuse of the sacrament.

In the second place, the hypocrisy accusation itself is challenged when people of faith carry their convictions out the door of their house of worship and into the wider world. When religious people do this, they are then accused of violating the “separation of church and state.” This way of thinking runs something like this: “You religious people should leave your faith at the church door and not bring your religion into public life. Religion is a private matter.” So I’m supposed to be one person in church and another person in my workplace and voting booth.

So when people of faith fail to live consistently according to their beliefs (and they fail frequently because they are imperfect humans), they are accused of hypocrisy. When they try sincerely to live according to their faith, they are accused of violating the principle of church-state separation by living their beliefs in public.

Back to the matter of business owners refusing to provide or be complicit in providing services they find morally objectionable. I can hear the counter-argument: “You’re talking apples and oranges! Contraception and abortion are not the equivalent of suicide and mass murder!”

But according to the teaching of the Catholic Church – not to mention Orthodox Judaism, Islam, evangelical Christianity, and some expressions of Buddhism, to name a few – contraception and abortion absolutely fall within the category of murder. One involves the prevention of life, the other the active ending of a life that is already in developmental progress. In his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae, Saint John Paul II called the increasing tolerance – nay, embracing and encouragement, bordering on idolatry – of abortion and artificial contraception evidence of the West’s “culture of death.” So for those who agree with Catholic doctrine (and why call yourself Catholic if you don’t?), participation in or even indirect compliance with either of these practices, particularly abortion, makes one an accessory to murder.

So when the Little Sisters of the Poor say that they can’t even so much as sign a piece of paper giving a third party permission/power to provide abortion and contraception services to those affiliated with their organization, this is what they mean.

No, I can’t force my beliefs on my suicidal friend who asks for a gun. That person has free will – as I do. Forcing my beliefs on another is not my intention. My intention is only to exercise the freedom to act according to my own convictions – not just within the walls of my house of worship, but in every area of my life.

You’d call me a hypocrite otherwise.

, , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment