"Charity is commendable, everyone should be charitable. But Justice aims to create a social order in which, if individuals choose not to be charitable, people still don't go hungry, unschooled or sick without care. Charity depends on the vicissitudes of whim and personal wealth, justice depends on commitment instead of circumstance.
Faith-based charity provides crumbs from the table; faith-based justice offers a place at the table"
~Bill Moyers

Friday, February 20, 2009



"A Church that doesn't provoke any crisis, a gospel that doesn't unsettle, a word of God that doesn't get under anyone's skin, a word of God that doesn't touch the real sin of society in which it is being proclaimed, what gospel is that?" -- Archbishop Oscar Romero (1917-1980)
"Never let other people define your reality or put you into bondage to their ways of thinking." -- Jerry Maneker.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

In the pathetic attempt to deal with the "homosexual problem" that they themselves, the Vatican and most of the clergy within the Roman Catholic Church, have created, "ministries" to Gay Roman Catholics are occurring within many parishes to help Gay people deal with their "problem" and thereby presumably remain closer to God.

I have absolutely no illusion that I am any closer to God than anyone else out there. Nor do I have any inside track as to what God wants for anyone else's life! Like the Pope and the clergy within the Roman Catholic Church, and the clergy within the Protestant churches, I am a mere human being, and I would never presume to speak for God when it comes to anyone else's life!

In what I view as a cynical attempt to "minister" to Gay Roman Catholics so as to keep the gullible and self-loathing Gay people and their families remaining in that Church, and hopefully attract other Gay people and their families to join the Roman Catholic Church, some parishes have begun facing this "issue" (an "issue" that they, themselves, have helped create) by initiating a program called "Courage." "Courage" views homosexuality as a "problem to be overcome!"

So, the Vatican helps define and create being Gay as a "problem"; seeks to deprive and/or rescind civil and human rights protections from Gay people; calls being Gay "intrinsically disordered"; calls Gay relationships "sinful." And many Roman Catholic clergy now have the chutzpa to create a "ministry" to deal with the fallout from their (and other toxic religions') nefarious creation, and their condemnation of the very essence of a person made in God's image; seek to do so by reinforcing the correctness of their equation of Gay "inclinations" as being "disordered" and Gay relations as being "sinful." And they call "Courage" a "ministry," and undoubtedly view that "ministry" as being a "loving outreach" to "disordered" people!

The Rev. James Fukes, pastor of St. Julia Catholic Church in Siler City, N.C., who will serve as the spiritual director for Courage, said the new ministry was added at the request of parishioners.

"There have been some people who asked for some ministry by the Catholic Church to help them deal with the challenges and difficulties they have and remain close to God," he said.

Next month, the Rev. Paul Check, national director of Courage, will lead a workshop in Raleigh for priests and lay leaders. A priest in the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., Check has written widely on homosexuality, including one article in which he suggests that gay men come from broken homes or grew up alienated from their fathers and overprotected by their mothers.

"For example, many men with same sex attraction lack hand-eye coordination and as a result were spurned or the subject of jokes by their fathers or the neighborhood boys because they could not play certain sports easily," Check wrote in the St. Austin Review's November-December 2008 edition.

[For the full article, see here.]

All people, Gay and Straight, regardless of the pull of inertia, must flee toxic religion like the plague that it is, at all costs, given the tremendous harm it does to people's psyches and, often, to their very lives!

"Christianity" is the epitome of showing love and compassion; respecting and honoring all of God's creation; being harmless and never judging or condemning others; trusting God over and above seen circumstances and one's own prejudices; being agents of God's grace in this world!

The pathetic assertion of Rev. Paul Check, the national director of "Courage" that being Gay results from "lack of hand-eye coordination and as a result [being] spurned or the subject of jokes by their fathers or the neighborhood boys because they could not play certain sports easily," or that "gay men come from broken homes or grew up alienated from their fathers and overprotected by their mothers," would be laughable if it weren't so pathetically ignorant, simplistic, and downright dangerous.

Frankly, if being Gay resulted from the old discarded theory that one is Gay because of having strong mothers and weak or absent fathers, then I suggest that virtually everyone would be Gay! And I can't even find the words to deal with the asserted "lack of hand-eye coordination" and the ensuing reactions and their relationship to being Gay. This kind of arrogant ignorance boggles the mind!

But such arrogant ignorance is part and parcel of the discrimination and hateful rhetoric visited upon Gay people and their families by assorted clergy in most denominations of the institutional Church as well as by all too many professing "Christians," by some politicians, and even by many youngsters in schools.

And, it's that kind of arrogant ignorance, if not downright hateful stupidity, that leads emotionally vulnerable Gay kids and adults to live lives of shame and self-loathing, resulting in lives lived in quiet and sometimes not so quiet desperation. All sorts of risk taking behaviors are likely to ensue, as well as many suicides. And the verbal and physical assaults and even murders of Gay people, or murders of people perceived to be Gay, can also be seen to be the direct result of such arrogant stupidity ironically spoken with oracular authority "in the name of God."

Regarding the Roman Catholic Church: here we have presumably celibate clergy, and many of their followers, whose Church has been rife with, and tainted by, assorted ephebophilia scandals by not too few of their clergy, and their systematic coverups by assorted Bishops (who, in my opinion, would be serving hard time in prison for criminal facilitation, if they were not associated with the powerful Roman Catholic Church) presuming to lecture the rest of us on criteria of "morality," as well as on love and sex!

Let's make it crystal clear: God doesn't make junk! God doesn't make mistakes! Being Gay is a gift from God! To deny or seek to suppress this gift is not honoring to God or to the person who seeks to repress this wonderful gift!

To be a Christian is to be a conduit for the love of God to others! And anyone who dares condemn in the name of God what God has made, is a heretic who, wittingly or unwittingly, is a tool of the devil!

Shun and run from toxic religion for your own sake and for the sake of all of God's children! And always trust your own experience and never let other people define your reality for you or put you into bondage to their ways of thinking!

So, who do you trust? God and the reality of your own awareness and life-experience OR those who invoke the name of God to justify their prejudices, and spew ignorant hate-speech couched in sanctimony, falsely invoking the name of God in so doing?

You decide!

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