Simply Loving

James Martin has kind of become the face of the church in this country.  He is featured on a lot of news reports and, most famously, on Colbert’s show as its “unofficial chaplain.”  Wonder if he will go to SNL when Colbert goes there.  His books are also quite good.  I recommend The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything.  This article is quite good although I have to say I agree with one of the commenters on his analogy about marriage starting at “We love our married Catholis…..Reyanna

By James Martin SJ, May 26-June 2, 2014 Edition, America Magazine On-line

Everybody knows that same-sex marriage and homosexual acts are contrary to Catholic moral teaching. Yet that same teaching also says that gay and lesbian people must be treated with “respect, sensitivity and compassion.” As more states pass laws legalizing same-sex marriage, more gay and lesbian Catholics are entering into these unions. This leaves some Catholics feeling caught between two values: church teaching against same-sex marriage and church teaching in favor of compassion. In Seattle a few months back, for example, many high school students protested the ouster of the vice principal, who was removed for marrying another man.

Most people who oppose same-sex marriage say they do not hate gay people, only that the traditional understanding of marriage is important and perpetually valid. Other opponents of same-sex marriage invoke the oft-repeated mantra, “Hate the sin, love the sinner.” If that is so, then why do so many gay people say they feel hatred from members of the church? (To continue reading, click here.)

This entry was posted in In the News. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Simply Loving

  1. No Longer

    I will no longer debate the issue of homosexuality in the church with anyone.
    I will no longer engage the biblical ignorance
    that emanates from so many right-wing Christians
    about how the Bible condemns homosexuality,
    as if that point of view still has any credibility.

    I will no longer discuss with them or listen to them tell me
    how homosexuality is “an abomination to God,”
    about how homosexuality is a “chosen lifestyle,”
    or about how through prayer and “spiritual counseling”
    homosexual persons can be “cured.”

    Those arguments are no longer worthy of my time or energy.
    I will no longer dignify by listening to the thoughts of those
    who advocate “reparative therapy,”
    as if homosexual persons are somehow broken and need to be repaired.

    I will no longer talk to those who believe
    that the unity of the church can or should be achieved
    by rejecting the presence of, or at least at the expense of,
    gay and lesbian people.

    I will no longer take the time to refute
    the unlearned and undocumented claims of certain world religious leaders
    who call homosexuality “deviant.”

    I will no longer listen to that pious sentimentality
    that certain Christian leaders continue to employ,
    which suggests some version of that strange and overtly dishonest phrase that
    “we love the sinner but hate the sin.”
    That statement is nothing more than a self-serving lie
    designed to cover the fact that these people hate homosexual persons
    and fear homosexuality itself,
    but somehow know that hatred is incompatible with the Christ
    they claim to profess,
    so they adopt this face-saving and absolutely false statement.

    I will no longer temper my understanding of truth
    in order to pretend that I have even a tiny smidgen of respect
    for the appalling negativity that continues to emanate from religious circles
    where the church has for centuries conveniently perfumed
    its ongoing prejudices against blacks, Jews, women and homosexual persons
    with what it assumes is “high-sounding, pious rhetoric.”

    The day for that mentality has quite simply come to an end for me.
    I will personally neither tolerate it nor listen to it any longer.
    The world has moved on,
    leaving these elements of the Christian Church that cannot adjust
    to new knowledge or a new consciousness
    lost in a sea of their own irrelevance.

    They no longer talk to anyone but themselves.
    I will no longer seek to slow down the witness to inclusiveness
    by pretending that there is some middle ground
    between prejudice and oppression.
    There isn’t.

    Justice postponed is justice denied.
    That can be a resting place no longer for anyone.
    An old civil rights song proclaimed that
    the only choice awaiting those who cannot adjust to a new understanding
    was to “Roll on over or we’ll roll on over you!”
    Time waits for no one.

    It is time for the media to announce that there are no longer two sides
    to the issue of full humanity for gay and lesbian people.
    There is no way that justice for homosexual people
    can be compromised any longer.

    I will no longer act as if the Papal office is to be respected
    if the present occupant of that office is either not willing or not able
    to inform and educate himself on public issues on which he dares to speak
    with embarrassing ineptitude.

    I see no way that ignorance and truth can be placed side by side,
    nor do I believe that evil is somehow less evil if the Bible is quoted to justify it.

    It is time to move on.
    The battle is over.
    The victory has been won.
    There is no reasonable doubt
    as to what the final outcome of this struggle will be.

    Homosexual people will be accepted as equal, full human beings,
    who have a legitimate claim on every right
    that both church and society have to offer any of us.
    Homosexual marriages will become legal,
    recognized by the state and pronounced holy by the church.

    Can any of us imagine
    having a public referendum on whether slavery should continue,
    whether segregation should be dismantled,
    whether voting privileges should be offered to women?

    I will also no longer act as if I need a majority vote of some ecclesiastical body
    in order to bless, ordain, recognize and celebrate the lives and gifts
    of gay and lesbian people in the life of the church.

    No one should ever again be forced
    to submit the privilege of citizenship in this nation
    or membership in the Christian Church to the will of a majority vote.

    The battle in both our culture and our church
    to rid our souls of this dying prejudice is finished.
    A new consciousness has arisen.
    A decision has quite clearly been made.

    Inequality for gay and lesbian people is no longer a debatable issue
    in either church or state.
    Therefore, I will from this moment on
    refuse to dignify the continued public expression of ignorant prejudice
    by engaging it.
    I do not tolerate racism or sexism any longer.

    From this moment on,
    I will no longer tolerate our culture’s various forms of homophobia.
    I do not care who it is who articulates these attitudes
    or who tries to make them sound holy with religious jargon.

    Things do get settled and this issue is now settled for me.
    I do not debate any longer with members of the “Flat Earth Society” either.
    I do not debate with people who think we should treat epilepsy
    by casting demons out of the epileptic person;
    I do not waste time engaging those medical opinions
    that suggest that bleeding the patient might release the infection.

    I am tired of being embarrassed by so much of my church’s participation
    in causes that are quite unworthy of the Christ I serve
    or the God whose mystery and wonder I appreciate more each day.

    Indeed I feel the Christian Church should not only apologize,
    but do public penance
    for the way we have treated people of color, women, adherents of other religions
    and those we designated heretics, as well as gay and lesbian people.

    Life moves on.

    As the poet James Russell Lowell once put it more than a century ago:
    “New occasions teach new duties, Time makes ancient good uncouth.”
    I am ready now to claim the victory.
    I will from now on assume it and live into it.
    I am unwilling to argue about it
    or to discuss it as if there are two equally valid, competing positions any longer.
    The day for that mentality has simply gone forever.

    No longer . . .

    Love, John

  2. Magy Stelling says:

    One of the greatest “life lessons” I ever learned was when our JustFaith group met with three Native American activists of the SK reservation. Being a relative newcomer to the North West and having never met a Native American I asked the three what each wished to be known as, an Indian or a Native American. The youngest one , without hesitation proudly said “Native American. The middle aged female said she wished to be known for her works and didn’t mind being called an Indian as she bore the title proudly. But it was the eldest one who was an elder in her tribe who stopped me in my tracks and made me ponder over my personal prejudices of any group. After a long pause she softly spoke these words,” I simply wish to be known as a human being with all the right and responsibilities of that status.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *