Thursday, June 2, 2011

Just wait

You've probably already seen this, but just in case you missed it--gay activists reveal that their real agenda is to end religious freedom for anybody who still thinks that homosexual sex acts are gravely morally evil and sinful:

A proposal in Congress would ban Catholic adoption agencies and undercut the needs of children by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of marital status or sexual orientation, two legislative experts say.

“This legislation would prohibit adoption agencies and foster care agencies, including religious adoption agencies and foster care agencies, from providing services in many cases,” warned Lori Windham, Senior Counsel with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “They would have to choose between following their religious beliefs and shutting down.”

Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) introduced the bill, titled “Every Child Deserves a Family Act,” on May 3. Its 52 co-sponsors in the House include Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Sen. Kristin Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is expected to introduce companion legislation in the Senate.

The House bill would prohibit “discrimination in adoption or foster care placements” based on sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status of any prospective adoptive or foster parent, or the sexual orientation or gender identity of the child involved. [...]

But Sprigg said the bill would drive out “some of the most effective adoption agencies that there are.”

“Christian adoption agencies such as Catholic Charities have such an outstanding record. It would be sacrificing the interest of children to drive them out of the adoption business.”

In 2009 Catholic Charities completed 3,794 adoptions and provided adoption services to 43,982 clients. It provided foster care services for 18,344 children and adolescents, the Catholic Charities USA 2009 Annual Survey reports.

“The impact of the legislation would be to mean that fewer children will actually get homes,” said Windham. She said such proposals are part of a “growing conflict” and that supporters of religious freedom should oppose Stark’s bill.

Without a religious freedom exemption, the bill would make it “very difficult if not impossible” for religiously-affiliated agencies to operate, Windham said.

Similar laws have forced some agencies to close.

Windham cited a regulation enforcement in Massachusetts which compelled the Boston Catholic Charities affiliate to stop providing adoption services because it could not place children with same-sex couples.

The proposal could have similar effects to a law in the United Kingdom which caused the closure or disaffiliation of all Catholic adoption agencies because they could not in good conscience place children with same-sex couples.

Read the rest--it's a lengthy article--here.

Gay activists in other countries--the United Kingdom is mentioned here--have already shown that they do not really give a damn about what is in the best interests of children. Children in the UK will be taken away from foster parents, or prospective adoptive parents, if those parents aren't willing to teach the anti-gospel of worship for all same-gender acts of genital contact which, along with every other expression of sexual libertinism, has effectively become the state religion there. That is the agenda they have here, too: to end religious freedom by ending the freedom of Christians to live according to the teachings of their faiths. So long as we keep religion confined to an hour on Sunday, we'll be accorded a suspicious, grudging liberty to do that--but let us try to walk the Gospel in our daily lives, and that freedom will be ended if it conflicts with the soon-to-be mandated secular view that homosexual activity is super-duper, great, wonderful, terrific, holy, important, and must be taught (and, probably before we know it, demonstrated) to children as soon as they're old enough to be potty-trained by anybody who doesn't want to be arrested for illegal bigotry.

You think I'm exaggerating? Just wait.

UPDATE: Here's a wonderful piece on the essential public purpose of marriage--and why same-sex marriage derails that purpose.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

Somehow I doubt that this will get a majority of either house of congress, and certainly not both. A lot of people I vote for will support it, and I'll still vote for them, because they are right more often than they are wrong.

This would be a difficult law to overturn on constitutional grounds. It is well established that no church can be compelled to host a marriage the church does not recognize as a marriage -- that is clear in the reasoning of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts in the Goodrich case. The court acknowledged it had jurisdiction only over state action. The First Amendment unquestionably protects church autonomy on this issue.

But adoption is not, per se, a matter of religious doctrine, so the same First Amendment argument would not apply. Better to just vote down the legislation. On the other hand, a case could be made that this is out of the jurisdiction of the federal government. Congress can't ban carrying guns in the vicinity of schools -- that is a state matter, and most states do. Maybe congress can't regulate adoption either.

I would not much care if my state legislature provided some form of licensing to same-sex couples, or even called it "marriage." I care a lot when people contrive that somehow we must all love and respect people who cohabit with individuals of their own gender, AS homosexuals and FOR their homosexuality. They have a right to privacy and to make their own choices in peace and quiet enjoyment. I have the right to say their choices stink.

At worst, the statement "homosexual acts are sinful" is entitled to the same consideration as the statement "drinking alcohol is sinful," or "eating pork, shrimp and oysters is sinful," or "wearing make-up and jewelry to church is sinful," etc. etc. etc. Those who disagree can tell jokes about it, but its not a crime to believe it.

When it comes to children, the entire trendiness is especially disturbing. Biology being what it is, chances are there is some benefit to children having one parent of each sex -- the pair necessary to conceive them in the first place. Children are not pawns or trophies, to be displayed in someone's never-ending search for self esteem and recognition.

Geoff G. said...

Shall I take the bait? What the heck, why not? Purging is good for the soul :)

My dearest Erin, your talent for invective amazes and astonishes as always.

"So long as we keep religion confined to an hour on Sunday, we'll be accorded a suspicious, grudging liberty to do that--but let us try to walk the Gospel in our daily lives, and that freedom will be ended if it conflicts with the soon-to-be mandated secular view that homosexual activity is super-duper, great, wonderful, terrific, holy, important, and must be taught (and, probably before we know it, demonstrated) to children as soon as they're old enough to be potty-trained by anybody who doesn't want to be arrested for illegal bigotry."

I've always viewed this overly dramatic, fervent fantasy of martyrdom to be social conservatism's own, strange culture of death. It's as if you can't wait to be thrown to the lions. It's really like something out of the second act of Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites. I'm certainly not a psychologist, but there does seem to be a touch of neurosis in this overwhelming need to demonstrate your faith by nailing yourself to the cross over this issue.

It would be hilarious if it were not for the fact that Christians who are now wallowing in soi-disant victimhood have been responsible for real deaths and real physical injuries (yes, that's the Christian contribution to the "culture of life:" gay bashings and murders and kids bullied into suicide). But what's the life of a kid compared to Catholicism's right to hate? Amirite?

Frankly, I could care less if the Catholic adoption agencies choose to discriminate against me. Catholicism has already made it abundantly clear that I'm unfit for human contact, so they'd hardly be my first choice for adoption in any case.

The problem, however, is that adoption agencies receive quite a bit of government funding to do the good works that they do do. And as long as the government is footing the bill, it seems reasonable that the services provided ought to be made available to everyone based on merit, not whatever flavor of human being your group decides is subhuman today.

Religions may be free to believe whatever they wish about whoever they please. Government should not be afforded that luxury.

John E. said...

Oh Red, so sensible on so many topics, so shrill on this one...

freddy said...

What an ugly little bill. "Every child deserves a family" as long as we're willing to swallow the lie that the state has the power to redefine the word "family."

And I note that neither Geoff nor John can criticize your post on its merits, but can only point their fingers and call you a big old meanie. Again.

shadowlands said...

I think the vitriol and hate shown in the past and present towards homosexuals has not helped this situation. Both my country (UK) and America have proven historically that they can raise deeply prejudiced children in christian homes. At school, I saw chikdren teased and bullied who weren't considered masculine or feminine enough. Nothing practical was ever done to stop this treatment, not by the school, church or the authorities. The Church teaches we should show compassion and respect and understanding towards homosexuals. We still do not have concise compassionate and respectful guidlines towards homosexuality in general, that we live out in public and are known for having. The opposite is said of us, infact. Ask youself if you truly feel compassionate and respectful within your own heart?
I don't think homosexuals want to be worshipped, but I'd be freakin well angry if the whole moral dilemma got landed at my feet, whilst hypocrites float around pontificating their self righteousness. I would definately want to stop them bringing up more human beings to do the same.I would see that as a crime.As a Catholic, I see it as a sin that needs repenting of. Then perhaps, we will see our fellow brothers and sisters return to the faith.I don't mean to pick on any individual here by the way, just all of us!

While we were yet sinners, God sent His only son to die for us. He loves us that much. Is that the God your words and actions manifest manifest to the homosexuals you encounter? It's the truth about how God sees them, so if not, why not? They haven't asked you to die for them, yet.

Kate said...

I have a bit of a different perspective on these issues. I think that, certainly in the United States, religion and government are too intertwined, to each's detriment. It's that link between the two that makes the scenarios you present here real. A couple of suggestions to remedy this part of the problem. Religious entities of any sort should eschew any special treatment or protections (e.g, non-profit status, tax exemption) from the government. If they share in the same burdens as the people who are part of them, then they can speak and act freely on issues like this one, or any other issue of morality, ethics, politics, etc. just like any other citizen. Religious personnel should not act as agents for the state in any capacity. That means not signing marriage licenses, or engaging in any type of service where they have to represent the state. Religious organizations and entities need to not accept any federal or state dollars for any reason. The loss of freedom you decry in your post is a loss of freedom religion and its associated entities agreed to when they accepted roles in government (again, marriage licenses) and government dollars. Without such entanglements, religious groups would be truly free to live and act on their convictions. It would also make it difficult for any group with an antireligious agenda to impose their values using government policy, money, regulation or what have you as a cudgel to advance their beliefs. Separation of church and state was originally devised to protect the churches from the government. Far too many religious people have forgotten that. This is what happens when the lines get blurred. Religion gets corrupted and co-opted by government to serve government's ends and means. That's the real issue, as I see it here. Certainly, the blurred lines between the two advocated by many religious people in the name of making or keeping the US as a so-called Christian nation have helped make the current situation, with the example you've cited in your post, possible. Religion is tainted and corrupted by its special relationship with government. It's time to take the high road and choose real freedom. I suspect though that we're too entangled, too enamored of our special status and protection, and certainly of our government dollars to really be honest first about the problem and then to cut the cord and the ties. Oh well. That's my take on it anyway. Take what you like and leave the rest.

John E. said...

Freddie, there's not much to say in response to, "the bad old government won't let my Church discriminate against people who practice that icky homosexuality".

Red Cardigan said...

Well, John, there's also not much to say to "Your 2,000 year-old faith with a long, deeply philosophical moral tradition is just icky bigotry" either.

Freddy has this exactly right. Should we let the government redefine "family" to let pedophiles adopt? From their perspective, our "ick" factor concerning pedophilia is just as much "bigotry" as the Church's teaching that homosexual acts are intrinsically evil--and our teaching that it is gravely wrong for adults to engage in sex acts with children is just as much an act of "bigotry" as the teaching that it is gravely wrong for same-gendered people to perform non-intercourse sex acts on each other.

Secular people can, of course, say that pedophilia is wrong because children can't consent--but pedophiles insist that of course they can, and that it's therefore nothing but bigotry that makes pedophilia a forbidden love. When you've torn down religion and philosophy, stifled them, and muzzled them--how on earth will you answer these people, except to say that might makes right?

Anonymous said...

Secular people can, of course, say that pedophilia is wrong because children can't consent

Unless the child happens to be in a womb--then you don't need consent to rip them apart with forceps.

c matt said...

Religious entities of any sort should eschew any special treatment or protections (e.g, non-profit status, tax exemption) from the government

Part of the reason they are tax exempt is precisely because taxation causes entanglement. Just think how entangled with the gubmint you are every April 15th. Have you ever read the tax code? All kinds of things in there to promote certain types of conduct by either charging a penalty for non-compliance, or giving a reward for compliance. Nothing controls more than taxation.

"Every Child Deserves a Family"

Yes. But not every couple deserves a child, for a myraid of reasons. That may seem harsh, but it's true. The problem with this Act is that it places political correctness above the welfare of the child.

John E. said...

Red, the difference is that homosexuality is legal and pedophilia is not.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Geoff G has some valid points -- and I can say that without taking anything back. Jut as I believe Planned Parenthood would be better off, on its own terms, without government funding, so I believe that adoption agencies that want complete independence should not take government funding either.

It is possible that the bills introduced in congress can ONLY be effective by cutting off federal funding to agencies that do not place adoptive children with same-sex couples. Federal funding is the great back door to expanding federal jurisdiction: congress can't FORCE states to lower their speed limits or raise their drinking ages, but it CAN require these things as a CONDITION of receiving federal funding!

Free exercise of religion has always been a matter of me being free to practice my religion, not me being free to practice your religion. We would be better off if nobody tried too hard to force their own standards too hard on other people. A lot of children may well be better off with a man and a woman adopting them. Others may be fine with a gay couple. If agencies catering to one or the other are both allowed to operate, there is a better chance they might each find the best home.

In the best of all possible worlds, I would favor placing a child with a man and a woman. In the world we live in, placement with a stable, loving, gay couple is better than bouncing around the foster care system by a long shot. It really doesn't "make the kids gay." I know a gay woman who raised a heterosexual daughter who is quite proud of her mother.

Passing a law to put ALL adoption into a straight jacket that seems good and right to those promoting the law is another form of bigotry.

As to whether children can give consent, obviously we have to draw lines somewhere. Equal protection of the laws does not entitle five year olds to vote. Cultures that married girls off very young generally ALSO had strict taboos that the husband could not consummate the marriage until after his wife's second menstrual period. That's not good enough for our present culture, but it is a reasonably objective limitation. In a small, intimate community, it was not hard to detect if a man cheated, nor to promptly beat him to death as a warning that no other man should yield to the temptation.

Geoff G. said...

I'll just add one more thing: Red's putting herself (just as NY State Senator Ruben Diaz is) in the same camp as this kind of Christian:

"Those who practice such things are worthy to death" — exact quote.

I have no interest in killing Christians, hateful and despicable as they may be. That small charity is not returned by the Christian community. They want me dead.

freddy, forgive me if I call people calling for my death "big old meanies."

Red Cardigan said...

Geoff, you are out of line with that one, and I think you know it. You know perfectly well what my Church teaches about homosexuality (hint: it's the same love the sinner, hate the sin message we get about the adulterer, the fornicator, and every other sinner, myself included). If I said that you were completely on board with the North American Man-Boy Love Association's belief that young gay boys ought to be having sex with much older men just because you are a member of the same-sex attracted community, you would rightly call me out for tarring you with so broad a brush: I'm calling you out for the same reason on this one.

I'd like to see you avoid eternal death, just like I'd like to avoid it myself. I would defend you to the fullest extent of my abilities from anybody thinking your same-gender attraction, or any specific sins you might commit because of it, were reasons to kill you. Do me the courtesy to realize my consistency as a believing and practicing Catholic on this as on all issues, please.

Anonymous said...


I don't think Geoff is that far out of line... I lurk here too much for the health of my soul, but I must say, the extremeness and callousness you paint any topic that has to do with homosexuality leads to me wonder if you would really step up for Geoff or any gay man or woman if the action would lend even the smallest hint of showing support for a "lifestyle" you abhor.

I want to believe you would, especially from your other posts where you do seem to shine as eager to do what is right, but the hyperbole and the quite nasty invective that pours in torrents from you when it comes to topics about homosexuality drowns out anything else.

I personally can't extend you the courtesy you request, but that's because I don't believe your past actions on this matter or any other touching homosexuality can lend me to do it with an honest heart.


Red Cardigan said...

Well, gee, Lynette, isn't that special. Despite clear evidence to the contrary you think that I'd be out there stoning people caught in homosexuality if given half a chance. How tolerant of you.

Homosexual acts are as gravely morally evil as adultery, fornication, murder, serious theft, torture, or anything else that is intrinsically (that is, by its nature) wrong and an offense against God.

If thieves were trying to create a society in which theft was celebrated as a lifestyle choice, I'd be just as strong in opposing thievery. If adulterers were trying to create a society based on open marriage and swinging, I'd be just as strong in opposing adultery. If torturers were chanting "Keep torture safe and legal," I'd be--well, I AM, damn it! I started a blog around the concept, and though it doesn't get updated as often as this one, when pro-torture stuff shows up in the news either my co-blogger Robert King or I will be sure to post about it so we can reiterate the Church's position against it.

The real truth is that for people want our society to be re-shaped into a society in which homosexual acts and behavior are lauded and celebrated, there are only two possible positions: celebrate gay sex and insist that gay sex is the highest and best of all human endeavors, or line up to stone gay people. The very idea that I could (and do) think of same-sex attracted people as my brothers and sisters and sincerely care about them while insisting that gay sex acts are gravely morally wrong and put everyone who participates in them at risk of eternal death seems not to be a possibility in your minds.

This is what I hate about this debate: you'd rather I tell Geoff that there's absolutely nothing wrong with anything he or anyone who is same-sex attracted wants to do in the bedroom, and that anybody who says otherwise is just a big meanie. If I do that, then I'm going to be held accountable for the souls I help to lose by not speaking the truth, in season or out of it. Do you think I *want* Geoff, or anyone else, to suffer the flames of eternal fire? Hell no.

I don't tell heterosexual fornicators or adulterers that their conduct is just fine and should be celebrated, either, by the way. It makes me sad to think of the number of people who die every day without ever having the chance to repent of these serious, ugly sins. I pray for mercy for them, for myself, and for all of us. To me, the most hateful thing I could possibly do is shrug and say, "Oh, who cares if people lie, cheat, steal, torture, fornicate, commit adultery or homosexual acts! It will just make Heaven less crowded."

I'm starting to think I'm wasting my time blogging at all. So many people just don't give a damn about their brothers and sisters who are headed for eternal death, and every time I blog about these topics that involve sins against the Sixth Commandment (as Catholics number them) I get this sort of garbage from commenters. Divorce, cohabitation, gay stuff--it's all the same to the people who think God will give them a pass when it comes to their sex habits, and that anybody who says otherwise is just a killjoy and spoil sport.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

My general track record here is, Geoff and Erin agree with each other, and disagree with me, about abortion, Erin and I agree with each other, and disagree with Geoff, about gay marriage being a constitutional right, and on many other subjects, I tend to split the difference between Geoff and Erin. Let me try that again.

I can see why Geoff might take it personally when someone talks about the "hellish" practices of gay men and lesbians, and pronounces - no, that honestly isn't fair, REPEATS the pronouncements of her church that they will burn forever in hell because of it.

It is, however, true that Erin has not extolled the murderers of Matthew Shepherd, nor advocated mob action against gays and lesbians. What she says is no worse than born-again Protestants cheerfully telling congenial Jewish neighbors "I'm sorry you have to go to hell."

It is a kind of bigotry for organizations of, by, and for, people who embrace the identity "gay," to demand that churches, and church members, stop pronouncing something a sin when they believe it is a sin. One of my favorite web sites is
There are extant religious teachings in the world that eating crab, oysters, scallops, lobster, shrimp, pork are all sinful. If the point is, the act is an offense against God, then it doesn't matter if it is an individual choice or a victimless crime.

The offense is against God. It breaks down in some funny ways: Jews and Muslims share the same dietary laws, different from Christians of any stripe. Muslims and some Protestant sects forbid drinking alcohol (often honored in the breach by either one), while Jews and Catholics (and a lot of other Protestants) freely imbibe.

For those who (a) don't believe in God, or, (b) disagree about what IS an offense against God, we have something called the First Amendment which protects our right to live differently than Erin thinks we should live, and to say things Geoff thinks we shouldn't say, and all these choices have consequences.

As John E. has pointed out before, SOME laws are based on an act being an offense against our fellow man (e.g. theft) whether or not it is also an offense against God. That should be the boundary between legislation (regulating our communal affairs on earth), and evanglism (preaching whatever you wish to offer your fellow man about the affairs of God).

Red Cardigan said...

A reasonably fair assessment, Siarlys, except for two things:

1. I don't say that anybody's going to burn forever in Hell. I say that the Church, consistent with 2,000 years of Christian teaching, calls some sins intrinsic evils and says they can never be good. People who commit intrinsically evil acts are *risking* their immortal souls. If they die having a) committed sins which by their nature grievously offend God, b) known such things grievously offend God, and c) freely chosen such things anyway, then they are choosing Hell of their own free will, and God will not stop them (because that would violate the concept of free will). It is the duty of Christians to speak the truth clearly about such matters--I might risk my own soul if my attitude towards Geoff on earth (or towards cohabitators, adulterers, etc.) were "Eh, so what, screw whomever you like however you like, and go to Hell--what does it matter to me?"

2. The debate about which acts should be legislated against can't completely be about offenses against our fellow man. Prostitution is not an offense against man generally (in that it's a business transaction between consenting adults) but many societies rightly ban it anyway. Illegal drug use is not necessarily an offense against man, but I don't buy the drug legalization arguments in favor of making cocaine, heroin, etc. totally legal to buy and use. On the other side of the equation, things which aren't in any way sinful get banned all the time because society decides it would be better for some reason (e.g., smoking, the use of incandescent light bulbs, etc.). One of the main problems regarding our society's complete inability to determine right from wrong lies in our tendency to equate "banned" with "bad" and "legal" with "good." That is a poverty of philosophy which few will address.

Having said that, I think it's pretty well impossible to legislate against most private sins (except for things like prostitution and drug use, of course). But just because it's legal for Bob and Bill, or Mr. A. and Mrs. B., or a couple of unmarried slackers to commit various sex acts with each other doesn't mean that we have to restructure society to insist that it's all good, and that the innocent children who get caught up in this mess will adjust sooner or later (because, hey, kids are resilient, right, and why should adults have to give a damn about how their deeply dysfunctional behaviors wrecks their lives?).

Geoff G. said...

Red wrote:

"Geoff, you are out of line with that one, and I think you know it. You know perfectly well what my Church teaches about homosexuality."

I do indeed. Indeed, I've far too often found it necessary to quote the Catechism at so-called serious Catholics who stepped out of line on a number of issues that involve homosexuality.

I want to bring up two points in conjunction with this conversation.

First, Red wrote the following in her article (forgive my quoting at length):

"Gay activists in other countries--the United Kingdom is mentioned here--have already shown that they do not really give a damn about what is in the best interests of children. Children in the UK will be taken away from foster parents, or prospective adoptive parents, if those parents aren't willing to teach the anti-gospel of worship for all same-gender acts of genital contact which, along with every other expression of sexual libertinism, has effectively become the state religion there. That is the agenda they have here, too: to end religious freedom by ending the freedom of Christians to live according to the teachings of their faiths."

Now, please note that she didn't say "some gay activists" or "there are some who think this" but simply said "gay activists." And she knows full well that people like me have taken the concerns she's discussing seriously and tried to reach a compromise position on libertarian grounds.

Now, perhaps Red doesn't consider me an "activist." She may not be aware that I've volunteered for groups like the Servicemember's Legal Defense Network, been quoted in the local paper on LGBT issues, testified before my state legislators, donated money, etc., etc. She does know that I've argued fairly vociferously in a number of fora on this topic.

But she chooses to paint with a broad brush.

And then note how quickly she takes offense when others do exactly the same thing she is doing.

Geoff G. said...

Second, over the years, we have seen the Catholic Church preach that the ends do not justify the means. This is not a new piece of doctrine; indeed, it goes back at least as far as Augustine. More recently, we have seen the Church from people like archbishop Óscar Romero down to the nuns protesting at the School of the Americas stand up against anti-communist dictatorships that used brutal means of repression and those Americans that were their allies, even though the Church itself was also staunchly anti-communist.

More recently, we have seen the exact same arguments made against torture and arms-length arrangements that lead to torture like extraordinary rendition. This blog and the Church generally has opposed both such practices.

The message was clear: you can't use immoral means to reach a moral end. Moreover, you can't ally yourself with those who do.

So, if you watch the video I gave above, and note that Sen. Ruben Diaz is standing right there on the podium allied with a preacher who's yelling that I deserve to be put to death, something clearly categorically wrong according to Church doctrine, we can expect the Church to condemn that message, right?

Wrong. The Catholic Church is standing right beside him because when it comes to denying civil (not religious) rights to me and others like me, apparently the ends do justify the means.

Or let's take a more clear-cut case. You'd think that any pro-life religion would be appalled at any teenager committing suicide. You'd think that the Catholic bishops would be jumping on an opportunity to put what the Catechism states into action and participate in the "It Gets Better" project, a project that has received national attention that has one simple goal: telling kids who may be contemplating suicide because they've been teased or ostracized or bullied at school.

You'd think this would be an opportunity to build bridges to a community that feels desperately hurt by religious people. You'd think that a Christian Church would seize an opportunity to display both its pro-life values and its love for humanity.

You'd be wrong. The total number of Catholic bishops participating in this program is precisely zero.

Yes, Catholic bishops cannot even find it in their hearts to come out and tell lesbian or gay kids that suicide is a bad thing.

So you can protest all you like Red, but it's been made perfectly clear that your Church doesn't give a damn about my life or welfare.

Red Cardigan said...

Geoff: you are right in that I didn't consider you a "gay activist" in the sense that I consider those people who want to make it illegal for Catholic Charities to process adoptions. How do you feel about that one, anyway? Or do you just get to shout "Bigot! Intolerant!" at others here while nodding and winking at everything your side gets away with?

How do you feel about NAMBLA, after all? Does the fact that you've never openly condemned them mean I can accuse you of agreeing with them, as you feel free to accuse me of agreeing with Mr. Diaz despite the fact that I've never used any of the rhetoric he apparently likes to use?

You also seem to feel free to say that the Church is standing beside Diaz because some Catholic named Richard Barnes argued on Facebook that those Catholics defending the definition of marriage ought to defend Diaz from the rather vicious counterattacks he's been receiving. Now, I think that vicious breeds vicious (though if either side is getting death threats that's another matter) so I'm not too worried that Diaz's little feelings will be hurt just because some equally vile same-sex attracted person decides to employ gay-sex-explicit epithets or language back at him (though, unlike you, I'm fine condemning both Diaz's rhetoric and the vile gay rhetoric directed back at him--I'm pro-civility, you know). But how you get one guy who heads some New York Catholic group to equal "The Church is standing with Diaz!!!" is mind-boggling; I can only put it down to hysteria.

As for the Church joining with the "It gets better" campaign: please. The Church has plenty of ways to discourage suicide among teens regardless of their sexual orientation (and do you know what group of people are at the *highest* risk of suicide? The elderly. Not teens, gay or straight, amazingly enough). Why should the Church compromise her message by joining hands with a group whose message is really "It gets better when you embrace your sexual orientation and get comfortable having same-sex physical encounters with as many people as you want," which is *always* the subtext of campaigns like this one?

What you want, Geoff, is for the Church, and for Catholics like me, to stop telling you that your sex life puts you at risk of losing your soul (and the fact that we're equally forthright about the risks of losing one's soul to fornication, adultery, self-abuse, and a variety of other sinful habits always escapes your notice, as does my constant admission that I'm a sinner, too, who would hate for you to tell me that my sins are just fine and I don't need to worry about them). But even if you can successfully stifle all free speech on the subject as most gay activists (possibly yourself included?) would like to do, you can't kill the truth. That was tried, remember, about 2,000 years ago. Truth always rises.

And I'm trying to take a blog break, so I'm shutting down the comments on this thread. I've spent more time on this nonsense today than I had intended. Feel free to email me if you want to lecture me any more about how, in a perfect world, I'd shut up about the sin of homosexual activity as a good Catholic.