Saturday, October 09, 2010

Violence against gays.



An age-old crime.
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Last week the big story was Clementi's suicide from the George Washington bridge.  This week gangstas in NYC beat and sodomized a gay kid and the man he slept with as well as the older man's brother - because they were gay.  Despite proposed bullying laws, hate crime legislation, diversity education in schools, multiple television sitcoms and dramas, along with movies showing how 'normal' homosexual relations are, there will always be an element in society who will never tolerate or accept homosexuality on any level.  In a very primitive sense, nature itself revolts against it as it were, and human nature being what it is...
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An unfortunate matter of fact.
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Such violence was alluded to - but NOT condoned - in the  CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH,  LETTER TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON THE PASTORAL CARE OF HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS:
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10. It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church's pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.
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But the proper reaction to crimes committed against homosexual persons should not be to claim that the homosexual condition is not disordered. When such a claim is made and when homosexual activity is consequently condoned, or when civil legislation is introduced to protect behavior to which no one has any conceivable right, neither the Church nor society at large should be surprised when other distorted notions and practices gain ground, and irrational and violent reactions increase. - CDF
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25 comments:

  1. I'm struggling, genuinely, to understand your point with this post.

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  2. I'm not sure myself Thom. The CDF document came to mind as I read the story of the attack in the Bronx and recalled hearing someplace how Latinos and Blacks especially reject homosexuality - it's a cultural, macho thing I guess. So I considered how these guys have an inate repugnance for homosexuality - it is rooted in man's nature. So on that level I am simply pointing out an obvious fact.

    On the other hand, the Church recognizes that part of fallen nature as well.

    I'm totally against such hatred and violence of course and do not in any way condone it. But I doubt it will ever go away now that the genie is out of the bottle.

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  3. I take your point. The situation could be likened to, say, the abuse and denigration of women since societies morphed from matriarchal to patriarchal. That might be another genie's bottle that is, sadly, never corked. However, at least the Church gives us hope that we should never stop trying.

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  4. michael r.12:17 PM

    That paragraph that you frequently return to, is quite simply, B.S. It is deplorable that the CDF suggests that violence is the result of distorted notions and practices that have taken hold because of a rejection of the Vatican's definition of the disordered condition of homosexuality. This is insane. To continue to drag out this statement, while claiming to denounce violence against gays, is preposterous. This is violence.

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  5. " ... since societies morphed from matriarchal to patriarchal..." What?

    Anyway, T. I understand both-you and the CDF quote you posted.

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  6. There was a definite shift with the advent of domestication and formal agrarian society from a matriarchal societal structure to patriarchal.

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  7. *from that of earlier hunter/gatherer societies.

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  8. I think I understand.

    In the evolution of thought, the secular culture can characterize a group of people. We have Afro-Americans or Women's liberation or this or that group of people. (I tend to see this as part of the temporal punishment of Adam and Eve--how did we know we were naked?!)

    Homosexuals and lesbians are part of the cultural sexual revolution. This is not going away and we need to take a look at how we are and have been responding.

    In my experiences, I have observed that the moral teaching of the Church and Catholics who acquiesce to Her Teachings are being characterized as 'hateful', 'closed-minded', 'bigotry' - etc. This is definitely a distorted notion of our teaching that is causing a multitude of problems ranging from misunderstanding and malice to sadly, violence.

    When I wanted to reject the Church's teaching on contraception, I was frustrated and angry about how the Church felt about me. I was misled into feeling that way.

    The Church and the Churches teachings are about love, not hate and definitely not violence.

    The Church's Teachings are what they are and the culture is what it is. We have to find a way to harmonize the love and the truth.

    Anybody have any good ideas?

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  9. I find the CDF document extremely reasonable and compassionate. It was approved by JPII and composed under then Cardinal Ratzinger - in fact it sounds to me like Ratzinger's style and thought - simple, clear, penetrating, the truth in charity. So many people ask me why hasn't Pope Benedict come out with some clear teaching on homosexuality, and I tell them he has - in this document I refer to.

    I must always refer to this document and the CCC in addressing issues regarding homosexuality and the Catholic Church, because I not only accept it, but I agree with it.

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  10. "Our Lady's message at Fatima is that we must repent. Repentance for the sin of denying sin is obedience to the will of God. Whenever we sin, we indulge our own will in opposition to the divine will. To repent, we must bend our wills to God's will. And this is the hardest task we have to do on earth.
    This kind of repentance by obedience must begin with ourselves. We who have the true faith must merit the graces that others need to be converted in obedience to the Divine Majesty. We must give the example to others of what it means to be humble by obeying the will of God in our lives, so that others may see our obedience and be converted from their evil ways. We must pay the heavy price of bending the knees of our self-will to the demanding will of God's Providence. Why? So that God may be merciful to a sinful world and bring it back to moral sanity.
    We must teach others, by word and example, individually and collectively, that sin is not a figment of the imagination; that sin is the root of all the evils in the world: that wars and suicides, drug addiction and broken families, broken hearts and broken minds - are really the consequences of sin.
    We must tell everyone who is willing to listen, and even those who are not willing to hear it - that unless they repent, they will all likewise perish. We must restore faith in the justice of God, even as we glorify the love of God, in a world that is steeped in self-idolatry.
    Not the least blessing of Fatima is to remind the world of the existence of hell".

    -John Hardon SJ
    Servant of God

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  11. Arbre8:54 PM

    If anyone here thinks that homophobia isn't the direct result of church doctrine, and that hatred against gay people is actually legitimized (in the minds of cretins, especially) by said doctrine, even if it includes unintended stuff like violence--than you deserve a beating.

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  12. Austringer10:44 PM

    "There was a definite shift with the advent of domestication and formal agrarian society from a matriarchal societal structure to patriarchal."

    No, that is not established fact. Much of the "research" purporting to show a regression from matriarchal societal structure into patriarchal societal structure has been shown to be mere wishful thinking on the part of feminists.

    Arbre -- I guess I deserve a beating, then: I don't think that "homophobia" is the direct result of Church doctrine. (Nor do I accpet the term "homophobia" in most cases where it's used, but that's another debate...)

    For myself, I learned my social mores from pop culture (my parents being otherwise occupied...). Though this culture told me that there was nothing wrong with homosexual behavior; nope, no sir --- just a different preference, like differing tastes of ice cream -- I just found the behaviour repulsive. Frankly, I still do, but now that I'm striving to be a good and faithful Catholic, I have more compassion for gays than I did in former days. We're all sinners, with different crosses to bear...

    Nor does your explanation work for Muslims, for whom homosexual behavior is worthy of severe punishment.

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  13. @Austringer:

    I'm pulling my favorite Matthew Shepard Stealth Baseball Bat out from under the bed as we speak!

    Your response is hardly edifying and even less surprising. The churches (notice the plural; although I originally laid everything at the Catholic church's feet--primarily because this is, after all, a Catholic-oriented blog and, secondly, because Catholicism remains one of the most vocally anti-gay entities around today--it's plain that many churches share the honors including Mormonism, Evangelical Christianity, Orthodox Judaism and, yeah, Islam) are indeed the spring from which all waters--or, in this case, blood--flow.

    Every act of suspicion, mistrust, discrimination, bigotry, hate and violence directed at gay people stems from the churches' anti-gay doctrines. It's that simple. And it doesn't matter if the hatred derives from political, secular or other non-religious sectors--it ALL finds its genesis in the churches. Even though the Catholic church has--like you!--softened its rhetoric over the years (what was once intrinsically evil has, for the most part, been reborn as merely disordered), it's the church's essential disapproval and the accompanying fallout that give people the green-light to foster sinful reactions to stuff they don't understand. It doesn't matter if the actor is a seasoned Catholic pastor, a sweet Mormon soccer mom or a card-carrying Baptist Redneck--when august institutions like the Catholic church refuse to extend consistent dignity and respect to gay persons (this: "The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law", not this: "the proper reaction...should not be to claim that the homosexual condition is not disordered"), than it only follows that society will continue to act upon the church's directives and persist in its intolerance of gays even as the church attempts to distance itself from the hatred and violence that ultimately results.

    You may not know it, Austringer, but your disgust of homosexual behavior comes more from our society's institutionalized hatred of all-things-same-sex (again: thanks, Catholicism!) than it does your own head. It's our assimilation into society's programmed revulsion of homosexuality that makes us gag (*wink*), not necessarily our natural inclinations. Trust me--you wouldn't be thinking the way that you do if you were gay, just like you wouldn't be thinking that George Clooney is dishy because you're not female. And yet both of the alternatives to YOU are OKAY.

    And--please--you're giving pop culture way too much clout. Your Lefty stoner friends with the live-and-let-live attitude have far less influence than 2,000 years of lock-step religious patriarchy. Actually, when I think about it, I find a lot about our so-called straight culture to be pretty repulsive, too. Mind if I join you in giving tolerance the ol' college try?

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  14. Austringer12:17 PM

    "Every act of suspicion, mistrust, discrimination, bigotry, hate and violence directed at gay people stems from the churches' anti-gay doctrines."

    Nonsense. Abhorrence at the disordered behavior of homosexuality predates Christianity and Judaism.

    And my disgust at homosexual acts hardly requires absorbing "society's institutionalized hatred of all-things-same-sex" -- no, all it takes is visualizing a guy sticking his penis in another guy's rectum. Hell, all of it -- same-sex kissing, touching -- is revolting. It's disordered -- most disordered behavior is revolting, so it's not surprising.

    But it is my Catholic faith that gives me the motivation and the strength to be compassionate -- there, but for the grace of God, go I -- and so I have worked with gays and never let my revulsion get the better of my compassion. Without my faith, I'm sure I could not have done so.

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  15. if you wanna talk about blood flowing, let's mention the great diseases that are spawned by same-sex sexual acting out. by God's grace alone have i not been infected by 'the bug' after 12 years of actively engaging in the most depraved gay behavior, because after all i really believed i had no choice. i couldn't get married, but i had all these 'feelings' crying out for satisfaction, and all the gay guys i met out in the world kept encouraging it & made it all sound so great, so i kept trying to find that mister right & elusive right relationship only to be left with ashes in my mouth (among other stuff). but who spoke the truth in love, even when it was hard for me to hear? the Catholic Church. who valued ME for who i am? yep, the Catholic Church. who helps me deal with the ongoing shame of having behaved like an animal? once again, the Catholic Church. TRUE compassion isn't about telling me everything's ok when it isn't. cancer might be natural, but it sure as hell ain't good for me. it might feel natural to have same-sex feelings for me, but the ontological reality of right-ordered nature and relationships is much more peaceful and liberating. i hear Christ's voice instructing me how to live and while it may not be easy, and i fail, striving daily to be chaste and celibate is where it's at. but this is a dead horse i'm sick of beating for those who fail to listen and 'get it.' the truth is that a person living the gay life really will not understand Christian Catholic doctrine and teaching because they don't WANT to understand it. they want to do what they want to do, as a lot of people wanna do with their pet sins. only when a person recognizes what they're doing is failing and why, and see that they themselves in their sin is the problem and give the Church the benefit of the doubt and say 'ok you may be right, Holy Father, i'll listen' do they start understanding. i really do believe a person cannot BEGIN to understand Truth until they consider that they could be wrong and the Church could be right. you have to set aside your pride and selfishness long enough to be willing to listen and be willing to make the necessary changes when you feel that "omgosh i'm convicted" feeling. let's pray for one another that we will receive, understand, and live the Truth vs. beating each other up and calling each other names. i think everyone's searching for the same thing. some of us find it, while others fail miserably, and more's the pity.

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  16. Arbre6:10 PM

    @Austringer:

    >> Abhorrence at the disordered behavior...predates Christianity and Judaism <<

    *sigh* Okay, I'll state my implications more directly: I meant most Judeo-Christian churches, pre-Judaic tribes, hostile ancient sects, oracles, druids, shamans, cavemen, and all other intolerant pagans. In other words, any condemning religious or spiritual tradition. I think that just about covers it. Happy?

    >> And my disgust at homosexual acts hardly requires absorbing "society's institutionalized hatred of all-things-same-sex" <<

    Well, yeah, it does, even if you're unable to admit or recognize it. If gay sex was tolerated from the get-go, you wouldn't have any preconceived notions about it. It would just be another kind of normal. Which, of course, it is.

    >> most disordered behavior is revolting <<

    I'd hazard to guess, Austringer, that your darkest, most verboten sexual fantasies--you know, the ones you were most ashamed of as a teenager and which, today, you might not even be fully comfortable sharing with the wife--could probably sit on the shelf right next to the most "revolting" of gay sex acts. You'll notice that I didn't call your particular proclivities "preferences"; that's because no one--not even you--can control what turns you on sexually. Why, I'd even wager that what you're into would make me puke!

    I guess we'll just have to agree that one person's revolting can very well be another person's Nirvana.

    There's a quote by the philosopher Simone Weil that I thought of while I was reading your post. I think it's highly relevant here. May I?:

    There is a class of people in this world who have fallen into the lowest degree of humiliation, far below beggary, and who are deprived not only of all social consideration but also, in everybody's opinion, of the specific human dignity, reason itself--and these are the only people who, in fact, are able to tell the truth. All the others lie.

    @doughboy:

    Hmm. Your favorite song isn't "He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss)", is it?

    Sorry about your experiences, but keep in mind that they in no way reflect mine or those of many other gay people. Because that's the stereotype, right? That gay folks' raging, unchecked hormones can't help but force them to run from bar to bar, hooking up with a different stranger every night and getting HIV, or almost? Right?

    Wrong. You've obviously been watching too much premium cable. Many gays are ordinary, church-going, tax-paying citizens who don't feel the call of the wild, just as many straights don't. (Although, truth be told, many straight partiers can definitely give even the most uninhibited gay man or woman a run for his/her money-shot.) It's true that society's oppression continues to keep acting-out behaviors alive for many in the gay community--again, just as it does for those straight "experimenters"--but, in the end (no pun intended), acting-out is as much personal choice as it is youthful compulsion. And you can't blame your friends either, doughboy, because YOU picked 'em.

    I'm sorry that you didn't have more positive outlets for your psychosexual development but rest assured that your witness is hardly uncommon. Just don't make it a blanket statement. Furthermore, while I'm glad that the canned Courage talking points work for you, please remember that many gays have maneuvered life's vicissitudes perhaps a bit more successfully than you (thanks be to God) and turned out just fine.

    >> let's pray for one another that we will receive, understand, and live the Truth vs. beating each other up and calling each other names <<

    Amen! Let's start with the word "disordered." As far as names go, it's a pretty nasty one.

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  17. i hate that word 'disordered,' too, but the truth hurts. dis-ordered, as in not ordered to the proper end. screwed up. yes we are. praise God for His merciful love.

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  18. Arbre8:55 PM

    Hang in there, doughboy. It'll get better if you allow it to.

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  19. Austringer9:09 PM

    " I meant most Judeo-Christian churches, pre-Judaic tribes, hostile ancient sects, oracles, druids, shamans, cavemen, and all other intolerant pagans. In other words, any condemning religious or spiritual tradition."

    Well, that pretty much includes everybody, as there has been no atheist culture that has sprung up on its own, outside of a religious/spiritual tradition. Which makes the point that Terry had made: "In a very primitive sense, nature itself revolts against it as it were, and human nature being what it is..."

    "If gay sex was tolerated from the get-go, you wouldn't have any preconceived notions about it"

    But that IS the culture that I grew up with: tolerance, tolerance, tolerance. The message was loud and clear: gay "sex" is perfectly normal! You betcha!! Nothin' to see here!

    "I guess we'll just have to agree that one person's revolting can very well be another person's Nirvana."

    Maybe, but what you are buying into is relativism: that there is no objective truth, and thus no objective right or wrong. Just different preferences. But obviously, as a Catholic Christian, I reject that. You need to accept the fact that faithful, orthodox Jews and Christians will always see homosexual behavior as disordered, no matter how tolerant the reigning culture is, because we recognize it as objective truth. We all have to work on being more charitable and more loving to all, including those afflicted with this particular disorder, but compassion does not require or suggest that we declare the act to be normal.

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  20. Kudos on this blog, Terry. And what an instructive thread: Doughboy and Austringer offer actual arguments, common sense, basic Christian teaching on sexual perversion (with distinctions made in a more or less kindly tone) and all Arbre offers back is....bile, bullying, and childish sarcasm.

    Amazing.

    But not as amazing as grace. Careful how long you kick at the goad, Arbre. Goad kicking landed a certain Jew from Tarsus in a place he never dreamed.

    God loves you, and there's nothing you can do about it.

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  21. I get the point of this post. There is a naturally-designed order to the male and female body and to how they are used.

    Some people just naturally, on a biological level "get that." And when they see something dis-ordered and un-natural, they have an adverse reaction to it.

    It's not that hard to understand, really. Don't need a bunch of theology to explain it or defend it.

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  22. Arbre6:37 PM

    @Austringer:

    >> Well, that pretty much includes everybody <<

    I know. That's what I said in the next sentence.

    >> But that IS the culture that I grew up with <<

    No, no--when I said from "the get-go," I meant FROM THE DAWN OF CIVILIZATION, not 1978. Because if that were the case (i.e., if you were following the thread of my point), you'd have no prejudicial information upon which to pattern your hostility. Why? Because society would've already assimilated homosexuality eons before. You know: from the get-go. Get it?

    >> Maybe, but what you are buying into is relativism: that there is no

    Oops!! Sorry, Austringer, but I've lost interest. Let's move on to...

    @Patrick:

    >> Doughboy and Austringer offer actual arguments <<

    That's a real shocker coming from you, Patrick.

    >> all Arbre offers back is....bile, bullying, and childish sarcasm <<

    What?! You mean none my discourses on behalf of the gay community hold water?

    Hey, wait a minute, Patrick. It just occurred to me that you're engaging in EXACTLY the kind of mind-f*ck that the great philosopher and mystic Simone Weil criticized! You know, how Pharisetical masses try to actively withhold human dignity from the oppressed by stripping them of all reason and yet the oppressed are the only ones to whom God has revealed His Truth?

    Lol! (This is like shooting fish in a barrel!)

    @Charlotte:

    >> There is a naturally-designed order to the male and female body and to how they are used...And when they see something dis-ordered and un-natural, they have an adverse reaction to it <<

    So men and women are nothing more than giant jigsaw-puzzle pieces, huh? And that's what you've based your entire understanding of sexual ethics upon?

    If your assertions were true, Charlotte, than, by extension, anyone with a natural disorder that deviated from your opinion of how the physical realm is supposed to work--the blind, the deaf, the crippled, the diseased--would also deserve your "adverse reaction." Oh, well; those people are pretty gross, aren't they?

    >> It's not that hard to understand, really <<

    Could've fooled me.

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  23. Thanks very much Patrick.

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  24. doughboy: Thank you for your heartfelt, sincere and absolutely gut-wrenching description of what you have experienced...
    I am in awe of your spiritual journey and the way Jesus has lead you. Praise Him!
    And thank you.
    Not many would be willing to expose themselves in such a way; you are very close to God. My prayers and blessing.
    Gay sex will never, ever bring anyone to God. Ever.
    Only disinterested, chaste and devoted love...only in Jesus.

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  25. And, not to throw gasoline onto a fire (well, maybe!)...
    any act of gay sex is a kind of "violence"...I won't get graphic here, but let's just say that certain activities are by their nature degrading and harmful to the human body...why is this an act of love? And if a man and woman do these things they are no better (re: TOB CW Style...sodomy is not allowed for anybody!!)...
    Love is not feelings, tenderness or passion...love is willing the good for another...and between two men or two women, willing the good means respecting the body that God has created and loving the other as a child of God as a man or woman, not as an object of sexual desire only.
    I'm probably gonna get crucified for this, but why is love only sex?
    Why can't people genuinely love another with crawling into bed?
    Can't there be a way to love (yes, there, in fact, is) genuinely, truly and deeply, without being genitally involved with one another?
    If a priest is sexual with someone, it is abuse. Why is not that the case between two Christian men or women? Aren't they as consecrated in baptism as a priest (although in a different sense, the priest is consecrated as an ordained minister, nevertheless)...why is this such a "no brainer"?
    Okay, I'm done!

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