Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sounds like restricting religious freedom to me: The Fr. JP Echert slapdown.



Support our priests.
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I would caution anyone against tangling with Fr. John Paul Echert, one of the 'best of the best' Catholic priests in the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis.  Fr. Echert is a military chaplain and pastor of St. Augustine parish and Holy Trinity parish in South St. Paul, Minnesota.  He is a solid Roman Catholic priest, a biblical scholar, and a man without guile - a straight talker.  He is one of the few priests in the world I trust implicitly.
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That said, a local politician Fr. Echert obviously admires, insulted the priest in response to Father's respectful request for the state representative to reconsider giving his support to the efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota.  Fr. Echert's email reprinted below:  Full text at parish website
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Dear Representative Kriesel:



Greetings from Father John Echert, Pastor of the Parishes of Holy


Trinity and St. Augustine in South St. Paul. I am writing to you


specifically in regards to the proposed Marriage Amendment under


consideration here in Minnesota in light of an email exchange which


you recently had with my Associate Pastor, Father Robert Grabner.


Within your response you wrote, “Unfortunately I do not support the


Marriage Amendment and will not be voting for it.” I am very


saddened to learn this, especially since I had encouraged one of our


parishioners, one of your campaign advocates, to have you come to


our parish Fall Festival last October so that parishioners could meet


you in the days leading up to the elections. Also, as a military


Chaplain here in the Minnesota Air National Guard I have been using


you as a heroic example of resiliency in our monthly Yellow Ribbon


Program for recently returned deployers.    
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I ask you to please reconsider your position on this critical matter.



While we can legitimately debate issues related to finances and


politics, those that are grounded upon basic moral principles and


family values are rooted in the laws of God. I am commencing this


week with a parish campaign to promote support for a Marriage


Amendment in Minnesota; I hope that you will be among those elected


officials upon whom we can count for your efforts at the leadership


level to protect traditional marriage in our state.


Sincerely,


Father John Echert
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The threat against religious freedom.
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Kriesel's response was not only insulting, but threatening in tone - typical of the intimidation associated with the efforts by politicians to restrict religious freedom and coerce religious leaders into silence regarding moral issues.
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Mr. Echert,



I would like to respectfully remind you that the Internal Revenue


Service frowns upon churches and religious organizations devoting


time to influencing legislation. Your admission of the commencement


of a politically involved "campaign" will probably violate several state


and federal tax provisions.


Tyler
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How to respond.
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I agree with Fr. Echert that it is a good idea to respectfully voice your concerns and objections to Rep. Kriesel:
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Representative John Kriesel know your views on the issue of



the protection of marriage and also let him know your opinion


of his attitude towards Church activism on moral issues, you


can email him at rep.john.kriesel@house.mn, call him at


651-297-9010, or send mail to 451 State Office Bldg, 100


Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155
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Photo:  Lieutenant Colonel Echert - I believe this photo is Fr. Echert during Desert Storm.  Source

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H/T Eponymous Flower blog
I've just been made aware that American Papist has posted on the issue as well.

48 comments:

  1. I'm glad folks like Echert don't represent the majority of Catholics on this and other gay and lesbian issues.

    Peace,

    Michael

    ReplyDelete
  2. As I am wont to say: fasten your seatbelts. We ain't seen nothing yet. Trangendered "couples" demanding to be "married", on the base, are in the horizon. God help us.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Now, now, Maria, unsubstantiated fear-mongering is not a very Christian attribute.

    Peace,

    Michael

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Michael - your statement reminds me of my mother asking me if "all my friends wanted to jump off a bridge, would I jump too?"

    Believe it or not, but the "majority" isn't always right.

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  5. Exactly! Therefore, here in Minnesota, we should not be potentially allowing the majority to trample on a minority group by putting the civil rights of this minority group up for a vote!

    It's the job of our legislators to protect minorities from the "tyranny of the majority." Those legislators who are pushing for the discriminatory "marriage amendment" bill are failing themselves and all of us. That's bad enough, but to have clergy supporting and advocating such a failure is tragic.

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  6. Sodomy is a sin. What would you have a priest do? Work against his conscience and the teachings of the Catholic church? Work to protect the rights of individuals to sodmize others? A priest's first concern, if he is a holy priest, is the to pursue, by any means necessary, the salvation of your soul. This priest seems to be doing this and at great cost to himself. Deo gratias.

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  7. Maria, is this what you're referring to?

    I see no mention of "trangendered couples demanding to be married" on any type of military base.

    What I do find interesting and noteworthy is the following:

    "The Pentagon said in a statement Monday that the Defense of Marriage Act 'does not limit the type of religious ceremonies a chaplain may perform in a chapel on a military installation.' However, while the Defense of Marriage Act still stands, the Defense Department would not recognize those unions as valid marriages even if they're performed in a state that recognizes same-sex marriages.

    "Cmdr. Danny Hernandez, the Navy's assistant chief of information, told CNN that under the same-sex marriage proposal, each chaplain would be bound by his own religious beliefs. 'A chaplain can conduct a same-sex ceremony if it is in the tenets of his faith,' Hernandez said."

    Peace,

    Michael

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  8. Maria, a priest is free to do that within his/her faith tradition. We're talking here about the civil arena. Believe it or not, not everyone subscribes to the Roman Catholic clerical caste's understanding of sexuality. Indeed, the majority of Catholics don't buy it. Would you like it if the religious leaders of another faith were attempting to influence American society according to their beliefs and rules? We live in a secular democracy and a pluralistic society. Would you prefer we live in a theocratic state? Who would get to decide which theology rules?

    I'm not against any faith sharing their insights into important human realities. But those insights -- to be truly insightful -- must be reasonable and compassionate. I and many other Catholics, do not see such qualities reflected in the "official" sexual theology of church or in the efforts of the U.S. bishops' to support anti-gay legislation.

    Peace,

    Michael

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  9. unsubstantiated?1:55 PM

    "...unsubstantiated fear-mongering..." Bayly

    http://www.transgenderlaw.org/resources/transmarriage.pdf


    http://www.charlotte-divorce-lawyer-blog.com/2011/05/transgender-marriage-rights-in.html

    http://www.transgenderlaw.org/resources/transmariagefaq.pdf

    http://www.dallasvoice.com/transgender-ban-remains-place-military-1063523.html

    ReplyDelete
  10. I would say that I have just seen the opening salvo of the "Pink Shirt" attacks on the Catholic Church.

    We will have to be ready for these kinds of attacks for the next 18 months while the narcissist Pink Shirts use tons of money, from in and out of the state, and much detraction and invective as they attempt to convince voter of their bogus rights.

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  11. i love how bayly agrees that the majority isn't always right, and then uses the same argument FOR majority rights in claiming that the 'majority of catholics' supports gay marriage.
    show people what gay sex is really 'really' all about. it's not about union, my friend. and what's really sad is that i know you believe it is. i hope one day you allow the Holy Spirit to open the eyes and ears of your heart. God Bless.

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  12. doughboy - I was thinking the exact same thing about his use of "majority rules" when it's to his advantage.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Unsubstantiated, I checked the links you provided. I don't see how what they're about relates to the CNN story of same-sex marriage being potentially performed in a chapel on a military installation.

    Maria threw these stories together in an alarmist fashion and provided no links to substantiate or clarify her point -- which, I maintain, is a fear-based one.

    Friends, the expansion of civil marriage rights to same-sex couples or to couples where one of both individuals involved is transgender, is not the end of the world. It seems to me that there are so many more pressing concerns and issues that we, as followers of the radically loving and inclusive Jesus, should be focusing on.

    And, Ray, perhaps you could respond to the questions I posed to Maria. And, if possible, without the name-calling and dehumanizing language of your previous comment.

    Referring to those advocating marriage equality in the civil arena "narcissist Pink Shirts" is neither charitable nor helpful.

    If we are indeed to be involved in discussion about civil marriage rights to same-sex couples in the next 18 months then I think we should all do our utmost to make this discussion thoughtful, informed and charitable. Can we not at least agree on that?

    Peace,

    Michael

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  14. Doughboy and Larry D,

    I'm merely noting that the majority of Catholics do not agree with the bishops on many sexual matters, including civil marriage rights for same-sex couples.

    This fact should not dictate the bishops' activism on this issue but should at least (i) give them pause when they declare they're speaking for the church, and (ii) be recognized as a reminder that in order to be the representatives of a faithful and effective "teaching church," they must also embody a "listening church."

    Peace,

    Michael

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  15. 651-296-4342

    This is the phone number for the Senator.

    It recommends an e-mail be sent.

    That way they can delete several hundred at a time.

    Leave a message.

    They have to listen to most of them.

    I simply said I don't appreciate the Senator threatening a Priest.

    Flood they with phone calls.

    *

    ReplyDelete
  16. "...I'm glad folks like Echert don't represent the majority of Catholics on this and other gay and lesbian issues..."

    Reverend Father Echert is not exercising his opinion, but obeying God's will.

    Because homosexuals and Lesbians and their ilk have been handed over to reprobate minds by God, they have a delusion that they are welcome members of Holy Mother Church.

    "...the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities (CPCSM), editor of The Progressive Catholic Voice, co-chair of the Minnesota-based Catholic Coalition for Church Reform, and co-convener of Catholics for Marriage Equality MN. I established The Wild Reed as a sign of solidarity with all who are dedicated to living lives of integrity – though, in particular, with gay people seeking to be true to both the gift of their sexuality and their Catholic faith....".

    While doing battle aggressively in the world, we realize from time to time a house cleaning is in order.

    We refuse to participate in your sin, and will move to purge it from the Lord's house.

    Sinner's deserve pity; Satan and his followers deserve Hell.

    *

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous5:12 PM

    Dear Terry,

    The Legislative aide who wrote this email respond is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas. I check out his Linkedin page. His reply to Fr. Echert is disrepectful. It is sad.

    Peace,

    Katie

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm merely noting that the majority of Catholics do not agree with the bishops on many sexual matters, including civil marriage rights for same-sex couples.

    I'll take you on your word. But you know, half the bishops back in the time of Arius fell for his preaching - were they right? Most of Christ's disciples left him after He said to have life, you must eat His flesh and drink His blood - so does that mean Jesus was wrong? A majority of Catholics think birth control is ok - so does that mean the teaching should change?

    While there's some modicum of comfort to be part of the majority, I'll stand with Christ all the same, thanks very much.

    ...(ii) be recognized as a reminder that in order to be the representatives of a faithful and effective "teaching church," they must also embody a "listening church."

    Says who? You? Me? Yes, bishops and priests ought to listen to individuals with compassion and understanding, but that doesn't automatically translate holding Personal Experience above Objective Truth. Just because I find attractive blondes alluring and tempting and might be enjoyable to have a romp in the sack with, doesn't mean a bishop should dispense with the teaching that forbids adultery on my account, no matter what my personal feelings might be.

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  19. Larry D, you raise good and important questions. All of which should be open to respectful and informed discussion. Sadly, I don't see that discussion taking place in the Church around many issues of gender and sexuality.

    "Saint Michael," I find your use of battle metaphors and your ease at labeling others followers of Satan and thus deserving of Hell to be non-reflective of the life and "Good News" of Jesus. It is, however, a brand of Catholicism that, thankfully, appeals to and is embraced by few in this day and age.

    Peace,

    Michael

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  20. Those given up to reprobate minds no longer have the free reign to molest young boys and destroy lives with disgusting perversions.

    The Angel you see in your life will be Saint Michael Archangel, he is the number one warrior, never of tolerance or compromise, but ready, willing, and able to throw Satan and his reprobates into Hell.

    *

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  21. The Catholic teaching on homosexuality is summarized in paragraphs 2357-2359 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which state that homosexuals “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”

    Homosexuality, as a tendency, “is objectively disordered,” and “constitutes for most of them (homosexuals) a trial.”

    “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered … They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved,” the Catechism teaches.

    "...homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity..."

    Words to meditate upon for those convinced their depravity is a 'gift'.

    *

    ReplyDelete
  22. Father Echert is within his rights as a Roman Catholic priest and a voter to ask anyone to reconsider their position in light of the teachings of Christ that he has sworn to uphold and defend. For that matter, I could write the Rep and respectfully ask him to reconsider his position as well. People on both sides do that kind of thing all the time-except now that the individual happens to be a priest they whip out the old seperation of chuch-state canard to try and get him to shut up. Knowing Fr. Echert-yeah, good luck with that.

    The old arguments about a majority or minority infringing their beliefs on others curiously only seems to work one way-the way of the side that wants their position implemented. Suddenly, overnight they are an oppressed minority or super majority-depends upon what their polling numbers currently say.

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  23. Michael B.

    Like with Ft. Sumter where the first shots of the Civil War were fired 150 years ago last month, Sen. Kriesel's aide seems to have fired the first shots in the Marriage Amendment War that will last for at least the next 18 months.

    Those that think I am exaggerating might want to do a Google search on the reaction of the homosexuals in California when Proposition 8, their constitutional Marriage Amendment was adopted by the voters. Vandalism and extortion were the orders of the day for the dejected homosexual movement.

    Similar Pink Shirt extortion techniques are being exercised around this country this year.

    Last month a prominent Atlanta law firm that had agreed to represent the Defense of Marriage Act in the United States Supreme Court, after some of its clients dropped them after being pressured by Pink Shirted extortionists, retracted its agreement with the U.S. House of Representatives.

    Yesterday, it was announced that the Head of the 2012 US Olympic Committee was fired from his job because Pink Shirted extortionists discovered that he had contributed money to Proposition 8 in California and pressured the U.S. Olympic Committee that needs lots of contributors and advertisers.

    We are going to see lots of these techniques in Minnesota. There will be millions of dollars of outside money and hundreds of volunteers who will flock here to represent the various homosexual organizations that will be playing active roles in the 2012 Marriage Amendment campaign.

    Tomorrow, May 11, hundreds of homosexuals will be flocking to Minnesota's State Capitol in an attempt to intimidate State Senators when they vote for that proposed Amendment.

    The homosexual movement, like most liberals, don't believe in letting voters decide issues. They always say that a majority of the voters support them. They have incredible faith that their contrived civil rights are infallible truths and see no need for voters to participate in such a matter. Maybe the voters won't support them?

    They should talk to African Americans if they want to learn about civil rights.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Cathy, members of the hierarchy are doing more than politely asking legislators to "reconsider their position in light of the teachings of [the Church]." They are spending millions of dollars on supporting an amendment that will have a negative impact on thousands of couples and families, and cause much unnecessary rancor in the civil arena.

    With all due respect, when it comes to ascertaining the merits of the government ruling by constitutional amendments, I'll bypass your opinion on the matter and trust those of actual constitutional lawyers and scholars. An overwhelming number of these do not support the proposed marriage amendment. (See for instance the open letter recently signed by over 60 law professors at the University of Minnesota.)

    And "Saint Michael," since you're so fond of quoting church teaching, perhaps you should reflect upon the following from the Vatican II document Dignitatis humanae (Declaration on Religious Freedom):

    “Government is to see to it that equality of citizens before the law, which is itself an element of the common good, is never violated, whether openly or covertly, for religious reasons. Nor is there to be discrimination among citizens.”

    Other examples of church teaching that can be employed to support civil marriage equality can be found here.

    Peace,

    Michael

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  25. Michael B, everyone has the right to get married. Sinners don't have the right to redefine marriage in an attempt to eliminate their sins. Marriage is about linking children to their parents and supporting biological families, not about sanctioning disordered sex.

    Catholics who follow Church teaching do not support homosexual marriage.

    Redefining marriage as the union of any two homo sapiens is designed to undermine the fabric of society further than it has been undermined in the last 40 years.

    BTW, St. Nicholas slapped Arius and was still canonized. The Church has always had dissenters. Pope Benedict said long ago that perhaps a smaller, more faithful church will develop.

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  26. Error has no rights.

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  27. Error has no rights; revoke the tax-exemption status for SSPX chapels immediately.

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  28. At my blog sanjuandiego.blogspot.com

    I have posted the duty of a man and a woman; procreation.

    It is a picture of my wife and half our children. By God's grace twice as many were to come.

    Satan will always strive to destroy God's command to go forth and multiply.

    No matter what happens within the confines of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, it is, and always will be, between a Man, Woman, and God.

    *

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  29. Except we're not talking about the "Sacrament of Holy Matrimony," but rather CIVIL marriage. As hard as it may be for you to fathom, not everyone in the U.S. shares your religious beliefs.

    Peace,

    Michael

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  30. Anonymous7:25 AM

    Michael Bayley:

    The majority of Catholics don't agree with the bishops on capitol punishment.

    The majority of Catholics don't agree with the bishops on immigration.

    The majority of Catholics don't agree with Jesus Christ when he says "Sell everything you have and give the money to the poor and follow me."

    So *f-ing* what? I mean - really. The argument is pointless.

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  31. No, Anonymous, it's far from pointless -- especially when it appears that one can disagree with the bishops on issues like capitol punishment and immigration and not be treated as the heretic one is generally treated as when one disagrees with them on homosexuality and civil marriage rights for same-sex couples. This discrepancy is problematic for many. Also, in the case of capitol punishment and immigration the bishops are attempting to reach out and include segments of the population that others reject. They're clearly modeling the example of Jesus. In their support of anti-gay legislation they are attempting to discriminate and exclude. This is not modeling the example of Jesus and is, accordingly, a concern for many.

    Peace,

    Michael

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  32. Michael, if you truly belief that immigration policy and homosexual activity exist on an equal plane, and that the Church shares in that belief, then I don't see how it's possible to have any sort of rational discussion.

    It's the same as saying robbing a bank and killing three tellers is just as wrong and evil as wearing white before Memorial Day. Give me a break.

    Recognition of so-called same sex marriage or civil unions will be a louder death knell for society than that which was sounded when abortion was legalized.

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  33. I always love it when people bring up capital punishment when the subject of civil rights comes up in a Minnesota discussion where we haven't had capital punishment for over 100 years. What are we to do, declare war on Texas?

    Just for the point of view of facts, there were 46 executions in the U.S. in 2010, mostly in southern states. It certainly is a major issue for those who were executed, but I would say that in a country of 300 million, it is not a significant problem.

    It's always interesting when immigration is brought up as a civil right. Does that mean that not only must we allow everybody who wants to come to America to do so and if they can't afford it, we should help subsidize their travel?

    Should people in Zimbabwe be allowed to apply for welfare benefits in the U.S. if they can't get here? Why not? It would only be fair.

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  34. Larry says: "Recognition of so-called same sex marriage or civil unions will be a louder death knell for society than that which was sounded when abortion was legalized."

    And you know this, Larry, because . . .?

    Ray, I didn't bring up the issue of capital punishment. Anonymous did.

    Peace,

    Michael

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  35. I put my family picture at my blog because some people don't seem to know what a family consist of.

    On the issue of civil and Sacrament Marriages, wherever two are joined as one, the expectation is that of bearing children.

    That is what marriage is all about.

    A wife is given her husbands work benefits as society understands a woman bears the children with which Society is replenished.

    In a homosexual relationship Society's chances of survival are literally flushed down the toilet.

    Anyone pretending to be trans-gendered, transsexual, and so on, are mentally depraved, as this is not the behavior of the human condition as regards birth, reproduction, and death.

    Homosexuality guarantees a death with no chance of reproduction independent of drawing from the pool of normal humans.

    Yes, homosexuality and such is abnormal, even if the numbers are high, it is abnormal for all the above reasons.

    Allowing same sex marriages puts this sin on equal footing with proper marriage.

    *

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  36. What ever happened to love one another? Saint Michael you are Satan. Take your archaic notions thoughts and ideas back to the pit of doom from whence you came. Personally, I like the ideal of the traditional family, and what it stands for. However I am also forward thinking enough to realise and understand that as a culture/species/religion, we have evolved. Homosexuality is not going anywhere. And, there are many that have a true and much deeper faith than many of you so called Christians. And I for one don't think that they should be condemned or ostracized.

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  37. Oh and by the way saint Michael, if it is your gene pool we have to rely on for 'societys survival' then we are in far more trouble than a same sex couple adopting a child that was born to a drug riddled teenager with no income, and no hope of giving that child a life of fulfilment and love.
    Just saying...

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  38. Saint Michael, you constant invocation of Satan and your demonizing of those that you dislike is troubling. This certainly isn't the way of Christ. Thank you, Michael Bayly for your thoughtful comments and your support for human rights. Peace to all.

    Mark Davenport

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  39. Yes, I am offended by perverts that drag children into their darkness of sin and molest them, ruining their lives and opportunities to live their lives free of shame and depression.

    Sodomy and Lesbianism cause the Holy Angels to cry out for justice. How much more so when a child is sodomized by an adult?

    The author of these crimes is the Father of Lies.

    I am glad you fallen ones got my drift.

    All the actions and efforts of your 'gift' get flushed down the toilet.

    Abandon the kingdom of Satan and repent.

    Step up to the plate and marry properly. Procreate some children.

    And raise them in the ways of the Lord.

    *

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  40. St. Michael, you sound like the Ugandan parliament.

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  41. Coexist.

    I tried to coexist in a snake pit once but they got offended and found another place to live.

    The message of Christ is this "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life."

    Heterosexuals may travel the world and engage in all the heterosexual activity they like.

    Perverts travel the world and engage in their sin, and are quickly branded as criminals.

    For good reason. Their actions lead to death. No where else.

    When I wake up in the morning, my objective is to please God; my actions demonstrate this.

    Homosexuals and Lesbians and so on, are not pleasing to God, awake or asleep.

    *

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  42. Revolutionary6:42 PM

    St Mick.. can I call you saint Mick? That's not blasphemy I hope..
    I find your views somewhat perverted. Your fixation on branding gays and lesbians as perverts that molest little boys and commit sin just by their being, I find quite disturbing.. I mean really? You want to mark them with that stamp? Given the history of the church? Do you really want to go down that path? I feel sorry for you and your kids.. such a closeted and sheltered upbringing is not healthy. Let me guess you prob lock them under the stairs when they are naughty, and then smack your wife around for not having your dinner on the table at the right time.. I mean just going be your rhetoric so far, this is the find of person I imagine you to be.. but then I guess I might be wrong, I wouldn't want stereotype you or anything...

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  43. As a family I have my vocation, my wife had hers.

    She fulfilled her duties and responsibilities to please God, not me. I was just the pleased recipient of her Charity.

    I taught my children love is not an unbridled passion, it is a duty and responsibility before God.

    In previous comments I quoted Holy Mother Church in her admonition of us should we not have compassion on those sinners afflicted with same sex desires.

    Are the pro-homosexual activists commenting on this post willing to publicly state they are not practicing homosexuals?

    People that have some shame do not publicy demand Holy Mother Church and her Faithful accept their grievous sin.

    They repent.

    Saint Michael come to our Defense is an ejaculation, it is not a name.

    As well the Archangel called Saint Michael is not named Michael, that was his battle cry after Satan spoke "Nonserviam".

    *

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  44. Larry says: "Recognition of so-called same sex marriage or civil unions will be a louder death knell for society than that which was sounded when abortion was legalized."

    And you know this, Larry, because . . .?


    Because God won't be mocked.

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  45. I think what folks get confused about is the "civil" marriage vs the "religious" marriage. In some countries you have to apply for a "civil" marriage and get married in a courthouse, thenyou can have whatever religious ceremony you want. In some areas of the USA you can be "common-law " married, merely for living together and taking care of each other, without even stepping in a courthouse of church. The polygamists in Utah marry their multiple wives in church-sanctioned ceremonies, yet only one wife is "legally" married to the man...you don't even have to be religious and get married...for example my sis-in-law is a hard-core atheist. I don't know what you have to say in front of a judge or justice of the peace or ship's captain to get married.

    And in the US your civil marriage in one state is recognized in all of the other states....your religious marriage not necessarily so--re the polygamous folks can't move to another state and have their plural marriages recognized as "legal".

    I can find some shaman somewhere to marry me and my cat--religous ceremony--sure not legal. Makes it very hard to leave my estate to my cat if we're not legally married :)

    So the big chewing point is what exactly is marriage?? You have to find a way to make it work for all kinds of folks..and I'm not even considering non-straight folks...there's so many combinations as I mentioned above with just straight folks.

    On the kids aspect--I know lots of senior folks get married for companionship...they're way past their childbearing years...my grandma married her third husband in her late 70's...

    Sara

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  46. The Mother Church should never be allowed to be used in a game of politics. The pulpit should never be used as a soapbox for a political issue.

    If people want to know the churches teaching on homosexuality, then fine, let's teach that. But at no point should a priest be telling their parishioners how to vote in a political referendum.

    The Kingdom of God is a power UNDER society, never over it. Christ calls us to be his hands and feet to those around us, in servant oriented leadership. Trying to push Christ with the sword of political power is the opposite of what He asks from us.

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  47. Jamison, priests don't tell their parishioners how to vote, they merely tell them to exercise their right to vote. They also educate people on church teaching. These two are not incompatible.

    The Kingdom of God takes precedence over all. It is God who granted us the rights enshrined in the Constitution.

    Secular authorities should never misuse their authority to attempt to shut down opinions with which they disagree; there are laws against that. The legislative staffer here was inappropriate in failing to properly address Rev. Echert, in offering his legal opinion as there's no indication he's a lawyer and in failing to research the law before suggesting it had been violated. Rev. Echert has every right to speak on Morality.

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  48. "I am commencing this week with a parish campaign to promote support for a Marriage Amendment in Minnesota;"

    That's what was being addressed, NOT Father's right to teach morality.

    2 different things.

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