Friday, July 03, 2015

This is important, why? Chairman of Fordham Theology Dept. marries his same sex partner.

Patrick Anthony Bergquist and J. Patrick Hornbeck II 
were married Saturday in Manhattan.
Hornbeck is Chairman of Fordham Theology Dept.

The wedding announcement was in the NYT's wedding section - so chic.

So anyway, Deacon Kandra News posted the announcement - which is where I found it.  Public information is not gossip, right?

I would maybe overlook this news item, knowing there will probably be a lot of these marriages taking place, which is going to be problematic for Catholic institutions - or will it?  However, I think it's important to take note of.

Why this is important.

The man is Chairman of the Theology Dept. at Fordham, that's why.
Dr. Hornbeck, 33, is the chairman of the theology department and an associate professor of medieval and reformation history at Fordham University in the Bronx. He graduated from Georgetown and received a doctoral degree in theology from Oxford University. - NYT
So Catholics are appalled and surprised and shocked that SCOTUS judges legalized same sex marriage.  How is that?  How can you be surprised?  Catholic education has been quietly prepping for this for decades.

The kids are alright?  

The kids whose parents sent them to Catholic school turn out to be very pro-marriage-equality, and very accepting of homosexuality as normal.  How can that be?  The kids went to the best Catholic schools all their lives - including the very best Catholic universities.  How can it be?

The kids become priests, teachers, theologians, religious ed. directors, chancery workers, lawyers, politicians, judges, columnists, writers, activists, and so on.  The contagion spreads like that.

Now, some Catholic bloggers online want the SCOTUS judges to be excommunicated.  You know that's not going to happen.

I think people online are losing it - like a generalized nervous breakdown is occurring.

Watch out who you read and follow - in fact, don't follow anyone online.

Song for this post here.

Independence Day coincides with July 4th this year.

I always thought July 4th was it's own holiday.


Someone totally jumped the couch this time ...

An interview with Ann Barnhardt ...

Seriously.  Patrick Archbold: A Week With Ann Barnhardt.
For those few who may not be familiar with Ann, she is a fire-breathing dragon of truth and one of my favorite writers on the internet. [...] Ann and I will be discussing the United States of America, our present and our future, from our Catholic perspective. - CMR



Song for this post here.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

The New Jackie Kennedy Onassis ...

Song for this post here.

We interrupt this hiatus for ABBEY ROADS BREAKING NEWS COMMENTARY: Episcopalians vote to allow religious wedding ceremonies for homosexual couples.

The bishops of the Episcopal Church have authorized their clergy to perform same-sex weddings, but don’t expect sweeping changes across the entire denomination anytime soon. Episcopalians voted Wednesday to allow religious weddings for gay couples, but not every priest will necessarily officiate at a same-sex wedding.
In resolutions adopted here at the denomination’s General Convention meeting in Salt Lake City this week, the bishops have endorsed new liturgies or services for same-sex couples wishing to marry in church. The bishops also approved changing the church’s canons, or rules, governing marriage, making them gender neutral by substituting the terms “man and woman” with “couple.” - source
This surprises you?

Bishop Robinson?
And here's to you, Bishop Robinson
Jesus loves you more than you will know wo wo wo
God bless you please, Bishop Robinson
Heaven holds a place for those who pray
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey

We'd like to know a little bit about you for our files
We'd like to help you learn to help yourself
Look around you all you see are sympathetic eyes
Stroll around the grounds until you feel at home

And here's to you, Bishop Robinson
Jesus loves you more than you will know wo wo wo
God bless you please, Bishop Robinson
Heaven holds a place for those who pray
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey

The Episcopal church in the United States is gay - at least in most major metropolitan areas.

They ordained a gay bishop, a man married and divorced twice - the bishop's last divorce dissolved his same sex marriage, so who is surprised?  The Episcopal church allows divorce and remarriage as well as female bishops.  It's pretty gay, hon.

Now back to hedging.

Having all the accouterments of religion yet deny its power...
2 Timothy 3

I've been really busy.

Yeah, so what.

The weather has been so perfect that I'm spending all of my time performing surgical trimming on my landscape.  I take breaks to pray - but for the most part, I'm too busy for anything else.  I've been using the Akathist Hymn for meditation while I take lunch break... I'm convinced most people no longer believe because they neglect devotion to Our Lady and have lost faith in the Incarnation.

That said, I haven't been too concerned about social issues or identity issues or priest-bishop issues or gay issues or blogagingedaging issues or methane helium issues.

If it rains or gets too hot, I may come indoors, turn on the laptop, and write a scalding review of the state of the blogosphere and crimes against humanity.  Other than that - who knows?

Oh!  Oh! And Jupiter aligned with Venus is so not the Star of Bethlehem.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Don't look back ...

Remember Lot's wife.

Recognizing the signs of the times.

  • Apostasy, the loss of the faith, is spreading throughout the world and into the highest levels within the Church. -POPE PAUL VI, Address on the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Fatima Apparitions, October 13, 1977

  • At this period, however, the partisans of evil seems to be combining together… No longer making any secret of their purposes, they are now boldly rising up against God Himself …that which is their ultimate purpose forces itself into view—namely, the utter overthrow of that whole religious and political order of the world which the Christian teaching has produced, and the substitution of a new state of things in accordance with their ideas, of which the foundations and laws shall be drawn from mere naturalism. - POPE LEO XIII, Humanum Genus, Encyclical on Freemasonry, n.10, Apri 20thl, 1884

  • …before the Lord’s arrival there will be apostasy, and one well described as the “man of lawlessness”, “the son of perdition” must be revealed, who tradition would come to call the Antichrist. - POPE BENEDICT XVI, General Audience, “Whether at the end of time or during a tragic lack of peace: Come Lord Jesus!”, L’Osservatore Romano, Nov. 12th, 2008

  • Who can fail to see that society is at the present time, more than in any past age, suffering from a terrible and deep-rooted malady which, developing every day and eating into its inmost being, is dragging it to destruction? You understand, Venerable Brethren, what this disease is—apostasy from God… When all this is considered there is good reason to fear lest this great perversity may be as it were a foretaste, and perhaps the beginning of those evils which are reserved for the last days; and that there may be already in the world the “Son of Perdition” of whom the Apostle speaks. - POPE ST. PIUS X, E Supremi, Encyclical, On the Restoration of All Things in Christ, n. 3, 5; October 4th, 1903

  • …when the culture itself is corrupt and objective truth and universally valid principles are no longer upheld, then laws can only be seen as arbitrary impositions or obstacles to be avoided. - POPE FRANCIS, Laudato si’, n. 123;

  • …worldliness is the root of evil and it can lead us to abandon our traditions and negotiate our loyalty to God who is always faithful. This… is called apostasy, which… is a form of “adultery” which takes place when we negotiate the essence of our being: loyalty to the Lord. - POPE FRANCIS from a homily, Vatican Radio, November 18th, 2013

  • It is not the beautiful globalization of unity of all Nations, each one with their own customs, instead it is the globalization of hegemonic uniformity, it is the single thought. And this sole thought is the fruit of worldliness.* - POPE FRANCIS, Homily, November 18th, 2013; Zenit

+ + +

+Mater Ecclesiae+

Hail, thou who tramples upon the wandering of error;
hail , thou who refutes the lies of idols.
Hail, Sea which drowned Pharoh and his schemes;
hail, Rock which refreshed those athirst for Life.
Hail, fiery Pillar, leading those in darkness;
hail, Shelter of the world, broader than a cloud.
-Akathist Hymn

Stay faithful.  Remember what the Catechism teaches:

816 "The sole Church of Christ [is that] which our Savior, after his Resurrection, entrusted to Peter's pastoral care, commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it. . . . This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in (subsistit in) the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him."267
The Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism explains: "For it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the People of God."268 - CCC

*All papal quotes taken from Mark Mallett, The Hour of Lawlessness.

David Brooks sounding a bit like Pope Francis now.

David Brooks.

I have always liked David Brooks.  In his recent op-ed at the NYT he discusses The Next Culture War - it's about tactics:

Christianity is in decline in the United States.
  • Members of the millennial generation are detaching themselves from religious institutions in droves.

Quoting Rod Dreher: “We have to accept that we really are living in a culturally post-Christian nation. The fundamental norms Christians have long been able to depend on no longer exist.” 
These conservatives are enmeshed in a decades-long culture war that has been fought over issues arising from the sexual revolution. Most of the conservative commentators I’ve read over the past few days are resolved to keep fighting that war.
I am to the left of the people I have been describing on almost all of these social issues. But I hope they regard me as a friend and admirer. And from that vantage point, I would just ask them to consider a change in course.

Our Mr. Brooks has a very Franciscan idea:

  • Consider putting aside, in the current climate, the culture war oriented around the sexual revolution.

Put aside a culture war that has alienated large parts of three generations from any consideration of religion or belief. Put aside an effort that has been a communications disaster, reducing a rich, complex and beautiful faith into a public obsession with sex. Put aside a culture war that, at least over the near term, you are destined to lose.
  • Consider a different culture war, one just as central to your faith and far more powerful in its persuasive witness.
This culture war is more Albert Schweitzer and Dorothy Day than Jerry Falwell and Franklin Graham; more Salvation Army than Moral Majority. It’s doing purposefully in public what social conservatives already do in private.
I don’t expect social conservatives to change their positions on sex, and of course fights about the definition of marriage are meant as efforts to reweave society. But the sexual revolution will not be undone anytime soon. The more practical struggle is to repair a society rendered atomized, unforgiving and inhospitable. Social conservatives are well equipped to repair this fabric, and to serve as messengers of love, dignity, commitment, communion and grace. - Read the entire piece here.

Works for me.


Growing Up Trans - the Frontline Documentary

Watched it.

Very sad and confusing.

One kid said he'd like to go off hormones for awhile to see what it's like.  He kept saying he didn't want to say he regretted anything - but it seemed to me he did.  He regretted his lost puberty.

All the kids appear to be from upper middle class families.  Rich by comparison to average families.  Families with one kid, and one or two from a single parent household.  The kids seemed rather precocious - perhaps spoiled, or at least accustomed to get their own way.  Making life-identity decisions for themselves before puberty ...

You know this is the next issue, right?

Get ready to be manipulated.

I told you before - stop calling me Hilda!  I want to be called Fred!

Song for this post here.

Monday, June 29, 2015

An edited comment.

Mr. and Mr. Cleaver.

Editor's note:  I wrote this response to a comment on another post and thought I'd try to edit it for some clarity.

Another idiosyncratic take on things.

I've been watching some of the PBS programming for Pride Month after the regular prime time schedule on gay issues. Late Sunday night parents of gays - members of PFLAG I guess, discussed their children 'coming out' - their children spoke about the experience as well, included were their stories of the reaction of the Church - it was deeply moving. It was very sad, but heartening the way the parents accepted and affirmed their kids. The documentary, Anyone and Everyone also dealt with the tragedy of kids kicked out by their parents, becoming homeless and so on. All terribly sad and deeply convicting.

I think I understand that the way for parents to accept their children as gay was realized in and through their ability to separate love from the idea of sexual intimacy. The separation of love is the answer - throw aside the sexual acts - and focus on the emotional need. Each of us deserve someone to love and be loved by, and a person should be allowed the freedom to build a life with whomever they choose, and so on. This appears to be the reason why ss-marriage has become acceptable - "it's about love, not what people do in their bedroom, not doctrine, not dogma" - the Mormon mom said that in the program. I understood that, I could second the emotion - I don't condemn these people nor do I condemn their kids. Far from it - I think they are caring and loving.

So we live and let live. 

Quite seriously, I definitely mean it when I say, 'who am I to judge' - not a question BTW. I can't control what other people do or what they believe and I accept people I know, as well as the people I watched Sunday night on television. I understand - without being able to agree, however.

I don't know how to say this, but within doctrine and dogma there is truth - truth which frees us - it isn't just a set of rules to control populations - it's deeper than that. It's the source of life and genuine love. Most cannot be convinced of that however.

Fr. Longenecker kind of, sort of addressed what I was trying say in this regard:
Therefore, in the present debate over same sex marriage Americans simply cannot comprehend that Catholics operate according to a different set of systems. We believe that same sex activities and same sex marriage are wrong, not primarily because we think such things are “yucky” and not because we “hate gays” or because we want to tell them they are all going to hell.
We believe these things are wrong for clear and articulate reasons. We believe they are wrong for reasons that we can explain and outline clearly. Furthermore, we can believe they are wrong while still accepting gay people, not judging them and allowing them into our lives. - The Swamp of Subjective Sentimentality
 It is not simply a matter of subjective sentimentalism however.

The thing is, there are people on the gay rights side who actually care deeply about dogma and doctrine - H. Clinton and Obama for instance, calling for religions to change their teaching - to accept this new 'doctrinal' development... or else. This after they admitted to having evolved in their own thinking of the issue.

The original moral problem in the 20th century has been how love and sexuality has been separated... or rather divorced. Artificial contraception deliberately separated sex from marriage: The children's rhyme, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage, ceased to be the ordinary way of life and love. And as my friend Mack pointed out in a comment on another post, there is no longer anything special about your sexuality or mine. Nevertheless, that's a pretty startling development - and doesn't change the fact homosexual acts are immoral.

Conscious revolution.

Personally, I sense a sort of barrenness about this lack of specialness regarding one's sexuality, an inherent impotence, or soullessness as it were - as if the difference between soul and body no longer exists. Not sure how to express that, but I think it is the same reason why genderlessness has come to the surface of social consciousness. When we separate love and sexuality, we do so, not only for our pleasure, we do so to placate our conscience on some level, making it easier to accept what normally would repel us. (Think the Mormon mom in the documentary I mentioned.) When we do that our understanding undergoes a sort of fractalization. An algorithmic technique of organizing familial structures, identities, genders, sexualities, and so on.  (Please excuse the creative license with terms.) 

For instance, the new "Gay Catholics" expend a lot of energy and thought on sublimating their sexual desire, attraction, and affections, attempting to invent new lifestyles/community/partnerships totally aloof from sexual/genital expression. Sounds great, in keeping with Catholic teaching, but something is off with that. I sense a sort of new Gnosticism - or as I sometimes like to call it, a fractilization of familial stereotypes in the process of conscious evolution...

I know how crazy and conspiratorial that sounds - but I'm just a crackpot blogger, don't forget.

If she marries a cat - will the kids be Other-kittens?

Song for this post here.  (Just for Mack.)

For as it was in the days of Noah ...

In [those] days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. - Matthew 24

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Selling out the gay movement ... an idiosyncratic take on things.

"Notturno Bologna," by Paul Cadmus

"For too many artists and writers to count, being gay infused their work with an outsider sensibility, even when they were not explicitly addressing those themes." - NYTimes

Redefining marriage in and through making same sex marriage the law of the land, pretty much zaps all the uniqueness of being gay.  As Karl Lagerfeld observed: “In the 60's, they all said we had the right to the difference. And now, suddenly, they want a bourgeois life.”

How to explain that?  Probably because young LGBTQ persons have always been out - they never really needed a closet.  The SCOTUS decision was welcomed by gays - even former gays may have received the news with joy - simply because it more or less symbolizes the end of societal, institutional discrimination against LGBTQ persons.  It leveled the playing field - to some extent.  No more being singled out for abuse or exclusion - no more shame.  That's the superficial impression of course - the one the 'world' celebrates.  Former gays, celibate-faithful same sex attracted persons no longer defined by sexual inclinations, know it doesn't make it real or true.  It is simply a socio-anthropological development.

A friend sent me an interesting article from the NYTimes touching on what I had been thinking regards the idea of normalizing homosexuality and gay marriage and the sense that the "specialness of being gay,” is gone.  The outré dimension is gone.  It became a movement, and the strategy was to normalize - hence the embrace of the "bourgeois life."  Perhaps that facade of normalcy was always there - as a way of blending in, being accepted, and just surviving - but it was pretty much a facade.

There are oral histories by bachelors who led a conventional life, successful businessmen and professionals, who were gay - although not severely closeted, in the sense they did the bars, the baths, and parties which often included orgies or at least 'circle jerks'.  Yet for all intents and purposes, they were neither out to their family or colleagues - after Stonewall - that double life started to fade away.  But I digress.

Mr. Goodbar

When I was a very, very young man, out and about, I always thought the domestic illusion attached to gay marriage was absolutely repellent - why would anyone want to be normal?  Why would I ever want kids?  The Looking for Mr. Goodbar persona - straight by day, gay by night - was to some extent acceptable to me - especially since the 'hidden life' of nightclubbing seemed so 'underground' and Bohemian.  Sadly, for many that lifestyle degenerated even further into a life of dissipation, unless AA or religious conversion intervened.  When AA alone became the salvation, somehow it became easy for the person to view being gay as an identity to be embraced, to accept being gay as normative.  Which in turn was the first step to domestication, if you will.

What accord is there ...?

Way back when, as for religious closeted gay people, I just thought they were creepy.  If someone I met told me they went to church at all, I thought they were like Little House on the Prairie people - it totally freaked me out and I was completely repelled.  I remember a guy who worked with me, when I was in display - he was from the South and was a born again Christian in a stable relationship with a man.  I could not comprehend that and avoided him as much as possible.  No one I knew had any interest in same sex marriage or being accepted by any church whatsoever.

I experienced similar rejection first hand when I returned to the Church, to the sacraments.  I'll never forget running into a former bar friend.  I wore a medium sized crucifix like that Pope Paul VI used for his ferula/crozier on a chain around my neck.  Buddy pulled it out from under my shirt, looked at it,  and said, "What's this?!"  Laughing out loud, he let it go, waved me off and said something like "She's a nun now."  He walked away and pretty much never talked to me again, except for an occasional hello.

This is where 'you can't be gay and Catholic' makes sense.

My point is, being religious and gay just wasn't a good fit back then, and I have to wonder why gay-Catholics think it is today.  After returning to the sacraments, Paul's letters to the Corinthians really made sense to me, especially the section in 2 Corinthians 6: "Do not yoke yourselves in a mismatch with unbelievers... what do righteousness and lawlessness have in common, or what fellowship can light have with darkness?  What accord is there between Christ and Belial?"  That stood out to me - and still does.

Something is off.

I can't help but recall what Masha Gessen once said about gay marriage:
“It’s a no-brainer that (homosexual activists) should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist. …(F)ighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there — because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie. - Read the rest here.
What the SCOTUS just did was open new avenues for the redifinition of marriage... Although they redefined marriage legally, it will go beyond what that, the next step is open marriage.  Marriage has not only been redefined, it is changed - and it will change Stepford.  Wait and see.

"Gay is not enough anymore."

As I mentioned, a friend sent me a NYTimes article quoting John Waters who made that statement in a commencement address recently:
John Waters, the film director and patron saint of the American marginal, warned graduates to heed the shift in a recent commencement speech at the Rhode Island School of Design. “Refuse to isolate yourself. Separatism is for losers,” he said, adding, “Gay is not enough anymore.”
Gay writers lament the loss of specialness, Waters suggests gay is not enough anymore,
“What do gay men have in common when they don’t have oppression?” asked Andrew Sullivan, one of the intellectual architects of the marriage movement. “I don’t know the answer to that yet.” - NYTimes
They've all worked so hard.  There never was an agenda of course .... What?  Of course there was - and is.  What's the next step?

We just took it.

We bought the lie.  Ask Masha.

Song for this post here.  Just don't say it's not sin.  It is.

and people are diving right in...

h/t PP for NYT piece.