Archive for November 13th, 2005

OK, I Learned My Lesson

No more blogging about the Giants making the Superbowl.
NY Giants
Comp Att Yds Pct Y/A Sack YdsL TD Int
E. Manning 23 48 291 47.9 6.1 2 10 1 4

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"The battle is now joined on many fronts.  We will not waver; we will not tire; we will not falter; and we will not fail.  Peace and freedom will prevail." – President Bush
"We are wavering. We are tired. We are faltering. We are failing. We say this because we feel it is politically expedient to be contrarian and preferable to being exposed for having no better ideas. "-The Usual Suspects
"There is no terrorist threat"-Michael Moore

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Freedom From Fear

I love this one so much I am reposting it. I don’t agree with much of what FDR promulgated, but the Four Freedoms is something we should treasure.

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From the November 11 National Catholic Reporter comes a story on Jesuit Fr. John J. McNeill, author of the 1976 book  The Church and Homosexuality. As one might expect, it made waves.

Now, almost 29 years later, the buzz associated with McNeill has still not entirely dissipated. At the national convention of DignityUSA in Philadelphia last July, McNeill got two standing ovations before he even said a word. One panelist choked with emotion as he told of coming by accident on The Church and Homosexuality in the library of the college where he was a student. Profoundly worried about his own orientation, he read the book hidden inside another, lest fellow students would see. “Fr. McNeill,” he said, “you saved my life!”

Indeed, life-saving is a fairly common topic when gay Catholics discuss McNeill’s influence. Kevin Heffernan, a leader of the Gay and Lesbian Alumni/ae of the University of Notre Dame and St. Mary’s College, said, “This guy saved my life, made me realize I can be OK as a gay man and still have faith. His book made so much sense to me when I was in the seminary figuring out who I really was.” In early October, Heffernan’s alumni group presented McNeill with its Thomas A. Dooley Award at a ceremony in Chicago.

“He stands as a pillar of gay theology,” said Jim Bussen, a former national president of DignityUSA. “He was the groundbreaker, the first to give gay folks a legitimate theological voice. Everything that has happened since was built on him.”

Loretto Sr. Jeannine Gramick, herself an outspoken voice in the Catholic gay and lesbian community, called McNeill “the most important figure in the Catholic church regarding homosexuality and gay rights. It may sound corny, but he is the giant on whose shoulders we stand.” Today, said Gramick, views about the morality of loving gay relationships, similar to or identical to those espoused by McNeill, are held by the vast majority of Catholic theologians, including those at top Catholic universities. Meanwhile, the Vatican has budged not an inch since the 1970s, repeatedly declaring that a homosexual orientation is itself intrinsically disordered and homosexual actions are gravely sinful.

I am not sure what I bolded is entirely accurate, but I would use it as a rebuttal to those who criticize rank and file Catholics for not leaving the Church over Vatican policy. If change is to occur, it must come from within. I for one am sad that I must coach gay clients as to how to get past co op boards, deal with bigot home sellers, and other dance steps just to ensure the hundreds of thousands of dollars they offer for housing gets accepted.

I recognize that conservative Catholics and fundamentalist Christians might take issue with my using the terms "morality" and "gay" in the same sentence. So be it. Even if acting on same sex attraction is a sin, it does not strip one of their constitutional rights- fair housing, equal employment, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and equal protection under the law. Your can reject the admittedly liberal theological notions of those who differ with the Vatican. Just don’t strip citizens of their rights. That’s a sin too.

My Favorite: Freedom From Fear

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