Stacy makes the mistake of blogging about a gay public display of affection

A couple of days ago Stacy – Accepting Abundance – blogged about an incident that revolved around a gay couple engaged in a public display of affection, entitled: Can’t Even Go to the Park.

I knew nothing of this post until I noted comments arriving on one of Stacy’s posts that I’d linked to, entitled: Self-Injury and the Sacraments.

I was truly bewildered as to the ferocity, quantity and nature of the comments on the self-injury post, until one commenter pointed me to Stacy’s original post, in which she’d closed comments.

Well, talk about quantity and ferocity of comments, I’d seen nothing until Stacy posted her recent blog, a few hours ago, entitled: You duped me, O LORD.

There are currently a whopping 328 comments!

It transpires that news has spread onto a prominent atheist forum and the hoards had simply hopped across to vent their spleen.

Lisa Graas has now jumped into the fray and blogged in defense of Stacy.

This incident has taught me a valuable lesson. Forget about the black art of search engine optimisation, if you want serious Internet traffic, then just blog about the LGBT community from a Christian vantage, rile the atheists, and you’ll be overwhelmed.

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107 Responses to “Stacy makes the mistake of blogging about a gay public display of affection”

  1. Dylan (A Reluctant Sinner) Says:

    Thanks for highlighting Stacy’s post.

    I hadn’t come across her blog before, but note that many of the angry and hate-filled comments she received are typical of the type of arguments our Enemy uses. The Evil One has many collaborators in this world, even if they don’t know it.

    Firstly, those inspired by the demonic (even if they truly believe they are inspired by good motives, such as “rationalism” and “tolerance”) tend to post as “anonymous”. Names are powerful and symbolic. Our Lord always demanded the names of those who were the co-workers of the Evil One.

    Secondly, the Devil always wants people to feel ashamed of their faith. He usually tries to convince us that proclaiming the truth is somehow wrong as it’s “not tolerant” or can be “judgemental”. Many of those comments on Stacy’s blog seemed to be using this tactic – an old trick of the “Father of Lies”.

    Thirdly, the comments seem full of that old demonic mockery of all that pertains to God and true morality – a morality that is always rational and loving. Phrases such as “book of fairy tales” to refer to Sacred Scripture (inspired by the Holy Spirit) is typically evil. Only someone under the (probably subconscious) influence of an evil spirit could utter such blasphemy. (Other examples are “Sky Fairy” to refer to the Divine, the use of expletives, hysteria, and trying to use Scripture to argue against itself – the Devil loves quoting Scripture!).

    Demonic forces also always threaten with torments all those who stick to the truth. They try and belittle the things of God, and seek to make believers fear that we’re the nasty ones. They fill in their pupils an arrogance and self-righteousness that they cannot see – for those against God are devoid of real wisdom and cannot be truly objective. Many atheists and those who defend the secular agenda claim to be defenders of “science”, “reason” and “freedom”; but, of course, they are really co-operating in the destruction of all knowledge, wisdom, reason, logic, freedom and love.

    I will keep Stacy in my prayers… But urge everyone to pray especially for those poor souls who are so lost and consumed with hate and intolerance (whilst claiming to be tolerant!) that they are acting as pawns for those dark beings that despise God, even if they themselves do not believe in God, angels or demons.

  2. Lisa Graas Says:

    There’s not a high donation:traffic ratio involved here but jewels in our crowns? I think so. ;-)

  3. Marianne Says:

    I try to be more tolerant than Stacy conveyed in her blog. How do you think we should feel about seeing same-sex partners being loving (but not inappropriately so) in public?

    Personally it doesn’t make me feel like I can’t go outside and should I be judging people in their actions?

    I ask because some of my good friends are homosexuals.

    Thank you.

  4. Gordon Says:

    Although to be even handed I get this sort if flak from Christians (in inverted commas)

  5. Kat Says:

    Really? You think it is just writing about us “gays” that caused all of this? Of course not. It is a hot topic. We have been attacked just as much as the Christian right is attacked, you do not hold the monopoly on people being angry at you.

    I did comment on Stacy’s blog – privately, in a kind email, simply saying I would like to discuss privately why she feels this way. I used no offensive language nor did I attack her in any way. I still hope she replies.

    I am so very tired of all the hatred on both sides. Whether it be the LGBT community giving you a hard time, or the Christian-right coming after us – in either case, why must we continue this. How about we all try living by the golden rule – you know, do unto others… I will keep trying to do that, and maybe you will too.

    Peace
    Kat

  6. Lisa Graas Says:

    Marianne, Gordon, Kat….is it okay with you if I print your comments to lay on her tombstone as tributes from you? She’s getting death threats.

  7. Tim Says:

    445 comments and counting :o

  8. Kat Says:

    Gee Lisa, I have received death threats in my life as well, what will you put on my tombstone? I fight for LGBT rights and the names I have been called, and threats I receive from so-called Christians as well as “others thin king they are superior” come all the time. Seriously, if you are going to write about controversial topics, then sadly, you must expect to get threats from loonies on both sides.

    Sorry Lisa, but the comment is kind of silly. Maybe, instead, just bury Stacy and I next to each other as a sign of when all this hatred needs to stop?

    -Kat

  9. Maria M Says:

    I was on vacation with my family at a family resort and we had to leave the swimming pool more than once because a group of lesbians were being very foul-mouthed and very intimate in front of my children. Now, mind you, I would have also left if straight people were behaving this way. If the LGBT community wants to be accepted, they need to have respect for those of us who are not. Stop calling us breeders, stop making everything about sex and especially, behave in front of children. I don’t hate LGBT, I don’t approve of anyone, regardless of their walk of life, acting like barn animals in front of my kids.

  10. peter denshaw Says:

    Well, she lost my sympathy at: ‘When there were two men relaxing at the side of the pool UNNATURALLY CLOSE to each other, EFFEMINATELY rubbing elbows and exchanging DOE EYES.’ (my capitalisation) I wonder who has the REAL problem here?!

    A good portion of Western – particularly Anglo-Saxon – culture is pretty weird when it comes to affection between men. Anyone who has travelled in the Middle-East or is familiar with Iranian culture, will notice that it is not unusual to see grown married, happily married and 100% heterosexual walk down the street holding hands in Cairo etc. It is hard to verify the history, but some social commentators state that until the trial of Oscar Wilde in England, men were a good deal more physically affectionate with each other than they are today. It would seem from the Bible, that male intimacy was not unheard of (e.g. John 13:25 – what would this keen eyed woman say about a young man leaning on the breast of an older man, would she think that they were ‘unnaturally close’?).

    I think Stacy’s post is very sad and has, like so much on this topic, descended into victimhood and finger pointing. Seeing two men sitting ‘unnaturally close’ to each other seems to have caused her to wander into xenophobia, homophobia and nail her political colours to the mast. She has even descended into the logical fallacy of giving one example (an illegal immigrant killing someone via a RTA) and offering this as evidence that she has a right to her ill-feelings towards immigrants (she really isn’t doing herself any favours to win friends is she?). I am sure she wouldn’t like it if the same logical fallacy were applied to things that touch upon her beliefs… Paedo-priests for example is a typical example of a logical fallacy for despising Catholicism!

    ‘Do you think knowing this happened about seven miles from my home makes me afraid to leave the house? You bet it does.’ If I were in Stacy’s shoes I would be more worried about why the behaviour of others – and from what she describes it sounds pretty mild behaviour – gets her so uptight.

    Well, she does live in a wishy-washy liberal state, like Massachusetts, with its gay marriage… Funny that it is also the US state with the lowest divorce and serial monogamy rate. Indeed it is a state that scores very well (especially compared to Bible Belt America) on many social indicators (divorce, teen pregnancy, single parent families, violent crime etc.). If I were in Stacy’s shoes I’d rejoice there is some liberalism in the state’s policy and practice, because as is the case the world over, such places tend to be a good more wholesome as societies than overtly religious societies (see: http://faithisnotthesameasreligion1.blogspot.com/2011/06/irony-is-it-like-zincy-or-coppery.html for some stats to back this up).

    I think she needs to loosen up and deal with her own insecurities!

    P.

  11. Anthony S. Layne Says:

    I’ve written my support directly to Stacy (and posted it on her FB wall), as well as blogged about it.

    @ Kat: I’ll grant you that there are many Christians who express themselves with less charity than they ought, along with the occasional nutjob groups like Westboro Baptist with their “God hates fags” talk. And I’m sorry that you too have received death threats. However, it’s also true that there are a lot of people on your side of the fence who argue that, if you don’t fully accept homosexuality as not only natural but good and harmless, then you must be an ignorant, hate-filled lunatic … no matter what else you say. Do you consider these people “loonies”? Is it logical to dump all your opponents’ arguments into a handy pigeonhole for instant dismissal?

  12. peter denshaw Says:

    @ Maria M (or Stuart for that matter) – what is this LGBT community? There seems to be a facile belief that all homosexuals live in some organised community, that thinks, feels, acts and behaves with one voice and manner. Are ‘straights’ likewise one, monolithic whole? I was in Las Vegas last week (business, not pleasure!!) and I was appalled at the way straight men and women behaved – mainly Americans on vacation: breasts hanging out, foul language, skimpy clothing, blatant materialism and hedonism abounded. I was embarrassed to see some of the sights that paraded up and down the sidewalks in the midday sunshine (if I had as much cellulite as some of the women I saw sardined into hotpants, I’d wear a kaftan!). I wouldn’t choose to go out for an evening in many of the UK’s city centres on a Saturday night as similar behaviour – immodest clothing, sexually overt behaviour, foul language, binge drinking – not to mention people being ‘unnaturally’ close to each other (to borrow from Stacy’s typology). And this sort of behaviour doesn’t have to be restricted to bars and clubs: you see ‘straight’ people behaving like this during the day; especially at weekend in shopping malls. Would you, as a straight woman, like to be counted as one, with these straights, littering our shopping malls and tarting themselves up and down the high streets of our towns and cities on a Saturday night? Here I could say:

    ‘If the straight community wants to be accepted, they need to have respect for those of us who are not.’

    But let’s focus on the homosexuals… or the LGBT community – let’s herd them together and class them as one. Rubbish, let’s just drop the labels and focus on people: it is people who behave inappropriately – regardless of their sexuality. Some people behave like animals, some people are rude, dress inappropriately and exhibit sexually inappropriate behaviour; saying gays or straights are more likely or less likely to behave in an inappropriate manner is just setting up a little hierarchy of righteousness.

    ‘Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.’ Col 3:11

    Thinking of people in any other way – i.e. sticking on convenient shorthand labels -just opens the door to scapegoating and looking down our noses at other people; which alas and as tempting as this seems at times, it is the one thing as a Christian we’re not allowed to do! (Perhaps this is something Stacy needs to consider? Just a thought…)

    P.

  13. berenike Says:

    “stop making everything about sex ”

    Hear hear! It’s very odd to arrange entire parades telling people about your sex life. And odder still to be annoyed when people are annoyed by it!

  14. Roger Pearse Says:

    We need to see this as what it is. This is not “protest” or “debate”. This is violent intimidation. In fact I find increasingly online that people don’t bother with rational discussion. Instead they fight to injure the other person and shut them down. This is why you get these dreadfully sad incidents of teenagers driven to suicide by exactly the same methods. Let’s not be deceived by “this is only words” — those doing it know otherwise, and what we are looking at is beatings, of the same kind and for the same purposes that tyrannies give them out.

    I hadn’t seen the articles either, but will go and look. It’s all rather a long way from “what two people do is private is no-one else’s business”, isn’t it? Clearly that was just a lie designed purely to stifle opposition.

  15. Lisa Graas Says:

    Every LGBT person I’ve asked about this has brushed it off because they say they get death threats, too. Every single one.

    If one of us is killed, they will say it is okay because some gays have been killed. Never mind the fact that we claim our identity in a religion that condemns such killing.

    This is the “fruit” of moral relativism.

  16. Lisa Graas Says:

    Peter, the “gay rights community” I speak of is the community of people who have rejected basic human dignity on the matter of sodomy, a sin that cries to heaven for justice.

    It does not include everyone with Same-Sex Attraction. It only includes those who are actively trying to uphold” the “sanctity” of “gay marriage”.

  17. peter denshaw Says:

    Why do people blog? They want their thoughts to be read (if not, just keep a diary!). They want to interact with people. If you choose to write something inflammatory as Stacy’s comments, then you have to accept people are going to react. Here I am NOT saying people who have a particular – some would say ‘Christian stance’ – when it comes to homosexuality should keep their mouths shut; however I am saying that they should choose the manner and language of their comments carefully.

    The situation that caused Stacy to fly in moral panic was not two guys with their tongues down each other’s throats or gusset typing with gay-abandon but (if people care to read what she actually says) two men that STACY PERCEIVED as sitting too close to each other and looking at each other. The language Stacy uses is incredibly judgemental, sneering and inflammatory. In addition the main concern of Stacy seems to be that her children might ask her embarrassing questions. From this, which let’s face it, could just be Stacy reading something into a situation that wasn’t even there, we have a right-of-centre rant on immigration and the tax system.

    I think it is important to stress that Stacy was not describing a couple behaving in a lewd and explicit manner, all she tells us in that in her view (here she has set herself up as the Intimacy Police) two men were sitting too close to each other and looking into each other’s eyes. I am not fond of couples (of whatever sexual persuasion) being overly intimate with each other in public, but Stacy’s description here suggests she could be reading more into a situation than was really the case and/or that perhaps she should just learn to mind her own business. Whatever, given the considerable detail she has been able to give of the ‘event’ it would appear she chose to look and to focus her attention.

    Obviously one can’t condone death threats to a person, but I doubt very much anything will come of them. You don’t hear of someone being killed because they voiced a certain view on homosexuality (please correct me if I am wrong here, but I’ve just tried to find an example and I can’t). Whereas all too often you hear of someone being killed simply because they are gay (or in some of the examples below, because someone thought they were gay – which perhaps demonstrates what can come of reading something into a situation that just might not be there…). A few minutes on the net brought forth these stories, that illustrate the net result of homophobia or of just setting oneself up and judge and jury when it comes to deciding what is ‘right’ in the world (my own experience is when people get hot under the collar about the behaviour of others, they should look at little closer to home to find out what the real problem is!):

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4346846.stm
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/oct/16/teenagers-arrested-homophobic-murder
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8413983.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/foyle_and_west/8562900.stm
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1569200/Teen-gets-16-years-for-homophobic-murder.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Shepard
    http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/s/2038678_man_convicted_of_walton_homophobic_murder
    http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/content/news_syndication/article_05125.shtml

    I am saddened that yet again, the subject of homosexuality, produces on the one hand a judgemental, snide and (let’s be honest) disproportionate comment from a Catholic woman and on the other, a similar disproportionate degree of aggression from some gay or anti-Christian people. I have little sympathy with either point of view – singling out the behaviour of people you perceive as homosexual for special attention (particularly in a case like this, when the behaviour in question seems inconsequential – there is not even mention of physical contact, save the rampant sexual advances of an elbow touching an elbow (oh the unbridled passion these gays exhibit!)) is, to me, an example of perhaps an over-interest in the righteousness of others. Given at any public park on a sunny afternoon it is not difficult to be embarrassed by the behaviour of many a ‘straight’ couple, I really think Stacy has reaped what she has sown… That said, death threats, rudeness and aggression is no way forward either. Both are species of intolerance; there is nothing to be gained from either stance – except discord, distrust and (as often happens in such cases) the message of the Gospel is trod into the mire of other people’s small-mindedness and eagerness to condemn, accuse and retreat to irreconcilable positions…

    @ Lisa – are you sinless? Or do your perceive your sins are less sinful than the sins of others? Do you suffer from homosexual temptation? If not, then I’d suggest you mind your own business – if you’re anything like me, or any pew filling Christian, there will be much in your life that is sinful. As far as God is concerned, we are all sinful wretches who can do no good thing to save us. Thank God for Jesus! Yet Jesus tells us to be wary of thinking we are ‘less sinful’ and/or ‘more righteous’ than others. ‘[Jesus] …. told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt.’ Luke 18:9-18:14 This particular passage illustrates this well! The Pharisee was by any standards an upright man, but he did not win God’s favour, because he thought himself better than other people – and in a position to judge others. Hence I would be very wary of thinking you know the mind of God and saying that a certain ‘sin’ ‘cries to heaven for justice’. Matt 7: 2 and all that… Given that 3% (if that) of the population is gay and only 0.5% live in same-sex relationships, I really think the matter needs to be put in some proportion. Looking at the statistics for marriage in the Western world (particularly the USA with its 50% church attendance) or teen pregnancy, single-parenthood, violent crime etc. tend to increase the MORE overtly Christian a society is, I really think it is time to move on from the ‘gay issue’ and perhaps it is time to start the more costly and challenging activity of holding up a mirror to ‘straight’ society, rather than wasting inches of blog space and a good deal of inner debate pointing the fingers at other, convenient, minorities (see: http://faithisnotthesameasreligion1.blogspot.com/2011/08/uk-riots-where-are-fathers-we-must.html on my blog for a fuller discussion on this).

    Regards:

    P.

  18. Kat Says:

    Wow – Lisa, that is intense… EVERY single one? I have LGBT friends who have not had death threats and I also have straight friends who have not had death threats either. My point was simply that you can’t use “Stacy has had death threats can I put your words on her tombstone” as an argument. It is childish and accomplishes nothing. Seriously, what was your point in both that posting and the one from 12:53 – to point out that we are all barbarians?

    Why not sit down and have a civil debate about your concerns and I will do the same. Just as I have offered to Stacy, I would be happy to sit down over coffee/tea and chat with you, even if you have issues with my being a lesbian. The first step in any disagreement and subsequent resolution is to understand why the other side/person is upset. I would even fly to meet you both. Contact me privately, Stacy has my email.

    cheers
    Kat

  19. Anthony S. Layne Says:

    @ Peter: Actually, your description of what you saw in Vegas reminded me of the city’s advert campaign: “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” A city that prides itself on the fact that people do there what they’d be ashamed to admit to anywhere else ….

    You do bring up a valid point about lumping people together. For instance, I have a cousin who’s gay but who’s been very supportive of my blogging despite my adherence to the orthodox teaching. At the same time, though, it’s true that Catholics and even Christians as a whole get lumped together by many of the same wingnuts who have been barfing their hatred all over Stacy’s blog; many have taken the tack that they can’t be gay and Christian, so they’ve become anti-Christian. So the tendency to pigeonhole isn’t all one-sided.

  20. Lisa Graas Says:

    Great. I have to be Jesus or I can’t blog about evil.

    Nice.

  21. Kat Says:

    PS – Peter — where do you come up with your numbers? 3% is Gay? Seriously? It has been shown time and time again that the average is 10%. But let’s not let this become an argument of numbers. It is somewhat obvious you made the number very low to make a point, so how about we compromise and you can say “Given that a minority of the population is gay and only a percentage of that live in same-sex relationships, I really think the matter needs to be put in some proportion.”

    However, I am still concerned a bit about your numbers, since in the community I see, I do see over 50% living in committed relationships, so it is all relative I guess.

    -Kat

  22. Mark Says:

    “Hear hear! It’s very odd to arrange entire parades telling people about your sex life. And odder still to be annoyed when people are annoyed by it!”

    1 – I’m assuming you mean Pride parades. You have to understand. These parades aren’t for you or for your benefit. They’re for us. They’re not telling you about your sex life. They began historically as a reaction to a police raid at a gay bar, during a time when it was illegal for two men to dance together, when it was illegal to serve gay people alcohol, and when it was illegal to wear clothes meant for the other gender. The first pride parade was actually a vigil in memory of the stonewall riots. Since then, they exploded into a party. They really sort of peaked in terms of licentiousness several years ago, and now they’re becoming more focused on lgbt sports groups, politicians, churches, and less so on boys in speedoes.

    2 – We’re not annoyed when people are annoyed by it. You’re welcome to be annoyed by it. I don’t need you to like me. I do need you to STFU when it comes to my constitutional rights when it comes to marriage, immigration, income tax, loan and credit, and criminal laws. If we’re going to compare you-think-its-icky vs. i-don’t-have-access-to-basic-human-rights, then, yeah, I’m going to fight tooth and nail for my viewpoint to win.

    3 – Lisa. I have received a death threat. By my cousin’s husband’s family, at their wedding. My then-boyfriend and I were slow-dancing. Cuz the DJ played “our song.” Someone on the Groom’s side decided we were being “an abomination against our Lord” (his exact words). He felt we were unnaturally close. Told us that if we didn’t separate then and there, he’d see to it that we were never that close again. I very politely told him that my boyfriend and I had been invited to this wedding together, and that if he were that uncomfortable he should mention it to my cousin and she and I would discuss it. He went away and came back with three other people. I explained my position a second time. The song ended. I went to the restroom. He and those three people came into the restroom right behind me, looking mad. Luckily, my father and a couple other people who had watched the whole situation came in right behind them. My dad asked if there were a problem. The guy said “no sir” and walked right back out of the bathroom. You can’t tell me that he just decided he no longer had to pee. I’ve never been so scared in my life. At my own cousin’s wedding. After I had sung the mass.

    So please don’t tell me that such threats are imagined.

    4 – Lisa again. I don’t try to “uphold” the “sanctity” of “gay marriage.” I’m trying to obtain access to the “human right” of “marriage” under “law” so that I can be “equal” in the eyes of the “government” under the “equal protection clauses” of the “5th” and “14th Amendments” to the “United States Constitution.”

    However a religion may or may not feel about marriage is irrelevant when it comes to constitutional and human rights.

  23. Lisa Graas Says:

    Mark, in order to claim “equality” with traditional marriage, which has sanctity, you have to claim “gay marriage” has sanctity. This is not rocket science.

  24. Mark Says:

    Anthony – “it’s true that Catholics and even Christians as a whole get lumped together.”

    You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can’t hide behind “this is the Truth that Christianity teaches” and then also complain when people lump Christians and Christian thought together as a monolithic group.

  25. Mark Says:

    Lisa – “Great. I have to be Jesus or I can’t blog about evil.”

    “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”
    ~Matthew 7:3

  26. Mark Says:

    “Mark, in order to claim “equality” with traditional marriage, which has sanctity, you have to claim “gay marriage” has sanctity. This is not rocket science.”

    No. I don’t. Not at all.

    Civil marriage has existed long before it was sanctified by the church. The Catholic Church didn’t enter the marriage business until the 12th century. That’s right. Marriage wasn’t even a sacrement until the 1100s. The first documented christian wedding ceremony comes from the 9th century. It was identical to Ancient Roman marriage rites, which were civil in nature. Civil marriage goes back to at least the Ancient Egyptians – well before Christianity existed.

    When I look at marriage, I look a person’s rights regarding immigration, loans, and criminal procedure. Marriage is a legal institution first, and blessed by God second. Both procedurally, and historically.

  27. Mark Says:

    Oops. Forgot to show my work.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_marriage
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage#Christianity
    http://ablemedia.com/ctcweb/consortium/ancientweddings7.html

  28. Kat Says:

    HI again Lisa,

    I will ask one simple question – since you base your comments apparently on the Bible. Which of the versions of Marriage described in the Bible has “sanctity”? Seriously, it seems to be a question often gone un-answered as there are so many, as long as there is only one man, there is the whole one woman, many women and so many more. So I am curious which version you speak of that we are to give “sanctity”?

    It seems neither Lisa nor Stacy wish to acknowledge any of my comments, I guess I am beneath them, so I shall end my discussion here.

    Peace to all..
    Kat

  29. peter denshaw Says:

    Kat

    Thanks, no I didn’t ‘make up the number’ – or proportion, in this case. It comes from a Right Wing Christian ‘academic paper’ (though as an academic, I thought it an excuse for an academic paper!) that Dr Hans-Christian Raabe was co-author of (the doctor sacked from some government committee, it was claimed because of his views on homosexuality, but I suspect the real reason was because the paper he happily put his name to was academically flawed). It was posted by Ugley Vicar on the Chelmsford Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans blog (or ‘Disgusted of Chelmsford’, as I prefer to call it! See: http://chelmsfordfca.blogspot.com/2011/02/gay-marriage-and-homosexuality-some.html). Unfortunately the link is now dead and I have just had a root around the hard drives of both of my computers and I don’t possess a copy – otherwise I could have forwarded it to you.

    But as someone who in a former life worked as a social worker, I don’t see any reason to doubt the 3% figure – in that even though for many years my social work patch covered W1, WC2, SW1 and SW7 (the West End and Belgravia) I saw very few homosexual clients – and W1 & WC2, you’d imagine, would have a higher than average number of homosexuals because the demographics of the West End. As a palliative care social work – work I did for seven years – I don’t think I had ONE gay client, and this too was at hospital in central London – and I saw around 250-300 people a year (tho’ my actual in-depth caseload was significantly smaller). All my AIDS defining cancer clients were African heterosexuals – mainly women. I don’t have time to do it now (I really should be doing something more important than blogging!) but I am sure, using Google Scholar or Books it shouldn’t be too difficult to find an array of estimates concerning the gay population of Britain. I will stake money on the fact that any academic source (i.e. not some tin pot pro or anti gay blog) worth its salt, will not put the proportion of exclusively homosexuals to be any greater than 4% – and probably much less.

    The 10% proportion is usually banded about from Kinsey’s research, which a lot of pro-gay groups and anti-gay groups have eagerly latched on to – tho’ I think even Kinsey stated that the proportion of men who remained exclusively homosexual all their lives was much less than 10%. I don’t quite understand your reference to 50% – the proportion I mention is 0.5% – and it is unclear in the paper I read whether this means 0.5% of the general population or 0.5% of 3% (which would be a very small number indeed! – Do the maths! 0.015% of the total population).

    Whatever, I am constantly bemused as to why there is this unhealthy and disproportionate interest in homosexuality on the part of many Christians. I am in the middle of writing a longer blog post for my own blog that seeks to examine why issues such as abortion, evolution and homosexuality have become for many the emblem (by stating opposition) of card carrying, conservative Christians. The very fact that holding such opposition often has little personal cost – in that for many holding such a view doesn’t challenge an individual’s life – I think is part of the reason. Few of us are directly affected by the issue of abortion, few of us really understand the science behind the theory of evolution and the vast majority of us aren’t homosexual. Hence to spout a conservative line on these issues is not costly and yet the rewards are a quick, ready-to-wear conservatism, that has the outward appearance of piety, without the inconvenience of being overly challenging to our own lives. I think this is in part why places in the world where such views are particularly vehement (Bible Belt America, sub-Saharan Africa, South American Pentecostalism etc.) are also the places troubled by more costly social problems (teen pregnancy, divorce, single-parent families, violent crime, corruption etc. – and it would seem Christian communities themselves are often the very places where these problems are manifest – esp. teen pregnancy (endemic in Latin America and the Bible Belt) and divorce and single parent families). Indeed it often seems the case that the more vehemently homosexuality etc. are contested in a society, the more social problems concerned with personal religious integrity are evident. Which perhaps suggests that such issues, particularly homosexuality, serve another purpose – they give a semblance of Biblical orthodoxy when the actual day to day lives of some of our most anti-homosexual brethren may not quite be as squeaky clean as they’d like us to think…

    P.

  30. Roger Pearse Says:

    And the haters duly arrive here too….

  31. Jill Says:

    Roger Pearse is right. This is all about intimidation. One only has to read the comments on Pink News to see who the real haters and bigots are, especially those in the ‘Kill the Pope’ bracket.

    I love this piece by The Telegraph’s James Delingpole, who very nearly had a Jan Moir moment. This is the way to do it! Bullies – and Twitterati – need standing up to.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100037112/man-love-rules-ok/

  32. peter denshaw Says:

    @Anthony S Layne: curious what you said about the Vegas tag line, because I got that feeling when I was there. It was as if Vegas was a chance for Americans to have some time out from being Americans. Until last week I hadn’t really travelled much beyond the east coast of America and yet even there, away from the cities, you get the sense you are in a much more conservative society than you’d find in Europe. Hence I was VERY shocked by much of the behaviour I witnessed around The Strip. That said, on the last day of the conference I was attending I got a chance to drive out of Las Vegas and on visiting its suburbs you realised there was another city, that was far removed from The Strip and its excesses.

    P.

  33. Lisa Graas Says:

    Peter writes: “Whatever, I am constantly bemused as to why there is this unhealthy and disproportionate interest in homosexuality on the part of many Christians.”

    We’re not the ones trying to redefine your sacred institutions with depravity that reflects the opposite of what that sacred institution is about. Oh, wait. You don’t have any sacred institutions. Never mind.

  34. Lisa Graas Says:

    Kat, I make it a point not to argue the Bible with people who think sodomy is sacred.

  35. Mark Says:

    Lisa –

    Do you make it a point to ignore legal arguments about legal institutions such as Marriage? Aside from the fact that you’re hiding your head in the sand by ignoring someone who disagrees with you (Jesus, btw would NEVER do that), you’re being rude to a commenter who has been nothing but respectful to you. I encourage you to engage with dissenting views.

    You’ve also noticeably ignored my points for an hour and a half.

  36. Vita Nuova Says:

    Perhaps Stacy should add a few caveats to her blog title:

    “Accepting Abundance, excepting for…….”

  37. Tim Says:

    If people were not aware how nasty this is getting before then they should now. Stacy has just been told that people have been posting her address and phone number on other websites.

  38. peter denshaw Says:

    @Mark – thank you for saying what needs to be said re: the ‘Wisdom of Lisa’. I was tempted to resort to the same low, offensive and self-righteous tactic as had been dealt out to me and others; but I think, as you so rightly note, the only way to maintain integrity, is to ensure one is polite and dignified, despite the taunting and jibes of those incapable of reasoned debate (Titus 2: 7 and all that).

  39. Kat Says:

    all of this because no one wants to sit down and just talk. This is why the human-race, as a whole, is pretty much doomed.. I lost faith in humanity a long time ago – when religions, ALL OF THEM – started killing in the name of some god.

    peace to all, I am out of here.

    -Kat

  40. Lisa Graas Says:

    Mark, I have to laugh when I hear people making “legal arguments” on this because marriage came before every government we have in the world. It is what it is. No government may redefine it. Governments could pass laws saying I’m God, but it would not make me God. I’d be awfully pompous to claim government should say I’m God! And you are just as pompous in claiming government should allow “gay marriage”.

    Why is this so hard?? Really.

  41. Kat Says:

    and again, Lisa – Marriage was created to control and subjugate women as “property” – you might want to study history just a bit more. It had nothing to do with your God’s rules or any of this, but I am talking to a wall, so I give up. I am the fool for even trying to talk in a civil manner – as you wish to do nothing but call me names..

    Funny thing is, I did study the Bible in college, although you tell me I am a heathen so I don’t know what I keep trying to have a discussion.

    Peace
    Kat

    PS – Lisa, I have not attacked you or Stacy – not once in this entire exchange – no threats, nothing. but you have won, I am leaving and won’t bother you further.

  42. Mark Says:

    Lisa –

    It’s so hard because your statement “marriage came before every government we have in the world” is factually innaccurate, at least in the sense of religious marriage. As I pointed out above, the first church (Christian marriage) was in the 9th century. Government has been going on well before that.

    Civil marriage, furthermore, has nothing to do with the Church. What you (we) choose to call your (our) ceremonies is irrelevant to the 1049 rights and responsibilities that come with governmental recognition of a relationship.

    “Why is this so hard?” “This isn’t rocket science.” Why do you insist on insulting me when you finish posts? I haven’t done that to you.

  43. Lisa Graas Says:

    Mark, on what do you base your claim that there was no “marriage” until the 9th century?

    Our belief on marriage has its foundations in the Creation story. You can’t go back farther than the Creation story. And essentially, that’s what this boils down to. Your argument cannot stand without claiming Christianity and Judaism are absolute farces. When it boils down, that is why Christians are mercilessly excoriated as Stacy is, who is my very dear friend and the topic of this post. In other words, you have to be anti-Christian bigots to make an argument. You all know this, and that is why it’s so important for you to claim we are bigots just because we are upset about children being exposed to this depravity on a trip to the park.

  44. Lisa Graas Says:

    Correction: You are not “bigots” per se. You reject Christianity. Rejecting a belief system is not “bigotry”. I apologize for saying you are “anti-Christian bigots”. That was wrong of me. However, by the same token, it is not right for you to describe our being appalled by depravity as “bigotry”.

  45. peter denshaw Says:

    Tim

    Yes, this is indeed a sad state of affairs. I found Stacy’s comments utterly offensive (not because of Biblical stance (that is a justifiable matter of debate – like usury or divorce, that many Christians have happily found a means to accommodate, because it would be inconvenient to the majority if they didn’t); but because of her use of language and what seems to me (and I stress this is my reading) a nasty bit of innuendo and finger pointing). Actions have consequences and I find it difficult to be overly sympathetic because the tone of the original post; it is intentionally divisive and offensive, no one uses phrases such as ‘doe-eye’ and ‘effeminate’ without some negative and facetious intent – as you sow, so shall you reap! However posting addresses and telephone numbers is just going too far and I just hope and pray nothing untoward comes from this.

    Yet the question has to be asked why are some gay people and non/anti-Christians becoming so aggressive towards people who post this kind of inflammatory comment? My brother had a lovely dog, a bitch German shepherd. I used to walk it a good deal with our own dog and it was a lovely, placid animal. However my brother ill treated it, shouting at it and using it as possession rather than treating it as a creature in its own right. One day it turned around and bit him. He was incensed and couldn’t understand why the dog, which had been so mild mannered, behaved so badly. It was sold on – and had a happier home.

    In some ways I think this little story tells us why some gay people get so angry towards certain aspects of religious (not necessarily Christian) comment on homosexuality. For one, it is nearly almost always disproportionate, it is often facetious and relies on innuendo and half truth (Anglicanmainstream, LifeSiteNews.com, The Christian Institute etc. are all examples of organisations that specifically and purposefully ‘spin’ and manipulate stories to give a negative – and on occasion downright misleading and misrepresenting – slant on homosexuality and homosexuals). Homosexuality is certainly not a major issue in the wider world or the greater scheme of things – the issues that really impact on morality and the moral ‘health’ of a nation are usually linked with a much wider and complex web of economic, political and social issues. e.g. I think many of the major impacts on the quality of family life in the Western world and in particular the UK, can be laid at the feet of Thatcher’s three governments and continued by Blair and Brown – a rapid rise in house prices, which fuelled a boom in debt and the cost of owning a home meant that thro’ the 1980s onwards it became increasing difficult, to all except the very wealthy, for one parent not to work. Or, a fact often forgotten by those Christians at present championing Thatcher, the fact the 2nd Thatcher government was instrumental in pushing thro’ Sunday trading, despite considerable opposition from Christians. Now Sunday is just another shopping day and families have less and less time for a ‘special’ day.

    These are two, what might seem insignificant factors, that have impinged on family life. Yet I would suggest that they have been major contributors (and there are many others) to threatening the stability of the family unit. Do we hear any mention of such factors on Christian blogs? Rarely, if ever, no, it is those wicked homosexuals’ and wishy-washy liberals’ fault we have the social problems we do (tho’ far fewer social problems than were evident a century ago, when the churches were fuller and the Bible better known!). These are just scapegoats and in the case of homosexuals I think they are getting fed up of the nastiness (there are examples in the above!) that is doled out to them for no other reason than that they are a convenient, and less costly means of looking at what is wrong with our post-modern, consumerist, money orientated, celebrity dominated, intellectually atrophied, morally suspect, selfish, me-centred society; than the real problems, which would need the use of a mirror, rather than an accusatory pointing finger…

    Truthfully, I hope and pray Stacy and her family come to no harm – but to be frank, given the tone of some ‘anti-gay’ comment, I wonder a few more gay people don’t bite back!

    P.

  46. peter denshaw Says:

    @Lisa

    I would class myself as a Christian… Indeed I have made appeals to Scripture in an attempt to engage with you in a meaningful and constructive manner (to no avail, alas…). I note also that you are a Passionist Oblate; I was for several years a contemplative novice monk and I remain active in my Christian life, I give to charity, I engage in voluntary work and generally, for what it is worth, try and give back as much as I take from society – so we have a lot more in common than not. Yet after odd 20 years of celebacy and of maintaining a conservative stance concerning sexuality, I deicded, after much heartache, thought and prayer, that the relationship I found myself in – a same sex partnership – was correct for me. This transformed me from a rather bitter, cynical and miserable person, into a much happier and fulfilled inidividual. Oddly enough others noticed this more than I and it is with the blessing of many of my conservative Christian friends that my relationship continues. And may we ask about your personal life, since you seem so keen to comment on other people’s and make judgemental and accusitory remarks about people you don’t know? What about your personal life – it is a paragon of virtue?

    Regards and every blessing:

    P

  47. Lisa Graas Says:

    I’d ask you, Peter, if you have ever heard of Rev. Jim Jones and the Jonestown Massacre. Was Rev. Jim Jones a “Christian”? I have no idea. He claimed to be. I don’t know if he was or not. I do know without a doubt that Christianity was not reflected at the Jonestown Massacre, and I believe that most people understand that. By the same token, I believe that most people, Christian or otherwise, understand that “gay marriage” is a contradiction to Christian teaching. “Gay marriage” is a Christians vs. gays debate at its core, and we all know that if we know anything at all about this issue.

  48. peter denshaw Says:

    @ Lisa: At no point in the above have I been talking about ‘gay marriage’ – read my blog and you’ll see I am, personally, no fan of ‘gay marriage’ . I think you are getting yourself in a tizzy about something that isn’t being discussed… But ain’t that often the way when religion is discussed? “Gay marriage” is a Christians vs. gays debate at its core, and we all know that if we know anything at all about this issue.” is perhaps comforting to the inverted sense of pride some Christians exhibit (i.e. that they think they are more important than they really are in an essentially secular society), but no, I think you’re flogging a dead horse here.

    And yes, alas for my sins I taught the New Religious Movements module of my university’s theology and religious studies BA last academic year, so I am very familiar with Jonestown and the People’s Temple…

    regards:

    P

  49. Mark Says:

    Lisa -

    I’m having difficulty responding (software-wise) for some reason, so I’ll come back to a detailed response to your question to me.

    But I want to point out that you just compared Peter to the Jonestown Massacre. Why do you insist on being personally insulting?

  50. Lisa Graas Says:

    Mark, I am very sorry if the truth hurts Peter’s feelings, but in Catholicism, both murder and sodomy are considered to be sins so horrific that they cry to heaven for justice. This is how much they offend God. So, I would simply ask, why do the sodomites insist on crucifying my Lord and expecting me to equate it with the sanctity of Holy Matrimony? Why must you sodomites scourge my Lord this way when you put your penises into other men and expect me to call it holy? Why?

  51. Mark Says:

    I don’t understand why I can’t get that post to post. grr. i’ll keep trying.

    1 – tell me what jesus has to say about marriage. or about gay people.
    2 – i’m not discussing sex. i’m discussing love and legal rights. you keep bringing up sex.
    3 – i’m not asking you call anything holy.
    4 – show me in either creation story where it discusses marriage rites.

  52. Mark Says:

    I still can’t get that post. Take a look at the 24th session of the Council of Trent (1560s). That’s where the Catholic Church inserted itself into marriage.

  53. Lisa Graas Says:

    Mark, I am not going to debate whether or not my Catholicism is valid. I will only debate this with the acceptance on your part that I am Catholic and that this is what I “am”. There is a claim among the “gay rights” movement that gays “are what they are” and that it won’t change. I would dispute that and claim that you must accept that I am what I am. I am Catholic. It will not change. My identity is in my Catholicism. This is Stuart’s blog and he knows as only a handful of people can know that my identity in Jesus Christ and my Catholicism are as hard-wired into me as anything can be.

    This debate is not going to be about whether or not Catholicism is valid. It’s about whether or not the “gay rights” argument can stand on its own alongside Catholicism. It cannot, as your claims are showing here. You cannot possibly defend “gay marriage” without attacking Catholicism or other Christian belief systems that accept the same views as Catholics.

    We can have a government that accepts the Christian view of marriage or we can have silence in government on this issue, but it is not legitimate for any government to hold up a perversity as “marriage”.

  54. Mark Says:

    I’m wasn’t discussing Peter’s feelings. I was talking about your refusal to speak civilly to other people. I would expect more.

  55. Mark Says:

    I believe that you consider yourself a Catholic. I’m not asking you to change that. I’m asking you to articulate your beliefs. You’ve placed your beliefs in the public sphere and I’m asking you to flesh them out.

    I am a Lutheran, currently attending an Episcopal Church. All of our teachings are very similar, and dialog between the faiths can be valuable. Even Jesus believed in the importance of interacting with those he disagreed with.

    So again I ask you to speak to your beliefs.

    1 – What does Jesus say about Marriage. Or about gay people?
    2 – What do the creation stories say about Marriage?
    3 – Why do you boil down the beautiful emotional and spiritual elements of a long-term relationship to base acts of sex?

  56. Caral Says:

    Hi Mark,

    The Church has always held that marriage was a sacrament.

    Here is the Doctrine of marriage- Council of Trent Session XXIV

    “The first parent of the human race, under the influence of the divine Spirit, pronounced the bond of matrimony perpetual and indissoluble, when he said; This now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be two in one flesh. But, that by this bond two only are united and joined together, our Lord taught more plainly, when rehearsing those last words as having been uttered by God, He said, therefore now they are not two, but one flesh; and straightway confirmed the firmness of that tie, proclaimed so long before by Adam, by these words; What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. But, the grace which might perfect that natural love, and confirm that indissoluble union, and sanctify the married, Christ Himself, the institutor and perfecter of the venerable sacraments, merited for us by His passion; as the Apostle Paul intimates, saying: Husbands love your wives, as Christ also loved the Church, and delivered himself up for it; adding shortly after, This is a great sacrament, but I speak in Christ and in the Church. Whereas therefore matrimony, in the evangelical law, excels in grace, through Christ, the ancient marriages; with reason have our holy Fathers, the Councils, and the tradition of the universal Church, always taught, that it is to be numbered amongst the sacraments of the new law.”

    Hence why CT XXIV Canon I states:-

    If any one saith, that matrimony is not truly and properly one of the seven sacraments of the evangelic law, (a sacrament) instituted by Christ the Lord; but that it has been invented by men in the Church; and that it does not confer grace; let him be anathema.

    Hope this helps.

    P.S. You can read the full Session at the below link.

    http://history.hanover.edu/texts/trent/ct24.html

  57. Anthony S. Layne Says:

    @ Mark: “You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can’t hide behind ‘this is the Truth that Christianity teaches’ and then also complain when people lump Christians and Christian thought together as a monolithic group.”

    Actually, I’m very careful to distinguish between what the Catholic Church teaches and what individual Catholics say and do. Why? Because we have what I call “crypto-Protestants”, i.e. self-identified Catholics who openly and deliberately dissent from Church teaching. It’s a legitimate distinction, not any effort to “hide behind” a group label. Your comment has some merit, but only so far as Christian commentators fail to make the distinction. Nevertheless, be careful that, at some other point, you don’t turn around and point to pro-gay Christians in refutation of some point; that would be inconsistent to say the least.

  58. Mark Says:

    @Lisa – That quote comes from the Council of Trent. 1560s. “…to be numbered amongst the sacrements of the new law.” This is a new doctrine in faith. From the 1560s. This doesn’t prove your claim that “The Church has always held that marriage was a sacrament.” In fact, it clearly says this is the new law.

    1 – What does Jesus say about Marriage. Or about gay people?
    2 – What do the creation stories say about Marriage?
    3 – Why do you boil down the beautiful emotional and spiritual elements of a long-term relationship to base acts of sex?

    @Anthony – A fair point. Thank you for the perspective. I’ve never come across a term or concept like “crypto-protestants.” I think it’s smart.

  59. Lisa Graas Says:

    Mark, it was Caral who posted that. The Catholic Church has never taught a contradiction in doctrine. If Caral posts something from the 16th century that is doctrinal from the Catholic Church, you can be sure that it in no way contradicts what has always been believed. If it does, the Catholic Church is a farce, hence my previous point. You can’t claim validity for your argument without claiming that Catholicism is a farce.

  60. Mark Says:

    Reading too quickly, Caral and Lisa, my apologies. I kind of thought it was surprising that Lisa would respond to the substance of one of my posts.

    So are you telling me that the Catholic Church continues to hold a geocentric view of the Universe? Because that was offical dogma as of 1616.

    You’re the one saying that a contradiction in historical dogma makes Catholicism a farce. Not me.

    You are welcome to develop or change your beliefs as you see fit. You are not welcome to change or develop historical facts.

  61. Lisa Graas Says:

    Mark, no, it was not “dogma”…ever. And by the way, did you know that Galileo died a faithful Catholic? Don’t lie about the Church. God doesn’t like it when people do that to His Church.

  62. Lisa Graas Says:

    Incidentally, there is to this day no dogma on that topic. I mean…wow. Really, Mark? The Galileo claim? Can you not be a little more original?

  63. Caral Says:

    Hi Mark,
    No worries, we can all read things a little too quickly.

    There never was any “dogma” which said the earth was the center of the universe or the solar system.
    Could you please identify its official name, and the name of the pope who defined it.
    Perhaps you are confusing the date of 1616 which was the date when the Inquisition asked a commission of theologians, known as qualifiers, about the propositions of the heliocentric view of the universe?

  64. Mark Says:

    You’re trying to drag me into a semantics argument over the definition of dogma. I won’t.

    You still ignore the larger issues here. Mine is a historical argument. Catholicism staked a claim for marriage in the 1560s. That is, the Church “spoke up” about it then. It did not articulate a Dogma until 1560s. Can you agree with me about that?

  65. Mark Says:

    Caral – I know I brought it up, but let’s leave the issue of heliocentrism. It takes us too far afield.

  66. Lisa Graas Says:

    Mark, may I ask if you were giddy for thinking for a moment that you had somehow proven the Catholic Church to be a farce? Again, that’s my point. Your argument depends on proving Catholicism to be a farce. “Gay marriage” is not a positive good that can stand on its own arguments. It’s an evil.

  67. Mark Says:

    No, I wasn’t trying to prove Catholicism to be a farce. Quite the opposite. I was actually trying to come up with an innocuous change in dogma that doesn’t affect real theology or the meaning of Jesus’ life. The point was going to be “interpretations of the details can change.” That’s okay. That DOESN’T make something a farce. In the moment, I forgot that “dogma” has a very specific definition within the Church. Now may we get back to the issue at hand…

  68. Caral Says:

    Hi Mark,

    My own personal view is that dogma or (as you may understand better) doctrine has deepened and I would say developed over time with revelation and understanding, but the basics have not changed.

  69. Lisa Graas Says:

    Mark, you should pay attention to what Caral wrote about development of doctrine. Doctrine develops over time but it is never contradictory to what was previously always believed as doctrine. The Church has always taught that sodomy is a sin. Here’s the Didache which is essentially the first catechism.
    http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/didache-lake.html

  70. Mark Says:

    Caral – I like the way you phrase that. However, it doesn’t change the historical fact that the Catholic Church first identified marriage as a sacrement in the 1560s with the Council of Trent.

    Or the fact that marriages had been happening for centuries before that happened.

    Both of those facts logically preclude the idea that the Catholic Church holds the right to define marriage for anyone outside of its own membership. What you describe as Marriage has nothing to do with the human rights and constitutional rights of Marriage (here in the states at least – I can’t speak to the UK).

  71. peter denshaw Says:

    @Lisa

    Take heart ‘the truth’ didn’t hurt my feelings… Of course we all know what happens when religious types think they know the truth. Our last Catholic Queen Mary didn’t get the prefix ‘Bloody’ by accident! (Tho’ her Protestant sister could have equally shared the epithet ‘bloody’ – Oh how the blood doth pour bright, when the zealous know they’re right!) The bonfires get built and the swords get sharpened! Don’t worry, Lisa I am a big boy and don’t hurt very easily – but I know when I’m beat. An arrogant, closed minded, opinionated woman is not really worth the digital bits or mental effort. But I feel you could (and you can take pride in this) find yourself included in a blog post on my blog in the near future. Your are a typical case of a certain kind of Catholic woman I have come across over the years…

    Regards and happy carping:

    P.

  72. Lisa Graas Says:

    Mark, “identified” is a key word in what you wrote. It objectively “was” a sacrament from the beginning and the Church “identified” it later. It was what it was…and it is what it is…a sacrament. If the Church had not come to that realization until the 18th century, for example, it would not mean it was not a sacrament until then. It would only mean it took that long for the Church to identify it as such. It objectively is what it objectively is.

    Having said that, you seem to be confusing “sanctity” with “sacrament”. These terms dont’ mean the same thing. We defend the “sanctity” (special character and dignity) of marriage the same as we defend the “sanctity” of life.

  73. Lisa Graas Says:

    Compared to Mary, Queen of Scots, for defending the sanctity of marriage against the sodomites? Hmmm. Okay.

  74. Mark Says:

    You know, I guess I’m with Peter right now. You’re basing your argument on “The Catholic Church says the Catholic Church is right. And so the Catholic Church is right.” I’m heading out, though I suspect you’ll see me again here from time to time.

    But my final thought is that if you believe a dogma to be true simply because it says it’s true, you run the risk of having been wrong the whole time when you get to Heaven. And when you tell St. Peter why you did the things you did and he says “didn’t you see you were hurting people?” all you can say is yeah, but they told me and I followed blindly….

    Those of us who question what we’ve been taught, and who seek to answer the great questions for ourselves the best we can, and truly try to be good people to the poor, the lowly, the destitute, and those that the Pharisees condemn (present tense)…at least we can tell St. Peter “well, I tried. I did the best I could to live up to your expectations. I’m truly sorry if I fell short.”

    “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’” Matthew 15: 8-9

    I had a pastor once say to me “the problem with the parable of the wheat and the chaff is that we always assume we’re the wheat.” What if, Lisa, you were wrong to put all your faith in Dogma?

  75. Caral Says:

    Hi Mark,
    The Church has always identified marriage as a sacrament, but I think what you are trying to get at is that it did not make it official dogma until CT?
    And they probably felt that they had to then, because of those pesky protesters. ;-)

    It is a little like the doctrine of the Trinity. It was always held by the Church but wasn’t put down on paper until the Creeds.

    Mark, back to the subject at hand, I would say that I do agree with you, I can only speak from my knowledge of the UK, but I would say that the Sacrament of marriage, is in no way comparable to a civil marriage. Civil marriage holds absolute lowest denominator of what a marriage is and what it entails.

    So I think that we sort of agree.

  76. Mark Says:

    Okay, I’m back for a conversation with Caral.

    Is it fair to rephrase “absolute lowest denominator” etc. with “a mere recital of legal rights ascribed to a personal relationship without respect to sanctity”?

    Cuz if we can agree there, we can find true common ground.

  77. Caral Says:

    Yep. We can agree. I have a problem with civil partnerships, as they don’t subscribe the same rights as a civil marriage. I also have a problem with the fact that a brother and sister who live together, cannot have the same rights, or if two friends live together they too should be able to have the same rights.

    But that is my personal view.

  78. Mark Says:

    Again, just inquiring into your personal view. Does that mean you’re okay with civil marriage for same-sex couples?

  79. peter denshaw Says:

    But Lisa, darling, where have I mentioned ‘gay marriage’? Hence why do you feel – knowing nothing about my personal life or sexual habits – confident in making so many personal remarks and judgements? Given that Catholics are fairly hot on the sanctity of marriage and that you live in a nation which had one of the highest divorce rates in the Western world long before gay marriage was ever mooted (not that it is anyway in your state – a state with a higher than US average for divorce and yet higher than average church attendance); I think there are more noble causes to which you could put your waspish (tho’ not W.A.S.P. ish!) tongue to good use. It seems to me that the real problem is not the homosexuals, but the heterosexuals, but it is just easier (and a good deal less costly) to point the bony finger of accusation and judgement towards the homos. In the Western world the USA has the highest proportion of single-parent families – closely followed by the Republic of Ireland! Both countries manage 50% church attendance a week (compared with 8-10% in the UK) and yet all that religion doesn’t seem to come up with the goods. Hence I can see why homosexuals provide a convenient scapegoat for the failures of your own Church and her congregations… But please, less of the personal remarks, you do yourself no favours. (Tho I realise this is a foolish request! A quick look at your Facebook page and your other ventures on the internet and I can see why the strongholds of National Socialism were in the Catholic areas of Germany – the problems of the world are the result of this and that group… Well we all know where that ended… http://youtu.be/bs5bnVoZK4Q by the way, is that you in the blue hat?)

    Regards:

    P

  80. Caral Says:

    Mark,

    Gosh, yes of course I’m OK with same sex civil partnerships. I am more concerned with everyone having the same rights, although I not a ‘placate waving’ sort of girl.
    In fact in all honesty I don’t have really have a problem with legalising same-sex civil marriage.

    Here the Methodists (I think) and the Quakers and some Synagogues are more than happy to perform religious blessings on civil partnerships. Which is fine, and I support their right to do so, and I believe that they should have the religious freedom to do that.
    Yet on the other hand, when I would have a problem is if people wanted to demand a right for the Sacrament of Marriage for a couple of the same sex by my own Church. Then I have a major problem.

  81. Mark Says:

    Caral -

    Then we’re in absolute agreement. And you have my word that I’ll be speaking up on the Church’s side if anyone tries to force them to.

    Full disclosure: I’d love to see the Catholic Church embrace it’s lgbt members fully. But I believe even more strongly that every church gets to decide what’s right under its own belief system. Just as Church doctrine doesn’t get to dictate laws, legal doctrine doesn’t get to dictate religion.

    Best to you!
    m

  82. Tim Says:

    Thanks for your reply Peter. I appreciate your perspective, as I do Stacy’s too. I have my own views about this but tend not to argue online any more though, except for those times when I do, lol. It’s interesting to read the many and varied responses though.

  83. Kati Woronka Says:

    Hi Kat…

    I’m really resonating with your comments. I’m a straight Christian woman but I love tolerance, and I am sometimes hurt when my words are construed as judgment and I meant the opposite – it sounds like that might be how you’re feeling right about now. If you’d have a few minutes to connect, I’d like to bounce some ideas off of you… kati@katiworonka.com

    Cheers.

  84. Randall Reynolds Says:

    Don’t like Gay Marriage? Don’t get one. Keep your Religious Marriage while LGBT can have SECULAR marriage like Atheists already do.

    Solved.

  85. Lisa Graas Says:

    Randall, your argument doesn’t address the problem of government employees having to resign rather than go to hell for issuing a marriage license to same-sex couples. It doesn’t address putting the Catholic Church out of the adoption business completely. It doesn’t address the rights of children to a mother and a father.

    The impact on children doesn’t matter to them, though. Children have become commodities to be trod upon in the name of sodomy. God help us.

  86. Randall Reynolds Says:

    1.) Why would God send an employee to hell for signing a marriage license? The bible does command you to follow the laws of the land, after all. Even so, a God who would send you to hell for signing a paper is no God worthy of worship.

    2.) If the Catholic Church refuses to send children to same-sex couples, perhaps they do deserve to go out of business. If the church members don’t like it, RAISE FUNDS. Yet I guess you’d rather Federal Dollars continue to keep your doors open.

    3.) A right of a child to a mother & father? What about a child born to a widow? What about single parents? What about a child whose mom dies while giving birth? Certainly God thinks THOSE parents are okay…. Your argument here is incredibly weak.

    4.) You invoked Sodomy. Thank you. This is what it’s all REALLY about: you don’t like the idea of a penis into an anus. What about straight couples who enjoy anal sex? Is that a problem? And more importantly, why are you so fixated on who’s having sex & how?

  87. peter denshaw Says:

    @ Randall – ‘If the Catholic Church refuses to send children to same-sex couples, perhaps they do deserve to go out of business. If the church members don’t like it, RAISE FUNDS. Yet I guess you’d rather Federal Dollars continue to keep your doors open.’ EXACTLY – here in the UK there is a similar argument raging over several faith-based organisations that whine on about their Christian integrity and yet receive 80%+ of their income from the taxpayer. He who pays the piper, calls the tune, as they say! There is no law in the UK, or the USA (tho’ I know less about US law) that wouldn’t allow Catholics (or whatever faith) to open and fund their own adoption agency. Here in the UK one Catholic adoption agency tried to survive without taxpayer money. Its income dropped from several million pounds to £46,000 ($65,000 approx) (so much for the Catholic faithful of Westminster putting their money where their mouths are) and eventually crawled back to government with its begging bowl out. See: http://faithisnotthesameasreligion1.blogspot.com/2011/06/leeds-catholic-adoption-debacle-again.html on my blog for a fuller discussion on the cries of its sister organisation.

    Your point about sodomy is also well made. Time and time again I have sat through sermons about what sexual acts CAN’T take place outside of the marriage bed, but we hear very little of what CAN’T take place WITHIN the marriage bed. It is, on matters of sexuality, the finger pointing at convenient scapegoats from the pulpit rather than the more costly limits on the sex-lives of the faithful that seems to take precedence.

    Alas, poor Lisa does seem fixated with sex and other people’s sex lives. A glance at her MySpace page might give you some hints as to why…

    Thanks for this.

    P.

  88. Lisa Graas Says:

    Quote: “If the Catholic Church refuses to send children to same-sex couples, perhaps they do deserve to go out of business.”

    My reply: The Catholic Church will never “go out of business”. It will just be that only people willing to hand children over to homosexuals will be the only ones providing adoption services. The Church will remain.

    Read Matthew 16. http://youtu.be/jWBVjzWoxKg

  89. Lisa Graas Says:

    Randall wrote: “Alas, poor Lisa does seem fixated with sex and other people’s sex lives. A glance at her MySpace page might give you some hints as to why…”

    I do not have a MySpace page, but it’s nice to know you’re so fixated on my personal life as to go searching for one.

  90. Maria M Says:

    Why do same sex couples need children? There is surely something disordered with a society that orders children from a lab(through IVF, surrogate, etc.) Children are a gift from God, not an item you get from a Sears catalog.
    If the Catholic church teaches that children are the result of a natural coupling of a man and woman, what right does anyone have to tell us how we go about running our church(adoption agencies)?

  91. Lisa Graas Says:

    I have poor eyesight, Peter, but I can read.

    Venom? Is that what you think? Sigh. Okay. But I’m not leaving. Stuart is my friend and I love his blog.

  92. peter denshaw Says:

    Alas, why do we need adoption agencies? Yes, there are those unfortunate children that because of perental death or illness (I was forstered as child because my mother was very sick for several months) need new homes. But in the main adoption agencies deal with the failures of heterosexuality… Now there’s irony..

    P.

  93. Tim Says:

    I think Peter and Lisa are displaying some kind of latent emotion between each other and are, metaphorically, getting to the point where they will be unnaturally close to each other, effeminately rubbing elbows and exchanging doe-eyes… I am a man of extreme sensitivities and a child-like naivety and would appreciate it if you didn’t do this kind of thing in front of me.

  94. peter denshaw Says:

    Tim

    I think you could be right!!! I am very sorry and Lisa and should beat a hasty retreat to somewhere private… (In all seriousness, it is probable that face to face we’d get on rather well – we have much in common, but I doubt I would be able to convince her of that…)

    My final comment on this topic…

    I note that Stacy has now closed the comments stating: ‘”Gay rights activists” you’ve had your say. Comments in this thread are now closed, but they will stand so people can decide for themselves who is tolerant and who is not.’

    I think this comment illustrates just how divisive and blinkered is this Christian Right approach to social issues. In effect she is saying ‘Anyone who disagrees with me is a Gay-Activist’ – which of course is clearly saying the matter is black and white, cut and dried and one thing and not another. Yet, reading some of the comments, there were many from people who stated they were Christians and many Catholics who also found Stacy’s post offensive or narrow minded. There can be no debate with close minded people, or those who want to – and openly encourage – factionalism and division – hence dismiss all as ‘Gay Activists’ and condemn them to the outer darkness, where I don’t have to listen to their moaning! Moreover, looking at a later post of Stacy’s the matter is not really about two men sitting ‘unnaturally close’ to each other in a park, but rather gay-marriage. Where that came from is beyond me, but others supporters of Stacy have likewise twisted any discussion on the original post to the subject of ‘gay marriage’. I think this is actually a clever ploy. There is little moral highground to be gained from sneering remarks, however mention of a more contentious issue might just put opponents and waivers off the scent of blatant homophobia and lead them onwards to a moral debate that they are more likely to have strong opinions about. It is an old political rouse and perhaps demonstrates Stacy’s real intention here. Well, as we say where I come from: ‘There’s nowt as queer as folk…’

  95. David Says:

    What I find interesting is the obsession that folks like Stacy have with gays. Let’s agree for the sake of argument that it opposing homosexuality as sin is a perfectly legitimate religious view and is not in and of itself “bigoted.” This being so, it would be on the same level as fornication and lust.

    But in their travels outdoors, Stacy and her kids far, far more likely to encounter intimate acts by unmarried heterosexuals. 96 or 97 percent of the population is heterosexual and, in contrast to gays, no heterosexual fears a bashing if he or she engages in kissing, hand holding, etc. I can’t remember the last time I say a gay display of affection but it is common to see obviously unmarried heterosexual couples (for example, high school kids) hanging on each other.

    So why isn’t this front and center in Stacy’s concern? The answer is b/c she is obsessed with gays in a manner that is not explained or justified by any precept of Catholicism.

  96. Lisa Graas Says:

    Stuart, in case you get gutter-flooded like I did tonight, it’s not because of the full moon.

    http://blog.lisagraas.com/2011/09/11/towleroads-bringin-on-the-gay-hate-for-catholic-moms-again/

  97. Isobel, Bath Says:

    I found Stacy’s blog post “Can’t Even Go to the Park” really, really offensive. I’m not gay – I’m not gay and I’m not what Stacy calls “a gay rights activist” but I find her attitude seriously nasty – all that disgust over very, very little. She needs to get a sense of proportion, and a bit over herself.

    I’m sorry she got death threats as a result of the blog post. No one deserves death threats, but she definitely deserved some firm verbal responses to her message of hatred. It might even teach her something: it is painfully true that LGBT people are the subject of far more serious harassment and real violence than over-privileged Catholics moms of seven. Hate crimes against homosexuals are no joke: and they appear to be linked to hate speech.

    If you blog, you hope people will read and react. Well, she certainly got a reaction!

    I’m totally with Peter Denshaw here:

    The situation that caused Stacy to fly in moral panic was not two guys with their tongues down each other’s throats or gusset typing with gay-abandon but (if people care to read what she actually says) two men that STACY PERCEIVED as sitting too close to each other and looking at each other. The language Stacy uses is incredibly judgemental, sneering and inflammatory. In addition the main concern of Stacy seems to be that her children might ask her embarrassing questions. From this, which let’s face it, could just be Stacy reading something into a situation that wasn’t even there, we have a right-of-centre rant on immigration and the tax system.

    If we’re talking about Christian morality – as Stacy wants us to – how selfish, greedy and irresponsible it is for anyone to have seven children in the current global population crisis? Anyone care to work out their super-sized American carbon footprint?

    I notice that the first post is from Little Catholic Bubble – now that’s a very, very weird blog!

  98. Caral Says:

    Hi Isobel, Bath
    You are welcome to make comments here. But please discuss the subject matter and discuss the opinion presented, not the person, ad hom is unacceptable.

  99. Lisa Graas Says:

    Isobel, Bath.

    In my book, you have just engaged in “gay rights activism”.

    I wrote this last night. Parents have a duty to instruct their children to help them to resist temptation.

    http://blog.lisagraas.com/2011/09/11/the-dangers-of-using-terms-like-homophobia/

  100. peter denshaw Says:

    Lisa

    Is there something wrong with gay rights? Or do you think Hitler was just a misunderstood chap and herding hundreds of thousands of homosexuals into concentration camps and gassing them was okay? Do you think it is right that just because someone is a homosexual they are not given equal access to employment, civil rights, health care, political voice, legal protection of their assets etc. or that police brutality towards homosexuals is justified, or hate crimes against homosexuals shouldn’t receive the same attention as violence towards anyone else in society?

    Do you not think it is odd that a woman, a supposedly Christian woman, devotes a whole blog post to vindicating and excusing her prejudice and hatred and passing it off as piety? We’re not talking about overt sexual exhibition in Stacy’s post, but how she read a situation – ‘Water finds its own level’ as they say. Only someone with sex at the forefront of their mind would read such a situation to be ‘sexual’, when there is scant evidence it was.

    There is no point discussing this issue with you Lisa – you delight in division and presume that just because one group is given something it means taking away something from another. This seems a childish mentality to me: Gay Rights = marginalisation of Christianity (in truth a certain kind of Christianity), when it doesn’t at all. I suppose you’ll hold up the rising divorce rate and say this is because marriage is being undermined? But there wasn’t gay marriage on any state’s legislation ten years ago – and still the USA led the world in divorce, so whose fault was it then? Ironically the majority of the states where gay marriage is allowed have a lower than average divorce rate than America as a whole – and a far lower divorce rate than conservative Bible Belt states (like Kentucky!).

    As I’ve said elsewhere, pointing the finger of accusation is just more palatable and easier than holding up a mirror – I’d get your own, heterosexual house in order (high divorce rate, high teen pregnancy rate, high lone parent rate – particularly among religious communities) before thinking you are in a position to worry about other people’s righteousness and private lives… But it has always been easier to worry about other people morality and private lives than face the more daunting and challenging task of facing our own, hasn’t it? (see: http://faithisnotthesameasreligion1.blogspot.com/2011/09/pointing-bony-finger-of-accusation-is.html)

    Every blessing:

    P.

  101. Lisa Graas Says:

    Peter, ever heard of Dachau? There were a lot of Catholic priests at Dachau. Godwin’s Law.

    Is there any such thing as an immoral sexual act? If you believe there is, does it mean you “delight in division”? Am I not allowed to practice my religion now because men want to put their penises into other men? Practicing my religion includes providing adoption services for children.

    Yes, I am very concerned about the “private lives” of children being exposed to homosexual displays of affection if I am placing them for adoption.

    Really? I can’t practice Christianity now because sodomy must have equal status and “sanctity’ to the level of marriage?

  102. Lisa Graas Says:

    Peter, I use a service dog when I go to places where there are crowds, or I have to heavily medicate myself if I can’t take the dog. I don’t take my service dog to church with me. Religious freedom trumps my “right” to take a dog to Mass….and I’m okay with that.

    If we trample religious freedom, it’s “game over” for Western Civilization.

  103. Lisa Graas Says:

    Peter, I’m an American. We have some founding principles here at stake. You may want to read about it.

    Is Rick Santorum a Bigot?

    http://blog.lisagraas.com/2011/09/12/is-rick-santorum-a-bigot/

  104. Isobel, Bath Says:

    In my book, you have just engaged in “gay rights activism”.

    Well, if that’s how you see just taking a mainstream position, just as throughout my life I practice anti-racist activism too. Equal rights are equal: that’s the idea. However seems to me that if my middle-of-the-road views make me an activist I’m arguing against the anti-gay equivalent of white supremacists. About as common and about as appealing.

    Thing is, Lisa, that what you call “activism” is just mainstream Protestant thinking. And in society at large tolerance of homosexuality is the majority position. It’s yours and Stacy’s position that is extreme and better merits the word “activist”.

    The affect of the statement:

    “…in Catholicism, both murder and sodomy are considered to be sins so horrific that they cry to heaven for justice. This is how much they offend God.”

    Is to make me heartily glad I’m not a Catholic. What a truly bizarre thing to say! Where on Earth is the RCC’s sense of proportion?

    One of the endearing things I notice about the Catholics in my family and close circle is how little attention they pay to the teachings of their church. They pay lip service, but they all have normal size families and none of them give two hoots about homosexuality. I guess that’s the way they stay nominally Catholic.

  105. peter denshaw Says:

    Lisa

    Was your medication produced by ‘faith’ or by scientific positivism? That is, a way of looking at the world where a thing is proved by evidence, usually by experimentation or research. ‘Faith’ had been trying to solve problems for millennia (e.g. physical and mental illness) but most people, even the devout, run off to the doctor’s now if they are ill and take a pill if they get sick. Few people are so foolish as to put their faith to the test when it means compromising their own health.

    A scientific way of looking at the world – using evidence – suggests religious communities tend to suffer far more from the very problems religious zealots such as yourself claim are the result of liberalism. Ireland still has 50% mass attendance – very high for Europe and yet has one of the highest rate of single parents in the Western world. Is it sodomy that caused this? No, it’s the failure of heterosexual marriage, but it is just convenient to blame someone else.

    ‘If we trample religious freedom, it’s “game over” for Western Civilization.’ – I think you mean ‘if people like me can’t use religion to make ourselves feel better about ourselves and justify our prejudice and our sense of injustice, it’s game over for maintaining prejudice and injustice on the subjective evidence of my faith.’ – as far as I am aware there is no prohibition in religious freedom in the West. If you mean others get to shout as loud as you and you don’t like this, that’s not taking away religious freedom, it is just allowing equality. ‘Naughty Liberals, quieten down, because Lisa wants to shout louder than you!’

    But I understand what you say about children. They are so impressionable aren’t they? They copy whatever they see adults doing: if they see an adult doing something, they’ll do the same when they grow up. Lots of children, particularly in Catholic countries, were schooled by monks and nuns, so if children are so impressionable, it follows, all this exposure (at least 11 years of their childhood) to monks and nuns is going to result in lots of children being swayed to become monks and nuns, if your theory is correct that children are affected by what they see. So tell me, why is it the convents and monasteries are dying on their feet – surely if children are SO affected by what they see as children, monasteries and convents should be bursting at the seams! Give children some credit for being able to make up their own minds about the world. Odd teenage pregnancy is ALWAYS higher in religiously conservative societies… Funny that ain’t it? (see here for some interesting data… http://faithisnotthesameasreligion1.blogspot.com/2011/08/uk-riots-where-are-fathers-we-must.html)

    Just as a matter of interest, what is your marital status, Lisa?

    Regards:

    P.

  106. peter denshaw Says:

    Isobel

    We’re wasting our time really… And now my mind is swamped with images of Piper Laurie telling Sissy Spacek to cover up her dirty pillows!

    Poor Lisa, I hope she gets her ‘Christian Country’ – tho’ as Europe found out the hard way – and America’s Founding Fathers hoped to avoid – once you start defining what is ‘the right religion’ it won’t be long before Catholics are fighting Protestants and Baptists are battling with Episcopalians and Lutherans are warring with Calvinists

    That is why I think homosexuality has become such a big issue for many conservative Christians. It is one of those subjects of easy condemnation; a ‘low investment (in that there is little personal cost)/high return moral stance. It is something they can present a united moral front – when if the subject was about other doctrinal issues, many would be at each other’s throat – and if they started looking at matters of personal morality (esp. why conservative Christians have such an appalling divorce, lone parent and teenage pregnancy rate) they’d really be into painful territory. No, thank God for queers – they are like a lightening conductor, drawing all that hatred and tension to a convenient and safe location. The church building may be ruinous and dangerous, but as long as the lightening conductor is able to provide a safe discharge for all that atmospheric tension, it will stand for a little bit longer without the need for personally expensive scrutiny or repairs!

    P.

  107. Isobel, Bath Says:

    Is Rick Santorum a Bigot?

    He sounds ghastly, Lisa – like most Republican candidates. As to whether he’s a bigot, luckily this is a British blog and we don’t have to deal with him (or even think about him) unless he becomes President.

    In the UK any candidate who brought religion into politics would be ridiculed. Overt religiosity doesn’t factor at all here, and few candidates ever mention sexuality, gay or otherwise, though we have openly gay elected politicians.

    You may not realise, Lisa, but this is not an American blog and British politics is very different from yours. Our Conservative party is more like your Democrats. You don’t have a party that’s as liberal as our Labour party. Everything here is slightly to the left, and European. None of your current potential Republican candidates would be taken seriously here. We are very much more secular and rational.

    Having had a quick scan over Rick Santorum’s biog, the fact that he supports ID is enough for me to discount the man.

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