Four Ways that Same-Sex Marriage Will Affect You

Just hours after the U.S. Supreme struck down the Defense of Marriage Act on June 26, a comedy website (which shall remain unnamed and unlinked-to) offered readers a “Guide to How the Gay Marriage Ruling Affects You," the monotonous shtick of which was that, unless you are a homosexual who wished to marry, it doesn’t. Are you straight? Married? Religious? “This decision does not affect you in any way."

Certainly nothing new or surprising about the assertion that “gay marriage won’t affect you." Who among us hasn’t heard that?

What does surprise me is how folks on the political and moral Left can pretend that when it comes to sex every man is an island, while in most every other area they are so quick to see far-reaching social ripple effects from personal actions.

Think about it. Environmentalists want us to “think globally, act locally," because, apparently, drinking from a styrofoam cup vaporizes the rain forest and eating a can of Star-Kist slaughters a family of dolphins. Others tell us to “live simply that others may simply live," the implication being that my luxury is the distant cause of someone else’s poverty. And if former president Carter is to be believed, theCatholic Church’s failure to ordain women to the priesthood has led to all manner of economic and institutional discrimination against them.

Why is it, then, that sex is something that never goes beyond the bedroom? How can these same people, ordinarily so attuned to the interconnectedness of things, state so blithely, “This decision does not affect you in any way"?

This is a favorite challenge of same-sex marriage (SSM) advocates, first, because it does a handy end-run around the argument. Rather than inviting a needed discussion about the meaning of sex and marriage or about the role of the state in regulating them, it shuts down discussion by framing the whole question not in terms of principle but of consequences.

Secondly, because it implies that our motive is nothing more than moral busybodyism—a variation on Mencken’s definition of Puritanism as the fear that someone, somewhere is having a good time.

So I think it’s important, as the SSM train rolls on and its supporters become bolder, for defenders of traditional marriage to be able to offer cogent answers to that challenge. Here are four:

1. Ideas have consequences.

This is the first and most general response we might make. Culture, in which we all participate and by which we’re all affected, is the sum total of the ideas that shape it. The power of those ideas, and their shaping, is proportionate to the number and importance of the cultural categories they affect.

Sex, marriage, children, familial relationships: These things are the most pervasive cultural categories in human history. One doesn’t have to postulate great leaps of causality to see that rapid and radical changes in these areas affect everyone. Western culture as we know it is built on thousands of years of viewing marriage, sex, and family life in certain ways. To say that we can redefine those views and not change the culture is just silly, or else willfully naïve.

2. We all have to live in the world that SSM will create.

Same-sex marriage is not a mere tweak to a few lines of marriage law: It is a codified endorsement of homosexuality. Since the law is a teacher, this endorsement has the effect of confirming in their disorder people suffering from same-sex attraction and removing the stigmas that might have checked others from fully giving themselves over to it. Indeed, considering the low percentages of homosexual couples actually tying the knot in places where SSM has been legalized, and the disdain for marriage reflected in the writings of prominent gay activists and scholars, it’s not a stretch to say that this endorsement—not tax breaks or hospital visitation rights or any other practical benefit of actually getting married—is the primary goal of SSM advocacy.

All this matters because we believe people with same-sex attraction are profoundly wounded and in need of healing. When by power of law the state applauds woundedness, deepens it; when it creates conditions that will increase the numbers of wounded; when it prioritizes making the wounded into adoptive parents, giving them leadership positions in government, education, religion, and the military, and lionizing their condition in public observances, school curricula, and the media—how does this not profoundly affect life for the rest of us?

If culture is the sum of the ideas that shape it, our experience of that culture is the product of the health, virtue, and integrity of the other people who inhabit it.

3. “Error has no rights.”

SSM’s definitive endorsement of homosexuality will have a thousand legal ripple effects. We will need to rewrite family law and develop new speech codes to do it. As artificial reproductive technologies mature we will have to recognize legal parenting arrangements comprising virtually any number of persons and gender combinations. While we’re at it, we’ll need some new genders, too.

You’d think that sorting through all that would be enough trouble, but the law—both in civil/criminal statutes and in the policies of organizations and employers—will also have to occupy itself with quashing dissent from the new paradigm. And that affects . . . you.

Don’t want to attend a gay pride celebration in your office? You will be fired. Don’t want to rent a room in your B&B to a homosexual couple, or bake a cake for a gay wedding? Agree to service a gay wedding but just want to say your peace about traditional marriage? You’re going to jail, or at least getting slapped with a big fine.

In my experience, more and more proponents of SSM are changing their tune on this objection, from denying that such coercion could ever happen to saying that it could—and should. Shouldn’t you be fired for being a neo-Nazi? Wouldn’t it be wrong to deny a hotel room to a mixed-race couple? Homosexuality is a civil right, and being wrong about it is not.

4. Catholicism and gay rights are incompatible.

At present the Church, and all Christians of a traditional sort, coexist in a false and uneasy truce with the sexual revolution. There has always been sin in the world, of course, and Christianity and sin are always incompatible, but increasingly our world is one of sin normalized, institutionalized, made official. Think of the almost unbearable moral contradiction baked into abortion law, for instance. And of the inescapable conclusion that what the state says about abortion falsifies Catholicism.

Same-sex marriage, I think, will magnify this tension, perhaps to a point where it can no longer be smoothed over or ignored. The state and the culture say two persons of the same sex can marry; the Church says they can’t. This condition can’t endure. The Church’s position is just too great an obstacle—an insult—to the sexual liberation project, of which homosexuality has become the popular symbol.

So, you might ask, when the state and all the force of law say that our religion is false, that it is in fact bigoted, isn’t there a teensy chance it will affect us in some way? We don’t have to make wild predictions here—we just have to look at recent precedent. Viewed in the context of the fight against the HHS mandate and the state’s accompanying argument that religious freedom is really nothing more than “freedom of worship," it seems clear enough that the logical terminus of legalized same-sex marriage is the forced relocation of Catholics to the closet—or the catacombs.

By Todd Aglialoro









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33 comments

  1. Tom Rafferty Reply

    Your argument is based on the argument from antiquity fallacy. Just because something has always been accepted does not make it right. The Catholic Church, and all conservative Christian denominations, are stuck in their dogma over sex. Modern science reveals the truth about sexuality, in that one’s sex and gender fall on continuums and are not binary. If your argument is about the negative societal consequences of the changing attitudes over sex and gender, I offer one of my recent blog posts to support the contention that this fear is unwarranted. https://understandrealitythroughscience.blogspot.com/2016/06/is-shedding-of-so-called-family-values.html

  2. Tomas Munoz Munoz Reply

    Tom Rafferty, whenever you or your partner give birth to a baby ( I assume both are men) then Catholic church and all christians will be wrong about everything they have said about gay couple ( this apply for lesbians). There are too many straight couples who unfortunately are infertile and are waiting adopt an orphan child, so don’t worry about those children.this is not about being stuck in a old dogmas is about human nature and if can understand the difference you might be very affected.

    1. Patrick Gannon Reply

      This comment was not directed to me, but to assume that because one supports equality for LGBTs, does not mean that one is not straight. Some people are actually civilized.

  3. Patrick Gannon Reply

    1. Culture. Ideas do have consequences, and the Abrahamic religions gave us cultures that embraced slavery, racism, sexism and genocidal war as the best way to solve disputes. Yes, there was disruption in the culture when the Church was overcome and slavery was ended. Yes there was disruption when women were allowed to own property and vote. Yes there will be a disruption in the culture as we continue to provide equality to all humans and not to just those the Church deems to be worthy. We’ll get over it, but will the RCC get over it? So far, it’s managed to adapt and embrace many of the changes it worked hard to prevent, but can it do so with gay marriage?
    .
    2. Here we have an organization of celibate, virgin males who dress in robes calling other people “disordered.” I can think of few examples in nature of celibate males living like this except loser lions that could not get mates. Why aren’t the clergy “disordered” given that they are unnatural? As a kid, I was never abused by a priest, but it always felt very unnatural to go into a dark closet next to one. They were not “normal” people, and I was not comfortable around them – even though I foolishly believed every word they told me. Perhaps it is the clergy who are “profoundly wounded and in need of healing.” After all, at some level, they knew enough to remove themselves from the gene pool. If LGBTQs are “disordered” then so are Catholic clergy.
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    3. See number 1. We had to make it possible for blacks and women to vote, to integrate our society, to make provisions for disabled people, etc.. We can handle the minor issues the author raises. Businesses learned to deal with providing services to other races – they will learn to deal with providing services to people with different sexual preferences. The alternative – going back to the Bronze and Iron Age, needs to be taken off the table.
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    4. If the RCC wants to turn it into a war, rather than adapt as it has in the past, then so be it. Gloves off. Let’s get it on. Slaying evil dragons is a worthy cause. The RCC is unlikely to win, because human evolution, culture and society, seem to be drawing us to greater equality when it comes to human rights, and the RCC is, once again, on the wrong side of that history.
    .
    I’ve heard better “whines” from children. Get over yourself, Todd. I assume that you understand that when you speak about gay people as disordered, profoundly wounded, and unworthy of being equals you are helping to guide and pull the trigger when others, inculcated with your words, commit acts such as the one in Orlando recently. The lack of a decent respite following that massacre, before diving right into anti-LGBT articles shows just how little compassion the Church has for fellow human beings. Nobody is forcing Catholics into closets or catacombs, (boo hoo – major whine) but if you want to go there until you can learn to be civilized, please don’t let the door hit you in the back on your way out.

  4. Ed Lim Reply

    Mr. Tom Rafferty: Sex is not about antiquity fallacy or not binary. Sex is about penis and vagina, sperm and human egg, Man’s production of sperm and woman’s child reproductive womb. The word “sex” defines the anatomy of a human being, opposite and complimentary. It has been that way since humanity, made up of male and female, came about. Natural love develops from the attraction between opposite sex. This is the natural norm. Deviation from this natural norm is a perversion and an offensive and disgusting perception to the natural human structure and behavior, and therefore, perceive to be immoral, by the great majority of humanity. Few may tend to agree with homosexuality and SSM, but these people are usually marginal Christians and atheists. The Christian dogma is analogous to a nation’s Constitution and should not be mocked and despised.

    1. Patrick Gannon Reply

      Yes and slaves was once treated by the Church, the same way it now treats gays. If a nation’s Constitution calls upon its members to exercise bigotry, prejudice and hatred towards certain individuals, then by all means it should be mocked and despised.

      1. just a guy Reply

        Please grace us with your knowledge of the Catholic Church’s position on slavery so we can gauge your expertise. As far as Homosexuals and the Church you may want to actually check the facts. the Catholic Church position on Homosexuals is exactly the same for divorced (single males and females) and unmarried men and women no matter who they are attracted to. No sex outside of marriage. (also called disordered by the way…along with may other behaviors, using terms from times documents were created (like pray meaning ask, which is how the word is still used in legal documents in this country today. “we pray the court”) You can disagree with the no sex outside of marriage stance but you can’t change facts… Noticed you are an ex Catholic. I wonder what else you think the Church stands for that is not accurate.

        (grammar note Patrick, plural noun = were not was, Slaves were, He was. just so no one mocks you)

        It is also interesting that you believe only your definitions are acceptable. Not very tolerant are we after all? Tolerant only of those who share your views. Webster calls you a Bigot… Hmmm

        Bigot: a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group)

        1. Tom Rafferty Reply

          Why do you accept what the Catholic Church teaches? I would be glad to interact with you, but please, only if you will respect me as I will respect you. Then again, every theist I have ever interacted with me had ended the conversation after I ask probing questions. This is my first question to you. Thanks.

        2. Patrick Gannon Reply

          Slavery: It was not until 1965 the Second Vatican Council declared that forced slavery was an infamy that dishonored the Creator and was a poison in society. Not till 1965!!! The god of the OT condoned slavery and provided rules for it, such as how hard you could beat your slaves. Is or is not Catholicism descendent from the OT texts? Does the RCC disavow the old texts? Even the NT told slaves to obey their masters. The Church has had a long history with slavery, including Jesuits who owned slaves themselves and slavery was even incorporated into Canon law at various times.
          .
          Did you notice that the pope himself said in the last day or two that Catholics and other Christians not only must apologise to the gay community, they must ask forgiveness of God for ways they have discriminated against gay people or fostered hostility toward them?
          .
          Now, I expect within a day or two we’ll have an article here that tells us the pope didn’t mean what he said. Seems anytime he says something positive, it ends up not being well received by those in his Church who want to pull us back to the Iron Ages.
          .
          Yes, the RCC’s position on sex outside marriage is the same as on homosexual relations, but you don’t see Donahue from the Catholic League talking about that; you don’t get article after article in this and other Catholic forums damning adultery, like you do for homosexuality. There’s a clear and present hostility to gays that emanates from the Catholic Church and the fundagelicals, that only a deaf, dumb and blind person could miss.

          Yeah – I know about the grammar mistake. Saw it right after I posted, but unlike FB, there’s no way to go back and edit. I’ll take the ding for that, as my girlfriend gave me one of those “Grammar Police” T-shirts based on my frequent corrections of her grammar. Thank you for keeping score. (I don’t stoop to point out such errors to believers unless the error is pertinent to the discussion).
          .
          Am I a bigot? Hmm. I find it difficult to fully respect any human who would worship a being that would send anyone for any reason, to eternal torment in a pool of actual fire. Is lack of respect the same thing as bigotry? I have no choice but to tolerate religion – it’s a religious country and we have a Constitution that requires it. I think it’s time we became less tolerant of religion, though; hence my presence in forums like this.

  5. RSB Reply

    The Catholic Church is not the only faith that is against homosexual activity. Judaism, Buddhism, etc. The Church only speaks out because it is a morality issue that has gain more attention than in the past. Also, please read ALL of the script the Pope says and not excerpts from main stream media. In addition, the Church does speak out to heterosexuals who have sex outside of marriage. Matter of fact, there are plenty of Catholic ministries assigned to do just that – to help those experience the grace, peace, and joy of chastity. There is even a ministry to help homosexuals who have hit rock bottom and want help (courage.org). See testimonies on documentary film, “Desire of the Everlasting Hills”. One last thing. The Catholic Church is the largest charitable organization in caring for AIDS patients in the world. So they are there to care for the people who misused their sexuality and not abandon them.

  6. RSB Reply

    The Catholic Church is not the only faith that is against homosexual activity. Judaism, Buddhism, Islamism etc. The Church speaks out publicly because it has the courage to do so due to it being a morality issue that has gain more attention than in the past. Also, please read ALL of the script the Pope says and not excerpts from main stream media. In addition, the Church does speak out to heterosexuals who have sex outside of marriage. Matter of fact, there are plenty of Catholic ministries assigned to do just that – to help those experience the grace, peace, and joy of chastity. There is even a ministry to help homosexuals who have hit rock bottom and want help (courage.org). See testimonies on documentary film, “Desire of the Everlasting Hills”. One last thing. The Catholic Church is the largest charitable organization in caring for AIDS patients in the world. So they are there to care for the people who misused their sexuality and not abandon them.

  7. Ronnie Buda (@rsjb63) Reply

    The Catholic Church is not the only faith that is against homosexual activity. Judaism, Buddhism, Islamism etc. The Church speaks out publicly because it has the courage to do so due to it being a morality issue that has gain more attention than in the past. Also, please read ALL of the script the Pope says and not excerpts from main stream media. In addition, the Church does speak out to heterosexuals who have sex outside of marriage. Matter of fact, there are plenty of Catholic ministries assigned to do just that – to help those experience the grace, peace, and joy of chastity. There is even a ministry to help homosexuals who have hit rock bottom and want help (courage.org). See testimonies on documentary film, “Desire of the Everlasting Hills”. One last thing. The Catholic Church is the largest charitable organization in caring for AIDS patients in the world. So they are there to care for the people who misused their sexuality and not abandon them.

    1. Patrick Gannon Reply

      It is true that the Abrahamic religions oppose homosexuality, but this is not necessarily true for Buddhism. Early Buddhist tradition acknowledges same sex behavior without making any judgements, so long as sexual activities don’t hurt anyone. Later traditions, such as the Dalai Lama, have been influenced by the Abrahamic religions apparently, and have embraced the same manic and obsessive attitudes towards sex as other Abrahamic religions. The Church does speak out, and in so doing it demonizes gays, using words such as”depraved” and “disordered” when a collection of celibate, virgin males dressed in robes is what strikes me as “disordered,” and we certainly know that a number of them are depraved! There is homosexual sex in nature, but the only groups of celibate virgin males that I’m aware of are lions that can’t get mates, and thus don’t pass on their genes – which fortunately applies to celibate clergy as well.
      .
      We all know that there isn’t nearly as much vitriol towards adultery from the Church, as there is towards homosexuality. This forum constantly has articles lambasting the LGBT community in one way or another. That excuse doesn’t fly, and it doesn’t matter. The RCC and other Abrahamic religionists who have demonized LGBT’s helped pull the trigger in Orlando by creating the attitudes and prejudices that provoked this and other attacks on “the other.”
      .
      The RCC does not get credit for helping AIDs victims. You don’t get credit for being a firefighter when you start the fire and throw kerosene on it again and again and again. The RCC’s stance on contraception contributes to the misery of these patients. There is such a simple solution, but the RCC would rather see people suffer, and the hypocrisy of pretending to show compassion to those it wounded in the first place – that’s just diabolical.

      1. Ronnie Buda (@rsjb63) Reply

        Seriously Patrick! Comparing the Church to firefighters to starting the fire against the homosexual AIDS crisis? The Church has done nothing but preach chastity for heterosexuals/homosexuals as it states in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2237). If a person practices or better yet, conforms to chastity, you wouldn’t have AIDS, 60+ sexual diseases, divorces, selfish desires for another person, etc. It is also amazing how you troll this Catholic site to say it post nothing but LGBT issues. Let me make a suggestion, try trolling EWTN site or better yet, phone in to “Call into Communion” broadcast to get your questions answered by professionals on all subjects instead of trying to look like some intellectual hero on this site.

        1. Patrick Gannon Reply

          Human beings evolved a strong sexual drive as a way to survive. Without it, given the high death rates of our primitive ancestors particularly children, we surely would have died out. Human population remained stable for tens and even hundreds of thousands of years, and only exploded when we learned about germs and sanitation – something Jesus failed to share with us, thereby failing to prevent the miserable deaths of millions of people for nearly 2000 years! Now, our population is exploding. In my lifetime alone, it went from 2.5 billion to 7+billion, and I’m not dead yet. That’s unsustainable, and this evolutionary development is going to cause our extinction if we don’t take advantage of another evolutionary benefit that it seems only humans evolved – and that’s the ability to manage our own future evolution. We can’t wait tens of thousands of years for our sex urges to diminish, but we have the methods to control the inevitable result of that sex drive – and yet the RCC would prefer to see us go miserably and painfully, or perhaps like the evangelicals, to go catastrophically into extinction, rather than leverage the positive things we evolved, like intellect.
          .
          Will the RCC change its tune when the next generation of Catholics emerge like that shrunken headed guy on the old movie “Beetlejuice?” Zika may be our salvation. The people in the poorest sections of the world, are required to have the largest families, under penalty of eternal torment if they use contraception. Google to find out how many children died while you were reading this. As it turns out, these regions are the same places where Zika is growing. When the Church forces women to have shrunken headed, disabled and dying babies simply because their manic Iron Age obsession with sex requires it, the world may finally turn en masse on the RCC, as it turned on Apartheid in S. Africa, and insist on an end to the lunacy.
          .
          You worship this god who creates you broken and insists you be fixed, but this can only happen by believing, saying and doing the right things, without the benefit of a shred of objective evidence; hence you have no way to know if the Muslims, the Hindus, the Baptists, the Catholics, the JWs, or none of them got it right. You just don’t know; so stop telling other people how they should live their lives in guilt and shame because you worship a perverted god who obsesses over what His creation does without their clothes on. In this whole magnificent universe, the Creator has nothing better to do than sit and update Excel spreadsheets keeping track of how and with whom His creation is having sex, so that He can torture some of them for eternity, though they live here but a handful of decades. Who could worship such a pathetic and vicious god?
          .
          Note that I did not say this site posts “nothing but LGBT issues.” It posts a lot of articles on this subject, and I know that, because I frequently comment on them. What I said was, “This forum constantly has articles lambasting the LGBT community in one way or another.” I will accept changing the word “constantly” to “frequently” or “regularly” if it makes you feel better. There are plenty of other issues that warrant a counter-point. The RCC only tells you what they want you to know, and the real story is so much more than that!

          1. Ronnie Buda (@rsjb63)

            Wow. It seems you have really been abused in one way or another towards God. I’m sorry to feel that in your responses. God created us good. But he gave us freewill to love him or reject him. But we humans tend toward sin because it makes us feel good. Because something “feels” good doesn’t mean it IS good. He also gave us a gift of reason and a heart towards His goodness. Humanity has always blamed our sin/guilt on something else. If we sin, we like to either hide it or rationalize it and blame it on someone/something else (been that way even in Genesis). God sees all this and gives us a way out of this slavery to sin…a Savior Jesus Christ, to be crucified for our sins, and provide a path to righteousness and eternity in heaven. And humans still reject this. Pitiful. At that point of rejection, it is best to call on the Holy Spirit of God to awaken your senses. You were once blind, and now you can see – Amazing Grace.

          2. Patrick Gannon

            I was raised Catholic, so of course I was psychologically abused by my childhood indoctrination, like millions of others. It was those of us who believed it the most as kids, who seem to have been the most hurt by it.
            .
            If God created us good, then why is baptism required? Without baptism we go to Hell, along with all the aborted and miscarried babies that weren’t baptized, and all the other 5 billion people, currently living, who weren’t baptized. Hell is going to be a crowded place – but which Hell? There are four of them after all (Sheol, Gehenna, Hades and Tartarus). Haven’t you heard of “original sin?” The RCC is very clear in pointing out that we were born broken. There’s no question of this.
            .
            What kind of free will do we have? If God knows in advance that I am going to Hell, how do I have the free will to change that which your god already knows? And what kind of free will is extortion? When the mafia goon walks into your shop and says, give me 15% of your proceeds or I’ll shoot your knee out, are you exercising free will in paying the mobster? Are you “choosing” to have your knee shot out by not paying him? Are you “choosing” to go to Hell for eternal (actually the original word meant ‘of an age’ which implies an end) torment if you don’t believe, say and do the right things with regard to Jesus? Isn’t that just simple extortion? What makes Jesus any better than the mobster in this case of extortion?
            .
            You say we tend towards sin because it makes us feel good, but who gets to decide what “sin” is? Do you know the original word is an archery term that means to ‘fall short of the target?’ I like to help teach kids karate because it makes me feel good, and just because something feels good, does not mean that it ISN’T good, either. Whether something is good or bad, is probably most simply determined by whether it causes harm. You suggest He gave us a gift of reason, yet the RCC does all that it can to keep us from exercising that reason, because reason tells us that there is no justification for much of the Bronze and Iron Age doctrine and dogma. Reason tells us that you are actually correct and the RCC is wrong. Reason tells us we are born good, or at least neutral, because there is no such thing as original sin. Reason is probably the greatest enemy of faith.
            .
            There is no need to believe, say and do the right things with regard to Jesus, because there was no original sin. Paul and Jesus did not know about evolution, cosmology, plate tectonics, archaeology, carbon dating, physics, biology and a host of other things that have destroyed the foundation for Yahweh’s existence (no six day creation, no global flood, no mass Exodus from Egypt, and no Conquest of Canaan – there is no evidence for any of these things and much evidence to the contrary). DNA has essentially washed out the foundation for original sin, which was invented by Paul and Augustine, and not by Jesus. Note that Jesus, if He was really God, had to have known that He was going to be resurrected, so what kind of sacrifice was it really? In Mark and Matthew, Jesus suffers, but not so much in Luke. He chats up the guards and shows little indication of suffering. If Jesus was really God, would He really suffer? Easy enough to turn it off for a god! Given that an all-knowing being would know in advance that he wasn’t really going to die, it can only be a symbolic blood sacrifice, required I guess, because Yahweh was tiring of the smell of burnt meat, which He had previously found to be so pleasing.
            .
            According to the RCC, Yahweh apparently had the ability to create Mary without original sin. That tells us that the rigamarole He went through with the whole virgin thing (actually the original word in Isaiah meant “young maiden”), was unnecessary, and in all likelihood a complete fabrication based on all the apocalyptic activity at the time that went back to a prophecy in Jeremiah that failed to materialize, and to which Daniel blew new prophetic life – but which still failed, because we’re still here.
            .
            Rather than getting upset by this, I don’t understand why believers don’t celebrate. There’s no need for all the unnecessary guilt, shame and fear. It just isn’t necessary. You can be joyful. Nothing is sinful – only harmful to other people – for which there are, and should be, consequences. An all-powerful god can’t be hurt by sin or anything else, and an all-good god would never send anyone to eternal torment. If indeed your god exists, and is all-good and all-powerful (a contradiction actually – He can’t be both), then the RCC got Him all-wrong. If they didn’t get Him wrong, then He’s neither good nor all-powerful, and could be a force to be feared if He really existed – but definitely not worshipped.

  8. Ronnie Buda (@rsjb63) Reply

    The Catholic Church is not the only faith that is against homosexual activity. Judaism, Buddhism, Islamism etc. The Church speaks out publicly because it has the courage to do so due to it being a morality issue that has gain more attention than in the past. For those picking on the Pope, please read ALL of the script the Pope says and not excerpts from main stream media. In addition, the Church does speak out to heterosexuals who have sex outside of marriage. Matter of fact, there are plenty of Catholic ministries assigned to do just that – to help those experience the grace, peace, and joy of chastity. There is even a ministry to help homosexuals who have hit rock bottom and want help (courage.org). See testimonies on documentary film, “Desire of the Everlasting Hills”. One last thing. The Catholic Church is the largest charitable organization in caring for AIDS patients in the world. So they are there to care for the people who misused their sexuality and not abandon them.

  9. carol0goodson Reply

    I am conflicted, though, because I have a dear friend who is a lifelong Catholic but also gay and in a permanent relationship. From my observation, he is a better follower of Jesus than I am–and I am seriously trying (ex-nun, now in formation to join another Order… so I’m not a casual Catholic). When I think about how my friend–who is so totally loving and giving in every way–is perceived by Jesus, I can’t help but think that Jesus HAS to love him… love him a lot… he is bringing Him to so many people. So, how bad a sin can it be? If love is what ultimately matters… if love is how we will be judged… my friend is going to have a higher place in Heaven than I will (assuming we both make it), despite the fact that I am the “perfect” Catholic. +

    1. thomraff Reply

      How refreshing, someone who is a devout Catholic actually questioning the Church’s dogma. Perhaps the next step will be a SERIOUSL analysis of the history and foundation of the Catholic Church, and in general, how humanity is predisposed to god belief. My blog would be a good starting point for anyone wishing to unbiasedly educate themselves on the matter: https://understandrealitythroughscience.blogspot.com/

      1. carol0goodson Reply

        I am a believer, firmly Catholic (sorry to disappoint you!), but what I am exploring in my mind (and seeking understanding by talking to others who believe as I do) is the degree to which a person is culpable for being in a state of sin (as defined by the Church), while, at the same time, they are truly trying to follow the teachings of Christ and bring Him to other people. So, I don’t think we are on the same page.

        Patrick Gannon: I do not see women as chattel within the Church, either: I have no problem with the fact that God made men and women intrinsically different, and thus they have different roles in life, and therefore in the Church as well. I have no problem with the fact that the Church only ordains men to the priesthood, and in my opinion, if a woman thinks she is called to priesthood in the Catholic Church, she is mistaken.

        Also, the Order to which I aspire, while faithful to the Magisterium, is quite liberal, open-minded and very tolerant of diversity in thinking, and they have no problem with my thoughts on homosexuality– in fact, most of them agree with me. What our Community is about, is very simple: serving Jesus in the people around us in every way we possibly can, without judging them.

        I am deeply grateful for having received the grace from God to believe as I do–I am a former atheist–and I wish you could share in the joy that I have!

        1. Patrick Gannon Reply

          Funny, but it took leaving the Catholic Church for me to find joy in agnosticism. Slaves often fail to see themselves as slaves, and women often fail to see themselves as chattel – yeah, that word is a bit harsh, but women are clearly second class citizens in the Church. You have a bunch of disordered, celibate virgins dressed in robes insisting we call them “Father” despite their voluntary decision not to contribute to the human gene pool (for which we thank them), telling other people what they can and can’t do with their genitals. The whole organization is based on an immoral premise – that it’s moral for an innocent to pay for the crimes of the guilty (even though evolution and DNA evidence debunks original sin).
          .
          Consider this hypothetical… You go and kill the husband of the neighbor on the right hand side of your house. The neighbor in the house to your left agrees to be put on the electric chair for your crime, absolving you of all your responsibility. Would the wife of the dead husband you killed, feel like you were absolved from that responsibility? Would she be satisfied by the sacrifice of your other neighbor? Would it be moral for the other neighbor to die for something you did? No, of course not. The whole moral premise for the religion is deeply flawed.
          .
          The RCC has some struggles ahead of it. The foundation has washed out. We know today that there was no six day creation, no two-person DNA bottleneck, no global flood, no mass Exodus from Egypt, and no conquest of Canaan. Non-religious scholars are nearly universal in accepting all of these facts. What else is left as a foundation for Yahweh? The Church itself has accepted evolution, and in doing so dug themselves into a hole. The DNA evidence tells us that we evolved from a pool of several tens of thousands of early parents, not just a single breeding pair. The Church denies this scientific evidence because they can’t justify their existence if they admit it’s true. These ancestors never lived in a garden paradise. They woke up every morning on the menu. They struggled day in and day out to live another day and reproduce. What was their crime? What was the original sin that ticked off Yahweh-Jesus so much that he had to punish all humans? Was it attaining a certain level of intellectual ability? A higher self-aware consciousness than other primates? Learning to use tools and make fire? Was it learning to talk? What made Yahweh-Jesus so mad that he decided to punish all of us and then insist that an innocent person be unnecessarily sacrificed to atone for the horrible sin of evolving?
          .
          And it was an unnecessary sacrifice. The Church decided in 1854 for that Mary had been born without original sin. If Yahweh-Jesus could do that for Mary, then he could do it for all of us without the rigmarole of impregnating a young maiden without her consent, with himself, in order to sacrifice himself, to himself in order to free us from a condition he placed on us in the first place. The Church fills us with shame and guilt and fear and then says we need to go to the very organization that filled us with those things in order to alleviate them. It’s a con job.
          .
          Before you make a final decision, read Richard Carrier’s book “On the Historicity of Jesus.”

          1. carol0goodson

            I am sorry that this has happened to you. I will pray for you, and please don’t take that as patronizing or condescension! I sincerely hope that you will someday return to the Faith–it has made all the difference in my life. Sometimes people have to leave the Church–and later return–in order to appreciate it. I left for over 20 years myself. God bless you. +

          2. thomraff

            carolOgoodson, after the input from me and Patrick, you still haven’t the smallest curiosity about why both of us left the Catholic Church? I guess you would rather have a false sense of security and comfort than know the truth. I wish to know as much truth as possible, regardless of how it effects my comfort. Peace.

          3. carol0goodson

            I think I have gleaned from what you guys wrote why you left, but I am not leaving. However, if you want to tell me, go ahead. It won’t change my mind. I have had experiences which leave me with no doubt.

          4. Patrick Gannon

            Carol if you are open to a discussion, I’d enjoy that. I’d rather talk more about your experiences – not specifics – and how they influenced you, because this is a reason for many atheists and agnostics who go back to a religion – sometimes a different one. There’s a lot of competition out there! Briefly, I left my faith because I read the bible cover to cover and discovered that I had been lied to. They said their god was good – he isn’t; and they said there was a Hell – there isn’t; and it just changed everything. I jumped into New Age with it’s nicer, more feminine god, and it was wonderful; but eventually I realized I had just exchanged one set of beliefs for another, and that nothing had really changed. I drank in the belief drug for a while, but once I had started questioning my beliefs, there was no stopping – difficult though it was! The hardest thing we can do is humans is to challenge our most deeply held beliefs and demand that they support themselves. There still wasn’t a shred of objective evidence for any gods or afterlives. I began to question whether the real problem was the beliefs themselves. My brain knows there is no objective evidence for gods or afterlives; yours does too. Any honest person will admit there’s no evidence for God (and in the case of the Abrahamic god, his foundation has washed away). So what happens when we “believe” something our brain knows it has no evidence for? Wouldn’t that have to set up internal cognitive conflict? How could that be good for us?
            .
            The response will be that there is all sorts of subjective evidence which involves personal experience. These experiences tend to be far more persuasive to the mind, even than objective evidence, for some reason I don’t understand. Someone who has had these subjective experiences has a very difficult time challenging them. I’ve had such experiences myself – and indeed people in all religions or no religions around the world also have them.
            .
            Subjective experiences can not be dismissed out of hand. People have them, they change behavior, there’s something to them – but what? What causes them?
            .
            In order to have an experience, particles in your body have to be manipulated. Synapses have to fire, neurons need to be active, electrochemicals have to be flowing – all in order to present your mind with the experience, whether it be visual, audible, emotional, physical, whatever. Particles in your brain have to be manipulated in some way in order for something outside of this natural world to make them generate your experience. Clearly this also applies to things like curing cancer or heart disease or regrowing amputated limbs – oh wait, no amount of praying is ever going to make that happen, is it? (grin). In order to be healed, something is going to have to direct those particles to do very specific things in order for your self-aware consciousness to be presented with this experience. We have equipment that can see the effects on the brain – we know these experiences are generated by the brain – but what moves the particles in order to generate them? Are they being manipulated by forces (consciousness, soul, the force) outside of your brain?
            .
            Here’s the problem. There is nothing outside our natural world that can do this, or more properly that does do this. We know particles inside out. We know the things they can do, and what it takes to make those things happen. We know that if particles were being acted upon by outside forces that we couldn’t see, we’d know it. We can’t see electrons or gravity, but by looking at what they do to particles, we know they exist, and we know what they can do. The thing is – there is nothing else that particles do that we don’t already understand. There is absolutely no evidence in countless experiments that indicates that particles ever behave in any other way than what we are already aware of.
            .
            Here’s where the New Agers throw in QM (quantum mechanics). The idea is that since we don’t fully understand QM and we don’t fully understand consciousness, they must be related. Indeed in the early days there were physicists who investigated the possibility that consciousness could somehow be related to QM. That view is no longer supported by the vast majority of scientists in the field. What QM does do though, is give us probabilities, and one of the probabilities it gives us, is the likelihood that there is some other force that can affect particles in ways unknown to us, and it can predict this with unbelievable accuracy, as close to 100% accuracy as you can get without actually being at 100%. As I understand it, the probability that this soul or consciousness or god force exists is just about as close to zero as you can get without getting to zero. QM says that there is a probability that a pink unicorn will pop into existence in your living room, it’s just that you will have to wait billions of years times the age of the universe before you can expect that to occur. In other words, QM was bad news for the New Age crowd, and for everyone else. The chances that there are forces outside your brain that created the subjective experiences you had are so infinitely small as to not be worthy of consideration. And yes, I know. They happened, and they were more real than anything else you ever experienced. I’ve been there. It’s amazing what our brains can do – and how little we can trust them.
            .
            These experiences come from our brains. They are a product of our brains, probably related to dreams. Researchers think one reason they may be so real to us is that due to some misfiring, they get laid down without going through the portion of the brain that does “fact checking” for reality. That part also takes night off when you dream. They think there may be something about how those experiences occur in a state that is not typical dreaming, and because they miss the fact checker and perhaps because you are in a heightened state of awareness, they become more real – or something along those lines. I don’t think we can say for sure yet. They are visions, like prophets and miracle workers and everyday normal people in every religion around the world has experienced since who knows when – they are something that happens in the brain, with no external stimulation,. It’s just the way it is. Even the people who know this, don’t really like it. It might be nice if there was an afterlife, assuming no demons annoying you with pitchforks, but since there isn’t, doesn’t it make sense to do as much as we can with this one, and if we get lucky then great, but if not, we won’t have wasted this one in highly unrealistic expectations of another.
            .
            So that’s why I’m an agnostic. If you want to grab my attention, pray back an amputated limb and I’ll be back in the pews and confessing all my sexual sins (are there any others?). Looking forward to your response.

          5. carol0goodson

            I used to be a science person like you; in my case, as a Chemistry major, I reduced everything to chemical influences. I could not believe in anything that was not accessible to the senses, or at least the senses augmented with technology. Here is the first experience. I know already, though, it is something you will dismiss. However, it happened to me and it changed me forever.
            —————————————————-

            During the period when my marriage was falling apart, I had become friends with a lesbian whom I had hired to run an adult literacy program in the branch library I was managing. It seemed like an exotic adventure to start a relationship with her, plus I was so insecure, I was unable to leave my husband until I had another relationship to replace it–and thus she became that relationship. I was divorced in November of 1977

            My new lover fascinated me, because she took me to gay bars and drag shows in East St. Louis, a world I had never experienced. I was also quite bitter about men, and so the idea of being associated only with women really appealed to me. I decided that I would be a lesbian. I honestly thought then that you could CHOOSE your sexuality! How crazy is that? But that is where I was at the time.

            Unfortunately, she was also an alcoholic, and I was forced to accompany her to bars nearly every night just to keep her from driving home drunk and probably killing herself. She had had a very unhappy life, and I made her my “project” to fix. I managed to persuade her to enroll in graduate school, which she thought was beyond her (it wasn’t). I wanted to do anything I could to make her successful and confident. I really did like her: she was a wonderful, generous and funny person, and I wanted to believe I was in love with her. She loved my parents and they really cared about her too. I have no idea even now if my parents realized that we were a couple! Both her parents were already dead by the time we were in our early 30s, which really made me think: she was an orphan so young, while I still had my parents whom I loved but hardly ever saw. It was her idea for us to move to the Atlanta metro area, where they had relocated a year or two before: she wanted to explore the gay scene in Atlanta, and I saw an opportunity to get her away from the drinking life we currently had–plus a chance to live closer to my parents and enjoy their company while we were all young enough, so I quickly agreed to her idea. By the way, she had also been raised Catholic, although she was no longer practicing, and at that point I had no interest in anything pertaining to religion.

            We sold my house and moved to Georgia in 1980. We did not have jobs, but I made so much money selling the house, I was not worried. We both began to work down here, and pretty soon bought another house.

            She was a teacher, and that was the beginning of the turning point. The school she was teaching in was Christian, but not Catholic. People in the South can be very aggressive about religion: I remember being stopped occasionally on the streets of downtown Atlanta to be asked, “Are you saved?” So one day, early in her first year, a student approached her and said she wanted her to come to church with her family the next evening: would she meet them there, or should they pick her up?

            She was completely incensed by this aggressive approach, and rather harshly responded, “I am Catholic!” which definitely silenced the student, because Catholics are the anti-Christ to many fundamentalist Southerners. That night after we were both home from work, she told me about this, and to my amazement, she said she actually might like to go back to the Church.

            As I said, I always acted on anything positive she wanted to do, so although I told her that I was willing, secretly I knew there was no way I could be that much of a hypocrite, I have too much personal integrity to fake something like that. What a dilemma! I wanted to help my friend do something I thought might make her life happier, but how could I accompany her?

            I just had one idea, born of desperation. For 2 nights, right before I went to sleep, I made this “prayer,” if you can call it that: “God, if you are really there, make me believe in You, because I don’t.” I only did it twice, and of course I did not think anything would happen.

            At that time I was working for a really terrible proprietary school in Atlanta, one of those places that keeps students around until their federal aid runs out, even though they are not college material The next day after my last snarky prayer, my boss gave me the keys to his car and told me to go down to the Georgia State University Bookstore and meet one of the book buyers, who was going to give us some books for our library. I was a little early, so while I was waiting around for her, I wandered around the store looking at the books. I found myself next to the religion section, and I started browsing. I was laughing to myself, to see the bizarre collection of books that college bookstores will insist on shoving into a Religion section, just as in my own college bookstore. I noticed a book about St. John of the Cross by Thomas Merton, a name I recognized because my mother had enticed me to read The Seven Storey Mountain when I was in high school. On impulse, I decided to buy it, and put it in my purse.

            At the end of the day, when I was once again on the bus heading to the Park ‘n Ride lot out near my home, I remembered the book, took it out, and started reading it. Although I still have that book, I have never been able to find the sentence that I read that day, that precipitated a true miracle. I read a sentence, and suddenly I was flooded from head to toe with a feeling of incredible warmth. I was in the presence of God–I knew it–just like that, He was there, and I believed. It happened in seconds, and I cannot explain it. Luckily we were very near my stop because I was about to fall apart. I stumbled off the bus to my car, unlocked it, threw myself in, and sat there sobbing for at least half an hour. All of a sudden everything in life made sense: I realized that I had found what I had always been looking for–but didn’t know it–and I was indescribably happy. When I finally was able to compose myself, I drove home and told my friend that I was going to call the church the next day and ask to start receiving instructions in the Faith. I started meeting with the priest the following week.

          6. Patrick Gannon

            Carol thank you for sharing your fascinating story. You are a very good writer. I have no explanation for what mixture of emotions and memories, perceptions, beliefs, experiences, etc. that came together in your brain to produce that feeling – one that I have also experienced, that was probably very similar. I’ve had three very memorable experiences that I would describe as being what you described and even more – a feeling of being part of everything in the universe and all of it being in me. It happens. For me it was always during emotional periods, similar to yours in some ways, though very different in others. The feeling of being lost and then suddenly being ONE, if only for a few moments of time. If it had been a drug, I’d have been the rat that pushed the button for the next dose until I died. And it was a dose. It was a flood of chemicals in the brain. We even know what the chemicals (drugs) are. I’m sure you know much better than me. And we know they are not being activated by forces other than those we already know about. That’s really what you’re suggesting, right? If you know chemistry, you know how these feelings can be produced, so the issue is – what put the right chemicals in motion?
            .
            Since it happens often enough and to enough people, there must be some evolutionary advantage to it. It must provide a boost that makes it all seem worthwhile and motivates us to get up and do something useful. I don’t know. We don’t all experience it the same way, and I guess not everybody has these types of experiences – I don’t know. You experienced yours in a religious way, and I get that. The last time I had such an experience was in my New Age days, and for a time it convinced me, as much as you are convinced, that something other-worldly had happened. Oh how much we want to believe that – but it can be explained using what we know of the natural world, and all things being equal, the simplest explanation, the one that lines up with the laws of physics, is that this is a manifestation of the brain.
            .
            There are people who claim that if you put enough persistence and practice into it you can learn to do this more or less on demand through meditation. I used to meditate a lot; I still do, but not as much. I never had that same “experience” while meditating, though I did have a funny one while meditating that seemed very real once. I’ll end with this cute story for your entertainment.. Note this does not count as the type of experience we are discussing above. This was just very unusual, actually unique in all my meditation sessions:

            I participated in a forum that pitted religious vs atheist, and I was one of the few New Age guys, which made me everybody’s enemy! LOL. Anyway one of the atheists was grumbling about the school district in his country having this meditation thing as a school class offering. “Angel Meditation” I think it was. The next day, I found it online, and downloaded it and went out to my favorite spot to meditate, and listened to the tape. The facilitator was pretty good. It’s a typical relaxation & breathing tape to help you learn how to meditate, but this one had what I guess I’d call a “girlie” flavor to it that didn’t really appeal to me, but the techniques were good. Now keep in mind that at this time, I’ve become quite knowledgeable about Christianity and could debate biblical topics and spent much time debunking various components of the religion. So, I’m drifting along and the facilitator visually takes us up to a nice field or something and says, “Oh, look. You’re guardian angel has arrived,” or words to that effect. I suddenly conjure up this picture in my mind of the typical Catholic white boy Jesus dressed in white robes, and in my mind, I say.. “What the f..” when the image dissolves and is replaced with a pretty red-headed woman with a big smile, who says “Gotcha” and then my dog licked my hand and I snapped back to the present. It’s Ok, the dog lived. (kidding) I did not recognize the red headed woman (quite attractive), but have never been able to fully convince the girlfriend of that…. ! Go figure. I still have that file on my phone, but haven’t listened to it in a long time, though for a while I used it from time to time. The experience never repeated itself. This was clearly a dream/vision sort of thing, that was I guess me making fun of myself. Not on a par with the experiences we’re discussing above, but that was quite “different” for me. I joked for a while that I had a redhead for a guardian angel, and would blame her when I did something like stub my toe, suggesting she was teaching me “awareness.” LOL those new age days embarrass me a bit now. I guess I made the mistake of continuing to learn.

          7. Carol Goodson

            I will write more later… right now, I am before the Blessed Sacrament praying for you… can’t hurt ❤

          8. carol0goodson

            If you are completely determined to not believe that any experience beyond your senses can exist, then I think we are talking two different languages. I do believe, now, in the existence of a spiritual realm, but I think from what you’ve said, you do not. I used to not believe that either. I am really not sure, to tell you the truth, why I was able to expand myself thinking that way, other than the vividness of the experience I described for you. Allow me to share another one with you, that seems (to me) to be impossible to ascribe to mere coincidence.
            ———————————————————————————————————————————
            I left the Dominican Sisters of Nashville in 1990–just before Final Vows–when I finally accepted that it was not the place God wanted me to be. However, I was 43 years old, and I believed that I was too old to be admitted to another community.

            I came home very distraught, because I interpreted what had happened as God rejecting me—which I now recognize, of course, is completely crazy, because God never rejects anyone who loves Him! But, except for the fact that the charism of the Dominican Sisters was wrong for me, I was very happy living in the convent, and although I tried, I could not adjust to being in the world again. I never found a parish where I felt at home, and gradually, over a period of several years, I drifted away from the Church completely.

            When I came back in November of 2015, as I was making my very long Confession to Father Rafael, explaining where I had been for the last 20 years–he commented that despite my age when I left the Dominicans, he thought I was wrong to believe I could not have entered another religious community.

            Although I did not pay attention to his remark at the time, over the next few months, I could not forget it. Suppose I had been wrong? And if that was true, then I’d made the worst mistake of my life—all the professional success I had had suddenly meant absolutely nothing to me–and even worse than that: it was too late to fix it.

            For a while, I tried to force myself to accept this as my Cross, but I simply could not. I began to suffer terribly as I recognized that I had totally screwed up my life by not following the vocation I had been given, and there was nothing I could do about it.

            On the night of March 10, 2016 I was feeling extremely depressed, and in complete despair, I said to God: “Lord, I am going to ask You for something impossible. IMPOSSIBLE! I KNOW! (Yes, I was shouting!) –But I am in so much pain: if there is any way I could still have a consecrated life—even now—show me, and I will do whatever You want."

            Two nights later—Saturday–I went to Mass as usual. I sat in about the same place where I always did—but that night, for some unknown reason, about 5 minutes before Mass started, I decided to move up a few rows. During Mass, when I knelt for the Consecration, I looked down, and on the seat of the pew directly in front of me was a piece of paper: at the top it said SISTERS OF ST. JOSEPH OF CONCORDIA KANSAS.

            Although I didn’t know this at the time, there is a member of the Community in my parish, and the paper I saw that night was her script for a speech she was supposed to give at the end of Mass, in honor of National Catholic Sisters Week. Father Rafael forgot to call her up to give it–but that didn’t matter, because God arranged for me to be in exactly the right place to see it.

            So, I looked them up on the web when I got home, and discovered that one of their Vocation Coordinators lives about 50 miles from me, and I emailed her. She emailed me back that same night, inviting me to meet her a few days later. Amazingly, despite my age, she was very encouraging, and suggested that I come to Kansas to visit the Community in June, during their Annual Assembly. I did visit them, loved what I saw, and applied to join them. I am now halfway through my first year of formation.

          9. Patrick Gannon

            Hi Carol. Thanks for sharing another story. I’ll jump right in. You said, “If you are completely determined to not believe that any experience beyond your senses can exist…..” I’m not exactly sure what that means, because of course others have experiences beyond my senses, and all sorts of things happen that my senses are unaware of. There are neutrinos passing through us right now, and my senses have no idea because those particles are so small that they don’t even affect the particles that produce my senses. Yet something even less detectable than neutrinos is essentially responsible for “magic” in our natural world that would defy the laws of physics if this magic could be verified. What I know is that there is no compelling or objective evidence that immaterial things outside our natural world can affect the things within it. There is simply no evidence for this. If it was possible, we’d know it.
            .
            You make it sound as though one can “choose” to believe something like this. It doesn’t work that way. I can’t “choose” to believe that your god exists. Oh, I could say the words, and pretend that I mean them, but if your god can spy on my very thoughts as they told me as a child, then of course he would know I was lying. I can’t “choose” to believe in pink unicorns, no matter how hard I try – at least as long as I’m moderately sane! For something so unlikely I need objective evidence. We all should. I would think that a being who supposedly created mankind and endowed us with gifts such as critical thinking, logic, reason, etc. would value the individual who used those tools, over the individuals who simply believed what they were told without bothering to put the tools to good use. But who knows? The god of the bible is a horrid creature, and his son is even worse if he really sends people to eternal torture. What is your understanding of Hell?
            .
            Your story is one I hear from my New Age sister all the time. Anytime a parking place “miraculously” opens up as she goes around the block, it’s the ONEness god using her consciousness to direct her to an open space, yada, yada, yada…. In other words, it’s a coincidence. Coincidences happen all the time. You think about your Aunt Sally once every few months, and then one day, right after doing so the phone rings, and she’s been in an accident. It’s a miracle. You were contacted psychically. Nonsense. You just remember it this time. I think you increased the possibility of a coincidence as you moved closer and closer to what was already lurking in your brain and just waiting for an excuse to show itself. You were looking for a coincidence. Sooner or later one was going to turn up. It seems people don’t trust their own judgment so they abrogate that responsibility to some ‘thing’ outside themselves, thus pretending to avoid taking responsibility for a decision that may or may not turn out well.
            .
            Tell me why Jesus saw fit to make sure this message showed up in the pews in front of you during that mass, while oh perhaps a 150 kids died during that same time period of starvation, disease, exposure or murder. Why is Jesus so interested in getting you back into a habit, and so uninterested in those dying kids? What makes you so special and them so unnecessary and secondary that he doesn’t create coincidences for them to perhaps eat or get health care? Doesn’t it bother you just a bit that Jesus had to make a variety of arrangements on your behalf, in order to get that slip of paper in front of you, but he couldn’t be bothered to do something for those poor innocent kids who just died, and who will continue every minute to die horrible deaths? Do you stop and ask, “What makes me so special?”
            .
            Would you ask Jesus to take the paper back and go help the kids instead?
            .
            I don’t understand why the Church would let you in if you refute their teaching that homosexuality is a mortal sin worthy of eternal torment in (one of the four) Hells. Why would you be drawn to an organization that would not be horrified by a god who would do such a thing in the first place? You do realize that the default destination for unbaptized aborted, miscarried and stillborn infants is Hell, right? Your Church worships a god that they believe sends completely helpless, innocents to Hell for the heinous crime of failing to be baptized before dying.
            .
            Carol, when it comes to prayer; please don’t waste it on me. Find an amputee and every time you pray, ask Jesus to grow his or her limb back. When you start getting results, then by all means, start praying for me. Good luck!

          10. thomraff

            carolOgodson, you said, “I think I have gleaned from what you guys wrote why you left, but I am not leaving. However, if you want to tell me, go ahead. It won’t change my mind. I have had experiences which leave me with no doubt.” Hmm, so you have a worldview and nothing will change your mind. That is THE sign of an ideologue, not a science-based thinker. Thanks, I do not “want to tell” anyone anything that they will not hear with an open mind. Oh, your experiences leaving you with no doubt show you are ignorant of contemporary scientific findings that the brain can lie to you, and that many findings of science are counter-intuitive. I’m done. If you ever want to explore reality, see my blog link above as a good start.

    2. Patrick Gannon Reply

      Will the Church accept you with your humane and rational views of homosexuality or do you have to keep those views secret? I don’t understand wanting to rejoin an organization that is so hostile to the LGBT community, when you understand that if their god is actually good, they have him all wrong.
      .
      On the other hand, there’s something to be said for working from within an organization to change it – but women are still largely chattel in the Catholic Church, so your influence will be minor – unless you’re someone like Mother Teresa who brought millions of dollars to the Church, while providing only a place to die for the sick, instead of actually helping them with all the funds she raised, many of them from very unsavory characters.
      .
      Surely you can find a better way to help people than to rejoin the Church….

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