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01 Jul 2015 Articles Resources Comments (26)

Meet Father Salvatore, the young priest whose life moved the Pope

The life of Father Salvatore Mellone, who died on Monday 26th June 2015, was touching to thousands of people. He was to have at least two more years of seminary…

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05 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (5)

May my girlfriend and I be intimate with one another before marriage?

Full Question A priest told my girlfriend that it is okay for us to touch one another intimately before we are married. Is this correct? Answer N…

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16 Jun 2015 Articles Resources Comments (1)

Thomas Merton, Lent, and the Perils of Avoiding Suffering

We spend one day a week not eating meat, and on a few days we skip meals altogether. We voluntarily deprive ourselves of good things. We intentionally pon…

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20 Feb 2016 Articles Comments (5)

The Hell There Is!

The doctrine of hell is so frightening that numerous heretical sects end up denying the reality of an eternal hell. The Unitarian-Universalists, the Seventh-day…

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03 Apr 2015 Q&A No comments

Why is St. Therese of Lisieux (1873–1897) a patron of aviators?

Full Question Why is St. Therese of Lisieux (1873–1897) a patron of aviators? Answer In the early years of the twentieth century, St. Therese’s spi…

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04 Jul 2015 Articles No comments

Is passionate kissing only moral within marriage?

May a man and a woman who are dating, but unmarried, engage in passionate kissing? Is passionate kissing outside of marriage moral, or a venial sin, or a mortal…

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02 Jun 2016 Vatican No comments

God has a weakness for humble hearts, Pope says at audience

The Pope continued his catechetical series on prayer at his latest general audience While the prayer of a proud person isn’t strong enough to reach God’s heart…

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19 Feb 2016 Articles No comments

Pontifical Effect

Raphael Sanzio gets credit for a style of papal portraiture that lasted more than four centuries. It began with his portrait of Julius II (reigned 1503–1513), w…

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01 Aug 2015 Q&A Comments (2)

Call No Man "Father"?

Many Protestants claim that when Catholics address priests as "father," they are engaging in an unbiblical practice that Jesus forbade: "Call no man your father…

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Why It’s Wrong to Force to Offer Gay Dating Services

In a stunning display of judicial overreach, a California judge has ruled that the website is guilty of discrimination because it offers dating services only for Christians who are attracted to people of the opposite sex. According to The Wall Street Journal:

ChristianMingle, billed as the largest online community for Christian singles, required new users to specify whether they’re a man seeking a woman or a woman seeking a man. The lead plaintiffs, two gay men who tried using it, claimed that the limited options violated California’s anti-discrimination law. Known as the Unruh Civil Rights Act, the state law requires “business establishments” to offer “full and equal accommodations” to people regardless of their sexual orientation.

But this is not a case of failing to provide equal access to services. This is a case where LGBT lobbyists demanded that a business provide a new service it had never offered previously. Contrary to some media reports, didn’t blocked users who identified as LGBT; it just didn’t offer a service they wanted. But that’s not discrimination, as the following example will make clear:

Imagine if a man who is attracted to women went to the website only to find out he could not be matched with women. He is even “shocked” to see the company’s mission statement says, “AllMale is designed exclusively for gay and bisexual men and features everything you will need to connect with guys from your area and from all over the globe.”

Has the heterosexual man become a victim of discrimination? Not any more than a vegetarian is a victim of discrimination when he orders a salad at a butcher shop.

Should cut both ways

If people who identify as LGBT can have dating services that meet their needs exclusively, then why can’t people with opposite sex attractions, especially people who belong to a faith community with specific teachings on God’s plan for sexuality, have the same thing? What about that kind of equal treatment? Even intellectually honest pro-gay atheists think this is outrageous. David Smalley, the host of the Dogma Debate podcast said this could adversely affect the business he owns:

According to this logic, a judge would be able to rule that “Secular Media Group discriminates based on religion, by not offering podcasts or books for potential Christian, Muslim, or Jewish customers” thereby forcing me, by way of a judge’s ruling, to begin offering religious-based materials so that potential religious customers aren’t offended by what I don’t offer.

This is personal for Smalley, because he once discriminated against Christian customers but saw nothing wrong with it:

In 2013, my company was approached by Benny Hinn Ministries who tried to get us to do Christian voiceovers. I declined because I disagree with their message and didn’t want to put my voice to a “prayer healing” video that I felt was misleading people. That’s my right as a business owner. According to Unruh, that would be a violation. I simply refused the work for religious reasons, and I cannot imagine living in a society in which the government would step in and force me to do those voiceovers so that Benny Hinn wasn’t offended by my rejection.

Values in the public square

Smalley is right on target. I once worked as a freelance videographer, and I would have refused to help create a documentary that promotes atheism, just as Smalley refused to help a project that promotes Christianity. A business should have the right to promote not just its services or products in the public square but also its core values.

This answers the objection that offers only “dating services,” and so if it doesn’t have a feature that allows LGBT users to date one another it is denying those customers equal access to its website. But many Christian dating services are not out to just offer “dating services.” They are in the business of helping create Christian marriages and bring people together who share those values. Consider how avemariasingles describes itself on its website:

We want to help you find the spouse God created for you. We have spent fifteen years building a community of active, passionate Catholics focused on forming meaningful and fulfilling relationships. Every member of the AveMariaSingles community shares your desire to experience all the blessings and challenges of a true Catholic marriage.

Here we have a company whose “service” is to provide a means for people to find “the spouse God created for [them]” so that they can have a “true Catholic marriage.” For faithful Catholics, this mission would logically entail helping people find a person of the opposite sex who also values his or her Catholic Faith. The fact that avemariasingles does not promote casual hookups, interfaith dating, or same-sex relationships is not discrimination. It’s just an example of diversity in the public marketplace of ideas and services.

I’ll leave you with another comment from Smalley’s blog that represents a neat bit of common ground between a Catholic apologist and an atheist radio host. He says, “This is ridiculous. Either find a company that offers what you want, or start the company yourself. That’s the beauty of America.”

By Trent Horn


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