Engagement and Resistance

Reflecting on my pessimistic take on the Supreme Court’s decision to make a final ruling on the marriage redefinition cases, I had an interesting email exchange with my friend and colleague Alexis Carra. She wrote to me:

Inevitably, the government/legislature/court will no longer recognize true religious liberty, amongst other things. This is an unfortunate consequence of a metaphysical and anthropological revolution/decline that has swept society; a phenomenon in which people no longer have a proper understand of human nature, reality, and our relationship to God.

1) So in this “post-human” age, how do we go about testifying and defending the Truth in the public sphere, especially when our court system will inevitably be against us? Is it time to change methods? If so, what should our new method(s) be?

(2) Similarly, in this “post-human” age, how do we go about testifying and defending the Truth in the private sphere? How should we engage our children, our friends, and our communities, especially when they are often hostile towards our message?

I replied, in part:

I wish I had answers to your questions. I have believed for many years that the time is rapidly approaching when Catholics may no longer be able to give their consent to the Constitutional morass that our judicial oligarchy has now imposed on us. This is a regime where truth and morality are denied and are instead branded as invidious bigotry, while laws that violate fundamental human rights are foisted upon us and we are compelled to cooperate with them. The Supreme Court’s decision on the marriage case may put us in a position where we can no longer recognize the legitimacy of the current regime.

Alexis’ response gets right to the heart of the matter, and adds some important distinctions:

It’s going to be even harder to live as authentic Catholics within the American system or as you say, “the current regime.” We will be forced to cooperate with evil under duress or become martyrs.

However, I actually do have some hope. I think the distinction must be made between “engaging with the public system” and “utilizing the public system.” I think — for most cases – we will be unable to utilize the system in order to uphold our religious liberties, etc. Yet this does not mean that we completely retreat from the system. Instead, we must continue to engage with the system; we must become the gadfly to the system (thinking of Socrates here). And this is a very important role that cannot be underestimated.

I still think there is something to be said for public engagement. I think the gay marriage debate has been largely a disastrous failure, but the same cannot be said for abortion. I think progress has made been made particularly because many young people rightly perceive abortion as the murdering of innocent life.

Overall, I think we are called to live as counter-cultural witnesses in an active sense; most of us are not called to completely separate ourselves from society.

I think that she is precisely correct. I too am pessimistic but not hopeless. There are many who advocate for disengagement from society, similar to the Amish. I refuse to do so. Engagement is clearly the proper course, but as a form of resistance to the dictatorship of relativism — where we continually proclaim the truth with love, and steadfastly refuse to conform to the lies. My model for this is Vaclav Havel’s The Power of the Powerless.

Nothing can erase the human desire for, and recognition of, the truth. Even under all the lies, the vast majority of people will try to live in truth. We are always called by our faith to be witnesses to the truth, even when that truth may be a “sign of contradiction”.

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17 Responses to “Engagement and Resistance”

  1. anonymous says:

    You have lost sight of your focus. The focus here should NOT be to stop gay marriage, but to extol straight marriage.

    Here’s the thing: gay men are not monogamous (I know this from experience). All that will happen is that they will place short term encounters under a legal umbrella. And eventually, they will recognize that the law will harm them more.

    As for lesbians: they are at the other end of the spectrum — the Lesbian Bed Death. Google the phrase. Basically, they stop having sex and coexist.

    Lesbians: love without sex.
    Gay men: sex without love.

    But there is more than that. The gay culture is practically synonymous with eccentricity. There is nothing eccentric about gay sex anymore. Once they are allowed to marry, there will no longer be “a club.” The “culture” will dissipate under the umbrella of acceptance. No one will care. Coming out of the closet will be ho-hum.

    So let them marry. Give them what they want. Give them everything they want. But make sure to shine a light on the consequences: THAT is what you must do. Let it be manifest that there is no fidelity in gay marriage. There is only the intellectual justification for sex. And lesbian marriage is boring.

    Only a straight marriage has the potential to touch the face of God. And your focus should be to demonstrate that. But you will continue to fail in that regard so long as your focus is stop something, rather than elevating something in its stead.

    Speak more often about straight marriage. And by that, I do NOT mean the average straight marriage — for most straight marriages are abysmal (a partial consequence of the lowering of the standard we set for ourselves).

    Speak truthfully about what happens during an orgasm in a straight marriage: the male forgets who he is and rises above. The same for the female. There comes a moment, during the orgasm, when each are beyond the body and have the potential to enter each other and rise above physics. And, in so doing, become greater than either. Only in a straight marriage and its orgasm can a man become more than a man and a woman more than woman: they become whole, one. And there is always the knowledge that that orgasmic moment of one-ness begets life. In that one moment, one touches the face of God. Talk about how this singular moment is a sort of transubstantiation: a priest will understand.

    Just state the obvious: gay and lesbian sex is redundant. And in that redundancy is ultimate boredom and narcissism.

    Again, this is not to say that all straight marriages are “G”ood. But only straight marriages have the potential of THAT kind of “G”ood.

    And only by shining the light, will people see that there can be a higher life.

    (I wish to remain anonymous.)

  2. Alexis says:

    @ Anonymous

    I agree with some of your comments and greatly admire your honesty and directness. I also think that you’re right in saying that we must we speak more often about straight marriage, and about how only straight marriage (or simply, marriage in the real sense of the term) has the potential to reach “that kind of good” – the good where one “touches the face of God.”

    However, I’m not sure if “give them everything they want” is the best approach. I think such an approach will actually harm homosexual people, whereas God calls us to love all people. Even though homosexual people don’t perceive it in this way, we are really loving them more by not giving into what they want (i.e., gay marriage) because what they want is actually harmful for them.

    This is why I think the focus should be on BOTH stopping gay marriage and extolling straight marriage. It’s not enough to simply extol straight marriage, although we must certainly do that. We also must – to you use your terminology – “shine light” on the harms of gay marriage as well.

  3. anonymous says:

    Alexis

    I appreciate all your words, both critical and affirming… but…

    Let me elaborate what I mean when I say “give them what they want.”

    You cannot fight this tide and any attempt to do so will submerge the message.

    For the gay community has, as its ally, Hollywood: two “institutions” or “cultures” immersed in narcissism: and there is a short-term power in that alliance.

    The Church will lose this battle (gay marriage will be legal before the end of the year and we cannot stop this) and should, instead, be looking toward the long-term peace: a redefinition (unfortunately) of marriage stripped of commonality and which aspires to a message.

    We must recognize that even many straight marriages do not attain a certain awareness. But that should not mean we cannot uphold an ideal to which we should aspire or hope to attain.

    Now let me get personal. One reason I fear this discussion (and desire anonymity) is that I am immersed in academia. AND, I was gay for 20 years: boyfriends, white parties in Palm Springs, RoyalCourts and so on. It was only 15 years ago that I met a woman.

    We have been married now for 15 years. Initially, I thought I would cheat. But never did. Time passed — brought us our children and love continues to blossom.

    But due to my academic allegiance, I hesitate to speak negatively about gay marriage. However, I know for a fact – a direct fact – that gay men are not monogamous and lesbian marriages are devoid of long term intensity. I am just not yet prepare to “come out” about this. And when **I** say “come out”, I do not mean “come out of the closet” but “come out of a room crowded with narcissistic personalities who, by an large, are jealous of the potential of straight love” and walk into the day light.

    The only way you will educate is to teach people the positive potential of the union of opposites

    You cannot win this battle. And any effort to do so, will dilute the focus. And that focus should be recognizing that God/Good is found in the love when a man is within a woman and a woman surrounds a man in love.

    Let me elaborate… When I am with my wife (in that sense), I allow the homoerotic images to flutter through my mind. Because I am every man at that moment. And at the moment of oneness, I am also every woman: I am my wife’s body. We become one. THIS description — these feelings — are what is missing from the rebuttals. And these feelings share commonality with the Eucharist.

    But the gay community, armed with the power of Hollywood, conveys an image of stability in gay relationships that is completely lacking and false. You will not be able to fight this.

    (There is more: the Church will also lose the abortion debate because it is too focused on the primacy of life — which I agree with, but that is incidental. One must focus on the “continuity of life” in a world where experiences are digitized and discretized. People are the cusp of recognizing the great continuity: from the particle, through the atom to the solar system: from the DNA strand to the laughter of a child. The Church must show this. And it is not showing it because it is too immersed in the battle.)

    So let me say it again… in a different way…

    Paternity has an element of uncertainty — like magnetism (we do not know the magnetic particle). Maternity is bloody certain — like electricity (we KNOW the electric particle as we KNOW the mother.

    God the father is male: the unseen heavens, magnetism.
    Goddess the mother is female: the seen earth, electric.

    And as electricity and magnetism make light….
    Male and female make love

    Anyway… done now…

  4. anonymous says:

    And what I meant (but forgot to add) was that the “power” is neither god the father nor goddess the mother, but Love.

    (Which is what I suppose the Church means by “God.”

  5. anonymous says:

    One last thing:
    “give them everything want” == “turn the other cheek”

    (I suppose the double equal sign me away as comp.sci.)

    But I do NOT mean the Church should not stop preaching its concerns regarding gay marriage. I believe the Church should continue to reveal the narcissism, redundancy and vacuousness of gay sex.

    My only suggestion is that it stops preaching AGAINST gay marriage and FOR straight love, through example.

  6. Alexis says:

    @ Anonymous

    I really appreciate your courage to speak so openly and bluntly, especially considering the context from which you present your perspective. Again, I agree with some parts of your response and disagree with other parts.

    If you don’t mind, I would like to briefly discuss the mission of the Church because I think this may help you understand my perspective. Ultimately, the mission of the Catholic Church is to bring people into a loving encounter with Christ. However, in bringing people into a loving encounter with Christ, the Church seeks to proclaim the fullness of Christ’s message, including the truths that people do not want to hear and find objectionable. In other words, the Church – acting out of love – is specifically meant to ALWAYS present these controversial truths, regardless of the opposition from society, etc. This also means that there is only one main way in which the Church will fail in its mission – the Church will only fail in its mission if it no longer presents these truths.

    You say that, “The Church will lose this battle (gay marriage will be legal before the end of the year and we cannot stop this) and should, instead, be looking toward the long-term peace: a redefinition (unfortunately) of marriage stripped of commonality and which aspires to a message.” While I do agree that it is likely that the state will legalize gay marriage, I do not think that this means that the Church should accept a redefinition of marriage. In fact, if the Church were to do this, it would fail in its mission – it would be failing to present the truths about marriage and sexuality. These are truths that people desperately need to hear, so that they may stop harming themselves and start living in the optimal way that God has intended for them. And I think, whether you believe this or not, that you actually agree with many of these truths (i.e., it is impossible for a homosexual sexual act to reach the transcendent level of a sexual act between a loving husband and wife – the level of oneness and completeness that “touches the face of God”).

    Also, you write that, “My only suggestion is that it [the Church] stops preaching AGAINST gay marriage and FOR straight love, through example.” Although your suggestion is well taken, I still think that the Church needs to do BOTH – it must preach (1) the harms of gay marriage and (2) the benefits of real marriage. After all, you even write that, “the Church should continue to reveal the narcissism, redundancy and vacuousness of gay sex.”

    So this is what I’m saying: Even if the state recognizes gay marriage and most of society finds it perfectly legitimate, the Church must still proclaim the truths about marriage and sexuality. In fact, if the majority is against the Church, it’s all the more reason why the Church should continuing proclaiming these truths. What I think, however, is that the Church may have to change methods – but not substance – when testifying and defending these truths in the public sphere (and this is part of what I was discussing in my original post).

    In any case, thank you for engaging with us. I think your personal testimony is very powerful. I know you are “not yet” prepared to discuss this publicly, especially since you are involved in academia. However, I would encourage you to eventually do so – perhaps this is what God is calling you to do.

    Veritas liberabit vos.
    John 8:32

  7. joey says:

    Anonymous, you sound like Robert Oscar Lopez with your assumptions that gay people in same-sex relationships are narcissistic , selfish and not monogamous. Interesting how you make the claim that “gay men are not monogamous” and call it a “direct fact” without any evidence. Doesn’t sound very intellectual to me. I understand that you may have had problems in your same-sex relationships and not had a connection with your partners. Moving to a woman, you found a connection. That does not bother me at all, as you are free to live your life. However, the issue I have is that you diminish the relationships that other same-sex couples have, because of your personal experiences. As you have explained the feeling of being one with the universe through a sexual experience with you wife, that is what happens when you truly find love. I have found that with my significant other of the same-sex. You feel as though you have become the universe itself through the bonding, self-giving act. Why do you feel that I could not have achieved such an experience solely on the basis of being of the same sex? Because your personal experience tells you so?

    As an aside, it seems, like me, you believe in a duality that expresses an implicit unity. Wouldn’t that mean that “good” and “bad” must coexist because they are both two sides of the same coin? By trying to pursue the “good” (at least what you believe to be “good”) you lose focus that the “bad” is completely necessary for the “good” to exist.

  8. anonymous says:

    Joey

    Your intimation that I could be Robert Oscar Lopez is amusing. I cannot tell if you are accusing me or attempting a surreptitious outing. However, I have found that arguments that begin with cattiness are flaccid; and, often, typical of the gay intelligentsia.

    For the record, I affirm everything I wrote. I have had direct experience with gay male relationships (three of my own, one of which was for five years); and while they are exciting at the start, they are neither monogamous, nor fulfilling in the long term. And I say this not just through my own direct experience, but by observing the lives of friends: I have seen it with my own eyes (in allegedly 40 year-long relationships).

    I do think there is something of value in gay sex. So I am going to wax for a moment on my own experience. Of the four categories (excusing these times where ”gender” no longer seems to be objective, and my admittedly engaging now in politically incorrect generalities) — gay male, straight male, lesbian female, straight female — it is only gay men who can enter another body and be entered. I did find that thrilling; but eventually, boring. For this very conception conflates intimacy and power. And while (excuse me) it “got my rocks off” for a little while, it became sterile (perhaps it served a purposed in helping me love being a man and to respect men – something sorely lacking in this world today). (Or, it could be said, that due to an unhealthy upbringing – through no fault of my parents who were decent, loving people – that *I* was the one who infused too much power into sex and *I* needed the gay experience in order to balance things out; to rectify things.)

    So, I reiterate: from my own experiences, gay male marriage is sex without love and lesbian marriage is love without sex. It is only the marriage of a man and a woman that brings both together on a pivot that is “life affirming” in its “diversity” (to take the word back).

    And, returning for a moment to the issue of “gender”, I find that those moments I feel most like a woman are immediately after a night of passion with my wife. My wife says the same to me, but in reverse. (Who knows, maybe it is physical, with me losing testosterone and she receiving it, or maybe it is the psychological accompaniment of our love.) It is as if, during that moment, we temporarily switch bodies and momentarily forget to go back for a few hours.

    So I would even dare to say that “sexual transitioning” is the cheap and easy way out. I don’t have to wear a dress or makeup or get hormone replacement therapy when I take to a moment of sweet silent thought and question my own gender – which is a natural thing to do, even for someone who ostensibly “performs” masculinity as I am told I do by the current intellectual tripe flowing from gender studies departments. I just think about loving my wife, and love thinking about her.

    In fact, I dare to say that this current television show about a transitioning husband is the story of man who never valued the female in his wife and never drew on its beauty, wisdom and power – it is the story of a relationship seeking its way out of sterility.

    Moving on… I am not saying that all straight marriage is like what I describe. I suppose I am fortunate (or I had the courage and fortitude to go against the common grain and question everything). And sometimes, my wife and I do fall from this ideal. But we continue along the path and have been reaching it more and more as we age. I dare say that I have arrived at this stage “because” of having had gay relationships. And unlike those men who claim to have “converted” through religious experience, I will never deny my gay past: it was great at the time (especially some of those Palm Springs parties). But it is just an endless party with “dancers from the dance.” (However, I have noticed that it is my former gay friends who have denied me.)

    This IS to say that straight relationships have greater potential. And it is, I think, the obligation of society to point that out. Straight marriage is richer. We are on the cusp of change and gay marriage will be legal – so you will get you want. In fact, I think gay and lesbian couples should have their relationships sanctioned by the state (with regard to inheritance, visitation, benefits, etc.) But I think it is important to affirm that there is a greater potential in the love between a man and woman.

    These days, I am concerned for my children. They are being inundated with contradictory messages about the gay lifestyle. On the one hand they are told that gay marriage is like any other marriage. On the other, they are being told that gay ness is a media-centered ideal of some sort. I tell my daughter that lesbian sex is perfectly fine with me, if she wants to experiment. But if she wants what her mother has and what she sees in us, she will not find it in the arms of a woman. It is not easy to convey this in today’s world, but I do. And I teach her to keep her mouth shut! Because gay people have become loud in their insistence that all relationships are the same; they seem to aspire to universal banality; and wisdom is subtle and quiet.

    Your closing comment on good and evil reads like pseudo-intellectual gobbledygook – again, the type of reasoning typical of gay intellectuals.

    And as for Robert Oscar Lopez: I am not he and I have no interest taking the time to find out who he is. In fact if I was this Robert and you know about Robert, what is to be gained by anonymity? Your intimation suggests surreptitious bullying in place of argument. And, as I have said: that is typical.

  9. Joey says:

    Ahh the “bullying” argument. I made the comparison to Robert Oscar Lopez, because he had a similar experience from what you were explaining, but also was a child of same-sex parents. He argued, based from his experience (no one else’s) that same-sex parenting causes psychological harm to children. He then made a generalization, claiming that same-sex couples should not have children, based on his own experiences. He does not account for others’ experiences. That was my point. So yes, my response should be taken seriously and not as some “gay intelligentsia”, unless you call everyone who shares a different view that.

    My whole point is that you cannot claim that ALL same-sex relationships are non-monogamous based on you sole experience. Today’s world is different then when you were involved in such relationships. I also appreciate that you support state-recognition of same-sex relationships and that you are open for your daughter to experience lesbian sex.

    But you cannot say that ALL same-sex sexual activities cannot reach the point that you and your wife have achieved. I have experienced that with my significant other! So apparently your claim is not correct! I understand the biological difference between a man and woman and how that can impact a relationship. However, when connecting to someone in such a way, how can you not feel as though you are everything?!

    My closing comment is not “pseudo-intellectual gobbledygook” and my views on the universe are actually NOT how most gay people think at all, because I havent found any who think that way. It is based on Taoist principles. Tell me, how can you experience something that is “good” without experiencing something that is “bad”? How can you tell what is “good” without being able to identify what is “bad”? It’s the same argument for understanding “up” in relation to “down”, or “light” in relation to “darkness”.

  10. anonymous says:

    1. I do not care about Oscar Lopez: so please stop wasting bandwidth. He is your issue, not mine.

    2. I did not claim that all same sex marriages are non-monogamous. But most are. And the rest appear sterile to me. Gay men always are on the search and Lesbians stop having sex.

    3. Let me reword my comment on my daughter. It is not that I support her exploration. I would rather she not waste her time. But if she does, I want her to know that extended Lesbian relationships are sterile.

    4. I fundamentally feel that gay “marriage” is unable to reach the level of that between a man and a woman. I can say that and I will, and I do not care if you disagree.

    5. You ask: “However, when connecting to someone in such a way, how can you not feel as though you are everything? Tell me, how can you experience something that is “good” without experiencing something that is “bad”?

    I have no interest in asking you questions. But I hope you find the answers to yours one day. Keep asking. I do not care what anyone else thinks. I have seen and experienced both. I have been around the block many times. I do not care to convert you. I write this to guide others. You will get your marriage rights. But you will never have my approval. And you should not care; but you do. Because the fact that you are asking all these questions, tells me that deep down, you know the answers you are seeking. I hope you come to terms one day. But I will not help you delude yourself.

    You mention Tao. Let me give you Tao (—>IMHO): draw a picture of monk. Magnify it: it is composed of dots. Magnify the dots: they are monks. Magnify the monks: they are dots. And so on. Tao is boring. Tao asks no questions nor does it wrestle with questions. It is placid. Tao puts me to sleep. You may have your Tao.

    Regarding Lopez though. I have looked him up. NO WAY will I ever subject myself to what the lobby has done to him.

  11. Peter Rox says:

    I take issue with the statement of Alexis about authentically living as Catholics. The Bible, as well as Pope Francis, calls us not to judge. We need to follow our consiences in our own lives. How did people who see a need to “live authentically” as Catholics decide to obsesses on sexual matters, and drop social justice, the living wage, justifying all the excuses for war and materialism? I think the Pope even talked about this. Is an authentic Catholic one who supports paying for all the gold and lace that our hierarchy loves to wrap themselves in? At what year does an authentic Catholic freeze all knowledge for all time? 33 AD, 1054, 1965? Authentic Catholics have canonized as “saints” some of those responsible for human torture against those who they deemed insufficiently submissive to the Inquisitor’s concepts of truth, ignoring conscience. Catholics need to understand that we live in a pluralistic society. Many religious denominations and a great many church leaders in fact support same sex marriage. On major social issues such as slavery and desegregation , women voting, justice for Native Americans, many opponents have invoked their religions and Divine Will and immutable traditions as justifying injustice. Catholics are doing a pretty bad job about Church governance (look at all the dioceses declaring bankruptcy, Roman Curia a mess, etc). Civil society does not need such strong judgment from such a tainted institution and its self-appointed inquisitors.

  12. anonymous says:

    Peter, you have indulged in the straw-man argument.

    Alexis said nothing about the other issues (e.g.: social justice, the living wage, justifying all the excuses for war and materialism, slavery, women voting, native Americans) and that does NOT mean she does not care about it.

    Also, for her, I assume “authentic” means “genuine” And that is distinct from historical issues. I assume, for her, “authentic” simply means: true to her Church.

    You also say: “Catholics are doing a pretty bad job about Church governance (look at all the dioceses declaring bankruptcy, Roman Curia a mess, etc).”

    I dare say: governments are doing much much worse. They can just hide it better with taxes.

  13. Alexis says:

    @ Peter Rox

    Although parts of your response are objectionable, you’ve given me an excellent opportunity to clarify the meaning of the term authentic, especially when it is used in the context of “live as authentic Catholics.”

    I am using “authentic” in the sense of “being true to something.” As such, an authentic Catholic is a person who strives to remain true to the teachings of the Catholic Church. And, as you have correctly pointed out, the teachings of the Church encompass a wide variety of issues; issues that range from sexual matters to social justice. Therefore, an authentic Catholic strives to remain true to the Church’s teachings on ALL of these issues. So let me be clear: An authentic Catholic – in the truest sense of the term – does not ignore certain issues (i.e., social justice) and only concentrates on others (i.e., sexual matters). Instead, an authentic Catholic, recognizing that the teachings of the Church form a coherent whole, focuses on all of the aforementioned issues.

    I would strongly encourage you to apply this understanding of “authentic Catholic” before you conclude that “people who see a need to ‘live authentically’ as Catholics decide to obsesses on sexual matters, and drop social justice, the living wage, justifying all the excuses for war and materialism.”

    Q.E.D.

    @ Anonymous

    Thank you for understanding what I mean by “authentic.”

    Like you’ve pointed out, just because I have not addressed social justice, the living wage, materialism, etc., in this particular post, it certainly does not mean that I do not care about these important issues.

  14. Peter Rox says:

    I think that it is more important to remain true to a well formed conscience and to the teachings of Jesus Christ than to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Repeatedly throughout history, the Catholic Church has been wrong and abandoned various positions. Or do you advocate that Catholic “truth” requires us to believe in the hello-centric universe, to denounce Darwin, etc? It was not just a few Renaissance Popes who have sullied the church and its collection of ‘teachings”. People of good will recognize the strong discordance in modern catholicism in which federal courts and the US Constitution recognize far more human dignity than certain brands of Catholicism. It is a spiritual crime that the Vatican had its inquisition of the nuns these recent years. The teachings of Christ are far simpler and too often ignored by our leaders than the Church has led. The scandal ridden hierarchy of alleged celibates is not a repository of the wisdom of the ages. Their book knowledge counts for very little next to the human experience of love that they rail against at every opportunity, whether concerning contraception, gays, divorced persons receiving communion, or any other issue that even faintly touches on the sexual. Tell the many children alive today how the “pro-life Church” opposed their in vitro conception that gave them life and enriched their families. The anti-feminist , misogynistic “tradition” of Catholicism is a spiritual crime. Our holy “leaders” hide behind shibboleths such as ” the Church is not a democracy” and that ” the Church makes teachings for the ages, not for a fad of the times.” These words are meant to comfort those who justify their spiritual tyranny. Christ did not come to establish a spiritual dictatorship, that for most of its history fought wars to try to become a temporal power. Likewise, all of us are limited in our time on earth to the time of our life expectancy, at best. An individual living now, today, in the present, has no time to wait for the lace and gold clad savants of the curia to decide whether or not to form their special commissions, table the discussion, or launch an inquiry on any issue. We are called to live and decide now, not to delegate our thought processes to these committees in Rome (many of which should not exist any way). I know plenty of people at mass on Sunday who share my views, and as you may imagine, I know a great many more who share these views but who either left the church from hurts inflicted under patriarchy and clericalism, or who just gave up.
    I count myself among many who “refuse to leave”.

  15. Peter Rox says:

    correction: non-Helio-centric universe

  16. Alexis says:

    @ Peter Rox

    Nobody is compelled to follow the teachings of the Catholic Church; they are there for those who are open to them. I would recommend, however, that one actually (1) researches the substance of the teachings, and (2) discerns which teachings are actual teachings, before drawing conclusions.

    And after this, one is more than likely to come to the realization that the teachings of the Church are, in fact, rooted in the direct teachings of Christ. After all, the mission of the Catholic Church – whether one accepts this or not – is to bring people into a loving encounter with Christ.

  17. DottieDay says:

    “Cooperate with evil under duress or become martyrs”. That’s some choice. Worse is trying to foresee how our bishops will lead us. Are they prepared to prepare us for what is coming? For the most part, I’m not counting on it. With a few exceptions, our bishops seem to be more amenable to cooperating than with resisting.

    As to the discussion about homosexual “marriage’, I direct you to a fabulous show I happened upon on EWTN last night dealing with chastity and homosexuality.

    An Invitation to Courage: Homosexuality & The Catholic Church

    Is Chastity part of the Good News?

    The challenges of six people with SSA who find new identities in Christ and experience the peace and joy of chastity.