"Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them" (Gen.1:27)

Monday, February 27, 2006

Québec Priests Speak Out

Nineteen priests challenge the Vatican and their own bishops on homosexuals in the priesthood and gay civil rights. (See the original Letter, in French)

Not surprisingly, there are concerted efforts to quell such public discussion of this significant issue in the life of the Church. Forgetting that real Authority comes not from position or office, but rather from the Truth that one speaks (Matt. 7:29), such efforts condemn these priests as "dissenters" and encourage others afraid of such discussion to contact Church leaders. For some, the comfort of complacency is less scary the challenge of the truth.

To demonstrate support for these priests (and all others who have the courage "speak truth to power") and to encourage the continuation of dialogue in the Church, contact the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:

Cardinal-elect William Levada
Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede
Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11, 00193
Roma, Italia

To email the CDF:
Cardinal-elect William Levada
E-mail: cdf@cfaith.va

Miss Manners' Definition of Family

Miss Manners shares her thoughts on how "family" should be defined:

"But eating together, night after night, no matter who does the cooking or the carrying-in -- that is a good definition of what makes a family. A family, by Miss Manners's standards, is a group of people that takes nightly and weekend meals together. It is then and there, asking one another to pass the beans, arbitrating who gets the drumstick and pretending to be interested in each one's adventures of the day, that families are forged."


Sounds good to me!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Thank you, Rev. Joe Hoffman

Yesterday I began drafting a post after having read the "Dear Amy" advice column in Monday's Washington Post. I was going to entitle it, "This is the America I Fear," or something like that. The Amy column included an almost unbelievable letter from a woman in Denver, married six years, who lives with her husband in what was described as a nice, quiet Denver neighborhood. The woman said that two young gay men moved in across the street over a year ago, transforming a run-down house into the pride of the block (yes, there is often a kernel of truth at the root of some stereotypes!). Though they kept pretty much to themselves, these guys would say hello and were considered good neighbors, even going so far as to shovel out the woman's car when it snowed (why she or her husband couldn't/wouldn't/didn't do this was left unsaid). Apparently all was hunky-dory until one morning the gay guys had the gall to give each other an off-to-work-have-a-good-day kiss out in full public view (horrors!). What ensued after this God-fearing woman recovered from witnessing this traumatic event should be read in the original.

That's what I was going to write out, going off in the direction that would try to make the point that a social movement that doesn't change the hearts and minds of people is doomed to fail. Yes, being a good neighbor is a wonderful starting point ... but in the face of deep-seated fears and prejudices, neighborliness is just the first step.

But then someone forwarded me the story about a Congregational United Church of Christ Pastor in Asheville, NC. It seems that Rev. Joe Hoffman has had a bit of an epiphany, a raising of consciousness. Over the past few months, the good pastor came to realize that civil marriage laws that do not allow gay citizens the same rights as straight citizens are unjust laws. And even though he would continue to help couples -- both heterosexual and homosexual -- plan for and celebrate their religious wedding services, he could not in good conscience affix his signature to the state-issued marriage licenses as long as that same state's marriage laws remained exclusive and discriminatory.

While people like the woman in Denver cause me to shake my head and wonder ... people like Pastor Joe Hoffman cause me to pause and thank God that there are still individuals who have the courage of their well-founded convictions and are not afraid to take a stand for what they know is probably not very popular, but is most certainly very right.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

San Francisco Archbishop on "Brokeback Mountain"

The British Catholic newspaper, The Tablet, reports that George Niederauer, newly-installed Archbishop of San Francisco, spoke positively about what he took away from seeing Brokeback Mountain. One of the lessons Niederauer sees is "the destructiveness of not being honest with yourself, and not being honest with other people – and not being faithful, trying to live a double life, and what that does to each of the lives you try to live."

(By the way, I'm glad Archbishop Niederauer didn't take the advice of the USCCB not to see the movie when they rated it "O - morally offensive." The bishops' convoluted review simultaneously states that a Catholic audience would find the film's subject matter itself "contrary to its moral principles," even though it is treated "with discretion" and the film is "well-crafted" and "superbly acted.")

Monday, February 13, 2006

The human face ...

... of hate.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Iran Not So Evil?

Apparently George W. Bush doesn't think Iran is so bad after all. The U.S. voted recently (Jan. 25, 2006) to support an Iranian sponsored move denying "consultative status" to two gay rights organizations ... all this despite the fact that the U.S. State Department still thinks Iran isn't such a great place to visit. So when it comes to Iran, W's view apparently is "they're right about the gays, just stay away from Tehran."

In 2005, there were
2,719 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) accorded consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Add to that the 400 more NGOs accredited to ECOSOC's Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and you have over 3,000 organizations around the globe that the Council believes are worth listening to.

The only organizations NOT worth listening to are the
International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) and the Danish Association of Gays and Lesbians (LDL).

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Coretta Scott King

Today the world pays tribute to Coretta Scott King. The spirit and legacy of Mrs. King will continue to inspire for generations to come those who seek a world of peace and justice, especially for the poor and others whom society still spurns.

Two years ago, Mrs. King courageously stated, "Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union.... A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages."