First, do not read anything Fr. James Martin S.J. writes. Nor should you follow him on social media, listen to any of his talks, or associate with him in any way. If you don’t already know about Fr. Martin, this should be enough to have you Googling him by now. Please don’t. He has nothing to offer you unless you are near death, in which case, he can administer the sacrament of Extreme Unction, but even then, tell him to stick to the actual words of the sacrament, and not to interject any of his personal views on anything.
You see, Fr. Martin fails to comprehend the Gospel, especially when it comes to matters of faith and morals. Yes, you heard me right, he is a priest, but he has a very poor grasp of the teachings of Christianity in the very areas he’s supposed to have down really well.
Fr. Martin recently published a short book on how he thinks the Church can welcome people who experience same-sex attraction and how people with same-sex attraction can approach the Church. That doesn’t sound so bad does it? Well that’s because I worded it properly. The way Fr. Martin explains it in his book it sounds like this: “How can the Institutional Church be sensitive toward LGBT people?…one invitation is for the hierarchy to come to know LGBT Catholics as friends.”
Ummm… No. One should expect more from a highly educated man such as Fr. Martin. Unfortunately, there is something amiss in Fr. Martin’s grasp of things like theology, reason and science. In other words, Fr. Martin fails to grasp reality.
Here is the first problem. I could list all the problems, but nobody has the time to go through all of them. I’ll start with this one: LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. Most, if not all members of the LGBT community embrace the lifestyle of their letter. The reality of this is that people who identify as a member of the LGBT community, are not simply same-sex attracted or in the case of the “T”, they are not strictly suffering from gender dysphoria. Those who consider themselves members of the LGBT community actively embrace these feelings, often advocate for the right to act on the feelings and they commonly engage in the aggressive pursuit of laws and regulations which penalize people who disagree with their desire to act on these feelings.
LGBT activists and advocates do not want to befriend the Catholic hierarchy, they want to control them. They don’t simply want to be accepted, they want to indoctrinate your children. Fr. Martin’s association with groups such as New Ways Ministry shows him to be on the side of LGBT activists and advocates.
Another problem with Fr. Martin’s book: Does Fr. Martin mention that members of the LGBT have alternatives to simply acting on their desires and feelings? His book is extremely vague on this.
Does Fr. Martin mention that members of the LGBT community should repent from sin? His book is silent on this.
Does Fr. Martin believe that the lifestyles embraced by many members of the LGBT community are incompatible with the teachings of Jesus Christ (not to mention natural law)? Again, his book is silent about this.
But I’m not the only one asking questions around here. There are a lot of very solid Catholics (clergy, religious and laity) who are also asking questions. Our questions can be summarized like this: “This guy is a priest?” Then there are a lot of people from the LGBT community asking questions. The LGBT type of question is this: “Is this even relevant anymore?”
That’s right, most of the LGBT community is so disinterested in the Catholic faith, they give Fr. Martin a thumbs up. But in the end, they have already spent most of their energy on convincing themselves that Christianity is irrelevant or even the cause of more wars than any other government, ideology or issue in the history of the world, Fr. Martin is nothing more than a potentially useful idiot to them.
By the way, the belief that religion is the root of most war and suffering, is a myth. And so is Fr. Martin’s ideology on the Church’s teaching on same-sex attraction, homosexual behavior and gender dysphoria.
You see, there is a difference between feelings and behaviors. Those who experience same-sex attraction but do not act on the attraction are the courageous ones in all of this. And the people who help them resist temptation and overcome their desires (such as Courage), are the ones who deserve the recognition and the respect of Christians.
Same-sex attraction is not a sin, it isn’t wrong to experience it. The sin (the wrong), is the behavior that can follow the attraction. Fr. Martin downplays the fact that the behavior does not have to follow the desire. This is why it is important to differentiate between the feelings and the behaviors. Using the term LGBT does not do that. In fact, LGBT suggests that the behavior is ongoing, inevitable and will continue. Fr. Martin’s failure to make any such distinction seems to fall somewhere between reckless and intentional.
Fr. Martin has a lot of questions in his book as well. Some of them come after he says this:
“I’m saddened by the recent trend, in a few places, of the firing [by church-related organizations] of LGBT men and women… The problem is that this authority is applied in a highly selective way. Almost all the firings have usually related to those employees who have entered into same-sex marriages, which is against church teaching, when one or the other partner has a public role in the church.”
It is unfortunate that Fr. Martin is sad. It is even more unfortunate that he is sad about reality and truth, which causes him to be sympathetic and potentially quite helpful in Satan’s deception.
Let’s take one of a handful of examples in which an employee of a Catholic school or Catholic organization has been fired because of a same-sex “marriage” in which one of the parties has a public role in the Catholic Church. Can you think of any? You might think of Skutt Catholic High School in Omaha, Nebraska. But that wasn’t a firing, it was the non-renewal of an annual contract and neither party in that “marriage” had a public role in the Church. How about Dowling Catholic High School in Des Moines, Iowa? Nope, that one doesn’t fit Fr. Martin’s model either. In the Dowling case, the dispute was over the decision not to hire an applicant who was in a same-sex relationship. In reality, there are not many known incidents in which a Catholic institution has terminated an employee as described by Fr. Martin and there are no known incidents of the termination of an employee because the employee suffered from same-sex attraction. In reality, the cases that do come up are cases in which a teacher, coach, or someone else in the position of an educator and role-model for youth, openly engaged in a lifestyle that is in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Catholic Church. And in most cases, most especially Skutt High School, the institution went to lengths to give the employee (or proposed employee) every opportunity to reform their lifestyle, repent and return to the Christian way of life. There is no case in which an employee was fired, or a prospective employee was not hired, when they intended to repent. In each case, the employee or prospective employee was intending to continue their LGBT lifestyle and expected the Catholic Church to accommodate them.
After the above quoted statement, Fr. Martin goes on to ask:
“Do we fire a straight man or woman who gets divorced and then remarries without an annulment?”
I can see where this would be appropriate, especially if the man or woman is in a teaching and/or role-model for Catholic students in a Catholic school, and if the man or woman is openly unrepentant of their decision. Do they participate in the annual adultery parade during adultery pride month? I’m being facetious. Who in their right mind would publicly celebrate an immoral sexual and deeply personal lifestyle choice?
Fr. Martin goes on:
“Do we fire women who bear children out of wedlock? How about those living together without being married? Do we give pink slips to those who practice birth control?”
Brilliant questions Father. Again in each case, the circumstances would matter, wouldn’t they? Are these employees of a Catholic institution in a position where their lifestyle can cause scandal or misguide youth or others who may not have a solid understanding of the difference between right and wrong, moral and immoral? Are these employees promoting these decisions as good? Are they intending to continue the behavior? Are they advocating for the acceptance of the behavior by the Church or at a minimum are they expecting the Church to accommodate them? All of these circumstances are present with the LGBT employees who were either not hired or not renewed.
Being secret about a sinful lifestyle is certainly not the answer. The secrecy combined with the sin is certain to corrode everything about you. This goes for any serious sin, not just homosexual behavior. But the answer is not the answer for which Fr. Martin advocates. Fr. Martin, like other LGBT advocates, believes that more openness is the answer. He wants the hierarchy of the Church to get to know and befriend people who are public about their sexuality.
I have to give it to Fr. Martin. He nearly makes a point here. Once upon a time, the hierarchy of the Church did hang out with sinners. Of course, this was at the very beginning, when Jesus was walking with the Apostles. And since that time, the Church has continued to hang out with the sinners (like me). But Fr. Martin’s goal seems different than that of Jesus. Fr. Martin seems to want to affirm the lifestyles of the members of the LGBT community whereas Jesus came to heal, forgive and was very clear about his call to repentance. I suspect that nobody mentions that word (repentance) around Fr. Martin without being corrected or hushed immediately.
Fr. Martin must have a sense of humor as well. He has other ridiculous questions in his book such as:
“Do you think it was difficult for Jesus to proclaim his identity in front of people who knew him so well? What do you think enabled Jesus to do this? What enables you to accept yourself as you are? Jesus knows what it is like to be rejected. How does this make you feel toward him? Can you share that with him in prayer?”
First, there is nothing in the Gospel which suggests that Jesus had any difficulty in proclaiming that He was the Son of God. He did this with shocking frequency and boldness, right to the face of those who would eventually torture and murder Him. He was able to do this because He is God and was always obedient to the will of the Father. His proclamation that he is God, cannot be compared, in any way, with a person’s decision to publicly announce that they have decided to live a homosexual lifestyle or that they identify as the opposite sex. Sorry Father, but you are not doing a good job of comparing apples to apples here.
Jesus knows what it is like to be rejected because Satan was tempting people away from Him. Fr. Martin is doing the same in his book. Fr. Martin is encouraging a lot of people to reject Jesus.
How should members of the LGBT community feel toward Christ? Just like the rest of humanity, grateful. Christ offers us all the grace to reject Satan and all his lies. One of those lies is that a person can freely engage in an immoral lifestyle, be it promiscuous, contraceptive, abortive, hedonistic or some part of the LGBT lifestyle, yet still have a relationship with Christ and the hope of eternal salvation. Apparently everyone but Fr. Martin knows that isn’t true. Ask the Episcopal Divinity School how it is working out for them. You had better call them quick before their phone is disconnected. You see, they are going out of business. Apparently they overestimated the popularity of ordaining lesbian women as ministers in their Church.
Some people think Fr. Martin should be moved to a monastery somewhere, so he can dig into St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and thereby, come to a proper understanding of human sexuality, human dignity and God’s plan for marriage, family and the priesthood.
I disagree. I think Fr. Martin should simply read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I’m sure he’s been reading a lot of Scripture already. As a priest, I think, even as a Jesuit, he is required to read Scripture every day in the Liturgy of the Hours. But I think he needs to read it with an open and accepting mind. He needs to let God teach him through Scripture. Based on Fr. Martin’s book, he’s been spending a lot of time coming up with his own personal interpretation of Scripture and it has absolutely nothing to do with God’s word. A great place to start is at the beginning:
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:26-28
Some people try to claim that God never spoke about homosexuality or the belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. That is why I like to point out Genesis 1 and then point them to Christ’s reference in Matthew:
Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” Matthew 19:3-6
Ah, so Christ did teach about marriage? He certainly did, and it was something as simple as pointing to the beginning and keeping it in the context of male and female. But now, Fr. Martin and the other LGBT activists are doing all they can to separate man and woman. May they fail. For the sake of our children, may they fail. For the sake of Fr. Martin’s soul, may he repent.
Dear Father Martin: Maybe I have it all wrong. Maybe you have some stealthy way to lure proud and active LGBT members into the arms of Christ where they will suddenly decide to repent and reform their lives, becoming chaste disciples of Jesus. If this is your plan, it is safe to tell us. Trust me, nobody in the LGBT community is paying any attention, so you won’t scare them away. But I sure would like to know how you see this playing out. Maybe you are on to something. I doubt it, but if you can tell me your secret, maybe I can help. One bit of advice Fr. Martin: When you accepted the award from New Ways Ministry, an anti-Catholic organization who advocates for the ordination of women, blessing of homosexual behavior and the destruction of the magisterium, it made you look really bad to Catholics and it made you a joke among the LGBT community. Maybe it is a clear picture, but either way, you should decline such offers in the future.