A Response to Anonymous
One of the more colorful comments I received to my original blog titled, “Skutt Catholic Got It Right“, came from a person named Anonymous, hereinafter referred to as “Annie”. Actually many comments came from Anonymous comentators, but many of them were nothing more than condemnation of me, Skutt or the Catholic Church. I could have chosen any one of them to refute. But Annie had clearly put a lot of work into her comment, so I thought I’d honor her effort with a reply. Annie’s statements are quoted, followed by my reply.
You make it appear that only gays fall into the “temptations” of alcohol, drugs, etc.
The examples of alcoholism, drug use, etc.., that you mention, are analogies, which are used to help think through things. Analogies require us to look at things from a little different perspective and promote the use of our intellect when we may otherwise fall into being hard-headed and immune to reason. Without analogy, the best people can do is stand there and shout, “oh yeah?”, to which the other person shouts back, “yeah”. Annie, I suggest you read the blog again with this in mind and maybe you will see that I don’t say, “only gays fall into the temptation of alcohol, drugs, etc…”. One way you can tell that I don’t say that is the fact that I didn’t write it. As you can see, I spent a little time on the blog and I believe my writing is very clear. Therefore, if I wanted to say something, I would have typed it up in a way that left no confusion as to the message I intended to convey.
You probably want me to say such things so that you can easily discredit what I’ve written, but in order to have an honest and courteous discussion, you need to be honest in the way you approach it. To claim I say something I clearly have not and would not say, then attack the imagined argument is a logical fallacy called a straw man attack and it suggests that you are unable to approach the discussion honestly because my argument is sound.
It happens to Christians as well. So what you’re saying is that Christ made them choose to do drugs?
Um….. No. This is another attempt at a straw man on your part. Given the content of your comment, I’m guessing you are an agnostic and being an agnostic (or an atheist), you have not felt compelled to learn much about Christianity. So here is a little lesson to help explain evil in the world. In the book of Genesis, we are taught a number of really interesting things. Keep in mind that we don’t read Genesis as though it is a documentary of the first humans, it is written in a style that does not require or expect literal translation. Genesis is meant to be read to give us a theological picture of creation and although we refer to Adam and Eve, the serpent and a fruit tree or two, we don’t expect to find Eve’s tomb someday, nor are we required to accept that the universe was created in six days. Genesis is not to be read as a historically accurate or scientifically accurate account, but a as a writing that expresses theological truth.
But through the Bible, including Genesis, we believe that God created the earth as a paradise which was free from sin and death and therefore, free from alcoholism, drugs, etc… This is called “original justice” or “original holiness”. However, God didn’t want a bunch of zombies walking around, doing only what he ordered them to do, he loved them and when we love someone we don’t turn them into a captive of our will, we allow them freedom and pray that they choose to love us back. So God gave humans free will so we could choose to love Him back. Free will is the freedom to choose between God’s plan for us and all the other options out there. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, chose to stray from God’s plan for them (remember the free will part) by taking matters into their own hands. We are not certain what they did or how it all “went down”, but they were tempted by Satan and fell to that temptation when they should have trusted God instead. This is called original sin or the loss of original justice. As a consequence of original sin, the paradise that God intended was made impure and consequences followed. Since Adam and Eve had chosen a different path than God had offered, God honored their free will and the consequences have been with us ever since. But God did not make Adam and Eve disobey Him, he simply allowed them the freedom to choose.
It is still the same today. God doesn’t force us to do bad things. We sometimes choose bad things because of the loss of original justice. We have the ability to choose between the good and the bad, but sometimes we choose the bad because it seems easier or actually is easier.
Because to Christians Christ [is] the creator of all mankind? So why would he create gays?
I see you get to the “born this way” argument a little later in your comment, so I’ll address that aspect of your question there. Here I’ll look at it from a broader perspective which could be phrased: Why is there suffering in the world?
I believe there is suffering in the world, because without it, we would never have the opposite of suffering, which is true joy. The same good things may exist, but we would never recognize them or be able to appreciate them for what they are. Without the knowledge or experience of some suffering, life would be boring as hell. We would never have a point of reference. Everything in our life would always be “just fine”. As you are well aware, our human nature causes us to grow accustomed to nearly everything around us and it is only when we experience some difference or change (often loss), that we can appreciate the good we had taken for granted. Your favorite meal is probably delicious once or twice per month. But if you ate it three times per day, everyday, it would quickly lose its appeal.
Getting a little more specific, you could ask why God created people who experience same-sex attraction. This ties back to the loss of original justice in Genesis, but I think it is more important to consider whether God wants us to be a slave to our feelings. Risking a little more confusion by using analogies, consider for a moment whether a person who feels drawn to eat large quantities of candy and junk food should indulge those feelings without restraint. Should a person who feels a strong sense of distrust or dislike for a certain race or nationality of people, act on those feelings? In such situation, the initial act may bring a sense of pleasure and satisfaction for the person, but as time passes, that pleasure or satisfaction disappears and the person is left with nothing but the feelings and desires to do it all over again in order to feed the need. On the other hand, people who overcome these feelings and desires nearly always talk about their new found freedom. They talk about the sadness and pain they felt after they used to give in to their desires and the initial satisfaction and pleasure passed. They talk about having been slaves to their desires, but once they are able to overcome their desires and feelings, they feel truly free.
You may not also be aware that gay marriage will eventually become legal in every state due to separation of church and state.
It certainly may, but that would not make it right. I like a quote from Augustine of Hippo: “Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.” Americans have always believed that the laws of our nation flow from our Creator and the laws of nature. If you disagree with me, I suggest you read the Declaration of Independence. Until recently, it was rare for someone to believe that the government could create laws that determined right from wrong without considering natural law. And on the occasions when some judge, politician or leader suggested such foolishness, they were shown to be incorrect over time. One such example is the Dred Scott Decision when the Supreme Court of the United States decided that no person of African ancestry could claim citizenship in the United States. As we all know, that “law of the land”, was unable to alter the truth that all men are created equal and was eventually eliminated.
What is my response to those who tell us that same-sex marriage will be the law of the land soon? It will be a law that ignores natural law and attempts to manufacture truth. But there is no truth in it, so it will eventually fail, just like we see the Roe v. Wade decision crumbling today. Good law recognizes natural law and cooperates with truth. Any law that legalizes same-sex marriage is in opposition to natural law and contradicts truth. If we can’t see this in our current judiciary, time will correct their error.
I say judiciary because in states where the issue is put to vote through a ballot issue, traditional marriage prevails nearly every time. There have been something like 30 state votes on marriage and in all but 3 or 4 of them, the voters have decided that same-sex marriage is wrong. But most of those states have since had their vote overturned by a judge. This is why I say it will take time to correct the error. The people want truth and some judges want equality whether it is based in truth or not.
What you believe is what you believe but many turn to Christianity because they cannot deal with their own problems.
This is a common criticism from agnostics and atheists. But the very same reasoning could be applied to agnosticism and atheism as well. Is God a crutch? To some He may be. But to most Christians He isn’t.
I think the atheistic denial of God is a crutch to atheists and agnostics, because it allows some if not many atheists and agnostics to make their reliance on science, or some other belief a way to avoid thinking about their flawed perception of the Christian God. The idea of an all-powerful God, who has a definite plan for each individual on the face of the earth, is strange or unsettling to some people and therefore, they choose not to believe in Him and it makes them feel better. But as we know, we can be wrong at times.
But even for a Christian who clings to faith because of fear, doing the right thing for the wrong reason is a good start. In his book, Answering Atheism, Trent Horn uses a good analogy for this argument. “Imagine a primitive tribal chief telling kids to stay out of the ocean because of a huge monster with razor sharp teeth that can smell them from a mile away will eat them. The chief just made it up, but such a creature does exist: We call them sharks. Just because the source of an idea is a bad one doesn’t prove the idea false”.
Therefore, even though some probably turn to God as though he is a crutch, it isn’t proof of God’s nonexistence, it is simply proof that some people turn to God for less than the perfect reason.
It is amazing how Christians talk about how peaceful their religion is, but as soon as someone goes against their beliefs or teachings they outlast against that person or group.
You seem to be saying that the Catholic Church promotes violence and bullying. I take your use of the word “outlast” to be a typo (maybe a Freudian slip?) and that you meant to say, “lash out”. I don’t know if you have noticed lately, but the ones “lashing out” are the LGBT activists who make dishonest and inflammatory statements while calling for boycotts of Christian businesses (Apple CEO Tim Cook – see my blog on that), starting petitions to try and shame Christian organizations into hypocrisy (as in the case at hand) and making threats of violence and filing lawsuits against Christian businesses (Memories Pizza in Indiana and Baronelle Stutzman in Washington, etc..). But at Skutt, the employer simply and courteously relied on a contract willingly signed by Mr. Eledge to remain true to Christianity. Do you intentionally ignore facts that challenging to your current view of reality or is someone spoon feeding information in order to deceive you into supporting the LGBT agenda?
I hate to break the news, but Christians do not run the world. Just like there are many other religions, and many religions have died off. As people begin to think more and more for themselves Christianity will die off.
It is true that Christians do not run the world, but we don’t seem to be dying off. In fact, for the past 2000 years, Catholics and more recently also non-Catholic Christians have endure persecution, including everything up to death, yet Christianity has remained. Christians attribute this to Christ’s own promise in this regard, but to agnostics and atheists, the growth and resilience of the Catholic Church tends to be an inconvenient truth. No other system, government, religion or civilization has lasted anywhere near the 2000 years that Catholicism has been with us. And there are absolutely no signs that Catholicism is going to go away in the near future.
The one thing that does tend to deplete the Catholic population in a parish, community, diocese or nation, is when the Catholic leadership in that parish, community, diocese or nation, compromises on the truth in an effort to avoid conflict or criticism. I think this is why the LGBT activists are targeting Catholic schools and parishes with their propaganda. If they can find priests and bishops who will water down the truth, they know people will walk away from their faith. The LGBT sees this as a huge step in gaining power because the Catholic Church is a huge obstacle to the LGBT lifestyle.
It is also interesting that you believe people are thinking more for themselves now than we have in the past. Most people who are actually thinking for themselves, will tell you that the opposite is more likely. With the recent explosion of technology, most young Americans are losing the ability to think for themselves because they can look things up on the internet with ease and see what other people are saying about any subject that comes up. There is no need to read books, conduct research or buckle down and study an issue because the internet has multitudes of resources that will do all the thinking for you. A few word searches gives you a few lines of information and you don’t even have to read the whole blog, article or publication and you certainly don’t have to read the book. More thinking? I think not.
You may also not be aware of the scientific studies showing you are born with a trait that makes you gay.
Actually I’m not. Care to educate me? You will need to educate everyone in the medical profession as well, including the American Psychological Association. On the APA website, they state that there is no consensus on whether or not same-sex attraction is caused by genetics or biology. They say that there appear to be many factors that cause same-sex attraction. Therefore, it is dishonest to say scientific studies exist. They don’t. You can say you believe people are “born this way”, but that is just an opinion, which at this time, is not based on scientific fact. I think it is interesting that you will put your faith in something that is not scientifically proven, but apparently you reject God because He is not scientifically proven (to your satisfaction anyway).
Does 1 Corinthians 14:34 not state that all women should remains silent in the churches? Would this not be ignoring the word of Christ?
I cannot explain 1 Cor 14 any better than Jimmy Akin, so please take a moment to read his short but excellent explanation as to how you, and many others, misinterpret St. Paul’s words. In a nutshell, Paul is not saying women are to be silenced or that they are inferior to men.
So if you can not follow the teachings of your gracious leader who was killed for being a Jew and not a Christian in a Roman Empire not because sacrificed himself, then do not be quick to judge someone for how they live.
I may have read other things you have written. Did you write that recent Salon.com article exposing the fact that Christ went to Hell? The fact that you didn’t give your real name in your comment is a good thing because you will someday be very embarrassed that you posted the above quoted statement. It also gives me the ability to be blunt with you because you are anonymous. This one sentence suggests you possess a nearly unbelievable lack of knowledge about Christianity. If you are going to criticize Christianity, you first need to take some time to learn what you are talking about. Most atheists pride themselves on knowing the Bible better than many Christians, but you appear to know just enough to help you criticize what you think is wrong. You should know that the Romans did not crucify Christ because they wanted him to embrace Christianity. The Romans were pagans and Christ was the one who started Christianity (notice how the name Christ makes up the first 1/2 of the word Christianity? That isn’t a coincidence). Christ is and has always been, Christianity. How could and why would Christ be crucified for not following himself by people who didn’t follow him either? Your understanding of this issue is so unbelievably flawed that the best I can do is suggest that you run down to your local bookstore and buy Catholicism for Dummies. I’m not saying you are a dummy, that is the actual title of the book, and it is a great start for someone who knows so little about Christianity.
Contrary to popular belief Christ was also born in the spring and not on Christmas, this is shown in the patterns of how his parents were moving. Which only occurred in the spring during this time. Also, because many Christians are so brainwashed into not believing proven science and statistics, here you go, Christ was not a brown haired, Caucasian man, he was middle eastern complected, with dark black hair, just like the rest of the people who lived in that region during that time. Facts prove more than belief, just like Adam and Eve were not the first to walk this earth, science has proven the first human life to be millions of years ago.
Contrary to common misperception, Catholicism is not only supported by science, some of the greatest scientific discoveries in history were made by Catholics who have followed the medieval practice of “faith seeking understanding”. The Big Bang Theory was discovered by Father George Lemaitre. Gregor Mendel, a friar, discovered genetic inheritance. Other scientific pioneers who were also Catholic are: Roger Bacon, Fr. Michal Heller, Fr. Stanley Jaki, Francesco Faà di Bruno, and many more. If it were not for the education system that the Catholic Church developed and fostered, many of today’s intellectuals would actually be working to earn their livelihood.
Much of your criticism as to when Christ was born, what he looked like and your general skepticism regarding popular modern assumptions of many Christians is reasonable. But the fact that the statue of Jesus at the local parish depicts Him with brown hair, is not offensive to my faith. Catholics do not worship statues or images, we worship Christ, who is alive and active in our lives. If he was born on a date other than a day in late December, I’m okay with that too. The only essential fact regarding His birth is the fact that he was born, and we have historical sources other than the Bible to help us see that belief in His birth is based in historical fact in addition to Christian tradition.
The early Christians did not need to haggle over what Jesus looked like or what he said, because they saw him and they heard him. It is only now, after many centuries of separation when the new atheists and agnostics have begun to demand photographic evidence and video of various miracles and events in Jesus’ public ministry. I cannot provide you a Youtube address for the video of Christ changing water into wine in Cana, but you cannot prove that God is dead, nonexistent or anything less than God either. Therefore, we are both left to look at the world around us to see whether we see more evidence of God’s existence or if there is more evidence of God’s nonexistence. I see abundant evidence and I have experience Him working in my life, so I’m going to stick with the Church on this one. If you say there is no God and you are right, we both end up dead and gone with our molecules drifting across the universe for all of eternity. If I’m right, I have a chance to receive the eternal reward promised by Christ. You on the other hand….
You are ignorant to not believe what has been proven….
I have to agree with you on this one, but past that statement, I think it is time to rest. I’ve tried to respond to each of your paragraphs as I have gone through your response. And even when you have alleged baseless accusations that although common, are untrue, I’ve humored you and provided responses. But at this point of your response, you simply go off the charts with a long diatribe that strings numerous fictions together into one large rant. Suffice it to say, I have no interest in addressing each of them because you wouldn’t read it and if you did, you would not be capable of understanding it because you lack the basic understanding of Christianity. You seem to have a fairly decent handle on anti-Christian rhetoric, but you don’t know enough to know that what you are saying is dishonest. You are simply repeating dishonest allegations that support what you want the truth to be.
I earlier suggested that you buy Catholicism for Dummies, and I reiterate that once again. But simply reading about Christianity will not help you understand the truth unless you can be honest with yourself. You are only open to that which you want to be true. In order to learn and understand all of this, you need to suppress the desire to justify what you want to be true and be open to what is actually true. If you can prepare yourself to accept the truth even if it means you need to change the way you think, believe or view the world, you are in for a great learning experience.