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faith article
"Beyond Gay" by David Morrison
His journey from gay activist to chaste Catholic.  [Amazon.com]

Chasing the Single Voter: It's Time for a Christian Perspective, by David Morrison
The Democrats’ “Sex in the City” approach to targeting singles—campaign slogans on panties?—reflects our culture’s shallow view of the single life.

New Oxford Review

Sed Contra
Notes from a life lived Beyond Gay.

The Elephant at the Convention, by David Morrison
I agree with Kerry and the Democrats; America needs to start a conversation about our obligations toward the weak and underprivileged. But the Democratic Party’s unqualified support of abortion precludes that discussion.

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Always Our Neighbors: Why the 'New Oxford Review' Gets the Gospel Wrong

When I wrote recently that Catholics and other Christians should befriend same-sex couples and treat them with respect, I was harshly criticized by the editors of the New Oxford Review. Here’s why we disagree.


Several months ago I wrote an article for the Catholic newsweekly Our Sunday Visitor which suggested that more Catholics and other Christians needed to actually befriend men and women who live with same-sex attraction—including those who self-define as gay—if we hope to fulfill Our Lord's command to go into the world and spread the Gospel.

Recently, readers of my blog, Sed Contra, were kind enough to alert me to the September issue of the New Oxford Reviewa Catholic publication I used to subscribe to—where I was accused, in my OSV article, of "promoting the normalization of homosexuality." Sed Contra's regular readers, as well as those who have read my book, Beyond Gay, will likely find this charge surprising. What led the editors at NOR to conclude such a thing?

The NOR piece opens:

"You're a good neighbor, and when a new family moves in next door or across the street, you introduce yourself and offer to help out somehow, and you know your wife will bake them some cookies.

Ah, but what would you do if the two cars in the driveway over at the new neighbors' sport rainbow-flag bumper stickers? The two men who just moved in, you correctly deduce, are homosexuals. David Morrison, writing in Our Sunday Visitor, (June 6) says you should treat them just the same. Says he, "We must open ourselves and offer friendship," for example, by "helping dispose of moving boxes" and explaining "how trash pickup works in the neighborhood."

But St. Paul would seem to give the opposite advice: "have no fellowship with the untruthful works of darkness..." (Eph. 5:11)."

Some background is useful here.

Does offering someone a chocolate chip cookie or a cold drink mean that I approve of their sexual behavior?
New Oxford Review
has a reputation for being unconcerned about how they speak about men and women living with same-sex attraction. In previous issues they've made a point of referring to men living with same-sex attraction as "fags."

To their credit, after one "fag" occasion, they ran a rebuttal authored by Ron Belgau, a co-member with me of Courage, the Catholic ministry. But it would appear that the ink of Ron's article sank further into their pages than the truth of it might have penetrated into their hearts.

Several false notions and fears appear to have set the NOR editors to murmuring.

They fear that if Christians exhibit kindness towards people living with same sex attraction, those people will interpret that friendship as affirmation of their moral choices. The journal quotes my observation that "Simple friendship does not necessarily mean approval...," then adds:

"However it will mean approval if disapproval is not expressedand how likely is it that you would voice your disapproval? The same sex couple will take your friendship as affirmation."

But is this a legitimate fear? Does offering someone a chocolate chip cookie or a cold drink, or helping them to fix a squeaky screen door or move furniture mean that we approve of their homosexual sex acts? For that matter, what should people do about fornication or contraception? Should a young couple who is not yet married or uses contraception be given the cold shoulder? Should neighbors be quizzed about their sexual behavior before we can befriend them?

Further, how can we claim to know that the couple is homosexually active at all? My friend Dan and I have lived together for 18 years and we haven't had sex in 11 years, but we're still living together, still friendly and affectionate with one another. Would we pass muster if we moved next door to the New Oxford Review? Based on their essay, I conclude probably not. Would the good folks at NOR be satisfied to see us live without knowing Christ or having only a confused image of Him, even at the risk to our souls? Maybe so.

The Church is a hospital for sinners, not a penthouse for self-proclaimed saints.
I care about this so much because I wouldn't be a disciple of Jesus Christ's today if it weren't for the friendship and love of the Christians in my first Anglican parish. They knew I was a gay activist. They didn't agree with me about gay sex. And they loved me anyway. They knew I had homosexual sex and that I believed it was fine—and they disagreed with me. But they nevertheless invited me to their cookouts, car washes, sporting events, school plays, pot lucks... the whole joyful, chaotic mess of parish and family life. And as our friendships deepened they showed me they loved me.

And they told me their stories too. They told me about their own past drug use, their own previous abortions, their own prior womanizing, and their own previous struggles with the Faith and its demands. In short, they made it clear to me that the church universal is a hospital for sinners far more than it is a penthouse for self-proclaimed saints.

This was crucial because before I got to Trinity, I used to believe that Christians would treat me... well, the way the New Oxford Review appears to believe I should have been treated.

I had a little box of prejudices in which I put "Christians." Christians, I believed, hated and feared me. Christians would not want to have anything to do with me. Christians believed I could not be trusted with their children.

I believed Christians were far more interested in creating an icon of homosexuality at which they could throw insults or darts, than they were interested in me as a human person, as someone they wanted to love as a brother in Christ.

That is, until I got to Trinity. The Christians I met there burst my prejudices and made me encounter Christ as never before. Christ was no longer merely an idea or a platitude, or even my personal conversion experience, but He became Christ as Immanuel, God with us, in our good times and bad, never forsaking us even in our sins.

It was only when I understood these folks really did care about me as a person, that I credited their objections to my behavior to something other than reflexive prejudice. Keeping me at arm's distance would have ensured that their approval or disapproval of how I lived meant nothing. At a distance, what would I care what they thought? But their compassion and intimacy gave their witness to the deeper reality of Christ the credibility it needed.

But, there is still more to fear, according to NOR:

"Morrison urges us to socialize with the same sex couple so as to 'convey the truth that we respect them as human beings.' But if every human being deserves respect, then the word 'respect' is evacuated of all meaning. Respect isn't congenital, it's earned. And the Good Book says, 'Blessed is the man who... does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.' (Ps. 40:4 NKJV; italics added). Of active homosexuals, St. Paul says they have 'exchanged the truth of God for a lie' (Rom. 1:25), and we all know how proud homosexuals are of their homosexuality ('gay pride' and all that)."

I wouldn’t be a disciple of Jesus Christ’s today if it were not for the friendship and love of the Christians in my first Anglican parish.
Really? Then why does the same Catechism of the Catholic Church that condemns homosexual acts as "intrinsically disordered" activity which "under no circumstances can be approved" (CCC 2357) also say that people living with same sex attraction...

"...must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition." (CCC 2358)

Apparently the Vatican is willing to recognize that people living with same sex attraction are worthy of respect, that they are made in the image and likeness of God, even if New Oxford Review believes the only respect human beings deserve is that which they earn. I'm sure glad God doesn't look at us that way because if that were the case, as the Psalmist asks, Who among us could stand?

After a few more paragraphs of scripture, NOR says: "Sorry, we do not respect what is shameful and perverse"—which is good, because nobody should. But the Catholic Church's teaching on same sex attraction draws a clear distinction between acts, which can be shameful and perverse, and human beings, who cannot be understood as merely the sum of their temptations or acts:

"The human person, made in the image and likeness of God, can hardly be adequately described by a reductionist reference to his or her sexual orientation. Every one living on the face of the earth has personal problems and difficulties, but challenges to growth, strengths, talents and gifts as well. Today, the Church provides a badly needed context for the care of the human person when she refuses to consider the person as a "heterosexual" or a "homosexual" and insists that every person has a fundamental Identity: the creature of God, and by grace, his child and heir to eternal life. (Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, October 1, 1986.)

But there is still more. New Oxford Review is very concerned about how friendship with a same-sex couple might affect children:

"As for socializing with the same-sex couple, Morrison says this: 'We have a right to protect our children from seeing things we believe they are too young to see or understand.' But why would we ever want our children to 'understand' homosexuality or homosexual acts? As for 'to see,' Morrison says, 'it's completely appropriate to forbid our children to attend events where the same sex couple plans to be openly affectionate.' Come again? How are parents to know when a same-sex couple plans to be openly affectionate? You don't 'plan' these thingsthe same-sex couple probably doesn't know either.

Apparently, Morrison envisions a normal couple going over to dinner at the same-sex couple's house, with the kids, so long as the same-sex couple promises not to be openly affectionate. Good grief!"

What's missing here is any notion of actual friendship, versus some sort of scary movie dreamed up by NOR.

First, Christians can only offer friendship, they can't force it on anyone, and I never advocated they do so. If a person living with same sex attraction, or anyone else for that matter, appears unwilling to respect a family's boundaries—in regard to their kids, for exampleI would suggest they aren't interested in genuine friendship and we are under no obligation to pursue such relationships.

Second, NOR includes paragraphs meant to remind its readers of how really, really bad same-sex acts are:

"We wonder how Morrison would treat other scenarios. What if a couple moves in across the street, and you see them smoking marijuana? Befriend them? Have dinner with them and bring the, kids, so long as they promise not to smoke pot in the presence of the kids?

What if a registered pedophile moves in next door, fresh out of jail. Befriend him? Have dinner with him and bring the kids so long as he promises not to do any funny stuff with the kids?"

Please note the parallel: People living with same-sex attraction equal drug users and pedophiles. Now please re-read the paragraphs from the Catechism to which I linked and the letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (an office not known as a hotbed of theological or doctrinal liberalism.)

And for the record, I used to work in a neighborhood where there were lots of people who smoked marijuana and some who turned tricks. When they needed help, and I was in a position to offer it, they got helpand a Miraculous Medal as well.

Then there is a passage so filled with irony that it would be funny in another context:

"Morrison says of same-sex couples: 'Christians need to realize that many of those whom they fear may need their friendship. We can eliminate much of our fear and misunderstanding, and we may find tremendous opportunity to reflect Christ into the lives of people who need to see Him.'

Do Christians 'fear' those who are light in the loafers?' No. But you can see that Morrison has bought into the idea that Christians are 'homophobes.'"

We need to stop reducing people to their temptations, sins and misconceptions and start treating them like human beings
Is NOR homophobic? I wouldn't know. I don't like the word because it's imprecise. Does NOR exhibit contempt, disregard, and scorn when it uses slurs like "fags" and "light in the loafers" to refer to people living with same sex attraction? In my opinion, yes. Absolutely. And that will chase away the very people that, in subsequent paragraphs, they claim to want to evangelize:

"...Morrison is right that homosexuals need Christ. If the recommendation here is that Catholics should befriend same-sex couples so as to evangelize them, that's a magnificent idea. But how many readers of Our Sunday Visitor have even the foggiest idea of how to witness to homosexuals? And this is no reflection on the readers of the Visitor, for 99 percent of Catholics don't know how to evangelize anyone, never mind homosexuals.

Only if you're a skilled evangelizer should you follow any of Morrison's advice. As is, of those who read Morrison's article and take his advice, 99 percent will befriend the same-sex couple and never mention Christ. Actually, the evangelization will go in the opposite direction. The same-sex couple; most of whom are skilled evangelizers for their 'lifestyle,' willamid the socializing and as the friendship develops—tell the Catholic family about the ill treatment they have encountered. And the Catholic family will of course feel compassion, will feel their pain. The Catholic family will find that the same-sex couple are civilized people and will wonder why the Church is so hard on these nice people and why they shouldn't be allowed to get married.

Who is David Morrison? He's identified as a 'former homosexual activist.' Lord have mercy! Morrison is still promoting the normalization of homosexuality."

This is what I find most disingenuous. Surely they comprehend that a person living with same-sex attraction, approached by a publication that calls him a "fag" and refers to him as "light in his loafers" might view their talk about Jesus with a jaded eye, if not outright hostility.

There is another way. We need to stop labeling people and reducing them to their temptations, sins and misconceptions, and start treating them like human beings, created in the image and likeness of God; fallen, just as we are; in need of Christ, just as we are; and spoken to in the fullness of the Church's teaching, just as we are.

In the end, I don't see this as an argument or a debate between me and the New Oxford Review. Yes, I found what they wrote to be short-sighted and hurtful. But the deeper issue (and greater good) is the conversation this has sparked.

This past Sunday at Mass, Father Pollard, my parish priest at St. Agnes, read the entire 15th chapter of the Gospel of Luke, the chapter which begins:

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them."

Father Pollard went on in his homily to describe how we, the Body of Christ, the people we look at in the mirror every morning, are the ones charged with carrying on His work in the world. If there are men and women to meet at the wells of the 21st century, at the supermarkets and soccer games, the street corners and corner offices, we're the ones who must meet them there. If people living with various temptations and sins are going to draw near to Him, it will be through us that they come. And when they come, when we meet them in the streets and in our lives, they must seem Him in us!

And when they do we must try with all our might to reflect the reality of 1 John 1:5, that "God is light and in him is no darkness at all" and neither are there insults, nor scorn, nor contempt.

September 15, 2004

DAVID MORRISON is a writer and editor in the Washington, D.C. area. In addition to writing about homosexuality, identity, and faith, he has covered human rights abuses and population control in the developing world. Morrison is the author of "Beyond Gay" (Our Sunday Visitor Press, 1999), and the blog, "Sed Contra" (www.sedcontra.blogspot.com).

All rights reserved.

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12.29.04   alexander caughey says:
If sin is the measure that we are to be assessed by, then why bother with loving? In telling half the story we are ignoring the total reality of a human being. In dwelling on and in love, we are providing our future with the opportunity to appreciate the good that man does, rather than dwelling on the perceived wrongs committed by those attempting to live in love of their fellow human creation. That so often, sin is in the imagination of its beholder, might well indicate that seeing sin as a manifestation of failure, could well lead us to where sin is the measure for determining the meaning of love. In telling the fallen woman to go and sin no more, Christ has recognised the fallen nature of mankind, by admonishing those whose own sins were conveniently forgotten, in their enthusiasm to condemn another for breaking the law.

12.22.04   StOdo says:
Is it really always about "love?" One must define the term. At a nearby parish whenever "Respect Life" or "Pro-Life" Sunday, or whatever they are calling it these days, rolls around the priest announces that he "will not speak on abortion, as someone right next to you may have had one and we are not here to condemn people or make them feel miserable." I always remark to my wife that I guess we will never hear a sermon on stealing, adultery, gossip, lack of charity or jealousy as someone might have committed these sins and the last thing I'd want to do is make them feel miserable. It is as if the worst sin is actually condemning sin. As the late Dr. Karl Menninger asked, "Whatever happened to sin?" While Mr. Morrison's intentions may be good, well to use a worn out phrase about the road to hell.... Like the priest I mention above Mr. Morrison gets it wrong, because he selectively forgets the other half of Jesus' message, in the episode of the woman caught in adultery, "Go and sin no more." If the Gospel message is Love, should we then compromise the Gospel to accomodate sin?Yes, we should be good neighbors, but that is the extent of it. David Morrison, like some Catholics feel that somehow the sin of homosexual acts, because that is the sin, being a homosexual is not a sin, gets his special dispensation. As Catholics we should not pose as moralists, but on the other hand, we should not give our imprimatur to anyone who is flagrant and vocal about sinning.I would only ask David Morrison if he knew that his new neighbors were self-pronounced theives, rapists, pedophiles, wife beaters, etc. would he still feel compelled to "make them feel welcome" and bring them cookies? How can one profess to be a follower of Christ and not want to move out of his or her state of sin? I would hope Mr. Morrison would expect better of me? In the end maybe those who should tell people you may be going to hell are those who are truly concerned that some people may end up there.Let us not confuse the message of the Gospel with silly 21st century sentimentality. One who marries himself to this age may soon find himself divorced in the next.Odo Text

11.30.04   matteo d'basio says:
It seems so simple. If people are convinced that you love them, you can say anything to them and they will listen. If people think you hate them, nothing you say will be credible to them. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery "go and sin no more" only after he had demonstrated his love.

11.21.04   alexander caughey says:
Wow! what a broadside. Could it be that all that has been said in this column of comments has been misunderstood, or am I being rather deceitful in ignoring the pleas for Christ's words of love to be heard, above the clamour for our perceived sins to be paraded, so we may receive due punishment from our morally correct majority? That moral turpitude is found where ever human beings are living, might well suggest that it is not the sexual identity of a person, rather the behaviour that will identify those who follow the will of Christ. I read Epistle of John, regularly, to remind me that where ever love is in need, will be found our need to love, rather than to judge or condemn.

11.20.04   Dolores49 says:
Homosexual parents SHOULD make sure they do not willfully isolate their children. The short version of my childhood is I lived with my mom, after my step-dad died suddenly, and she was straight when they met. He seduced her into bi-sexual fun and games; then, when he died, she went lesbian.Now. You want to talk about befriending? My mom hated men, and disliked straight people! How's that? "I don't like those kind of people." I was isolated from my school friends and my family.I learned what I wanted in a man from old movies. And my husband of 33 years is asleep right now.I would like to urge homosexual writers to stop looking in your Goddamn mirror and start acting up for children for a change!!!! The real crisis in our country is the fact that suicide is the third cause of death among young people. That's a message worth fighting for and you can find resources on the internet that are dying for help."Catholics SHOULD . . ." Catholics alread do befriend homosexuals, in their neighorhoods, churches; in addition, the Church is responsible for 25% of the world's AIDS treatment and care. But you want more! For the love of everything holy, nothing has changed for you. But something HAS changed for me: I am up to my eyeballs with homosexual complaints about marriage. Look, if it happens that I work in an office with homosexuals, and their personalities are pleasant, I'm probably going to be friendly. Beyond that, don't tell me what I "should" be doing! And my mom was NOT BORN HOMOSEXUAL. You're going to have to give that up! You want to know what she did before she died? She went into therapy! She moved out of the lesbian neighborhood, too, telling me, "I don't want to live around that any longer." She got out of L.A., too. I look forward to the day when homosexual writers change the subject from your needs to the needs of children. You have all the same freedoms of every American to make you live happy and in comfort. You can own property, go to college, buy a business, drink in a public drinking fountain, go to public bathrooms, vote, run for office, be a teacher. And if a school discriminates against you because you're homosexual, just move on to another school!Read this article and then the posting by a savvy gay . . . www.GFN.comGay Financial NewsChristian College Rescinds Job Offer to Lesbian TeacherDecember 3, 2003Gfn.com NewsChicago—Part-time teacher Dr. Barbara Kelly said she was in line for a tenure job – until college officials found out she was a lesbian. Kelly enthusiastically pushed for the job at North Park University, a Christian college, submitting a lengthy resume and answering several essay questions in writing. But in July, said Kelly, school director Pauline Coffman told her she couldn't have the position because of her sexual orientation. "This is a case where a local institution in the city of Chicago has made a deliberate choice to discriminate based upon by sexual orientation, in terms of not hiring Ms. Kelly," said Jennifer Soule, Kelly's lawyer. In an internal memo from Coffman to the school president, Coffman wrote Kelly "presents a problem" because she is a gay woman, living in a "committed partnership." She also wrote: "The university is going to have to deal with this issue." "We would not refuse to hire someone because they were a heterosexual person or a homosexual person - it would not be on the basis of their orientation," said David Horner, college president. Horner noted that the university's policy states full-time teachers must be committed Christians in "faith and action." According to Horner, that means sexual intimacy should be confined to a marriage between a man and woman. By definition, a lesbian relationship, said Horner, would not fall into that interpretation. "That would be a contradiction of the church's understanding of Christian values and Christian life ... and so we would not hire a person on that basis." Kelly says she plans to take legal action. "I want justice for our society and our world. People should not have doors closed on them...for race, age or sexual orientation."FORUM response:What was she (the lesbian) thinking?“It is people like you that make straight people hate us.”Gay LibertarianDecember 5, 2003So she says "I want justice for our society and our world. People should not have doors closed on them...for race, age or sexual orientation."Yeah honey, and I want to go to a bar and get laid with any cute ass I can find. I have news for you, darling, it ain't gonna happen.People are bigoted by nature, deal with it. I've faced more bigotry from my fellow gay men than from anyone else. OK? It's called being alive.A private institution that receives no government money should have the right to hire and fire anyone they wish.You wanting to work for a Christian school is like a black wanting to work for the Klan? It ain't gonna happen, not if they're fundamentalists anyway.Guess what, honey? I wanted to be a writer for a Christian newspaper. I submitted samples, everything, but when they found out I was a Jew, they told me, "sorry, we want Christians only."And that's fine, I didn't sue, in fact, now I work in advertising which is more fun and more creative than journalism, and the salary is great to. Thanks to their rejection I found a field where I truly belong. So to my darling lesbian wannabe teacher, here's my advice. Get a life!i'm sick of the lawyers and they're stupid-ass lawsuits. I'm sick of the poor "victims" that want everyone to be like them.God dammit, I've had plenty of doors closed in my face you whiny bitch. I've been rejected, insulted, discriminated, and I don't go around like a goddamm sissy bitching about it. I move on and I stay strong. It is people like you that make straight people hate us. If you're gonna sue, sue for the right to serve in the military, the important stuff.Not for some stupid job.Aaaaaaaaaargh!-end of savvy postSpend your time arguing the authentic teachings of the Church, why don't you, rather than a personal attack? The New Oxford Review is not alone in arguing the homosexual ideology. It takes pure courage which is a Christian virtue to argue with homosexual activists these days.

11.08.04   deacondog says:
Surprising comments from a catholic magazine, especially after the gospels we have heard the last 6 weeks at mass. "Jesus came to save those who are lost. The Son of Man came to seek and to save those who are lost." ( luke ? ) If out Lord would invite himself into the house of Zacheeaus, why wouldn't we do the same for those people who are gay. Of course we stand on our beliefs and in a christian like manner share our faith with them if the opportunity is there of course.In my opinion, it is exaclty this type of hatred for gays and pro-choie proponents that will prevent the message of Christ from being heard and accepted by those who really need to listen.deacon patrick

10.03.04   alexander caughey says:
I am humbled by your contribution and support it without condition. In the strain of enlightening us with your wonderful words of Christ's Way for living, you suggested God judges. God never judges, for He is the epitome of love, as personified in Jesus the Christ, His son and our willingness to be all that Our Father has created us to become. Bravo for your cry to all to respect the uniqueness of all human life, where we can appreciate all that is the jig-saw of life in coming together to create the puzzle that is us becoming all that we can become, when fitting in with the differences that should bring us together.

10.01.04   solablueangel says:
We shouldn't even need to be talking about this, but unfortunately there are those whose claim to fame, and claim to 'public ministry' do talk about it incessantly. Our 'mass media culture' is highly to blame for emphasizing differences rather than infering a common brotherhood implicitly able to overlook negligible differences. Being loving should be who we are not what we need to talk about. I am getting very tired of this encouragement we get to focus on particular behaviors while ignoring others. Am I strange or what, when I meet someone I am interested in their personality and their kindness, I am not interested in their sex life. Contrary to the extreme focus that surrounds us, (turn on television for about an hour and find out what the secular values are) life is more than sex acts. Life in God's plan is about growing in spiritual love. Life in God's plan is about loving sinners. Life in God's plan is about 'building one another up' in love, as Kierkegaard so beautifully reminds us in "Works of Love".I didn't grow up in this culturally divisive era. How it happened, I do not know, but I was not raised to be a bigot. I don't remember one single bigoted discussion that ever took place in my household as a child. Yes, my family was emotional, and had serious problems, but bigotry was not one of them. So maybe it is easy for me to love without having to stereotype others. In this day and age everyone has become a stereotype, and that is a symptom of our techonological materialistic age where people are statistics and concepts, not real flesh and blood human beings with feelings and problems and obstacles. I live in a world where everyone isn't a winner. I live in a world where my spiritual applause is for the losers. Can you imagine watching a tv show or ballgame where the audience clapped for those who could not overcome, for those who remained in suffering, unable to be an aplauded 'overcomer'. We praise the perfect roses, and forget the humlbe little forget-me-nots.Oh, excuse the rambling.....what I wanted to say relates to the kind of family I grew up in....and no, I'm not gay....I'm the mother of four children, one severely neurologically disabled. My disabled child taught me more than the whole world put together in a single university could have taught me. She taught me unconditional love to a high degree. She can't use her hands. She wobbles when she walks. She can't speak.....but she sees God and the Angels, and is a TEACHING ANGEL herself. Oh, the things she has taught me. I am a terrible student, but she is a very talented teacher, sent by God. Now the world would call her a loser. It wouldn't clap for her, she couldn't even win last place in a Special Olympics race. She can't even qualify. What does all this have to do with this article....well, it has to do with love. We can love people, imperfections and all, without JUDGING them. We can do it every day. We don't have to cooperate with those who encourage us to choose sides, to choose which group to hate and malign? We just don't have to cooperate.I didn't find this idea of befriending gays odd or novel. Gays and Straight laced straights often are the most vociferous encouragers of separatism. I don't go for it, myself. I don't completely understand it, since it is founded on bigotry and self aggrandizement. When you despise another so called 'group' be you gay or straight, you are being a bigot, and in this kind of political age we live in bigotry is considered cool, it is cool because it is founded on the idea that I AM BETTER THAN YOU IN SOME PARTICULAR AND IMPORTANT WAY.I used to be good friends with a gay couple. I loved them as HUMAN BEINGS. They were two very kind individuals. I know my aunt and her husband similarly befriended a gay couple who lived next door to them in their neighborhood. Not because they were gay, but BECAUSE THEY WERE GOOD NEIGHBORS and fun people. When my parents would visit they would relate to me the enjoyable time they had having dinner as a group. No bigotted comments did I hear, only that they had a fun and enjoyable social time together. Why? Because people are people, they AREN'T stereotypes.I'm an artist, is that ALL that I am. No, I'm fundamentally a human being with feelings. I'm not defined by one thing. How can you define a person. We shouldn't even try to put people into little tiny holes in order to make them manageable, so that we can better judge them. I am getting tired of all this encouragement to focus on THE OTHER GUY'S SIN.Jesus said, "Judge Not".........that is one of THE most important things he ever said, and Christians ignore it much too often. Only God has the power to judge, it is not our pergative to even declare internally who is a worthless sinner and who isn't. Yes, it's true, and how marvelous a thing it is.....Jesus hung around sinners. THAT should tell us everything about God. How could he abandon us if he hung around sinners. There's still hope. But let's listen each day to the resounding words....Judge Not, Judge Not, lest ye be judged. Judging is a viscious circle. What goes around comes around.....so let's stop judging one another......let's just Love One Another in simple soul-based terms. Keep our eyes on the soul.......I'm a soul, you're a soul.......eternal souls IN GOD'S EYES.......when we are in Heaven all will be clear as the clearest sunshine....our thoughts will be transparent. Let's begin to make them clean here on earth, perhaps that will be the beginning of the clean-up of this landfill of encouraged hate and devisiveness called culture. And the funny thing is when we stop judging, scandals will go away, won't they? What a tool 'sin' is for political blackmailers. No wonder they like to keep it in the forefront of our thinking. What leverage would the political intrigues have without it. Ah, what a radical Jesus is to give us the way to remove such intrigues.....LOVE THE SINNER. Jesus had NO RESPECT for earthly power, that is how He accomplishes the Divine Kingdom. That is why he was murdered on a cross by those grounded in worldliness, who were threatened by his non-adherence to their laws and judgements and poliically based intrigues. Jesus was the spokesman for the powerless and the sinner. His King was not of this world. His powerbase; neither was it. His power base was grounded in THE MERCY OF THE ALMIGHT FATHER. Think about it. By that time we will haver realized that only God can Judge, our job remains to grow into Heaven, by being conscious of and working on OUR OWN SIN not our neighbor's.I love the articles on this web site, since they truly inspire GOOD THINKING AND GOOD LOVING. SolaBlueAngel

09.19.04   pray for me says:
I have been a subsriber to New Oxford Review for some years now. While the orthodoxy of the publication is unquestionable, the application of it, to real persons, with charity, is often sorely lacking. They need to distinquish between false compassion and its condoning of sinful acts with true kindness where the sin is hated but the sinner is loved. This is very difficult for all of us sinners, particularly toward those who have injured us personally or those who we know are living in sin.

09.18.04   Jayne says:
Wonderful article. LOVE the sinner hate the sin!!God bless your parish that showed you such acceptance and love!!Love is missing from my parish. Why is that? We have the Holy Eucharist, we have Blessed Mother, the angels, the saints but yet I feel no love!! God have mercy on us all!!

09.17.04   Godspy says:
When I wrote recently that Catholics and other Christians should befriend same-sex couples and treat them with respect, I was harshly criticized by the editors of the New Oxford Review. Here’s why we disagree.

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