‘Who am I to judge’ on homosexuality?

Especially for Catholics who hold St. Francis and Pope Francis so dear, now is the time for a real commitment to these words.

For 17 years, Ken Bencomo taught English at a Catholic school in California. He also taught dance and worked with students on their yearbook. And Ken’s partner was part of his school community. Ken’s students knew he was gay. Ken’s administration knew he was gay. But last week – the very same week that the pope asked “who am I to judge?” in response to a question about gay Catholic leadership –Ken was fired for legally marrying his partner of 10 years.

In 2006, when his partner had surgery, Ken was not allowed in the hospital room. His partner had to bring a co-worker instead. When Prop 8 was overturned, there’s no doubt they knew what they had to do to secure their rights. And it was because Ken’s husband Christopher told the local newspaper why it mattered for them to legally wed that the school said they fired him.

To be clear, it was an act that contradicted their mission statement’s call to respond compassionately to the needs of the community. Ken’s officials hid behind their “Catholic faith” to justify their position. But there isn’t one way to be Catholic. As the director of the Human Rights Campaign’s Religion and Faith Program, I can attest to this truth.

Ask the faithful Catholics — who organized as Catholics — in every state where marriage equality had a possibility of passing. Ask my friend Rosa Manriquez, who proudly raised two lesbian daughters and two grandchildren according to the core tenets of Catholic social teaching — to love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind and love your neighbor as yourself. Ask the countless Catholics living with the pain of exile but holding a deep longing for the church, as the Catholic hierarchy routinely denies their humanity.

And while the true intent of his Pope Francis’ words this week remains unclear, we were offered a morsel of hope. We were offered the possibility of a world where claims of a singular “Catholic faith” aren’t used as an excuse for judgment, shaming and injustice.

“Do not judge” is a mantra for us all to embrace, regardless of our faiths. But especially for my Catholic friends who hold St. Francis and Pope Francis so dear, now is the time for a real commitment to these words. We must all do better.

Whether Catholic or not, people around the globe look to the church for guidance on the many justice issues we face – whether committing to end homelessness, enact humane immigration reform, stop racial profiling or, yes, even ensuring full LGBT participation in our congregations and schools. “Do not judge” are words that keep us in dialogue with each other and they ground our conversations in the principles of the Gospel.

St. Francis was legendary for his humility. And only with humility, is it really possible to change. For it is our humility that enables us to truly see the wondrous humanity of one another. With the Pope’s words, people of faith in pews across the globe saw a glimmer of possibility that they may one day be a welcomed as a part of the Catholic family. That their sons, their daughters, their teachers and students may one day be a celebrated part of our wondrous humanity. All of us would be better for it.

Image courtesy of Matt Buck.

  • joncsmith3

    “Do not judge” says the pope. Yet, oppose same-sex marriage. Is that not a judgment? This comes from the same Christian Book of Doublespeak as “love the sinner, hate the sin.”

  • joncsmith3

    “Do not judge” says the pope. Yet, oppose same-sex marriage. Is that not a judgment? This comes from the same Christian Book of Doublespeak as “love the sinner, hate the sin.”

  • arwash

    Whether Catholic or not, people around the globe look to the church for guidance on the many justice issues we face – whether committing to end homelessness, enact humane immigration reform, stop racial profiling or, yes, even ensuring full LGBT participation in our congregations and schools. “Do not judge” are words that keep us in dialogue with each other and they ground our conversations in the principles of the Gospel.
    ====================================
    That is so far from the truth. We don’t look to the church but certain churches that bend the word to their own gratification. The church goes beyond the walls as Christ set the example as a man who walked this Earth and did no wrong. He did however tell those who were in sin to go and sin no more. It was their own conviction that they lived in sin that help to bring about a change in their lives. Today we just say to heck with that and accept me as I am or not at all. The Bible clearly states to judge but you must start with yourself and also judge according to his laws and not your own you made up.

  • arwash

    Whether Catholic or not, people around the globe look to the church for guidance on the many justice issues we face – whether committing to end homelessness, enact humane immigration reform, stop racial profiling or, yes, even ensuring full LGBT participation in our congregations and schools. “Do not judge” are words that keep us in dialogue with each other and they ground our conversations in the principles of the Gospel.
    ====================================
    That is so far from the truth. We don’t look to the church but certain churches that bend the word to their own gratification. The church goes beyond the walls as Christ set the example as a man who walked this Earth and did no wrong. He did however tell those who were in sin to go and sin no more. It was their own conviction that they lived in sin that help to bring about a change in their lives. Today we just say to heck with that and accept me as I am or not at all. The Bible clearly states to judge but you must start with yourself and also judge according to his laws and not your own you made up.

  • arwash

    Because you are not defined by your sin. People like to place labels on you though so you never truly know who you are and belong to.

  • arwash

    Because you are not defined by your sin. People like to place labels on you though so you never truly know who you are and belong to.

  • Joe Painter

    People everywhere are trying to read their beliefs into the words of the Bishop of Rome. In fact, people always try to read a multitude of idea into simplistic words Just because I do not hate or judge, does not mean I have to accept..

  • Joe Painter

    People everywhere are trying to read their beliefs into the words of the Bishop of Rome. In fact, people always try to read a multitude of idea into simplistic words Just because I do not hate or judge, does not mean I have to accept..

  • rob1662

    Sharon Groves is most certainly welcome in the Catholic Church, and welcome to repent of her sins just like everyone else. A little humility on her part would give a huge boost to that possibility. What she seems incapable of understanding is that the Pope can not toss God’s words behind his back (which is what she is asking) and remain a Christian.

  • rob1662

    Sharon Groves is most certainly welcome in the Catholic Church, and welcome to repent of her sins just like everyone else. A little humility on her part would give a huge boost to that possibility. What she seems incapable of understanding is that the Pope can not toss God’s words behind his back (which is what she is asking) and remain a Christian.

  • rob1662

    By the way, anyone you designate (like a co-worker as Ken must have done) can come into your hospital room.

  • rob1662

    By the way, anyone you designate (like a co-worker as Ken must have done) can come into your hospital room.

  • VirginiaJim

    In response to the author’s statement “it was an act that contradicted their mission statement’s call to respond compassionately to the needs of the community”

    Jesus taught that true compassion was to turn people away from sexual immorality, such as homosexuality, which defile a person and will at the end of the age condemn them to eternal destruction. Jesus said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (Mark 7:20-23). Jesus came to turn us from sin and to give a heritage of eternal life. Jesus also said, “The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Rev 21:7-8)

    Love the sinner and hate the sin that defiles and corrupts the person who sins is at the center of what Jesus taught. He told those who would stone the adulteress to only stone her if they were without sin, AND he told the woman to go and sin no more. Those that focus on one and deny the other are ignorant or dishonest.

    Ken Bencomo was teaching in a school dedicated to teaching traditional Christian morality. That the school allowed him to continue to teach as he battled his perverse addiction for 17 years was possibly mercy: that the school fired him for publicly going against Jesus’ teaching that marriage was created to be between a man and a woman was wisdom and faithfulness to God and to the parents that pay dearly to send their kids to Catholic schools.

    To try to impose the libertine hedonism of this current age on a Catholic school is clearly religious bigotry.

  • VirginiaJim

    In response to the author’s statement “it was an act that contradicted their mission statement’s call to respond compassionately to the needs of the community”

    Jesus taught that true compassion was to turn people away from sexual immorality, such as homosexuality, which defile a person and will at the end of the age condemn them to eternal destruction. Jesus said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (Mark 7:20-23). Jesus came to turn us from sin and to give a heritage of eternal life. Jesus also said, “The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Rev 21:7-8)

    Love the sinner and hate the sin that defiles and corrupts the person who sins is at the center of what Jesus taught. He told those who would stone the adulteress to only stone her if they were without sin, AND he told the woman to go and sin no more. Those that focus on one and deny the other are ignorant or dishonest.

    Ken Bencomo was teaching in a school dedicated to teaching traditional Christian morality. That the school allowed him to continue to teach as he battled his perverse addiction for 17 years was possibly mercy: that the school fired him for publicly going against Jesus’ teaching that marriage was created to be between a man and a woman was wisdom and faithfulness to God and to the parents that pay dearly to send their kids to Catholic schools.

    To try to impose the libertine hedonism of this current age on a Catholic school is clearly religious bigotry.

  • An-Toan

    Thank you for this wonderful op-ed. It gracefully speaks truth to all peoples.

  • An-Toan

    Thank you for this wonderful op-ed. It gracefully speaks truth to all peoples.

  • VirginiaJim

    We will all be judged, my duty is to warn you and others of the coming judgment that Jesus spoke of. One issue is self-righteousness, another is sin.

    Jesus was condemned by the self-righteous, hypocritical religious leaders for going to the sinners to call them away from their sins – even for telling an adulterous woman that she should sin no more or telling another that she was forgiven when she repented of her deeds. Jesus condemned those leaders for ignoring compassion and letting the sinners wallow in their sin without trying to bring them back and for not addressing their own shortcomings.

    I don’t claim to be righteous in my own behavior. Rather, I seek to follow Jesus to the best of my ability, trusting in His grace, and continually studying His word to better learn the path to holiness that He taught and to avoided being deluded by those who twist and cherry pick the scriptures.

    I am not a Catholic. I do not defend spewing hate from a pulpit. The Biblical standard of sexual conduct would class “buggering little boys in the rectory and covering it all up” to be the same type of sexual immorality as homosexual “marriage” especially when you have an organized effort to teach the perverse homosexual lifestyle to the young, deluding them to think that they have no choice in their behavior. Buggery is homosexual behavior.

    BTW heterosexual sex outside of a person’s own marriage is also sin that leads to eternal death.

    Not cherry picking, just fitting in the character limitations for posts. Glad to point you to resources such as http://www.e-sword.net where you can dig into the Bible for yourself.

  • VirginiaJim

    We will all be judged, my duty is to warn you and others of the coming judgment that Jesus spoke of. One issue is self-righteousness, another is sin.

    Jesus was condemned by the self-righteous, hypocritical religious leaders for going to the sinners to call them away from their sins – even for telling an adulterous woman that she should sin no more or telling another that she was forgiven when she repented of her deeds. Jesus condemned those leaders for ignoring compassion and letting the sinners wallow in their sin without trying to bring them back and for not addressing their own shortcomings.

    I don’t claim to be righteous in my own behavior. Rather, I seek to follow Jesus to the best of my ability, trusting in His grace, and continually studying His word to better learn the path to holiness that He taught and to avoided being deluded by those who twist and cherry pick the scriptures.

    I am not a Catholic. I do not defend spewing hate from a pulpit. The Biblical standard of sexual conduct would class “buggering little boys in the rectory and covering it all up” to be the same type of sexual immorality as homosexual “marriage” especially when you have an organized effort to teach the perverse homosexual lifestyle to the young, deluding them to think that they have no choice in their behavior. Buggery is homosexual behavior.

    BTW heterosexual sex outside of a person’s own marriage is also sin that leads to eternal death.

    Not cherry picking, just fitting in the character limitations for posts. Glad to point you to resources such as http://www.e-sword.net where you can dig into the Bible for yourself.

  • VirginiaJim

    BTW I don’t spend time watching Fox News. Obviously I at least on occasion read items in the Washington Post.

    Also for information, don’t fear homosexuals any more than adulterers, Jihadists, the Mafia, drug abusers, or greedy bankers and industrialists. My God is more than able to take care of me even as our nation slides down the moral toilet. I have spent most of my life defending the right of the immoral to share their views.

    Feel free to continue the Ad Homiem attacks in response to my proclaiming the teaching of Jesus. Jesus said that would happen. Hoping that someone will turn to the freedom that is in Christ and this discussion seems to highlight who the real haters are.

    Love you all.

  • VirginiaJim

    BTW I don’t spend time watching Fox News. Obviously I at least on occasion read items in the Washington Post.

    Also for information, don’t fear homosexuals any more than adulterers, Jihadists, the Mafia, drug abusers, or greedy bankers and industrialists. My God is more than able to take care of me even as our nation slides down the moral toilet. I have spent most of my life defending the right of the immoral to share their views.

    Feel free to continue the Ad Homiem attacks in response to my proclaiming the teaching of Jesus. Jesus said that would happen. Hoping that someone will turn to the freedom that is in Christ and this discussion seems to highlight who the real haters are.

    Love you all.

  • VirginiaJim

    That you attack and deride my believe and faithfulness to the God of Abraham is just more religious bigotry.

    My obsession is compassion. Jesus condemned the Pharisees for not caring as others were destroying themselves and others. This holds true for sexual sin, whice we as a society now accept as OK or at least as none of our business.

    This attitude was highlighted by America’s toleration, even veneration, of President Clinton who claimed that having a 22-year old intern sexually “service him” was not sex and the randy antics of political leaders of both major political parties.

    We as a nation are paying a terrible cost for this sexual libertine attitude.

    Recently, the FBI arrested 150 people across the United States on charges of holding children against their will for prostitution, a three-day weekend sweep that officials called the largest-ever operation against child sex-trafficking. Sex trafficing is growing. Primetime TV is packed with what a couple of decades ago would have been called pornography. CDC’s new estimates show that there are about 20M new sexually transmitted infections in the United States each year, costing the healthcare system nearly $16B in direct medical costs alone. Want to make national health care affordable? – pay attention to sexual morality.

    The more we reject God’s moral authority, the more we race to national disaster. Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

    The homosexual cabal has made perverse sexuality everyone’s business by seeking to force perverse sexuality into all mass entertainment, all businesses, all churches, the schools, laws, the military, and anywhere they can. The “leave us alone” approach, such as “don’t ask, don’t tell”, isn’t really what is being sought.

    This article is part of a string of engagements meant to force change on the Catholic Church or any other organization that speaks the truth that homosexual practice is outside of the will of God.

  • VirginiaJim

    That you attack and deride my believe and faithfulness to the God of Abraham is just more religious bigotry.

    My obsession is compassion. Jesus condemned the Pharisees for not caring as others were destroying themselves and others. This holds true for sexual sin, whice we as a society now accept as OK or at least as none of our business.

    This attitude was highlighted by America’s toleration, even veneration, of President Clinton who claimed that having a 22-year old intern sexually “service him” was not sex and the randy antics of political leaders of both major political parties.

    We as a nation are paying a terrible cost for this sexual libertine attitude.

    Recently, the FBI arrested 150 people across the United States on charges of holding children against their will for prostitution, a three-day weekend sweep that officials called the largest-ever operation against child sex-trafficking. Sex trafficing is growing. Primetime TV is packed with what a couple of decades ago would have been called pornography. CDC’s new estimates show that there are about 20M new sexually transmitted infections in the United States each year, costing the healthcare system nearly $16B in direct medical costs alone. Want to make national health care affordable? – pay attention to sexual morality.

    The more we reject God’s moral authority, the more we race to national disaster. Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

    The homosexual cabal has made perverse sexuality everyone’s business by seeking to force perverse sexuality into all mass entertainment, all businesses, all churches, the schools, laws, the military, and anywhere they can. The “leave us alone” approach, such as “don’t ask, don’t tell”, isn’t really what is being sought.

    This article is part of a string of engagements meant to force change on the Catholic Church or any other organization that speaks the truth that homosexual practice is outside of the will of God.

  • Tender Hooligan

    VirginiaJim. Do you seriously equate child abuse with homosexuality? How can you claim to have any moral compass whilst you believe that a loving relationship between consenting adults is to be treated the same as men in a position of authority taking advantage of children against their will?
    How does it affect you in any way what other people do in their sex lives? It is odd how threatened you appear to be by the idea of homosexuality. It’s ok Jim. Nobody is forcing you to join in, just as nobody is forced to follow your rigid views of how to live their lives. Luckily for humanity.

  • Tender Hooligan

    VirginiaJim. Do you seriously equate child abuse with homosexuality? How can you claim to have any moral compass whilst you believe that a loving relationship between consenting adults is to be treated the same as men in a position of authority taking advantage of children against their will?
    How does it affect you in any way what other people do in their sex lives? It is odd how threatened you appear to be by the idea of homosexuality. It’s ok Jim. Nobody is forcing you to join in, just as nobody is forced to follow your rigid views of how to live their lives. Luckily for humanity.

  • VirginiaJim

    Yes. In the eyes of God, child abuse, greed, homosexuality, adultery, murder, and many other practices are the same level of depravity. We all tend to think that the sin we like is OK.

    I am not depending on my human moral compass. My human mind is tainted by sin. My moral compass is the word of God. Human love does not cover over or excuse sin, I’m sure that Hitler really loved Ava Brown and his dog Blondi.

    The link between child abuse and immoral sexual practice (homosexuality, adultery, fornication, etc.) is strong and the evidence is widespread. In homosexual practice since classic times it was often older men inculcating younger men or boys into homosexual practice sometimes by force (also true for women though less widespread historic evidence). I saw this culture myself in Afghanistan – see the Kite Runner. It is happening in our country. Note the fact I posted, “Recently, the FBI arrested 150 people across the United States on charges of holding children against their will for prostitution, a three-day weekend sweep that officials called the largest-ever operation against child sex-trafficking”

    Also note that immoral sexual practice does cost the nation a lot, as I pointed out before. CDC says that the direct cost of STDs is $16B a year. The initial explosion of HIV was in the homosexual bathhouses and clubs pushed by Gaëtan Dugas and others.

    Homosexual marriage once it becomes widely pushed in the military will add considerable strain on an a weakened defense budget through the expansion of spousal benefits.

    Speaking the truth in love is not fear. I’m not afraid, though it is clear that the homosexual activists and other sexual libertines are seeking to force acceptance of immorality on Christian Churches and businesses and to pick up the tab. They have imprisoned Christian ministers in countries like Sweden for stating that homosexuality is sin and there are many who are pushing the same intolerance here. Are you one of those?

  • VirginiaJim

    Yes. In the eyes of God, child abuse, greed, homosexuality, adultery, murder, and many other practices are the same level of depravity. We all tend to think that the sin we like is OK.

    I am not depending on my human moral compass. My human mind is tainted by sin. My moral compass is the word of God. Human love does not cover over or excuse sin, I’m sure that Hitler really loved Ava Brown and his dog Blondi.

    The link between child abuse and immoral sexual practice (homosexuality, adultery, fornication, etc.) is strong and the evidence is widespread. In homosexual practice since classic times it was often older men inculcating younger men or boys into homosexual practice sometimes by force (also true for women though less widespread historic evidence). I saw this culture myself in Afghanistan – see the Kite Runner. It is happening in our country. Note the fact I posted, “Recently, the FBI arrested 150 people across the United States on charges of holding children against their will for prostitution, a three-day weekend sweep that officials called the largest-ever operation against child sex-trafficking”

    Also note that immoral sexual practice does cost the nation a lot, as I pointed out before. CDC says that the direct cost of STDs is $16B a year. The initial explosion of HIV was in the homosexual bathhouses and clubs pushed by Gaëtan Dugas and others.

    Homosexual marriage once it becomes widely pushed in the military will add considerable strain on an a weakened defense budget through the expansion of spousal benefits.

    Speaking the truth in love is not fear. I’m not afraid, though it is clear that the homosexual activists and other sexual libertines are seeking to force acceptance of immorality on Christian Churches and businesses and to pick up the tab. They have imprisoned Christian ministers in countries like Sweden for stating that homosexuality is sin and there are many who are pushing the same intolerance here. Are you one of those?

  • VirginiaJim

    I disagree. While well written, this article is an attempt to push the Catholic Church to go against their deeply-held religious beliefs which are based on Holy Scripture and have a person who activily goes against their core beliefs left in place to teach their children.

    The Catholic Church was very just in ensuring that a teacher who refused to model the morals that the parents paid the Church to teach their children was sent to find employment elsewhere.

    I believe that this article is well padded religious bigotry. Reminds me of the upper class anti-Catholic rhetoric I heard in the South in the 60s.

  • VirginiaJim

    I disagree. While well written, this article is an attempt to push the Catholic Church to go against their deeply-held religious beliefs which are based on Holy Scripture and have a person who activily goes against their core beliefs left in place to teach their children.

    The Catholic Church was very just in ensuring that a teacher who refused to model the morals that the parents paid the Church to teach their children was sent to find employment elsewhere.

    I believe that this article is well padded religious bigotry. Reminds me of the upper class anti-Catholic rhetoric I heard in the South in the 60s.

  • Tender Hooligan

    I am somebody who believes that sexual orientation is predetermined by genetics. I also feel that homosexual activity between two committed individuals is much more morally acceptable than heterosexual adultery, which causes hurt to others. HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases are more widely spread by adulterous activity, and mostly heterosexual activity at that, so surely allowing gay couples to commit to each other in a marriage will encourage fidelity, and reduce the health care costs. Gay women have far less incidence of STDs and cervical cancer. If you are worried about the cost of spousal benefits in the military, perhaps you would prefer people in the armed services to be unmarried.
    I have to say Jim, I really don’t like the sound of your god. I could not possibly believe in a god that treats homosexuality as a sin to be equated to child abuse. It seems more likely that some people turn their religious dogma to suit their own prejudice. “No, no. It’s not me who has these distasteful views. God decrees it to be so, and I have to follow. ”
    Your version of faith does not excuse your intolerance, but I would not want you imprisoned for it, just educated better.

  • Tender Hooligan

    I am somebody who believes that sexual orientation is predetermined by genetics. I also feel that homosexual activity between two committed individuals is much more morally acceptable than heterosexual adultery, which causes hurt to others. HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases are more widely spread by adulterous activity, and mostly heterosexual activity at that, so surely allowing gay couples to commit to each other in a marriage will encourage fidelity, and reduce the health care costs. Gay women have far less incidence of STDs and cervical cancer. If you are worried about the cost of spousal benefits in the military, perhaps you would prefer people in the armed services to be unmarried.
    I have to say Jim, I really don’t like the sound of your god. I could not possibly believe in a god that treats homosexuality as a sin to be equated to child abuse. It seems more likely that some people turn their religious dogma to suit their own prejudice. “No, no. It’s not me who has these distasteful views. God decrees it to be so, and I have to follow. ”
    Your version of faith does not excuse your intolerance, but I would not want you imprisoned for it, just educated better.

  • VirginiaJim

    Your education is most likely a form of self-delusion if you will only believe what you like.

    You appear to choose to not believe in a God that holds up a moral compass that points in a direction that you don’t like. That is free will, which I strongly believe in. My religious beliefs also strongly push me away from the sins which I really like, though His commandments make sense to me the more I study them and look at what is happening in the world today.

    Genetics are always an influence but I would no more say that a person is forced to be a homosexual by genetics than I would say they are forced to be a drunk alcoholic, murderer, or thief. I am sure that almost all humans are attracted to some form of sexual activity that God says is harmful.

    Tolerance is not always good. Should we tolerate rape, child abuse, the willful destruction of our common environment?

  • VirginiaJim

    Your education is most likely a form of self-delusion if you will only believe what you like.

    You appear to choose to not believe in a God that holds up a moral compass that points in a direction that you don’t like. That is free will, which I strongly believe in. My religious beliefs also strongly push me away from the sins which I really like, though His commandments make sense to me the more I study them and look at what is happening in the world today.

    Genetics are always an influence but I would no more say that a person is forced to be a homosexual by genetics than I would say they are forced to be a drunk alcoholic, murderer, or thief. I am sure that almost all humans are attracted to some form of sexual activity that God says is harmful.

    Tolerance is not always good. Should we tolerate rape, child abuse, the willful destruction of our common environment?

  • Tender Hooligan

    Again, you equate homosexuality with things that cause harm to others. Why should people deny their true character if it does nobody else any harm, but could make two people very happy, for the benefit of all society. It is the supression of these urges that has lead to the abuse by certain priests, who could only respond by taking advantage of those they thought would keep quiet. That’s where the sin lies, and the church is responsible for causing it.

  • Tender Hooligan

    Again, you equate homosexuality with things that cause harm to others. Why should people deny their true character if it does nobody else any harm, but could make two people very happy, for the benefit of all society. It is the supression of these urges that has lead to the abuse by certain priests, who could only respond by taking advantage of those they thought would keep quiet. That’s where the sin lies, and the church is responsible for causing it.

  • VirginiaJim

    Areyousaying, I appreciate your honest confession of your close-minded intolerance and hatred. Perhaps like a 12-step program, the first step to healing is to confess you have a problem.

    Who is the fool in the eyes of God? One who seeks to understand and obey the full word of God or the one who seeks the “wisdom” of the world trusting in his own reasoning and fleshly desires?

    Jesus spoke of the foolishness of disobeying the word of God when He said, “And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.” (Matthew 7:26)

    Paul wrote of this, “Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. (1Corinthian 1:20, 21)

    Do you give credence to the Book of Proverbs? Proverbs 28:26 says “Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.”

    America does not seek to obey the word of God. Our situation is much like Judah when Jeremiah heard from the Lord “For my people are foolish; they know me not; they are stupid children; they have no understanding. They are ‘wise’—in doing evil! But how to do good they know not.” (Jeremiah 4:22)

    Glad to see that you are digging into Scripture, even if it is only to try to undermine the call to turn from sin.

    I pray that the Holy Spirit will use your search to bring the light of faith in God to you. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. If you will turn from the foolishness of sin, then the power of the Proverbs will fill your life. Otherwise, they are merely tools in a word game with no eternal benefit – speaking words you don’t believe as if you do. As it says in Proverbs 26:7 “Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools.”

  • VirginiaJim

    Areyousaying, I appreciate your honest confession of your close-minded intolerance and hatred. Perhaps like a 12-step program, the first step to healing is to confess you have a problem.

    Who is the fool in the eyes of God? One who seeks to understand and obey the full word of God or the one who seeks the “wisdom” of the world trusting in his own reasoning and fleshly desires?

    Jesus spoke of the foolishness of disobeying the word of God when He said, “And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.” (Matthew 7:26)

    Paul wrote of this, “Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. (1Corinthian 1:20, 21)

    Do you give credence to the Book of Proverbs? Proverbs 28:26 says “Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.”

    America does not seek to obey the word of God. Our situation is much like Judah when Jeremiah heard from the Lord “For my people are foolish; they know me not; they are stupid children; they have no understanding. They are ‘wise’—in doing evil! But how to do good they know not.” (Jeremiah 4:22)

    Glad to see that you are digging into Scripture, even if it is only to try to undermine the call to turn from sin.

    I pray that the Holy Spirit will use your search to bring the light of faith in God to you. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. If you will turn from the foolishness of sin, then the power of the Proverbs will fill your life. Otherwise, they are merely tools in a word game with no eternal benefit – speaking words you don’t believe as if you do. As it says in Proverbs 26:7 “Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools.”

  • VirginiaJim

    To Mr. Hooligan, Homosexuality doesn’t define you any more than being a drug abuser would & the argument about not harming others is made by drug abusers. All forms of sexual immorality harm society & even if they didn’t harm others, I am concerned for folks harming themselves.

    You spoke of character – a definition of character is the mental & moral qualities distinctive to an individual.

    In terms of moral character there is good & bad character. God wants us to grow to have good character and as creator, He defines it. Jesus spoke about character in people, that its quality of goodness or badness was how people responded to His word. Here is what Jesus said.

    “Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.
    You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” (John 8:43-47)

    Paul talked about the way to overcome sin and develop good character. He said, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Rom 5:1-6)

  • VirginiaJim

    To Mr. Hooligan, Homosexuality doesn’t define you any more than being a drug abuser would & the argument about not harming others is made by drug abusers. All forms of sexual immorality harm society & even if they didn’t harm others, I am concerned for folks harming themselves.

    You spoke of character – a definition of character is the mental & moral qualities distinctive to an individual.

    In terms of moral character there is good & bad character. God wants us to grow to have good character and as creator, He defines it. Jesus spoke about character in people, that its quality of goodness or badness was how people responded to His word. Here is what Jesus said.

    “Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.
    You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” (John 8:43-47)

    Paul talked about the way to overcome sin and develop good character. He said, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Rom 5:1-6)

  • VirginiaJim

    Mr. Areyousaying, how have I treated you with hatred? I believe that your posts are the ones with the vitriol, not mine.

    Rather than spew hate, I present the words of Jesus, letting him speak for Himself. He has called sexual immorality a defiling evil. He has said that those that refuse to turn away from this and other sins face eternal destruction.

    I want people who are trapped in homosexuality to turn from that destructive lifestyle, to have full and happy lives on earth and in the age to come, eternal life.

    Homosexuality, like other forms of sexual immorality, other forms of sin, is a behavior. A behavior condemned in Holy Scripture.

    There are many behaviors that I believe are wrong. For example, I don’t hate polluters of the environment; I want them to stop polluting. I don’t hate Jihadists, I want them to stop shooting little girls who go to school and blowing up airliners and Christians in Churches. No one would consider it hate to try to turn people from those immoral behaviors.

    People may not have the power to turn from sin on their own but the completed work of Jesus makes that power available to every man and women on the planet.

  • VirginiaJim

    Mr. Areyousaying, how have I treated you with hatred? I believe that your posts are the ones with the vitriol, not mine.

    Rather than spew hate, I present the words of Jesus, letting him speak for Himself. He has called sexual immorality a defiling evil. He has said that those that refuse to turn away from this and other sins face eternal destruction.

    I want people who are trapped in homosexuality to turn from that destructive lifestyle, to have full and happy lives on earth and in the age to come, eternal life.

    Homosexuality, like other forms of sexual immorality, other forms of sin, is a behavior. A behavior condemned in Holy Scripture.

    There are many behaviors that I believe are wrong. For example, I don’t hate polluters of the environment; I want them to stop polluting. I don’t hate Jihadists, I want them to stop shooting little girls who go to school and blowing up airliners and Christians in Churches. No one would consider it hate to try to turn people from those immoral behaviors.

    People may not have the power to turn from sin on their own but the completed work of Jesus makes that power available to every man and women on the planet.

  • VirginiaJim

    To the many folks who responded to my posts, thank you for engaging.

    I have reached the limit of time I can devote responding to this article and believe I have, to the limit of my ability, adequately presented the full teachings of Jesus, which I understand that most of the commentators to this article reject. You now have the opportunity to get in “the last word”. I will look to engage on other articles as they come up.

    In less than a hundred years all who read these posts will see who was right.

    Given that this article’s title was quoting Jesus, and pushing a position contrary to Jesus’ teachings a detailed dialogue seemed to be needed. I encourage other faithful Christians to be bold in standing for the Gospel by entering into the discussions on the “On Faith” articles.

    All faithful Christians should pray that God with reach those trapped in the homosexual life, to free them from the sin which binds them. They will know we are Christians by our love.

  • VirginiaJim

    To the many folks who responded to my posts, thank you for engaging.

    I have reached the limit of time I can devote responding to this article and believe I have, to the limit of my ability, adequately presented the full teachings of Jesus, which I understand that most of the commentators to this article reject. You now have the opportunity to get in “the last word”. I will look to engage on other articles as they come up.

    In less than a hundred years all who read these posts will see who was right.

    Given that this article’s title was quoting Jesus, and pushing a position contrary to Jesus’ teachings a detailed dialogue seemed to be needed. I encourage other faithful Christians to be bold in standing for the Gospel by entering into the discussions on the “On Faith” articles.

    All faithful Christians should pray that God with reach those trapped in the homosexual life, to free them from the sin which binds them. They will know we are Christians by our love.

  • Catken1

    Polluting the environment hurts people. Shooting little children and blowing up people hurts people.
    Marrying someone of the same sex creates a loving family and harms no one.
    I want people trapped in the fundamentalist lifestyle to turn from that destructive lifestyle, stop fawning on and flattering a (hopefully) imaginary deity who’s willing to burn in agony most of the human race for picking the “wrong” faith or falling in love in the “wrong” way or any of a number of arbitrary crimes, and learn to live full and happy lives. But I don’t campaign to stop you from having the right to live as you please, or to deny you civil marriages or families because of what I consider to be your immorality.

  • Catken1

    Polluting the environment hurts people. Shooting little children and blowing up people hurts people.
    Marrying someone of the same sex creates a loving family and harms no one.
    I want people trapped in the fundamentalist lifestyle to turn from that destructive lifestyle, stop fawning on and flattering a (hopefully) imaginary deity who’s willing to burn in agony most of the human race for picking the “wrong” faith or falling in love in the “wrong” way or any of a number of arbitrary crimes, and learn to live full and happy lives. But I don’t campaign to stop you from having the right to live as you please, or to deny you civil marriages or families because of what I consider to be your immorality.

  • Catken1

    And what you seem incapable of understanding is that American Catholics cannot toss the Constitution behind their back (which is what the Church does when it seeks to bar CIVIL marriages on the grounds that the participants do not follow CATHOLIC doctrine in choosing a spouse, given that American religious freedom includes the freedom NOT to be Catholic or follow Catholic doctrine) and remain American.

  • Catken1

    And what you seem incapable of understanding is that American Catholics cannot toss the Constitution behind their back (which is what the Church does when it seeks to bar CIVIL marriages on the grounds that the participants do not follow CATHOLIC doctrine in choosing a spouse, given that American religious freedom includes the freedom NOT to be Catholic or follow Catholic doctrine) and remain American.

  • Catken1

    Many people believe that Catholicism is a sin. If they sought to deny Catholics CIVIL marriage, or opposed their right to practice their faith as they pleased, would they be “loving the sinner, hating the sin?” Would you support their right to force you to adhere to their beliefs about what is sinful and what is good? If they chose to define you as a “person inflicted with Catholicism” or a “person diseased with Catholic sin” rather than as “a Catholic”, would you consider that a courtesy on their part?

  • Catken1

    Many people believe that Catholicism is a sin. If they sought to deny Catholics CIVIL marriage, or opposed their right to practice their faith as they pleased, would they be “loving the sinner, hating the sin?” Would you support their right to force you to adhere to their beliefs about what is sinful and what is good? If they chose to define you as a “person inflicted with Catholicism” or a “person diseased with Catholic sin” rather than as “a Catholic”, would you consider that a courtesy on their part?

  • Catken1

    In America, however, you must respect your neighbor’s right to “sin” according to your faith and not be punished civilly for it.
    Just as you, a religious minority, may go against Protestant doctrine in worship, choosing a spouse, or otherwise running a family, and not be punished civilly for it.
    Remember, if you seek to enforce your religious doctrine on other people’s civil marriage choices, others may do the same to you – and your faith will almost certainly, as a minority, not be in charge.

  • Catken1

    In America, however, you must respect your neighbor’s right to “sin” according to your faith and not be punished civilly for it.
    Just as you, a religious minority, may go against Protestant doctrine in worship, choosing a spouse, or otherwise running a family, and not be punished civilly for it.
    Remember, if you seek to enforce your religious doctrine on other people’s civil marriage choices, others may do the same to you – and your faith will almost certainly, as a minority, not be in charge.

  • Catken1

    “In less than a hundred years all who read these posts will see who was right. ”

    Armageddon’s been predicted over and over and over, and not once have the predictions come true.
    Nor do you show love by referring to other people’s loves and families as sinful traps that bind them, either. Would you call someone loving who offered to free you from the trap of Catholicism that binds you, and who demanded as a corollary to their opinion of your sinfulness the right to refuse you the right to worship as you saw fit or get married in your church?

  • Catken1

    “In less than a hundred years all who read these posts will see who was right. ”

    Armageddon’s been predicted over and over and over, and not once have the predictions come true.
    Nor do you show love by referring to other people’s loves and families as sinful traps that bind them, either. Would you call someone loving who offered to free you from the trap of Catholicism that binds you, and who demanded as a corollary to their opinion of your sinfulness the right to refuse you the right to worship as you saw fit or get married in your church?

  • leibowde84

    It makes me very sad that so-called Christians attempt to use the teachings of Jesus to condemn others, warning that their souls will be lost if they don’t follow their direction. There is a lack of respect when “preachers” fail to acknowledge that belief in Jesus and his teaching is merely that … a belief. It is important to realize that it isn’t necessary to “convert” those who don’t believe. You don’t have to threaten them. In fact, Jesus said that using “the Word” to condemn was sinful in and of itself. So, I would say to those who are against this article, read your Bible. Judging (or not accepting those who you feel are “sinners”) is forbidden by Jesus himself.

  • leibowde84

    It makes me very sad that so-called Christians attempt to use the teachings of Jesus to condemn others, warning that their souls will be lost if they don’t follow their direction. There is a lack of respect when “preachers” fail to acknowledge that belief in Jesus and his teaching is merely that … a belief. It is important to realize that it isn’t necessary to “convert” those who don’t believe. You don’t have to threaten them. In fact, Jesus said that using “the Word” to condemn was sinful in and of itself. So, I would say to those who are against this article, read your Bible. Judging (or not accepting those who you feel are “sinners”) is forbidden by Jesus himself.

  • Hopeliz57

    I think he means that all who are alive and reading these posts today will be dead within 100 years.

  • Hopeliz57

    I think he means that all who are alive and reading these posts today will be dead within 100 years.

  • Bluefish2012

    Ms. Groves avoids making distinctions that explain the RCC’s position on a case like this one.

    First, there are two ways in which the word “judge” is used. In logic, a simple declarative sentence is a judgment — a very objective statement. To judge a person in the way Jesus used the word is something else. It’s tantamount to saying you know a person’s inmost motives and condemn him for what you believe he’s done. Jesus said “judge not” because in this latter sense, only God knows the inmost disposition of the supposed sinner.

    Second, there is objective sin and subjective sin. The latter is the one Jesus spoke of — none of us knows what is going on in the head of one who does something sinful. Objective sin on the other hand is like a logical judgment — it merely says that a kind of behavior is sinful, without judging the state of the person who commits that sin. Stealing a loaf of bread, objectively, is sinful. Taking a loaf of bread to feed a starving family though, is not — in the mind of the desperate “thief” it is fully justified.

    Third, public sin vs. private sin: The former is like an objective sin. When the school fired the teacher who was in a gay marriage, it was not judging the teacher in the private sense of sin. It was saying that the public position of the teacher stood in direct contradiction to a firm belief of the Catholic Church. Same thinking applies when someone is excommunicated by virtue of a public position they take that directly contradicts Catholic teaching. Only God knows the disposition of the soul that commits such a sin, but based on outward appearances at least, the Church withholds its blessing as a warning that the person is placing their eternal soul in grave jeopardy.

    Marriage cannot include same sex relationships because they lack the sign that defines them as such. The sign (i.e.sacrament) is a biologically complementary relationship between a man and a woman.

  • Bluefish2012

    Ms. Groves avoids making distinctions that explain the RCC’s position on a case like this one.

    First, there are two ways in which the word “judge” is used. In logic, a simple declarative sentence is a judgment — a very objective statement. To judge a person in the way Jesus used the word is something else. It’s tantamount to saying you know a person’s inmost motives and condemn him for what you believe he’s done. Jesus said “judge not” because in this latter sense, only God knows the inmost disposition of the supposed sinner.

    Second, there is objective sin and subjective sin. The latter is the one Jesus spoke of — none of us knows what is going on in the head of one who does something sinful. Objective sin on the other hand is like a logical judgment — it merely says that a kind of behavior is sinful, without judging the state of the person who commits that sin. Stealing a loaf of bread, objectively, is sinful. Taking a loaf of bread to feed a starving family though, is not — in the mind of the desperate “thief” it is fully justified.

    Third, public sin vs. private sin: The former is like an objective sin. When the school fired the teacher who was in a gay marriage, it was not judging the teacher in the private sense of sin. It was saying that the public position of the teacher stood in direct contradiction to a firm belief of the Catholic Church. Same thinking applies when someone is excommunicated by virtue of a public position they take that directly contradicts Catholic teaching. Only God knows the disposition of the soul that commits such a sin, but based on outward appearances at least, the Church withholds its blessing as a warning that the person is placing their eternal soul in grave jeopardy.

    Marriage cannot include same sex relationships because they lack the sign that defines them as such. The sign (i.e.sacrament) is a biologically complementary relationship between a man and a woman.

  • leibowde84

    You are assuming that you and/or the church understand what Jesus actually meant (if he even actually said any of it). That is a pretty big assumption.

  • leibowde84

    You are assuming that you and/or the church understand what Jesus actually meant (if he even actually said any of it). That is a pretty big assumption.

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