Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Media distorts Pope's remarks on homosexuality

A reporter asked Pope Francis about a Vatican monsignor named Battista Ricca who allegedly engaged in homosexual relationships years ago while living in Latin America. Pope Francis answered simply, “If a person is gay and accepts the Lord, and has good will, who am I to judge them?” While the words of Pope Francis are accurately reported, the implications made by gay-friendly media are false.

The only news is that Pope Francis’ remarks exposed the long-standing lie propagated  by gay activists and proxies in the media that the Catholic Church hates homosexuals (and women).

The media is heralding a new Catholic Church where gay priests are accepted and gay “brothers and sisters” are not marginalized. Unfortunately, the media glossed over the critical qualifiers “accepts the Lord and has good will.”

In Christendom, accepting Christ and being of good intent carry expectations.  In the fullest sense, this means rejection of sin and avoiding the near occasions of sin, which by extension also means rejection of active homosexuality in all of its forms and implications.

So what, then, is the media (dis)missing? Sexual sin is still sin. As the Holy Father went on to confirm, “The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem . . .  they’re our brothers.”   The Catholic Church teaches acceptance of sinners and forgiveness of sin; not acceptance of sin.

The media routinely exploits the meaning of a simple statement, includes 'facts' that cannot be checked, or exaggerates conclusions from research when it benefits its LGBT friends.

A 1993 study by Dean Hamer and his colleagues claimed to find evidence of a gay gene. Proof of this gene’s existence was splashed across front pages and covers of major media nationally, partly because it buttressed the civil rights arguments that homosexuality is innate, like race or gender. The media stories went much farther than even Hamer claimed. But when George Rice, a neuroscientist at the University of Western Ontario, refuted Hamer’s findings completely, nary a word was reported.

Over the years, it has been common for a gay-friendly media to mention in a report, as a matter of fact, that some foreign culture or ancient society not only sanctioned but elevated homosexuality as divine. Before 9/11, some activists went so far as to claim that Islam embraced homosexuality.

Hard to believe today, but in the Golden Age of Hollywood, conservatism reigned. That didn’t stop Home Box Office from making the "documentary" The Celluloid Closet. The producers purported to document that, even in  ultra-conservative Hollywood in the 1950s and early 1960s, movies were "coded" with subtle homosexual shadings and nuances.

When pressed by the Television Critics Association, the producers admitted they had no documentation—no director's notes or producer's memos—to support their theory. Nevertheless, the “documentary” aired in 1996 leaving the audience with the impression that icons like John Wayne, Charlton Heston, and Doris Day winked at homosexuality—maybe even approved.  In essence, celebrity endorsements.

Even respected evangelicals like Dr. Scott Lively fell into the latest trap. “Previous popes have shown mercy to homosexuals by acknowledging that mere temptation to sin is not itself sin,” Lively said in an e-mail alert. “But, Francis seems to have crossed a critical theological boundary and affirmed homosexuality as a legitimate basis for defining one's identity.”

Many may identify with Lively’s slippery slope concern.  For decades, gay activists have worked hard to undermine the moral authority of churches by painting orthodox Christianity as a homosexual hating primeval obsolete backwater.

The LA Times reported, “Pope Francis made surprisingly conciliatory remarks about the role of gay people in the Roman Catholic Church and his willingness to accept them uncritically, touching off a worldwide debate over how big a shift the new pontiff was endorsing.”

But, the pontiff endorsed nothing new nor crossed a theological boundary.  Matthew 7:1 is still in force: “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Pope Francis simply reminded us (and the media) of the boundary between discerning sin and judging it.

Susan Milligan at U.S. News writes, “It was a startling comment, even though it didn't really represent any change in policy. . . .  Francis could have just reiterated the Catholic Church's outdated and unkind attitude towards homosexuals.”

Perhaps many in the media would be less startled in the future if they dedicated more time to understanding and objectively reporting on the teachings of the oldest and largest Christian church in the world rather than demonizing them for political purposes.

Friday, July 26, 2013

"Imposing your faith" on others: The big lie of our time.

From the blogosphere to mainstream media to the halls of Congress, the war cry of social progressives for decades has centered on the separation of church and state.  They claim that (primarily) Christians force their faith on others if they support laws to limit abortion, stop the redefinition of marriage, or defend recognition of God in public places or documents.  This is the biggest and most dangerous political lie of the century.

The underlying premise of this political propaganda is that conservatives who hold a Christian worldview deserve no right to vote, speak, or petition the government. Voters may be informed by secularism, humanism, or even communism—but not Christianity. 

Like 1984 or Brave New World, many in government and the media are purveyors of good-think and bad-think.  They see Christian beliefs as impediments to ‘progress,’ to conformance with new manmade freedoms that are morally blind or at least incoherent.

When progressives fail to silence a believer, they try to discredit or destroy him or her by comparing Christians with the Taliban, or theocracies that oppress religious freedom.  By protecting freedom of conscious for over 200 years, America became the longest free democracy in human history.  America never became a theocracy.

Scare tactics do not have to make sense, just the news. 

Discussing this insidious lie now is not about the next election or any election.  Discrediting faith, and the faithful, creates a vacuum for progressives to fill every day.  That has consequences every day.

For example, progressives are obsessed with promoting sex as freedom: contraception, abortion, and hedonism coupled with disassociating sex from morality, procreation, marriage, parenting, and the family.  In schools, in government, in the marketplace of ideas, they see “antiquated” Christian values as the enemy.  The fallout, no matter how astounding, is ignored.

National Fatherhood Initiative finds “there is a ‘father factor’ in nearly all of the social issues facing America today…. over 24 million children live apart from their biological fathers. That is 1 out of every 3 (33%) children in America. Nearly 2 in 3 (64%) African American children live in father-absent homes. One in three (34%) Hispanic children, and 1 in 4 (25%) white children live in father-absent homes. In 1960, only 11% of children lived in father-absent homes.”

Yet, our president remains cocksure that more of the sickness is the cure:  Obamacare mandated funding of abortion and comprehensive sex education is exploding to the tune of about $3.375 billion over three years. 

None of this creates families or protects children or liberates women.  Skyrocketing billions of dollars for food stamps, welfare, and “reproductive health” are symptoms, not the cure. 

Alexis de Tocquville visited America in the 1830s.  When he reflected on America’s great democratic experiment in Democracy in America, he observed that American institutions of government depend for their existence on certain “habits of the heart.”  These habits are not government inventions but rather certain civic and religious associations.

He wondered what would happen to American democracy when these civic and religious associations, these habits of the heart, these core principals, no longer exist or are valued.

The great Czech playwright-philosopher Vaclav Havel provides an ominous glimpse.  He describes the “culture of the lie” in his essay, The Power of the Powerless.  It was penned in 1978 during the era of the Iron Curtain and “eliminating all expressions of nonconformity”.

“The complete degradation of the individual is presented as his ultimate liberation; depriving people of information is called making it available; … the repression of culture is called its development; … banning independent thought becomes the most scientific of world views; … the lack of free expression becomes the highest form of freedom… Because the regime is captive to its own lies, it must falsify everything. It falsifies the past. It falsifies the present, and it falsifies the future.”

Individuals need not believe all these mystifications, but they must behave as though they did…. They need not accept the lie. It is enough for them to have accepted their life with it and in it.”

Will we accept life with and in the lie?  

Friday, July 19, 2013

America joins in on the #GreatKateWait; even as they protect abortion

With Kate now a couple of days late, thousands and thousands of tweets under the hash tag #GreatKateWait are trending from common folk and journalists alike.

Many have expressed both humor and exasperation at the delay as the royal baby watch has entered its second week. It is hard to imagine such joy and near hysteria over an impending birth.

One tongue-in-cheek tweeter asked, “I know I should have learned this in Health class but when royal babies ‘crown,’ it’s a real crown, right?” Ken Olshansky, senior producer at CNN, tweeted “A dilate and a dollar short.”

Major networks all over the world are reporting the tiniest details almost hourly. While media outlets debate the Duchess of Cambridge’s due date, odds makers have opened up betting on the actual delivery time and what the baby will be named.

It has been reported that anyone born in Britain on the same day as the royal baby will receive a special coin from the Royal Mint—a silver penny that will come in either a blue pouch for a boy or a pink one for a girl.

Much import is given to the fact that Baby Cambridge—the child of Prince William and Kate Middleton—will be third in line for the throne after Prince Charles and Prince William.

No wonder celebratory gun salutes by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery in Green and the Honorable Artillery Company at the Tower of London are planned for the baby’s arrival. What is a wonder is that all this excitement and planning is for something that, in America, has no legal identity and no right to live.

After all, according to Roe v. Wade, prior to birth, “it” isn’t a person, right? Why celebrate a mass of cells that is not yet even a human being?

In America, the future king or queen of England has no rights even hours before his or her birth. Just ask Planned Parenthood, Kermit Gosnell, or icon of late-term abortion LeRoy Carhart.

Just ask President Obama.

Yet, Baby Cambridge is third in line to the monarchy as a zygote, blastocyst, embryo, fetus, or baby. That reality is part of the fun, the excitement—and the truth.

But in America, even tonight, this baby could be swept out of existence, simply on a whim.

There may be no people in the world outside the British Commonwealth who love the royals as much as Americans do. The images of their marriages, deaths, and babies regularly grace the pages of Us and People, and the screens of entertainment shows.

We wept for Diana as we wept for JFK. From the quaint heartland to the highfalutin denizens of New York City skyscrapers, Americans forget their politics and talking points to rejoice in the anticipated pomp and circumstance of a royal birth.

What makes this cultural phenomenon possible? It is that, as humans, all of us know in our hearts that any baby—whether from Lubbock or from London—is, always has been, and always will be, a precious new life that brings hope of things and dreams yet to come.

In short, even before he is born, everyone knows a baby is a baby.

Monday, July 15, 2013

SCOTUS and DOMA: Not enough rights to go around

In order to satisfy the cultural fashion of the moment, the Supreme Court of the United States is once again creating a new “landmark” right that subordinates universal constitutional rights. In its ruling on a suit to overturn the federal Defense of Marriage Act, United States v. Windsor, the Court ruled that the federal government must recognize a foreign (Canadian) marriage of a lesbian couple from New York, which allows same-sex marriage.

In a second ruling, Hollingsworth v. Perry, SCOTUS declared that the parties defending Proposition 8 — a constitutional amendment by California voters codifying marriage as between one man and one woman — had no standing to do so.

Pro-gay California governor, Jerry Brown, refused to defend activist challenges to Proposition 8. This set up the “no-standing” loss. SCOTUS decided that if the California government was unwilling to defend its own laws, this amounted to a de facto default that now nullifies the votes and will of California’s own citizens.  Man/man and woman/woman marriages will now resume in California.

Likewise, President Obama swore to uphold our laws but “evolved” on homosexuality. Without another election to restrain him, Obama is totally out of the closet: His Department of Justice informed the Supreme Court that it would not act to defend DOMA, a law overwhelimingly passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton. That leaves the U.S. House of Representatives to step in.

Some see these rulings as the Roe v. Wade of the homosexual cause. Consider the comparison.

The right for a mother to kill her unborn child is also nowhere to be found in the Constitution. In 1973, it was accepted by the Supreme Court majority in Roe v. Wade drawing upon the earlier 1965 contraceptive case Griswold v. Connecticut. Time magazine described the ruling as a judicial free-for-all that produced six opinions and a shaky new ‘right of privacy’ concept that is bound to baffle judges for many more years.”

To create this new right to abortion for women, the Court had to take away the 14th Amendment rights of all unborn human beings: “Nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

If abortion advocates did not know in 1973 that they were unleashing partial birth abortion, post-birth infanticide and abortion industry houses of horror like Gosnell in Philadelphia, Alexander in Michigan, Karpen in Houston, Planned Parenthood in Delaware, and others across the nation, they certainly knew that they were fighting to replace an unborn baby’s right to life for someone else’s right “to choose.”

The 14th Amendment was intended by our Founding Fathers to obligate our government to equal protection of every human being, but activists twisted it to enable over 55 million unborn persons to be put to death by surgical abortion in the 40 years since Roe.

Now, the 14th Amendment is being used to put the 1st Amendment rights of freedom of religion, association and speech in harm’s way. Any “right” to same-sex marriage must undercut universal constitutional rights: It may have far less to do with “love” than the legal power to subjugate.

Dana Loesch at compiled some quick examples: Elane Photography in New Mexico declined same-sex wedding photography work, citing the owners’ Christian faith. They were sued and ordered to pay $6,600 in attorney fees. An employee of Allstate insurance wrote an essay online disagreeing with same-sex marriage and was reportedly fired from his job as a result.

A Methodist church in New Jersey was sued and lost, for not offering its facility for same-sex weddings. Catholic Charities was barred from assisting in adoptions to anyone in Massachusetts, the District of Columbia and Illinois because it declined to consider same-sex couples.

New Jersey’s Civil Rights Division sued and “really damagedeHarmony for not offering gay matchmaking. Gay sites were already available and eHarmony’s proprietary system was based upon the Christian founder’s 35 years as a clinical psychologist counseling heterosexual married couples.

“This government is acknowledged by all, to be one of enumerated powers,” stated Chief Justice Marshall in McCulloch v. Maryland. America is also a nation of enumerated rights intended for “We the people,” not only the people in current favor by politicians or courts.

When politicians and black robes diminish constitutionally enumerated rights for all in order to conjure rights for the select, only one result is possible: Not enough rights to go around.