Listen to God's voice at the foot of the crucifix." ~St. Gaspar del Bufaro~

Monday, May 27, 2013

Being Catholic And 3 Reasons We Are Standing Behind Boy Scouts

~Memorial Day, 2013~
The new ruling that the Boy Scouts of America will not discriminate against homosexual preference has been quite the talk in our family and in many media sources, since the recent decision.  If you haven't read up on it, you can read more and refer to the National Catholic Committee On Scouting and the ruling which states: The BSA proposed in its resolution that "no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone." Its membership standards for adult leaders remain unchanged.

It's no secret that our family is heavily involved in scouting.  My husband is the current Scout Master (Head Adult Leader) for our local troop, our oldest son is an Eagle Scout and 2 more sons are on their  way, God willing.  We have always believed in the value of scouting and it's moral ideals, hence our leadership and strong involvement.  In other words, we have good reason to be interested in this decision.  
When I first heard about the ruling, I admit that I was angry.  Mostly, angry that we even have to bring sexuality into play.  In our oversexed society, I really get sick of it.  Especially in a place that it shouldn't even be an issue, like in organizations that promote higher moral standards.  It did feel like an attack, to be honest.  Then my anger quickly turned to frustration and sadness as I read many Catholic and Christian articles and opinions that seemed very Un-Christian, legalistic, and downright hateful.  

As my husband and I delved into conversation and decision making for our family, we were thankful that the Boy Scouts of America weren't changing curriculum or funding sources, much like the Girl Scouts did in funding Planned Parenthood and promoting it in their curriculum.  The two decisions really can't be lumped into the same category.  Funding an organization that kills human beings made the easy boycott of the Girl Scouts, switching to American Heritage Girls for our daughters.
In this case, we came up with 3 reasons why we aren't jumping ship.  For now, we're standing behind the Boy Scouts of America.  

1.   As Catholics, the first and most important reason is Church teaching. More than ever, we are thankful to be Catholic...Thankful for a Church that has given us guidance for over 2000 years.  We consider ourselves devout Catholics.  NOT in the sense that we are perfect by any means but that we do our best to live out the fullness of the Church teachings.  It isn't easy and we do fail, but we do our best...And we keep trying.  In this sense, we turn to our church, trusting her to teach us how to live in the world.  

In regards to the homosexual act, itself, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

"Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex.  It has taken a great variety of forms through centuries and in different cultures.  It's psychological genesis remains largely unexplained.  Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as grave depravity, tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.  They are contrary to the natural law.  They close the sexual act to the gift of life.  They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity.  Under no circumstances can they be approved. CCC 2357"

Considering the act itself is not the issue at hand, we kept reading.  The next paragraph of the Catechism undeniably addresses the tendencies.  This was the "kicker" that shouted to our consciences: 

"The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible.  This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial.  They 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

There it is clearly stated that we are not to discriminate against same-sex attraction.  My husband, as the current Scout Leader felt strongly about this calling and direction for our family.  Here we have the opportunity to live out our faith, truly as God has asked us to do, with respect, compassion, and sensitivity to all persons.

Now sometimes as parents and adults, it's one thing.  But we can be Papa and Mama bears when it comes to protecting our children.  Ultimately, we understand that having a same sex attraction might be an orientation but it's not a predatory disease.  For my husband and I, we feel it is our responsibility to teach our children about the consequences of all sin and how best to strive for Christian perfection, often in a world that makes this very difficult.   However, it would be a huge judgement on our part if we assumed that all people who experienced same-sex attraction (especially children) were acting upon it.  Yes they may be struggling...As the Catechism teaches, it can be a heavy cross to bear, much like many sins can be, including our own.

Lest we forget that we are all sinners.  Strike me down now if I should ever believe that those with same sex attraction were lesser human beings than I or not created in the image and likeness of God.  Everyone deserves to be treated with human dignity and there by His grace of God we go.  We are not so proud to think that this ruling would effect our children any more than the threat of being in the presence of children from broken homes or coming from any other place of moral imperfection. 

2.  For our family, the benefits outweigh the risks.  In our local troop, the good adult leaders that our sons have been exposed to, far outweigh any negative influences.  They are good men that have influenced the character of our sons in numerously positive ways, really beyond measure. We do not take for granted the blessings we've received.

The ruling that scouts will not be excluded based on sexual preference is one issue but the Boy Scouts have not changed their pledge to keep up their standards of behavior. They are called to be morally straight in the sense that ideally, scouts aren't acting upon or engaging in any sexual activity, regardless of orientation.  

We have also heard people discussing fear about sleeping arrangements on outings.  Our experience is that lots of kids don't want to sleep in a tent with other kids based on many personality preferences and differences. This kind of juggling isn't a new concept.  Once again the benefits outweigh the risks.
3. You can't win a battle from the outside.  As 2 former military people, my husband and I both know that you only retreat for 2 reasons...1) to give up ground  or 2) to refortify your position and move forward again.  The bottom line for us is that we are not ready to give up our ground.  The many benefits that Scouting offers, far outweighs the issues at hand.  Retreating does far more harm, in our case, than moving forward as the salt and light that we are called to be as good Christian soldiers, even in organizations that aren't necessarily Christian. 
Boy Scouts of America does not proclaim to be Christian but embraces the spirituality of many denominations with a belief in God.  Staying with the Scouts lends us an opportunity to shed light and be a positive example to our fellow man.  Sometimes this, alone, is good practice and it's easier said than done!
Many people claim that this is only the beginning of a "breakdown" or continued assault against the organization.  
At this moment in time, we just aren't willing to make assumptions.  Instead, we choose to see it as a continued opportunity to be tolerant and loving of many different types of people.  This within itself is not a new challenge for us or our children, regardless of sexual orientation.  Loving our neighbor, while not compromising our beliefs, isn't so easy.  Sometimes, it's a huge trial right within the folds of our own church, where the odor of judgement can choke the best of us! 
Referring to Mother Teresa, a spiritual warrior and lover of the dignity of the human person:
 "If you judge people, you have no time to love them."
To be honest, I'm frightened to post this, lest I be judged...

But I'm willing to take the risk as we just aren't giving up on an organization worth fighting for!

Here is another response regarding the new policy.


  1. I love that quote of Blessed Mother Teresa... it has been the signature of my email for years. You may very well get some harsh comments, but I think you and your husband have made the right decision, and you have stated the reasons why very well and thoughtfully. We live in a broken world. Anyone who reads your blog knows that you strive to live your life for Christ as a devout Catholic and have not made this decision lightly. May God bless your courage. +JMJ+

    1. Thank you for being so kind, dear Annita. This type of post is definitely not my cup of tea! I just felt called to shed some light from a perspective of a Catholic family who has had a lot of Scouting experience and tries hard to live our faith in the world...Boots on the ground, so to speak. God bless our broken world, indeed!

  2. This is a beautifully written post and gives evidence to your great love for Christ, His church, and His people. However, I cannot agree with your conclusion that the Boy Scouts (as an organization) made a healthy or ultimately charitable decision for it's members. Addressing your primary points:

    1. The Church teaches that we must love and we must not judge souls. We are also permitted to defend truth and protect our children. We are not bound by love to admit all people of all tendencies to youth organizations to play and work with children. If a child is sexually "aware" enough to openly state his homosexuality (this must be the case for an issue even to exist here, right?) then he is already demonstrating an openness to deviant behavior that runs contrary to true love.

    2. I fully understand your support and appreciation for your local community. However, many other troops do not have the advantages that you have and the boys in other places are much more susceptible to unhealthy circumstances and abuse. This may never have a negative affect on your family, but it likely will in areas where cultural situations differ greatly.

    3. What you say is true. But it is also true to say that there are times when it is acceptable to remove our kids from the battle front. In the order of love, our first obligation is to the souls with which we have been entrusted.

    In my community, there is an epidemic of sexual abuse of boys by other boys. Most of them are not homosexually oriented predators but boys who are curious and untrained in controlling their passions. It is epidemic and is increasing at an alarming rate, coming far closer to my loved ones than I ever imagined it could. Just because someone is a Christian or a child, does not mean that they cannot be predatory. It is not charitable to the heterosexual boys to place them in close quarters with others who are open to deviant lifestyle and practices. Nor do I believe it charitable to place a child struggling with such tendencies in such frequent, close contact with other young boys. This does not mean excluding boys who simply act feminine... we are talking about a professed homosexual preference, which means that a boy has an attraction to boys, rather than to girls. Putting this in perspective, it is the same as saying that it is okay for a sexually conscious boy to enter a girl scout troop to play and interact and co-sleep. It would be imprudent and uncharitable to ALL involved.

    Please understand that I am not attacking you at all. I am completely touched by your beautiful words and they have challenged me. But when it comes down to it, I just do not believe that this organizational decision is defensible. If any male of any age approached me, declared himself to be homosexual, and asked for permission to have close and frequent contact with my son, I would deny him. Not because I do not love them, but because I DO love them. First, I have an obligation to my children and if a person rejects the authority of the Church with regard to OPENLY homosexual behavior, then I cannot trust them to also accept the authority of Christ and the role of virtue in guiding their passions. Second, because I have an obligation to the person's soul as well. If they say they prefer males over females, I will do them the honor of believing them, and would counsel and direct them as if they mean it. I would never, ever support a son of mine who wished to go camping with a troop of girls. For reasons of prudence, justice, and love.

    If a person just has "tendencies" and does not ever intend or will to embrace or act upon them, it is highly unlikely that anyone in the organization will ever know about it and it becomes a non-issue. How can "tendencies" become known unless they are proclaimed or acted upon? Either scenario would be of concern to me. And that really is the concern with the Boy Scouts decision.

    After your loving post, I am afraid I may get more hostile reaction than you! Again, I applaud your love and courage, but I do disagree.

    1. Thank you for your thoughts, Melanie. You are a warrior for Christ and your family, who I greatly respect. I have to say, upfront, that I am not comfortable writing a post like this. I'm a terrible "issue" person and often have trouble expressing that.

      I'm probably not organizing this response very well but my intent is not to debate, just converse. I must start by saying that we too, do our very best to protect our children from danger. Believe me, If we felt like we were hanging them out to dry, we would never have made this decision to continue.

      I'm sorry we don't agree. I expected that I would get a lot more comments like yours. The silence speaks for itself though. Ultimately, it's a difficult time we all live in. Sadly, I see much dissension even among people of faith. I've seen it in the homeschool world from families who think you are selling your soul to the devil if you don't homeschool. I have been tempted to stop homeschooling due to this legalistic judgmental approach within our own faith. But that's a whole other conversation! Loll

      Ultimately, my husband and I are consciously aware of the temptation to fear. We refuse to buy into paranoia and fear that circles around our communities of faith. It's very hard not to just want to bury our heads in the sand but we TRY to remember not to be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (St. Paul) We are just doing the best we can to trust in God's plan for us.

      God bless you, Melanie!

    2. Thanks so much for your loving reply, Tiffany. I was hesitant to post on here because I did not want to introduce any negativity when you expressed yourself so lovingly. Again, I agree with so much of what you have written. I would never exclude anyone from the love of Christ or authentic Christian fellowship because of their personal struggles. Perhaps it is because of the geographic and cultural differences between people of faith, but I see this decision as having an almost immediately negative impact on certain groups of kids. At the same time, it seems unlikely to touch your group concretely. Fro me, it is knowing how much evil hates and targets the innocence of childhood that causes me to prefer to retreat with the children rather then allow them to become targets.

      It is also true that emotions play a big part for me. I can not speak to details but I am still grieving deeply over what is happening to boys in my community, including a couple close to my heart. It is pure evil. And I do not believe that it is paranoia that causes me to doubt the integrity of many of those who pushed for this change within the Scouts, but prudential judgement. Evil is a predator. There are times to stand and fight and times to get out. This seems to be one of those situations where each family has to discern for themselves.

      These kinds of posts and conversations are a beautiful gift. Truth and faith are not stale and dead, but alive... like the burning fire of Christ's heart. To stop exploring love is to cease seeking Christ. God bless you! You are a treasure.

    3. I am so glad you came back, Melanie! I meant to offer my deepest prayers for your situation but I forgot in the hurry. I know very well what it's like to be a victim of evil, especially of the most random kind. I will be taking your intentions to my Holy Hour tomorrow and offer them up in my own times of fear. Love your line: "To stop exploring love is to cease seeking Christ." Beautiful and true. Thank you, again!

  3. this is a wonderful thoughtful loving post Tiffany, and I admire you for making your opinions known, given your family's active participation in and love of the Boy Scouts. Familes face a difficult decision in this area, and, as Melanie's comment shows, the cultural and neighborhood and community challenges and composition may also come into play in making the decisions regarding our children. I loved your point about the difficulty of doing God's work from the outside. Sometimes, God calls us to do this work on the inside, and your family is doing God's work ! Scout leaders can be positively influential on all children, whatever their culture, ethnicity, religion, or even sexual orientation.

    1. Thanks so much for your thoughts, Gardenia! I do feel blessed by the Scout Troop in our community and we don't take that for granted. As I told Melanie, it inspires me to pray for those who are not so fortunate. God bless!

  4. Thank you for sharing. You explained everything so well. I have 2 relatives that are open about their sexual preference. I see them like any normal person. I pray for them. I try to avoid posting anything that could hurt their feelings. I always tell my children that they should never express themselves in a negative way about anyone, no matter what their sexual preference are. I also tell them that we can't judge them. God dislikes that kind of behavior. God loves us all, no matter who we are.

    1. Thank you for sharing, Rosario. God bless you for your loving example to your children!

  5. Thank you! Thank you! As the daughter of a gay man and two gay brothers who were actively involved in Boy Scouts from the time they were young until high school I was very saddened by the ruling to exclude homosexuals from Boy Scouts. What it implied was that you can't have same sex attraction and not live an exemplary life. It also implied that all gay men are pedophiles and a threat to our children and that was sooo off base! Research has shown that 90% of pedophiles identify themselves are heterosexual! Maybe we should be more worried about them being scout leaders! (This is said with sarcasm but I'm trying to make a point!) Take our own Priest Sex Abuse Scandal as an example. These men were not homosexuals but how many children were abused under their leadership?? Anyways, I digress.

    I don't know when Christianity decided that homosexuality was the cardinal sin that we were going to attack and point out above all other sins but I am saddened by it. My father's sins and the sins of my brothers are no different or worse than my own. Am I supposed to stop loving them because they are gay? I couldn't do it!! They are my flesh, they are my blood! And I seriously do not think that Jesus would want that. In fact, Jesus NEVER addresses homosexuality. Not once. It is discussed in the Old Testament and by Paul in one of his letters later, but Jesus himself never addressed the issue. Some will argue it's because it wasn't an issue. I say it's always been an issue but I think Jesus decided to pick his battles wisely!!

    I have 4 young children and I never for one second worry about my brothers being alone with them! I never once worry about them bringing friends to our home who are also gay. I will NOT teach my children hatred or intolerance for people and hide it behind the guise of religion or faith!! That would be the greater sin in my opinion. Jesus said the 2nd greatest of all the commandments was to love our neighbor as ourselves. I have chosen to love all people, regardless of their sexual orientation! And one day when I meet my maker I'm fully prepared to answer for that decision. I hope others are as well.

    Thank you again for this post! I hope that all of this emphasis on sexuality can fade away into the background someday soon. Afterall, I am so much more than just a heterosexual woman, just as my brothers and my dad are so much more than just gay men!

    1. Thank you so much for bearing your heart and sharing your story! (And nice to meet you:) I'll have to pop over to your blog for a visit! I hope your comment will help others who might be in a similar situation. You did not digress at all:) I often think it's a trial to live in the world but actually, some of the biggest tests about how we will treat others will be right in our own families, right? God bless you and I pray that others will see Him clearly through your love!

  6. We too are sticking with Scouting. Our daughters are not involved in Girl Scouts - because of their stand on issues, but we will stick with the Boy Scouts, for now. Well written and thank you! We are a Catholic homeschooling military family.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment and share, Lauren! I salute your family's military service...Thank you for your sacrifices!

  7. Hi Tiffany, you're tackling a controversial issue and I admire you for doing so. We are staying with scouting too but to be honest, we are comfortable doing so because we believe the other scouts are heterosexual. To be honest, none of the boys have openly expressed a gay lifestyle. That being said, if there were boys who openly talked about his gay tendencies or lifestyle, then I probably would pull my son out. My son just turned 13 and he is in puberty with all of the hormonal changes that go with it. And boys talk on their scouting trips. And one favorite topic of the older boys is girls and dating. I'm uncomfortable with my younger scout learning about the sexual details of heterosexual dating not to mention same sex dating!

    Maybe I am wrong but I view it as not wanting my son around scouts who smoke or drink alcohol. If I knew the troop had underage drinking or some smoked, I wouldn't tolerate it. Obviously this is under the radar of their leaders because the boys are smart enough to not talk about these behaviors in their presence.

    I'm in complete agreement with the statement in the Catechism and the teachings of the church. I do not think gay scouts should be banned but there is a "but". I do not want my son exposed to a conversation of a gay scout talking about his attractions to other boys or how to pick up a guy. I'm concerned he will be desensitized to the teachings of the church. I do NOT think being around a gay scout "would rub off on him" but it may change his view on what we believe. I have gay friends but I do still believe in one man one woman marriages. We don't discuss it. They know I am Catholic and am called to love my neighbor. Not judge them for their lifestyle choices. They don't flaunt it or discuss their intimate details with me so it works.
    Does that make sense?

    1. Oh boy, you said it Noreen...A controversial issue, indeed! I hear you and totally get what you are saying. We all want the best situations for our children, regardless of what they are doing. It is true that each troop can be so different. It sounds like you have a good situation. I realize it makes a huge difference that my husband is the main leader and always present to look after our boys and I know that he is guiding other scouts well, also, as part of his volunteer service. That's why I mentioned that sometimes people can make a difference from the inside out and that can be important in (difficult) decision making. My intent was not to preach or teach in ANY way. My aim was to share. Sometimes it just helps to hear about how other families are dealing with tough issues. It was my hope that by laying out the reasons why our family, as Catholics, are sticking with the organization that is taking a beating... Maybe it might help other families who are also heavily involved in Scouting. People who aren't involved in the program weren't really in my thoughts as much as those who are knee-deep, like us. I hope I'm making sense!? I sought priestly guidance to make sure I wasn't out of line with anything I said and he was very much supportive. Praise God for that guidance we are afforded through our faith! We are all in this together, that's the way I see it. Thanks again, Noreen, and God bless!

  8. I once watched a Catholic video from a priest titled WHAT IS YOUR ISSAC? IN OTHER WORDS, WHAT ARE YOU NOT WILLING TO GIVE UP FOR GOD. Your family seems to be so involved in the Boy Scouts that you are not willing to give it up and avoid the near occasions of sin. Just saying. You could relate it to any sin.
    Perhaps your readers might want to read these 3 articles. Food for thought. God bless.
    All 3 articles are posted on blog AND AMAZING GRACE.


    WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who for the past forty-seven years has served as a weekend scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America, angrily resigned from that position yesterday, effective immediately.

    Justice Scalia quit his post in a terse resignation letter that read, in part:

    “Some of the happiest memories of my adult life have been as a scoutmaster. Huddling under blankets around the campfire, and so forth. But now, all of that has been ruined. Ruined.”

    Shortly after sending the letter, Justice Scalia destroyed his scoutmaster uniform in the blazing fireplace of his Supreme Court office.

    Later, he went across the hall to share his decision with his close confidant on the Court, Justice Clarence Thomas, telling him, “There’s nowhere I feel safe anymore, Clarence. The military? The N.B.A.? Nowhere. I guess the only place I still feel safe is the Supreme Court. This is still a safe place, isn’t it?”

    Justice Thomas said nothing in reply.

    Cowardice Prevails!
    Boy Scouts Cave To Political Correctness!

    In response to the Boy Scouts of America’s extremely disappointing decision to allow “openly gay scouts,” Father Richard Perozich of the Diocese of San Diego wrote the following:
    From a Catholic spiritual understanding, homosexual attraction is a strong tendency toward a moral evil. In no case can it be approved. Even a young Scout with this condition can be helped. If, however, he declares this condition as his identity with the right to act on it, the other Scouts need to be protected from him and the influence of his ideation, any homosexual sexual touching or talk, or invitation to participate in or to accept this evil.

    I would not allow a child under my care to be near either another child or an adult who identifies with, encourages acceptance of, or practices homosexuality. Our parish gave material support to the Scouts in our region until yesterday. We have withdrawn financial aid but will support them with prayer so that the adults retreat from their cowardice before the evil of homosexuality and its perpetrators, and be about protecting and forming young men according to classic Scout values in accord with Catholic teaching.

    Pray that more of our bishops and priests have the moral courage to address this most unfortunate situation, and provide moral guidance to their flocks.

    From Lesbian Atheist to Stay-at-Home Mother of Six: Quebec Journalist Tells Her Story

    By Georges Buscemi POSTED ON-- LIFE SITE NEWS

    May 20, 2010 - “I was an atheist for as long as I could remember,” recalled Brigitte Bedard, a young-looking 41-year-old journalist and stay at home mother of six with cropped tousled brown hair and stylish thick-framed glasses. She was addressing a crowd of 200 participants at the Quebec Life Coalition pro-life conference on May 15 in Quebec City.

    While Bedard is less well known than the conference’s keynote speaker – Cardinal Marc Ouellet – whose staunchly pro-life statements made later that afternoonwere seized on by the anti-life Quebec media, she might be the speaker who most touched hearts that Saturday afternoon.

    Ms. Bedard grew up at a time when Quebec society was undergoing what historians call the “Quiet Revolution,” a period of time from the early-sixties to the mid seventies when Quebec society shed its Christian heritage and adopted secular values. “I was born in 1968 — talk about bad luck,” she joked.

  9. As Fulton Sheen would say, without a death to a lower level, we cannot arrive at a higher level of supernatural life. This was expected of every Catholic who wanted to following in the footsteps of Christ. AVOID ALL OCCASIONS OF SIN AT EVERY INSTANCE.

    John Stemberger, founder of On My Honor, a group that opposed the Scouts’ change in policy, plans to convene conservatives in Louisville, Kentucky, in June to consider forming a new Scout-like group, which could be up and running by the end of 2013.

    “Churches and Scoutmasters are looking for leadership and direction,” said Stemberg, an attorney in Orlando, Florida.

    A number of conservative religious denominations already sponsor their own groups.

    For instance, the Southern Baptists have the Royal Ambassadors, an explicitly Christian program founded in 1908 for boys in first through sixth grade. (A similar group called Challengers equips older boys in “mission education.”)

    The name comes from the New Testament, in which the Apostle Paul tells Christians to be “ambassadors for Christ.”

    The estimated 31,000 Royal Ambassadors pledge “ to become a well-informed, responsible follower of Christ; to have a Christlike concern for all people; to learn how to carry the message of Christ around the world; to work with others in sharing Christ; and to keep myself clean and healthy in mind and body."

    While not as outdoorsy as the Boy Scouts, Ambassadors do camp and play sports, said Land, who was a member of the group during the 1950s. But instead of merit badges for archery and bird study, young Ambassadors earn patches for memorizing Bible verses and mission work.

    Southern Baptists said they are preparing for a surge of interest in the Royal Ambassadors at their upcoming convention in Houston.

    “We really have an opportunity here to strengthen our RA programs,” the Rev. Ernest Easley, chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, said in a sermon last Sunday, “and to get the boys in a program where they’re going to be protected, where there’s a high moral standard and where they will have an opportunity to learn about camping, missions, evangelism in the local church.”

  11. If you lived in Sodom and Gomorrah, would you move if you had the opportunity or would you stand your ground in stating that you could control your situations in a place that accepted evil......otherwise known as the sin of presumption.

  12. On a related note, Cardinal Raymond Burke, while archbishop of St. Louis, wrote the excellent foreword to the late Father John Harvey's book Homosexuality and the Catholic Church, which I featured in a past column.

  13. The misleading rubric that will undermine freedom of speech
    The First Amendment, which was once used to protect religious freedom, is now being used to undermine it by secularists and advocates for gay rights. A priest shared with me his concern that just a few years ago it was socially acceptable to question the legitimacy of same-sex marriage. However, he went on to say that to question or challenge the morality of same-sex marriage on Facebook or any other venue in the social media, one would run the risk of being called a bigot or lunatic.

    As I told students in a morality class for adults just recently, as we advance the cause for the sanctity of marriage, we should expect to be accused of hate and bigotry. Nevertheless, we have to stand up and be counted as Christians; not only counted as Christians but followers of Christ who are proud of what he revealed about the God-given purpose of marriage and sexual intimacy.

    With that said, it would do us well to be mindful that as intolerance to any opposition to homosexuality and same-sex marriage increases in the social order, that same intolerance (referred to as the “Dictatorship of Relativism” by Pope Benedict XVI) will certainly find expression in the political order. Indeed, the First Amendment will be used, as it has been used, to silence the Christian teachings on marriage with even greater frequency and forcefulness. Although this general societal shift in favor of same-sex marriage cannot be rolled back in the immediate future, Christians can chip away at the false premises on which it is advanced. One good place to start is to educate people on the historical meaning behind the First Amendment.

    Incidentally, there is why Christians should dream big and envision America without a massive State-monopoly on our children’s education . Why? Because our younger generations- and soon-to-be political leaders -are not learning the truth of Christianity’s contribution to our country’s founding; nor do they know the Christian principles which underscore the U.S. Constitution. As a result, religious freedom will soon be unintelligible to a good number of young Americans.

    The following passage is taken from the book, Faith and Order: The Reconciliation of Law and Religion by Harold J. Berman (p. 222-223). In the book he maintains that religion and law stand and fall together. What I take away from the book and the passage below is that in the absence of religious influence in the public square  the law will be used against religion. Specifically, I refer to the right to teach the biblical view of marriage, not only in public, but within the enclosure of churches:

    “Church and State’….is a profoundly misleading rubric. The title triply misleads. It suggests that there is a single church. But in America there are myriad ways in which religious

  14. Friday, April 5, 2013

    Pedophilia, the new norm - diocese of scranton
    In regard to this matter of gays and marriage I have often asked the question:

    If we make homosexual behavior normal as has slowly been happening for the last 45 years, and if the government redefines marriage, where does it end?

    I have often said some day pedophiles will be declared normal. Just another sexual orientation that we need to recognize and celebrate.

    That day is here.

    California Congresswoman, Rep. Jackie Speier CA (D), wants to federalize a state law to prohibit counseling to change a person’s sexual orientation. That doesn’t sound that extreme, but pedophilia is a sexual orientation according to this bill as well.
    Under the bill’s language, a mental health counselor could be sanctioned if there was an attempt to get a pedophile or gay individual to change his behavior or speak negatively about their behavior as it relates to sexuality.
    The bill calls on states to prohibit efforts to change a minor’s sexual orientation, even if the minor requests it, saying that doing so is “dangerous and harmful.”
    The text of the legislation doesn’t specifically ban “gay” conversion therapy. Instead, it prohibits attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation.
    “Sexual orientation change efforts’ means any practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation,” the bill says.
    Republicans attempted to add an amendment specifying that, “pedophilia is not covered as an orientation.” However, the Democrats defeated the amendment. Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) stated that all alternative sexual lifestyles should be protected under the law, and accordingly decided that pedophilia is a sexual orientation that should be equally as embraced as homosexuality. Read the rest here

    The chastisements must be close.
    Posted by The Rockin' Traddy at 3:03 PM

    1. Dear Judee~
      I have to tell you that I feel that we've been unfairly judged and attacked by your chosen comments. Especially since you don't know us or how we live our lives. For us personally, there was no new insight from your articles but I appreciate what might have been your attempt at concern. As I mentioned in one of my earlier comments, this post was a sharing of our decision making process, in hopes that it might help others in a similar situation. My husband, being in a position of influence, does not take his responsibility lightly. He felt it an opportunity to affect hearts and minds and help scouts, while sharing this with our 2 sons, currently in scouting. We completely understand that many families come from different places and experiences with scouting. Our story is just one example of a myriad of circumstances that are out there. We get that and we don't proclaim our answers as any gospel, oh no! That being said, if you are going to falsely accuse us of staying in Sodom and Gomorrah, it must be pointed out that God did not condemn those who stood up for what was right and just there, namely Lot and his family. He wanted to save those who kept the name of the Lord, not sweeping the innocent away with the guilty. (Gen 18-19) And as far as the near occasion of sin, we are certainly not perfect. I don't know about you, but we are well aware of that possibility each day when we walk out the front door. Instead of pointing fingers and spewing venom, we are simply asking ourselves how we can be practicing Catholics and persons of good influence. No credible leader or heart-changer, that we know of, is mean-spirited. As for me, I would rather die trying to be an example of God's love than to risk what might be the results for having chased people away. Finally, I ask you please to refrain from making any further comments unless they are made in the spirit of kindness and charity. Thank you and God love you!

  15. I don't even have time to read all those long comments now- looks like quite a firestorm though!! God bless you Tiffany- and your family. You have the common sense God gave you to make the best decisions for your family right now. I also know you well enough (isn't that presumptuous of me as we have never met in person?) to know that you would that you will continue to prayerfully discern the situation. As always, I enjoy reading your thoughts on the matter!

  16. God bless you Tiffany and family.


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