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Double Vision; What is Your Focus?

October 9, AD2013

\"Patti

Two people can look at the same thing and see two very different things. For instance, what do you think of when you see the following?

  • Two men getting married
  • Miley Cyrus twerking at the MTV Music Awards
  • Hugh Heffner and his Playboy Mansion
  • Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood
  • Richard Dawkins, leading atheist

I will suggest some opposing viewpoints.

Two men getting married

Vision 1: It’s an abomination of God’s plan that two shall become one in holy matrimony and be open to the gift of children created through that union.

Vision 2: Finally! No one has the right to deny two people marriage if they love one another.

Miley Cyrus Twerking

Vision 1: Disgusting! That girl has totally degraded herself. She needs help.

Vision 2: Hmm, this is hard because even liberals were disturbed by her performance so we need a third vision here, which would be Miley. Miley’s vision: Yeah, look at me! I’m bold and beautiful and everyone is talking about me. Score!

Hugh Heffner at the Playboy Mansion

Vision 1: Creep. Does that guy have anything other than pajamas to wear? Look at him now, just a dirty old man in desperate need of conversion.

Vision 2: What a life! He’s had it all—fame, fortune, power, and girls, and is still going strong.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood

Vision 1: Baby killer! How does she sleep at night, knowing she promotes killing innocent unborn babies in their mother’s wombs?

Vision 2: My hero! You go girl! Keep abortions legal so women can make their own choices.

Richard Dawkins, leading atheist

Vision 1: That hard-hearted, empty soul is leading people to a Godless world and all the way to hell.

Vision 2: Way to show those close-minded Christians what fools they are!

Our different visions create a deep divide in this country. Only one side stands for truth. Which side is that? Both sides would lay claim to that label. A better question is to ask is, who sees the world through the eyes of the Church? Whoever follows Catholic teaching and sees people and circumstances through the Catholic lens, sees reality. Only there can we find the fullness of truth taught consistently for over 2,000 years.

Vision 2, clearly does not share a Catholic focus. But is Vision 1 the Catholic focus? Is that the way God sees things?

God’s vision

Two men getting married: My beloved children

Miley Cyrus twerking: My beloved child

Hugh Heffner at the Playboy Mansion: My beloved child

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood: My beloved child

Richard Dawkins, leading atheist: My beloved child

It is the vision Pope Francis has imparted to the press but without their understanding that loving and accepting these children of God does not include acceptance of sin. Sin is death and hurts individuals and the whole body of Christ. Vision 1 is my personal take yet, there is one thing I have left out—the love God wants us to have for our fellow brothers and sisters.

To love God we must love others as ourselves. Some will mistake that love for acceptance because love must come first. When Francis expresses this, the secular media gets excited and reports that Pope Francis is accepting of homosexuals and atheists and whatever he speaks gently about. But they lack the proper definition of acceptance and report it as approval rather than love.

Likewise, some will mistake our judgments on sinful behavior as lacking love. We must have both. But when we focus on their actions that are against God’s plan for us, we can refocus on them the way God does so that we will want to love them and pray for their salvation more than we want to judge them. So lets all join in prayer for Cecil, Miley, Hugh, Richard, and all God’s children who have lost their way. Lord, we ask that you have mercy on them and bring them closer to you.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love (1 Cor 13:13).

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

Patti Maguire Armstrong and her husband have ten children. She is an award-winning author and was managing editor and co-author of Ascension Press’s Amazing Grace Series. Her newest books are: Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories from Everyday Families, a collection of stories to inspire family love, and Dear God, I Don't Get It and the sequel, Dear God, You Can't Be Serious; children's fiction that feeds the soul through a fun and exciting story. Read more at Catholic News and Inspiration and follow her at Twitter. Please "Like" her Facebook pages: DearGodBooks, BigHeartedFamilies, and CatholicNews&Inspiration

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  • Camila

    And we must remember… sin blinds. We can’t expect those steep in sin (ie pride) to see reality. You absolutely NEED the lens of faith, the lens that elevates reason to a sphere unimaginable to the mind yet so vitally necessary for our accurate understanding of self. We can argue saecula saelculorm all we want – without grace there is no progress.

    We have come so far from the pursuit of truth that even the use of our rational power has been abandoned. At the very minimum, to be a moral relativist is to have abandoned thought and thinking altogether. Is there a more pathetic and sad state of being of one who lives an unexamined life?

    To not know the difference between good and evil is like like being lost in the atlantic ocean. To surrender thought is to throw the compass overboard. Good luck getting home!

    • Diane McKelva

      WOW…. Camila, your response here just gave me chills. Very articulate analogy. God bless you. You said, “To not know the difference between good and evil is like being lost
      in the Atlantic ocean. To surrender thought is to throw the compass
      overboard. Good luck getting home!” 😉 Well, doesn’t that paint a clear picture of what we are talking about here. Peace be with you. Diane

    • Patti Maguire Armstrong

      I agree with Diane, your response is profound, Camila. Thanks for stating the sad truth. Hopefully our prayers will help give more people their bearings.

    • Howard

      Camila, an example of “sin blinds” in real life from a local anti-abortion worker :

      “On Wed, I was at the sidewalk holding my I Regret [my abortion] sign and a large pick-up drove by and a woman was hanging out the passenger side, screaming, and shaking her finger at me “How Dare you, How Dare You want to deprive other women of their right to choose after you availed yourself of the same privilege.” Does she not see, I REGRET that decision with all my heart and I want to spare others the same regret?

    • Camila

      Exactly, Howard. It really does

      “If you remain in my word, you will be my disciples,
      and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

    • Jeff_McLeod

      Pope Benedict once wrote that bobbing in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean was an apt image for our existence.

      The Christian is out there bobbing along with the rest of them, but while the lost ones flail angrily and grope at others to keep themselves afloat, as drowning victims do, the Christian clings confidently to the Cross.

  • Robbe Sebesta

    Great article Patti! We should all strive for God’s vision, even in our human, fallible state. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Patti Maguire Armstrong

    For anyone to use this article to criticize Catholic teachings is off base. I am not going to debate Catholic teachings. They are unchanging. Some customs–such as women wearing head covering–can change, but teachings do not. For those who do not like those teachings, they can attack all they want (and they will) but no one is asking you to make the rules. Individuals are fickle and were not mentioned as the “Fire and Pillar of Truth” in Scripture. No, that was the “Church.”

    An example of this fickleness is the fact that in 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act was signed into law by President Clinton and enacted, stating that marriage was for heterosexual couples. Now, apparently, you deem that to be bigoted. I have a problem with following a religion as it has been taught for over 2,000 years and now having people accusing me of being a bigot for that. But growing up, my values were okay with society. So do I now have to change my beliefs and values and reject the Catholic Church because people like cminca don’t like them?

    • cminca

      OK–Paul told slaves to be obedient to their masters. It was a teaching. So I would imagine that this “unchanging teaching” means you have no problems with slavery–right?
      But of course you do. Because times change.
      There was a time when working on the Sabbath could get you jailed. The scripture teaches that the Sabbath belongs to God. The Hilton family is famously Catholic, but I don’t see them shutting their hotels on Sundays.
      Because times change.
      There was a time that denying women the vote was totally acceptable. Now we would consider saying “a woman doesn’t have the mental capacity to vote” an incredibly bigoted statement.
      Because times change.
      In the 1920s and 30s blackface was absolutely OK. Now most of us would deem it bigoted.
      Because times change.
      In the 50s and 60s segregation was considered OK. Blacks at the back of the bus, different water fountains–separate by equal. Except now we know separate but equal doesn’t work.
      Because times change.
      DOMA was bigoted. From day one. Those of in the LGBT community knew it. We just weren’t loud enough. We didn’t have enough allies who saw it for what it was. Bigoted.
      Because times change.
      You claim that the teaching of the CC hasn’t changed in 2000 years. Sorry for the sarcasm–but can you please let me know when Cardinal Dolan will next be preaching on the acceptability of slavery? I want to be there.
      You don’t have to change your beliefs and values an reject the CC because I don’t like them. You are free to have them. Just don’t expect to be able to utter them in public without consequences.
      Because times change.

    • ME

      Slavery in those days was much different than what we think of in the modern context. In those days, most people sold themselves into slavery basically as collateral to be able to have a job and a place to live for themselves and their families if they had them. Many times, people would sell themselves into slavery as an investment in their future. When their service was up, they could take the money they had earned and go on their way and do something else.

    • In modern terms: indentured servant.

    • cminca

      “However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)”
      Doesn’t sound so different to me.
      (Or are you going to claim this was one of those quaint customs?)

    • Howard

      You have claimed to be a Christian before, exactly how are you determining those parts of what God has told us you will follow?
      Are you trying to understand God or are you trying to become God?

    • Leviticus: laws of the Jews ~1400 years BC.

      Saint Paul: first century AD.

      Still zero evidence of any desire to understand what you’re attacking, or offer a coherent, rational basis for it.

    • cminca

      Leviticus–from the old testament.
      The one Christians ignore when it comes to shellfish (and slavery) but the one the Christians uphold when it comes to homosexuality.
      Nothing like a little Catholic double standard.
      (And please don’t bother with the rationalization tap dance. I’ve heard it before)

    • Again, you display your conceited ignorance of actual Catholic teaching. Perhaps you should base your “knowing” on something besides warmed over myths.

      For those who are not saying “I have made up my mind, do not bother me with the facts”:
      http://www.catholic.com/tracts/early-teachings-on-homosexuality
      http://www.catholic.com/tracts/homosexuality

      Fairly short and to the point.

      More generally:
      http://www.catholic.com/blog/trent-horn/homosexuality-and-hypocrisy

    • Patti Maguire Armstrong

      Thanks, Foxfier, for the excellent references. Defending the truth against myths can get tiring. Some don’t care what the truth is, they just like to attack. For those that care, the information is there for them to educate themselves.

    • Thank you, although I fear my temper just feeds the twisted desires of trolls….

  • John Morizio

    I’m trying my best to raise my 3 children with dignity and respect, including having respect of their own bodies. We are doing this in a home with my husband and I in a happy marriage-a rare situation in America! We are teaching them that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and that we have been created in God’s image and that our self-worth comes from God. When one exposes and exploits themselves to get attention, they are deeply hurt souls that are lacking in attention/self-confidence. They have to look to others for approval. Also, there have been many studies done that children raised by both a mother and a father in a happy marriage is the best for the child. Feelings are neither right or wrong but facts are the facts. People want to make this facts and turn it into some type of discrimination issue. They don’t want to accept the truth. If they would just really open their eyes, the truth would set them free!

  • Nellie

    Well done article! What the author emphasizes, is that love is always the goal. We don’t condemn anyone who holds an opposing view, such as cminca. We pray and hope for the day when society values moral absolutes once again.

    • cminca

      Nellie–
      When you are praying and hoping for the day when society values moral absolutes once again are you hoping and praying for the day when sodomy is criminalized as it once was?
      Are you hoping and praying for the day when Russia passes the law to take children away from homosexual parents?
      Just wondering how far the “We don’t condemn anyone who holds an opposing view” extends.

    • Robbe Sebesta

      I’m not Nellie (obviously), but it seems to me that you (cminca) want it to be okay with the Church, and with everyone, for homosexuals to engage in sexual activity. Or, if it’s not okay, we should just not say anything about it. (Correct me if I’m wrong). But assuming I am right, I for one, do not even need any god or religion to know that it is not right, simply for the reason that two people of the same sex do not fit together – naturally, biologically. Even physicians say that some things should not be done in “that” way, physically speaking. And just because there is no “victim” in your eyes, does not mean there is not one (or two). We are oftentimes victims of our ‘selves’ whether we know it at the time or not. And I for one, do not care one way or another if sodomy is illegal or legal. But I do believe children should not be given to practicing homosexual couples.

    • arnold2005

      cminca to love God is to obey His commandments. homosexual relations is against His Law and Love. There will always be bad Catholics like me. but it will not alter the truth about Jesus teachings.that homosexuals who practice relations outside of sacramental marriage will never inherit heaven.

  • Mary C

    These things come to mind: great sorrow for the way the Lord and His mother are wounded by these sins; the need to increase prayer, sacrifice and hours of Adoration in reparation and for the conversion of souls; the need to go to Confession more often to be freer of my own sinfulness and better able to be a witness to the fulfillment that comes from loving obedience to God’s will, rather than to the disordered passions that arise when He is discarded. The feelings that come are revulsion, at times anger, and fear for the ones who live in such blatant defiance of the Lord’s teachings. Also sorrow for whatever suffering might have led to such pursuits.

    Thank you for living your life!

  • Diane McKelva

    cminca, are you familiar with “moral relativism.” The two visions that Patti offers here are perspectives through two very different moral lens. One is based on moral accountability. The other based on moral relativism, more or less.

    BTW, where do you glean your perspective that the CC is bigoted and that Pope Francis professed a stronger belief in God’s message than the preceding
    popes? I’m just curious.

    Also, SSM whether approved, legalized and legitimized whether through civil union, or sacred sacrament, will open the door to other groups demanding the same recognition for equality. Visit NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association). They have stated in countless interviews that they are supporting SSM so that their opportunity for Man/Boy relationships can be legitimized. To be clear, they want to legalize pedophilia. Does that not concern you?

    I appreciate a chance to hear your thoughts.
    Peace,
    Diane

    • cminca

      Diane–
      First of all–every time someone disagrees with the position of a far right catholic I read “moral relativism”. If you are just going to say that you cannot be incorrect why don’t you just admit that Catholics have their own version of Sharia law that you want us all to adhere to?
      Second–I don’t just listen to what the CC says–I look at their actions. For example, you claim that “love the sinner, hate the sin” is not bigoted. The CC also claims that it is the ACTION of homosexual sex that is the problem. Alright—then you can wrap you head around the concept that it isn’t the CC as bigot that I have a problem with–it is the CC’s bigoted actions (particularly trying to deny gays the same civil rights as other tax paying, law abiding Americans enjoy) that I have a have a problem with. “Love the bigot, hate the bigotry”. OK?
      Ah, the slippery slope argument. Minors are deemed legally incompetent to consent to sex. In order for Nambla to succeed it would have to lower the age of consent. Something that would then let old men marry young women–(you know, like out in Utah). But somehow you CC traditionalists ignore the fact that it is an issue of the age of consent, that it is currently practiced in these United States and that it is far more likely to occur between old men and young girls–in order to focus on just old men and young boys. Can you please explain THAT to me?
      There is no more likelihood of lowering the age of consent than there is suddenly saying that inanimate objects or animals are suddenly capable of consenting to marriage. When the CC can produce a car, or a sheep, that can legally sign a marriage license I’ll worry about the slippery slope. Until then…….

    • Perhaps the reason you keep seeing “moral relativism” mentioned is because that is what those you agree with promote.

      Either way, that has nothing to do with actually responding to her points.

      Do you have something besides changing the subject (fallaciously so) and name-calling?

    • Diane McKelva

      Cminca….thank you for taking the time to clarify your position. However, perhaps we should just agree to disagree. I don’t have enough space allotted here to adequately educate you on why I strongly disagree with your perspectives. But here’s a brief try.

      It is grossly inaccurate to compare Catholic Church teaching, which is taken directly from Holy Scripture and Tradition, and compare it to Sharia Law. Nowhere in Holy Scripture does God call unbelievers “infidels” and order them to be killed. The Catholic Church does not want you, or anyone, to “adhere” to a strict law of conformance. You have free will – given to you by God. It is your choice, and only your choice, to accept or reject. And only you will suffer the consequences of your choice…no one else. No one in the Catholic Church is going to kill you if you don’t comply.

      Moral relativism is not some opinion created by the “far right” Catholics. It is an accurate term for the movement in this country where people determine what’s right or wrong based upon whatever makes them “feel good.” What’s right for you, may be wrong for me, and vice versa. No moral accountability. No consequences to actions. Moral relativism makes people feel less guilty for inappropriate behavior. Not inappropriate behavior defined by the Catholic Church. Inappropriate behavior defined by God. Again, He lays it out in the Ten Commandments. You have free will. You can choose to respect them or not. This applies to SSM and that “slippery slope.”

      You said, “Love the bigot, hate the bigotry”. OK?” There is a lot of anger in your statement. We are all sinners. No one is any better than the next person. We are all trying, striving and praying that we live a life worthy of eternal glory. God created man and woman. Adam and Eve. Not Adam and Steve. Not Amanda and Eve. Sex was always designed and intended to be between a man and a woman. The body parts match up and function properly. Two men cannot have sex the way God intended. They have their version of sex. Two women cannot have sex the way God intended. They have their version of sex. Sex is God’s gift to man and woman for expressing love and procreating his world. Think about it.
      Homosexuals want anyone to believe that they were born this way and should receive our empathy. Okay, let’s go with that. IF they were born this way, then God is expecting great things from them. Living God’s Word despite your human condition is a path to sainthood. It is not any different for an alcoholic, a drug addict, a pedophile. They all say, “I was born this way.” You can use any excuse to your advantage by claiming “God made me this way, it isn’t my fault.” It’s not a statement of validation. On the contrary, it is an excuse for you to continue your behavior, in acceptance, without reprisals.

      By the way, there is documented proof that homosexuality is not born in someone…. it’s an embraced lifestyle. I had a precious family member who admitted his homosexuality was a choice….before he died with AIDS.

      As for the “slippery slope,” this is a huge issue for me since I am a product of abuse. Children should be protected at all costs against any type of physical, sexual and psychological abuse. Period. No exceptions. I have ZERO tolerance. The sexual abuse of children knows no limits. Whether it is girls, or boys, each is vulnerable and needs protection. Evil does not discriminate. Men with boys. Men with girls. Women with girl. Women with boys. It is wrong and contrary to God’s plan for our lives. Children should not engage in sex until they are married and can accept the emotional responsibilities that accompany that relationship. The sex act itself is meaningless. Self gratifying pleasure. The act of making love with your spouse is a Divine Gift that surpasses no other experience.

      NAMBLA is a real and vile threat. Just as disgusting old men leeching after 8 year old girls is just a vile. I will until God takes my last breath, work to keep any child from experiencing the pain and humiliation of abuse. NAMBLA has been actively working to reduce the age of consent to justify their pedophilia. And the ACLU has supported them on more than one occasion. Not related specific to their efforts, but in defending their rights. Their “rights?” To abuse young boys as young as 8 years old in having sex with men as old as 60+. You have to see that this is wrong. And SSM will only open the flood gates for more acceptable for deviant behavior.

      Fifty years ago people would have laughed about SSM. Now they laugh about marriage being defined to include children and animals.

      Peace be with you. Thank you for a rousing debate. I feel like I’ve had a workout this morning. 😉 God bless you. I will remember you in prayer this day. 😉

    • cminca

      #1. “No one in the Catholic Church is going to kill you if you don’t comply.” Well, there are hundreds of years of history disproving that statement, but I’ll give you one that is closer in time. Google “Clement Meric”.

      #2. “Inappropriate behavior defined by God. Again, He lays it out in the Ten Commandments. You have free will. You can choose to respect them or not. This applies to SSM and that “slippery slope.”” Tell me where in the 10 commandments it discusses homosexuality.

      #3 ” It is not any different for an alcoholic, a drug addict, a pedophile.” Except, of course, that all of those behaviors have a victim. Either the person or others. While two consenting adults in a loving relationship do not create a victim. (And gee, why would I think you are a bigot after comparing me to an alcoholic, a drug addict, and a pedophile? Didn’t you forget to include that I probably engage in sex with animals too?)

      #4 “By the way, there is documented proof that homosexuality is not born in someone…. it’s an embraced lifestyle.” I have three points to make. A.) I grew up around horses and spent plenty of time during my childhood pitchforking that off of a stable floor; B.) Cite your “proof”; and C.) if you believe that is true I challenge you to go engage in relations with a member of your own sex and ENJOY IT. Because you can choose to do that–right?

      #5. “I had a precious family member who admitted his homosexuality was a choice…” Then he was bi-sexual and chose to engage with a partner of the same sex. As Cynthia Nixon admitted.

      #6. You have my sincere condolences about the abuse you suffered. But there is no indication that there is any reason to believe that SSM is going to change the age of consent.

      #7. You never addressed my point that old men are currently marrying girls. In this country. If you are so concerned about what MAY happen, I have to ask what you are doing about what is actually going on. Because if, as I suspect, you aren’t doing anything to try and outlaw forced child marriage (when the coupling is hetrosexual) then I have to question your real concern.

      #8. ” And SSM will only open the flood gates for more acceptable for deviant behavior.” So besides comparing me to an alcoholic and a drug addict I’m now “deviant”.
      And people wonder why we don’t believe the “love the sinner” line road apples.

    • Diane McKelva

      Cminca, I must move on. After this disrespectful response to me and reading all your other comments on this post, it is abundantly clear that you have an axe to grind….and you are choosing to grind it here. You clearly have a deep disdain for the Catholic Church and God in general. The tone of your comments indicates that you are struggling with demons in your life and you are reaching out……whether in venting your frustration with life’s disappointments or seeking validation that your perspective on life is acceptable by a God who obviously loves you. I wish you the best in life. I hope and pray that you find peace someday from all the hatred that is rotting your spirit. May God bless you.

    • Diane McKelva

      Oh, and Cminca…..just in case it matters to you….I prayed for you today and will add you to my prayer list daily in hopes that you find the peace and healing that you need.

    • Robbe Sebesta

      cminca,

      In response to this – ” If you are just going to say that you cannot be incorrect why don’t you just admit that Catholics have their own version of Sharia law that you want us all to adhere to?”
      You do understand that there must be a standard set somewhere for people to follow, right? And do you think what Jesus taught would work if everyone tried to follow his way of thinking – really tried I mean. I guess I’m just trying to understand from where it is your anger at the CC stems. Is it just the CC that rankles you? Or is it Christ himself? I truly would like to know….

    • cminca

      You want to know what “rankles” me?
      “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” [Matt22:37-40]
      Now explain “Christian” homes throwing LGBT kids out onto the streets. Because they are gay. Because, in one case, a Catholic Archbishop told a mother she had to choose between her son and the going to hell.
      Yeah, I gets a little “rankled”.

    • Outside of you, who is calling “throwing LGBT kids out onto the streets” a Christian thing?

      Somehow, I doubt that the actual quote you’re thinking of involved that– I would guess it was more along the lines of not “supporting” her son in an objectively sinful action.

    • Robbe Sebesta

      Oh okay…I see cminca, and if anyone is throwing anyone out on the streets for ANY reason, that is NOT a Christian act, period. No one should be literally homeless for any reason. If someone is breaking rules, and they must leave from somewhere, they should be given options of where else they can go. And you’re exactly right – That is the first and greatest commandment, and the second is as you say too. I don’t have any knowledge other than what you said is happening, so I can’t speak for anyone else. I would hope and pray these people are indeed given options as tp where they can stay, because there are plenty of places. This is why we should never tell a woman who is pregnant, “You can’t have an abortion,” yet give her no other realistic options. As for the Catholic Bishop, those are harsh words and I would like to see the exchange in context. However, he may have meant that to support her son in homosexual acts (meaning sexual acts), is to support him in sin, and that is right. We should never support anyone in their sin if we truly say we are Christian. Jesus told the woman who was to be stoned, “Who condemns you?” And when she answered, “No one,” He said, “Neither do I condemn you.” However, he also told her, “Go and sin no more.” He never told her, “Hey, it’s cool to have sex with whomever you think you love,” or whatever…….you know what I mean?

  • cminca

    I’ll offer you another version–
    Two men getting married–since it is a civil marriage (or performed in a church that does approve of SSM) it is none of the CC’s business.
    Miley Cyrus twerking–I will simply turn off the TV.
    Hugh Hefner–Publisher of a successful lifestyle magazine. He identified a market and fulfilled a need.
    Cecile Richards–Providing much needed health care to women along with the Federally protected right to a safe abortion.
    Richard Dawkins–has a right to his own opinion. Same as Cardinal Dolan.
    You see–not one of those people is actually effecting your right to worship or to express your own opinions. Unlike members of the CC who are trying to leverage their position, and pulpits, into political strength. And to use that strength to deny tax paying, law abiding citizens the same CIVIL rights as other tax paying, law abiding citizens.
    The traditionalists in the CC are falling all over themselves and each other trying to spin what the current pope is saying and to prove that he is still, actually, as bigoted as they want him to be.
    The press, and some people, are actually amazed that after years of nasty, mean, and bigoted the CC seems to have elected a pope that occasionally refers to and seems to believe in God’s message of Love. (That message you all talk about and so few of you actually practice.) That amazement is what has lead to the press pieces.
    While I was originally impressed with Francis, I am actually now more alarmed. If traditionalists are correct, his soft sell bigotry is actually much more potentially dangerous than his predecessor’s outright hostility.

    • Howard

      “..I am actually now more alarmed.”
      cminca, you give me great hope. I have been saying all along that one day people will realize that the Pope is really a Catholic.

    • cminca

      Not to worry Howard—there are enough of the old school bigots “spinning” what he is saying to make certain that the message is loud and clear.
      The CC will continue to decline in the west and be forced to try and maintain its livelihood via milking the poor in third world nations.

    • Howard

      We have talked back and forth this way many times. I want to ask you a question, give me an honest answer.
      Do you hate me?

    • cminca

      You want honesty Howard? Then why don’t you tell me why you felt it was necessary to respond to my post with smug sarcasm?
      As for the answer to your question–“Love the bigot, hate the bigotry.”
      I’m sure that that will bathe you in the warm glow that we in the LGBT community feel everytime we hear the CC version of “Love the sin, hate the sinner.”

    • Howard

      So is your answer, ‘No I don’t hate you Howard”.

    • cminca

      Sorry Howard, I’m going to leave.
      Evidently Stacy is capable of deleting anything that upsets her. That is what passes for “dialogue” in her world.
      Besides which–I really do have better things to do.

    • Howard

      You don’t have to leave, just tone it down.

    • Howard

      cimnca…….cimnca……come back cimnca.

    • The difference is cminca, when we say “Hate the sin, love the sinner,” we consider ourselves sinners too. When you say “Hate the bigotry, love the bigot,” you don’t give the impression you consider yourself a bigot.

      Your comments are intentionally mean-spirited. No one owes you that podium.

    • cminca

      Sorry Stacy but when traditional Catholics are discussing homosexuality you are far from considering yourselves sinners.
      I’d suggest you google “Can’t even go to the Park” and see if the author sounds like she considers herself a sinner.
      As for me being intolerant of your bigotry? “Guilty as charged.”
      You may now erase my comments. But as I told you once before, just because you are in a position to make them go away doesn’t make them any less true.
      Over and out.

    • ….YOU are accusing OTHERS of “smug sarcasm”? Or any failure of tone?

      My goodness. Here’s an allusion you might want to call to mind: projecting motes into the eyes of others….

    • cminca

      Sorry–I’m just not going to play along.

    • You mean that you’re going to keep calling names, making false accusations, committing fallacies and generally dragging the conversation down, then pouting if someone points it out.

      How…creative.

    • Cminca, cool it, or your comments will be deleted.

    • John Darrouzet

      The problem is trying to figure out what is behind the double vision. To resolve an optical illusion, like the one of the young-lady/old-lady is impossible [http://sanda-halcyondays.blogspot.com/2012/05/optical-illusions.html]. But I think what we have here is more like the problem of before and after when looing to see something pop out of a Magic Eye image [ http://www.magiceye.com/3dfun/stwkdisp.shtml ].

      While I could take up each one of the examples of double vision, let me consider just one: matrimony v. civil marriage. The first is a sacrament (an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace if I remember my Catechism off the top of my head. The second is a civil symbol of a relationship. What kind of relationship, symbolizing what? Perhaps a friendship that is more than a partnership or a simple joint venture. But whereas matrimony as a civil marriage has had the benefits of acceptance in the society at large, some forms of relationships not sanctified by religion or civil law have not, until recently been recognized as having the status of a religious or civil marriage. That is changing in some jurisdictions by changing laws. While some would argue that it is a matter of rights, I wonder if what needs to pop out of the “Magic Eye” is something completely different. Why, because I don’t see the Church changing the eligibility requirements for the sacrament of Matrimony and I don’t see those who are of the same sex wanting to marry without some form of sanction. Is there any deeper thing both sides of the argument want that pops out at you by way of a new vision altogether?

      Until something new pops out, I fear we will continue to be stuck. Bigotry comes in all shapes and sizes [http://memegenerator.net/instance/28083936].

      Nevertheless, since I stand with absolute truth and not modern relativism, I will continue to communicate with those who are refraining from bigotry, whether they be positivists, systematists, or philosophical heretics. I will tolerate those who do not agree with me, like this guy urges in his video: [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqmTM-mNBL0&list=UU9Gin8zVjjzywF_sW9fkODA ].

      At the same time I will not stand by and let followers of Jesus be scourged with word whips. Rather I will stand with them and offer my back as well.