Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Christian Right's Contribution to Evil



The so-called "catholic" blogosphere reacted this week in horror (again, almost in one voice) to what they consider to be a truly evil action. Oh, I don't mean the horrific massacre of 49 people and wounding of dozens of others in an Orlando nightclub. The incident which enraged many "catholic" bloggers was the reaction of certain Catholic bishops and priests to the shooting.

One bishop in particular whom they thoroughly excoriated was Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Florida. What heretical, scandalous act did His Excellency commit?

Bishop Lynch dared to do some deep soul searching in an attempt to understand how one man could become so consumed with hate that he would want to kill as many people as possible for no other reason than he disagreed with them.  How could a society which is primarily based on the Judeo Christian ethic of love thy neighbor produce a person who could so callously kill and wound over 100 people?  Most of America satisfied themselves with the answer that the man was a Muslim extremist terrorist who hated everything that wasn't Muslim.  Others said the problem was the easy availability of guns.

Bishop Lynch, in his post, gave us three contributing factors:

The first reason stated by His Excellency was the easy access to military assault weapons:
It is long past time to ban the sale of all assault weapons whose use should be available only to the armed forces. If one is truly pro-life, then embrace this issue also and work for the elimination of sales to those who would turn them on innocents.
Although I am sure many catholic bloggers disagree with this, I did not read any condemnation of this statement by Bishop Lynch on their blogs.

The third contributing factor to the shootings, according to Bishop Lynch, was religious intolerance:
Third, responding by barring people of Muslim only faith from entering the country solely because of their stated faith until they can be checked out is un-American, even in these most challenging of times and situations. There are as many good, peace loving and God fearing Muslims to be found as Catholics or Methodists or Mormons or Seventh Day Adventists. The devil and devilish intent escape no religious iteration.
Again, I didn't personally see any bloggers argue with this position.

It is the Bishop's second point which enraged them.

His Excellency wrote that it is the prejudices and treatment of others by many of us who call ourselves "religious", including Catholics, that contributed to the hate and prejudice which drove the Orlando shooter:
Second, sadly it is religion, including our own, which targets, mostly verbally, and also often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people. Attacks today on LGBT men and women often plant the seed of contempt, then hatred, which can ultimately lead to violence. Those women and men who were mowed down early yesterday morning were all made in the image and likeness of God. We teach that. We should believe that. We must stand for that. Without yet knowing who perpetrated the PULSE mass murders, when I saw the Imam come forward at a press conference yesterday morning, I knew that somewhere in the story there would be a search to find religious roots. While deranged people do senseless things, all of us observe, judge and act from some kind of religious background. Singling out people for victimization because of their religion, their sexual orientation, their nationality must be offensive to God’s ears. It has to stop also.
This is how some "Catholic" bloggers reacted to Bishop Lynch:
That Lynch is retiring is a blessing, that he should have been removed as a wolf in sheep's clothing is obvious, that he will continue ministering in retirement is probable.
If I were in that diocese I would urge our adult children to keep our grandchildren as far away from him as possible. It appears to me that Lynch illustrates the same attitude toward people that [W.C] Fields did when he said, "Never give a sucker an even break." To the Florida "shepherd," the people in the pews were just patsies providing him income to pay off lawsuits for homosexual predator priests whose activities he covered up and to keep him living in the style to which he'd become accustomed.
Good-bye, Bishop Lynch. Please have the decency to go quietly into the night where you might consider repenting of all the damage you've done to Holy Mother Church. You've embarrassed us long enough.
And
To think that a man of the cloth would exonerate the evil of Islamic jihad ideology and heap its guilt on the back of his own Church is ghastly at best.
Since Bishop Lynch parades as a Christian, he just may be interested in what Proverbs 17: 17 states (or maybe not): “He that justifies the wicked, and he that condemns the just, even they both are an abomination to the LORD.” Back to the secular realms now, Lynch’s view is an abomination to his faith, an abomination to society and an abomination to the truth. He has earned a place on the elite list of useful idiots.
 And
Such reckless irresponsibility on the part of a Catholic bishop at a time like this is nothing short of dangerous. Bishop Bob Lynch should be forced to retire for trying to politicize this horrific tragedy even before the police and FBI have discovered the facts of the case.
And
In addition to praying for the salvation of all the souls who died in Orlando (for many of the victims as well as the murderer were engaging in mortal sins), we need to pray that these wolves in sheep's clothing find repentance and conversion themselves.
These are just a few of the many, many "catholic" bloggers who condemned Bishop Lynch and other priests and bishops who reached out with compassion and love - not judgment - to the victims of the Orlando shooting.  These bloggers believe the best way to show compassion to people is to point out their sins.  It doesn't matter how that affects those caught up in this lifestyle or whether it will help them change and turn to a different way of life.  These "catholics" feel that condemnation is the best way to preach the loving Gospel of mercy and salvation.

In fact, preaching condemnation is not just the best way to preach the Gospel, for these catholics it is the only way. Here is how one blogger stated it:
James Martin, Edward Beck and others of their ilk are liars. They wish to not only meet people where they are but keep them there. Instead of bringing them out of the mire, they only sink into it with them.
True respect and love for "Gay" men and women is found in pointing out the error of their ways and calling them to repentance in Jesus Christ and His Sacraments. Leaving them in their sin is to hate them.

These men will spend in eternity in Hell looking into the faces of those whom they deceived.

We must hope that some of those murdered by the Mohammedan, asked God for mercy before they died. We must pray that those who survived, may see it as a gift and repent of the lifestyle of sin that they have trapped themselves in.
I find it amazing that the people who write such screeds as listed above do not see the hateful, condemning nature of their opinions, or that they are actually and sadly proving the veracity of Bishop Lynch's statement.  

It is highly doubtful that any of those who wrote such hateful blogs have ever been close a gay man or woman. There is no way they could write as they do if they had any personal knowledge of how much these men and women suffer. They do not choose to be gay. It comes as natural to them as being straight does to the rest of us. To ask them to just stop being gay is the same as asking a straight person to stop being heterosexual. IT JUST DOESN'T WORK.

I recently watched a documentary on Netflix about Tab Hunter, a heartthrob of the 1950's and early 60's who was, in fact, a closeted gay man. He was also a Catholic. In the documentary, he talked about his Catholic childhood. He actually loved the Church very much, finding great solace in it, and for you traditionalists, he truly loved the Latin Mass. But he was also in great distress over his same sex attraction, and hated himself for it. He said he went to confession, but instead of the compassion and mercy he was looking for (and which he should have received), the priest condemned him and made him feel even worse. With great sadness, he walked away from the Church.

How many thousands and thousands of times has this been repeated in our beautiful Catholic Church?  This is exactly what Bishop Lynch was talking about.

Many bloggers said that Catholics didn't attack anyone, they didn't kill anyone.   These people need to go back and re-read Bishop Lynch's words:
Second, sadly it is religion, including our own, which targets, mostly verbally, and also often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people.
Does anyone really believe it is helpful to say that homosexuals are sinners headed to hell?  Yes, that is the teaching of the Church, but to just preach that message without compassion and understanding is as lethal as the shooting in Orlando.  Words and attitudes can do just as much harm, and sometimes more harm, than guns and other physical violence.

When we see someone who is physically handicapped, who doesn't have legs, or whose legs don't work, we don't expect them to get up and start walking and running around like those who are not physically impaired.  We must remember that those who are caught up in sinful lifestyles are spiritually handicapped.  The only way in which they can be free of the sin which is destroying them is through the grace of God.  Willpower is not enough to break free of sin.  That is why Christ had to die on the cross.  We struggle and fail to overcome such habits as smoking and overeating.  How do you fight against something that seems as natural as breathing to you?

Pope Francis has been condemned by these same Catholic bloggers (and many priests) because he tell us that following God is not about following rigid rules. What? How can that be? Catholicism is all about rules and regulations! Everyone knows that.

Rules are very important. Rules give us structure, they show us the way in which to walk. But rules are the means to our end goal, not the goal itself. What is the goal?

Following Jesus Christ is about love. John 13:35 - "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." We follow the rules because they teach us how to love God and our fellow man. The best way to love God is to love other human beings. That is what he told us in Matthew 25: whatever we do to each other, we do to Him.

Loving another person means walking with him, feeling his pain, carrying him when he can't walk. Christ actually made it very easy for us when He said don't judge one another. Why? You don't know another's heart and mind, you don't know his inner struggles. You do know that he is a fallen human being living in a fallen world, just like you. Sometimes the best way to love someone is to just be there for him.  Being the best Christian you can be is often the best way to "preach" the Gospel.  

When Tab Hunter went to confession as a child, he did so because he knew that his feelings were sinful.  He went to a priest looking for help.  Instead he received only condemnation.  

As Bishop Lynch wrote:  
Those women and men who were mowed down early yesterday morning were all made in the image and likeness of God. We teach that. We should believe that. We must stand for that. 
I don't struggle with homosexuality, but I struggle with other sins and am as much in need of Christ's mercy and forgiveness as anyone in the gay community.   And if you are a human being living in this world, you're in the same boat with me and everyone else.  No human being has a right to condemn any other human being.

God bless Bishop Robert Lynch for having the courage to stand up for the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.




9 comments:

  1. In the latest installment of "The Vortex" ("The Real 'Hate'"), Michael Voris blasts Bishop Robert Lynch not only for his recent remarks, but for not helping Terri Schiavo when the poor lady was being starved to death in 2005. Catholic in Brooklyn, perhaps you know something I don't regarding the Terri Schiavo situation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Voris just recycles his hateful attacks over and over again. Here is a link to a post I did in response to the same accusation from Voris against Bishop Lynch back in 2013. I hope it's helpful.

      http://catholicinbrooklyn.blogspot.com/2013/11/accuser-of-brethren.html

      Delete
  2. Perhaps you think the Archbishop is wrong for rebuking Lynch for his false statements?
    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/miami-archbishop-rebukes-bishop-lynchs-claim-catholics-share-blame-for-orla

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First off, lifesitenews is a radical right Catholic webisite to which I give very little credence. Secondly, I do believe the Archbishop is wrong. Catholic teaching is, of course, infallibly right. So why did Pope Francis just say that the Church needs to apologize to homosexuals? Because of the very reasons I stated in the above post. Church teaching is correct, but the way many in the Church has treated homosexuals is absolutely shameful and has most certainly contributed towards the hatred and prejudice they have suffered with over the centuries. That was the point of Bishop Lynch's remarks, and I am very sorry the archbishop of Miami cannot understand that.

      Delete
  3. You don't have to believe LifeSiteNews, the Archbishop posted his rebuke of Bishop Lynch on the official website of the Diocese of Miami, so the Bishop would be publicly rebuked for his errors.

    http://www.miamiarch.org/CatholicDiocese.php?op=Article_146642114230620

    The Archbishop of course is correct and teaching the authentic faith, not the twisted distortion of Lynch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julie, I have no doubt that the Miami archbishop actually said these things. I also say that he, along with you and most other bloggers, are not hearing what Bishop Lynch actually said and are refusing to look honestly at how homosexuals and other groups have suffered because of attitudes and actions of "religious" people. If you can deny that, then you are not living in the real world. That is the message of Bishop Lynch, it is the message of Pope Francis, whom you hate, and it is the message of Jesus Christ, whom you say you love. Yes, we have to recognize the sin of the homosexual lifestyle, but Jesus plainly said, "Judge not lest ye be judged." Don't you find it interesting that the only people ever judged by Christ were the religious leaders? That they were the only ones whose sins were specifically denounced by Christ?

      You don't know the minds, hearts and souls of others. You don't know what has happened to them which has led to where they are. Most gays come from very sad and often abusive backgrounds. They suffer tremendously in many different ways. They don't need our condemnation which only leads to more persecution and suffering. We need to follow the lead of the man you hate the most: Pope Francis.

      I hope you can find a way out of your suffering, Julie.

      Delete
  4. Who said I hate Pope Francis? I think he's a rotten pope, that does not equate to hate. But its true, that I and many others are suffering greatly under his pontificate. It will takes years, if not decades to fix the destruction Francis is doing to the Faith.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But he's still the Pope...if you really ARE Catholic, you should watch your bashing of him and simply TRUST him, that the gates of the netherworld will NOT prevail. (And yes, what he's saying IS a matter of faith and morals, so infallibility applies)

      Delete
    2. I will pray for you, Jule, and all of the Catholics like you who think that Jesus Christ is no longer in control. of His Church. Pope Francis is one of the greatest and holiest popes in Catholic Church history, and is bringing great healing to a very sick and broken church. Those who oppose him are just like those who opposed Jesus Christ when He walked the earth. I hope and pray that you will someday see that.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...