Syte Reitz

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world…….

Browsing Posts tagged homosexuality

Abortion and Homosexuality –So What Did the Pope Actually Say?

or

When Two Jesuits Talk

 

assissi Today, October 4th, the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of St. Francis of Assissi. Our Pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a Jesuit, made a bold gesture of love in adopting the name of St. Francis, patron of the Franciscans. St. Francis is commonly pictured with animals.  He was renowned for his love, not only of animals, but more importantly, of all human beings.  St. Francis lived his love to the extreme of adopting poverty himself.  This discussion of Pope Francis’ controversial America Magazine interview is dedicated to this unbelievable Pope on his feast day.
St Francis of Assisi (1181 – 1226)
(from Universalis)
Francis was the son of a prosperous cloth merchant in Assisi. When his father objected to having his goods sold without his
consent to pay for the restoration of a church, the bishop commanded Francis to repay the money. He did. He also renounced his father and gave back everything he had ever been given, even his garments.
He began a life of perfect evangelical poverty, living by begging and even then only accepting the worst food that people had to give. He preached to all the love of God and the love of the created world; because, having renounced everything, he celebrated everything he received, or saw, or heard, as a gift.
A rich man sold everything and joined him in living next to a leper colony; a canon from a neighbouring church gave up his position and joined them also. They looked into the Gospel and saw the story of the rich young man whom Jesus told to sell everything; they saw Jesus telling his disciples to take nothing with them on their journey; they saw Jesus saying that his followers must also carry his cross.
And on that basis they founded an order. Francis went to Rome himself and persuaded the Pope to sanction it, though it must have seemed at once impractical and subversive, to set
papa-francescothousands of holy men wandering penniless round the towns and villages of Europe.
Because Francis was wearing an old brown garment
begged from a peasant, tied round the middle with string, that became the Franciscan habit. Ten years later 5,000 men were wearing it; a hundred years later Dante was buried in it because it was more glorious than cloth of gold.
There is too much to say about Francis to fit here. He tried to convert the Muslims, or at least to attain martyrdom in doing so. He started the practice of setting up a crib in church to celebrate the Nativity.
Francis died in 1226, having started a revolution. The Franciscans endure to this day.

 

Is the Pope Reversing the Catholic Church’s Ban on Abortion and Homosexual Marriage?

e2c2477d41Recently there has been a media stir reflecting some confusion on Pope Francis’ position on abortion and on homosexuality, based on an interview he recently gave to America magazine.

Some in the media implied that the Pope is directing the Church not  to concern herself with the issues of abortion and homosexuality.
ABC went so far as to say that Pope Francis wants the Church to shake off “small-minded” rules on abortion and homosexuality.
Bloomberg claimed “Pope Says Church Should Stop Obsessing Over Gays, Abortion.”
Reuters reported somewhat more correctly that the Pope is asking for a change in tone.

Apparent Contradictions

And yet, the same Pope Francis, in the same America magazine interview in question, in the same paragraph, two sentences later, stated “The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church,” thus confirming his loyalty to Catholic Church teaching.Slide1

Also, the same Pope Francis just excommunicated a dissident priest in Australia the same month, who advocated gay marriage and female priests.

A Pope who just excommunicated someone for their stance on gay marriage is not likely to announce any changes in Church teaching on gay marriage, as liberal media seems to hope. Excommunication by the Vatican is very rare; there have only been 5 since the year 2000, and this is the first one under Pope Francis.

So, What’s the Story?

So is the Pope for abortion and gay marriage, or against?
Is the Church changing age-old teachings, is the Pope a radical progressive, or is the media botching their reporting?
Short answer: the media is botching  their reporting.
Longer answer? Keep reading.

Ignorance, Wishful Thinking or Deceitful Intent?

times square billboards1So the media is botching their reporting, yet again.
Out-of-context quotes from Pope Francis have gone viral a number of times already this year, and it’s hard to guess what the media is thinking by reporting so sloppily.

It’s difficult to determine whether the liberal media’s unprofessional reporting is due to ignorance of religion, to wishful progressive thinking, or to a deceitful intent to recruit more Catholics into the progressive political agenda, by leading them to think that the Pope approves progressive thought.

But far more interesting than speculating on media motivation is to ask what did the Pope actually say, and what is he trying to tell Catholics and the world?

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What did the Pope actually say?
or
When Two Jesuits Talk

The Pope is a Jesuit, America is a Jesuit magazine, and the interviewer, Antonio Spadaro, is a Jesuit with an impressive Jesuit resume.Pope-with-Fr.-Spodara

Jesuits are not feebleminded.  In fact, Jesuits are renowned for their scholarly talent.
When two Jesuits talk, not everybody can follow.

When two Jesuits talk, the discussion is rarely short.
The conversation in question here, the interview between these two Jesuits  was 12,000 words long.
If we typed that up as a college paper, it would be 50 pages long.

In the age of tweets and texting, that’s TMI (too much information) for most people.
We need an interpreter, and the one-liner produced by the mainstream media might not be very representative of what the Pope was really trying to say.

When two Jesuits talk, the discussion is always quite intellectual.  In addition to using theological references, biblical references, Latin phrases and Italian phrases, Jesuits also use references to the classics, to music, to literature, to history, and to numerous other things that leave most of us in the dust.

about-beethoven

Beethoven

Pope Francis’ 50-page interview included references to Puccini, Alessandro Manzoni, Caravaggio, Chagall, Mozart, Beethoven, Prometheus, Bach, Wagner, La Scala, Knappertsbusch, Fellini, Anna Mabnani, Aldo Fabrizi, Cervantes, and El Cid, in addition to his theological and biblical references, and references to saints.

I’ll be up front and admit that I had to do some googling on more than a couple of those!

Bottom Line, When Two Jesuits Talk

When two Jesuits talk,

i.e. when Antonio Spadaro (Editor of the influential Jesuit journal Civiltà Cattolica)  interviews Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis),Slide1

we are not on the View with Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, and Barbara Walters. Whoopi might give a brilliant performance in  Sister Act, but in real life, she’s no Jesuit.

When two Jesuits talk, the conversation will be deep, it will be significant, it might take the rest of us some ploughing to get through it, but what we unearth will be worth the effort.

Recommendation

So my recommendation would be to read Pope Francis’ interview in it’s entirety.  Pope Francis is inspired, and he’s delightful.  I enjoyed the experience.  The interview can be found at America Magazine.

ppmorlino

Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison

Failing that, if you’re looking for some Cliff notes and an interpreter, where better to get that than from Jesuit #3, Madison’s Bishop Robert Morlino?

Bishop Morlino’s synopsis and observations on the Pope’s interview can be found at the Catholic Herald’s Bishop’s Column, September 26th, 2013.  Bishop Morlino’s got it down to under 2,000 words, or about a 7 page term paper.  Bishop Morlino is always a good read. And he’s very good at bringing it to our level.

Finally, if you want the perspective of one in-the-pew-Catholic like me, read on at your own (spiritual) peril.  It will probably be way longer than Bishop Morlino’s version, and way less accurate.  But here we go… thoughts from the pew…

The Controversial Paragraph

The media had to dig through half of Pope Francis’ 12,000 word interview, or through about 25 pages, before they could find one sentence that could be morphed by media into being “controversial,” albeit out of context. Here is the relevant paragraph (highlighting mine):

We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

Slide1

Note that the first highlighted item is the primary one reported by the media, while the second one, asserting that Church teaching has not changed and that Pope Francis is faithful to that unchanged teaching, was ignored by the media.

Rather then focusing on this out-of-context media implication that Pope Francis may be open to changing fundamental Catholic Church teaching, which is clearly disproved by the second highlighted sentence and by the recent excommunication, I’d like to focus instead on the title of the Pope’s interview, and on three points that leaped out at me when I read the interview document.  These items illustrate very clearly and succinctly the message the Pope was trying to send us.

The Title

heartThe title of the Interview, approved by Pope Francis, was A Big Heart Open to God.

O.K., the Pope is saying we must have a big heart.  A big heart means love, self-explanatory.  No small hearts in the Church, please. We do everything with love.

The Pope is also saying that we must be Open to God.  What does that mean, to be open to God?  Well, we should be listening and seeking what God wants of us, as opposed to demanding what we want from God.  We should not ordering God, not ranting against God. Open to God means obedience to Christ’s teachings, obedience to the Church.  Our hearts should be open, waiting to be filled.

A Big Heart Open To God.
In six words, the Pope has managed to teach lovingly to both extremes in his unruly Church.  Disciplinarian dogmatists are reminded to have a big heart.  No Pharisees, please.  And liberal progressives are reminded to listen to God, to obey God.  No rebellion against Christ’s Church.

Pope Francis, the good parent, has spoken kindly and gently to his unruly bickering children, calling for unity, and reminding us in six words what we have to do.

 

 The First Question

The first question asked of the Pope was “Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?”

Of all possible answers, Pope Francis chose “I am a sinner.”

Not “I am the grand high exalted holy ruler of 1 billion people.”
Not “I am a holy man.”
Not “I am a priest.”
Not “I am a Jesuit.”
Not “I am an Argentinian.” or “I am an Argentinian-Italian.”
Not “I am the son of Mario and Regina Bergoglio.”

No, instead the Pope said “I am a sinner.”Slide1

This Jesuit was not faking humility.  His words were carefully chosen, not to be about him, but to teach us.
The good gentle shepherd is reminding us “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7)    By calling himself a sinner, he is reminding us not to throw stones at each other.

Pope Francis is telling us to treat sinners with mercy, because we are all sinners.
He is teaching gently by example, by announcing that he too is a sinner.
We must all remember that we are sinners, if we want to attract anyone to the Truth.
There is no room in the Catholic Church for holier-than-thou condemnation.
We must start with compassion, and not with condemnation.

In the interview, Pope Francis identifies his own calling with the calling of St. Matthew, the tax collector.  Our Pope says “ I am a sinner whom the Lord has looked upon.”  Pope Francis wants to reach out lovingly to other sinners, and he wants us to do the same.

What Does It Mean for a Jesuit to be Bishop of Rome?

Early in the interview, Pope Francis was also asked “What does it mean for a Jesuit to be Bishop of Rome?”

Blessed John XXIII

Blessed Pope John XXIII

The Pope’s answer, quoting Pope John XXIII’s philosophy and motto, jumped out at me as illustrating his loving and nurturing approach to exercising authority, and as illustrating what he is asking of us:

The Pope said See everything; turn a blind eye to much; correct a little.

Again, our Pope, like a good shepherd, guides gently and slowly, rather than overwhelming us with condemnation and criticism.  He asks us to extend the same courtesy to each other.

The Pope also emphasized the importance of prioritizing discernment (discernment always done in the presence of the Lord).  This means that time and prayer are the most appropriate means for approaching problems, and we must be wary of impulses and hasty decisions.

This is how Pope Francis sees the role of a Jesuit in the Chair of Peter.

The Church as  a Field Hospital

The Pope gives us a third window into his philosophy in this interview, in his comparison of the Church with a field hospital:21nnkfm

I see clearly, that the thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds…. And you have to start from the ground up.

It’s pretty clear that the Pope is not advocating or approving high cholesterol, but he recognizes that wounds have to be prioritized over cholesterol concerns.  He’s telling us to examine what we prioritize when we look at each other.  Do we turn a blind eye to much, identify the biggest wounds, and tend to those, before launching into overwhelming criticism?

We are not likely to get our culture on board with giving up abortion and homosexual marriage by condemning them.  It is by offering the love and peace of Christ that we will attract them, and the rest will follow in due course.

Respect for others does dictate kindness and a gentle approach.  Which one of us would like to be approached first with recriminations about our sins?  Who are we to decide that the degree of evil in the sins of others (gay lifestyle, abortion) is greater than the degree of evil in our own sins (pride, greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy and sloth?).

Take Home Message

We could go on, quoting from and discussing the Pope’s interview.  But then this article would become longer than the Pope’s interview, and you are much better served reading Pope Francis’ actual interview yourself.

Pope reaches outThe biggest take home message this Catholic found in reading the Pope’s interview was that when evangelizing, our Church needs to proceed with love, humility, and gentleness, and we need to prioritize humanity’s biggest wounds. We also need to work on obedience and on unity.

And what are humanity’s biggest wounds?
Our Pope, discerning carefully in the presence of the Lord, will help us to identify those.
He’s been remarkable so far, flooding the world with his love, and including all of humanity in his flock.
His outreach to atheists is symbolic of his profound love for all of humanity.

A Club of 1 Billion

The Catholic Church is a global club of of 1 billion people.

Like any other large group, including large nations, we have our  conservatives and we have our liberals.  Some liberals and conservatives make good points.  Others take a good thing too far.Shepherd

The person in charge of 1 billion people, in this case the Pope, should be a unifier, an educator and a leader, not a divider.  He should not start with criticism, blame and attack.  A good leader observes, waits, and corrects a little at a time; he breaks up job assignments into small manageable parcels.
This is what Pope Francis is doing, and his approach should not be taken to mean that he approves sin or that he has changed Catholic Church teaching.

The Pope has given us our marching orders in the gentlest manner: time for authoritarians to tone it down and to lead with love, and time for rebels to prioritize the will of God over their own will.

What Jesuits Do

What do Jesuits Do?

Jesuit PopeJesuits were founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola, and are noted for their educational, missionary, and charitable works.

Then we should not be surprised when Pope Francis, a Jesuit, wants to teach, to teach the faith, and to teach the faith with love.

Pope Francis’s interview illustrates that he is a deep thinker, a compassionate shepherd, and a well-educated intellectual.
He’s made a great start in less than one year, with discernment, with humility, and with love.

The Best is Yet to Come

Few of us are qualified to judge a Pope.
Those of us who think we are probably have an issue with pride.
So when the Pope says something that surprises us, we need to examine what he said with an open heart, and have the humility to admit that his correction may be deserved.

In my judgement, this Pope is remarkable.  As were the previous ones in my lifetime.

Pope Francis’ Global Adoration effort and his day of prayer and fasting for Syria are among his first official actions.
With these actions, the Pope illustrated to us the importance of bringing faith into life, and into public life.
Pope Francis demonstrated the urgency of interconnection between Church and State.  Interconnection not from the top down, but from the bottom up.  The State does not dictate the faith of the citizens, but the citizens must use their faith and their God-given conscience and must stand up for what is right.

The results global prayer and fasting combined with interconnection between Church and State are just beginning to roll in.  The best is yet to come.

Not Just for Catholics

This is not just for Catholics.  Everyone should get on board.
This Pope is reaching out to all of humanity, including atheists.
He seems to be getting a very positive response to his call.

Summing Up

Pope Francis’ interview can be summed up pretty simply-

  • Drop the finger-wagging, get out the smiles, treat people with respect, pray hard, pray globally, and correct just a little at a time.
  • Remember, respect includes not calling people out publicly for their sins, at least not as the first resort.
  • We attract more bees with honey than with vinegar.
  • Sin is still sin, what’s wrong is still wrong, but let’s not forget the beam in our own eye when pointing out the splinter in someone else’s eye.

Does that mean that we give up the struggle to eliminate abortion or to preserve marriage?
No.
But those are not our opening efforts, before we break out mercy and love.
We don’t lead with those items while evangelizing.

 

Appendix:  More VIRAL QUOTES from Pope Francis:

From the Washington Post: Pope Francis’ Viral Quotes on Wealth, Abortion, Atheists, War and Gay Catholics. 

We can never serve God and money at the same time. It is not possible: either one or the other. This is not Communism. It is the true Gospel!
Pope Francis poses for a photo after meeting with young people in downtown Cagliari, Italy, on Sept. 22, 2013. He spoke of the ‘idol’ of money during a trip to the region, one of the poorest areas in Italy.
Pope with Italian Youth2
Every unborn child, though unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of the Lord, who even before his birth, and then as soon as he was born, experienced the rejection of the world. . . . They must not be thrown away!
Francis spoke about abortion on Sept. 20, the day after the publication of an interview in which he said that abortion, gay marriage and contraception should not become “obsessions” for faithful Catholics.
 Kisses baby
We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible, Pope Francis said in an interview that appeared in Jesuit publications around the world on Sept. 19, 2013. “I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear, and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time. Speaking
If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge? Francis remarked to reporters aboard the papal flight on its way back from Brazil on July 29, 2013.
Pope Francis reached out to gays during the news conference on the plane, saying he wouldn’t judge priests for their sexual orientation in a remarkably open and wide-ranging conversation as he returned from his first foreign trip.
Slide1
War is madness. It is the suicide of humanity. It is an act of faith in money, which for the powerful of the Earth is more important than the human being.
Pope Francis celebrates a worldwide Eucharistic adoration ceremony after his comments on war at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on June 2, 2013.
Global Adoration
Eternity “will not be boring,” Francis declared May 31, 2013. Later that day, nuns held up candles during a ceremony led by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square.  Slide1
The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone. ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! Pope Francis said during Mass on May 22, 2013.
In the photo, Pope Francis delivers a speech during a meeting with young people in September 2013 in Cagliari, Italy.
Speech in Italy
If the investments in the banks fall slightly . . . [it is] a tragedy . . . what can be done? But if people die of hunger, if they have nothing to eat, if they have poor health, it does not matter! This is our crisis today!
Pope Francis speaks after meeting with the faithful of ecclesial movements on the occasion of a Pentecost vigil in St. Peter’s Square on May 18, 2013.
Pope Francis reaches for babies

 

 

 

“I Follow Hate”

or

Why Do Liberals Keep Shooting Themselves in the Foot?

I’ve just been “followed” on Twitter by an anonymous somebody who calls themselves ifollowHATE

Most people on twitter follow what they LIKE, not what they HATE.
Hate is quite discordant with the cute little twitter bird, which represents a social network with members “chirping” or “tweeting” information to each other for the purpose of networking.

Self-Definition

Yes, I know, ifollowHATE is not indicating that he or she hates me.  They are implying that I hate, and this is their attempt to label me as hateful.

You do have to wonder about people who define themselves not by what they believe, but by whom they judge, whom they oppose, and whom they hate.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, for example, has been one of those rare groups which define their beliefs by a negative and whose activities center on interfering with the beliefs of others.

ifollowHATE has by no means isolated me alone.  ifollowHATE follows 2,247 people and groups on Twitter, and has made 7,544 tweets.  Clearly not a casual tweeter, nor a casual activity.  Quite a bit of effort has been invested in this hate-labeling campaign.

Why Me?

ifollowHATE was probably inspired to follow me on Twitter by my recent article on Gay Marriage and HomosexualityifollowHATE self-identifies on Twitter as:

I follow people that follow the group that fans the flames of hostility against blacks and gays (their words, their admission)”

Ironically, my article, although disagreeing with the radical gay agenda, was anything but hateful.  I challenge ifollowHATE or anyone else to find a hateful remark in my article.

Where’s the Logic?

Most would expect those who promote the gay lifestyle to direct their efforts toward explaining the benefits of their philosophy.
Or, perhaps, to defend criticisms others make against their philosophy.
But scanning the Internet for websites which disagree with you, and labeling them hateful without explanation is not a marketing philosophy that is likely to sell an idea.

Intimidation

So if ifollowHATE’s motivation is not promotion of the gay lifestyle, what is it?

ifollowHATE’s intention is probably intimidation.  Conservative bloggers are frequently targeted by radicals, as Michelle Malkin describes.

Yesterday, Michelle Malkin posted Free Speech Zone, showing solidarity for targeted conservative bloggers, whose ranks I have apparently officially joined today.   Michelle writes:

Over the past eight years that I’ve been blogging and operating Internet media companies, I’ve witnessed or experienced firsthand some of the most unhinged behavior against conservatives — from individual harassment and intimidation, to e-mail bombs and e-mail hackings, to troll infestations, distributed denial of service attacks, coordinated spam block attacks, and death threats.

Michelle’s reaction to threats:

Over the past twenty years that I’ve worked in daily opinion journalism, written books, and traveled across the country speaking in every type of venue, I’ve always believed that the most effective response to attempted censorship of conservatives is more speech, not less.

More. Louder. Bolder.

Internet Bullying

This internet targeting of conservative bloggers, or internet bullying, seems to be a common tactic utilized by the left.
All part of Alinsky tactics, or trying to justify the use of dirty tactics to achieve one’s goals.

And, like most bullies, ifollowHATE  is cowardly and hides behind anonymity. Like most bullies, their chances of success are slim.

Revealing Name

So ifollowHATE spends his or her time pursuing, judging and labeling others, behind an anonymous mask.
Ironically, this makes ifollowHATE more hateful than the people they are presuming to judge.  ifollowHATE really does follow hate; but the hate is found in their own heart, not in the hearts of those whom they try to label.

Half of America Hates

Some of the individuals and groups labeled by ifollowHATE as being hateful include:

American Papist, Catholic Music, Catholic News Service, Catholic Radio Dramas, Catholic Writers Guild, National Organization for Marriage, and The Witty Catholic

Not bad company I have just joined!
This list also indicates that ifollowHATE’s hate seems to be directed primarily at Catholics.

And, according to ifollowHATE’s  definition of hatefulness – disagreement with the radical gay agenda –half of America must hate, too.

Who Gets to Define America’s Moral Values?

When it comes to the marriage question, 1.7% of the population, gays, is trying to dictate the law to 98.3% of America, those who are straight.

It’s actually even less than 1.7% trying to dictate the law, since the vast majority of gays do not seek gay marriage.

What can radicals be thinking?  That Americans will take well to intimidation by minority?  The more they step up the aggression and the ridicule, the less likely they are to succeed.  They are shooting themselves in the foot.

So What has ifollowHATE   accomplished?

Am I planning to return ifollowHATE’s follow?
Not highly likely.
So ifollowHATE is not likely to network effectively on Twitter.

Will   ifollowHATE succeed in spreading their philosophy by this method?
Probably not.

Actually,  by focusing all his or her efforts solely on attacking all who disagree with them without explanation, ifollowHATE simply makes themselves look foolish, damaging their cause.

What a sad waste of time!

Gay Marriage and Homosexuality

 

Homosexuality is a hot topic that was bound to make it onto this cultural values blog at some point.
The Catholic Church’s position on homosexuality (which I support) is not popular in Madison, where I live. Madison is a very liberal– no, radical place. Home of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and numerous other radical groups.

I have delayed discussing homosexuality on my blog in the past.  Primarily because I would rather focus on the “wooden beam in my own eye” before pointing out “the splinter in my brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:3   In other words, I am in no rush to discuss the sins of others.  I am also no expert on this subject.

Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye. – Matthew 7:3  

 However, recent events in the news have brought the subject of homosexuality to the forefront of public discussion again, and perhaps it is time for me to weigh in with some thoughts.  I will defer to experts on the subject and provide some useful references below for those who are interested in understanding why the preservation of traditional morality and of traditional marriage is so important to so many Americans.

Recent events:

Vice President Biden announced five days ago that he was ‘absolutely comfortable” with homosexual marriage, thus putting President Obama on the spot regarding Obama’s position on homosexuality.

Obama "evolving"

Most recently, President Obama had said that his position on homosexual marriage , although he was opposed a few years ago, is “evolving.”  So now President Obama was placed on the hot seat regarding this issue.
Three days ago, North Carolina approved and amendment banning gay marriage, and banning same-sex civil unions as well.

Yesterday, President Obama announced his personal support of gay marriage, after statements in the past opposing gay marriage.  He attributed this change to his “evolving stance” on gay marriage.

The other two Presidential candidates (Mitt Romney and Ron Paul), mirroring the values of the majority of Americans, still stick to the traditional definition of marriage as one man- one woman.  And no, the Republican primary is not yet over!  (Updated post coming soon.)

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Where Does America Stand on Gay Marriage?

Some data indicates majority support of gay marriage

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Gallup results indicate that half of Americans support legal gay marriage.
The results seem to be hovering right around 50/50, within the margin of error, within the last two years.

CNN polls indicate that a slight majority of Americans support gay marriage (50% support, 48% oppose).

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Some data indicates majority opposition to gay marriage

North Carolina’s passage of a state constitutional amendment legally preventing gay matrimony yesterday makes North Carolina the 30th state to implement a ban on same-sex marriage.  30 States out of 50 is 60%.  This implies that 60% of America opposes gay marriage. continue reading…

Wisconsin Sex Ed:  There’s an Elephant in the Room

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It’s become pretty challenging, trying to cut through the rhetoric, to understand what’s actually going on with the Wisconsin Sex Ed bill.  At first glance, the political posturing and contradictions are bewildering—until you look at the raw data on teen pregnancy and STDs, and realize that everyone is tiptoeing around an elephant in the room.

Some of the Background:

In 2010, Wisconsin’s liberal legislature passed a liberal sex ed bill, called the Healthy Youth Act, or HYA. Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider, gets to design the curriculum.

In 2011, the new, now conservative legislature which was elected in Wisconsin in November 2010, has recently proposed a modification to the liberal sex ed bill, which would allow conservative communities to opt out of the most progressive requirements of the “old” 2010 sex ed bill (HYA), such as opting out of the condom demonstration in the classroom requirement.  This proposal is called Senate Bill 237,  or SB 237, or Strong Communities Healthy Kids Act or SCHKA

Outside the SB 237 Senate Hearing (Photos of Senate hearing by Tom Reitz)

More details:

Conservative objections to HYA (now in use in Wisconsin):

1. HYA requires Sex Ed with a liberal and permissive spin or no sex ed at all:
If sex ed is taught, every community in Wisconsin must teach ALL elements of the curriculum outlined in HYA , including the demonstration of condom use in the classroom.  Misleading phrases such as “medically accurate” and “age appropriate” are used in HYA to require the teaching of detailed explicit sexual practices and methods, including the practices previously considered by law, and still considered by numerous religions, to be deviant, unhealthy, risky, and damaging to society. continue reading…

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