Nice try, Thomas Peters. But you’re only highlighting Sullivan’s point

Catholic blogger Thomas Peters is accusing Andrew Sullivan of being disingenuous. But in truth, it’s Peters who’s far more clearly bending toward the side of deliberate deception in order to provide cover for crude Catholic condemnations.

Let’s begin here: The following is how Peters quotes an exchange had by Sullivan and Maggie Gallagher at Wednesday night’s debate on same-sex marriage:

Sullivan: In a 1986 letter the current pope wrote [as Cardinal Ratzinger] he said that we should not be surprised – I’m paraphrasing – we should not be surprised that violence is waged against homosexuals given their desire to change society to conform to what they believe, one of the consequences – unfortunate consequences nonetheless of the push for gay equality will be violence against gay people. Which I felt and I think most normal readers of that sentence would agree was a kind of warning that if we do start standing up for ourselves we deserve violence.

Maggie Gallagher: I’m sure that wasn’t what was meant. I don’t know the sentence so we’ll have to go and get the quote if we want to debate that.

Andrew Sullivan: Well, you can find it but it was definitely at the time very disturbing to hear.

One of Sullivan’s lies about the pope [Catholic Vote]

Okay, so Sullivan’s paraphrase charges the current Pope of once claiming that an increase of gay rights will lead to an increase in violence. Sullivan also admits that the Pope saw these supposed consequences as unfortunate, but saw them as consequences nonetheless. So that’s what Andrew, from his admittedly incomplete memory, put on the table. That’s exactly what a paraphrase is: A summation with a built-in caveat that there is more “there” there.

But Peters is all kinds of fed up, saying that Sullivan trafficked in “deliberate misrepresentation of the Church’s position,” and was bent on “maligning the Church” of which Andrew is a part. And to “prove” Sullivan wrong, Peters hauls out the 1986 letter (titled “On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons“) and presents a verbatim transcript of the claims in question:

RATZINGER WROTE: 10. It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.

But the proper reaction to crimes committed against homosexual persons should not be to claim that the homosexual condition is not disordered. When such a claim is made and when homosexual activity is consequently condoned, or when civil legislation is introduced to protect behavior to which no one has any conceivable right, neither the Church nor society at large should be surprised when other distorted notions and practices gain ground, and irrational and violent reactions increase.

One of Sullivan’s lies about the pope [Catholic Vote]

Peters then goes on to further accuse Sullivan of lies and misrepresentations and oversights, even going so far as to say that Andrew “owes Catholics and everyone an apology”:

Notice, especially, the fact that Sullivan completely avoids any mention of Cardinal Ratzinger’s strong and unequivocal condemnation of all violence against homosexual persons. There cannot be any doubt about the fact that Ratzinger is a model of respect, someone who upholds the dignity and rights of all persons, regardless of their orientation.

Sullivan read what Cardinal Ratzinger wrote and now goes around claiming that the cardinal said, “gays deserve violence.” Nothing, nothing, could be farther from the truth.

Sullivan owes Catholics and everyone an apology. Why?

Because he wasn’t paraphrasing, he was deliberately misrepresenting the Church.

One of Sullivan’s lies about the pope [Catholic Vote]

Peters’ outrage is certainly novel. But now go back and read what Andrew claimed versus what the Pope actually said when he was but a Cardinal. Yes, Ratzinger deplored the violence, Popeand Andrew, in his paraphrase, hinted to as much when he alluded to the Pope’s belief that the supposed consequences would be unfortunate. But Ratzinger absolutely did say that violence would increase, and the then-Cardinal directly laid that violence at the feet of gay activists rather than those who might actually bring the brutality to bear!

And actually, it’s not just motivated gay activists who the Pope blamed, but rather anyone who makes a “claim that the homosexual condition is not disordered,” condones their homosexual neighbor, or drafts/passes/supports legislation granting basic civil rights to LGBT people (what with their “distorted notions and practices” and all). Translation: Standing up for gay people’s worth as part of human principle will lead to a natural flow of violent behavior. If anything, Ratzinger’s actual words went even further than Andrew remembered! Because while he didn’t explicitly say that the violence was deserved (and this writer personally wouldn’t use the word “deserved” in describing it), it’s plain to see that Ratzinger did paint extreme aggression as the earned effect of the inclusive human rights cause!

Then if one goes the next step and pulls out some other pertinent passages from this same Pope John Paul era document, he or she will see even more offense. “Intrinsic moral evil.” “Objective disorder.” A “condition” that’s not a “morally acceptable option.” “Contrary to the creative wisdom of God.” An “evil” that should be converted or abandoned with the help of “God’s liberating grace.” Those are just some of the notions that Ratzinger circa 1986 wanted (and presumably still wants) people to support, so as to stave off “irrational and violent reactions“:

Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.

Therefore special concern and pastoral attention should be directed toward those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option. It is not.

As in every moral disorder, homosexual activity prevents one’s own fulfillment and happiness by acting contrary to the creative wisdom of God. The Church, in rejecting erroneous opinions regarding homosexuality, does not limit but rather defends personal freedom and dignity realistically and authentically understood.

It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.

But the proper reaction to crimes committed against homosexual persons should not be to claim that the homosexual condition is not disordered. When such a claim is made and when homosexual activity is consequently condoned, or when civil legislation is introduced to protect behavior to which no one has any conceivable right, neither the Church nor society at large should be surprised when other distorted notions and practices gain ground, and irrational and violent reactions increase.

It has been argued that the homosexual orientation in certain cases is not the result of deliberate choice; and so the homosexual person would then have no choice but to behave in a homosexual fashion. Lacking freedom, such a person, even if engaged in homosexual activity, would not be culpable.

Here, the Church’s wise moral tradition is necessary since it warns against generalizations in judging individual cases. In fact, circumstances may exist, or may have existed in the past, which would reduce or remove the culpability of the individual in a given instance; or other circumstances may increase it. What is at all costs to be avoided is the unfounded and demeaning assumption that the sexual behaviour of homosexual persons is always and totally compulsive and therefore inculpable. What is essential is that the fundamental liberty which characterizes the human person and gives him his dignity be recognized as belonging to the homosexual person as well. As in every conversion from evil, the abandonment of homosexual activity will require a profound collaboration of the individual with God’s liberating grace.


So yeah, okay: Thomas Peters can support this 1986 document all he wants. The National Organization can support Peters with however many links they want to offer. But it is simply undeniable that this document was hellbent on painting self-accepting gays as completely outside of God’s purview, and laying more responsibility for potential violence at the feet of those same gay people who are being shunned by this document, not those who might see the document’s crude language as giving them a godly pass to turn hostile words into hostile action.

They can support it — they just need to own it! Just like Andrew has had to own it and look past it in order to reconcile his faith commitment with his church’s faithful commitment to driving him away.

Good As You

—  admin

Crock 8: Casting activist judgment against Peter’s flawed propositions

Our opposition is at war, friends! And we’re not just talking about the usual wars against fact, credible science, and gay people’s lives and loves. No, no — actual fighting is going on. The Liberty Counsel is sniping at the Alliance Defense Fund. WorldNetDaily is dropping Ann Coulter. And “pro-family” folks like Peter LaBarbera are simply apoplectic that Glenn Beck, someone who they assumed was a lock-solid ally, have come out and said that marriage equality is no big deal.

We’ve already covered the first scuffle. The second one is really too much of a “man bites dog” story to get into right now. So let’s move on to the third: LaBarbera v. Beck. In order to support his cause and lash out against Beck, Pete has issued a list of eight reasons why “Glenn Beck is not just wrong — but has it completely LaBabsbackwards regarding the escalating threat that homosexual activism, culminating in court-imposed “gay marriage,” poses to America’s children and our First Amendment liberties.” We shall now respond.

Pete is in red block quotes, followed by our refutations in standard text:

1) Just as reported homosexual Judge Vaughn Walker overruled the expressed will of California voters (twice expressed) against “same-sex marriage,” federalized homosexual “marriage” would override the documented will of the people in the 31 states that have already voted — some by huge margins — to preserve marriage in the law as what it is: between one man and one woman.

Alright, it’s become like a broken record, but our opposition refuses to listen. So let’s repeat: Voting on minority rights was never a right that the far-right should have ever had. That is what history tells us. That is what courts are increasingly determining. And it is eventually what all fair-minded courts, both of public law and public opinion, will see and say. LaBarbera: 0; Equality: 1

2) Legalized homosexual “marriage” will force businessmen and -women to subsidize homosexual relationships even if they rightly believe that those relationships are immoral and deviant. That is un-American, anti-freedom, and just plain wrong. A businessman who provides marital benefits to his employees could not choose which “marriages” (normal or counterfeit-”gay”) merit company support and which do not — even if he strongly disagrees with homosexual ‘unions’ as a violation of the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God, to quote our Declaration of Independence. If the business owner denied benefits only to “same-sex married” employees, it would invite a lawsuit. You cannot be free and simultaneously forced by the State to use your hard-earned money to reward people practicing bad behavior.

So wait, what about now? Business owners hold all kinds of faith-based personal convictions related to marriage. Some might find infidelity to be abominable. Others might frown upon divorce and remarriage. There still exist objections to interfaith unions. Or interracial marriages. Or marriages where the female is allowed to work outside the home. Or anything, really. Religious people’s marital condemnations do not begin and end with the ‘mos. So the only way that Pete’s logic would have any sort of validity is if current convicted/conflicted business owners were legally able to pick and choose whose marriages are worthy of honor based on nothing more than their personally held biblical interepretations. But they’re not. And they won’t be. Because they shouldn’t be. LaBarbera: 0; Equality: 2

3) Legalized homosexual “marriage” paves the way for even greater pro-homosexuality indoctrination in the nation’s schools than we are already seeing under the mandate of ”sexual orientation nondiscrimination.” Wherever marriage and “civil rights” are taught, homosexual “marriage” would have to be validated because it would be the law of the land (or the individual state). Say Johnny Pupil, a first-grader, asks his teacher: “When I grow up, could I marry a man or a woman?” The teacher — if honoring the State’s newfound “constitutional right” (and so as not to be accused of discrimination) — would have to answer “Either one, Johnny.” Corrupting children’s innocence and redefining morality in the name of “tolerance” and newfangled “rights” directly undermines parental authority. It also turns America’s schools into Pro-Homosexual Propaganda Centers – an evil on a par with legalizing the killing of innocent, unborn children in the womb in the name of “choice” and “reproductive rights.

Acceptance is taught in schools not because marriage exists, but rather because LGBT people exist! The only way for “pro-family” folks to change that reality is to rid the world of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender population. Hopefully that’s not in anyone’s plans.

Plus, in terms of potential marriage conversations: How anti-intellectual is it to suggest that there is any one, specific stock conversation to be had? A teacher who despises marriage, might say, “Get a puppy instead, kid.” A teacher who’d rather not give life advice could say, “Do your work, Johnny!” A discrete teacher, either pro- or anti-LGBT, might say, “I have my personal opinions on that subject, but I will leave it to your parents.” And yes, a teacher who relies on empirical law might give an answer revolving around the allowances afforded by state and civil governments (home and abroad). There are as many possibilities as there are teachers. LaBarbera: 0; Equality: 3

4) And let’s not forget homosexual-”married” teachers. If “gay marriage” is legalized, public school parents would be barred from preventing proudly partnered homosexuals from teaching their kids. (And there could be lawsuits against private schools by homosexual teachers suing for marital discrimination.) Picture a lesbian teacher putting the photo of her and her female parter — or maybe the celebratory photo of them kissing after their “marriage” ceremony — on her desk in front of the class. Teachers are important role models for our children – and all over the country, they talk about their married and family life with their students. However, if all “marriages” are equal, whatever is OK for normally-married teachers to do could not be challenged when perversely-”married” homosexual teachers do it. Hence legal “gay marriage” would be used to normalize homosexual relationships to children.

Again, this notion has nothing to do with marriage! LGBT teachers are already teaching your kids, America. And if an appropriate reason arises, he or she very well might acknowledge a special person in his or her life, the same way that a heterosexual teacher might (although these sorts of personal discussions, gay or straight, are typically rare). The variable here is not whether or not the union is legally binding — gay and straight teachers choose to or to not marry for any number of reasons. The variable at play is the teacher’s personal comfort level. Both ‘mo and ‘ro teachers, now or in an America with 50 state marriage equality, make the personal choice to or to not acknowledge their life, love, and personal dealings.

And no, public school parents will not be given a smorgasbord of teacher options based on where they fall on the Kinsey scale. We didn’t even realize that social conservatives of 2010 were still seeking that Briggs-ian option.
LaBarbera: 0; Equality: 4

5) In homosexual-”marriage” states, school textbooks will be re-written to validate homosexual “marriages” as the real deal — and the winning “gay marriage” would be portrayed as a genuine civil rights achievement. Thus, not only will impressionable minds be corrupted by propaganda that falsely affirms that sexual perversion and marriage are compatible, they will also be taught that to oppose this concept is to stand against “civil rights.” Christians must not be naive on this point: even very young students would be taught that those who fought the “gay” civil rights movement — culminating in its greatest prize, “marriage equality” — are the modern-day equivalents of Americans who fought against racial reconciliation and true civil rights. (Interestingly, polls show that African Americans oppose homosexual “marriage” by wider margins than whites.) The law is a teacher and unfortunately the lesson here is that Americans of faith who agree with God against homosexual “marriage” are small-minded, intolerant bigots who “hate gay people.” That misguided ”lesson” will be drilled into young minds in the name of tolerance.

Schools again? Really? Oy.

Look, the marriage debate is already part of civil rights history. Right now. Unchangeably so. Students from here to whenever will learn about this overwrought civil rights fight. And while social conservatives love the “they’ll treat us like bigots” victimization meme, the reality is that most archivists and historians will instead focus on the merits of the messaging itself. And if these same social conservatives are scared about what kind of take-home a fair presentation of that messaging weighing the arguments of both the “marriage protectors” and their targets might drive into kids’ brains, then they really need to ask themselves why they have this fear. We don’t have it. Why do they?

Now, they would surely blame gay indoctrination. But please! We live in a very conservative America. Many of us on the side of peace and fairness have felt secure in our message for decades, long before public polling was even approaching gay favorability. We’ve felt this security even in our darkest hours. It is a safe generalization to say that we on the side of LGBT rights believe in our cause and its historical staying power. So why doesn’t our opposition? And again, the correct answer is not “the homosexual agenda made it that way.” America has heard both side’s would-be,could-be teachable moments, and the obstacles were certainly on our side. If we’ve succeeded, it’s because we have merit.

If gay-unfriendly Christian parents want to drive home an anti-LGBT message, then they have the right to do that in their homes. Even in their home schools. But in America’s public schools, the message is going to be based on the laws, landmarks (both pro- and anti-), and the players, just as every other single debate is now. The mind will be made up on a personal level, but the evidential folder will be made up with facts. LaBarbera: 0; Equality: 5

6) This is perhaps the most sinister by-product of legalizing homosexual “marriage”: it becomes a very effective and practical tool in the further demonization and denigration of traditional religion in the USA. If the struggle for homosexual “marriage” (“gay civil rights”) is a noble one — and predominantly religiously-motivated opponents are somehow the modern equivalent of the KKK, then something is rotten in traditional religion itself — especially Bible-believing Christianity, which clearly condemns homosexual practice as sinful.

Already, “gay” activists are not shy about equating Christian-based opposition to homosexuality with “bigotry, hatred and homophobia” — i.e., irrational prejudice. If they succeed in persuading the State (through activist judges) to declare “same-sex marriage” a “constitutional right,” then the next step is to lobby government to eradicate any favored status to real man-woman marriage (and, by extension, biblical Christianity) in the public square. Admittedly, this is already happening through leftist groups like the ACLU, but State-enforced “gay marriage” would provide one more powerful tool to push old-fashioned religion to the curb — and indoctrinate children — in the name of “tolerance” and “progress.

First off: Pro-equality people of faith have lived their entire lives in an America that tells them that their staunch belief in LGBT parity is wrong. Anti-equality people of faith have had a long, long, long run of seeing their personal faith condemnations govern public policy. When that changes, and our civil policy is free from everyone’s personal faith, we will all be better off.

What’s so particularly galling about this “gays threaten faith” canard is that historically, LGBT people and progressives have been a gagillion times better at protecting true religious freedom than have the socially conservative evangelicals who so staunchly oppose same-sex unions (and lower Manhattan mosques). We LGBT folk, sensitive to being unfairly stifled, tend to support true religious freedom even when it goes against our lives and loves! We’re not asking for the right to force churches to marry us. We’re not seeking to take Fred Phelps and family off the streets. We’re not asking anyone to stop sharing Leviticus interpretations over their shrimp dinner plates. We’re asking for the separation and mutual respect that is so needed in the U.S. But it has to be respect that goes both ways, and respect that deals honestly with the facts at hand. In this area, the anti-gay Christians are not playing fair. LaBarbera: 0; Equality: 6

7) Legalized homosexual “marriage” has already been shown to hurt the adoption movement — that is, the wholesome and traditional adoption business that seeks to place children in stable homes with a mother and a father. In “gay marriage” states, adoption agencies that adhere to that time-test natural model of family will be forced by state bureaucracies to place children in homes that are motherless or fatherless by design. Will principled adoption agencies be forced to shut down as in Britain or like Catholic Charities in Massachusetts (the Catholic Church teaches that placing children in homosexual-led households is “gravely immoral”)?

If they take state and/or federal funding, then yes, groups like Catholic Charities might have to either choose to treat all citizens fairly under civil law, or they will have to make the choice — and it is a choice — to either stop or shift certain services to organizations that will treat everyone with civil parity. Period. End of story. No further discussion.

And again, you have to flip the script: What about pro-LGBT faith services that are unable to offer certain civil arrangements because of LGBT-hostile policies (which, in recent years, have been mega-financed by Catholic interests)? Why is it only an outrage when it’s civil bias that rules the day?!?! LaBarbera: 0; Equality: 7

8 ) Finally: yes, Glenn, the “gays” — read: driven and well-funded homosexual activists — will “come to get us,” in one important sense (see Beck’s comment to FOX News’ Bill O’Reilly). If history is a guide, homosexual activists will absolutely set their sights on demonizing churches that refuse to marry same-sex couples (a saccharine term I avoid; these are not normal “couples” but people practicing perversion together). Here Mr. Beck, reportedly a Mormon, displays astonishing naivete, particularly for someone in the conservative information business. Homosexual activists came after the Boy Scouts of America (a noble institution heavily supported by Mormon families) — and almost destroyed their right to define who they are as an organization. The poor Scouts came within a single vote on the U.S. Supreme Court of being FORCED by the State to allow homosexual Scoutmasters. And after losing in court, the self-styled and appropriately designated ”queer” activist movement didn’t let up one bit. Instead, they continued their evil crusade against the Boy Scouts — fighting to boot them off of all public properties (in the name of tolerance and equality, of course) and generally working to poison the Scouts’ good name in the minds of Americans.

See # 6: No gay activist — NO.GAY.ACTIVIST! — is trying to force churches to marry gay couples. Individual congregants might be taking on that fight within their individual church body, which is where this conversation should take place. But no LGBT legal group or prominent voice is fighting for the ancillary religious ceremony component of marriage. The organized rights fight is 100% about civil marriage!

And the Boy Scouts matter is 100% different! The issue there is that the Scouts are regularly allowed to utilize public accommodations while disallowing gays, avowed atheists, and others. If churches tried the same thing, then there would be the same fight. Unapologetically so! But as long as the marriage matter continues to involve preachers simply wanting the right to only marry the couples that they choose, then there will be no controversy. Just like we currently support the right of faith leaders to refuse to marry atheists, an interfaith couple, members in bad standing, etc. THAT is a religious freedom — civil bias is not. LaBarbera: 0; Equality: 8

Or as the historical record will remember the civil rights victories from Peter’s anti-LGBT career: LaBarbera: 0; Equality Won.


**SOURCE FOR ALL LABARBERA QUOTES: Why Glenn Beck Is Wrong — Legalizing Homosexual ‘Marriage’ Will Destroy Freedom [AFTAH]

Good As You

—  John Wright

Convicted felon speaker at The Peter’s confab: gays lift weights because they don’t feel masculine

I sh*t you not. And Arthur Abba Goldberg told the teeming crowd of 20-30 people at Peter LaBarbera’s Truth Academy that consensual same-sex relations leads to bestiality, and unintentionally confirms the fact that ex-gay “therapists” are nothing more than pervs, scam artists, and people of need of mental health services themselves. Wayne Besen:

Convicted felon Arthur Abba Goldberg spoke at Peter LaBarbera’s poorly attended Truth Academy on Thursday. His speech is exactly what one would expect from an individual of low moral character and a penchant for extreme dishonest behavior.

He began his talk answering whether “gays can change”, in which he flippantly replied “the simple answer is yes”, to the delight of the small crowd of under 30 people. Then he rhetorically asked, “is gay parenting good for kids?” Abba Goldberg bluntly replied “no”.

In one of the more outrageous parts of his speech, Abba Goldberg made the bizarre claim that allowing consensual sex for LGBT people will lead to a “slippery slope” that will descend into bestiality.

What do you do when you want to french kiss a dog?” asks Abba Goldberg. “Bark once if ‘yes’, and bark twice if ‘no’? Hello…where do we get this idea of consent from?”

The fact that Abba Goldberg even had these wacky ideas as part of his presentation shows that he has more issues than a New York magazine stand. What kind of psychologically healthy person even dreams up these scenarios? Perhaps, this speech explains why Abba Goldberg sees nothing perverse about referring clients to therapists who get clients naked and have them touch their genitals in front of a mirror.

Wayne, I have no idea how anyone takes a wackjob like Goldberg seriously. Blenders, this is the tip of the iceberg; surf over for more unhinged blather. Here’s audio of Goldberg’s wisdom.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright