"Harry Knox, a member of President Barack Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, has stood by his past comment that Pope Benedict XVI is 'hurting people in the name of Jesus.'I think I understand Harry Knox's point: the Pope, reflecting Catholic teaching, assumes that Africans are people: capable of reason, self-control, and other qualities which haven't been fashionable in the West recently. This 'obviously' shows great 'insensitivity,' and is 'hurting' Africans.
"Knox, a former licensed minister of the United Methodist Church and a leader with the homosexual activist group Human Rights Campaign (HRC), originally made his comments in March 2009 in response to Pope Benedict's comments about the effectiveness of condoms in fighting AIDS in Africa...."
(CNA (February 4, 2010))
'As is well known,' teenagers, Africans and The Masses in general have about as much self-control as a cat in heat. And so must be protected from themselves. I don't buy the idea. But then, I'm one of 'those' people: practicing Catholics.
Unmentioned in Polite SocietyUnfortunately, from one point of view, people in some parts of Africa have decided to stop using condoms and start using their brains. And even worse - again from one point of view - the incidence of AIDS has gone down in those areas. (March 17, 2009)
Haven't heard about that? I'm not terribly surprised. That information doesn't square with what America's dominant culture wants to believe: and so doesn't get discussed much.
It's sort of like sex is supposed to have been in Victorian England: There are some things that decent persons simply do not mention.
It Could be WorseLooking at places like China, I realize that the situation for practicing Catholics could be a lot worse here in America.
We're even allowed to hold positions in the government:
"Several Catholics are included among President Barack Obama's announced appointments to his advisory council on faith-based partnerships. However, the appointees also include a homosexual activist who has described the Pope as a 'discredited leader' and the Knights of Columbus as 'foot soldiers' of an 'army of oppression' because of their opposition to same-sex 'marriage.'Sure, there's that 'Knights of Columbus are an army of oppression' thing, but really: it could be worse.
"Anthony R. Picarello Jr., General Counsel of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), was announced as an appointee on April 6. A former head counsel and executive director of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, Picarello has litigated several major religious freedom cases. He is a 1991 graduate of Harvard University and received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1995...."
(CNA(April 8, 2009))
How Can He Work With Those People?As to how a practicing Catholic - particularly a General Counsel for the USCCB - could, in good conscience, work with an American government that's so sincerely non-Catholic? The way I look at it is this: the Catholic Church works with people where they are.
A dozen centuries or so ago, the Church didn't wait for leaders of Europe's war bands to develop the Magna Carta and parliaments. Missionaries went in, showed folks living in my ancestors' homelands what this Jesus fellow was about: and eventually we got things like the Notre Dame Cathedral.
Sure, we lost cherished cultural traditions like human sacrifice: but we also (eventually) got more humane laws. I think it was a good trade off.
Name-Calling and Being a Catholic in AmericaI'm a member of the Knights of Columbus, by the way. And I've written about today's quirky notions regarding marriage before.
How do I feel, having a group I belong to called 'an army of oppression?'
I don't like having being labeled a "foot soldier" in an "army of oppression" by one of my government's officials, but I'm used to that sort of thing.
I've done time in American academia: where any view might be openly and freely discussed. Provided, of course, that the view was approved by the professors and the more earnest students.
I hadn't converted to Catholicism then, by the way.
They had some ideas that, stripped of their loopy ideological trappings, made some sense. Like the much-maligned "multiculturalism." I didn't buy into the notion that everything America did was icky: but the core idea that people were people, no matter where they lived, seemed to make sense.
Which, eventually, led me to join the Catholic Church. And that's another topic.
- "Reason, Faith and 'What Folks Know, that Just Ain't So' "
(June 4, 2010)
- "Those Heretics May Not Like being Called Heretics"
(May 16, 2010)
- "Religion Doesn't Cause Intolerance?!"
(February 27, 2010)
- " 'Catholics and Muslims along with the fake Jews all are Satanic Cults' - Who Knew?"
(April 2, 2009)
- " 'Get f****d, Catholic Church' - It Comes With the Territory"
(March 18, 2009)
- "Good News from Africa: But Some People Won't Like It"
(March 17, 2009)
- "Obama faith-based advisor maintains that Pope hurts people 'in name of Jesus' "
Catholic News Agency (February 4, 2010 )
- "New Obama faith-based advisor described Knights of Columbus as 'army of oppression' "
Catholic News Agency (April 8, 2009)