Saturday, August 18, 2012

"Called to Fulfill God's Will"

Maybe you've read that the Catholic Church hates homosexuals. Pulling it mildly, that's an exaggeration.

As a practicing Catholic, I'm not allowed to hate anybody, including politicians, used car dealers, and homosexuals. We're also told that unjust discrimination is wrong. I've been over this before. (December 9, 2010, March 13, 2009)

I can see how folks could assume that the Church hates homosexuals, though. The Catholic Church says that:
  • Homosexual acts
    • Are not good
    • Cannot be condoned
      (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2357)
  • People with homosexual tendencies
    • must be accepted with
      • Respect
      • Compassion
      • Sensitivity
    • "Are called to fulfill God's will in their lives"
    (Catechism, 2358-2359)
Actually, everybody's "called to fulfill God's will in their lives." (Catechism, 306-308, 847, 2520, for starters)

Love, Hate, and Letting Friends Drive Drunk

If I accepted the establishment's assumptions, I'd feel that if the Catholic Church 'really loves' homosexuals, the Vatican would say homosexual activity was just fine: and push for legalizing same-sex marriage.

Applying the same principle to alcoholics: If I 'really love' an alcoholic, I'll say that getting drunk is just fine, and let him drive home if he wants to.

I don't accept the establishment's assumptions. I also think that driving while intoxicated is a bad idea.

Oddly, "friends don't let friends drive drunk" hasn't been labeled "hate speech."

Personal Taste, Cultural Norms, and Getting a Grip

A particular brand of Christianity was in vogue in my 'good old days.' I'm told that going to the 'right' church was almost a necessity for the ambitious young businessman.

Rightly or not, Christianity got associated with the sort of work ethic parodied in the phrase, 'I'll lie for the company, I'll cheat for the company, I'll steal for the company - but I'll never give up my principles!'

Then there were folks who seemed to have a hard time sorting out their personal tastes, American culture, and 'Biblical' principles like maintaining a 1940s dress code. And that's another topic.

Dealing With Difference, Then and Now

A few generations back, organizations that weren't in favor with the establishment were often labeled "un-American." There was a sort of cottage industry in Washington, turning investigations of alleged commies and pinkos into votes and influence. My opinion.

I can't say that I'm sorry that the 'good old days are gone, when HUAC backed away from investigating the KKK because it "is an old American institution."

The establishment in America looks different today, and has different quirks, but the old 'my way or the highway' attitude toward disagreement hasn't changed. More about that tomorrow morning.

Fulfill God's Will - by Being WHAT?!

"Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect."
(Romans 12:2)

"4 Therefore, from the day we heard this, we do not cease praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding

"to live in a manner worthy of the Lord, so as to be fully pleasing, in every good work bearing fruit and growing in the knowledge of God,

"strengthened with every power, in accord with his glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy

"5 giving thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light. "
(Collossians 1:9-12)

Okay: so I need to follow God's will: which is "what is good and pleasing and perfect;" and to "live in a manner worthy of the Lord ... fully pleasing...." That looks - impossible.

No wonder some folks seem convinced that Catholics are hypocrites: at best.

Happily, we've got help. (Catechism, 1026) Right now, I'm a sort of 'work in progress. (Catechism, 2012-2016) And that's another topic or two.

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Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.