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May I share with you a joke my father, who was trained in the Benedictine order, used to tell, about the Jesuits? I could tell he always secretly wished he had been a Jesuit priest instead because of their more rigorous academic training. He would  laugh more than I'd ever see him laugh about anything when he would tell his joke, which was delightful and funny, because my father usually didn't express much emotion. BTW he left the Church to become an agnostic and I become a scientific humanist.  

A Benedictine monk and a Jesuit priest are at a big Catholic conference, and go into the men's room to take a pee. As they are leaving, the Jesuit priest is washing his hands and sees the Benedictine monk leaving without washing his hands. The Jesuit says to the Benedictine,

"You know in the Jesuit Order they teach us to wash our hands after we pee."

To which the Benedictine monk says, "Well in the Benedictine Order they teach us not to pee on our hands."

Michael O'Loughlin, author of Jesus: a Pilgrimage, writes Catholic Priest: Church Must Love Gays an article about a prominent Jesuit Priest James Martin who is challenging the Roman Catholic Church to change its attitudes towards the LGBT, and “to love gays and lesbians more deeply," by dropping the insulting "hate the sin, but love the sinner" philosophy which in his analysis is bogus and offensive.  

“The language of ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’ is difficult for many gay people to believe when the tepid expression of love is accompanied by strident condemnation. And the notion that love calls first for admonishing the loved person seems to be applied only in the case of gays and lesbians,” he writes.

The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered” but says gays must be treated with “respect, sensitivity and compassion.”

O'Loughlin quotes these steps forward offered by Martin:

“First, it would mean listening to their experiences — all their experiences, what their lives are like as a whole. Second, it would mean valuing their contributions to the church. Where would our church be without gays and lesbians — as music ministers, pastoral ministers, teachers, clergy and religious, hospital chaplains and directors of religious education? Infinitely poorer. Finally, it would mean publicly acknowledging their individual contributions: that is, saying that a particular gay Catholic has made a difference in our parish, our school, our diocese. This would help remind people that they are an important part of the body of Christ. Love means listening and respecting, but before that it means admitting that the person exists,” he writes.

This remarkable admission accurately reveals the "hate the sin, but love the sinner" as the bogus and thinly disguised public relations "pivot talking point," and dog whistle that it has always been. What this expression has always really meant, and everyone knows it, especially the LGBT is, "we hate the sinner too, but because we are "good Christians" and the Bible says good Christian "love everyone" this is our "get out of jail free card," automatically excusing us from any accusation of homophobia.

Let me make clear I am talking about just the subset of the "so called hateful Christians" not the vast majority of authentic compassionate, loving Christians who follow the true message of love, compassion, tolerance, lack of judgement for ones fellow man actually found in the New Testament.

Being a HoundDog, I have an "extra sensitivity" for subtle clues like this, (Humor alert, Father forgive for the sin of pride etc. etc. etc. (double humor alert)
so I followed the link to learn more about this Father James Martin, S.J, who turns out to be the editor at large of America and the author of the new book Jesus: A Pilgrimage.

Looking in the May 26 - June 2, 2014 issue of The American Magazine for his full article, we find Simply. Jesuit priests tend to know how to charm folks better than any other Catholic leaders and, according to my father, are among the most highly educated and articulate of all the Catholic priests. Father Martin is no exception.  


The language of “hate the sin, love the sinner” is difficult for many gay people to believe when the tepid expression of love is accompanied by strident condemnation. And the notion that love calls first for admonishing the loved person seems to be applied only in the case of gays and lesbians. To take another example, it would be like telling a child, “You’re a sinful child, but I love you anyway.” This can end up sounding more like, “Hate the sinner.” ...

Let me suggest a reason beyond the fact that many gays and lesbians disagree with church teaching on homosexual acts: only rarely do opponents of same-sex marriage say something positive about gays and lesbians without appending a warning against sin. The language surrounding gay and lesbian Catholics is framed primarily, sometimes exclusively, in terms of sin. For example, “We love our gay brothers and sisters—but they must not engage in sexual activity.” Is any other group of Catholics addressed in this fashion? Imagine someone beginning a parish talk on married life by saying, “We love married Catholics—but adultery is a mortal sin.” With no other group does the church so reflexively link the group’s identity to sin.

I put the one sentence in bold, "Is any other group of Catholics addressed in this fashion?" Think of this next time you hear someone say, "hate the sin, love the sinner."

Or perhaps, if you have ever heard someone utter this ridiculous phrase, watch, and wait, because you will notice these same people will be oddly uneven in their castigation of biblical sin.  

We need to thank Father Martin for having the courage, humanity, and writing skills to explain his so well. His contribution is a credit to his faith, the Jesuit educational system, Catholics, the message of Jesus Christ, and he has applied his lifetime of scholarship well, managing to distill 2,000 years of Catholic theology into a succinct vibrant, compelling message relevant to all people, most especially progressive Democrats, the GLBT, and all minorities, and other communities struggling with issues of civil rights, bullying, ostracism, and social acceptance.

His essay is worthy of many many kinds of awards groups give for a whole variety of exemplary contributions. I will be happy to explain why in detail to anyone who wishes a letter of support for such a nomination.  

My hope is that I can rally even non-Catholic progressive Democrats, like myself, and even  atheists to help bolster him, Saint Francis and the other progressive Catholics trying to turn the Catholics Church and community around and lead it in back in the direction of pursuing its original Christian values. We can predict an onslaught of crushing hammers of backlash will come soon to pound them back down.

An epic battle between the forces of compassion and wisdom - which includes values of tolerance, justice, equality, and civil rights dear to progressive Democrats  versus hatefulness and ignorance - which includes intolerance, injustice, selfishness, inequality, discrimination, and sadly, many of the things Republicans do not seem to mind that much, seems to be raging to a boil.

We need every ally we can find. And also must guard against any prejudice in ourselves which includes anti-Catholic bigotry. I say this as someone who has been one of the harshest critics of the Cardinal Law cover-up of pedophile priest in Boston, their crackdown on Nuns, last week, which I wrote an expose on, heck I've even blamed them for fomenting the roots of modern day Islamic Jihad for launching the Holy Wars and Crusades in the 11th Century.  

As far as I can tell, Father James Martin is a good progressive man, with a good heart and the courage to speak out. And, could be a candidate for my "progressive Hall of Fame which includes heroes like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Franklin Roosevelt, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Ed Markey, and Al Frankin,"  I need to do more research, but just because he is a member of the Catholic Church he should not be disqualified  any more than Warren and Sanders should be disqualified because they are Americans and we are leading producers of CO2 gases, have conducted illegal wars, our NSA is spying on everyone, our DEA enforces a racist War on Drugs, and our DOD is  conducting secret drone attacks around the world.

My bold and radical plan for shaking up the political landscape, dramatically improving our human conditions on planet earth including global hunger, poverty, inequality of income, wealth, racism, bigotry, intolerance, war, global warming, and environmental degradation,  and fighting for peace, justice, equality, compassion, wisdom,  adequate food, shelter, clean water, environmental stewardship, a reduction of fossil fuel burning, and conversion to renewable and sustainable energy generation and food production, as well as economic organization.

I intend to seek allies working towards this goal where ever I can find them, "even if they are Catholics." (snark alert) The two best and most inspirational speeches I've read his year on these topic are by Pope Francis and James Martin. By an amazing coincidence if we could convert perhaps 5% -10% of the Catholic voters locked up with the right wing in certain swing states we might have at chance to take back the House. (I need to check those number - it may be a little more. But we aren't going to do it preaching to the choir here.)


6:10 PM PT: Dave from NorthBridge tell me that the Gospel according to Paul nullified the proscriptions against eating shellfish.

The problem is that there IS a passage in the New Testament that gets rid of the shellfish stuff, Acts 15:28-29:

28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; 29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

That's also in the section where Paul tells converts that don't have to be circumcised. Gay people fall under "fornication" since in a strict definition "adultery" means "outside wedlock."

Still, it's cherrypicking.

So I had to take out one of the funniest parts of my essay. i include it here because I think the point about selectively focusing on gays is still valid even though the shellfish example is wrong. You Fornicators, and adulterers better watch out though, I'm trying to think up a funny example about this after I get something to eat.

6:13 PM PT:  photo Lobster_zps923ff368.jpg

Curiously, left out of their scathing Biblical wrath will be all the other many

"abominations" such as eating shellfish, gossiping, divorce, adultery, fornication, lust, greed, envy, tax collection, trimming ones beards and hair, eating the flesh of pigs, working on the Sabbath, and dozen of other sins mentioned in the Bible, mostly in the Old Testament, admonitions, many New Testament Christians, believe were replaced, others only "selectively so. Some others take as guideline. Prior to refrigeration, and knowledge of micro-organisms, warnings about shellfish, and pork made a lost of sense in hot climates to avoid trichinosis and food poisoning. I presume prior to birth control, condoms, and safe-sex guidelines, fornication, adultery, ...  oh well...  I digress.  

For example, would it not be less suspicious that this "love the sinner, but hate the sinner" theme was not a complete cover-up for pure hateful homophobia if we regularly saw groups of angry Christians protesting outside the Red Lobster restaurant shouting "repent" to all the sinners who committed the abomination of eating shellfish? And saw leaders of special interest groups appearing on TV talk shows to demand that no one who ate the dreaded shellfish, "whose names can not be mentioned" be allowed to teach their children in school?  

How come we do not have the Lobster, Shrimp, Claim, and Oyster, LSCO, eating community support groups here after 2,000 years of brutal oppression, murders, beatings, ostracism, hatred, job discrimination, and other forms of "hating the sin, but loving, the sinner, for shellfish eaters that we see with the LGBT? The Bible condemns eating shellfish with the same vigor as it does "men laying with men.

That's right folks, you've figured it out. Because when people say "hate the sin, but love the sinner," it has absolutely nothing to do with "hating the sin, and loving the sinner." This is a transparent,homophobic dog-whistle for "hating the sin, and hating the sinner," and the person saying it is being a miserable bigot of the same level as Cliven Bundy, and Donald Sterling. It is time we draw the same kind of line in the sand.

10:03 PM PT: Fishtroller01 send me this troubling history of Pope Francis' statement about gay marraige while in Argentina that would appear to disqualify him for a nomination to my Progressive Hall of Fame so I am adjusting the post accordingly.


Pope Francis doesn't even bother with (2+ / 0-)

" hate the sin, love the sinner".  In Argentina he stated that gay marriage is evil and the work of Satan, who is the father of lies. Of course after the PR staff got a hold of him as Pope, he threw out the "who am I to judge" line.   Seems he did a whole LOT of judging just about a year before that.

So forgive me if I take your statement about Francis being a good hearted progressive to task.

Oh, and don't forget the women.  They are STILL not allowed their reproductive rights.  Nothing good hearted or progressive about that either!

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