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    November 15, 2006

    Hoist by their petards

    Posted by: Chris

    Bishops There's some sad, even tragic, justice to how certain religious leaders fall victim to the traps they set for their followers. First there was Ted Haggard, the Colorado evangelist who tried to follow church teaching on homosexuality, married a woman and raised a family, but wound up doing crystal meth and using the services of a male prostitute, perhaps for as long as three years.

    This week's new guidance for gay parishioners, issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, is another classic example. Unlike their fundamentalist Protestant brethren, the Catholic bishops acknowledge homosexuality as at least an "inclination" and do not suggest gays should go into therapy to "overcome" it and become heterosexual. Instead, they condemn gays to a life of celibacy:

    The guidelines emphasized the church's position that homosexuality is "disordered" and called on gays and lesbians to avoid sex. … The [guidelines] encourage counseling and support groups to guide gay Catholics toward a chaste life.

    Putting aside the cruelty of the church teaching some of its parishioners that they must live a life devoid of romantic and sexual companionship — a basic human need — Catholic leaders are incredibly reckless to urge a lifestyle on its parishioners when they're well aware the impact celibacy has had on their own ranks.

    In fact, at the same meeting of U.S. bishops in Baltimore, several hundred thousand dollars was allocated to John Jay College of Criminal Justice to study "the causes and context of clergy sexual abuse of minors." Shouldn't the bishops wait until they have more information on whether attempted celibacy is a factor in clergy sexual abuse before they urge the same on gay Catholics worldwide?



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    1. Tim on Nov 15, 2006 1:18:55 PM:

      Oh, but that's not even the best part. The Southern Baptist Convention will now eject churches who are considered to be friendly to gays. They have established a litmus test, something they never did even at the height of the civil rights movement in the '60s, when many of them had evacuation procedures should blacks attempt to come in a worship. They're not even giving the option of being non-judgmental. You either believe they are outside of the sight of God if they don't wish to repent, or you cannot be in the Convention. The Convention has decided to take this position to counter the increasing acceptance of gays in society.

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