Sunday, January 23, 2005

Banning Christianity

Free Republic has this report from Canada on what happens when a Catholic bishop stands up for the traditional teaching of the Church on matters of sexuality:

TORONTO, January 19, 2005 ( - In an editorial appearing on the website of the homosexual activist group, "Equal Marriage," members of the lobbyist organization, EGALE, (Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere) have revealed their intention to make illegal the public practice of Christianity or teaching of Christian moral doctrine.

Bishop Fred Henry, in his recent pastoral letter on homosexuality, openly recognized that the purpose of the "gay marriage" push is the destruction of the traditional family and of any religious opposition. Bishop Henry wrote, "The goal (of changing the definition of marriage) is to acquire a powerful psychological weapon to change society's rejection of homosexual activity and lifestyle into gradual, even if reluctant, acceptance."

The authors of the EGALE editorial, Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell, in an enraged attack on Henry, admitted that the purpose behind the move to approve Gay "marriage" is the suppression of traditional Christianity. They wrote, "We predict that gay marriage will indeed result in the growth of acceptance of homosexuality now underway, as Henry fears. But marriage equality will also contribute to the abandonment of toxic religions, liberating society from the prejudice and hatred that has polluted culture for too long."

Bourassa and Varnell, apparently oblivious to the irony, indulge in a tirade of abuse, calling Bishop Henry a "religious extremist," "bigot," and "bishop of bigotry," and calling his preaching "toxic and prejudiced." They conclude with what has become one of the most common anti-Catholic slurs. "It's good to remember that bishops like him supported Hitler."

The group's assessment has been endorsed, albeit in more measured terms, in an editorial in the Toronto Star, Canada's most widely circulated newspaper, that said Henry had "disgrac(ed) his office and the Catholic church."

The Star editorial said, "This is a stand the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops should promptly distance itself from. So should leading individual Catholic prelates."

The Star editorialist, however, seems unaware that Bishop Henry has thus far stood alone in his defence of Catholic teaching on human sexuality. While the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops organization, has said that each bishop is free to say what he wants in his own diocese, no public endorsement or support has so far come to Henry from the heads of any of Canada's remaining 71 dioceses and eparchies.

While a few Ontario bishops have published altered versions of a generic pastoral letter encouraging their flock to ask MPs to uphold the traditional definition of marriage, unlike Henry, the bishops have all so far conspicuously avoided any mention of Catholic teaching on homosexual activity, its sinfulness and its harm to both the persons engaged in it and to the general society.

To send a note of support to Bishop Henry

Much of the anti-Christian bigotry in evidence in the last election campaign is due to the fact that Christians, in the main, oppose both abortion on demand and gay marriage. Proponents of these practices realize that Christians are the only serious political threat they face. Except for politically insignificant Orthodox Jews and Muslims, no one else who opposes the right to kill unborn babies, or to marry members of the same sex, can adduce any substantive reason for their opposition other than that it offends them somehow.

Offended sensibilities, however, invariably collapse like wheat in a wind storm in arguments between antagonists who assume, as a point of departure, the value of individual rights. It is only those who believe that the behaviors in question offend the will of God who have any non-subjective grounds for resisting them, and their resistance frequently incurs the hatred of those who embrace the behavior. Let's hope that it does not get worse.

From the Feedback Forum

A reader writes to correct us on an error we made in a January 17th post titled Reply to a Muslim. I wrote there that the opinion among Muslims that we are trying to colonize the Arab world is misguided:

"[A Muslim] says that [Muslims] hate us because we're trying to colonize them, but where is the evidence of that? Did we stay in Kuwait? Did we not leave Saudi Arabia when the Saudis insisted? Did we colonize Afghanistan?"

To which our reader replies:

Actually, yes, we did stay in Kuwait (with the Kuwaiti government's cooperation, blessings, and partial funding). We have had a continuous military presence in Kuwait since the first Gulf war. I am a retired reserve military officer, and in 1998 I served at one of the two main American military bases in Kuwait. Those bases are still there, and have in fact been expanded since then. We never left Saudi, either. We still have air bases there (they were there before the Gulf war, and they are still there - we only withdrew the extra invasion troops that came to liberate Kuwait). We also have a large contingency of troops still in Afghanistan, as well as large military bases in Qatar and Bahrain.

None of these military presences are attempts at "colonization," of course, as they are all with the full support and cooperation of the various native governments involved (who give that support and cooperation out of their own self-interest, not ours). Our presence in the Arabian Peninsula has a dual purpose - both out of benevolence to discourage mischief by Iran, Syria, and other rogue states, AND out of protecting our own national self-interests against the radical regimes of the region (again, principally Iran, Syria and the remaining extremist factions in Iraq).


BP is right, of course, and I thank him for the clarification (His e-mail can be read in its entirety at the Feedback Forum). What I should have said was that we didn't stay to colonize those countries; that our presence in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia is similar to our presence in England, Germany, and South Korea. We have military bases there, but it would be difficult to make the case that these nations are colonies of the U.S.