Phil Lawler asks the question:
How has it come to pass, that a parade organized to honor the patron saint of Ireland has furnished the occasion for a major symbolic victory in the fight to overthrow Christian moral standards?
The answer is quite simple. Because those supporting Christian moral standards have made this parade and other similar public expressions the battleground for their culturewar. Think prayers to open town meetings, nativity displays on public property, visitations to loved ones in hospitals, medical insurance controversies that permit male enhancement without a blink of an eye.
I certainly applaud strong moral standards. Sometimes moral standards seem to be in conflict. What seems to be in play for the parade is a sense of fairness versus the appearance of moral unity. This seems difficult to resolve. People who promote support for persons with same-sex attraction are not attempting to persuade others to practice as they do. Indeed, many heterosexual persons count themselves as allies of lesbians, gays, and others because they have loved ones or friends who are SSA.
I suppose the inclusion of groups who actively socialize with the consumption of alcohol also march in the parade. Because some members of other parade groups indulge in immoral behavior in connection with the St Patrick’s Day holiday, are such groups ineligible to march?
Or, has a group every marched in New York on March 17th that advocated violence in Ireland as a means of overthrowing the government in the north of that isle?
It occurs to me that the standard of virtue seems to focus more on grave sexual sin, and not other forms of grave sin. Is that the kind of double-standard people find offensive? And must the remote cooperation with evil, by the standards given often in the Church’s writing, extend to all whom the Church does business? In other words, not just those who march in parades, but those who conduct our legal business, those who buy and sell with us, those who repair our cars or appliances? Is it possible to draw the line and still wrap ourselves in the mantle of fairness and morality? And if, as some say, we are in some way harmed and harming others by cooperation, does the same harm not happen when we choose not to look deeply at all of our relationships, not just the ones we find sexually icky?
“many heterosexual persons count themselves as allies of lesbians, gays, and others because they have loved ones or friends who are SSA.”
This describes me. Thanks for this post – it can be very discouraging to see the hostility displayed at some Catholic blogs toward LGBT people.
Of course, one can object to certain activities as being immoral, yet not be hostile to the people who carry out those activities. Too often the “homophobe” label and words like “hate” and “”hostility” are thrown about, undermining dialogue.
Well, if the people carrying out the activities regard said activities as expressing a central fact (though not necessarily the only or central fact) of their very being, no doubt they do find it difficult to distinguish objections to said activities from objections to themselves as the actors. That is to say, objections to themselves as themselves.
And given the vigour and lack of charity with which the objections are frequently expressed, yes, it frequently is very difficult to distinguish them from hate and hostility.
I will take Brother Lawler seriously when he is as affornted by the usual drunken and disorderly conduct associated with most St. Patrick’s Day “celebrations.”