Tuesday, July 1, 2014


FINDING TRUTH WHEREVER IT MAY BE FOUND:  "Time was, Voegeli writes, a tolerant society was one with a 'mutual non-aggression pact':  If your beliefs and practices offend but do not otherwise affect me, I will not interfere with them if you will reciprocate regarding my beliefs and practices.  Now, however, tolerance supposedly requires compulsory acknowledgment that certain people's beliefs and practices deserve, Voegeli says, 'to be honored, respected, affirmed, and validated' lest they suffer irreparable injury.  And it requires compelling conformity for the good of the compelled."  George F. Will of the Washington Post
QUOTE II:  "When two Oregon bakers chose, for religious reasons, not to provide a cake for a same-sex wedding, an Oregon government official explained that tolerance meant coercing the bakers:  'The goal is to rehabilitate.'  Tolerance required declaring the bakers' beliefs and practices intolerable."  same source

Here's a new church recently built.  Nice to know it can still be done.  Thanks Mary.

Here is a pictorial of the above church.

Here's another church project.  Interesting.
Mary sent this 15 minutes video on Chant Camp!


MaryofSharon said...

Thought you'd like that new church! Wish it was a bit more colorful in the interior, but every detail is so very beautiful and timeless. What an extravagant (in a good way) act of love for God! I want to go there!

Anonymous said...

Let's forget for a moment that the author being quoted is extremely conservative and advocates an end to public assistance to the poor and needy.

In this 1960s, as a young man, many of us were concerned with civil rights in the South and discrimination in the North. We worked towards ending that, even though we were white and it didn't affect us. Many in the South said it wasn't our problem.

Should we have embraced Mr. Will's idea of tolerance?

Fr. V said...

Yes. And you did.

It is easy to compare apples and oranges in this case. In the south, persons were having their rights and their dignity as human beings taken away from them. It was an forceful act upon their personhood by other persons. Mr. Will is saying the same thing is happening in this incident. Human beings with deeply held beliefs are being forced to abandon their faith by law because someone with more power is able to force them conform to get what they want out of them.

And as a side note, I know from time to time quotes come from people who, at other times, say things not in keeping with the Catholic faith. But even a blind squierell finds a nut from time to time and we don't have to deny ourselves of something interesting about which to ponder just because on another topic someone is a jerk.

Fr. V said...

After a bit of prayer and thought I realized that my previous answer was ill thought out. Refusal to serve or an equal but separate service system based on someone’s race is untenable of course. But can we say the same thing about forcing a baker to supply a cake for a same sex wedding? Can we force a gay catering service to cater an anti-gay rally and banquet? When are we tolerant and when are we not? Can we force Churches to change their definition of marriage and call it tolerance? How can we allow a Church to hold on to its teaching in the name of tolerance? On whose shoulders does the final responsibility of being tolerant lay? Like parents that disagree on discipline of their child: one is seen as too strict by the other and visa versa. How can they be both be tolerant of each other?

If we are too tolerant, we risk creating another Hitler. (Hey, that’s just their thing – let them be.) If we are not tolerant enough, well, oddly enough, we end up in a similar boat as the intolerant become totalitarian. Where is that fine line? Are we only tolerant when someone agrees with us and are we tolerant when someone who thinks differently is causing harm?

I wonder if in this case we are getting our issues confused. Rights movements in the south were concerning who people were. Where marriage does concern people, it is the institution of marriage that is being debated, not the worth of the persons being married. A fine distinction I grant you. Would that same baker have any problems providing the said couple with services for any other kind of event or was it just for the idea of what marriage is? It is not too far from the position the Catholic Church is in. Persons of same sex attraction are afforded every right, blessing, and grace the Church has to offer (in theory I understand) except that of marriage. It does this not because it thinks less of persons with SSA but that it thinks something different about marriage.

Any ideas on that?

MaryofSharon said...

Just discovered your additional thoughts, Fr. V.

One time a friend of mine spotted a sign outside a Catholic parish catering hall saying something like "St. ______ Welcomes Planned Parenthood". Turns out the pastor didn't realize that this had happened and the catering manager didn't recognize the clear disparity of values. The pastor was not pleased, to say the least, and gave instructions that it should not happen again. Should he be prosecuted for not allowing Planned Parenthood to celebrate their "accomplishments", which are diametrically opposed to Church teaching, in this church-owned facility? If he would be allowed to exclude this sort of event, then why would he not also be allowed to exclude the celebration of a "marriage" which contradicts Church teaching.

Your examples from the other end of the ideological continuum, of the question of requiring people to use their art or their facilities to promote and celebrate things that are radically opposed to their values, should be effective. Can't people of good will of all persuasions can see that people should not be forced to violate deeply held convictions in order to stay in business?

It seems to me that it's important that we do NOT continue to further enshrine what seems to be the newest on the list of rights, the right to not be offended. Can't we all be thick-skinned enough to not wither in offense whenever someone doesn't see reality just as we do and just move on to find someone else who will be happy to have our business?

By the way, the Church doesn't actually deny marriage to persons attracted to others of the same sex as long as such persons wish to enter a true marriage as we define it. That's always been the way it is for people approaching the Church for a wedding, in a sense, no different than a priest denying the sacrament to a young couple who states that they have no intention of ever having children. What's more, there are actually many happily married couples in which one of the spouses retains some attraction to the same sex. Granted, this is not advisable for all and there are a unique set of challenges, to be sure, but it does work for some. I've seen it first hand.