Friday, August 31, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday Theme Day!

 
This Friday, there is a bit of a theme for my Quick Takes. I call it:
The List of Completely False and Crazy Accusations That Follow When I Tell People I Did Not and Will Not Vote for Barack Obama.
 
--- 1 ---
"You are a racist." Who'd of thunk that doing something as simple as being an informed citizen that chooses to exercise her hard-earned right to vote would make someone a racist?

--- 2 ---
"You hate women." Last time I checked, I am a woman. So if this is true, there is some serious self loathing going on here. Folks have really let themselves believe what the media and Planned Parenthood are telling them about women that want real solutions. So, is this what I must look like if I do not hate women?

--- 3 ---
"You hate poor people and want them to die." No joke, this one is verbatum. Which branch is that of Catholic Social Teaching again?

--- 4 ---
"You don't want rich people to pay any taxes." You caught me. I really am trying to land an invite to a fancy party on an island only rich people know about.
(http://www.nbc.com/30-rock/video/seinfeldvision/163832)
--- 5 ---
"You don't want free health care?!" This is less of an accusation and more of a Crazy Disbelief Response. I use the word crazy because these people still think the AHA is free.
--- 6 ---
"You want to control women and outlaw abortion and birth control." While I would have no qualms outlawing abortion and contraception that acts as an abortafacient, I would rather we offered women comprehensive health care solutions instead of bad medicine, so I suppose this is partially true. Here is an example of something I could get behind:

--- 7 ---
"You are a bigot and a racist." A variation on "You are a racist." but I hear it so often and immediately, that I can only assume it is truly easier to dismiss my argument against President Obama (or, as in the photo from RevealingPolitics, Ron Paul) if the other person convinces themself I am just full of hatred.
 
 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Balance


“I was not very charitable in my response to you…”

“That bit stings a little…”

“You are using arguments I am not making against me.”

“I am not meaning to make you upset…. I don’t want to fight… I am not trying to twist or skew or attack… but I do feel you are slightly…”

“Yes I am attacking, because I feel attacked. Retract claws, I know.”

“I need a break from this…”


It takes a lot to make me cry. Crying embarrasses me: I cry when I am frustrated and angry and I cannot intelligently form the thoughts that are circling in my mind. I feel weak when I cry. The conversation above made me cry. I have stripped it down to the emotional responses my friend and I were giving each other before each reply as we discussed my post A Prayer Request. In our defense, we began the email thread late at night. My mom brain kicks into overdrive these days, and in addition to the normal dozen or so things on my mind at any given moment, I obsessed about this conversation all night. I turn into an insomniac when I begin to obsess on subjects like abortion. I dream about it, wake up repeatedly to obsess, bite my fingernails off for breakfast and get on the elliptical and push myself to the max in an effort to minimize the space I have available to dwell on the subject. The only solution to the obsessing (and the insomnia) is the other person frantically waving a white flag. This scenario only worsens when I feel as though I am on the defense.


Maybe the email thread bugged me because I was tired. Maybe I was just too stressed to effectively discuss abortion. Perhaps I was upset because it was the first time my friend and I began to stray from our normally heavy handed yet completely civil discussions and into argument territory. Whatever the reason, the exchange brought my friend and I to a crossroads on this particular subject: thicken our skin in order to delve deeper into the subject, or stop talking about it altogether.

It is becoming increasingly difficult for civil and even tempered discussions on hot-button issues to take place, even amongst the closest of friends. Does this mean we stop having the discussions? Does it mean we begin to separate from our relationships with family and friends and only keep in touch with those who agree with us politically or religiously? Is there a balance to strive for, or should religion and politics always be off limits?

The answer I am striving for is balance, however difficult it is to achieve. I believe you can only superficially discuss something so many times before the conversation naturally begins to deepen. The deeper you dig, the more you are invested personally in the discussion. Emotions are attached when you are passionate about your beliefs. I do not think it wise to simply avoid politics and religion with those you love as a blanket solution. There are situations that warrant this approach, but civil discourse is vital in tumultuous times!

I have flaws in how I present my arguments and responses in these types of discussions. In order to effectively get my point across I need to overcome these flaws. I need to remember the pure genius of Saint Bernadette Soubirous:
 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Reminder


"Do not lose heart, even if you should discover that you lack qualities necessary for the work to which you are called. He who called you will not desert you, but the moment you are in need he will stretch out his saving hand."
-Saint Angela Merici

There are days, not unlike today, that I need to hear this. I am knee-deep in the kind of moment that makes you want to throw in the towel, and I have been stuck in this moment for weeks. What makes my voice so important amongst the many new feminist groups that are blooming and thriving? I am but one drop in the bucket: one woman that had her fill one day of being told she was not good enough. As this project moves on, sometimes I feel like merely an echo in this movement that is calling for feminism to return to its roots. I tell myself I am lacking the qualities necessary for what I feel compelled to do. “Someone else can do or say it better. Someone else has the time and a stronger voice. Someone else has the talent.” I say these things as a way of releasing myself from my obligation. To paraphrase Stewart Smalley, if someone else is good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like them, then I am not obligated to speak out, or answer the call.

This, my readers, is a flaming bag of cop-out. There will always be a reason to quit. There will always be a hardship or a cross to carry. There will always be someone that says it better or louder. There will always be a comfort zone from which to escape.

So here I sit, on my amazingly comfortable sofa with my incredible family on a Sunday night as we gear up for a storm, and I choose to speak up and be counted amongst the other new feminists: the New WaveFeminists, the New Feminism, the Feminists For Life, The Edith Stein Foundation and The Guiding Star Project. I strongly believe that Women Speak forThemselves.

I am a woman. I speak for myself. My voice is important. I have something to say and deserve to be heard. I am good enough, strong enough, and doggone it, people like me. (Well, so what if they don’t?!)
 

Friday, August 17, 2012

My Daughter, Me and the Pink Zone








This month has been a little traumatic for me. My fantastic daughter is about a month away from being a year old. I could bore you with a litany of adjectives that describe how fantastic she is, but look at her:








She is an impressive specimen. This month has not been traumatic because I am getting baby fever from all the photos of little tiny ones that have taken over my Facebook feed, or because she has been walking for several weeks. It is because she has unveiled a part of her personality that is foreign to me: she has an all out obsession with shoes and purses.





When we go to the play area in the mall she saunters up to every woman with a bag and tries to rifle through it, then instinctively heads toward the wall of shoes to investigate the second I scan the area for her big brother. She carries shoes around the house like trophies, and empty Coke can boxes filled with her most precious possessions. I don’t know how we got here. This was reason number 347 that I was initially terrified to have a daughter: I am not a girly girl. I refused to carry a purse until my first grown-up job. I rocked the dangerous wallet keychain in college. My daily uniform consists of a worn out t-shirt, some variety of yoga/sweat pant that would devastate the folks at What Not to Wear and a pair of running shoes. I carry a sad purse because I have to, and it is usually stuffed with diapers, wipes and (if I am lucky and there is room because I am forgetting my phone) a sippy cup. So this feminist decided to breach protocol and enter the Pink Zone today. (Note: I chose Target to scout for her, because I do not feel I should have to hunt around for a specialty store for a simple present for my soon-to-be one year old, and your average household frequents places like Target for toys.)










In case you are not familiar, the unchartered territory I speak of is the designated “For Girls” aisles at Target. (Target Masters: do not take this to mean I do not still thoroughly enjoy wasting spending my money at your conveniently located establishments, because I heart you.) I decided to first do a quick walk through and assess the situation. How many aisles are here? Are the purses neatly grouped together or will I have to search? What else is in lost in the pink?





After the walk through, I circled around and began to take my time. The first purse I saw was located next to a similar product for boys, only it was a tool belt.










I tested the button to see what it said and the first thing I heard was “I love shopping!” I turned it off and called a friend, hoping she would have nothing better to do while she was at work other than sit at her desk and wait for me to call her for the first time in 18 months (Yeah. I am THAT bad about phone calls.) so I could freak out on her about purse options for my toddler. No such luck. I walk right past the various Disney Princess purses that come with a child’s first set of fake pearls and satin gloves to see this gem.










Of course, this is a better option than the one that talked, but I felt the nausea return and so I quickly called my mommy. (Yeah I did. And yes, I called two different people to discuss purses for a one year old. I am insane.) She suggested trying the purse section, (You know, the entire area devoted to women’s purses? I obviously was not thinking straight.) and filling it with her own car keys and a phone. Brilliance. So brilliant, I will overlook the fact that my daughter gets the shoe thing from her Grammi.





We walked away with a Paul Frank canvas bag for less than $3 from the tween section.







My blood pressure dropped, and my heart beat steadied enough that we then went to find her some shoes.





Her eyes lit up when she saw them. She frantically began to take off a shoe with one hand because the other had a death grip on the pair she fancied.










I am rather proud of myself today. Not only did I finish my daughter’s birthday shopping with a Lalaloopsy doll (big brother’s pick) and a purse with which she was smitten, but we shoe shopped as well. I conquered my Pink-phobia for the time being, because being a feminist doesn’t just mean fatter dolls and an end to traditional gender roles. It means letting your children decide what things fascinate them because, as Melissa Wardy would say, “There are SO many ways to be a girl!” (or boy, or child!)

Monday, August 13, 2012

A prayer request


After seeing the photos circulating on the internet and reading this story, I feel compelled to write about abortion. It is no secret I am prolife. There is not an arbitrary moment you can call a human a human. As soon as a human is created, it lives. It is a living human being. We owe it to ourselves as members of a “civilized” society to answer the following questions:

1.       When does life begin?

2.       Is it morally sound to kill an innocent human being?

3.       Is it legal to kill an innocent human being?

From where I stand we have yet to answer the first two questions, and for now the third question is yes. It is not logical to answer the third question when you do not answer the first two questions, but here we are. I would find this an easier (albeit evil) pill to swallow if we called a spade a spade and just said that it is okay to take an innocent life! Instead of admit we are allowing innocent human beings to die under the guise of women’s rights or population control, we have decided it is more comfortable to remain on the fence as to when life begins. We call the child by terminology to strip the child of its humanity. We selfishly speak of needing a way out so that we are not punished by our own choices. We use those that have been horribly victimized by rape and incest as our excuses to allow the murder of innocents, as though two morally reprehensible decisions somehow make things okay. We leave out the messy and inconvenient truth about hormonal birth control and how it works.

I see the photos of that young mother, 20 weeks along with twin girls. She is walking confidently into a women’s clinic to end the lives of her children because she already has two girls. She has seen the ultrasound pictures. She knows the sex of both children. She has felt them move and kick and is over halfway through her pregnancy. In a matter of months (possibly weeks) the babies could be given up for adoption. Instead their lives were ended, and for what?

I believe that there are prochoice people that want to see an end to abortion. I believe these individuals along with the prolife movement are capable of systematically eliminating the reasons a woman feels she must choose her life over her child’s life. I ask, what happens when she is out of reasons? The young mother in this story simply did not want more girls. Is this a valid reason?

I do not believe that we can draw an arbitrary line as to what reasons for abortion are legitimate and which are not. This is a situation where we must start asking ourselves the right questions:

1.       When does life begin?

2.       Is it morally sound to kill an innocent human being?

3.       Is it legal to kill an innocent human being?

There are many ways in which we fail our children these days, but robbing them of the chance to live is a callous injustice.

This woman will remain in my thoughts and prayers. So will her children… all of them.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Note for Friends and Family of Domestic and Sexual Violence Survivors





Sometimes it feels as though to truly comprehend the prevalence of domestic and sexual violence in our nation you have to spend some time as an advocate. Once you are in the trenches so to speak, not only do you have people you know disclose to you about themselves and their loved ones, but every news story, magazine article, biography of a celebrity/politician/athlete containing a hint of abuse catches your eye or is sent to you by someone with the tag line: “I saw this and thought of you.” It surrounds us, yet we seem to be unaware of it until it touches our lives or the lives of someone we love.

Here are some numbers for you. 1 in 4 women will experience intimate partner violence in her lifetime. 30-60% of perpetrators of IPV also abuse the children in the home. 1 in 6 women will experience an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. 15% of sexual assault or rape victims are under the age of 12. (NCADV.org and RAINN.org)

The most common question I am asked to this day (over two years since I stepped away from my role as a paid DV/SA advocate) is surprisingly not “Why does she stay?”. Believe me, this is a question that my four years of experience and training prepared me to answer. I could write you a novel on why she stays! The most common question goes something like this: “My friend/sister/mother is in a bad relationship/was assaulted and I am unsure of what I can do to help. Any suggestions?”

When you think about it, it is a little refreshing that I am asked to help someone help someone on such a regular basis. Even if it is one of the few minor silver linings in a terrible situation, this question restores my faith in humanity because it means people care about others. So, without further adieu, here is my response.

For Friends and Family of Domestic Violence Survivors

The most important things that you can do for a loved one that experiences violence in their intimate relationship are to listen and provide nonjudgmental support. Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive behavior. It is thorough. It often involves more than merely physical violence, including (but not limited to) psychological abuse, sexual abuse, isolation,continuous threats and financial control. This is not a complete list by any means, but you can see how far and wide that control can reach. To make matters worse, your loved one has at least at some point loved the individual doing them harm. This can be an incredibly difficult bond to break, and if there are children included… to say the least, domestic violence consumes. If someone you love is reaching out to you, listen. Be a support system for them. They have become an expert in navigating the chaos, so supporting them sometimes means they stay. Don’t despair or feel as though you failed to help. Choosing to leave the relationship is a dangerous time for a survivor because the batterer is facing losing control. A loss of control can cause an escalation of behavior that can mean an increase in lethality for the survivor. When the time comes and they are ready to leave the relationship behind for good (we know survivors sometimes leave multiple times before cutting ties permanently), your loved one needs to know that they have your support. Ultimately, the survivor of DV must make the decision to leave for themselves and their children if children are involved. Perpetrators of domestic violence seek control over the other person,and this is achieved by chipping away at the self worth of the victim as well as any outside support system that exists.

While every survivor and DV relationship is different, gentle and constant reminders of your love and support for him/her can go such a long way. Plant the seed that when the time comes that she/he is ready to leave the relationship that they are loved and do have support outside the relationship. Truly listen to what they need from you. Show them love is unconditional and love does not seek to control or harm. Validate their feelings, thoughts and emotions. I encourage you to contact the local domestic violence shelter if you need further information on helping to keep your loved one safe. http://www.ncadv.org/ has a national hotline that can connect you to your local shelter, listings for international and state coalitions (that then link you to locations in your state) as well as many other tips for survivors, DV statistics and information about the cycle of violence.

For Friends and Family of Sexual Assault Survivors

Many of the concepts above can be applied for both friends and family of domestic and sexual violence survivors, but it is important to note that sexual violence is perpetrated within relationships as well as outside of relationships.

Sexual assault has many faces, and survivors handle the experience in a variety of ways, but your support is still vital. SA survivors again need you to listen and validate. They need nonjudgmental support and encouragement. http://www.rainn.org/ can help provide additional information specific to the situation your loved one has experienced. There is a hotline number to call, additional information for friends and family of survivors, and links to your local sexual assault center.

Some Personal Reflections

My experience as a paid advocate as well as friend and family to survivors, has been that there are times they need you to listen, and there are times they will push you away. Sometimes they hate you and press your buttons, sometimes they need your comfort and support and other times they go silent and it appears they have cut you out (and every scenario in between!). Remind yourself not to take it personally. They are used to navigating the chaos that has consumed their lives, but you are not. This doesn’t mean that they are purposely trying to hurt you. Support systems need to take care of themselves. To be a stable force in your survivor’s life, you must take care of yourself so that when they are ready to lean on you, you are there. It is not so much what you say to them or feel for them, more than what you give them space to say or feel that matters.







I have dozens of links and resources in my own arsenal, so if you are interested in more information, please, send me a message!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Queasy Feeling


There’s something happening, and I feel uneasy about it.

Ominous, right?

Let me explain.  

I am addicted to debating politics, religion… all the heavy handed issues. I love reading the news, opinion pieces, my Facebook feed- you name it. I am fascinated by what people believe and why. I am open to discussion when it is civil, respectful, logical and relevant. I like to talk about pop culture just about as much, but you won’t find as many fascinating debates about why on earth they canceled Veronica Mars yet Smallville remained on the air for YEARS after they should have just called it quits. So, that means I am left with the juicy stuff. In my efforts to stay up to date on important issues, I have been seeing some things happening that make me wonder…

1.       A left or right of center focus.

2.       The “I have a right to believe what I want to and tear you down for disagreeing with me because you are not allowed to disagree” mentality.

A left or right of center focus.

People seem to enjoy getting off topic just so they can keep arguing. This is the only explanation I have for folks that spends gobs of time attacking positions that are not being defended. A good example of this can be found in Internet discussions about the subject of my last post. In short, I see a lot of this:


Robert: I support Cathy’s right to free speech.

Darrel: Why don’t you want gay people to find love?

Hmm. Both people are attempting to talk about the same issue, but Darrel’s focus is not on the statement Robert made: his focus is on what he wants to believe Gary wants. It works the other way as well, unfortunately:



                Danielle: I choose not to support CFA because of Cathy’s views.

                Rachel: Why do you hate Christianity?

It bothers me that people are too busy talking around each other to actually understand the issues.



The “I have a right to believe what I want to and tear you down for disagreeing with me because you are not allowed to disagree” mentality.

This is particularly disturbing to me. The deeper we get into this election season, the worse this mentality rears its ugly head. It is incredibly difficult to listen and try to understand someone while you are being called an intolerant bigot, for example. I have seen this trend again with the CFA debacle. There are several photos circulating with jabs like “I wish I saw Christians lining up to help at food pantries like they lined up at Chick-Fil-A to support a bigot.” The following quote comes to mind:

My dear,

I can’t hear you.


What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.

So speak to me with your actions, not your words. Speak to me with your doings, not your mouth. Speak to me with your hands, not your voice.

For your actions drown out what you say to the point that that’s all I hear.
Falsely Yours,

Ralph Waldo Emerson



It is easy to circulate jabs at those you think don’t agree with you. It is difficult yet WORTHWHILE to lose the insults and listen. This also works both ways. For example, I have seen some pro-life folks take jabs and condemn abortion workers that try to leave the industry, as well as women that have had an abortion and are seeking comfort/healing. This form of self righteousness is completely inappropriate and does not help. Would it not be beneficial to all involved if we listened instead of insult?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Loaded Like a Loaded Baked Potato


Unless you have been living under a rock, I would bet you are as sick of hearing about Chick-Fil-A as I am.  I am simply over companies deciding they have to speak up for or against any issue. I live on a budget and cannot boycott every place that may or may not have someone that disagrees with me, even if it is on serious issues. I also am not going to run out and start patroning an establishment that I have not once previously exchanged my money for goods or services at just because someone tells me I should. That being said, there is still a great big (yet not surprising) fireball of controversy to address.

1.       I invite you to all read what Dan Cathy actually said.

2.       I invite you to review the definitions of homophobia, bigot, tolerance and even hatred.

3.       I invite you to understand Catholic teaching on the subject.

4.       I invite you think for a little while about marriage.



Q. What did Cathy say?

A. “We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.” 

He said this when asked a question related to his support of traditional marriage in an interview by the Biblical Recorder. Given the current divorce rates in our nation, maybe we all should be a little more supportive of traditional marriage and the family unit.

Q. What are the definitions of homophobia, bigot, tolerance and hatred?

A. They are as follows: (As defined by www.merriam-webster.com)

Homophobia: irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals.

Bigot: : a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

Tolerance: a: sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own b: the act of allowing something : toleration

Hatred: prejudiced hostility or animosity

These are the accusations being thrown at a man for saying he supports traditional marriage. He did not sit down for a public interview and spew vitriolic statements about gay marriage and homosexuals. He is not discriminating against homosexual employees or customers. He did not show animosity for homosexuals. Stating his support for traditional marriage in an interview does not by default express a lack of allowing something (homosexuality) with which he disagrees. This being said, I am not naïve. This statement probably means he is not a gay rights activist. Does that mean that by default he is a homophobic bigot that is intolerant and spreads hatred? No. A thousand times no. I support traditional marriage. I also have many friends and loved ones that are homosexual, and I cannot imagine my life without them! They are amazing people. When I was working as a domestic and sexual violence advocate, I spread word about the local anti-violence agency that provided support to those of the LGBTQ community because NO ONE deserves to be a victim of domestic or sexual violence, and I still support these projects. I do not support hate groups of any kind. Yet on nearly a daily basis, I witness friends and family supporting hatred of the Catholic Chruch.

Q. What is Catholic teaching on the subject?

(I know that Cathy is not Catholic, but I am and this is my post and I want to address misconceptions related to Catholic teaching. While I have spent a good number of years studying and learning the Catholic faith, I am by no means an expert at interpreting the bible, doctrine, etc. This is an ongoing journey for me so I will just stick to the basics and use the tools given to me to “think aloud” on the subject.)


#2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

#2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

#2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

To understand the Catholic perspective on a deeper level, the study of natural law as well as the Catholic teaching on sexuality is important. It is not as simple as many would have us believe. Day in and day out I see a media bias that rips my heart out. I see Uninformed Ignorance spew distorted information regarding the Catholic Church. This guy knows what I am talking about (I also greatly admire him for telling his story.) Is it easy to follow church teaching? No. In many, many cases it is extraordinarily difficult. Does the church teach it is a sin to be attracted to the same sex? No. Catholic teaching is stated clearly above. If I may be blunt, Uninformed Ignorance would have you believe the two are one in the same. Suddenly every person that has access to the Internet thinks they are an expert on the Catholic Church. It is beyond frustrating to me when someone who spent a few years in grade school in a CCD class or in a Catholic school feeling they are an expert on the subject of Catholicism. There is a great deal to be said about how well Catholics are educated on their own faith, but the assumption that any random individual interprets Church teaching correctly is a pet peeve of mine. The fact that I spent 19 years getting a Catholic education and I still spend a great deal of time studying the faith informally and asking questions only to be met by Uniformed Ignorance that likes to think they know all about what I believe REALLY gets under my skin.  Rant tabled…

Q. So what about marriage?

A. This is certainly a loaded question. Here is what I personally (I cannot express enough that this is not the position of the Catholic Church but my own humble and still forming views on the subject.) have to say on the subject of marriage.

I am Catholic. Marriage is a sacrament. Some thoughts on sacraments (once again, courtesy of the CCC) :

1123 "The purpose of the sacraments is to sanctify men, to build up the Body of Christ and, finally, to give worship to God. Because they are signs they also instruct. They not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen, and express it. That is why they are called 'sacraments of faith.'

As a Catholic who takes her faith seriously, I do not believe the state gave me permission to get married. I don’t believe I am married to my husband because the marriage license says so, but because I stood in front of God and took vows to love my husband for better, for worse, etc, etc. I was required to have a marriage license for legal reasons. So I ask: why is the church in the business of state legal issues? There are not state licenses required for any of the other sacraments: it would seem to me that a marriage license is therefore only legally necessary. In other nations, a civil ceremony is separate from the wedding ceremony. The way of life and the intrusion on religious freedom in this nation is changing. Would it not be prudent for churches to get out of the marriage license business now versus face the inevitable day where the government decides what ceremonies the churches are required to allow?

Final Thoughts

The subject of homosexuality is incredibly sensitive. I believe Catholic teaching is correct on the matter and that teaching is misinterpreted by the secular world. I know pure hatred also exists. I do not believe my faith calls me to merely “tolerate” someone that believes differently than I do. I am called to love. This does not mean we must agree. This does not mean that we ignore our differences and pretend everything is fluffy and nice. This means we have difficult but respectful conversations with those we love, and we address our differences. Then we CONTINUE to love one another. We continue to be charitable despite differences.

I have been witness to some pretty awful conversations on this subject. I often see those that advocate for “tolerance” show no such thing themselves. I see people engaged in hateful and bigoted commentary while condemning the other side for doing the same. I am filled with sadness.
I am hereby boycotting boycotts and silently protesting protests. I am abandoning these tools in favor of diologue.