By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK
Eileen Burke Miller of Damascus, Md., has forwarded to First Teachers a discussion she posted on the blog site Ordained Praise (http://ordainedpraise-homeschoolmom.blogspot.com/2014/01/disagreement-is-not-judgement.html).
Mrs. Burke Miller’s column focuses on a tactic that homosexual activists are using in an attempt to disarm those with traditional beliefs in the debate about sex and marriage that is now center in the public square. It is a tactic that is likely to influence young people who have been surrounded their whole lives with the message that it is a grave injustice to be “intolerant” and “judgmental” of their fellow Americans. The implications are serious. No exaggeration: If the homosexual activists succeed, we will find it a hate crime to speak publicly in defense of what the Bible and the Church teach about marriage.
Burke Miller begins by making the point that “Christians are blessed to be able to view/measure their life against God’s standards. This does not mean they are ‘judging’ others who live by different standards. It means only that if we are confronted by an example of something that goes against these standards, we have the knowledge and moral duty to separate it out with a red flag in order to choose to avoid it, so as not to fall into sin. We have a way of avoiding in our own life those things that would make it impossible for us to be an authentic disciple of our Lord. To disagree with something means: to fail to agree, to differ in opinion, to find something unsuitable. It does not mean we are condemning anyone to Hell. Only God can do that.”
Burke Miller draws our attention to what she calls “a driving hateful force in the homosexual movement and the liberal left to make the world think that this simple choice or disagreement is intolerant. This hateful driving force is laid out in clear language in Marshall Kirk’s and Hunter Madsen’s book entitled After the Ball: How America Will Conquer its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90’s. The authors’ endgame can be seen in the very choice of the title: They cleverly — and mistakenly — label as ‘fear and hatred’ what in most cases is a simple choice or disagreement on how to live morally and peacefully.
“It is this intellectual sleight of hand that permits them to justify their use of intimidation and hate in their attack on the biblical understanding of marriage. They call their tactic ‘jamming.’ Whatever term they use, what they are doing is engaging in psychological terrorism in an attempt to silence expression and support for dissenting opinion. The secular left may claim to believe in the right of everyone to express his or her views and opinions about virtue, morality, and peaceful ways of living, but there is nothing virtuous, loving, or peaceful about jamming.
“In jamming, the target is depicted as a ‘bigot’ who should be rejected by people of goodwill for his ‘prejudice’ against ‘gays.’ Thus the very act of believing what the Bible and the Catholic Church teach about the homosexual lifestyle becomes ‘bigotry’.”
Burke Miller is not exaggerating. All one has to do is listen to the discussion of the topic of same-sex marriage on the talk shows on the cable channel MSNBC or on the late-night comedy programs, to find examples of the proposition that opposing the homosexual agenda is a form of bigotry comparable to what would find in a meeting of the Ku Klux Klan.
Burke Miller continues: “If homosexuals do not want to live by God’s standards, they have the free will to choose this approach. But this does not entitle them to spit obscenities at Christians for having the free will to live under God’s standards. Many homosexual activists display an uncontrollable anger toward their fellow citizens who choose to live under God’s laws. It is not enough for them that Christians look the other way about their sexual behavior. They demand agreement.
“In After the Ball, homosexuals are actually taught to view the other as their opponent, not as members of a diverse society with views about marriage different from their own. Apparently diversity is a virtue in their eyes only when it is limited to those who agree with them. One would think that homosexuals would be eager to weigh the data that is becoming available about the effects of same-sex unions, both on those who are in such relationships and on society as a whole, rather than looking for ways to condemn those who live their lives by traditional values. In other words, they should start worrying about themselves instead of labeling those who disagree with them as ‘haters’ and ‘homophobes.’ Jamming in and of itself is hateful and violent language.”
On another topic: The evangelical Christian magazine Christianity Today published an article entitled “The Top Law Schools for Devout Christians” in January of this year. Evangelical Christians disagree with Catholics who live their lives by the teachings of the Church on more than a few issues. Yet there is a great deal of common ground, as well. Their view of what makes a law school suitable for Christians is worth examining; it can offer a starting point for Catholic students serious about the faith in their search for a law school.
The article in Christianity Today (which can be accessed on the magazine’s web site at www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2014/january/top-law-schools-for-devout-christians.html), written by Jeremy Weber, begins with the requirement that the school “not leave religious students feeling ‘soul-less’.” Beyond that, it looked at how much emphasis the schools place “on religion, in their curriculums, faculty makeup, and daily campus lives.” Specifically, they examined the percentage of students and faculty “who belong to the faith”; the number of courses that are “religion-focused”; and the number of “religious services and clergy” available at the law school.
The top five were Liberty University, Trinity Law School, Regent University, Pepperdine University, and Baylor University. The article went on to name what it called the “top law schools” for Catholics. They were the law schools at Ave Maria University, the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, St. John’s in New York, Catholic University of America, Fordham, Boston College, Notre Dame, Gonzaga, Loyola University of Chicago, and St. Louis University.
These are all officially Catholic institutions. To be sure, being included on Christianity Today’s list does not mean these schools are bastions of Catholic orthodoxy. That said, it is not inconsequential, if it is true, as Christianity Today maintains, that these institutions do not leave “their students feeling soul-less.” Perhaps there are readers of First Teachers who can provide us information, pro or con, in that regard.
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