From Gay Pride to True Humility: Joe’s amazing conversion story.

Ash Wednesday marks four years since I rejected the “gay lifestyle” and came back to the Catholic Church. I didn’t have a singular moment of conversion like St. Paul. Rather, it was a slow drip, a series of gradual, often hesitant pivots towards the Church.

The first pivot came when Saint John Paul II died.

Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II had been the only pope I’d ever known up to that time. My childhood parish had a painting of him on the altar next to the tabernacle. I’m from Chicago, so naturally I have Polish ancestry, and a Polish pope was a point of pride when other kids called me a dumb Polak or a Commie. I was a toddler when Pope John Paul II was elected, so I had never experienced a conclave before. A German? They’re calling him “God’s Rottweiler” and he was in the Hitler Youth?

Despite my secular, sinful life, I’d always had a soft spot and sympathy for Holy Mother Church, even during the explosion of the priest sex abuse scandal. I was willing to give Benedict XVI the benefit of the doubt. I wanted to know more about him. Some of the news coverage cited his pre-conclave homily as sealing the deal for the cardinal electors. Then Cardinal Ratzinger declared, “We are moving towards a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything for certain and which has as its highest goals one’s own ego and one’s own desires.” That hit me right between the eyes. So I started, occasionally, visiting Catholic websites, learning more about what this “relativism” is. There are some incredible resources out there.

It’s unclear how much of it was sentimentalism and how much was the pursuit of truth. I knew in my heart that my way of living was wrong. But I didn’t change my life. I was Catholic in name only. I hadn’t attended mass in years, despite a parish a block away from my apartment. The weekend gay bar hopping, binge drinking, pornography consumption, and casual hook-ups went on and on. I was young and “you only live once.” Nevertheless, a seed was planted.

The second pivot came when I found an old prayer book.

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An elderly relative had died, and I was helping family clean out their house. I found a copy of “My Prayer Book” by Father F. X. Lasance in a drawer and snuck it into my backpack. For whatever reason, I was too embarrassed to tell anyone I wanted it, or ask if I could take it. Surely they’d have said yes. The book was at least a half-century old and barely used. Most of the pages stuck together. Over the course of several months, I read it cover to cover. It was astounding.

Immersed in that culture that “has as its highest goals one’s own ego and one’s own desires,” in that book I encountered beautiful reflections on self-denial, on forgiveness, even “The Blessing of Pain and Grief.” It catechized me in a way that 12 years of Catholic schools and an ostensibly Catholic family failed to do. A few years later when I lost it, I was able to order a replacement online from Fraternity Publications. I highly recommend it.

The third pivot came after overhearing a conversation at work about the Real Presence.

The Priest says: “Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.”

I’m not sure how they happened onto the topic, but the office secretary was talking to another employee about Roman Catholics, and she said, “We believe that the Eucharist is the body of Christ.” 

“We do?” I thought? Like, THE body of Christ? Huh? No, it’s just a symbol. What was she talking about? I’d never heard that before, and I’m Catholic. Whatever.

Some online research confirmed what she said. It felt like a punch in the stomach. Again, after 12 years of Catholic schools and Catholic parents I did not even know such a fundamental doctrine of the faith? How was that possible? Had I ever received worthily, validly? If one needs to be in a state of grace to approach for communion, why did everybody go up? Why didn’t my mother go to confession? How come she’d never encouraged us kids to regularly confess? The more I read about the Real Presence, the more ashamed I felt, even betrayed.

The fourth pivot came after reading an article on “the Latin Mass” on the front page of the Chicago Tribune.

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The article preceded Pope Benedict’s moto proprio Summorum Pontificum. Several Chicago parishes offered the mass. “Fans” quoted in the article gushed over how transcendent the Latin Mass was, how it was so beautiful they wanted to cry. I’d always enjoyed history, and I knew this was the mass my parents grew up with. So one Sunday, I visited one of the parishes.

I expected to witness the mass I grew up with, only in a different language, with nice(r) music, and with the priest facing the other way. What I encountered was baffling and frustrating. I had no idea what was going on. For long periods, nothing happened. The priest just stood there, facing the tabernacle. He wasn’t talking at all, much less in Latin, from what I could tell. But a realization hit me, seeing the priest there before the tabernacle: This is what mass is all about: the Eucharist!

The night and day difference between the Extraordinary Form and the Ordinary Form sent me back to the Internet. I found some podcasts on iTunes by Dr. James Dobbins that dove into the history of the Extraordinary Form, about how much traces back to the Temple in Jerusalem, the symbolism of ad orientum, and so on. It was like finding buried treasure. I returned to that parish several times, window shopping as it were.

The fifth pivot came when someone asked me to be their child’s godfather.

baptism

For one thing, I never expected that parent to ask me. We weren’t particularly close. For another, I knew this was a serious, sacred obligation I was entering into. It wasn’t merely an honorific title. For the first time in 15, maybe 20 years, I went to confession.

The Lord blessed me with a gentle and patient priest behind the confessional screen. He counselled me that my same sex attraction was, alas, a heavy cross to bear. But he didn’t make me feel dirty, or like a pervert. After he lead me through making an act of contrition, I left the confessional absolved, attended the holy sacrifice of the mass, and approached the communion rail in a state of grace for the first time since I was a child. I slid back into my sinful ways pretty quickly. But I’d poke my head out of the sewer now and then, to listen to Father John Corapi (good preacher, pray for him, sad situation) on Relevant Radio, a Catholic radio station in Chicago, or to attend Holy Week services.

Finally, two years after my God-child’s baptism, I found myself waking up Sunday mornings with my conscience telling me, “You should go to mass.” I’d trek to the “Latin Rite” church and sit in a pew near the back, watching the priest from afar, knowing more now about what was going on. My head knew what was true, but my heart was lukewarm. Sin continued.

The final pivot came came that Lent.

Lent1

My conscience had been gnawing at me. “You’re a hypocrite. You can’t call yourself Catholic but live this way.” So I challenged myself: Lent is only about 40 days, right? Six weeks? This year’s Lent, let’s try to do everything the Church teaches, especially as it pertains to purity. No more porn. No more hours wasted on gay hook-up websites. No more lusting. Complete celibacy and chastity. Mass every Sunday. Regular confession.

I did it.

The first two weeks were rough, don’t get me wrong. Whether it was through grace, or the intercession of Our Lady, the saints, somehow I did it.

What’s more, I liked it! It was liberating. I was free of the weight, the rules, the oppressive expectations that the gay lifestyle places on you. Style your hair a certain way. Dress a certain way. Decorate your home a certain way. Think a certain way. Listen to certain music, watch certain television shows. Conform.

My friends’ first hint that I’d “changed” came from seeing my “likes” of Catholic posts on Facebook and from my decision to sit out the gay pride parade despite living so close to the parade route. My social circle has shrunk considerably. My best friend cut me off after I declined to attend his “wedding.” Other friends accuse me of being a “self-loathing homosexual.” Another friend, who I’m still close to, has told me to my face, with all sincerity, that he is worried about my mental health.

Ultimately though, this is not about me being happy or freed or spiritually fed/fulfilled/whatever you want to call it. My conversion was about understanding my role vis-a-vis God, that I was made to know, love, and serve Him in this life –not myself or my ego or its desires– and be happy with Him in the next.

I cannot quite explain why I so readily accept the Church’s teachings on same-sex attraction. It’s all perfectly logical and rationale to me. I’d lived that lifestyle and knew how ugly it was, what a lie it was. If I wanted to follow Christ, I would have to take up a cross. There was no “conversion” in that regard.

In a culture that says it’s all about Me, I realized that no, it’s not, and humility and sacrifice must be part and parcel of my life from now on. He must increase, I must decrease. Perhaps that’s why the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite played such a vital role in my conversion and continued efforts to life out the Faith. The Extraordinary Form is not about me. On that account, one might argue, its silence is deafening. I would not have reverted back to the faith without the Extraordinary Form. It has helped me strengthen my faith, grow in charity, battle my pride, and strive for purity in a way the Ordinary Form, as commonly offered, could not.

I’ve remained celibate since that Ash Wednesday in 2011. I’ve struggled with impure thoughts and actions, but am light years from who I used to be. With frequently confession and the graces flowing from that sacrament and the sacrament of the Eucharist, and His most merciful Sacred Heart, I soldier on in the Church Militant. Oh yeah, I think Our Lady’s on my side too!

Since I was invited to write this story for a family oriented blog, my advice to Catholic parents would be this: Teach your children obedience. Teach them obedience to you as mothers and fathers, and obedience to God and the Church. Model that obedience to them. It will require struggle, humility, and sacrifice, potentially the ultimate sacrifice. Never forget that your role isn’t to be their friend, or to give them the happy or comfortable childhood you never had. Your role is to get them to heaven. Trust in Jesus.

May God bless us all this Lent.

Joe.

Women Priests, Gay Sex, and Communion for the Re-Married: Is Fr. Timothy Radcliffe an appropriate speaker for Flame2 Youth Conference 2015?

flame2

The CYMFed (Catholic Youth Ministry Federation – England and Wales) are the organisers of ‘Flame2’. It is described on their website as: “…the largest National Catholic Youth event of 2015, taking place in the SSE Wembley Arena on Saturday 7th March 2015… The SSE Wembley Arena will be filled with 10,000 young people from across the country, receiving faith-filled inspiration from world-class speakers… Flame2 is open to anyone in school year ten and above, up to young adult (i.e. aged approx. 14-21).”

One of the key speakers will be Fr. Timothy Radcliffe OP. The question is: Why do CYMFed feel Fr. Timothy Radcliffe is an appropriate speaker for a youth conference?

Fr. Radcliffe has received public criticism over his comments in regards to homosexuality being consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Until they were abolished in 2013, Fr. Radcliffe, occasionally presided over ‘Soho Masses’ at Saint Anne Church’s for gay and lesbian church goers in central London. 

In 2014 there were calls for Fr. Radcliffe to be dropped as a keynote speaker at Ireland’s annual International Conference of Divine Mercy at the Royal Dublin Society. The calls were in response to Fr Radcliffe’s contribution to last year’s Anglican Pilling Report on human sexual ethics in which he said of homosexuality: “How does all of this bear on the question of gay sexuality? We cannot begin with the question of whether it is permitted or forbidden! We must ask what it means, and how far it is Eucharistic. Certainly it can be generous, vulnerable, tender, mutual and non-violent. So in many ways, I would think that it can be expressive of Christ’s self-gift. We can also see how it can be expressive of mutual fidelity, a covenantal relationship in which two people bind themselves to each other for ever.” 

Alabama-based Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) refused to broadcast the conference, due to Fr. Radcliffe being its keynote speaker; stating that Radcliff holds views that are at “at sharp variance to Catholic teaching“.

Fr Radcliffe also gave a keynote address to a US religious education conference, in which he was reported as saying: “We accompany people in friendship as they become moral agents. Let’s look at the gays. For some reason–I don’t actually understand why–it’s become a very hot topic in all the churches at the moment. It’s tearing the Church of England apart. It’s the cause of great dissension in our own church. Usually when we think about it, we ask, ‘What is forbidden or permitted?’ But I’m afraid I’m an old-fashioned and traditional Catholic, and I believe that’s the wrong place to start. We begin by standing by gay people as they hear the voice of the Lord that summons them to life and happiness. We accompany them as they wrestle with discovering what this means and how they must walk. And this means letting our imaginations be stretched open to watching Brokeback Mountain, reading gay novels, having gay friends, making that leap of the heart and the mind, delighting in their being, listening with them as they listen to the Lord.”

Fr. Timothy Radcliffe

Fr. Timothy Radcliffe

And on the issue of Women priest’s and Holy Communion for Catholics who are divorced and re-married, Fr Radcliffe hopes that: “…a way will be found to welcome divorced and remarried people back to communion. And, most important, that women will be given real authority and voice in the church. The pope expresses his desire that this may happen, but what concrete form can it take? He believes that the ordination of women to the ministerial priesthood is not possible, but decision-making in the church has become ever more closely linked to ordination in recent years. Can that bond be loosened? Let us hope that women may be ordained to the diaconate and so have a place in preaching at the Eucharist. What other ways can authority be shared?’”

At October’s Family Synod, Cardinal Burke was one of the most outspoken of the group of bishops to react strongly against the mid-term document, in which it was suggested that the Church should “accept and value” the homosexual “orientation” and cohabitation, and that such relationships could have positive or valuable “elements.”

In an interview with Ireland’s state broadcaster RTE last week, Cardinal Burke said that in regards to sexual morality, he has heard from lay people that “there’s really just a growing confusion about what the Church really teaches, and we’re not coming to any clarity.”

Surely, considering all the recent confusion surrounding the Synod, CYMFed are doubly obliged to make sure the speakers at their event are preaching the truths of the faith, not what they would prefer the Catholic faith to look like. By giving a platform to ‘progressive’ speakers like Fr. Radcliffe at Flame 2, CYMFed will be exposing 10,000 14-21 year olds to Fr. Radcliffe’s own personal opinions, many of which in direct opposition to the teachings of the Catholic Church. He will stand there as a guiding voice for these young people – some of whom will no doubt be facing issues of same-sex attraction. Is this the man parents want their young adults to be guided by? What are CYMFed thinking?

When Fr. Radcliffe spoke at the first Flame conference the CYMFed website stated that: “On the Flame 2012 evaluations he (Fr. Radcliffe) was regularly named by young people as the speaker with the greatest impact, and we look forward to welcoming Fr Timothy back to Flame.”

Bernadette (20) who attended Flame 1, says that since learning about Fr. Radcliffe’s views her perception of Flame has changed:

“It probably would change my perception yes because I want to be able to go to something that I feel is completely orthodox, and I don’t like idea of prominent controversial figures being given a platform like this. Christianity is hard enough when you’re young and orthodox, without dissident individuals like Timothy Radcliffe trying to confuse things. I was talking to my house-mates about it and they were saying, that if a teenager left Flame, after having really enjoyed the day, and Googled Timothy Radcliffe, they’d be open to all the stuff that he talks about and goodness knows what they’ll read and begin to be influenced by. I would probably question CYMFed, on their motives for hosting such a figure. We either believe in the teaching power of the magisterium or we don’t.” – (Bernadette, 20)

Fr. Dermot Donnelly (centre) with his celebrity brother Declan Donnelly (right).

CYMFed Chair person Fr. Dermot Donnelly (centre) with his celebrity brother Declan Donnelly (right).

I contacted the Chair of CYMFed – Fr Dermot Donnelly several times last week and politely asked: “Considering many of Fr. Radcliffe’s views go against the teachings of the Catholic church, why does CYMFed think he is an appropriate speaker for the Flame2 youth conference?”

He offered me a phone call but I explained that to avoid any possible misinterpretation it is best for him to reply in writing. Fr. Donnelly was unwilling to give a written statement.

So instead I decided to take the matter to the Bishop affiliated with CYMFed. Surely I’ll get some sense out of him! A Prince of the Catholic Church would never stand for the UK’s youth being exposed to such low moral standards would he?

However (of course) the Bishop affiliated with CYMFed turns out to be the recently retired Kieran Conry.

 

Sources:

http://www.cymfed.org.uk/flame2/

http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Radcliffe

http://www.protectthepope.com/?p=9494

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-burke-church-teaching-on-sexuality-must-be-clarified-and-only-pope?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=5cde758379-LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines_06_19_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0caba610ac-5cde758379-326240826

Catholic family branded ‘bigoted’ by social workers for not wanting their children to be adopted by gay couple.

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Two Slovakian parents have failed to block the adoption of two of their sons by a same sex couple in Kent.

The Catholic couple, who are of Roma origin, argued their two young children would grow up alienated from their family and community. Taking the case to the High Court, they accused the local authority of social engineering by attempting to turn the children white and middle class. An earlier hearing heard evidence they had neglected their children.

In the Matter of J and S concerned two boys, ‘J’, aged four, and ‘S’, who will turn two in July. Their ‘Roma’ parents come from the Slovak Republic. They were brought to West Yorkshire by traffickers and initially lived in “cramped” bed and breakfast accommodation. They later moved to a larger home with help from Hope for Justice, a charity based in Manchester which works with victims of trafficking.

Social services became involved and eventually their five youngest children were made the subject of care proceedings. The local authority applied for care orders for the four youngest, plus an order which would place for the oldest, aged 15, under its supervision for 12 months. In addition, they sought ‘placement orders’ for the two youngest, J and S, putting them in the care of prospective adopters.

The orders were granted by Mrs Justice Theis at a hearing in May last year. The parents then applied for permission to oppose the planned adoptions, making an unsuccessful bid to the European Court of Human Rights. In due course the case came before Sir James Munby at the High Court in London. A scheduled hearing earlier this month was adjourned after scheduled interpreters failed to show up. Their parents’ counsel was acting pro bono. The President said: “This is a very sad case”. Nevertheless, he rejected the parents’ application for leave to oppose the adoption order, under section 47 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002. This deals with ‘conditions for making adoption orders’. The President said the fact that J and S had been placed for adoption with a same sex couple did not constitute a sufficient change in circumstances to justify an objection by the parents under the Act.

In their witness statement, the parents had declared:

“Our family is a Slovak Roma family and we are practising Catholics and a homosexual couple as potential adopters is very different from what Mrs Justice Theis had in mind in her judgment as this will not promote the children’s Roma heritage or their Catholic faith … Whilst we have no doubt that the prospective adopters have been properly assessed by the Local Authority, they are a homosexual couple and as such their lifestyle goes against our Roma culture and lifestyle. The children will not be able to be brought up in the Catholic faith because of the conflicts between Catholicism and homosexuality. They would not be able to maintain their Catholic faith if they are adopted by this couple and even if it was promised that they would attend church the children would at some stage be taught or learn of the attitude of the church to same sex couples. This would undoubtedly be upsetting to them and cause them to be in conflict between their religion and home life. Slovakia still does not recognise same sex couples and so their Slovak roots and values will not be maintained. In 2013 the Catholic Bishops in Slovakia condemned same sex marriage.”

Mr Justice Munby responded:

“I do not see how this can be described as a change in circumstances. There is nothing in all the material I have seen to suggest that the children’s placement with the prospective adopters was inappropriate or wrong, let alone irrational or unlawful, having regard to the principles that the local authority had to apply…Nor… has it been demonstrated that the placement was of a kind not contemplated by Theis J. On the contrary, Theis J expressly held, as we have seen, that the children’s welfare needs “outweigh” the impact that adoption would have on their Roma identity.”

The President continued:

“Of course, any judge should have a decent respect to the opinions of those who come here from a foreign land, particularly if they have come from another country within the European Union….But the fact is, the law is, that, at the end of the day, I have to judge matters according to the law of England and by reference to the standards of reasonable men and women in contemporary English society. The parents’ views, whether religious, cultural, secular or social, are entitled to respect but cannot be determinative. They have made their life in this country and cannot impose their own views either on the local authority or on the court.”

Sir James Munby also said ‘It was, in my view, unfortunate that the local authority should have referred at one stage in the proceedings to the parents’ views on homosexuality in such a way as to suggest that they are bigoted. The label is unnecessary and hurtful.’ Judge: Yesterday, the country’s most senior family judge, Sir James Munby, upheld the adoption plan, but criticised the social workers for the way they condemned the parents because of their views. His criticism is understood to follow a report submitted to the court by social workers which said: ‘The attitude of the parents could be perceived as bigoted.’ 

The parents are appealing to the European Court of Human Rights, although it is likely it will take months before their case is heard.

Lucie Boddington, from Děti Patří Rodičům – or Children Belong to Parents – a Slovakian charity which has been supporting the couple, said she hoped the Slovak government would request the case be heard more quickly. She told the BBC the parents were “desperate” and had cried openly when they heard the judge’s decision. “This is I think in some way a cultural misunderstanding,” she said. “In Slovakia, they were a model family – very different from the way some Roma live. The father is hard-working, well-educated; he wanted the best for his children.”

This comes at a time when social workers are under pressure from the Government to abandon rules which have meant that adopted children can be placed only with new families of the same ethnic or cultural background. The doctrine has been blamed for preventing ethnic minority children from being adopted by a stable family, because there are two few people from ethnic minorities are willing to adopt.

Mairead Macneil - Director of Specialist Children's Services at Kent county council.

Mairead Macneil – Director of Specialist Children’s Services at Kent county council.

“We are absolutely committed to improving the quality of service and we need to have social workers who are progressive, enthusiastic, enabling, empowering, practical and frankly just able to do the job well,” says Mairead MacNeil, director of specialist children’s services at Kent county council. “I believe we have got a good core of social workers who can; we just need to build on that.”

A recent Ofsted report following an inspection rated the council’s looked after children services as “adequate”, with “good” capacity to improve. In 2010, the same services had been judged “inadequate”.

In June 2013 Kent County Council Came under criticism in a report by the Local Government Ombudsman, after it failed to provide proper support to an abandoned boy.

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Sir James Munby

According to ‘Pink News’ The head of the High Court’s Family Division, Lord Justice James Munby, is a strong supporter of equality for gay people.

In November 2013 he gave a shocking address in which he said happily judges no longer promote virtue and morality or discourage vice and immorality’. In particular Judge Munby publicly repudiates Christianity and Christian morality, and welcomes the legalisation of abortion, gay sex and adultery.

In a speech in London, Sir James Munby said judges ‘happily’ no longer had a role in enforcing morality, unlike in the past when they  routinely condemned homosexuality, adultery and promoted Victorian social attitudes. ‘Once upon a time, the perceived function of the judges was to promote virtue and discourage vice and immorality,’ he said. ‘I doubt one would now hear that from the judicial bench. Today, surely, the judicial task is to assess matters by the standards of reasonable men and women in 2013 – not by the standards of their parents in 1970.’

Sir James said that Victorian judges promoted ‘virtue and morality’ while  discouraging ‘vice and immorality’ with a ‘very narrow view of sexual morality’. He cited laws banning gay sex and abortion and rulings that condemned women for adultery. He added that the influence of Christian churches in the courts had also disappeared in recent years.

He said: ‘Happily for us, the days are  past when the business of judges was  the enforcement of morals or religious beliefs.’ He said that modern-day judges had rightly abandoned any claim to be ‘guardians of public morality’, just as Christian clerics no longer claimed to speak as the ‘defining voices of morality and of the law of marriage and the family. Today, we live in a largely secular society which, insofar as it remains religious at all, is now increasingly diverse in religious affiliation.’ he said. ‘Although, historically, this country is part of the Christian West and although it has an established church which is Christian, we sit as secular judges serving a multi-cultural community of many faiths, sworn to do justice “to all manner of people”. We live in this country in a democratic and pluralistic society, in a secular state not a theocracy. All are entitled to respect, so long as they are “legally and socially acceptable” and not “immoral or socially obnoxious” or “pernicious”.’ he said.

He also said courts would overrule parents’ religious beliefs if it was in their child’s best interests, such as if a child of Jehovah’s Witnesses needed a blood transfusion. ‘We live in a largely secular society which, insofar as it remains religious at all, is now increasingly diverse in religious affiliation,’ he added.

He said a believer’s faith was not the ‘business of government or of the secular courts’, ‘although, of course, the courts will pay every respect to the individual’s or family’s religious principles’.

In 2007  he was the presiding judge at a landmark case that ruled that a Christian couple should be banned from fostering children because of their views on homosexuality.  At the time, making his judgement he said: “The equality provisions concerning sexual orientation should take precedence over religious beliefs”.

Sources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27552716

http://www.marilynstowe.co.uk/2014/05/23/family-law-court-rejects-romani-parents-bid-to-return-children/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2637725/Catholic-family-branded-bigoted-social-workers-not-wanting-children-adopted-gay-couple.html#ixzz32dfazoJe 

http://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2013/sep/06/career-opportunities-social-workers

http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/story/2013-06-04/council-fails-abandoned-child/

http://protectthepope.com/?p=9004

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/12/21/uk-new-head-of-the-high-courts-family-division-is-a-strong-supporter-of-gay-equality/

 

Happy 1st Birthday Faith in our Families!

fiof birthday

Fifth Sunday of Lent – Year C

“Let anyone among you who is without sin, be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Gospel: John 8:1-11

1 While Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. 5 Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.”

Gospel Summary

The Scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman before Jesus who was guilty of adultery. The asked Him what should be done with her? They were in fact trying to trick Jesus into going against the law of Moses by not having the woman stoned or going against the Roman law that did not allow the Jewish people to impose the death sentence. Jesus took His time to answer, and then instructed anyone who was without sin to cast the first stone. Of course no-one could do this, and the crowd slowly drifted away. Jesus then tells the woman that He does not condemn her – and that she should go, and not sin again.

Relating the Gospel to our lives today.

How would you feel if you were the adulterous woman’s husband? Or the wife of the man she committed adultery with? Pretty angry right?! There are plenty of words we can use to describe this woman – home wrecker, whore, dirty, cheap, the list goes on. And quite right – adultery destroys marriages and families. So why did Jesus seemingly let her get away with it? There are three reasons here: firstly, Jesus was making the point that as human beings, we do not have the moral authority to condemn one another. We are all sinners, and all in need of God’s forgiveness. Secondly, he was revealing the very essence of Good News – that Gods love and mercy are greater than our sins. And thirdly, He was drawing attention to the fact that this woman was not just a sinner but a person.

In some ways, my own judgemental reaction to this woman reminds me of the elder brother’s reaction in the prodigal son – “How can God love this sinner as much as He loves me?” At the end of the day we have to face our own reaction for what it is: jealous, self-righteous moral snobbery (ouch!). This story is a true lesson in humility for us!

How do we react to our fellow sinners? The drug addict, the prostitute, the divorced and re-married, the homosexual, the atheist, the young woman who had an abortion? Do we see the person, or just the sin? Do we take into account that there are circumstances and a complex history for this person that has led them to where they are? Or do we stand there holding our stone, ready to throw it?

Judgment day will come, and justice will be served – but that is God’s job, not ours.

  • Each one of us is created in the image and likeness of God.
  • Do I realise my own dignity?
  • Do I realise the dignity of others?

Make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred let me bring your love. Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord. And where there’s doubt, true faith in you.

Make me a channel of your peace. Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope. Where there is darkness, only light. And where there’s sadness, ever joy.

Oh, Master grant that I may never seek, So much to be consoled as to console. To be understood as to understand. To be loved as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. In giving to all men that we receive. And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.

 – St. Francis of Assisi

* GOD BLESS OUR NEW POPE FRANCIS! *

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POPE FRANCIS  TRUE DISCIPLE OF JESUS Pope Francis I In 2008, on the Holy Thursday, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio(Pope Francis) washed the feet of 12 recovering drug addicts at a rehabilitation centre in Buenos Aires, Argentina(in this Pic). As Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, he showed compassion for the victims of HIV-AIDS and in 2001, visited a hospice to kiss and wash the feet of 12 AIDS patients. True disciple of Christ!!! To be more precise True Vicar of Christ!!!

Catholic, Protestant and Muslim Mothers unite in Support of Traditional Marriage.

Three mothers from South London have come together to represent their communities in support of traditional marriage. Whilst all respect the fact that individuals can live how they choose, they believe that marriage is, and always has been, a sacred institution between 1 woman and 1 man. All three have signed a letter explaining their views and presented it to their local MP:

Katie McGowan, a Protestant Christian says “Our faiths dictate that ‘marriage’ is an institution between one man and one woman. In countries where marriage has already been redefined, people of faith have faced prosecution for upholding their beliefs. Evidence shows that governments have not been able to protect ordinary people who believe in traditional marriage. We worry that, should the bill be successful, teachers will be sacked for refusing to endorse gay marriage in the classroom, and couples will be banned from fostering children if they disagree with gay marriage. Obviously, these are just a couple of examples.
Furthermore, it may be assumed that the general public are largely in favour this proposal. However, the voters have not been given a say. None of the parties included it in their election manifestos. Marriage is going to be redefined over our heads. In a recent poll by YouGov for The Sunday Times, published on 11 March 2012, a larger proportion of those questioned were against gay marriage than were for it.”

Asma Dar, a Muslim says “Marriage is meant for 1 woman and 1 man, and it is the place to raise a family. We believe that all children have the right to a Mother and a Father. Sadly, however well-meaning they are, a same-sex couple simply cannot offer this to a child. If my husband and I were to die suddenly and our 3 girls were taken into the care of the local authority, it would be possible that they be placed with two men. This would not only be against our wishes and our faith, but it would also rob our girls of any chance of having a mother. What indeed is the legal position of the wishes of deceased parents on this issue?
According to the 2011 Office for National Statistics survey, the gay population in the UK stands at 1%. The population for Christians and Muslims combined stands at 64.1%. The majority of UK residents oppose the bill on the grounds of faith. If marriage is re-defined, the new law will be forced upon millions of people who strongly oppose it. This is especially true in the area of education and adoption. We are stepping into unknown territory and no-one can predict the effect this law will have on children and on society as a whole.”

Clare Short, a Roman Catholic says “I think it is a disgrace that teachers could face being sacked if they fail to promote same-sex relationships to children as young as age 4. Why doesn’t the government concentrate on teaching our kids to read and write, rather than forcing sexual information on them that they really don’t need to know about at that young age. This is a deeply personal political issue that is doing more harm than good in society. I believe it is creating unwanted tension between the gay and straight communities. It is not something people of faith are ‘just going to get used to’ over time. It is an issue of such importance, that we are willing to fight against it for as long as it takes. There is a particularly nasty undertone in the UK at the moment where people are being made to feel guilty for expressing their opposition to the re-definition of marriage on the grounds of being ‘politically incorrect’. This sort of political bullying is completely unacceptable in a civilised democratic society. We hope from reading our story that more people will find the confidence to contact their MP to voice their opinion. Every voice counts.
The issue of re-defining marriage is uniting people of all faiths, and also those who do not have a faith. David Cameron needs to realise that the vast majority of people in the UK do not want marriage re-defined.”

Gay Marriage? – But what about EQUALITY???

But what about EQUALITY??? If Mr. Cameron was really interested in equality then perhaps he should take another look at the succession to the crown bill (passed yesterday) that still makes it illegal for a Catholic to sit on the throne on England! – http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/cristinaodone/100200514/gays-can-marry-a-first-born-girl-can-rule-but-a-catholic-still-cant-take-the-throne/ Or much more importantly, perhaps he should look at the way disabled children are discriminated against in the womb (abortions are illegal in the UK after 24 weeks – unless the child is disabled. A disabled child can be aborted up until birth.) But no, instead he is insisting that Parent A and Parent B are EQUAL to a mother and a father. It beggars belief that a government so interested in the problem of absent fathers would even entertain the idea of a fatherless lesbian family – or have fathers suddenly become non important? The same goes for mothers. If me and my husband suddenly died, David Cameron is proposing the terrifying prospect that our local authority could place our two young children into the care of two men – therefor robbing them of any chance of a mother. Children need and deserve a mother and a father. And however caring and well-meaning a same-sex couple are, by their pure biology, they will never be able to offer what a child truly needs.

All the Catholics in England and Wales have been asked to write to their MP’s again this week to show their opposition to the re-definition of marriage. It seems to me that we will be hearing about this topic on an almost daily basis over the next few weeks as we draw closer to the vote on whether marriage should be re-defined or not.

The more and more I think about it though, the more I am convinced that this was the biggest mistake of David Cameron’s career. We still don’t know why he decided to bring it up when he did? Was it to deflect attention away from the failing economy? Was it to keep Nick Clegg happy in some sort of party policy ‘trade off’? Was it to gain favour with the extreme left liberal media we have here in the UK? Or was just an attempt to make the Conservative party look more hip and trendy?

What ever it was it one thing is sure. David Cameron sorely underestimated the opinion of the British public. He got it wrong. He got it very, very wrong! It is becoming more and more clear that the British public (and the French it seems!) do NOT want marriage re-defined. This puts old Davy-boy in a bit of a pickle! He is going to have to go through with the vote – otherwise he would seem weak. I suppose he could try to ‘kick it into the long grass’ but that is going to be difficult as it has become such a major issue of public interest. What ever happens, re-defining marriage will go down in history as the topic that generated the most letters that MP’s have ever received on one single issue!

I have decided to publish my letter to my local MP here in the hope that it will encourage more people to do the same. If you need any further information or advice please take a look at the coalition for marriage website: http://c4m.org.uk/downloads/10reasons.pdf

to contact your local MP please visit http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/ ant look in the top right hand corner for ‘find your MP’.

This may be the last chance you have before (and if) the law is changed.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Dear Ms McDonagh,

We are constituents living in your area. We always vote at local and general elections.

We are writing today to tell you our views on the re-definition of marriage. As practising Catholics, we are fully opposed to the re-definition of marriage. Marriage is an institution for raising a family, and we believe that a child deserves a mother and a father not just parent A and parent B. Mother and Fathers have different and complimentary roles that simply cannot be equalled by two members of the same sex – however much they try.

This has been recently scientifically proven by Professor Mark Regnerus( http://www.markregnerus.com/ )of the University of Texas. His research on “How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships?” has found that the children from same-sex families have significantly poorer life outcomes than their peers who come from a regular ‘Mum and Dad’ families:

 
“…The differences, it turns out, were numerous. For instance, 28 per cent of the adult children of women who’ve had same-sex relationships are currently unemployed, compared to 8 per cent of those from married mom-and-dad families. Forty per cent of the former admit to having had an affair while married or co-habiting, compared to 13 per cent of the latter. Nineteen per cent of the former said they were currently or recently in psychotherapy for problems connected with anxiety, depression, or relationships, compared with 8 per cent of the latter. And those are just three of the 25 differences I noted.” – Mark Regnerus
 http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2012/06/gay_parents_are_they_really_no_different_.single.html
 

We are also extremely concerned that people who oppose same-sex relationships on moral or religious grounds are left open to legal prosecution. This has been the case in Canada. Hundreds of Canadians have faced legal proceedings for opposing same-sex ‘marriage’ in the public sphere following its introduction in 2005. Within five years of marriage being redefined in Canada, an estimated three hundred cases have been brought against individuals, mostly Christians, who have opposed same-sex marriage in the public sphere. The proceedings have been brought at employment boards, courts, and human rights commissions. A number of employees have been dismissed from their jobs because they have maintained a conscientious objection to same-sex marriage. Businesses have been sued and churches have been threatened with sanctions over their religious beliefs.

Examples from Canada:

  1. A television anchor on a prominent sports show was immediately dismissed after he posted his support for “the traditional and true meaning of marriage” on Twitter.
  2. A Roman Catholic bishop in Alberta, Fred Henry, was charged with a human-rights violation for writing a letter to local churches outlining the Catholic position on marriage.
  3. A Christian organization in Ontario working with some of the most marginalized disabled people in Canada was taken to court after objecting to the marriage of one of its homosexual employees. The organization faced an ultimatum and had to choose between changing its hiring and employment policy or being closed down.
  4. An evangelical Christian marriage commissioner in Saskatchewan was successfully sued for refusing to marry a homosexual couple, despite assisting the couple by putting them in touch with another marriage commissioner who would be willing to conduct the ceremony.
  5. A campaign has now begun in Canada to remove tax-free status from churches that refuse to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. Some Canadian provinces are even considering laws to forbid teachers in private schools from teaching that traditional marriage is the ideal.

Michael Coren, writing for the National Review Online, said: “Once gay marriage becomes law, critics are often silenced by the force of the law. The Canadian litany of pain, firings, and social and political polarization and extremism is extraordinary and lamentable, and we haven’t even begun to experience the mid and long-term results of this mammoth social experiment. I seldom say it, but for goodness’ sake, learn something from Canada.”

The government has no right to mess with an institution as sacred as marriage. The British public are angry and disappointed with the suggestion that it does. Already UK politicians are voicing their concerns. For example, Michael Gove fears that the Government could be powerless to stop primary school teachers being sacked for refusing to teach gay marriage. A senior source in Mr Gove’s department said the UK was not “in control” and that the ultimate decision might “inevitably” be taken at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.  It is worth remembering that he European Court recently ruled that public sector workers can be forced to act against their sincere beliefs about marriage. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9825341/Government-powerless-to-protect-teachers-from-sack-over-gay-marriage.html

Ms McDonagh, is this what you want for the UK?

It is a very, very un-popular idea – the biggest mistake of David Cameron’s career!

Civil partnerships already protect same-sex couples when it comes to legal issues like next of kin or inheritance. What exactly will they be gaining by being ‘married’? Is this all just a poor attempt by the government to try to be seen as modern and ‘fair’? Is it an attempt to win votes? – Because if it is, then it is backfiring! Many, many Labour and Conservative voters I know are now transferring their loyalty to other parties including UKIP and Christian Peoples Alliance because of this issue alone. That is how strongly people feel about this issue – us included.

The vast majority of people within your constituency oppose the re-definition of marriage. You must represent what the people want. I hope to God that as our MP – and as a practicing Catholic yourself, you will be voting NO to the re-definition of marriage.

Yours sincerely,

“I’ve lived through the greatest revolution in sexual mores in our history. The damage it’s done appals me.”

Great article…

By  A N Wilson

PUBLISHED: 23:24, 4 January  2013 |  UPDATED: 19:03,  7 January 2013

Humorous: In the view of poet Philip Larkin, the Sexual Revolution started 50 years agoHumorous: In the view of poet Philip Larkin, the Sexual  Revolution started 50 years ago

The Sexual Revolution started 50 years ago.  At least, that was the view of the poet Philip Larkin, who wrote:

‘Sexual intercourse began In nineteen sixty-three. Between the end of the Chatterley ban and the Beatles’ first  LP.’

Probably when today’s students read this  poem, they understand the reference to the Beatles first LP, but need a bit of  help with ‘the Chatterley ban’. D.H. Lawrence’s novel, Lady Chatterley’s  Lover, had been banned for obscenity, and all the liberal-minded ‘great and the  good’ — novelists, professors of literature, an Anglican bishop and sociologists  — trooped to the Old Bailey to explain to a learned judge why Penguin Books  should be allowed to publish it. To my mind, Lawrence’s account of how a  sex-starved rich woman romps naked in the woods with her husband’s gamekeeper is  risible. It is hard to read the accounts of them  cavorting in the rain, and sticking wild flowers in one another’s pubic hair,  without laughing.

Yet the great English Literature professors  of the Fifties and Sixties spoke of Lady C in the same breath as the most  wonderful writings of the world, and the Chatterley trial in 1960 marked a major  watershed. The prosecuting counsel, Mr Mervyn  Griffith-Jones, lost the case when he shot himself in the foot by asking the  jury whether they considered Lawrence’s bizarre novel was something they would  wish their wives or servants to read. By putting the question in that way and  referring to ‘servants’, he seemed to suggest that being loyal to one partner  was as outmoded as having a butler and a parlour-maid.

With the ban lifted, Lawrence’s book became  the best-selling novel of the early Sixties. And by the end of the decade,  hippies with flowers in their hair, or would-be hippies, were practising free  love Chatterley-style. Those who could not classify themselves as hippies looked  on a bit wistfully. Of course, Larkin — born in 1922 — was being  ironical and humorous. But the 1960s were a turning-point, and the decade did  undoubtedly herald the Sexual Revolution.

I was born in 1950, 28 years after Larkin.  And far from being ‘rather late for me’, the revolutionary doctrines of the  Sixties were all readily adopted by me and countless  others. From being schoolboys who read Lady  Chatterley under the sheets, to teenagers and young men who had the Rolling  Stones reverberating in our ears, we had no intention of being stuffy like our  parents. The arrival of a contraceptive pill for women  in 1961 appeared to signal the beginning of guilt-free, pregnancy-free sex. We  were saying goodbye to what Larkin (in that poem) called ‘A shame that started  at sixteen / And spread to everything.’
The Sixties: Teenagers and young men who had the Rolling Stones (pictured in 1964) reverberating in their ears had no intention of being stuffy like their parentsThe Sixties: Teenagers and young men who had the Rolling  Stones (pictured in 1964) reverberating in their ears had no intention of being  stuffy like their parents

But if the propagators of the Sexual  Revolution had been able to fast-forward 50 years, what would they have expected  to see? Surely not the shocking statistics about today’s sexual habits in the UK  which are available for all to study. In 2011, there were 189,931 abortions carried  out, a small rise on the previous year, and about seven per cent more than a  decade ago. Ninety-six per cent of these abortions were  funded by the NHS, i.e. by you and me, the taxpayer. One per cent of these were  performed because the would-be parents feared the child would be born  handicapped in some way. Forty-seven per cent were so-called medical abortions,  carried out because the health of mother and child were at  risk. The term ‘medical abortion’ is very widely  applied and covers the psychological ‘health’ of the patient. But even if you concede that a little less  than half the abortions had some medical justification, this still tells us that  more than 90,000 foetuses are aborted every year in this country simply as a  means of lazy ‘birth control’. Ninety thousand human lives are thrown away  because their births are considered too expensive or in some other way  inconvenient.

Lazy: When women neglected to take the Pill, there seemed all the more reason to use abortion as a form of birth controlLazy: When women neglected to take the Pill, there  seemed all the more reason to use abortion as a form of birth control

The Pill, far from reducing the numbers of  unwanted pregnancies, actually led to more. When women neglected to take the Pill, there  seemed all the more reason to use abortion as a form of birth  control. Despite the fact that, in the wake of the  Aids crisis, people were urged to use condoms and to indulge in safe-sex, the  message did not appear to get through. In the past few years, sexually transmitted  diseases among young people have hugely increased, with more and more young  people contracting chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and other diseases, many of  them unaware they were infected until after they had been sexually active with a  number of partners.

The divorce statistics tell another miserable  story. About one third of marriages in Britain end in divorce. And because many  couples do not marry at all before splitting up, the number of broken homes is  even greater. This time of year is when the painfulness of  family break-up is felt most acutely. January 3 has been nicknamed ‘divorce day’  by lawyers. In a moving article in the Mail recently, Lowri Turner, a  twice-divorced mother of three children, wrote about the pain of waking up on  Christmas morning without her children. She looks at the presents under the  tree, with no children to open them, and thinks: ‘This isn’t the way things are  supposed to be.’

Every parent who has been through the often  self-inflicted hell of divorce will know what she means. So will the thousands of children this  Christmas who spent the day with only one parent — and often with that parent’s  new ‘partner’ whom they hate. I hold up my hands. I have been divorced.  Although I was labelled a Young Fogey in my youth, I imbibed all the  liberationist sexual mores of the Sixties as far as sexual morality was  concerned.

I made myself and dozens of people extremely  unhappy — including, of course, my children and other people’s children. I am  absolutely certain that my parents, by contrast, who married in 1939 and stayed  together for more than 40 years until my father died, never strayed from the  marriage bed. There were long periods when they found  marriage extremely tough, but having lived through years of aching  irritation  and frustration, they grew to be Darby and Joan, deeply  dependent upon one  another in old age, and in an imperfect but  recognisable way, an object lesson  in the meaning of the word ‘love’.

Happiness: The GfK's most recent poll shows most of us feel that what will make us very happy is having a long-lasting, stable relationship, having children, and maintaining, if possible, lifelong marriageHappiness: The GfK’s most recent poll shows most of us  feel that what will make us very happy is having a long-lasting, stable  relationship, having children, and maintaining, if possible, lifelong  marriage.

Back in the Fifties, GfK National Opinon Poll  conducted a survey asking how happy people felt on a sliding scale — from very  happy to very unhappy. In 1957, 52 per cent said they were ‘very  happy’. By 2005, the same set of questions found only 36 per cent were ‘very  happy’, and the figures are falling. More than half of those questioned in the  GfK’s most recent survey said that it was a stable relationship which made them  happy. Half those who were married said they were ‘very happy’, compared with  only a quarter of singles.

The truth is that the Sexual Revolution had  the power to alter our way of life, but it could not alter our essential nature;  it could not alter the reality of who and what we are as human  beings. It made nearly everyone feel that they were  free, or free-er, than their parents had been — free to smoke pot, free to sleep  around, free to pursue the passing dream of what felt, at the time, like  overwhelming love — an emotion which very seldom lasts, and a word which is  meaningless unless its definition includes commitment.  How easy it was to dismiss old-fashioned  sexual morality as ‘suburban’, as a prison for the human soul. How easy it was  to laugh at the ‘prudes’ who questioned the wisdom of what was happening in the  Sexual Revolution.

About one-third of marriages in Britain end in divorceAbout one-third of marriages in Britain end in  divorce

Yet, as the opinion poll shows, most of us  feel at a very deep level that what will make us very happy is not romping with  a succession of lovers. In fact, it is having a long-lasting, stable  relationship, having children, and maintaining, if possible, lifelong  marriage.

An amusing Victorian historian, John Seeley,  said the British Empire had been acquired in ‘a fit of absence of mind’. He  meant that no one sat down and planned for the British to take over large parts  of Asia and Africa: it was more a case of one thing leading to another. In many  ways, the Sexual Revolution of the Sixties and Seventies in Britain was a bit  like this. People became more prosperous. People were  living longer. The old-fashioned concept of staying in the same marriage and the  same job all your life suddenly seemed so, so boring. But in the Forties and Fifties, divorce had  not been an option for most people because it was so very expensive, in terms of  economic as well as emotional cost. So people slogged through their unhappy  phases and came out at the other end.

It is easy to see, then, if the tempting  option of escaping a boring marriage was presented, that so many people were  prone to take the adventurous chance of a new partner, a new way of  life. But the Sexual Revolution was not, of course,  all accidental. Not a bit of it. Many of the most influential opinion-formers of  the age were doing their best to undermine all traditional morality, and  especially the traditional morality of the Judaeo-Christian tradition, which has  always taught that marriage is for life.

A decade on from the Chatterley trial, in  1971, an ‘alternative’ magazine called Oz, written by the Australian Richard  Neville and his mates, was had up, not for obscenity, but for ‘conspiracy to  debauch and corrupt the morals of children’. What brought the authors into trouble was  ‘The School Kids’ Issue’, which depicted Rupert Bear in a state of arousal, and  which carried many obscene adverts. The three perpetrators of the filth were sent  to prison, but the sentence was quashed on appeal.

The 'alternative' magazine called Oz, written by the Australian Richard Neville (pictured) and his mates, was had up for 'conspiracy to debauch and corrupt the morals of children'The ‘alternative’ magazine called Oz, written by the  Australian Richard Neville (pictured) and his mates, was had up for ‘conspiracy  to debauch and corrupt the morals of children. Their defender was none other than dear old  Mr Rumpole of the Bailey, John Mortimer QC — warming to the role of the nation’s  teddy bear. He said that if you were a ‘writer’, you  should be allowed to describe any activity, however depraved. Obscenity could not be defined or  identified. And it was positively good for us to be outraged from time to  time.  Even the Left-leaning liberal Noel Annan,  provost of King’s College, Cambridge, suggested this was nonsense. He remarked  that it was impossible to think of any civilisation in history that fitted  Mortimer’s propositions.  But when the Oz Three were released from  prison, the Chattering Classes all rejoiced.

Of course, this was the era when the BBC was  turning a blind eye to the predatory activities of Jimmy Savile, and when the  entire artistic and academic establishment was swayed by the ideas which John  Mortimer presented to the Court of Appeal: namely that old-fashioned ideas of  sexual morality were dead. Moribund. Over. From now on, anything goes — and it was  ‘repressive’ to teach children otherwise.

The wackier clerics of the Church of England,  the pundits of the BBC, the groovier representatives of the educational  establishment, the liberal Press, have all, since the Sexual Revolution began,  gone along with the notion that a relaxation of sexual morality will lead to a  more enlightened and happy society. This was despite the fact that all the  evidence around us demonstrates that the exact opposite is the  case.

In the Fifties, the era when people were  supposedly ‘repressed’, we were actually much happier than we have been more  recently — in an era when confused young people have been invited to make up  their own sexual morals as they went along. The old American cliché is that you can’t put  the toothpaste back in the tube; and it is usually a metaphor used to suggest  that it is impossible to turn the clock back in matters of public behaviour and  morality. Actually, you know, I think that is wrong.

One of the brilliantly funny things  about  the TV sitcom Absolutely Fabulous was that the drunken,  chain-smoking, sexually  promiscuous old harridans Edina Monsoon (played  by Jennifer Saunders) and her  friend Patsy (Joanna Lumley) are despised  by the puritanical Saffy — Eddie’s  daughter.

The TV sitcom Absolutely Fabulous featured the drunken, chain-smoking, sexually promiscuous old harridans Edina Monsoon (played by Jennifer Saunders, left) and her friend Patsy (Joanna Lumley)The TV sitcom Absolutely Fabulous featured the drunken,  chain-smoking, sexually promiscuous old harridans Edina Monsoon (played by  Jennifer Saunders, left) and her friend Patsy (Joanna Lumley)

A small backlash has already definitely  occurred against that generation. I have not conducted a scientific survey, but  my impression, based on anecdotal evidence and the lives of the children of my  contemporaries, is that they are far less badly behaved, and far more sensible,  than we were.My guess is that the backlash will be even  greater in the wake of the whole Jimmy Savile affair, and in reaction against  the miserable world which my generation has handed on to our children — with our  confused sexual morality, and our broken homes.

Our generation, who started to grow up  ‘between the end of the Chatterley ban and the Beatles first LP’ got it all so  horribly wrong.We ignored the obvious fact that moral  conventions develop in human societies for a reason.We may have thought it was ‘hypocritical’ to  condemn any form of sexual behaviour, and we may have dismissed the undoubted  happiness felt by married people as stuffy, repressed and old  hat.

But we were wrong, wrong,  wrong. Two generations have grown up — comprising  children of selfish grown-ups who put their own momentary emotional needs and  impulses before family stability and the needs of their  children. However, I don’t think this behaviour can  last much longer. The price we all pay for the fragmentation of society, caused  by the break-up of so many homes, will surely lead to a massive  rethink.  At least, let’s hope so.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2257379/Ive-lived-greatest-revolution-sexual-mores-history-damage-appals-me.html#ixzz2J0IckCM2 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2257379/Ive-lived-greatest-revolution-sexual-mores-history-damage-appals-me.html#ixzz2IxHNohFl

Do Condoms Prevent HIV?

December 1st is World AIDS day, and before I continue I would like to pay my respect to all those who have died – and to those who are bravely living with the disease. God bless you all.

Dr Valerie Delpech – Health Protection Agency head of HIV surveillance, today told the BBC: “Obviously this is a serious illness and it is worrying that we’re still seeing a lot (of infections) in men who have sex with men and this is a record year. Transmission in the UK is largely sexual, so safe sex is the best way to prevent yourself getting HIV.”

Dr Valerie – I’m sorry but this is NOT true! There is overwhelming evidence to show that condoms have failed, and continue to fail, to stop the spread of this deadly disease.

In the late 1980s, Thailand and the Philippines had roughly the same number of HIV/ AIDS cases at 112 and 135 cases, respectively. In the early 1990s, the government of Thailand enforced the 100% condom use program in its booming commercial sex industry. The Philippines on the other hand, was characterized by its very low rate of condom use and the firm opposition of church and government to condoms. In 2003, almost fifteen years later, the number of HIV/ AIDS cases in Thailand had risen to 750,000 while the number in the Philippines remained low at 1,935.

Just to clarify: Thailand’s approach was 100% condom use. This resulted in  750,000 becoming infected with HIV over the next 15 years. In contrast – the Philippines didn’t chose condoms. They chose to promote abstinence from sex, outside of marriage. This resulted in just 1,935 people becoming infected with HIV over the next 15 years.

The results are clear: In countries where condoms are promoted, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS increased. The latest book of Harvard University AIDS research expert Dr. Edward Green, Broken Promises: How the AIDS Establishment has Betrayed the Developing World, boldly takes up this topic and suggests that a “sex-positive” approach and condom promotion in Africa, have contributed to the continent being the home of the greatest number of AIDS victims in the world. Even way back in his 2003 book, Rethinking AIDS Prevention, Dr. Green had already pointed out that behavioural change was more effective than condom promotion.

According to the New York Times, U.S. Public health officials say they are stumped by this so called ‘paradox’  in the Philippines, where a very low rate of condom use and a very low rate of H.I.V. infection seem to be going hand in hand. They are stumped by the fact that “AIDS-prevention efforts often focus on the use of condoms, but they are not widely available here – and are mostly shunned – in this conservative Roman Catholic country.”

They are saying that “experts can only guess” at the reasons for the low infection rate. No more than about 10,000 Filipino’s are believed to be infected with HIV in a population of 84 million, and the relatively low rate is not thought to be a case of underreporting. ”It’s quite perplexing!” said Zahidul Huque, who heads the United Nations team group on HIV/AIDS for the Philippines. ”We’ve been talking about it a lot and frankly, we don’t know why it’s low.”

How is it possible that the United Nations HIV/AIDS experts are so perplexed by this rather obvious outcome? I am no expert, but even I can understand that if you are having sex with only one person ie. your spouse, then it is extremely difficult to spread a sexually transmitted disease! I also understand that if you tell people that “use a condom you are safe…'” that people are lulled into a false sense of security. In this situation of ‘promised’ safety, people tend to take more risks than they would have otherwise.

But perhaps there is a darker reason:

“No amount of condom can prevent the spread of AIDS unless a person adopts a responsible sexual behaviour.” This is how an Rene Bullecer (country director for Human life international, and the director of AIDS-Free Philippines) expressed his concern for the Filipino people after a government official shared the findings of another study conducted by the United Nations Programme on HIV which pointed to condoms as AIDS-fighting ammunition.

“UN agencies consistently insist on the use of artificial contraceptives, including condoms, as part of responsible sexual behaviour, and call access to these by the youth – regardless of marital status – and children as a ‘sexual right.’ While AIDS is incurable, it is a ‘behavioural disease.’ No matter how many condoms you wear, it’s never a guarantee of protection,” warned Bullecer, who heads the private organization AIDS-Free Philippines and who has been entrenched in the AIDS prevention campaign for 20 years now. “I have been in the anti-AIDS campaign since 1992, and I can tell everybody and look them straight in the eye that these so-called ‘anti-AIDS pro-condom advocates’ are not happy that after 28 years, the Philippines has only cumulative cases of less than 12,000,” the doctor said.

He added that non-government groups working “under the shadow of the Department of Health” have been, for nearly two decades now, receiving “millions in funds from condom advocates. Thus, in return, they have to promote their products.”

A new report from the UN Program on HIV/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (UNAIDS), strangely states that new incidents of HIV infections dropped worldwide by 50 percent from 2001 to 2011, but the Philippines remains one of nine countries in which HIV rates have continued to increase. Now the promoters of the anti-life Reproductive Health (RH) Bill  in the Philippines are using the report to push for greater support and passage of the Bill, and an increase in contraceptive usage.

Of course, we know that both the Department of Health and the pro-condom non-government groups have a common agenda to pass the RH Bill. Passage of this bill will mean millions more in funds for condoms; discouraging the promotion of behavioural changes and allowing the continuous flow of condoms. As a consequence more and more cases of HIV and AIDS; and more and more funds coming in to fight the inevitable increase in HIV/AIDS. The statistical likelihood of these outcomes is a simple case of mathematics, and the fact that no one in the department questions any of this raises the possibility of corruption.

Perhaps the “experts” are overlooking the facts on purpose? – I’m just saying.

 

Sources:

http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/can_the_philippines_keep_aids_at_bay_if_it_embraces_condom_culture

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/20/world/low-rate-of-aids-virus-in-philippines-is-a-puzzle.html

http://www.cbcpnews.com/cbcpnews/?p=8354