Moral/Sexual Issues

As our country descends into the quagmire of insanity and ruined lives, moral and gender relativity and chaos, we better gird up our loins. We have a rough road ahead and Christians will become the scapegoats and accused of being “haters” and “bigots” and worse. Dr. Rachel Levine, who identifies as a transgender woman, is the kind of people who Biben is filling his administration and cabinet. Bravo Senator Rand Paul!

Video of the exchange at the end of this article….

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Thursday pressed President Joe Biden’s nominee for assistant secretary of health on whether the government should override a parent’s consent to allow a gender-dysphoric child to begin taking hormones or pursue sex-change surgery.

Paul asked Dr. Rachel Levine, who identifies as a transgender woman, whether minors are capable of making life-altering decisions to undergo irreversible medical procedures that permanently change their bodies. In his question, Paul compared sex-change operations for minors to genital mutilation.

“Genital mutilation has been nearly universally condemned. … Genital mutilation is considered particularly egregious because, as the WHO notes, it is nearly always carried out on minors and is a violation of the rights of children,” Paul said.

“Most genital mutilation is not typically performed by force, but as WHO notes, by social convention. Social norm. The social pressure to conform. To do what others do and have been doing as well as the need to be accepted socially and the fear of being rejected by the community,” he continued.

“American culture is now normalizing the idea that minors can be given hormones to prevent their biological development of their secondary sexual characteristics. Dr. Levine, you have supported both allowing minors to be given hormone blockers to prevent them from going through puberty, as well as surgical destruction of a minor’s genitalia. Like surgical mutilation, hormonal interruption of puberty can permanently alter and prevent secondary sexual characteristics. The American College of Pediatricians reports that 80-95% of prepubertal children with gender dysphoria will experience resolution by late adolescence if not exposed to medical intervention and social affirmation,” he continued.

“Dr. Levine, do you believe minors are capable of making such a life-changing decision as changing one’s sex?” Paul asked.

Levine replied, “Transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field with robust research and standards of care that have been developed and if I am fortunate enough to be confirmed as the assistant secretary of health, I’ll look forward to working with you and your office and coming to your office and discussing the particulars of the standards of care for transgender medicine.”

Unsatisfied, Paul accused Levine of evading his question.

“Do you support the government intervening to override the parent’s consent to give a child puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and/or amputation surgery of breasts and genitalia? You have said that you’re willing to accelerate the protocols for street kids. I’m alarmed that poor kids with no parents, who are homeless and distraught — you would just go through this and allow that to happen to a minor,” he said.

Paul shared the story of Keira Bell, a 23-year-old U.K. woman who is taking legal action against the NHS, claiming that she should have been challenged by medical staff on her decision as a teenager to undergo a sex-change operation to appear male. She now regrets that decision.

“What I am alarmed at is that you’re not willing to say absolutely minors shouldn’t be making decisions to amputate their breasts or to amputate their genitalia,” Paul told Levine.

Levine responded that “transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field and if confirmed to the position of assistant secretary of health, I would certainly be pleased to come to your office and talk with you and your staff about the standards of care and the complexity of this field.”

Paul again accused Levine of refusing to answer his question.

“You’re willing to let a minor take things that prevent their puberty, and you think they get that back? You give a woman testosterone enough that she grows a beard, do you think she’s going to go back to looking like a woman when she stops the testosterone? You have permanently changed them,” Paul said.

He continued: “Infertility is another problem. None of these drugs have been approved for this, they’re all being used off-label. I find it ironic that the left that went nuts over hydroxychloroquine being used possibly for COVID are not alarmed that these hormones are being used off-label. There’s no long-term studies. We don’t know what happens to them. We do know that there are dozens and dozens of people who’ve been through this who regret that this happened. And a permanent change happened to them. And if you’ve ever been around children, 14-year-olds can’t make this decision.”

“In the gender dysphoria clinic in England, 10% of the kids are between the ages of 3 and 10. We should be outraged that someone’s talking to a 3-year-old about changing their sex!” Paul exclaimed.

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Was Jesus Nice?

by Steve Ray on January 5, 2021

I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has said to me. “That was not very Christ-like.” This response usually comes after being honest to the point of making someone upset.  The implication is that Jesus was a cuddly little nice guy who was always smiling, always accepting with kind words – in short NICE.

In America we tend to be pretty nice, except maybe if you live in New York City. But in contrast to the rest of the world we tend to be very polite, genteel, gracious and nice. Tour guides in other countries say that Americans are the nicest people. We transpose our niceness onto Jesus and think he was a lot like us.

But does LOVE = NICE?

Of course Jesus was loving. He is God after all and God is love (1 John 4:8). We also know that love does not always equate to NICE. God allowed Paul to have a thorn in the flesh to keep him humble (2 Cor 12:7). Three times Paul prayed for it to be removed. God said NO.  God was not acting very American. He certainly wasn’t very nice about it.

Nice is defined primarily as “pleasant or commendable, kind or friendly” (Collins English Dictionary). It originally comes from the Latin meaning “simple, silly or ignorant.”

There is such a thing as “tough love.” It is the kind of love that cares enough to be honest, to confront, to discipline, to cause temporary pain to bring about eternal glory.  On the surface “tough love” does not always appear to be nice. How often has a child, sent to the corner blurt out “You are not very nice!”

Was Jesus nice?

Like Aslan the Lion in C. S. Lewis’ Narnia series, Jesus is approachable and loving, but don’t ever consider him “tame” or too cuddly. Jesus is God as well as man. He expressed the wrath and anger of God as well as the mercy and love of God.

Imagine coming to the Temple in Jerusalem one day to pray. You hear a great commotion and run over to see an angry man throwing over tables, grabbing the money from the merchants and throwing the money on the ground.

But worse, you see him make a scourge of cords – a whip – and striking people with it. You are shocked that anyone would be so rude and destructive, so inconsiderate and mean to lash people with a whip. People ran in fear! Everyone was upset. Jesus was red in the face and scowling.  It certainly wasn’t very “Christ-like.” How nice was that?

Jesus was always loving, but he was not always nice, as we Americans count niceness. Here is just one example. Jesus spoke very harshly to his fellow Jews.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. . . .  You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? (Matthew 23:27,  28, 33).

Ouch! It doesn’t sound very kind and courteous: not very thoughtful or nice!

So, maybe there is more to WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) than we’ve been led to believe. Maybe we shouldn’t worry so much about being nice, being liked, acting like genteel Americans. Maybe we ought to be more honest and forthright about the things that really matter.  Maybe we should be more willing to hurt some feelings, step on some toes, show tough love to those in sin.

Maybe we should be more Christ-like.

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I just read Bishop Barron’s article/blog concerning voting, and frankly, I was very disappointed. Usually, I try to give the benefit of the doubt and avoid criticizing brothers in the Lord, especially bishops, but this was too much.

He contradicts or at least minimalizes what the United States Council of Catholic Bishops said concerning the priority of the abortion issue. They stated, “The threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family, and because of the number of lives destroyed.”

Instead of being clear on this issue, he blows smoke into the air and obfuscates, confusing uninformed Catholics. He leaves Catholics confused and uncertain as to their moral obligations without any practical direction or moral instruction.

As much as I appreciate most of what Bishop Barron writes, this piece was a huge disappointment. I consider it misrepresenting the Catholic position and confusing people in the process.

Bishop Strickland had a few things to say to Bishop Barron in this article “Bishop Strickland Schools Bishop Barron on the Truths of the Faith”. Also I have provided (below) the response of apologist John Martinoni to Bishop Barron’s article (used with his permission).

For a very clear assessment without the confusion and moral uncertainty, read this excellent article by Archbisop Lucas here.

Crisis Magazine weighs in HERE.

John Martignoni’s Response

I would take issue with Bishop Barron on a couple of points:

     1)  He seems to imply, and many other Catholics outright say it, that the Republican Party does not line up with Catholic social teaching on issues pertaining to “concern for the underprivileged, for the migrant and refugee, and for the environment, as well as opposition to capital punishment and to all forms of racism.”  I have to mostly disagree.  I would like for someone to tell me where the Republican platform, or President Trump, or any Republican senator or congressman has said they are not concerned about the underprivileged, or the migrant and refugee, or for the environment, or not that they are not opposed to racism? Outside of capital punishment, I don’t know of anything that Republicans advocate for that can be said to be intrinsically evil.  But, even with capital punishment, there are folks from both parties on either side of that debate. 

     Also, there is much debate as to whether or not capital punishment can even be said to be an intrinsic evil.  There are those who say, rather, it is a prudential judgment of recent popes that there is no need for capital punishment in our day and age.  Since the Church has indeed taught in the past that capital punishment was a legitimate means of punishment for the state to use, I would have to lean heavily towards the position that it is not an intrinsic evil, even though I am, personally, opposed to the death penalty.  Also, I would have to agree with Bishop Barron when he says in that same article: “…the number of those threatened by abortion and euthanasia is far greater than the number of those under threat of capital punishment. Sometimes people will say that all lives are equally sacred, but in this context, that observation is something of a red herring. For the relevant question is not which lives are more sacred—those of the unborn, the elderly, the poor, the migrant, [the incarcerated]—but which lives are more direly and directly threatened.”

     2) He seems to be saying that it’s okay for voters to put matters of prudential judgment on the same level as matters of intrinsic evils.  Yet, the two simply do not equate.  He says: “Each [voter] would have to say some version of ‘despite his unacceptable position, I will vote for him because, in prudence, I have determined that other commitments of his and/or his own character counter-balances his objectionable opinion.’   Does this lead us into somewhat murky waters? Frankly, yes, but that’s necessarily the case when we’re dealing not with matters of principle but matters of prudence.”

     He does not mention any difference here between matters of prudential judgment and matters of intrinsic evil, leaving the reader to also not make any such distinction.  So, “Hey, I disagree with Candidate A because he supports abortion, but I’m going to vote for him anyway because I disagree with Candidate’s B position on illegal immigration, even though he is opposed to abortion.”  Abortion is an intrinsic evil; one’s position on how to best deal with illegal immigration is a matter of prudential judgment – there is no moral equivalence between the two positions.

     And, he even seems to be saying that not liking a person’s character justifies one’s vote for a pro-abortion candidate over a pro-life candidate.  Let’s see…not liking Candidate A’s character on the one hand vs. Candidate B advocating, promoting, passing laws for, and profiting from (through campaign donations) the deaths of up to one million babies a year.  Uhhh…no.  

     When it comes to matters of prudential judgment vs. matters of intrinsic evil, that’s where those two questions I asked in my last newsletter come in to play:

     Let’s say that the candidate you are voting for, instead of being a staunch supporter of abortion, and a supporter of the laws that allow for the killing of more than one million unborn babies each year, let’s say that instead of supporting abortion, that candidate was a staunch supporter of laws that allowed for the lynching of one million black men a year.  Could you still vote for that candidate?  Would their position on healthcare or education or immigration outweigh their position on lynching?  

      Or, let’s say, instead of supporting abortion, that candidate was a staunch supporter of laws that allowed for the gassing of one million Jews a year.  Could you still vote for that candidate?  Would their position on healthcare or education or immigration outweigh their position on gassing Jews?  

      Let’s be honest…you answered a strong, resounding, “NO!!!” to each of those questions, didn’t you?  You could not and would not vote for a candidate who supported the lynching of even one black man, much less one million black men, no matter how “right” he or she was on the other issues.  You could not and would not vote for a candidate who supported the gassing of even one Jew, much less one million Jews, no matter how right he or she was on the other issues.  

      How, then, can one vote for a candidate who supports abortion “rights” and who supports laws that allow for the killing of over one million unborn children a year?!  The only way you can do that is if you do not believe the unborn child is a human being deserving of full protection under the law.  The only way you can do that is by devaluing the life of the unborn child.  The only way you can do that is by worshipping at the altar of the god of choice, rather than the altar of the God of Life.

Please visit John Martignoni‘s site here and consider contributing to him.

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What to think about the Pope and his comments of Civil Unions for Homosexuals

October 22, 2020

This morning I had prepared to wax eloquent about the recently revealed comments by Pope Francis and the confusion and dismay they are causing with faithful Catholics and the jubilant “hurrays” coming from the  Catholics who would love to Church to fit the modern world. Remember that GK Chesterton said, “The Catholic Church is the […]

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You Laity are Very Important and Should be Involved Reminding Priests and Bishops

October 3, 2020

We Catholics often think we should sit back and let the bishops and priests do everything. We should look to them to save our Church. But Archbishop Fulton Sheen has a word of exhortation for us: “Who is going to save our Church? Do not look to the priests. Do not look to the bishops. […]

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Another Great Talk by Fr. Altman, God Bless Him and his Defenders!

September 20, 2020

One good priest responds to Fr. Altman‘s strong, uncompromising homilies and to his weak-kneed bishop. Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s excellent article is entitled “On Prophets and Pearl-clutchers” and published by Crisis Magazine. Read it here and pass it on.

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Fr. James Altman: You Cannot be Catholic and Vote Democrat

September 8, 2020

UPDATE: Some bishops have spoken out in agreement. Click here. Two versions: 1) The homily alone; and 2) the homily with David Gray eating popcorn, gesturing and more. You choose :-) A friend just shared this: “My friend just shared this and I could not fail to pass on the Good News! You may have […]

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Freedom from Pornography

August 22, 2020

The statistics about guys addicted to porn is staggering. There are some good services to help if you want deliverance. Here are a few Catholic ministries that have been recommended. If you know of others, let me know and I will add them here.   ______________________________________________________________________

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Why Didn’t Jesus Condemn Homosexuality?

August 3, 2020

Steve’s extensive response to new questions in the ComBox below. For the newly revised and full article click here. IN RESPONSE TO MY BLOG JESUS IS NOT A HOMOPHOBE, ROD WROTE: Rod May 30, 2012 at 10:21 PM Steve, Your posting is remarkable! It is remarkable that, despite your attempts at convincing yourself that Jesus […]

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Was Jesus a Homosexual? Some say “Yes” and try to Prove it from the Bible!

August 2, 2020

After posting my blog entry “Jesus and Homosexuality” I received a correspondence from a Harry H. McCall, a self-proclaimed ex-reverend. He referred me to his blog “Debunking Christianity.” His post was entitled Jesus the Homosexual: Evidence From the Gospels. It is despicable to even say or suggest this of Our Lord but we need to […]

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The Catholic Church: the First Abolitionist, Church Never Endorsed Slavery

July 28, 2020

Crisis Magazine has come out with a good and insightful article debunking the idea that the Catholic Church endorsed and promoted slavery. The modern anti-Christian, anti-history narrative takes it for granted that the Church was either a promoter of slavery, or at best complicit or it turned a blind eye. This article by Paul Kengor […]

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Why We Don’ t Support Pride Month: Excellent 56-Second Video by Fr. Simon

June 21, 2020

If you click the video and it does not play, then click on the words above the video and it should take you to Twitter to view the 56 second video. It is short, sweet and carries an eloquent punch. Twitter deleted this video and Fr. Simon’s twitter account because it went viral. Let’s make […]

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Who Speaks for God on Morals? Many Choose their Church Like they Choose a Restaurant

June 15, 2020

We have a “church” near our house that is making it comfortable for anyone to join no matter who they are, what they believe or what they practice. They say it is our job to accept and love, to be nice, not to judge. “Celebrate Diversity!” Celebrate Diversity is a slogan of acceptance, multiculturalism, non-judgmental […]

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Homosexuals and Shellfish

May 10, 2020

I received a copy of an e-mail which was very sarcastic. The sceptic’s words are in red. He wrote: “Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from you, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries […]

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“Straight Talk to Teens” a new Steve Ray talk available on MP3

March 27, 2020

Teens don’t want platitudes or to be talked down to. They want a challenge, they want the truth! In this talk, I address a large group of teens and you could hear a pin drop.  

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Girl with the Beard Slated to Win the Race

March 11, 2020

If you aren’t subscribed to the Babylon Bee, it’s a good daily dose of conservative, moral and political satire. It is social commentary and a lot of fun. It is the Christian version of “The Onion.” You can subscribe here.

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