Saturday, December 11, 2010

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

Checking out the news coverage with another priest, he was stunned at the fact that Westboro Baptist Church is protesting at Elizabeth Edwards' funeral. Frankly, I am, too, but it doesn't surprise me with this group. I don't see how this is going to help their cause, in fact I think they do more harm than good.

Do they have a 'right' to be there, I guess so. If you frame the question purely in terms of 'rights,' where does their 'right' to speech end with the Edwards' family 'right' to privacy and/or decorum for the funeral of the loss of their mother and friend, a woman who suffered much in her last years?

As a priest, I am often asked about the nature of the magisterium in the Church. Why is it important that we have a teaching office? I think the example of this baptist church gives an eloquent reason as to why we should. Do they have the 'right' to protest, yes; but, I would argue, this is not the most advantageous way to get their point across. (To me, they are doing this much more for their own noteriety than any quest for the truth.) If a Catholic parish would attempt something so callous, I would hope the bishop would call them in and make them stop.

There is a call to conversion, but this approach just raises rancor.

I recently saw an editorial cartoon that argued along the lines of: 'Science flew us to the moon; religions fly planes into buildings.' I would argue that what Westboro Baptist Church is doing leads to more of this kind of approach, especially to secularists who do not know anyone who is truly religious, in the best way.

Anyway, too many other thoughts going through the brain this afternoon to make this much clearer. I am glad this week is over!


Elizabeth Mahlou said...

I think there are many times in life when we CAN do things but should NOT. It sometimes takes intervention for the restraint to be put into place. We human beings are quite impetuous -- and not necessarily so for our own good.

tmddstett said...

Fr. Paul Scalia, who works with a Courage group in the DC diocese, describes brilliantly and beautifully the Church's position on homosexuality: like that of Christ on the cross, Her arms stretched wide, with all the pro-LGBT groups on one side, and groups like WBC on the other.

listen to the whole talk here:

Anonymous said...

From what I've seen here, Courage does not seem to meet the needs of my gay parishioners. Also, the relationship of Courage with NARTH is problematic, because NARTH seems to embrace some practices that undermine the dignity of the human person.

tmddstett said...

Courage promotes chastity and holiness, nothing more. Courage's ministry is from the very heart of Holy Mother Church. yes, they have ties to NARTH, but only to help understand the psychology of the homosexual mindset. Courage does not send every single individual who comes to them to NARTH in order to be "changed" from gay to straight... and that's even unfair to say that's what NARTH does either. Courage, however, does point each person to Jesus Christ!

Courage won't meet the needs of your gay parishioners as long as they continue to choose to identify themselves as "gay", a term established by secular society, that which wants nothing to do with God or the wonderful gifts that He gives to us through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

These ideas are also addressed in the talks linked in my previous comment.

Ed Winkle said...

Wow, that is news to me. May the Lord once again WIN for the benefit of all peoples.