Just a Reminder: No One Here Is Executed for Apostasy

American flag wavingRhetoric gets pretty heated here in the States every now and then. One side accuses the other side of betraying America’s founding principles and being brainwashed by religious beliefs, and the other side accuses the first side of the same.

But we’re not at the point where a civil court is sentencing someone to death for apostasy.

Like Iran.

So while the country is headed for a fiscal disaster, we disagree bitterly over abortion and marriage, and we face the unimaginable specter of a fall without NFL football, let’s all (that means you folks who disagree bitterly with me on the aforementioned issues) take a deep breath and recognize that we still live in an amazing country that, though it has warts and black marks on its history, has been and remains the model of personal liberty and the greatest guarantor of individual empowerment the world has ever known.

Unless you think instant replay has any place in baseball. In that case: burn, heretic.

But in seriousness, remember that in other places some people face serious persecution, imprisonment, and even death, for proclaiming the Faith. We need to pray for those who face persecution, do what we can to encourage the spread of religious liberty (or “tolerance,” if that word means more to you). After all: the 20th century was bloodier for followers of Christ than the 19 preceding centuries, and there is no reason to believe the 21st century will see that trend slow.



  • KCHawk

    The most recent data, from the FBI Hate Crimes Report in 2009, had the following data. There were 1436 total crimes motivated by sexual orientation. 798 of those incidents were anti-male homosexual, 216 were anti-female homosexual, 21 were general anti-homosexual, 21 were anti-heterosexual and 25 were anti bi-sexual. There was one murder and it was attributed to general anti-homosexual bias.

    • http://twitter.com/tomcrowe Tom Crowe

      And how many of those were official executions or punishments by the state? In addition, how many of the individuals who perpetrated those acts were sought as criminals by the state? And how many people at this site (or in any Catholic circle) have you seen cheer those acts of violence, versus how many have said that violence motivated by sexual orientation is a heinous crime? Do you see how those stats mean nothing, with regard to my point? Cheers.

      • KCHawk


        This was not in response to your column. I should have posted this in response to the person claiming 122 murders. This is obviously a false claim. Interestingly there were 1376 religiously based hate crimes in 2009. This is only slightly less than those based on sexual orientation.

        Next time I will place my comments correctly.

        Dominus Vobiscum


        • http://twitter.com/tomcrowe Tom Crowe

          Ah, Gotcha… Thanks for the clarification! Et cum spiritu tuo!

          • James

            1376 religiously based hate crimes against what, 80% of the population? 1436 hate crimes against 2% of the population. What’s that work out to? It’s like 500 times more dangerous to be gay than to be religious in America. Case settled.

          • http://twitter.com/tomcrowe Tom Crowe

            James— What case? What point are you trying to make? How many of those crimes were perpetrated by the government, against either side? The point of my article was that the government punishes those who commit such crimes, no matter whom they are against. Those who commit them are criminals. What part of this can’t you guys understand? Why are you just *trying* to find ways of being victims here?

          • Davide

            @ James Hate crimes against gays is sickening but it is overblown. If a straight man farts in the direction of a gay man the gay man would consider it a “hate crime”. Hate crimes against gays almost never go unreported. Hate crimes against religious almost never gets reported. Gays are taught the moment they come out of the closet to believe they are victims. This is the truth and if you are gay you know this is truth. Only the blind can not see, only the fool accepts things that are foolish. And only the ignorant are too stupid to know the difference.

  • Davide

    @Peterson you are a silly man. Tell me the names of the 122 gays that were murdered…heck tell me 20…name one single gay person that was killed in 2010 for being gay. Your arguments are full of half truths and deception. Maybe some of the viewers here buy into your lies but I don’t. Every argument you present I can counter not with feelings but with facts. You gay advocacy won’t let it go will you. This post wasn’t even about gays. I am willing to bet some of you are infiltrated people from homosexual groups sent here to stir a hornets nest. Gay advocacy groups have been doing this for years and actually pay people to do it. Anyways I got one question for Catholic vote: have you had your fill of homosexual advocacy? Better pull up your boots your problems are only starting. Mark my words.

    • Jeremy

      You want one name? Here’s one: Paul J. Michalik, 36, of Fort Wayne, IN, beaten to death on May 9, 2010. Go ahead and read the full article here: http://www.fortwayne.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/SE/20100510/BREAKING/5100344
      But I suspect that names or statistics aren’t what you are after. My impression is that you cannot or will not believe that people who comment as gay advocates (to use your term) do so out of conscience. Your belief, as stated in your comment, is that gay advocacy groups are dispatching ringers to stir up trouble. Please, sir, try to understand that not everyone who disagrees with you has some ulterior political motive or is being dishonest in some way.

      • Davide

        @Jeremy thank you for your comment to me. I do realize gay men and women MIGHT have been murdered in 2010 but 122? No I believe it is overly exaggerated. I follow gay news website everyday. They will be the first to pick gay beatings and deaths. In fact they will talk about them for days. None of these websites mentioned 122 gay related deaths. I only remember 2. Now in regards to homosexual advocacy I do view it as a great threat to democracy and the well being of gays. Now this is exactly how I feel. Homosexual advocacy is contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it utterly destroys lives. What you fail to see or even recognize I am also a person with SSA, but I am Catholic first. Friend all gay Catholics must decide either for Christ or homosexual behavior there is no middle ground. None. All gay Catholics will put the two on a scale and weigh the options. Some of us chose Christ and with this comes His commandments, still others will abandoned Christ and His Church. These are the only two possible outcomes. There is no shade of grey. Either we are with Christ or we aren’t. Does not matter if we are gay, all Christians must face these truths. All of us are stumbling with Christ to Calvary. Sure it’s a hard pill to swallow living a life of chastity and most others will never feel the loneliness us gay Catholics must endure. But in our sufferings we will be saved and in or sacrifices we also help others in their salvation. This is a beautiful gift of God. We are called to be victim souls for others, this as gay Catholics is our calling. We did not chose to be gay but we can chose to live with God. And live life abundantly. Thanks

      • http://twitter.com/tomcrowe Tom Crowe

        Jeremy, Petersen— But you do see how that has no bearing on my point, right? How many of those were executed *by the state* for being gay? How many of the perpetrators of anti-gay violence are considered criminals and were sought and prosecuted *by the state* as such? How many times have you seen anyone on this site, or any other Catholic circle, saying that violence motivated by sexual orientation is appropriate or at all acceptable? You do see how your points have no bearing on what I actually presented, don’t you?

        • Jeremy

          The relevance is this: the tone of this article seems to be, “yeah, American discourse can get pretty tense, but hey – look at how much worse it is over there! We’re still pretty awesome!” Of course you’re correct that the U.S. government isn’t in the business of executing groups of people it finds distasteful. But it looks to me like you’re trying to say that, compared to the alternative, heated rhetoric is no big deal (and, judging by the comments, it looks like a few other people read your post the same way.) But that rhetoric does have consequences, and you can’t play it off so quickly. When our rhetoric paints our ideological/political opponents as “the other” or “the enemy,” as happens VERY often (on this site and many others) in debates about gay marriage, abortion, etc., that helps create a culture in which it’s okay to demonize those who disagree. It becomes acceptable to ascribe every negative characteristic and perverse motive to “the enemy.” But that can have very destructive consequences. No, we are not executing those who disagree with us, but that doesn’t mean we’re all fine and dandy. We have to clean up our own acts, too.

          • http://twitter.com/tomcrowe Tom Crowe

            Jeremy — I’m glad you realize the actual point of my article as opposed to the inaccurate view your first comment suggested.

    • Antonio A. Badilla

      “This post wasn’t even about gays. ”

      Correct, I kept searching for anything on gays in the article and never found it but some gay activists here at CV always find a way to bring up the issue even when it has absolutely nothing to do with the post.

  • tex

    Good point Tom, but let’s be careful to check the plank in our own eye before trying to remove the speck in someone else’s. Every day we move one step further from the freedoms we once had. The TSA, the video taping of police pursued as a crime, warrent-less wiretapping and GPS tracking are just few in the past few years. And it’s getting worse. While I think that in comparison to some countries, we might be doing better, I can’t help but be remembered of the parable of the man who prayed ‘thank you Lord for not making me a sinner like those others’, while the other man begged for falling short with a sincere heart.

    • http://twitter.com/tomcrowe Tom Crowe

      Tex– Point taken, and agreed with. But at least we’re not Iran.

  • Paul (the other one)

    Wow, it’s hard to believe people can’t see or appreciate the difference between freedom in the west and that in Iran (and a host of other countries). Or is it merely an attempt to be provacative? I dunno.
    Here we debate, respect the opinion of others. We can protest at abortion clinics. We can argue the merits of gay marriage. Iran suppressed and killed protestors after the last (rigged?) election. It executes people who are gay, or who try to convert Muslims. This is the STATE, not eccentrics. Did the US execute anyone for the crime of being gay this year?
    Absurd. Those who have eyes, see.

  • Davide

    @Tom Crowe great article. There are three major threats to the Catholic faith: Islam; homosexual advocacy; and “progressive catholicism”. Islam since the 7th Century has been killing Christians and Jews all in the name Allah and by the commandments of their prophet Muhammad. Contrary to popular belief Blessed JP2 did NOT apologize for the Crusades. He apologized for crimes committed during the Crusades. No Pope has apologized for the Crusades and none will because if any wars were “just” it was the Crusades. Also contrary to popular belief Pope Benedict did NOT apologize for his comments regarding Islam a few years back. Do you remember this incident? He apologized that Muslims found it offensive. He did not apologize for his comment because he was spot on. Over 150 million Christians have been brutally murdered by believers of Islam over the course of a 14 centuries. Regarding homosexual advocacy we all are witnessing a strange phenomena taking place right before our eyes that none of us can honestly deny: the special rights and privileges of active homosexual persons trumps religious freedoms. Regarding progressive “catholics” any groups that supports and propagates such things as: killing of unborn children (abortion); same-sex “marriages”; women priestesses; denial of the real presence; birth-control; no-fault divorce; “social justice; on and on…is indeed a threat to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Progressive (or if you prefer modernist) catholics teach and believe in a false gospel. The gospel of relativism. These three things are the primary threats against Jesus Christ and His Church. Will American and Western European Christians (namely Catholics) be persecuted for their faith in the future? If homosexual advocacy has its way, than yes. Will Christians in Northern Africa, the Middle-East and South East Asia continue to face persecution and death? If Islam continues to have its way, than yes. Will orthodoxy Catholicism continue to be mock, scorned, and squelched? No! Progressive catholicism is dying out slowly and is greatly ignored by true and faithful Catholics. These are remarkable times we live in and Catholics must show courage, even if some of our leaders (Bishops) will not.

    • Pamela

      Homosexual activism is a threat to the Catholic church like a government that executes Christians? What a crock. Better start a witch hunt and get the fires lit.

      • Antonio A. Badilla

        It is indeed a threat when they try to silence the Church and any criticism of that community is understood as a “hate” crime. It isn’t a threat to Catholicism when the gay lobby seeks respectful dialogue and disagreement with Catholic leaders.

    • Greg Smith

      Dear Davide ~ I followed the aftermath of the Holy Father’s Regensberg lecture you refered to as it developed. The incident occured shortly after he was elected. It was an academic lecture in which he actually critisised a historical figure for anti Islamic views. Islamic extremists siezed on it and what Benedict did was not apologise, but rather clarify what he said.
      He also said, to the effect, that he realized he was no longer Cardinal, Professor Ratzinger, but rather the visible leader of over a billion Catholics worldwide. This pope has shown an amazing ability to grow and learn in the office. As I age, I find him a great inspiration. Pax tucem ~ Greg

    • Petersen

      Jesus showed love to all. “Homosexual activists” aren’t a threat to the teachings of Jesus, I’ll leave it to you to figure out what is

      • http://twitter.com/tomcrowe Tom Crowe

        Petersen— Jesus did show love to all. So much so that he didn’t just let people persist in their sin. “Go, and sin no more,” He said to the woman caught in adultery. He didn’t say, “hey, whatever makes you happy, go for it!” So you might say that I *have* figured it out.

  • andrew

    As a Catholic, I would expect you to support the pursuit of objective truth. Either he was safe or he wasn’t. If it takes a camera to figure it out, then we better use them.

    • http://twitter.com/tomcrowe Tom Crowe

      Ah, but there’s the rub, Andrew. Baseball is a game for humans to play at. Human error influences the game and makes the game interesting as the players play and either make the catch or flub it, hit the ball well or pop out or miss it, make the perfect pitch, or hang it. Human error is part of the execution of the game, and the umpires are part of the game. Since no aspect of the game is a matter of faith and morals, and no aspect of the game is a matter of God’s divine truth, then it does not rise to the level of certitude that we rightly expect in matters of divine truth. So while I expect the umpire to make the right call, I acknowledge that he is part of the game of baseball, doing his best to get it right in real time, as are the rest of those involved, and the great interplay of human activity, skill, luck, ability, and error, makes the game of baseball so riveting. Baseball is less a matter of objective truth than judgment calls leading to execution. It is so for the players, as well as for the umpires.

      • andrew

        Well, I think you took this a bit more seriously than it was intended to be, but in this day and age arguing about baseball is a nice break from all the other arguments swirling around, so I’ll jump back in.

        You’re right that human error affects sports games, and makes them exciting. A past ball, dropping the third strike, a flubbed through to first. Baseball’s great because it doesn’t have fouls and penalties, it encourages players to take advantage of the opposing team’s errors. And we even count the errors!

        But you’re simply wrong that the umpires are “part of the game.” They are not players, they are not deciding what pitch to throw, what runner to try to get out, etc. Their decisions should in no way affect the outcome of the game. And when they make wrong calls that’s what they do.

        Think of those close calls at first base. The umpires try to make the right call, but at that speed they can’t be expected to make the right call every time. But the runner was either safe or he wasn’t. That is pure, objective truth no matter what the umpire says. If the runner was safe, how unfair and unjust it is to players and fans that the course of the game is changed because umpires can’t take five seconds to review the play like the viewers on their home televisions can.

        And then there is the case of umpire Jim Joyce And Armondo Galarraga. Galarraga was unjustly deprived of recognition for one of the rarest and most difficult feats in baseball beccause an umpire (who admits it fully) made a horriblly wrong call. If an umpire on the sidelines could just see what everyone watching on TV was seeing, the horrible mistake would have been avoided and justice would have been done.

        Anyone who looks at the situation of Jim Joyce and doesn’t realize the need for instant replay is really missing something. Baseball already allows for reviews of home runs, and other sports have allowed for instant replay review. So the supposed baseball fans who don’t want their sport to have more accurate calls are just too far gone for me to ever understand.

        • http://twitter.com/tomcrowe Tom Crowe

          In the Joyce/Galarraga thing I see a horribly blown call resulting in an unfortunate outcome, but the aftermath was instructive—Galarraga was the model of graciousness. What an example! And we could not have had that example if instant replay were involved. In the grand scheme of things, since baseball is merely a game, and since the experiences of executing well and making mistakes in something as (ultimately) inconsequential as baseball is meant to teach us more important lessons, I believe the call, while horribly wrong and unfortunate, is not a case that screams for instant replay. In the end, I believe the rhythm of the game and accepting human error is more important for the larger purpose of baseball than is taking extraordinary measures to get every. stinking. call. right. Enjoy the game, argue about bad calls, accept that they happen, and play ball. Who knows—perhaps not getting that perfect game will help Galarraga and Joyce be better people and help each of them get to heaven. And you’re right: with all that’s going on, a discussion about baseball s a welcome diversion. Cheers!



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