Love, Lies, and Bigotry: A Sorting

I’m not loving. Nor is the Catholic Church. We’re both chock-full of hate and intolerance, lacking equally in understanding and compassion. Or, at least, that’s what I’ve been told.

It’s not, mind you, like I’m torturing puppies in my basement. But I do have the temerity to think that no one should have the right to end the life of a child, born or unborn. I also think that same-sex marriage is a dangerous oxymoron which brings with it body, soul, and culture-destroying consequences. Oh, and I really don’t like it when priests, bishops, and teachers do and say things that lead others to think the Church is hunky-dory with either.

Accordingly, the culture (and a few Facebook friends) tell me that I lack love.

But do I?

Let’s talk a little about love, shall we?

Love

Love, as the song tells us, is a many splendored thing. It’s also a multi-faceted thing. It has many faces.

Sometimes, the face of love looks like this:

Bride_And_Groom_by_Alena_Kratochvilova_CC0_10_CNA_US_Catholic_News_6_14_13

But, it can also look like this:

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Or this:

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Or this:

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Sometimes, love is patient. Sometimes it can brook no delay.

Sometimes love is gentle. Sometimes love is fierce.

Sometimes love holds its tongue. Sometimes, it cannot be silent.

There are times that love says Yes. But there are other times that love must say No.

There are times when love brings us peace. And other times, when it drives us half mad.

In all that, one thing is clear: No matter what the Beatles say, love isn’t easy. It’s quite hard actually. And complicated. Love in reality doesn’t look like love in the movies. Not for lovers. Not for friends. Not for parents.

And we know that. When we look around us, we see love’s many faces. We see what love demands. We see that loving a person as they most need to be loved won’t always bear the fruits we hope it will bear. They might not love us back. They might get angry. They might walk away.

But that doesn’t mean we choose to stop loving that person. That doesn’t mean we start acting in the most unloving of ways.

Yet that is what the culture is tempting us to do right now.

Lies & Bigotry

It doesn’t say that directly, of course. It doesn’t say, “Be less loving.” It says, “Be more loving.” It says, “Be silent. Hold your tongue. Turn your face. Let others do as they want to do and live as they want to live. Mind your own business. Don’t judge. Be tolerant. Be nice.”

When we don’t heed that advice, it sends slings and arrows galore our way. Those who speak up—priests, bishops, and plain old, ordinary folks—are called unloving, hateful bigots and charged with the capital sin of the post-modern world: intolerance.

It’s an effective tactic. It intimidates some. It silences others. It brainwashes many. Countless Catholics and other Christians have heard those words hurled so many times at opponents of same-sex marriage and other cultural juggernauts that they actually believe them.

They believe, in their silence, in their acceptance, that they are loving as God calls them to love.

But they’re not.

The people doing what the culture smiles upon—aborting their children, hooking up, using pornography, and engaging in same-sex relations—aren’t doing something to smile upon. Those people—those beautiful, blessed, broken people—are just breaking themselves even more.

The less broken we are the more clearly we see that. And even if we can’t see it plainly, there’s a mountain of sociological evidence that tells us the same, that tells of the increased rates of depression and dissatisfaction, abuse, violence, and even suicide among those following the culture’s script on morality and sexuality.

And yes, we all, in some way, are broken and breaking ourselves. The difference is that those of us trying to follow Christ and live according to the teachings of the Church don’t think our failings are something to smile upon. We know, in falling short of what God asks of us, that we’re neither loving him nor ourselves. And we want to do better.

Part of “doing better” means concerning ourselves more with our own failings than with others’. But doing that doesn’t also necessitate standing silently by while others hurt themselves, body and soul. It doesn’t mean never expressing our true opinion about an issue, never explaining why we agree or disagree with a certain behavior, or tacitly cooperating in another’s folly. It doesn’t require we pretend that black is white, up is down, or in is out.

Again, we can’t do that. To do that is to be the very thing the culture accuses us of being. To do that is to fail to love God and others.

The Sorting

Remember, love doesn’t just say Yes. It also says No.

Love says, “No, you cannot have that. It’s not good for you.”  Love says, “No, you must not do that. It will hurt you.” And love says, “No, you should not go that way. It will lead you to a place you do not want to go.”

A parent who lets a child play with whatever he fancied, no matter how dangerous, would not be a loving parent. A sister who procured heroin for her addict brother, would not be a loving sister. A man who sent a wandering traveler down a road that was dark, dangerous, and not the desired destination, would not be a loving man.

In the same way, a Church that said nothing when she sees people stumbling along a road that she believes leads to perdition would not be a loving Church.

A Church that sanctioned or facilitated behavior that she believes will hurt someone in body and soul would not be a loving Church.

And a Church that did nothing in the larger culture to clear up the fundamental confusion about life, love, and sexuality would, again, not be a loving Church.

Nor would a person who sees the same and believes the same but acts otherwise, be a loving person.

Now, when we express our views uncharitably or thoughtlessly, when we fail to be kind, welcoming, and generous to those who think differently, when we’re imprudent about when we speak and when we hold our tongue, that is unloving.

Truth and charity are supposed to go hand in hand. Jettisoning one is as bad as jettisoning the other. And these days, we can’t afford to jettison either. It’s not an option for those those seeking the Kingdom of Heaven.

Nor is it an option for those who care about the Kingdom of Man.

The Vandals are no longer knocking at the gate. They’ve broken through and are running amok amongst us. They are destroying the lives of our friends, family, and neighbors. They are destroying our culture. And it’s up to us to stop them. Not with weapons. But with truth and love.

Slings and arrows be damned.

 

 

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Categories:Abortion Culture Marriage Theology

20 thoughts on “Love, Lies, and Bigotry: A Sorting

  1. Maris says:

    Dear Anonymous on July 19th: Please know that I and many other Catholics are praying for you and for your return home to the church that Jesus started–a church full of sinners, what else?, but a church that does love you so much that she is willing to tell you the truth. Same sex attraction might not be a choice, but sexual behavior always is a choice (otherwise it’s called rape).
    Don’t believe the lies of the LGBT activists and their allies; lies which are endangering your very soul.
    Come home and let Jesus and his church show you what true love really is. Let Jesus heal you in the sacrament of Confession. Let Jesus give Himself to you, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, in the Eucharist.
    Come home!

  2. anonymous says:

    I must disagree and first argue this: “we are less broken”… by what? Sin? Can we please remember we are all humans here and are all subject to the same brokenness, not only by our own doing, but at the hands of our “brothers and sisters”? (i feel the need for emphasis as it seems most of us have forgotten that that is what we are, regardless of belief system). I myself have dedicated a substantial part of my life to the church, many hours and years went to serving the church, being holy, being a “messenger”. I feel the majority of my “brokenness” came from that. I was betrayed by a close friend who conspired with my youth minister and priest to take my job at the church, and it broke my spirit. It hurt deeply and I won’t be returning.

    Things like this happen to all of us. We betray each other, we hurt each other. This is a major cause of brokenness, not just our humanness which leads to sin, or lack of virtue, or whatever you choose to call it.

    I believe that, dear church, no matter what you think or say, this is how you are being perceived by an ever-changing world. You are looked at as self-righteous, you think you are doing good by declaring your views and spreading God’s word, but you are actually contributing to the “brokenness” that people have to deal with. Homosexuality is not a choice, and those who actually have to live with it (and not just talk about it) have this “brokenness syndrome” mostly as a result of harassment from the church and unhappy family members. Of course you would be broken too if your father (or Father!) disowned you. Please, church, put yourself in other people’s shoes. Or at least open your eyes and understand that, if you refuse to change with the times, the church will continue to dwindle and the followers will be fewer and fewer as the church continues to be seen as an exclusive club for those who follow every rule you make. Jesus didn’t teach that. He accepted everyone. Sure there is a moral code we should all know and accept, but I don’t think life is meant to be lived in guilt or persecution.

    You define love a certain way, others are free to disagree with you and they do. I do not feel love from the church at all.

    Now, I live my life with God in my heart, and I love the people around me without feeling the need to persuade them to think like I do. It’s really quite free, and I have never felt less broken.

  3. wonderful put up, very informative. I’m wondering why the other experts of this sector don’t understand this.

    You must proceed your writing. I am confident, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  4. kaylan says:

    really well said article! I love the photos too to show love. This article needs to be passes around often and every where.

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