The Anchoress on Tolerance

Here is Elizabeth Scalia aka "The Anchoress" commenting on tolerance inside and outside the church on the First Things blog.  Towards the end of her impassioned post, "The Tolerance Disconnect," which starts with "Glee" but ends with the Holy Spirit, she makes a provocative suggestion that is bound to stir things up at FT. 

James Martin, SJ

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Jeanne Doyle
8 years ago
Dear Father Martin,
Thank you for sending this link!  I loved this article and the call for courage that it makes.  It also is less radical than I can tend to be about certain issues and it called me to a place that was less polarizing and more ...Catholic.  Or, I should say, it reminded me of the beauty of our church and its teachings and if only we were courageous enough to embrace them fully, how we could make an even bigger difference in the world.  Thank you again and thank you, Elizabeth Scalia. 
8 years ago
I agree that the thoughtful article will cause some stir on FT, but it should also call for some stir and soul-searching on the America blog.

She is not calling for acceptance of sin - she is calling for the acceptance of sinners.  It is sad that this is somehow controversial in our day, but it is.

Therefore, conservatives would do well to question their demonizing sinners and America and her bloggers would do well to question their ready acceptance of homosexual acts (an inherent, disordered and sinful act) as if it were good.

We are reminded not to call good evil or evil good - both sides should remember this injunction.
8 years ago
Hey Tim,

Technically, I agree; however it is implied that the Church is wrong in regarding homosexual acts as sinful in almost every post on the topic. 

Instead of reviewing natural law or theology of the body, etc. in defense of the the position - there are insinuations by bloggers that the Church is being discriminatory across the board.  While I am not really suprised to see the argument made by the Anchoress on FT, I would be suprised to see a post praising celibate homosexuals such as Eve Tushnet on America blog.

The post above this one is a perfect example:

“Showing affection to the person you love is a grave sin, perhaps evil.”
Again from the Catechism, 2357: “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered;” scripture shows them to be “acts of grave depravity.” Further, “they are contrary to the natural law” and “under no circumstances can they be approved.”
8 years ago
"In fact I think she would make a good subject for a future podcast."

That would be very cool!
Benjamin Alexander
8 years ago
I saw a BloggingHeads TV dialogue between Eve Tushnet and Ann Althouse a while ago. Tushnet thought it within Catholic moral teaching to tell gays and lesbians to get sex changes. 
Breath of fresh air? Very cool? More like frightening. I'll take my cues from someone else. This is what happens when you have a slavish devotion to a Theology of the Body. 
norma nunag
8 years ago
I have no comment.  I just want to recommend Ethics of the Word, by James Keenan,SJ.   It's a good guide to keep in mind when discussing very sensitive topics, such as homosexuality, abortion, etc.
Stuart Breaux
8 years ago
I think Brett Joyce is correct to say that there are instances where ''a ready acceptance of homosexual acts'' is implied.  The post that he referred to, the one made directly after this one, is one example.  With the skill of an attorney Michael O'Loughlin crafted an argument that essentially says Church teaching is harmful to gay people without actually saying it.  He states: ''The issue is not church teaching on sexuality; scholars much smarter than me spend careers and countless books debating just that.''  In reality, however, there is no ''debate'' over gay marriage, gay adoption, or the morality of homosexual acts in the Church.  Sure, theologians and individuals within the Church vary in their acceptance of Church doctrine, but hasn't the Church spoken with one voice on these matters from its inception? 

This is a confusing message coming from a Catholic website.  Of course, it is a tragedy when anyone takes their own life.  It is a tragedy when people are abused and ridiculed.  It is unacceptable.  Yet, in a debate over the legalization of gay marriage, what is the Church to do?  In the battle for souls, what is the Church to do?  

Michael O'Loughlin shows his hand when he says: ''The code itself is two-fold: homosexual acts are gravely immoral but gay and lesbian people must be treated with love and respect. Both sentiments may be worthy of propagation, or may not . . . .'' 

The Church does, and always has, said that both are worthy of propogation. 
Peter Lakeonovich
8 years ago

Well said.

How that is clear to you and others, but not to the principals of this Catholic website is a mystery to me.

This is a serious issue in many regards, but answer lies in responding to the call to holiness by making ourselves holy.  No mention of that here, only how can the Chruch change to accomodate what some people want. 

Maybe it will be clear to the new generation of JPII priests.


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