Mindy McCready and the New American Priesthood

Not only America, but thanks to Hollywood and the media the whole world has the new “celebrity priesthood”

When it comes to country singer Mindy McCready’s suicide, I guess I should write something that sounds like a bad English translation of a badly written philosophical voice over at the end of a bad French film. Kind of like the New York Times achieves:

Her life was one of those aching odysseys sermonized redundantly across the musical landscape in which she performed. The rocket rise to stardom. The volcanic men. The depression. The drugs and booze. The brushes with the law. The heartache. The suicide attempts. Such were the tangled threads of the country music singer Mindy McCready, who could never seem to outrun life’s ill winds.

But I’m not feeling much sympathy. Buried in the news reports is the fact that McCready’s suicide was a permanent abandonment of her two children. Worse, she joined the father of one of them in dumping their kid. Baby dad killed himself on the same porch a while back.

So we have two kids who will grow up wondering what they might have done to make mommy so sad, and one wondering what he could have done to save mommy and daddy.  Kids who will always, no matter how well their lives might progress materially, respond to the world as an unstable, untrustworthy place. They will carry scars. Maybe inflict lots of scars upon others, as traumatized people tend to do.

But you know what? It’s all good. Because, unlike those Roman Catholic child abuser priests, and their obviously false, discredited religion, Mindy McCready was an entertainer, a member of the new American priesthood. She deserves reverence and protection for the higher good she represents.

In a 2010 interview with the Associated Press, McCready extolled the lofty order to which she was ordained:

“It is a giant whirlwind of chaos all the time,” she said of her life. “I call my life a beautiful mess and organized chaos. It’s just always been like that. My entire life things have been attracted to me and vice versa that turn into chaotic nightmares or I create the chaos myself. I think that’s really the life of a celebrity, of a big, huge, giant personality.”

Yeah, that’s someone who should preach and to whom we should listen, in our American hunger to live good lives, guided by entertainment mediated “science and reason” rather than the old superstitions.

Our entertainers can tell us about building families. And race relations.

They can help us choose leaders for our troubled times.

Even their minor orders of ministry (the “B” and below list celebs) can help us with vexing issues of life, death and political conflict.

One hopes that a real priest, pastor or somebody will come alongside McCready’s abandoned children, with a word more enduring than film scripts or pop lyrics:

Though my father and my mother forsake me, the LORD will sustain me. (Psalm 27:14)

Gender Theory

This past December Pope Benedict XVI warned about the dangers of Gender Theory. Many people may be unaware of the various theories of pope and gendergender, and how each of them is in its own way is an attack on reality. Part of the problem is that the theories are not logically consistent, and contradict one another. While the theories claim to be based on science, the studies they reference have been shown to either be invalid or to not support the claims made.

Before the 1950’s the word ‘sex’ referred to the reality of being male or female. Gender was a grammatical term. Some words have gender – masculine, feminine or neuter. In the 1950’s a new definition was given to Gender. Today there are several different and contradictory definitions.

1)         Gender as a synonym for sex.

Many people assume that gender is a polite synonym for sex, preferable since sex is a shortened form of sexual intercourse.

2)         Gender Perspective

True Compassion

The Church, by which I mean hierarchy, clergy, religious, and laity, must step up and face the challenge posed by the militant gay, lesbian, true compassionbisexual, transgendered, and queer activists — the GLBTQ coalition. It is simply not enough to defend marriage; we have to explain to the people in the pews, to our children, and to world why the Church does not – cannot – accept sexual relations between two persons of the same sex. We must do so with love and compassion, but without sacrificing the truth.

First, while many people sincerely believe that individuals are born with same-sex attraction (SSA) and gender identity disorders (GID) and can’t change, there is no replicated scientific evidence to support that belief. There is overwhelming evidence SSA and GID are not genetic or biological conditions. If they were then identical twins would virtually always have the same pattern of sexual attraction and this is not the case. That does not mean that SSA and GID are a choice. Nor is there a single explanation for all SSA. Each person with SSA has his or her own unique personal history. A number of therapists are convinced that some babies are born more vulnerable to the anxiety. This vulnerability combined with early negative experiences can affect the babies’ ability to identify with their same-sex parent or peers. The child grows up trying to find the love and acceptance missed as a baby and this need becomes interpreted as sexual desire. Because these negative experiences occur during the first two years of life before memory, GLBTQ persons may honestly say they always felt different and were born that way.

Although persons with GID and SSA have free will and can choose not to act on their feelings, the inner forces driving them to engage in sexual behavior with persons of the same sex are very strong and their struggle and suffering should not be underestimated.  There are, however, numerous reports of change of sexual attraction – both spontaneous and through therapy. The more we understand about the origins of SSA, the greater the potential for prevention.

Therapists who work with people who want to be free of SSA and GID have made real progress in understanding the early childhood traumas and deficits which put a person on the path to GID and SSA. I strongly recommend Shame and Attachment Loss: The Practical Work of Reparative Therapy by Joseph J. Nicolosi and The Heart of Female Same-Sex Attraction: A Comprehensive Counseling Resource by Janelle M. Hallman.

There is growing understanding of the part failure to attach plays in many psychological disorders. According to attachment theory in order to achieve psychological wholeness a person needs to successfully negotiate several stages in early childhood: attachment to the mother, separation from the mother, identification with the same-sex parent or peers. Failure to negotiate the first stage, makes it more difficult to negotiate the second, and third. While a history of failure to securely attach, separate, and identify probably accounts for many instances of SSA and GID, there are other less common reasons. When the individual histories of persons with SSA and GID are probed, the reasons for their patterns of thought can usually be discerned.

As Catholic Christians we have an obligation to treat every person as a fellow sinner in need of grace. We can thank God that we do not have these particular temptation, while at the same time making sure that therapy, counseling, support groups (like Courage), and understanding priests in the confessional are available. If the problem is never mentioned from the pulpit, if support and counseling are not easily accessible, if the priest in the confessional has no practical direction to offer, those who suffer from such temptations will rightly feel alone and abandoned. They will be tempted by the world which says “Come out. Join the gay community. Be proud.”

When they do so, they will join a community where psychological disorders, suicidal ideation, substance abuse problems, relationship instability, domestic violence, STDS, HIV, cancer and other health problems are far more common. They will cut themselves off from the source of grace and often become angry at God.

Compassion requires that we do not, like the priest and the Levi, pass by the man who fell among thieves, but offer real help.

Massachusetts forces schools to let ‘transgender’ boys use girls’ restrooms, lockers

by Kirsten Andersen, LifeSite News

Massachusetts Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester has issued orders to the state’s K-12 public schools requiring them to permit “transgender” boys and girls to use the opposite sex’s locker rooms, bathrooms, and changing facilities as long as they claim to identify with that gender.

Many elementary schools in smaller Massachusetts towns include children from kindergarten through eighth grade, making it possible for boys as old as 14 to share toilet facilities with girls as young as five.
Under Chester’s leadership, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released an 11-page document on Friday outlining this and other new guidelines giving “transgender” students special status and privileges in Massachusetts schools. Some family advocates are calling the document, which was prepared with assistance from homosexual and transgender advocacy groups, “the most thorough, invasive, and radical transgender initiative ever seen on a statewide level.”
The policy does not require a doctor’s note or even parental permission for a child to switch sexes in the eyes of Massachusetts schools. Only the student’s word is needed: If a boy says he’s a girl, as far as the schools are concerned, he’s a girl.
“The responsibility for determining a student’s gender identity rests with the student,” the statement says. “A school should accept a student’s assertion of his or her gender identity when there is … ‘evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held as part of a person’s core identity.’” That evidence, according to the document, can be as simple as a statement given by a friend.
That means, according to the newly issued school policies, that boys who say they identify as girls must be addressed by the feminine pronoun and be listed as girls on official transcripts.
They must also be allowed access to girls’ facilities and be allowed to play on girls’ athletic and club teams. The same is true for girls who say they are boys.

Boy Scouts for Boys

By Dale O’Leary

To discriminate means to distinguish between. Sometimes it is unjust to discriminate and sometimes, because the things in question are different, it is not only prudent, but just to distinguish between them. Men and women are different, and while we should oppose unjust discrimination, there are times when we can recognize those differences and accommodate them in our laws and practices.

Single sex groups, like the Boy Scouts, are different from mixed sex groups. In a mixed sex group there is unavoidable sexual tension: boys showing off for girls, crushes, flirting, relationships, jealousy. During adolescence when male hormones are raging, all this can be a distraction. In a single sex group, boys are free from this distraction, free to develop peer relationships and confidence in their manhood. For this reason, membership in the Boy Scouts has been restricted to boys and in the century since its founding Boy Scout troops have provided a haven for boys to hone their skills and develop friendships.

Today this is under attack. Although there are similar groups available for girls, girls have claimed the right to join the boy scouts. Now boys who self-identify as gay and girls, who claim to be transgender and present themselves as boys, want to be accepted into Boy Scout troops.

Read here

Freedom is the issue

By Vinay Samuel and Chris Sugden

Background

An Anglican lay reader is standing as an Independent Candidate in the forthcoming by-election at Eastleigh. (danny4eastleigh.org.uk). Along with Kevin Milburn, a candidate from The Christian Party, he is standing for real marriage. The election was triggered by the resignation of a Liberal Democrat member of the Coalition Cabinet, Chris Huhne, who eventually pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice by having his wife take his penalty points for speeding.

The election is being closely fought by the two parties in the Government coalition, separated by 3800 votes at the last election. The minority coalition party candidate supports the Same-sex Couples bill currently before Parliament, the majority coalition party candidate does not, contrary to the view of the Prime Minister whose Conservative party is reportedly deeply split over the issue. (read more here)

What is at issue here?

Matthew Franck writes: “A future in which same-sex marriage is enshrined in the law is a future without meaningful religious liberty, freedom of speech, or economic freedom for millions. Yes, they can “privatize” their view, and go about their business incognito, as it were. But that is a surrender of their freedom, not a preservation of it. As Gallagher astutely notes:

Using the power of law and culture to suppress alternative conceptions of marriage and sex (because gay people find these ideas hurtful and insulting to the newly internalized equality norm) is not a bug in the gay marriage system, it’s a feature. It’s part of, if not the main point.”

The arguments advanced for the same-sex couples bill are based on the claim that feelings of being discriminated against for homosexual behaviour must determine societal norms. The law and the power of culture must be used to suppress the alternative and established understanding of marriage that is held by people all over the world because that makes homosexual people feel different and “excluded”.

Read here

Jesus: Not the Great Synthesizer

How tempting it is to look at every conflict and say something Anglicanish like: “The truth is somewhere in the middle”. Saying that gives the appearance of wisdom. It elevates you above both parties because you position yourself as one who has access to a greater truth to which both i bring a swordparties are blind. It also serves as a ready rationale for not actually thinking deeply about the propositions offered by either side. You can dismiss the dispute and wax eloquent about “petty bickering” without having to lift an intellectual finger. Jesus never played that game. He never presented himself or his gospel as the synthesis between various opposing antitheses. He presented himself as the truth to which all other propositions must conform. As his disciples we must agree with him and cease striving for some false moderate middle way. There is no middle way. There is His way and then there is the wrong way.

Apologising for Amritsar

There are about 50 million lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transexuals in the UK. That is why every Government policy is now tested for any potential detriment to this cohesive community; why the social bedrock of the nation is being redefined to accord with their pleas for equality; and why they must be represented in the Cabinet, in the General Synod and on every soap opera.

It is also why HM Government apologised to Alan Turing in 2009, almost 60 years after he was outrageously prosecuted for gross indecency after admitting a sexual relationship with a man. Gordon Brown said that Turing – a genius mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist – suffered ‘appalling’ treatment simply for being gay. This included chemical castration, which almost certainly contributed to his suicide. Appalling indeed. Government apology wholly justified.

There are only about 500,000 Sikhs in the UK. That is why no Government policy is tested for any potential detriment to this community, and when it is, they invariably play second-fiddle to the Muslims, who tend to shout a bit louder. David Cameron once promised them their own distinct ethnicity, but he reneged on that pledge. There are no Sikhs in the Cabinet, none in the General Synod, and (to His Grace’s sparse knowledge), none in any soap opera.

It is laudable for the Prime Minister to visit Amritsar and pay his respects in memory of the hundreds (or thousands) of Sikhs who were slaughtered there by the British Army in a six- (or 20-) minute massacre in 1919. Whether it was panic or malice on the part of Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer, we cannot know. What we do know is that these protestors were all unarmed and their aspiration was for a peaceful transition to national independence. If they had been protesting today in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt or Syria, we would be siding with the ‘rebels’; even sending in British troops to assist their political objectives.

So, why no official Government apology to the Sikhs of Amritsar? It has been almost a century: surely the perspective of history has established beyond doubt that those who gathered in protest around the Golden Temple were treated at least as outrageously as Alan Turing? Their deaths were a moral outrage; the crime remains a deep scar on the soul of Empire.

His Grace is no fan of vicarious apology, but HM Government not infrequently expresses deep remorse for the sins of its fathers – either when it is the right thing to do, or (more likely) when it is deemed to be of tactical electoral advantage to the sons. Why is winning the votes of the LGBT community of greater significance than those of British Sikhs?