Tom McLaughlin

A former history teacher, Tom is a columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers and on numerous web sites. Email: tomthemick@gmail.com

Monday, June 01, 2015

Catechism is Hate Speech?


About three years ago I began wearing a crucifix 24/7. It identifies me as a Christian. Among Christians, it identifies me as a Roman Catholic. Atheists who see it may think me an intellectual lightweight who could just as easily believe in the Tooth Fairy, or that the earth was created six thousand years ago.
Back in 2002 when the homosexual priest scandal broke, I almost left the Catholic church. There are still issues the American Conference of Catholic Bishops champion that make me cringe. Some things Pope Francis says make me uncomfortable too. Nonetheless, to follow the Magisterium (official teachings of the Catholic Church) is to believe abortion kills a human being and homosexuality is “intrinsically disordered.” That puts me on a collision course with the progressive Thought Police who would force me to shut up about what I believe.
Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George, who I’ve quoted in this space before, died a few weeks ago. Five years ago, he said something prophetic: “I’ll die in my bed. My successor will die in prison. His successor will die a martyr. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.” Two years later in 2012, he said he was being “overly dramatic.” Here in 2015, however, rhetoric coming from Democrat and Republican candidates for president in 2016 indicate he was more right than he knew.
The late Cardinal Francis George

He did die in his bed. Will his successor die in prison? That might have been plausible if Pope Francis appointed conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke to take his place after removing him from a key Vatican post. Burke stands his ground, and that’s probably why he didn’t fit in at the Vatican. Instead Pope Francis banished the conservative Burke to Malta and appointed someone more likely to go with the “progressive” flow in Chicago.
Last month, the leading Democrat presidential candidate for 2016 said: “Laws have be backed up with… political will… and deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.” Hillary Clinton was speaking about “reproductive health care,” her favorite euphemism for abortion, but her remarks indicate how far the left may go pushing their social/political agenda. They’re throwing down the gauntlet for conservative Christians — ready to use the power of government to make us change what we believe about the very nature of God and human life. Obamacare mandates to pay for abortion-inducing drugs were only the beginning.
Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio seemed to pick up Hillary’s gauntlet when he said last week that anyone who believes marriage is between one man and one woman is labeled: “a homophobe and a hater. The next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, is hate speech…”
Marco Rubio

Canada’s Supreme Court ruled two years ago that biblical speech opposing homosexual behavior is a “hate crime.” The Province of Alberta passed its Education Act three years ago under which “homeschoolers and faith-based schools will not be permitted to teach that homosexual acts are sinful as part of their academic program.” How long until such rulings are passed down in the USA?
It’s not as if the Catholic Church in America is conservative. With the exception of Cardinal Burke and a few others, it’s not. I attend mass every Sunday in Maine or New Hampshire, and never in the last ten years have I heard a sermon about abortion. Only once was homosexual “marriage” discussed when Maine’s Bishop Malone urged parishioners to vote against a homosexual “marriage” referendum in 2009. Rather, parish priests seem to go out of their way to avoid those subjects. That’s why I was surprised to hear Pope Francis say: “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods… it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”
Perhaps it’s different in Rome or in Argentina where Pope Francis comes from, but up here in Maine and New Hampshire, they’re not talked about “all the time.” They’re not discussed at all, and silence implies assent. Prior to Francis, we had two conservative popes in Benedict and John Paul II. Although Francis hasn’t tried to modify the Magisterium, he’s signaling a willingness to bend, even cozying up with President Obama on several issues. Leftists who dominate in our mainstream media are predictably thrilled. Out here in the trenches, however, conservative Catholics are dismayed.
What difference does it make?

Some of us feel we have more in common with conservative protestants than with many of our Catholic leaders in the United State, in Europe, and in the Vatican itself.

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18 Comments:

Anonymous Chris said...

I see you got blasted so bad with your last column that you had no choice but to shut up, run away, and spew out another one!

Don't you ever get embarrassed with the whippings you are constantly getting?

6/1/15, 5:46 PM  
Anonymous Tynan said...

Many people are tired of having to tiptoe around religious people. We don't want to offend them. It's the same feeling you get when talking about Santa Claus around kids.


Think about this. If the history of religion was wiped from the face of this earth, and our current population had to figure out why we're here and what's going on, how much of it would we logically deduce down to the sorts of fables religion thrusts upon us?

None.

We look back on the funny things in history, like the Greeks attributing everything to their specialized gods, and wonder how they could be so naive. Then we turn on the TV and see Obama and McCain talking about their FAITH. Same nonsense.


This isn't an attack on religious people, by the way. Some of the smartest people I know are religious. Not all of them, not most of them, but some of them. The best way I can reconcile this is by saying that smart people can believe dumb things. No one thinks that anything they believe is dumb, but we can all think of things we USED to believe were dumb.

Everyone has incorrect beliefs, and always will. For some people it's the belief in religion. On one hand the whole thing is totally preposterous, but on the other hand there are certain families or communities where NOTHING is pushed as hard and confidently on a child as religion. Logic isn't always the number one determinant of belief, even if it should be.

I also wouldn't actually wish for religion to be erased from the Earth. I know that some people get a ton out of it. Some people need external moral compasses. Church can be a really good community, especially in a day and age where traditional communities are virtually non-existent.

I don't want to convince anyone to not be religious, either. Let people believe what they want.

All I'm saying is this: religious is ridiculous, but it's even more ridiculous to be quiet when Christians bring up their beliefs.

Amen.

6/1/15, 6:53 PM  
Anonymous Tynan said...

Ooops, "McCain" should be "Rubio". I hate falling into time warps.

6/1/15, 8:23 PM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

Thank you Tynan. That was thoughtful. I'm glad you weren't quiet.

Religion was pushed hard and confidently on me for many years. I accepted it, then I rejected it, then I accepted it again.

I don't push it on others. It doesn't work and I wouldn't even if it did work. I just want to believe as I do and live according to my beliefs without being arrested. I would let others do so as well no matter what their beliefs were so long as they didn't impose them on others against their will.

One thing I learned about believing? For years I thought I'd believe when I could understand. Then I realized I could understand because I believed.

6/1/15, 8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(blueyaqui) Thank you for writing another excellent, informative, and timely article. Your thoughts are supported by a current piece by Cliff Kincaid in AIM.org, where Paul Kengor's book "Take down..." the left's sabotage of family and marriage." is discussed.

Interesting to note, Kengor cites Law Professor Chai Feldblum of Georgetown University. Feldblum's paper, "Gay is good...the moral case for moral equality" would seem to be in conflict with current church doctine.

Kengor also mentions the late Bishop Fulton Sheen, who wrote two important books on the topic, and had an excellent understanding on how Marxism was designed to destroy the traditional family.

6/2/15, 12:03 AM  
Anonymous Sami Gay said...

"I just want to believe as I do and live according to my beliefs without being arrested." Get a grip, you paranoid and delusional fool. You have been living according to your beliefs and spewing your nonsense for years. Being criticized and mocked does not constitute on an infringement on your 1st Amendments rights or your religious liberties.

6/2/15, 1:49 AM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

Think what you like Sami Gay.

Homosexual activists twice filed completely erroneous charges of harassment against me and summoned me to court in 1998 and 1999. Several of my columns were cited "Exhibit A"; "Exhibit B"; etc. of "homophobia." Both times the judge dismissed the charges, but it cost me thousands to defend myself. That was the whole point.

It's all outlined in my book. I got a taste early of where the homosexual agenda is headed.

As you can see, I have not yielded.

6/2/15, 7:23 AM  
Anonymous aliledar said...

I'm with you, Tom, and I know you won't yield. Thank you for that as we seem to be living in an upside down world just now, where truth is derided and even criminalized. I especially love your "I could understand because I believed." Without the spiritual side of life there is nothing. And facts are facts - abortion kills life and at times that may be justified - but it is still killing. Homosexuality is a perversion of biology.

6/2/15, 8:00 AM  
OpenID bc64a9f8-765e-11e3-8683-000bcdcb2996 said...

"If a tree falls in the woods, and no one is around to hear it...."
I have faith that it makes a sound.
I'm a cafeteria Catholic, in that I'm "hip with" parts of the book, but the history of some of the "interpretation" and actions by some of the "church" are repugnant to me. Same with the statutory laws of man in assorted States, and countries I've passed through.
"Who am I to judge?" . My name is CaptDMO, nice to meet you.
"Who are "we" to judge?" What do you mean "we" Kimosabe?
In the same manner, I ALSO hold "cafeteria" faith, AND revulsions, in (ie)the Koran, and Torah. (As well as the science in (ie)the McMaster-Carr catalogue if you must know) All have leaders, followers, and "interpreters", in a vast array of sect variations (for a multitude of "dissatisfactions" and "indulgences")with whom I have faith, and revulsions. Some issues/"interpretations" I hold a rational fear or hatred for, but I recognize ALL of them, amongst other, less popular, theses.
Who am I to judge? My name is CaptDMO, nice to meet you.
ALL may feel free to say I practice discrimination, but please look that word up in a dictionary first. Personally, I have faith in The Oxford English, most certainly NOT in "wiki".
Your interpretation may vary.
CaptDMO


6/2/15, 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Chris and @Sami Gay: Your sophmoric, immature ad hominem attacks only serve to reveal your lack of erudition and communication ability.

Tom is a good man with great patience and understanding, along with his great communication and teaching skill.

As to the sexual orientation issue, I am, as many are, tolerant. Will not discriminate. But will not celebrate. I will not tolerate personal affronts, written or within jurisprudence parameter.

@ Tynan; your points are clear and engaging. I would not take offense at your viewpoint when expresssed as you did, and there would be no need to tiptoe around a true person of faith. (from blue yaqui)

6/2/15, 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Sami Gay said...

Perhaps you should look up the meaning of ad hominem, anon. My comment doesn't fit the definition. I am not just "attacking" Tom I am attacking his position. I've no problem calling him a paranoid and delusional fool 'cause the shoe fits perfectly. I am sure his book will be an interesting piece of fiction, and as poorly written, self-aggrandizing and whiny as his blog.

6/2/15, 11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Sami, the paranoid and delusional fools I have met along the way are not hard-working, accomplished and/or dedicated professionals with solid values.

You evidently are offended and rail at an individual on a personal level. You easily resort to personal and vindictive derogatory labeling. You may or may not have thoughts relevant to any cogent discussion, but you have not expressed them.

Yaqui


6/3/15, 12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grab your Bible. Read it. Live it. At this point you, in now way, meet the criteria for a Christian. Now pull the plank out of your eye.

6/3/15, 4:53 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Isn't there a proverb that says something to the effect of :Lean not on your own understanding"?

It seems incredibly wacked out that anyone would put blind faith in an old book instead of following their own inner compass and understanding of the world. It blows my mind!

6/4/15, 12:34 PM  
Anonymous Rick said...

Wow, Tom was totally dismantled in yesterday's Daily Sun! Completely exposed for his shoddy research and/or dishonesty. That is the price he pays for regurgitating right wing propaganda without checking out the facts for himself. This has always been Tom's way. Who can forget the time he included a link that he thought backed him up, when in fact it totally disputed his column....priceless! I love watching Faux News lemmings swallow the bait and then get exposed!

6/11/15, 7:48 AM  
OpenID bc64a9f8-765e-11e3-8683-000bcdcb2996 said...

Wow? Like...totally dismantled?
Personally, I read that letter to the editor.
It was weighed, measured, and found wanting.
Much like most other "guest" reprints, and other "editors selections" of opinion letters (including "press releases" written by the parties involved)
I suppose if all one is looking for is anything...ANYTHING, with even a sophist's sniff of "Yay for OUR side", then that's ALL they can see.
Say Tom, when IS that book going on sale, at (ahem)local book mongers, in hard cover dead tree format? I can't WAIT to see the "not-read" reviews by the usual suspects, a la Amazon, Reddit, and Wiki.
Keep hammerin'.
The "intellectual" flak only means one thing.
(insert joke about ball bearing factories here)
I'd hate to think what might happen if any of it's minions had been properly trained.
CaptDMO

6/11/15, 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Rick said...

The letter was found "wanting" because it contained facts that you want to ignore. It showed how, as usual, Tom spun the truth by taking comments out of context to try and crowbar them into his argument. Quite lazy and dishonest.

What I cheer for in a column is the truth, not whether or not it fits my preconceived notions.

By "intellectual" flak, do you mean "fact based" flak?

(Insert joke about 2 right wingers, a nun, and a lie detector")

I'd love to think what might happen if regurgitaters started thinking for themselves.

As for the book, look for it in the Comedy and/or Fiction department.

General WTF

6/11/15, 12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Tom, was raised to be a devout Catholic. I listened and believe everything that I was taught. That being said, I used to have nightmares on Saturday night as a child just thinking about going to that scary place the next day, called "church" with my family.
As an adult, I came to all my ow conclusions about religions, all religions, but I raised my children Catholic and had them receive all their sacraments up until Confirmation, all to keep my mother from falling to her knee's and praying for us all on a daily basis. Sunday dinners were especially difficult! :) After their confirmation, each one of my children knew the choice from there on in, was theirs and theirs alone of what religion they wanted to raise their children with.
As I would regularly pick my children up at CCD every Monday, I always contemplated my oldest son at the time, whom was in the 5th grade, getting in the car. I always knew there was going to be a new discussion on what the topic of his class was about that day, and sometimes that conversation would last well through dinner. He loved God, said his prayers every night, and he knew what his rosary beads were for.
As my son got older, I realized that everything he said made perfect sense. He said our Lord was NOT Catholic. He said the Catholic religion did nothing but contradict itself and had a whole different set of rules than anyone else. Hence the "incident" that took place in the early 2000's, where the well respected Bishop Bernard Cardinal Law had chosen for many, many years to ignore what he KNEW what was going on with the molestation of young Altar Boy, etc...He ignored it because he knew that many Catholics would turn against the Catholic religion.....and that's the only reason he chose to ignore it, yet he let those young "boys", "babies", endure the horror, the pain (who are so screwed up to this day) and not understand what was happening to them. YET THIS SAME MAN, said, a man should not marry a man, nor should a woman marry a woman. Who the F#$% does he and those like him, and their elders think they are to STILL be preaching these "rules"(?)??
In the meantime, I still pray every single day, because I believe there IS a God who hears me. I have many special pairs of Rosary beads, and I am kind and I help others. I am not perfect by nay sense of the word, but I try to be the best person I can be. I understand those who have different opinions or beliefs than I do, and I respect them. But Our Lord God is NOT judgmental, and he does NOT have his own set of rules. He DID NOT put us here to judge. We can pick and choose who we want in Politics, but that is not the same judgement that I'm talking about and I thin everyone reading knows this.
We live in a beautiful world and it is up to us to keep it that way. Do you think think it's being kept that way?

6/15/15, 3:40 PM  

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