The day after the U.S. Supreme Court made same-sex marriage the law of the land, J. Patrick Hornbeck II married Patrick Anthony Bergquist at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Manhattan.

This would hardly be newsworthy, except for the fact that Hornbeck is the Chairman of the Theology Department at Fordham University, a Catholic university run by the Jesuits.

For the whole article read here.

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Was Jesus Nice?

by Steve Ray on July 5, 2015

I'm OK, you're OK. Be yourself! Gotcha covered buddy!

I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has said to me. “That was not very Christ-like.” This response usually comes after being honest to the point of making someone upset.  The implication is that Jesus was a cuddly little nice guy who was always smiling, always accepting with kind words – in short NICE.

In America we tend to be pretty nice, except maybe if you live in New York City. But in contrast to the rest of the world we tend to be very polite, genteel, gracious and nice. Tour guides in other countries say that Americans are the nicest people. We transpose our niceness onto Jesus and think he was a lot like us.

But does LOVE = NICE?

Of course Jesus was loving. He is God after all and God is love (1 John 4:8). We also know that love does not always equate to NICE. God allowed Paul to have a thorn in the flesh to keep him humble (2 Cor 12:7). Three times Paul prayed for it to be removed. God said NO.  God was not acting very American. He certainly wasn’t very nice about it.

Nice is defined primarily as “pleasant or commendable, kind or friendly” (Collins English Dictionary). It originally comes from the Latin meaning “simple, silly or ignorant.”

"He's not a tame lion, afterall" Quote from Narnia series

There is such a thing as “tough love.” It is the kind of love that cares enough to be honest, to confront, to discipline, to cause temporary pain to bring about eternal glory.  On the surface “tough love” does not always appear to be nice. How often has a child, sent to the corner blurt out “You are not very nice!”

Was Jesus nice?

Like Aslan the Lion in C. S. Lewis’ Narnia series, Jesus is approachable and loving, but don’t ever consider him “tame” or too cuddly. Jesus is God as well as man. He expressed the wrath and anger of God as well as the mercy and love of God.

Imagine coming to the Temple in Jerusalem one day to pray. You hear a great commotion and run over to see an angry man throwing over tables, grabbing the money from the merchants and throwing the money on the ground.

Whipping the money changers and dumping over their tables

But worse, you see him make a scourge of cords – a whip – and striking people with it. You are shocked that anyone would be so rude and destructive, so inconsiderate and mean to lash people with a whip. People ran in fear! Everyone was upset. Jesus was red in the face and scowling.  It certainly wasn’t very “Christ-like.” How nice was that?

Jesus was always loving, but he was not always nice, as we Americans count niceness. Here is just one example. Jesus spoke very harshly to his fellow Jews.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. . . .  You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? (Matthew 23:27,  28, 33).

Ouch! Doesn’t sound very kind and courteous: not very thoughtful or nice!

So, maybe there is more to WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) than we’ve been led to believe. Maybe we shouldn’t worry so much about being nice, being liked, acting like  genteel Americans. Maybe we ought to be more honest and forthright about the things that really matter.  Maybe we should be more willing to hurt some feelings, step on some toes, show tough love to those in sin.

Maybe we should be more Christ-like.

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Thanks to Teresa Tomeo, I am passing along this excellent list of reputable news sources from a Catholic perspective.

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The Literacy and Spirituality of a Day Gone By; A Tattered Yellowed Page; A Poem I Found from my Great-Grandmother

July 1, 2015

I never knew my Great Grandmother Frances Picard. She was originally an O’Grady. They had a deep spirituality and she converted to the Catholic Church later in her life. (By the way, this was all new to me since I never knew – in my childhood – that I had several lines of Catholic ancestors.)  [...]

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Are Gays Born that Way?Most Americans now say yes, but Science says No

June 30, 2015

My Earlier article: Homosexuality in Genes and in Animals? PRINCETON, NJ, May 20, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — For the first time, a majority of Americans say that homosexuals are “born that way. According to the latest Gallup poll, 51 percent of Americans say that people are born gay or lesbian, while only 30 percent say outside factors [...]

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Canon Lawyer Ed Peters on Supreme Court’s Decision to Legalize ” Same-Sex Marriage”

June 26, 2015

So, the US Supreme Court, relying on what Justice Scalia has called “the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie”, has ruled that two persons of the same sex can marry. The only relationship on earth limited to two people of the opposite sex has been gutted of its core identity by our highest judicial body. [...]

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Supreme Court just Legalized Same-Sex “Marriage”

June 26, 2015

Oh boy! Here we go again. The battles are mounting and we Christians are becoming the despised sub-culture.  This ruling is the second blast of a double-barreled shotgun, the first being legalized murder through abortion. With these two rulings which destroy the family and the high view of marriage, sexuality and human dignity we are [...]

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June 26, 2015

The Pope has made it known that a decision on Medjugorje soon. Many things are being said and much speculation is swirling about. Jimmy Akin breaks down the latest reports and suggestions in this excellent article Waiting for a Medjugorje Decision, 12 Things You Should Know. If you have an interest in this issue, this [...]

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Supreme Court  upholds Obamacare – a big win for Obama

June 25, 2015

Oh well! I have very little optimism for our country. I lost that a long time ago. Because of God I have hope, but hope is different than optimism. Now let’s wait for the marriage ruling …

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Pope Francis’s Encyclical: Updates, Reviews, Critiques

June 23, 2015

A lot is being said about Laudato Si both from supporters and critics — of which I guess I am both. I would fall in the camp of the Acton Institute… Here are eight links worth reading and watching as you digest and work through the new encyclical. 1) Acton Institute critique by my friend [...]

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Join Steve Ray and Fr. Larry Richards on The Seminar at Sea Following St. Paul through the Biblical World

June 21, 2015

Join Fr. Larry Richards and Steve Ray for our Seminar at Sea in the Footprints of St. Paul, St. John and Mary on a Mediterranean cruise.   We voyage through Rome, Italy, Corinth, Athens, Thessaloniki, Philippi, Istanbul, Pergamum, Ephesus and Patmos. See our itinerary here:   Call for more info or to register, call Susan Reinhardt [...]

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The Pope’s New Encyclical- I Agree with Fr. Sirico’s Critique 100% as well as Dr. Boulet’s Comment Below

June 19, 2015

The Pope’s Green Theology By Fr. Robert Sirico, June 18, 2015 6:54 p.m. ET Let’s cut to the chase: Much of what is in Pope Francis’ encyclical on environmental stewardship, Laudato Si’, poses a major challenge for free-market advocates, those of us who believe that capitalism is a powerful force for caring for the earth [...]

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New Encyclical on Environment is Out

June 18, 2015

At 4 AM Eastern Time, or noon in Rome, Pope Francis officially released his newest encyclical titled Laudato Si — Praise Be: On the Care for our Common Home.  First — here is a link to the document itself: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html  In case the Vatican website is down (as it was earlier), here is another link [...]

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The Tisor’s Come Home – Nice Conversion Story

June 18, 2015

Intro: Kim Tisor was reared in a Christian home that emphasized weekly attendance at their Southern Baptist Church. She remained a Baptist well into adulthood and was content to be one, until radio airwaves carrying Catholic teaching reached this Christian, music-playing DJ’s ears. It placed her on a journey of discovery that would ultimately lead [...]

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Interview with an Unborn Child Ready to be Aborted – Wow!

June 18, 2015

Only for the strong and engaged…  Click on the image to watch the 3 minute video and hear the interview.

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Draft of Pope’s Environment Encyclical Leaked: 12 Things You Should Know

June 16, 2015

Jimmy Akin has done a great job summarizing the situation and the encyclical to-date. It starts out: With just days to go before the release of Pope Francis’s highly anticipated encyclical on the environment, a draft copy has suddenly appeared on the Internet. Here are 12 things to know and share . . . 1) [...]

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