Thursday, May 20, 2010

We See the Pope — and have a Party!

by Steve Ray on May 20, 2010

Wednesday is General Audience Day with the Pope in St. Peter’s Square — and we were there! For most in our group it is the first time in Rome — and the first time to see and hear the Pope in person.

After this wonderful experience — and after receiving his blessing, we scattered for lunch. I did a radio interview with Relevant Radio.

Liz Lev then led us on a tour of Christian Rome along with me, though I had her do most of the talking since she is an excited, orthodox, passionate “Catholic encyclopedia.” You will hear and see more of her tomorrow.

We visited St. Mary Major Church, St. John Lateran and then St. Paul Outside the Walls where we had Mass at the tomb of St. Paul.

Stay tuned for the delicious dinner on the Via Appia near the catacombs. I will upload that video as soon as I get time. Sorry I am a bit behind but the days have been packed!

Second video below is our Farewell Dinner to the 50 pilgrims who were heading home — not taking the Rome Extension. It was a blast!


Homosexuality in Genes and in Animals?

by Steve Ray on May 20, 2010

Recently I had a heated discussion about homosexuality with some good liberal friends. They contend that homosexuality is seen among animals (still to be proved) and since God “made people homosexual” that it is natural, normal and must be accepted. The discussion was heated though friendly. I thought I would respond and I share the response with you.

My letter begins:

Dear Friends:

We enjoyed your company and friendship this weekend. We were glad that we could host the birthday party. You are all welcome here anytime. In line with our discussion, I did some research on homosexuality, especially “homosexuality” among animals and the genetic propensity to homosexuality.

The challenge was made that since there are “homosexual animals” it “proves” homosexuality is natural. First, I don’t think there is proof of homosexual animals. But, even if a few animals seem to demonstrate what might be referred to as homosexual behavior, that in itself, certainly provides no conclusive or foundational basis for the acceptance of homosexual behavior in the human population.

It does not establish homosexual behavior as normal, healthy, desirable or even morally right. Animals can be born with two heads (my friend hatched such a snake a few years ago) and people can be born as Siamese twins, but such aberrations don’t make the condition normal, healthy, or desirable. In fact, both are considered as odd, things to be gawked at or corrected.

If one replies, as you did, that homosexuality is natural because it is found among animals, then we should notice that there are all sorts of activities practiced by animals that we as humans reject as repulsive. There is extreme cruelty among animals: mothers eating their young, mates eating their partners after mating (e.g., the Black Widow spider), animals eating their own feces and vomit (dogs and cats), or urinating on themselves (goats), etc.

Some animals have mates for a lifetime while others have sex with multiple partners indiscriminately. I could go on and on. What can we draw from these facts? That it is OK for people to practice such things because animals do? Heavens no! Just because animals do things that animals do does not make them a model for human morality and behavior.

We are in sad shape if we look to the creatures to search for our origins or to find a model for our behavior. Even worse, if we begin to use animals as our model, we as humans can then justify any deviant behavior since every form of aberrant and repulsive behavior can be found among the animals that share our planet. St. Paul was no fool 2,000 years ago when he wrote . . .  To read the rest of the letter, click here.