Friday, March 18, 2011

Class on Homosexuality and the Church

The answer to the question "what does the Church teach about homosexuality?" doesn't have an answer that can be "tweeted" - there are a lot of concepts that need to be looked at and discussed. The fact that the answer can't be "tweeted" is why the Church has already lost the debate on this issue.





71 comments:

  1. Hey Father Hollowell,

    Could you please post your evidence that NPR has weekly stories on "gay gene found". I did a Google search and wasn't able to find anything. In fact, the only hit I got was an NPR story disproving a "gay gene found" study.

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  2. "once a week" is hyperbole, but I believe I said NPR, MSNBC, Newsweek, etc. Keep your eyes peeled and you'll see it. My google search of "gay gene" turned up, on the first page, stories at Popular Scinece, ABC News, TIME Magazine, and Web MD. That is my point - everyone assumes that it is genetic. Do you think, in opposition to my claim, that most DO NOT think homosexuality is genetic?

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  3. Nope, you said "every week on NPR you will hear how they found the location of the homosexual gene" at 4:48 in the video if you care to verify. You also stated that they are proven wrong and never talk about that. Any proof of that claim? At all? Not every week then, but ever? You accused NPR of something I can find zero evidence for.

    Yes, if you google "gay gene" those sites come up...but, actually read them and they say that a gay gene has never been found. Yes, it is still believed to have a genetic component, but that is not that same thing as there being a "gay gene". In my opinion, you owe your students a correction.

    I do not think it is as simple as there being a "gay gene", but I think that homosexuality is based on biology.

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  4. "based on biology" how? That's a heck of a claim without evidence. "Based on biology" also enjoys the freedom of not having to make an actual stand because it can hide in the shadows of vaguery.

    That is exactly the thing I'm talking about - NPR and others in the media machine don't really care if the story about a gay gene gets disproved a week later, as long as the message from all of the various "news" outlets is that science is headed that way, then people can walk around believing exactly what you believe - "its BASED on biology."

    Perhaps you should start your own blog and teach what the Church of Flower believes for an hour and a half 3 times a week - I'd be curious to hear that.

    I listen to NPR a lot, and I've heard MANY stories on there about a gay gene or that homosexuality is affected by an imbalance in the hypothalamus or that homosexuals have a certain part of their brain that is different from heterosexuals - and not just on NPR but on MSNBC and Newsweek and Time and CNN, etc. I'm frankly shocked that the trail would be covered up after the stories were reported.

    My seniors understand hyperbole so i will not be making a correction in class. If you want to contact the principal at Ritter and have me written up for using hyperbole about NPR at the 4:48 mark of an hour and a half class on homosexuality, feel free to do so. No correction will be offered in class though.

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  5. A quick google search about "NPR gay gene" turned up this from an article

    On July 15, 1993 National Public Radio (NPR) made a dramatic announcement on stations across the country: Was a team of scientists at the National Institutes of Health on the trail of a gene that causes homosexuality? Their report would be published the next day in Science, one of the two most prestigious scientific research journals in the world.1
    The discussion that followed explained for the listening public the implications of these findings for social attitudes toward homosexuality and for public policy concerning it. Science was on the verge of proving what many had long argued: that homosexuality in innate, genetic and therefore unchangeable—a normal and commonplace variant of human nature. In the light of these findings, surely only the bigoted or ignorant could condemn it in any way.
    Shortly after the announcement, amidst a well-orchestrated blizzard of press discussions, there ensued the watershed legal battle over "Proposition 2" in Colorado. (This popularly enacted legislation precluded making sexual orientation the basis of "privileged class" minority status, a status conferred previously only on the basis of immutable factors such as race.)
    Among the many crucial issues raised by the legislation was the question as to whether homosexuality was indeed normal, innate and unchangeable. One prominent researcher testified to the court, "I am 99.5% certain that homosexuality is genetic." But this personal opinion was widely misunderstood as "homosexuality is 99.5% genetic," implying that research had demonstrated this. Certainly, that was the message promulgated by NPR's report on the recent research, and by all the discussions that followed. In a few weeks, Newsweek would emblazon across its cover the phrase that would stick in the public mind as the final truth about homosexuality: "Gay Gene?"
    Of course, just near the end of the NPR discussion, certain necessary caveats were fleetingly added. But only an expert knew what they meant—that the research actually showed nothing whatever in the way of what was being discussed. The vast majority of listeners would think that homosexuality had been all but conclusively proven to be "genetic."


    Interesting that this story doesn't seem to turn up in NPR's database.

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  6. Talk of the nation on "Nature vs. Nurture" Harvard Scientist defends his position that "nature" determines sexuality

    http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-29059751.html

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  7. Born Gay Born This Way Blog on NPR

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/pictureshow/2011/02/04/133401341/bornthisway

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  8. Fruit flies and the gay gene on talk of the nation in 2005. The last link was from this year.

    http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-145919259.html

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  9. Well there are three stories that you asked for. I have to write a homily at some point today. If you have other questions, I hope to be able to get to them tomorrow or perhaps late this evening.

    Any thoughts on the class beyond the 4:48 mark?

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  10. Father Hollowell, none of three articles that you posted show any evidence of NPR saying "a gay gene has been found" The first is an NPR story enterviewing a scientist who thinks it is nurture not nature. The second is about fruit flies, though honestly I couldn't read the whole article because it was going to make me sign up for a membership. The third is a blog (not even NPRs blog, they were just reporting its existence) where homosexual people send in pics of themselves as children. Some of the childhood snapshots tend to show stereotypical homosexual traits, some do not.

    Oh, that first bit you posted is a story from 1993 where NPR asked if science was close to finding a gay gene. They later reported that it wasn't found. It is possible that you couldn't find the original story on NPRs website because in 1993 they probably didn't even have a website.

    You just totally made up your "weekly on NPR you were they have discovered the gay gene and then are proven wrong". It isn't hyperbole, its just making up facts to support your argument.

    Yes, there are a ton of studies that show that there might be a genetic component. NPR reports them. So? They haven't been proven false.

    You said in your class that the Catholic Church teaches that the origins of homosexuality are unknown. Is it not possible that the origins are biological?

    I am sorry that you feel like I am attacking you, I don't mean to attack you or your beliefs. But, I do feel as though you need to be careful to be truthful with your students.

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  11. If it helps you sleep at night the next class that I taught I included all the major arms of the media that report on these types of stories together, mentioning MSNBC, Time, Newsweek, NY Times, etc.

    I apologize if you are an NPR member or whatever, clearly this has really hurt you, but I ask two questions

    1) Do you believe that there has been no bias in the media with regards to making it seem like homosexuality is biological/genetic?

    2) Any thoughts about the topics raised in class beyond the NPR intro which attempted to establish media bias?

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  12. All of the stuff reported on NPR is not posted online. Stories that they reference at the top and bottom of each hour, which is when I usually listen to see if there are any major headlines, are not kept track of or logged.

    Therefore, it is possible that NPR could be saying every half hour that there is a new study out that suggests homosexuality might be genetic, and there would be no record of those occurences on the internet.

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  13. elementary teacherMarch 19, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    I am REALLY looking forward to the class about the Church's view of homosexual marriage. I always look forward to your explanation of the Church's teaching. Whether people agree or disagree, I think the best thing I, and I'm going to go ahead and assume most other readers, get out of your blog is the prompt to think about these issues, perhaps to have some light shed on these issues. I have shared your site with many others and I can only hope they think as much about their beliefs as I do. I also get a lot from your blog that I am able to share with my much younger students.
    THANK YOU!

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  14. Father Hollowell, I am not upset that you are disparaging the name of NPR, I am upset because you are lying to your students. Even here in your comments you are restating the lie "NPR and others in the media machine don't really care if the story about a gay gene gets disproved a week later."

    You haven't been able to produce a single story to back up your claim. You also claim that studies are being done to refute the multiple (had been weekly, now it is possibly every 30 minutes) NPR stories about the "gay gene". Can you please provide us with one of those? Yep, a study refuting a "gay gene" study, where NPR carried the first study but not the second.

    According to you, it happens with such regularity that this should be a snap.

    I can only find one "gay gene" study at all; the one from 1993 by Hamer. Where are all of the others that you hear about with such frequency?

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  15. Flower, you need to find a hobby besides attacking this blog every other day. It's obvious that your life is governed daily by the purely tangible things in life without any thoughts beyond the superficial. No one who reads this blog even remotely appreciates your comments because your viewpoints are simply reflective of the hedonistic values of society and science where everything is conveniently proved/disproved and everyone should be able to do what they want in a free-for-all. One day, when your life is truly and finally void of any spiritual fulfillment or understanding of morality as it appears to be headed, you will realize that there is more to life than promoting self-serving freedoms and a "who cares" attitude as long as it makes the end user happy.

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  16. Hey Tim,

    You don't care that a teacher/priest is lying to students? Really? His job is to educate them and he is willfully misleading them.

    Father Hollowell accused NPR of something that they (or any other news outlet) did not do ever, not weekly, not EVER. He says that he is not going to correct himself. That actually, strangly makes him guilty of what he accused NPR of...making a statement, being proven wrong and not making the retraction.

    Lying priests aren't a problem with the "conservative Catholic" crowd? You guys have a very strange sense of morality then.

    I take it very seriously.

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  17. Flower get over yourself; you are only a crusader for those in the selfish secular part of society. There is plenty of evidence there that both NPR and the media have stated the claim to an existence of a "gay gene". The fact that Fr. John used hyperbole by saying "weekly" is inconsequential. I mean, really, get to the basic point here which is that he is correct in his statement about the stories that have been broadcast. Once again, you seem to be stuck on the superficial. The facts are out there. All you have to do is read the media he has posted here or find them yourself.

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  18. By the way... how could one be a "liberal Catholic"? If you are a liberal and believe in pro-choice and gay marriage and so forth, you absolutely do not follow or abide by any of the Church's teachings. The fact that politicians such as Pat Bauer, John Kerry, and Nancy Pelosi claim to be Catholic makes me wonder why the Holy Father wouldn't excommunicate them in a heartbeat.

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  19. Tim,

    No, I am not saying he got "weekly" wrong. I am saying that there is not ONE instance. Ever. He is making up his entire argument about "NPR reporting the gay gene found" to try to bolster his opinion. They once in 1993 reported that a study thought it *might* have found it, and they later reported that the study was wrong.

    Fr. Hollowell claims that there are weekly stories on "gay gene found" that are later proven wrong and that NPR never reports that. I am not quibbling on "weekly" at all.


    I am assuming now that you also don't care if NPR or science is lied about. But, won't you care when his students figure out that he lied to them and then begin to question what else he is lying to the about?

    Had he stated it, found out he was wrong, and corrected himself to his students and blog readers all he would be guilt of is being overzealous. As it stands, he is a liar as his error has been pointed out and he is not willing to own up to it.

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  20. Flower,

    I think you need to get in touch with what you really believe, although I must admit I like "angry flower" better than "passive-aggressive flower" because "angry flower" is starting to get to the heart of his/her issue.

    You stated on here in one of your earlier comments: "I am sorry that you feel like I am attacking you, I don't mean to attack you or your beliefs."

    Really?

    When someone comes on here and gets a little rough with you, the tone changes. Now it is - Fr. Hollowell is a liar and is damaging his students.

    Please!

    I've been very upfront with you, I've recognized what your attack is about from the outset, but you have taken this passive-aggressive "Oh, I'm sorry you feel attacked" - let's cut to the chase here - you don't like what was said in the rest of the class and you are absolutely obsessed with the NPR stuff because you can't or won't deal with the other hour and a half of the video. Your issue not mine.

    I bet 99.9% (hyperbole warning) of America will tell you that the media machine (including Hollywood) reports on the issue of homosexuality as a genetic issue and that all who don't believe that are neanderthals. The .1% who doesn't see the bias mostly lives within 10 miles of the ocean on either coast.

    Here's a suggestion - send this class to the Archbishop, Mickey Lentz, Keller and Keller law firm, Johnny Cochran, and my principal and see if any of them agree with your assessment that I lied to my students.

    NPR was the first entity that came to mind when thinking of all those outlets that absolutely believe homosexuality is a biological or genetic issue. I'm sorry if you are a member and are already sweating losing funding, but the fact is I listen to them a lot to see what is out there, and it is ALWAYS liberal. There are frequent stories on their programs (as well as in the other outlets mentioned numerous times) that talk about and/or assume that homosexuality is either genetic or "based on biology" as you state earlier.

    I ask again - what do you think about something beyond the 4:48 mark?

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  21. Father Hollowell, I don't care that you don't think it genetic/biological.

    You didn't state that NPR or other news outlets report on findings that homosexuality may be genetic or biologically based. You stated "that they had found the gay gene" is frequently reported. You are wrong. It pointed out, you refuse to correct yourself, so that means that you lied.

    I didn't call you a liar earlier because of a mistake belief that you could correct yourself once your error was pointed out. I didn't think you were a liar, just biased. Now, I think you are a liar.

    I am not attacking your beliefs. You are entitled to your belies, but you aren't entitled to your own facts.

    "Gay gene" is not the same as "biologically based" or even "genetic" just in case the issue is that you don't understand the concepts involved. I don't know of anyone who thinks that science has found a "gay gene".

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  22. Let's take a survey, although I bet most sane people are no longer following. Anyone who is still following, I urge you to reply with your answer:

    QUESTION: "In your mind, the media and NPR have stories that report on the possibility that homosexuality is genetic/biological and that thus homosexuality is at the core of the person how often
    a. No stories like that since 1993
    b. Hardly ever
    c. Once every few years
    d. Frequently
    e. Very frequently

    My answer is e.

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  23. Again,

    I'd send it to the Archbishop, Keller and Keller, Johnny Cochran, and I'd even add Fr. Giannini, the Vicar for Clergy who is directly in charge of me - see if they think I lied to my kids.

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  24. Father Hollowell, you didn't say "possibility" of homosexuality being "genetic/biological". You said that the media frequently reporting having "found" the "gay gene".

    I don't understand how you can't understand the difference between these concepts. I had thought you were simply biased, then I thought you were a liar, now it seems as though you might just simply be stupid.

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  25. I'll leave this blog to stand as a body of work for others to judge my stupidity by and I'll let people judge your intelligence by your comments here.

    I'm off to other blog posts. This is my last comment here unless someone wants to talk about something beyond the intro to this class.

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  26. Haaaarry Caaaaaray suppurts ooopption E.

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  27. Greetings,

    I'm curious what your thoughts are on Jesus' mention of born eunuchs, and the obvious ommission of definitions throughout all Christian authoritative resources. The CCC fails to include them as part of God's Divinely Created Order, and most people think they only include celibates or castrated individuals. But Jesus mentions a 3rd type of eunuch in Matthew 19: born eunuchs.

    I and many theologians have deducted that if they were exempted from the male/female marriage paradigm, and were neither castrated nor celibate, that they must indeed be what we refer to today as gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or transgender.

    If this is the case, the absence of a 'gay gene' is not all that surprising, considering there seems to be as yet, no "eunuch gene" either.

    If this is true, then to argue that there is no "gay gene", and therefore homosexuality could not possibly be congenital, really is a non sequitor, in light of Jesus' mention of born eunuchs. Would you agree or disagree? Thanks so much for your time!

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  28. Father,

    At 9:40 in the first video, you claim Sodom was destroyed for sodomy, but that is incorrect. Scripture never depicts the men of sodom having sexual relations with anyone until Lot and his daughters. God's judgment had come upon Sodom long before the angels arrived, back in Genesis 14, when the men of sodom were "exceedingly wicked before the Lord" while Abraham worshiped at Bethel.

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  29. Father,

    At 14:53, you state that Jesus said that we don't have to follow "some" of the Laws in Leviticus 19, and that not "all" of the Laws in Levitcus 19 are 'abominations.' However, at the end of Leviticus 19, God indeed calls the entire list of Leviticus 19, saying "You shall not commit ANY of these abominations..."

    Further, your statement that Jesus said some of the Laws in Leviticus no longer need to be followed, is not entirely accurate. He never enumerated the Laws we were to follow and the ones we were not to, in regards to some of the "crazy laws" as you call them, such as wearing mixed fabrics, or shaving. You seem to attempt to put words in Jesus' mouth that were not said by Him, but rather by Paul.

    While I agree that certain of the Laws in Leviticus no longer apply to Christians, I also think it is simply inaccurate (from a Scriptural aspect) to say (even hyperbolically) that Jesus said certain of the laws were okay to no longer follow....especially as you repeat twice that Jesus said He had come to not abolish the Law but to fulfill it.

    Just a tip for future classes that I hope you take into consideration. It's a somewhat laxidazical approach that has the appearance of making you the arbiter of what Jesus said and what He didn't...just sayin'.

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  30. Final point from the third video, and then I'll await your response. If as poffered, homosexuality is not somehow biological nor genetic, then how could eunuchs be born so from their own mothers' wombs as Jesus said? There's never been a "eunuch" gene found, yet Jesus said they are born. They are naturally part of God's Divinely created order....right?

    That means that Adam and Eve must have had the biological DNA in order to produce eunuchs through their descendants, right?

    If so, (even if you don't agree yet that born eunuchs include those homosexually inclined), would it not stand to reason that just because we have not yet produced any scientific verification of a genetic predisposition to one being born a eunuch, the only choice would be then to deny Jesus' teaching that indeed there are eunuchs born so from their mothers' womb.

    If you agree with this assesment, then it begs the question why the CCC fails to include any mention of born eunuchs in their description. And if you disagree with this assesment, what alternative definition of "born eunuch" would you ascribe to the individuals Jesus taught about, keeping in mind they could not have been either castrated, nor celibate, as neither of these are birth conditions, and keeping in mind that the born eunuchs would not have been heterosexual, or Jesus would not have exempted them from the male/female marriage model.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    PS: I actually enjoyed the class, oddly enough! I think you are doing the job of more clearly delineating what the Catholic Church position is, while maintaining a degree of separation of your personal feelings on the matter. All in all, good job, Father!

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  31. Fr, you did actually mislead your students. You stated that nothing has ever been shown or proven that genes or biology have anything to do with homosexuality. This is a gross error. I have to state that clearly. There is more than sufficient evidence (not including the gay gene issue in the trail above) for the scientific community to hold a consensus that being gay has a significant biological component. That is a simple fact. It is no good listening to NPR for your research. Review the latest published research for that kind of thing. Mainstream professional bodies such as APA, state things like "Most scientists today agree that sexual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors. "

    It is wrong to teach that there is no biological component as you have done in your video. It is an error and inaccurate and mistaken and should not be stated in a classroom.

    Paul McMichael

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  32. Bravo, Paul McMichael! Fr. Hollowell might not want his students to learn the truth, but I do.

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  33. Flower, if you're so committed to students learning the truth I suggest that you,
    1. learn the truth yourself instead of just nit-picking the semantics of someone else's argument.
    2. find your own platform for pushing your agenda instead of riding the coattails of someone else only to nag at them over peripheral details rather than deal with the substance of the argument.
    anthony

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  34. Father, in response to your poll, I'd probably vote somewhere between d and e.

    It is interesting that BrotherBrianBowen brings up the scripture regarding "born eunuchs".
    I myself feel that the Church's fight should not be one against science (although the media is a bit of a problem these days), but the application of said science. The fact remains that homosexuality is not about how you are born, but how you choose to live. If a person were to be born with a natural disposition toward a short temper, that would not justify abuse or murder. Christ calls all to holiness, regardless of how they were born.

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  35. Father, I'd say that the media FREQUENTLY assumes and speaks as if same-sex attraction is genetic (two words...Lady GaGa). This is also the most common argument that I hear when talking to anyone about this.

    Paul McMichael, it is incorrect to say that there is "sufficient evidence" that same-sex attraction has a "significant biological component." Consensus on this is, at best, mixed, so much so that even the APA changed their assessment recently. It is absolutely false to say what I hear most people say (and I'm not saying you do) that it has been "proven". In fact, it would be wrong and irresponsible of Father to tell his students that there is definitely a genetic component, because this has not clearly been shown. As personal speculation, I do believe that some people have a predisposition to same-sex attraction. All of this is of course irrelevant to morality.

    Flower...you're clearly looking for something wrong. Father obviously does not want his students misled. Do you really believe that? Or are you just being a troll?

    Wow...some people seem to believe that the Church is just evil no matter what, eh?

    Ryan

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  36. Flower stated, "Father Hollowell, you didn't say "possibility" of homosexuality being "genetic/biological". You said that the media frequently reporting having "found" the "gay gene."

    If one is to admit "Homosexuality is genetic/biological", then it MUST follow that there is a gene or a set of genes influencing/causing/determining homosexuality. That is precisely what is meant by saying "homosexuality is genetic".

    The statement "scientists have evidence that homosexuality is genetic" is a complete semantic equivalent to saying "scientists have found a gene that causes homosexuality".

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  37. You've upset Satan. Keep up the good work.

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  38. I agree with Mike! I'm praying for you to keep declaring the truth and The Truth for your students and readers. It is never easy to proclaim the real truth about issues in our present culture of death. Thank you for being brave.

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  39. Father Hollowell,

    You can please address me as King David.

    Regardless of what one may "believe" or what "opinions" story writers of yesteryear project, we "know" that homosexuality is and has always been, part of the natural inborn order-template of sexuality in our species on this planet. Like Heterosexuality, it is hardwired, unlike prostitution murder drunkedness etc. I think this is very important to keep this manifest in mind when choosing how to engage with the human race. It seems that homosexuality gets put into the "evil temptation" category, when in fact, like heterosexuality, it is simply the way sexuality engages ------ naturally through attraction.

    I have a few questions I hope you can answer, as many are hurting from your sexual renderings. They don't feel hurt because they have done something wrong, i.e. J-walking across a busy intersection, but because they feel attacked for something that is unchangeably in their being, homosexuals with natural same sex attraction. Doing is changeable, being is not. So I have put together some questions I hope you will answer.

    Please bear with me:

    1) Have you monitored how many naturally born gay students you have affected with the teachings on homosexuality your free will has chosen to promote?

    2) Have you monitored the damage you impart to them?

    3) Do you feel responsible/guilty for suicidal youth in any way shape or form being the result of the teachings you project on this subject?

    4) How do you feel opposing nature in this respect, to a negative result?

    5) Do you have gays that come to you for advice?

    6) What do you tell them?

    7) Do you find projecting hurtful information on unchangeable homosexuals the best use of your life?

    8) Leviticus is chock full of now defunct sexology, why keep this one flaming on?

    Like Galileo proving the Sun is the center of our galaxy and not Earth as "the church" believed, almost to the point of the church hacking off his head, it would seem the same stable information about homo and hetero is the center of this sexual galaxy, not the church as it would portend.

    Should we continue emotionally murdering gays under the same precipice we did with Galileo? Have we not learned a damn thing from our past Father Hollowell?

    It seems "belief" and knowledge in this case, make for incongruent bed partners, for now.

    I look forward to your response.

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  40. Galaxy = Solar System in the above post. I'm a zealot about integrity.

    King David

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  41. Father, are you gay?

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  42. @ King David

    I think your questions are admirable, but sexual literacy is rather unfounded here in Catholocism. So much so you may not get an answer back from FHollowell. Many just don't have any answers due to lack of education and the male ego could not bare too much embarrassment. As much as I love the church, when it comes to sex, it's rather a big energy suck more than anything.

    Don in Olympia WA

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  43. Anonymous said...

    @Don in Olympia WA

    With a blog named "on this rock" in tow I see that as being a foundation that does not crack, but our church is crumbling over this issue every day. People are leaving the church, making it unstable.
    If the church is advocating sexual misconduct towards homosexuals for their innate sexual practices,when the process of natural selection says they have a right to all their attributes without question, then this is paramount for focus.
    This is being touted as a form of sexual abuse, which with the pedophile issue in full swing, needs to be addressed.
    If FHollowell is an expert in this area of sexual education via the church, then these questions I pose should be within his grasp to answer, and they are questions that need resolve if in fact we as Catholics are going to move forward. If not, much pain will continue to abide and we as a church will lose credibility and members. I don't want to see that continue to happen.
    If FHollowell refuses to answer subject questions logically and rationally, then we will continue down the slippery slope of devolution as a faith. This would be a deplorably grievous mistake.
    Sexual misconduct and abuse is a felony charge against the church, and it will destroy us as a fabric if we do not sow our tears and rips as we go. I would hate to see the entire garment fall apart due to not facing the issue head on with honor and respect for all God's children.
    As God's representatives, the clergy has a right and duty to address all concerns within it's realm. If they fail to do so, then everyone loses.

    With great respect,

    King David

    March 31, 2011 2:36 PM

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  44. Hello Fr. John Hollowell.

    You may find this to be interesting:

    Authored by: Rabbi Jacob Milgrom R.I.P., Rabbi Gershon Steinberg-Caudill, Rabbi Gershon Winkler and Rabbi Michael Lerner.

    Please Google: TEACHINGS OF THE ECOKOSHER REBBE - HOMOSEXUALITY & THE HEBREW BIBLE

    These four men of faith would NOT have risked their reputations by publishing something so controversial unless they were DARNED SURE of their findings.

    Thank you.

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  45. Father,

    I have a few questions that I would like to have answered about homosexuality.

    1) Homosexuality does indeed exist in this world. But WHY? The Bible clearly states that God made man for woman and woman for man. So why does it exist? Why is it that He deems it appropriate for some people to be homosexual?? Why won't God make them straight even after praying for that?

    2) What kind of supportive measures does the Catholic Church have for people struggling with same sex attractions? I see the group called COURAGE but it's very limited as far as the offering for the group. Some states only have one measly chapter. Are there any hot lines that a homosexual can call when they wake up at 3:00AM sad and depressed because they know they won't ever have a family, or somebody to tell them that they are loved by another human being(if they obey the laws of the church that is)???? Any other support groups that have mentors or anything like that which will allow the homosexual to feel like they are actually welcome in the Church and greatly loved by God? Anything at all????

    4) Finally, one last question....The million dollar question: What IS a homosexual supposed to do with their life if they are suffering from being homosexual???? Every human being is hardwired for love. Every human being wants the same thing; to be loved and to love. Without that, psychologically one will cripple to the point of a total meltdown. Perhaps suicide. But the Catholic Church DEMANDS that a homosexual is to be condemned to a live devoid of love. Be alone the church demands, live alone, don't hold anyone's hand, do not bind their life to that of another, just say NO to love....be alone live alone...........die alone. So what are their options?

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  46. Thank you for your comments and questions; your most recent post has the feel of one of the Psalms from the Bible - many of which are written from the perspective of a desperate soul reaching out to Heaven with questions and pleading for mercy!

    Your last question is the most important to deal with so let me say that I understand what you are asking, but one thing I would change is your statement where you say the following: "The Catholic Church DEMANDS that a homosexual is to be condemned to a life devoid of love." The Church doesn't do that at all, even though it may feel that way at times. The Church does demand that I live a life without sexual activity, but the Church continues to say (and it has been my experience) that that request has nothing to do with my capacity to experience love! Is there a certain longing for physical intimacy - ABSOLUTELY - but I would never say that God deprives me of LOVE simply because my vocation and my state in life keep me from sexual activity.

    I would highly recommend that you talk with a priest who is going to actually be of assistance to you is important. Sadly, there are priests who don't hold the Church's teaching on homosexuality, and have instead adopted some variation that they believe is the Truth. If I were you, I'd seek out a priest who can guide you on this journey as you seek to look for ways to give and receive love even though you are not in a position to do that through sexual activity in your current state of life.

    But again, finally, the Church doesn't say you are called to live a life devoid of love. I hope this helps. God bless, and know of my prayers for you.

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  47. Father,

    The first question was just as equally important as well. I fail to understand why it is that I HAVE to be a homosexual and not a heterosexual. Not to mention, I have such horrid depression coupled with OCD that I am in a constant nearly everyday mental pain because of it. God won't change that for me EVEN THOUGH He knows I HATE being homosexual. Yet it states in the Bible that a man SHALL leave his mother and father and cling to his wife which in my case doesn't jibe with biblical teachings. All to often I sit in church on Sundays and watch as other guys come in with their wives and children and think to myself "they are living as God intends it to be in the Bible." Which all that does is cause more mental pain while I am sitting in the pew!

    You know, thank you for the prayers. However, like all the other prayer requests to God that I have made, they will not be heard. For example, I take medication for depression & OCD and so far none of them has worked. In fact, they just backfire and cause other garbage to happen. The last time I went to the psychiatric doctor I told him the ones I was on didn't work. He looked at the whole list of pills I have taken and said "I really don't know what to do with you." He gave me new pills and before I started taking them, I asked God; "God, please make these work. It's my last chance. I need to feel better." It worked for two weeks.....then like all the rest...quit.

    Like the other pills I was taking, and even with these, I end up doing stupid mortally sinful little activities which cause me to have to go to the confessional about every two weeks to make painful humiliating confessions. You can probably imagine what humiliating sins I am talking about. And no, it's not sexual activity with another human either. I prayed to God to make it STOP for me so I didn't have to confess embarrassing things. I knew if I didn't that all of the good things I have done in the past 36 years of my life would be of any value in the sight of God and I would burn in hell.

    Wondering why I had never received any answers to my heartbreaking pleas to God, I went searching for an answer. I found a YouTube video by an ex-Catholic Priest, now an athiest, by the name of Edward Tarte. It is called Jesus's Promise Regarding Prayer. Here is the link to it; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAHsMsqOuU0&feature=channel_video_title After watching, it was abundantly clear to me that there probably is no God at all. The whole video made sense to me. More than likely I am going to make a transition out of the Church into a life of pure freedom. It's just a matter of time. I'm not trying to be mean or argumentative or anything else like that. Anymore I just feel like I am wasting time by praying for something I will never get and having people tell me they are praying for me when obviously it isn't quite working....

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  48. Can you prove there is a God? That there is only ONE God, that he is your God and that he authored the Bible? You and your church make huge claims when it comes to God. Do you have any solid, weighty, persuasive evidence that God exists?

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  49. The classes are broken into two parts

    a) What the Catholic Church teaches about homosexuality (crazy, I know, to teach that in a Catholic school).

    b) With regards to marriage, you don't need God or the Church, you don't need to bring EITHER into a discussion about why marriage is between a man and a woman.

    I presume your question deals with marriage - and so on that issue I don't NEED to talk about God.

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  50. Enlighten me Father! Why should we believe any of your classes on homosexuality are even true? Your classes are based on an ancient book that is supposedly authored by God. I ask you to prove to me, that there is indeed a God, that he is your God and that he authored the Bible. The same Bible that you use to teach kids about the institute of marriage and how homosexuals can't get married and do this and do that cause some old book says they can't.

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  51. Edward - please read my last comment - the Church says in order to understand what marriage always has been:

    YOU DON'T NEED THE BIBLE

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  52. I'd also ask you to PROVE to me that my God does NOT exist.

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  53. To the anonymous poster above - for some reason your comment was automatically spammed, I think because you shared a link in your post and google red flags that.

    I want to again say that I can't imagine the kind of suffering you are undergoing - many people suffer for unexplainable reasons, only to have it all make sense at some point down the road. There are also many like you who have suffered in many different ways (many saints - of which you may be) and they have all voiced a similar cry to yours - "God, why have you forsaken ME????"

    Some will read this and will say "just bail on God - give up - God as the Catholic Church talks about Him is a bunch of crap - no God would ever make you undergo suffering - embrace authentic freedom away from the burdens of religion." I would tell you to stay faithful for one reason only - the type of "freedom" that the world (and this atheist) offer never brings any true consolation or help - it only makes matters worse.

    If you live in the Indy area and you want to talk, contact me and I'd be happy to meet with you if you think talking to someone who shares your faith background will be of help. I also think confession can be a great place to encounter relief from torment as well - but don't give up - for your sake.

    The door to atheism leads to greater suffering not less.

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  54. Father,

    Thanks for the advice/help. I can tell you that I am absolutely NOT a saint and never will be. I suffer from not only homosexuality but horrid depression and OCD as well as some other mental health issues that haven't been identified yet. Yes, I take medicine. No, the medicine never works. It only makes matters worse it seems and causes me to do sinful things....such as impure sins. I am totally fed up with the whole thing and am sick and tired of going to confession every two to three weeks...sometimes ONE week if I am really bad. These types of confessions are humiliating, painful and quite embarrassing.

    I have asked God plenty of times to take this mental illness AWAY from me and he won't. I don't even get any aid in it whatsoever and that is with praying the rosary nightly like I have been for the past 3 years. Doesn't seem like God or Our Lady really care; even though in one of the 15 promises for devoutly praying the Rosary, Our Lady states that she will grant whatever you need for devoutly praying the Rosary. I ask for relief with mental illness. So far, I have been totally ignored on that part. But just that particular part though.

    I find it interesting that in the Bible, God will answer prayers granting people whatever they ask for in His name. For example: Matthew 21; "If you have faith, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." Mark 11; "whatever you ask for in prayer, believe you have received it and it will be yours." John 14; "Anyone who has faith you may ask for anything in my name and I will do it." Matthew 18; If two of you agree about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my father." These are clear statements by Jesus himself. I have asked to be cured of any kind of mental health problems...but never received what I have asked for. I have a friend that is a newly ordained priest(who lives about 500 miles away form me) and he says he keeps me in his prayer intentions but apparently that hasn't done much good either.

    I have come up with a conclusion on what I think to be the truth: Because God has hit the ignore button when it comes to my prayer requests, all that he wants to do is allow me to dig a deeper hole with my filthy sinning so that gives him all the better reason for me to go to hell. I have prayed for death(while in a state of grace I might add) but unfortunately I wake up every morning. But it's OK to take those who are my age or younger out of this world and leave me in it. I seem to ask myself this A LOT when I see in the newspaper "why did they get to die and I still get to live in this rotten mess???"
    Sorry for posting this. Sorry for taking up your time. :(

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  55. Oh, one more thing, I am not that old. Only 36... Thanks for the offer to visit; but I don't live near the Indy area. I live about 1000 miles away or so. I have in the past talked to a priest but only did that about 4 times then quit because I really didn't need to bother him. Even though he was kind enough to listen and offer advice, but I am too complicated of a problem for most, if not all priests.

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  56. Because there is no credible evidence of the existance of God is proof in and of itself that God does not exist. Due to lack of evidence I also don't believe in the existance of Zeus, Jupiter, Thor, Poseidon, Buddha, Hera, Aphrodite, etc.... To make a claim that God does indeed exist, that there is only one God and that he authored the bible, requires solid, weighty, persuasive evidence. For the Catholic Church to speak out and weigh in on issues such as the class you teach on homosexuality, the Catholic Church has no right whatsoever to stick their noses in other peoples' business/lives. Especially when it somes to same sex relationships and gay marriage marriage.....all because the Bible says this and that about homosexuality. The burden of proof is on the Catholic Church to prove there is one God and that he authored the Bible. That kind of proof requires solid, weighty, persuasive evidence. Nobody on this earth has been able to prove that God exists. I now challange you to prove to me that God exists.

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  57. I challenge you to prove to me that he does NOT exist

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  58. The burden of proof is on YOU. The claims that you and the church make that God is real, that he authored the Bible and that all of us should adhere to it requires solid, weighty, persuasive evidence. Prove to me there is a God, only ONE God and that he authored the Bible. I find it interesting that the Catholic Church likes to speak out against(more like meddle in people's private affairs) homosexual marriage, homosexual adoption, abortion, and many many more things without ever being able to provide evidence of an existing God.

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  59. Edward - the burden of proof, for the third time, is not on the Church with regards to its claims about marriage because the Church's stance on marriage is that you don't need God or the Church to figure it out.

    Church: "you don't need God or the Church to understand what marriage is and what it isn't"

    Edward: "why are you saying that about marriage, you can't prove that God is real."

    Church: "We just said this doesn't require a belief in God to get"

    Edward: "but you can't prove God is real."


    Now, if you actually are interested in proof for God's existence, you can look up Aquinas' first mover argument and others like it if you are interested in a philosophical take on the existence of God. Looking at the issue from the perspective of a more phenomenological approach I believe that a person receives the surest signs of God's existence only after one starts to live as if He and His teachings and His Church are real - an atheist needs to take God out for a test drive to see if what He says is true is true.

    If a person lives their life as God asks and at some point find out that God has misled that person or told one tiny lie at any point in the history of the world - then I'd say the test drive is over, and one should go be a secular atheist.

    But I think if one pursues the truth of things beyond the scientifically measurable (which is limited by its very nature) one sees there are deeper questions that need answered.

    I end with a couple of quotes from an article entitled "Physics vs. Metaphysics, Knowledge vs. Wisdom" by Fr. Raymond de Souza. It is an article my students read literally on day one of my classes.

    "Why is there something rather than nothing...it is a question for which natural science offers no help."

    "Religion has run out of justifications," Hitchens concluded in his last book. "Thanks to the telescope and the microscope, it no longer offers an explanation of anything important." Hawking knows better. We have very powerful telescopes, but even the most powerful cannot tell us what there was before there was anything to see."

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  60. I still don't believe. Sorry. Need more solid weighty persuasive evidence. You know, I was once a Catholic, believe it or not. Used to go to Mass every weekend....and sometimes on weekdays..... That was until I started using my brain and realizing that I was simply wasting my time. Too many Bible passages that don't make sense, and a lot of other things that just simply don't make any sense at all. Look at that last blog post the anonymous user posted! Read that and tell me that a loving God exists! I am proud to be free of any religion and living my life as a decent human being who is very happy.

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  61. Fr. Hollowell,

    I watched a couple videos about the homosexual classes, but after reading some of the comments on here; especially Edwards, I have to say that I do agree with him. As a former Catholic now atheist, I don't agree that the Bible was inspired by any God, plus it was written by fallible men. Here is something to think about when it comes to Catholic teaching and the Bible AND lets say you have a loved one(say a brother or a sister if you have one) who leaves the church and becomes an apostate:

    Fr. Hollowell, on judgment day, your newly resurrected body will be reunited with your soul and thereafter your whole being will praise the Catholic God without ceasing for billions of trillions of quadrillions of quintillions of sextillions of centuries. You will be praising our God for all his deeds. Since God is the God of the "Bible" you will be praising him for endorsing slavery, designating women as inferior to men, for endorsing rape, incest, cannibalism, mass murder and mass torture. You will praise him for having murdered almost the entire human race by the torturous method of drowning them. You will be praising God for all that. You will also be praising God for throwing your apostate sibling body and soul into hell where they suffer agonizing torture forever while you are praising God. So you will rejoice that your sibling is in hell. Last I knew it was a teaching of the Catholic Church that all who are in Heaven rejoice when God throws a soul into hell because God's will is done.

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  62. Ben,

    Your litany of offenses by God is certainly extensive, and it is a litany we see leveled against the Church quite often, but I believe it fails on many levels.

    1. Hell is chosen - God takes no delight in the fact that people have chosen to go to Hell. If free will is real then a person has to be able to have Hell as an option.

    2. God (and Christianity and the Bible) hate women - "Christianity both forbade the ancient pagan practice of the exposure of unwanted infants - which is almost certainly to say, in the great majority of cases, girls - and insisted upon communal provision for the needs of widows - than whom no class of persons in ancient society was typically more disadvantaged or helpless. Not only did the church demand that females be allowed, no less than males, to live; it provided the means for them to live out the full span of their lives with dignity and material security. Christian husbands, moreover, could not force their wives to submit to abortions or to consent to infanticide; and while many pagan women may have been perfectly content to committ their newborn daughters to rubbish heaps or deserted roadsides, to become carrion for dogs and birds or (if fortunate) to become foundligns, we can assume a very great many women were not. Christian husbands were even commanded to remain as faithful to their wives as they expected their wives to be to them; they were forbidden to treat their wives with cruelty; they could not abandon or divorce their wives; their wives were not their chattels but their sisters in Christ. One might even argue that the virtues that Christianity chiefly valued - compassion, humility, gentleness, and so forth - were virtues in which women had generally had better training; and that it was for this reason, perhaps, that among Christians female piety was often so powerful a model of the purity of their faith...the ancient Christians were not modern persons, and so could not yet conceive of a society in which men and women occupied the same professions or positions, is both obvious and utterly undeserving of reproach. The "social technology" of perfect sexual equality - or, at any rate, equivalence - was as far beyond their resources as was the material technology of electric light."

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  63. 3. Slavery - "Even if it is, as I have said, anachronistic to expect ancient persons to have viewed the institution as an accidental or dispensable feature of their society, and even if it is equally anachronistic to think of slavery in ancient Roman culture as a perfect corollary of the slave systems that flourished in the Americas in the early modern period, it is still entirely reasonable to wonder at the ability of so many ancient Christians to beileve....that certain men and women should be their legal property. The greater marvel, however, in purely historical terms, is that there were even a few who recognized the contradiction. And there were..."
    In 379, Gregory of Nyssa wrote a very clear condemnation of the entire institution of slavery - not the abuse of slavery, but the institution of slavery in the first place.
    [all quotes from David Bentley Hart, Atheist Delusions - a GREAT read!]

    Here I think we start to see the major problem with your comments - yes, the Bible, in the wrong hands, can produce serious problems - such as those who waved the Bible around while preaching about the merits of owning slaves 150 years ago in the United States - it is no secret that abused religion produces seriously wrong results. However - misguided application of the tenets of Scripture are not the only cause of historically gigantic malfunction in our world - just look at the last century to see the havoc that atheistic ideologies produced as well - on a before unimagined scope and scale.

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  64. You are forgetting endorsing rape(Zechariah 14:1-2), incest(Genesis 19:32-36), cannibalism(Leviticus 26:29)(Deuteronomy 28:53), mass murder(2 Kings 19:35 ) and mass torture(The story of Noah's Ark in Genesis where nearly the entire human race was murdered by the horrible and torturous method of being drowned). God didn't have to suffer drowning. While they died a horrible and painful death, God watched in pure delight. Like I said, You will be praising God for all of that.

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  65. So Ben, do you

    A) not believe in God

    B) believe in God but think he's mean

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  66. Father Hollowell,

    It goes back and forth from "A" to "B" like a swinging pendulum. I myself am homosexual. I have no idea why on earth I even watched your classroom videos on the subject of homosexuality and the Catholic Church, but being a former Catholic, I decided to do it.

    Having that said, I would like to point out that all of my life I have been nothing but an unwanted and unloved person. Not the love that comes from my family, but the kind of love that two people share(who are not related). I have a difficult time around the holidays; Christmas in particular, valentine's day and father's day. I work in the law enforcement field and I come home to an empty lonely house day after day after day with nobody to greet me, nobody that cares & etc....

    Over time, I started to realize that the God that I worshiped was doing squat to relieve my broken heart. When it finally shattered into a million pieces, I swept them up and realized for once that there is something just not right with the creator. I started looking into the Bible and found where the God of the Bible is very much an evil monster. The Bible fails to thoroughly explain why we suffer here on earth. I mean, what kind of God who supposedly made a perfect plan for man and woman to be with each other, as it says right in the Bible, to fail? That would make his perfect plan imperfect which means God is also imperfect. What kind of God would create a person to be homosexual like myself and to suffer like this? The answer -- a despicable, evil, mean God. Yes, I know about the story of the fall of man so I don't need to hear about that.

    So, in conclusion, at times, I do believe there is a God, but there are certain people who are his specific chosen people to be cared for by him and others, like me, he enjoys torturing. The Noah's Ark story is a classic example. God hated the people on earth except Noah and his family so he flooded the earth, used the torturous method of drowning the rest of the people and spared Noah and his family the agony of having water fill their lungs as they struggle to stay alive in umpteen feet of water.

    Then there is the total unbelief. The Bible was written by humans and a lot of great but probably untrue stories are in it. St. Paul for example, his letters & whatever else he has in there. Talks about him healing the sick, doing exorcisms(which when I was a devout Catholic, no priest I asked could do any kind of exorcism or clearing a house of supposed powerful demons) and raising the dead(gimme a break on that one. NOBODY has ever been able to do THAT. Not even any Pope!!!). St. Paul's storyline is a fantastic parallel to Christ himself which causes me to be an unbeliever for the most part.

    So all in all, I believe, then I don't. Then I believe, then I don't. If I should die right now, where does the Catholic Church say I would go? Answer -- I will be tossed away like yesterday's garbage by God.....and I will burn in hell with the devil.

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  67. Fr. Hollowell,

    Check out the Yahoo news and you will find an article of one of God's creations -- a brain eating amoeba. This amoeba killed off a teenage girl and a 9 year old boy by eating their brains. What kind of God would create such a horrible creature only to eat the brains out of kids?!?!?!?!? Like I said above -- a despicable, evil, mean God. And what did your God do while these kids were getting their brains eaten out? Basking in Heaven watching the kids die a horrible death with his arms folded.

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  68. Oh, one more thing; in reference to the above, make sure that you please praise God for the creation of these brain eating amoebas during the Divine Office. Also, while you are at it, please praise God for creating HIV, AIDS, infectious bacteria, other Viruses, cancer cells, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, and for shattering my heart into a bazillion pieces. Thank You.

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  69. Hi Father,

    I'd like to offer Anonymous, the person who is praying for death early, Mary the Undoer of Knots, as a suggestion. This prayer is powerful beyond measure, I've found. I understand his/her addiction since I was molested as a child I was hypersexualized at that moment/moments and although not gay have dealt with many things since. I'm in my 40's and am here to offer the solution as Mary and that the "Knots" prayer has been my remedy. Anonymous, try it for nine days, the novena, and tell me if your life hasn't changed. Allow Mary to undo the Knots in your life. I suggest that Father look at the prayer and the history, if not familiar, and offer insights. Lastly, I'd like to say to Anonymous, that Jesus loves you even more than those that are healthy. He came for the sick, to heal, as the doctor. Mary loves you in that same way, and her easy, simple, way's are the very path out of your darkness. I know that sounds too simple, because you've felt let down so often, but really, She will be the answer, because she cannot be denied her request from her Son, Jesus. Again, I know you'd be tempted to toss my statement away, but I've been where you are, I've laid prostrate, begging for healing, the end of the addiction, etc. It meant something that it didn't come immediately, it was my cross, it is my cross to this day, in that I have to be aware of it and gird myself against the fall, back into it. Never will you or I, or anyone who has been sexually traumatized, ever be the same as others, much like the alcoholic, which I am and you probably are. It's common, to drink it away, so this is where we become vulnerable again. Mary, as the undoer of Knots, though, in the most powerful way, undoes all of this for us. She takes the ribbon of our life, full of knots, and slowly, with great deliberation, and tenderness, undoes these things, and presents us the ribbon of our life, undone and resolved. After this, all we need to do is stay close to Her and we will be happy again, and healthy, and able to live a reasonably normal life. I believe because I've lived it and my life is a miracle in comparison to where it was before. God Bless,

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  70. Ben,

    Jesus loves you. You are placing your anger in the wrong place. There is evil, which I'm sure you've seen in your police work. Satan is real and has dominion in this world, for the moment. Place your trust in Jesus and focus your anger toward the one who is dealing you all of the bad cards. Tell Satan to go back to hell, where he belongs, in the name of Jesus Christ. Allow Jesus to open your eyes to a new life. One where, suffering, the inevitable suffering you have and will have for the rest of your life, can become sanctifying and beautiful. Jesus wants to hold you in his arms and love you. He want's you to bring him, you, as you are right now, and over time healing, comfort, and a sense of love. Your life has meaning and even though horrible things happen, we weren't made for life here, our home is with Him, in Heaven. Especially for those of us who suffer so much, the sinners of sinned against. What's the difference whether it was done too us or that we defile ourselves, we are the Body of Christ. As I posted for someone else, please try Mary, the Undoer of Knots Novena. Please allow Mary, as Mediatrix of all grace, to simply, tenderly, undo the knot's in your life. Allow for grace to be present in your life and allow for some easiness to come over you. It's been too long and your life will seem to you, to have meaning, once you reject the liar, and allow yourself to fall into the arms of Jesus, once and for all. God Bless

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