Monday, June 24, 2013

A Response to J Patrick Redmond

I don't who J Patrick Redmond is, but apparently he is a blogger/author that a lot of people who favor the redefinition of marriage follow.

He posted his response to my "Mark of the Beast" post that I did several months ago (click here to read). He's a little late to the party, since I originally wrote the piece about three months ago, but since he has followers, I thought I'd answer his comment/post.

He posted on his blog:  

"Sad, very sad indeed. You, sir, are no man of God. You are an enabler of hate. People listen to you; your words have power. Yet, you use this power to inflict harm.
LGBTQ teens, young adults, men and women will be beaten, gay-bashed, commit suicide, and even murdered — as they have in the past — by these same potent words and vitriolic statements. 

Some folks understand your words as opportunity and permission to hate. Blessings to do so by a priest no less! Perhaps, Father, you should start with getting your Catholic house in order — from Brazil, Indiana to the Vatican. The Catholic Church is currently in no position to “cast stones” or to place judgment.”

1) The inference at the end is an old and tired one - "the "Church" has sinned, so it can't say anything is wrong, etc. etc."... but using that poor logic, given the fact that the majority of children abused were boys and young men, wouldn't that make the abusing priests also members of the LGBQT community?  Therefore, by your logic, the LGBQT community has no moral authority to say that the Church is wrong either.

2) Again, I'm assuming here that he is referring to priests abusing children when he pleads that the Catholic Church "get our house in order."   A question naturally arises - if priests hadn't abused children, does that mean that the Church WOULD be able to talk about the wrongness of homosexual sex?  One only reverts to ad hominem (or in this case ad ecclesiam) attacks to distract the readership from a valid point.

3) Finally, I've asked seemingly thousands of people who want to redefine marriage the following question, and none have been able to answer it - "If two men can marry each other, why can't three."  I'd love to hear your response, if you have the time. 


  1. The request for equality asks for the same rights. Do heterosexual men marry 3 wives? Equal means equal- not special.

    1. Heterosexual men do NOT currently marry three wives because marriage "evolved" into the way we have always viewed it in the u s of a and that understanding is a foundational one to our society. If you say two guys can marry, you blow up what marriage has always been in Western Civilization and you have no way to say that three dudes can't get hitched.

  2. The definition of marriage has been evolving for years. As a woman, thank God that it has evolved from not so long ago when the woman was considered property in a marriage.

    On a personal level, I could care less what you believe is right. You certainly have a right to your own beliefs. That is the beauty of living in this country. What is sad is that you have the power to influence so many other people. You don't think you have young gay people in your congregation? At Cardinal Ritter High School? What about the parents of gay children who sit in your pews? What you say has power, sir. But I think you already know that.

    And the question about three men is a tired one (kind of similar to the ole animal question... strange) and not relevant. If you want to talk polygamy, then fine, discuss it. It's either legal or it's illegal. If it's illegal, then no, of course three men cannot marry. Just like one man can't marry two women.

    Lori Johnson- Vincennes, Indiana

    1. Why would polygamy be illegal if two guys can marry? Why is two the magical number? Because its always been two? Then again saying "it's always been two" doesn't float as an argument, because in Western Civilization marriage has also "always been" between a man and a woman.

      I'd love to listen in as a person who wants to redefine marriage explain to a polygamist why the polygamist shouldn't get to marry 14 people

  3. Marriage, under the "law of the land", as defined by 2 consenting adults. I had the time.

    1. And that does nothing to answer the question. I'm a polygamist. You're going to tell me I can't marry 14 people even though we all love each other because "the law of the land" says two people??? How dare you, or the law, or the government DARE tell me that I can't marry 14 people because of "the law of the land"!!! Equal rights for ALL!!! Tell the law of the land to stop legislating love!

  4. No. You're not a polygamist in this hypothetical argument.... you're just a jackass. Through and through.

  5. Why can’t three? Well I don’t know that three can’t but I can tell you why that would in fact be a redefinition of marriage whereas gay marriage is not. I speak here of legal marriage, not the sacrament of marriage. If god thinks gay people can’t marry nothing on earth will change that, and if he does in fact recognize that form of love (my position is obvious) then nothing on earth will change that.

    Marriage in the US and most nations is a legal contract between two people that defines many (over one thousand) concrete financial and other benefits and how they work between them. Pension sharing, survivors benefits, insurance beneficiaries, who inherits what, who has a share of what, who has the power to make medical decisions, all the way to who gets to decide the manner and place of burial or other disposal of the bodily remains.

    The problem with multiple marriage, polyandry or polygamy, is that these legal ties are completely undefined in our systems of laws for three people. And it doesn’t end with three; if Joe can have two wives they can each have four husbands. Now you have 11 people who have marital ties, a contract that was entered into by all of them.(And it need not stop there, each of those 11 people are free to have more spouses, or so it would seem..)

    How do we divide the pension, the unemployment insurance, the bills, the mortgage. Whose child belongs to whom? Where do these people live, all in one house? In many homes? Who is where and when? Things that fit our legal model of relationship quite easily when it is two men or two women do not fit multiple partner relationships.

    I don’t say these relationships could not have validity in terms of love, emotional bond, or value to the participants and others. Perhaps one day secular society here will sanction them. But they would require each state legislature to amend hundreds of laws, the federal government likewise. And likely the changes made would not be uniform. And the courts would spend a century or more working out the answers to what the new laws mean.

    So that is why you can’t have multiple marriages. And also why you can’t marry your dog or your horse or hampster — they can’t make a contract. Note that god did not enter into this discussion once I started talking about secular legal marriage.

    And the Catholic Church has the right to say anything it wants about gay people, but I used to be a Catholic and I left the church because whatever ‘god’ is, she wasn’t there. I reject the moral authority of the church and especially its ridiculous dogma. God made gay people and didn’t intend for them to live lives empty of love and its expression in sex.

    1. "I don't know that three can't" - my point exactly

      "That would be a redefinition of marriage, whereas gay marriage (sic) is not." - marriage is defined as between one man and one woman, therefore it WOULD be a redefinition of marriage

      "Marriage in the US and most nations is a legal contract" - Oh, come on now, it is more than that, you know it, I know it, and the American people know it. Marriage is an institution that society has to get right, has an interest in getting right, and everyone recognizes that, except for the people that just want marriage to be something that validates their personal lifestyle.

      It is sad that, in your mind, there can't be love without sex

    2. Marriage Licenses are issued by the state, not by the church. You are required to be licensed by the state to have an official marriage. You are not required by law to be married either in a church or by an "ordained" minister. Your tax issues are not dealt with by the church and when people dissolve their marriages it is not done by a church. For those of us who wish to commit our lives to each other outside of the church, we, as Americans, should have the right to do so.

      And one more thing...... Pedophiles are Rapists and Predators. They are not gay or straight or anything else. They are rapists and predators. They don't belong to a GLBT community or any other community and the fact that you and your church doesn't spend WAYYYYYYY more time condemning the practice of Men raping Children speaks volumes about your organization. I hear on a daily basis about Catholicism's anti-gay, "pro-family" agenda and I see it posted in the windows of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and I never see any "agenda" on eradicating child rape. While working in the media I worked closely with rape victims of Priests and it was the same story over and over. The Priests rape and then they get moved to another parish and they are never even brought to trial because they are protected by the cloth.

      Oh, and your arguments about how allowing men to marry men will open the door for polygamy is ridiculous. Apples to Oranges sir.

    3. 1) so one's sexual orientation is not at the CORE of who they are, by your own admission above?

      2) If society, civilly speaking, gets the marriage question wrong, then society will implode. The Church sees it as its duty to help society understand what questions they can't get wrong. Catholics don't think the government should make people be Catholic, go to Mass, etc. but the Church does see its role as an adviser to governments, and again, the teaching - "if society gets marriage wrong, its all over."

  6. This conversation is adult focused. The state has no compelling interest to recognize the mutual affection of adults. Let's focus on whose rights we should really protect - the human rights of children to be nurtured by their biological parents, when possible. They have the right to be raised by both a mother and a father, and the community should strive to preserve this right. It's a matter of justice.

    Abortion, contraception, divorce, and cohabitation have dehumanized children, making them no more than marriage accessories. The focus on the sexual happiness of adults does the same.

  7. Something I keep seeing and hearing from all sorts of people and commentators on both sides of this and many other arguments discussing the USA. Christianity is not national, it is beyond nations, even beyond this world, since it rooted in a supernatural, all loving God. God is not bound to this world, to any nation....period...

  8. I don't know who J Patrick Redmond is either. Incendiary, emotionally fraught words do not make a good argument - they just make for good show. I'm not impressed. J Patrick may need to have his knuckles surgically removed from his hips and cut the attitude before he can get down to what is really bothering him.
    J Patrick Redmond wants what the Church offers but he is too blind to see it. Gay marriage isn't going to give it to him or anyone.
    He's demanding companionship, intimacy, friendship, sexual expression; all of which the Church wants him to have, too - in abundance. "Gay" marriage isn't going to give it to anyone.
    Fr. Hollowell - you were courteous enough to respond to the guy. He got more than he deserved, I think. Pray someday he'll see the light. Pray that those who read his stuff see him for what he is.
    Paul Leddy
    Washington, DC

  9. To counter your points Father:
    1) First, I suggest you look up the difference between "infer" and "imply" and when you do you'll understand that any shortcomings with the "inference" are yours alone. Later in your argument, you rant about ad hominem attacks but here you launch your own by equating child molesters and gays. Shame on you for that. Finally, your argument that the lgbt community is as culpable as the Catholic Church is laughable and reflects an attitude that was very much at play in the child sex abuse scandal. The failings of individual priests are only a minuscule part this scandal. The fact that the Church as an organization (including very high ranks) put the fortunes and image of the church above the souls of the victims is unspeakable. And it is why the original point stands uncontested by your weak arguments.

    2) In a nutshell, YES. Had the Church not obstructed justice and protected child molesters, they would have much more credibility when speaking on moral issues. Does the Church's credibility, or utter lack there of, have any bearing on the merits of their arguments - no. But they are wrong on this issue just as they were wrong on lots of others including the child sex abuse scandal.

    3) In one part of your rant, you seem very well aware of logical fallacies and yet here you invoke the mother of all logical fallacies: the slippery slope. You are well aware I'm sure that polygamy is not without its victims (namely that if one man has many wives, then many men have no wives and those men tend to be cast out of their communities). Therefore, it is in consideration of the rights and well being of individuals outside of the union, that polygamy is deemed inappropriate (and illegal). No such case (that does not rely on logical fallacy) can be made against same-sex marriage.

    Finally, how about you address the main point of Mr. Redmond's original post: Words have power and your words, dear Father, are most incendiary. As such, your words are very likely to lead to emotional and perhaps even physical pain for some. Do you dispute this or do you simply not care about this pain?

    1. 1) I disagree wholeheartedly. If a percentage of the priests were men living with same sex attraction, then they are a member of the LGQBT community, like it or not.

      2) You dodge my point

      3) I love it when you all say this is a slippery slope fallacy! It isn't a slippery slope, and you know it. 3 guys "marrying" is at the exact same point on the slope as two guys getting "married" There is no difference, as evidenced by the fact that no one can say "here's how you explain to a polygamist that if gay marriage passes, they're left out." You can't explain it to a polygamist, so therefore it is the SAME part of the slope.

    2. Your holiness,
      So as a gay guy, who is chaste/celibate, single, miserably lonely, but goes to Mass on weekends and goes to confession regularly, I am a part of the LGBTQ community? The same "community" that you so deeply despise? I am sooooo glad I am NOT a member of your parish. Why don't you do this:

      Put a BIG HUGE sign on the front doors to your church that says NO GAY PEOPLE ALLOWED IN THIS HOLY CHURCH. You wouldn't want less than human people inside there, would ya? God forbid you would have to give communion to a gay person, baptize them, anoint them, confirm them, forgive them. We would just hate to see you disintegrate when coming in contact with a less than human LGBTQ person.... Even if they had lots of $$$ to donate! Cha Ching! We all know churches love mooolah! I had the time to say. Now POST IT and reply. I'm anxious to see your response which I'm sure will be full of lies.

  10. I have a question Father Hollowell. It's about your older post. You ended by quoting Revelations: "A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice, “Anyone who worships the beast or its image, or accepts its mark on forehead or hand, will also drink the wine of God’s fury poured full strength into the cup of his wrath, and will be tormented in burning sulfur before the holy angels and before the Lamb... " My question is regarding the mark of the beast. I took your implication to be that those embracing this cause and displaying this symbol were in actuality displaying the mark of the beast. My question is, are there any secular or legislative matters which a religious person may take up as an important cause without becoming heretical out sacrilegious? I'm starting law school in a couple months and I'm troubled by the idea that embracing some cause (any cause) might be improper (to say the least). Thanks. -M

  11. Fr. John,

    It seems to me like in part of this response, you are confusing child molesters with members of the LGBT community. Re:

    "given the fact that the majority of children abused were boys and young men, wouldn't that make the abusing priests also members of the LGBQT community?"

    This comparison is disturbing to me-- many "straight" men/women abuse children. Child abuse is not an orientation in the way that homosexuality is an orientation. Abuse, much like rape, isn't even about sex--it's about power (for example, consider situations in which gay men rape women, which has happened before. They do this not because they are attracted to them, but because sexual violence is not about sex, it's fundamentally about power). I hope you recant this part of your post because it is reiterating an old, tired myth that the sex abuse scandal was caused by homosexual priests, which psychological research, sociological studies, and mere observation proves is false (and, besides, this myth has been denounced by the Vatican and the USCCB).

    Back to the point--the Church offers so much wisdom, as you rightly point out, about sexual matters, including homosexuality. However, I think we are always called to PREACH THE TRUTH IN LOVE. About all things--abortion, immigration, inequality, racism, euthanasia, contraception, economic injustice, etc. I think what some other commenters have brought up about the power of words is poignant. I have heard you speak and I know that you advocate the fullness of Church teaching about homosexuality--which teaches that LGBT individuals are not disordered in themselves, only their actions, and that we are called to love them--but the language you use in this blog is often inflammatory and incendiary, and I wonder if what you say may inadvertently incite hatred from those who do not understand the fullness of Church teaching about this issue. This does not mean you should not speak in the interest of truth--but I am wondering if you have at all thought about how the WAY you speak the truth might incite hatred towards LGBT individuals.

    Speak the truth in love. We are all sinners--doesn't mean that we shouldn't point out sin, but we must strive for humility.

    1. I'm pointing out the illogical nature of saying "Catholics can't talk about this because they abused children" Well, some of the abusers were homosexual, does that mean that homosexuals should not be able to weigh in on any of this either?

    2. Fr. John,

      I understand your point and I think you are correct to point out that just because the Church isn't "perfect" doesn't mean it has no business talking about gay marriage. However, I am suggesting that you consider the WAY you made this point.

      The "majority of children abused were boys and young men," as you say, so the "abusing priests were also members of the LGBT community." The way you originally said it doesn't make it sound like SOME of the abusers were homosexual (which you are correct, some were), but your original statement makes it sound like MOST were homosexual...which perpetuates that myth, as I said, that does a great deal of damage towards LGBT individuals.

      Not trying to split hairs...I only point it out because people really believe this myth, which incites a great deal of hatred towards LGBT individuals, and you should be cautious not to perpetuate it. I know you believe the LGBT lobby is very powerful (which, in Washington D.C. it certainly is, but there are places in Southern Indiana where being gay will get the crap kicked out of you).

      As I said, how we say things matter.

  12. Dear respondents,
    Marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman. Why? The order of creation.
    Homosexuality is a deviation from nature. Therefore to marry the same sex is in essence to marry oneself.
    If you are in love with your own form it's called narcissism- making ourselves an idol. This love of self is so evident in todays society that it has become the accepted norm. Because it is the accepted norm, doesn't make it right or morally good. Promoting something that is morally, ethically and biologically wrong by State sanction, reminds me of another country last century who legislated what is morally repugnant leading to the slaughter of millions.

  13. In response to the claim that because a majority of the abused children were boys thus the guilty priests are/were homosexuals - sorry buddy, you are wrong. Rape is rarely about sexual orientation, but rather it's about power, control, and anger. Simply attributing the abuse to sexual orientation is misguided and intellectually lazy.


  14. Oh, I didn't finish.

    "I'm pointing out the illogical nature of saying "Catholics can't talk about this because they abused children" "

    Actually a reasonable argument could be made that yes, because of the systematic coverup of child abuse over decades (if not longer), the Church lost all credibility on any issue, ever.



    Sexually assaulting a child is the worst thing you can do to a person. Worse than murder. At least a dead person doesn't have to live with the shame, guilt and memory of such an atrocity.

    Again, to blame this on homosexuals is lazy and irresponsible. Pedophilia and homosexuality are not necessarily linked.

    Now, on the gay marriage thing. Don't like gay marriage? Cool, don't get gay married. I have yet to see a proposal that would make gay marriage compulsory.


  15. Well fortunately Father John, you and your hateful minions have proven to be on the wrong side of history. You lose. We Gays win...

    Neener neener neener!!!!

    1. Sara:

      Don't be childish. As you say, "we gays win..." You might win in this life. Have you given any thought to the life that is to come? I think a quote from P. Benedict XVI is relevant. He says this: "We must have great respect for these people who also suffer and who want to find their own way of correct living. On the other hand, to create a legal form of a kind of homosexual marriage, in reality, does not help these people." (Pope Benedict XVI) The good Father and his Blog wants you to see the beauty of true marriage-between a man, a woman, for life! The Church has respect for all peoples; she has to be a voice for questionable actions. And, not everyone contributing to this Blog is a hateful minion. Please do not let the last three words of your post reflect your intelligence.

  16. That about sums up the best argument you have. No real basis just society has deteriorated to the point that this lifestyle is acceptable and we win. We will continue to pray and try to live our lives according to Gods will and someday the world will right itself maybe with another great washing away of our sins or another destruction of a Society gone astray. May God bless us all.

    Joe G

  17. If two men can marry why can't three? What is the logic behind this? Equal rights does not lead to a three person marriage. Equal rights are so that a man and his partner or a woman and her partner will have the same 1,100 rights as every other married couple in the United States, and where does it say that a man and woman can have a third person legally married to them in any of those 1,100 rights? How does it hurt or effect you in anyway if the LGBT community is able to share insurance, or if their spouse dies, receive their benefits, or share in the adoption of children who other wise would remain parentless? Please help me understand why you are so afraid of Equality, and treating people as Jesus would have wanted, this life isn't chosen, this life was given, we were all created in his image, your hate is astounding to me.

  18. Concerned Gay CatholicJuly 3, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    President Obama nominated James Brewster as the new United States ambassador to the Dominican Republic.

    How does the Archbishop of Santo Domingo react?

    Catholic Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez referred to Brewster as a “maricón” — which is usually translated as “faggot” — during a press conference. At his side, Monseñor Pablo Cedano promised the nominee such an unpleasant stay in the country that he will have to return home.

    “I hope he does not arrive in the country because I know if he comes he is going to suffer and will have to leave,” Cedano said. He called it “a lack of respect” that Obama “sent … a person of this kind as an ambassador,” adding, “[W]e don’t despise the person.”

    That's really special.

    Tell me again how much Rome loves gay people and is simply opposed to gay marriage.

    How does this fit in that narrative? I'd love to hear your answer Fr. Hollowell.