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    • To my Republican Friends July 6, 2020
      You voted for Trump even though you didn't like him. Doubted his character. Questioned his fitness for the job. Yet, your aversion to Hillary was even greater The post To my Republican Friends first appeared on Spirit of a Liberal.
      Obie Holmen
    • Wormwood and Gall a Midwest Book Award Finalist May 4, 2020
      The Midwest Independent Publishers Association (MIPA) recently named Wormwood and Gall as one of three finalists for a Midwest Book Award in the Religion/Philosophy category. The awards program, which is organized by MIPA, recognizes quality in independent publishing in the Midwest. The post Wormwood and Gall a Midwest Book Award Finalist first appeared on S […]
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    • Photo of the Day December 6, 2022
      See also the previous Wild Reed posts:• Autumn Remnant• Afternoon Light• Photo of the Day – December 2, 2022• Brigit Anna McNeill on Hearing the Wild and Natural Call to Go Inwards• Brigit Anna McNeill on “Winter’s Way”• Photo of the Day – December 3, 2021• Photo of the Day – November 13, 2021• Winter . . . Within and Beyond (2020)• Winter . . . Within and B […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Quote of the Day December 6, 2022
      Your teachers are striking. Your nurses are striking. Your railway workers are about to strike. “Nobody wants to work anymore” is deliberately obstuse. What nobody wants anymore is to work in understaffed, overburdened, underpaid positions so two dozen people can get rich.– Medic Kimvia FacebookDecember 5, 2022Related Off-site Links:Biden Signs Law Thwarting […]
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    • So the Former US President and Current GOP Candidate for the Presidency Calls for a Coup and the End of US Democracy — And? December 5, 2022
      President Donald J. Trump 2 March 2019, at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, MD; official White House photo by Tia Dufour, at Wikimedia CommonsHeather Cox Richardson, "Letters from an American: December 3, 2002":The leader of the Republican Party has just called fo […]
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    • I'm Now on Mastodon — Please Feel Free to Connect December 2, 2022
      I've now succeeded in setting up an account on Mastodon.My handle there is @wdlindsy@toad.socialPlease feel free to connect to me there if you wish. I'm hoping to reconnect via Mastodon to as many of the friends and conversation partners I had on Twitter, with whom I've lost touch after I left Twitter when Musk acquired it. I'm a total no […]
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    • A saint for the millenials: Carlo Acutis beatified today in Assisi. October 10, 2020
       A saint for the millenials: the young Italian teen, Carlo Acutis, who died in 2006 of galloping Leukemia, will be beatified today in Assisi by Pope Francis (last step before being officially declared a saint). Carlo came from a luke warm Catholic family, but at the age of 7, when he received his first 'Holy Communion', he displayed an astonishing […]
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    • Ronan Park and Jack Vidgen: The Travails of Gay Pop Stars October 28, 2019
      (Jack Vidgen)Quite by accident, through a comment from a performance arts colleague of mine, I stumbled across the recent bios of two boy teen singing sensations, both of whom made a big splash worldwide 8 years ago. The first, Jack Vidgen, won Australia's Got Talent Contest in 2011 at the age of 14, primarily for his powerful renditions of Whitney Hust […]
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    • Warnock wins December 7, 2022
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Disordered Acts, Disordered Persons: Revisiting the Discussion (and Keeping It Honest)

On February 15, the National Catholic Reporter published an editorial entitled “A Teaching That Is Disordered.” The editorial was a response to a February 5 statement of the president of the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Cardinal Francis George, condemning a Catholic ministry of pastoral outreach to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered community, New Ways Ministry.

As the NCR editorial notes, in 1975, when Paul VI was pope, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a “Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics” that sought to distinguish between the homosexual “condition” and homosexual acts.  The 1975 CDF document revolves around the distinction between the gay orientation as morally neutral, and gay acts as morally disordered. Continue reading


Spiritual Transformations: John McNeill

The theologian and former Jesuit, John McNeill, has a new blog up, “Spiritual Transformations“.  He has said that

The first several entries will deal with empowering women in the Catholic Church

This is an important topic indeed.  Here is the opening of one such post, on “The Role of Women in the Church

In his book, Passion of the Western Mind, Richard Tarnas decisively makes the point that the future of the whole human race depends on allowing women to be on totally equal basis with men on every level. Tarnas concludes his book with this statement:

“The restless inner development and incessantly innovative masculine ordering of the reality charcateristic of the Western mind has been gradually leading, in an immensly long dialectic movement toward reconciliation with the lost feminiine unity, toward a profound and many- leveled marriage of the masculine and feminine, a triumphant and healing reunion. Our time is struggling to bring forth something new in human history. We seem to be witnessing, suffering, the birth labor of a new reality, a new form of human existence, a “child” that would be the fruit of this great archetypal marriage,, and that would bear within itself all its antecedents in a new form.

“Each perspective, masculine and feminine, is both affirmed and transcended, recognized as part of a larger whole; for each polarity requires the other for its fulfillment. And their synthesis leads to something beyond itself: It brings an unexpected opening to a larger reality that cannot be grasped before it arrives, because this reality is itself a creative act.”

(Read More)

Same-Sex Relationships as Self-Centered: Deconstructing the Argument

Family with Same-Sex Mothers

One of the persistent claims that those opposed to same-sex relationships advance is that these relationships are intrinsically selfish. From the standpoint of traditions like Catholicism, with its current emphasis on openness to procreation as the ultimate norm by which all sexual acts are to be judged, same-sex relationships are not merely non-procreative, but also non-generative, and, for those reasons, selfish.

Those advancing this gay = selfish rhetoric also often embellish it with outmoded pseudo-scientific charges that gay people are gay because they are caught in a self-centered stage of psychological development appropriate to early adolescence, but not adulthood. It’s interesting to note, however, that, while though those defending the Catholic magisterial position on human sexuality often claim that heterosexual couples who do not choose to have children are selfish, they seldom move to a similar conclusion about the very nature of non-procreative heterosexual couples: namely that these heterosexual people are caught in a stage of early adolescent arrested development. Continue reading

John McNeill’s Prophetic Gay Theology: Sex As God Intended, Part 2

One of John McNeill’s most significant contributions to Christian theology in Sex As God Intended (which builds on his previous works, including his classic study The Church and the Homosexual [1976]) is his carefully worked-out insistence that gay and lesbian human beings fit into God’s plan for the world. McNeill not merely asserts this: he demonstrates why it is the case, and he does so using unimpeachably traditional building blocks of Christian theology to make his case.

McNeill situates the lives of gay persons—he situates our existence in the world, an existence willed by the Creator—within the longstanding Christian tradition that through Christ, God has caught the entire cosmos up into a grand drama of divine salvation, in which all that has been created has a role to play in moving the created world to liberation. Echoing the Pauline insistence that the whole universe groans for salvation, and the declaration of patristic thinkers such as Irenaeus that the Spirit moves within all creation to make it (including human beings) fully alive, John McNeill asks what particular gifts gay and lesbian persons bring to the human community, to assist it in its movement to full life. Continue reading

John McNeill’s Prophetic Gay Theology: Sex As God Intended, Part 1

John McNeill

A highlight of 2009 was, for me, reading Catholic theologian John McNeill’s latest book, Sex As God Intended (Maple Shade, NJ: Lethe Press, 2008). In what follows, I’d like to offer some reflections on a book that, in my view, will richly reward anyone who reads it. Because I have much to say about John McNeill’s book and his significance as a pioneer of gay theology, I will write this review in stages. Part one consists of a personal testimony to the power of John McNeill’s theology, as a prelude to my discussion of his latest book.

Sex As God Intended gathers a lifetime of prophetic thought by therapist-theologian John McNeill about the vocation of gay persons in church and society. At a point at which a theological discourse by and about the gay experience was almost non-existent in Christian churches, John McNeill crafted such a discourse—in part, out of his own joyous, painful experience as a gay believer, in part, out of his experience working with other gay believers as a therapist. In doing so, he opened a path for many of us who continue to think it important to try to hold our gay experience together with our experience of faith. Continue reading