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3:47 am EST 5°F (–15°C) in Columbus, OH
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Later today, I’m finally going to get this truck into the shop to have some much-needed work done. There is an air leak from the engine fan clutch, so that will probably need to be replaced; it needs its regular 15,000-mile (24,140 km) scheduled service; and I think I’m starting to notice a misfire in the engine as well.
As many of you no doubt know by now, the Roman Catholic Church here in the United States (and perhaps elsewhere by now, for all I know) has been carrying on an ugly, violent form of spiritual warfare against upstanding, God-fearing church members who reject its non-Biblically-supported “teachings” on sexuality-related topics. The U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, on more than one occasion in the past, has instructed priests to deny the sacrament of Communion — perhaps the most sacred part of a Catholic Mass — to certain people and/or groups to whom it has chosen to display Satan-inspired hatred.
You may remember, for example, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s order to deny Communion to Catholic presidential candidate John Kerry during our last election in 2004, simply because of Kerry’s correct position that in some cases, abortion may be the least immoral choice among many worse ones a pregnant girl or woman can make. You may also remember how gay and lesbian Catholics and their supporters, wearing rainbow sashes as a symbol of honesty about the way God made them, have been denied Communion on various occasions by various bishops, priests, and lay Eucharistic ministers. (This account of a particularly ugly scene made by one church’s ushers comes from last year’s Pentecost Sunday, the feast day seven weeks after Easter Sunday which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus’ disciples after His ascension to heaven.)
The Church, of which I was once a member (in case all my references to various parts of Catholic life haven’t yet made that fact clear), is clearly just doing this to make a show of its earthly power — such behavior is not at all moral, and in fact is diametrically opposite the example of Christ. At the very first Communion ever held, the Last Supper, we find in Mark 14:18-24 (as well as Matthew 26:21-28 and Luke 22:14-22) that while Jesus knew it was Judas Iscariot who was about to betray Him, He did not deny the bread that represented His Body and the wine that represented His Blood to Judas. Let this be a lesson: the man who committed perhaps the most anti-Christian sin of all time, by betraying Jesus to the civil authorities who would put Him to death on the cross, was freely given Communion by Jesus Himself!
For some reason, though, this Truth from the Gospels is lost on these Communion deniers in today’s Catholic Church. (Yes, calling them Communion deniers is most appropriate — they are on a moral par with Holocaust deniers.) However, in His infinite wisdom, Jesus prophesied this, and makes it clear that such action is not Christian at all, in John 16:2-3:
They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do this because they have not known the Father, nor me.
(Although some of the wording in this Revised Standard Version translation may seem to make no sense on first glance, we must remember that Jesus was speaking here to the Jewish audience of His time. While we would quite naturally think of a Jewish place of worship when we hear “synagogue,” this probably better refers to Christian churches in a modern context. Also, the “kill” bit is best explained here not as murder, but rather a spiritual killing caused by the denial of the very thing Catholics need for spiritual life — although it would be equally applicable to all the Satan-loving un-evolved apes out there who somehow believe in their ape “brains” that they ought to “kill a queer for Christ.”)
Let us pray: Lord, we, Your GLBT children, ask you to break the stone in the hardened hearts of those in the Church who would deny Your most holy Body and Blood to anybody who desires Your gift of life. Shine the light of Your Truth — the fact that You have created us and perfectly love us as the GLBT sons and daughters You made us to be — into the darkness being foisted upon the world by the Church. Let the perfect love demonstrated to us by Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, wash over the world so that all races, all nations, all sexual orientations, and all of Your sons and daughters may live in peace and harmony as You desire for us. We pray this in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.