Friday, May 3, 2013

LOVING SOMEONE MEANS ACCEPTING A PERSON AS GOD CREATED HIM

Father James Martin on Jason Collins: Loving means accepting a person as God created him By Eric W. Dolan Father James Martin praised NBA player Jason Collins in glowing terms on Wednesday for becoming the first active professional athlete to come out as gay. His comments provided a sharp contrast to the chorus of Christians who have publicly denounced, downplayed, or dismissed Collins’ sexuality. “There are many times that Catholics are called to support their gay brothers and sisters wholeheartedly,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “This is one of them. All of us are created by God, and all of us have an undeniable and unassailable human dignity. And part of that dignity is accepting that you are a beloved creation of God.” Martin noted that “coming out” was often a difficult process that was rife with psychological distress and interpersonal conflict. But he said accepting one’s sexual identity was necessary for “spiritual wholeness.” “The public honesty of people like Mr. Collins may be especially important to gay and lesbian young people, who sometimes experience a deep sadness and crushing isolation around their identity,” he continued. “As most of us know, they are far more likely to consider suicide, thanks to the often overwhelming social pressures that they face.” Martin’s post created a flood of feedback, which was both positive and negative. Several commenters took issue with his claim that loving “means first accepting a person, in all their complexity, as God has created him or her,” as it implied that God created gay and lesbian individuals. “I believe that God creates people like this. Surely no one would choose as an adolescent to be the target of contempt,” he told one such critic. The Jesuit father even addressed football player Tim Tebow, who was very open about his Christian faith. “Tim Tebow to say ‘I’m Christian’ was a lot less dangerous than for Mr. Collins to say ‘I’m gay,’” Martin remarked. He later added, “No danger in saying you’re gay? You’re kidding right? Tell that to a young gay boy or a young lesbian. They are bullied and intimidated and are sometimes driven to suicide.” – – [Image via Facebook] This article, Father James Martin on Jason Collins: Loving means accepting a person as God created him, is syndicated from Raw Story and is posted here with permission.

15 comments:

RADICALJOE said...

Father James Martin, a Jesuit Priest, is of the same order that Pope Francis belongs to.
Strange world, different thoughts,
just is to bad that everyone is
so far apart from each other. Jesuits are more of a backbone of
the Catholic Church, then is realized. A sad situation, that our Church has so many different
conceptions of what life is really
what we are here for, and they don't see it, any other way except
through their NARROWS MINDS of stubborness as well I know 'I am
right and that is final'. Will it
ever change and let fresh Air into
future reality, that we are one
and part of the Indivisible Soul of God. We are part of HIM.
Hope my thoughts are not too long or mixed up


Gary Kelly said...

You say God, I say Nature.

In my book, every living thing on Earth is created by Nature, and therefore no living thing is unnatural.

To question the wisdom of Nature is asinine in the extreme.

JustinO'Shea said...

Agreed. Terminology. ;-)

Passingship said...

First, congratulations on the PhD.

Second, as to accepting a person as God created them, I think for that to happen from the heart, a person must have empathy. I am 70 and have studied people my whole life, and recently came across a study where the brains of serial killers were studied and it was found that the area of the brain where empathy occurs did not function in them. Thus, these people became psychopaths and could do things to others that those of us with empathy could not understand anyone doing such things.

But, they then studied "normal" people and discovered there is a significant percentage of the population that lack the ability to feel empathy, yet they don't become serial killers.

What they found is that if a child is born without the capacity to feel empathy, but is given a loving and nurturing childhood, it does not grow into a serial killer, but, and here is the kicker, they found that these people are the ones who rise to great heights in the business world, becoming the Donald Trumps, the Mitt Romneys, because their lack of feeling for others allows them to make business decisions that hurt great numbers of people for their own selfish gain, things those with empathy could never do.

I thought this would be of interest to you because as you work with people, there will be those you try to get to see things from the perspective of someone they hurt, "How do you think Bill felt when you did such and such?” If they had empathy, they probably would never have done it, but they know where you are going with the question so they can give you an intellectual answer, but they simply are not physically capable to really experience the feeling that you are trying to help them experience.

We all tend to think everyone else in the world is just like us, which is so clearly demonstrated when people describe something they did that is commonly understood as wrong, say shoplifting, and after admitting they shoplifted, they add the disclaimer, "But you know everyone shoplifts a little," and they genuinely believe that. Everyone sees the world just as they see it.

This brings up the questions, "Can empathy be taught," or "Can a person's level of empathy be increased." Imagine how many problems in the world would disappear if everyone had a high level of empathy.

I am an occasional reader of your blog, and from what I have seen, I believe you are one of those with a high level of empathy. You see the world differently from so many. I cannot watch the TV show, “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” because I don’t laugh when someone trips and falls face first into concrete, all I feel is the pain they are feeling, yet the audience roars with laughter.

And one closing thought. I'm sure you have read Richard Bach’s book, "Jonathon Livingston Seagull," a truly beautiful story. Bach wrote a number of other books and in one of them, he wrote about meeting the woman he eventually married. They dated, then she moved in with him. A couple of days later, they had a knock down, drag out verbal altercation and she moved back to her own apartment. About three days later, she called Richard and apologized to him. She said she had given it a lot of thought and realized he was being the very best person he could for who he was at that moment in time. Wow. That’s heavy. Even the serial killer is doing that. He is doing what his brain tells him to do at that precise moment in time based on who he is, what he was born with, how the world shaped him, what chemicals are running through his body.

It's like the man who took off all his clothes and jumped into a cactus. At the hospital, as they were pulling the prickers out, they asked him why he did it. His response was, "Well, at the time it seemed like a good idea."

We do what we do because we are who we are, and so much of that is shaped by how much empathy we feel for others.

Gary Kelly said...

Most interesting observations, PS, and I thank you for it. I've tended to blame a lack of conscience for things like serial murder and various forms of psychopathic behavior, but lack of empathy is more specific.

I also find it intersting that you don't like watching programs like Funniest Home Vidoes because they make fun of the misfortunes of others. I feel the same way.

And even with sport, I've always questioned the idea of winning if it means someone else has to lose as a consequence.

I wonder if empathy is a fairly recent development in terms of evolution.

JustinO'Shea said...

Interesting. . .I share the similar feelings with PS and Gary about certain TV programs. . .in fact, without really thinking it thru, I suspect there are several more TV sit-coms/show I hate. . and right off the bat I'd say it is due to the blatant lack of empathy. . .and certain personalities rub me the wrong way in their blatant crudeness and cave-person's mentality.
Is empathy among the latest growth developments of/in the human animal? I wonder. . . .you know, realistically based on common behavior, we of the humanoid species have not yet moved very far from the cave-opening. It could be the current brouhaha over more sane gun-control legislation, even to limit the sale of war-arms to intellectually and emotionally under=developed specimen of the human strain. The manner in which certain humanoids desperately cling to and refuse to surrender their "clubs and spears" is certainly evidence of our still present "cave-person mentality". The vile-spirit and insensitivity shown more recently by certain members of the CaveClan in telephoning people and victim-families of Newtown, CT about gun-control is still more evidence of deficient empathatic-development in our still underdeveloped species. The threats and chest-pounding shown in the current national convention of owners of weapons of destruction give further evidence to back up the thinking of PS and Gary and others of like mind.
Lest it is not quite clear: what I express here is not accusation or judgmental assessment but rather scientific experiential research findings and theories. "No definitive verdict is in. . yet."

Gary Kelly said...

Refusing to surrender their clubs and spears. I like that, JustinO.

JustinO'Shea said...

A turn of the word, now and then, can be an artistic portrayal, right?

GreginAdelaide said...

Empathy. Big business types. TV shows. Hmmm......I wonder......

Now, I don't want to make racial treads on toes here.... it is not a judgment, just a ponder I've had for many years, a mystery that has long been with me...and others.

An observation that I and others have made over the years is: Why did US TV shows we got on our telly here in Oz pre- 1980s have humour that was so slapstick, so obvious, so unsophisticated, so slap-in-the-face as to be considered by me, and most others I came across as childish and not worth the time watching, whereas in (most) British comedy shows, humour, was a little more adult they had somewhat more sophisticated, complex and..... actually funny in a non-Three Stooges kind of way?

It seemed that US citizens could not laugh at themselves. "They" could only laugh at the characters, the "not me" individuals portrayed in varying degrees as simpletons, as idiots, dummies, the "fall guys" .... and never made fun of themselves, the "normal" Americans.
It was all about the sub-human, the fall guy, never about Americans on general. ......Or so it seemed to many of "us" over here.

A general view, not only that of my contemporaries, was that maybe Amuricans were probably "all" a bit basic, a bit simple perhaps? ...
But we sorta knew that "they could not all be like that" even though the "evidence" on our screens was to the contrary.

Then, over the years we have slowly noticed a higher level of humour creeping in, shows that poke general fun at the "normal" people...a recognition that Americans are all a but strange...imperfect, the real-normal, and often funny as a result.
American sit-coms became funny and worth watching at times, for a change.

It had seemed that Americans took themselves so seriously that earlier TV shows could not poke fun at Americans in general, but had to have a fall guy... a bit of a simpleton, someone not representative of the average American to make fun of.

How that has changed. Now we see that Americans are truly "normal" after all.

But where were they all those previous years? Why did we have this totally biased view portrayed in telly shows here in Oz?

We always knew there had to be normal people in the US... THe US could not be made up of a great majority of "perfect" normal people who never make mistakes and do stupid...and funny, things and the other minority bunch of more or less harmless, slightly dumb bumbling funny people.
But you'd never guess that from what was (mis)represented to us on the TV screen.

And so it has been proven over the last 30 years as US humour on our TeeVs had slowly revealed that Americans are indeed normal....and actually CAN laugh at themselves.
US humour seemed to need a fall guy, could not laugh at themselves.

Why was it that the early TV comedy shows we had here in OZ through the 60s and 70s lacked sophistication?

Was it the fault of those in power in the TV industry?
Or was it propaganda?
Did the average American really believe that all Americans were normal people who did not do the occasional stupid wrong thing, make mistakes, be funny?
Could they not admit that American citizens were generally "normal" ie... imperfect to varying degrees?

Was it a lack of emphathy?
Was it the "Donald Trumps" in power?

I don't know.
Maybe the American view of Americans has changed.
You can plot an increasing number of TV shows where Americans poke fun at themselves, laugh at themselves and not just a "fall guy" that slowly emerged since the 60s.

But, did TV shows represent the true American view of themselves over that period?

Just an idle rambling ponder as I drink my morning coffee

RADICALJOE said...

Father James Martin was right when
he said that "Tim Tebow saying I am a Christian" was easier than Jason Collins telling the world that he is Gay. We as gays know the price we pay in all parts of the USA is quite different from one area to another. I live in the most red neck part of Florida and it is very Back Woods. You are
afraid to look to long at another man. So in some areas in this great free land, people don't change as we would like.
Next county over the gay folks
are in gay heaven. Here we are not
allowed any adult stores. I gay bar in this huge county and the bar is a dive.

JustinO'Shea said...

PHEW!!!!!
SO it has "changed in the last 30 years"?
I have no idea at all about your 'thesis'. . Greg, I am not yet quite 25 yo! LOL No way I could have experienced what you write about.
BUT. . of the top of my head, I suspect what is on TV, back in "the dark ages" and now is the direct responsibility of the writers and producers. . ."what will make a cheap buck. . "
Personal taste/choice: I do not watch much on TV, never watch sit-coms [too dumb for my taste] I don't know how, or really care, to be honest, how viewer-polls are made. . . or 'made up'. . It is, in the final run, my choice what I watch on the TV and if I watch it and am upset/let-down, etc by the time I wasted, in the final analysis it is all my own fault. No one stands there with a AKC forcing me to watch anything.
People are people, mostly wonderful and even sometimes totally stunning creatures. . . .and some are nerds.
"De gustibus non disputandum est", , Ya can't argue about taste. . .Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. . .etc etc.
GREG, what's in your morning coffee? hahahaa A priceless blend. . . .justin

JustinO'Shea said...

Well Joe, I still get pissed when someone tells me "Life is never fair". . .or "The grass is always greener over the leech bed". . .and sometimes we get stuck in situations that are not of our making: we just can't pack up and move to
"Paradise". . and some peeps idea of just what is "paradise" wouldn't please or satisfy me.. . etc etc.
It could be, also, that people get stuck in a rut and keep on going around and around digging a deeper rut for themselves because that is easier that moving on,of doing the things they really want to do,wish for, would even "die" for but don't. ..cuz it is too much work, too much effort. . .or I just gave up, etc etc.
We get one day at a time. . to make of that the best/ what we want it to be. . but instead we just lie there already convinced nothing I can do. . .this is the way it is, I am f***ed and that is it.
Life isn't "fair" but it is hard work if we are willing to work it. . .

Gary Kelly said...

Did someone mention American TV shows? I watched stuff like Leave It To Beaver, My Three Sons, Growing Pains, The Honeymooners (my fav) and that kinda thing which I thought was reasonably entertaining. No "fall guys". But then I think in the 80s or 90s there was a plethora of American assembly-line sit-coms that were nothing but corny one-liners from beginning to end. Bad acting, no plot, cheap and nasty. Stuff like Different Strokes. Bleh. So I stopped watching.

But I never thought those shows were representative of American society. If you want true representation then watch Days of Our Lives hehe. Just kiddin.

There was a time when I thought all Americans lived in big, rambling 2-storey houses and drove 20' long Buicks - and had a housekeeper. But I was very young and impressionable back then... about 30.

I do believe the majority of TV programs are designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Fortunately there are exceptions. But I also think most people with an IQ larger than their shoe size would not be regular TV watchers... they would read or be involved in more cerebral activites, like commenting on blogs.

BTW, JustinO, your Fit is called a Jazz in Oz. Get down and boogie, baby. Drive that Jazz.

So the moral of the story is don't judge a society by the crap you see on TV.

And the other moral is... be careful what you put in your coffee.

Gary Kelly said...

Did someone say life isn't fair? Of course, it isn't. It was never meant to be. Fair is a human concept, which is why the meaning of fair can vary enormously depending on who's in charge of making the rules.

It's like Doc O'Shea says: if you want fair, fight for it.

JustinO'Shea said...

GARY. . "Yeah. . .and all that JAZZZZZZ. . ." hehe LOV
in it. . . I am FIT for the JAZZZZ. . .yassssss lol