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More Discussion with Rev. Codega March 31, 2009

Posted by truthspew in Gay rights, marriage equality, politics, religion.
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I don’t think I need to comment on it since my response is at the top and his message below that. This is a very interesting discussion. A friend indicates that by reading these emails he’s already caught a few lies.

In particular the one about hospitals not being allowed to ask the religion as part of the objective interview. In my friends report, as of 2007 he was asked that question.

do not feel that the definition includes same sex couples, but the the Constitution, specifically Article 1, Section 2 of the Rhode Island Constitution says the law cannot discriminate. So one of two things has to happen to redress grievance, either a legislative solution, or a judicial solution.

Certainly you can challenge the numbers but one thing I do know is how hard it is to get oneself dropped from the rolls in the Catholic church. In essence you have to perform a very heinous act to be excommunicated, something akin to defiling the host. That inflates the numbers somewhat. I don’t necessarily fear believers, I just want them to keep it to themselves. There’s a fine line here between religion and the secular community, you know that as well as anyone. I won’t tread on your religious liberties if you don’t tread on my civil liberties. It’s really that simple.

I knew you’d entered the ministry later in life but hadn’t realized you had an engineering background. Tell me, wouldn’t that background be better suited to teaching at say Providence College, or even LaSalle, Hendricken, or the like?

What I find most interesting is your view of what the church was from the 1950′s through the 1970′s, in essence the pre and post Vatican II churches. I think as of Vatican II they started going on the right track and then JP II got in and n my view, completely screwed it up. Sure he was about the flock, always about the flock. And now we have Benedict. He’s not scoring many points with his latest gaffe about condoms. Is it my imagination or did we not have these problems when the popes tended to be Italian?

It always struck me as odd that the church has such a prurient interest in the sex lives of both its members and non-members. Wouldn’t one think that there are bigger issues to worry about, like homelessness, or the abused. The church in general really dropped the ball on the abuse thing.

What strikes me as interesting is your statement that you do not in any way submit to teaching of the Church with which you don’t agree. It proves my point that our understanding and interpretation of the Bible evolves over time. We’d no more re-introduce slavery than deny women the right to vote based on Biblical prescription. The same is true of our understanding of civil law.

For example, RI has one of the more inclusive non-discrimination acts in the nation. Has the church suffered from it at all? Friends in the legal profession tell me that there hasn’t yet been a direct challenge to any church in RI and I strongly doubt there will be. So I urge you to rest your fears that the proposed legislation opens the door, it does nothing of the sort.

Lets say someone does decide to follow suit because they can’t have their wedding performed in Cathedral Square. The justices of course would read the marriage statutes and find that the religious institutions are protected. This one line says it all “No court or other state or local governmental body, entity, agency or commission shall compel, prevent, or interfere in any way with any religious institution’s decisions about marriage eligibility within that particular faith’s tradition.”

I’m not sure how we could make the highlighted line any clearer. The entities prohibited are the courts or any state or local government entity, agency or commission. I suppose it overlooks the various boards that exist in the state but I highly doubt a challenge would come from that arena and more to the point they use the word ‘entity’ and that covers the boards too.

Compel, prevent or interfere. No court orders, no injunctions, no government takeovers. Pretty simple. The only change I’d make is the phrase “religious institution” to “religious entity”

Rev. John Codega wrote:
> Tony
>
> Sorry. When you stated you did not want to change the definition of marriage, for a moment I overlooked that you feel the definition already includes same sex couples. Changing the prerequisites does change the definition in my book. You’re right, we don’t agree on that either. Both sides seem unwilling to compromise on the definition of marriage. That’s why we’ll leave it up to the democratic process.
>
> I am familiar with the study from Trinity College. I had not had a chance to see it in it’s entirety Thanks for the link.
>
> I don’t question some drop in the RI Catholic population. There are many reason suggested for that. From empirical experience I always thought the 62% claim in the 90′s was too high an estimate then. That is also supported by the church census which show our numbers to be pretty steady in RI. I am a life long Rhode Islander. Most of my friends would also call themselves “spiritual” but not identify with any religion. (I am getting them back one at a time) This information does affirms that the US Populating continues to grow in numbers and held relatively steady in percentages.
>
> I also don’t question the increase in self proclaimed non-believers. Look around for evidence of that! This has happened all across Europe as well — following the increase in moral relativism including the sexual freedom and liberties. Thus the “fear” of the believers.
>
> I completely agree that our parish’s growth is an anomaly. However it highlights the trend that churches that are coming back to the basics of the faith and the teachings of the Church are thriving. Those who have watered down the theology over the decades are suffering – which in some regards applies to the U.S. Catholic Church as a whole.
>
> You are most welcomed to come and check out our demographics. We have our share if seniors of course but we also have lots of young adults, teens and families coming back to the Church. (no Hispanics, actually) I attribute our growth to two things – well, three things if you count the work of the Holy Spirit – families transferring here from neighboring parishes (and there are many) and men and women coning back to Church having drifted away.
>
> Those returning to church are of special interest to me because I was one one of them. I share my story publicly on many occasions: I was ordained at 36 years old. I am a scientist who believes – my first undergraduate degree and career is in engineering. Like many of outr generation I stopped practicing the faith during college. Many years later, I rediscovered, not what I thought the Church taught, but the beauty of the Church’s true teaching. This is what drew me back – especially John Paul II and the teachings on the Eucharist.
>
> I would guess the religiosity of our families was similar. I would take mine a step or two further and say, although my parents and grandparents “attended” church they were not religious. They did not have that relationship with God that is required. They “went” to church for fear of going to hell and tried to get us to do the same. My generation needed more than “damnation theology” preached at a usually painfully dry Sunday service, or the baloons and Kumbaya of the 70′s folk masses. Those who come back today, do so seeking and demanding (rightfully so) much more.
>
> On the Priesthood: I, in no way, submit to any teachings of the Church to which I don’t agree, nor do I sublimate any sexual drives. The joke among my friends was a pool that they were taking when I went into the seminary. They were betting on the date I would leave. They knew how much of the Church’s teachings I disagreed with when I went in, as well as the life I lead. But I truly felt called by God and they knew that, too. When I came to understand the entirety, the constancy and the beauty of what was truly taught, I became a believer. They all lost the bet. I got a case of beer out of it.
>
> To understand the priesthood your way also explains why you’re hooked on that interpretation of that one line from Paul’s letter to Timothy. Understanding the entirety of Paul’s writing especially the analogy of Christ taking the Church as his bride, makes Paul’s letters a great expression of free love by which we willingly and fully give ourselves and submit to the one whom we love. What woman would not freely submit to a man whom she knows would give his life without hesitation for her well being? When I was dating I treated women well and had no problem being treated well by them. It wasnt oppression – I like to think it was love. Mutual love and fidelity requires complete submission of one’s self to the other. Those are saint Paul’s words….”husbands, love you wives, as Christ loves his bride, the Church.” As a priest I freely give myself to the Church so that I can serve all people with an undivided heart – this is not a sublimation of my sexuality. If anything, my role as man and father is exemplified.
>
> I have read the legislation and realize that there is language included to “protect” the religious institutions. I don’t like the idea of opening the door because it will only take a couple of lawsuits to change that as well. Some say that is very challengeable because of the tax incentive our institutions enjoy. And we both know it will be challenged.
>
> NOM/RI is new. Although growing each day we are behind in the 13 year debate – but catching up. I am sure the database is far less than MERI’s. We’re working on that, too. I do admire the passion and energy with which the gay marriage advocates rally around a cause. I appreciate that is an issue that couldn’t be closer to your hearts. We have much to learn from you. It’s very difficult getting the comfortable-right worked up about anything. But we are trying.
>
> Peace to you
>
> Rev. John Codega
> Church of Christ the King
> 130 Legris Avenue
> Centreville, RI 02893
> 401.821.9228
> http://www.christthekingwwri.org
> http://www.rimosj.org
> http://www.catholicpriest.com

Troppe Informazioni Martedì numero Cento e ottanta March 31, 2009

Posted by truthspew in TMI Tuesday.
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1. Have you ever sent or recieved a sext message?

Not that I can recall. There have certainly been a few “Luv U’s” etc. but no sexting. I just see the whole thing as rather pointless.

2. Have you ever made or recieved a booty call?

Back in the day yes I did. Been many years since.

3. Have you ever added or edited a word/entry to Wikipedia or Urban Dictionary or any other online reference?

Yes I’ve edited a Wikipedia entry or two, and I did submit a word to Urban Dictionary.

4. At what age did you have your first consensual sexual experience?

I was 13. I’ve seen people that were older, and even younger so I figure I’m right there in the middle. And my parents and grandparents thought I was such an innocent kid. They didn’t know the least of it.

5. What has been the greatest age difference between you a consensual sexual partner?

You know, I really don’t know. Lets say 8 years. How’s that?

Bonus (as in optional): Why do you blog?

That’s an easy one, it allows me to exorcise my demons. For if I couldn’t blog about the lies and straw-man arguments I hear regarding gay rights and marriage equality, I’d probably have to strangle a priest, rabbi or imam or three.

—————-
Now playing: Curtis Mayfield – Freddie’s Dead (Theme from ‘Superfly’) [Single Mix]
via FoxyTunes

One misconception about Catholics and Divorce March 30, 2009

Posted by truthspew in religion.
2 comments

One of the things brought up at the forum last Friday evening was that a Catholic once married can divorce but cannot re-marry in the church.

I’m here to dispel that argument.

There is a thing called an annulment. An annulment is usually granted to couples with no kids, etc. In essence it acknowledges a failed union. It’s also incredibly difficult to obtain one.

Back after my mother had passed away my father met Peggy. At first I wasn’t sure how to relate to Peggy but she turned out to be just what my father needed, someone to kick his ass on a regular basis for his boneheaded views. I still miss her since she died several years ago.

Anyhow their marriage was at first a civil ceremony. But one day I’m driving by Saint Anthony’s Church in North Providence, RI and I see my dads name on the donor board. Knowing my father, he’s not one to give significant chunks to churches so I got home and called him.

Turns out it was a $10,000 donation to grease the way for Peggy’s annulment from her former husband. The clutch is, there were two children that resulted from that marriage.

So yes, you can divorce and remarry in the Catholic church. Just be prepared to spend at a minimum about $15,000.

And it continues on ad infinitum March 30, 2009

Posted by truthspew in Gay rights, marriage equality, politics, religion.
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Newest email from Rev. Codega.

That would be Jenn Steinfeld and yes, that is precisely what I want too! Separate but equal is never truly equal and that seems to be what you’re advocating here. Again, the liberties would require that I incur the expense of hiring an attorney to draft the documents, a notary to certify the documents, and potentially even have to hire the attorney to defend my rights as the case may be when a hospital or provider ignores a Power of Attorney document. As to hospitals not asking patients about religion, rightfully so. And think about it, if you had a member of your congregation that was terminally ill or in an accident, don’t you think you’d have heard about it? Or perhaps that could just go to Our Lady of Fatima in North Providence.

I note you bring up the 3% item. I know several people in the sociological and psychological profession who disagree with you, gay people are more like 5% to 10% of a population. The really stunning statistic is that the Kinsey study identified bi-sexuality as being anywhere from 30% to 40% of a population.

Once I again I will say, giving us marriage equality in no way diminishes your capability to preach. You could stand in the middle of a busy street, wave a Bible in the air and spout off on how women should remain silent and be subjugated to husbands, or whatever you choose to preach. Here’s the relevant section in the proposed legislation:

24 SECTION 3. Chapter 15-3 of the General Laws entitled “Solemnization of Marriages” is
25 hereby amended by adding thereto the following section:
26 15-3-5.1. Protection of freedom of religion in marriage. – (a) Consistent with the
27 guarantees of freedom of religion set forth by both the First Amendment to the United States
28 Constitution and Article I, Section 3 of the Rhode Island Constitution, each religious institution
29 has exclusive control over its own religious doctrine, policy, and teachings regarding who may
30 marry within their faith, and on what terms. No court or other state or local governmental body,
31 entity, agency or commission shall compel, prevent, or interfere in any way with any religious
32 institution’s decisions about marriage eligibility within that particular faith’s tradition.
33 (b) Consistent with the guarantees of freedom of religion set forth by both the First
34 Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 3 of the Rhode Island
Constitution, ordained clergy, ministers or elders as described and authorized in sections 15-3-5
2 and 15-3-6 of the general laws to officiate at a civil marriage shall not be obligated or otherwise
3 required by law to officiate at any particular civil marriage or religious rite of marriage.

As far as the Catholic Adoption agencies, I believe it was decided to close them before the effluent hit the fan. Not because gay rights came about but because the Church decided to preemptively close those agencies so as to appear to be wounded by the expansion of civil rights. Nice try though.

As to the tax exemption issue, I’m all for revoking it when religious organizations use money to influence the political sphere, as has been done by the Mormons. And I know the Catholic church isn’t really innocent in that respect either. All one has to do is look at the Secretary of State’s Lobbytracker (Under e-town crier) page and you’ll see what I mean.

As to the suit against you, you’re right someday it will move forward. And I bet I can predict the outcome, you won’t suffer a bit.

The ProJo poll is fairly representative since they block voting by IP address, so once you vote you cannot vote again. And since you are affiliated with the National Organization for Marriage, please expand on why Brian Brown sent out an email to all NOM supporters to skew the poll yet it still tilts in favor of marriage equality.

Interestingly I make it a point to go by my local Catholic churches around service times. Not a very big crowd and I note that they tend to be older, not younger. That’s the other thing I wanted to ask, what’s the makeup of your congregation along ethnic lines and origin lines? I estimate that the Latino population is fairly large but there is something to remember.

My family is a good example. My grandfather was very religious, my father less so, and me not at all. And as I speak to people who as I said earlier are in the social sciences, the sciences in general, and the I.T./I.S. field, more tend to be atheist than religious. Imagine that, atheism as a function of education. So over time I think you’ll see attendance drop off again. It’s cyclical like anything else.

I understand that being a priest is a pretty good gig if you’re willing to submit to God and sublimate your sexual drives. I wasn’t willing to do either of those.

What it comes down to is that at this point we are at an impasse, unable to really agree on the key issue of marriage equality.

Tony

Rev. John Codega wrote:
> Tony:
>
> MERI has clearly stated they do not want civil unions, they want “Marriage”.
> I forget the former director’s name but she made that quite clear. If you
> are not in favor of changing the definition of marriage perhaps we agree on
> much more. Some of the liberties you seek are not by necessity connected
> with the definition of marriage: they have been so by time and practice but
> don’t have to remain so. Perhaps you might also be surprised that I agree
> that the examples you referenced, and many others, are not justice in today’s
> world. It goes both ways, however. Thanks to the ACLU hospitals can no
> longer ask patients of they have a religious affiliation or if they wish to
> see a priest or pastor before they die? Thousand are dying without the
> sacraments in which they professed their life long. That’s not justice.
>
> All these issues have becomne increasing prevalent in non-spousal
> relationships. Two old friends who become domestic partners/roommates have
> the same issues. Anyone should have the “right” to grant hospital
> visitation to whomever he wishes, power of attorney, etc. As mentioned
> Friday night, all those thing can – and I feel should – be corrected through
> legislation, not through redefining marriage. I would fight for your visitation of your
> partner in a hospital, without exception, because it is right. The relationships are
> different but according to civil laws I understand that they may be
> respected equally, I don’t have a problem with that. I do have a problem
> granted common-place status to relationship that may make up as few as three
> percent of a population – that’s what redefining marriage would do.
>
> You mentioned the marriage liberty argument – not me. I have said that
> Marriage is not connected with liberties but is connected with my faith.
> Redefining marriage means that my religious liberty to profess and teach
> marriage is between one man and one woman would be restricted in public and
> semi-private settings. This is a violation of my free practice of religion
> and public speech. I am also concerned that just as Catholic adoption
> agency who received federal funding have had to close, in connected the
> church is already being persecuted, threatening the repeal of tax exempt
> status for their fight against gay marriage, Many in RI wish to do the same
> already. Another point I wasn’t not allowed to make on Friday, with repeal
> repeal of the FOCA act Catholic hospitals may soon be faced with closing or
> performing abortion related procedures. How long will it be before Churches
> in Massachusetts will have their own tax exempt status challenged? In RI, I
> have already been threatened with a law suit because the Church doesn’t
> permit two women or two men to be Godparents to a child. Apparently they
> couldn’t find a lawyer to take the case. Just a mater of time I suppose.
>
> I have no idea what the “NJ church property” you say I referenced is – I am
> quite sure I never did mention it having never heard of it.
>
> And please, Tony, can we also agree that the ProJo polls are hardly
> representative of Rhode Islander’s attitudes? Where is M. Charles Bakst
> when you need him?
>
> On the other email chain – I was misunderstood. I said 150,000 Catholics
> were coming into the Catholic Church on Easter. To clarify -150,00 adults
> are choosing to be baptized or come into full communion (already being
> baptized Christians) in the Faith at Easter Vigil services around our
> nation – hundreds here in Rhode Island. In one night, the U.S. Catholic
> Church will grow by 150,000 adults – which has been the trend for many years
> now.
>
> Peace to you
>
> Rev. John Codega

—————-
Now playing: Nate James – Outta My Head
via FoxyTunes

And the beat goes on March 30, 2009

Posted by truthspew in Gay rights, marriage equality, politics, religion.
2 comments

He and I have had several go around on email. I will retract something I said about him in a prior post a couple years back. He’s not a horses ass, but he does love his straw-man arguments. Check out where he says he wouldn’t be offended by gay marriage.

That’s another thing I noted at the forum and in the hearings I’ve attended. Someone always brings up one of these two canards:

1) Won’t someone think of the children. The most recent episode on this one is Robb and Robin Wirthlin of Lexington, MA. Apparently their little snowflake had the book “King and King” read to him. The horror!

and

2) The parts don’t fit. John Corvino has pretty much debunked this one. Check it out:

And this one on why study philosophy is quite good.

Here’s the latest go around with the Rev. Codega:

I’m not advocating changing the definition. In fact the definition of marriage doesn’t change. Instead the bills (S0136 and H5744) change the prerequisites for marriage.

My liberties, how about the liberty to be there for my sick partner? How about not having to wait for public notice to seek disposition of the body? How about having automatic power of attorney instead of having to be constantly in possession of a document.

I’m very curious about which of your liberties are at stake were I to be able to marry my partner of 16 years? You make vague arguments about that but never really enumerate the destructive aspects. Instead you craft a straw-man argument, even bring up that NJ church property.

And yes you do surprise me. The more I converse with you the more I come to respect you. Certainly my first time out your arguments did strike me as coming from the posterior end of a horse. As to taking credit, the tide seems to be turning in our favor. I note the ProJo poll hit nearly 57% in favor of marriage equality.

Tony

Rev. John Codega wrote:
> Tony
>
> Once again your inconsistent arguments confuse me. In one thought you
> object to the emotive defense of traditional marriage, like the woman who spoke
> concerned about here child’s school curriculum, while in the next breath
> applaud Dr. Crew and those who promoted changing the definition supported only
> through their emotion rich anecdotes.
>
> I respect your experience but haven’t been convinced that your liberties are
> being threatened by anyone’s religious views. We are both free to do
> whatever we wish until it impedes the other’s liberties. I don’t see the
> “right” to marry a liberty, rather I see it as an honor or a reward to
> society with direct benefits thereto. You are the ones who are trying to
> change the definition of marriage, which I, my government, and, yes, my
> religion, has held for thousands of years. We are merely seeking to resist
> your relatively new objections to our well established liberties.
>
> On Friday, I was invited to share the teachings of my religious tradition.
> This is different than testifying before a legislative body. I would agree,
> perhaps with you, that public testimony in regards to legislation must be
> based more than on simple arguments from religion. You may be surprised to
> hear me speak of my own objections to the strictly moral arguments at the
> state house hearings. I think they are ineffective and unproductive.
> However, I do think that elected officials should know from where their
> constituents are coming.
>
> Perhaps something I should have stated earlier is my own objection to the
> true religious fanatics who wave bibles at people and tell them they’re
> destined to hell. That hardly images the Love of a Christ in whom we
> profess to believe. We are all sinners, even in the most liberal definition
> of Christianity. I have no right, nor does my Church declare the
> condemnation of any soul. That is truly reserved to God alone. I think
> Rich from MERI was actually surprised when I said, sincerely, that I am not
> and would not be offended by gay marriage should become reality in RI. I
> may disagree and object but no one in that room knows me well enough for me
> to be offended on a personal level.
>
> What I thought was most productive about Friday night was that after the
> discussion all the panelists were able to shake hands, look each other in
> the eye, and certainly form my stand point, offer a sincere thanks for the
> sharing of ideas. After the panel, I enjoyed chatting with many of the pro
> gay marriage guests as well. Perhaps this will make the next time we meet
> at the State House a little more cordial, a little more respectful.
>
> Tony, I recall our first time together at my first attempt at testifying
> before the House of Representatives a couple of years ago, You were there.
> You were part of an antagonistic crowd heckling me and others as we were
> attacked by the left members of the house. I believe you even likened me to
> a part of a horse’s anatomy in one of your blog sites. Yet, here I am
> engaging you on the issues, not on personal attacks that get us no-where.
>
> In fact you should take some credit for the turn of events in the last
> couple of years here in RI. No doubt you have noticed the sudden growth of
> public support for traditional marriage and a renewed presence at the
> hearings. For me it was in large part because of that day that a decision
> was made to help wake up the silent majority and organize our own
> infrastructure to address this issue publicly. I did not come to the table
> on my own. It was an issue that was important to me but not one about which
> I had been publicly vocal. I was asked to speak on behalf on the many
> groups I represented. My eyes were certainly opened to the outcry from such
> a display including from many bloggers like you. So, on behalf of
> pro-traditional marriage advocates, I thank you.
>
> Peace to you
>
> Rev. John Codega

And how appropriate that Erasure’s “A Little Respect” is playing right now.

—————-
Now playing: Erasure – A Little Respect
via FoxyTunes

Codega Exchange Continued March 29, 2009

Posted by truthspew in Uncategorized.
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The exchange continues. Here’s my latest response to him with his message included.

What I see as the crux is that you religious views help form your civic an societal views. You most certainly can express them but when it crosses the line and impedes my liberties we have an issue.

And you make a very interesting point in your first paragraph. How would I feel indeed. The 19th century philosopher Alisdair MacIntyre who coined the term ‘emotivism’ which is defined as making evaluative judgments based on feeling or perception. That seems to provide the chasm between supporters and opponents of marriage equality in RI.

This is most evident in the people who got up to speak, talking about the children. As a good friend of mine says, having two male or two female parents is actually just as good as having a male/female pair. He should know, he’s a psychologist. I know of the case which was spoken, it was that of Rob and Robin Wirthlin in MA. They had their feelings hurt because their son had read the book “King and King” at school. And the one woman who got up to talk about New Bedford was laughable, as another of my friends is a school administrator in New Bedford and he’s never seen any such move.

I consider the arguments of those above to be straw-man arguments. Most of it boils down to the fact that these people, and I include you in this grouping to some degree find homosexual activity distasteful, evidenced by the “The parts don’t fit” statement that evening.

As to our Puritan/Protestant roots, it is no wonder the British allowed the expeditions to the New World. They were able to get rid of all their religious misfits. And those Catholic immigrants, lets call them what they really were because I’m descended from them myself. They were Italians or Irish. Interestingly this helps form my opinion on the immigrant issues of today. My partner has a slight streak of that discrimination but his is based more on linguistic elements. I had to remind him that until the 1970′s you rarely heard anything but Italian spoken on Federal Hill.

My labeling of you as a smooth talker is actually somewhat incorrect. You’ve got a pretty good knowledge of the gospel. The line from the 1980′s song “Da Do Do Do” by the Police says it best “Poets, priests and politicians have words to thank for their positions.”

Certainly Dr. Crew’s story had the emotional punch necessary to move the crowd. It’s why the religious arguments seem to fall flat, I suppose it’s because it talks about events that are several thousand years in the past. Society changes, so too does the interpretation of the Bible. In essence do you really think most people would live their lives by the rules of Leviticus today? Or as I asked in my favorite misogynistic quote, 1 Timothy 2:11, that is one I seriously doubt that women of today could abide.

Regarding Chesterton, I think that perhaps he got it just a little bit wrong.

Tony

Rev. John Codega wrote:
> Tony
>
> You say, “In essence, keep your religious views to yourself.” My public, civic, societal views are not my religious views. Yes, I am proud that some if not all have been formed by my faith but they are of no less my right to express than yours. I am sort of surprised as self professed non-believer you would make such a statement. Why wouldn’t you be apathetic to my religion? How would you feel if I said, and I never would, keep your non-religious opinions to yourself. Your passion, your education, your knowledge is your faith and you profess it freely, why shouldn’t I?
>
> As you know the voice of the Catholic church in this country has never gone unchecked by civil authority. Our puritan roots and protestant foundations made sure the Church would have little voice. Catholic immigrants were treated as near-slaves. You recall President Kennedy’s election was only after he assured the nation he would not bow to the Vatican. Today the Church represents about one-fourth of our nations voters – fewer of whom vote the strict principles of the Faith, unfortunately.
>
> I suppose I appreciate you labeling me as a smooth talker when clearly I was the least eloquent of all the panelist Friday night. The emotional diatribe of Ms. Tristan and Reprehensive Ferri where almost admirable all be they void of facts. Dr. Loui Crew’s story of his former student memorial kisses had half the audience in tears. Talk about smooth!
>
> I recall it was Chesterton who said, “every time someone knocks at the doors of a brothel, he is searching for God.”
>
> Peace to you
>
> Fr. Codega
>
> Rev. John Codega
> Church of Christ the King
> 130 Legris Avenue
> Centreville, RI 02893
> 401.821.9228
> http://www.christthekingwwri.org
> http://www.rimosj.org
> http://www.catholicpriest.com
>
>

All I can say is that this is great fun. Note the use of Reprehensive Ferri for Representative Ferri? I emailed this off to Ferri, can’t wait to get his take on it.

An exchange with Rev. John Codega, an opponent of marriage equality March 28, 2009

Posted by truthspew in Gay rights, marriage equality, religion.
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The following is an exchange I had with Rev. John Codega of Christ the Redeemer church in West Warwick, RI.

There are points in this on which we both agree and points on which we don’t. In my studies of history I’ve seen the damage wrought by the Catholic church when they were left unchecked by civil authority.

I should mention, I fall into the category of non-believer. The only reason I’m aware of the doctrine and dogma is 12 years of Catholic schools in my past.

You should take note that either bill under consideration, S0136 or H5744 would prohibit the free exercise of religion. But when the exercise of religion takes away my rights I get very persnickety.

In essence, keep your religious views to yourself. What you and the others against marriage equality are attempting to do is to enforce your world view on the rest of us. I was most elated by that one young woman who identified as Catholic yet saw no problem with marriage equality.

You’re a smooth talker, no doubt about that. But your reference to the “In God We Trust” piqued my interest. I know that our money was imprinted with that starting at the mid-point of the 20th Century, it had not been present before them. I also know that the founding fathers were for the most part humanist. Certainly Benjamin Franklin had an interesting view of religion.

Tony

Rev. John Codega wrote:
> Tony
>
> Thanks for your input last night. This is an issue that certainly is not going away in the near future. As I said, the sharing of ideas is what we should be about.
>
> I am not sure to whom you were referring regarding quoting scripture out of context. I agree: we can read into scripture any message we wish by finding single passages to support almost any personal view. A great gift of the Catholic church is the magisterium and the tens of thousands of scripture scholars, much more educated than I, who have suggested meanings of His inspired word.
>
> A wall between church and state is exactly what I believe we don’t need – nor is it the foundation of this great nation. I have no desire to become like those nations, from the the Soviet Union, to the Netherlands to Spain, who have supported like views. As mentioned last night, no student of history could fairly argue that the founders wanted a bi-lateral wall between state and church nor does the Constitution support this.
>
> “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF” Could it be any more clear, Tony?
>
> Never was the intention to silence the voice of the people. From the Mayflower compact of 1620 to congress opens each session in prayer, to our latest presidents closing their public addresses invoking God’s blessings, as a nation we have invoked the protection and direction of our God. I recall so vividly Congress gathered on the capitol steps on September 12, 2001 singing God Bless America.
>
> As faithful people our mission is to encourage each other to speak from our hearts. If my heart is based in the Judea Christian values upon which this nation was founded than I have a right and an obligation to share my views in the democratic process. As a leader in the church, it is my duty to educate and encourage the faith in our common mission to be involved as faithful citizens. If what you propose was reality, than any person who was sincere in the faith would be silenced. Now, unlike the gay marriage debate, that would be a civil rights issue
>
> And, for whatever its worth, I have been a priest 9 years and have loved every day of it.
>
> peace to you
>
> Rev. John Codega
> Church of Christ the King
> 130 Legris Avenue
> Centreville, RI 02893
> 401.821.9228
> http://www.christthekingwwri.org
> http://www.rimosj.org
> http://www.catholicpriest.com
>
>
> ..
>
>
>
>
>
>
> —– Original Message —– From: “Tony Pelliccio”
> To:
> Sent: Saturday, March 28, 2009 12:38 AM
> Subject: Rainbow Alliance Forum
>
>
>> Hello
>>
>> I was the gentleman in the red striped shirt. I have to say, listening to the out of context quotations was quite interesting. As I mentioned, the interpretation of the Bible evolves too, for we no longer treat women as chattel, nor do we have slavery (At least in the U.S.), and we do eat pork.
>>
>> We need to build a solid wall between church and state. As I said this is primarily a conflict between the civil and religious sides. Marriage equality as it exists in RI protects churches from having to marry gay people. And to counter the slipper slope arguments about whats next, marrying your daughter, etc. there are fairly strict consanguinity provisions in the law with exceptions made for Judaism.
>>
>> I did find it interesting that you’ve only been in the priesthood for 16 years is it?
>>
>> Tony
>>
>>
>
>

Spring is here March 28, 2009

Posted by truthspew in Uncategorized.
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Finally, a five day span where daytime temperatures will be above 50F and nighttime temperatures above freezing.

The lowest it’ll go is 36F now. Spring has arrived!

Rhode Island College Rainbow Alliance Marriage Equality Panel Debate March 28, 2009

Posted by truthspew in Gay rights, marriage equality, Uncategorized.
Tags: , ,
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The only reason I knew about this is because I got an email from the National Organization for Marriage (There’s that oxymoron again!). Very short notice on this one.

Here’s the panel:

Rainbow Alliance Panel

Rainbow Alliance Panel

I didn’t get the names for everyone, missing are those for the gay Episcopal Priest, the Attorney and the gentleman in the gray suit. When I have more information I’ll post it.

First a bit of introduction form the panel. In this video we get a gay Episcopal priest, RI Rep. Frank Ferri, Cassandra Ormiston, the Attorney an the gentleman in the grey suit. Unfortunately my camera battery died just as I got the opposition as it were.

But fear not, I can identify those on the ‘con’ side. First we have Mr. Chris Plante, Executive Director of NOM-RI, Reverend John Codega, Pastor of Christ the King Church in West Warwick, RI, and finally Dr. Paul Gondreau, a theology professor at Providence College (A Catholic institution.)

I don’t think I really have to focus on the pro side here. If you’ve read this blog at all you’ll know where I stand on the issue which mirrors the arguments put forth by those for marriage equality.

I did get to meet a few people in the flesh this evening. What I mean is I have corresponded with them via email but just never crossed paths at the right time. I met Susan MacNeil who is the devel director for Marriage Equality Rhode Island, also got to finally meet Rep. Frank Ferri and his husband Tony Carparco.

We heard from the Rev. Codega that “There is no such thing as gay marriage.” and that marriage is not a civil right, that marriages are ordained by God. He also brought up the procreation aspect which as many point out is meaningless. Good friends of ours are married and they didn’t want any kids. I say good for them. Under Codega’s view their marriage isn’t whole or complete because they have no spawn.

Dr. Paul Goudreau (His RateMyProfessor rating overall is 3.4), stated that the authority over marriage is granted by nature. Using the term “nature” is a code word for God. He goes on to state that “God can be known.” and marriage is intrinsically in God’s domain, that we can’t transfer the authority of nature to the state. But then he goes on to mention the tax benefits conferred to married couples.

That’s right Dr. Goudreau, you don’t know it all. You completely disregard the state whereas I disregard the religious but prefer the state.

On the pro side, Rep. Ferri said that it just feels right to say that you’re married. I understand that concept very well, there’s a certain cachet that comes with the words.

What I liked about the forum is that we didn’t have the same rules of decorum we usually have in the hearing chambers at the State House. So some minor heckling was in order.

There were a couple of women who got up to ask questions who stated that they had in one case 10 children, in the other 7 children.

I have one thing to say on the subject and the below image sums it up nicely.

It's a Vagina, Not a Clown Cat

It's a Vagina, Not a Clown Cat

Anyhow when I got up I stated that the main point of contention was the civil v. religious and that since so many Biblical quotes were being thrown about, could the good Reverend please explain 1 Timothy 2:11, read back a few posts or just click the link to read what old Tim had to say about the women.

I then went on to remind him that the law is an evolving thing and so too is the interpretation of the Bible. Codega answered that in essence he was guilty of taking things out of context. After I’d testified Tony Carparco patted me on the back for that one.

Others who testified of course brought up the straw man argument of “What about the children?” I know the specific case they’re talking about, recall my post on the Worthless Wirthlins who got bent out of shape because the book “King and King” was read to their child.

But there was one young woman who got up to the mic, and said that she was a Catholic who supported the right of those who love each other to marry be they male/male, female/female, or male/female. This is something that terrifies the church hierarchy.

It’s funny, after the forum ended I was talking to my friend Rich Hite who is the acting chair for MERI, and Tony Carparco. Turns out I’m not the only former Catholic who is now an atheist.

But further the religious opposition comes down to one thing and one thing only. Religion is what we feel, no logic or cognition involved, just pure emotivism.

They Just Don’t Stop March 26, 2009

Posted by truthspew in Chris Young.
Tags: , ,
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The religious fruitcakes are going like crazy.

There is a bill floating in the legislature that would codify all the sex education programs in the schools. In my opinion this isn’t a bad thing since everyone would be on the same page.

There is however one known character who shows up to testify at many bills involving sexuality. That would be Chris Young.

Here is the quote:

At last night’s hearing, Christopher Young, a former Providence mayoral candidate, asserted that studies have shown sex education does little to curb sexual activity. Parents and clergy, he said, should be the resources for that, and he contended Walsh’s bill would undermine them.

Young also attacked a provision that the instruction must not “teach or promote religion.” “What right does the state have to say that God isn’t involved in procreation?” he demanded.

Parents and clergy? And what happens when there is no clergy or the parents have never had a decent education regarding sexuality? Young exposes himself here ({Shudder}, I wish I could find a recent pic so you could see how repulsive he is.) as a religious freak.

Anyhow while it may not reduce the sexual activity, at least it’ll give kids the information they need to protect themselves. And I’m all for it. Put it this way, even though my first twelve years of schooling were in Catholic schools, we had sex education. Even covered, horror of horrors, homosexuality. But I never got the talk from my parents. Certainly my father had knowledge having been in the Navy. But he never broached the subject with me.

Young’s second paragraph is laughable. His god has nothing to do with procreation. Procreation, or more accurately reproduction owes more to biochemistry and genetics than anything else. If there was a god do you really think he would just leave a few documents around, knowing that we humans are so adaptable that just about anything could be believed?

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