Saturday, April 23, 2016

Bear In 100% Agreement With Michael Voris on Gay Past




This article stems from some of the reactions to Michael Voris' disclosure that he led a homosexual lifestyle in the past. He explained that after his mother's death in 2004, he had a reversion to the Catholic Church that included abandonment of sodomy, and then went on to start what would become Church Militant TV.

The Bear believes most people are missing the point.

First, it isn't a question of whether Michael Voris alone is embarrassed or not, or should be supported or criticized. It is about the wisdom of embarking on a very polarizing apostolate involving a lot of people, keeping a secret you know makes you extremely vulnerable.

Second, it isn't a question of "why should anyone disclose past sins they have confessed?" Mostly, we shouldn't. The issue properly framed is, "why Michael Voris should have disclosed his past sodomy."

However, since the Bear expects he is contra mundum on these matters, he will rely heavily on someone with far greater prestige and knowledge of all the facts -- Michael Voris. He has already addressed these issues, and the Bear is just agreeing with him.


Bear Agrees With Michael Voris that Disclosure Could Harm Him, CMTV


From "Limiting God," Michael Voris' self-disclosure of his homosexual past.

We have on very good authority from various sources that the New York archdiocese is collecting and preparing to quietly filter out details of my past life with the aim of publicly discrediting me, this apostolate and the work here.

From the beginning of Michael Voris' statement, he acknowledges that at least his alleged enemies see disclosing homosexual activities of his past as a way of discrediting not only him, but the apostolate and its work. Aside from his flesh-and-blood enemies, he acknowledges that:

Since our earliest days, what we do here has been a target of the diabolical. He has put forth too many traps for me to even recall. The goal has been to shut us down and end this mission because we constantly speak about the glory of the Catholic Church and its life-giving power. He doesn't want that message being heard. He wants people being ensnared.

In other words, he was on notice. If the Catholic ephemera is to be believed, some ephemerists have had to moderate comments from people with intimate knowledge of Michael's past from appearing in comboxes. The scope of his activities evidently made him vulnerable to surprise disclosures or blackmail at any time. He knew this was always a ticking time bomb. We don't know if he shared knowledge of the risk with those close to him at CMTV.

The Bear has agreed with Michael Voris on this assessment. So far reaction seems to be limited to unqualified support and adulation; gloating; and slightly distanced support, in that order. In other words, it looks like the people who didn't care for him before, still don't care for him, and those that do, still do. Hardly anyone is throwing his past back into his face.


 Bear Agrees With Michael Voris That It Was Wrong Not to Disclose Early

I did not think that a full public confession of details was necessary in order to start proclaiming the great mercy of God. Perhaps that was a wrong assessment. I don't seriously know. Perhaps along these years I should have been revealing of greater detail. That, I now think so, but more on that in a moment.

and

I have made many mistakes and missteps as the leader here, but in regard to this specific point, it was a mistake to not bring this forth earlier. I did not do it to deceive, but because I did not understand the necessity.

The Bear has also agreed with Michael Voris that it was not only a good idea, but a "necessity" to trust in God and clear the air early, especially before launching a crusade that included strong anti-homosexual elements and made many enemies among the powerful. If there's one thing the Devil can't resist, it's irony. (Like a Bear pretending to be a Man observing that keeping secrets has a downside.)

That would have obviously been a very, very tough call, and taken enormous courage -- then. Would he be as effective as "ex-homosexual Michael Voris?" Would early supporters have been as eager to back him? Would his credibility in general be diminished, and on homosexual issues especially? The Bear is sure Michael Voris considered these and many other questions. They are extraordinarily hard ones.

But, as Michael Voris himself said about whether he was wrong to have kept his secrets, "Now I do. I was limiting God."

That is the title and theme of the whole announcement, in case everyone missed it.

So if anyone has taken offense at anything the Bear has said so far, he should take it up with Michael Voris, because the Bear is simply agreeing with the man. And needless to say, the Bear could personally give a rip what anyone has repented of and been absolved for (and, for the most part, not, too, and that goes for any human). But his previous comment about even healed wounds possibly remaining a disability stands. This is just another way of agreeing with Michael Voris.


Collateral Issues


This part is where the Bear may make some people angry. But it's just an assessment based on what's been revealed so far.

Archdiocese of New York -- a vague allegation and an official denial. The Bear doubts either side will see an advantage in adding to what has already been said. Then both camps can believe what they want and we go back to status quo ante. Does that mean the Bear doubts Michael's claim? Not necessarily. Obviously, something provoked this painful episode. He has spoken of contacts in the Archdiocese before.

But the lawyer gene in the Bear is expressing itself by not finding the allegations against the Archdiocese even getting past the preliminary hearing stage so far. And what does "The Archdiocese of New York" mean? Cardinal "Bravo" Dolan? Two or three people acting on their own? A misreading of evidence or intent by Michael Voris? Someone faking a plan to disclose in order to get Michael to do it for them? (That would be really twisted, but clever.)

The Bear does not expect any of these questions to be answered.

However, making such an allegation and not following up with credible evidence would raise many questions.  Hopefully, it's already all in hand, tied up in a pink bow. Time is Michael's friend in one way, but in this way it isn't. This is where his credibility is actually -- and, unnecessarily, sadly -- on the line.

Church Militant TV -- this has nothing directly to do with the current disclosure, but CMTV has seemed a half-a-bubble off center for a long time. The mysterious Terry Carroll's odd interactions with Catholic ephemerists; geocentrism; waving swords around on the set; waving rifles around on horseback (don't tell the Bear you missed those); famously completely ignoring Pope Francis' historically dangerous pontificate; sexy online role-playing games by high ranking staff; and aggressive purging of CMTV's commenters -- these are some of the reasons so many Catholic bloggers are starting their solidarity statements by saying, "As everyone knows, Michael Voris and I haven't always seen eye-to-eye."

CMTV is obviously meeting the needs of a segment of Catholics. Just as the Bear meets the needs of (a much smaller, but -- until this article at least -- growing, segment) of Catholics. The Bear wishes not only Michael well, but also CMTV. However, he recognizes that some could see this as "one more thing." To those people the Bear would say, nothing has changed. If CMTV was your thing before, the Bear can see no logical reason it shouldn't be now.

Courage -- The Bear is going to promote this from his own comments to the last article, because it's irritating him to an unreasonable degree and his therapist from Fish, Game and Wildlife's Department of Large Talking Predators tells him not to hold things in. (Sometimes he sees Harvey in the waiting room for the Department of Lagomorphs; but he's not sure he's even real, or what they're worried about.)

Standing in front a camera and telling the world you were a homosexual some years ago, before you became a good Catholic, has to be a lot of things. Painful. Embarrassing. Even dignified. But when the only reason you are doing that is to preempt expected disclosure by an enemy, how can it be called "courageous?" It was a public figure sensibly getting out in front of a damaging story.

There are kids still in Afghanistan (remember them?); policemen and firemen; everyday people stepping up and doing the right thing when they don't have to in spite of risk. There are ill people who have to draw upon courage to even get out of bed some days. These people are courageous. Damage control -- yep, the Bear went there -- isn't courageous, although there's certainly nothing blameworthy about it.

Again, the Bear is just agreeing with Michael Voris, who says he failed to do the right thing when he didn't disclose back when he didn't have to. That would have been truly courageous. The courage train left the station on this matter a long time ago. This isn't a dig at Michael, or at commenters, or denying that Michael possesses the virtue of courage in general (or at least moxie, which ain't bad). But words matter. Call it a Bear quirk.


Limiting God


The Bear has often found reason to comment on Michael Voris, mostly favorable, sometimes not. In some ways, Michael Voris and his enterprise is emblematic of the stresses in the Catholic Church today. That's one of the things that makes him news. (That and his take-no-prisoners style.)

The lesson for all of us has been pointed out by Michael Voris himself. Faith and trust go together. We must believe in God, in the Almighty God, for Whom nothing is difficult. We must also trust in God's goodness to use omnipotence in His loving interest for us.

When we bury our loved ones, we have faith in a God Who is there to care for their living souls, despite all the testimony of our senses: a cold body and the silent heavens. We also trust that the same God will indeed lavish unimaginable care on them out of His love and goodness.

You can dial that down to ordinary daily concerns and the same principle applies. What spoils it all is our fear. The Bear doesn't know about you, but it seems to be fear, more than doubt, that sometimes makes him wonder if God is real. And it is fear that blocks trust, as well: fear that the One we trust will disappoint. When we make decisions out of fear, for all practical purposes we deny God -- both His existence and His goodness. Or, as Michael put it, limit Him, which is the same thing. A God Who is limited is not God.

The Bear isn't saying he would have acted any differently if he had been in Michael Voris' shoes. God knows the Bear has his secrets he would not want exposed. Everyone does. So probably not. We don't always make such decisions clearly. Personality types, wounds, psychology, practical concerns, rationalizations, ego, advisors -- if any -- and, yes, fear, can all play their parts.

If you really want to support Michael Voris, don't worry about his past, or his future, but give him the courtesy of listening to him talk about a hard lesson. Don't let it be wasted on you. Understand why he thinks he made bad decisions in this matter, and how they grew from placing limits on God.

Otherwise, a human screwing up is just a dog-bites-man story.

31 comments:

  1. This is good stuff. From you. From Voris.

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  2. What bothers me the most about this whole thing is that NYArch has the ba!!s to go after MV in a meanspirited way but are unwilling or afraid to exercise their rightful duty to address a situation with (oxymoron alert!) a Catholic 'married' homosexual employee everyone knows about but must pretend otherwise.

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    1. And as soon as Michael releases his evidence about his very serious claim against the Archdiocese -- which he chose to bring up, even though he didn't have to for the purpose at hand -- then the Bear will wade in very Bearishly. (He could have left it at "I have reliable information that certain enemies of me and this apostolate...")

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    2. Yes, that is the very large elephant in the room.

      The charge has been made, and it counts as actionable calumny unless true. Not only that; if not true, but manufactured, then Voris is finished as his public confession in THAT context would be weird.

      If true, however, that is very grave indeed for the Priests of the NY Archdioscese in this life and the next. Because as Lucius, below, points out there is a soul at stake here.

      Follow up by CM is mandatory.

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    3. This is the part I can't get behind. Why drag ADNY into this? This is either a way of attacking ADNY while at the same time insulating himself from attack, or it's true. But it seems unprovable either way. As The Bear points out, what does it mean? Is Dolan behind it? Is some low-level chancery or seminary official behind it? What evidence does he have? A smoking-gun email from said official to Maureen Dowd or a bit of gossip from a friend in the Archdiocese? If the latter, it can be easily dismissed by ADNY.

      The problem with the first theory is that he can only get so much milage out of it. "I used to be gay and the archdiocese wants to defame me over it" can be used a few times. How's he going to follow up? By exposing the gay employees of ADNY or the support of gay marches or gay parishes there's an endless list of news stories to expose. But the ADNY can only try to expose Voris once and eventually it's old news.

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    4. "Why drag ADNY into this? This is either a way of attacking ADNY while at the same time insulating himself from attack, or it's true."

      This is not an either/or. Both could easily be true. In fact, as the Bear has said elsewhere, MV did not have to mention the Archdiocese at all for the purposes of his disclosure. He could just as easily have said, "I have credible information from multiple sources that certain parties are preparing to disclose information about my past homosexual lifestyle."

      Which takes us back to your original, excellent question, "Why drag ADNY into this?"

      Yet, most people who have any regard at all for MV seem to be taking this allegation at face value and venting on the Archdiocese. Obviously, the Archdiocese has taken some credibility hits, and that doesn't hurt MV. So maybe it was an effective element of MV self-disclosure, and that is the simple explanation.

      This is one of the reasons the Bear stated he did not believe the broadcast was "pitch perfect."

      It does not, however, diminish the Bear's official 100% solidarity with MV.

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  3. The following is a different viewpoint on these matters and I may be wrong.

    When I think about the sexual addiction inherent in sodomy (as well as lesbianism, adultery, and fornication), my mind naturally turns to alcoholism and drug addiction (indeed, there is a Sexaholics Anonymous - www.sa.org). Such anonymous groups abide by a series of 12 Steps and less discussed 12 Traditions. The 11th of those 12 Traditions states the following:

    "'Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.' Public relations are important to A.A. Good public relations save lives. We seek publicity for A.A. principles, not A.A. members. The press has cooperated. Personal anonymity at the public level is the cornerstone of our public relations policy. Eleventh Tradition is a constant reminder that personal ambition has no place in A.A. Each member becomes an active guardian of our Fellowship."

    The 12th of those 12 Traditions states:

    “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.' Spiritual substance of anonymity is sacrifice. Subordinating personal aims to the common good is the essence of all Twelve Traditions. Why A.A. could not remain a secret society. Principles come before personalities. One hundred percent anonymity at the public level. Anonymity is real humility."

    More can be read on these and the other Traditions and Steps here:

    http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/twelve-steps-and-twelve-traditions

    My point in all this is that maybe there was wisdom in Michael Voris having maintained anonymity regarding his sodomy in the past. It protects the person who has recovered or is recovering from his own ego - the self-congratulatory attitude of "look at how great I am now that I have recovered." It also protects the larger organization from tying its fortunes to a single individual who could backslide and bring everything down with him.

    Now some will say, Lucius, "Why don't you then maintain your own anonymity?" My answer is that Lucius is a pseudonym and not my given name.

    Lastly, there is a world of difference between the Catholic Church and a 12 Step organization, so if my viewpoint is wrong, I won't be offended in the least. This is just something I have been thinking about after Michael Voris divulged his anonymity - it is a serious action and requires great spiritual preparation in order to protect one from the most insidious attack of all - the self-congratulatory ego (and I detect NOT ONE TRACE of that in Michael Voris' video).

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    1. No, you are right in normal contexts. But The Bear has to agree with MV in this particular case. And the Bear is glad you are recovering from your addiction. And, yes, we do not know if there was an addictive element in MV's case, but the Bear would bet good money on it. Maybe even some other illness besides homophilia. This is one reason we shouldn't judge.

      People who have not been challenged by addiction imagine you can just "white knuckle it" and stop. It's easier to understand with, say, an opioid, when receptors in your brain, your gut, everywhere, are all screaming, "Oh, Hell no." But even so, many imagine addiction can be cured by just saying no. That it is solely a moral issue. But all true addictions are physical -- your brain actually changes (chicken, meet egg) -- and psychology is real, and so is the spiritual realm, and the need to learn triggers, and it all is very complicated and difficult.

      Sudden conversions make great stories, and no doubt God performs those miracles. But usually it is a nightmarish slog through crap you never even thought about in your life with much backsliding. And the hard work of physically changing a broken brain, as much as possible. (Yes, the brain is "plastic" like Play Doh, which causes no end of difficulties for reductionist materialists, since how can immaterial thoughts change matter?)

      And, at least with opioids, "the body remembers." Years later, if you slip up, you're going to need the same dose as you did whenever you got clean. You don't get to start at the beginning ever again.

      We don't know what kind of support MV got through this process, and it is pointless to speculate. If this all began with his mother's death in 2004, he's accomplished a lot in a little more than a decade.

      It might be worth pointing out that his account of vowing on his mother's casket and dedicating his life devotionally, then never looking back is the exception to usual reform and a great grace. It should not raise unrealistic expectations for others. Whether sound spiritual direction, therapy to deal with root influences, AA, NA etc. and/or Suboxone or other appropriate neurotransmitter tweaks, it usually takes a lot more.

      Many try to just white knuckle their way out of an addiction (lifestyle, drugs, vice, habitual sin) and get discouraged when their successes turn into failures. It is so important to understand that, Sunshine, YOU don't have any successes! The moment you pat yourself on the back is the moment you know for sure you are headed for a fall. All success, all recovery, is from God.

      The Bear is a very careful writer who says exactly what he means so that all who run may read, so there should be no misunderstandings about what he said. There are no "hidden messages" or insinuations.

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    2. Very thought provoking and useful.

      There are many ways to fall into sin; almost infinite really. But just one, narrow little way that leads to life .... And few find it. We should all take heed, lest we fall, one way or another. Pride is the elemental sin. It is the first infection of Eden and is the DNA of our fallen nature.

      Sick, twisted pride in past sins, perhaps not fully conquered, is one form of pride. The other side of your coin, also true, is the person who hides his sin skillfully to the world and presents a virtuous veneer that is a big lie.

      Along with the Psalmist, my own sins are ever before me. It does not edify to share specifics. It is almost always wrong to do so. But a general testimony about our fallen past and current redemption is a big part of what makes our Catholic Faith attractive. Everyone who ever lived can relate to this. I would argue that is an essential element of the Gospel that presents the risen Lord to the world as the only path of salvation. It's at the heart of our Confiteor, all of which is deeply personal and true for me; and should be for us all.

      The world is morally blind and there are precious few willing to give useful answers or solutions. Conviction, Repentance, Redemption, Sanctification, Life and Happiness. God appeared among us, conquered death and lives among us still. He beckons us to follow His living presence in His precise steps. Only those who do this will find Him and thus conquer sin ..... The Gospel as I see it.

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    3. Beautifully put, Brian. Not sure about happiness, at least in the world. YMMV.

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  4. Thanks Bear. Beautifully expressed sentiments. Hopefully, we can move on, support Michael, pray for him and hope this entire matter blows over soon.

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  5. Sorry -- posted this comment in the wrong reply string originally --

    I think this is a very fair assessment, Bear. Very good. I, too, am hoping for some evidence, and more than just a quote from his source; something like email, or admission from one of his past lovers that he/she has been contacted by someone in the Archdiocese. As the good judge said in a comment to your prior post to this, Voris's claim has some credibility because it's against interest ... but that's not enough for such a serious (and somewhat vague, as to whom or how) charge.

    Voris's confession is the first of their videos I've watched since his blaming Benedict instead of Francis. While I acknowledge that both Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict exercised poor judgments with some of the episcopal appointments and assignments, to ignore that the current pope is causing serious damage in a different way, directly and apparently deliberately, in favor of bashing poor Benedict simply because he was available for Voris to kick around, really turned me off.

    At daily Mass some years ago, I heard a priest explain that the teaching to love our neighbor didn't mean we had to like him/her. It meant, he said, that we had to desire eternal salvation for our neighbor. Desiring eternal salvation even for someone we dislike is not always easy, and the closer we are to the person the more difficult it is, Father said.

    So -- I don't like Michael Voris. He's always kind of bugged me, but meh -- I know I bug other people. As I say, however, I started actively disliking him when he made up the rule not to ever criticize the pope, and then vented his spleen by going after Benedict. I still hope his conversion is sincere and permanent, and I hope for his eternal salvation.

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    1. A declaration against interest is just an exception to the hearsay rule. All it means is that it is admissible as evidence. The Bear would quibble a bit that MV disclosure is a declaration against interest and probative of the truth that he led a homosexual lifestyle. The accusation against the Archdiocese is really a separate issue entirely, and is simply a flat accusation without any evidence at all. While one might argue that MV would not have disclosed without fear of disclosure, there is still no evidence of who might have been the source. Other than MV assertion. This is an easy trap to fall into, as did even the Bear at first. Everyone is free to believe whichever party they prefer on their subjective assessment of credibility, but the Bear is going to remain neutral on the matter until he sees some evidence from the accuser. Which, as he stated in the piece, he does not expect to see.

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  6. Howdy, Bear.

    Saul of Tarsus. He sure didn't seem like the man for the job, either. He very publicly consented to the death of St. Stephen and other Christians, and possibly threw a few stones for good measure. Of course, Saul's calling by the Lord was was rather spectacular...most of us are called quietly, through whispers and nudges from the Spirit. I really don't think any of us can question the heart-to-heart God had with Mr. Voris because we weren't there.

    As far as courage goes....my goodness, it took _incredible_ courage for Michael Voris to start CM and publicly proclaim the Gospel despite a sinful past. Whether it was prudent to do so without full disclosure is debatable, but the courage it took to do so is not. It's all too easy to turn back and be transfixed by the brimstone falling on Sodom and miss the call of the Lord _today_.

    But, I can see your point in saying courage-not-so-much in regard to the recent disclosure.

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    1. Christine, I was far from speculating, but merely giving an example of the acceptance everyone should give him, no matter what the future brings. I am certain you are able to see it from that perspective, too, now that I have explained it.

      However, I agree that it might be interpreted as me voicing an expectation of something. I think it is best, therefore, to take down that particular comment by me. Thank you. Yours is coming down, too, because you quoted the item you found objectionable.

      Unlike you, I am not privy as to what advice Michael's spiritual adviser gave him, or anyone else's advice, for that matter. The only thing I have to go on is what Michael himself has said: that it was a mistake not to disclose. As a former newsman, Michael certainly expected attention from all quarters over this and carefully chose what he was going t say.

      As your probably know, I have agreed with Michael far more than not, and especially support him publicly now.

      But he is not my friend. Which is not to say I am his enemy, merely contrasting our relationships to him. I have commented from the outside solely on the facts provided by Michael himself, as a significant pubic figure in current Catholic culture. If you feel that should be out of bounds, I would understand, but have to disagree.

      Nor do I expect everyone is going to have the same opinion on various elements of this story. That's fine. I'm not here to argue anything. I recognize it would have been difficult, probably would have made the same choice, but have to agree with Michael that is a mistake.

      I have noticed the reactions to this revelation track with what people thought of Michael Voris beforehand, and that should be no surprise. I don't think I've come across as single person who has written that they liked MV before, but can't now.

      I try to be fair and objective on this blog (except when I'm obviously in circus-Bear mode). I think I have been fair and objective on this story. Being a lawyer makes it easier to get in that mode than most people, perhaps. I tend to see things like a lawyer. Tactically. What works, what doesn't, what needs to happen next, how it might have been avoided. But, I, too, am a former newsie, albeit smaller market than MV. I try to bring all of that, plus understanding to what I do.

      Thank you again, Christine, for pointing out how my comment might be interpreted in a way other than what I intended. I enjoy your presence here on SCB and hope you will continue to visit the friendly woodlands on a regular basis.

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    2. P.S. for the record, I prefaced the objected-to remark by "and I am NOT in any way suggesting that this is the case."

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  7. I'm not sure if your post is somewhat rhetorical, Bear, or if you're arguing some of the things I said in my post, but if it's the latter ... I agree with you. His revelation against interest was merely something I used to gauge his credibility with respect to his accusation of planned retaliation from within the Archdiocese ... I don't view that as evidence against the Archdiocese at all. I also don't mean to claim that his admission actually makes him credible; it goes to that, but no more.

    He stated (or perhaps implied, I don't remember) that he could not reveal the source(s) of the homosexual ring inside the Archdiocese without putting them at risk, and I suppose that holds true for the revelation regarding retaliation. Having dealt with lots of employees fearing retaliation from managers and supervisors, I understand that fear; but there are other means of proving what he says is true, such as email, v-mail, witnesses outside the Archdiocese employment, contacts with former lovers. That's what I'm waiting for.

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    1. Oh, and as to whether it really was against interest ... I don't know. I could play "what if" all day with that one, but rather than do that, I will simply admit that I don't know.

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  8. No, I was just clarifying a legal concept to avoid potential confusion while explaining that it might yet indirectly go to the issue of his specific claim against the Archdiocese as true, i.e. we have good reason to believe at least the threat of disclosure by somebody is something MV believed to be true.

    Pardon the Bear, but he'll always think like a criminal defense trial hack.

    One might go even further by inferring that persons within the Archdiocese arguably had a motive, given MV relentless attacks. Given the apparent scope of MV's homosexual activities, it is not a stretch to suppose that if comment boxes in ephemera had to be weeded out of homosexual disclosures against MV, the same information could have been supplied to the Archdiocese, and/or they could have developed it separately.

    Finally, one might say, "I think Michael Voris is a credible party, but the Archdiocese of New York is not, therefore I simply believe MV and not the Archdiocese." And that is exactly what everyone else will do (or the other way.)

    Of course, on the other hand, the Bear could make a compelling defense of the Archdiocese, and will, for the sum of 5m USD, deposited into the Bear's offshore account. (Just because the Bear is honest, doesn't mean he's not for rent.) But he's not going to give it away free here.

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    1. No pardon necessary, Bear; I just wanted to make sure.

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  9. Dear Bear,

    Please guide me as to whether there is a connection here....

    SCENARIO: Cream cake gluttony...

    Imagine...

    For years I was a cream cake glutton, and at that stage, someone took a photograph of my ten stone overweight silhouette.


    Repenting, I turned my back on those cream cakes, discovered salads, and trimmed down...

    Then for years I thundered against gluttony, seeking to expose those "cream- cake-scoffing" scoundrels......

    AND THEN....

    I hear my "fat photo" has resurfaced....

    AND SO...

    I come clean...yes, I was indeed a cream cake glutton...I'm not proud of it...I should have shared my cream-cake-concupiscence before...but , before that photo is published...know this...like Clint Eastwood in the movie Forgiven..".I ain't like that no more..."

    QUESTIONS
    1)Would my victory over cream cakes have helped other gluttons, had I shared my past struggles voluntarily ? ( without threat of having my ten stone overweight photo published)

    2)Could my " fat photo " not itself be a great evangelising tool? (If I can do it, so can you...)

    3)Is it true...A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips ?

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    1. Dear Ever Mindful,

      There is a 12 step program for compulsive overeaters (whether of cream cakes or not) which in and of itself is a serious illness. Please see www.oa.org.

      When I got into AA, as many alcoholics and addict do, I had substituted one addiction for another. The result was excessive weight gain, and a warning from my doctor that I was headed for a heart attack. On learning about this, my AA sponsor, his sponsor a Franciscan priest who was my Confessor, and my pyschotherapist all "conspired" to send me to Overeaters Anonymous as well. It turns out that the old saying is true: it isn't alcohol (or drugs or food or gambling or sex) that is the problem. It is the ISM - I, Self and Me.

      Some people like Michael Voris have an instant conversion. My father (a former drinker) did also. He was standing one day in cow manure in a barn during his youth when he was a country farmer and God somehow revealed to him the $h1t (forgive the pun) that he had made of his life. Many people however as Bear indicated are not granted such grace and must put work into their faith (that's why there are 12 Steps and none begin with "I").

      So maybe your fat photo could be an evangelizing tool, as long as we do what John the Baptist said, "I must decrease that He may increase." Darn, another pun! ;-)

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    2. PS, please consider Romans 7:13-25 here:

      https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%207&version=RSVCE

      I may be theologically wrong, but nevertheless I have found this to be one of the best descriptions of addiction (whether to drink, drugs, food, gambling, sex, etc).

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    3. Dear EM,

      Since all this is after the fact, sure, some might be inspired. Especially if your testimony honestly described the ups and downs, the struggles and backsliding of the whole process (you ate cream cake at a birthday party two years ago, sometimes sneak a peak at cream cakes in magazine ads, find yourself fantasizing about cream cake, etc.) Also, you detailed any therapy, medication, support groups, meditation etc -- if any -- that helped you.

      If you said it was the conversion of an instant and you never looked back, the Bear would guess very few people would relate to your testimony, and it might even discourage others who just saw your fat picture next to your beautiful, slim, new non-cream cake figure, and wondered why they were failing so miserably. They might say, "It's all well and good that this lady could give up cream cakes so easily, but that's not me, so I give up. I'm going into the closet and eating five cream cakes."

      If you're going to hold yourself out as an exemplar, you better be prepared to be 100% , completely honest, and reveal the whole process.

      And you had better be prepared to be known as "Cream Cake Lady" the rest of your life, no matter what you would rather talk about.

      The Bear supposes the underlying premise is that MV may now encourage other homosexuals to combat their evil practices, or at least his forced disclosure might prove inspirational.

      The Bear would say that depends on what MV does. Providing inspirational testimony is not what this was about, and he would be surprised that were added to MV agenda. Given his stridency on the topic in the past, he may not be the right person to reach homosexuals. And, I think it would inevitably drag him off-message.

      MV has no obligation to assume the title of "ex-homosexual Michael Voris," and all that would entail, in order to lead others out of Sodom. Personally, the Bear thinks that would be a mistake. But that's entirely up to MV.

      But no, the Bear does not see this in and of itself inspiring many cream cake eaters to change.

      The sooner MV gets back to business as usual, the better. (Although there is still the accusation against the Archdiocese out there hanging.)

      Delete
    4. LQC -- good point about substituting one addiction for another. There is a lot of psychic energy wrapped up in our additions, and just stepping on the water hose does not solve the problem.

      Delete
    5. Cream cakes! Awesome. You're right. Easier to think clearly about cream cakes than the other.

      Delete
    6. I wish people would pick another example rather than cream cake on this subject.

      Delete
  10. Overall comment on addictions. Most folks, including myself, in AA type programs end up thankful for their addictions because they discover who they are, have personal experience with God and His mercy, and eventually end up leading much better and happier lives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen, Michael Dowd - St Paul's thorn in the flesh!

      Delete
    2. Where's the 12-Step blogging program?

      Delete
    3. It sometimes appears that the 12-step blogging program is right here in Bearland.

      Delete

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