Fr. Fred Ball | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art

Fr. Fred Ball 
Member since Dec 12, 2010

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San Damiano Ecumenical Catholic Church —

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Recent Comments

Re: “Lucie's Place work for LGBT young people gets lift from Daughters of Charity

This is great news! We count both Lucie's Place and the Daughters of Charity as friends. Important work is happening.

11 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Fr. Fred Ball on 03/13/2017 at 2:41 PM

Re: “Anti-immigrant legislation fails in committee; Smith said aim was to stop Arkansas campuses from becoming Berkeley

Apparently, when he was doing his seminary work, he missed the part about the Gospel.

8 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Fr. Fred Ball on 02/07/2017 at 5:44 PM

Re: “Arkansas Catholic school policy on LGBT students draws fire

I was saddened to read about the new anti-LGBT policy for Roman Catholic schools in Arkansas. While I typically would not comment publicly on the policies of a private organization of which I am not a member, as a Catholic of the non-Roman variety, I am aware that this reflects on our tradition as a whole, so I am compelled to speak.

I have read the new policy document, which cleverly does not discriminate on the basis of identity, but behavior. By forbidding students to “advocate, celebrate, or express same-sex attraction,” as well as by dictating the language to be used when discussing homosexuality, the Diocese of Little Rock says to LGBT students, “You are not who you think you are and you may not be that person here.”

This is a disappointing step away from the great Catholic tradition of serving people regardless of their identity or belief system. Catholic schools have long been places of diversity with regard to ethnicity, income level, and faith. Education, rather than indoctrination, has been a hallmark of Catholic schools at their best.

Fortunately, there are alternative approaches to the Catholic faith. I am pleased to be part of a parish (not affiliated with the Diocese of Little Rock) where people are welcomed and fully included without questions about their sexuality. In fact, we encourage people to advocate, celebrate, and express who they are as children of God. American Christianity’s preoccupation with sex and gender has not served us well. It reinforces the hegemony of straight males and ultimately will only lead to further decline of the church.

As a closing thought, I find it ironic that the story about this new school policy came out when it did. Even if you believe that homosexuality is a sin, did you happen to hear the Gospel passage from Luke 15, which was read in every Catholic church on Sunday? It began with that wonderful complaint of the Pharisees and scribes against Jesus: “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

I have trouble squaring the threat to expel LGBT young people from school with the example of Jesus at any point in the Gospels. Maybe we should follow Jesus.

Fr. Fred Ball
San Damiano Ecumenical Catholic Church
Little Rock

27 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Fr. Fred Ball on 09/12/2016 at 11:41 AM

Re: “Faith leaders dismayed at governor's call to ignore law on transgender non-discrimination

1SONI, no Roman Catholics signed the letter, but this Ecumenical Catholic priest did. Supporting this kind of call for non-discrimination is certainly consonant with the Catholic tradition.

18 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Fr. Fred Ball on 06/10/2016 at 4:49 PM

Re: “Family Council to present 'courage' award to Rep. Justin Harris

He sponsored a "pro-life" bill, so he wins. I'm not sure how that counts as "courageous" in this political climate, since most of the folks around him support that kind of thinking. But he didn't have to actually *be* pro-life, as his treatment of those adopted children showed.

This kind of nonsense really shouldn't surprise us anymore.

22 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Fr. Fred Ball on 08/12/2015 at 5:31 PM

Re: “Hutchinson, joined by senators, touts handout for Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin's website reports 2014 net sales of $45.6 billion. I doubt they need our $87M, which is <0.2% of that sales figure.

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Fr. Fred Ball on 05/26/2015 at 3:14 PM

Re: “Damgoode Pies to join the brewpub scene

This is good news, indeed. Glad to see it happening and will certainly be there to support it. Now, let's just get the apostrophe out of Boscos, and all will be well. Is there an editor in the house?

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Fr. Fred Ball on 01/08/2015 at 6:01 PM

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