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"Gay, Catholic, and Doing Fine" (Yes, it's hard to be gay and Catholic)
LittleCatholicBubble ^ | July 12, 2011

Posted on 07/19/2011 5:26:40 AM PDT by NYer



Steve Gershom (a pseudonym) is a gay Catholic man in his late twenties. His blog, stevegershom.com, has been around for some months, but he has just decided to make it public. It's original, funny, poignant -- and culturally important. You can also find him on Twitter as stevegershom. I am profoundly grateful to Steve for agreeing to write this post for the Bubble.

+++++++

When Leila asked me to write about gay marriage, the first thing I found out was how little I know about it. If I wanted to say anything coherent, I'd have to have definite beliefs about some deeper, thornier subjects first: the relationship between civil and moral law, just for starters. Even if I were sure enough of myself to talk about those things, I doubt I could do it in a blog-sized article.

So I'll have to do it in a more personal way. That might be better anyhow.

I have heard a lot about how mean the Church is, and how bigoted, because she opposes gay marriage. How badly she misunderstands gay people, and how hostile she is towards us. My gut reaction to such things is: Are you freaking kidding me? Are we even talking about the same church?

When I go to Confession, I sometimes mention the fact that I'm gay, to give the priest some context. (And to spare him some confusion: Did you say 'locker room'? What were you doing in the women's...oh.) I've always gotten one of two responses: either compassion, encouragement, and admiration, because the celibate life is difficult and profoundly counter-cultural; or nothing at all, not even a ripple, as if I had confessed eating too much on Thanksgiving.

Of the two responses, my ego prefers the first -- who doesn't like thinking of themselves as some kind of hero? -- but the second might make more sense. Being gay doesn't mean I'm special or extraordinary. It just means that my life is not always easy. (Surprise!) And as my friend J. said when I told him recently about my homosexuality, "I guess if it wasn't that, it would have been something else." Meaning that nobody lives without a burden of one kind or another. As Rabbi Abraham Heschel said: "The man who has not suffered, what can he possibly know, anyway?"

Where are all these bigoted Catholics I keep hearing about? When I told my family a year ago, not one of them responded with anything but love and understanding. Nobody acted like I had a disease. Nobody started treating me differently or looking at me funny. The same is true of every one of the Catholic friends that I've told. They love me for who I am.

Actually, the only time I get shock or disgust or disbelief, the only time I've noticed people treating me differently after I tell them, is when I tell someone who supports the gay lifestyle. Celibacy?? You must be some kind of freak.

Hooray for tolerance of different viewpoints. I'm grateful to gay activists for some things -- making people people more aware of the prevalence of homosexuality, making homophobia less socially acceptable -- but they also make it more difficult for me to be understood, to be accepted for who I am and what I believe. If I want open-mindedness, acceptance, and understanding, I look to Catholics.

Is it hard to be gay and Catholic? Yes, because like everybody, I sometimes want things that are not good for me. The Church doesn't let me have those things, not because she's mean, but because she's a good mother. If my son or daughter wanted to eat sand I'd tell them: that's not what eating is for; it won't nourish you; it will hurt you. Maybe my daughter has some kind of condition that makes her like sand better than food, but I still wouldn't let her eat it. Actually, if she was young or stubborn enough, I might not be able to reason with her -- I might just have to make a rule against eating sand. Even if she thought I was mean.

So the Church doesn't oppose gay marriage because it's wrong; she opposes it because it's impossible, just as impossible as living on sand. The Church believes, and I believe, in a universe that means something, and in a God who made the universe -- made men and women, designed sex and marriage from the ground up. In that universe, gay marriage doesn't make sense. It doesn't fit with the rest of the picture, and we're not about to throw out the rest of the picture.

If you don't believe in these things, if you believe that men and women and sex and marriage are pretty much whatever we say they are, then okay: we don't have much left to talk about. That's not the world I live in.

So, yes, it's hard to be gay and Catholic -- it's hard to be anything and Catholic -- because I don't always get to do what I want. Show me a religion where you always get to do what you want and I'll show you a pretty shabby, lazy religion. Something not worth living or dying for, or even getting up in the morning for. That might be the kind of world John Lennon wanted, but John Lennon was kind of an idiot.

Would I trade in my Catholicism for a worldview where I get to marry a man? Would I trade in the Eucharist and the Mass and the rest of it? Being a Catholic means believing in a God who literally waits in the chapel for me, hoping I'll stop by just for ten minutes so he can pour out love and healing on my heart. Which is worth more -- all this, or getting to have sex with who I want? I wish everybody, straight or gay, had as beautiful a life as I have.

I know this isn't a satisfactory answer. I don't think any words could be. I try to make my life a satisfactory answer, to this question and to others: What are people for? What is love, and what does it look like? How do we get past our own selfishness so we can love God and our neighbors and ourselves?

It's a work in progress.



TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Moral Issues; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: catholic; celibacy; chastity; courage; gay; homosexual; homosexualagenda; johnlennon; marriage; romancatholic

1 posted on 07/19/2011 5:26:42 AM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 07/19/2011 5:27:35 AM PDT by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer

“Gay Catholic” ... talk about an oxymoron.


3 posted on 07/19/2011 5:41:52 AM PDT by ThePatriotsFlag
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To: NYer

“I know this isn’t a satisfactory answer.”

On the contrary: it’s the finest example of doing what God requires, rather than what one wants, that I’ve read in years. My prayer is that this man will resist the temptation to “accept who he is” and will fight, with God’s help, to free himself from this bondage.

An inspiring message.

Colonel, USAFR


4 posted on 07/19/2011 5:43:53 AM PDT by jagusafr ("We hold these truths to be self-evident...")
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To: NYer

Steve Gershom is just yet another infiltrator into the Roman Catholic church to ‘recruit’ young teen men from us ‘breeders’.

These folks who are gay Catholics ALWAYS, somehow, end up as a youth minister.

I’ve seen it.


5 posted on 07/19/2011 5:44:18 AM PDT by Le Chien Rouge
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To: ThePatriotsFlag; NYer
Are you saying all homosexuals cannot be Catholic, that they are excommunicated because they are homosexual?

He is a celibate gay man, and that makes him a true Catholic.

His is a difficult path and he believes in the Church and is doing his best to live by the Church.

He is not demanding to be a practicing homosexual AND Catholic. That would be oxymoronic.

His is a statement of faith in the Church and God, not in homosexuality.

He should be celebrated for his strength of faith and conviction.

6 posted on 07/19/2011 5:52:23 AM PDT by Hulka
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To: ThePatriotsFlag

I’m sorry, was that crack meant to be some kind of pejorative?

Do you really believe a person cannot be a Catholic and gay?

Do you believe a person can be homosexual, but not act on it?

Do you believe in that totally ridiculous idea that people choose to be homosexual? That is to say they are not born homosexual.


7 posted on 07/19/2011 6:02:00 AM PDT by dools0007world (uestion)
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To: NYer
The cure: keep your mouth shut.

If gays weren't so downright determined that everyone around know that they are gay, maybe the backlash would not be so disturbing to them.

The world is not quite ready for 100% acceptance of the gay lifestyle, and to make a point of flaunting it in everyone's face doesn't make sense, except to a) Get Attention, or b) demand special rights.

It's also an "I dare you!" challenge so a ruckus can be started, which usually attracts reporters and TV cameras.

So, if you want to be a catholic, and gay, then just don't tell anyone that your're gay...straight people don't arrive at the church door touting that they are 'straight'!


8 posted on 07/19/2011 6:02:05 AM PDT by FrankR ("If you can't make them see the light, let them feel the heat." - R. Reagan)
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To: Le Chien Rouge

it took a whole 5 posts to get the first catholic basher in.....


9 posted on 07/19/2011 6:02:54 AM PDT by joe fonebone (Project Gunwalker, this will make watergate look like the warm up band......)
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To: dools0007world

Somebody pushed your queer button?


10 posted on 07/19/2011 6:06:48 AM PDT by Berlin_Freeper ("Don't Call My Bluff")
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To: Le Chien Rouge

So, you can say with certainty that you have the gift of identifying everyone who is gay?

Further, in your vast experience, you can say with certainty that every homosexual person does evil things?

Finally, it makes perfect sense to you to condemn all homosexual people for the crimes of a small percent of that population and not do the same for hetero population?

FYI I’m not gay. But I try very hard to form judgements about people based on their individual behavior—not group stereotypes.


11 posted on 07/19/2011 6:14:24 AM PDT by dools0007world (uestion)
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To: NYer
One of the Best discussions on this subject
I've ever heard. Thank you for posting.
I've nothing but sympathy and understanding for this man.

Being an Alcoholic can be part of our fallen nature
— Drinking our self silly is wrong

Being Homosexual can be part of our fallen nature
— Men having sex with men is wrong

Our natures are corrupt and fallen
— We must surrender our natures to Christ

12 posted on 07/19/2011 6:18:09 AM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: FrankR

straight people don’t arrive at the church door touting that they are ‘straight’!
///
he tells his friends, and his Priest.
he is NOT committing homosexual acts.
he is bearing the cross he was born with.
and if he takes some pride in resisting sin successfully,
i still applaud him.
i’m far from sinless myself. this story was inspiring.


13 posted on 07/19/2011 6:21:37 AM PDT by Elendur (the hope and change i need: Sarah / Colonel West in 2012)
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To: NYer

1. Please add me to your ping list. Thanks! And

2. The woman spoke at one of the universities in Pittsburgh during Lent. I missed her talk because I had to work, but she’s suffered much persecution at the hands of the gay mafia.

http://eve-tushnet.blogspot.com/


14 posted on 07/19/2011 6:45:00 AM PDT by surroundedbyblue (Live the message of Fatima - pray & do penance!)
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To: NYer

Here is someone who recognizes the truth of the Bible and believes his relationship with God is more important than his sexual urges. I wish more people, both gay and straight, had the same amount of moral clarity that this man has. I applaud him I also pray that God will deliver him from his un-Godly urges, and will allow him to find happiness and fulfillment in a heterosexual relationship. Barring that, I pray that God gives him peace and strength in his celibate lifestyle.


15 posted on 07/19/2011 7:25:17 AM PDT by CA Conservative
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To: wagglebee; little jeremiah

Ping!


16 posted on 07/19/2011 7:27:58 AM PDT by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer
(Yes, it's hard to be gay and Catholic)

Actually, it's impossible to be gay and Catholic, you can be one or the other, but not both.

17 posted on 07/19/2011 7:29:26 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator

My parents are happy Catholics.

On a serious note, I prefer the title “A Catholic who has homosexual tendencies”, but would not have been as gripping a headline.


18 posted on 07/19/2011 7:37:43 AM PDT by rollo tomasi (Working hard to pay for deadbeats and corrupt politicians)
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To: NYer

He is fighting the good fight, we all have different areas of life that we have more of a sin problem in than others, for many it may be business and money, for others sex, but this guy is meeting his head on, and fighting the fight.


19 posted on 07/19/2011 8:50:09 AM PDT by ansel12 ( Bristol Palin's book "Not Afraid Of Life: My Journey So Far" became a New York Times, best seller.)
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To: dfwgator

Respectfully, dfwgator, gay is a misused word, especially by the pro-homosexual crowd. He’d have been more accurate to have called himself a Catholic suffering from same-sex attraction. It’s good to read things such as this thread, though. He is, at this point, doing the right thing. And we are, as a fellow freeper said recently, to love the sinner and hate the sin. If this man suffers from same-sex attraction, and maintains celibacy, that is entirely different from him indulging is homosexual acts. I find it commendable for him to fight these urges, and to bear his cross.


20 posted on 07/19/2011 8:58:37 AM PDT by sayuncledave (A cruce salus)
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To: Le Chien Rouge
Steve Gershom is just yet another infiltrator into the Roman Catholic church to ‘recruit’ young teen men from us ‘breeders’.

Where in any of his statements did you get THAT notion? There are some people with homosexual inclinations who do not ACT on them. Sounds like this young man has given it much thought, and more importantly, PRAYER, and has come to the conclusion that acting on his inclinations just isn't worth the cost of his immortal soul.

21 posted on 07/19/2011 9:44:50 AM PDT by SuziQ
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To: ThePatriotsFlag

I don’t know. I’m Catholic and I’m pretty happy. Now if you’re talking about homosexual Catholics, that’s another story.


22 posted on 07/19/2011 9:52:21 AM PDT by murron (Proud Mom of a Marine Vet)
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To: rollo tomasi

Bingo.

He has my prayers regardless. Keep fighting the fight like the rest of us.


23 posted on 07/19/2011 11:11:20 AM PDT by AliVeritas (Pray. For all the latest, check out: http://directorblue.blogspot.com/)
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To: dools0007world
Do you really believe a person cannot be a Catholic and gay?

That's right, that is what MY Catholic church taught me. It's what I believe ... what did your Catholic Church teach you, that it was OK to be gay? Your Parrish has a religious screw loose if that's the case!

Do you believe in that totally ridiculous idea that people choose to be homosexual? That is to say they are not born homosexual.

Yes I do ... if you say they are "born" homosexual so society must give them a pass, then fine, what about pedophiles ... aren't they "born" that way then too? So we give both gays and pedophiles a pass because they were just "born" that way. Hey, it's just a sexual abnormality they were born with, not their fault. If you believe that, pal, you are headed for some real problems. I'm getting sicker and sicker of this "hey do anything (or anybody) you want" .. life is great, there are no religious downsides anymore, that's "old hat" ... we'll see in the end won't we?

24 posted on 07/19/2011 2:15:53 PM PDT by ThePatriotsFlag
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To: NYer
Dennis Prager, Why Judaism Rejected Homosexuality
25 posted on 07/19/2011 2:19:29 PM PDT by onedoug (If)
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To: onedoug
That is what I expected to read. Recently, however, many American Jews have come out in support for homosexual marriage. FWIU, there are differing views on this. In fact, gays are protected in Israel LGBT rights in Israel

Is there an official Jewish position?

26 posted on 07/19/2011 5:04:23 PM PDT by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: ThePatriotsFlag

Whoa Patriots. Let’s take a step back and refocus.

I always ask people like you: Who would choose to be gay if they were not?

Being born homosexual is no different than being born with a congenital disease or missing an arm. Something went terribly wrong in the womb.

The Catholic Church does not condemn homosexuality. How could it? The person was born that way. The Catholic Church does condemn homosexual acts. That is why it is possible to be both Catholic and homosexual.

I never said homosexual behavior should be given a pass. However, as long as the behavior is kept in the bedroom I don’t see it as any of my business. God is the judge, not me.

I do take great exception to the Gay Pride Day twits that make public asses of themselves and try to tear down the sacrament of matrimony. Despite the media’s fascination and coverage of their antics, this crowd is really a small percent of the homsexual population, And, of course, crimes committed by gay people should be prosecuted—just like crimes committed by hetero folks.

Can you at least agree that gays are God’s children, too?

If none of this makes any sense to you, then I wish you well in your role as God.


27 posted on 07/19/2011 5:27:06 PM PDT by dools0007world (uestion)
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To: NYer

I know what my position is from Torah. And the Orthodox I´ve been in shul with are in accord. Essentially hate the sin, love the sinner. Just don´t bring it to synagogue.


28 posted on 07/19/2011 7:08:48 PM PDT by onedoug (If)
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To: NYer

Thanks for the article.

He is living the life all Catholics who are not married are called to live. Celibacy.

He also recognizes that he can never have a sexual relationship.

Single women and single men live that out every day.


29 posted on 07/19/2011 7:10:58 PM PDT by Not gonna take it anymore
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To: NYer; AFA-Michigan; Abathar; Albion Wilde; AliVeritas; Antoninus; BabaOreally; Berlin_Freeper; ...
Homosexual Agenda Ping

Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the homosexual agenda ping list.

Be sure to click the FreeRepublic homosexual agenda keyword search link for a list of all related articles. We don't ping you to all related articles so be sure to click the previous link to see the latest articles.

Add keywords homosexual agenda to flag FR articles to this ping list.

The author has my admiration. He is apparently living a celibate life and doing so in obedience to God, and finding his happiness and his foundation in life, his relationship with God, despite the temptations of sinful desires. I would hope that he would eventually not identify as "gay" but maybe his words will help others who currently identify thusly. Interesting discussion on thread, to...

30 posted on 07/19/2011 9:57:11 PM PDT by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
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To: dools0007world
Do you believe a person can be homosexual, but not act on it?

Of course. Everyone has desires they don't act on. To exhibit self-restraint and choose which desires to give in to and which to restrain, is human life. Only animals have no sense of self-restraint. And no one is born homosexual, I'll post a link with tons of information in a minute. The short explanation is that there are countless former homoseuxals. There is no biological or genetic cause, and believe me, homosexual researchers have looked for one, and can't find it.

31 posted on 07/19/2011 10:00:31 PM PDT by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
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To: dools0007world

Check this thread out, a great source of information, many links to follow:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2730140/posts

Not born this way: The facts, plus help available
Save California ^ | Various authors

Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2011 7:48:09 AM by scripter

Without any reputable evidence, the entertainment culture, uneducated media, and sexual activists have seduced today’s teenagers, in particular, to believe that people are born homosexual.

However, science has found no biological basis for homosexuality, bisexuality, or transsexuality.

Study after study has found the “LGBT” lifestyle to be unhealthy, with the highest rate of sexually-transmitted diseases, and higher cancer rates and earlier deaths.

While all people are worthy and valuable, the fact is people are not “born this way,” as a popular song insists.

On this page you will find:

1. The facts on homosexuality
2. Resources to overcome homosexual behavior and gender identity disorder
3. An important video message titled “Does God Love Gay People?”
4. Some personal stories from people who used to live a homosexual lifestyle


32 posted on 07/19/2011 10:14:51 PM PDT by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
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To: murron
I don’t know. I’m Catholic and I’m pretty happy. Now if you’re talking about homosexual Catholics, that’s another story.

It's the "other another story" I was referring to.

33 posted on 07/20/2011 5:28:43 AM PDT by ThePatriotsFlag
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To: dools0007world

Celebrate you gayness ... just keep it away from me and my kids!


34 posted on 07/20/2011 5:29:35 AM PDT by ThePatriotsFlag
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To: NYer
. . .making homophobia less socially acceptable. . .

Meaning "making it less socially acceptable to speak clearly what God says in His word about homosexuality".

35 posted on 07/20/2011 6:55:58 AM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: dools0007world
Who would choose to be gay if they were not?

Who would choose to be a drug addict if they were not? And yet, people who are not drug addicts do choose to become drug addicts through a series of choices.

This guy is choosing to resist his temptations, and that's good. But the only way he was "born that way" is the same way a drug addict is "born that way".

We are all born with a fallen nature. We shouldn't be going about trumpeting what our particular temptation is and how great we are for resisting it.

36 posted on 07/20/2011 7:01:17 AM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: little jeremiah

Thanks for the ping, LJ! I was expecting something completely different. What a nice surprise. A beautiful testament to the power of Faith! This man’s life is proof people can live clean lives with God’s help. A powerful personal testament and reminder to us all. God Bless him! : )


37 posted on 07/20/2011 9:23:33 PM PDT by TAdams8591
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To: TAdams8591

I was expecting something quite different too. He’s courageous for telling his story because aggressive homosexuals and their assistants on the left hate those who have same sex attraction and fight it or worse yet, heal it!

We all have a fallen nature and he’s a good example for everyone, no matter what temptations they struggle with.


38 posted on 07/20/2011 10:38:12 PM PDT by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
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To: Hulka

You are so correct... love the sinner... hate the sin.


39 posted on 07/20/2011 10:47:08 PM PDT by antceecee (Bless us Father.. have mercy on us and protect us from evil.)
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To: little jeremiah

I couldn’t agree more and am glad you saw it as positively as I did. Yes, many homosexuals would see him as a threat and an enemy. He was most courageous to take such a public stand...and his faith is a good example for us all. Sin is no substitute for the sacraments and his close relationship with God, a good thing for us all to remember when we’re tempted.


40 posted on 07/20/2011 11:41:47 PM PDT by TAdams8591
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