Peace! Thank you for your kind and thoughtful reply.
I agree with you that people`s souls have grey areas which are either with the Lord or without the Lord. When I arise in the morning, I offer the day to God. Undoubtedly, there will be actions or lack of actions in a day which are not pleasing to Him and I ask Him to heal me and help me to correct those imperfections, those sins.
However, I do not believe that all personal sins are demonic actions. As human beings, we (the expansive "we") are imperfect and have an inclination to want things done our way, which is not always God`s way. While there is no doubt in my mind that all of us are, at times, tempted by the evil one, I believe that more of our sins are due, proximately, to our own pride and the temptations of the world rather than those of the father of lies.
As for the cost of civil unions, you referred to insurance rates. I believe, and our Canadians friends are surely the experts on this, that with socialized medicine (for all: I don`t think the word socialized is bad, any more than the words liberal or conservative), insurance rates are a non-starter if everyone is covered by health insurance.
As for "domestic partner" health insurance offered by some employers in the U.S., I know from family members that the person who is the primary policy holder pays a larger monthly premium for the partner`s coverage than for his/her own coverage and that the DP`s part of the premium is not tax-exempt, as are the primary policy holder`s premiums.
You stated "Especially if one considers the prevalancy of AIDS in the homosexual community." While a majority of the cases in the U.S. result from male-to-male contact (55% = 481K out of 877K) (CDC, cumulative cases through Dec 2002: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/stats.htm#exposure
that does not translate into "prevalent". If one is to accept the standard but unsubstantiated percentage of gays and lesbians to be 10 percent, then we would be looking at a gay/lesiban population in the U.S. of 29.5 million (based on the current population of almost 295 million: http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/popclock
My definition of "prevalent" would not mean just under 2% of a group (481K out of 29.5 million).
In fact, the overwhelming number of cases of HIV/AIDS world-wide is among heterosexuals. Botswana has the highest national rate - 36% of its adult population. Catholic News Service ran a sobering, sad story this past Monday. The bishop named in the story, Franklyn Nubuasah, is a great man. I have known him, by correspondence, since he was named a bishop. He shows the face of Jesus to the suffering http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0406286.htm
You wrote: "As for homosexuality itself, it appears we are living in an immoral era. It was not prevalent in era's where it was not accepted. They were not all hiding in closets, as so many want to assume." The two examples you cite do not make the case for it not being prevalent in past times. The first example is the personal opinion of one person about another. The second example has some very telling words: "the idea of male homosexuality, was abhorrent, as well as a criminal offense." That it was a criminal offense is all the more reason for gay men to be hiding in the closet. As for it being "abhorrent", that was the opinion of the person who wrote the article for MOMA.
Yes, there is much immorality in the world, but I find the lack of respect for life from conception to natural death (yes, Seamless Garment, which someone else called "nonsense"), the unbridled capitalism with all of its worse elements (greed, cut-throat commercialism, exploitation of workers and the poor)which has been exported to the rest of the world from the U.S., and the lack of self-control in all areas of life to be equally as troubling as the unbridled promiscuity among people of all ages and orientations. The tourist sex trade in Thailand comes to mind.
I believe that all of us who have been called to new life by Christ through baptism and chrismation have an obligation to bring healing to this world, by our words and by our actions and,yes, by our prayers. The sacraments of initiation configure us to Christ, making us part of His body. We must be His arms to embrace the sorrowing, His voice to speak loudly and often about justice, and by our actions make His love concrete and visible in a world which is hurting badly.
Thanks again for your reply.