Pope Benedict message

I feel quite angry with Pope Benedict message that “saving homosexual or transsexual behaviour was as important as protecting the enviornment” and that “God’s creation was about protecting man from himself”.

Even some of my own grand children, who are devoted catholics, feel that this type of comment may stir up hatred against homosexuals.

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258 Responses to Pope Benedict message

  1. Chris Lloyd says:

    Christians believe that the Bible is the word of God. As far as I am aware, there is nothing in the bible remotely supportive of homosexuality – not even in the much more humanistic new testament. Jesus would surely have known that homosexuals were treated poorly in his time, and he chose to say nothing about it. If you believe his teachings were properly reported then one must interpret his lack of endorsement as criticism.

    Bottom line: Christians who believe the Bible contains the word of God must consider homosexuality a sin (and as far as I can see women as subordinate). So the Pope is acting on his belief in the Bible.

    What you should be angry about if anger is the right response is that people accept the authority of a book. From this alone, centuries of miserable history follows.

  2. Michael S. says:

    Benedict has always had it in for TEH GAYZ even by the standards of the millieu in which he moves. Look at his efforts to purge seminaries of homosexuals (which generated an enormous amount of laughter from even some of my very conservative Catholic relatives)

    .

  3. MikeM says:

    Rick Warren, pastor of the Saddleback Church in California, is in the news on the topic of homosexuality, after he was invited to deliver the invocation at Obama’s inauguration.

    The Boston Globe, in a long article, reports:

    Rick Warren loves gays, and more

    … Noting that he has been accused of comparing homosexuality to incest and pedophilia (based on an interview he gave to Beliefnet), he says in the video, “I believe no such thing.” He reiterated his opposition to same sex marriage, but said he is in agreement with “the view of the vast majority of the world and the vast majority of religions.”

    “Free speech has to be free speech for everybody,” he says. “Some people feel today if you disagree with them thats hate speech…Im neither afraid of gays, nor do I hate gays. In fact, I love them, but I do disagree with some of their beliefs, and I have that constitutional right.” …

    Blogger Andrew Sullivan, a gay Catholic and longtime advocate for same-sex marriage, compared Warren’s views favorably with those of Pope Benedict XVI, writing, “At least Warren appears open to dialogue, rather than recoiling in fear and loathing. In that he is somewhat more Christian than this Pope.” Sullivan had initially been hostile to the Warren selection…

    This is an interesting perspective to see emerging from a Protestant evangelical church, as in the US, evangelicals have tended to adopt a similar position to Roman Catholics on matters to do with sex and reproduction.

  4. Fred Argy says:

    Chris, I am not myself a believer in the Bible or in religion. But I think people can find plenty of evidence which backs both sides of the debate.

    However, as you note, it is irrelevant to treat the Bible – with its century of miserable history behind it – as a source or authority.

  5. Fred,

    Good on you for this post. it shows your good heart! Couldn’t agree more.

    I don’t know much about Catholicism, but read ‘Hitler’s Pope’ a year or so ago – about Pious XII’s pontificate (if I’ve got the number right). Anyway, I guess you mightn’t expect me to get a very favourable opinion of the Catholic Church from that book but it did at least seek to reassure the reader that it was trying to see both sides of the story. Ultimately it is always possible to argue that quite a few of Pious’s actions could be justified by the ends he was seeking, though it would be hard to argue that he didn’t put the interests of German Catholics above the lives of European Jews.

    Anyway, what I found most arresting and ultimately more damning was the early chapters about the late nineteenth century Papacy. In the nineteenth century the Papacy seems to have been the only monarchy which hadn’t somehow come to terms with the diminution of its own power and the transition to constitutional monarchy.

    It’s well worth reading the machinations between the conservatives and the (oh so slight) modernisers. But because it was being done within a bureaucracy without it seems any real pressure from below it takes on a strange unreal quality. The result was decades of completely wacky behaviour, traditions and doctrines pulled out of thin air, like the doctrine of infallibility which the Catholic Church still can’t seem to shake off. (As far as revisionism goes they’ve got up to Galileo and decided that perhaps it would have been better if he’d been let off with a warning).

  6. C.L. says:

    I don’t know why you’re “angry”, Fred – saving perhaps the possibility that you’re being ostentatiously livid to win plaudits. The Catholic Church’s approach to sexuality proceeds from natural law underpinnings and it’s perfectly logical and reasonable for Benedict to draw out the implications of this approach vis-a-vis both sexuality and nature itself. Funny how people love to quote the Pope when he denounces the ruination of the environment or the capitalist greed driving the current economic turmoil but they suddenly become “angry” when he reiterates the Church’s longstanding and unchangeable doctrine on sexuality. And not pursuant to his own agenda but because gay “marriage” advocates are presently behaving like hateful drama-queen stormtroopers throughout the Western world, not least in California – where, speaking of hatefulness, they’ve been attacking the persons and property of Christians and Mormons, abusing “niggers” and, in one celebrated case, a large crowd of them assaulted an elderly lady wielding a crucifix.

    Warren’s alleged view is indistinguishable from Benedict’s, by the way. I say “alleged” because Rick tends to float with the breeze of publicity. Andrew Sullivan – who isn’t a Catholic in any meaningful sense – is simply spinning the Warren inauguration embarrassment to save face for Barry Obama. You don’t invest what Trig Palin truther Andrew Sullivan did in the rise of B.O. without going the whole nine yards.

    I don’t know much about Catholicism, but read ‘Hitler’s Pope’ a year or so ago – about Pious (sic) XII’s pontificate…

    Oh Lord, a conspiracy theorist. Whenever someone wants to bash Catholicism they reach for the “Nazi” pope. It’s the intellectual equivalent of associating negros with watermelon and chicken. Nicholas will next claim that he doesn’t know much about Judaism but he has read the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The former book’s author has retracted his central thesis.

    …it would be hard to argue that he didn’t put the interests of German Catholics above the lives of European Jews.

    What total rubbish. Pius XII oversaw the saving of more Jews than all the aid and rescue organisations combined.

    The result was decades of completely wacky behaviour, traditions and doctrines pulled out of thin air, like the doctrine of infallibility which the Catholic Church still can’t seem to shake off.

    Please list the behaviour, traditions and doctrines pulled out of thin air. I’d be interested to read it. Here’s a wacky notion that really has been pulled out of thin air: to wit, there’s nothing abnormal at all about two blokes being “married”.

    Why would the Catholic Church want to “shake off” the doctrine of papal infallibility – the understanding of which arose a thousand years (and more) before the nineteenth century and which is rarely ever invoked? Would that economists and global warming catastrophists were so humble in the exercise of their ex cathedra pronouncements. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is more credible than the assumption that to avoid drowning we need to do something about farting cows.

    As far as revisionism goes they’ve got up to Galileo and decided that perhaps it would have been better if he’d been let off with a warning.

    Well, he was more or less. If Galileo had been more prudent and not publicly and needlessly humiliated Urban VIII, he might even have avoided his less than horrific “house arrest”. The trajectory of the Church’s attitude to Galileo was very positive until that boilover. Thousands of scientists are today being ridiculed and silenced by governments and universities because they question the “consensus” of AGW. Heliocentrism has never been more out of favour as it is today amongst modern liberals. But ah yes, Galileo… the “Nazi” pope and Galileo. Invariably first on the to-do list of all anti-Catholic polemicists.

    —————————————————

    This Christmas more than ever Pius XII is a lonely voice crying out of the silence of a continent… When he assails violent occupation of territory, the exile and persecution of human beings for no reason other than race or political opinion; when he says that people must fight for a just and lasting peace, a “total peace” the “impartial judgment” is like a verdict in a high court of justice.

    – The New York Times, December 25, 1942.

    Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.

    – Albert Einstein, Time magazine, December 23, 1940.

    The people of Israel will never forget what His Holiness and his illustrious delegates, inspired by the eternal principles of religion which form the very foundations of true civilization, are doing for us unfortunate brothers and sisters in the most tragic hour of our history, which is living proof of divine Providence in this world.

    – The Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Isaac Herzog, 1944.

    You will see, they will blame Pope Pius XII for the world’s silence in the face of the Nazis’ crimes.”

    – Israel Zolli (war-time Chief Rabbi of Rome) to his daughter. (Zolli converted to Catholicism after the war – taking the baptismal name of Eugenio in honour of Pius XII).

    —————————————————

    But, hey, don’t believe Albert Einstein, the Chief Rabbi of Rome or the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem. Believe Nicholas Gruen and an author (known to be emotionally unstable) who also implied in Hitler’s Pope that Eugenio Pacelli (Pius XII) was responsible for the outbreak of World War I.

  7. fatfingers says:

    “Heres a wacky notion that really has been pulled out of thin air: to wit, theres nothing abnormal at all about two blokes being married.”

    It’s abnormal in the sense that it isn’t a common occurrence. But that’s it.

    The whole discussion on the merits of gay marriage turns on what ‘marriage’ means. Here’s a hint – Catholics don’t own the word, or the concept.

    “The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is more credible than the assumption that to avoid drowning we need to do something about farting cows.”

    CL completes his retreat from reality ;-)

    “But, hey, dont believe [primary sources/partipants/knowledgeable people]”

    If he didn’t, he would just be following in your well-trodden path. After all, you disbelieve Bush Jr when he talks about the war he started!

  8. Neil H says:

    Bottom line: Christians who believe the Bible contains the word of God must consider homosexuality a sin (and as far as I can see women as subordinate). So the Pope is acting on his belief in the Bible.

    How exactly does one get from “the Bible says homosexuality is a sin” to “homosexuality is destructive to humanity”? Sure, all sin is “destructive” in Christian theology, but primarily to the individual engaging in the sinful act, yes?

    The Pope didn’t just call homosexuality a threat to the souls of people who engage in the act. He called it a threat to humanity. All of humanity.

  9. AdrienSword says:

    The Catholic Churchs approach to sexuality proceeds from natural law underpinnings and its perfectly logical and reasonable for Benedict to draw out the implications of this approach vis-a-vis both sexuality and nature itself.

    What exactly do you mean by ‘natural law underpinnings’ CL?

    I think natural law is problematic because as far as I can see the law of nature is do whatever you can get away with. Natural law seems to me to be a pleasant fiction. Necessary perhaps but fictional nonetheless.

    That said homosexuality appears to be natural. At least according to the various sciences that’ve concerned themselves with such. I don’t expect the Pope to reverse thousands of years of religious doctrine because of current social mores but I think the stand is theological one not based on nature.

  10. SJ says:

    Chris Lloyd said:

    Christians believe that the Bible is the word of God. As far as I am aware, there is nothing in the bible remotely supportive of homosexuality – not even in the much more humanistic new testament. Jesus would surely have known that homosexuals were treated poorly in his time, and he chose to say nothing about it. If you believe his teachings were properly reported then one must interpret his lack of endorsement as criticism.

    Except that very, very few Christians go even remotely close to believing or following all of the stuff that’s in the Bible.

    The proscription against homosexuality is pretty clear (Leviticus 18:22):

    ‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.’

    But that’s put on exactly the same footing as things like (Leviticus 19:27):

    ‘Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.’

    So there’s a selective enforcement of some of the crap that’s in there, but not all of it.

  11. Geoff Honnor says:

    “If Galileo had been more prudent and not publicly and needlessly humiliated Urban VIII, he might even have avoided his less than horrific house arrest.”

    Reckless fellow! Indeed, had he been sensible he might have rethought the whole heretical nonsense about the Earth not being at the centre of the universe and just waited patiently for Pope John Paul II to agree with him 380 years later. God help Voltaire if you were ever to lay hands upon him CL, you’d make Torquemada look like Tim Costello :)

  12. John Greenfield says:

    Fred

    I don’t mean this personally, but as one who delights in the odd cock or two, give me the pope’s insights over the priggish self-important “anger” expressed in your post, any day.

    Merry Christmas.

  13. Yobbo says:

    “homosexuality is destructive to humanity”

    What’s hard to understand? The species is propagated through heterosexual sex. If everyone (or even a sizable majority) were homosexual, the species would become extinct.

    If you like it another way: Homosexuals are evolutionary free-riders.

    When CL says “opposition to homosexuality is based on natural law”, I’m guessing that’s what he’s on about. The same reason Incest is a taboo – it results in poor reproductive outcomes.

    Going by our own government policies, if you get a payout for having a baby, you should get taxed extra for being a poof.

    Catholic opposition to it isn’t hard to understand. God asked man to “be fruitful”. Homosexuals are ignoring that command deliberately.

    Personally as a red-blooded heterosexual, I fully approve of homosexuals because the more of them there are, the more chicks there are out there looking for a root. But it’s also not hard to see the argument from the other side.

  14. Emess says:

    I agree with you Fred.

    John at 12

    Given that there are six billion of us homo sapiens inhabiting the planet, it would seem that there is a good ‘ecological’ argument for a cull. (Not talking morality here).

    Therefore if the Pope were thinking logically and eco-logically, surely the best thing for humanity and the planet might be to promote homosexuality? Of course I won’t mention contraception or (voluntary of course) euthanasia. Oh, I just did, didn’t I?

    Having said that, of course celibacy for the priesthood having an equal reproductive outcome to homosexual relationships is perhaps something the Catholic priesthood might now take up with His Holiness (HH) given his concern with our human ecology.

    I await with interest the argument from HH as to why Gays are bad for threatening our ecological future, but celibacy for priests is ok.

  15. John Greenfield says:

    Nicholas

    On science, the evolution of heliocentric thought, its attendant challenges to Aritotelian physics. and indeed the Scientific Revolution itself, were born in the medieval school rooms, universities and dioceses of the Roman Catholic church.

  16. John Greenfield says:

    I can never understand how, despite all we all know about the contributions of the Roman Catholic church to western – indeed human, science and thought generally, it is all ignored over one incident and one man – Galileo. Get a grip. Shitty stuff has happened to billions of people throughout history. Galileo, Schmalileo.

    If folks are really concerned about “hatred towards homosexuals” and “European Jews” take it to the haters. Any schoolboy can tell you Catholicism’s gift to humanity was the complete opposite to “hate”. I argue that the most profound utterance in human history wss “turn the other cheek”.

    Sermon finished, y’all have a Beery Christams.

  17. C.L.

    My thanks to you and your scriptwriter for dropping by.

    Seriously though, it’s a pity that you’re so vituperative, because, as you saw, I wasn’t claiming to know much at all. I’d be interested in your input as you clearly know much more than me. Unfortunately what you’ve produced has to be peeled off from the bile. Of course that’s not a big chore, but as far as your interaction with what I’ve said, the bile completely ruins your contribution. As a small point, I am aware of the author of Hitler’s Pope’s ‘retraction’ (as you call it) of an aspect of his book. I wrote what I wrote with that in mind. Your response was to some phantom that my words conjured in your brain, not to what I wrote. Even the book (as I recall) identifies numbers of Jews that Pius helped save. Still, I guess there’s something liberating in a well protected nom de plume. You can have so much more fun letting yourself go – hopping into that other cheek whenever you think it’s there for the slapping.

  18. Meanwhile . . . [img]http://www.3quarksdaily.com/.a/6a00d8341c562c53ef010536980882970c-800wi[/img]

  19. C.L. says:

    In his now famous manner, Fatty reduces the issue to its true essence:

    “Bush”

    Sure, all sin is destructive in Christian theology, but primarily to the individual engaging in the sinful act, yes?

    Er, no. Heard of the Fall? How about the Holocaust?

    Natural law seems to me to be a pleasant fiction.

    As proven by countless generations of humans who came into existence via heterosexual intercourse.

    So there’s a selective enforcement of some of the crap that’s in there, but not all of it.

    Sounds like just about every modern criminal code.

    Torquemada

    I forgot to add that all anti-Catholic polemicists usually refer to the “Nazi” pope, Galileo AND Torquemada. For yes it’s true: the mores of Oxford Street, the Human Rights Commission of Canada and the ACLU haven’t always reigned in the national cultures of the Western world. I realise that’s a shock to you, Geoff, but, yes, in Galileo’s time academic discourse and disputation were not conducted like an episode of Geoffrey Robertson’s Hypotheticals. Torquemada, for example, was actually a reformer according to the jurisprudential standards of the day. Today’s anti-heliocentric critics of global warming hysteria are treated just as poorly as Galileo. I not, finally, that you avoided the violence and hatefulness demonstrated by the gay “marriage” stormtroopers in California. Somebody should write a book called the Silence of Geoff Honnor.

    Still, I guess there’s something liberating in a well protected nom de plume. You can have so much more fun letting yourself go – hopping into that other cheek whenever you think it’s there for the slapping.

    Whenever a Catholic disabuses someone of one of their favourite mindless anti-Catholic prejudices you can guarantee they’ll hurtfully mention the injunction about turning the other cheek. (Aka ‘let me have my prejudice, Christian, and don’t embarrass me with the details’). You didn’t strike my cheek. You struck Pope Pacelli’s. Now you claim you were aware Hitler’s Pope is garbage but you deployed it in a thread discussion of homosexuality anyway in order to slander the papacy. Shame on you.

  20. It’s a pity CL,

    Given your knowledge and intelligence I’d like to have a conversation with you – but that’s not really in the offing is it? It’s more a case of doing a bit of quick word association and letting yourself go – oh and making sure you keep your real identity under wraps.

    Anyway, I must admit, you’re a better class of troll than most.

    Merry Christmas. .

  21. THR says:

    CL smells strongly of stupidity.

    Now why is that?…

    Hey guys…

  22. fatfingers says:

    Cowardly Lad, in his now famous fashion, runs away from the debate when confronted.

    “Homosexuals are ignoring that command deliberately.”

    No. Homosexuality is as much a deliberate choice as heterosexuality.

  23. Geoff Honnor says:

    CL, my views on gay marriage have been articulated here at Troppo in postings over a number of years and for the record, I’m not a big fan. I do think that gay and lesbian relationships should have legal validation, protection and entitlement but I’m not personally – can I say, wedded? – to the traditional construct of marriage as the way of achieving it.

    Having said that if gay and lesbian Americans wish to pursue relationship rights in the context of marriage I struggle to see how the concept of heterosexual marriage is materially damaged as a result.

    This post-Prop 8 tide of Californian “violence and hatred” – fomented by “gay stormtroopers” – that you so theatrically invoke, is as you are well aware, nothing of the sort. The flashpoint in California is that a “Right” (whether you agree with it or not) was granted and has now been rescinded on the back of a vote that pretty much split the electorate – 52.3% to 47.7%. If people react passionately to that, it’s hardly surprising. Judging by the number of lawsuits filed by both sides, there’s a long way to run on the issue.

    Much of what the Pope said was eminently sensible and I personally didn’t interpret his comments on gender theory as, necessarily, a violent assault on homosexuals. However, I don’t accept that homosexuality is simply culturally constructed or “chosen” and on that basis it’s surely as much a feature of natural law – or God’s creation – as heterosexuality. Anyone who imagines that the homosexuality of less than 3% of the adult population poses some sort of threat to the future of the human race is seriously deluded. As you point out we, all of us – heterosexual and homosexual – came into the world via heterosexual intercourse. I wonder if the Pope has considered this aspect of Natural Law?

    To CL and all – a very Merry Xmas.

  24. C.L. says:

    You sound passably intelligent yourself, Nicolas. I understand you’re a successful salesman of some kind with expertise in economics. Stick to that subject in the future. Your slimey, bigoted invocation of the “Nazi” pope is an embarrassment to an otherwise mainstream blog. Those last refuges of the thread scoundrel – selective disapproval of pseundonymity and infantile references to ‘trolls’ – don’t alter this fact.

    The flashpoint in California is that a Right (whether you agree with it or not) was granted and has now been rescinded on the back of a vote that pretty much split the electorate – 52.3% to 47.7%. If people react passionately to that, its hardly surprising.

    A “right” was not “granted.” It was ginned up by politically correct legislators. The case in which the equal protection clause (of the Californian constitution) was creatively applied to sustain that “right” was a 4-3 decision. It’s therefore “hardly surprising” the initiators of Proposition 8 put the matter to the people. They won. What followed was organised violence, hate and attacks on persons and property organised by militant gay “marriage” advocates. None of which, funnily enough, made Fred “angry.” Only the Pope could do that – ostentatious anti-Catholicism being the last acceptable prejudice amongst Western liberals.

  25. denningesque says:

    Wow, what an exchange. Amazingly it was in the main civil. I have a live and let live approach to human relations. The State should remove itself from any form of involvement in the union of two individuals beyond noting a union in a register if you don’t want to go reliogious. Let the churches/synagogues/mosques and whatever other description perform whatever ceremony they want. The only role the state will play is in dealing with custody and distribution of assets when there is a breakdown. Chances of that happening are close to zero.
    The problem with the post is not the complaint about the Pope’s statement, as reported, but the assertion “….this type of comment may stir up hatred against homosexuals.” That form of assertion is next to meaningless. It is also sloppy thinking. When describing human behaviour pretty much anything may happen. Whether it will or even if it is likely is another matter entirely. If someone is going to voice concerns perhaps a bit of a basis in fact to support them might come in handy. The problem with such vague predictions/concerns is that it is all too often used to justify speech codes or vilification laws, most of which want to keep debate/commentary a few degrees either side of orthodoxy. As to the concern itself I think it is a nonsense. In Australia in 2008 an extracted comment by the Pope rates a ripple at best. The media cycle has moved on and there have been no pogroms or demonstrations. Nothing on CNN/BBC and the rest of the Alphabet soup media.

  26. “a successful salesman of some kind with expertise in economics.”

    It’s a fair cop.

    Swatted down by a troll. “Owned” as my 10 year old son would say.

    The ignominy of it all . . . .

    At Christmas too . . .

  27. rog says:

    CL has a point that has been artfully dodged

    I dont know much about Catholicism, but read Hitlers Pope a year or so ago – …. it would be hard to argue that he didnt put the interests of German Catholics above the lives of European Jews.

    Perhaps it should read

    I dont know much about Catholicism.

  28. It hasn’t been artfully dodged. I don’t accept your point. It’s pretty easy to take up someone’s concession and turn it into an accusation against them. But the book makes that case and I think it makes it well. So if you want to disagree with it, you need to explain where it’s wrong, or at least set out the alternative case. Given his buffoonery I’ve pretty much ignored what CL has said. Seems only sensible.

    So Rog, give us the low down. I’d be particularly interested in your thoughts about the late nineteenth century Papacy in the early chapters of the book – as they were the main focus of my original comments. They struck me as completely off the wall. What do you reckon about Papal infallibility? A good piece of doctrine?

  29. Yobbo says:

    I await with interest the argument from HH as to why Gays are bad for threatening our ecological future, but celibacy for priests is ok.

    Excellent point. Demanding celibacy from priests seems to be a ridiculous double-standard on behalf of the church.

    If god wants children surely he would want his most dedicated servants to have them also?

  30. AdrienSword says:

    Er, no. Heard of the Fall? How about the Holocaust?

    Yes and I’ve heard of masturbation and threesomes and dropping ecstasy. These are sins according to many. And they happen a lot more often than mass genocide. Mythological tales designed to distinguish humans existentially from animals and the gods do not constitute sins as they are not actual events.

    As proven by countless generations of humans who came into existence via heterosexual intercourse.

    Humans reproduce sexually. And funnily enough the only species which don’t display homosexual behaviour are those that don’t reproduce sexually. Natural law’s problem is that societies are always using rules and laws to curtail natural behaviour not underwrite it. The proscriptions against homosexuality are contre la nature.

    The fact that homosexuality doesn’t lead to reproduction doesn’t mean it’s not natural. There’s a better argument to be made that according to the dictates of nature marriage is unnatural and genocide is.

  31. AdrienSword says:

    Yobbo – Homosexuals are evolutionary free-riders.

    Not necessarily. In fact due to the proscriptions against homosexuality it was probably much harder for homosexuals not to reproduce. Even in societies where it was relatively acceptable one could still be a parent, be expected to be even. These days that point’s moot.

    Catholic opposition to it isnt hard to understand. God asked man to be fruitful. Homosexuals are ignoring that command deliberately.

    I don’t think opposition can be explained simply in terms of numbers altho’ that’s part of it. It’s been suggested that the proscription against homosexuality originated in societies where slaves would be compelled to service their masters sexually thus compelling heterosexual men to submit to homosexual practices. Funnily enough the issue of lesbians or even straight women being forced to service their masters was an issue that lagged behind somewhat.

    I fully approve of homosexuals because the more of them there are, the more chicks there are out there looking for a root.

    N’uk. I read your blog sometimes … for the pictures. :)

  32. Fred Argy says:

    Without getting into all the other debates, I note that the Pope speaks for the whole world, including African nations. This is where homosexuality is often punishable by death and where Vaticans refusal to join the UN appeal carries a lot of weight. Africa is one place where some of the people will want to do gay people harm. And they are encouraged to do so.

    The Pope has repeatedly spoken against gender theory but Monday was the first time he referred to homosexuality directly. He now seems to be painting them as creatures of whim rather than reluctant suffering.

  33. AdrienSword says:

    This is where homosexuality is often punishable by death and where Vaticans refusal to join the UN appeal carries a lot of weight. Africa is one place where some of the people will want to do gay people harm. And they are encouraged to do so.

    Yeah it seems to me that the Vatican must put at least as much effort into stopping violence against homosexuals if it wants its ‘love the sinner hate the sin’ schtick to carry water. There might be a basis for some compromise here. Adherents of this moral tradition are not going to rescind their objections to their sexual mores but they might acquiesce to a cautious tolerance.

    He now seems to be painting them as creatures of whim

    Yeah sexual desire is a product of whims. getting hungry is also a whim. Jeez.

  34. rog says:

    The point has been artfully dodged, again. If you had bothered to dig a little deeper Nicholas, the author of the book “Hitlers Pope” later admitted that he was wrong, you might have been better informed reading Mad magazine. I have nothing to add to his own confession of befuddlement.

    The topic was the Popes supposed message on homosexuality; he did not say saving homosexual or transsexual behaviour was as important as protecting the enviornment(sic) but he did stress the importance of gender in creation (transcript here).

    The primary issue continues to be about fallibility

  35. Sinclair Davidson says:

    … I note that the Pope speaks for the whole world, including African nations. This is where homosexuality is often punishable by death …

    I’m not sure about this. But assuming that these countries are influenced by the Pope, why aren’t they influenced by any of his other comments/teachings?

  36. AdrienSword says:

    why arent they influenced by any of his other comments/teachings?

    They aren’t the core teaching. The core teaching of any theology are the ones that allow bulk persons to run amok and commit unspeakable acts of violence. All that do unto others stuff is just some fruity shit for the critics.

  37. AdrienSword says:

    You go to jail in East Timor for being gay? And life sentence in India!

  38. Rog,

    Refer my earlier comments.

  39. Yobbo says:

    Not necessarily. In fact due to the proscriptions against homosexuality it was probably much harder for homosexuals not to reproduce. Even in societies where it was relatively acceptable one could still be a parent, be expected to be even. These days that points moot.

    I’m not an expert on catholic opinions re: homosexuality but from what I can gather from reading sullivan and heard that is fine.

    The church isn’t opposed to homosexuality per se…it is opposed to the act of homosexual sex. So basically it’s fine to feel attracted to men as long as you don’t act on it. The same way priests are supposed to suppress their sexual desires (towards either sex).

  40. AdrienSword says:

    So basically its fine to feel attracted to men as long as you dont act on it. The same way priests are supposed to suppress their sexual desires (towards either sex).

    I have a feeling the two things are connected somehow. :)

  41. C.L. says:

    I await with interest the argument from HH as to why Gays are bad for threatening our ecological future, but celibacy for priests is ok.

    I await equally interestedly for Emess to retract what must be the dumbest analogy I’ve encountered for some time. The Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality is not premised on the fact that homosexuals don’t father children. Women past the age of child-bearing and infertile men are perfectly free to marry in the Catholic Church. And the pope was not arguing gays threaten the ecology. He was making a comparison about the contemporary world’s acceptance of a natural law-like balance in broader creation and the undermining of the self-same purposeful order in the ecology of human sexuality – which ecology of human sexuality the Church posits.

    The fact that homosexuality doesnt lead to reproduction doesnt mean its not natural.

    Which (again) is not what the pope said. The Church has no objection to people whom nature or circumstance have made homosexual. (It doesn’t even patronise them as creatures of “reluctant suffering” as Fred does). Conditions of all kinds are found in nature but we don’t, on that account, accept them as behaviourally or culturally normative. From nature we derive an understanding of the order that exists undergirding human sexuality. We have institutionalised that self-evident and undeniable order in marriage. By definition, a coupling of two men or two women is not a marriage. And the ecology of human relations is (and has been) affected by this aberration. We already see jurisdictions allowing homosexual couples to manufacture and adopt children – thus deliberately undermining what we inherently know to be best natural practice (as it were) for family life and child raising. There is a cultural contradiction and hypocrisy here of massive proportions: as we insist on a fine balance governing the nature we’re part of (and with a growing sense of infallibility), we reject precisely the same view of human sexuality. Here – for very convenient reasons – nature and balance don’t matter. It is this paradox Benedict XVI has addressed in relation to a topic others have been discussing obsessively. That he has been condemned by the powerful and the influential for doing so is a good sign he speaks the Christian truth.

    Yeah it seems to me that the Vatican must put at least as much effort into stopping violence against homosexuals if it wants its love the sinner hate the sin schtick to carry water.

    Here again we see two things I’ve criticised already. First, the pope’s remarks were made in the context of a renewed and worldwide discussion of gay “marriage” and that arose (or re-arose) in relation to the Prop 8 vote in California. The only violence we’ve seen in this context was perpetrated by homosexuals. As far as I know, it wasn’t criticised here at Troppo and it didn’t make Fred “angry.” It didn’t even cause Nicolas to rifle through his dog-eared conspiracy theory collection. Apparently Mormons, Christians, little old ladies and “niggers” (whose refrain on this has been ‘don’t equate your sin with my skin’) deserve what they get for opposing gay “marriage”.

    But assuming that these countries are influenced by the Pope, why arent they influenced by any of his other comments/teachings?

    Right. The pope (like his predecessor) makes statements all the time about the dangers of materialism, for example, but throughout the Western world we pay no attention to them whatsoever. But Fred expects our black brothers in Africa to alter their alleged behaviour immediately because the pope condemns violence against homosexuals. (Which he and the Church have repeatedly done – as recently as last week). Again we see an echo of the irrational Pius XII syndrome: there is violence against homosexuals in the world and it’s all the pope’s fault.

  42. C.L. says:

    [Africa] is where homosexuality is often punishable by death and where Vaticans refusal to join the UN appeal carries a lot of weight.

    Fred re-writes reality.

  43. AdrienSword says:

    CL – I didn’t say that the Pope said it, I just said it was natural. You talk of a natural order underlying human sexuality but an examination of sexuality in the natural order presents a broader spectrum of sexual behaviour than the norms indicated by marriage.

    Your views have a contradiction, on the one hand marriage is a recognition and ratification of the natural order on the other homosexuality is part of nature but that doesn’t mean we have to accept it. Which is it? Natural law or cultural construction?

    The contradiction you accuse the opposition of doesn’t obtain at least in my case. I don’t think that natural law is anything more than a basis for specualtion on possibilities and habits. Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s good. But it does mean it’s hard to prohibit. The question of the good, for me anyway, is utilitarian: what makes people happy.

    The distinction declares no opposition to homosexuals just homosexual sex dodges the fact that depriving people of sexual fulfilment makes them very unhappy. A lesbian who enters into marriage and has an exclusive sexual relationship with her husband would be as unhappy as I would be if I was compelled somehow to only have sex with men. Celibacy may be better or worse than this but it can also lead to a life of distress. In order for sexual fulfilment to obtain one needs the sex that one is drawn to. This desire is natural. If God creates these people and then prohibits their happiness He seems rather spiteful to me.

    The assertion that moral prohibitions on sex can lead to misery is readily demonstrable unlike the assertion that homosexual couples who raise children are in contravention of ‘natural best practise’ and committing some harm. Where’s the evidence that a child raised by two women suffers? I’m not saying there isn’t any but it would be nice if the adherants of Abrahamic sexual mores would indulge us with some as we’ve indulged them with countless studies that show the misery perpetuated on gays and lesbians by these same mores.

    What’s at stake here is another ethos, the liberal ethos that individuals are permitted to do as they please provided they do no harm. Guilt-tripping youngsters into believing they’re tainted by Satan because homosexual is harming them. I have personal experience of this happening. Raising children in homosexual couples may be harmful but I want some empirical information not a recital of scripturally mandated norms.

  44. Geoff Honnor says:

    “We already see jurisdictions allowing homosexual couples to manufacture and adopt children – thus deliberately undermining what we inherently know to be best natural practice (as it were) for family life and child raising.”

    The best “natural practice” for any child raising is love, security and support. I’d argue that the relationship construct within which it’s offered is of secondary importance.

    An alternative take on CL’s little old lady with the crucifix is offered here:

    http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2008/11/truth-about-phyllis-burgess.html

  45. C.L. says:

    Geoff’s link runs interference for the ill treatment of an elderly woman on the gorunds that she’s allegedly well-known as an anti-BLT protester and therefore somehow deserved it. This is where we are now. Excuse me if I don’t want these thugs adopting children. Here’s vidoe of the lady in question versus the gay mob.

  46. C.L. says:

    Adrien, you seem to be conflating natural law philosophy with the law of the jungle. This leads you to assert that if something is found in nature it is good (ipso facto) or at least equally un-bad. As part of an attempted elucidation of the principle you even go so far as to apply it in reverse and anthropomorphise the animal kingdom by attributing to various of its members the moral crime of genocide. Illnesses, pathologies and idiosyncracies are found in nature but we understandably refuse to accept these as normatively compelling in some fatalistic sense. The fundamental nature of nature insofar as the human genders is concerned is the complimentarity and familial unification of the two genders. This finds its societal and cultural manifestation in marriage. As Paul Keating once said, “two jokers and a cocker spaniel isn’t a family.” Never before in history would such a statement be regarded as anything other than axiomatic. Again, there is a contradiction here and it is that which Bendict has addressed: we are more insistent than ever that broader ecology is best defended by respecting the inhering quiddities of nature. But in human sexual relations, some people – usually the same people – fallaciously claim that no such balance, no such nature and no such quiddities exist or matter. The Holy Father has called bullshit on their double standard. Rightly.

  47. Geoff Honnor says:

    “Geoffs link runs interference for the ill treatment of an elderly woman on the gorunds that shes allegedly well-known as an anti-BLT protester and therefore somehow deserved it.”

    “Deserves it?” Nope. The link observes, inter alia, that wresting her sign away from her is indefensible. And indeed it is. It does however also suggest that Ms Burgess may be no stranger to a bit of fag pushin’ and shovin’ in Jesus’ Holy Name :) A veteran in the crusade if you will rather than an elderly lady suddenly moved to righteous testament by the unspeakable horror of Ellen de Generes marrying Portia di Rossi

    “As Paul Keating once said, two jokers and a cocker spaniel isnt a family. Never before in history would such a statement be regarded as anything other than axiomatic.”

    Ironically, me and my bloke and our companion animal were a family at the time and still are. Paul and Anita were then but now….well. I wouldn’t necessarily knock the familial binding force that is the cocker spaniel, CL ;)

  48. C.L. says:

    Nope. The link observes, inter alia, that wresting her sign away from her is indefensible.

    The linked apologia does that, to be sure. Using the big BUT trick, however, it’s author implies this was OK because the little old lady goes to a lot of protests:

    The gay people who snatched and stomped Burgess’ cross were definitely in the wrong, but it’s clear that she is a professional agitator and hardly an “innocent victim.”

    So anyone who counter-protests gay “marriage” advocates is not innocent. No evidence is proferred to sustain a charge that she is a “professional agitator”. She seems to be someone who peaceably protests this issue on a somewhat predictable basis. So what? Does that mean I can punch out the next Sister of Perpetual Indulgence I see at a protest? There would have been many more (and more literal) professional agitators amongst her assailants. The author of that piece is clearly explaining away ugly behaviour more or less on the basis that the woman was askin’ for it. So were the Mormons, I presume.

    The Keatings’ were married for 23 years and their divorce didn’t desolve their family. (Which produced four children).

  49. AdrienSword says:

    CL – Adrien, you seem to be conflating natural law philosophy with the law of the jungle.

    Not exactly. Only someone ignorant of natural law would say that the law of the jungle = natural law. One doesn’t find Aquinas or Aristotle advocating the law of the jungle. Each of them asserts that reason is natural to humanity and thus human laws are separated from ecological ‘norms’.

    Still I think natural law runs into problems precisely because of reason’s conflicts with nature. In nature what goes is whatever can go. Human beings use reason, yes, but also imagination to conceptualize forces behind nature – “In the beginning was Nature from which and against which our ideas of God were formed”. In addition to these uniquely human qualities we’re also subject to instinct. We are never entirely rational.

    If the nature/culture dichotomy has any meaning than we must understand that the vicissitudes of culture are in some way techniques of control or even defiance of nature. Thus the male human whose nature as far we can tell is to engage in sexual relations with as many females as possible is curtailed for the good of the body politic and for future generations by the commitments of monogamy.

  50. AdrienSword says:

    This leads you to assert that if something is found in nature it is good (ipso facto) or at least equally un-bad.

    I haven’t said this and I wouldn’t. Nature runs on the law of the fist; teeth and claws. It’s not pleasant. Or not always pleasant. Lying on the grass looking up thru the trees to the sky is pleasant, getting eaten by a tiger less so. So intra-species massacres of which the Holocaust is an example ultimately terrifying because conjoined with the apparatus of modern technocracy is judged immoral by us in a way that ants who do this all the time cannot. Humans can consider the consequences of their actions, are imbibed with this capacity by nature and thus natural law can obtain.

    But it’s worth remembering that such massacres on a smaller scale used to be, and in some places still are, par for the course. The Roman general Germanicus, by all accounts a model of civility, is said to’ve seriously considered wiping the German tribes out. He was a moral man at that time. These days such consideration would brand him, rightly, a psychopath. So morality is subject to change and development. Despite the cynicism viz the notion of progress (an originally Judeo-Christian notion) it does appear that we get better. However as a civilization we do so by deploying the Humanism that originated with the Greeks.

    So here we consider homosexuality which according to Abrahamic mores is immoral. However, according to our modern understanding of sexuality, it is also innate, natural. One does not choose to be homosexual, one simply is. So what do we do? The Church doesn’t ostracize homosexuals it simply deems homosexual practices a sin. That’s all very well and good except that it condemns homosexuals to a misery that perhaps the clergy fail to understand having chosen a life of chastity.

    Now I don’t think it follows that homosexuals should be entitled to marry. I have no objection as it seems to me, as a secular person, that marriage is a contract that can be abandoned. An all-powerful deity doesn’t come into it. Others disagree and society has been thru such massive social changes that I can understand the intense objections to what is seen as profound changes to a fundamental institution.

    However Judeo-Christian mores no longer hold a monopoly on Western civilized standards and it’s simply not enough to rely on that tradition’s authority to mount objections. One must consider the utility aspects of the good. I can demonstrate that proscriptions against homosexuality and its perpetuation as an outlaw lifestyle causes pain. However given the small proportion of homosexuals I have my doubts that legitimizing their relationships to the extent of recognizing marriage will perpetuate the Great Disruption. These doubts are legitimate and must be addressed not only with recourse to tradition but to the utilitarian basis of the ‘good’ as its envisaged in liberal society.

  51. conrad says:

    “Wheres the evidence that a child raised by two women suffers? Im not saying there isnt any”

    I’ll say there isn’t any, at least in most places where it has been examined. The Australian Institute of Family Studies has a big literature review on this somewhere (it should free on their site), and that was the conclusion they came to. Of course, all the places it has been examined tend to be liberal countries. I imagine in less liberal countries, where such practices are not allowed, there would be negative outcomes thanks to government harassment etc.

  52. Geoff Honnor says:

    “Does that mean I can punch out the next Sister of Perpetual Indulgence I see at a protest?”

    Entirely over to you CL. I’ve certainly been tempted to from time to time…..

  53. AdrienSword says:

    I can think of one Sister of Perpetual Petulance that I’d like to punch. But with him I’d have to get in line. :)

  54. melaleuca says:

    It is perhaps most fruitful to view this debate with reference to how Christians and the Bible have treated slavery. The Bible contains literally dozens of pro-slavery statements and not a single statement that calls for the abolition of slavery. Certain passages even give guidance on how the bodies of slaves should be mutilated (see Exodus 21 for example).

    For most of its history Christianity has promoted slavery as sanctioned by God, part of the natural order and necessary for civilisation. St Thomas Aquinas is one of many influential Catholic philosophers who highly valued the institution of slavery. As late as the 17th century Catholic popes happily kept slaves.

    Today of course very few Christians promote slavery or assert the superiority of certain races as a justification for such institutionalised racism. We don’t hear much about the curse of Ham anymore. Likewise I think the Catholic fetish for inciting discrimination against homosexuals and intersex persons will eventually be just another dirty little Christian secret. It will take a couple of centuries but- as with slavery- Christians will eventually catch up with the modern world.

  55. C.L. says:

    You talk of a natural order underlying human sexuality but an examination of sexuality in the natural order presents a broader spectrum of sexual behaviour than the norms indicated by marriage.

    Again you’re conflating natural law philosophy (as it has been found and expounded in the Church for centuries) with a David Attenborough view of what organisms in nature may or may not do. As I’ve already pointed out, the existence of all manner of idiosyncracies and pathologies in material nature does nothing to disestablish the preponderant, axiomatic reality that men and women have a designed complimentarity. It is this complimentarity – and its familial fruits – that are institutionalised in marriage and fundamental to the ecology of human sexuality.

    Your views have a contradiction, on the one hand marriage is a recognition and ratification of the natural order on the other homosexuality is part of nature but that doesnt mean we have to accept it.

    There is no contradiction. Homosexuality apparently arises from gentic factors and may therefore be considered part of the natural order. There are many conditions, weaknesses, illnesses and aberrations that are part of the natural order in the same way. They are not on that account afforded normatively compelling status by human cultures. Quite the contrary. The pope and the Church do indeed “accept” homosexuals. I’m not sure what you mean when you imply that an argument is being posited by Benedict XVI or me that homosexuality should not be ‘accepted’. We do not accept that two men can or should be “married.” No society ever has. One of the most liberal cultures on earth just voted against the proposition.

    If God creates these people and then prohibits their happiness He seems rather spiteful to me.

    You could make the same argument about those born blind, lame, spastic, with Down syndrome or incapable of ever having any sexual or adult emotional relationships at all. Increasingly, liberals in the Western world are comfortable about a eugenic approach to those shown in utero to be fated to deal with the most challenging stresses and disabilities. Ninety percent of Down syndrome babies, for example, are now killed before birth. Their happiness has been prohibited by man, not God. Despite ample comparative grounds for doing so, I’ve yet to hear a bona fide Western liberal compare this combination of convenience and utilitarian race hygiene to Nazism.

    The Church doesn’t prevent anyone from having any kind of sex they like. It teaches that certain expressions of sexuality are sinful. Everyone is sinful. Some melodramatic gay activists would have you believe that they are more “miserable” than any other demographic in the world. They’re just humans prone to sin like everyone else. They need to get over themselves a bit.

    Guilt-tripping youngsters into believing theyre tainted by Satan because homosexual is harming them.

    Well that may or may not be true (you’ve provided no evidence) but Benedict XVI doesn’t say anything of the sort and nor does the Catholic Church. Like everyone else, homosexuals are “tainted” with original sin. Teaching youngsters there is no objective truth in sexual and other matters has, I assert, done far more harm than your imaginary catechesis of “guilt-tripping” and Satan.

    Still I think natural law runs into problems precisely because of reasons conflicts with nature.

    Well yes, St Paul especially spoke of the conflict within man in comparable terms. But we still have to be wary about decoupling the reason that inheres in humans alone from the holistic nature of which it is a cosmological part. Again, such a fallacy derives from a tendency to conflate natural law philosophy with a narrowly biologistic naturalism.

    So here we consider homosexuality which according to Abrahamic mores is immoral. However, according to our modern understanding of sexuality, it is also innate, natural.

    There is no rational “however”. The psychopathy you just mentioned in relation to a tyrant from history is also innate and natural. So is alcoholism. Again, with respect, you’re very confused in what you’re asserting about nature and the Church’s understanding of natural law as a basis for theology. Note that I’m not saying gays are any sicker than anyone else. I’m merely dismissing the idea that a genetically understood homosexuality legitimises gay “marriage”. (Not all homosexuals care for the nature over choice view of their sexuality, incidentally, precisely because it bolsters the image of homosexuality as a compulsion rather than a choice).

    Thats all very well and good except that it condemns homosexuals to a misery that perhaps the clergy fail to understand having chosen a life of chastity.

    That word again: misery. Poor old gays. The Church also teaches that unmarried people sin when they have sex and that married people sin when they close their marriages to the possibility of life, of children. Everyone is in the same, tough boat – from the standpoint of Christian morality.

    However Judeo-Christian mores no longer hold a monopoly on Western civilized standards and its simply not enough to rely on that traditions authority to mount objections. One must consider the utility aspects of the good. I can demonstrate that proscriptions against homosexuality and its perpetuation as an outlaw lifestyle causes pain.

    Pain. Gay victims again. If Judeo-Christian mores no longer hold a monopoly on Western civilized standards what are you worried about? Why does the religious contemplation/instruction of the pope frighten you so? And I’d hardly call homosexuals in the Western world livers of an “outlaw lifestyle.” Who cops more hatred for their lifestyle, Sarah Palin or Penny Wong?

    Wheres the evidence that a child raised by two women suffers?

    The evidence is the absent father which two selfish narcissists have executively decided not to give him or her. There are truckloads of data on the effect on boys in particular of the absent father syndrome. Interestingly, the lefty Australian Institute of Family Studies has found that other lesbians are amongst the most prejudiced in relation to lesbian “parents” – especially vis-a-vis boys.

    Mel, Christians didn’t invent slavery. They did, however, play the major role in abolishing it. It was those of a more utilitarian/secularist orientation who were happy for it to go on.

    It will take a couple of centuries but – as with slavery – Christians will eventually catch up with the modern world.

    I think you mean the modern world will eventually catch up to Christians.

  56. conrad says:

    “The evidence is the absent father which two selfish narcissists have executively decided not to give him or her. There are truckloads of data on the effect on boys in particular of the absent father syndrome”

    This argument is simply incorrect C.L, since you are confusing single parenthood with the current issue. Almost all studies that have looked at kids with _two_ mothers find essentially no differences (c.f., single parents), and the studies that do find differences are finding tiny differences in areas that people don’t generally consider significant (some consider them positive). I’ll try and find the AIFS literature review on it if I get some time (it’s buried somewhere in one of their documents on adoption if I remember correctly).

    “We do not accept that two men can or should be married. No society ever has”

    And this is factually incorrect too. Go ask a Roman. See e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_same-sex_unions.

  57. conrad says:

    C.L., I can’t find the main review, but I have found another document of theirs with a summary that points to some other literature reviews. Try looking here:

    http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/RP30.html#critical

    Here is what there summary says:

    “A literature is accumulating that suggests that children raised by gays or lesbians do not show poor adjustment when compared with other children (Golombok, Spencer and Rutter 1983; Green, Mandel, Hotvedt and Smith 1986; Patterson 1992, 2000). Further, no differences have been found when lesbian and heterosexual mothers are compared on measures of self-concept, happiness, overall adjustment, psychiatric status, parenting style and general parenting ability (for a comprehensive review of the research on children in gay and lesbian households see Patterson 2002, 2000; see also Golombok 1999: 440; Allen and Burrell 1996). Studies based on fathers’ reports of their own behaviour suggest that gay fathers may be more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to exhibit authoritative patterns of parenting behaviour (Patterson 2002: 324).

    However, much of the available research has involved small, unrepresentative samples that are predominantly well educated, middle class and American (Patterson 2002). The degree to which results reflect sampling biases of the research, and their applicability in the Australian context, are thus difficult to evaluate.”

    If there is new evidence to dispute all of the older findings I’d be interested. Personally I think other things that we do know have decent sized effects are more worth worrying about (poverty, violence, etc.).

  58. fatfingers says:

    “designed”

    No. Evolved.

    “It is this complimentarity – and its familial fruits – that are institutionalised in marriage”

    OK, but given homosexual couples find complimentarity with each other instead of with the opposite sex, why must they be denied marriage? What will their union do to deprive others? That’s what I really don’t understand.

    “You could make the same argument…”

    Utter rubbish. Christian teachings don’t prohibit spastics (etc) having sex or cohabiting or marrying with other spastics (etc)! Or do they?

    “the possibility of life”

    Did that discussion of life and the possibility of life have an effect on you after all? ;-) Don’t worry, I’m kidding.

    “Who cops more hatred for their lifestyle”

    Going by numbers of assaults on gays (that are shown to be driven by hatred of gays as opposed to any other reason) compared with assaults on fundamentalist Christians, I’d say the answer is pretty clear.

    AFAICT, your argument boils down to ‘just because homosexuality is natural doesn’t mean it is good’, citing various bad things that nature gives us (disease, deformation, etc). But those deviations from the norm are actively harmful, whereas homosexuality is NOT, neither to the individual or society ar large.

  59. melaleuca says:

    St Thomas Aquinas was probably the most significant Catholic natural law philosopher and his philosophy emphasised the moral virtues of slavery. Enough said on this bogus natural law nonsense.

  60. Geoff Honnor says:

    “The evidence is the absent father which two selfish narcissists have executively decided not to give him or her. There are truckloads of data on the effect on boys in particular of the absent father syndrome,”

    You really are a hackneyed old stereotype a minute kind of guy…so, lesbian parents are, by definition, “selfish narcissists” who actively seek to deprive their kids of male role models.

    There may well be lesbians who do but I’ve never met them. All the lesbian parents I know actively welcome the involvement of biological fathers in the upbringing of their children and all utilise extended family networks of grandparents, brothers, uncles and their families.

    Surprisingly enough, CL, gay parenting by and large takes place within the broad social and relationship networks that all families share and the basic requirements for good parenting – love, security and support – aren’t the exclusive preserve of heterosexual parents.

  61. C.L. says:

    Aquinas didn’t emphasise the “natural vitues of slavery.” He explained its existence in terms of powerful men having authority over less powerful men and, with Augustine, linked its existence to the generic sinfulness that derives from the Fall. He insisted slaves had rights and were equal in the eyes of God.

    designed No. Evolved.

    It isn’t either/or (a recurring fallacy in this discussion). Catholic Christians believe in evolution but also that evolution was theistically willed.

    Almost all studies that have looked at kids with _two_ mothers find essentially no differences.

    Except that there are no fathers. These “studies” tend always to “find” no major problems with liberal social engineering.

    We do not accept that two men can or should be married. No society ever has. And this is factually incorrect too. Go ask a Roman.

    It is not “factually incorrect” – let alone “too.” From your link: “Although state-recognized same-sex marriage is a relatively new phenomenon in Western society, there is a long history of same-sex unions around the world.”

    No kidding.

    And: “Some early Western societies integrated, and even celebrated, same-sex relationships, though it should be noted these relationships were generally substantially different from traditional marriage…”

    Some PETA activist will next cite ancient Rome as part of a push to have horses appointed to the Senate.

  62. C.L. says:

    You really are a hackneyed old stereotype a minute kind of guy.

    Says the man who brought up Torquemada.

    …so, lesbian parents are, by definition, selfish narcissists who actively seek to deprive their kids of male role models.

    No, lesbian parents are, by definition, selfish narcissists who actively seek to deprive their children of fathers.

  63. Geoff Honnor says:

    “No, lesbian parents are, by definition, selfish narcissists who actively seek to deprive their children of fathers.”

    And if the reality is actually diametrically different to that you’ll stick to your “definition” anyway :)

  64. C.L. says:

    “Diametrically different” would be a woman cohabiting with the father and the child – the child who deserves a father and a mother. See also, ‘marriage’. Wilfully depriving a child of a father or a mother as part of an ersatz gay “family” is child abuse and should, of course, be outlawed.

  65. C.L. says:

    Going by numbers of assaults on gays (that are shown to be driven by hatred of gays as opposed to any other reason) compared with assaults on fundamentalist Christians, Id say the answer is pretty clear.

    So you condemn the homosexuals who assaulted that 69 year-old woman and you condemn gay attacks on Mormons and Christians? The argument that more gays are attacked for being gays than Christians are attacked for being Christians is also – to say the least – dubious.

    …argument boils down to just because homosexuality is natural doesnt mean it is good, citing various bad things that nature gives us (disease, deformation, etc). But those deviations from the norm are actively harmful, whereas homosexuality is NOT, neither to the individual or society at large.

    No, Fatty. Adrien introduced that line and I responded to it.

    And you regard Down syndrome as “harmful”? Mmmkay.

    I haven’t made any argument about homosexuality being harmful to society. I’ve made the argument that homosexual “marriages” are contrary to natural law. They are. A majority of voters in the most liberal society in the world agrees with me.

  66. Geoff Honnor says:

    “Wilfully depriving a child of a father or a mother as part of an ersatz gay family is child abuse and should, of course, be outlawed.”

    My own daughter was raised in a same sex parenting situation which has produced a bright, loving, well-adjusted 22 year old in her final year of Law. She wasn’t “wilfully deprived” of anything or anyone nor was/is her family situation in any way “ersatz.” You keep referencing a sort of gay parenting porno that exists only in your fevered imagination.

  67. C.L. says:

    I’m guessing she wasn’t raised in that situation for all of her 22 years. I’m also guessing she didn’t spend 22 years with you and your man. I further guess she wasn’t conceived via novel means. Right?

    My interlocutors shamelessly introduce Nazi popes, Galileo, Torquemada and the slave trade but I’m the one who’s febrile. Hilarious.

  68. Geoff Honnor says:

    “Im guessing she wasnt raised in that situation for all of her 22 years. Im also guessing she didnt spend 22 years with you and your man. I further guess she wasnt conceived via novel means. Right?”

    You are without shame.

  69. I concluded that some time ago Geoff. My commiserations.

    CL is a ‘Christian’ you see. And if you so much as mention the idea of turning the other cheek, he just ups the ante.

    Anonymously of course.

  70. C.L. says:

    As proof of the dishonest anti-Catholic hysteria surrounding the pope’s speech, I challenge anyone to explain to me how the actual address (in which homosexuality isn’t mentioned) can justifiably be reported as the Caneberra Times (amongst many other newspapers) reported it: Protect the planet from gays, Pope says.

    $1000 to the reader who shows where Pope Benedict expressed a desire to “protect the planet from gays”.

  71. C.L. says:

    Geoff, you mentioned your daughter and I responded honestly but respectfully. If you’re going to come over all victimised, why did you raise the example? I conclude from your new-found reticence that I was indeed right. Right?

    Speaking of shameless, I’m not surprised that Nicolas the cowardly “nazi” pope theorist has jumped back in at this juncture. And he’s still doing so using that last refuge of the thread scoundrel: selective distaste for pseudonymity. (Take note “Fatfingers”).

    And like just about every anti-Catholic I’ve ever debated Nicolas is a macho man when it comes to accusing Catholics of Nazism but a crybaby insisting Christians turn the other cheek while he slimes them. Usually the ‘other cheek’ reference is simply a plea to be allowed to have the last say. ‘Please let me win, Christian’. No. And why would I meekly offer my other cheek, Nicolas, when your first cheap shot missed its mark the first time?

  72. fatfingers says:

    “And you regard Down syndrome as harmful? Mmmkay.”

    Harmful to the sufferer, yes. Do you think it’s just fine and dandy, or even a benefit?

    “Ive made the argument that homosexual marriages are contrary to natural law.”

    Let’s assume that’s true. The question then becomes, so what? What is so wrong about gay marriage?

    “Catholic Christians believe in evolution but also that evolution was theistically willed.”

    It depends on which Catholic you talk to, but whatever. Christians have been forced to accept evolution through the application of reason to observable facts, as they have been on so many scientific questions, only to retreat to another position of faith. It should make you wonder if this new position is as sustainable as you’d like it to be.

  73. C.L. – I hope you won’t mind if I call you “Sister Apoplectica”, what’s with your spelling of my name?

  74. fatfingers says:

    For anyone worried about my pseudonymity, my name is Jarrah Job. You are all welcome to visit my blog. I will be progressively changing my moniker to Jarrah on all the blogs I frequent (have done so on many already, in fact).

  75. FF,

    For the record, I have no qualms with pseudonymity per se. (Hint for C.L. – back off the accelerator just long enough to see if you can figure out why I have a problem in your case).

  76. C.L. says:

    No Fatty, I don’t think Down Syndrome is “fine and dandy” but you implied it was “actively harmful” to individuals and society. How so? Have you been mugged by the Clowns of God on your way back from lunch or something?

    Lets assume thats true. The question then becomes, so what?

    For hysterics who misquote and have panic attacks about a speech in which the pope didn’t even mention homosexuals, indeed – so what?

    It depends on which Catholic you talk to, but whatever.

    Which prominent Catholic posits creationism? Names please.

    Christians have been forced to accept evolution…

    Just like non Christians.

    For the record, I have no qualms with pseudonymity per se. (Hint for C.L. – back off the accelerator just long enough to see if you can figure out why I have a problem in your case).

    Because I took issue with your Nazi pope palaver, that’s why.

  77. Geoff Honnor says:

    “Geoff, you mentioned your daughter and I responded honestly but respectfully.”

    I raised my family situation because it exemplifies the gay parenting norm that I see all around me and offers an alternative perspective to the overwrought depiction which you keep offering – presumably based on zero experience. I should be clear that I didn’t raise it as an invitation to you to quiz me on whether or not my daughter’s conception was managed to your satisfaction.

    I haven’t come over all “victimised” CL. Just a bit stunned at the prurience of your enquiry.

  78. fatfingers says:

    “you implied it was actively harmful to individuals and society. How so?”

    The individuals who suffer from Downs syndrome typically have shorter lives, sometimes profound mental disability, heart problems, hearing problems, and dementia in their later years. I think we can safely say it is harmful to them.

    The mental and physical problems of sufferers impose difficulties and challenges on their parents and families, and increase social costs.

    To be clear, I believe none of the above is a good reason to abort, and none of the above mean DS sufferers can’t have happy, productive lives. They are simple facts.

    “Which prominent Catholic posits creationism? Names please.”

    I don’t know any prominent Catholics personally, but some non-prominent ones (that I have discussed evolution with) reject it totally. Perhaps you consider them not good or faithful Catholics?

  79. conrad says:

    “These studies tend always to find no major problems with liberal social engineering.”

    They would find no major problems without liberal social engineering also, since there arn’t any to find. In case you have any evidence at all of the opposite, please present it (versus your typical hyperbole). You’re just going to have to face the fact that kids are fairly resilient and minor things like the sexuality of your parents doesn’t make much difference.

  80. rog says:

    Individuals with mental disabilities are not necessarily harmed and suffering; most downs syndrome that I have known have been very chirpy.

    I think this is just more confabulated projection by a normal sufferer.

  81. melaleuca says:

    “Ive made the argument that homosexual marriages are contrary to natural law.”

    Since natural law is gibberish who cares.

    Actually CL is my favourite Catholic because his prurience, pettiness and pomposity are great advertisements for agnosticism and atheism. Please continue :)

  82. melaleuca says:

    Catholic Natural Law in action:

    Pope Pius IX in 1866-

    “Slavery itself, considered as such in its essential nature, is not at all contrary to the natural and divine law, and there can be several just titles of slavery, and these are referred to by approved theologians and commentators of the sacred canons It is not contrary to the natural and divine law for a slave to be sold, bought, exchanged or given”.

    Ref: http://media.www.ndsmcobserver.com/media/storage/paper660/news/2007/04/25/Viewpoint/Natural.Law.Proves.Fallible-2877896.shtml

    The Catholic Church was still singing the praises of slavery even after the American Civil War had finished!!!! In doing so they invoked the same natural law bollocks Sister Apoplectica invokes to support Catholic persecution of homosexuals.

  83. C.L. says:

    I raised my family situation because it exemplifies the gay parenting norm that I see all around me and offers an alternative perspective to the overwrought depiction which you keep offering.

    I’m not offering anything overwrought. Certainly I haven’t mentioned Nazi popes, Gailileo, the slave trade or Torquemada. You mentioned your daughter as an argument in favour of two homosexuals having children. From what you’ve avoided responding to, I take it she wasn’t in fact raised by two men for 22 years. I have nothing but respect for you as a commentator, Geoff, as I think our various interactions over the years demonstrate.

    Fatty now retreats to anonymous Catholics (in the pub?) who reject evolution. The President-elect of the United States rejected the idea that life begins at conception. (“Beyond my pay grade”). Who is the bigger moron?

    Youre just going to have to face the fact that kids are fairly resilient and minor things like the sexuality of your parents doesnt make much difference.

    Why did you use the word “resilient”, then?

    Since natural law is gibberish who cares?

    Interestingly, Mel and Fatty believe with religious fervour in the inherent, ordered balance of the planet and they’re alarmed by the possibility that man’s rebellion against that inherent balance (aka Gaia) will heat us all to oblivion. But when it comes to raising children, nature doesn’t matter.

  84. C.L. says:

    There is still $1000 on offer to the reader who shows where Pope Benedict expressed a desire to protect the planet from gays.

  85. fatfingers says:

    “Individuals with mental disabilities are not necessarily harmed and suffering; most downs syndrome that I have known have been very chirpy.”

    There are also physical problems. And I also acknowledged that DS doesn’t necessarily mean unhappy lives. But a shorter life means less experience of happiness in total than would otherwise be the case. That sounds like harm to me.

    “Fatfingers now retreats”

    Ha! Because I couldn’t be bothered googling Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, the Kolbe Center, the Daylight Origins Society, or the writers of Living Tradition, I’m ‘retreating’.

    Have you ‘retreated’ (again!) from the salient points I raised? I repeat: What is so wrong about gay marriage?

  86. melaleuca says:

    “Interestingly, Mel and Fatty believe with religious fervour in the inherent, ordered balance of the planet and theyre alarmed by the possibility that mans rebellion against that inherent balance (aka Gaia) will heat us all to oblivion. But when it comes to raising children, nature doesnt matter.”

    I’ve never said anything so simplistic. My position on AGW has always been conservative and prudent- that being since the overwhelming majority of scientists with the requisite expertise have been saying for some time that we have an AGW problem we ought to give them the benefit of the doubt and spend a modest amount of money addressing it.

    With regards to children being raised by same-sex couples, a large body of available research data from multiple countries indicates children aren’t harmed by such arrangements. Once again, I’m giving the experts the benefit of the doubt.

    Even Edmund Burke would approve of my reasoning :)

  87. fatfingers says:

    A thousand bucks, hey? Well, I agree that there isn’t much for gays to get worked up about, and couldn’t give a rat’s about Ratzinger or what people say about him, but how about this?

    “He explained that defending God’s creation was not limited to saving the environment, but also about protecting man from self-destruction. The Pope was delivering his end-of-year address to senior Vatican staff. His words, later released to the media, emphasised his rejection of gender theory. Speaking on Monday, Pope Benedict XVI warned that gender theory blurred the distinction between male and female and could thus lead to the “self-destruction” of the human race.”

    Here is the money quote (though I understand this is an unofficial translation):
    “When the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman and asks that this order of creation be respected, it is not the result of an outdated metaphysic. It is a question here of faith in the Creator and of listening to the language of creation, the devaluation of which leads to the self-destruction of man and therefore to the destruction of the same work of God. ..it would be beneficial to read again the Encyclical Humanae Vitae: the intention of Pope Paul VI was to defend…the nature of man against its manipulation.”

    On a side note, Adrien should be happy that the Pope quoted Nietzsche.

  88. C.L. says:

    Cardinal Christoph Schonborn isn’t a creationist, Fatty. The Kolbe Center? Never heard of it. Turns out – thank you, Google – to be a group of lay people running a website in Virginia. The Daylight Origins Society – thank you Wiki (hadn’t heard of it either) – turns out to be associated with the Traditionalist Catholic movement (think Mel and Hutton Gibson).

    So yeah – Fatfingers now retreats. Big time.

  89. C.L. says:

    Fatty, you’ve quoted from a BBC report of the pope’s speech and not the speech itself (which I presume you haven’t read). Here it is. The pope didn’t argue the planet had to be protected from homosexuals. If – through some freakish King Ralph scenario – Barney Franks ever becomes President via succession, maybe.

  90. C.L. says:

    Mel, you’ve cropped Pius IX’s statement. The passage continues: “The purchaser should carefully examine whether the slave who is put up for sale has been justly or unjustly deprived of his liberty, and that the vendor should do nothing which might endanger the life, virtue, or Catholic faith of the slave.”

    The Pope was actually acknowledging that certain types of indentured servitude were not immoral per se. (Prisoners put to work, for example).

    – In 1462 Pope Pius II declared slavery an “enormous crime” (magnum scelus).
    – In 1537 Pope Paul III forbade the enslavement of native people in the New World.
    – Pope Urban VIII forbade slavery again in 1639.
    – Pope Benedict XIV condemned slavery in 1741.
    – Pope Pius VII demanded the Congress of Vienna suppress the slave trade in 1815.
    – Pope Gregory XVI condemned the slave trade in 1839.
    – In the bull canonizing Jesuit St. Peter Claver in 1888, Pope Pius IX branded the slave trade summum nefas or “supreme villainy.”
    – Pope Leo XIII sent out the encyclical In Plurimism on the abolition of slavery in 1888, ordering Brazilian bishops to abolish slavery.

    Centuries before the American Civil War, the Catholic Church was condemning slavery. But the world – and many Christians, to be sure – paid little notice.

    As late as the twentieth century, Western secular leftists looked the other way or positively sang the praises of the largest slave labour regime in human history: the USSR. To this day, many of them are still proud of it.

  91. fatfingers says:

    “and not the speech itself”

    The joke’s on you, Confused Lad – the ‘money quote’ is Benedict’s exact words. The fact that I have read his speech (turgid and tedious as it may be) is why I agree with you that gay activists are over-reacting. But I thought $1000 was worth playing for.

    “Traditionalist Catholic movement”

    Not ‘real’ Catholics, then? Time for another split, I reckon. Christianity really needs more splitters.

  92. NPOV says:

    I still don’t see how any amount of biblical backing justifies the surely-quite-disproven idea that you can “save” somebody from “homosexuality”.
    Indeed many people’s lives have been made thoroughly miserable by trying (including one of my closest friends I had while at uni).
    What other religions maintain such a strong opposition to homosexuality? And what’s the basis for it? As others have said, the fact that some relatively small percentage of adult humans happen to enjoy intercourse with others of the same sex doesn’t seem to pose any great threat to humanity. Of course, eating pork doesn’t either, but Christianity in general seems to have shed most of completley arbitrary taboos that still haunt other religions. OTOH, what does pose great threat to humanity is AIDS, which would still do so even if all homosexual intercourse stopped tomorrow, while the best defence against it known is still explicitly verboten according to his holiness.

  93. Fred Argy says:

    In today’s letters to the editor in Canberra Times, you have Paul Collins saying he found nothing that is attributable to the Pope. And he adds at the end that that he must check sources rather than believing what news agencies are saying.

    This still raises two questions. First, why was this allowed such a media beat-up? I still cannot understand why the “Vatican official” was allowed to so much space in the papers without any media rebuttal by the Pope?

    Secondly, much of the debate we have had on this blog is still highly pertinent.

  94. John Greenfield says:

    Fred

    I was going to point out that your OP was rubbish, as the Pope never said any such thing, but I was enjoying the fracas too much. Why do – not just you – these types CONTINUALLY come out swinging against the pope for things he does not even say?

    Recall the rubbish that was spewed over the Regensburg Address, where the pope recounted an exchange between a 14th century Byzantine Emperor and a Persian theologian. FMD, didn’t the Luvvies go ape!? And yet how many would have had a CLUE what the lecture was about? Witness the Sister of Perpetual Dopiness, Adele Horin, also launched a johad against the pope this time.

  95. fatfingers says:

    If anything, it should be transgender people who should be offended (but not surprised) at Benedict’s words, not homosexuals.

  96. C.L. says:

    The jokes on you, Confused Lad – the money quote is Benedicts exact words.

    Fatty’s quote:

    “He explained that defending Gods creation was not limited to saving the environment, but also about protecting man from self-destruction. The Pope was delivering his end-of-year address to senior Vatican staff. His words, later released to the media, emphasised his rejection of gender theory. Speaking on Monday, Pope Benedict XVI warned that gender theory blurred the distinction between male and female and could thus lead to the ‘self-destruction’ of the human race.”

    Fatty says this is an exact quote. No, Fatty. The joke – as ever – is on you.

    Fred’s quotation (complete with quotation marks) was from this BBC report (the opening par – showing how much effort went into this ridiculous post) and not from the pope’s speech.

    The fact that I have read his speech (turgid and tedious as it may be)…

    You mean as turgid and tedious as the translation is, dopey.

    I still dont see how any amount of biblical backing justifies the surely-quite-disproven idea that you can save somebody from homosexuality.

    The pope’s speech wasn’t about saving anybody from homosexuality. It didn’t mention homosexuality.

    So even Paul Collins has called bullshit. Game over. And what does Fred do after relating this development? Apologise? No. He blames the Vatican’s communications strategy. Unbelievable.

  97. fatfingers says:

    Ha ha ha! Confused Lad is confused. Again.

    OK, one more time for the slow one up the back of the class.

    Look closely at #87. It is composed of two parts – a quote from the BBC, and a quote from the Pope’s speech that the BBC was referring to. The second one was called the ‘money quote’, because it was that section the BBC was reporting on.

    “The joke – as ever – is on you.”

    LOL. Epic fail by CL.

  98. C.L. says:

    Oh, I see. After quoting the BBC, you included what you regard as a “money quote” proving that Benedict XVI was arguing the planet had to be protected from gays. Which the quote doesn’t argue, sustain or even hint at.

    The epic fail is yours.

    Which, hilariously, you now acknowledge yourself: “it should be transgender people who should be offended (but not surprised) at Benedicts words, not homosexuals.”

    LOL. The pope’s speech didn’t mention “transgender people” either.

    This Fatty-esque fantasisation of what Benedict XVI means when he speaks (in Italian, Fatty) is a kind of emotional illness.

  99. fatfingers says:

    “Oh, I see.”

    Finally. Have you got a hangover or something? Your reading and comprehension skills are worse than usual today.

    “Which the quote doesnt argue, sustain or even hint at.”

    Yup. Which is why I said I agree with you, you knucklehead.

    “you now acknowledge”

    No. I said so some comments back. You just love racking up the fails, don’t you?

    “The popes speech didnt mention transgender people either.”

    He does mention “the nature of the human being as man and woman” and how that should be respected, and when it isn’t it leads to “the self-destruction of man and therefore to the destruction of the same work of God”. That’s plenty for transgender people to be miffed about, even though they are not mentioned by name.

  100. C.L. says:

    Finally. Have you got a hangover or something? Your reading and comprehension skills are worse than usual today.

    Says Fatty, who though Benedict delivered his speech to the Curia in Her Majesty’s English.

    Yup. Which is why I said I agree with you, you knucklehead.

    No, you were going for the $1000 by ‘proving’ (with your “money quote”) that the pope really was saying the planet was endangered by homosexuals. (Following a brief arse-covering comment that the quote you were about to quote proved no such thing – which you later made clear by shifting the fantasy of what the pope was saying to “trangender people”). Transgender people, of course, were not mentioned by the pope either. You now admit that too, doubling your surrender to truly French proportions.

    This is the most embarrassing Fatty episode since the spacetime continuum. You keep making arguments which you acknowledge are in fact false.

  101. melaleuca says:

    You misrepresent history once gain CL. For instance you say Pope Urban VIII “forbade slavery again in 1639” while conveniently ignoring the fact that he kept his own stable of slaves. You know perfectly well that Urban’s edict of 1639 was strictly limited in scope and did not call for the abolition of slavery.

    Since your “facts” are so easily checkable I’m not sure what you hope to gain by being willfully deceptive. Shame on you.

  102. fatfingers says:

    “who though Benedict delivered his speech to the Curia in Her Majestys English.”

    Fail upon fail. I said it was a translation.

    “No, you were going for the $1000 by proving (with your money quote) that the pope really was saying the planet was endangered by homosexuals.”

    If someone offered you a grand to kick a football the length of the field, even if you knew you couldn’t do it, wouldn’t you at least have a go? I prefaced my attempt for your money with “I agree that there isnt much for gays to get worked up about”, so I was hardly devoting myself to the cause.

    “Transgender people, of course, were not mentioned by the pope either.”

    You certainly like to repeat yourself. The pope said “man and woman” was human nature. Transgender people don’t fit the bill, right? Thus they could rightly feel aggrieved that someone thought they were unnatural. Again, they shouldn’t be surprised – it’s the frickin pope!

    This is the most embarrassing Confused Lad corner you’ve backed yourself into since you thought two wars were one.

    And I don’t understand your fascination with my wording ‘spacetime continuum’. I know science is generally beyond your ken, but surely you’ve come across it before?

  103. John Greenfield says:

    I have to say that the Pope owes “transgender” people nothing. There is no greater rejection of the majesty of God’s creations than the science experiments known as “transgendered”.

  104. NPOV says:

    It does seem there was an awful amount of extrapolation going on from what the Pope actually said. I don’t doubt that when he was talking about the dangers of blurring the distinctions between males and females he had homosexuality and transgenderism in mind, but he could just as well have been referring to the expectation for women to focus on childbearing and housekeeping and men to focus on bringing home the bacon and, well, representing God.

  105. fatfingers says:

    “Gods creations”

    God doesn’t exist. :-)

  106. C.L. says:

    Mel, you were caught cropping Pius IX’s words. Have the humility to leave well enough alone.

    Fatty, you’ve admitted Benedict’s speech was not an attack on homosexuals – though you provided a “money quote” whose purpose was to illustrate that it was.

    ?

    Then you claimed the speech should really offend “transgender persons” – who weren’t mentioned in the speech either.

    ?

    You falsely claimed Cardinal Schonborn was a creationist and that a few marginal web nutters are “prominent Catholics.”

    ?

    You are obviously unaware that although the pope’s speech was delivered in Iatlian, he used the English word “gender” when discussing that subject. This choice has been interpreted as an intention to specifically address and reject the Western sociological idea of sexual identity as a purely social construct.

    So you’ve bungled the “transgender people” theory of the pope’s speech as well. Your arguments – like Fred’s and Nicholas’s – are now catastrophically beyond recovery. Fred has at least moved on to expressing an interest in how the lie got started – which I acknowledge.

    My interlocutors are nominally educated people but an Italian speech translated and deliberately misrepresented for purposes of ‘slow news day’ controversy bamboozled all of them – especially Fatty. Or rather, they wanted to believe a lie about Catholicism so they ran with it. Now the whole sham has collapsed but do we get an update to the post acknowledging the error? No. Apologies? Of course not.

  107. John Greenfield says:

    Well to the Catholics he does.

  108. fatfingers says:

    “youve admitted Benedicts speech was not an attack on homosexuals”

    I didn’t need to ‘admit’ it – I saw that was the case from the start.

    “Then you claimed the speech should really offend transgender persons”

    I don’t use vulgar cop-speak like ‘persons’.

    “You falsely claimed Cardinal Schonborn was a creationist”

    I provided a direct quote (at the Cat, since you decided to spread your stink) where he claims evolution is evolution is “not true” and that there is “overwhelming evidence for design in biology”. What would you call that?

  109. AdrienSword says:

    Currency Lad – Again youre conflating natural law philosophy (as it has been found and expounded in the Church for centuries) with a David Attenborough view of what organisms in nature may or may not do.

    Again I’m not. I have made the case that homosexuality is natural. You have in the past insisted on the basis of some Rousseauian idealism of the gay movement in the 70s that it’s a lifestyle ‘choice’. But it’s not. It’s natural. I don’t think this justifies it. I’ve categorically stated more than once that it does not. What justifies it is that it doesn’t hurt anyone.

    The tendency of humans to use their imagination to generate bogus narratives to explain away the fear of death is also natural. The complementary tendency of humans to impose authority on others likewise. Together these make up organized religion which cannot lay claim to the same lack of harm.

    Your statement that:

    You could make the same argument about those born blind, lame, spastic, with Down syndrome or incapable of ever having any sexual or adult emotional relationships at all.

    Is telling. A blind person cannot see. Each of these conditions is somehow a disability. Homosexuality is just a difference. Is being left-handed a pathology?

    We do not accept that two men can or should be married. No society ever has.

    That is not actually true. It’s true in complex society probably for the very simple reason that marriage in such societies is about heritable property not love.

    The Church doesnt prevent anyone from having any kind of sex they like. It teaches that certain expressions of sexuality are sinful.

    Here I’m thinking of the best friend of my brother. Devout family, ludicrously so really. They prayed to be relieved of their financial trouble at dinner time. These prayers were never answered but still…

    The friend was gay and the guilt, shame, torment, yes – misery – that this created was created by his creed. I find it very difficult to take any peace and love schpiel seriously when it comes from people who’re categorically so insensitive to basic humanity as to demonize or treat as pathological persons simply because they’re homosexual.

    I also find it disingenuous that you say that the Church accepts homosexuals and pose as someone who’s understanding when you have made remarks that would be read as homophobic. Please at least wear your distaste on your sleeve. Be honest. You are not accepting homosexuals, say so.

  110. C.L. says:

    It does seem there was an awful amount of extrapolation going on from what the Pope actually said.

    NPOV also does the right thing. Well done.

    Fatty? Nick? Geoff?

  111. fatfingers says:

    “Fatty?”

    Dude. You’re losing your grip. The first time I even mentioned the speech, I said there wasn’t much for homosexuals to complain about.

  112. AdrienSword says:

    There is no greater rejection of the majesty of Gods creations than the science experiments known as transgendered.

    MMmmph.

    Well science shows us that you’re wrong:

    The present findings of somatostatin neuronal sex differences in the BSTc and its sex reversal in the transsexual brain clearly support the paradigm that in transsexuals sexual differentiation of the brain and genitals may go into opposite directions and point to a neurobiological basis of gender identity disorder.

    Link

    I do try to tolerate religious doctrine but it seems to me one day there will be a war. I do find it odd that God created us with the capacity to find out how the universe works and yet, at least according to many of His most faithful, we’re not actually s’posed to use our brains for anything more than reciting verses from old books.

    Mmmm I don’t think that dog hunts somehow. If God is such a petty, nasty, sadistic, mean-spirited, close-minded arsehole – and He does seem top present as such – then fuck Him. :)

  113. fatfingers says:

    And like I said up top, nobody has your heroic extrapolational ability, where you can look at Bush and Gates saying the war is not won, and think they mean “the war is over, we won”.

    There. I knew you were itching for me to mention Bush again. Happy?

  114. NPOV says:

    “…Western sociological idea of sexual identity as a purely social construct”

    Huh? Who the hell seriously thinks that sexual identity is a “purely social construct”?

  115. fatfingers says:

    NPOV, sad to say there are some postmodern deconstructionist whackjobs who think just about everything is a purely social construct.

  116. C.L. says:

    Adrien’s back with “misery”. Poor gays. They’re miserable. So miserable they strolled the streets of California beating up old women and throwing rocks at Mormon churches. (They left the black ‘hoods alone, though, funnily enough). We’ve kind of moved on, Adrien. It’s now admitted that the pope’s speech had nothing to do with homosexuals threatening the planet. I’m not entirely sure what anyone ever means by the word “homophobic”, but I suspect your application of it to me is a sign of desperation. If you have examples of my alleged attacks on homosexual individuals, please provide it. Rather famously at the time, the only person I banned from comments at my old blog was thrown out for posting scurrilous observations about Michael Kirby. Would that Ken Parish applied similar standards when two of his team members decide to slime Catholics via scurrilous misrepresentations of Benedict XVI.

    “I provided a direct quote… where [Cardinal Schonborn] claims evolution is evolution is ‘not true’.”

    Fatty’s quote:

    Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense – an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection – is not. Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.

    The Cardinal accepts evolution but rejects mere theories posited by some cosmologists and physicists which assert that, by intrinsic definition, creation required no initiator and has no foundational design. So Fatty provides a quote (from the Cardinal’s well-known NYT article) which confirms that he, Fatty, was lying when he claimed Schonborn was a creationist. You also say at Catallaxy that “‘Catholic creationist’ is practically a tautology.”

    Please provide evidence that the Catholic Church teaches creationism, Fatty.

  117. AdrienSword says:

    Cl – In any event you really haven’t elucidated your take on natural law. You simply keep repeating that I conflate biodeterminism with natural law without saying exactly why.

    But more than all that you do not provide any secular reason for proscriptions against homosexuality or even homosexual marriage. Citing history isn’t good enough. In the past they didn’t do lots of things that we do.

    What is the utilitarian basis for proscriptions against homosexuality including gay marriage in secular society.

    In this arena the Church are just another organization and The Bible is just another old book.

  118. melaleuca says:

    CL says:

    “Mel, you were caught cropping Pius IXs words. Have the humility to leave well enough alone.”

    Umm, what I “cropped” was this:

    “The purchaser should carefully examine whether the slave who is put up for sale has been justly or unjustly deprived of his liberty.”

    I’m not sure why you think it important, indeed it seems you are being dishonest again. Pope Pius IX simply reaffirmed the status quo.

    As an interesting aside, Pope Pius IX was a well known opponent of Abraham Lincoln and Confederate sympathiser. After the Confederacy was defeated and its president, Jefferson Davis, imprisoned Pope Piux IX sent him a crown of thorns that he had woven with his own hands!

  119. C.L. says:

    The first time I even mentioned the speech, I said there wasnt much for homosexuals to complain about.

    Then you chose your “money quote” to prove that there was.

    Then you claimed the speech could justifiably be considered offensive to “transgender people” – even though the speech makes no references to transgender people either.

    You seem to be have been drinking throughout the day.

  120. AdrienSword says:

    Currency Lad this discussion is interesting please don;t spoil it with you typical excursions into demonizing as group by reference to some unpleasant anomaly. Homophobia means fear and/or loathing of homosexuals – clear enough. It’s not desperation it’s the same old weary exasperation when the Wall of Obtuse goes up.

    Viz evidence of your distaste for homosexuals I do remembers you making various odious comments to Steve Mun viz his being a sodomite etc. Perhaps you were just returning fire in one of Steve’s Catholic Bashing Hour episodes. Still I stand by my fundamental assertion neither you, nor the Church accepts homosexuals. Have the moral courage at least to say so.

  121. C.L. says:

    …you do not provide any secular reason for proscriptions against homosexuality or even homosexual marriage.

    I don’t favour “proscriptions” against homosexuals and never have. The Church called for the worldwide abolition of all such proscriptions last week at the UN.

    Fred didn’t post on that. I wonder why.

  122. AdrienSword says:

    Denying a homosexual couple the capacity to legitimize their relationship is a proscription. It’s denying them their rights.

    You justify this because of heterosexual unions and their ‘fruits’ even tho’ at the same time you have no objection to women beyond childbearing age getting married nor I presume would you object to heterosexual couple who do not intend to reproduce likewise getting married. The evidence that we have indicated that being raised by homosexual couples does not harm children nor determine their sexual orientation yet you object.

    What basis do have for this denial of basic rights apart from the insistence that your fading creed’s traditions must be maintained at all cost?

  123. melaleuca says:

    CL says:

    “Im not entirely sure what anyone ever means by the word homophobic …”

    Really? You used the very same term yourself in relation to criticism of Ted Haggard in 2006.

  124. C.L. says:

    Mel, the portion of the quote you cropped speaks to the reality that indentured servitude is not contrary to morality per se and that people may not unjustly be deprived of their liberty. Strange sentiments for a slavery advocate. I’ve also shown that popes vigorously opposed and condemned slavery for centuries. You dishonestly airbrushed these facts from your potted (and cropped) little history.

    Adrien, respectfully, you haven’t been part of the discussion of late so don’t lob here today and try to get attention by your conventional strategy of stalking me. Fred went with a very silly post decrying the pope’s alleged encouragement of hatred against homosexuals. He even passed off a BBC intro par written by a journalist as a direct quote of Benedict XVI. If he was an undergraduate, this paper would be FAILED for laziness and plagiarism. He now acknowledges he got the whole thing wrong. Ultra-lefty Paul Collins has also called bullshit on the media take. NPOV has too. It’s all over. FFS, have the decency to admit you were wrong when you signed up for a lynching party of Catholophobic Klansemen determined to string up the pope.

  125. C.L. says:

    Denying a homosexual couple the capacity to legitimize their relationship is a proscription. Its denying them their rights.

    How old fashioned you are, Adrien. Only married couples are legitimate. Welcome back to the 1950s. and no, they have no “right” to marry which, by definition, is the union of a man and a woman. A majority of people of California agree with the pope, apparently. And me. And Barack Obama.

  126. melaleuca says:

    “Ive also shown that popes vigorously opposed and condemned slavery for centuries. ”

    None of the popes you mention ever called for the outright abolition of slavery. As I’ve shown, some of the popes you quote were actually in the business of buying and selling slaves!

    The Catholic Church didn’t call for the abolition of slavery until years after the American Civil War.

  127. melaleuca says:

    CL says to Adrien:

    “How old fashioned you are, Adrien. Only married couples are legitimate.”

    It is obvious from the context that Adrien is using the word “legitimize” in the sociological sense. Thanks for ruining yet another discussion with your intellectual dishonesty :(

  128. fatfingers says:

    CL at #116 completely misses the point, and ascribes views to Schonborn that are not reflected in the quote. Schonborn specifically says there is design in biology. That’s Intelligent Design (TM) aka creationism. It’s not even the “God set it all in motion billions of years ago” creationism that is the official RCC line.

    “could justifiably be considered offensive to transgender people”

    Yes. You haven’t shown why it could not.

    “even though the speech makes no references to transgender people either.”

    It’s analogous to declaring the colours of the rainbow to be the only natural colours, which is saying colours not in the rainbow are unnatural. I don’t have to mention non-rainbow colours by name for the point to be clear.

    It’s funny watching you try to be literal, given your rhetorical contortions on so many other subjects.

    “You seem to be have been drinking throughout the day.”

    Now I wish I had, instead of wasting my time with you. Good day, sir.

  129. C.L. says:

    Mel: “As Ive shown…”

    LOL. One cropped quote and Mel’s now the Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History.

    CL at #116 completely misses the point, and ascribes views to Schonborn that are not reflected in the quote.

    I described the views of Schonborn as he presented them in his well-known New Yory Times article – from which you quoted. You’re now pulling a Fred by hoping nobody looks any further into the matter. I read and blogged on the article when it was written so I was baiting and waiting for you to misrepresent it. True to form, you did. Schonborn is not a creationist, as you claimed. The Catholic Church does not teach creationism, as you claimed at Catallaxy. I again invite you to demonstrate that the Catholic Church teaches creationism.

    You havent shown why it could not.

    Benedict didn’t mention transgender people. Now you’re reduced to arguing that it can’t be proved that transgender people shouldn’t falsely interpret his speech (in which he didn’t mention transgender people) as offesnive to transgender people. This is Vaudevillean.

    Third parties take note that as the ‘Benedict hates gays’ story dies, the diehard Klansmen reach desperately for other distractions.

  130. melaleuca says:

    Our Lady of Pompous Ineptitude says:

    “Mel, the portion of the quote you cropped speaks to the reality that indentured servitude is not contrary to morality per se and that people may not unjustly be deprived of their liberty. Strange sentiments for a slavery advocate.”

    Well let’s revisit what Pius IX said again, my dear:

    “Slavery itself, considered as such in its essential nature, is not at all contrary to the natural and divine law, and there can be several just titles of slavery and these are referred to by approved theologians and commentators of the sacred canons…. It is not contrary to the natural and divine law for a slave to be sold, bought, exchanged or given.”

    Here’s what Pius IX meant by the approved “just titles” for slavery:

    -persons captured in war,
    -persons condemned to slavery for a crime;
    -persons selling themselves into slavery, including a father selling his child; -children of a mother who is a slave.

    According to CL, Pius IX, the only European leader to recognize the Confederacy, was nonetheless not a slavery advocate because he then said in the same passage: ” The purchaser should carefully examine whether the slave who is put up for sale has been justly or unjustly deprived of his liberty”.

    Go figure.

  131. Emess says:

    CL said:

    “Welcome back to the 1950s. and no, they have no right to marry which, by definition, is the union of a man and a woman. A majority of people of California agree with the pope, apparently. And me. And Barack Obama.”

    Personally the churches have had this name tied up since time immemorial, and I would let them have it on that basis.

    I mean Macdonalds does not let others use their trade marks, so I can understand churches moving to protect the trade marks that they have built up over the years.
    Maccas does that all the time.

    OTOH, I would cut all (and I mean ALL) government funding, recognition, and ancillary benefits from anything other than a civil union in front of a government registrar. In other words, a ‘marriage’ in a ‘church’ has no more or less effect than a solemnisation of a gay relationship as far as any Government benefit/recognition is concerned.

    Then the churches can have ‘marriages’, and other groups can go add additional blessings, messages of love and devotion etc etc till their little hearts’ content. However, legally neither marriage nor any other union should have any status past that unless accompanied by a civil union available to all.

  132. Johnboy says:

    If God is such a petty, nasty, sadistic, mean-spirited, close-minded arsehole – and He does seem top present as such – then fuck Him.

    As it turns out Bill Clinton and one of the Popes died on the same day. There was some confusion and the Pope went to Hell and Clinton went to Heaven. The Pope bitterly complained about this and the Devil said he would fix the problem the next day. Sure enough the Pope is riding the escalator to heaven and coming down is Clinton. The Pope says, “I’m so sorry about this but all my life I’ve been waiting to meet the virgin Mary.” Clinton replied, “You’re a day late.”

  133. C.L. says:

    Mel responds to my criticism that he cropped the quote by again cropping the quote.

    Slavery itself, considered as such in its essential nature, is not at all contrary to the natural and divine law, and there can be several just titles of slavery and these are referred to by approved theologians and commentators of the sacred canons… It is not contrary to the natural and divine law for a slave to be sold, bought, exchanged or given. The purchaser should carefully examine whether the slave who is put up for sale has been justly or unjustly deprived of his liberty, and that the vendor should do nothing which might endanger the life, virtue, or Catholic faith of the slave.

    Here is Mel’s passionate advocate of slavery, Pius IX, forbidding unjust deprivation of liberty and demanding nothing be done to endanger his or her physical or emotional well-being. Some advocate. In fact this was way ahead of the times – especially in the cultures for which Pius IX’s statement was intended. (Incidentally, the view of the South in the USA as a racist haven and the North as a bastion of racial equality is – needless to say – fanciful). The “just titles” had to be considered because slavery was enmeshed in several economies of the world and many pastoral questions thus arose for the pope to answer. One of them – background to the 1866 statement – has survived:

    Whether it is permitted to admit to the sacraments any Christian merchant who normally abhors the buying and selling of slaves for the sake of profit, but, lest he suffer harm to his family affairs, wants to resell some slaves whom once he was forced, by a seller who was a noble, to take as the price of his wages.

    As a pastoral, canonical necessity, consideration had to be given to what was and what was not slavery and what was and what was not unjust in relation to people. Believe it or not, the world was different in those days in ways we can scarcely comprehend today. Pius IX pointed out that some classes of indentured servitude were not immoral or contrary to natural law per se. These soundbites from history are always more complex than you present them as being, Mel. But I’ve already made reference to other papal statements on slavery that pre-date the Confederacy by centuries.

    – In 1462 Pope Pius II declared slavery an enormous crime (magnum scelus).
    – In 1537 Pope Paul III forbade the enslavement of native people in the New World.
    – Pope Urban VIII forbade slavery again in 1639.
    – Pope Benedict XIV condemned slavery in 1741.
    – Pope Pius VII demanded the Congress of Vienna suppress the slave trade in 1815.
    – Pope Gregory XVI condemned the slave trade in 1839.
    – In the bull canonizing Jesuit St. Peter Claver in 1888, Pope Pius IX branded the slave trade summum nefas or supreme villainy.
    – Pope Leo XIII sent out the encyclical In Plurimism on the abolition of slavery in 1888, ordering Brazilian bishops to abolish slavery.

    The extraordinary thing is that the worst slavery regime in human history (the USSR) was lionised and supported by the Western secular left for decades. Which churchman – from which denomination – played a role in its downfall?

  134. TimLambert says:

    Wow. In comment 116 CL claims that this quote from Schonborn:

    Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense – an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection – is not. Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.

    is about cosmology and not biology. Look at what CL claims it means:

    The Cardinal accepts evolution but rejects mere theories posited by some cosmologists and physicists which assert that, by intrinsic definition, creation required no initiator and has no foundational design.

    “overwhelming evidence for design in biology” is clear support for intelligent design. CL thinks he is talking about the Big Bang or something.

    Let’s see what Father George V. Coyne, director of the Vatican Observatory says:

    Cardinal Schonborn is in error, the Vatican observatory director says, on at least five fundamental issues.

    One, the scientific theory of evolution, as all scientific theories, is completely neutral with respect to religious thinking; two, the message of John Paul II, which I have just referred to and which is dismissed by the cardinal as rather vague and unimportant, is a fundamental church teaching which significantly advances the evolution debate; three, neo-Darwinian evolution is not in the words of the cardinal, an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection; four, the apparent directionality seen by science in the evolutionary process does not require a designer; five, Intelligent Design is not science despite the cardinals statement that neo-Darwinism and the multi-verse hypothesis in cosmology [were] invented to avoid the overwhelming evidence for purpose and design found in modern science, Father Coyne says.

  135. melaleuca says:

    “Personally the churches have had this name tied up since time immemorial, and I would let them have it on that basis.”

    Umm, marriage existed for thousands of years before the existence of Christianity. Even after the Christian conquest of Europe common law marriage was the norm for hundreds of years. Catholic busybodies didn’t insist on being involved until the Council of Trent in the mid sixteenth century.

    It’s time the busybodies were put back in their box.

  136. Johnboy says:

    but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense – an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection – is not.

    If it is a planned and guided process then the Creator must be an alcoholic and sadist. From a microbiologist’s perspective mult-cellular organisms are incubators for micro organisms. It has been estimated that for every human cell there are 5 non human cells living off, with, and in co-operation with our physiology. These persistent little buggers may produce no obvious health problems but increasingly we are finding that these little buggers pave the way for everything from cancer to dementia and possibly even schizophrenia(retrovirus?). If souls are created at conception then many souls never see the light of day because natural miscarriages occur at very high rates. So this intelligent and guided process results in the almost immediate destruction of a soul.

    The Flip

    If you examine intra-cellular processes it can be overwhelming. The complexity, at times the sheer beauty of it, leaves one with the impression that if this did occur through through as a result of known physical laws it was one hell of a fluke that occurs thousands if not millions of times. Now take that to the physiological level and life becomes conceptually terrifying. Evolution does an excellent job at the phenotype and genotype levels but we are a very long way from explaining in detail, rather than “top down”, how these great plethora of processes evolved to produce a life in all its complexity.

    The Cop Out

    From a scientific perspective is it really relevant whether or not the process is designed or not? What matters is understanding how it came together. Questions beyond that are, at this point in time at least, metaphysical questions, which may explain why many scientists can hold deep religious beliefs and happily do their science without any sense of contradiction.

    The Great Escape:

    One, the scientific theory of evolution, as all scientific theories, is completely neutral with respect to religious thinking

    Bollocks, this is just the Church raising the white flag.

  137. melaleuca says:

    “Pius IX pointed out that some classes of indentured servitude were not immoral or contrary to natural law per se.”

    He thought the enslavement of children was OK provided it adhered to the four just titles. He was in fact a remarkably reactionary figure even for his time in regards to many issues, including the treatment of Jews and freedom of religion, which he strenuously opposed.

    “Believe it or not, the world was different in those days in ways we can scarcely comprehend today.”

    Well at least we can agree on that. But let’s not pretend the Catholic Church was in the vanguard of abolishing slavery when it wasn’t. No Pope issued an unequivocal statement in support of the complete abolition of slavery until slavery was already discredited and on the way out. That includes the Popes you cite above such as Pope Urban VIII, who was in fact a notorious slave owner. The fact that he condemned some of the worst excesses of the bloodthirsty slave trade in the Americas while owning slaves himself merely shows he was an intellectual pygmy and a hypocrite.

  138. C.L. says:

    Viz evidence of your distaste for homosexuals I do remembers you making various odious comments to Steve Mun viz his being a sodomite etc. Perhaps you were just returning fire in one of Steves Catholic Bashing Hour episodes.

    Adrien, everyone knows that Mel called me a child molester (because, you know, I’m a Catholic) on a nightly basis at Catallaxy for weeks, if not months. He’s now banned from that site. I returned fire (as you concede) and you now accuse ME of having been “odious” and of harbouring a disaste for homosexuals. You really are an intellectual coward, Adrien.

    Your views of Catholics are odious – as are Mel’s, Nicholas’s and other commentators on this thread. I’m still waiting for Fred to explain why he tried to pass off a journalist’s quote as Pope Benedict’s and why he – and all of my interlocutors – refuse to condemn gay “marriage” advocates for their violence, Christophobia and racism after the Prop 8 vote in California.

  139. C.L. says:

    Tim Lambert – the man who famously claimed 59 is similar to 88 – arrives with no evidence the Cardinal is a creationist (as Fatty claimed). He helpfully points out that the Vatican Observatory and John Paul II are fine with evolution – thus demolishing Fatty’s other claim that the Catholic Church teaches creationism. Wow! Thanks, Tim. What do I owe you?

  140. C.L. says:

    Interesting article on Che Guevara in the WSJ:

    The miserable Argentine was killed in 1967 in the Bolivian Andes while trying to spread revolution in South America. But his vision of how to govern lives on in the Cuba of today. It is a slave plantation, where a handful of wealthy white men impose their “morality” on the masses, most of whom are black and who suffer unspeakable privation with zero civil liberties.

    But secular leftists love him and his slave island. They just made a nice movie about him. But – hey, look over there! – Pius IX!

    Mel, popes condemned slavery long before it became fashionable. No, they couldn’t change the whole world by decree and they couldn’t create perfection by papal diktat. Neither could the secular world. Blacks were being lynched by the terrorist wing of the Democratic Party in Dixie a century after Appomattox.

  141. melaleuca says:

    “Your views of Catholics are odious – as are Mels, Nicholass and other commentators on this thread.”

    What is truly odious is Pope Pius IX’s support for the four just titles of slavery, support for the Confederacy, failure to condemn the Catholic clergy in the southern states for their vigorous defence of slavery and befriendment of the Confederacy President Jefferson Davis.

    Pope Pius IX’s decision to send his defeated and imprisoned friend Jefferson Davis a condolence letter and a crown of thorns that he weaved with his own bleeding hands is so creepy that thinking about it makes me feel ill.

  142. C.L. says:

    “…so creepy that thinking about it makes me feel ill.”

    Is this the same Mel who once called for the incineration of homeless men in their hostels?

  143. Emess says:

    Melaleuca @ 135:

    “Umm, marriage existed for thousands of years before the existence of Christianity.”

    And hamburgers existed before Maccas.

    Nobody can stop people cohabiting any more than Maccas can stop people making hamburgers.

    However, since the English language did not exist thousands of years before Christianity, I am merely saying that the churches have prior use of that particular word…just like Maccas own, well, Maccas.

    I just assert that since the M word has been associated with a particular form of union, I don’t see what is so terrible about those who have used that word in a particular sense being able to keep it for themselves and other people can go invent something for themselves.

    (With the caveat that any Government handouts, recognitions etc be reserved for civil unions which are open to all and not restricted).

  144. melaleuca says:

    “However, since the English language did not exist thousands of years before Christianity, I am merely saying that the churches have prior use of that particular wordjust like Maccas own, well, Maccas.”

    Not even that claim is true. The word marriage dates back to 1297. May I suggest you acquaint yourself with the situation in England prior to the Marriage Act 1753.

  145. melaleuca says:

    Well it seems that CL has decided to dispense with civility.

    As a stout defender of the Troppodillian code of chivalry, I’ll now repair to the CT lounge for a cigar and sherry. Bye bye gentlemen :)

  146. C.L. says:

    Look at what CL claims it means:

    That’s not what I claim the Cardinal meant, Tim, incidentally. It’s what the Cardinal claimed he meant in the NYT article from which the quotation was taken.

    Now at the beginning of the 21st century, faced with scientific claims like neo-Darwinism and the multiverse hypothesis in cosmology invented to avoid the overwhelming evidence for purpose and design found in modern science, the Catholic Church will again defend human reason by proclaiming that the immanent design evident in nature is real. Scientific theories that try to explain away the appearance of design as the result of “chance and necessity” are not scientific at all, but, as John Paul put it, an abdication of human intelligence.

    The Cardinal is not a creationist but a robust theistic evolutionist. As Christians believe that God is the ultimate First Cause (and the Father of man in a special way) – though the how of all this is of no great salvific interest to Catholics – he’s free to emphasise “immanent design” if he likes. Essentially, it is an unfalsifiable expression of faith.

    By the way, Fr Coyne was in error when he described John Paul II’s 1996 message as a “fundamental church teaching.” It wasn’t and isn’t. Nor does it support Fr Coyne’s perspective over against the Cardinal’s.

    And to tell the truth, rather than speaking about the theory of evolution, it is more accurate to speak of the theories of evolution. The use of the plural is required here in part because of the diversity of explanations regarding the mechanism of evolution, and in part because of the diversity of philosophies involved. There are materialist and reductionist theories, as well as spiritualist theories. Here the final judgment is within the competence of philosophy and, beyond that, of theology.

    What we see in the Coyne/Schonborn exchange is really nothing more than the bitchiness of a demarcation dispute – not uncommon among ecclesiastics.

    Just to repeat: Schonborn is not a creationist, as Fatty claimed. Nor – as Tim Lambert now helpfully confirms – does the Catholic Church teach creationism, as Fatty claimed.

    ————————————————-

    Mel, Pius IX wrote to Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis – which you neglected to mention. The pope urged both protestants to pull back from war – “without success”. He believed the South was more sympathetic to Catholicism than the North. He wasn’t barracking for slavery. The source for this information was the British Minister to the Holy See, Odo Russell. Russel was very fond of Pius, though he thought the pontiff wasn’t very intellectually bright – which is true. It isn’t civility to run your usual anti-Catholic bullshit stories while pretending to be a polite, disinterested contributor. And I suggest you at least look up Pio Nono’s life and times before you so foolishly dismiss his accomplishments. I don’t know why he sent an imprisoned Davis a crown of thorns but, then, I don’t know why Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave a Christmas address to Britain either – and John Paul II’s kindness to Mehmet Ali Agca in prison was comparably astounding. I do know there was a lot of sympathy throughout the world for Davis at that time.

  147. TimLambert says:

    I did not claim that 59 was similar to 88. But you knew that.

    Here’s that passage again that CL claims is about cosmology

    Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense – an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection – is not. Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.

    CL, tell me, do you think that “natural selection” is a reference to cosmology? or is it “neo-Darwinian”? or is it “biology”? or “common ancestry”? Do tell us where the cosmology reference is.

    “design in biology” means “Intelligent Design”.

  148. Nabakov says:

    So, when it comes to poufters, we should assume that Genesis 1:26 should not be taken literally?

    Or that God is actually a big Scissor Sisters fan?

    It’s very simple folks. Anyone telling you what to do with your genitalia who doesn’t have a personal interest in the matter is basically trying to control your sex drive for their own purposes. And too often under the direction of professionally celibate bureaucrats in skirts.

    PS: Looking forward to Monsignor Georg G

  149. C.L. says:

    Tim, the Cardinal sees his argument as ultimately cosmological, as he argued in the New York Times piece which you haven’t read. He sees in biology a larger cosmological purposefulness. He is not a creationist in the narrow biological sense in which you’re trying (unsuccessfully) to re-frame his views. His ideas are of no particular interest to me but they are not creationistic. He believes the Creator’s unquantifiable design inheres in biology – understood systemically and holistically. This is an unfalsifiable statement of faith and not a repudiation of the evolutionary processes of biology themselves. No need to hit the moral panic button.

    Christoph Cardinal Schonborn:

    At this point we should also mention another frequent misunderstanding. It concerns so-called “creationism”. Often nowadays in polemics, belief in creation is lumped together with “creationism”. Yet believing in God the Creator is not identical with the way that, in some Christian circles, people try to understand the six days of creation spoken of in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis as if this had been literally reported, as six chronological days, and try by all possible arguments, even scientific ones, to prove that the earth is about six thousand years old. Attempts like that to take the Bible literally, as if it were making scientific statements at this point, are what is called “fundamentalism”. To be more exact, in American Protestantism this view of the Christian faith has called itself “fundamentalism” from the start. Starting from a belief that every word of the Bible was directly inspired by God–that is, starting from an understanding of literal inspiration–the six days of the creation are also taken to mean what they say, word for word. It is understandable that many people in the U.S.A. are energetically opposed to this view–even so far as going to court and taking legal action against such things being taught in schools. There is, of course, also the legitimate concern with critical questions about teaching “Darwinism”–but that is a different matter.

    The Catholic position on “creationism” is clear. Saint Thomas Aquinas says that one should “not try to defend the Christian faith with arguments that make it ridiculous, because they are in obvious contradiction with reason”. It is nonsense to maintain that the world is only six thousand years old. An attempt to prove such a notion scientifically means provoking what Saint Thomas calls the irrisio infidelium, the mockery of unbelievers. Exposing the faith to mockery with false arguments of this kind is not right; indeed, it is explicitly to be rejected. Let that be enough on the subject of “creationism” and “fundamentalism”.

    So once again: contrary to Fatty’s claim, he is not a creationist.

    On that related matter, Tim, I’d like to thank you for affirming that Fatty was also wrong to claim the Catholic Church teaches creationism. You and I know that isn’t true.

  150. Nabakov says:

    Oh hai!

    I self-appointed account executive for invisible superhero from outerspace.
    All your dick and pussy belong to me!

    What’s the difference between the Pope and L Ron Hubbard?

    About 1800 years.

  151. C.L. says:

    What’s the difference between Nabakov and Rupert Pupkin?

    About 25 years.

  152. Nabakov says:

    Oh, a bitchy non sequitur! Well colour me scarlet.

  153. TimLambert says:

    Sorry CL, but I have read Schonborns’s piece. It’s about evolution. The only reference to cosmology is an afterthought in the very last paragraph:

    Now at the beginning of the 21st century, faced with scientific claims like neo-Darwinism and the multiverse hypothesis in cosmology invented to avoid the overwhelming evidence for purpose and design found in modern science, the Catholic Church will again defend human reason by proclaiming that the immanent design evident in nature is real.

    Even if, for the sake of argument, accept your claim that Schonborn sees biology as a subset of cosmology, that doesn’t help your case. He’s still talking about biology here:

    Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense – an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection – is not. Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.

    But you claimed:

    The Cardinal accepts evolution but rejects mere theories posited by some cosmologists and physicists which assert that, by intrinsic definition, creation required no initiator and has no foundational design.

    Neo-Darwinism is not a theory posited by cosmologists, but by biologists.

    Schonborn rejects Young Earth Creationism as well as neo-Darwinism, the theory he supports is Intelligent Design Creationism.

  154. Nabakov says:

    “Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.”

    Now that’s a perfect snapshot of a mirror arguing with itself.

  155. C.L. says:

    Sorry Tim, I know you’re late to the debate but I asked Fatty for examples of Catholic creationists. He cited Cardinal Schonborn (whose NYT article you’ve now read). Cardinal Schonborn is not a creationist. He is a theistic evolutionist who explicitly rejects creationism (as you now admit). He believes – as he’s entitled to – that design inheres in creation and inheres in biology systemically. This view is not antagonistic to evolution and is essentially an unfalsifiable expression of faith. Take it or leave it but don’t have an anxiety attack about it. It’s a cosmological thesis, not a belief that God’s hand plays a role in every individual process of evolution. The same Fr Coyne you approvingly quoted (though without having read John Paul’s 1996 message) himself speaks of Christianity as “radically creationist”. Of course we’re not actually debating so-called intelligent design (which you tart up for the occasion as “intelligent design creationism”) – although I know you’re trying to shift the focus away from Fatty’s claim. (Lefty solidarity and all that). Fatty’s claim was that Cardinal Schonborn is a creationist. He isn’t. Fatty also argued at Catallaxy that a creationist is now anyone who believes that God’s design unobtrusively inheres in the processes of evolutionary time. He thus believes, ipso facto, that Kevin Rudd, for example, is a creationist. You appear to be signing up for the same oddball theory. That’s sad to see in a scientist – albeit a computer scientist. More positively, I again thank you for supporting me in pointing out that the Catholic Church does not teach creationism – contrary to Fatty’s other claim.

  156. C.L. says:

    For the record, Tim, are you also a follower of Fatty’s new diadic movement?

    There are two explanations for our existence – the various kinds of creationism (including all other religions as well as Catholicism), and the body of scientific knowledge collectively known as the theory of evolution.

    CL wants us to believe that one kind of creationism isnt real creationism because it pushes back the date of creation.

    In other words, Fatty is saying that perfectly happy adherents of scientific evolution – people like me and Barack Obama (and his close friend, Rick Warren), for example – people, that is, who believe that God is the First Cause of the whole shooting match, are now “creationists”.

    Is this your view too? Yes or no?

  157. fatfingers says:

    What’s new about it, oh confused one?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creationism#Types_of_Christian_creationism

    Notice theistic evolution in there? That’s because it’s a type of creationism.

    On a side note, are you on Facebook? Because we can play chess online, and we can see whether I checkmate you as easily there as here. :-)

  158. C.L. says:

    Whats new about it?

    Wikipedia?

    Nothing.

    From Wiki:

    The term theistic evolution has been coined to refer to beliefs in creation which are more compatible with the scientific view of evolution and the age of the Earth… Evolution and the Roman Catholic Church are not in conflict. The Catechism of the Catholic Church comments positively on the theory of evolution, which is neither precluded nor required by the sources of faith, stating that scientific studies “have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life-forms and the appearance of man…” Fr. George Coyne, (Vatican’s chief astronomer between 1978 and 2006) [and cited as an approved authority by Tim Lambert above – CL]: “…in America, creationism has come to mean some fundamentalistic, literal, scientific interpretation of Genesis. Judaic-Christian faith is radically creationist, but in a totally different sense. It is rooted in a belief that everything depends upon God, or better, all is a gift from God.

    Oops. Fatty administers the umpteenth shotgun blast to his now flattened feet.

    Chess? Try checkers, bozo.

  159. fatfingers says:

    From Wiki on theistic evolution:

    “This view affirms that God created the world and was the primary causation of our being”

    You can’t get away from this, you know.

    “in America, creationism has come to mean…”

    Ha! You cite Coyne supporting my argument – that ‘creationism’ can be twisted many ways, but remains creationism.

    From your own quote: “Judaic-Christian faith is radically creationist”

    Checkmate. Game, set and match. You lose, game over, please insert more coins.

  160. C.L. says:

    You cant get away from this, you know.

    LOL. I don’t want to “get away” from it. Nice try at method acting the swagger of a winner, though, Mr Day Lewis. The belief that God is the First Cause but that this is perfectly and happily compatible with evolution is the Catholic view. The Catholic Church does not teach “creationism” over against scientific evolution – which was your argument at Catallaxy. Your own Wiki link emphasises the fact. You know, the one that currently has you being compared to Homer the Nazi economist.

    D’oh: back to the checker board, Fatty.

    Actually, make that snakes and ladders.

    Incidentally, you didn’t answer my question. Barack Obama believes in God the heavenly father and says he talks to Jesus. He’s thick with Rick Warren. He believes that God is the ultimate First Cause but also believes (of course) in scientific evolution.

    Is Barack Obama a creationist? Yes or no?

  161. melaleuca says:

    Fatfingers has clearly won this debate, CL. Why do you insist on embarrassing yourself?

  162. C.L. says:

    Mel, I thought you were having a cigar in an imaginary bar. What happened, did you mistake it for an imaginary men’s hostel and burn it down?

  163. fatfingers says:

    “currently has you being compared to Homer the Nazi economist.”

    Patently false accusations don’t bother me.

    “Incidentally, you didnt answer my question.”

    Actually, I did. By believing in God the Creator, Obama is a creationist. Believing in evolution, he’s not a radical creationist. He’s also logically conflicted, just like you. You must be so proud.

  164. AdrienSword says:

    Currency Lad
    Translation Services
    Doc 3.1

    Adrien, respectfully, you havent been part of the discussion of late so dont lob here today and try to get attention by your conventional strategy of stalking me

    Should read:

    As I can’t specify how Adrien gets Natural Law wrong nor can I answer to his explications of my obvious moral insensitivity to the pain caused homosexuals by the archaic superstitions I cling to I’m going to indulge my usual strategy of having a whinge about his ‘stalking’ and ask him to get out of the debate.

    He’s a constant blow to my self-esteem. :(

  165. AdrienSword says:

    Re Creationism and Evolution

    As far as I can recall the Catholic Church has no stated position on evolutionary theory. I do remember that they officially endorsed 2001: A Space Odyssey which tends to mix a supernatural and ‘Darwinian’ concept of the origin of humanity.

    The Catholic church unlike the fundamentalists tend to read scripture at many levels whereas the latter take it literally. The most hard core amongst them want to roll back geology because it makes the world a lot older than 6000 years. That said anyone who believes in a Creator God believes in some form of creationism.

    Link

  166. C.L. says:

    “Obama is a creationist”.

    LOL.

  167. AdrienSword says:

    That’s not the issue tho’ is it? The issue is what we as a secular society do viz homosexuality which we as a scientific culture now realise is natural.

    Do we persist in asserting rules that were established originally as protection for male slaves against sexual exploitation by homosexual masters? That then turned into a general proscription against sexuality except insofar as it led to reproduction.

    Or do we do as liberal societies do and consider the evidence in the light of utilitarian notions of ‘the good’. If the Church wishes to continue regarding homosexuality as a sin it can do so as far as I’m concerned but it does not have a monopoly on public space. Those who assert its mores have to do a lot better than simply regurgitating old bigotries as a basis for a future ethos. They have to have reasons. Reasons grounded in the world not in the supernatural imaginary.

    No, that it says this and that in The Bible ain’t a reason.

  168. fatfingers says:

    “They have to have reasons. Reasons grounded in the world not in the supernatural imaginary. No, that it says this and that in The Bible aint a reason.”

    Amen.

  169. C.L. says:

    Yikes. Adrien and Fatty now believe the complimentarity of the genders is “supernatural” and “imaginary”. Revisionism of the anecdote notwithstanding, their wedding nights could take a John Ruskin sort of turn.

  170. AdrienSword says:

    No we just believe that you’re persistent refusal to acknowledge the more enlightened attitudes to sexuality in the modern world contra c. 1200 are based on the adherence to the supernatural and imaginary. Please CL, come up with valid reasons, grounded in the real world why homosexuals should be denied basic rights simply because they’re same-sex attracted.
    .
    Just one post-Enlightenment type argument will do.

  171. Emess says:

    Melaleuca @ 144.

    I originally made the statement that the churches have had the name marriage tied up since time immemorial, and therefore why not let them keep it.

    I am quite happy to accept your statement that the word marriage came into the language in 1297 – but I don’t think it detracts really from my point.

    Next you draw attention to the Marriage Act etc etc.

    So from 1297 to 1753 are you asserting that marriage was not seen to be something exclusively between a man and a woman? Or that churches did not marry people? Or, that the churches had so little say in life at that time that whatever the letter of the law, they did not actually control the fact that marriage was between a man and a woman?

    Perhaps if I had said that: “After 1753 the churches had it officially tied up, but between 1297 when the word came into the language and 1753, the word was normally used in accordance with the understanding of the church that it was between a man and a woman, and the church had sufficient influence in society to make it so.” you might have been happier.

    If that would make you happier, in a spirit of co-operation, I am happy to concede whatever difference that makes.

    But I would still conclude that the churches should be able to use that in the sense that has been understood since 1297 and my opinion still stands.

    Since I am an atheist, I feel the irony of this most seriously.

  172. C.L. says:

    Marriage is definitionally an institution established to reflect the reality of complimentarity between the genders – which complimentarity the pre-Copernican Adrien and Fatty regard as “supernatural” and “imaginary”. The critics may as well ask organisers of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras why they don’t turn their event into a celebration of heterosexuality.

    To reiterate: the pope’s speech wasn’t about homosexuality or homosexual “marriage” or “transgender people.” It was about the immanent natural order in the economy of sexuality – an immanence which is part of, comparable to and equally sacred as the balanced order inhering in the ecology of natural creation, understood in toto. The reactionary hysteria surrounding Benedict’s freely expressed religiosity and speech is astonishingly obscurantist.

  173. TimLambert says:

    Cardinal Schonborn is not a creationist. He is a theistic evolutionist who explicitly rejects creationism (as you now admit). He believes – as hes entitled to – that design inheres in creation and inheres in biology systemically. This view is not antagonistic to evolution and is essentially an unfalsifiable expression of faith.

    Except that’s not what he wrote. Here is the passage you keep trying to rewrite:

    Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense – an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection – is not. Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.

    He explicitly says that neo-Darwinian evolution is not true because of the evidence for design in biology. That’s exactly the premise of Intelligent Design Creationism – species were created by a designer and not by natural selection. His belief is falsifiable and is falsified if neo-Darwinian evolution is shown to be true.

  174. C.L. says:

    Interestingly, Pope Benedict essayed the same themes relating to marriage and the environment in his World Youth Day message:

    The natural family, as an intimate communion of life and love, based on marriage between a man and a woman, constitutes the primary place of humanization’ for the person and society, and a cradle of life and love. The family is therefore rightly defined as the first natural society, a divine institution that stands at the foundation of life of the human person as the prototype of every social order…

    For its part, the Holy See sought to acknowledge a special juridic dignity proper to the family by publishing the Charter of the Rights of the Family. In its Preamble we read: the rights of the person, even if they are expressed as rights of the individual, have a fundamental social dimension which finds an innate and vital expression in the family. The rights set forth in the Charter are an expression and explicitation of the natural law written on the heart of the human being and made known to him by reason. The denial or even the restriction of the rights of the family, by obscuring the truth about man, threatens the very foundations of peace…

    The family needs a home, a fit environment in which to develop its proper relationships. For the human family, this home is the earth, the environment that God the Creator has given us to inhabit with creativity and responsibility.

    Defending the pope’s thesis at the time – though, of course, he dishonestly attributed views to the pope he didn’t actually express – was none other than Tim Lambert.

  175. C.L. says:

    The passage you say I keep “trying to re-write” hasn’t been re-written by me and wasn’t introduced to the discussion by me. Oops. It’s you who’s obsessed with it. The Cardinal isn’t a creationist. His cosmological thesis is that a Creator’s design inheres in the biological processes of evolution. He doesn’t argue God intervenes in particular stages of those processes. It is an unfalsifiable statement of faith and nothing for computer “scientists” to be alarmed about. I introduced the passage in which the Cardinal condemns creationism (which you had to admit). By the way, I conclude from your avoidance of the question that, like Fatty, you too believe Barack Obama is a creationist.

    Notwithstanding your Schonborn trutherism, Tim, I have sought to keep things on a positive note in our exchanges. I do so again now by acknowledging your defence of Pope Benedict’s WYD thesis on marriage between men and women, the natural law and the relationship of these things to the importance of caring for the environment. Of course, to Fatty this makes you a creationist.

  176. AdrienSword says:

    Currency Lad – Marriage is definitionally an institution established to reflect the reality of complimentarity between the genders – which complimentarity the pre-Copernican Adrien and Fatty regard as supernatural and imaginary. The critics may as well ask organisers of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras why they dont turn their event into a celebration of heterosexuality.

    I didn’t say anything about heterosexuality being supernatural or imaginary and what the Gay and Lesbian Mardis Gras not celebrating heterosexuality has to do with anything I shouldn’t wonder.

    Marriage is defined by law as a heterosexual union. Law is a human construct and we can change it. Your only argument against changing it rests on prior social bigotry underwritten by an ancient collection of texts compiled by people who were afraid of something they didn’t understand. We modern people, being no longer subject to this fear, have no temporal reason to maintain these ancient denials of rights.

    So I ask again can we have a post-Copernican, post-Voltarian rational for the proscriptions against same-sex attracted persons please. The notion that it has always been thus and thus it shall be in future doesn’t cut it in this word in which we have removed the vestiges of superstition which include but are not limited to human sacrifice, rain dancing, witch burning, exorcism of demons and the anointing of weapons to cure the wounds they caused.

    Currency Lad seems to be under the impression that the choice is between homosexuality and heterosexuality that the legitimacy of one cancels the other out. This is understandable given that he can’t comprehend any structure other than a simple, reductionist and mutually exclusive dichotomy.

  177. C.L. says:

    I didnt say anything about heterosexuality being supernatural or imaginary.

    I didn’t say you did. You believe the complimentarity of the genders is “supernatural” and “imaginary”.

    The Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is a human construct. Why isn’t it a celebration of heterosexuality?

  178. AdrienSword says:

    You believe the complimentarity of the genders is supernatural and imaginary.

    No I believe the Cult of the Weak is based on ideas about the Cosmos which are supernatural and imaginary. Unfortunately the Cult of the Weak is all to real.

  179. C.L. says:

    Lord Macaulay on the Cult of the Weak:

    There is not, and there never was on this earth, a work of human policy so well deserving of examination as the Roman Catholic Church. The history of that Church joins together the two great ages of human civilisation. No other institution is left standing which carries the mind back to the times when the smoke of sacrifice rose from the Pantheon, and when camelopards and tigers bounded in the Flavian amphitheatre. The proudest royal houses are but of yesterday, when compared with the line of the Supreme Pontiffs. That line we trace back in an unbroken series, from the Pope who crowned Napoleon in the nineteenth century to the Pope who crowned Pepin in the eighth; and far beyond the time of Pepin the august dynasty extends, till it is lost in the twilight of fable. The republic of Venice came next in antiquity. But the republic of Venice was modern when compared with the Papacy; and the republic of Venice is gone, and the Papacy remains. The Papacy remains, not in decay, not a mere antique, but full of life and youthful vigour. The Catholic Church is still sending forth to the farthest ends of the world missionaries as zealous as those who landed in Kent with Augustin, and still confronting hostile kings with the same spirit with which she confronted Attila…. Nor do we see any sign which indicates that the term of her long dominion is approaching. She saw the commencement of all the governments and of all the ecclesiastical establishments that now exist in the world; and we feel no assurance that she is not destined to see the end of them all. She was great and respected before the Saxon had set foot on Britain, before the Frank had passed the Rhine, when Grecian eloquence still flourished at Antioch, when idols were still worshipped in the temple of Mecca. And she may still exist in undiminished vigour when some traveller from New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Pauls.

    Adrien, of course, is a disciple of bed-ridden pansy, Friedrich Nietzsche.

  180. AdrienSword says:

    Anyone who claims to be Nietzsche’s disciple has no understanding of him. I claim a different tradition to Holy Mother Church, and longer. To wit:

    Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.

    And if you prefer:

    What piece of work is a man! how noble in reason!
    how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how
    express and admirable! in action how like an angel!
    in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the
    world! the paragon of animals!

    ‘Twas great and respected afore that Volcano God ever got above Himself.

  181. AdrienSword says:

    Anyway BOT.

    CL – Can we please have a secular rationale for prohibiting homosexual couples from getting married. A rational, of this world reason, please.

  182. AdrienSword says:

    Here why don’t I help you. Two (right-wing) cases for and against gay marriage.

    Against:

    Homosexual relationships do nothing to serve the state interest of propagating society, so there is no reason for the state to grant them the costly benefits of marriage, unless they serve some other state interest. The burden of proof, therefore, is on the advocates of gay marriage to show what state interest these marriages serve. Thus far, this burden has not been met.

    For:

    Some conservatives may have latched onto biological determinism (men are savages who need women to tame them) as a convenient way to oppose gay marriage. But in fact we are not animals whose lives are bounded by our flesh and by our gender. We’re moral creatures with souls, endowed with the ability to make covenants, such as the one Ruth made with Naomi: ”Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.”

    The conservative course is not to banish gay people from making such commitments. It is to expect that they make such commitments. We shouldn’t just allow gay marriage. We should insist on gay marriage.

    Not so hard is it?

  183. melaleuca says:

    Also note how our resident Catholic monk has invented a new word- “complimentarity”- which he uses on seven occasions above. Presumably our portly resident conduit to the supernatural realm is referring to complementarity. Since he can’t even spell a key conceptual term in Catholic philosophy I think we can safely assume he doesn’t have a clue and is best ignored.

  184. C.L. says:

    Anyone who claims to be Nietzsches disciple has no understanding of him.

    Just like someone who confuses him with Aesop, I guess.

    Complementarity of the genders in human biology is not a “concept”, Mel. (Thanks for contributing the letter ‘e’ to the discussion, by the way. No, it doesn’t make up for your dishonesty regarding Pius IX’s letters to Davis and Lincoln). A speculative concept would be the idea of you with a head of hair. Complementarity of the genders in human biology is a reality – one that confused 1950s ‘legitimisation’ advocate Adrien regards as “supernatural” and “imaginary”. Marriage is the institutionalised embodiment of this reality and is – like the order found in nature as a whole – an embodiment of a natural order in human sexuality.

    Just to reiterate: the pope’s speech had nothing to do with homosexuals or “intersex” people and it did not assert that homosexuals are a danger to the planet. Fred has now acknowledged he was wrong. He had little choice given that he unsuccessfully tried to pass off a BBC journalist’s quote as Benedict XVI. You don’t get out of a corner like that without coming clean.

    The prosecution has utterly collapsed.

  185. fatfingers says:

    Emess: “the churches have had the name marriage tied up since time immemorial, and therefore why not let them keep it.”

    I suggest you research the history of marriage (the concept) and its predecessors.

    CL: “Marriage is the institutionalised embodiment of … a natural order in human sexuality.”

    Gotcha. It’s the embodiment of the predominant order in human sexuality. You (and the church) confuse majority with entirety.

    I am struck by your wording “equally sacred”. It implies contravening that ‘order’ is sacrilegious. Is that not proving my point, that despite not mentioning those outside the ‘order’ by name, it disparages them by excluding them from the “natural”?

    “Nor do we see any sign which indicates that the term of her long dominion is approaching.”

    Except things like this.

  186. melaleuca says:

    “Complementarity of the genders in human biology is not a concept, Mel … Complementarity of the genders in human biology is a reality ”

    Obviously our resident yabby doesn’t understand what the word “concept” means. But even more amusingly, he now wants us to believe that the theological concept of complementarity is a reality that informs discourse among scholars of human biology. LOL.

    I note with interest, and again with some amusement, this comment in a research paper by two Catholic theologists with Ph.Ds:

    “While complementarity serves as a foundational sexual ethical concept in Pope John Paul II’s theology of the body (18) and in magisterial pronouncements on human sexuality, (19) there are difficulties in discerning the specific meaning of the term in these writings, and concerns arise regarding its plausibility as a foundational sexual principle.” http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb6404/is_/ai_n29288272

    Hehehe! Catholic scholars themselves note the concept of complementarity is hazy and implausible.

    You lose again, Charlie Brown.

  187. TimLambert says:

    Here are Schonborn’s words again:

    Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense – an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection – is not. Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.

    CL simply denies the plain meaning of what Schonborn wrote. Schonborn wrote that neo-Darwinian evolution is not true. CL keeps denying this.

    And CL’s dishonesty in comment 174 is breathtaking. He claims that I endorsed the Pope’s thesis on marriage when I did nothing of the sort.

  188. fatfingers says:

    “CL simply denies the plain meaning of what Schonborn wrote.”

    Big surprise. He prefers blinkered literalism when it suits, outright denial of plain English otherwise. The man is immune to cognitive dissonance.

    PS Where’s dover_beach? He’s keen to join the argument, but weirdly refuses to post here, instead commenting only on Catallaxy. Yoo hoo, Peachy?

  189. fatfingers says:

    In the spirit of New Year and new beginnings, I may be willing to admit that the ‘common usage’ of ‘Creationism’ usually means Young Earth Creationism that rejects evolution, not Old Earth Creationism that thinks evolution is guided or set in motion by God, and thus RCC dogma is creationism, not Creationism. But only as long as certain parties admit believing in a creator means one is a creationist at heart, and that Schonborn goes further than RCC dogma by denying evolutionary processes, thus satisfying the “prominent Catholic who is a Creationist” criterion.

    Take it or leave it.

  190. TimLambert says:

    ff: the notion that evolution is guided by god is “theistic evolution”. Old Earth Creationism rejects evolution but accepts that the Earth is billions of years old. Wikipedia has decent description

  191. C.L. says:

    Its the embodiment of the predominant order in human sexuality.</i.

    Right.

    You (and the church) confuse majority with entirety.

    Really? Please point me to the document where the Church makes such an assertion.

    It implies contravening that order is sacrilegious.

    If you like. But all humans contravene God’s order because all are sinful.

  192. fatfingers says:

    “the document”? How about the speech that is the subject of this post?

    “If you like.”

    STOP PRESS STOP PRESS – CL concedes a point! Praise be!

    Now, was that so hard?

    “But all humans contravene Gods order because all are sinful.”

    Well ain’t that convenient ;-)

  193. Nabakov says:

    As Adrien keeps pointing out, one thing missing from this thread is a clear and calm and rational and provable argument about how legalising same sex relationships through secular and non-secular arrangements will damage previous traditional arrangements.

    And as Geoff H. has sorta pointed out, a same sex couple who wants to raise another person in this world has probably thought longer and harder about it, and jumped through more hoops, than many heterosexual couples.

    Incidentally Sarah Palin’s now a grandmother. You really think her 18 year old daughter and 19 year old son-in-law are going to form a serious till death-do-us-part relationship?

    I doubt many same sex couples would be caught in that particular kind of fuckup.

    Basically, it’s all about the kids (innit?).

    And what they need in descending order are:

    Food and water
    Shelter and climate control
    Emotional sustenance
    Socialisation
    “How the world works for me” stories from their elders
    Useful family/caste/tribal/school connections

    Exactly at what point does delivering any of the above become dependent on the sexuality of the provider?

  194. C.L. says:

    Obviously our resident yabby…

    You can always guarantee that hostel incineration advocate (and voice of the downtrodden) Mel will always drop the civility act when he’s poleaxed in a thread debate.

    …he now wants us to believe that the theological concept of complementarity is a reality that informs discourse among scholars of human biology.

    The “concept of complementarity” is more commonly found in scientific discourse than theological discourse, Mel. I haven’t heard of Omaha, Nebraska academics Todd A. Salzman or Michael G. Lawler. Neither did you before you Googled the words “Catholic” and “complementarity”. Their article – which you haven’t read – does the exact opposite of lamenting that complementarity is implausible. It pretends the complementarity proposed by the Church’s Magisterium is a vague concept in order to posit a new defintion that rehabilitates homosexual sex as morally licit. Neither they nor their thesis have any standing in the Church.

    The idea that the sexes biologically complement one another is not a “theological concept.” And yes, I do want you to believe that. If you don’t, people will be inclined to regard you as intellectually disabled. (Which is not entirely true).

  195. C.L. says:

    Cardinal Schonborn is not a creationist. He is a theistic evolutionist who believes that God’s design inheres in the holistic processes of evolutionary biology. This is an unfalsifiable statement of faith. To recap: Fatty cited the Cardinal as a “creationist”. Tim earlier admitted that the Cardinal is not a creationist, thus repudiating Fatty’s strange assertion. Tim also helpfully demonstrated that the Catholic Church does not teach creationism.

    Tim’s Schonborn trutherism aside, his interventions here have been quite welcome. As I noted above, Pope Benedict essayed the very same themes relating to marriage, natural law and the environment in his World Youth Day message. Manfully defending the pope’s thesis was none other than Tim Lambert. OK, while denouncing Caldwell’s “whopper”, Tim did guild the lilly in claiming the pope had endorsed Nicholas Stern and the IPCC. (The Holy Father mentioned neither – Tim made that up). This (characteristic) blemish aside, some degree of credit is due to Tim for defending the pope and his natural law philosophy. Of course, Tim, in Fatty’s eyes you are now a creationist. That’s cool, though, because Fatty says Barack Obama is a creationist too.

    Which reminds me: Tim, do you agree with Fatty that Barack Obama is a creationist.

    Yes or no?

  196. melaleuca says:

    Chorax destructor says:

    “The concept of complementarity is more commonly found in scientific discourse than theological discourse, Mel. ”

    You obviously didn’t read your own link, as it clearly doesn’t support your claim that a concept of complementarity exists in human biology to describe gender relations. However the term is used in molecular biology in relation to nucleic acid molecules, which by your standards is close.

    Your knowledge of both biology and theology is obviously thinner than a pap smear.

    Strike three and you lose gain, Charlie Brown.

  197. James Rice says:

    Gay males and lesbians are more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts – 2 to 7 times more likely, according to some studies (see Saunders and Valente, “Suicide Risk Among Gay Men And Lesbians: A Review”, Death Studies, 11(1), 1987, pages 1-23).

    And CL’s sarcastic description of people with this heightened level of suffering…

    “That word again: misery. Poor old gays…”

    “Adrien’s back with “misery”. Poor gays. They’re miserable…”

    (CL also has no problem inserting disparaging terms for gay men into his comments.)

    To me, at least two things are fairly clear from this exchange so far:

    * The pope may very well not have said the things attributed to him in earlier media reports (and by the people who followed these reports).

    * Attitudes like CL’s that disparage the real suffering of gay men and lesbians in our communities deserve little respect.

  198. C.L. says:

    …it clearly doesnt support your claim that a concept of complementarity exists in human biology to describe gender relations.

    “Gender relations”. LOL. Nice try, Mel. It’s not my “claim” that there is complementarity between the sexes. It is the undergirding reality of human reproduction. This thread is now one of the most hilarious examples of leftist obscurantism of all time. Fred falsely quotes a BBC journalist as the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church. (He drops by later to say “oops – got it wrong but it’s all the Vatican’s fault, ta-ta”). Adrien believes the complementarity of the sexes is “supernatural” and “imaginary” while Mel the Wiki Professor of Cherry Picking thinks the complementarity of the sexes is a “theological concept.” Meanwhile, Fatty describes Barack Obama as a creationist and Tim Lambert arrives to blast Fatty with friendly fire by reinforcing my argument that the Catholic Church does not teach creationism. Tim chooses not to re-visit his earlier rigorous support for Benedict XVI’s WYD missive on traditional marriage, natural law and the environment. And now – lo – James drops by at the eleventh hour to denounce what he calls my use of “disparaging terms for gay men.” His evidence for this is a link to Adrien’s phrase, “the Cult of the Weak,” which was used to disparage Christians. This must be what the bottom of a cliff looks like after all the lemmings have crash-landed.

  199. Nabakov says:

    If you really wanna boil this thread down to a basic and gently steaming puddle – everyone agrees that the belief systems they don’t like are quite hypocritical.

    Now if you want to turn that puddle into a reduction (cooking term here), just contemplate the pursed mouth and pinched arse officially sanctioned sex life of Roman Catholics with their bloody hearty farty reality.

    Especially given they’re now receiving a new round of “breed and obey” edicts about sexuality and culture from the first gay pope of the 21st century.

  200. TimLambert says:

    Here are Schonborns words again:

    Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense – an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection – is not. Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.

    CL simply denies the plain meaning of what Schonborn wrote. Schonborn wrote that neo-Darwinian evolution is not true. CL keeps denying this.

    And CLs dishonesty in comment 198 is breathtaking. He claims that I endorsed the Popes thesis on marriage when I did nothing of the sort.

  201. AdrienSword says:

    Tim Lambert said: CL simply denies the plain meaning of what Schonborn wrote.

    That’s way too wordy. There’s too many entirely uneccessary words. How ’bout:

    CL simply denies.

    Much better. :)

  202. AdrienSword says:

    And CLs dishonesty in comment 198 is breathtaking. He claims that I endorsed the Popes thesis on marriage when I did nothing of the sort.

    Again Tim you talk too much.

    CLs dishonesty is breathtaking.

    See? :)

  203. AdrienSword says:

    Currency Lad

    Again and again and again I ask you to come up with a ratonal, temporal reason for your prohibitions on gay marriage. All you can come up with is a lie about me saying that heterosexuality is supernatural when I have always clearly said that the bogus bucketloads of carbunkled twaddle that constitutes Holy Mother Church’s raison d’etre is what is supernatural and imaginary.

    You keep harping on about the ‘complimentarity’ of the sexes as if this fact of nature provides all the basis required to deny same sex attracted people their rights. However at the very same time when it’s pointed out to you that homosexuality is itself natural, that homosexuality features in every sexually reproducing species you merely say that we don;t have to listen to Nature.

    This is what I think. I believe the real reason for this schpiel viz ‘complimentarity’ has nothing to do with any honest appraisal of sexual ontology and everything to do with the control of sexual pleasure. Nay! The restraint, the denial, the eradication of sexual pleasure as far as possible. Like St Paul and everyone who comes after it’s simply a case of: “I didn’t have any joy so why should you?”

    Jesus Christ on a really bad Friday afternoon! The red plague rid the world of religion.

  204. melaleuca says:

    Let’s face it, the history of the Catholic Church in relation to matters sexual is simply perverted and vile. To use another example, in the 1800s something like 4,000 boys had their testicles lopped off annually so they could sing in church choirs, mostly in Italy and the Vatican. This was considered preferable to the alternative, allowing females to sing in church choirs.

    Also note this, castration for musical purposes was banned by the Italian State in 1870, yet the Church still had castratis in papal basilicas and the Sistine Chapel on the eve of the 20th century. It wasn’t until 1902 that Pope Leo XIII banned the Church’s acceptance of new castratis. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castrato

  205. C.L. says:

    Cardinal Schonborn is not a creationist. He is a theistic evolutionist who believes God’s design inheres in the biological processes of evolutionjary history. His unfalsifiable cosmological thesis is not a repudiation of evolutionary science. He has condemned US creationists and supported moves to legally stop their encroachment into science classrooms. Earlier, Tim conceded the Cardinal isn’t a creationist. That was after Tim blew another hole in one of Fatty’s already shotgun-blasted feet by agreeing with me that the Catholic Church does not teach creationism.

    CL simply denies the plain meaning of what Schonborn wrote.

    No, I have correctly interpreted what the Cardinal wrote. Tim, on the other hand, vigorously defended Benedict XVI’s WYD thesis on traditional marriage, natural law and the environment but couldn’t resist lying about the pope endorsing Nicholas Stern and the IPCC. In fact, the pontiff mentioned neither. The whole point of Tim’s dishonesty-stained defence of Benedict XVI was to rebut a journalist who’d taken one quotation of his missive and allegedly misrepresented that missive’s overall thesis. Tim thus demanded the pope’s arguments be respected in toto.

  206. melaleuca says:

    When will the Catholic Church say sorry for depriving tens of thousands of boys of their testicles?

  207. C.L. says:

    On the Church’s behalf, Mel, I’m sorry for your loss.

  208. C.L. says:

    Again and again and again I ask you to come up with a ratonal, temporal reason for your prohibitions on gay marriage.

    You mean the “prohibitions” of Californian voters, Kevin Rudd, the Labor Party, Barack Obama and his soul-brother Rick Warren. Nothing to do with me – though I’m flattered you now see me as a your cultural overlord.

    …homosexuality features in every sexually reproducing species.

    Except at 100 percent of the critical reproductive junctures apparently.

  209. melaleuca says:

    “Cardinal Schonborn is not a creationist.”

    Yes he is.

  210. TimLambert says:

    Here are Schonborns words again:

    Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense – an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection – is not. Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.

    CL simply denies the plain meaning of what Schonborn wrote. Schonborn wrote that neo-Darwinian evolution is not true. CL keeps denying this.

    And CLs dishonesty in comment 205 is breathtaking. He claims that I endorsed the Popes thesis on marriage when I did nothing of the sort.

  211. melaleuca says:

    As Tim Lambert, Fat Fingers, Adrien and others have noted, CL has made numerous dishonest claims about what others have said on this thread and has then had the temerity to call them liars. Is anyone moderating this site any more? Can’t we excommunicate this tiresome and dishonest god-botherer and get back to genteel and civilised intercourse?

    Meanwhile I’m heading back to the CT lounge for another cigar and sherry …

  212. C.L. says:

    Cardinal Schonborn is not a creationist. He is a theistic evolutionist who believes Gods design inheres in the biological processes of evolutionary history. His unfalsifiable cosmological thesis is not a repudiation of evolutionary science. He has condemned US creationists and supported moves to legally stop their encroachment into science classrooms. Tim has already conceded the Cardinal isn’t a creationist. Now, in a bizarre demonstration of erraticism, he insists he is.

    CL simply denies the plain meaning of what Schonborn wrote.

    No, I correctly interpreted what the Cardinal wrote. On the other hand, in his otherwise welcome defence of the pope’s WYD missive on traditional marriage, the natural law and the environment, Tim lied about Benedict XVI endorsing Nicholas Stern and the IPCC. In fact, the pope mentioned neither. And this in a post in which Simon Caldwell is accused of telling a “whopper”! Breathtakingly shameless. We can safely say that Tim’s interpretative abilities when it comes to ecclesiastical figures are woefully incompetent and tendentious. The point of Tims defence of Benedict XVI was to rebut a journalist whod taken one quotation of the WYD missive and allegedly misrepresented that missives overall thesis. Tim thus demanded the popes arguments about traditional marriage, the natural law and the environment be respected in toto.

    A further sign of Tim’s unfortunate intellectual sloppiness and denialism is his war on the Gregorian calendar:

    Only if you don’t count 2000…” ;)

    Is anyone moderating this site any more?

    If there was, Fred may have avoided a lot of embarrassment. But someone is moderating Catallaxy, Mel, from which you were banned for personal abuse, racism and an obsession with child molestation. You were also criticised by Mark Bahnisch for stalking a woman online who ended up consulting a solicitor.

  213. TimLambert says:

    CL says that Schonborn “has condemned US creationists and supported moves to legally stop their encroachment into science classrooms.”

    Since this is a claim made by CL, you would expect it to be false, and sure enough:

    The Austrian cardinal said he found it “amazing” that a U.S. federal court ruled in 2005 that the Dover, Pennsylvania, public school district could not teach the concept of “intelligent design” as part of its science class. The judge had said that the theory, which says an intelligent supernatural force explains the emergence of complex life forms, was creationism in disguise.

    The cardinal said the Dover ruling meant that schoolchildren would only be taught a materialistic, atheistic view of the origin of universe, without considering the idea that God played a role.

    “A truly liberal society would at least allow students to hear of the debate,” he said.

    and

    The cardinal, who is close to Pope Benedict XVI, has said he wants to correct what he calls a widespread misconception that the Catholic Church has given a blanket endorsement to Darwin’s theories.

    And CL, of course, repeats his lies about what I said. I did not demand that the Pope’s views on marriage be accepted. I did not concede that Schonborn is not a creationist. I did not say that the Pope mentioned the IPCC. CL, do you have some compulsive need to lie about everything?

  214. C.L. says:

    CL says that Schonborn has condemned US creationists and supported moves to legally stop their encroachment into science classrooms. Since this is a claim made by CL, you would expect it to be false…

    Observes Tim Lambert who famously claimed 59 was similar to 88 and earlier this week astonished that large part of the world adhering to the Gregorian calender by implying the year 2000 belonged in the twenty-first century. As I have also demonstrated, he blatantly lied when he verballed Benedict XVI to endorse Nicholas Stern and the IPCC. The papal missive concerned made no mention of Nicholas Stern or the IPCC. The most amusing thing about that display of wilful mendacity was that Tim was castigating Simon Caldwell for misrepresenting the pope’s words and telling a “whopper.” Caldwell’s article was a minnow compared to Tim’s blue whale of a lie.

    Anyway:

    Christoph Cardinal Schonborn:

    Attempts like that to take the Bible literally, as if it were making scientific statements at this point, are what is called fundamentalism. To be more exact, in American Protestantism this view of the Christian faith has called itself fundamentalism from the start. Starting from a belief that every word of the Bible was directly inspired by Godthat is, starting from an understanding of literal inspirationthe six days of the creation are also taken to mean what they say, word for word. It is understandable that many people in the U.S.A. are energetically opposed to this vieweven so far as going to court and taking legal action against such things being taught in schools. There is, of course, also the legitimate concern with critical questions about teaching Darwinismbut that is a different matter.

    So Tim is guilding the lilly again. That the Cardinal’s own cosmology posits design in the processes of evolutionary history does not mean he adheres to creationism. The Cardinal is not a creationist and has sympathised with those who wish to preclude creationism from school classrooms. As Tim conceded above, “Schonborn rejects Young Earth Creationism as well as neo-Darwinism.” Fatty’s original claim was that Cardinal Schonborn is a “creationist.” He isn’t.

    Tim quotes the Cardinal thus…

    The cardinal, who is close to Pope Benedict XVI, has said he wants to correct what he calls a widespread misconception that the Catholic Church has given a blanket endorsement to Darwins theories.

    … but – as bold as he was when he verballed Benedict XVI – he sneakily censored the following quote from the same article in the hope that nobody would read it:

    Schoenborn affirmed that the Catholic Church rejects creationism, saying “the first page of the Bible is not a cosmological treatise about the coming to be of the world in six days.” He also said that “the Catholic faith can accept” the possibility that God uses evolution as a tool. But he said science alone cannot explain the origins of the universe.

    So Tim’s link confirms that, contrary to Fatty’s claims, 1) Cardinal Schonborn is not a creationist; and 2) the Catholic Church does not teach creationism. I again thank Tim for making my arguments for me.

    I did not demand that the Popes views on marriage be accepted.

    I didn’t say you did. You criticised Simon Caldwell for cherry-picking from a complex argument, presumably because that small part of you still vaguely honest believes that a thesis deserves to be understood in its totality. You defended the pope against Caldwell for the latter’s alleged simplifications. As the pope’s missive concerned traditional marriage, the natural law and the environment – and as you criticised nothing he posited – I felt comfortable praising you above for backing the pope. I have also tempered that praise with disappointment that you also misrepresented the pope on the question of Nicholas Stern and the IPCC.

    I did not say that the Pope mentioned the IPCC.

    Nice try, Tim, but any copper will tell you that someone pleading innocent to a charge not made arouses some degree of suspicion. And rightly so. I didn’t say you said the pope mentioned the IPCC. I said:

    Tim did guild the lilly in claiming the pope had endorsed Nicholas Stern and the IPCC… couldn’t resist lying about the pope endorsing Nicholas Stern and the IPCC… Tim lied about Benedict XVI endorsing Nicholas Stern and the IPCC.

    Tim in the Caldwell post:

    Looks like [Benedict XVI] agrees with Stern about low discount rates.

    And [Benedict XVI] thinks you should listen to the IPCC.

    Tim was lying, of course. The pope DID NOT MENTION either Nicholas Stern or the IPCC.

    CL, do you have some compulsive need to lie about everything?

    I don’t, no. Hilariously, the title of your Caldwell post was “Simon Caldwell is a liar.” I have now demonstrated beyond repudiation that you’re the liar.

  215. fatfingers says:

    My ‘original’ claim was this:

    designed

    No. Evolved.

    You said it wasn’t either/or, but have gone on to thoroughly retreat from this position, admitting I was right, the correct description IS ‘evolved’.

  216. melaleuca says:

    Cough.

    Cough.

    Blasted cigars …

  217. C.L. says:

    Me: “Which prominent Catholic posits creationism? Names please.”

    Fatty then: “Because I couldn’t be bothered googling Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, the Kolbe Center, the Daylight Origins Society, or the writers of Living Tradition.”

    Fatty now: “My original claim was this: ‘designed.’ No. evolved.”

    ?

    Fatty wrote that at No. 58. Not in response to my request for the names of prominent Catholics who posit creationism which was made at No.76.

    ?

    Fatty thus capitulates. And violates the spacetime continuum while doing so.

  218. AdrienSword says:

    The Natural Law

    Researchers report genetic evidence bolstering the socially contentious idea that polygynythe mating practice where some males dominate reproduction by fathering children with several womenwas the norm for sexual behavior throughout human history and prehistory.

    But of course nature has nothing to do with Natural Law. And what the Pope says doesn’t mean anything unless he’s saying Gays get back in the closet and stay there. And the Moon is made of green cheese. And Elvis sings Currency Lad to sleep every night….

    Etcetera.

  219. C.L. says:

    But of course nature has nothing to do with Natural Law.

    How many homosexual couples sexually generated their own children throughout human history and prehistory?

    Answer: 0.

    And what the Pope says doesnt mean anything unless hes saying Gays get back in the closet and stay there.

    Link please. Where and when did the pope say that?

    And the Moon is made of green cheese.

    And Barack Obama is a creationist.

  220. fatfingers says:

    “Fatty now: My original claim was this: designed. No. evolved.

    ?”

    The claim that kicked off the creationism debate. You know, the original claim.

    “And Barack Obama is a creationist.”

    He is (like you). Belief in a creator axiomatically entails a belief in creationism.

    He’s just not a Creationist.

  221. C.L. says:

    LOL. You’re now grasping for the upper-case floatie. You’re all at C, Fatty. ;)

  222. Johnboy says:

    But assuming that these countries are influenced by the Pope, why arent they influenced by any of his other comments/teachings?

    A bit both ways, it is not like the Roman Catholic Church is a champion of homophobia, many cultures have prohibitions against it. African Americans are apparently very homophobic in some of their sub cultures and I have heard that aborigines aren’t too keen on it either.

    Religious teachings seem to exacerbate an existing predisposition towards homophobia. I have no idea where this predisposition comes from but am rather confident it is there. For example, the more “camp” a gay’s behavior, flamboyant and brash so to speak, the more irritated I become.

    The strange thing is that recalling a number of intellectual giants who were also homosexual, I went alooking one day for studies on cognition and homosexuality. It turns out that homosexuals and lesbians tend to score more highly on a range of cognitive tests than heterosexuals but with subtle differences; the latter would be fascinating to explore but I’m just grateful for the fact that the little buggers can move relatively freely in this world. I will never forgive the bloody British govt for what they did to Turing. Evil, nasty piece of history that. One of the great mathematicians forced to suicide because of bloody prejudice.

  223. Johnboy says:

    This is a joke right? How on earth can the Catholic Church claim The Pill is causing male infertility when we are pouring endocrine disruptors into the environment when time and again these have been proven to be have detrimental effects on humans and other animals? Noooo, it must be That Evil Pill.

    Sure religion and science exist in different domains. Bollocks again.

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,24871312-36398,00.html

    The Pill ‘polluting the environment’

    THE contraceptive pill is polluting the environment and is in part responsible for male infertility, a report in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano said today.

    The article was promptly dismissed by several organisations.

    “Once metabolised, the hormones contained in oral contraceptives no longer have any of the characteristic effects of feminine hormones,” said Gianbenedetto Melis, vice-president of a contraceptive research association, quoted by the ANSA news agency.

  224. C.L. says:

    Here we go again. The “Catholic Church” didn’t claim it. The suggestion was made by Jose Maria Simon Castellvi, president of the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations. L’Osservatore Romano reported it – which may or may not have been a sensible thing to do – but it was not a pronouncement of the Catholic Church. Under Benedict XVI, L’Osservatore Romano has a more independent brief as regards general news stories (this has been criticised) and now publishes articles that are less theologically focused than in the past. Castellvi’s suggestion is marginally less dotty than Robyn Williams’ claim that we might be inundated by a 100 metre ocean rise in the next century. That Williams is employed by the ABC doesn’t mean his Great Flood religiosity reflects the national broadcaster’s official stance on the matter.

  225. AdrienSword says:

    Still going.

    Well Currency Lad you’ve failed to make a single solitary argument for denying gays and lesbians their rights that actually works in the real world. Just the same old hocus pocus. In the absence of a secular, socially pertinent argument it’s only a matter of time before the controversy surrounding homosexual marriage ebbs aways to the fringes of theocratic lunacy and people in general start to think the legal prohibition against same sex marriage some kind of archaic joke.

    But you just keep right on harping on about ‘complimentarity’ and homosexual couples having never had any kids and the rest. It keeps you busy. And every now and then we’ll drop you a picture postcard so you know what life is like in the 21st century. :)

  226. C.L. says:

    Real World expert Adrien earlier claimed that the complementarity of the sexes was “supernatural” and “imaginary.”

    And every now and then well drop you a picture postcard so you know what life is like in the 21st century.

    Postcards of my fellow 21st century opponents of gay “marriage”, I hope.

  227. AdrienSword says:

    I’m not an expert in the real world Cl, but I have been there. :)

  228. melaleuca says:

    Here’s what Pope Benny XVI had to say about homosexuals when he was plain old Cardinal Ratty:

    “In the discussion which followed the publication of the Declaration, however, an overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral, or even good. Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.”

    http://www.vatican.edu/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19861001_homosexual-persons_en.html

    Thankfully Cardinal Ratty aka Pope Benny XVI has also had to wisdom to denounce the evil Harry Potter. After reading Harry, young Christian minds:

    “lose the spirit of discernment between good and evil and that they will not have the necessary strength and knowledge to withstand the temptations to evil,”

    http://www.christiantoday.com/article/vatican.slams.harry.potter.as.wrong.kind.of.hero/16236.htm

    Of course Cardinal Ratty also denounced the wicked Mickey Mouse and the lecherous Teletubbies in earlier pronouncements.

  229. Johnboy says:

    A Cardinal cannot be representative of the Catholic Church
    The Vatican Newspaper cannot be representative of the Catholic Church.
    Therefore CL can say nothing that is representative of the Catholic Church yet does it all the time.

    Really, must we just rely on doctrinal statements and Papal Bulls from the infallible one? Hmmm, does the CC still believe in the infallibility of the Pope?

  230. C.L. says:

    So Johnboy, you think it would be fair to say that ABC viewers believe in a 100 metre sea rise in the next 100 years because Robyn Williams does? Is that right? The Catholic Church did not make the claims reported by L’Osservatore Romano, as you alleged. You could have criticised the newspaper’s decision to run a statement by a prominent Catholic medico and many Catholics would agree with you. The paper’s greater tendency to publish more generalist news (rather than simply official pronouncements) has been criticised. But I guess that would have been insufficiently conspiratorial.

    A Cardinal cannot be representative of the Catholic Church.

    What an odd statement. If you’re talking about Christoph Cardinal Schonborn, he faithfully reflected on the Church’s evolution-centered cosmology and affirmed that the Church rejects creationism. But no, generally speaking, one Cardinal doesn’t represent the whole Catholic Church. If that was the case, George Pell would insist the Italians take up Australian football.

  231. Jarrah says:

    CL, I’m interested to know how, if the RCC believes God created the human soul, but not the human body, how that fits together? Was the soul created when humans came along? Or did the soul inhabit an astral plane until homo sapiens evolved? Or was the soul ever-present, right back to the first living things, awaiting a vessel that could give it full expression?

    “he faithfully reflected on the Churchs evolution-centered cosmology”

    Believe what you like. ;-)

  232. Alphonse says:

    Why is Il Papa not protesting the usurpation by the state of the sacrament of marriage? Instead he’s letting them continue to do so and just chipping in from the sidelines about how they should do it.

    More here

  233. Alphonse says:

    Whoops, I mean here

  234. melaleuca says:

    Is Harry Potter a greater intrinsic moral evil than homosexuality? Hopefully Pope Benny XVI will help clarify this perplexing theological issue at some point during his reign.

  235. AdrienSword says:

    Was the soul created when humans came along? Or did the soul inhabit an astral plane until homo sapiens evolved? Or was the soul ever-present, right back to the first living things, awaiting a vessel that could give it full expression?

    And also why are there so many more souls around now. Why is their growth directly proportional to that of human animal individuals? Is there a factory that makes ’em? Or are there a limited number of souls hence most people nowadays don;t have them? I think this a viable hypotheses.

    How shall we test it? I know. Let’s use the tried and true methods of Holy Mother Church: exorcise some demons, quote a lot of Latin stuff, swing a bloody great metal pot stuffed with burning incense about, set a few people on fire – stuff like that. :)

  236. AdrienSword says:

    Is Harry Potter a greater intrinsic moral evil than homosexuality?

    Bad books are the only intrinsic moral evil. :)

  237. C.L. says:

    Global warming pontiff, His Holeyness James Hansen, claims Australia is destroying all life on planet earth!!

    This claim will make lefties angry.

    Oh, hang on. No it won’t.

  238. melaleuca says:

    “How many homosexual couples sexually generated their own children throughout human history and prehistory?

    Answer: 0.”

    [defamatory material deleted]

  239. melaleuca says:

    CL says:

    “It isnt civility to run your usual anti-Catholic bullshit stories while pretending to be a polite, disinterested contributor. And I suggest you at least look up Pio Nonos life and times before you so foolishly dismiss his accomplishments.”

    Thanks for the advice, CL. Pio Nono is of course Pope Pius IX, who CL lauds as a great Catholic hero in spite of his disgusting views on slavery, women, religious freedom and practically everything else. Here’s CL’s favourite Pope giving us the good word on Jews:

    “Jews had been children in the House of God, [but] owing to their obstinacy and their failure to believe, they have become dogs … We have today in Rome unfortunately too many of these dogs, and we hear them barking in all the streets, and going around molesting people everywhere.”

    Pope Pius IX was also responsible for the publication of journals that ran the type of anti- semitic campaigns later employed by Hitler:

    “The Jews — eternal insolent children, obstinate, dirty, thieves, liars, ignoramuses, pests and the scourge of those near and far . . . managed to lay their hands on . . . all public wealth . . . and virtually alone they took control not only of all the money . . . but of the law itself in those countries where they have been allowed to hold public offices . . . [yet they complain] at the first shout by anyone who dares raise his voice against this barbarian invasion by an enemy race, hostile to Christianity and to society in general.”

    Naturally enough, Pope Pius IX was beatified by the John Paul II in 2000.

  240. AdrienSword says:

    Currency Lad – I realize Catholic esoterica is your intellectual comfort zone and I’d never presume to instruct you on matters pertinent to it (unless I was really sure of myself).
    .
    But on the matter of homosexual marriage you’re making the assumption that fecundity is required to legitimize marriage. It isn’t, necessarily. Under the principles of liberal utilitarianism it’s a matter of contract and the principle underlying a contract is that parties may enter into one in the absence of a good public policy reason for them not to.
    .
    That the state requires children is not a good reason in my opinion.
    .
    The reason why is simply that most people are heterosexual and desire children and that is enough. The species will continue whether or no we as a society recognize that a small portion of us are attracted exclusively to the same sex and that as human beings they have a right to pursue happiness as the rest of us do. Another reason is that it is perfectly possible for homosexual couples to adopt and raise children and there’s no evidence that it does the kids harm. In the case of lesbians there’s little the state can do to prevent one of them being a mother in any event. At least not without anti-liberal intervention.
    .
    So to prevent the (in this country) inevitable legitimization of gay marriage you have to come up with a better objection than it has always been thus and the Church says so.
    .
    Under capitalist democracy religion is optional and change is the rule; what’s past isn’t even necessarily prologue. So you’ll have to develop secular objections (or at least raise the mass howl of bigotry).

  241. melaleuca says:

    “So youll have to develop secular objections (or at least raise the mass howl of bigotry).”

    Adrien, your dealing with someone who invented a new word- “complimentarity” – to support his homophobia. The intellectual abilities necessary to construct a secular rationale for Pope Benny’s position is well beyond the reach of Our Lady of Incontinent Platitudes.

  242. C.L. says:

    Fecundity is NOT required to “legitimise marriage.”

  243. melaleuca says:

    CL says:

    “Neither, Steve, sorry. As a professed homosexual who later claimed to be married with children (and who suspiciously removed pictures of Asian kids from your blog when people commented on how frightened they looked – and how bald you were), your comments on just about everything are to be regarded with the utmost contempt.”

    I rest my case.

  244. C.L. says:

    Your case being that Pius IX caused the American Civil War and Hitler was involved somehow. There may or may not have been papal UFOs hovering above Appomattox.

    We haven’t heard something this rational from you since you called for the killing by incineration of homeless men.

    Remember that, Herr Munn?

  245. AdrienSword says:

    Fecundity is NOT required to legitimise marriage.

    Really?

    Oh good. That means your whole slew of Queensberrian rhetoric viz homosexual marriage and the lack of sprogs popped consequent of the resultant bonking will now cease and desist.

    So what other arguments did you have? Oh yeah: What that dude wears a funny dress and rules the last of the world’s theocratic city-states guaraded by fellows in pantyhose with 16th century pikes has to say and also: penis goes in vagina.

    Good basis for public policy that. I’m surprised Turnbull doesn’t hire you. :)

  246. C.L. says:

    So you’re saying the essence of womanhood is limited to child-bearing?

    Advanced stuff, cro-magnon man.

    Im surprised Turnbull doesnt hire you.

    Turnbull, like you, believes in gay “marriage”.

  247. AdrienSword says:

    So youre saying the essence of womanhood is limited to child-bearing?

    No you’re thinking that and using ‘words’ like ‘complimentarity’ to hide the fact. Essence of womanhood is an eau de toilette line by Coco Chanel of Paris, discontinued.

    Turnbull, like you, believes in gay marriage.

    And if it weren’t for that he’d snap you up right. :)

    Why doesn’t Tony Abbott hire you then?

  248. melaleuca says:

    I wonder how Catholic apologists manage to reconcile so-called natural law with the celibate priesthood. And how does that relate to the newly invented concept of complimentarity?

  249. melaleuca says:

    Good God. Pope Pius IX, whom CL refers to fondly and who was beatified by Pope John Paul II, was an accessory to the abduction of a six year old Jewish boy.

    “Bologna, 1858: A police squad, acting on the orders of the Inquisitor, invades the home of a Jewish merchant, Momolo Mortara, wrenches his crying six-year-old son from his arms, and rushes him off in a carriage bound for Rome. His mother is so distraught that she collapses and has to be taken to a neighbor’s house, but her weeping can be heard across the city. With this terrifying scene–one that would haunt this family forever–David I. Kertzer begins his fascinating investigation of the dramatic kidnapping, and shows how this now obscure saga would eventually contribute to the collapse of the Church’s temporal power in Italy…. Refusing to return the child to his family, Pope Pius IX began to regard the boy as his own child. ”

    http://www.davidkertzer.com/en/book/export/html/24

    The more one learns about these people the more horrified one becomes.

  250. C.L. says:

    No youre thinking that and using words like complimentarity to hide the fact.

    Adrien’s usual strategy when one of his howlers collapses: I know you are but what I am? You’re the one who argued (falsely) that Christians regard “fecundity” as the sine qua non of a ‘legitimate’ marriage. Um no, they don’t. Earlier – to the probable horror of most homosexuals – you claimed marriage was necessary to ‘legitimise’ gay relationships too. The complementarity of the sexes (more multi-faceted than you seem to realise) is a scientific fact, not – as you argued earlier – “supernatural” and “imaginary”. Not is it, as Mel amusingly insisted, a “theological concept.”

    The more one learns about these people the more horrified one becomes.

    Does that mean you withdraw your insistence that homeless people be incinerated?

    Ten days after Fred essentially conceded his original post was baloney, only the deadenders Mel and Adrien are trying to save face – Adrien by denouncing my “prohibitions” against gay “marriage” (yes folks, Obama, Rick Warren and I agree on this and together rule the world) and widely banned oddball Mel by linking Pius IX (?) to the American Civil War (?).

  251. Patrick says:

    Is this a clubtroppo record length thread yet?

  252. melaleuca says:

    Jacques, since you are in the mood to delete comments how about deleting Currency Lad’s #242, in which he involves my name in his child sex obsession. Currency Lad has now raised child sex on numerous occasions on this thread and I believe Nick may have deleted some of the previous comments. I’ll take the matter further if you don’t delete the comment.

  253. Jacques Chester says:

    I wasn’t watching this thread very closely, but it’s clearly gotten totally out of hand. It doesn’t meet our goal of civil discourse and is contributing nothing to the site, so I am closing it.

  254. Jacques Chester says:

    I’ve been asked by the duumvirate to reverse the closing of the thread.

    This isn’t an invitation to carte blanche, however. Please be civil and avoid any potentially defamatory remarks.

  255. C.L. says:

    [Deleted as defamatory]

    I re-opened the thread because it seemed harmless enough and some people seemed to be enjoying the sport of abusing each other. However if comments are defamatory they shouldn’t be in the thread and will be removed.

    We’ve had one threat to take matters further in this regard from someone who was hopping into CL.

    CL, tell me if you want any comments amended for the reason that they are defamatory, and don’t defame people on the thread.

    And please don’t abuse me or even argue with me as I can’t be bothered with it and don’t have time for it (and if I have to persevere commenting I won’t bother but will re-close the thread).

    Personally I’d be interested in your responses to the various claims at 249 and 239, but it’s a free country.

    NG

  256. Btw, I had not deleted any comment on the thread before now. I’m not into micro-managing the squabbles of other people’s children. My own are enough.

  257. C.L. says:

    Nick gets his revenge for my earlier demolition of his Pius XII nonsense. Strangely, he allowed me to be described as a “defrocked priest” – with all of what that was intended to imply. But the thread was mysteriously shut down when I lawfully reminded readers of Mel’s well known behaviour at another blog.

    And that, folks, is why the thread was re-opened: to allow the anti-Catholic slander to continue. This blog is now officially an intellectual toilet.

  258. I was letting you guys go at it as you seemed to be enjoying yourselves.

    Someone threatened us with ‘taking things further’ and so we intervened.

    Nothing to do with taking sides CL. But I must confess I really was interested in your responses to the issues I noted above.

    Anyway, the offer for us to remove anything you wish remains open, but the thread, alas, does not.

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