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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Chris Lloyd
13 years ago

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.

Michael S.
Michael S.
13 years ago

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)

.

MikeM
MikeM
13 years ago

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.

Nicholas Gruen
Admin
13 years ago

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).

C.L.
C.L.
13 years ago

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.

fatfingers
fatfingers
13 years ago

“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!

Neil H
Neil H
13 years ago

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.

AdrienSword
AdrienSword
13 years ago

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.

SJ
SJ
13 years ago

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.

Geoff Honnor
13 years ago

“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 :)

John Greenfield
John Greenfield
13 years ago

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.

Yobbo
Yobbo
13 years ago

“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.

Emess
Emess
13 years ago

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.

John Greenfield
John Greenfield
13 years ago

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.

John Greenfield
John Greenfield
13 years ago

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.

Nicholas Gruen
Admin
13 years ago

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.

Nicholas Gruen
Admin
13 years ago

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

C.L.
C.L.
13 years ago

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.

Nicholas Gruen
Admin
13 years ago

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. .

THR
THR
13 years ago

CL smells strongly of stupidity.

Now why is that?…

Hey guys…

fatfingers
fatfingers
13 years ago

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.

Geoff Honnor
13 years ago

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.

C.L.
C.L.
13 years ago

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.

denningesque
13 years ago

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.

Nicholas Gruen
Admin
13 years ago

“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 . . .

rog
rog
13 years ago

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.

Nicholas Gruen
Admin
13 years ago

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?

Yobbo
Yobbo
13 years ago

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?

AdrienSword
AdrienSword
13 years ago

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.

AdrienSword
AdrienSword
13 years ago

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. :)

AdrienSword
AdrienSword
13 years ago

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.

rog
rog
13 years ago

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

Sinclair Davidson
Sinclair Davidson
13 years ago

… 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?

AdrienSword
AdrienSword
13 years ago

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.

AdrienSword
AdrienSword
13 years ago

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

Nicholas Gruen
Admin
13 years ago

Rog,

Refer my earlier comments.

Yobbo
Yobbo
13 years ago

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).

AdrienSword
AdrienSword
13 years ago

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. :)

C.L.
C.L.
13 years ago

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.

C.L.
C.L.
13 years ago

[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.

AdrienSword
AdrienSword
13 years ago

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.

Geoff Honnor
13 years ago

“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

C.L.
C.L.
13 years ago

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.

C.L.
C.L.
13 years ago

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.

Geoff Honnor
13 years ago

“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 ;)

C.L.
C.L.
13 years ago

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).

AdrienSword
AdrienSword
13 years ago

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.

AdrienSword
AdrienSword
13 years ago

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.