A Catholic

File:Pannello di pittura parietale da area vesuviana, miho museum, shiga 02.jpgOh no! Not another bigoted homophobe! Wait a while, he is interesting as a specimen. He shows how thinking within a closed system can completely insulate you from reality, and how brilliant Constantine was in creating an ideology to control his empire.

Here, he is writing on a debate between a Christian and a bishop. The bishop says that there is only one Catholic view on gay marriage, and that those who do not accept it should leave the church. This has Mark crowing in delight: “Booyah!” Never mind that it makes opposition to gay marriage one of the most important doctrines of the church.

It is the comments which display the full horror of the man. Those who accept all the church’s teachings are Catholic. Those who do not are not Catholic. The Church, that is, the real Church, is indeed shrinking and that’s a good thing, for at the end of the day the Lord’s work of separating the sheep from the goats will be made all the easier.

I pressed him on “goats” just to make sure. He replied, Matthew 25:31-46 That’s what happens to the goats. The verse says,

Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

You’re all going to Hell!! gloats Mark. God wills no one to go to Hell, but there are those who are so insistent upon their own will, their own sense of what is right, that they completely reject the things of God, and thus close themselves off from Heaven forever. God loves us all so much that he is willing to honor the choices we make. File:Affresco di giardino da pompei, museo archeologico nazionale, napoli.jpgMark backtracks on this later, possibly having realised how foolish it looks.

This is a simplistic view, but he can take into it all sorts of complexities. Later, he blathers on about what mortal sin is, even though this contradicts what he said about those who accept gay marriage shrinking out of the “real church”. Whether it is mortal sin is between the person and God, and not for others to say. Possibly, he has read Irenaeus: God save us from an educated idiot.

I cannot deduce his answer to Plato’s dilemma “Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?” He may imagine there are moral arguments against gay marriage separate from his false biblical authority.

In his own eyes, he will always defeat me in argument because he has a moral truth: God and the Church condemn all gay sex, in a LTR or not. He simply does not accept any moral argument against this. No-one can get through to him.

Constantine produced a hierarchy, right down to each individual citizen or slave, and anyone disobedient would go to Hell. Mark shows that the attitudes of slavish obedience and arrogance live on, which with the conspiracy of silence produced the worldwide child abuse scandal. His idolatry of his church insulates him against the promptings of God- he has no ears to hear.

104 thoughts on “A Catholic

  1. Hi Clare. I saw your comment on The Daily Post about hits and blogs. I couldn’t reply to the comment directly so thought I would comment on here. This post is vaguely relevant as you asked about whether or not to have separate blogs for a variety of topics.

    So, would I be better to split my blog into ones about art, trans and LGBT issues, spirituality, personal diary and the people I encounter, or do you think having one blog for all this and more gets more views?

    Personally, I switch off to religion. (Which is why this post is as good as any). The other topics are fine by me, and I’m happy to learn about any and all of them. I’ve studied enough religion in my earlier days to have had a gutsful, plus the inherent bias and discrimination within it leaves me feeling sick. Oh, I forgot hypocrisy. Add that too.

    I have five more-or-less active blogs. I started splitting them off from the main blog because it just wasn’t gelling to me. It felt like a mess to have too many diverse topics.

    I can’t answer your question but here are some stats/figures. When I was on blogger (before I rejoined WordPress) my biggest hits were on my Land Rover blog. But least comments. Most comments were on my dogblog 😀 Most abuse was on Clouds when I wrote about feminist topics (still the most controversial topic). On WordPress, roughseas gets the most comments. I rarely look at stats as I tend to be more interested in discussion than hits.

    It depends what you want from your blog. I’m happy with the regular group of commenters I have, some come some go, and it’s always good to see new people, but I wouldn’t want mega numbers of aimless trite drivel. A few thoughtful ones are much more interesting.

    Although it may not be apparent, each of my blogs has a theme, to me anyway. Roughseas is basically a personal/life/news one, Clouds is about thoughts/topics (eg feminism, environment, animal rights, vegetarianism) and has no photos. The dog blog and the Land Rover one are obviously about those. Everypicturetells one, is a not a photoblog – a photo and the story behind it. The other reason I split them up is because not everyone wants to read about all those.

    The first question to ask is, what is the blog about and what do I want to achieve from it? On three of my blogs I’m trying to provide information: about land rovers (ie repair and maintenance), about living in Gib and Spain, and about the fact that vegetarians do NOT eat fish – for example. I write because I like it, and I have time. If one person goes away from my blogs being better informed, then it’s worthwhile to me.

    I like reading the personal posts on yours, the LGBTQ and trans ones. I think they fit well together. If you want to keep it as one blog, then add the others in occasionally. Otherwise, art and religion fit well together. As I say, ask what you want from it. A message, an expression, information – or what?

    Sorry this is so long!

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    • Thank you. That is very helpful, and not too long.

      I want lots of things. Several commenters there have said they like comments, they like the interaction more than the numbers, and I agree: my posts “not just another tranny blog” and “tranny blog” and now “tucking” have a steady trickle of views, and I would like to get them higher than page 7 of relevant google searches, but no-one comments on them. I suppose I want to provide a service for trans women, though that is not the primary focus of this blog. There are several trans sites out there, which say it as well as I do.

      The religion stuff I want to show that there is life in Christianity beyond the fundamentalists, and again there are other sites saying the same, but I value saying it for myself- I know this. I like the comments.

      I am not sure the art is enough for a blog by itself. In fact I don’t think any of my elements are really enough for a blog by themselves. If I saw a way to get 2000 views a day so I could start to sell advertising, and put a donate button up, it might be different, but atm this is a blog for me, for my wide range of interests, and the comments are a bonus.

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      • Jesus Clare, I’m worn out reading all the later comments.

        anyway, top tip of the day, just join us atheists/humanists. See, we don’t worry about interpreting the bible because we have our own code of ethics. it involves being nice to people, and not giving a shit about whether they are gay, trans, bi, black, brown, white, men, women whatever.

        we don’t stick our nose into anyone else’s business although shagging kids is totally unacceptable, as is rape, and smoking in my face is pretty bad.

        but seriously, if you want religion, fine. but I wouldn’t use it to rule or justify my life, it would be secondary after my personal code of ethics.

        I would probably have deleted most of those abusive comments. I did a post about that over on Clouds – http://wp.me/p22GQH-rd – there comes a point at which we all need to stop arguing or feeding or whatever.

        There seems to be a few hot spots for debate, interpretation of religion, feminism (sometimes based on religion eg abortion), homosexuality (based on religion or just plain old phobia), racism, and what we eat, ie I’m vegetarian.

        Why on earth do we want to interfere with other people’s lives?

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        • You read them? All of them? Do you really have nothing better to do?

          I did eventually moderate Quia’s comments, when he went on to my post Natural Law. His parting shots, moderated, were, I do know who will go to Hell. Everyone who dies in a state of unrepented mortal sin will go to Hell. There is no indult for Sodomites, or transvestites, or effeminates. and I will listen to the Church, because I am obedient to Christ, and not trust in my own frail intellect. You trust in your own authority, because you have followed the Devil. But I saw no harm in continuing the conversation until then- I have a high boredom threshold too- though I did tell Mark there was no point in refuting his babblings about abortion, as the refutations could easily be found elsewhere.

          Oddly enough, I have just completed my post for Thursday next week, on how if my religious thought only consists of such gibberish and my own ways of escaping it, why not go the whole hog and jettison Christianity entirely? Because I still, despite all this, find value in it. Even though my code of ethics is independent of it: I get what I think right from lots of sources, and the Bible is not a privileged source.

          I want to debate these things because they are at the heart of me. I am forging my own view of my own queerness, in these debates. It is personal. And the debates get less insulting. Wikipedia has a lot of wisdom on how to debate by typing on a screen.

          Why do we want to interfere in others’ lives? As a proxy for sorting our own.

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          • Yes, yes.

            I did notice your refusal to get into the abortion debate. That’s as hot a topic as being LGBTQ.

            Religion does nothing for me, but if others get something it fine, so long as it doesn’t impact on others – but mostly it seems to. And it causes war.

            However, there is no way I interfere in someone else’s life to sort mine. Hard enough sorting mine so up to everyone else to sort theirs, however they choose.

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  2. Darling

    I do love bigots – they are so amusing, As my history teacher commented wryly to me – “I do hope I go to hell – most of my friends will be there!” Okay, so if anyone believes in heaven and hell then they probably believe in black and white, the sheep and the goats. Then, of course, we always think we have to DO something with them. All these distinctions and shades of pretty cassock purple miss the point, imvho….

    What would love do now?

    XXXX :-))

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    • If you like bigots, have a look at Why Sodomy is Wrong. He is a rare find: Francis is not Catholic enough for him. All this Greek he uses, all this learning, and completely missing the point. Apparently, some traditional (ie breakaway) Catholics told Francis they would pray 3625 rosaries for Francis, and Francis said, “Why are you counting?” Quiavideruntoculi as he styles himself, “because the eyes have seen” found that insulting.

      Are you free for lunch next week?

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  3. Friend, it’s interesting that you post this today, as I would have thought that you’d have moved on to something else by now. Clearly, this is still weighing heavily upon you or you wouldn’t have spent all the time and energy constructing straw men as you have done here.

    For the record, I am not a “bigot,” and I am not a “homophobe.” These terms really don’t even apply, as they’ve been used here improperly. The suffix “phobe” is derived from the Greek “phobos” meaning “fear.” I am most definitely not “afraid” of homosexuals.

    Nor is “bigot” an accurate term to invoke. Properly defined, (see the OED) a bigot is a prejudiced person who is intolerant of people with opinions different from their own. I am not intolerant of you, Clare. You are entitled to your opinion, but I am entitled to disagree. In fact, disagreement is a precondition of tolerance, as we don’t “tolerate” people we already agree with.

    As noted above, bigotry implies prejudice, which means to “pre-judge” before weighing all the evidence. In calling someone prejudiced, the assumption is that he or she has not thought the matter through. In this case, that is indeed an assumption as I have, in fact, spent a lot of time listening to various arguments in favor of same-sex marriage. I did this with an open mind, and yet in the light of thousands of years of human history, and the consistent witness of sacred scripture, and the teachings of the Church, I remain unconvinced.

    Even so, one need not resort to Christian tradition to make this argument. Even pre-Christian, pagan societies, where gay sex was celebrated held firm to traditional notions of marriage, at least in principle. Ancient Sparta is a good example. Marriage and childbearing are so foundational to the the survival of a civilization that there is much more at stake here than simply giving you what you want.

    If you want to convince me, you are going to have to come up with a better argument than what you already have. Heck, forget “a better augment.” I’m still waiting for you to actually HAVE and argument to begin with.

    But hurling insults and calling me names does not make an argument. You’ll note that, up to this point, I have not done that to you. I haven’t leveled insults like “anti-Catholic bigot” or some other gay epithet at you. And, contrary to what you may think, I have also not called you a “goat.” The reason being is that it’s last resort of a weak mind in a desperate attempt to hide the fact that one really has no argument. If you want to really debate this with me, Clare, then you’d better bring your “A” game.

    Alas, this sort of thing is typical in the gay marriage debate. Here’s Fr. Robert Barron on the subject. I think he really sums it up quite well. Take a look at it. That is…if you’re not a “Catholicphobe.”

    http://aconvertedheart.net/2013/05/07/fr-robert-barron-on-the-breakdown-of-moral-argument/

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    • Mark, thank you for reading and commenting. I post daily, and write about a week in advance. I thought you were an interesting enough specimen of homophobia to be worth one day’s post. Not my A game, I admit, but quite enough to skewer you.

      I agree “homophobia” is not a perfect term, as it seems to me that many of the gits who care so much about us queers and blather on about us- like you, with your post about your bishop- have more of a disgust reaction than fear; though the suppressed homosexuals cover terror with anger. Whatever. It is the meaning of the word, rather than its etymology, which matters, and it certainly includes you. Otherwise, you would not be so obsessed with us.

      Oh, Mark! Listen to yourself! Marriage and childbearing are so foundational to the the survival of a civilization you blather, as if gay marriage could affect straight relationships in any way. It is your silliness which makes you difficult to engage.

      I had a look at your video. Thank you. I note the priest refers to the religious arguments in favour of slavery in 1825- how then could he expect anyone to take religious arguments against gay marriage seriously? I am glad he admits that coming out of the closet is a good thing. Where he goes wrong is when he calls an argument “sentimental”: “My uncle is gay, and so I want him to be able to get married”. How is wanting the flourishing and fulfilment of ones uncle or son as a person merely “sentimental”?

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      • “My uncle is gay, and so I want him to be able to get married”. How is wanting the flourishing and fulfilment of ones uncle or son as a person merely “sentimental”?

        It depends. If you believe happiness is just a sentiment, or purely subjective, then it’s not sentimental. If you believe happiness is objective, you need to establish whether allowing your uncle to get married will be contributory to his happiness.

        Your statement conflates what your uncle happens to want to do with his flourishing. If I want to jump off a cliff, that is not – if we allow that life is, in itself, an inherent good – contributory to my happiness.

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        • Happiness may indeed be objective, but it is more various than in your philosophy. The happiness of a gay man lies in the fulfilment of his nature, which includes being gay. I think suicide, notwithstanding Japanese or Roman noble deaths, is a bad thing.

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          • So you think “Gay” nature and “Straight” nature are fundamentally different? I would think that poses some rather difficult moral problems; how can I relate to someone as a moral object, if they don’t have the same telos in life as myself? How can I hope to empathise or reason with someone whose nature is radically at odds with mine?

            I’m glad you agree about suicide, by the way.

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            • Fundamental difference? No, natural human variation. Both seek fulfilment in the Other, in Relationship: that they find the relationship differently is no more important a difference than being left-footed.

              Some people are natural conciliators, some born leaders, the gifts of the Spirit are various. This does not make us fundamentally different, but we are very different. Proper adult empathy enables most people to bridge those differences.

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            • Fundamentally different, I would say, because the types of relationship have two different objects.

              Marriage has as its primary telos the begetting and education of children, and mutual, sacrificial companionship come what may. Sodomarriage lacks at least half of that equation, and the fornicatory unions of so many sinful heterosexual people lack both.

              In order to accept that people can be equally ‘fulfilled’ in one as in the other, I have to accept that – ultimately – their ‘orientation’ in life is radically different to mine, and I can’t communicate morally with them.

              What is sexually immoral to me – viz., anything that besmirches Holy Matrimony – will not, in this view, necessarily be sexually immoral for them. There are only two ways of dealing with that; either you treat ‘gays’ and ‘straights’ as effectively different species, who want different things out of society, or you abandon any idea of objective moral good.

              I think we’re seeing a mixture of both of those in society at the moment.

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            • You are too timorous. I do not abandon any idea of objective moral good, merely your Procrustean morality. Morality should take into account more characteristics than you do. Circumstances alter cases.

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            • I am glad that you don’t abandon any idea of objective moral good, but I still maintain that your ideas lead that way, or to something worse, including treating other human beings as different species.

              If you want to know what is sexually moral and what is not, you have to answer the question, “What is sex for?” Now, I maintain – and I notice you haven’t rejected this – that I have a different answer to that question than the answer that must be given by Sodomites and Fornicators.

              Either 1) there is no single right answer to this (ergo morality is strongly subjective, not objective), 2) there are two equally right answers to this (in which case the genitals of homosexuals were made for some secret purpose as yet unrevealed to us, and not for procreation, like mine). In this case homosexuals are subjective to different moral norms than I am, and I can’t lecture them about morality, and nor can they lecture me. What is wrong for them is right for me. We can call this ‘weakly subjective’ morality, if you are amenable. 3) There is one right answer, in which case either I am wrong or they are wrong.

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            • Sex is primarily to unite people, and secondarily to procreate. Vide the tiny proportion of sex acts resulting in live births. In other mammals, apart from bonobos, it is primarily for procreation, and the homosexual acts of other mammals are fulfilling an urge rather than creating a spiritual link.

              I use a pen with my left hand. If you are right-handed, that would be wrong for you. There is no difference, morally, between that and what gender of partner is right for you. We can, if you wish, verbally formulate a rule: “a man should seek the gender of partner appropriate to his sexuality”. That rule applies to both.

              Alternatively, to say you should not have sex with your own sex, should you be heterosexual, is not a moral norm. You do not have the temptation, and you cannot form the desire for a homosexual partnership which would be mutually fulfilling.

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            • “Sex is primarily to unite people, and secondarily to procreate. Vide the tiny proportion of sex acts resulting in live births.”

              It does unite people, but that is not its primary purpose; you can’t reason from ‘what is’ to what ‘ought to be’. Sex would not exist but for the purpose of procreation; the particular unity it purposes to engender between spouses is designed to foster a safe and prosperous environment for raising offspring.

              Genitals are made for making babies; their use is pleasurable, and fosters unity, but they did not arise for either pleasure or for fostering unity.

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            • Nor can you make an ought from an is. I observe what causes people to flourish, and call it “Natural”. You restrict your understanding of “natural” by the poorly human understanding of your church.

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            • I don’t make an ought from an is. My interpretation of the fact that we have organs that are awfully handy for reproducing is based on the belief that God put them there for that purpose. If I were a materialist, I couldn’t legitimately draw that conclusion.

              You are trying to say that because sex is often not used for making babies, therefore it is not primarily designed for making babies. Many things are abused, some routinely so, therefore your argument is fallacious.

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  4. Not only is the Bible chock full of contradictions, it is hardly consistent on the matter of gay sex. As I pointed out in my article “I’m not homophobic, but…”, the narrative of David and Jonathan is a particularly touching gay love story. The theologians try to claim it was Platonic or a “romantic friendship” but there is a verse where Jonathan, having told David he loves him more than his soul, he strips naked. The narrative also ends with David lamenting Jonathan, who has been killed in battle, saying his love was greater than that of women.

    I had a look at Why Sodomy is Wrong and the writer is an ignoramus. He immediately makes the age old mistake of equating Sodomy purely with gay sex. In fact Sodomy is classified thus:

    1. Masturbation
    2. Paraphilia
    3. Frottage
    4. Anal penetration

    Given that the vast majority of humans masturbate, then that immediately makes all guilty of Sodomy. If you were to go by the rules of Sodomy, then there can be few have not practiced any of the four at some time.

    For further information see:

    http://www.geocities.ws/cyw.ejusino/Sodomy.html

    Before his fall, Cardinal Keith O’Brien stated that marriage was defined in the Bible for a man and a woman purely for procreation. Apart from the fact that there is no actual definition of marriage in the Bible, I pointed out in a letter to The Scotsman that if it were purely for procreation, then the Roman Catholic Church must stop marrying elderly people, people unable to conceive due to reasons of physical ability, and couples who merely choose not to have a family, as they currently do.

    And I was not surprised when O’Brien was exposed. I always reckoned he was so far back in the closet he was in bloody Narnia. But it brings up the question, which is wrong; two people of the same sex who love each other making a lifelong commitment, or a sexual predator who presses his unwanted attentions on young priests?

    Quoting the Gospel of Matthew and likening gay men to goats is a low blow. If the person you are talking about is a serious Christian they will a, know that Jesus never said one thing against same sex relationships, and more important b, the mission of Jesus was one of love and forgiveness, a mission all Christians are supposed to follow and adhere to.

    Tell you what Clare dear, point them in my direction. As a former Baptist, now an atheist, I’ll chew them up and spit them out. 😉

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    • Oh, Xandra, I am delighted to have found you. Welcome. Thank you for commenting.

      O’Brien would not have needed to be a predator if he had been able to accept his sexuality. That the Catholic church should have recognised his gifts yet spurned his humanity is a terrible indictment on them.

      The Natural Law argument is this: the main “natural” purpose of sex is to unite two people- consider what a tiny proportion of sex acts result in conception. Therefore gay sex is natural and right. Any other “natural law” argument wilfully ignores nature for made-up, arbitrary definitions.

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      • You are maybe right Clare. I know for a fact that Cardinal O’Brien was very much also a champion for the poor of Scotland and not afraid to speak out on that. One can only surmise therefore that his hatred of gay men was down to him suppressing his own sexuality.

        As for the “natural” argument, whenever I hear anyone saying gay sex is “unnatural”, I reply “You are wearing clothes. Mankind is the only animal on the face of the planet to wear clothes, so don’t start on me about what is and what is not ‘unnatural’.” If they really want to push it, I point out that there is not one species of mammal which does not exhibit homosexual behaviour. Why then should mankind be any different?

        The clothes and nature point works equally well for crossdressing. If someone says wearing female attire is unnatural, agree with them and point out that wearing any clothes is unnatural. Anyway, they’re NOT women’s clothes; they’re MY clothes – I paid for them.

        I do like your points however. It is pretty obvious anyone who tries to introduce ‘nature’ into any debate on human sexuality immediately does not know what they are talking about and lays themselves open to being shot down in flames.

        Very pleased to make contact with you dear. xo

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      • No, the Natural Law argument is twofold, both unitive AND procreative. Not all marital sex produces a baby each time, but the natural act is oriented in that direction. Sex draws spouses together uniting them in love and leaves open the possibility for new life to ensue. Each one of us is the product of the union of one man and one woman. We are all living signposts that point to the reality of the Natural Law.

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      • At last! Something we can agree on. We are all living signposts that point to the reality of the Natural Law. And gay people are the product of the union of one man and one woman. Period. And, for the record, recognizing same-sax marriages in law will be the next step in destroying marriage altogether. And if you doubt me on this, here’s a lesbian activist (Masha Gessen) advocating that very point.

        The best part is when she says “fighting for gay marriage involves lying…”

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        • How could we be other? I understand it is technically feasible to unite two ova, so that a baby had two mothers, but doubt it has been done in humans. Your error is seeing the range of human diversity, and artificially limiting what is natural to exclude things which make humans flourish.

          On marriage, there are two questions. Should it exist at all? If so, should it be discriminatory? The answer to the second question is clearly no. The answer to the first- I say yes, but considering that David Cameron recognises this is a profoundly Conservative position, some radical queer activists and opponents of kyriarchy say no. It promotes false expectations, and keeps people in unfulfilling relationships.

          Thank you for the video. The photos of the speaker are very beautiful. She is right: why should society claim that some of the parentage of her children is better than others? And yet- I think people should be able to make lifelong vows to each other.

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      • “Your error is seeing the range of human diversity, and artificially limiting what is natural to exclude things which make humans flourish.”

        You are assuming that same-sex relations make people “flourish,” but I think that’s debatable. What does it mean to flourish?

        Take sex out of the equation for a moment and consider something else. We don’t respect the Natural Law in modern agriculture, and because we don’t we have a food production system that is virtually unsustainable. Our soils are practically dead, and we are a people dying from the inside out from poor nutrition. Going against the grain of Natural Law with food or sex or whatever else might create the illusion of flourishing in the short term, but the long term consequences are usually delayed, and they are always heavy. Here’s another example. Here in America we’ve murdered 56 million babies in utero, and now we cannot sustain our Social Security safety net for the elderly much past 2037 (at last calculation). We can’t, because the demographics have so shifted as to make the social security system unsustainable. When it began, there were 32 people paying in to the system for every one that was drawing upon it. Today, it’s 2 to 1, and this on the eve of the baby boom generation entering retirement. Lot’s of people think killing children is a way to “flourish” too, but the long-term consequences are disastrous. So it will be with same-sex marriage. Violate the natural law and sooner or later we will all suffer the consequences, many of which we cannot yet envision.

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        • Old people outnumber the young because of better health. I read that Bismarck made the retirement age 65 because men died at that age: he might have a year’s retirement. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow said the Psalmist, but I know fit octogenarians. This is a problem of success.

          Yes, I am pro-choice. No, I am not going to get drawn into argument on abortion.

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      • “One can only surmise therefore that his hatred of gay men was down to him suppressing his own sexuality.”

        I will assume you are morally opposed to paedophilia. Is that based on your secret longing to have sex with small children?

        People can be guilty of things themselves, and still oppose them. The sin of hypocrisy is not so much saying one thing and doing another, as saying one thing AND HAVING NO INTENTION of living up to your own standard.

        For instance, I committed a venial sin of gluttony yesterday lunch time. I can and do still oppose the sin of gluttony, both for spiritual and medical reasons, and in fact in one sense I have more right to talk about it than someone who has never had that temptation.

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          • Maybe. Maybe he genuinely thought it was wrong. I believe Catholicism because it is true, not because it has brow-beaten me into believing it.

            I used not to be opposed to homosexuality and divorce and contraception (I did always oppose abortion, however). My views on these things changed – not least because of the suffering they have wrought in my own life (contraception), and in the lives of my friends.

            It is easy to bless something of which you have no knowledge, because it feels so ‘compassionate’. Now, I am sure you aren’t ignorant of these things either; but understand that I – and many of the same view – genuinely see these things as very damaging. It isn’t just an affectation.

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      • quiavideruntoculi said: “People can be guilty of things themselves, and still oppose them. The sin of hypocrisy is not so much saying one thing and doing another, as saying one thing AND HAVING NO INTENTION of living up to your own standard.”

        Indeed yes. That is an authentic Catholic understanding. Sin, by itself, is not hypocrisy. Real hypocrisy is as quiavideruntoculi says, “saying one thing and doing another, as saying one thing AND HAVING NO INTENTION of living up to your own standard.”

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      • We don’t have to get drawn into an argument about abortion in order make the point. If people are living longer, it follows that we need to have more people paying into the system to make it work. The point is that when you step outside the Natural Law and go your own way, the negative consequences are inescapable. You cannot murder more people than Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot combined and then expect that MAJOR consequences will not come about. Similarly, you cannot redefine marriage in law without witnessing serious problems for civilization in the long term.

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    • I am sorry, I don’t understand. Is this a reference to Revelation, perhaps to the habit of seeing the Catholic Church as the Beast? Is it a reference to China? I am delighted to have a new commenter, but, er-

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    • It “redefined marriage in law”. I am sorry, Mark, I should not merely pick you up on your language. Your substantive position is too easily attacked.

      Straight people will still marry. Now, gay people will marry. Hooray: in England probably in the Autumn, in Scotland possibly slightly later, I am delighted to say that gay people will marry in Quaker meetings. Straight marriage is exactly the same as it was. That gay people want to get married affirms marriage, rather than subverts it.

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      • “That gay people want to get married affirms marriage, rather than subverts it.”

        In one sense that may be true. I have read of homosexuals who eschew the notion of Sodomarriage precisely because it seems like ‘selling out’ to Christian values. Marriage is about complementarity; homosexuality is – at least, so we are told – about equality.

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        • If you do not think gay marriage can be about complementarity, you do not know many gay couples. Why do you use such offensive terms as “Sodomarriage”? What has gang rape- or failures in hospitality- got to do with anything? Is “gay marriage” not an acceptable term to you?

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          • I didn’t say it couldn’t be, I said that for some homosexuals it wasn’t, and that – for instance, in the case of a close friend of mine – one of things that appeals to him about the homosexual lifestyle is the equality of the partners, and their lack of interdependence.

            We should not digress into an exegetical argument over Genesis. Unlike Protestants, I go by the traditional understanding of the scripture, and not by my own private theories, so I am not terribly interested in yours on this point; I know what the Church means by Sodomy, and I know what the Church understands by ‘the sin of Sodom’.

            I object to the term ‘gay marriage’, first because it is not gay, and second because it is not marriage. Sodomarriage is a suitably monstrous portmanteau for an equally monstrous parody.

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            • Sodomarriage is an ugly word, coined by someone who does not desire to understand or empathise with human beings. You exalt your false morality over your Christian brothers.

              “Traditional” understandings exalts exegesis over hermeneutics. What does Scripture mean for us, now?

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            • “Sodomarriage is an ugly word, coined by someone who does not desire to understand or empathise with human beings. You exalt your false morality over your Christian brothers.”

              It is an ugly word for an ugly thing. You cannot polish a turd, and nor should you try. You exalt ‘compassion’ over Truth; my morality is the morality of the Church, which you find barbarous. Fine.

              The difference between us is that I am trying to argue for my position, whereas you seem content to throw brickbats, and attack me personality. You will notice I haven’t made any comment on your intentions; in fact, I’m sure you are trying to do good.

              I’ll happily debate the nature and importance of Scripture for Christians with you, but as I said, I don’t want to be deflected into a discussion about it now. Drop me an e-mail.

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            • I exalt truth. You exalt persecution over truth. Sodomarriage is an ugly word from an ugly mind.

              And now you accuse me of personal attacks rather than argument. Sigh. All the argument is there, could you but see it.

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            • Who, exactly, am I ‘persecuting’? I believe some things are wrong, and I will tell people not to do them.

              You HAVE made personal attacks, e.g. “an ugly word from an ugly mind”, and I have not resorted to them. If I am wrong, persuade me of it. I’m happy to be persuaded.

              You seem to get very angry very quickly, and I dispute that you have offered much in the way of argumentation at all. The sum of your position so far seems to have been “being nice is good”, something which you haven’t substantiated with arguments or facts.

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            • Well, I am seeing off two of you, as well as cooking my dinner.

              Would you recognise an argument or fact if you saw one? There are plenty in my comments here. As for who you are persecuting, see Acts 9.

              Being pointlessly nasty is bad, certainly. I seek the flourishing of God’s creation. You tell gay people to suppress their God-given nature.

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            • Bon appetit!

              Yes, being pointlessly nasty would be bad. However, I believe I have very good reason to challenge the morality of homosexual acts.

              Again, there’s that word ‘flourish’; you describe your position very eloquently, but you do not argue for it.

              ‘God-given nature’; again, please argue for this and clarify what you mean. You say you maintain a belief in absolute right and wrong, but so far you have not explained or argued for your approach to natural theology clearly.

              If there is a separate homosexual ‘nature’, how does that square e.g. with the fact that homosexuals are born of heterosexual pairings?

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            • Well, priests are celibate. Do you suppose that the priest’s mother had a vocation not recognised by your church, or the priest does not have a true vocation?

              Both my parents are right-handed. I am left-handed. Again, the same thing: children vary from their parents.

              So, a gay man, having human nature, has sex to create a bond. The two will become one flesh. Having human nature, he has sex with the gender to which he is attracted.

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            • Thank you.

              Re celibacy; there is a difference between willingly abstaining from one good thing in favour of a higher one, and actively doing something which violates the natural law. No one sins by not having sex. I am not having sex at the moment. That is not a sin.

              Re right/left-handedness, that is a matter of moral indifference, because neither writing with the left nor writing with the right violates the purpose of either. If you started to eat your hand, however, that would be disordered, and if you wilfully did it, knowing it was disordered, it would be a sin.

              “So, a gay man, having human nature, has sex to create a bond.”

              And in doing so, commits a grave sin, because his action violates the nature and purpose of his sexuality. Further, he confuses the means with the end; the bond of spousal love is a means toward facilitating procreation. It is not an end in itself.

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            • I see it as an end in itself.

              For example, post-menopausal women marry, even in church. Here I show my authority: that is the response you would have received from many people, including some theologians and moral philosophers.

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            • So long as they do not violate the purpose of marriage by consciously excluding progeny, they do not sin. It is quite legitimate in many situations for an husband and wife to see one another as companions; you don’t have to be thinking directly about sex to relate properly to your spouse. Nonetheless, he or she is your spouse, and not just your friend, because – and only because – human beings are sexual animals.

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            • Human beings are sexual animals, and some of us are gay.

              If the purpose of marriage was procreation, then it should not be applied to those who cannot procreate, such as those too old. However, if the purpose of marriage is to unite a couple, as it is not good for the man to be alone, then both gay couples and old couples should marry.

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            • You seem to be arguing that if you cannot fully utilise a thing, you shouldn’t be able to use it at all.

              Indulge me in an analogy. The elderly couple who most likely cannot procreate (cf. Abraham and Sara, who – against the odds – did conceive) are like the elderly computer users who only check their emails. They’re not ABUSING their computer – they’re just not fully utilising its faculties. There’s nothing wrong with that.

              Compare the sodomite, who is trying to use his computer – in this analogy – to shave with. That is an abuse of the computer, and if he goes on he will likely do himself and it an injury.

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            • Unity and companionship can be an end in themselves, but only in certain modes of human relationship. I think I can say without error that friendship has for its primary end companionship (though obviously, all ends are ultimately subordinated to the greater glory of God, to which everything has been created).

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            • Such as, a loving gay relationship, which has nothing to do with the temple prostitutes of Romans 1 or the gang rape as a means of destroying the humanity of strangers, of Genesis.

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            • Not in so far as that relationship is sexual, because – in so far as it is sexual – the sexual faculty is being abused, and the institution of marriage is being undermined, for the reasons I have given.

              I am interested in arguing this question from the Scripture; these questions are susceptible to natural reason, and should be examined in its light. Or else, how could God judge those wicked who have not had access to the Holy Scriptures? We don’t need Divine Revelation to resolve this question, though naturally it does reflect and amplify the moral law, since God’s character is good.

              The Church understands that the Scripture condemns all sexual acts opposed to the creation of new life or the integrity of Holy Matrimony. These are the only connecting strands which link all the separate sexual sins condemned, from the sin of Onan, through to bestiality, fornication, adultery, rape, and sodomy.

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      • Come on… why did you pick a particular brand of Quaker, at the expense of others, and why do you believe it to be correct and the others are wrong?

        This is a key point, and I’m not going to let up on it.

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    • Don’t waste your time quiavideruntoculi, she is trapped in the prison of her own mind, which is locked from the inside. She accepts no authority on this matter but her own and, like a frightened, caged animal, will scratch and claw, and lie, and deceive, and hate, and claim “victim” status and generally ignore ANYTHING to avoid having to deal with the immutable truth that SHE IS NOT GOD AND MARRIAGE ISN’T UP TO HER!!!!!!!

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      • It may be that I am wasting my time, Mr Zobel. But who could not be moved to the tenderest compassion by such a plight, if indeed that is Ms Flourish’s condition?

        If she is frightened, and if she is caged, then we should not be reluctant to minister to her, as Christ first ministered to us. After all, she has hardly sinned against us; and even if she had, and that most grievously, the ghostly doctrine of the eternal torment of Hell should quickly move us to be merciful.

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      • You are correct, of course. I haven’t posted my Daily Chaplet prayer intention on my blog for today. I’m going to do so now. I won’t mention Clare by name, of course, that would be rude and uncharitable. But I am going to encourage my readers to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for her, and for all those caught in the trap of rationalization.

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        • One problem, Mark, is that I could pray the same for you.

          In an introduction to his novels on the Reformation, Walter Scott imagines the Protestant reformers and the recusant Catholics united in Heaven; so that is my prayer, that we may find unity.

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      • Really? You want to find unity? And how exactly are you going to accomplish that? After all, this whole thread started with you insulting and excoriating me… “Oh no! Not another bigoted homophobe! Wait a while, he is interesting as a specimen.”

        I don’t think you are half as interested in unity as you are in confrontation.

        You’re right about unity in heaven, though. There will not be this Protestant-Catholic divide. There will be no “debate” about gay marriage with one group in heaven saying Christ said one thing on Earth, and another group saying Christ meant something different. There will be unity…you’ve got that right.

        And those who TRULY desire unity in Christ, and who are willing to lay down their lives for it, will be counted among the sheep and those who don’t will be counted among the goats. And Jesus knows who is who, and I’ll let it sit with him.

        We are all spiraling towards eternity, Clare and whatever trajectory your soul is on at the moment of death is the trajectory it will be on forever, and if that’s aimed anywhere other than God…well, hopefully none of us will have to find out.

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        • Why do I confront?

          The priest in your video said it was a good thing for gay people to come out of the closet. I confront because I have internalised homophobia from my society, where gay sex was criminal until I was 14, and I seek to shed it. Steve Biko said The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.

          Meanwhile, you make trivial references to Hell, via your covert reference to Matthew 25. You thereby prove the words I used.

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          • Clare, I am sorry if there have been things in your past that have hurt you. Truly, I am. You can believe me or not. There are indeed instances of wrongful discrimination and abuse committed against gays and lesbians and the Catechism of the Catholic Church condemns them all. Look it up, if you don’t believe me.

            Marriage, however, is in a class by itself and there are legitimate issues here, and you are just going to have to accept that not everyone is going to agree with you, but that doesn’t make them “bigots” and “homophobes.” This very same Catholic husband and father whom you despise, would stand should-to-shoulder with you and advocate for you at the top of his lungs if you were ever being denied housing, or employment, or medical care, or a bunch of other stuff because of your sexuality. I am NOT a homophobe, and you don’t know me well enough to sit in judgment like that.

            There’s nothing trivial about Hell, Clare. If you take nothing else away from this discussion, remember that. Jesus spoke of it more than any other Biblical figure. Why would any of us need a Savior if there wasn’t something to be saved from?

            Jesus died for all of us Clare, that includes you. There is nothing that God wants more than for you to live with Him in heaven forever, face-to-face. It’s why he created you. You…Clare. God wants to bring YOU home. But you’ve got to want to come, and that means accepting his will in all things…including marriage.

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      • Absent an infallible Magisterium, Clare, how can you be certain you are discerning correctly? You speak of Quakers as though they are a single, united group with a consistent catechesis. But there are many factions of Friends Groups that hold positions and teachings that are diametrically opposed one another. Conservative, Evangelical, Gurneyite, Universalist…they can’t all be right. So which kind of Quaker are you, and why is the discernment in that group correct and the discernment in the other kinds of Quaker groups incorrect?

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        • We seek “God’s loving purposes”. “God’s Will” is too strong: it is not, what is right for all time, but what is right for now.

          The trouble is, Mark, you do not have an infallible Magisterium either, you just imagine that you do.

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      • LOL!!!! Remind me never to eat lunch while reading your blog…I blew bits of salad on my computer screen!

        “We seek “God’s loving purposes”. “God’s Will” is too strong:”

        Too strong for what?

        You still haven’t answered my question. What kind of Quaker are you, and why are the discernments made there better than those made by another Quaker group?

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        • Why should I answer your questions?

          Sorry, Mark, I have so little respect for you that I did not express that well. The World changes, so God’s will for what is good now changes too. In a subsistence economy, arguably stoning is the most humane punishment; it is not now.

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      • Ahem… I’m waiting. You STILL haven’t answered my question. Which kind of Quaker group do you belong to, and why did you pick that one over the others? Why are the discernments made in Your group correct and the ones made in other groups incorrect? Why?

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        • I have not suggested that any Quaker group is wrong.

          Our culture has a great deal of historic prejudice against gay people. Now is the time, God wills, for that to change. We see it happening. Alleluia!

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          • But different Quaker groups have discerned things in radically different ways (in the present) than others. They can’t all be correct. Why do you think you groups discernment on this issue is the correct one?

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            • Why shouldn’t you? After all, you are the one who started this thread by calling me a bigot publicly. No one forced you to do that, you thought it up and did it on your own. Tell me, was that one of “God’s loving purposes” or was that a Clare Flourish original? This whole conversation has been public, so it’s a little late in the game to start dodging the issue.

              It’s a fair, and honest question. The Quakers have a number of different factions and they are not unified in their discernments. You made a choice to join a particular faction, as opposed to some other faction. Why do you think your group’s discernment is correct and that other Quaker groups who uphold traditional marriage are wrong. I mean, if members of those groups were here they would think theirs was the right discernment wouldn’t they? And if this is “the right time” for God to reveal his true will on the matter, he wouldn’t tell one group of Quakers and not the others would he?

              So why does your Quaker group have it right, and the others have it wrong? Answer. The. Question.

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            • I called you a bigot because that is what you are, as demonstrated by your continuing references to “goats”.

              I suppose I have to say it. You. Wouldn’t. Understand. You don’t have the intelligence or the wisdom.

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            • That is patently NOT an argument. That is special pleading – the lazy tool of a weak mind.

              I am a former college professor and I hold a Ph.D. from one of the finest musicology graduate programs in the country. I’ll admit that I’m no Einstein, but I’m not exactly a moron either. I have all the intelligence I need to hear your argument, if only you would make one.

              I’m not going to do this with you, Clare. If want to have an honest discussion like a couple of grown-ups, that’s fine. I’m your guy. But I’m not going to stand for this kind of wanton intellectual dishonesty.

              I’m about to shake the dust from my feet here. For the last time, for the VERY last time, answer the question or this conversation is over.

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            • Shake away, by all means, Mark. If you cannot find the truth in what I have said already, I cannot help you further. I have a little housework to do, then bed, before I go away for a few days.

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  5. The proper role of statutory law and judicial precedent is to regulate marriage in accordance with Natural Law. The decision in Loving v. Virginia did that. It took a wacky law (no doubt conceived by wacky Protestant legislators) and dismantled it. Marriage is one man and one woman regardless of race, because its procreative aspect remains intact.

    Gay people, on the other hand, cannot marry, ever. Just because a law is passed, just because a ceremony takes place, does not mean a marriage has occurred. “What God has joined together, let no one separate.” It’s God who does the joining, not the government, not the legislature, not Quakers at meetings. To think that God would usurp His own Natural Law and join two persons of the same sex in marriage SOLELY on the basis of a human legislative measure is beyond arrogance. It’s hubris. God doesn’t take his marching orders from you, Clare.

    Yours is the “closed system,” – closed to whatever does not originate in your own mind, and exhibit “A” comes from your own blog…

    “The Bible does not condemn gay people or gay relationships. If it did, I could ignore it.”
    https://clareflourish.wordpress.com/bible-gay/

    From this, it is clear that you have no interest whatsoever in objective truth. You will accept no authority on this matter other than you own warped sense of right and wrong. Yours is a mind poisoned by Modernism, which is perhaps best summarized by that lunatic Rene Descartes in his godless declaration, “I think, therefore I am.” No, Rene, God thinks, therefore you are. God is the sole, exclusive, and final authority on marriage. Not me, and definitely not you. Jesus spoke EXPLICITLY on marriage, but…as you say..you will ignore it.”

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    • Too many errors to count, Mark. You don’t win an argument by idiotic assertions which are quicker to state than to refute. Just two:

      God has been joining gay people since the dawn of humanity. That your church will not recognise this is not God’s fault.

      Jesus was asked about the divorce of straight people. He replied about the divorce of straight people, and immediately after he went on to heal the Centurion’s pais. I suppose you deny that the pais was the Centurion’s lover, but if you think Jesus’s statements there prevent gay marriage, you have to explain the following story somehow.

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        • You wrote, From this, it is clear that you have no interest whatsoever in objective truth. You will accept no authority on this matter other than you own warped sense of right and wrong. Yours is a mind poisoned by Modernism, which is perhaps best summarized by that lunatic Rene Descartes in his godless declaration, “I think, therefore I am.”

          Understanding increases, of morality as of physics. I could insult you with that phrase, you have no interest whatsoever in objective truth, because you fail to accept this. You go back to ancient misconceptions, and say, “The old is better”. If you are anti-modernist, do you want to burn me, as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith did?

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      • Of course understanding sometimes increases, but objective truth does not change with the passage of time. If did, it wouldn’t be truth, and truth is not the same thing as understanding. There are bad things that happened in the past, but let’s not fall into the trap of chronological snobbery by thinking that we’re all so much more enlightened now…the blood of 56 million dead American babies won’t stand for it.

        You are the one with no interest in objective truth. You said of scripture …”If it did I could ignore it…” You accept no authority but your own, and therein lies the difference between us.

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  6. Great post! You summed up Mark’s problems brilliantly and even predicted his response. I didn’t get to reading ALL the comments, but in my skim reading of most of them, he has no justification for his damning proclamations, and doesn’t even go for a slight retraction but tries to head the discussion off in other directions.

    On another note, I read the top comments about splitting your blog. It’s an interesting idea as you do have a different voice on different topics, but I just wanted to say that I personally really enjoy the unusual variety and randomness in your posts. Have you thought about doing a post to ask your readers what they think?

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    • I put the pther one, quiavideruntoculi, on moderation, and he ended up telling me transvestites would go to Hell if they did not repent. Good job I am not a transvestite. Mark’s claim to a PhD bamboozles me.

      The main purpose of my blog is the confessional posts, which I do as therapy, and get some useful comments. It reinforces ideas in me if I can express them to others. I tend to feel that alone would be too much on one note. I like to enthuse as well. I don’t feel I know enough about art to sustain an art blog, the religion and the LGBT stuff overlaps, and where would I put the karate? I could split off a personal diary, I suppose, with confessional and conversation. Good idea. I will ask people. Thank you.

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