William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Coming Out Christian: Guest Post by Hut Evenest

Nothing better to keep you warm in winter.

Readers should understand bestiality is allowed in many countries. Hut Evenest is a writer from Finland, a country in which the practice is legal. Their preferred term is zoophilia. The picture was my idea.

How faithful zoophilics are transforming our churches.

Coming out of the closet is the simplest tool of the zoophilia movement, yet it’s proven to be the most powerful and even the most spiritually profound. On the political side, Statistics Finland data this year found that knowing someone who is zoophilic was the most common reason people switched to supporting inter-species marriage, and the percentage of people who know someone openly zoophilic has risen over 25 points since 1993.

But on a more personal level, coming out is a practice of honesty and integrity—no more “pronoun games,” no more hedging and sudden silence when the conversation turns to romance or visions of one’s future. The coming-out narrative transforms a source of shame and stigma into a freely accepted, simple truth, which no longer excludes one from the ordinary social world. Coming out allows deeper bonds to be formed: not only romantic relationships but deeper friendships, more honest familial ties, and more pointed and relevant relationships with spiritual guides such as confessors or pastors.

As the zoophilia movement has enjoyed remarkable success, a new kind of coming out is occurring, in which zoophilic or interspecies attracted Christians openly discuss both our sexual orientation and our desire to live according to the historic teaching of the Christian church, which bars sexual activity between people and animals. As zoophilic Christians—an unavoidably reductive term—come out, our presence is changing the culture of our churches.

When I became Catholic, in 1998, I didn’t know of a single other openly zoophilic Christian who intended to follow Church teaching on sexuality. I made my way through what appeared to be a trackless wilderness armed with good friends, cheap vodka, and hubris. Nowadays an undergraduate in my circumstances could simply Google and find scores of websites with names like Odd Man Out and Sexual Authenticity. The blog Spiritual Friendship brings together a relatively wide range of writers with different sexual orientations, vocations, and church affiliations. (I’m a contributor there.) Those online communities have led to many real-life connections: it seems like every week I see somebody on Facebook posting about his road trip to meet other animal-loving Christians.

In July, Kristus Finn magazine profiled three Finnish “evangelical church leaders who experience interspecies attraction,” all of whom used real names and photos. Over the summer, in an uncoordinated movement that reflects a rapidly changing culture, several bloggers who had used pseudonyms began to use their real names instead. Bestiality is being transformed from a faceless, shadowy problem “out there” to an umbrella term for a wide range of experiences that affect ordinary people you might pass on the street or pass the peace to in church.

Many celibate zoophilic Christians have found support from their friends and church communities—although acceptance can take a long time.

We’re often ashamed to admit that we suffer. It’s humiliating and it makes us feel like we’re not good enough Christians. This is bizarre since there are very few aspects of Jesus’ own internal life that we know as much about as His suffering. Jesus—unmarried, marginalized, misunderstood, a son and a friend but not a father or spouse—is the preeminent model for zoophilic Christians. In this, as in so many things, we are just like everybody else.

She said what?

No, I’m only kidding. The real piece is from Eve Tushnet (Hut Evenest is an anagram) at American Conservative (did he say conservative?). I only switched telltale words: “gay” with “zoophilic”, “Pew Research” with “Statistics Finland”, and so forth. I did not change the names of the blogs Tushnet references. Readers are welcome to check me.

Was just curious to see how the increasingly common argument used by Tushnet would play using other “orientations.” Tushnet went on for treble the length of the excerpt and it’s a useful exercise to continue the substitutions because, as said, this line of reasoning is showing up everywhere.

I gather Tushnet’s “soft words”, digressions, and dancing around the point are meant to invoke the bully response, provoking opponents to dismiss her argument using untactful or distasteful language, so that Tushnet supporters (she’d be too polite to answer) could retort, “Quit picking on her!” Lost will be whether Tushnet’s approach makes any sense. Does it?

No, I’m not comparing men who lust after men and women who lust after women with people who lust after the beasts of the wood. “Orientations” are what “orientations” do. Bestiality is legal in Finland and other venues. Remember, Jesus never said you couldn’t date your Yak. And isn’t any increase in love a good thing?

If you don’t like zoophilia, why not try substituting bisexuality or pedophilia? Or…but need I continue the list? People didn’t like it much when a group of priests got caught orienting themselves toward teenage boys, though. As you read this, ask yourself: am I being judgmental?

Or—show of hands—who’s for the asking people to keep quiet about who or what they want to have sex with? Do we want men who lust after women donning club t-shirts and running around church saying, “Look at the keister on that one. Whoa! Too bad Church tradition forbids me a pinch. I’d be all over her except I remember Matthew 5-38: ‘But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.'”

58 Comments

  1. Among the many prominent features of Ted Mooney’s 1981 first novel, Easy Travel to Other Planets, was an explicit depiction of intercourse between a dolphin and a woman. It was almost as lush as one of Henry Miller’s tales of seduction. More recently an egenre, crypto-erotica or monster eroticism, flourished and was repressed by the likes of Amazon under their epublishing imprimatur. Monster erotica was an epiphenomena that made fortunes for its creators, mostly bland, mid-American housewives who were as surprised as everyone else by their sudden good fortune and their equally sudden demise.
    http://www.businessinsider.com/monster-porn-amazon-crackdown-sex-fantasy-bigfoot-2013-12#ixzz2o8UiJlkT

  2. Consent is not implied by silence or powerlessness. Men who rape yaks and little boys are still rapists. This is how we tell the difference.

  3. Briggs

    January 31, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Michael D,

    You “consent” your Big Macs, too?

    And, naturally, you do not hold with people having pets. No consent possible.

    Anyway, try swapping in necrophilia.

  4. This is a great article. I’m a celibate zoophilic Christian who came out of the closet within the past year. Coming out marked a positive change in my life. I no longer have to keep people at a distance, fearing that they may figure out that I’m into animals. All that stress–the stress of trying to stay in the closet and the stress of the closet’s concomitant loneliness–is gone, and my relationships with family and friends are much more genuine than before.

    But it’s not been an entirely smooth path. I’ve lost a few friends. Of course, that loss only revealed how superficial and contingent those relationships were in the first place. I’m better off without those people in my life. The loss of their friendship says more about them than it does me. And the pain of those losses is far far outweighed by the depth to which I’m now able to relate to the majority of my friends who have stayed with me.

    I would encourage closeted zoophilic Christians to get out of the closet! Too many Christians are forced out of the closet on terms not of their own choosing. The stress of staying in the closet often becomes too much to bear, and people fall out of the closet in the midst of moral failure. I’m not suggesting that I believe that all interspecies-sex relationships are necessarily sinful. I’m simply saying that it’s important to come out of the closet on your own terms, motivated by a desire to be honest with people.

  5. Briggs

    January 31, 2014 at 9:20 am

    All,

    Just kidding redux. Bobby is an actual comment to Tushnet’s article, again slightly transformed.

  6. Okay-we are back to the fundamental question in all of this: Why not declare you are NOT Christain, drop the oppressive, nasty church that says you can’t love your sheep and go it alone in the world without a horrible, uncaring God who thinks you should not have sex with sheep or any one other than the person you married? Why this demand that religion accept you? No good reason whatsoever. So why are you doing it??????

  7. What part of “silence is not consent” is unclear? We don’t harvest organs from the dead without their advance consent. Show me the advance directives permitting necrophilia, and we can discuss the morality of the practice. As to meat: meat is murder of the most tasty variety. Consumption of meat is an immoral act which I partake in unapologetically and unrepentantly. I hope that future generations will view my meat eating habits with the same disgust that I have for human slavery.

    null

  8. Fletcher Christian

    January 31, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Well, if anyone here genuinely can’t see the difference in morality (or lack of it) between homosexuality and zoophilia…

    Just for the record, my opinion is very simple. What consenting adults do with each other in private is none of anyone else’s freaking business!

    Note the three words “consenting”, “adults” and “private”. I might also add that there are some rather odd practices which are fairly common but don’t attract anything like as much opprobrium from “Christians” (many of whom are in reality nothing of the sort) as does homosexuality. Most of them come down to elaborate forms of masturbation, so no other living being (sapient or otherwise) is involved.

    I like to think of the heads of members of the Moral Minority exploding, some time in the future when we run into either high-AI robots or nonhuman sapients and the inevitable happens.

  9. The reason why bestiality and peadophelia are not allowed and homosexuality is is because in homosexuality there is consent between grown ups. In relations with animals and children there is always the dominance issue, so paries are not on equal footing. Btw what is this catholic obsession with interference in the bedroom of grown ups?

  10. “Consenting adults” — the wiggle room for those approving of homosexuality and trying to wiggle out of all other sexual behaviours they don’t approve of. First, children and animals consent to NOTHING. Children are ruled by their parents. They do not chose what school to go to, how to dress, etc. They do not choose to be vaccinated or not. They do not choose whether to go to school or not. Animals consent even less–in fact, they are incapable of consenting. Wait, then that would make it wrong to have sex with a tree or hole in the ground, wouldn’t it???) If no consent is required in anything with children or animals except sex, that pretty much makes it clear this fallacious argument is designed this to allow the ONE behaviour gays want. It has no validity whatsoever. None.

    (If the Moral Majority were as vindictive as Fletcher, they would hope Fletcher spends his afterlife in a very unpleasant place. Fortunately, they hope he sees the light and spends his afterlife in a better place. Real humanitarian, there Fletcher. Bet you’d be happy if they all go hit by a bus, wouldn’t you? Lovely. Why is it that you care at all about the opinions of the Moral Majority? )

  11. Note: Society freely allows children to have sex with each other as much as possible. They pass out condoms at school. So don’t tell me consent is required. It most certainly is NOT.

  12. Briggs

    January 31, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Hans,

    But I didn’t mutually consent to my ingestion!

    BTW, why this non-Catholic obsession with interference in Church doings?

  13. Hans:

    I agree with your comment about consent.

    You asked what is the catholic obsession with interference in the bedroom of grown ups?

    Speaking as a Catholic – I don’t care about what goes on in the bedrooms of adults.

    I care about the co-opting of the word “marriage” for use in a manner which falls outside the definition.

    The word marriage contains opposite sex in the actual definition. It specifically talks about a man and a women (I am speaking about dictionarys more than 10 years old).

    I have nothing against civil union, I just don’t like the word marriage being stretched to cover same sex civil unions.

    Of course, living in Minnesota that battle was lost and our state passed a gay marriage law – so I don’t have a legal leg to stand on.

    But I do still get to express my opinion – which is that a same sex relationship is different than an opposite sex relationship, and different words should be used to reflect that. Much like we have many different words to describe different types of snow (powder, fluffy, sleet, slush, wet, heavy, etc.)we shouldn’t use an opposite sex relationship word for a same sex relationship.

    To me it is a little like ignoring the difference between boys and girls, and passing a law to call all children boys. The words male, female, boy, girl and so on were created to capture actual physical differences between the sexes. Those physical differences between the sexes made it into the dictionary definition of marriage – and now we have lost the ability to use the word marriage to refer to only an opposite sex couple.

    Or rather – we have to say a couple is married, but now go on to use more words to characterize the sexes of the couple (opposite sex or same sex).

  14. Briggs

    January 31, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    All,

    No animal has ever given its consent to anything. Now I’m inspired. Separate essay in the works!

  15. Hans: In many societies, men are dominant over women. They hold all the rights. So are you saying that in those societies, all sex is rape?
    Again, an invalid argument designed to allow the ONE behaviour gays want.

  16. Briggs: Go for it.

  17. A couple of points on “consenting adults”: You are arguing in favor of protitution and adult incest.

  18. Gold seals for everyone! Also that Yak looks like it can take care of itself. You looking at me punk.

  19. Ye Olde Statisician

    January 31, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    The original word for a youngster was “girl.” There were male girls and female girls. Male girls were put out to work as apprentices and as such were called “boys” (from the leather collar worn by Roman slaves and servants: boia.) Eventually “boy,” the term for apprentice, extended to all male girls and the term “girl” contracted to mean “female girl.”

    To replace the generic “girl” as a term for a youngster of either sex, the term “child” was recruited. Child had originally meant what we now call “fetus,” and survives in such phrases as “with child” and “childbirth.” The term also applied for a few months after birth, since humans spend their fourth trimester outside the womb. (Based on the correlation of gestation times to adult body weight among mammal species, all humans are born prematurely. Otherwise, birth would always kill the mother.)
    +++++++

    Indulging the appetites privileges neural patters originating in more primitive parts of the brain. By repetition, these patterns become “vulcanized” (in Cohen’s terms) and interfere with neural patterns originating in the neocortex. That is, the appetites interfere with rational thought. Since a human just is a “rational animal,” this means we become a little less human when we become a little less rational. We start to make irrational decisions regarding, for example, our “neighbor’s wife” and become a rake, a slut, a horndog, a strumpet, a libertine, a trollop, a goat, a… Well you get the picture. If the neural patterns are sufficiently ingrained, we find ourselves taking absurd risks just to jolly the monkey or “beat wet.” Think “Trojan War,” which did not end well for Paris and his home town.

    Some even define themselves by the appetite to which they are operantly conditioned, which makes indulgence of that appetite a sine qua non for self-image and thus a greater threat to one’s rationality.

    Hence, the condemnation of unrestrained appetites, whether of gluttony, lust, anger, etc. and the effort (known as “civilization” to constrain their exercise.) Even when the expulsion of bodily fluids takes place in a private vomitorium among consenting diners.

  20. Interesting implications…fall in “love” with an animal, get “married,” and if things don’t work out, kill it & eat it–does that constitute assault, battery, murder and then “cannibalism” in a zoophilia-based value-system (something akin to a Hannibal Lector situation)? Or, if just the kids, the result of an “open relationship” are eaten?

    There’s a host of such implications; this zoophilia “movement” is just ripe for lawyers to sort out all the nuances…

    As an analogy to tolerance for other activities (e.g. gay marriage) this is sort of ok, but the argument’s miss a key point: An activity that is wrong, sick even, from some religious-based perspective (and even other objective perspectives) ought still be permitted in a free society when the behavior does not impact the integrity of the society (e.g. gay marriage is hardly different from common-law marriage & co-habitation, which has been occurring anyway).

    In a free society, the freedom to sin (at least to a point just short of externalities being an issue) is a fundamental precept; if one cannot “sin” then one is not in a free society. Any move by the state to sanction “sin” becomes an infringement on religious freedoms, or, an infringement of being made subject to a religiously-based value system (using the USA as the reference here).

    A fundamental analytical problem is the inability of so many to recognize the clear distinction & boundary between religion and freedom in a society formally structured to separate those two from each other.

  21. Briggs

    January 31, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    YOS,

    Not only all that, but it’s high time for more frequent use of scoundrel, wretch, reprobate and so forth as well as rake and the others.

  22. Why am I interested in catholicism? Because my family is full of them.

    Homosexuality may be weird, but if it doesn’t hurt anybody it isn’t evil, isn’t it? Paedophelia hurts people, of all people, catholics ought to know, given the recent news.

    But Briggs, now that I have your attention, the thread about evil needs some responding from you.

  23. Briggs

    January 31, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Hans,

    I hope to get to the evil thread this weekend. Rest assured that if you disagreed with me, you’re wrong (which ought to set your mind at rest, so you don’t have to wait for the dramatic conclusions). Only question is how.

    And congratulations on your family. I bet they’re praying for you!

  24. Sheri,

    But everything changes at 18. Look at the Florida senior who was jailed for doing what was (apparently) non-jailable only a few months before.

  25. Hans–pedophilia is only harmful because children are taught that it is. Period. If you teach children that sex with adults is okay, then they will buy it just like they did sex with the same sex is okay. Until the late 80’s, homosexuals were “mentally ill”. Children learn right from wrong because we tell them. I once had a psychologist tell me she was treating children removed from the home for incest. However, where these children came from this was normal–sex with a sibling was “practicing for marriage”. Now, she had to tell them that what their brothers did was wrong, creating a great deal of anymosity where none exist until the state became involved. We are not born with a moral sense. We are what we are taught and subsequently learn.

  26. Briggs,

    Nothing better to keep you warm in winter.

    That’s one big puppy!

  27. DAV–Yeah, very rational, don’t you think?

    (/sarc, in case someone can’t tell)

  28. Hans,

    Paedophelia hurts people, of all people

    Really hard to say. The definition changes from time to time and place to place. The guy in Duck Dynasty wife was 16 when they married; he was not. 16 is the age of consent in most states but it’s 18 in NY and CA where most of the television and movies are produced. This has led people to think of 18 as “the line” even in states where it is lower.

    I think Sheri has it right: pedophilia is only harmful because children are taught that it is.

  29. YOS, are you sure that you are not mixing old English and Latin in your Roman story. It is puer and puella in Latin. Vomitorium: In the hallway?

    Briggs “if you disagreed with me, you’re wrong”. You stole that from me, admit it.

  30. Fletcher Christian

    January 31, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Incidentally, I’d like to point out the difference between paedophilia and ephebophilia. Both reprehensible, but paedophilia is a whole lot worse.

  31. Sheri, DAV, Children are vulnerable, and need protecting. There have been recently a lot of sick-making peadophelic cases in the Netherlands, including baby(!)-rape.

    Compared to that: Grown up gays are not evil, that’s what this post is about: classic gay bashing.

  32. There is a difference between the words but not in the legal sense. True pedophilia is rare.

    Just out of curiosity and other than sputtering “Well, because it IS!”, can you say why you think one is worse than the other or even why either is reprehensible? Or are you merely going by what you’ve been told?

  33. Hans,

    Children are vulnerable, and need protecting.

    Which leads to the question of when childhood ends. Children also need protection from abhorrent ideas and I expect you would think those terrible ideas include viewing the concept of homosexuality as evil. You sound as though your response is primarily emotional. Can you explain your rationale of WHY you find you see those cases as “sick-making”? Or are you basing it on something you were taught?

  34. There have been recently a lot of sick-making peadophelic cases in the Netherlands, including baby(!)-rape.

    If it were common (i.e, a lot) then it wouldn’t be in the news and you likely wouldn’t be talking about it here. So, what’s your definition of “a lot”?

  35. Fletcher Christian

    January 31, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    DAV – Several reasons. First, paedophilia is completely unnatural whereas an attraction to sexually mature teenagers who just happen to be under an arbitrarily defined age of consent is not. The age of consent has varied from maybe 12 to 18 in recent history, after all. The term “jailbait” refers to a real phenomenon.

    In fact, way back when I was nearly caught in that trap myself, when a girl taller than I am (not difficult I grant you) and physically well developed (shall we say) came on to me in a nightclub at 2 AM. I could have sworn she was 20; she turned out to be 12, as revealed by a third party. Makeup can work wonders!

    A fixed age of consent leads to silliness such as a consenting couple being broken up because one of them has been arrested. Take a hypothetical example, a couple with ages 2 days apart (the male being the older) but up to now have not had intercourse. Perhaps inadvisably, they have sex 10 minutes before midnight on the day before the girl’s 16th birthday. Which makes the boy a felon. Sensible? And if they are both minutes short of 16, both of them are committing a felony – which is even more stupid.

    This is completely different from a similar case where the male is 35.

  36. Ye Olde Statisician

    January 31, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    The princess Beatrix of Burgundy was 12 when she was married to the Kaiser Friedrich Barbarossa. In most of medieval Europe, the age of consent was 12 for women and 14 for men. (Men were thought to mature later.)

    In Republican Rome, there was no age of consent. The paterfamilias had full control, no matter how old his children were.

  37. Briggs,

    Completely OT but I lack the ability to tweet.

    Those helicopters are needed to fend off blimp attacks. Never know when some misguided New Jerseyite will attach a bunch of balloons to a deck chair and lay waste to the stadium.

    Where I live it’s the nearly constant sound of emergency vehicle sirens and horns 24/7. There were 6 in the last 5 minutes and I expect to hear 6 more soon. Gotta wonder if all those emergencies are real in a city that’s less than 0.3% the size of NYC.

  38. Fletcher,

    First, paedophilia is completely unnatural

    Ok but so is a sexual attraction to dolls and wooden objects. Is the either better or worse that pedophilia? Is it being unnatural your only criterion?

    This is completely different from a similar case where the male is 35.

    And why is that? Because it’s unnatural for a 16 y.o. girl to find a 35 y.o male attractive? FWIW: A number of my girl friends have been close to 20 years younger than me and my ex was 10 years younger. Does that make me a pervert? What does it make them?

  39. Fletcher: Paedophilia cannot be completely unnatural if homosexuality is not. Both are sexual attractions and if one is built in, there’s no evidence whatsoever that ALL sexual orientations are not built in. You just don’t like paedophilia personally so you condemn people for engaging in it. Just like those who don’t like gays are so very condemn of a “natural” attraction. Exactly like that.

    Hans: Yes, children need protection from abhorrent ideas. Society used to call homosexuality an abhorrent idea, so I am assuming you were on board with teaching kids this concept. Sure, it changed now, but sex with 10 year olds could become the norm if enough very loud, very indignant, “we are NOT immoral” people demand it. After all, it worked for gays. Maybe they’ll just compare calling sex with 10 year olds bad the same as racism. That worked for gays too.

    This NOT gay bashing–it’s pointing out very clearly that the arguments that were made to make homosexuality seem acceptable also apply to every other sexual orientation. It’s just that pointing out that reality is called gay-bashing because there is no counter argument. That’s what people do when they can’t defend what they are doing–start claiming they are picked on and whine. Or ignore the main question as you have been doing–why is sex with children “unnatural” except that you don’t like it?

  40. “No animal has ever given its consent to anything.”

    Let’s see:

    -Humans are animals of the mammalian class. Can’t they consent?

    -Dogs often freely consent (in fact, invite may be a better term)to being petted and to having their ears scratched.

    -Cats ‘sometimes’ consent to being touched.

    -Many species of marine fish consent (willingly offer their most sensitive parts – gills)to cleaner wrasse.

    -Wild dolphins and whales have many times been observed consenting to human contact.

    -Wild birds often consent to perching on a person’s finger in exchange for food.

  41. Is there a same sex advocate here that can explain what is so special about the number 2 when it comes to marriage? Why not 3? Or ‘x’?
    Once the establishment of a family through procreation is no longer the main goal of marriage, I really don’t see the need to be limited to just one spouse.

  42. Thomas Didymus the Twin Twin

    January 31, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    GP, maybe you should give that question some more thought. The Old Testament procreators were very keen on X > 1.

  43. Thomas Didymus the Twin Twin

    January 31, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    I meant X > 2.

  44. Jesus never said don’t do it with animals?? That may be true, BUT, he did say he did not come to overturn the law but to fulfill it. The law says among many other things:

    Leviticus 18: v 23
    “Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it, that is a perversion. ” dog
    Leviticus 20: v 15
    “If a man has sexual relations with an animal, he must be put to death, and you must kill the animal.”
    Deuteronomy 27: v 21 Bestiality
    “Cursed is the man who has sexual relations with any animal,…..”

    I would also point out Jesus was more into forgiveness as he told the woman to go now and sin no more. He did NOT tell her it was cool or be more careful next time.

    I tend to agree with Ye Olde Statistician. Becoming a sex addict is not a very profitable way to spend you life. Being introduced to sex while your brain is still forming and your beliefs settling is more likely to make sex an overriding influence pushing more fruitful pursuits, for the individual and the society, to the side. Becoming involved with individuals who cannot give you the intellectual support the opposite sex can is also a negative.

  45. Thomas Didymus, the Old Testament procreators were told to go forth and multiply to fill the earth after the flood.

  46. What an individual decides to do, is always going to be the decision of that individual…

    ….but whether Society should permit a particular behavior should be based upon a strict Catholic reading of the Bible. If the Bible does not allow for a specific behavior, then anyone committing such an act should be thrown in jail or stoned.

    Isn’t that what all Posts of this kind boil down to?

  47. Briggs

    February 1, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Jim S,

    What a brilliant insight. Must have taken you hours to compose.

    Keep up the good work!

  48. KuhnKat: We’re trying to fill the earth. It’s just taking longer than we thought.

    Jim S: Not sure if all these posts boil down to “doing what Catholics” say or not. Seems many of us who are not Catholic are presenting completely non-religious reasons why a behaviour is bad and an argument is bad. May some of those “Catholic” beliefs really are rational and defensible and certainly worth considering. (I missed the part in the post about jailing or stoning.)

  49. Ye Olde Statisician

    February 1, 2014 at 10:38 am

    …should be based upon a strict Catholic reading of the Bible. If the Bible does not allow for a specific behavior, then anyone committing such an act should be thrown in jail or stoned.

    Actually, no. Neither the Orthodox nor Catholic churches base their teachings on a Protestant fundamentalism. The Catholic church, in particular, bases many teachings upon logic, reason, and the natural law. (Hence, the longstanding teaching that even atheists are capable of moral behavior.)

  50. “The Catholic church, in particular, bases many teachings upon logic, reason, and the natural law.”

    I’m sure you see it that way, but you are wrong. I doubt seriously that even the Pope would agree with your statement.

  51. Ah, apparently I have encountered the Devil’s advocates of paedophilia. Allow me to reconsider my debating strategy. 😉

  52. Fletcher Christian

    February 1, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Ye Olde Statisician – What, you mean such obviously logical teachings as the magical transformation of food and drink in the Communion ceremony, leading to ritual cannibalism?

    Or, for that matter, the two completely different genealogies for Jesus in the New Testament, both through Joseph and completely ignoring Mary, and irrelevant in any case because Joseph wasn’t Jesus’s father anyway?

  53. Ye Olde,
    The entire premise that (any) God exists is based upon faith – because there is absolutely no evidence that one exists. And the Catholic Church would agree with, and see no problem with, this statement. That some feel that they can rationalize his existence is not proof.

    Faith is not amenable to reason and logic – it is it’s antithesis. Faith can justify anything, and often has.

  54. Ye Olde Statisician

    February 1, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Ye Olde Statisician – What, you mean such obviously logical teachings as the magical transformation of food and drink in the Communion ceremony, leading to ritual cannibalism?

    The discussion regarded moral theology, not sacramental theology. “Magic” is the manipulation of hidden (occult) properties of matter. As such, it is related to natural science, which is the manipulation of known (manifest) properties of matter; or (more properly) the transformation of the formerly occult to the presently manifest. What happens in the consecration ceremony (not the communion ceremony) does not involve the manipulation of the matter at all.

    Or, for that matter, the two completely different genealogies for Jesus in the New Testament, both through Joseph and completely ignoring Mary, and irrelevant in any case because Joseph wasn’t Jesus’s father anyway?

    Again, irrelevant to moral theology. One mustn’t suppose that ancient authors had the same purposes in mind as a modern applicant for membership in the DAR. That is, geneologies possessed different purposes than biology, as one can tell from the formal structure, number of generations in each segment, periscoping, Matthew’s introduction of women, etc. As in all clan societies, A is considered the father of B under a wider range of relations than biological generation.

  55. Ye Olde Statisician

    February 1, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    The entire premise that (any) God exists is based upon faith – because there is absolutely no evidence that one exists.

    Oh, there’s plenty of evidence, but as with any other proposition the evidence is often interpreted according to different paradigms. Is an iridium-rich stratum in the rocks a sign of a prehistoric asteroid strike — or of the eruption of the Deccan Traps? Duhem tells of two physicists who perform the same experiment and obtain the same result, but one claimed the hypothesis proven and the other claimed it was falsified. This, because one follows the ideas of Lagrange and the other follows the ideas of Laplace and Poisson. That is, they had faith in these great scientists.

    Faith is not amenable to reason and logic – it is it’s antithesis.

    Partly right. To an outsider, the idea that one’s spouse is faithful is the very thing that can be destroyed if one begins to check up on it to verify. But it is by no means the “antithesis” of reason and logic. (Or even ‘evidence.’ You seem to have shifted from the physical to the non-physical there.) Indeed, one’s faith (=trust), whether in a person or a proposition, is surely strengthened by evidences, as well as by reason and logic.

  56. Here’s a thought. Maybe these questions generate so much intensity of debate because we are still influenced by the notion of community responsibility built into the stories where the Israelites get a plague because one of them sinned. I seem to recall Achan was one such. So your sins affect me directly so I must insist that you behave. Most will deny that they are so influenced, I guess, but I wonder.

  57. Rich: It’s probably not that I get a plague dropped on me because you insisted sex with sheep was acceptable. It’s more like people tend to like doing things that are forbidden (that’s why they call it temptation) and the more people who do it, the more likley even the “faithful” will drop out of the faith and go to the temptation side. Put bluntly and more secularly, bad behaviour tends to produce more bad behaviour. Which is apparently why God instructed ancient people to not fraternize with the “evil kids”. To this day, there are some religions that follow that instruction and do no associate with people outside their churches. You can discuss whether or not avoiding temptation versus resisting it forms a stonger faith, but look at society today and it’s pretty clear that bad behaviour results in more bad behaviour and more and more of what society once deemed wrong. I dont think it’s really an irrational fear of punishment–it’s a realization that humans follow the crowd right off the cliff.
    (The sin committed by Achan was against God specifically, and it seems that sins against God were always punished very harshly.)

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