William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

The Fourth Crisis Of The Church & Pope Francis

Athanasius was not too popular with the powers that were.

Athanasius was not too popular with the powers that were.

In lieu of our continuing tour through Summa Contra Gentiles, this post. The site that hosts the book is having hiccups—a subject which I know all about. Let’s pray it’s back by next week or we’ll have to seek new a new source.

We have the right pope for our times. Stick with me because what I mean by this is subtle.

Background first. I was watching Michael Voris’s video (is it just me or does anybody else wish he’d smile every so often?) the other day about Bishop Athanasius Schneider and his statement that “We are in the fourth great crisis of the Church”.. His Excellency is the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana, Kazakhstan, and, reports are—I have this from people who met him—a most holy man.

What were the first three crises? Crudely:

  1. A bishop of the Church, Arius, decided the Christ was Superman but not God. And he got quite a few people to follow him, before he died a most horrific death. The Pope at the time, siding with Arius, actually excommunicated that most tenacious defender of the faith, Saint Athanasius (what would bloggers have said about this?). This was the first major split.
  2. Some bishops and priests of the Church thought the pope ought not to receive any special distinction and that the State should. This lead to the division of the East and West. The bright spot is that divorce is showing small signs of repairing itself.
  3. A priest of the Church, Martin Luther, was dissatisfied by the way the Church ran its business (a healthy complaint), but he also thought it would be grand if everybody could eschew tradition and interpret the Bible as they may. This would be like allowing civilians to define, say, quantum mechanics as the spirit moves them—which happens and is how we ended up with Deepak Chopra, and with innumerable Protesting Christian sects, most of which are filled with earnest, and honest, and faithful people, a circumstance which is not stopping them from melting away like the wicked witch of the West.

Bishop Schenider says the fourth crisis is caused by certain priests and bishops of the Church embracing a “new paganism”. This is so but perhaps there exists better, more evocative names. I think loss of essence superior.

It is the essence of man to be a rational creature. It is his nature to procreate: the division of the sexes is part of this nature, and must be acknowledged. Marriage must be the union between a man and woman, and because the essence of this union is procreation, the mating must be for life and should be without impediment (there’s a good euphemism for you). That means families are a natural part of our existence (acknowledged since Aristotle’s day, rejected finally in ours). Holding to essence—to natural law, that is—logically implies that any situation differing from these must be against Truth and should be resisted.

Western culture is running away from essence faster than a congressman does his obligations. This is why there are members of the Church saying that women can be priests (funny they never argue men should be nuns), that contraception and abortion are hunky dory, that those with same-sex attraction are not harming themselves or others by acting on their lusts and that their unions of two (for now) should be blessed in the Church. This is why they are saying divorce is okay, why “gender” is something we construct and is not based in biological reality.

You know the rest. Disbelief in essence, wedded to a profound manic irrational desire for Equality in everything, defines The Crisis. If not contravened, it will corrode the Church—and the whole of the West, too, for that matter.

Now to the Pope. Anybody who follows the Church knows that Pope Francis likes to shoot from the hip—whether he’s wearing his pistols or not (I can torture metaphors better than most). Harsh, perplexing words come out of his mouth one day, which are followed the next by corrections and amplifications; not from the Pope, but from his staff and others.

Last October, the Synod on the Family Part I resulted in a comic spectacle where modern versions of Bishop Arius released a document which not only denied the essence of man, but said that man was of a fluid, self-defined nature. From this it somehow followed that those who prefer sex outside marriage have special “gifts and qualities” with “sexual orientations” which should be “valued”. (The final relatio was modified, to a certain extent, but the writers of the first draft still exist.)

The Pope doesn’t correct himself publicly. He is seemingly content to let both the right and the left applaud or react with dismay. Yet his behavior has particularly emboldened the left. Gone are the whispers for female ordination and blessing of same-sex attraction: now come defiant public pronouncements and demands.

The Pope has succeeded in drawing the enemies of essence into the open. The enemies of natural law have left themselves with no retreat. Whether the Pope did this out of cunning or merely because the Holy Spirit knew what He was doing (or both) is beside the point. This is the right Pope for our time. What does it all mean?

The Synod reconvenes this October. Since the Church is not a political organization but the Body of Christ, the result must be the upholding of doctrine. Dogma will not change. It can’t. To say that this will not please the new pagans in the Church (I saw nothing about the opinions of those outside her walls) is as gross an understatement as claiming our National Debt is harmless.

Shocked horror. Panic. Actual fainting. Torn and abandoned vestments. Weeping and gnashing of teeth. A split; schism, even. Those who would align themselves with the decadent culture, those who would be “on the right side of history“, those who would abandon their very nature will throw a conniption fit more powerful than the eruption of Vesuvius. It will wondrous to watch.

The only uncertainty is tempo. No previous crisis played out in Hollywood time, thus it is rational to conclude this spiritual civil war, which Bishop Athanasius said started the first time somebody said “spirit of Vatican II”, will be years of calumny and heartbreak. How many? Five? Ten? Twenty? You tell me.

34 Comments

  1. An interesting take. My take on the three crises (only three?).

    1) An iota of a difference.
    2) Something to do with Charlemagne.
    3) I doubt if Luther thought that everyone should interpret the Bible as they may. His view should be paramount.

    Nit picks: We do have male nuns. They are called monks.

    “Since the Church is not a political organization but the Body of Christ, the result must be the upholding of doctrine. Dogma will not change.”
    I wish I understood what this meant? If Arius had prevailed, that would be your current view. I would suspect that most Christians really do think in Arian terms as it is easier to understand, even as they state the Athanasian position.

  2. Sander van der Wal

    February 1, 2015 at 10:04 am

    The essence of a naturally evolved man is to try to procreate. As long as enough humans manage to procreate there’s no danger to the essence of man becoming a thing of the past.

    One can even argue that the occasional failure to get a human that wants to procreate or is at least capable of it, is part of the essence of a naturally evolved human. After all, “good enough” is part of the essence of evolution.

  3. “This would be like allowing civilians to define, say, quantum mechanics as the spirit moves them”
    Appeal to authority? Is that acceptable in religion but no where else?

    I did not realize the Bible was as complex as quantum mechanics. I really thought God wrote it for people to read and use as a guide book, thus eliminating any need to have an “authority” on God. The authority was the Bible, not a person. Of course allowing this would entail the same risk as say, allowing Adam and Eve choices in the Garden of Eden. Not unheard of—God seems to let people make their own choices in most everything. The need for an intermediary just adds a way to suppress thinking and gain control. At least it seems to have in virtually every religion throughout history. Throw in a single leader and either things go downhill or the leader becomes the worshipped, not God.

  4. Briggs

    February 1, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Sheri,

    I’d say the Bible was more complicated than Quantum Mechanics! I know that I, who partially understand QM, and who have read the Bible, certainly know far less about the latter. I’m glad to have the Magisterium guide me.

    And I think you are, too. Just think about how atheists can take a passage out of context to “prove” whatever they want. Interpretation matters.

    About choices we are in complete agreement. As we are that those holding to faith have no real disagreement.

  5. Since Sander has brought up the point, a few thoughts on the pending collapse of procreation.

    To reproduce a population you need slightly more than two children per female, on average, in each generation. But this is an average and what is really needed is the distribution. A number of large families that produce a variety of healthy children are needed to balance the small or unhealthy children of other families. Even in a large family there are going to be some children who, for whatever reason, do not marry or have children of their own. The problem now is that most people look at two children as a maximum and the importance of a few large families has been forgotten. This just cannot work. Evolution in action if you will. Not all couplings are made equal; just look at nineteen kids and counting.

  6. I am not a scientist, just an avid reader of your blog. My writing to you has nothing to do with this recent post, instead it has to do with an article that appeared in todays (02/01/15) Washington Post. Attached is the link to the article:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/whats-the-right-temperature-for-the-earth/2015/01/29/b2dda53a-7c05-11e4-84d4-7c896b90abdc_story.html?hpid=z3

    I am very curious as to your thoughts regarding their stated claim of “Geoengineering the Climate”. It seems to me to be Pandora’s Box. Something that should be left alone, as we currently do not know what the consequences will be once opened. I am very interested in what the effects to sea water would be after sulfur dioxide is released into the stratosphere and then settles to earth. I thank you for your time.

  7. No, Briggs, I am not in agreement with you this time. My understanding was that the Bible was the guidebook. God would have been very foolish to make a guidebook only certain individuals understand. It should not need interpreted by a leader.

    Yes, interpretation matters. That’s what studying the Bible is for. And I have studied it from the “independent church” (no association or leader–that was the church I was in when I was young), Jehovah Witnesses, Unification Church, Unitarian “Church”, etc., and what I learned was semantics are a real sticking point in all denominations. There are fundamental, overlapping interpretations in most of the Christian religions and some others. The remaining points are what divide churches. Now there are more divides over the desire of people to have a religion with no rules, something I have never understood.

    I cannot treat religion as something I don’t question, don’t learn more about, etc because that’s not how I view the world. God should make sense, the Bible should make sense and if it doesn’t, then I need to figure out why. I know how people take passages out of context–but what kind of a person would I be if an atheist could so easily trick me? I should be able to defend my beliefs and the only way I can do that is to use the Bible as a guidebook. Not someone’s interpretation of it.

  8. Briggs

    February 1, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Sheri,

    Although there are minor disagreements (which we should discuss someday), I think we’re in agreement over most major things. For instance, the basis of our faith. And the loss of the meaning of man, his place, his essence, and the consequences flowing from this.

    Interestingly, those Church leaders who call for support of abortion, same-sex “marriage” etc. use Biblical passages to justify their opinion. Interpretation again.

    Update And then there’s things like this. We’ll have to do this, too.

  9. Yes, we are in agreement on most things, which is interesting since we arrived there from very different paths. Definitely on the basis of faith, how man has declined, etc. The consequences predicted for several changes in society such as birth control, abortion, etc. we agree on. There are some interesting “unintended consequences” to some of the arguments on abortion, same-sex marriage, etc.

    It’s a bit frightening that the Catholic church seems headed in the direction of forced redistribution of wealth. Of course, it would not be the first time nor the last that an idea has shown itself to be wrong, as your post shows. It does seem odd that some science is followed and some is not, plus I wonder about who has been educating the Church concerning “science”.

  10. Sheri / Briggs

    I trust the Jeremiah 31:31-34 promise:

    34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying: Know the Lord: for all shall know me from the least of them even to the greatest…

    A “religion with no rules” is no more oxymoronic than a “religion with rules”.

  11. I enjoyed this take on what is going on and think it could be right – the Church in our day is definitely ready for a tightening of orthodoxy and then orthopraxis and this would be a subtle way to do it.

    I think it actually is a complement to this in First Things:

    http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2015/02/a-fourth-francis

  12. Briggs, I hope you’re right about Francis. I’m much concerned about his embrace of the AGW hypothesis.
    Briggs and Sheri: I think there may be more interpretations to quantum mechanics (at least 18 according to a Wikipedia article) than to Holy Scripture. The calculations might be done in several ways, albeit there is but one Schrodinger equation (formulated in different ways), although there are two ways of looking at time change (evolution): the Schrodinger (evolution of the state function), the Heisenberg (evolution of the operators).

  13. Briggs

    February 1, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    All,

    Interpretation gone awry.

    Jesus Christ Wasn’t Down With Marriage.

    While Jesus is adamantly opposed to divorce, he never once speaks in favor of marriage. He never celebrates a wedding (from a historian’s perspective, facilitating drunkenness at the Wedding at Cana is less evidence of Jesus’s support of marriage than of his desire to keep the party going) and describes heaven as a place where marriage no longer exists. It’s called heaven for a reason…

    She concludes same-sex “marriage” is thus okay.

  14. Thanks for the update on the insanity of Christian belief. It’s still marginally better than most of the others though.

  15. Briggs, today’s reading addresses some of these very points.

    http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/020115.cfm

  16. ad: The insanity of anarchy far surpasses that of religion, yet millions now cry out daily for it.

    Briggs: Women can write the most insane things. With absolute faith and belief in the insanity they write. Christ didn’t say anything about day care or government health care, either, so why do we want those?

  17. I agree partially with you, but not on everything, e.g. on the role of women in the church. In my opinion our pope tends to the right direction for that subject, whereas he is wrong on secular issues such as migration and AGW.

    It is hard for humans to know God’s intentions for us. Jesus did not give clear instructions about many issues, such as the possible clerical roles for women. So in principle part of the current church rules may be wrong. How can God communicate clarifications to us? He cannot send some paperwork to earth, or a CD-Rom or USB stick. His messaging should probably be through prophets and/or spiritual visionaries. Many people may claim to be a prophet or visionary, but how to judge their reliability? Somehow God should provide accompanying evidence.

    The following case relates to my earlier stated opinion.

    My late father studied for decades claimed apparitions from heaven, and tried to judge their reliability and interpret the messages. One source he investigated were the so called apparitions of Mary in Amsterdam, from 1945 to 1959, under the title Lady of All Nation. On 10 December 1950 the seer, named Ida Peerdeman, reported:

    “Then it is as if the Lady unites those two rows of people. She brings them together with an arch. Now I see endless rows of men and women next to one another. Then all of a sudden that arch forms a large dome, and above that dome it forms into a large church. Inside that church I see the following image appear: a white dove emitting rays of light.”

    From this my father concluded that women should have access to the same roles as men in the church. I think this conclusion is warranted, assuming that the apparitions are genuine.

    In the decades of the Amsterdam apparitions the church dismissed these, partly because some of the messages are critical of the church. However, in the nineties bishop Bomers of Haarlem, to whose diocese Amsterdam belongs, became supportive. In 2002 his successor Punt concluded that the Amsterdam apparitions are of supernatural origin. A few years later this recognition was undermined somewhat by Archbishop Amato, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

    So who is right in this? My father was convinced that the church had not carefully investigated the case of Amsterdam. In the second half of 1965 he noticed some remarkable coincidences, seeming to imply that a specific dream of saint Don Bosco would soon apply to the Dutch bishops. In January 1966 my father wrote a warning letter to the seven Dutch bishops, stating three of them might soon die. This came quite accurately true. 18 years later my father found that this tale matched some passages in the book of Revelation.

    More details are here on my web site.

    What could a statistician say about the significance of such coincidences?

  18. Briggs,
    It’s a ridiculous exaggeration to say Luther “also thought it would be grand if everybody could eschew tradition and interpret the Bible as they may.” His theology was miles away from do-your-own-thing. It centered on justification by faith rather than works, a doctrine clearly established in the Pauline letters of the New Testament. The problem Luther found with Catholic practice was that it let tradition supercede Biblical teaching. Luther sought reform, not anarchy. He didn’t leave his church; it kicked him out. Some traditions that remain today in Lutheran denominations — infant baptism and liturgical forms of corporate worship for example — have Catholic roots. Not all tradition was rejected carte blanche.

    It’s also wrong to lay the blame for denominational splits and the rise of cults solely on Luther. While error will always tag along in the pursuit of truth, the spirit of reform, aided by the printing press and education, was breaking out at that time anyway. Jan Hus, John Wycliffe, and John Calvin are examples of reformers besides Luther. The reawakening to spiritual understanding would have happened without him.

  19. @André van Delft

    Speaking as someone who is trained in statistics: Loads of people make load of claims. Gather enough together, and sift through them all, and you will still find many who had claims for the (then) future that came true. This is not necessarily due to the qualities of the individual, but due to there being a probabalistic distribution, and a large enough sample size.

    Those claiming to be able to predict future events often keep events fairly vague (in the “near future” 3 of 7 old men will die. However could I have predicted that?)

    And those supporting these people will often ignore the ways in which a prediction was wrong, or the times when the prediction was entirely wrong.

    Future-reading scams are often built around this principle. In fact, there was an episode of mathlock built around this idea. And by the way, no, that’s not a typo. I’m talking about a sub-show inside the old children’s math TV show “321 countdown”.

    There may be modern day prophets with visions by God. But before I even say “Yes, there are” I will need deeper bible study, since I have seen controversy over that question… let alone whether any individual is in fact prophesying the future, or new revelations of instructions from God.

  20. Briggs
    Francis the right Pope for our time . God is sovereign . He appoints leaders , even those who are liberal . His will will prevail.
    Christ is on the throne and He is the standard by which we measure up to . The magisterium is false if it’s not directly from Gods word. Francis can be wrong . One never puts ones trust in a man’s interpretation . Yes it’s said he can be led by the Spirit but all I’ve seen is a man afraid to speak out against the ills of the culture . Maybe he’s aquiring everyone’s opinion but while he does that his flock are beaten and devoured . I’ve seen more courage from Benedict his predecessor .
    Voris is right in many things although he too can often succumb to tradition as if that were the truth . Tradition is helpful at times but it must never supersede the Scripture . That’s the problem with Catholicism . it’s like the box of chocolates : you never know what you’re going to get . Tradition is on a par with Gods word . That’s the real problem in Catholicism .

    If one simply looks at the bible honestly one cannot go astray but some Priests and so called “Protestant Christian “pastors now have , particularly with regard to same sex marriage . They’ve distorted the scriptures . Blind guides ! When you read the passages in Romans 1, 1 Cor 6 , Matthew 19, Mark 10:6 how can you interpret them any differently than the plain reading of the text ? One man one woman . No to homo sex .

    Sin abounds but be clear .
    Christ has died for our wickedness . He is the propitiation, the substitute , the ransom , the suffering servant , the one who got the blame and the one who atoned for our wrongs.
    His resurrection is proof that He is alive and lives to intercede for us . God was pleased to let Him go to the cross for our sakes , for our sin and to vindicate Him in the resurrection .Why ? Because God loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son . If we believe in Him we have eternal life . But If any man doesn’t believe in the Son , he is condemned .

    Let is pray for the Body of Christ: Those Catholics who follow Christ , those Protestants who follow Christ , those non denom Christians who follow Christ .

    Christ is The truth ( the essential One ) He is The way . He is The life . Follow Him .

  21. @Josh,

    It was not just about “3 of 7 old men will die”. You can read details in the pages that I linked to. A short summary:

    The letter pointed at 2 bishops in particular (Haarlem implicitly and Breda explicitly), for improper handling alleged apparitions. These two bishops were among the three that died.
    Two days after sending the warning letter, the newspapers reported that one of the bishops (of ‘s Hertogenbosch) had been diagnosed a brain tumor.
    The first bishop died on the eve of the date that my father had mentioned as possible starting date.
    The letter took about a half year of preparation. During that period my father took two striking events as a confirmation he was on the right track.
    One of these was the comet Ikeya Seki, which broke in October 1965 in three pieces just before its perihelion. Its journey through the constellations matched elements of the prophesies by Daniel and the Revelation, and of apparitions in Garabandal, exactly 4 years earlier.

    My father had never had an apparition himself nor did he ever hear a strange voice or so. He held a PhD in economics, and he aimed to study supernatural phenomena in a scientific way. He studied the bible, alleged apparitions and real world events. He reasoned and wrote, and published at irregular intervals.

    He had a mail discussion with bishop Simonis of Rotterdam, who would later become the archbishop of Utrecht and head of the Dutch church province.
    Simonis did not believe in the Amsterdam apparitions, and he sincerely asked my father what criteria he would propose to discriminate between real and false apparitions. My father replied that he could not give such straight criteria, because then the devil would be able to abuse this. The only thing that he trusted was whether the coincidences are striking enough.

  22. Dogma does change. Christians even invented a word for it: exegesis.

    I’m puzzled by the opinion that Luther said everyone can interpret the Bible any way they wished when Luther was so adamant that a literal interpretation was what was so important and not the more ‘flexible’ interpretations of the Catholics.

    As for the notion that the Bible was written as a guide book that anyone could understand… I wonder what one should make of the story of Jesus and the fig tree then.

  23. Will: A guidebook is not supposed to be taken one story at at time, apart from all the rest. If I gave you one story from the pilgrims, devoid of all other background, your interpretation of it is going to be different than someone who has the whole story. Briggs mentioned this above–people like to take parts and try to disprove the entire Bible and interpretations based on single passages. The entire Bible is the guidebook, not one verse. (What does one make of the story of the fig tree, in the context of the entire Bible and by ripping out one story? I’m curious.)

  24. To say that this will not please the new pagans in the Church (I saw nothing about the opinions of those outside her walls) is as gross an understatement as claiming our National Debt is harmless.

    Shocked horror. Panic. Actual fainting.

    I find this all good. Let everyone be aware of what it comes when you try to enter this silly institution with some people with funny hats pretending to have some inside information about the eternal. It kinda reminds me of all those silly leftist people who are all buddy buddies with the muslim communities and pretending that it’s all a big miscommunication, we should all just embrace one another and basically not think too much about beheadings, honor killings and terrorism. You wanna confront them and tell ’em, “you go to Iraq and tell ISIS just that, let’s see how many minutes you can survive”.

    There’s nothing like an Encounter (in the christian sense) with the Lacanian cut of the Real to get these people’s idiocies out of their brainless skulls. Sometimes, it takes shock. I won’t mind.

  25. And an angry, insulting, bitter atheist is such a selling point for why atheism is the superior form of living, right?

  26. I’ve been taught that in order to interpret the Bible one should look at the historical, literary, theological and devotional meaning behind the passages. Most people skip the historical context and that is a shame. I was confirmed in the Roman Catholic church but this guidance was given to me by my wife’s protesting Lutheran church. Without studying the Bible myself, using this guidance, how would I use my gift of discerning spirits to understand when someone else is distorting the message? IOW, if I accept meaning only as given from religious authority, how do I discern when authority is abusing their mission?

  27. Paul W: Excellent point.

  28. Sheri, reading the Bible end to end will offer you no explanation on the story of the fig tree. That’s why the story also puzzles Biblical scholars. Candida Moss’s absurd misinterpretation is not a problem of context. How can one be ‘against’ marriage yet also ‘against’ divorce? One might as well assume that if someone was ‘for’ a healthy diet they must ‘by implication’ be ‘against’ eating vegetables. If you’ve made an argument like that, you’ve clearly just confused yourself.

    Only historical context will help one understand why Jesus, as a champion of social justice, was against divorce. (Because women were essentially property in the ancient world with no rights whatsoever. Divorce meant there was nosplit of assets with the husband. A divorced woman without economic means would be forced into slavery or worse.)

    Luther objected to Catholic exegesis because he found many of their interpretations all too convenient for financial gain. The Catholics of course then pointed to the absurdity of literal interpretations of such thing as parables.

  29. “Since the Church is not a political organization but the Body of Christ, the result must be the upholding of doctrine. Dogma will not change. It can’t.”

    True enough, but that’s not necessarily the danger. The danger is that the dogma is somehow, somewhat muddily upheld, but winks and nods tell bishops and priests that it’s up for grabs. Defacto heresy.

    It will be even more difficult to uproot. At least Luther had the integrity to leave. Today’s crowd want to subvert from within.

    I am not at all confident that Pope Francis will draw the clear line that needs to be drawn. Maybe – I hope I’m wrong. But what if the winks and nods start at the very top? Or, just the shoot from the hip wisecracks and then let everyone “applaud or be dismayed,” leaving plenty of room for license?

    Even if Pope Francis does write/speak clearly and the Synod issues a clarion call for truth, this looks like a replay of Humane Vitae where dissension was allowed to air itself so freely for so long that when the Church finally taught authoritatively, it was widely ignored. Maybe it would have been ignored anyway, but it’s a commonplace that people got their hopes up and got themselves convinced that a particular outcome was on the way.

  30. Sola Scriptura? Wasn’t the Bible as we know it written a long time after the faith was handed down , compiled from texts including the Septuagint, and did it not have the consent of all the Church ( at that time Orthodox) ? Tradition may be said to be prior to that written collection , be it in Greek or Latin.
    Sola Scriptura is often said to be a Protestant attitude.

  31. If one simply looks at the bible honestly one cannot go astray

    That seems rather odd given the proliferation of interpretations.

    your interpretation of it is going to be different than someone who has the whole story.

    Interesting, given that the Protestant bible itself does not contain the whole story. Which leads to the question, what is scripture anyway? And who gets to decide? Why should anyone take Luther’s view of which books are scripture, say over Joseph Smith? Why can’t I say a particular letter (or passage) of Paul’s strikes me as odd, so I don’t accept it as scripture? And what of the end of John’s gospel which admits that all of Christ’s teaching wouldn’t fit in all the books? Or Paul himself who instructs Christians to hold on what has been handed down, both orally and written? Sorry, but this “scripture is its own authority” thing just doesn’t hold water, particularly when scripture itself points to an authority (Peter and the keys) – how do you interpret that?

  32. The other Sears,

    This reminds me of Robert Conquest’s Three Laws of Politics:

    1. Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.

    2. Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.

    3. The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.

  33. “Western culture is running away from essence faster than a congressman does his obligations. This is why there are members of the Church saying that women can be priests (funny they never argue men should be nuns), that contraception and abortion are hunky dory, that those with same-sex attraction are not harming themselves or others by acting on their lusts and that their unions of two (for now) should be blessed in the Church. This is why they are saying divorce is okay, why “gender” is something we construct and is not based in biological reality.”
    I have a few concerns with this paragraph.
    1) No one argues a man should be a nun because the equivalent of a nun is a friar while there is no equivalent to priest. While the word priestess exists, it does not apply to Christians.
    2) Contraception and abortion are religious beliefs; other people may have different beliefs. To force people to follow your religious beliefs is contrary to your first amendment that state that congress shall make no law promoting a religion over another. Also religion should not apply in secular law. This is what separation of states and religion means.
    3) But the real litigious point is “that those with same-sex attraction are not harming themselves or others by acting on their lusts and that their unions of two (for now) should be blessed in the Church”
    a) No church is forced to perform same sex marriage, each of the father acts according to their own beliefs and no catholic priest as ever performed such a marriage. Mostly all are done at town hall by civil servant.
    b) Lust includes many things including oral sex, anal sex and sex for the simple pleasure of doing it. God will render his judgment at death and this only regards each individual, meaning that action of others does not reflect on you, unless that you believe hurricane punishment from god against homosexuality. But then why does god inflict greater punishment to people that lives in open society like Quebec or Canada.
    c) Mainly the beliefs that consenting action between adult individuals can harm someone that is not part of the action is ridiculous and this kind of belief is very akin to the beliefs by Nazis that the gene pool from Jews were downgrading their the German gene pool, which led to the final solution because of course no western country were opening their arm to accept the Jews on their land.

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