William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Norway’s Official Church Surrenders Christianity

Marriage, not gmarriage.

Marriage, not gmarriage.

They weren’t the first Christian sect to surrender and they won’t be the last, but the Norwegian church is one of the official state churches to give up on holy matrimony. The headline is “Norway’s Lutheran Church to celebrate gay weddings“.

Norway’s largest religious body, the Lutheran Church, voted by an overwhelming majority on Monday to allow gay marriages in its places of worship, a right enjoyed in only a few other countries.

Eighty-eight of 115 participants at a synod in the western town of Trondheim voted in favour of developing a second wedding service that would enable the Church to marry both same-sex and heterosexual couples.

Widely expected, the result was met with a standing ovation from participants who could be seen sharing tearful hugs in a live webcast, with only a few disappointed faces in the crowd.

Only Sweden and Denmark have so far allowed gays to marry in a major Church, in addition to several congregations in the Anglo-Saxon world.

Norway is, in the tangled phrase, a parliamentary representative democratic constitutional monarchy. Which is to say, the country votes on cultural matters. And, as has always been obvious to those who stop to think on it, countries that vote on cultural matters eventually vote the wrong way and thus descend into madness.

Can Truth be voted on? Of course not, yet democracies believe it can. In a democracy, especially an old one, the voting process, like in a bureaucracy, becomes the overarching goal, not Truth. The Truth is that two men cannot be married to one another and, even more importantly and a point almost always forgotten, it is morally absurd and quite evil to force anybody to say that two men are married.

(The same is true for two women, incidentally, but men go off the rails faster than women sexually. If you agree with that biological fact, it is easy to show that you must eventually conclude that two men or two women cannot marry.)

Another instance. Up until last week in these once United States we didn’t need a law to say that perverted and insane men are barred from women’s bathrooms. The culture itself provided that knowledge. But a good portion of the citizens began to lose their sense of truth on this simple subject, and a local government felt it had to make such a law. This is unfortunate because it reinforces the false notion that Truth can be legislated, i.e. voted on. It’s true the law in this case came down on the side of angels, but what can be voted up can, and surely will, be voted down.

Just like laws now forcing people to say two men are married (bakeries have to bake cakes etc.), it’s a good bet there will be duly enacted legislation by democratically elected politicians to force citizens to say that certain men are women. This is evil; it is tyranny. There are no other words for it. But it will all be “legal”.

Interestingly, in 2012 government adopted a constitutional amendment to officially change the name of Norwegian church to the “Norway’s people’s church”. This followed a similar move in Denmark, which also voted to call Falsity truth in the matter of marriage. Punters surely put their money on the side of gmarriage when that happened. The closer a body moves towards mass democracy, the faster and more likely it will go off the rails.

According to some reports, “priests who do not want to marry a same-sex couple will still have the right to object. Clergy members are given the chance to decline performing ceremonies if they disapprove of same-sex marriage.”

These sort of accommodations never last. Secular Bishops will put the squeeze on recalcitrant clergy who hold to Christianity, moving them to dilapidated parishes, say, or making them page count hymn books, or whatever. Only a few will resist. Some will leave the church, but probably more will never enter it, preferring to join a Church where voting is not given prominence.

What about other state churches in Democracy? Space does not permit a full analysis. Suffice to say many of them have given up The Ghost. The Church of England plans “blessings” of gmarriages, though it says it will forbid gmarriage proper on church precincts. This is, of course, de facto gmarriage, and it’s a good guess the first clergywoman who performs a gmarriage will not be punished.

Not too many places left who hold to the Truth.

36 Comments

  1. I’m shocked. Guess it follows, since the country fed its citizenry to the Muslims as an appeasement of evil measure.

    Churches are always applauded when the evil agree with them. Should be clue…..Of course, at that point, they are NOT Christian churches any more.

    Truth CAN be voted on, it just doesn’t make it true. Heck, you can vote on the color of the sky, your gender, whether you’re a human or not. One can vote on anything. It just doesn’t make it true.

    While it will never be voted true, bread and circuses, denial of reality, celebrating deviancy, etc all lead to anarchy, massive violence and decades of poverty and imprisonment by those who are the strongest and most violent. No one seems to understand or perhaps even that when rules are removed or perverted, the biggest, meanest, most violent individual becomes the ruler and rules with that brutality, even though it means they too will be brutalized by the new ruler. Removal of rules is giving the most violent person in society a green light to rape, pillage and murder. Always happens, always will. If those silly progressives who claim to believe Darwin really did, they’d see it coming.

  2. It will be interesting to see how long the non-democratic Christians (Catholics, Mormons) can hold on to their standards. I’m pretty sure the Apostles and early disciples did not vote on things but it did not take long for committee to replace revelation.

  3. Where the culture is leading us with the acceptance of gay marriage and even with the bathrooms-for-all movement is that when the next set of “demands” comes that those who oppose them will be powerless to launch a vigorous defense, because so much ground has been ceded (certainly due to the simple fact of being worn down and berated by the cultural elites and their followers–and who has the energy or the will to defend positions that in the not-so-distant past were the norm?). The only question is where will this next battle be played. My guess is pederasty. Will we have to serve our children on a platter to those who wish to do them harm? Will the state mandate it? Surely you laugh at such absurdity, but who are we, indeed, to judge?

  4. PS Let’s consider minors who sext and also the shocking rate that teachers are engaging in relations with their students. In the case of sexting, some municipalities are decriminalizing the action. To cast a youngster as a “sex offender” really is too much. And there is the nuisance factor with having to deal with teachers and (non-profit club) leaders who bed their wards. It is just so much easier to decriminalize everything, and voila, no one has a record that will follow them all their live-long days.

  5. Not too many places left who hold to the Truth.
    That’s why it’s called the remnant. State-Churches never were nor can be “the church” of Jesus. For that matter, neither was much of the Catholic Church, mainline Protestant denomination, or any other political body masquerading as “the church.” That entity is the collection of spiritually reborn believers whose membership transcends organizational structures. A few stems of wheat among the more numerous tares in a thousand fields.

  6. Can we finally dispense with all of the tortured verbiage that we use to describe the pitiful ones? Things like homosexuality, bi-sexuality, transgenderism and such are not accurate or even approximate to the truth. The only term that fits is this: Auto-Sexuals. Me first, me last, me always!

  7. If the World (the Universe and all that’s in it) is presumed to be in a state of perpetual development (or “becoming”) via Darwinian survival or Hegelian dialectics then the only criterion of “goodness” or “trueness” is that which survives or triumphs.

    I will defend the above proposition if the “Ministry of Truth” does not censor out “inconveniences” to the “established ideological correctness”; such as is my almost universal experience up to date.

    Haters of God and Man do not want to have or propagate in their progeny Life, Truth, or the desire for goodness (Will).

  8. swordfishtrombone

    April 24, 2016 at 8:29 am

    There shouldn’t be official state religions anyway.

    @ Mr. Briggs: “it is morally absurd and quite evil to force anybody to say that two men are married”

    No one is forcing you. But it seems you’re unhappy with the world as it is now and Norway and Denmark are such awful, evil places aren’t they? (Although a country that can produce “Borgen”, “The Killing” and “Rita” isn’t doing too bad.) It seems that you’d prefer to turn back the clock to the good old days, when “gmarriage” wasn’t a thing – maybe back to when single mothers were locked in insane asylums and their children taken from them? Perhaps further back to when slavery was allowed? Maybe back to stoning people to death for adultery?

  9. swordfishtrombone: You twit! Who are you to be so intolerant as to tell Norway they should not have a state religion if they want one. You are just a hater and a control freak.
    Nice try, but everyone except the progressives, who know but lie about knowing, knows that one MUST say gay people are married and are normal. Try saying the opposite. If you’re lucky, you’ll only get hate mail and your house egged. If not, you’ll end up fired and/or jailed. Calling homosexuality a sin called hate speech. (Used to be religion freedom, but since the intolerant ones took over, there’s no religion allowed.) One may get away with it on the internet (more European countries are monitering the internet for such things—mostly anti-Muslim speech, those folks who just happen to stone homosexuals, but it’s okay if they do that just not anyone else), but not in real life. No one is allowed to say homosexuality is sin, a mental illness, perverted or anything but normal.
    Again, nice try on the progressive tome of “the good old days”, but that argument says Hitler was very right and good in what he did because it was “progress” and all progress is good. It also says the Crusades were good, because they were progress. I’d be careful what you wish for. Along with stoning people, we get Roman Emperors, Lenin, Marx (oh, I forgot, he’s a hero), etc. Funny how progress is supposed to then stop (as in we can’t become enlightened and outlaw the insanity of gmarriage and psychotic language usage because it was a complete failure and damaged society) at the point the progressives get what they want . Progressive dogma is extremely intolerant and controlling. It is not progress, it is slavery.

  10. swordfishtrombone says “No one is forcing you.”

    Perhaps coercion is a better word for legal charges against bakers and photographers. “Call me married or else!”

  11. …Male and female he created them.
    Genesis. 1:27

    That’s what being attacked. I blame the ubiquitousness of contraception which makes the heterosexual union akin to sodomy. There is very little difference between a contracepting couple and sodomites and of course now we see many “childfree” heterosexual couples contracepting for life, steralizing themselves, having multiple abortions and so forth. This is why sex is being erased in our culture all together. Progressives do not like sex nor do they even know what it is, progressives like the self serving side effects of sex only, the pleasure, the romanticism etc.. But they hate any sense of responsiblity or self sacrifice. To them “sex” is bringing someone to orgasm, and if that is all it is, maleness and femaleness are no longer required for it to be performed, ergo this notion that sodomy is “equal” to the sex act, ergo “gay marriage”. And if maleness and femaleness does not matter when it comes to the sex act, it shan’t matter any other time since the sex act is what defines maleness and femaleness to begin with ergo transgenderism. Any “church” or society that accepts “gmarriage” will have to logically accept transgenderism, abortion etc… Not only because such societies accept the manipulation of truth in law but also because these are all related concepts that have to do with undermining God’s design and purpose for sex.

  12. Eve: So it’s either marry and make babies or never marry and stay celibate? Regardless of one’s income, ability to care for children, health, etc. Either make babies or no sex. Ever.

  13. Sheri “Either make babies or no sex.”

    Yes, that is the Catholic way. It is the purpose of sex; in fact, it is the purpose of life itself.

    You have one purpose in life; to help your gametes meet other gametes. Women in particular lose interest in sex once her gametes are no longer interested in meeting other gametes.

    You are permitted and encouraged to enjoy sex, but its purpose is reproduction.

  14. Luckily, I’m not Catholic, so I’m more than a baby maker. (Never did understand where the rule came from, but that’s okay. It does preclude people with illnesses and disabilities that won’t allow reproduction or would make reproduction problematic from ever getting married or having sex. So God never intended for any sick or disabled people to have sex……)

  15. Sheri commented “So God never intended for any sick or disabled people to have sex”

    I think God intended for there not to be sick or disabled people.

    Those who share in the burdens of creation will receive one reward or portfolio of rewards, those who don’t will receive something else.

  16. God may have intended there be no sick or disabled people, but that ended when Satan was allowed to enter the garden and Eve to make a bad choice. At that point, all bets were off and things changed forever. How is it God forgot that there were sick and disabled people who by no fault of their own could not procreate but kept the antiquated rule about no sex except for precreation (which didn’t really exist at the time God was intending no sick or disabled anyway). Makes no sense. I still have no understanding of “humans just baby making machines” who cannot enjoy sex unless they can make a baby.

  17. @Michael 2:

    “You have one purpose in life; to help your gametes meet other gametes. Women in particular lose interest in sex once her gametes are no longer interested in meeting other gametes.”

    This is ludicrously false. In the Catholic tradition, a life consecrated to God (including vows of celibacy) is deemed the highest calling. By your claims, one would have to conclude that in the Catholic tradition the life of the Pope would be completely meaningless.

    @Sheri:

    “I still have no understanding of “humans just baby making machines” who cannot enjoy sex unless they can make a baby.”

    You have no understanding and that is in itself understandable, because this is not what the Catholic tradition says (e.g. sexual congress between infertile married spouses is not sinful, prohibited or “bad” in any way).

  18. @Sheri

    Yes. Either have natural sex or don’t have it at all. Now that may sound insane in our “post sexual” world but the sex act is what it is. No one has a “right” to sex minus conception. Yes, you read that correctly. Sex minus it’s natural end is not a right to anyone. Just like eating 5,000 calories a day and losing weight is not a right, just like downing five shots of liquor in an hour and remaining sober is not a right. We have an obligation to be responsible, to accept natural order, to control ourselves, to act consistently. If you don’t want a baby, if you “can’t” have a baby then don’t do the thing that causes babies to be concieved as it’s natural end, that’s called common sense. All this “asexual” behavior is akin bulimia. You know where people eat hoards of food (binge), and then to avoid the ineveitable weight gain force themsleves to puke it up. We call that a mental disorder but abortion a “right”. Because we have managed to convince the masses that sex is completely self serving act devoid of any higher purpose.

    Well this idea that sexual gratification is some sort of right owed to all mankind is ludicrous and absolutely feeds all manner of evil in our society. It’s exactly why we have doctors chopping up small children in the wombs of their mothers and selling their body parts, it’s why we have mothers leaving babies in trash cans, it’s why we have fathers refusing to pay child support or see their kids, it’s why we have divorce, adultery, porn, broken families, low birthrates etc.. Yep everyone wants immediate self serving pleasure but no one wants to deal with or face the reality of the consequences of their own actions.
    Then these same people mock the Bible for expecting people to wait until they are prepared for the natural end of sex to engage in it, to be faithful, and to have self control. Well better to be a Christian any day then a child sacrificer.

    So you want to have sex but you don’t want a baby? TOUGH. Because I would love to eat a box of donuts everyday and not get diabetes but that’s not the real world, is it? Fact, there is nothing noble about absuing sex to serve yourself and abusing others in the process. Such a mentality is nothing but an entitlement complex that has become the norm amongst our culture. My only hope is that justice is real and that we all must die one day and face judgement.

  19. G. Rodrigues: I am not referring to just infertile couples. I am referring to people who due to illness do not have children, due to genetics decide not to roll the dice and see if they can have a baby with an awful disease that is genetically passed, etc. Also, to people who are physically disabled but fertile who choose not to have children due to issues of child care, but still marry and have sex knowing they are choosing not to reproduce. (Eve appears to vehemently disagree with your stance. It appears if you marry and are infertile, according to Eve, you have to stay married because Catholics can’t divorce, but you cannot ever have sex again. That’s most enlightening.)

    Eve: As I said, thank God I’m not Catholic. I find nowhere in the Bible that says sex is only for procreation. That would mean older couples cannot have sex either. A woman after menopause is not able to make a baby anymore and it only having sex for fun. No sex after menopause. Marriage really is a sexless entity. I had no idea how much before reading this blog. All along, I thought sex was part of marriage. Now, a Catholic claim it’s not—it’s procreation. I am surprised one is even allowed to enjoy the act if procreating. The more boring and mechanical, the better, right? It’s not for fun. (With that analogy, people should be eating wheat grass and protein powder, lest they enjoy food in the least and want too much.) What a terribly sad religion. I have lost all respect for the Catholic church.
    I’m very sorry that you can’t eat all the donuts you want and not get diabetes (which I got at 15 NOT from eating donuts—it’s a genetic thing which my parents passed on because they had sex) but if your understanding of Catholicism is a good as your understanding of science and eating, I’m fine here.

  20. @Sheri:

    Two things main points to make in response. The first, and in sequence of my earlier response, is that your understanding of what the Catholic tradition says is deficient as I explained — period, end of story. For example you repeat the *same* mistake to Eve the following: “I find nowhere in the Bible that says sex is only for procreation. That would mean older couples cannot have sex either.” But of course the Catholic Church does *not* judge sexual congress between married infertile spouses as “wrong” or “bad”, because the Catholic Church does *not* say that “sex is only for procreation”. This is simply a strawman built out of your ignorance. What the Catholic Church says is something different. Neither is what Eve said inconsistent with anything I have said — at least judging from your parenthetical remark, I have not read her comment.

    “I am referring to people who due to illness do not have children, due to genetics decide not to roll the dice and see if they can have a baby with an awful disease that is genetically passed, etc. Also, to people who are physically disabled but fertile who choose not to have children due to issues of child care, but still marry and have sex knowing they are choosing not to reproduce.”

    Married couples who are infertile due to illness or genetics fall under the same general case I alluded to. If on the other hand you are referring to people that while fertile, have an increased risk (for whatever reasons) of a pregnancy with complications or babies being born with malformations, this is “merely” a difference in degree compared with every other pregnancy as such risks are present in every pregnancy, so it is a prudential matter and the same exact principles apply. Now you may think that contraception, as the means to prevent such pregnancies, is the “merciful” choice. But of course it is not the “merciful” route since you are comparing the uncomparable, existence and non-existence.

    At any rate, unless you have arguments to back up your claims, including where exactly the tradition is wrong — at a minimum, as regards the philosophical defense of why contraception is morally wrong — it is just your opinion, which you are certainly entitled to, but is otherwise irrelevant.

  21. Sheri “As I said, thank God I’m not Catholic.”

    Why should God be given appreciation for your choice? Are you unable or unwilling to be responsible for your choices?

    Many people ought not to be Catholic; it is not an easy road.

  22. G. Rodrigues “By your claims, one would have to conclude that in the Catholic tradition the life of the Pope would be completely meaningless.”

    My claim is not Catholic; it is biological. But yes, biology largely commits non-breeders to irrelevancy.

  23. G Rodrigues: I didn’t create the strawman—I am going by what Eve is saying. Michael 2 also clearly stated sex is exclusively for procreation. He did say we could enjoy the sex while making the babies. You disagreed with Michael 2 on humans sole purpose being reproduction—I did see that.

    Eve stated: “Either have natural sex or don’t have it at all”. That is no birth control of any kind other than what was called “rhythm method”, I am guessing.
    “No one has a “right” to sex minus conception. Yes, you read that correctly. Sex minus it’s natural end is not a right to anyone.” That clearly states if you cannot make a baby, no sex.
    “if you “can’t” have a baby then don’t do the thing that causes babies to be concieved” Again, no baby, no sex.
    Perhaps you should read Eve’s comment, as she seems very inconsistent with what you say. I don’t see how “NO SEX unless you can make a baby” is not contradictory to what you are saying. She seems pretty clear on this, having repeated it over and over.
    If you had actually read the comment, your response might have been more helpful and made more sense.

    I am reading your “Now you may think that contraception, as the means to prevent such pregnancies, is the “merciful” choice. But of course it is not the “merciful” route since you are comparing the uncomparable, existence and non-existence.” but I don’t understand this. It seems to say that people with genetically passed illnesses cannot have sex or marry (or maybe they can live in a sexless marriage?) or they can marry and create more people with illnesses and life-long medical care. So God wants more sick people?

    I don’t really know any Catholics that believe as Eve does. My relatives are Catholic and none seem to hold beliefs anywhere near the extreme of Eve’s.

    My goal here was to understand why Eve and others are commenting that Catholic tradition says no sex without making a baby. So far, your comments are not useful so perhaps you can save time by not responding if you’re not going to actually read what I am responding to.

    Michael 2: Actually, yes, God is at least partially responsible for my choice. I made the choice, but He gave me the information and intellect. I do agree that many people should not be Catholic but not for the same reason you state.
    (I’m surprised to note that God has nothing to do with the decision to become Catholic at least in your mind.)

  24. Sheri wrote “Michael 2 also clearly stated sex is exclusively for procreation.”

    I give you the courtesy of allowing you to have your own feelings and make your own words. I would very much prefer you to give me the same courtesy.

    I have said nothing about exclusive purposes; rather, I have stated and will restate the the purpose of sex is reproduction. It makes babies. That is its purpose.

    However, those babies then need parents. Two. Mother and Father. It is useful for Mother and Father to remain together at least until Baby is old enough to go out on its own. It takes something very strong since it might be the only thing that keeps Mother and Father in the same house.

    As it happens, these two necessities can efficiently be rolled into one thing — sexual intercourse. It produces babies and it ties Mother and Father together.

    “I don’t really know any Catholics that believe as Eve does. My relatives are Catholic and none seem to hold beliefs anywhere near the extreme of Eve’s.”

    It happens. In my own church I know no one that believes exactly as I believe. Church is an attempt to establish some foundations around which rather a lot of variability inevitably exists. It is so variable and extreme that some women won’t even undress to make babies and it became a matter of pride (and probably some lying or untruth) to boast of it.

    My housemate in Virginia eventually divorced his wife. He said that after their second child was born, his wife said, “I’m glad we don’t have to do that any more” and she didn’t mean bearing more children, she meant sex. She had done her duty and that was the end of that.

    “My goal here was to understand why Eve and others are commenting that Catholic tradition says no sex without making a baby.”

    You seem to be expressing contempt rather than merely seeking knowledge.

    “God is at least partially responsible for my choice. I made the choice, but He gave me the information and intellect.”

    Then you are thinking Catholic since every act by every person was set in motion by God. God is responsible for everything. Or maybe not, but if not, then one cannot very well be Catholic. Merely giving you intellect and information does not make God responsible for your decisions; in fact, providing intellect and information shifts responsibility to you.

    “I do agree that many people should not be Catholic but not for the same reason you state.”

    I stated that it is difficult. Now I will state a reason: Catholic has rules and some people wish not to obey those rules (or any rules).

    “(I’m surprised to note that God has nothing to do with the decision to become Catholic at least in your mind.)”

    That is correct. It creates a logical circularity or a what-came-first (chicken or egg?) problem to believe in God before you’ve joined a church that tells you what God is.

    Now I mention an exception — “unless you have a story”. As it happens, I have a story, too long to tell and the audience seems a bit hostile (pearls before swine thing) but I knew of the existence of God, but not by that name, before I joined any church. I was raised without religion.

    Had I lived in Baltimore at the time I might well have become Catholic. Had I lived in Minneapolis I would probably have been Lutheran.

    Whether I would stay that way my whole life I cannot know. The Lutherans are too fuzzy in their doctrine; they seem not to have decided yet whether Jesus was divine and what exactly that means and also have no clearly established evidence of divine approval and imprimatur or authority to speak for God; the Catholics have some logical dilemmas which bother my rigorously logical mind (I’m a computer programmer; logic comes naturally). Those dilemmas can be rolled basically into two questions: To whom was Jesus praying and why did God create evil.

    Some people stop looking for the shepherd and call themselves atheist; some attack their former belief systems ridiculing the sheep that are still in the fold, and the smallest number keep looking for their shepherd.

  25. @Michael 2:

    “My claim is not Catholic; it is biological. But yes, biology largely commits non-breeders to irrelevancy.”

    A biological claim? So relevance is now measured by the progenie we leave? Well if that is the claim, then thermodynamics and the heat death of the universe commits us all, breeders and non-breeders, to the utmost irrelevance.

    @Sheri:

    “Perhaps you should read Eve’s comment, as she seems very inconsistent with what you say.”

    Well, I did gone and read Eve’s comment, and I still think there is no inconsistency — that is, you are misreading her, although to be fair, your reading of the quotes you gave (out of context) is not completely uncalled for. She is talking about contraceptive sex and not accepting, or evading, the natural consequences of the sexual act, not about sexual congress between married infertile couples. Standard Catholic fare; no inconsistency here. At any rate, if Eve wants she can clear any confusions.

    “I am reading your “Now you may think that contraception, as the means to prevent such pregnancies, is the “merciful” choice. But of course it is not the “merciful” route since you are comparing the uncomparable, existence and non-existence.” but I don’t understand this. It seems to say that people with genetically passed illnesses cannot have sex or marry (or maybe they can live in a sexless marriage?) or they can marry and create more people with illnesses and life-long medical care. So God wants more sick people?”

    Well, as far as I understand you, your idea seems to be something like this. Take the case of a married couple whose offspring has a 100% chance (to simplify things) of being born with malformations. Now you say: look at the suffering not only of the child, but of her parents, isn’t it more merciful to prevent the pregnancy in the first place, by say (non-abortive) contraception? Well what are you comparing to make your judgment? One state of affairs where there is no new life, and no suffering consequent on that, and the other with a new life and presumably, suffering. But there is no term of comparison between the two states, because there is no term of comparison between nothing or non-being (no life, no suffering) and being. But even if the comparison made any sense, it is far from clear that one is better than the other — just a matter of reading the many personal stories of the immense joy (mixed with pain and sadness) of parents of disabled children. Now you could retort that the choice should still be left to each couple; Ok, but the injunction is directed to *Catholic couples*. Do not like it? Don’t be a Catholic.

    As far “So God wants more sick people?”, it is impossible for God to will evil, sickness is an evil, so it is impossible for God to will sickness as *such*. But a “sick person” is not an unqualified evil, because everything that is, and insofar as it is, is Good. A person is a being, being is Good, so persons are Good, even if they are sick and sickness is an evil. Ebola viruses are also beings, and insofar as they are beings, they are Good. Furthermore, this life is not all there is. Sickness is temporary (even if ends in death), but the power granted by Christ is life everlasting. Now my guess is that you will disagree with either all or much of this. You are not Catholic and you are certainly entitled to your opinion; if you have an *argument*, I will try to respond to the best of my ability.

  26. “Yes, that is the Catholic way. It is the purpose of sex; in fact, it is the purpose of life itself…You have one purpose in life; to help your gametes meet other gametes.”
    I thought “it is the purpose of sex” meant that is what sex is for and it is it’s only purpose. Especially since you put purpose is italics. Maybe if you leave out the emphasis, it would be clearer that you did not mean exclusively.
    “You seem to be expressing contempt rather than merely seeking knowledge”—maybe. I tend to respond in the same tone addressed. Eve was openly hostile. You’re…Michael 2, who has in the past admitted you say things just to jack me up. I’m trying to oblige by being jacked up. I was really hoping one of the other Catholics with a quieter demeanor would volunteer information first. That’s what I get for hoping.
    Okay, if “Catholic” says God is responsible for everything, then I agree. That does not mean I’m thinking Catholic per se. Many other denominations have the same belief. I am agreeing with one belief. (I changed it to “partly responsible” to appease you and noted that I made the choice using the tools at hand.)
    Other religions have rules—the Jehovah Witnesses have some of the toughest. It’s difficult to be a Jehovah Witness. Many people despise them.
    I agree that one does not need a church to learn about God. Whether or not it requires a story depends on what is meant by a story. Anyway, a church is not required and in some cases is a detriment.
    A discussion of whether or not God created evil would be interesting, but far too involved for a comment box. (Yes, I read what you typed. However, having studied much philosophy and religion, I don’t believe that God created evil. Too long for this forum, however.—Note: No one jump in here and respond to this. I will NOT pursue this on this forum. If you want to discuss it, my email address is on my blog.)

  27. G. Rodrigues: “Do not like it? Don’t be a Catholic.” Not a problem.

    No, I don’t have an “argument” for you. I’m not trying to convince you of anything, I was simply trying to understand what Catholic’s believe, individually or as a church. That’s how I learn about other religions and ideas. No problem, though, I can find other sources. Sorry to have troubled you.

  28. Sheri wrote: “Maybe if you leave out the emphasis, it would be clearer that you did not mean exclusively.”

    It’s not quite that simple, either but I think we are approaching understanding where any more effort would be straining at gnats.

    “Eve was openly hostile.”

    An opportunity to demonstrate good grace to the thousand people that read this and are not Eve.

    “You’re…Michael 2, who has in the past admitted you say things just to jack me up. I’m trying to oblige by being jacked up.”

    That seems unlikely but possible. I don’t even know what the phrase means. I will admit to prodding someone to get a more truthful answer; namely, get people “off script”. Nearly all commentary is scripted and thus not precisely what you believe, but close enough for the script to take over.

    I will at times agree where the script calls for disagree, and vice versa; causing the other person to think for a moment about the response to be made.

    “I was really hoping one of the other Catholics with a quieter demeanor would volunteer information first.”

    Or any Catholic I suppose. I am not Catholic, but married a woman raised Catholic and attended Catholic school so she knows much. I’ve also had the equivalent of Born-Again Catholic roommate, member of the Navigators.

    Catholics are really the only credible competition to my own belief system.

    “Okay, if Catholic says God is responsible for everything, then I agree. That does not mean I’m thinking Catholic per se. Many other denominations have the same belief.”

    That they do and it creates for much gnat straining and swallowing camels.

    “I agree that one does not need a church to learn about God. Whether or not it requires a story depends on what is meant by a story. Anyway, a church is not required and in some cases is a detriment.”

    By “story” I mean the story you have, or I have, or anyone has that started out life without religion, or another religion, and how you came to have what you have, or how you came to discard what you started with.

    Without the story, it’s hopelessly circular. The only evidence for God becomes in a book that proves itself, but so does Islam, so does the Urantia Book, the Bagavad Gita, and so on.

    But if you encounter God, or something you wish to label by that name, now you have a story; something that you can use to calibrate which of all the rest come closest to accurately explaining your experience. Once you have calibrated it, you can then have faith in the rest of the holy book and religion even though you won’t have your own story about it.

    You also become relatively impervious to argument, and from that impervious nature of your belief you lose interest in fighting and winning arguments. You wish only to tell your story, but that’s not as easy as it sounds.

    “A discussion of whether or not God created evil would be interesting, but far too involved for a comment box.”

    It’s troll bait, argued for nearly two thousand years and maybe longer than that. The answer usually invokes the entire cosmology of a religion, its very foundation and assumptions.

    “I don’t believe that God created evil.”

    Neither do I. For free will to exist, evil must be independent and balanced in presentation to human sensitivity. God could easily overwhelm evil, but that defeats his purpose, to see what each will choose. But does he not already know? Maybe, maybe not. So you see, entire belief systems hinge upon that one question and its answer.

    I was disturbed by a sermon in my church about us (me) being poor servants. I wrestled with it for days and eventually contacted the speaker of that sermon with a correction: We are not servants; God has them and they are called seraphim (among other things). We are children of God, inheritors of his kingdom eventually but not today; so what are we to do, why are we here? School. Learn by doing. See evil; it does not exist in heaven neither can it. So where can it exist? Earth. To properly choose the light, we must see and experience the dark. Some of the angels of God in Heaven chose dark, but how could they, never having seen it? I don’t know the answer to that, but it shows that even some angels can defy God to his face, that is how dark they are.

    But humans, though less dark, might also not be completely light. So, we come to school, and over a lifetime prepare to make a choice at the bar of Jehovah, more or less. but the choice for many will have been made long before that for better or for worse.

  29. G. Rodrigues wrote

    “So relevance is now measured by the progenie we leave?”

    Yes. How many Neandarthals do you know? Their music, art and literature? Scripture says the meek will inherit the Earth, but that presumes upon them having progeny; unless of course one presumes that dead meek will inherit the Earth.

    “Well if that is the claim, then thermodynamics and the heat death of the universe commits us all, breeders and non-breeders, to the utmost irrelevance.”

    Indeed it does, a thing that Solomon figured out so many centuries ago when he declared everything “vanity”, save only duty to God.

  30. Michael 2: “Jacked up” means you say things to annoy me. I can’t find an example right now. Maybe later.

    Your explanation of story helped. I think I understand it now. Makes sense.

    So your statement “Those dilemmas can be rolled basically into two questions: To whom was Jesus praying and why did God create evil.” did not mean you believe God created evil. You’re trying to figure out belief systems?
    Your questions and comments on God and evil are quite close to questions I have thought through, studied, etc. It’s complicated probably doesn’t even come close to describing it, but it is necessary to think through it at some point if one does wants to truly understand God and life.

  31. @Sheri:

    “Sorry to have troubled you.”

    You have not given me any trouble (this must be one of those communication gaps, where the tone communicates something not in the mind); and even if you had, it would not be something in need of apologizing. Yes, I am a contrarian; my motto is the Marxist one (the Groucho faction, not Karl): whatever it is, I am against it!.

  32. Sheri “‘why did God create evil.’ did not mean you believe God created evil. You’re trying to figure out belief systems?”

    More or less. Many people have multiple rival belief systems and one is in the foreground at any given moment. If you ask a question of the other belief system, it will pop into the foreground and suppress the others. This is how a person can believe six impossible things before breakfast.

    I know a lot about different religion’s stated beliefs; but I also know that almost no one holds all of the official beliefs of their particular choice of church. For reasons not obvious to me I like to find out what a person believes and why he or she believes it. There may be value for me to think or believe similarly, but even if not, I like to know people and that doesn’t come as a package; it’s a la carte.

    If I ask the question “Did God create evil” I expect to get a rote answer, by the book, especially where a person may not dare do otherwise.

    Asking “why” avoids the direct answer and requires some thought about why; it presumes that it is so (God created evil) and asks for an analysis of why this might be so; allowing also the opportunity to challenge the assertion.

    It is interesting that the movie “Time Bandits”, mostly a comedy, revolves around this very question and a remarkably insightful answer (“it has something to do with free will”).

    At any rate, evil might not exist, in the same way that dark does not exist. Dark is simply the absence of light; light exists (it is a substance, a thing), darkness does not. Darkness is merely descriptive of the absence of the thing.

    So it is possible that evil is simply the absence of light, the kind of light that emanates from God.

    And yet there’s a difference. Dark cannot intrude upon light; dark has no power, it is not a thing of itself. Evil, however, *can* intrude into light and therefore it is a thing and not merely the absence of God (but that, too). It is anti-God.

    When a quantum particle comes into existence spontaneously, so does its antiparticle, and the universe remains in balance. Evil is the anti-God, the mirror, the great counterfeit. It is an attractor, the south pole to God’s north pole, figuratively speaking, and if your own moral compass is backward you will be attracted to the wrong pole, a dangerous harmful pole, because “evil” is simply “live” backwards.

  33. Sheri “that ended when Satan was allowed to enter the garden and Eve to make a bad choice.”

    Or in other words, set morality, mortality and choice into motion. It is not clear to me what part of that was a bad choice.

    CS Lewis explores the idea of what might have happened had they both obeyed God. Obviously something would have had to happen or they would still be there. Other arguments exist, such as how a perfect God can make an imperfect creation that seemingly almost immediately disobeys the only prohibition given to her. That makes no sense. What makes more sense is that it wasn’t a prohibition per se; it is a warning that if you take that step, there’s no turning back. Once you take the fruit of knowledge of good and evil, you cannot return to innocence. Eve chose to take that step and proceed from innocence to knowledge. That is a bold and brave thing; possibly necessary, but yes, it also separated God from mankind until the redemption.

  34. Michael 2: “Believe six rival things before breakfast”? Only in Wonderland!

    I do the same thing, as I noted—I like people to explain their beliefs. I learn much that way. Your expanding on what you commented makes things more clear.

    Evil is live backward, but only in English, so far as I know. 😉

    I’m not sure the outcome of Adam and Eve’s choice can be labelled “good” or “bad”, especially since there’s little information on what would have happened if they had made a different choice and stayed in the Garden. It’s not clear if God even believed they would heed his warnings. The choice itself is labelled as “bad” because they disobeyed God. Whether or not humans would have later had a “better” experience with free will when they were older, more mature and stronger in their relationship with God is unknown. It’s obvious free will existed all along, or the choice could not have been made. I agree that is was a warning from God, not a prohibition. Bold and brave are not exactly what I’d use to describe disobeying God, but to each his own. As noted, we have no way of knowing how things would have turned out had Eve been less bold and brave and more logical and obedient.

  35. swordfishtrombone

    April 27, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    @ Sheri: “You twit! Who are you to be so intolerant as to tell Norway they should not have a state religion if they want one. You are just a hater and a control freak. (Plus lots of waffle.)”

    Whoa! “Twit”? Now you’ve gone too far! I’m not telling them what to do, just voicing my opinion. Maybe they could hold a referendum? I suspect that if we held one in the UK, the Church of England would end up as just the Church. (Although, that would be a shame in a way) With regard to the rest of your somewhat rambling reply, which bit actually refutes my argument, which is that things were actually worse in the past, not better, due largely to religion?

    The thing is, it’s not like I’m talking about the distant past either. Go back just one or two generations and you’re in a world where single mothers are viewed as social outcasts, women are trapped in marriages to men who beat them up and priests are busy raping boys under the cloak of respect for religion. Things have changed for the better in the most part. Yes, some things have got worse, (obviously, duh.) political correctness and ‘virtue-signalling’ has gone too far, but there’s already a reaction to that.

    Another thing is, you should try visiting some atheist blogs. Really. You’d maybe be surprised to realise that they (we) often get hot under the collar about the same issues; government interference, overdone political correctness, student intolerence… they’re all there.

    Bakers having to bake a cake vs. stonings for adultery – Hmm, it’s a tough one.

  36. swordfishtrombone: Sarcasm—didn’t think a tag was necessary.

    Single mothers are bad for society—most religions say this. Men should not beat women—most religions says so. Priests are not supposed to rape children—the religion where this occurred says so. What you are referring to is the failure of religion to act. Not the religion actually being practiced. If it were practiced, there would be no problem.

    There is no such choice as “bakers having to bake a cake vs. stoning for adultery”. They are completely separate issues. Your comparison is worthless as is the choice you think must be made. No matter how many time you repeat it hoping to shock people into agreement.

    I never mentioned atheism nor any shortcomings thereof. I was addressing your comment about there did not need to be a state church. That does not in any way say anything about atheism.

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