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Catholic priests are right to express fears over Government marriage plans

Equality legislation will certainly undermine the Government’s supposed guarantee

By on Friday, 18 January 2013

'Love is Love' Gay Marriage Contest Ceremony - New York

I just read this quote from the Caelum et Terra blog: “It is customary to blame secular science and anti-religious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendour of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion – its message becomes meaningless.” Abraham Joshua Heschel, “God in search of Man: a Philosophy of Judaism.”

There is a lot of truth in this. It is too easy to blame “modern society” for the collapse of religious belief in this country. We should look in the mirror and ask ourselves the question “If I were arrested today for being a Christian, what proofs would be found to convict me?”

Tim Stanley said much the same thing in his article, “Christians need to find some old-time zeal” in the Telegraph on Wednesday. After describing the de-Christianisation within Britain today, he concludes: “In our new consumer-driven, postmodern order, Christians have to compete with people pushing other religions or no religion at all. We no longer enjoy a privileged status in the popular imagination. And while it’s easy to blame politicians and courts for this, responsibility ultimately lies with the true believers. The only thing that will renew British Christianity is to drop all the lazy presumptions that Britain is basically Christian, and start again from scratch.”

“To start again from scratch”: I think we are only just beginning to wake up to this truth.

One thing in Stanley’s article I disagree with: when he comments, “Although the Government insists that no church will be compelled to carry out gay marriages, more than 1000 Catholic priests wrote a letter to this newspaper last week protesting that equalities legislation makes a nonsense of this guarantee and that attempts to legalise gay marriage amount to a renewal of historic persecution against Catholics. I, too, am a Catholic – and the idea that the wedding of Adam and Steve can be likened to Cromwell’s rampage across Ireland strikes me as hysterical. But it reflects a wider panic among religious conservatives – the fear that a metropolitan political establishment is conspiring against us.”

I demur for several reasons: equality legislation will certainly undermine the Government’s supposed “guarantee.” Even if the Church wins in the courts when future cases are brought against her, there will be a long, slow war of attrition against those of all faiths and none who believe marriage can only be between a man and a woman. For instance, the Government has said that teachers must continue to uphold marriage: but if the word “marriage” is redefined they will be breaking the law if they don’t uphold the new definition; they won’t be able to uphold the old understanding and the new one at the same time.

Stanley describes the letter of the 1000 priests – including eight bishops and four abbots – as “hysterical.” I would rather describe it as good sense and right judgement. Are the more than 600,000 signatories to the Coalition for Marriage petition (C4M) also “hysterical”? Perhaps the letter reflects justified forebodings at such a fundamental change to the natural order of relationships and is not about “panic” or “fear” or “religious conservatism”. “Marriage” should never have been used as a political issue in this way and it is not “conservative” for Christians and others to champion it. These 1000 priests are not zealots and religious extremists; they are decent, God-fearing men, alongside all the other people who signed the C4M document, who rightly see that there will be far-reaching implications to a change of definition which will, in the course of time, amount to a form of persecution.

You don’t have to refer to Cromwell to realise that persecution need not be bloody or violent; it can simply be quiet, boring, relentless and implacable, fought through the courts and leaving mental and emotional stress and pain in its wake. That is what opponents of a re-definition of marriage will face if the Government forces through this legislation and I am not remotely “hysterical” in pointing this out. So far only individuals have been challenged, such as Christian B+B owners, a Christian registrar, a Christian marriage counsellor, a Christian psychotherapist. If the definition of marriage is changed by law, the whole of society, whether married or unmarried, priest or lay person, will be affected by it.

But to return to Stanley’s main point: there is no use being aggrieved or wringing one’s hands over this approaching confrontation. Those who want to defend marriage must indeed start again from scratch: acknowledge our own lukewarm support for marriage in the past; our tacit acceptance of a widespread contraceptive mentality; our tolerance of cohabitation as an acceptable alternative; and our placid illusion that the comfortable Christian status quo would last forever.

  • whytheworldisending

    What – in your opinion – would you define as a pervert?

  • Joe Zammit

    I didn’t say that love can exist only between one man and one woman. If we want to follow Christ faithfully, we must love all people.

    God has created human beings and God has created the institution of marriage. So, neither you nor I nor ‘our wider society’ has the right to define marriage. Marriage is what it is and it cannot be changed. Only God has the right to define marriage and as a matter of fact he defined it. Christ speaks clearly of how marriage should be according to God’s plan.

    Besides, it remains a fact that between homosexuals, (and not only!) there cannot be love but lust. Homosexuals are those indulging in homosexual acts, in homosexual grievous sins. So homosexuals are separating each other and themselves from God ever the more every time they sin. That’s why between them there is only lust, not love.

    Love comes from God, unites the couple together and draws it to God. There can be no love that separates anyone from God.

    Homosexuals, leave you sinful life and come to a life of grace. Others have done that before you and are happy. They themselves say it, ‘now, not then when we were indulging in homosexual sins, are happy; then we pretended to be happy but we weren’t’.

  • http://cumlazaro.blogspot.com/ Lazarus

    Well, thank you for expressing regret: I’m not sure you need to worry about my discomfort, but I’ll take it in the eirenic spirit it was intended!

    Of course our views differ. I’m not sure if you’re a Catholic. If you are, I’d be particularly worried that you don’t seem to have thought very deeply about magisterial teachings before rejecting them. If you’re not a Catholic, then I suppose that such a knee jerk rejection is only to be expected given the way the world is, but I’d simply urge you to realize that Catholic thinking in this area is not some arbitrary sets of commands, but the fruit of careful and deep theological and philosophical reflection. (And of course hope that you’d go and explore some of this before engaging with the issue again.)

    On the sky falling in… Come off it! Only Vitalstatistix (in the Asterix books) is worried about this. I am worried about ‘marriage equality’ particularly because it will harm stable family life in its function of the procreation and education of children. Quite apart from the fact that it hasn’t been going long enough to be tested against such effects, those effects will be merely further deteriorations in human flourishing of the sort already identifiable in those modern societies that reject Catholic teaching. 

    No sky falling in. No stopping of the world. Just an increase in human misery.

  • whytheworldisending

    There is no such thing as sexuality. There is the biological sexual response, which is perceived as rewarding, there are behaviours which have evolved in such a way that they are associated with that reward, so as to preserve the species, and there are behaviours that do not lead to the survival of the species, but which have been shaped by conditioning and which persist in the short term because they have become associated with the reward. Because such behaviours involve an opportunity cost in terms of reproduction, we are genetically programmed to feel revulsion at such behaviours. This is perfectly natural. It is in our DNA – unlike the behaviours themselves, which are behavioural aberrations. When this is not appreciated, individuals can identify themselves in terms of the behaviours which have been conditioned by the sexual response.Such people may for example refer to themselves as “Homosexuals,” but this is a delusion. They are people with a normal sexual response, which has been abnormally conditioned. Like compulsive gamblers, or cigarette smokers, they are in a sense addicted, but they can be freed from their conditioning through cognitive and behavioural therapy and/or self help.

  • whytheworldisending

    “We all have an interest in every child who is born.” – That is the problem.

  • Jonathan West

    I demur for several reasons: equality legislation will certainly undermine the Government’s supposed “guarantee.” Even if the Church wins in the courts when future cases are brought against her, there will be a long, slow war of attrition against those of all faiths and none who believe marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

    Using the term “war of attrition” is an emotional and inaccurate turn of phrase  What it actually amounts to is that you expect progressively to lose the argument.

    And you will deserve to lose the argument if the best you can offer is slippery-slope suggestions of future unspecified persecution. What that persecution amounts to is the loss of the social convention that religious-based arguments are automatically deserving of respect and a privileged position in society merely because they are religious.

    The end of this social convention means that you are in a new situation where you actually have to argue your case on its merits. This is a new experience for you, because you aren’t really used to having to engage in argument on moral issues with the non-religious in the first place.Bad arguments generally will not succeed.

    But it seems to me that you are making the common mistake of becoming confused between losing the argument and losing the right to argue. You aren’t losing the right to argue, but if your arguments aren’t persuasive, they will be ignored.

  • http://cumlazaro.blogspot.com/ Lazarus

    Simplistic and polemical analysis concealed by a pseudo-objective tone as ever, Jonathan.

    Let’s focus on the word ‘argument’. On the one hand, we have a rational, philosophical debate about the nature of human flourishing and the place of the institution of the family and sex within that flourishing. That argument is not over and certainly isn’t the sort of thing to be settled in the time frame within which the non-Catholic world has moved from an irrational hatred of homosexuals to an irrational celebration of them. (And by the way, the suggestion that Catholics aren’t ‘used to having to engage in argument on moral issues’ is delightful in its utter historical blindness.)

    On the other hand, we have a power struggle within society in which a variety of mechanisms of control will be exercised to force people to act and speak against their consciences (ie their best understanding of the morality of a judgment or action). That is a struggle that we may well be losing just now, certainly, it appears, as far as the governing coalition is concerned in its plans to impose the institution of same sex ‘marriage’, and, based on well founded legal fears, in the future, (eg) as far as the content of teaching in schools is concerned. 

    To identify the two is both intellectually crass and entirely out of keeping with the liberal tradition of writers like Mill who recognized the need to encourage experiments in living and speaking, precisely because the conclusions of rational debates about how to live are so rarely conclusive in the short term. The primary worry in the article is that the ability to lead and articulate a Catholic world view will be gradually removed, not by rational debate, but the exercise of power. The fact that you misinterpret this worry is itself indicative of the problem: either you are deliberately confusing the issue (in which case it is clear that you don’t mind whether or not Catholicism is persecuted or not) or you are doing so inadvertently (in which case it is worrying -though not surprising- that the rights and wrong of conscientious action are so easily misunderstood by a typical member of the secular tendency).

  • majorcalamity

    I won’t answer point by point. It would take much too long! Many, by by no means all, the points you make have a degree of validity. 

    To my mind they are simply common sense. Common sense which has arisen through evolution. If all that you meant by “natural law” was what I mean by common sense then we could agree about the principal and then argue about the detail.

    That though is far from my experience and understanding of what Catholics mean by “natural law”. For them it means some very specific, and non negotiable, things. Many times I have been told that “natural law” stands above state law and for a Catholic is the final arbiter of right and wrong. This is when we seriously part company. I have no problem with anyone having a set of moral principles, or whatever they want to call it. However the law applies to all and Catholics cannot use the fig leaf of “natural law” to try to avoid it. In many cases there is no problem. Not allowing murder is common sense and is the law. There are other issues though which are not regarded as common sense by all, but as “natural law” by Catholics. Is there that the problems start.

  • majorcalamity

    Typical reply from a religious viewpoint. Who gives you the right to define marriage? I don’t have the right, and nor do you. We all do, collectively and if we decide it has changed, it has. 

    However, we can agree that marriage is indeed about family but it is NOT about two people having the capacity of producing offspring. Families come in many guises. My wife and I are a family. We cannot produce offspring. 

    Marriage is very much more than only for the production of children and if my wife and I, or a same sex couple, decide they want to marry what is the harm done to you or anyone else?

  • majorcalamity

    I am neither indoctrinated or prejudiced! That someone who appears to be a Catholic makes such a suggestion is pretty rich, given what they believe and why. When you replace dogma with reason that type of remark will be taken seriously, but not yet.

  • majorcalamity

    I suggest you read my reply to “Jabba” as it answers you just as well.

  • http://cumlazaro.blogspot.com/ Lazarus

    You really don’t seem to have thought about this with any care at all. That’s fine, but I do wish you wouldn’t pretend that you know it all. (A couple of knock abouts in comboxes doesn’t amount to a serious understanding of the Catholic position.)

    Catholics who claim that the natural law is above positive (ie state) law are simply making the point that the existence of this or that piece of positive law is not the end of the matter: there is a question about whether or not that piece of legislation is morally good or bad.

    Certainly, the Church believes that, in key areas, it possesses authoritative understanding of the content of morality. So, if you speak to a faithful Catholic, s/he is very likely to tell you that law x or y is wrong because it is against the natural law (ie immoral). But to say that one believes that the Church possesses an authoritative understanding is not to assert that this understanding cannot or need not be defended: indeed, the description ‘natural law’ is indicative of precisely that openness to rational debate on human nature and its ethical implications that I’ve noted before.

    So there are at least two issues here. First, the idea that positive laws may be immoral and as a consequence  in certain circumstances may not be binding on a person with moral integrity. Second, there is the question of how one ascertains the content of morality by human reason, and here one’s back to the general claim of natural law approaches that this is done through reflection on human nature and its flourishing.

  • majorcalamity

    I have answered this in other responses. Marriage is no longer owned and defined by the religious amongst us. It is now defined by all of us, and if we decide it’s scope has been extended then it has. You may have to redefine your own view as “sacramental marriage” or something similar.

    Of course morality exists. It is who defines it, and how it is applied which is disputed.  

  • http://cumlazaro.blogspot.com/ Lazarus

    What, this one?

    “I am neither indoctrinated or prejudiced! That someone who appears to be a Catholic makes such a suggestion is pretty rich, given what they believe and why. When you replace dogma with reason that type of remark will be taken seriously, but not yet.”

    Good grief! You come on a Catholic site, display absolutely no knowledge of authoritative Catholic arguments, pretend to such a deep understanding of natural law that you don’t need to read an elementary encyclopedia article on it, and then are reduced to making playground insults about ‘what Catholics believe and why’.

    Extremely impressive. Well done.

  • JabbaPapa

    Simplistic and polemical analysis concealed by a pseudo-objective tone as ever, Jonathan

    That’s certainly banging the nail on the head !!! Well done !!!

  • majorcalamity

    Someone who seeks to change the generally accepted way. It means very much more than just a “sexual pervert”. For instance, if marriage is extended to include same sex unions, then those who oppose them could, in future be considered perverts.

  • majorcalamity

    Any argument which relies as “God” for it’s reasoning is lost. It is merely a belief, to which you are entitled but which will never convince a non believer. You need to introduce reason into the argument to make any sense.

  • http://cumlazaro.blogspot.com/ Lazarus

    Oh dear!

    1) Just because lots of overexcitable politicians pass a law in order to rebrand their party as ‘nice’ doesn’t make it a good law. If ‘we’ decide a piece of nonsense, it remains a piece of nonsense.

    2) I’ve given you a rough outline of the methodology of Catholic ethics and pointed you in the direction of fuller treatments. You on the other hand have muttered only vague (and contradictory) thoughts about ‘evolution’ and ‘whatever we decide is right’. 

    Please feel free to expand on these. But until you do, I’m afraid it’s much more plausible to attribute to you the indoctrination and prejudice that Jabba identified earlier.

  • JabbaPapa

    Who gives you the right to define marriage?

    Who gives you the right to re-define it ???

    However, we can agree that marriage is indeed about family but it is NOT
    about two people having the capacity of producing offspring.

    This is just a very debatable doctrine from the sexual revolution of 1960s onwards…

    Marriage exists as a consequence of the reproductive biology, NOT as an mirror of it.

    This redefinition of it that is being proposed will completely sever that causal link.

    what is the harm done to you or anyone else?

    People will be taught lies, and will make moral decisions based on these lies that will be harmful to their health, to their moral integrity, to their intellectual honesty, to their immortal souls, and to their relationships with each other and with God.

  • majorcalamity

    I hope you never ever consider counselling as a career! Your attitude reflects those who believe that homosexuality is an illness which can be cured. 

    In my opinion you are 100% wrong. Homosexuality is something you are either born with, or not. My guess is that you have very little direct experience of, or contact with, it or you would not make such really silly claims.

  • JabbaPapa

    ???

    OK Mr. smarty-pants, what do I believe then, and why do I believe it ?

    Do you really have a clue, or aren’t you just running about with some predigested notions about Catholics that you’re indiscriminately applying to one and all in a fit of atheistic know-it-all-ism ?

    In reality, you’ve just put the indoctrination and prejudice that I mentioned up on public display, for all to see.

  • JabbaPapa

    Perhaps you could try talking to the real people in here, instead of trying to discuss matters with the straw catholic of your own prejudice.

  • JabbaPapa

    Common sense which has arisen through evolution

    Even a cursory perusal of Aristotle’s Rhetorics is sufficient to refute this claim.

  • JabbaPapa

    Dogma and doctrine.

  • Stephen

    OldMeena

    I posted a comment implicitly in support of your view and critical of JP, but it was deleted without trace. Not even with a “comment removed”.

    Goodness only knows what else is removed.

    1 day ago in reply to Mohoem

    Stephen

    “deleted without a trace”

    There’s no authentic discussion taking place on this site–not with the “hidden hand” selectively deleting comments without a trace.  You would think the “Catholic” Herald would at least use such an underhanded technique to steer the conversation in favor of the authentic teachings of the Church but that is not the case.  

    It looks I’ll need to take a look into who actually owns/controls the “Catholic” Herald.  I wont’ be surprised if it turns out to be the same families/corporations that own/control CNN, NBC, CBS, National Catholic Reporter, The Tablet etc. etc.

    Jesus, please help all of us naive Catholics who keep turning to and trusting so-called “Catholic” sources only to find out they’re actually steering Catholics to the wide and easy path to you know where. Please grant us true Christian discernment and expose the duplicitous. Amen.

    0 minutes ago in reply to OldMeena

  • Stephen

    Rom 1:25-27: “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator– who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” 

    I Cor. 6:9-10: “Be not deceived, neither …abusers of themselves with mankind [Gk: arsenokoites-sodomites/male bed partners/male-liers] shall inherit the kingdom of God” 

    Levi 18:22: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.”
    Jude 1:10: “But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.”

    Lev 20:13: If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them. 
    Rom 1:26-28: For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct.
    1 Tim 8-11: Now we know that the law is good, if any one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, immoral persons, sodomites, kidnapers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,  in accordance with the glorious gospel of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.
    2 Thes 2:11-12:  “And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

    Jude 1:7: records that both Sodom and Gomorrah were “giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”

    Gn 18:20-21: “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry which has come to me.” 

    2 Pet 4-6: “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly”

    Catechism of the Catholic Church:
    2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

    2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
    2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KSAARIUG6RZZR6PAT3PQUVJ2DI Nick

    What an ignorant, bigoted post.
    Never mind god has made marriage – marriage is licenced by the state, not the church!!
    Sooner we move to a secular state as in France where church marriage carries NO legal recognition the better.
    Why can their never be love between two men? A assure you there can!
    Love comes from god? What about all those straight couples who don’t believe in him – are their marriages pseudo also?Just because a homosexual union cannot in itself produce offspring why does that make it unnatural? Are the marriages of straight couples beyond child baring years also unnatural?So given that for most people a marriage is about two people loving each other, gay people pass the text completley.

    And that’s exactly why the legislators are about to vote in favour of equal marriage, putting homosexual and heterosexual unions on an exact par with each other. And the most recent COMRES poll showed 60% of the population agree with this.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KSAARIUG6RZZR6PAT3PQUVJ2DI Nick

    But marriage is going to be changed and its within the remit of the state to do it – so your argument is lost.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KSAARIUG6RZZR6PAT3PQUVJ2DI Nick

    God is irrelevant – I didn’t see him mentioned in the consultation document – he doesn’t even have a seat in the house of commons.

  • Jonathan West

     the suggestion that Catholics aren’t ‘used to having to engage in argument on moral issues’ is delightful in its utter historical blindness

    You’re used to having such moral arguments amongst yourselves, but you left out a key part of what I said, the idea of having to justify yourselves in moral arguments with the non-religious.

    That is a struggle that we may well be losing just now, certainly, it appears, as far as the governing coalition is concerned in its plans to impose the institution of same sex ‘marriage’

    I don’t think there is anything that would stop you from putting quotes round the word “marriage” in the context of same sex marriage. I certaintly would not wish to try to prevent you from doing that. You don’t believ it is marriage and that is fine. But if pariliament decide, then same sex marriage will have equal legal recognition in this country, irrespective of what you think of its theological status.

    well founded legal fears, in the future, (eg) as far as the content of teaching in schools is concerned

    People keep going on about these well founded fears, but nobody has yet described the foundation for them to me. It seems to me that there is a bit of scaremongering going on.

    The primary worry in the article is that the ability to lead and articulate a Catholic world view will be gradually removed, not by rational debate, but the exercise of power.

    As far as I can see, there is no reason to think that you will cease to be able to articulate such a world view. It is just that it seems that a decreasing number of people are prepared to listen to and agree with you, and so your view won’t get heard very much.

    I have no wish to prevent you from articulating your worldview. in fact, I encourage you to do so, because the more you articulate it, the more it turns people away from it. What is the current trend in weekly attendance at Mass?

  • majorcalamity

    I can only speak as I find. As I have lived for several years in a country where the RC Church dominates every aspect of life I have had rather more experience of the results of the Catholic approach than just a few knock abouts in comboxes. I can assure you that the impact on the people is far removed from the theories held by some western Catholics. I have also had many online debates, admittedly more with our American cousins, and the attitudes I am reporting are real. Some seem to believe that they are above the law, as they answer only to “God”. Go read Michael Vorris if you need confirmation. I have no problem with anyone drawing their personal moral code from their faith, and in calling it whatever they like. Where I take issue is when they seek to suggest this is above the law. We can all hold an opinion that a particular law is immoral. We can even conscientiously object to it, provided we accept the consequences. What we cannot do is put ourselves outside, or above, the law. Whilst you do not appear to be proposing this, I can assure you that others do, so maybe your attentions need to be turned to those elements within your faith. There are some nasty types who profess Catholicism.

  • majorcalamity

    As I said elsewhere I can only speak as I find. If that is the impression I gain from you, and it’s wrong, then you are not communicating very well. My knowledge of Catholicism is much wider, and deeper than you might imagine. However it is not in the UK, where it is largely irrelevant today. It comes from a third world country which is dominated by your Church and where I have lived for quite a long time. I know several priests and respect the work they do. They also get frustrated by the restrictions they are under. I have seen “authoritative Catholic arguments” in action and they don’t produce the answers. They make things worse. Much worse. 

    As to coming on a Catholic site, why not? I haven’t noticed your Bishops being shy in entering the public square and making their views known on the issues of the day. When they start to reserve their comments to the pulpit, I will leave Catholic sites alone.

  • JabbaPapa

    As far as I can see, there is no reason to think that you will cease to be able to articulate such a world view

    Then you are blind :

  • JabbaPapa

    Indoctrinated ranting.

  • majorcalamity

    These “overexcitable politicians” seem likely to be a majority of our elected representatives. You can make your arguments against the change and, if it happens, continue to hold your opinion that it’s nonsense, but you will have to accept it, along with everyone else. 

    I just happen to disagree. That does not make me either indoctrinated or prejudiced and to suggest so seems fairly typical of the self righteous attitude I often find in these type of debates. 

    The only way to move things on would be to debate about the origins of life, and why Darwin and Richard Dawkins are right. It would be pointless as I am as unlikely to convince you, as you will me. We have a fundamental different concept of these things so expansion of my ideas will not help you at all.

  • JabbaPapa

    God is irrelevant

    You are greatly mistaken, and putting your soul in mortal peril.

    And is that the *entirety* of your argument, then ?

    Feeble.

  • JabbaPapa

    majorcalamity : My knowledge of Catholicism is much wider, and deeper than you might imagine.

    This statement is inconsistent with the extremely clichéd and shallow views that you have been posting.

  • majorcalamity

    I am not redefining it! Society is, via the right and proper method of a change to the law.

    No-one will stop you holding a different opinion and acting according to it within your own community. If you are not affected, why do you feel you have the right to veto others?

    It is only your opinion that people will be taught lies etc, etc. Others feel exactly the opposite. 

    I have answered your last point several times already. Marriage is NOT designed for the purpose of producing offspring. It is merely your opinion that it is. It is much wider than that, and is likely to get wider again.  

  • majorcalamity

    I have answered elsewhere where I get my direct experience. Not theoretical. I have witnessed the results of Catholicism in person. The only prejudice I have is to tell the truth as i see it and expose hypocrisy when I find it. Western Catholics are full of theory and feel that the whole world would be better if only………………… I have seen a model and I know it’s wrong. So do many of the people there, including the priests, but the Church won’t relent.   

  • majorcalamity

    Not at all. Just opinions.

  • majorcalamity

    Your opinion. Please explain to me how your views are NOT full of repetitive, standard Catholic responses. I hear nothing but the same old reasoning. No new reasoning, and often no reasoning at all. 

  • http://cumlazaro.blogspot.com/ Lazarus

    1) Again, your revised assertion that ‘You’re used to having such moral arguments amongst yourselves’ and not with others is delightful. I would have thought that even you would have remembered the debates between Russell and Father Copleston quite apart from meatier engagements. (What do you think Alasdair MacIntyre has been up to since the eighties to pick just one more modern example?)

    2) I’m glad you have no reason to think that we will be prevented from articulating our worldview. Do you mind if I ask what your legal qualifications are? (Quite apart from any question of your being parti pris of course.) Since one of the main arenas within which this war of attrition will take place is the law, it might be more reasonable to take the opinion of an expert such as Aidan O’ Neill QC. The full opinion is summarized here (pdf) http://c4m.org.uk/downloads/legalopinionsummary.pdf  but the following example is typical:

    ‘A primary school teacher is asked to use a storybook about gay marriage called “King & King”. It is recommended by the local authority and by a gay rights charity. The teacher says using the book would conflict with her religious beliefs about marriage. She is told that she faces dismissal unless she backs down.’O’Neill says “yes”, the school would be within its legal rights to dismiss the teacher if she refuses to use the material.’Sounds like a further step in a war of attrition to me.

    3) On articulating the worldview, I think we agree about the advisability of doing this, although of course we disagree about the hoped for effects.

    4) On Mass attendance, I’ve just googled it and can’t find any immediate figures. Worldwide numbers seem to be up though. (Certainly of Christians.) Shame about Western Europe of course but sociologists like Steve Bruce have never attributed secularization to the quality of rational arguments, have they? So not sure what point you’re making…

  • Joe Zammit

    Between two men or two women indulging in sinful homosexual acts there can never be love but only lust. Love draws us to God; lust separates us from God.

    Bigots are those who want to impose their false opinion on others and mention how marriage is treated in France!

    Sterility between heterosexual persons does in no way render heterosexual unions sterile. Homosexual unions (Never marriages!) are always sterile and are always an abuse of nature and against nature. Homosexual acts are unnatural. Nature does not ask for them.

    Truth does not change with minority or majority. What is wrong remains wrong also if the majority is in favour of that wrong.

    Christ told us that the way to hell is broad and many pass through it; while the way to Heaven is narrow and few pass from it.

  • Yorkshire Catholic

     Why do people like you come here? Your motives cannot be innocent.

    “Same old reasoning” is the sort of idea which appeals to a BBC modernity-addicted bird bath brain. Science, mathematics, logic also depend on “the same old reasoning.”

    You think it is  not just old but mistaken?  Then exult in your supposed superiority and do what an intelligent person would do —- go away quietly.

  • whytheworldisending

    A license is simply a permission to do something. The state’s permission is not required for people to have sex. Therefore state marriage licenses are obsolete just as secular marriage is becoming obsolete, because it is increasingly meaningless, being merely an announcement that people are in a sexual relationship. So called “Gay marriage” would be merely an extreme illustration of how meaningless secular marriage has become. This is why the gaytheists are so hell bent on arrogating some form of religious approval for it. But, like sin, the meaninglessness spreads. If religion approved gay marriage it would simply demonstrate that  the word religion has become meaningless. The word “natural” it seems has been stripped of meaning too. If homosexuality is not unnatural, what remains that might be called natural? The word becomes meaningless. This tendency towards meaningless is symptomatic of what moral corruption is about. As the Bible says, Evil came into the world because of the Devil’s envy. The Natural Order - God’s creation – is meaningful and it is good, and that is why the Devil wants to destroy it.

  • http://cumlazaro.blogspot.com/ Lazarus

    This assumes that there are no rational arguments for belief in God. As you’ll know -given your deep knowledge of Catholicism- it is a Catholic dogma (Vatican I, De revelatione) that this is not the case. 

    Have you disproved the arguments offered by Aquinas etc, or do you have some other reason for arguing that reason does not enter into belief in God?

  • JabbaPapa

    If your “knowledge” of Catholicism is “wide and deep”, you have only to demonstrate such width and depth in your writings, and then I would admit that I had been mistaken.

    Your trite tit-for-tat does not appear to be step in that direction, unfortunately…

  • http://cumlazaro.blogspot.com/ Lazarus

    @majorcalamity:disqus 

    ‘My knowledge of Catholicism is much wider, and deeper than you might imagine. However it is not in the UK, where it is largely irrelevant today. It comes from a third world country’

    I’ve got a suspicion -whether it’s true or not isn’t particularly important, but I think I recognize your style from other blogs- that we’re talking about the Philippines here. Let’s assume anyway that you’re familiar with a country which is extremely poor and has a dominant Catholic culture. Let’s also assume that you know a few priests who grumble about the Church.

    I’d point out first of all that none of this has entered into your arguments so far (certainly the ones I’ve responded to). You make philosophical claims about natural law,  human nature and freedom of conscience which you attempt to substantiate by (rather thin) philosophical analysis. And of course in one way that’s quite right: it’s perfectly possible that the ‘Philippines’ or wherever are precisely as bad as you say: that would be completely irrelevant to the definition of natural law or whether an argument from it could be applicable to homosexuality. So you do need philosophical arguments, it’s just that you haven’t got them.

    It’s quite clear that, emotionally, you’ve invested quite heavily in attacking Catholicism: your extended internet activity is evidence of that. Fair enough. But you simply haven’t invested as much time in thinking about the intellectual support for your arguments. You ‘know’ that Catholicism is a bad thing. You ‘know’ that morality is something to do with free choice and evolution. You know (and in this you are correct!) that Catholicism is full of bad people. My advice would be to go and read a few good books on naturalism (which I suspect would be your philosophy of choice): if you’re going to spend a lot of time arguing about these issues, you really should do it properly. (Stanford Encyclopedia again is a good starting point: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/naturalism/

    Take an analogy. Say I’ve had a few bad experiences with atheists. (I have.) Say I’ve lived in a city where I can see the ravages of a post Christian society every Friday night. (I have.) Say I know a few atheists who grumble about the nature of modern atheism. (I do.) If I then spent hours every day going on (say) Dawkins’ site arguing that quantum physics and mathematics are obviously false because of these experiences, would this be either a sound argument or a good use of my time?

  • ambita80

    The thing that I’m quite surprised about is that there is
    little argument regarding the rights of children, in particular how same-sex
    marriage effectively is the ultimate endorsement of ‘having a right to children’ and also denying children the right to have a relationship with their
    biological parents (I’m picking up on comments made by danmoon00 in the article
    about the postcards).   

     

    If marriage means the ‘right to found a family’ (as defined
    by various human rights acts), it follows that married same-sex couples
    immediately have the right to ‘obtain’ a child, since they cannot perform the
    pro-creative act among themselves. I’m assuming therefore, there will be a
    demand to have the State provide and pay for some kind of ‘baby factory’ for same-sex
    couples.  Does anyone know if this has
    happened in other countries?  Maybe I’m
    wrong?!  If I’m right, is this ethical?

     

    I see no mention of this issue in the consultation documents
    that I’ve seen, and this astounds me given the recent protests in France
    where the whole debate is centred around the family – some of the loudest
    voices have been from gay people themselves! 
    The consultation documents heavily emphasise the ‘love’ part of
    marriage, but no mention of ‘founding a family’ nor the impact on future
    generations – surely this is short-sighted?

     

    Don’t misunderstand me; I’m NOT disputing that a gay person
    cannot be a good parent – this isn’t the issue here.  I’m a single mother and it pains me every
    single day that I have denied my child the right to know her real father, even
    though I try my very best to be a good Mum.

  • JabbaPapa

    the people trying to regularise their relationships

    You mean, all those people in civil partnerships ?

    In what way does UK Law consider their partnerships to be “irregular” ???

    You’re just making things up out of thin air.