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After yesterday’s vote, I won’t be voting for the Tories again

The marriage Bill has opened a chasm between its supporters and opponents

By on Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Home Secretary Theresa May said she supported the Bill as a practising Anglican (Photo: PA)

Home Secretary Theresa May said she supported the Bill as a practising Anglican (Photo: PA)

I have just been sent a book to review: How to Get More Out of Holy Communion by St Peter Julian Eymard, published by Sophia Institute Press. Opening it at random (something one should not do) I alighted on the following passage: “We are tormented by a great sadness. It is fixed in the depths of our heart and will not be dislodged therefrom. There is no joy for us on the face of the earth that is not fleeting and that does not end in tears; there is none and there can be none. This sorrow comes to us as an integral part of our heritage from Adam, through whose sin we are exiles from our native land and from our Father’s house.”

This passage reminds us of the larger, eternal context of our lives, despite a sense of frustration and of sadness at the current local context: the sorry state of affairs our Government has got us into over yesterday’s debate on the proposed Bill to redefine marriage. What is obvious to those who have any historical perspective, who have an understanding of the common good, who want what is best for children and future generations, and who foresee the unintended consequences of this disastrous piece of legislation, is that yesterday’s vote – 400 in favour of redefinition, 175 against – marks the start of a formal and unbridgeable chasm between them and their opponents.

My father used to quote to me, “Man proposes; God disposes.” In this instance man has proposed a piece of folly; God, whatever those who use his name to support their ideas might imagine – for example, I heard Theresa May, the Home Secretary, say on the radio yesterday that as a practising Anglican she supported the Bill – will make his own dispositions clear in time. In the here and now, as with William Oddie’s recent blog on this subject, I will not be voting for the Tories in the next election or indeed again; the party that used to defend the preservation of what was tried, tested and true in our ancient institutions (and surely marriage comes into this category) has gone for good. As William Oddie commented, if this stance brings Labour to power in 2015 it could not be any worse.

A young priest got in touch with me early last week to suggest that the Catholic Herald promote parish Adoration during yesterday’s debate, to remind Catholics that nothing good can be achieved without prayer. As it happened, the Herald was about to go to press so it was too late to include this idea. Nonetheless, although prayer is not the only practical remedy against coming events which one is powerless to prevent – the legislation still has several hurdles to overcome at the committee stage, though it is unlikely its opponents will be able to do more than merely modify it – prayer is still the final, most powerful and most consoling one. As St Peter Eymard reminds us, we are in exile from our native land and from our Father’s house during our time in this world. The Bishop of Shrewsbury suggested in a recent interview with Luke Coppen in the Herald that we must be prepared to face persecution in the future. Why should this surprise us?

  • JabbaPapa

    Just the same old horrid troll.

    Ban this idiot !!!

  • JabbaPapa
  • JabbaPapa

    You ghastly TROLL.

  • JabbaPapa

    there has been much more variety in child-rearing arrangements over the centuries

    … none of which have ever severed the NATURAL bond between mother and child.

  • JabbaPapa

    Do not feed the trolls, including this one who delights in multiple online identities and the impersonation of his betters.

    Why do I say “his betters” ? Because he is such a low and wasteful scoundrel that his betters include almost the whole of the internet.

  • JabbaPapa

    Shut up, you bloody TROLL

  • JabbaPapa

    Shut up, you bloody TROLL

  • JabbaPapa

    Shut up, you bloody TROLL

  • Jonathan West

    If a lesbian woman decides to get pregnant, would that sever the  natural bond between her and her child?

    If an unmarried woman decides to get pregnant, would that sever the  natural bond between her and her child?

    If a divorced and remarried woman decides to get pregnant, would that sever the natural bond between her and her child?

  • Patrickhowes

    Don´t be fooled by them either!I understand your frustration but faces we see but hearts not and they have not fully revealed themselves.I did think when I listened to some good,valiant MPs defend marriage the other day,that mayve this should be the departure point for a new political,Christian party

  • Patrickhowes

    Where did you go to?

  • scary goat

     Nick, I guess?

  • scary goat

     “JabbaJabba.”  Looks like Nick.

  • W Oddie

    Of course she was.

  • Peter

    “Bring it on”
    For a start, there’s nothing in science, absolutely nothing, which refutes Catholic doctrine.Secondly, scientific discoveries such as the universe having a beginning, and hypotheses such as the universe beginning from nothing, actually reinforce Catholic doctrine.It is frankly wonderful that the two great breakthroughs of last century – general relativity and quantum mechanics – both bear witness to the truth of Catholic doctrine.

    The former led to the discovery that the universe had a beginning, and the latter leads to the hypothesis that the universe began from nothing.

  • JabbaPapa

    Yep, seems so — “Nick” AKA “phil”.

  • http://jessicahof.wordpress.com/ JessicaHof

    Francis – I agree. My MP voted against this bill, which puts me in a dilemma. I can’t vote for Labour (and even if I did, here it would make no difference to the result) and I won’t vote for the Lib Dems. So I will probably vote for my good MP and ignore the fact that his party has taken leave of its sense.

  • Jonathan

    “God is angry with us”  He’s got a funny way of showing it.

  • Jonathan West

    I think Catholic doctrine calls on you to make intercessory prayers for the sick. It has been well established that those intercessions have no effects.

    As for your claims concerning science’s affirmation of catholic doctrine, relativity and the subsequent discoveries showed the universe to be far older than catholic doctrine suggested, and not to have been made in 6 days. Evolution by natural selection has shown that there was no original Adam and Eve created directly by God, and the idea of that universe began from nothing is decidedly contrary to Catholic doctrine, in that Catholic doctrine says that the universe came from God.

    But if you want to re-inter[pret Catholic doctrine in the light of scientific discoveries and then claim that the doctrine was right all along, then I shan’t try to stop you from engaging in this particular variety of self-deception.

  • Peter

    “relativity and the subsequent discoveries showed the universe to be far older than catholic doctrine suggested, and not to have been made in 6 days.”

    Your ignorance of Catholic doctrine is showing:

    “Scripture presents the work of the Creator SYMBOLICALLY as a succession of six days of divine “work” “(CCC337) [my capitals]

    “Evolution by natural selection has shown that there was no original Adam and Eve created directly by God”

    Again your confusion shows.  What do you mean by “directly created”?  Do you mean literally as in Genesis?  If so, I refer you to the quote from the Cathechism above.

    “the idea of that universe began from nothing is decidedly contrary to Catholic doctrine, in that Catholic doctrine says that the universe came from God.”

    And yet again you are mired in confusion.

    The Catechism asserts that God simply called the universe into existence out of nothingness:   ” The world began when God’s word drew it out of nothingness” (CCC338).    The hypothesis of the universe emerging from nothing is merely the physical explanation of how such a process occurred.   As such it is decidedly consistent with Catholic doctrine.

    The Catechism is very clear that the universe did not come from God, nor was it fashioned by God from pre-existing matter:  “We believe that God needs no pre-existent thing or any help in order to create, nor is creation any sort of necessary emanation from the divine substance. (CCC296).  

    This response of your highlights the achilles heel of atheism which is a profound misuderstanding of Catholic doctrine.

  • Bellarmine

    Why were you voting for them in the first place, Francis? They are the party of greed and power, unconcerned about the poor, uncaring about immigrants unless they are rich, oppressive of workers, their manifesto the antithesis of the Sermon on the Mount.

  • Peter

    “I think Catholic doctrine calls on you to make intercessory prayers for the sick. It has been well established that those intercessions have no effects.”

    If you are recoursing to science to make this assertion, then you must scientifically refute each and every one of the medical miracles which have taken place in recent decades as prerequisites to beatification and canonisation.

    Since you have not even begun to do so, nor display any desire to, I can only conclude that your above assertion is without foundation.

  • Jonathan West

    You are engaging in the logical fallacy of shifting the burden of proof. It is for you to prove that intercessory prayer actually was the cause of whatever effect you are designating as a miracle.

    It is not enough to say that the miracle merely occurred after the prayer, that would be the cum hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy (correlation implies causation).

    Once you eliminate “evidence” that has been accumulated by reliance on such logical fallacies, the fact is that you have none.

  • Jonathan West

    The fact is that Catholic doctrine has changed in the light of scientific discoveries. For instance, the symbolic nature of the six days was only emphasised after it became impossible to sustain the idea of a literal six day creation. I’m a bit more knowledgeable about Catholic doctrine than you give me credit for, I have a friend who is a trained theologian who learned from the Jesuits.

  • Jonathan West

     Slippery Slope logical fallacy.

  • Peter

    It is you who are committing a logical error.

    Your motive in disproving the effects of intercessory prayer is to disprove the existence of the supernatural.

    However, if a genuine miracle is deemed to have taken place after rigourous  testing, the existence of the supernatural has already been proven.

    Which, of course undermines your motive for disproving the effects of intercessory prayer.

  • Peter

    You can’t be that knowledgeable if you haven’t heard of St.Augustine’s rejection 1600 years ago of a literalist interpretation of Genesis:

    Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of the world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion[quoting 1 Tim 1:7]

    (The Literal Meaning of Genesis, AD 415)

  • Jonathan West

    “The supernatural” is a bit of a vague and woolly concept. It would help if you were to pin down the definition a bit more so it became a testable hypothesis so we could try and find out whether it exists or not.

    Let’s stick to the issue of intercessory prayer. If you want to demonstrate that it works, then you would need to offer a mechanism for the prayer working, and then to demonstrate that no other mechanism or confounding factor could have caused the effect you see.
    The supernatural isn’t the only area where people not adequately trained in critical thinking slip up. The whole area of alternative medicine in all its varieties is also extremely vulnerable to this issue. So you can understand better what I’m on about, I would very strongly recommend that you go and read the article “A kind of magic?” by Ben Goldacre.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/nov/16/sciencenews.g2

    The topic of the article is homeopathy, but many similar issues apply.

  • Jonathan West

    Well, that rather seems to be my point made for me by Augustine, i.e. that doctrine must be and is adapted to the evidence of the world around you.

  • Peter

    That’s one way of interpreting it, but its not the Church’s.

  • JabbaPapa

    Obviously not — but had it occurred to you that I might have used that wording with circumspection in the first place ?

    Not that you appear to have understood the implicit evocation of the natural bond between father and child, father and mother …

  • JabbaPapa

    … but plenty of taxation without representation

  • JabbaPapa

    I think Catholic doctrine calls on you to make intercessory prayers for
    the sick. It has been well established that those intercessions have no
    effects.

    Oh good grief !!!

    Which part of the fact that “these claims of yours are based on irrationally devised pseudo-scientific gobbledigook” have you failed to understand ???

  • Peter

    You are straying from the original point which was that there is nothing in science to refute Catholic doctrine. 

    The onus is therefore on you to scientifically refute it.

    You must disprove that miracles are miracles and that they are the result of interessory prayer.

    A miraculous cure, after rigorous testing, is deemed to be the supernatural consequence of intercessory prayer.

    This is believed by the parties involved in particular and by the faithful in general. 

    There is no reason not to believe, but if you decide not to believe that is your right.   
    You can select select a case and subject it to thorough inquiry.

    If you can prove that there is no miracle, or that the miracle occurred for a specific reason other than intercessory prayer,  you can publish your findings as refutation of the Church’s canonisation and beatification process.

    Failing that the default position is that a miracle has occurred and it is the result of intersessory prayer, whether you like it or not.

  • JabbaPapa

    You are engaging in the logical fallacy of shifting the burden of proof

    Codswallop !!! YOU are the one asserting that your claims are true, the burden of proof of YOUR statements belongs to nobody else but yourself.

    the cum hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy (correlation implies causation)

    An *excellent* description of the flaws in the pseudo-scientific “trials” that you are implicitly referring to.

    Once you eliminate “evidence” that has been accumulated by reliance on such logical fallacies, the fact is that you have none

    Is it at last dawning on you that pseudo-science of the type found in those “trials” does not provide any evidence ?

  • JabbaPapa

    Nattering on about “logic” again ?

    It would be more convincing if your posts demonstrated a sturdier grip on the discipline than they actually do.

  • Rector

    Scripture reminds us that ‘Perfect love casts out fear’. In opposing this measure it seems to me that, in part, people are exposing a deep seated fear. All this talk of God being angry shows a totally immature understanding of Almighty God’s reationship with God’s beloved, (you and me). God loves each one of us with a love which is beyond measure. Scripture tells us that, the Mass shows us that and my expereince as sinful person convinces me. Let’s stop making, ‘God’s love too narrow by false limits God will not own’ and let’s rejoice in the joy of human love blessed by God who loves to bless.

  • Maccabeus

    Laugh away!!

  • Patrickhowes

    But is it better where you moved to?As I think this malaise is everywhere,isn´t it?

  • Danny

    The church used to believe the earth was the centre of the universe, and that the earth was flat, they would and did burn anyone who said otherwise, as heretic.   Now the vatican has it’s own observatory to study God’s universe.   In years to come people will look back in wonder at the homophobia taught by some in the church.

  • licjjs

    rector

    Leaving aside all the philosophical and theological problems about a pure spirit’s being ‘angry’, do you think that God cannot be angry and abhor sin?  God is Love and cannot change in that – but anger can be an expression of the deepest love and, in fact, can be a potent way of showing one’s erring offspring that they are indeed loved.  Scripture may tell us that God loves us, but it also speaks of the blast of His blazing anger.  I am not sure what ‘human love blessed by God’ you are referring to, but I take it that you are not referring to the blasphemy of asking God to bless the para-sex that is referred to as ‘love’ used between two men or two women?  As it says somewhere in Scripture, ‘ I shall turn your very blessings into a curse’.  In my opinion, deep friendship has to be re-discovered as a relationship – it seems to be almost extinct.  As King David says of Jonathan, ‘Your love to me more  precious than the love of a woman’ and the one who said, ‘A man can have no greater love than the lay down his life for his friends’ will surely bless such friendships.

  • Rector

    I am not sure what ‘human love blessed by God’ you are referring to, but I take it that you are not referring to the blasphemy of asking God to bless the para-sex that is referred to as ‘love’ used between two men or two women?
    But I am not the arbiter of what God does or does not bless, nor do I seek to say what God does. I trust in that love from which nothing can separate us, and I have my own work cut out not offending God’s Holy Laws established in love. I leave it to others to stand befroe God. I haven’t yet heard of any gay person struck down by God, but plenty persecuted by self appointed interpetors of how God moves.

  • Jonathan West

    In what way does two women marrying each other affect the bond between father and child in any other family?

  • whytheworldisending

    You haven’t heard that 34million people have died from AIDs? I don’t believe it.

  • whytheworldisending

    Everyone used to believe that – not just the church. There have and still are lots of people calling themselves christians who are not church at all. Many of them are monsters, like those who burnt others to death, and like those who do evil and want to teach children to join them in their evil activities. No MP who voted for SSM is a christian.

  • whytheworldisending

    Parents love their children and so would not want them to smoke. If they discover they want to smoke and tell them smoking is bad, they are showing them love. If they ignore their parents advice and get cancer, that does not mean their parents hate them, and if their parents warn them that smoking could kill them, they do so out of love. A child who thinks such a parent is a bad parent, is in has been groomed by people who have no interest in their well-being. Homosexual acts have caused 34 million deaths and will cause the deaths of millions more people, so do youreslf and everyone else a favour. Wise up and read your gospels.   

  • JabbaPapa

    The church used to believe the earth was the centre of the universe, and that the earth was flat, they would and did burn anyone who said otherwise, as heretic

    http://www.geocentricity.com/astronomy_of_bible/flatearth/flatmythnfact.pdf

    There is no record of anyone being burned at the stake for adhering to a spherical earth.

  • Jonathan West

    Well, they wouldn’t would they!

  • JabbaPapa

    You’re only adding the adverbial phrase “in any other family” because it is obvious that your scenario ruins the bond between father, mother, and child in such a scenario.

  • whytheworldisending

    The Christian Medical fellowship says that costs of sexual freedom and relationship breakdown to the taxpayer and wider economy total some £100 billion annually; about twice as much as alcohol abuse, smoking and obesity combined. Furthermore, these costs are imposed on society as a whole, rather than borne solely by the individuals most directly responsible. ‘Free sex: Who pays? Moral hazard and sexual ethics’, by Jubilee Centre researcher Guy Brandon.

    That is why NHS hospitals are so underfunded and overworked that the elderly are being left to die in their own faeces, because nurses simply cannot cope. Promiscuity and sexual permissiveness isn’t just killing willing participants, and AIDS isn’t just killing homosexuals. These animalistic behaviours are killing hospital patients by diverting funds and staff time away from them and depriving them of care, compassion and dignity.

    And why? For the sexual gratification of degenerates. A civilised society? I don’t think so – but David Cameron does. He wants to encourage homosexcual acts and promiscuity generallly by pretending that it is harmless. It is not. Ordinary families and dedicated health workers are paying the price for the hedonistic nonsense peddled by the political classes. Of course the ydon’t need the NHS do they. They send their kids to private schools, and their elderly relatives receive private health care. Toffs don’t care about us. They think we are dispensable – they regard us as “Plebs.”