John Paul II, RIP

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Pope dies, 9:37 pm Rome time. First Saturday benefits will definitely apply.

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  1. And so passes the most popular shepherd on the face of the Earth. His flocks bleat out in sorrow. Little do they realize he was merely a sheep himself.

  2. “I’m a libertarian; religion is stupid”. There, you can all go home now.

  3. Well let this agnostic libertarian be the first commenter to actually express his sorrow. The world is poorer without him.

  4. No female priests. No married priests. Condoms don’t help prevent AIDS. Homosexuality is a sin.

    But:

    Against both Gulf Wars.

  5. “Little do they realize he was merely a sheep himself.”

    As he would have been the first to admit.

    He was a Christian, you see.

  6. Heh, good catch on the First Saturday connection, Tim. Maybe I shouldn’t have been dogging Mother Angelica’s views on the matter last week…

  7. I’d’ve had a lot more respect for him if he’d insisted that Cardinal Law stand trial for his role in the child-sex scandal rather than give him shelter in the Vatican, but I suppose one could make the pragmatic argument that he did enough good to balance out the evil of covering for pedophile rapists.

  8. Jennifer,

    …Ouch!

  9. Time to break out the improbable greeting card from Mary Ann Madden’s _Thank You for the Giant Sea Tortoise_ (I think) :

    Saw your smoke / Now you’re pope / Congrats!

  10. And let’s not forget he was a saint-making machine. Frankly, I think he was holding on those last few days hoping he could squeeze in just one more.

  11. Let me be the first to express the strong preference that the next pope be called George Ringo.

  12. “Let me be the first to express the strong preference that the next pope be called George Ringo.”

    Or Johny Ringo…

    “That’s Latin darlin’, seem his Emminence is an educated man. Now I REALLY hate ’em!”

  13. On the plus side, he did his part in bringing down the evil empire.

  14. Akira MacKenzie,

    He he he. 🙂

    Deus ex Machina,

    And he apparently despised the capitalist & materialist society springing up in its place. Some people are never satisfied. 🙂

  15. Thank you, Reasonoids. I was actually getting pretty sick of the warm fuzzies being served up by the folks in the MSM.

    I know where to turn if I’m in the mood for harsh, unfair criticism of the hours-ago deceased — especially a man none of us here can hold a candle to.

  16. Gary Gunnels,

    Considering the regimes he lived under in Poland, I think he can be forgiven for being skeptical of any socioeconomic system purporting to be The Answer To All Problems. His concern in social matters was not with economic efficiency but with preserving and enhancing human dignity.

    Of course, I would suggest that free market capitalism is the economic system most consistent with his goal, but I have the advantage of growing up with this system.

  17. crime, as an Apostate ex-Altar Boy, I would be eminently qualified to hold a candle, if I thought such mumbo-jumbo worth my time anymore. That said, JPII had his good points, starting with his secular role as a rallying point for the Poles and others who wore down the Iron Curtain.

    I’ve seen various reviews of Centissimus Annus that contend that Mr. Wojtyla was much less hostile to free enterprise than your average U.S. Conference of Bishops welfare-junkie. He wasn’t Michael Novak, but he was no distributist, neither.

    Kevin

  18. He was energetic and spent a lot of time traveling, taking his message to an “unprecedented number of people around the world”. If you don’t believe in the catholic message, that’s actually a bad thing. “The church” dominated Western civilization for about 1500 years–let’s not elevate it that highly again.

  19. What’s the big deal? Everybody knows the Church is run by the Great Queen Spider.

  20. You know … the new pope might just make you wish you had ol John Paul II back to kick around again. Or is that really only U.S. Presidents who seem to get worse and worse every time?

    Sure John Paul’s positions had their good and bad sides (we could all do without the taboo on birth control) but his consistency was also very welcome in a world full of politicians.

  21. Anonymo the Anonymous,

    Nice South Park reference. 🙂

  22. Gary Gunnels,

    You may run circles around me in knowing the details of Supreme Court decisions, but you clearly have no clue when it comes to JP2’s teachings. If you promise to read the sections of the Catechism of the Catholic Church relevant to the topics you brought up, I’ll read your laundry list of SCOTUS decisions regarding abortion.

  23. GG,

    Your post indicates that you have no clue about Catholic theology. Your comments lump Catholics with Fundamentalist “Christians.” Catholics believe in free will and not in predetermination. Thus, Catholicism is inherently centered around humanity and individuality.

  24. crimethink,

    The RCC opposes gay marraige right? The Pope has never said anything nice about Buddhism, has he?

    What about the Pope’s views on women as seen in On The Collaboration Of Men And Women In The Church And In The World? Its a document filled with paternalistic non-sense.

    As I wrote, human dignity for only those humans its favors.

    Richard,

    Thus, Catholicism is inherently centered around humanity and individuality.

    Christianity despises humans; the New Testament is replete with that message.

  25. Let’s also note that JPII is the person who named homosexuality an “ideology of evil.” Yeah right, human dignity. 🙂

  26. Christianity despises humans; the New Testament is replete with that message.

    Now see, not all Christians consider the Bible to be the last word on faith. The attitude of some of us ? the ones who are “liberal,” by most people’s definition ? is that it doesn’t much matter what the Bible says, it matters what God says. Not all of us think that the two are one and the same, and the Catholic church is definitely not in that camp.

    Not to say that Catholicism is a human-centered doctrine; no form of Christianity can be entirely human-centered, but it can be humanist. Don’t mistake “humans aren’t the measure of all things” for “humans are worth less than nothing.”

  27. The Vatican also didn’t like folks exercising political rights when their cause was something he opposed:

    The Vatican had earlier criticised the Italian government and the Rome city authorities for allowing the parade.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/825852.stm

    Yeah, human dignity; tell me another cock and bull story.

  28. grylliade,

    That’s just called making it up as you go along. And in the Church’s eyes humanity is worth less than nothing when humanity deviates from the Church’s positions. Since the Lateran Council the RCC has been on a “control deviance” kick which has cost the lives of many a human.

  29. GG,

    Cite to one passage that explicitly states your contention that Christianity despises humans.

    The Catholic take on homosexuality is that the act is a sin. One should love the person, loath the sin. Not hate the person for the sin. You are still lumping Catholics with fundamentalist Christians.

  30. BTW, it used to be that homosexuality was merely a “disorder” in Catholic eyes; now its an “ideology.”

  31. Gary Gunnels,

    The human dignity JP2 talks so voluminously about is inherent to all humans, created as they are in God’s image. Thus, one does not have to approve of a person’s behavior or life choices in order to recognize their dignity as persons. Put more simply, one can hate the sin while loving the sinner.

    Also, considering Jesus was human, how could the NT be anti-human? Or is any belief that humanity is not the highest form of existence anti-human in your view?

  32. Richard,

    Let’s see, according to the New Testament, humans may not enter Heaven without grace. What does that tell you about humans? It doesn’t tell you many positive things about them, that’s for sure.

    Our bodies are viewed as corrupted vessels. Original sign cloaks us.

    The Catholic doctrine is that homosexuality is an “ideology of evil”; that’s from the Pope’s latest book.

  33. Richard,

    And of course Catholic doctrine on homosexuality is immoral, disgusting and ultimately anti-modern and anti-freedom. But what else do you expect of a church which was slow to condemn slavery, slow to support suffrage, slow to endorse capitalism, slow to endorse scientific freedom, slow to endorse freedom of religion and speech, etc. Is there a moral issue which the RCC hasn’t trailed the rest of the West on? Its been so wrong, so often that any faith one puts in the RCC is flat out foolish.

    crimethink,

    Thus, one does not have to approve of a person’s behavior or life choices in order to recognize their dignity as persons. Put more simply, one can hate the sin while loving the sinner.

    I don’t buy that particular bit of sophistry. When you hate the so-called sin (sin doesn’t exist mind you) you invariably end up hating the individual. Which explains why so many Christians are opposed to gay political rights and favor anti-sodomy laws.

  34. it doesn’t much matter what the Bible says, it matters what God says. Not all of us think that the two are one and the same, and the Catholic church is definitely not in that camp.

    Well, actually, the Catholic Church does believe that what the Bible says is (part of) what God says; it differs from Protestantism in its view of how one figures out what the Bible actually says.

  35. crimethink,

    The RCC rejects sola scriptura. It is more prone to make up crap when it is so inclined. For example, the Lateran Council of 1139 forged the seculars and regulars by forcing the former to become celibate. Yet there is nothing in the scripture that actually commands or requires such (and nothing there demands or requires a professional priesthood either).

  36. crimethink,

    Of course, much of the Old and New Testaments is made up crap itself, so all the RCC is doing is carrying on a long-standing tradition.

  37. Let’s see, according to the New Testament, humans may not enter Heaven without grace. What does that tell you about humans? It doesn’t tell you many positive things about them, that’s for sure.

    I suppose Heisenberg was anti-human for claiming that humans can’t know both the position and velocity of an electron. That’s not a very positive thing to say, now is it?

  38. When you hate the so-called sin (sin doesn’t exist mind you) you invariably end up hating the individual.

    Speak for yourself.

    I do sense a pattern here. You interpret a recognition of the limits and the weaknesses of humanity as hatred of humans. You also interpret the unwillingness to approve of gay sex as hatred of homosexuals. Are you falling prey to the same rigidity of thought conservatives are so often accused of?

  39. crimethink,

    Heisenberg wasn’t making a moral argument about human beings however; he was merely stating the difficulties associated with measuring, dealing with, etc. conjugate variables. In other words, your analogy is inapposite. Try again.

  40. I am a senior at a catholic high school but am by no means a catholic. The fact that i’m 18 probably means that nobody will listen to what i have to say because i must be stupid because i am young. I must say, while i don’t believe many of its teachings, the catholic church has a solid foundation in much of what they say. As for those who are bashing the recently deceased pope, you’re ridiculous. You bash the man for condemning homosexuality, ARTIFICIAL birth control, and females in the clergy, but what did you honestly expect. These ideas are contrary to the teachings of the church, of course he is going to be against to teach against them. That is not to say the church banishes the people who practice these things, but rather, urges them to change so as to become closer to the churches idea of god. Female priests and married priests are not part of the church because the church is following in the image of jesus and not conforming to some politically correct 21st century standard. The church teaches against condoms as a way to stop aids in africa because in the church’s eyes condoms separate unitive and procreative aspects of sex as well as vioalating the sixth commandment which forbids adultery. The church views homosexuality as a perversion of the gift of sex. So obviously the church is not going to approve of these things, but it doesn’t advocate killing homosexuals or those who use condoms either.
    As for the belief that christianity views humanity as nothing is just outright ludicrous. Christianity says humans are created in the image and likeness of God. We are not worthless, simply not equals with God. Our intrinsic good was corrupted by original sin and that is why we must strive to purify ourselves in order to participate in eternal life with God. Again its not that i necessarily believe in the teachings of the catholic church, but don’t criticize the pope for proclaiming the catholic teachings…he is after all the head of the institution.

  41. “I know where to turn if I’m in the mood for harsh, unfair criticism of the hours-ago deceased…”

    Two words:

    CHRISTOPHER GODDAM HITCHENS!

    http://slate.msn.com/id/2116085/

  42. The RCC rejects sola scriptura

    As I said, the Bible is part of what God says. What the Bible says is true, but it is not the only source of truth.

    Sola scriptura, the idea that Christians should believe only what the Bible tells them to, contradicts itself. The Bible, after all, says nothing about sola scriptura… 🙂

  43. GG,

    Since you seem so fond of Buddhism, or maybe you aren’t, name one religion that was not “slow to condemn slavery, slow to support suffrage, slow to endorse capitalism, slow to endorse scientific freedom, slow to endorse freedom of religion and speech, etc.” Atheism is the theology of communism, so don’t dare say atheism (which is a belief and thus fits within the definition of religion.)

  44. crimethink,

    Prove sin exists then. You’ll be about as successful as those who try to prove the existance of other flaky notions like souls. 🙂

    You interpret a recognition of the limits and the weaknesses of humanity as hatred of humans.

    Not really. I recognize the weaknesses and limits of individual human beings. I’m just not willing to argue that because they exist that a God must exist. Humans defeat these weaknesses and limitations over time after all. I must admit, given your attitude we’d be back in the world of medeival attitudes.

    You also interpret the unwillingness to approve of gay sex as hatred of homosexuals.

    Christians hate homosexuals; when Christians call homosexuality an “ideology of evil” its difficult to view it any other way. Hell, I consider communism an “ideology of evil,” and I will readily admit that allows me to despise communists. That’s just the way it is.

    Are you falling prey to the same rigidity of thought conservatives are so often accused of?

    I take a principled stance against the superstition and irrationality which is religious belief. Unlike conservatives such as yourself, I don’t argue that my position should be made into law.

  45. bonzo:

    Don’t apologize for your youth. If your argument is solid we’ll respect it.

    My Catholic high school – heck, grammar school – taught me how to capitalize proper nouns. The H.S. offered a typing class, which is why I know how to use the shift key. 🙂 Of course, even old farts like gaius are lazy about that.

    Kevin
    (not Catholic, either)

  46. Gary Gunnels,

    I can see we’re just arguing past each other. You can’t seem to get your mind around the possibility of separating who a person is, from what they do. Until you can, it’s pointless to argue with you.

    Good night.

  47. The best thing I can say about the man is, he officially endorsed the naturalistic view of man’s family tree. He learned the lesson of history.

    I don’t think it would surprise me if the next pope takes that one back.

  48. GG,

    “Unlike conservatives such as yourself, I don’t argue that my position should be made into law.”

    Since when did crimethink or anyone else argue that homosexuality should be outlawed? Since when did anyone here advocate adopting Cannons as law?

    “Christians hate homosexuals; when Christians call homosexuality an “ideology of evil” its difficult to view it any other way. Hell, I consider communism an “ideology of evil,” and I will readily admit that allows me to despise communists. That’s just the way it is.”

    Just because you think this way doesn’t mean the rest of humanity does. We had a priest who said that when Jesus died for our sins, he shut the gates of Hell and flung open the gates of Heaven for everyone. That doesn’t mean we have a license to sin.

  49. crimethink,

    What the Bible says is true, but it is not the only source of truth.

    Like I wrote, you make it up as you go along.

    And it says nothing about a Pope or the current Church hierarchy as it was founded in the 11th century.

    Richard,

    …name one religion that was not “slow to condemn slavery…

    The Quakers, followed very quickly by romantic secularists, were the first to condemn it as immoral (most of Western history is replete with defenses of it). The RCC waited around two centuries before it got off its arse on the matter.

    …slow to support suffrage…

    One of the major reasons why France did not adopt universal suffrage until 1944 was due to Church pressure.

    …slow to endorse capitalism…

    Well, it still hasn’t endorsed capitalism. 🙂

    …slow to endorse scientific freedom…

    It still doesn’t endorse scientific freedom. 🙂

    …slow to endorse freedom of religion and speech, etc.

    It still doesn’t; witness the Church’s opposition to a gay rights march in Rome.

    Atheism is the theology of communism…

    Well, first, atheism isn’t a theology; theology is properly understood as the study of things religious or of God. Instead, atheism is a doctrine.

    Second, I’m not a communist, and not all atheists have been communists (indeed, quite a number of them have been capitalists).

    And of course, if I wanted to smear Catholicism with say, I dunno, Nazism, well, that wouldn’t be a hard task to do.

    …which is a belief and thus fits within the definition of religion.

    No, atheism is not a religion. A religion is a belief in a supernatural power, not the disbelief in such. More specifically it is the belief in a supernatural being and the practices associated with that belief. I always have to lecture ignorant theists on this point.

    Now, atheist is a belief; but a belief is not a religion.

  50. crimethink,

    I understand the reality of the situation; you are simply unwilling to accept it. But I ask again, if human dignity is what it is all about, then why pray reveal is the RCC opposed to gay rights groups marching in Rome? Could it be due to their dislike of homosexuals? And why can’t they respect the political rights of homosexuals? Because they are hypocrites of course.

    Richard,

    Sin doesn’t exist. Its a primitive and irrational way of thinking of human nature.

  51. kevrob,

    gaius marius purposefully doesn’t capitalize as I recall; something about revolutionizing the written word as I recall. 🙂

  52. Unlike conservatives such as yourself, I don’t argue that my position should be made into law.

    Perhaps not, but you do brand those who disagree with your position as [insert name of group here]-haters.

    And as Richard says, I don’t argue that my positions should be made law, except those that involve protecting the rights of individuals (ie abortion). Surprisingly — and perhaps disturbingly for both of us — we’re probably not that far apart politically.

    Politics makes strange bedfellows. But please don’t interpret that as an invitation. 🙂

  53. GG,
    I’m curious as to know what you would define as sin?

  54. I understand the reality of the situation; you are simply unwilling to accept it.

    Not true. You’re not going to make much headway in this argument by asserting that it’s impossible to do what I do in many situations every day (ie hate the sin, love the sinner). Not that I’m perfect at it, but it is possible.

  55. crimethink,

    I will always defend your right to think and do things that are irrational and stupid. 🙂

    I don’t label anyone, anything. People themselves do that. Again, I ask, why the Vatican would ask the government not to permit a gay rights group to march in Rome, if they really did accept the dignity of all human beings?

    bonzofan,

    Sin doesn’t exist. Perhaos I am missing the point of the question.

  56. “Now see, not all Christians consider the Bible to be the last word on faith. The attitude of some of us ? the ones who are “liberal,” by most people’s definition ? is that it doesn’t much matter what the Bible says, it matters what God says.”

    But you can’t have it both ways. If it’s your God, and your God is infalliable, and the Bible is the revealed word of your God, then there is no room for interpretation. Either the Bible is the word of God (either direct of inspired)and whatever he says goes, or it’s a completely human-imagined document that secular-humanists–like me–are free to poke holes in.

  57. crimethink,

    How many gay folks do you hang out with on a daily basis? Do you have a lot of gay friends, in other words?

  58. Akira MacKenzie,

    Well, much of the Bible is so laughable as to making the poking easy. 🙂 Indeed, its understandable why many Christians would reject much of its tenants, history, etc., given how they clash with modern sensibilities regarding human rights, freedom, etc.

  59. GG,

    Sin does exist. It is not a science, but a representation of a specifically negative view of certain human actions. It exists on the same plain as “good” or “bad,” “positive” or “negative.”
    You are right, the Quakers did denounce slavery, and they are Christians. But Christians/Catholics did it during the Roman era long before any branch of Christianity split away.

    Further, you never answered my question. You just stated certain facts that semi-relevant to the conversation. Is France a religion? I asked about religions that accepted the views you listed as the being against the Catholic Church’s teachings. You answered one, sort of. I rebutted it above, you trailed off a tangent about my view of atheism as a religious belief. I admit, I also believe that environmentalism is a religion. But don’t distract yourself from the task of answering the question I posed at 9:17.

  60. GG,
    you say that sin does not exist. what exactly are you saying does not exist? what is your definition of sin?

  61. “You also interpret the unwillingness to approve of gay sex as hatred of homosexuals. …
    You can’t seem to get your mind around the possibility of separating who a person is, from what they do.”

    I hate to break it to you crimethink, but gay sex and homosexuality are inseparable, as almost any current research into homosexuality will reveal. This “hate the sin, love the sinner” crap does not fly with me. If the Catholic Church really believes that gays are just heterosexuals who can’t control themselves, it ought to just come out and advocate forced conversions for all gays. Alas, such conversions are typically a sham. Instead, the Church asks its gay members to remain celibate. Imagine the reverse for a moment. Imagine your church mindfucking you to the extent that you fear sex with the one you love because “it’s a sin”.

  62. “Atheism is the theology of communism…”

    Tell that to Ayn Rand–and to a “godless capitalist” like myself.

    “Hell, I consider communism an “ideology of evil,” and I will readily admit that allows me to despise communists.”

    Wow! I thought “Red Baiting” went out with the fall of the Berlin Wall.

  63. rhywun,
    what exactly is your point?

  64. Rhywun,

    It’s not hard to imagine, as I once fell in love with a married woman.

    Face it, any non-nihilistic moral code is eventually going to tell you that you can’t do something you want to do. None of us are perfect little angels; each of us has desires that militate against our moral code. Just because a desire is sexual in nature does not make its satisfaction moral.

  65. One of my points is that the Church does not fully recognize the humanity of gays, because it is unwilling to accept the possibility that gays are born that way.

  66. Richard,

    Sin does exist. It is not a science, but a representation of a specifically negative view of certain human actions.

    What a cop out. 🙂

    You are right, the Quakers did denounce slavery, and they are Christians.

    But they weren’t Catholics; indeed, the RCC actually burned a few at the stake as I recall.

    But Christians/Catholics did it during the Roman era long before any branch of Christianity split away.

    Bullshit fucking shit. The RCC specifically endorsed the enslavement of Jews and Muslims throughout most of its history. The only time the RCC objected to slavery was when a Muslim or Jew owned a Christian slave; Christians owning other Christians was just fine. The RCC didn’t start to condemn slavery in any wholesale manner until after the enlightenment. Learn a little about the history of your vile religion. Might I suggest David Brion Davis excellent works on the subject of slavery and Western culture. He quite clearly describes the laggard nature of Catholicism re: slavery.

    Is France a religion?

    The RCC in France is. The RCC in France was powerful enough to impede suffrage there. You are acting the sophist now. The RCC opposed female suffrage in a whole host countries; France is merely one example of such.

    I admit, I also believe that environmentalism is a religion.

    To be a religion a belief must hold the existance of a God. Look the term up you ignorant buffoon.

  67. Sin is an estrangement from God obviously (the New Testament goes into some detail regarding this issue). I guess you could also describe it as a violation of God’s will. Since no God exists, sin does not exist. I mean, DUH!, people.

  68. I once fell in love with a married woman.

    Please don’t pretend to not understand what I’m saying. Forbidding adultery is not the same as forbidding all sex, and you know it.

  69. the church doesn’t deny that homosexuals were born homosexuals. it says that homosexuality is a perversion of god’s gift of sexuality, which it sees as a union between a man and a woman. the church sees sex as a unitive and procreative union.(not that sex is solely procreative, the church teaches that sex is an enjoyable experience between lovers). Homosexuality simply violates the procreative aspect of sex.

  70. Richard,

    Anyway, the point of my laundry list was not to compare Catholicism to another religion, but to illustrate that Catholicism has been behind the curve in innumerable areas of the expansion of human liberty. As that is the case there is no reason for me to take Catholic doctrine seriously. Your question is therefor beside the point.

  71. The second greatest thing JPII did was apologize to Jews for the church’s mistreatment of them.

    Meddling in communist Poland’s affairs and igniting solidarity would be third.

  72. “But Christians/Catholics did it during the Roman era long before any branch of Christianity split away.”

    So I guess the slavery that occurred in Christendom from Constantine, through the Middle Ages, and up and beyond the reformation didn’t happen, hmmmm?

  73. hey gary did i ever say i believe in god? or that i am a catholic? or that i believe in sin? i was just asking what you were defining as sin, and thus saying didn’t exist

  74. Gary Gunnels,

    tbh, I’m not sure how many gay people I know, since I typically don’t hand out questionnaires when I meet people. But if a friend were to reveal that (s)he had a homosexual orientation, it wouldn’t make me think less of them, if that’s what you mean.

    I think part of the problem here is confusion about what it means to love. love != like. Whether you like someone is not under your control; it’s an emotional response to the person. Love on the other hand is an act of the will, a choice; it may be easier to love someone you like, but it’s not impossible to love someone you don’t like.

  75. bonzofan,

    Saying sex is merely about procreation is just an arbitrary idiocy. Natural law as a rule is like that since it is prone to all manner of subjective line drawing. At one time, for example, natural law was used as a defense of slavery; many Nazis created a natural law defense of the extermination of the Jews; etc.

  76. Homosexuality simply violates the procreative aspect of sex.

    And that is enough justification to deny gays the unitive aspect of sex? I don’t think so.

  77. GG,
    just wondering, but are you a moral relativist?

  78. Forbidding adultery is not the same as forbidding all sex

    If the person you want to have sex with is married it is.

  79. “the church doesn’t deny that homosexuals were born homosexuals…”

    How can ithey not? By admitting that homosexuality is driven by physiology, then you’ve got to admit that God had to have created it. After all, God is perfect, isn’t he? God is all good, right? He wouldn’t create something that was evil just to trip us up and send us to Hell, would he?

  80. Akira MacKenzie,

    I find that Catholics as a rule are wholly ignorant of their Church’s history.

    crimethink,

    tbh, I’m not sure how many gay people I know, since I typically don’t hand out questionnaires when I meet people. But if a friend were to reveal that (s)he had a homosexual orientation, it wouldn’t make me think less of them, if that’s what you mean.

    In other words, you don’t have any gay friends. That’s what I figured and that’s all I need to know.

    kmw,

    He apologized for a lot of other crap as well; though his apology was in many ways self-serving and din’t bring the Church itself into repute. It was largely a question of him stating that those who strayed from the faith were at fault; which is a complete cop out.

  81. And that is enough justification to deny gays the unitive aspect of sex? I don’t think so.

    in the church’eyes, yes. the church views gay sex as a perversion, that doesn’t mean it views homosexuals as less than human or that they don’t deserve equal treatment

  82. bonzofan,

    No. Though what I find falls within the orbit of moral or immorality is a very small number of matters, and they largely concern acts of force.

  83. In other words, you don’t have any gay friends. That’s what I figured and that’s all I need to know.

    ah, it’s reassuring to see that Gary’s ad hominem reflex is still working.

    Out of curiosity, Gary, how many friends do you have who have blood type AB? You don’t know? Why, you AB-hating bigot you!

  84. If the person you want to have sex with is married it is.

    “No sex with one particular person” DOES NOT EQUAL “no sex with that one half of the human race with which you are physically capable of having sex with”. Clear?

  85. bonzofan,

    Certainly the Church doesn’t view homosexual political rights something desiring equal treatment. Again, take a gander at the Church’s desire to have a gay rights rally banned by government fiat in Rome. And as far as I know the Church’s position on anti-sodomy laws at best equivocal; a large number of Catholic leaders raised a stink about the Supreme Court’s decision on the matter after all.

  86. crimethink,

    Again with the inapposite analogies. I’ve never stated that I find a blood type immoral; you have stated that you find homosexuals immoral however.

  87. the church views gay sex as a perversion, that doesn’t mean it views homosexuals as less than human or that they don’t deserve equal treatment

    On the contrary, it means precisely that. I would say that “unitive” sex is a pretty necessary component of humanity. By denying that to gays, the Church is treating them as less than human. How could that be so difficult to understand?

  88. Rhywun,

    Note that the New Testament doesn’t condemn men having more than one wife; except when a man is a deacon. Thus the pre-Christian polygamy found in Judaism seems to be alright.

  89. GG,

    You said, “I don’t label anyone, anything. People themselves do that.” Before that, you said, “Christians hate homosexuals; when Christians call homosexuality an “ideology of evil” its difficult to view it any other way.” You are explicitly labelling Christians as haters of homosexuals. Which side of your mouth are going to use to rationalize and distinguish these inconsistent statements?

    I am staunchly libertarian. I even tested it. [http://www.mises.org/quiz.asp] I am also a semi-practicing proud Catholic (8 years as an altar boy; hell, I even loved the DeNiro-Penn bomb “We’re No Angels”). I see areas in Catholic dogma that go against my view of liberty. I believe that homosexuals should have the same protections under the law as anyone else.

    Further, I don’t think that the law should reflect private biases against private actions. Religion and law have a long history feeding off of each other. More often than not, this relationship was detrimental towards the minority. But this forum was about the Pope’s passing. He did a lot of good, and it seems that some here want to gloss over that good in favor of the things they consider to be bad.

    Do I think he should have done more? Yes, but I have never been Pope, and I am positive that everyone else here has never been Pope. We don’t know the demands placed upon him. We will never know how difficult it is to be Pope. To sit here at our computers Monday Morning Quarterbacking the Pope is idiotic, and furthers accomplishes nothing. I don’t give two shits what people would do, I do care what people actually do, and how they do it.

    I am pissed at the media mindset of second-guessing everything that happens. Until someone is put in that position, there is no way we will know what that person would do. They don’t know what they would do. Gary, lets stop this horseshit, all of us. The Pope has died. May he rest in peace.

  90. Gary Gunnels,

    That’s not the point. The point is, my friends don’t reveal all their sexual desires to me, nor I to them; and neither do I ask them to tell me to what degree they find themselves attracted to those of the same sex, the opposite sex, cats, raincoats, and bathtub faucets.

    The right to privacy — I know you believe in that…

  91. Gary,

    Correct as you may be about JPII’s apologies, I’m trying to avoid bashing the man on his day of death. For thoreau’s sake, if no other.

  92. Richard,

    You are explicitly labelling Christians as haters of homosexuals.

    No Christians are applying that label to themselves by their own statements and actions. That I recognize this fact seems means that I am not blind to reality. If someone is a murderer or a thief and I state that they are, its hardly my fault for noticing this fact.

    I believe that homosexuals should have the same protections under the law as anyone else.

    Well, that’s good; at least you’re indoctrination didn’t hold.

    But this forum was about the Pope’s passing.

    This forum is about what the commentators here want it to be about. That’s how this blog works. We aren’t a bunch of cowardly Amy Wellborn’s here.

    He did a lot of good, and it seems that some here want to gloss over that good in favor of the things they consider to be bad.

    Yeah, we should all be P.C. and not discuss our true opinions on the matter. *chuckle*

    We don’t know the demands placed upon him.

    I honestly don’t give a flying fuck about his position in life, the demands placed upon him, etc.

    I am pissed at the media mindset of second-guessing everything that happens.

    We aren’t the media numbskull.

    Until someone is put in that position, there is no way we will know what that person would do.

    This reminds me of morons in graduate school who claimed stupidly that only women should study “women’s history” and the like. Again, this is a cop out.

    Did I hear someone cry “Uncle?” I think I did, and his name is Richard. 🙂

  93. crimethink,

    If you had any gay friends you would know about it without the need of a question and answer sheet. Sorry, your pathetic excuse doesn’t hold water.

  94. As to the Pope’s demise, in a few days he’ll be put in a box and he will rot and that will be the end of him.

  95. No Christians are applying that label to themselves by their own statements and actions. That I recognize this fact seems means that I am not blind to reality. If someone is a murderer or a thief and I state that they are, its hardly my fault for noticing this fact.

    Gary, even you’re not immune from the scourge of the inapposite analogy. If X kills someone, X is a murderer, and by calling him such you are merely stating fact.

    But if X disapproves of the actions of Y, and you say X hates Y, you are not merely stating fact. Disapproving of the actions of someone does not equal hating them.

  96. I’m another non-catholic graduate of catholic high school. Frankly, my biggest issue in regard to the catholic faith at the time was that I couldn’t fathom why anyone would believe they need to speak to God via the ears of another person, a human being no better or worse than themself. Certainly, I do no not agree with much of the ideology supported by the Pope and the Church. However, I think we show ourselves to be the closed-minded, unknowing people we rail against when we cannot respect an individual who clearly lived the life he preached without exception. I think a man who insisted on meeting and offering forgiveness to the terrorist who attempted to assasinate him makes him a man far worthier than many. I think a man who so loved his people that he traveled the world more than any predecessor just because he knew that most of his followers, from every corner of this earth, could never afford to travel to him. I think a man who remained consistent and utterly above reproach for nearly 30 years when we can’t manage to get a leader to stay out of trouble for 6 weeks is a man who deserves to be shown at least a bit of respect. It doesn’t matter whether you agreed with what he preached, many of us did not. But today the world lost a man who held his conviction deep within him, and I for one am not exactly certain that the world didn’t suffer a blow to humanity this day.

    I understand the teachings, so you are more than welcome to rant if it makes you feel better. I can deal with that, and frankly, on most issues I’m as sarcastic as the rest. However, it seems to me here that whatever your political leaning, whatever your faith or lack of, it should not be so difficult to look a at a man and see his decency and devotion as opposed to hyperfocusing on all of the issues that personally offended you, using them as though they represent a valid excuse to ignore the good in a man who truly did make a positive mark on this world. We would be better people ourselves if we would apply but a morsel of the very character we often bitch does not exist in those we don’t agree with.

    It’s true that he wasn’t anything but a human being if you get right down to it. Still, he was a human being that I will go on record as saying, despite the fact that he didn’t support many of the things that I do, lived a far more decent, loving, consistent, productive life than I.

  97. gary, his end came a few hours ago. you fought the good fight. tomorrow’s another day

  98. OK, Gary, I’ll try to craft an apposite analogy. Do you have any Fundamentalist Christian friends?

  99. GG,

    I will never cry uncle. Nor will I gloss over the bad in favor of my view of the good. Nor do I believe that in “copping out.” As an individual, not as “men” or “women” or “black” or “white” or any other group meme, I find it impossible to understand all of the considerations that one undertakes when making an action. Basic philosophy and economics strongly suggest that all behavior is rational from the view of the actor. When I am not the actor, I don’t criticize when the actor makes, what one might term, an “irrational” act. I try to figure out why they acted contrary to how I would have acted. I ask questions if I can, and make assumptions when I can’t. Either way, I apply what I have learned to my actions. What I don’t do is sit back 7,000 miles away behind a computer screen and criticize. That to me is a bit chickenshit. If I really wanted the church to think like I think, I would try to be Pope. In essence, I would turn off the computer and do something.

    Further, when you say, “I honestly don’t give a flying fuck about his position in life, the demands placed upon him . . . ” it becomes apparent that you don’t care to understand the reasons that stood behind the actions the Pope took. Essentially, you want to criticize the result without understanding process.

  100. crimethink,

    You’ve still got to prove that the hatred doesn’t exist.

    More to the point, even if it doesn’t exist, that’s not my primary concern. My primary concern is the efforts of your religion to persecute homosexuals via law.

    court,

    However, I think we show ourselves to be the closed-minded, unknowing people we rail against when we cannot respect an individual who clearly lived the life he preached without exception.

    You could say the same about a number of monsters who inhabited the 20th century. Merely sticking to one’s guns isn’t enough.

    …utterly above reproach…

    I find a lot to reproach him for. 🙂

    His death is as good a time for a critical assessment as any.

  101. Gary,

    Make sure you set your clocks forward tonight.

  102. crimethink,

    Yes. And family members as well. I also have Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim friends. They are all aware of my atheism. I am very tolerant of other people’s POV after all.

    Now, I have had friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, etc., stop being friends or lovers with me because I am atheist.

    Richard,

    If the result was immoral, as it was, why is the process important, except as a means to avoid the same result? I am well aware of the RCC’s stupid reasons for condemning homosexuality after all; that doesn’t make me have a kinder view of the RCC.

  103. GG,

    “My primary concern is the efforts of your religion to persecute homosexuals via law.”

    I don’t see throngs of priests, bishops, or cardinals lobbying legislative bodies to persecute homosexuals. I do see fundamentalist Christians doing it, but I have yet to see more than the odd member of the Catholic Church lobby for laws persecuting anyone. Actually, I do see throngs of Catholics lobbying against persecution through the effort to abolish the death penalty, or to limit/abolish abortions.

  104. crimethink,

    All my clocks do that for me as I recall. 🙂

  105. Gary, Gary, Gary,

    You and I disagree on the definition of monster. Apparently, we also disagree that there are people in this world, very few and far between admittedly, who are far more admirable than we are, and who do not deserve to be the target of our bullshit, intellectual, philosophical, arguing which in the end is just a means to make ourselves feel superior. So let’s just agree to disagree on this one. I’m not often sentimental so do me a favor and cut me some slack. I don’t want to have to think you’re a jackass…not that it would bother you, I’m certain. Cheers.

  106. court,

    No, I merely stated that those qualities hardly make anyone praiseworthy. Consistency by itself is not praiseworthy in other words. Re-read what I wrote idiot. Or quit being purposefully obtuse.

    Quit trying to deify people or put them out of the reach of criticism. No one is beyond the reach of such in an open society; and if they are, that typically means that they are a dictator.

  107. Richard,

    There is nothing wrong in theory with the death penalty.

    And I see no moral problem with abortion.

    As to throngs of Catholics wanting to persecute homosexuals, there was much bitching out of the RCC about Lawrence and every time another country recogizes gay marraige or civil unions such actions were condemned.

  108. GG,

    Link me one story in which the Vatican condemns the result in Lawrence.

  109. If the person you want to have sex with is married it is.

    “No sex with one particular person” DOES NOT EQUAL “no sex with that one half of the human race with which you are physically capable of having sex with”. Clear?

    Adultery is not just having sex with someone who is married.

  110. GG,

    Obtuse. Oh how impressed I am. Dude. Coming from a hebetudinous dimwit, I’ll take it as a compliment. But hey, great news for you!!! Rupert Everet,Rosie O’Donnell AND Boy George are all Catholic. I think, though an obtuse person such as myself may well be mistaken, that ALL OF THEM ARE HOMOSEXUAL. THAT OUGHTA MAKE A GUY LIKE YOU FEEL ALLLLL BETTER NOW!!!!!!

  111. Well, I didn’t write about the Vatican; I did write about the RCC. If I mean the Vatican or the Curia or some specific body I will state that body’s name.

    And here is what the U.S. Bishop’s Conference had to say on the matter: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2003/jul/03070105.html

    And read this; especially look at the language on adoption:

    Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development.

    Yeah right, Catholics don’t hate homosexuals; that’s a transparent lie.

  112. court,

    Yes, obtuse. It is quite clear what I wrote was contrary to how you fallaciously “interpreted” it; I was trying to be kind in assuming that you are a dimwit.

  113. The great thing is that the Pope is dead, I am alive and his vile ideas are dying with him and his generation. I can celebrate that. 🙂

    bonzofan,

    So long as all parties agree, its not a problem.

  114. I suggest that the new Pope be chosen via a reality show: Roman Idol!

    12 Cardinals have been invited to Rome to compete for the job of Pope. They will form 2 teams and compete on various tasks. After each task, the losing team will go to the Confessional, where one of them will be given the ultimate penance and be sent home. The person in charge of this will be Sister Anita, the very strict Principal of my old Catholic grade school.

    Sister Anita: Cardinals, the Pope is the leader of the world’s largest religious denomination. But being the biggest means that you face even more pressure to keep your numbers up. Your task this week will be to design an outreach program and win converts. But you won’t be converting Protestants, or even people from other religions. You’re job will be to convert atheists.

    Nigerian Cardinal: I was project manager for Team Sacrament, because I’m used to leading the church in a tough and diverse environment. We decided that the best way to convert atheists was to go to a place where we could find the greatest number of atheists. So we went to the a conference on evolutionary biology.

    Chinese Cardinal: I felt that I was perfect for this task. China has been officially atheist for 50 years, so I was made project manager for Team Salvation. When I learned that Team Sacrament was going for scientists I knew we’d win. Scientists are atheists by choice, while Chinese people are atheists because many of them have never encountered an alternative.

    Sister Anita: Nigerian Cardinal, you should have realized that scientists would be tough to convert. Go say 12 Hail Mary’s and return to your home diocese.

    Next week on Roman Idol: The teams are given their toughest task yet–Identify and fire pedophile priests. But the task gets personal when Team Salvation is forced to eliminate one of their own!

  115. About post mortem etiquette:

    GG may have expressed himself rudely, in ways I might have refrained from. But as regards any obligation to “let the man rest in peace”:

    1.) Mr. Wojtyla doesn’t exist anymore. When his brain stopped working, the electrical impulses dissipated, and what we called his mind ceased to be. Some people believe that activity to continue after death in some disembodied fashion. I don’t. Should I turn out to be wrong, I will be very pleased to float my energy-pattern around the planet, the solar system or the galaxy, as the case may be. But I rather doubt that will happen.

    2.) “The Pope” is a public figure. It may not have been kind of us to banter in ways that, had the late one just been Karol who lived down the block, would have been slanderous or libelous. But that is the public figure game, as Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton could tell you. If I knew the guy I would hold the wisecracks, if only to spare the feelings of his wife and kids….oh, wait.

    3.) So, in the end, it comes down to not hurting the feelings of the Church’s communicants. Sr. Stephen Therese would have told you to offer up the scorn you feel for the souls in Purgatory. For my part, if my Mom talks to me about it on the phone, I’ll bite my tongue.

    Kevin

    (Is there still an official Purgatory?)

  116. BTW, the Hitchens article was interesting.

  117. i think thoreau would make a good pope. (the poster, not that hippie guy)

  118. Yeah right, Catholics don’t hate homosexuals; that’s a transparent lie.

    I don’t have anything against homosexuals. My confirmation sponsor was gay.

  119. kevrob,

    I guess I am a rude motherfucker. I like it that way. Anyway, as I wrote, I am a very tolerant fellow. 🙂

    Yes, the RCC (and the Eastern Orthodox Church?) still adheres to the concept of purgatory. As I recall the concept is explicitly recognized by the RCC in the 11th or 12th century, though writers had been discussing the subject since the 4th century.

  120. dhex,

    He he he.

    thoreau,

    I am willing to make a lot of exceptions for you. 🙂

    kevrob,

    I find that in being an atheist I know more about Christianity, Christian history, Christian philosophy, etc. than most Christians do. I often wonder if they knew more if they too would reject theism.

  121. Coming soon, in an all new Roman Idol: The Cardinals have to run a Catholic elementary school for a day, and the team that gets the best reviews from the PTA will win! (Show cute scene of adorable kindergartener with stomach flu vomiting on a Cardinal.)

    And next week: The teams have to design an abstinence campaign. Whichever team gets the greatest number of Catholic schoolgirls to sign abstinence pledges will win. But will Team Sacrament crack under the pressure? Token Gay Cardinal (requisite on any reality show): “We knew that abstinence would be a tough sell. I mean, Mary was a virgin and she still got pregnant!”

  122. In the Centesimus Annus (which the troll in question’s link discusses) the Pope criticizes the “excesses” of capitalism and blasts over-reaching capitalism. When you read the thing you become accutely aware that the Pope isn’t so much a supporter of capitalism as he is an opponent of the government taking over the Church’s role as provider of welfare remedies.

  123. Which is fine (I’d like to get the government out of the welfare bidness after all), but that hardly makes the Centesimus Annus a defense of capitalism.

  124. kevrob,

    More Catholic trivia: the rosary comes from Scandanavia (obviously pre-Reformation).

  125. don’t stretch the limits of your abilities on my account. sleep tight.

  126. court,

    Someone as thick-headed as yourself doesn’t require much effort. I hope you sleep like shit. 🙂

  127. kevrob,

    Well, I figure there is enough hero-worship out there to balance out whatever I say. 🙂

    So, what was this course on atheism like?

    Interesting. Thanks for the information on the pedigree of the CA.

  128. There are few people of whom it may be said that millions are better off because of that person’s life. The multitudes the world-over who weep tonight should take comfort knowing that John Paul II is one of those few. I speak, of course, of John Paul’s role in bringing down Soviet tyranny.

    I remember the days of Solidarity and the rebellions all over Eastern Europe. The Pope’s actions and timing always seemed like they were calculated to maximize problems for the commie tyrants. They, in fact, were. Fellow Poles believe his unflagging support for the banned Solidarity trade union while the communists tried to crush it was a potent force that kept the movement alive. In the book, Reagan’s War: The Epic Story of His Forty Year Struggle and Final Triumph Over Communism, John Paul’s conspiring with Reagan to destabilize Eastern Europe’s tyrannies is noted.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0385504713/reasonfoundation-20/

    Earlier, John Paul was brave against Nazi barbarity. Later, he strongly opposed the Iraq war. Over at Antiwar.com, Justin Raimondo named Pope John Paul II “Man of the year” for 2003:

    http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=1316

    My admiration for Pope John Paul II has nothing to do with my personal religious faith because I have none. On religious matters, I have only questions and no answers.

  129. Rick Barton,

    So that would mean the large portions of the Polish population should also be equally credited; after all, it was their asses on the line.

  130. GG,

    You’re right, the Poles were the ones had to face the consequences. Then again, maybe JP had his ass on the line too with that whole KGB-Stasi linked assasin…

    http://www.sltrib.com/nationworld/ci_2634629

    Is he an saint or an asshole? Both? Really don’t care. But you gotta admit, that old bastard had one helluva a pair to forgive the man who shot him. If I saw my assasin, I’d beat the ever-living crap out of him.

  131. Brain fart, attempted assasin I should say.

    RIP JP II

  132. Gary, do you hate pedophiles? Even if they control their desires? Do you think it’s right to forbid one to have sex with the person he loves?

  133. What I find most offensive of the Catholic religion and teachers is the umbamiguous guilt trip it and they lay on people for being sinful by nature and by preference for actions and relationships that are voluntary. It is an insidious form of coercion that leads to terrible and unnceessary suffering, the remedy for which is a dispassionate reevaluation of one’s beliefs if one is so inclined. However, many good Catholics would say that this guilt is good and will urge devout sinners toward a less sinful more christlike life.

  134. “I don’t buy that particular bit of sophistry. When you hate the so-called sin (sin doesn’t exist mind you) you invariably end up hating the individual.”-Gary Gunnels

    That is the ethical ideal, that humans do not always live up to that ideal does not disprove the worth of the ideal. But I disagree that hating the sinful (immoral, unethical, wrong, etc.) actions of an individual invaribly leads to the hatred of the individual. John Paul’s actions towards his would-be murderer show that this ideal is not impossible to live up to, though it may be difficult.

    If “hating sin but loving the sinner” is merely sophistry, the logical consequence is that it is perfectly acceptable to hate the people whose actions we consider wrong, or that there is nothing that is wrong. This may explain a lot about Gary Gunnels.

  135. Akira, the Johnny Ringo crack was, well, best posts on this thread. And it made me smile.

  136. Akira, It gets confusing because a good friend of mine (now deceased) is/was named Akira, but he was a guy and I think you’re not. 🙂

    We used to call him Aki, which often as not was pronounced ‘Ike’. He was fortunate enough to lie down for a Sunday afternoon nap and die in his sleep. Not fortunate to have died mind you but fortunate enough to not suffer.

  137. Richard, most fundies believe in free will as well.

    Anybody know what happened to all those Catholics that went to hell for eating hamburgers on Friday?

    I mean now that it’s okay, I’m just wondering about the condemned who passed back on the old days before Friday meat was legalized.

    One other question. How come you guys never rag on Jews? I mean come on, the hard core religious Jews have some beliefs and traditions that make the Catholics look sane by comparison. Plus Jews are anti-abortion and they don’t do bar-b-que.

  138. “No sex with one particular person” DOES NOT EQUAL “no sex with that one half of the human race with which you are physically capable of having sex with”. Clear?-Rhywun

    Under a strict definition of sexual intercourse, people of the same gender are incapable of “sex” with each other, what they can do amounts to mere mutual masturbation.

  139. Well, this can only mean one thing. That the mafia has selected a new pope.

  140. I’ve said it before, I’m a straight, single guy, so until some woman suffers enough brain damage to agree to marry me, I’m not supposed to have any sex either.

    As for those who broke the “no meat on Friday” rule back in the day, that transgression was never a mortal sin. So, even if my view that their essences are just scattered electrons happens to be wrong, a merciful god need not have condemned them to the lake of fire.

    “Ragging on Jews” became declasse sone time ago. We have enough problem being lumped in with the tinfoil hat brigades. There’s no need to post comments that attract anti-Semites.

    BTW, “the Jews” believe different things. There’s Conservatine, Reform and several types of Orthodoxy. Like Islam, there isn’t a definite hierarchy, the way many Christian churches have. Finding rabbis who disagree with the Pope on abortion is a cinch, and I’m sure someone barbecues a nice Kosher beef brisket, somewhere.

    Kevin
    (former shabbes goy)

  141. Apart from the state of Isreal, Jews don’t have much power.

  142. Bashing Christians is PC. Jews are off limits even though they’re responsible for some of the worst atrocities of the 20th century.

  143. Here ya go: Twelve Oaks Barbecue in Atlanta.

    Kevin

  144. Billy Ray, agreed that bashing Jews is not PC but that never stopped anyone here from anything. Don’t agree about the atrocities.

    The Israelis are one tough bunch. Reminds of that old joke where the Arabs keep sending brigades of soldiers up a hill to take out an Israeli soldier with a machine gun except they never come back. Finally a shot-up, bleeding, half-dead Arab soldier crawls back down the hill. As he dies he warns the Arab Captain that it’s an elaborate trap. “IT’S A TRAP CAPTAIN, THERE’S TWO OF THEM.”

  145. John-Paul II was an anti-communist, but he was certainly no fan of neo-liberal capitalism and was deeply suspicious of democracy. The idea that he, together with the the dim-witted President Reagan, practically sigle-handedly brought down the Soviet empire is a fairytale that reflects the hero-worshiping tendencies of a celebrity culture that is incapable of dealing anything more complex than semi-literate slogans.

  146. Kevin, I know that different Jews believe different things, got dam it, I’ve read Jonathan Kellerman’s books. 🙂

    Seriously though, christianity is absolutely as diverse in thought, tradition, and doctrine as the Jewish religion.

    I mean just the fact that Orthodox Catholic Priests can marry is a remarkable difference of opinion.

    Some Baptists will not allow cremation because they believe that your body is literally resurected from the ground and brought to heaven at the end of the world.

    A Lutheran service may resemble a Catholic service but most fundies have completely dispensed with the rituals, ceremony, and symbols of the old church and their services reflect that (except the cross, but you will never see Jesus on that cross in a non-mainline protestant church).

    Most protestant denominations and all fundies slice Jesus’ mother Mary right out of the picture entirely while Catholics have her about number 3 on the list of important holy figures.

    That Bar-b-Que link was way cool. So much for flippant comments…..

  147. Don’t agree about the atrocities.

    Jews and Communism

    “It is an unpleasant fact that many of the worst Communists, those associated with many of the worst atrocities, were of Jewish background. Lavrenti Beria brought about the infamous Katyn massacre and other atrocities. Lazar Kaganovich, who personally claimed to be responsible for 20 million killed, stood atop the rubble of a Christian church proclaiming, “Mother Russia has been cast down, we have torn away her skirts!” Genrikh Yagoda sent hundreds of thousands to work on the Baltic Sea canal project where countless numbers of Russians, Ukrainians, and Baltic’s perished. Natalfy Frenkel and Mathias Berman founded the infamous Gulag system, with camps commanded by figures such as Rappoport, Solz, and Spiegelglas, all of whom are mentioned at length in the work of Sozhenitzen. Ilya Ehrenburg, the World War II communist counterpart to Goebbels, incited Soviet troops to rape and maim German, Polish, and Czech women as a form of punishment.”

  148. Billy,

    A disproportionate number of Jews in Russia were medical doctors. Do Jews get credit for that? What do you make of the over-representation of morons among anti-Semites?

  149. Even though they were a very small percentage of the population, Jews made up 52 percent of party members in 1918. Think what you want, I don’t care, but those are the facts.

  150. That some ethnically Jewish Commies participated in the atrocities of the Soviet Regime says more about Communism than it ever says about Judaism. I’m sure that they didn’t consider themselves “Jews” in a religious sense. If, BillyRay, you wish to pin crimes on people due to their blood heritage, as opposed to their philosophy, come out and say so. You will be appropriately hooted down. If that’s not what you mean, then say that.

    Kevin

  151. I guess you’re right, Billy. The Jews are gonna get you. They’re everywhere. Better hide.

  152. “Even though they were a very small percentage of the population, Jews made up 52 percent of party members in 1918. Think what you want, I don’t care, but those are the facts.”

    Uhh…they may have been ethnic Jews (a notion with relatively little meaning anyway), but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess they weren’t terribly into the whole Jewish religion thing. That’s probably the more relevant fact, unless you’re trying to make some sort of “blood” argument.

  153. Oh, it looks like Kevin beat me to the punch. But let me just add that 100% of people who can’t tell the different between religion and ethnicity have tapioca for brains. Think what you want, but those are the facts.

  154. they may have been ethnic Jews (a notion with relatively little meaning anyway), but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess they weren’t terribly into the whole Jewish religion thing. That’s probably the more relevant fact, unless you’re trying to make some sort of “blood” argument.

    true, but that’s the vast majority of Jews. I rather doubt all those ACLU lawyers are observant Jews.

  155. Hey, Slappy. Great minds, right?

    BillyRay, if you don’t want to be thought an anti-Semite, you might want to avoid linking to sites where “zhydy”, an anti-Semitic epithet from Tsarist times, is part of the URL.

    In any case, what the optimal orientation of Ukrainian patriots, or preservers of Ukrainian literature, on this question might be is moot. The project of re-legitimizing the word “zhyd” among millions of people when the majority of these now find the term repugnant requires a greater allocation of resources than the project is able to muster. The majority considers “zhyd” offensive, therefore for the occasional diehard to continue using it will have no better effect than to offend. The repercussions of offending are immediate and strong; the undermining of Ukrainian literature does not carry the same immediate and strong penalties ? therefore, it is inevitable that “yevrei” will triumph completely over “zhyd.” All that a spirited defense of “zhyd” might be able to win is the widespread recognition that in earlier usage, “zhyd” was the neutral, and in fact the only, Ukrainian word for “Jew.”

    http://www.ukar.org/serbyn01.html

    Kevin

  156. “I don’t buy that particular bit of sophistry. When you hate the so-called sin (sin doesn’t exist mind you) you invariably end up hating the individual.”

    I’ve always viewed an individual as the sum of their thoughts and actions. As a result, I find myself agreeing with you upto a point. That this is in fact sophistry. The invariable hate that results is where I disagree. If I don’t like an indivudual’s thought and actions, I don’t associate myself with them. Going out of my way to hate them just takes too much effort on my part. I can, however, sympathize with the hatred that some atheists and homosexuals feel towards the deeply religious who try to impose their views on others – such as the viciferous christian/islamic hierarchy.

    It was amusing to me when at 14, I was taken to a catholic mass with the chanting and the smoke dispenser and my comment to my mother was that it was extremely similar to paganist rituals and the similar rote and ritual to those conducted by hindu and buddhist worship. My mother (a deeply religios – but recovering catholic) was equally amused and commented that it is to be expected since Christianity is merely the culmination of many hijaked pagan rituals. I do have to give credit to my parents who waited till I was 14 before taking me shopping for a religion and had no qualms when I chose to abstain from all religion. Too much baggage for my taste.

    My two cents on the Pope: I’m indifferent. He’s no Mother Teresa or Ghandi.

  157. kevrob, sorry but your BS don’t wash with me boy.

    I linked to an article authored by

  158. I linked to an article authored by Churck Morse

    Link works

  159. Next, BillyRay will demonstrate for us all that Socrates is, indeed, a cat.

  160. Two things about that link, BillyRay:

    1.) It was to a site concerning Ukrainian nationalism. It reprinted Mr. Morse’s article, which he seems to have removed from his web page. It would probably be uncomfortable to have a “Jews=Communists” essay available to one’s political opponents when running for Congress. An object lesson in giving others blanket approval to reprint your work on their pages, I suppose.

    2.) It is the folks running that Ukrainian site who I think might be a bit dodgy, at least whoever is their webmeister.

    Kevin

  161. Ah so the commies were Jews … and here I thought it was the “evil” atheists at fault the whole time … Next up a discourse on how Confuscianism contributed to Chinese communism.

    Actually the jews faired horribly under the Soviet regime. And a disporportionate number of libertarians were ethic jews as well: Mises, Rothbard, Rand, and even Milton Friedman.

  162. Alan:

    The idea that he, together with the the dim-witted President Reagan, practically sigle-handedly brought down the Soviet empire is a fairytale…

    There is certainly no “single-handedly” (probably not the term you really wanted to use here anyway) about it, but there is no denying the critical role of their collaboration in toppling these regimes. The brave people of Eastern Europe who were the vanguards in the struggle against Soviet Commie tyranny would, no doubt, not want to relive history with out Reagan and John Paul. I’m sure that the Commie tyrants of Eastern Europe just wished that Reagan was “dim-witted”. Again, check out Reagan’s War: The Epic Story of His Forty Year Struggle and Final Triumph Over Communism

    There is a lot of residual resentment of both Reagan and Pope John Paul by the old American left for roles the two played in opposition to a Soviet Union that the left used to engage in extensive and ridiculous apologetics on behalf of.

  163. Rick,

    You’ve bought into a fairytale that warms the hearts of people of many faiths, secular and religious. The Pope and Reagan, or in his case, his handlers, were very media smart in a media age. John-Paul certainly galvanized the brave Polish people in their struggle against an oppressive system, but the system collapsed because of its own internal decay. The intensely nationalistic Poles would have rallied around any Pole who made it to the papacy. John Paul’s legacy is mixed. He tapped into the celebrity culture and became a celebrity–witness your non-Catholic admiration–but in trying to impose the ultra-conservative Polish model on the church as a whole, he assured that it would be a moribund institution in the first world. Under his able leadership, the church has lost all credibility on sexual matters. From the point of view of your particular faith, he should be anathema for his views on economic and social justice.
    Reagan’s legacy is primarily that he paved the way for the acceptance of a president as intellectually vapid and ignorant of major issues as George W. Bush. The “Great Communicator” was a dunderhead. If you really believe he was responsible for the collapse of communism, I want to talk to you about some life-extending vitamin supplements. I can get them for you wholesale.

  164. The fact that Jews were widely over represented in the formative and some subsequent stages of Soviet communism says nothing bad about Jews in general. Does the fact that Jews have been among those who faired horribly under the Soviet regime say something good about Jews in general? Of course not. But, we’ve seen this type of debate so many times before:

    Contention:

    “Jews (or some other ethnic group) were involved in this or that history, therefore Jews are bad”

    Rebuttal:

    “No, Jews were not involved…”

    Wrong way to start! The first rebuttal should always be directed at the unfounded “therefore” inference. This way, the anti-individualist bigotry loses despite what the truth of the historical example might be.

  165. Alan,

    There is just no denying the historical record of Reagan and the Pope conspiring, and critically so, to aid the brave people of Eastern Europe in their struggle against communism.

    My admiration for the Pope is pretty much limited to this role. What do you mean by my “particular faith”? I have none. My belief in capitalism is bases on values and empirical evidence.

    Your trying to skewer Reagan with Bush doesn’t hold up. Reagan read Hayek. I’d be surprised if Bush knows, for sure, who he was.

    Now, how much are those vitamin supplements?

  166. I’ve hardly heard any **credit** for the Communo-topple go to George Bush, Sr. The crumble process continued well into his administration, yet it’s always Ronald Ray Gun who gets the kudos. For some reason we have yet to know, the administration itself kept a bit quiet about that one.

    Pope JPII was a nice fellow working within a screwed-up-cosm. He did a lot of good (for example, widening communication channels by visiting many countries including Cuba and China, and increasing using the fortune of his flock to improve the comfort and well-being of many citizens of the African continent) and he did not seem to be motivated by any sort of personal greed. But, let’s face it, he was working within a Catholic framework; there’s gonna be cluelessness issues, like the religion’s pointless stance on gays.

    Here’s an idea. Everybody get the folks in your office to all sign a card for the new Pope Inductee. “From the staff of Subway Sandwich shop, Pensacola, Florida, congratulations on being Pope!” (Fill in the name of yoru own organization.) And everybody sign.

    It’ll be a sort of Libertarian Art Project 2006, and maybe give the new fella another reason to smile.

  167. Rick,

    Here are some of Reagan’s ideas. Do you suppose he picked them up from Hayek?

    All the waste in a year from a nuclear power plant can be stored under a desk.
    Ronald Reagan

    Approximately 80% of our air pollution stems from hydrocarbons released by vegetation, so let’s not go overboard in setting and enforcing tough emission standards from man-made sources.
    Ronald Reagan

  168. Whatever you do, don’t piss off these Children of Abraham.

    Kevin

  169. But most Jews are leftist. Milton Himmelfarb once famously quipped that “Jews earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans.”

    Name the issue and ask yourself, what side do 70 percent of Jews come down on. . Cultural or economic. Big government vs limited government. 2nd amendment vs gun control.

  170. Oy vey, Billy Ray is on to us. The jig is up!

  171. Alan,

    OK, you tell us what the volume of the waste from a nuclear power plant in a year is. To which type of waste was he referring?

    BTW, remember when Reagan was lambasted for talking about the nutritional value of ketchup? He was right:

    http://www.mercola.com/2005/jan/29/cancer_ketchup.htm

  172. Billy Ray,

    Oy, such a noodnik. We’re going to give you such a pinch…

  173. Rick,

    About 1.5 tons. How big was Reagan’s desk?

    Gotta work. I’m losing money. I’ll get back to you about the viatmin supplements.

  174. On the next Roman Idol:

    Team Sacrament is shocked when the ritual of the smoke goes horribly wrong!

    Uptight Cardinal: We knew that there would be black smoke coming from the Confessional until somebody was fired, at which point there would be white smoke. But we weren’t prepared for the smoke that came out of the Confessional when the Cardinal of Jamaica was in there.

  175. Alan,

    He he he. 🙂

  176. I sense that the troll in question will start trotting out the “Protocols of Zion” soon. 🙂

  177. BillyRay:

    Bashing Christians is PC. Jews are off limits even though they’re responsible for some of the worst atrocities of the 20th century.

    OK, I scrolled up and this is how this got started. BillyRay, just google me up. I “bash” the Israeli government and certain neocons, many of whom are Jewish, quite frequently. Bashing Jews, or any ethnic group, is with out foundation and has much in common with the anti-individualistic mentality of the leftists that you seem to want use to condemn Jews via a statistical guilt by association.

  178. Rick Barton,

    BillyRay is the ultimate anti-individualist.

  179. That lycopene is good stuff. Be sure to ask for extra sauce on your pizza, guys.

    Kevin

  180. Good advice, Kevin!

  181. MJ,

    That is the ethical ideal, that humans do not always live up to that ideal does not disprove the worth of the ideal.

    There is nothing ethical in the condemnation of homosexuality, therefore to claim that is some ethical ideal lays behind the twisted and vile ideology of Christians is just more sophistry.

    But I disagree that hating the sinful…

    Sin doesn’t exist. As God does not exist, sin cannot exist.

    John Paul’s actions towards his would-be murderer show that this ideal is not impossible to live up to, though it may be difficult.

    Not buying it.

    …the logical consequence is that it is perfectly acceptable to hate the people whose actions we consider wrong, or that there is nothing that is wrong.

    I am not a nihilist of course; that should be evident from my statements above (maybe you ought to read them on occassion). And it is perfectly acceptable to hate the people whose actions one considers morally unjustfiable wrong.

  182. The excessive amount of vitriol aimed at PJPII in these comments, compounded by the almost complete lack of knowledge about RCC teachings, makes me seriously reconsider associating myself with anything resembling “libertarianism.”

    I’ll take fundie-conservatives over you bunch of jackasses any day.

  183. Hans,

    Back to the “we can’t criticize a dead guy” argument.

    Demonstrate our lack of knowledge.

  184. Hans,

    You’ll never be a libertarian anyway, so good riddence. Libertarians should never judge a group by the actions of one of its members.

  185. The Real Bill,

    But they should judge a group’s merit based on its philosophy, group actions, etc. After all, I am fairly certain that I judge the merits of the KKK and its members. I am also fairly certain that I can judge the merits of the Democratic or Republican parties and its members. Some individuals in groups are certain outliers, and when it is demonstrated that they are such, its fair to treat them as such; but that hardly detracts from an overall position on a group.

  186. About 1.5 tons. – Alan

    That’s the mass, not the volume. I was under the impression that nuclear fuel was composed of very dense substances. A 1.5 ton car can be compressed to the size of a large desk, and that’s mostly steel. Come up with the figures, m’boy.

    Kevin

  187. common with the anti-individualistic mentality of the leftists that you seem to want use to condemn Jews via a statistical guilt by association.

    Nonsense! First it got started when someone asked How come you guys never rag on Jews?

    This bashing the Pope nonsense got started with the usual gay agitators blowing a gasket over 2 men getting married.

    Next, I linked to several articles by Chuck Morse, a right-wing extremist.

    As I said, Christian bashing is Politically Correct. Mentioning that Jews played a huge role in the Bolshevik revolution or the ultra radical Students for a Democratic Society(SDS) gets met with condemnation. Bottom line, there are 2 sets of rules in polite society. The dominate culture is fair game, everything else is off limits. That’s bull shit and dangerous.

  188. GG,

    True for the KKK, but for the Dems and Reps, I don’t know. The parties suck, but I’m not sure that all of the “decent” members are outliers. I think many just don’t see that there are other choices.

    Kevin and Alan,

    1.5 tons of nuclear waste could indeed fit below a desk, but it would not be properly contained. Much waste is mixed with glass to make it unusable by terrorists and to safely store it. This increases the volume significantly. Nonetheless, breeder reactors using “physics-controlled” fuel rods are both efficient and safe. We’d be enjoying “carbon-free” energy from domestic breeder reactors were it not for Chernobyl and ignorant anti-nuclear-power activists.

  189. BillyRay,

    What’s you real beef? Why don’t you just talk shit about anyone you want? Fuck political correctness! All rational people think it’s stupid anyway. Why give a shit what irrational people think? Fuck ’em!

  190. A lot of Christians (or rather, ex-Christians in the case of the USSR) were also involved in the February and October Revolutions, be they part of the Bolshevik party, the left or right SRs, or the Menshiviks (note that only the Bolsheviks and the left SRs were involved in the latter of the two).

    In the rise of the Nazi party in Germany a whole slew of Christian theologians, clerics, philosophers, etc. were involved. Indeed, in 1938, almost every Christian cleric in Germany signed an oath of loyalty to the Nazi state. Also, note that the Catholic Church in Croatia was actively involved in holocaust activities there.

    Also, Christians were heavily involved in the New Deal and other collectivist crapola created in the U.S.

    Christians were also heavily involved in defending slavery and segregation in the American South.

  191. The Real Bill,

    That may be true, but that in itself is a judgment of the group; that is a lot of the members are ignorant. Ignorance, unfortunately, can lead to a myriad of nightmares.

  192. And of course Christians were involved in Reformation era atrocities (think of the St. Bart’s Day massacre or the wars of religion generally in Britain, France or Germany), in medieval atrocities (the sack of Jerusalem in the First Crusade for example, or the numerous pogroms that dotted the middle ages), etc.

  193. And unlike BillyRay’s claims about Jews, these weren’t in large part actions by individual Christians who happened to hook up with other Christians (though obviously ex-Christians did so in the case of the events in Russia), but actions sponsored and encouraged by Christian churches.

  194. Mentioning that Jews played a huge role in the Bolshevik revolution or the ultra radical Students for a Democratic Society(SDS) gets met with condemnation.

    It shouldn’t, but what should be met with condemnation is the inference that those facts imply something negative for Jews in general. And just how is your statement that: Jews are off limits even though they’re responsible for some of the worst atrocities of the 20th century. supposed to be taken? Any way, as I pointed out, Jewish individuals or groups are not off limits for criticism. Jews in general are, and should be. Jews, like the rest of us, possess this very human characteristic called individuality.

    I wanted to add that I agree that there is indeed shameful Christian bashing that goes on. But Billy, surely the way to counter it is via refutation instead of turning the ugliness toward Jews.

  195. Gary:

    CCC 2357-2358 “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. …

    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.”

    Sounds like a pretty deep-seated hatred there. BTW, if you happen to hate the actions of another (say a close family member was living in the gutter and doped on heroin 90% of the time) do you also in turn hate the person?

    The RCC didn’t start to condemn slavery in any wholesale manner until after the enlightenment.

    I don’t disagree with this statement, but finding the RCC to be a “vile institution” would also condemn the United States, as they were even slower to condemn slavery. There is more to the history of slavery and the RCC than this as well:

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/128/53.0.html

    Sin doesn’t exist. As God does not exist, sin cannot exist.

    Good one. It’s been a while since I took a logic class, but isn’t that circular reasoning?

    Bill:

    You’ll never be a libertarian anyway, so good riddence. Libertarians should never judge a group by the actions of one of its members.

    Thanks for defining what a libertarian is for me. I’m just curious how many individuals it takes before you can judge a group. For one thing it wasn’t “one individual.” For another, i said “reconsider.” I personally have a number of libertarian friends that still consider respect for the dead a virtue. If I thought GG or some others were representative of libertarianism as whole, then I would disregard the whole group.

  196. …By: “Jews in general are, and should be.” (off limits for criticism). I mean that we should discount the blaming of any ethnic group for the transgressions of some of its members.

  197. Let’s not forget that pogroms and other sectarian violence supported by various churches was frequently also fomented or tolerated by the state. Of course, in many cases the church and state were one, or one under the thumb of the other. Those who want to “get godly values back into government” seldom mention that.

    Kevin

  198. GG,

    All that you say about Christian history is true, but doesn’t prove that Christianity was the cause. Humans practiced great evils upon one another long before Christianity. I think that you ignore the good it has done, as well. But, in the end, it’s all opinion. I’m an agnostic who thinks atheists are just as foolish as believers–neither group has any proof for its claim.

    Hans,

    I’m just curious how many individuals it takes before you can judge a group.

    Your problem seems to be that you judge individuals by the groups that they may belong to, even if such groups are diverse by their nature. It is laziness to judge an individual by a group stereotype. Take each person as an individual. For example, I disagree with much of the philosophy of Christianity and I agree with some of it as well, but I’ve know both good and evil people that claim to be Christian. The label Christian does not help me determine the worth of an individual. Only their individual actions allow me to judge them (at all effectively).

  199. Gary, I’ll ask this again. Do you hate pedophiles? Even if they control their desires? Do you think it’s right to forbid one to have sex with the person he loves?

  200. Damn you Bill, you took all my best lines! 😉

    Yeah, GG, what Bill said.

  201. Hans: The excessive amount of vitriol aimed at PJPII in these comments, compounded by the almost complete lack of knowledge about RCC teachings, makes me seriously reconsider associating myself with anything resembling “libertarianism.”

    Why should it be assumed that libertarians would know anything at all about RCC teachings? Exactly what do the two have to do with each other? I’m sure that if you visited a soap opera message board, or Fark, or any other Internet forum, the average amount of knowledge concerning the RCC would be approximately the same.

    You should make decisions concerning libertarianism based on what it is, not on what it isn’t.

    BillyRay, on what fucking planet do you live where the “dominate culture” in the United States is not Christianity of one flavor or another? Seriously.

    Frank Anderson: Also, where’s your proof for the non-existance of G(g)od. Wouldn’t a claim like that require extraordinary evidence?

    Er . . . you’re joking, right?

  202. How can you prove or disprove on something that is outside of our universe? The whole concept of God is non-falsifiable, and therefore cannot be scientifically proven. If you can’t scientifically prove something…well you’re just creating logical proofs for your own biases.

    Agnosticism is the most scientific position, for my money. Rothbard and Hayek would agree.

  203. Hans,

    Nice selective quoting. You left out various parts, including:

    “Basing itself on sacred Scriptures, 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.”

    and

    “They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial.”

    and

    “Homosexual persons are called to chastity.”

    I submit, once again, that denying sexual relations to a large class of people based on nothing other than its non-procreative aspect and on the ick factor is treating that class of people as less than human. And to those of you who continue to cloud the issue by bringing up adultery or pedophilia, I am *not* arguing that anyone should be allowed to have sex with anyone at any time.

  204. White people were involved, even over-represented (as a percentage of the world population) in a number of the past millenium’s worst atrocities… they must all be crazy assholes. Thanks for showing me the way, BillyRay!

  205. God exists,
    this I know,
    ‘cuz section 1260,
    tells me so.

  206. How can you prove or disprove on something that is outside of our universe?

    Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold up there, hoss! The claim that some undefined thing called “god” is “outside of our universe” is itself a rather extraorinary one, no? On what are you basing this claim? How would one distinguish between a “god” that was in our universe and one that was not?

    The whole concept of God is non-falsifiable,

    It is? Why? Why don’t you tell me what exactly it is that you’re referring to as “god,” here, then we can discuss whether or not it’s falsifiable.

    I can think of concepts of god that are easily falsifiable.

  207. Happy Jack,

    LOL! That’s one of the funniest things I’ve seen in days.
    However, nothing can top FRENCH TERRORIST WINEMAKERS!

    http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/story.jsp?story=625568

  208. Bill:

    I agree with you in spirit and in general, but looking at groups such as the KKK, I can fairly easily say that I can judge individuals that are members of certain groups based on their affiliation with said group. Of course this doesn’t apply to certain, fairly diverse groups (such as Christians and libertarians) but others, I see no problem with. And it may seem like back-tracking on my part (and maybe it is) but my first statement had a certain amount of venting involved in it. 🙂

    Rhywun:

    It wasn’t selective quoting, which is why I provided a citation. I was pointing out the aspects that show that homosexuals are to be treated equally. The relations that are proscribed against homosexuals are also proscribed for heterosexuals (namely the lack of a procreative aspect).

    Also note, I am no longer a Catholic, and do not subscribe to those specific teachings, I merely think they are being misrepresented here.

    BTW, why is homosexuality right, but adultery and, let’s say, bestiality is wrong? I won’t address pedophelia, as I hope we can all agree that it involves violence against an actor that cannot reasonably give consent. A line is being drawn, so what decides what that line is?

    Phil:

    I was simply addressing those on this list that claimed to know about the RCC. And I agree, in so far as libertarianism does not speak directly against the RCC (although it does speak to some of things it believes) it really isn’t worth discussing. And as I mentioned above, I’m no longer a Catholic and don’t subscribe to many of its beliefs, but a discussion of its failures (and successes) should be discussed with regard to the truth, and not simply ad hominems.

    Regards,

  209. BillyRay,

    When you said “Next, I linked to several articles by Chuck Morse…” to be fair, after the things that you said, you should’ve made it clear again that Chuck Morse is a Jew…

    http://www.sierratimes.com/archive/morse/2001/feb/edcm021501.htm

    …because after you say something like “Jews are off limits even though they’re responsible for some of the worst atrocities of the 20th century.”, what are folks supposed to think? You should have added something like: “…not that bashing Jews as a group, or for being Jews is OK either”

    Here is another link from Morse that you provided:

    “Jews and Communism”
    By Chuck Morse

    http://www.ukemonde.com/zhydy/jewsandcommunism.html

    The history in this link is very interesting, although already widely known. Note that Morse observes: “Because of the prominence of a few Jews, many Europeans wrongfully took to blaming all Jews for the disaster and suffering that communism caused in their lives as well as the real threat communism posed to the nations that remained free.”

  210. Sorry if I wasn’t clear. I assumed that most people here agree that there isn’t a theist God, I phrased my arguement as concerning what could could be more reasonable, namely a deistic god. I also assumed that if this entity did exist it would have to be outside of our universe since no one has yet proven a deity’s existence in this one.

    Since deism would presumably work only at the beginning of this universe and then “stand back” for the rest of time, the only way that we could prove it’s existence is to find evidence of it creating this universe, and that would mean that we would have to know a little of something about our universe before time began. That doesn’t seem possible as of right now.
    String theory could answer that question but no one has any physical evidence of strings, branes, or any of that other stuff.
    Maybe in the future string theory can answer that, but as of right now, with the assumption I placed, I doubt anyone can make a definite statement as to what was before the Big Bang.

    Of course, this is what I understand of cosmology and anyone with a better physics background is much appreciated in showing where I am wrong.

  211. Kevin:

    BillyRay, if you don’t want to be thought an anti-Semite, you might want to avoid linking to sites where “zhydy”, an anti-Semitic epithet from Tsarist times, is part of the URL.

    It would be interesting to here from Morse, the Jewish author of the site, as to why it’s in the URL of his site. Why don’t you email him and ask? I’ve never heard of the term before.

  212. Rhywun,

    Classes of people do not engage in sexual relations, individuals do. The Church forbids all individuals from homosexual activity, regardless of their orientation. Of course, some individuals’ desires tend toward homosexual acts, so they get hit harder than others by this teaching. But that is just as true of individuals with exclusive desires towards children or dead bodies, or less ickily, an exclusive attraction to a married person.

  213. Rick Barton,

    Probably for the same reason many black rappers refer to those of their race as “niggas”: because they’re the only ones allowed to do so.

  214. Phil,

    “BillyRay, on what fucking planet do you live where the “dominate culture” in the United States is not Christianity of one flavor or another? Seriously.”

    BillyRay (5:47 PM) was saying that Christianity is the dominant culture in the US. At the same time (well, not the exact same time; other posts in this and other threads) he likes to portray Christianity and Christians, and specifically the “Christian Right” to which he appears to belong, as under attack by lefties, atheists, collectivists, etc. that in this formulation dominate American culture. The “right wing extremist” article by Morse that he links to talks about “the dominance of the left today,” and he’s clearly not referring to any sort of Christian left. I’m not completely sure how to make those two positions jibe with each other, but one thing’s for sure – it sure is fun to play the victim.

  215. crimethink,

    Yeah, that sounds like a reasonable hypothesis.

  216. Rick:

    Morse’s site did not contain the slur in question, as this link to The Internet Wayback Machine shows. The Ukrainian history site Billy Ray linked to used it, and a different Ukrainian interest site I referenced discussed the history of the controversy about the polite word for “Jews” in Ukrainian. I assume Morse never noticed the URL.

    Kevin

  217. crimethink (April 3, 2005 09:20 PM),

    Yeah, that’s the point I was trying to make. 😉

    Regards,

  218. I suppose I should just go ahead and make the point I was trying to make with the pedophilia example, though Crimethink seems to understand it perfectly. Pedophiles belong to a group of people born with unusual sexual desires. We have judged (with good reason) that acting out those desires is immoral, and therefore forbidden all members of society to have sex with little kids. However, this keeps a group of people (pedophiles) from acting out their sexual desires, and, in some cases, from having sex at all. This doesn’t mean, however, that keeping these people from doing what they want to is wrong; they’re just unlucky people who have strong desires to do something that’s wrong and have to forbear anyway.

    As a note–I have no problem with gay sex myself. But the church’s position makes a great deal of sense to me, if you accept the original premise. Sex without a procreative function is wrong. Some people are born with the strong desire to perform non-procreative sexual acts. It sucks for these people, but it’s still wrong no matter how much they want to do it. We should pity them for their unfortunate condition and help them avoid temptation, rather than encouraging them to give in.

  219. I don’t have anything to say about the Pope, I just wanted to be comment #230.

  220. Kevin,

    Very interesting. Also, perhaps Morse was oblivious to “zhydy” as a slur?

  221. Jadagul said: “But the church’s position makes a great deal of sense to me, if you accept the original premise. Sex without a procreative function is wrong.”

    I think it’s generally at least implicit in arguments against the Church’s position on homosexuality that this original premise is a pretty shitty one. I can’t speak for Rhywun and others here, but that’s certainly my position. In the case of pedophilia, there’s an obvious reason why the act is condemned – it involves someone who isn’t sexually mature, can’t reasonably expected to be able to give informed consent, etc. In the case of homosexuality, it just seems arbitrary and cruel to forbid two people in a loving monogamous relationship from having sex with each other.

    As a semi-serious related question, does the Church have an proscription against older people (such as post-menopausal women) gettin’ it on? Not to say this would automatically make the Church’s position internally inconsistent; I’m just curious, although I’m fairly sure the answer is no.

  222. Douglas Fletcher,

    Your wish is granted. Peace be with you.

  223. To crimethink and Jadagul,

    I really didn’t want to get into this fray, but here I am anyway.

    The Mormons ban all caffeine. That doesn’t give them the right to tell me I can’t drink coffee.

    If you want to believe something is a sin, that is your choice. But thanks to individualistic political pressure in the 1970s, gay sex is perfectly legal in my state. Adultery is perfectly legal in my state. Polyarmory is perfectly legal here. Hell, even wacking off in a triple-x theater is perfectly legal here.

    You’re right that society at large draws a line somewhere. But the citizens of my state don’t use any influence from religion to draw that line.

    Crimethink, can you clarify for me? Did you fear legal, or spiritual repercussions from getting involved with a married woman?

  224. J,

    On your first point, I agree. I was once a Catholic, but (for reasons unrelated to sexuality) I left the Church. However, in my time since then, I have had a chance to reconsider certain beliefs, and feel that homosexual realtions should not be prevented from enjoying certain legal protections allowed to other monogamous couples (whether marriage should be managed by the state is another argument).

    As to your second question, this is addressed at “Catholic Answers” here (ironically, in a discussion of gay marriage):

    http://www.catholic.com/library/gay_marriage.asp

    Similarly, sex after menopause or when suffering from other forms of infertility do not divide the unitive from the procreative. The couple’s act is still ordered toward procreation; it is simply that procreation will not occur.

    It has a reference to Humanae Vitae as well.

  225. John-Paul II was an anti-communist, but he was certainly no fan of neo-liberal capitalism…

    That might not be a fair assessment because there’s this:

    “The Pope and Capitalism”

    http://www.techcentralstation.com/021704A.html

    And this:

    “The Pope’s Warning on the Welfare State”

    http://www.acton.org/ppolicy/editorials/sirico/warning.html

  226. Hey Phil, you still there?

    Just wondering what you thought about deism.

  227. Gary Gunnels:

    So that would mean the large portions of the Polish population should also be equally credited (with the Pope); after all, it was their asses on the line.

    Right. Even more credited; since with out those brave folks, there would be no rebellion to assist.

  228. J: I personally agree with you. As I said, I have no problem with gay sex. I’m not religious at all, and I feel like the premise is mildly silly (it actually makes some sense in full context). But first, I believe in trying to figure out why people believe what they believe–assuming that Catholics are all hopeless bigots is thoroughly unproductive. And second, I was specifically attempting to respond to Gary’s contention that the RCC obviously hates and contemns homosexuals. I was trying to draw an analogy: I believe that sex with ten-year-olds is wrong, but that doesn’t mean I hate people who happen to desire to have sex with ten-year-olds. I feel sorry for them that they want what they can’t have; and I have a good deal of respect for those who acknowledge their desires, realize that their desires are wrong, and resist the temptation to go ahead anyway. That is the true RCC position on homosexuality.

    kmw: Once again, I basically agree with you. But given that society and political discourse are largely structured around enforcing morality, I find it hard to blame Catholics specifically for attempting to legislate their ethical norms–in that they’re playing by the same (admittedly shitty) rules as everyone else. I wasn’t arguing that the state should ban gay marriage, though I do have some reservations on the issue (that I didn’t have two days ago; Jane Galt wrote an excellent post on the topic that seriously affected my thinking). Nor was I arguing that the church is right to condemn gay sex; I have no problem with it. I was just pointing out that the church 1 isn’t entirely stupid, and 2 doesn’t actually hate gay people.

  229. Jadagul,

    Thanks for the clarification. I guess I’m mainly trying to figure out what crimethink is saying about the issue.

    If I remember correctly, he was against the morning after pill. Which is a fine belief if you feel that way, I’m just not really into the idea of someone else’s morality dictating what I can and can’t do.

    If he wants to believe that I’m going to hell for sleeping with someone elses wife, I’m fine with that. I’m not so fine with desiring the state to arrest me for doing it.

  230. Jadagul,

    Pope John Paul II decried homosexuality as an “ideology of evil”; that tells me all I need to know.

  231. Frank Anderson,

    Also, as I indicated above, the RCC actively engaged in the murder of 80,000 individuals in Croatia in WWII. For this the RCC has never to my knowledge ever specifically apologized for. Nor have they of course ever compensated the families of the victims of these crimes. The RCC is Janus-faced when it comes to morality and it always has been.

  232. Rick Barton,

    We went over much of the Pope’s qualified endorsement of capitalism last night. Its not remotely as pro-capitalist it appears on the surface.

  233. gary,
    the rcc is not whacked just because they think differently than you. you seem to highly underestimate their intelligence. true catholicism is highly intellectual, and while i don’t agree with much of it, its difficult to blindly lump all catholics as right wing whackos…this is entirely unrelated but is it hard for anyone else to fathom that rubeun sierra was batting clean up for the yankees tonight, or was anyone else less surprised that david wells gave up 10 hits in 4 and 1/3 innings?

  234. bonzofan,

    true catholicism is highly intellectual, and while i don’t agree with much of it, its difficult to blindly lump all catholics as right wing whackos…

    I haven’t lumped them as right-wing whackos, nor have I argued that Catholics aren’t intelligent. Any more false claims you want to make about my statements?

  235. GG,
    you’re back to the “ideology of evil” again? if i’m not mistaken that was fully exhausted over twenty four hours ago when you spent all night LAST night doing the same thing.

  236. GG:

    Let me say that I’m impressed with your knowledge, if not your ability to interact with others. Anyway:

    “However, in my time since then, I have had a chance to reconsider certain beliefs, and feel that homosexual realtions should not be prevented from enjoying certain legal protections allowed to other monogamous couples (whether marriage should be managed by the state is another argument).”

    Thankyou for admitting your statism.

    BTW, you have still yet to demonstrate your original claim. I don’t expect you to though.

    I don’t expect you to actually read my arguments anymore, either. HOW, exactly, did I promote statism? I said it is “another argument.” And since you are too lazy to consider the possiblilites, I guess I have to state, explicitly, that I’m against the state managing marriages at all.

  237. The RCC’s position on homosexual comes largely from a natural law position. That should give you the first clue that they are whacked.

    ok, so being “whacked” and being a “whacko” apparently aren’t the same thing, and in your eyes gary, doesn’t imply stupidity. and a natural law position would assume a right wing stance would it not?

  238. i’m not exactly sure where this blog is supposed to be for. it has lost its direction of commenting on JPII which is fine in my eyes. i guess i’m simply using it to argue with people of far higher intelligence than myself.

  239. bonzofan,

    No, natural law has been used by the right and the left to justify all manner of arbitrary positions. Natural law theorists claim that they are opposed to nihilism and subjective morality, but the rot in that claim is natural law positions themselves are arbitrary.

    As to whacked, I was thinking more along the lines of fucked up. 🙂

    Anyway, if the Pope can use those sorts of words, then I can call the position vile and the Church vile for supporting it.

    Hans,

    If homosexuals aren’t allowed legal protections, then their contracts that create the marraige-like rights and duties can’t be enforced by the state (note that in some of the states that recently amended their constitutions to ban gay marraige, the language of the ballot measures would allow for an interpretation that would ban such contracts).

  240. So, have we hit three hundred posts yet? 🙂

  241. BTW, as long as we are telling our personal histories, I am not an ex-Catholic. I’ve been to a Catholic mass may half a dozen times in my life.

  242. can we get something new to discuss? lets get something along the same lines but that is fresh, i don’t even know what anyone is thinking on whatever is being discussed anymore.

  243. Hans,

    Thanks very much for the info on the Church and sex when infertile. It’s more or less what I had anticipated, although I can’t say it makes a lot of sense to me, especially when the couple involved knows that one or both of them is infertile.

    As someone who was raised Catholic but made a long-considered decision to leave the flock as a teen, I have to say I find it absolutely fascinating. It strikes me as such a strange mix of very progressive and very reactionary positions (those aren’t the ideal adjectives, but they’ll do). And I’ve also always been struck by how much the hierarchy differs from the folks “on the ground” – priests and parishoners – regarding their positions and emphases on various issues (at least in my experience). Of course that last bit may be related to what the hierarchy is forced by external people/forces/events to discuss, not what it wants to focus on. I’m not in the best position to judge….

  244. J,

    Did you watch “60 Minutes” tonight? They had interviews with a bunch of U.S. priest-wannabes who were studying at the Vatican. Talk about a deer in the head lights echo chamber they got going on over there.

  245. bonzofan,

    I’ll check in after a few hours once I get some more work done. Maybe BillyRay will start Jew-baiting again.

  246. i think the always wise larry david perfectly captures the attitude of christians everywhere in “the baptism” (season 2, episode 9 of “curb your enthusiasm”)

    Why do Christians take everything so personally with Christ? You know? It’s like not only do you worship him, you want everybody to. It’s like I like lobster. Do I go around pushing lobster on people? Do I say you must like lobster? “Eat lobster! It’s good! It’s good!” It’s not only where you live, you go to Africa, you travel all over the world. “Eat lobster! Have some more lobster! It’s good! We want you to have lobster!”

  247. GG,

    As for the RCC and Croatia, yeah, I heard that the Croatians leaders of the RCC did some pretty nasty things, but as Germany shows you that renegade clergy when their supported by their government can do what they please.

    If the RCC has ever apologized for what it’s guys did in Croatia, I don’t know, but if they have not then they should (wow, that’s not confusing). But then, if they hadn’t apologized or at least made some measure showing that the local clergy’s actions in Croatia had no connection to the RCC proper, then how did JP II get to have so many ecumenical meetings with the Orthodox clergy? I am definitly sure that they would not even speak to the the RCC if had it not at least dissassociated itself from those deeds. Not to mention, form what I know of Orthodox concerns with the RCC are mainly to do with the a lot of the old grievances (like the Filioque clause in the Creed) and not to the RCC clergy’s misdeeds to in the Balkans. 80,000 (well, a good number of the 80,000) would be a lot of the Orthodox to skip over.
    As for it’s morality being Janus-faced, it’s made a lot of progress over the last couple of years, namely to JP II.

  248. Frank Anderson,

    However, I think you’re missing out that the Western development of liberty is firmly grounded in the Judeo-Christian/Greco-Roman traditions and that many of it’s greatest thinkers and practitioners have been theists, such as Thomas Aquinas, the Levellers, and Lord Acton.

    Regarding the “Judeo-Christian” wing of your comments, that’s a highly questionable assertion. In the courts today you will find a lot of long-winded claims about the role of the Ten Commandments or the Penteteuch (or Torah) on American and Western law. However, you will find that such claims have very little in the way of a historical basis. No, our legal system (meaning the Anglo-American variety at least) is certainly much influenced by say the Justinian Code, and by the pragmatic and secular vision of the Common Law, but the Bible has had very little real and substantive influence on our legal system.

    I suggest you check out Koonz’s The Nazi Conscience; you will find that the Arendtian vision of coercion is quite off base. Most Germans grew to accept Nazism not out of fear but by being convinced and accepting Nazism consensually.

    You?re right in that it can?t be proven, but you?re also flaunting around your belief in what?s true, which I think is folly in itself but I?m a bit of an empiricist.

    Its a provisional statement as I wrote. Much knowledge is provisional and statistical in nature. Anyway, you appear to have completely ignored my statements on this matter.

    …as if I believed that the rivers are made of cheese and the mountains are made of ice cream.

    No, that belief would be stupid; indeed, a sign of insanity.

    …but both neither are grounded in fact.

    Actually, my position is grounded in fact. As I stated, no God is needed for our universe to function; naturalistic explanations deal with these issues quite well. Since no God is needed, one can provisionally state that no God exists.

  249. Gary:

    We went over much of the Pope’s qualified endorsement of capitalism last night. Its not remotely as pro-capitalist it appears on the surface.

    I agree with that assessment. I posted those links as contrary evidence to consider when evaluating Alan’s statement that: “he was certainly no fan of neo-liberal capitalism”.

    BTW, I wonder what he meant by “*neo-liberal* capitalism”.

  250. Frank Anderson,

    Most of the killed in Croatia were Jews and gypsies, not Orthodox Christians.

  251. Rick Barton,

    O.K. 🙂

    I’ve read that neo-liberalism means that every transaction should be a “market transaction.” There is also an ethic of employability maximization (basically the most ethical thing one can do is to be the best employee or entrepeneur possible). Neo-liberalism certainly defends capitalism, but some adherents of neo-liberalism have some views of human ethics – such employability maximization – that I found anti-individualist.

  252. Post #264 and counting.

  253. Would you believe #266

  254. Crimethink, if you’re still reading this thread, I’d really like an answer from my April 3, 2005 10:25 PM question.

  255. kmw,

    Are we going to make #300? 🙂

  256. BTW, on a totally unrelated subject I am going to predict that France votes “non” in the upcoming (May 29) referendum on the E.U. Constitution. That, BTW, would scuttle the entire affair for the time being.

  257. Gary, difficult to say, but I’m doing my part.

    BTW, apparently I tried to send my first counter update while you posted. Which is why I corrected with “#266.”

  258. Gary,

    Bringing your EU constitution comment back on subject, is it official that there will be no references to christianity, or is that still an ongoing debate?

    I haven?t heard anything on that subject in quite some time.

  259. Ok, so this thread is WAY too long so now seems like a good time to jump in and make it even longer… that and I’m just too tired to wait and try to beat out Gary for comment #300…

    Frank Anderson: “As for the non-existance of God, I should have phrased my question in terms of deism and not theism…”

    I don’t think many of us “non-believers” are going to put a lot of weight in that distinction. Either there is evidence for a supernatural power of some sort or there isn’t – and I think it’s pretty clear there simply is not. If such evidence existed you could debate whether it was consistent with deism or theism or whatever ism you want, but absent any evidence whatsoever I see no point in making this distinction myself.

    “but [Gary is] also flaunting around [his] belief in what’s true, which I think is folly in itself but I’m a bit of an empiricist.”

    Being an empiricist does not mean that one holds all of the essentially infinite number of explanations for the universe as needing to be proved or disproved (theories can’t be “proved” anyway but that’s beside the point) – but that absent any evidence there is simply no reason to “believe” in any of those explanations. Hence my atheism is not “flaunting around” a belief in what’s true. It is simply a view that there is no evidence for God or anything supernatural; that is entirely consistent with (and, I would argue, even required by) empiricism.

  260. kmw,

    Well, the current Constitution, if ratified, would have none. Of course, our Constitution has no such references either (indeed, the body of the text doesn’t even discuss a deity, much less Christianity). The RCC and a couple countries like Poland really chomped at the bit to get a reference in there, but it didn’t fly.

    However, France isn’t going to vote for it (or that’s what I predict); so whether it mentions it or not is moot. Note that most European national constitutions do not mention God or Christianity, so its a bit strange that the RCC would want to mention God or Christianity in the E.U.’s constitution.

  261. Gary, my point wasn’t that gay sex is wrong. I have no moral problem with gay sex, as long as it’s consensual and safe. But the RCC, for a variety of reasons that I can go into if you really want me to, thinks that gay sex is wrong, and hurts both people doing it. In that case, gay sex is wrong. You’re hurting yourself, you’re hurting your partner, and by violating God’s plan you’re hurting everyone else. So in this paradigm, gay sex is wrong. My point about pedophilia is that given all that, it’s perfectly reasonable to “love the sinner, hate the sin”: the person is afflicted with evil desires, and we should help him overcome them and support him in his attempts to be good. This was a direct, if belated, response to your claim that you “don’t buy that particular bit of sophistry. When you hate the so-called sin…you invariably end up hating the individual” (April 2, 2005 09:00 PM). It’s a reason why the church considers gay sex wrong, but has no people who have strong homosexual inclinations. The church views them the same way it would view a pedophile–he ought to control himself, because his desires are wrong; we should pity him for his burden; and we should help him overcome and avoid temptation.

  262. Jadagul,

    And an individual who flaunts these teachings, who accepts the so-called “ideology of evil,” is to be hated. We’re basically talking about two classes of persons here – those that swallow the primitive views of the RCC on homosexuality and those that don’t. The latter are clearly to be scorned.

    kmw,

    The fact that most European constitutions don’t mention either God or Christianity has been one of the reasons why I am perplexed about all the outrage concerning the EU constitution not mentioning such.

  263. Brian Courts,

    Ha ha ha. 🙂

  264. Gary,

    Yeah, I was rather disgusted that there was such a push (by the RCC was it?) to even have that in there.

    I had all but forgotten about that till you brought up the vote on the EU Constitution.

  265. GG,

    [Regarding the “Judeo-Christian” wing of your comments, that’s a highly questionable assertion.]

    I don’t think that’s too questionable. Much of the concept of individualism was stimulated by the belief that a Christian had an individual soul which helped the already very individualistic legal code of the Romans. Another example is that the Old Testament is rife with prophets who railed against the injustices of the king/state, such as Amos, which is remarkable since almost all religions at required religion’s obediance to state if not melding with the state. Thomas Aquinas defends trade and property in his Summa Theologica (http://www.acton.org/publicat/randl/liberal.php?id=282). The Levellers were a quasi-political party in the short Republican period of Great Britain of radical libertarians who wanted separation of Church and State, defended property rights, and their basis for their arguements was the Bible. You’re right on how our modern legal system developed from those secular sources, but I was arguing that the ideal of liberty was helped and stimulated along by theism and not hampered by it. Also note, that the Justinian Code was enacted by Justinian, who as the Byzantine emperor had a pretty big need to meld Church and state but as you pointed the Code lead to secularism, interesting. Then again, I’m not a conservative who claims that we are a Christian nation and we need the Ten Commandments in our classrooms, but I do think it’s necessary to recognize that even some aspects of religion can lead to liberty as part of intellectual integrity.

    [I suggest you check out Koonz’s The Nazi Conscience; you will find that the Arendtian vision of coercion is quite off base. Most Germans grew to accept Nazism not out of fear but by being convinced and accepting Nazism consensually.]

    I see you’re point, I guess I need to get some more reading then. Yeah, they did turn into Nazis, but was that directly because of their Christianity or because they got swindled by cheap cash and glory from Hitler? I can agree that Catholicism and Protestantism always had a problem with the Jews, but from what I heard German hatred of the Jew came before Christianity (I could be very wrong on this one) and German anti-semitism was always more virulent than their other European neighbors, who were also Christians.
    I think we’re partially agreeing here. I more-or-less said that most Germans Christians didn?t care what was happening to their respective Churches since they were bought off by Hitler?s social programs and effective use of state glorifying propaganda, I just choked with that last sentence and forgot that a lot did buy into Nazism.

    As for your atheism, thanks for clarifying that for me. However, do you really want to call people foolish just because they don?t accept your perception of how the universe works. I agree that your position is logical and consistent, but as being the only logical explanation about the universe that has credibility or that naturalistic explanations can’t complement deistic or even potentially theistic explanations (if you have a more depersonalized God), I’m still not buying that. I’ve never taken a class on logic, so could you give me an example where accepted knowledge is provisional?

    As for the Croatian situation with the Jews and Gypsies, that does make more sense, but was it the RCC proper or a renegade clergy influenced by local factors that caused the problem. You got some literature for that, I am quit interested.

  266. Gary, this is becoming dangerously close to a battle of assertions, but it’s simply false to claim that Catholics hate gays. Even the ones who are actively and aggressively gay. If they don’t “know” it’s wrong, then it’s not a sin. If they do realize it’s wrong, but do it anyway, they’re fallible sinners, just like the rest of us. A good Catholic (note, I said “good”) will tell you that gay couples are sinning; so are you, so am I, and so is he. The fact that he don’t suffer from that particular temptation doesn’t make him superior.

  267. Perfect example, though he’s not RCC himself, from Doug Wead’s taped conversations with Bush, as reported in the NYT: “But Mr. Bush said he did not intend to change his position. He said he told Mr. Robison: ‘Look, James, I got to tell you two things right off the bat. One, I’m not going to kick gays, because I’m a sinner. How can I differentiate sin?'”

  268. Brian Courts,

    You’re right, there’s no need to prove/disprove every theory that comes your way (you don’t argue with a crazy person). What you at least have to do is deal with propositions that have merit of being reasonable.
    I see what you’re getting in that many people will reject an extraordinary proposition out of hand if it has no evidence. However, science has always had examples of people creating theories which their scientific community scoffed and ridiculed and then turned out to be right.
    Probably the best example I can think of is Dr. Babara McClintock, who postulated the existance of transposons. Her whole field said that her theory, which was very radical at the time, had no proof whatsoever, and therefore the biological community treated her like a pariah for many years since she was advocating “nonsense.” And yet, she was right all along, only after enough anecdotal evidence showed the merit of her claim and then appearence of the appropriate technology “proved” her claim.
    As of right now, string theory is currently hot property in that many physicists agree with it as a result of its eloquent mathematics, but we really don’t have the technology to evaluate that claim for a while.
    As far as I’m concerned, I think both theistic, deistic, and atheistic claims have logical merit, but none of them have evidence so I don’t see why not remain a skeptic about all sides.

  269. Aquinas definitely defended property rights. My debate coach last year was a Thomist and when I was looking for a good justification of individual rights and critique of utilitarianism he found a bunch of commentary in Aquinas by Finnis for me to read. Aquinas was a believer in the common good, true, but he supported freedom in two ways.

    First, he rejected utilitarianism outright: part of the good of an act was in the way it was done. So if an otherwise good act was done in a bad way, the bad could easily equal or surpass the good.

    Second, he believed that the common good required lots of individual freedom and privately owned property. He also believed in a state, and believed that there were circumstances where the state could seize property; but overall he believed in the fundamental justification of property rights. You may complain that this justification was derived from the common good; but so were Mill’s argument for freedom of speech, and, for that matter, the libertarian positions of many posters on this board. As Thoreau has pointed out, libertarianism would be hard to defend if it led to death, destitution, and destruction.

  270. Of course, even if her field thought she was nuts, I bet she could give reasons why we should believe in transposons–that is, I bet she didn’t come up with the theory by the thought process “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if little bits of DNA jumped around?” Her theory of transposons explained something–even if lots of people thought it was a nutty explanation. There was some affirmative reason to believe it was true.

    Now, theories of god attempt to explain things too. They provide attempted affirmative reasons to believe them. An atheist or agnostic, however, would argue that there are, at the least, equally good and simple explanations that don’t involve a god. Thus, there’s no affirmative reason to believe in god. The default position, then, should be an agnosticism or light atheism–I see no particular reason to believe god exists, so I’ll assume his non-existence as a working hypothesis until more evidence shows up.

  271. Jadagul,

    Its referred to folks in the field as “weak atheism.”

    It is well known that heretics were not to be tolerated according to Aquinas. They were to be executed. Why? Because they endangered the common good, that’s why. Aquinas scholars always overlook such unpleasantries when agreeing with Lord Acton.

  272. Basically, when you center your political philosophy in the common good or communitarian principles, you are opening a society up for terrible, terrible nightmares, because the common good trumps the individual good.

  273. GG,

    In terms of pure legal theory, I think you’re absolutly correct, the law needed to be secularized and individualized before becoming just. However, I am arguing from a standpoint of how I understood Western theism encouraged individualism and liberalism, philosphocally speaking. It’s getting really late so I’ll summarize my bones of contention:
    -Old Testament-clear example of how even a “divine institution” like the House of David could be criticized by even a nobody like a prophet, showing even a government set-up by God himself is not above criticism.
    -Christianity-then why was the defense of the Inquisition that it was saving their soul? Not a correct/good picture of the individual but a concern for the “well-being” individual nonetheless
    -Thomas Aquinas-Jadaqul answered that one. But I think we both more-or-less were saying that you don’t have to follow all of Aquinas’ philosophy, we’re saying that his theism allowed him to break some ground in the direction of freedom.
    -As for the the Levellers, Roman law, and Justinian Code, well obviously I need to learn more, touche’.
    -As for theism hampering liberty in Western Civ, Judeo-Christian ethics, especiall after the scholastics, did a relativly better job supporting, encouraging, and theorizing about freedom than other civilizations did. Their theory of liberty was never full or correct, but in my opinion it certainly partially opened the path to liberalism.

    Jadaqul,
    I think we’er both saying the same thing, proof of G(g)od not here and wait until further notice. Seemingly though, in your position, it’s all a matter of personal bias in discriminating whether a proposition has the correct amount of affirmation. Therefore, all 3 theories in my mind could be correct because I think all three have a good amount of affirmation but no real evidence to back them up. It really doesn’t bother me, I think as long as some way of thinking leads to freedom, more power to you.

    That’s it for me tonight, thanks for the spirited debate guys, it’ll great to see how my ass is handed to me tomorrow;)

  274. Frank Anderson,

    Well, I’ve stated what I have to state on the matters.

    I just want to get us to #300 at this point! 🙂

  275. Sleep?

    Shit, I don’t get any sleep until Friday. 🙂

  276. Gary, is that why you always post your comments seriatim–to drive the comment count up?

    As for the danger of supporting the common good, doesn’t that depend on how you define the common good? I don’t think an individual can be sacrificed for the sake of other individuals; but in large part, that’s because a society that did that would be a pretty shitty society to live in. If subordinating individuals to the collective made everyone better off, happier, more satisfied with their lives, etc., then it would be a hard position to refute. That’s why collectivists always claim that collectivization will solve all our problems (vid. Marx)–that’s the only thing that could make it saleable, but it would make it saleable.

    Now even if collectivism were true, I still wouldn’t sacrifice myself to everyone else–though under this hypothetical, submitting to the collective would make me happier. But if letting everyone else be collectivist while I’m selfish made me happy, I would do that. Collectivism’s failure to increase happiness and wealth isn’t necessary to support individualism for yourself, but is the only thing that allows a convincing case that others should respect your individualism.

  277. Frank: we are mostly saying the same thing. The difference is that I argue that, in the absence of convincing evidence of God’s existence, we provisionally assume it doesn’t exist. In the absence of any evidence at all, we confidently assume it doesn’t exist. All theories are not created equal; lacking of evidence for a complex/affirmative thesis (i.e. “god exists”), we default to the simple/negative alternative (i.e. “no god exists”).

  278. 292, baby!

  279. And I won’t be here to see it hit 300…. 🙁

    Have to go to bed sooner or later, and I may not get back to my dorm room until eleven tomorrow (and that’s California time).

  280. 294.

  281. Do I hear 295?

  282. 296, maybe?

  283. Three more to go…

  284. Why do I do this, you ask?

  285. Because it is stupid to post simply to see how high you can get.

  286. So there.

  287. I take it back. My bout of insomnia allowed me to see it anyway.

    And I wasn’t just posting to see how high I’d get. The rule that makes the game interesting is that you can’t post solely to increase the count–you have to have something else to say.

    Now, my next attempt to actually get some sleep tonight…
    < whiny kid>
    But I’m not tiiyeeeeerd!!!
    </whiny kid>

  288. He was a bitterly reactionary conservative about Church doctrine, and rolled back changes brought to modernize the Church after Vatican II, during which he himself had argued strongly for human rights, as well those proposed by his immediate, more liberal, predecessor. He attacked liberation theology, the idea of an activist Christ, continued the Turin Shroud hoax, brought the ultra-conservative Opus Dei to formal power, reduced the power of the Jesuits for being too liberal and politically engaged. He damned homosexuals, contraception, abortion, and the rights of women, while praising missionary fanatics like the vile Mother Teresa. He deepened the divide between dogma and the real modern world. And perhaps, worst of all, it was on his watch that thousands of pedophile priests ran rampant and were afforded safe haven against prosecution in secular courts. In short, he was the Ken Lay of religion.
    All this nonsense about his role in the fall of Communism is just that, as specious as the claims made of Reagan last year. In fifty years, once the Church has been forced into progressivism to stem the loss of believers in an increasingly secular world, he’ll be seen for what he was- a bulwark against modernism and human dignity. Yes, he spoke out against wars, but was also against World War 2. In short, he would have emulated the complicity the Church had in Mussolini’s rise to power. All in all, not alot there- and most of it negative.
    The Pope is dead! Let’s abolish the post! DAN

  289. He attacked liberation theology… Dan S.

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

    Kevin

  290. I HOPE THE POPE HAS A FRONTROW SEAT IN THE FIRE AND BRIMSTONE THEATRE. TO OBJECTIFY HIM IN THE LIGHT THAT HE WAS A GREAT ROLE MODEL AND DID WONDERFUL THINGS IS A TRAVESTY. ESPECIALLY IF YOU WERE A FORMER ALTER BOY WHO NOW HAS TO WEAR DIAPERS FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE FOR HAVING SOME OR MANY PRIEST AND CARDINAL REEM OUT HIS ASSHOLE.

    HAVE YOU HEARD THIS ONE? A CATHOLIC PRIEST AND A MORMON PRIEST ARE WALKING DOWN THE STREET AND SEE A YOUNG BOY. THE CATHOLIC PRIEST SAYS “HEY, LETS GO FUCK THAT LITTLE BOY” AND THE MORMON PRIEST TURNS AND SAYS “OUTTA WHAT”.

  291. PJP2 advocated against using birth control. The third world would be better off if they were advised on the wonders of contraception, AND prevention of HIV while we’re on the subject.

  292. Wow, even the Anti-Christ showed up. 🙂

    Is #306 the new record?

  293. Well, if we don’t count the seven that just counting posted, does that make me the real # 300??? 🙂

  294. Well, you have to consider my conjecture that Gary’s actually altering his post habits to inflate the count–in that case, we probably shouldn’t count a lot of his posts either.

    But then, we all already knew to discount most of what Gary posts 😉

  295. Jadagul,

    No, I am not altering my post habits. I am well known for posting serial, discrete points. If you discount what I write you are a fool.

    As to the issue of the common good, when one starts with that as the measuring stick for judging a society, you’re already halfway to some eventual nightmare.

  296. Well, at least one good thing came out of this.. it knocked all the Shiavo shit off the front pages.

    Since all the important people and the papists are going to Rome, I wonder if there is anyone left for the Shiavo double-feature.. did they even have the damned thing yet?

  297. Okay, I’ll answer my own question:

    http://news.tbo.com/news/MGBB74DK27E.html

    Apparently one of the Schiavo memorial services is tonight.

    Helllooooooooo collective consciousness!! Remember Terry Schiavo? The brain dead broad? Y’know, the one that caused all the fuss’n only last week? What’s going on?!

    At this rate, the funerals are going to turn out to be a Peter Brady birthday party..

  298. Gary,

    You are a heartless bastard for bashing the Pope when his body hadn’t even cooled to room temperature. Keep up the good work.

  299. I think the ANTICHRIS and gaius need to get together for an uppercase/lowercase letter exchange.

    All I’ll say at this point is, this has been an entertaining and informative thread. And requiescat in pace for JP2.

  300. Grunnels is just a militant homosexual agitator. Anything that threatens sodomite rights, he hates.

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