"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Unhinged -- And Downright Nasty

I've been putting this post off -- it is, after all, the season of peace on earth, etc. -- but it occurs to me that some people -- all "Christians" as it happens -- didn't get the memo.

This story sparked the urge:

In a pastoral letter to churches and chapels throughout the Archdiocese of Birmingham, the Most Reverend Bernard Longley claimed the Government could not predict the impact of its legislation on children.

In his letter, being read to worshippers tomorrow to mark the Feast of the Holy Family, the Archbishop of Birmingham said: "Government policy cannot foresee the full consequences, for the children involved or for wider society, of being brought up by two mothers without a father's influence or by two fathers without a mother's influence.

"We first learn about diversity and acquire a respect for difference through the complementarity of our parents."

Archbishop Longley went on: "The complementary love of father and mother is a precious gift that we should wish for every child."

Well, there are pretty much always unforeseen consequences. You know what? We deal with them when they happen. And, frankly, for a Roman Catholic priest to be harping on "respect for difference" is kind of a hoot.

One comment on this article (there are over 1400, and no, I didn't read them all) stuck out a bit:

Time we woke up and worked out why male homosexuality has been taboo in so many societies for so long. It cannot be just on religious grounds, but on the basis that it undermines the family group on which many societies are based, that it puts lust before nurture of children and that where it is tolerated, where men enjoy sexual relationships with boys and men whilst retaining marriage, there is very often a situation where women are treated like property.

This is what happens when people start commenting on things they obviously know nothing about. I didn't feel like opening an account at The Telegraph, so here are my reactions: ". . . on the basis that it undermines the family group. . . ." Read Edward O. Wilson on kin selection. He offers a solidly grounded argument for the persistence of homosexuality -- which so many "Christians" claim is a choice because if evolution is true, homosexuals would have all died off -- in the idea that gay siblings are likely to help the survival of their own siblings' children, thus passing on at least part of their genetic heritage.

". . . that it puts lust before nurture of children. . . ." Somebody has a real hang-up about sex, given that this person (and why do I think it's a man?) can apparently only see same-sex attraction in terms of "lust," which any gay man will tell you is not the case at all.

". . . where it is tolerated, where men enjoy sexual relationships with boys and men whilst retaining marriage, there is very often a situation where women are treated like property." Sometimes -- if the society is strongly patriarchal to begin with, as in ancient Greece -- or ancient Israel. On the other hand, there's ancient Ireland, where homosexuality was tolerated and women were very independent, owning property and often ruling in their own right. (And even in early Greece, before the advent of the Achaeans, you have a matrilineal society in which women held the real power, which is to say, control of inheritance, and where men ruled by right of their marriage to the queen.)


Let's to on with more "good will toward men." You can always count on the pope:

In his remarks, Benedict quoted the chief rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim, in saying the campaign for granting gays the right to marry and adopt children was an "attack" on the traditional family made up of a father, mother and children.

"People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given to them by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being," he said. "They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves."

"The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man's fundamental choice where he himself is concerned," he said.

It was the second time in a week that Benedict has taken on the question of gay marriage, which is currently dividing France, and which scored big electoral wins in the United States last month. In his recently released annual peace message, Benedict said gay marriage, like abortion and euthanasia, was a threat to world peace. The Vatican went on a similar anti-gay marriage media blitz last month after three U.S. states approved gay marriage by popular vote.

This is his message for Christmas. Do I have to say anything? Via ThinkProgress, which has a bit of a summary of the pope's messages of "good will toward men":

Benedict has repeatedly condemned same-sex marriage as “defection in human nature” that bears an “immense human and economic cost.” Most recently, he used his World Day of Peace message to claim that marriage equality presents a “serious harm to justice and peace.”

And moving on -- the Tony Perkins Award is split, between none other than Tony Perkins and Major George Hood of the Salvation Army. From Zack Ford at ThinkProgress:

Gay activists will be putting a little something in the red kettle this year-but it won’t be money. They’re asking people to drop in complaints instead because the Salvation Army has a biblical view of sexuality.

Despite decades of community service, activists say those kettles are pushing an anti-gay agenda. Nothing could be future from the truth says Major George Hood. You don’t have to be straight to get help from the Salvation Army, he explained. Not a single “policy, practice, or program” even asks about sexual orientation. “The very mission of the Salvation Army calls for meeting the needs of humans without discrimination.”

The truth is, homosexuals are only targeting the Salvation Army because it’s Christian. And they’d rather help their agenda than the needy.

Actually, the gays I know tend to contribute directly to charities that are helping the needy without strings. As Ford points out:

LGBT bloggers Bil Browning and John Aravosis have thoroughly cataloged the Salvation Army’s anti-gay record. Major Hood, Perkins’ ringing endorsement for LGBT-inclusion, defended the notion of discriminating against gay employees in 2001 because “it really begins to chew away at the theological fabric of who we are.”

That's all I have the stomach for today. I'm sure 2013 will bring more of the same, if not worse -- people who see themselves becoming irrelevant tend to get shrill.

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