A piercing thought

I was never a boy scout but I have always tried to be prepared. And, given the amount of scandal around, I thought I had better survey some religious choices in case any of my readers decided that they needed to switch from the Catholic Church. In fact no request for information has come my way but I see no reason why all my hard work should be wasted. So here were the choices I came up with; I think they would appeal to two quite different temperaments.

The first, the Raëlian Church, came to my notice when they recently filed a suit against the Pope on the grounds that he had violated human rights by claiming that condoms don’t stop Aids. As they have made a particular point of attacking the Vatican over the last several years they would be well suited to anyone of rebellious turn of mind. A dim memory reminds me that they claim to have cloned a human being, although I have no record of further evidence for this.

Their core belief is that life on earth was created by a species of aliens – known as Elohim, who occasionally manifest themselves by appearing in the shape of small humans, often being mistaken for angels. Their messengers include Moses and Jesus – as you would expect, although the Raëlian message does not seem prominent in the Bible. They have an abiding interest in UFOs; presumably these provide a ferry system with other planets.

They believe in adult consensual sex of almost any kind and with any number of participants. But although they believe in voluntary sex for the young, they are strongly against paedophilia – which might well be an additional reason for choosing them . They are, so to speak, generous to a fault– having donated 10,000 condoms to Catholic students in Canada. In 2007 it had over 2000 members.

Now, if the Raëlian religion does not appeal (or it appeals but you feel that you lack the energy) you may well be attracted by the Church of Body Modification, whose members  “promise to always grow as individuals through body modification and what it can teach us about who we are and what we can do.” It describes itself as “a non-theistic faith that draws people who see tattoos, piercings and other physical alterations as ways of experiencing the divine.” Its membership is around 3,500.

You may not have come across the spiritual science of body modification, and perhaps the best way I can give you a flavour is by quoting some examples given by faithful devotees.

One woman writes: “Right now, I have ½” lobes on both sides, the second lobe hole is 4g, and the third lobe hole is at 8g. In front of my tragus on both sides I have 16g ½” surface bars. Both of my nostrils are pierced (18g), as is the bridge of my nose (14g). I have my septum pierced and stretched to 8g.I also have my navel pierced (14g). I have a number of tattoos and scarifications, each with spiritual significance. My nostrils have each been pierced 6 different times, though only one hole in each nostril at any given time.”

I am not sure that I understand  all of this. I am sorry to hear that she has only one hole in a nostril at any one time. A multiplicity of holes and good fingerwork would make a good built-in ocarina.

Her male colleague adds of himself: “Piercings: 0 ga flats, 10 ga rooks, 00 ga traguses (big), 1 1/4” lobes, 10 ga labret, 10 ga (x2) brows (ret.), 6 ga tongue stud, 10 ga (x2 each) nipples, dermal anchors in neck (ret.),and 00 ga Prince Albert (ret.). He lists a large number of tattoos – each with its own significance, and 4.5 hours of flesh removal.

I need a translator for much of this but I am sure that some of you will get the reference to Prince Albert; let me say no more than that it refers to an alleged piercing of the Consort himself, and designed to ensure that he would never be embarrassed in public. “ret.” here, I imagine, means no longer in active use.

I think we would agree that these faithful are fully committed,. Indeed one American girl has complained that her First Amendment rights to freedom of religion have been denied by her school for suspending her for nose piercing. I assume that a Raëlian, insisting on a multiple orgy during school hours, would make a similar claim.  Freedom of religion is not to be sneezed at – particularly through an over-punctured nostril. I would be fascinated if any of you can track other examples of interesting religions. Beachcomber, thou shouldst be living at this hour!

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About Quentin

Science Editor, Catholic Herald. Portrait © Jacqueline Alma
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87 Responses to A piercing thought

  1. Ion Zone says:

    Oh course, the thing that utterly every paper an news outlet has ignored is that the Pope was acting on new scientific advice when he said condoms don’t stop aids. What he meant was that condom campaigns in Africa have been ineffective.

    Another thing that gets left out is that the pope only opposes condoms in the circumstances of marriage.

  2. st.joseph says:

    Is it a form of religion to have a Hareem.
    Or is Pologamy a religion. If it was, How would the law stand against it,if they wanted be free to live by their conscince.. I am just questioning this as an observation.

  3. st.joseph says:

    correction to the above.
    ‘to be free to live by their conscience’.

  4. claret says:

    The creation of ‘Civil Unions’ has opened up a Pandora’s Box that is already starting to become evident.
    Some hetrosexual couples are now campaigning for Civil Unions to be ‘open’ to them.
    Conversely not content with civil unions there is now a concerted push for ‘marriages’ for gay couples ( which will surely come to pass as politicians are already openly supporting the movements for this , that become more vocifierous by the day.)
    We then move on to the legalisation of ‘Unions’ between multiple groups and the removal of bigamy from the criminal justice system.
    The recognition of ‘freedom of worship’ as opposed to ‘freedom of religion’ has connations yet to be unearthed.
    Plenty of room there for many a new religion to want its ‘freedoms’ recognised.

  5. claret says:

    I forgot to add that Ion Zone’s comments on the use of condoms outside marriage seem to imply that the Church approves of condom use ( or at least does not condemn it,) if used outside of marriage.
    It would surely be a strange teaching that taught that sex outside of marriage was sinful but OK if a condom was used.

  6. st.joseph says:

    I read ,and I dont know where, the other day that, a Vatican Scientist was asked if he would Baptise an alien. He said he would if he was asked. I think he was presuming ,that only ,if he was asked to do so, it would seem that the alien had some understanding of God.A fair comment I suppose.
    Then if we did become involved with aliens in the future, maybe a human(If we can call it, he/she what that is then) perhaps there would be some inclination receive the Sacrament of Marriage

    We had a discussion on a Soul a while back, someone commented that animals could have a soul. I hope it doesn’t go too far as to want to have civil unions with our pets.

    Maybe then we would get back to a human/ape relationship with our ancestors, as some people believe we are decesended from them.
    Nothing is surprising-when we have a law that murders unborn babies even in a lot of cases up to birth.

    Can it get any worse? God forbid.

  7. James H. says:

    Can it get any worse? In the words of the Churchill dog: ‘Ooh, yes!’

    Years ago, in a census, there were a number of people who filled in ‘Jedi’ in their ‘religion’ box. My wife, an ophthalmic nurse, had one of them as a patient – he filled in ‘Jedi’ in his hospital form. I’m afraid the Jedi bit reminds me Forcibly* of the part of the Screwtape Letters where the senior devil says to his nephew, ‘Once we have the materialist magician, someone who thinks he uses “forces” while veritably worshiping them, then the end of the war would be in sight.’ I’m paraphrasing, obviously.

    The combination of atheism and wacko spirituality only requires a few tweaks before it produces something potentially dangerous. ‘Tis but a matter of time.

    *Sorry, couldn’t resist!

  8. Just a couple of small points. The Church’s objection to condoms, both in Casti Cannubii and Humanae Vitae, is centred on the argument that blocking the outcome of the act falsifies the total giving of marriage expressed in the act. This of course does not relate to unmarried (including homosexual) relations. The Church has no reason to comment. This leaves the sinner with the knotty problem of deciding for himself whether abstaining from a condom, thus reducing the danger of pregnancy and disease, is better than using one. I always answer this by imagining (Heaven forfend!) that one of my beautiful teenage granddaughters is the female concerned. I find the answer comes easily.

    I am all for extending civil partnerships. The tax and financial security elements involved should surely be open to interdependent households, e.g., two brothers, unmarried daughter and aged parent etc. Heterosexuals who are free to marry need no special provision since they can marry. There is nothing necessarily sexual about civil partnerships; it is perfectly reasonable to share board but not bed.

    Animals do have souls (anima), but they are natural, animal souls; cabbages have vegetative souls. The soul is no more than the principle of life – giving form to the matter from which the being is constructed. Human souls are created directly by God. I was told (but cannot trace the source) that St Augustine said “If you meet a pig who knows he’s a pig, baptise him!”

  9. st.joseph says:

    I am pleased that the Holy Father didn’t mention Birth Control,Contraception, or Homosexuals

    He mentioned life is Sacred from conception to death
    Why would he mention condoms, he wasn’t asked the question.

    Some get so worked up about condoms when there are babies being murdered in abortion clinics,.

    If my grandchilden , outside marriage were having a sexual relationship ,I would like to think that they were acting responsibley, I am sure most would feel the same.

    What is a Jedi?

  10. Ion Zone says:

    “Conversely not content with civil unions there is now a concerted push for ‘marriages’ for gay couples ( which will surely come to pass as politicians are already openly supporting the movements for this , that become more vocifierous by the day.)”

    Why shouldn’t they want to be married. The more we push them away, the more they turn into people like Steven Fry, who hates religion.

  11. st.joseph says:

    Ion Zone, what is the difference between a civic union and ‘marriage as you say.
    If the law allows a civil union, won’t it be the same as a marriage in a Registry office.
    We as catholics administer the Sacrament on each other, in the presence of a priest. It is made legal by the signing of the Registry.
    Homosexuals will never be able to Sacrament a Marriage in the Catholic Church. Unless of course God changes His Law.
    Marriage in the eyes of God is between a Man and a women.
    I dont know if it is correct, but if a man and a women are stranded on a Desert Island with no Priest-I think- they can administer the Sacrament on each other and in the eys of God they will be man and wife.
    Perhaps someone will put me right on that,
    My opinion is that homosxuals, as long as they are not interfering with anyone else, and minding their own business, and not shouting the odds in their Gay marches, with public obesities, and try to live their lives ‘decently’ in their eyes,and they are not pushing it in our schools ,to try and acomplish it to their way of life, Then they might leave Christians alone to live our life in Peace too.
    W have many hetrosexuals leading lives which are degrading, in th eye of God such as -well do I hav to spell it out!

  12. claret says:

    The propoganda for ‘marriage’ for homosexual couples is making considerable headway when even among some of those (who I assume to be Catholics,) posting on here are so supportive of it.
    Marriage between a man and a woman was what God intended and Jesus re-iterated. It is an institution that has , as its core, and where possible, the creation of new life as an integral part of God’s plan for humanity.
    A marriage that excludes opposite sexes can never make any pretence to be open to new life, indeed it makes any sexual union to be sinful ( and medically dangerous.)
    On the subject of condoms Quentin quotes from Vatican documents but it is misleading to suggest that because they were directed at married couples that there is some kind of personal ‘opting out’ for the unmarried who engage in sexual intercourse. The sin is committed at the act of sexual intercourse outside of marriage and if the Church were somehow to lessen the sin by promoting the use of condoms so as to prevent, for example, an unplanned pregnancy, then it is doing no more than condoning abortion for the same purpose.
    It cannot do it. It does not have the authority.

  13. st.joseph says:

    Claret, I do agree with all that you say.But however we know that the message that the Holy Father speaks as Jesus’s representative on earth is for all.
    But we also remember that not all believe it.
    We are living in the real world,and it would be wonderful if we could all live the way The Lord wants us to-we would then be in Heaven on earth.

    With the use of condoms you are right in what you say, and two wrongs (meaning sex outside marriage and condoms) dont make a right, but in this case I agree with Quentin when he speaks of our children,and that does not mean to say that we agree with the use of condoms.We know that they do not prevent Aids,pregnancys, as they are only 75% effective, not even as effective as the old rythm methodof N.F.P.

    Iwould question your thoughts on them being the same as condoning an abortion, I am not too sure what you mean by that.

    I dont believe it is in the same category as abortion,unlike the pill,It wont stop them having sex.
    Condoms are a preventative(75%) of a pregnancy,and STDs,when the situation for having a child does not enter the mind of most of those who use them,and if they become pregnant,end up in an abortion clinic or take the morning after pill, which can destroy any chance of having childrn, when they mature and wish to be married.

    I have been frustrated over the years teaching N.F.P with the negative thinking of others, but always realised that it is not just a method but a ‘way of life’and a way of thinking about relationships.

    I have been trying for years for a proper education in theChurch
    to teach married couples.
    A couple of years ago a teacher and myself taught a young nurse to teach-she is still waiting for someone to teach,that speaks for its self.
    Marriage Care were asking for people to volunteer in the catholic papers a year or so ago. So I phoned a Marriage Care30miles from me and offered my services as an N.F.P. teacher, and was bluntly told-‘We dont do this- but however you are welcome to come and help make the tea’ I am pleased I am a Christian or I may have replied in an unchristian manner.
    The problem is,life today is moving in the fast lane and no time to listen specially to conscience.

    But I will finish with reiterating that I dont condone sex outside marriage or the use of condoms,but I am well aware of the consequences if young people dont.
    Just a passing note,how many young children of 15 or 16 pushing babies in a pram, being screamed at-while the dad is ahead screaming at the mother and God only knows what is happning in the home,I know,as having used my home for young pregnantgirls whose parents wanted them to abort and they wanted to keep the babyjust a little love shown them then they become good mothers.As I still see some now married and happy.

  14. claret says:

    St Joseph,
    Thanks for your response and for perservering in the face of the difficulties you face with promoting NFP etc.
    I was linking the use of condoms to abortion in the sense that if the Church was to promote the use of condoms on the basis of them preventing unwanted pregnancy then it is a short step to allowing abortion for the same purpose. Indeed it might be considered hypocritical to allow one for that purpose and not the other.
    The Church defines degrees of sinfulness but it cannot ‘authorise’ a sin as being in some way sanctioned as being for the greater good.
    The use of condoms might be so described ( as being for the greater good viz. prevention of SDI’s and unwanted pregnancies,) but if the Church, as it does, interprets the use of condoms as being sinful because they go against God’s plan for human re-production ( creation,) then it cannot sanction them.
    In other words when faced with a personal dilemma ( Quentin asserts that his answer to the use of condoms comes easily to him when thinking of his grandaughters who might find themselves in a certain situation ?) then our opinions can be influenced as to what we suddenly perceive to be the ‘greater good.’
    However without wishing to be too dramatic is it the greater good to avoid an unwanted pregnancy or to risk the final consequences of a sinful lifestyle?
    Many a martyr has chosen death when faced with the same type of dilemma. The rest of us choose to ‘fudge it’ and hope for the best. This is a risky policy to adhere to.

  15. Ion Zone says:

    “The propoganda for ‘marriage’ for homosexual couples is making considerable headway when even among some of those (who I assume to be Catholics,) posting on here are so supportive of it. Marriage between a man and a woman was what God intended and Jesus re-iterated.”

    I bet you would be playing a different tune if you were born gay.

    It’s not propaganda. Gay Catholics wish to be married before God as much as straight Catholics. It is only through extremely selective reading of the OT that people have decided that homosexuality is sinful. After all the language used is no stronger than that for banning certain meats (which would have been a public health ordinance).

    Lets have a look at what is actually said:

    http://www.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible-gay-christian

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/3205727.stm

    http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/9853.htm

    In actual fact, most of the passages that relate to gays are miss-translated and\or misunderstood, and any argument about God’s intentions for marriage has to take into account how unfaithful many of the prophets were – and that God loves all of us equally, and does *not* expect us to be perfect.

    We wouldn’t have half the problems we do if we just let them – and there are thousands and thousands of children in Catholic orphanages who would love to have parents.

  16. st.joseph says:

    Thank you Claret.
    I know that the Church can not condone condoms. The reason I was pleased that the Holy Father did not mention it in his speeches is ,that he would have given cause for the media to use that against him.As it was, it was good comments, and he was on a State visit as well. The media would have torn him apart.
    We as catholics know the Churches teaching.
    I would hope that if he had anything to say it would be to the Bishops.
    I was disappointed that the Archbishop in his interviews on Sunday evening with Huw Edwards and others, when he had a golden opportunity to mention the Natural Method of Family Planning-said nothing. Why oh why, did he not defend the church on that matter.

    I know it is not a greater good-so to speak, to defend the use of condoms. The very fact that one is in that lifestyle ouside marriage ,is a sin in itself.
    If a person went to confession and told the priest he had sex and not married, or maybe married with an extra marital relationship, I would hope that the priest would advise him to give up his life style, which is seperating him from the Lord, I don’t think he would ask if he used a condom Maybe I am wrong. But I would be pleased he went to Confession for the strength he would receive from the Sacrament

    Ion Zone. You say that Gay couples want to be married before God.
    So you accept that sexual intercourse between homosexuals
    is alright in Gods eyes.
    Did God speak to you about this !

    If they really loved each other with the Love that God has shown to us- masturbation would not come into it.
    True love is not all about sex.
    People have to abstain for years through certain illness’s in marriage, it does not mean that they dont love each other.
    It is an insult those when it is all taken for granted that one can not live without sexual union.
    When people have said to me that N.F.P is not normal ,not to have sex when one wants- What about childbearing years, menstrual period times, and other illnesses.
    The Holy Family would be a good example for us to follow, and there are many catholic homosexuals who are living like that and need to be commended for that.
    There is an organisation called ENCOURAGE for those who sincerely love The Lord enough to make sacrafices for Him-that is if course if they really mean what they say- in the ‘eyes of
    God’

  17. claret says:

    Ion Zone,
    You are quite right when you write that homosexuality is not mentioned in the OT. Neither is it mentioned in the NT.
    This is hardly surprising has the word ‘homosexuality’ has only been around for about 150 years or so and the word ‘Gay’ has only been in common usage for the last 50 years at the most.
    What is spoken of is the sin of sex outside the bounds of marriage between a man and a woman.
    There is no ambiguity on this point. The Church cannot therefore ever support something which sanctions something so contrary to what God ordained and which Christ re-iterated.
    It therefore does not sanction hetrosexual ‘living together’ as on a par with marriage nor can it sanction ‘same sex’ marriage.
    Incidentally there is no evidence , despite all the searching, of a ‘same sex’ gene that is evident at birth.

  18. st.joseph says:

    Ion Zone, I am not too sure whether you are for or against it.

    Are you looking at it from your own point of view ,or a Homosexuals?

  19. Ion Zone says:

    “Ion Zone. You say that Gay couples want to be married before God.
    So you accept that sexual intercourse between homosexuals
    is alright in Gods eyes.
    Did God speak to you about this !”

    I’m saying that God has never condemned it. I think you are saying that gays should be celibate even though this is something we do not ask of ourselves.

    “Incidentally there is no evidence , despite all the searching, of a ’same sex’ gene that is evident at birth.”

    I do not subscribe to the idea that genes dictate everything, but it has been proven that you have at least two ‘brain genders’. Our brains are, by default, female, and so need to be told to ‘become male’ in the womb. Evidence suggests that this happens when the mother sends testosterone to the baby. The brain needs this to happen twice to become fully male. Not enough of the second time can leave you gay or bisexual, not enough of the first can make you feminine, and none at all can leave you with gender dysphoria – this means you have a brain of a different gender to the body.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_identity_disorder

    There have recently been two children of six with this condition, which is well known to be evident early on (don’t forget hermaphrodites – who are physically both genders – either.) The idea that homosexuality is something we choose or that is a mental condition has been firmly debunked.

    I think that you are set upon it being wrong without any real reason beyond it being ‘odd’, or something you can’t imagine doing yourself.

  20. st.joseph says:

    No, I dont think it is odd-just unatural.
    I am truly sorry that homosexuals can not fall in love with their opposite sex,but that doesn’t mean it is right to masturbate with each other. We cant have intercourse with hetrosexuals, and I am sure that happens in life too
    Of course if that is what they wish to do, who am I to object.
    Its a free world so to speak ,and God gives us a free will to live our lives as we will. That does not mean it is His Will.
    He has not sanctioned it either.

    No, I can’t imagine doing it myself, but however If I did I would pray to the Lord to give me the Grace to resist the temptation, as we do with any sin that tempts us to seperate us from God.
    Oh I can hear you saying ‘How sanctimonious that is.
    I am nearly 70 and have been through lots of temptations,I am not exempt from sin, or the knowledge of it.
    So if it did happen to me under any circumstances, and being a Christian ,I would try to live by the Rule and not to exploit my desires especially with a ‘Gay’Lifestyle as they do (not All) which really would be flying in the Face of God-an expression of my Grandmothers-when we did something against The Lord.

    I think there is something in the Bible about Man laying down with Man! And I take that as ‘Man Kind’-being female too!
    I will just add that I do know homosexuals-and those who I do ,respect the Christian belief ,and dont flaunt it in my face, and I dont ask what they do in private., no more than what I would ask a married couple.
    ,

  21. Ion Zone says:

    “I think there is something in the Bible about Man laying down with Man! And I take that as ‘Man Kind’-being female too!”

    This phrase is very badly translated – though I have lost the reference. Suffice to say it is not aimed at gays in general. There is nothing in the Bible that suggests God is against gays. You are misusing the Bible to condemn something you disagree with.

    I would like to reverse the situation for a moment with a small thought experiment: You are transported to a planet where 90% of the population is homosexual (let us not think about the practicalities of that).

    The people of this planet find your relationship with your wife\husband odd and unwholesome. Abuse is shouted at you in the streets, you are pushed and shoved, even kicked and punched, for dressing ‘hetro’ and having an open relationship.

    Religious and political leaders call you ‘sexual deviants’ and ‘perverts’. You are accused of being lesser people. If you protest you are called ‘violent’ or ‘aggressive’.

    The Westbro Baptist Church labels you ‘evil’ and ‘sick’, they send out spam emails calling for people to torture ‘hetros’ with barbed wire (guess which delicate area the wire is to be used on).

    Everybody tells you that God does not like your sexual interests. The mildest protests call for you to be entirely celibate, the worst call for you to be rounded up. People tell you that you are “going to burn in hell”. Your children are bullied in school for having ‘hetro’ parents. Every bad thing is blamed on you. You are a scapegoat.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/mar/19/gay-dutch-soldiers-srebrenica

    Around the world, people persecute and abuse people like you.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8005420.stm

    All this because you are sexually attracted to people of the opposite gender, you “sick perv”.

  22. Ion Zone says:

    Then one day, maybe at school, maybe at a gay support centre, your child is gunned down, simply for being ‘hetro’.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23847511/

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3900957,00.html

    I am sorry if you find my reversal offensive, but it is important to see this from the point of view of someone who suffers for something they can’t help and which doesn’t hurt a single person, let alone God.

    It isn’t because of ‘family values’ a gay couple could make some of those lonely children stuck in Catholic orphanages very happy. You could even make the argument, and I do, that God provided gays for this very purpose.

    Homophobia is rooted, solidly, in the uncomfortable idea that another man or woman might fancy you. After all, men like the idea of lesbians, and women love gays because they feel safe around them. But both fear gays of their own gender.

    I am not, myself, gay, but I have been beaten up by thugs who thought I was. I know very well that standing out, even a little bit, gets you attacked, bullied, and shouted at by strangers.

    I have based my reversal above entirely on experience, news stories, and experiences my gay fiends have told me about.

    What you say is not so bad, seemingly, but it is every bit as prejudiced – to say that gays must forever go without love is something you would be horrified to have pushed upon yourself.

  23. st.joseph says:

    Ion Zone,
    I do so hope that you are not suggesting that I am homophobic.
    I suggest you read what the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic church says about homosexuality ,and ‘read ‘it well, and see if you think it is ‘homophobic’ . Then I would suggest you re-consider your thinking.. or may think about it more deeply.
    I come to the conclusion that you may be bordering on the opposite -something like ‘hetrophobic”,if there is such a word.

    We love the sinner but not the sin.
    I believe you may be totally confused in the matter, and don’t read properly to what have I said..

    I am sorry you were bullied for people thinking you were Gay.
    But that does not make the act of masturbation right, whether you agree or not.
    That is not cririticising a person who is homosexual-that is one who cannot ‘fall in love’ with their opposite sex.

    Unfortunately ,there are many like you who confuse the issue, and try to put the blame on hetrosexuals to prove a point.
    But in won’t wash with The Lord,
    I am speaking now about your comments, not homosexuals, in case you misconstrue my meaning ‘again’.

  24. st.joseph says:

    Ion Zone. (Rom.1.20-32) Something to ponder on.

  25. claret says:

    As I posted above the words ‘homosexual’ and ‘gay’ are relatively recent in our history and therefore cannot be attributed as though they were around in Biblical times.
    Indeed in my humble opinion once we start to put labels on particluar groups then we are heading for trouble.
    What we have is human sexuality and that covers a wide range of expressions of that sexuality.
    Even without any biblical or religious perspective society itself generally decides what is acceptable expressions of human sexuality and what is not.
    So sex with animals by humans is a taboo in just about every culture but it still goes on with certain people who sexually express themselves in that way.
    I would hope for most of us that sex with children would also be a taboo and civil laws generally prohibit this kind of sexual expression but there are groups who actively campaign for the age of consent to be reduced so that they can legally engage in sex with children. (One might argue that these groups have had considerable success.)
    We now come to the teaching of the Church as it defines what it believes to be the mind of God based on scripture and tradition and what is for the health of humanity.
    In summary it states that sex is reserved for those in the lawfully married state of one man united in matrimony with one woman and that such a bond is ‘until parted by death.’
    Anything sexual outside of that relationship, no matter how loving that relationship may be, is sinful.
    Were the world to live by the standards set by the church there would be no sexual diseases, no abortions, and a whole host of other health and social benefits for the good of humanity.

  26. st.joseph says:

    A piercing thought.

    Romans.1;20 -32
    Ever since God created the world his everlasting power and deity-however invisible-have been there for the mind to see in the things he has made. That is why such people are without excuse;they knew God and refused to honour him; instead,they made nonsense out of logic and their empty minds were darkened. The more they called themselves philisophers,the more stupid they grew,until they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for a worthless imitation,for the image of mortal man,of birds of quadrupeds and reptiles. That is why God left them to their filthy enjoyments and the practices with which they dishonour their own bodies,since they have given up divine truth for a lie and have worshipped and served creatures instead of the creator,who is blessed for ever.Amen.
    That is why God has abandoned them to degrading passions;why their women have turned from natural intercourse to unnatural practices and why their menfolk have given up natural intercourse to be consumed with passion for each other,men doing shaameless things with men and getting an appropriate reward for their perversion.
    In other words,since they refused to see it was rational to acknowledge God,God has left them to their own irrational ideas and to their monstrous behaviour. And so they are steeped in all sorts of depravity,rotteness,greed and malce,and addicted to envy,murder wrangling,treachery and spite.Libellers,slanderers,enemies of God,rude arrogant and boastful;enterprising in sin,rebellious to parents,without brains,honour,love or pity.They know what God’s verdict is:that those that behave like this deserve to die-and yet they do it; and what is worse,encourage others to do the same. End.

    Strong Words.

  27. Ion Zone says:

    “I come to the conclusion that you may be bordering on the opposite -something like ‘hetrophobic”,if there is such a word.”

    I told you, I was trying to help you see their position. How would you like it if the Bible were used to condemn you for being what you are.

    It has been misused and missquoted to suppress women and others.

    I think you hide behind the Bible to mask your own homophobia. After all, your views are simply the tail end of centuries of people being killed simply because of their sexuality.

  28. st.joseph says:

    I am a widow, and if I was having unlawul sex, I
    would also be condemned, in the eyes of The Lord. But if I was ,I would be discreet about it.
    The comment Claret made on Number 17, says it all!
    The fact that people were killed simply because of their sexuality-is not my reasoning!
    They are not being killed now. So what is ‘your’ problem.

  29. RMBlaber says:

    I am fascinated by the whole notion of extraterrestrials (ETs), and their religious/metaphysical status.

    An exoplanet in a so-called ‘Goldilocks’ orbit about the red dwarf star Gliese 581, some 20 light years away, has just been discovered. It has been named (oh, the imagination of these astronomers!) Gliese 581g. The planet has a ‘year’ of 53 days, and a mass equal to 3.1-4.3 Earths. (Someone weighing 10 stones on Earth would thus weigh anything up to 43 stones standing on Gliese 581g!)

    The planet is so close to its parent star that it is ‘tide-locked’: that is to say, it always keeps one face to the star, and one face away from it. The star-facing side has an average temperature of 71°C; the other, dark face is a frigid -34°C. Assuming Gliese 581g has an atmosphere (and its gravity is certainly strong enough to maintain one) then winds would ameliorate these temperature differences to some extent, but the most comfortable place to be would be at the Terminator (nothing to do with Arnie Schwarzenegger!), the half-way point between the faces, of perpetual sunset/sunrise.

    Could there be life on such a planet? Yes, but – to coin a phrase – it would not be life ‘as we know it’. It would need to be very robust, and, I suspect, very similar to the type of terrestrial life we describe as ‘extremophile’. The majority of these are microbes (Archaea or bacteria), although there are some multi-cellular examples, such as the Pompeii worm (Alvinella pompejana) and Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba).

    What about intelligent life? I doubt it, not on Gliese 581g! I wouldn’t want to live there, anyway, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend it for future human colonisation. This brings me to the Fermi Paradox, named in honour of the great 20th Century Italian-American physicist, Enrico Fermi (1901-54). In discussion one day with colleagues in the early 1950s about one of the then ‘UFO-flaps’ (as they were called), Fermi pointed out that, given the age and size of the Milky Way galaxy (13 billion years; 100,000 light years in diameter), and the fact that, even at a relatively small fraction of the speed of light, say 1%, it would only take a reasonably advanced civilisation some 10 million years to colonise all of it. Though this sounds like a long time, it’s only 0.00769% of the total age. Consequently, there is time for the Galaxy to have been completely colonised many times over by many different intelligent species. Where, Fermi asked, is the evidence of their activity? It is not simply that the Little Green Men haven’t presented themselves on the White House lawn yet -the existence of ETs ought to be totally incontrovertible, but isn’t.

    In the 16th Century, two Dominicans, Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) and Tommaso Campanella (1568-1634), both held to the plurality of worlds, Campanella arguing that ‘If there are humans living on other [planets], they would not be infected with the sin of Adam since they are not his descendants. Hence they would not be in need of redemption, unless they suffered from another sin’ (A Defense of Galileo, Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1994, p.112). Bruno, however, was condemned as a heretic, and burned at the stake. The Lutheran theologian Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560) had already warned in 1550 against the idea of Christ’s Incarnation and Redemption occurring more than once. ‘The Son of God is one: our master Jesus Christ, coming forth in this world, died and was resurrected only once. Nor did he manifest himself elsewhere, nor has he died or been resurrected elsewhere. We should not imagine many worlds because we ought not imagine that Christ died and was risen often; nor should it be thought that in any other world without the knowledge of the Son of God that people would be restored to eternal life’ (Initiae doctrinae physicae, Corpus Reformatorum 13, reprint, Frankfurt: Minerva, 1963, 1.221).

    This latter argument has been taken up in our own time, and given eloquent expression, by Fr Brian Hebblethwaite, SJ. However, against him is the viewpoint of the Anglican, CS Lewis, who argues (if only in the context of his fiction) for the possibility of sinless, because unfallen, material beings living on other worlds like his ‘Perelandra’ (Venus).

    The chances are, however, that the theological argument is otiose, as none of these hypothetical extraterrestrial intelligences actually exist, which would explain why we haven’t heard from them. There are certainly none on Venus (surface temperature that of molten lead)!

  30. Ion Zone says:

    I provided two examples of them being killed, one of which happened in an American Secondary School. I wish I could properly convey a sense of the rejection they feel and the abuse they suffer….no wonder Brighton was recently polled as the least religious place in England (they tend to turn to spirituality, ‘paganism’, and atheism).

    “‘The Son of God is one: our master Jesus Christ, coming forth in this world, died and was resurrected only once. Nor did he manifest himself elsewhere, nor has he died or been resurrected elsewhere.”

    This doesn’t come up much, but my answer would be that both Judaism and Islam were started without Jesus, so we can only assume that we were in particular need of him.

  31. st.joseph says:

    You say’I wish I could convey a sense of the rejection they feel and the abuse they suffer’

    Ion Zone.
    Whilst understanding your feelings, and I appreciate that murder under any circumstance is not an acceptable answer. Like the stoning of the woman caught in adultry -whereby Jesus told her to go and ‘sin no more.’
    I feel the same way about all the innocent babies murdered in their mothers womb
    If you believe me to be homophobic , then you must believe that the Catholic Church, which you are a member (I assume) is homophobic too. The Teachings of the Church are the Teachings of Jesus. Or are you picking and choosing from the Catechism in the same way that you accuse me of misinterprating the Holy Bible,when you say ‘I hide behind it to mask my own homophobia’.So the Church must be doing that too.
    I think you may be a little confused!

  32. Iona says:

    It is possible that the reason the galaxy has not been colonised once (let alone several times) by intelligent extraterrestrials is that no such race has developed sufficient intelligence not to shoot itself in the foot long before it has the technology to travel through the galaxy.

    Or perhaps that by the time a race has developed sufficient intelligence to devise a way of travelling to other parts of the galaxy, it has also developed sufficient intelligence to find better things to do.

  33. Iona says:

    Are there REALLY lots and lots of children languishing in Catholic orphanages, whose need for parents can only be met by having them adopted by gay/lesbian couples? I thought there were far more people wanting to adopt than there are children available for adoption.

  34. Ion Zone says:

    “So the Church must be doing that too.
    I think you may be a little confused!”

    The Bible is not homophobic, however there are plenty of people in the Church who are, did it not blame gays for its own abuse crisis? Did it not blame them for other things too?

    “Are there REALLY lots and lots of children languishing in Catholic orphanages, whose need for parents can only be met by having them adopted by gay/lesbian couples?”

    You make it sound like there are no children to adopt, when there are plenty.

  35. st.joseph says:

    I think you are confusing the people in the, church to the teaching of the church.
    Are you saying that the Bible is not homophobic, but the Church is!

  36. Iona says:

    There are children to adopt, but in this country at least they are the “hard to place” ones, – older children, children with severe emotional problems from families where they have been subject to prolonged abuse and neglect, and children with severe disabilities. Young, healthy, undamaged children have been in very short supply ever since people took to aborting unwanted pregnancies.

  37. Ion Zone says:

    Not the lay community especially, but I’ve heard some pretty homophobic things from the top.

  38. Ion Zone says:

    The Bible itself is not homophobic, gays are barely mentioned. Jesus never condemned homosexuality and the rules against it are miss-translated.

    Not to mention the fact that we regularly do plenty of things that Leviticus says are abominations.

  39. Iona says:

    If it comes to that, I can’t think of many sins that Jesus IS recorded as having condemned, other than hypocrisy of course. He told the woman taken in adultery to “go, and sin no more”, indicating that he accepted the prevalent view of adultery as sinful. I don’t think we can assume that because he didn’t explicitly condemn a specific act as sinful that he therefore considered it non-sinful; his listeners would have accepted that he recognised the ten commandments except insofar as he made it clear he didn’t (e.g. healing people on the Sabbath).

  40. claret says:

    Ion Zone continues to assert, and take comfort from, that homosexuality and ‘gays’ are not condemned by Jesus but seems unwilling to acknowledge the fact that both words as a description of a certain type of sexuality were not around in Biblical Times. Indeed both words ( and ‘homophobia’ as a word too, ) are recent additions to the vocubulary. So how could Jesus directly condemen something with words that would had not even been ‘invented’ for his generation.
    What Jesus did condemn was sexual sins. It would seem a strange stance to condemn, as he did, lust among men for women but not for men with men! He condemned divorce. He condemned adultery ( sex outside of mariage.) He re-iterated marriage as being a lifelong union between one man and one woman.
    There is no ‘permit’ for any sin in what Jesus said except that a truly repentant sinner will always find forgiveness.
    Of course if one decides and insists that the Bible is ‘mis-translated’ then the possibilities are unlimited. Perhaps murder is OK too. Even bestiality will have its proponents as it is not condemned anywhere.

  41. st.joseph says:

    Nor paedophiles!

  42. Ion Zone says:

    “both words as a description of a certain type of sexuality were not around in Biblical Times.”

    So? The English Navy were hanging gays well before either word was invented. They didn’t even have the language to properly describe it.

    In the same way that electricity existed during the Biblical period, but wasn’t mentioned in the Bible, so too did homosexuality. You can’t tell me it wasn’t there simply because the Bible only recognises same-sex acts, not actual gayness.

    If you want examples, look to the Greeks, Romans and Spartans….the Spartans actually encouraged it in their armies (No I haven’t seen the film).

    “Of course if one decides and insists that the Bible is ‘mis-translated’ then the possibilities are unlimited.”

    The Bible IS miss-translated however, it went through something like four languages before it got to us.

    In any case:

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibi.htm

  43. Ion Zone says:

    This passage is a direct quote from the above link.

    Common mistranslations in English versions of the Bible:

    There are two Hebrew words which are often associated with homosexual passages and which are often mistranslated in English versions of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament): “qadesh” means a male prostitute who engaged in ritual sex in a Pagan temple. This was a common profession both in ancient Israel and in the surrounding countries. The word is often mistranslated simply as “sodomite” or “homosexual.” (e.g. the King James Version of the Bible, Deuteronomy 23:17). The companion word quedeshaw means female temple prostitute. It is frequently mistranslated simply as “whore” or “prostitute.” A qadesh and quedeshaw were not simply prostitutes. They had a specific role to play in the temple. They represented a God and Goddess, and engaged in sexual intercourse in that capacity with members of the temple.
    “to’ebah” means a condemned, foreign, Pagan, religious, cult practice, but often simply translated as “abomination.” Eating food which contains both meat and dairy products is “to’ebah” A Jew having a meal with an Egyptian was “to’ebah.” A Jew wearing a polyester-cotton garment, or having a tattoo is “to’ebah” today.

    In order to understand what the Bible has to say on heterosexual activity, we could consult the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts, dividing all of the references to heterosexual sex into different categories: rape;
    sexual abuse of children;
    ritual sex in Pagan temples;
    prostitution;
    sexual orgies;
    non-exploitive, consensual, monogamous sex in a loving relationship, etc.

    The final category above is the only one that would help us understand what the Bible teaches about heterosexual activity in a loving committed relationship. After all, a verse which describes how an army kidnapped some female virgins for use as sex slaves does not tell us anything about the role of sex in marriage today. A verse that discusses temple prostitution during the worship of Pagan gods does not instruct us about feelings of romantic love between a man and a woman.

    Similarly, in order to comprehend what the Bible says about gay and lesbian relationships, we must pass over the references to homosexual rape, male sexual abuse of boys, and homosexual prostitution, same-sex orgies by heterosexuals, Pagan sexual rituals in temples, etc. We would be left with only those references relating to consensual sexual activities within homosexual partnerships. There may not be any of these. The Bible may be as silent on loving, committed same-sex partnerships as it is about planes, trains and automobiles.

    There are biblical descriptions of three close and intimate relationships between members of the same gender. But there are no unambiguous passages that show that they were sexually active.

    The Bible often condemns heterosexual and homosexual exploitive, manipulative sex, and prostitution, but may be totally silent on consensual homosexual relationships.

    One is left with many Biblical passages which condemn fornication – sex outside of marriage. If one were to accept these passages as inspired by God, then one can conclude that the Bible considers homosexual sex within a committed relationship as equivalent to a man and woman living together common-law without having being married.

  44. st.joseph says:

    Ion Zone,you say in No 30 of your comment.
    Quote -‘Judaism and Islam were started without Jesus,so we assume that we were in particular need of him’ Unquote.

    The Catholic Church has Scripture, Tradition and Magesterium. So we can only assume that we were in particular need of the ‘Chair of Peter’,for a proper interpretation of the Gospels.As Jesus Said
    ‘Upon this Rock I will build My Church etc etc etc;

  45. claret says:

    The same gender attraction which is today described as homosexuality and ‘gay’ was obviously practised in days of yore as they are today but it was not called such because the words had not come into the vocabularies of the time. Indeed there may not have been a need to do so,( and in my opinion it is a disastorous step to label any group of people .) However in todays world we need to have a word for everything. Homosexual is not a ‘nice ‘ word so the word ‘gay’ is used ( from an abbreviation I understand,) to give a certain gentleness to a sexual orientation that is distasteful to many and so make it more acceptable.
    So Jesus could not condemn something for which no words existed. Such lack of condemnation does not amount to approval. However a totally celibate lifestyle in any adult can never be sexually sinful so the fact that same gender attraction is evident is not of itself sinful. What makes it so is exactly the same as what makes opposite gender
    sexual activity sinful in that it takes place outside the bounds of marriage and that sodomy is a sin in itself.
    I’m not sure what the hanging of people in the navy has to do with anything. They don’t hang people in the navy now but they used to hang them for all sorts of crimes ( and of course it was only very recently that sodomy, which had been a sexual crime in the UK for centuries, was decriminalised.)

  46. Ion Zone says:

    They used to hang men for sleeping together.

    Stop wriggling. Your language is that of a homophobic, pure and simple. That the word wasn’t around is irrelevant. There were still men who were attracted to men and women attracted to women. The Bible is used to condemn them but the Bible itself condemns only things that would also be condemned where they enacted by heterosexuals. Your argument is flimsy.

    Jesus could very easily have condemned them. Leviticus manages to reference gay sex, Jesus would surely have had no problem.

  47. Ion Zone says:

    Read Part Two if you don’t believe me.
    .
    .
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibi1.htm

  48. st.joseph says:

    Ion Zone, there are a lot of people who are confused with the diffirence between Sympathy and Christian values
    People sympathise with women who resort to abortions,and we do!But neverthless that doesn’t make for a christian act when we allow it even by law.Abortionist’s have even been shot by some who feel it is right to kill for that reason.
    The same as killing for sexual sins as we have already discussed.
    You are confusing sympathy, with the protection of christian values, which doesn’t only apply to same sex relations, as Claret pointed out.
    The accusation of being called a ‘homophobic’ is really out of order-especially when you reflect it towards the Church and its members.Remembering that Jesus is the head and we are all the Body.
    Just reflect on the way ‘same sex relationships) conduct their selves in public, ‘Not very nice’. Have you ever been to one of their marches.Perhaps if there they were to uphold decency in there movement, they would not be shown dicrimination,that would be their conscience -and not christians -who believe in our conscience to be right.
    That does not mean that we are homophobic what ‘ever’ that means.
    The law has been changed now to it not being a crime. The same way that killing a baby in the womb has been ‘allowed’.
    Same sex relations can live in peace as long as they allow others to do the same,and there are a lot who do. They are not being hanged now, so I dont see your problem. If they are attacked, the law deals with that. So again what is your problem?

  49. Ion Zone says:

    And you are resorting to emotional tactics to make your case.
    .
    How is it ‘Christian’ to exclude other monogamous Christians who harm no one. There is no death here. These people would produce no children anyway, and Biblical law barely covers this at all. That which it does say is a corruption of what it originally said.

    You are picking which laws you follow and which you do not.

  50. Ion Zone says:

    “Have you ever been to one of their marches.Perhaps if there they were to uphold decency in there movement, they would not be shown dicrimination,”

    Do you *really* believe that? The Gay Pride marches were started as a protest against horrendous treatment of gays, so they still bear that tradition.

    It is also quite natural for anyone who is oppressed to then go completely overboard to make up. But, frankly, they are as moral as a nunnery compared with the Mardi Gras festival.

    You also seem to have missed the point that it is an exercise in self-parody.

    In any case, you seem to object because it is strange and unusual. I’M strange and unusual. If you can’t embrace that which is different then you are embracing the psychological roots of xenophobia. You are indulging in a prejudice of small and inconsequential differences.

  51. Ion Zone says:

    Have a look at this.
    .
    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/1/20101009/ten-vaughn-s-gay-line-in-bullying-debate-c60bd6d.html
    .
    “Cooper argues such language should be eliminated as it fuels teen bullying, which is currently hitting headlines after a spate of gay teens’ suicides across America.”
    .
    So you see, the death here is caused by the *exclusion* of gays, not the inclusion.
    .
    .

  52. Iona says:

    Ion Zone, I have looked at your “Yahoo” link above, and juxtaposed it with Claret’s comment (no. 48 or thereabouts) on the introduction of the word “gay” to give a pleasanter, gentler tone to discussions of homosexuality. It seems that the opposite has happened; the word “gay” has lost any pleasant gentle overtones it once had, and has become a term of abuse. And it really IS a term of abuse; “gay” is the worst insult that one little boy can hurl at another little boy in the playground, even though neither of them has any idea what it refers to.
    I don’t quite know what to conclude from this, except that you can’t change people’s perceptions of something by changing the words you use to refer to it.
    I rather resent the hi-jacking of the word “gay”. It used to be a perfectly good word to describe something cheerful or brightly-coloured, and now we’ve comletely lost the ability to use it that way.

  53. st.joseph says:

    Ion Zone.
    So you still believe the Catholic Church to homophobic then?

  54. st.joseph says:

    Do they shake their under-pants in air,wearing thongs, with placards saying ‘Iam Gay’Catholic and proud of it-along, with other less self respecting things ,at the Mardi Gras processions?
    I dont know-you tell me!

  55. Ion Zone says:

    “And it really IS a term of abuse; “gay” is the worst insult that one little boy can hurl at another little boy in the playground, even though neither of them has any idea what it refers to.”

    Gosh that is incredibly homophobic. I guess you would have no problem with aborting a gay baby if being gay is worse than abortion.

    “Do they shake their under-pants in air,wearing thongs, with placards saying ‘Iam Gay’Catholic and proud of it-along, with other less self respecting things ,at the Mardi Gras processions?”

    Apart from the placards bit, yes, that would be the mild end. Expect to see genitals, if not public nudity, and women baring their breasts. It’s a boob a minute from what I gather – I have heard from friends, not joking, that people are seen having semi-public sex.

  56. Ion Zone says:

    Anti-gay rioters cause chaos in Serbia, they beat one of the marchers half to death. They smashed, looted and tried to break into Parliament.
    .
    Guess it was all the fault of the gays, provoking them with their existence like that.
    .
    .
    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/22/20101010/tsc-uk-serbia-gays-011ccfa.html

  57. st.joseph says:

    I suppose one could liken it to the ‘Orange’ marches in Ulster.
    Which of course the Church would object to as well!

  58. st.joseph says:

    If Catholics retalliated with violance.
    Do you not know anything about the teachings of the Church?

  59. Ion Zone says:

    Yes, but the Orange marches are an act of deliberate provocation designed to remind the Irish who invaded who’s country. The Gays just want protection from being beaten up by thugs and general civil liberties. Bit of a difference.

    You’ll notice it wasn’t the gays, most of whom are probably religious, who were on a rampage.

  60. Ion Zone says:

    Who is more in keeping with the teachings of Jesus? the gays who peacefully stood up for their rights, or the thugs ripping the city apart in an attempt to get at and kill them?

  61. st.joseph says:

    I think Ion Zone that you are missing the point.
    Do you ‘really’ believe that the Marches they perform will give them any more ‘rights’as you call it.
    We began this discussion with claiming that they want to be married and as you said ‘why shouldn’t they’!
    You have gone from a religious aspect of their so called rights- to every one else’s condemnation to gay rights.Including the attitude to all those who object to their lifestyle as being homophobic.
    You have pointed out in your links the real homophobic treatment they receive.And I have been with you all along, and share your concern.
    Thuggery and murder as I have said, and we both agree that Jesus condemned this.Its not a christian way or even Gods to treaat-Saint or sinner what ever their cause!
    I also pointed out that we ought to love the sinner and not the sin.
    You seem to be of the opinion ,after Iona’s comment that one would prefer gay babies to be aborted in preference to hetosexual babies.
    This is why I say you are a little confused,and do not really understand what the Church stands for.
    You are obviousley not aware what the Church stands for. The Word Holy is spoken quite frequenly in our Faith.
    We all try to live up to that Image,we dont always suceed, but neverthless strive to do so with the help of Grace.

    You say that in the Gay Pride marches, I Quote you ‘most of whom are probably religious’un-quote.
    As I say the word is spoken a lot in our Church.Holy God.,Holy- Holy- Holy,and we say Holy Mass,Holy Orders,Holy Matrimony etc And last but not least Holy Mary Mother of God.
    When we share in the Eucharist,we share in the Body of Christ, where Heaven meets Earth.
    We need to understand that no-one is perfect, but we try to be perfect-like our Heavenly Father is Perfect.
    We have a duty and a responsibility to preseve this Holiness if we really believe in what the Church tells us.
    I am sorry if this offends you, but I do not recognise any of this in the open exploitation of the wonderful Gift that The Lord has left us.
    I can understand that those Gays who have no insight into all this ,as they have not the Grace , but Catholics who have received this Grace from the Sacraments,ought to be able to see this.As the Gays who get the help from Encourage,at Westmister (Courage being the American Branch) and who want to live their life in a chaste manner,
    I dont like using the word gays so often but it
    is necessary in this comment.
    I really have no more to say on this subject-or at least I could say more, but feel it is a complete waste of time, because I dont think you have taken in all the comments, that have been made’
    I do hope you will understand what we stand for
    as Catholics.
    Perhaps if you feel the need to see justice done,you might consider spending a little time supporting the pro-life movement, Maybe with your presence quietly at a Marie Stopes Clinic, and praying for those mothers, and also Marie Stopes.
    Prayer is a lovely way to console ones self when we feel frustrated and we are unable to physically help.

  62. Iona says:

    For the record: when I described small boys in the playground using “gay” as a term of abuse even though having no idea what it refers to, I was not expressing an opinion (homophobic or otherwise), I was stating what actually happens, – at least in schools in my locality, which admittedly is fairly rural and conservative with a small “c”. I think it’s regrettable that they do it. Teachers attempt to discourage it. I also think it’s remarkable that while the word “gay” was chosen to improve people’s perceptions of homosexuality, what has actually happened is that many people’s perceptions have remained the same, and the word itself has been dragged downhill to match the perceptions.

    And by the way, I’m not in favour of aborting any babies.

  63. st.joseph says:

    Thank you Iona for your comment.
    It needed you to say that as it may make it clear in Ion Zone’s mind.I knew what you meant, but unfortunately he has a way of misinterpreting things to suit the ’cause’
    I am with you on the unfortunate use of the word gay being hoodwinked by homosexuals.

  64. Ion Zone says:

    I am not “misinterpreting things to suit the cause”, in terms of the abortion I was pointing out that several posters here seem to be of the opinion that homosexuality is on a par with abortion. If I have misunderstood, I am sorry, but I can having trouble reading what with the bugs in the theme compounding my my dyslexia.
    .
    .
    My case is this:
    .
    The Church, and many others exclude gays and demonise them. I have argued in the past that the Church’s teachings are far more inclusive than the secularists believe.
    .
    However.
    .
    In the past the Church has spoken out with far greater strength on the supposed wrongs of homosexuality and it is ingrained in Christian culture, around the world, that being gay is a lot more shameful than the English translation of the Bible would have us believe.
    .
    This isn’t entirely the Church’s fault, but they aren’t helping, particularity as their teachings are based on scientific knowledge that is about sixty or seventy years out of date, and which was conducted by people who were trying to classify gays in the same prejudiced way that the Nazis tried to classify the Jews and Gypsies, and as others tried to classify blacks.
    .
    The major problems arise when these opinions filter down to the yob under-cultures, but you can hear the body of the problem in this quote from the previous article:
    .
    “This government wants to protect a deviant, wicked and non-Christian minority against the good, law-abiding majority,” said Milija, 28, a construction engineer who described himself as a religious nationalist.
    .
    (The nationalists were a part of the anti-gay riots, this man would have been interviewed at that protest)
    .
    The point of that article was to highlight that it was “the good, law-abiding majority” that were rioting, not the “deviant, wicked and non-Christian” gays.
    .

  65. Ion Zone says:

    “I am with you on the unfortunate use of the word gay being hoodwinked by homosexuals.”
    .
    The word ‘gay’ is just about the only nice word that gays have for describing themselves. The unpleasant alternatives are thus: The clinical ‘homosexual’, the unpleasant ‘ninny’, ‘faggot’, “shirt-lifter”, and the unfortunately snide, though rescue-able, “Poofter, “Queer”, and “Fruit”.
    .
    I hope you can understand why they would like a word to describe themselves which does not have implications of mental illness and is not based on an insult or scoff.
    .
    Can you blame them?
    .
    .

  66. Ion Zone says:

    .
    After all, think about the words ‘negro’ and ‘Negroid’ (as well as the obvious omission), can you see the same ring in them? I am sure people have complained about the requisition of the words ‘coloured’ and ‘black’ as nicer ways of describing them.
    .
    “Perhaps if you feel the need to see justice done,you might consider spending a little time supporting the pro-life movement”
    .
    I do support the Pro-life movement, I have argued a long hard time for the movement, and been called some nasty things for my trouble.
    .
    But just as I must defend that to people who don’t think a baby is alive until it’s in college, I must also turn around and defend gays from Christians, particularly those who think gays go to hell, and even more so, those demented few who think they should be sent there as soon as possible (i.e. the Westbro Baptists and the Serbian rioters).
    .
    .
    .

  67. Ion Zone says:

    .
    “You say that in the Gay Pride marches, I Quote you ‘most of whom are probably religious’un-quote.”
    .
    I would like to stress that, while the Serbian gay-rights marchers are probably all Christian, the great majority of gays in this country have long given up on specific Christianity, and many of those have turned either to athiesm, spiritualism, or neo-paganism. They feel that the Church hates them, so they hate it right back. Think of Steven Fry, and such historic gay figures as Quinten Crisp – both atheists for the same exact reason, their rejection by the church and demonisation by ‘good’ Christians.
    .
    .
    .

  68. st.joseph says:

    Well then I dont know what sort of company you mix with, If what you say is true, then all those who do and say what you say they do, are not living the christian message.
    I think a little exageration is implied here, is it not!
    Abortion is murder to an innocent baby who can not protect itself with the law. A bit diffirent to homosexuality, they do have the protection of the law.
    The Church speaks out on all sexual sins, including pornography, child abuse, masturbation,prostibution,.
    Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church 2331-2396.

  69. st.joseph says:

    prostitution.(spelling mistake)

  70. st.joseph says:

    Ion Zone.
    When and IF you read the above C C C I would be interested to know if you would change the whole chapter,as you will find that there is something in there that will talk to everones conscience.
    Not only homosexuals.We all have temptations and have to live our lives in harmony with what the church teaches.
    Your comment about Stephen Fry, well would he love the church any better if it didn’t speak the Truth. Jesus said it wouldn’t be easy. To go through the narrow gate.It wasn’t easy for Him.
    If the only reason we should love God and His church is if He accomodates us for all our needs and happiness in this life ,then I am afraid you have missed His real message of His Life Death and Ressurection.
    Think on. Another piercing thought.

  71. claret says:

    Many people struggle to reconcile themselves with lots of aspects of Church teaching but it doesn’t automatically make atheists of them. It is a massive jump to link Stephen Fry with atheism solely because of his professed homosexuality. You could just as easily argue that his homosexuality gives him the justification for being an atheist, or that all homosexuals are atheists. Its the sexual act that is sinful , just as it is for hetrosexuals.

  72. Ion Zone says:

    (please note that the s, if you can see them, are a hopeful experiment)

    “When and IF you read the above C C C I would be interested to know if you would change the whole chapter,as you will find that there is something in there that will talk to everones conscience.”

    I’m sorry I’m not sure what you are saying, particularly the first bit.

  73. st.joseph says:

    C C C is an abbreviation of the Catechism.
    If you read 2331-2396 You will know what it means.
    The same as Claret’s last statement!
    I dont know what you mean in the first line of your comment.

  74. Ion Zone says:

    (The BR html didn’t work properly, it seems.)
    .
    “Not only homosexuals.We all have temptations and have to live our lives in harmony with what the church teaches.”
    .
    It’s not a temptation. You seem to think homosexuality is a phila. Gays fall in love with each-other in exactly the same way we do. Why would God tell them not to?
    .
    “Your comment about Stephen Fry, well would he love the church any better if it didn’t speak the Truth. Jesus said it wouldn’t be easy. To go through the narrow gate.It wasn’t easy for Him.”
    .
    I’m not sure about this either, but I have already shown there is doubt about what the Bible says on homosexuality, there may even be a committed gay relationship in it, from what I gather.
    .
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bmar.htm
    .
    In any case, there are plenty of things in the OT rules that we fragrantly ignore. I’m wearing cloth of two weaves *right now*.
    .
    “If the only reason we should love God and His church is if He accommodates us for all our needs and happiness in this life”
    .
    That is not the case, God wishes us to think for ourselves, and blindly obeying rules (ney, picking rules that suit us) laid down for a certain group of people at a certain time, without thought as to if they are correctly translated, is neither thinking for ourselves, nor is it God’s will. God chastised the Jews for this very thing, the act of blind adherence to the point that the rule becomes more important than the actual reason for the rule.
    .
    “or that all homosexuals are atheists.”
    .
    Argument ad abserdium. I said that most don’t follow the church as they see it as having betrayed them. Most, by a narrow margin, still believe in God, but many turn to spirituality, paganism, Deism, or atheism. Brighton has recently been polled as the least Christian place in England. This is why.
    .
    I think you have all missed the message of inclusiveness in the Bible.
    .
    .

  75. st.joseph says:

    There re people who die for their beliefs. Martyrs.
    Also those who stand up for their opinions to justify their own conscience,

    Ion Zone . Are you Gay?

  76. Ion Zone says:

    .
    I’m not but I have gay friends, and I stand up for my friends.
    .
    If not me, then who?
    .

  77. Ion Zone says:

    .
    I al;so know exactly what it feels like to be picked on all the time for being different.

  78. st.joseph says:

    I also have friends who are homosexual, but they beleive in what the Church teaches.

    If for instance there was a man whose wife fell in love with the man next door.He didn’t mind, as he fell in love with a women down the street.
    Now they all had young children. So they decided not to break up the families as they did not want to let the children know about there relationships. So they had a chat about this and decided as they were so much in love they would carry on a sexual relationship with each other.
    What would you say was the moral issue here.
    You say that God wants us to think for ourselves.
    As you seem to know the mind of God-what would He say about that-in your ‘opinion’?
    .

  79. claret says:

    At last some common ground has been reached with ‘Absurd arguements.’ Like for example some imaginery planet that is populated by homosexuals who have no difficulty re-populating the place. It would not work on earth.
    Like drawing examples from celebreties who would supposedly be Christian were it not for their sexuality.
    Incidentally the sexuality of Oscar Wilde did not stop him from converting to Catholicism.
    There are many areas of the Bible that are not ‘inclusive’and that is why we have the authority of the Church to instruct us.
    Some of the instructions obviously had relevance for the people of the times in which they were written, when for the health and well being of the nation, in a time when there was no social charters or health services, they were all good advice. For example there is a lot about lepers and what they should do/ had to do, that would not be relevant today. The same for ‘two weave garments.’ Sound advice a few thousand years ago but not for today.
    However the prohibition on sexual sin is still as relevant today and the evidence for that is the growth of disease directly attributable to the departure from God’s plan for creation.
    Homosexual activity between men practising such sexual acts has been the major cause of the spread of Aids and the HIV virus. Neither is there the publicity that should be given to the bowel problems arising from such activity that blights men, especially in later life if they have been sexually active with other men.
    Other sexual diseases are also attributable to lifestyles that are contrary to what the Church teaches . A Church that takes its sexual teachings from Jesus himself.

  80. st.joseph says:

    Thank you Claret for highlighting the health aspects of homosexuality.
    There is not enough publicity on the subject.

  81. Ion Zone says:

    “Like for example some imaginery planet that is populated by homosexuals who have no difficulty re-populating the place. It would not work on earth.”

    I made clear that was a thought experiment. I made clear it was meant to be absurd, I was trying to make a point without being entirely serious, apart from in my conclusion. It was a role reversal, pure and simple. I could think of no other way to help you to empathise with them.

    “As you seem to know the mind of God-what would He say about that-in your ‘opinion’?”

    You also use God as a point of authority, despite there being nothing to suggest God has ever condemned homosexuality.

    “What would you say was the moral issue here.”

    The moral issue is what they are gambling and who they are hurting. With gays, this is as much as a straight couple.

    “the evidence for that is the growth of disease directly attributable to the departure from God’s plan for creation.”

    So, naturally, if a baby is born with HIV it is because God hates them. Lesbianism must be 0k because there is almost zero chance of catching anything. People who receive AIDs infected blood obviously deserved AIDs.

    “Homosexual activity between men practising such sexual acts has been the major cause of the spread of Aids and the HIV virus.”

    Do you really think that this is because they are gay, or is it not true that men are naturally promiscuous?

  82. Ion Zone says:

    .
    “However the prohibition on sexual sin is still as relevant today and the evidence for that is the growth of disease directly attributable to the departure from God’s plan for creation.”
    .
    Oh yes, who was that preacher who blamed earthquakes on ‘women who Women who wear revealing clothing’?

  83. Ion Zone says:

    .
    And what sin, exactly, are they committing?

  84. st.joseph says:

    Do you really want to know what sin a women is commiting when they wear revealing clothing.
    Are you really that naive about purity.
    It also depends what they reveal.
    No one is accusing God of being a tyrant.
    He is a Just God. That is why He told us how to live our life while we are here
    The three fold relationship I commented on-that you say were gambling with other lives-were full consent of each other. The same as wife swapping!I suppose with your reckoning God wouldn’t mind that either as long as they were all ‘happy’.All
    these sins are against the 6th Commandment.
    If we didn’t have rules we would have chaos.
    Same as the Highway Code! We have directions that tell us to go from one place to the next on a journey.The same in life on our way to Heaven
    Of course now a days some are of the understanding that everyone goes there now straight away. No mention of Purgatory or repentance’
    Ion Zone I can see that you have a very charitable nature the way you speak of those who you feel are rejected, and I commend you for that.And I dont know why it is that you seem to be rejected by others yourself But whatever it is I would like to say to you that you have seen our diffirences through to this stage- It seems I won’t convince you and by no means will you convince me. So I think there is nothing more to say except we will pray for each other and hopefully remain friends.

  85. Ion Zone says:

    “Do you really want to know what sin a women is commiting when they wear revealing clothing.”

    I kinda meant the gays. Bad sequencing of responses.

    Wait. It seems like you are saying God hits us with an earthquake if women don’t wear the full burka (which is what he was talking about)? This is not at all the impression I got of God from reading the Bible. The God I saw there was all about second chances and forgiveness. I rather got the impression that misfortune and death were more the direct fruits of our own problems, rather than something sent by God.

    “If we didn’t have rules we would have chaos.”

    We could happily do without the anti-gay rule, though. We could at least do them the favour of having it translated properly by a number of experts, inside and outside the church.

    “Ion Zone I can see that you have a very charitable nature the way you speak of those who you feel are rejected”

    Um thanks…. you too.

  86. st.joseph says:

    It wasn;t me either that said God hits them with an earthquake and it was you that said women in the first place.
    I dont think God wants women to wear a Burka,you are going from the ridiculous to the extreme.He expects us to have self respect in the way we wear our clothes. Common sense tells us that, and swim suits are meant for the beach,or the swimming pool.
    How would you want the Gay rule to be translated properly by the experts inside and outside the church?
    I think you must be enjoying this chat-or else you would have got the ‘message’ long ago.

  87. claret says:

    ‘having it (the Bible,) translated properly by a number of experts, inside and outside the Church.’
    With the proviso of course that the new translation meets with your approval and to do that it has to be translated in a specific way to produce the desired result. Obviously anything less than that could never be a ‘proper translation.’
    Is this the same Bible that you make fun of when it suits ( eg. I am now wearing a two weave garment.) The same Bible that you say is mis- translated in the particular of ‘gayness’ but is apparently properly translated when it meets your approval in other areas. (Have you ever considered the possibility that a ‘proper’ translation might be even more condemning of homosexual practices?)

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