The beam in the eye

Our old friend Advocatus Diaboli has been in touch with me again. And, as usual, I submit his ideas to you for comments. Is he talking through his hat, or does he have some worthwhile points? Here he goes.

I see that Baroness Warsi is visiting the Pope. And her pathetic message is that “aggressive secularism” is well on the way to pushing religion into the side lane of private behaviour, and out of the public domain. How do you guys feel about being represented by a Muslim? These are the very people you have brutally slaughtered in the past, and – even today – you secretly hate and fear.

But she has got the wrong end of the stick. The fact is that religion in public life is a source of great damage. It creates prejudice, bigotry and intolerance. Here are some examples.

Catholic adoption societies didn’t do a bad job of work but, quite extraordinarily, they refused to consider homosexual couples as potential adopting parents. The, democratically supported, law is quite clear that civil partnerships are legal – and there is no evidence to suggest that they cannot make perfectly good parents. How dare you deny young children the possibility of being adopted by such people on the basis of an alleged moral rule written down by superstitious people thousands of years ago? Or, deny the rights of those who wish to adopt?

What about that boarding house which turned away a respectable same-sex couple on the grounds of their unlawful prejudice? How would you feel if you turned up at a bed and breakfast with your wife and the owner refused to accept you because he disapproved of heterosexual couples? Absurd! you think. Yes indeed – just as absurd as the other way round.

I know that Catholics are taxpayers too. But a Catholic parent has the whole range of state education to choose from while the non-believer is either excluded from, or severely disadvantaged, because 30% of schools are in the faith sector. I see no reason why Catholic doctrine should not be taught outside the school, or in schools which are completely church funded. And now you’re whining because some councils in these straitened times are cutting back their subsidised expenditure on travel to Catholic schools. The parents choose Catholic schools so why should their neighbours subsidise their choice? Perhaps you would prefer the councils to save money by reducing their services to the old and poor.

Now everyone is moaning about Bideford town council because they can’t have prayers on their formal agenda. The judge said there was no problem about having prayers before the formal agenda. So what’s the difficulty? Imagine that you have been elected to your town council, and you discover that you are supposed to take part in prayers interceding for the introduction of Sharia law, or perhaps a satanic celebration, or perhaps a bit of “new age” tree worship. Would you be being intolerant or aggressive if you went to the law to protect you from such superstitions being celebrated at a public meeting?

It seems to me that you are very active in defending your, frankly imaginary, beliefs and weird religious practices, but aggressively intolerant to those who believe that our public life should be free of such overt, and often offensive, nonsense.

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141 Responses to The beam in the eye

  1. John Nolan says:

    Actually, it’s not that long ago that boarding houses would refuse a double room to unmarried heterosexual couples, hence the ‘Mr and Mrs Smith’ entry in the register. I’m sorry, but the representatives of the vociferous homosexual lobby are becoming a pain in the (please supply the appropriate noun in the accusative case). What they get up to in private is their own business, provided they don’t frighten the horses; if Boothby, Driberg et al. are anything to go by, not to mention the content of ‘gay’ mags, it is pretty disgusting to me and you don’t have to be a bigoted Christian or Muslim to think so – and the medical consequences are well-enough documented.

    European culture can only be understood in the context of its Christian heritage and it is worth remembering that western science was able to develop because the Church encouraged men to speculate about the natural world, the better to understand God’s creation, as well as her role in preserving classical learning. The whole secular argument is based on a gross and deliberate distortion of history.

  2. Horace says:

    Some time ago – to be precise April 2009 – I had occasion to write to our Bishop on the subject of the conduct of our local Children’s Adoption Society :-
    below are the penultimate paragraphs of my letter.

    “If the Society should refuse to recruit and consider homosexual couples as potential adoptive parents then this would not meet the requirements of the Government’s equal opportunities legislation. Therefore the “open policy” referred to must include (if only by implication) a provision that “the Society will recruit and consider homosexual couples as potential adoptive parents”. Such a policy is contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church.
    [The fact that they are not advocating same sex couples as adopters for children is irrelevant.]

    The only reasonable conclusion is that the Trustees of the Society hope that the situation will never arise. One can see why all concerned are anxious to operate ‘sub rosa’ and appear compliant in order to carry on the undoubtedly excellent work that they are doing for children and families. Nevertheless I would strongly suggest that this is not a proper way to proceed.”

    It seems to me that advocatus diaboli would applaud this kind of behaviour!
    [btw Perhaps unsurprisingly, I am still awaiting a reply to (or even acknowledgement of) my letter]

  3. JohnBunting says:

    I thought Richard Dawkins was as great a master of the selective use of evidence as one was likely to find, but you run him a close second. I won’t be daft enough to tell you about anything good done by the church, because with you it’s “I don’t wish to know that! Kindly leave the stage!”
    You really think you’ll reduce prejudice, bigotry and intolerance by getting rid of religion? Take a look at the societies that tried to do just that. For a start, read ‘A Century of Violence in Soviet Russia’, by Alexander Yakovlev, a former high-ranking Politburo official, and with Gorbachev, one of the principal architects of ‘perestroika’.
    As you think we are practising and teaching wicked superstitious nonsense, you might stop weeping crocodile tears about the children ‘excluded and severely disadvantaged’ by Catholic or other Christian schools. Last time I looked, they had a high proportion of non-Catholic pupils, their academic standards are usually good, and more parents are trying to get their children into them. Go and tell them how misguided they are.
    On one thing I agree with you: we should stop complaining about ‘aggressive secularism’; it only encourages them. ‘Frankly imaginary beliefs and weird practices’? Yeah, right. There again, judging from recent history, you won’t get rid of those by ending religion: you’ll just get different ones, and you’ll probably like them even less.

  4. Ion Zone says:

    “And her pathetic message”

    I seem to remember you being a lot nicer when you started bloging on here….

    “How do you guys feel about being represented by a Muslim?”

    It doesn’t bother me, I know that, despite our political history, Muslims tend to be pretty decent people. The fact that we have so much animosity is partly their ancestors fault (the Turkish invasion), but mostly ours (turning on our Muslim allies in order to sack Damascus in a fit of un-Christian greed, and plenty of other reasons).

    “The fact is that religion in public life is a source of great damage. It creates prejudice, bigotry and intolerance. Here are some examples.”

    No, it doesn’t. It may provide one way for people to justify their hatred, but in most circumstances it is a highly moderating force that brings large numbers of disparate people together as equals. My priest is Indian, there are disabled and gay people in the church on Sundays. Destruction and hatred between various factions is almost always entirely political when you scratch the surface. On the other hand, I have yet to meet any belief system (or whatever you wish to call it) quicker to foster extreme views than atheism. The psychologist Nicholas Humphrey and his strongly (and loudly) held opinion that England should follow in the example of the Soviet Union and utterly ban the rights of parents to educate their children as they see fit in order to wipe out religion is just one example of this. Another would be Dawkins, who fully backs and agrees with Humphrey and continues to make the appalling, disgusting, and completely baseless claim that bringing up your children as Christians is worse than sexually assaulting them. I am utterly shocked that he could make this claim, let alone that he could make it repeatedly and not have it challenged by victims of child rape, other atheists, or the world at large. If an old lady on a bus said this, once, about gays, or anything else, you can bet there would be a national outcry. Both of these people clearly have a warped and bigoted view of religion that is entirely out of touch with reality

    “Catholic adoption societies didn’t do a bad job of work but, quite extraordinarily, they refused to consider homosexual couples as potential adopting parents.”

    This is indeed a problem, Catholics are using an ancient Jewish law (that is very likely mistranslated) to justify this, when, in fact, we don’t obey very many of the other rules in Leviticus at all. This has to stop. But homophobia is not a problem that is caused by Christianity, nor is it one that will vanish if Christianity is removed. As proof of this I point to the recent controversy in Russia (a mostly atheist country) regarding the gagging order on all discussion of sexuality (See allout dot com for more details – I shall omit hyperlinks as they cause posts to be held for moderation). Russia is a very homophobic country, and they don’t need any kind of religion to justify their hate.

    Just because there are one or two problems with the people within a system does not mean that the system is broken. If we applied that metric to every system we have we would be living in a lawless dystopia, at the very least we would have disbanded the NHS and Parliament at the first sign of a problem. We need to acknowledge the fact that these laws belong to the Jewish system, not the Christian one. And that those ritual laws were part of what Jesus was condemning when he attacked the Pharisees for their lip-service

    “What about that boarding house which turned away a respectable same-sex couple on the grounds of their unlawful prejudice?”

    This is, again, a problem, but it is an isolated one. England has come a long way with regards to homosexuality in a very short space of time. In any case, one of the things taught in the Bible is that while we should strive to to be the best we can, humans are, and will always be, flawed and imperfect, no matter the system.

    “But a Catholic parent has the whole range of state education to choose from while the non-believer is either excluded from, or severely disadvantaged, because 30% of schools are in the faith sector.”

    This is not an argument. It used to be that they were all religious because the Christian Church founded the school system in this country. If you don’t like it, well, there are any number of other schools (70%, according to your statistics) and it is hardly our fault if they aren’t as good.

    “I see no reason why Catholic doctrine should not be taught outside the school, or in schools which are completely church funded.”

    These schools do get church funding. Unfortunately, your problem with these schools seems to be one of pettiness.

    “And now you’re whining because some councils in these straitened times are cutting back their subsidised expenditure on travel to Catholic schools.”

    Subsidised school travel exists for ALL schools in England, and it is being slashed for a lot of others too. Restrictions are becoming tighter on who qualifies. Of course we are complaining, we pay our taxes, and a service previously funded by those taxes is being withdrawn. What is your point? We aren’t getting special treatment.

    “Now everyone is moaning about Bideford town council because they can’t have prayers on their formal agenda.”

    Actually the town council merely said they were “disappointed” (BBC). This whole plava, however, was brought about by the ‘National Secular Society’ finding out and being outraged by something that someone else is doing that doesn’t concern them in the slightest. Much like homophobes, and with the same level of bigotry.

    “and you discover that you are supposed to take part in prayers interceding for the introduction of Sharia law, or perhaps a satanic celebration, or perhaps a bit of “new age” tree worship.”

    Firstly, nobody there HAS to take part, they are doing this because they want to. Secondly, your comparisons are typically extreme. I’d like to remind you that atheists have a short but very, very, very, brutal history of forcing their beliefs on others. Viciously enforced bans on religion and free-speech are entirely too common in atheist-run countries, as much as atheists have a nasty habit of blaming this on us (in much the same way that certain people blame Jews or gays for the holocaust).

    “It seems to me that you are very active in defending your, frankly imaginary, beliefs and weird religious practices,”

    Much as you are all keen to defend YOUR beliefs. I would remind you that your opinion that what we believe is ‘imaginary’ is a distinctly minority opinion. And the weirdness level of our practices is entirely besides the point. Weirdness is not a bad thing, and I think you’ll find our weirdness is a good deal more widespread than yours.

    “but aggressively intolerant to those who believe that our public life should be free of such overt, and often offensive, nonsense.”

    So what you are saying here is that, because we – verbally – disagree with the mounting restrictions atheists and anti-theists are attempting to place upon us (and the peaceful way we choose to live) in order to press upon us beliefs and practices that have ruined numerous countries in the past, we are “intolerant”? Are you such a bigot that our simply holding beliefs contrary to your own is, in your mind, “intolerant”? I’d like to remind you that you are an invited guest speaker on an official Catholic Herald blog! We certainly aren’t trying to stop you from holding your own beliefs, in fact, as your own example of the Bideford town council being harangued by the ‘National Secular Society’ shows, it is generally the other way round!

    I have yet to hear a Christian describe your beliefs as “offensive nonsense”, as you have described ours. Do you really believe that people exercising their freedom of speech, and right to their own beliefs, is “offensive”? Why should we listen to you if you insult us with every breath and make demands of us that would outrage you if the situation were reversed?

    • John Nolan says:

      In fact the Crusaders did not sack Damascus in July 1148; they were forced to abandon the siege and retreated to Jerusalem. The Damascene ruler, Unur, may have been hostile to Nur ed-Din but was hardly an ally of the Franks, and there were good strategic reasons for attempting to take the city. The Second Crusade was of course a debacle; only the First Crusade can really be counted as a victory.

      It is only the present-day Muslims, with an inferiority complex regarding the West, who make much of the Crusades. Their effect on the Muslim world was as nothing compared with the Mongol invasions. The greatest stain on the Crusading movement was the sack of Constantinople in 1204, and if we have to apologize to anyone (and apologizing for history is absurd and futile anyway) it is our Eastern Christian brethren who deserve an apology.

  5. Ion Zone says:

    “The fact is that religion in public life is a source of great damage. It creates prejudice, bigotry and intolerance. Here are some examples.”

    Also, if those are the very strongest examples of Christian “prejudice, bigotry and intolerance” then hooray for Christianity!

  6. fraynelson says:

    Dear Quentin,

    Kindly, get a better AD. The current one is so self-defeating that leaves little job for everyone else to do.

    For a starter, this tolerance enthusiast is treating religion as “overt, and often offensive, nonsense.” How much lack of history, general culture and philosophy you have to pile up in order to fire such a bullet, and then ask for tolerance?

    Another pearl: AD pushes strongly for democracy. How does this claim play with the fact that in many, many places a majority of parents do want religion to be taught at schools? Don’t these majorities count? Are they important only when neutralising religion comes at hand?

    So, you see the pattern.

    By the way, kudos to Baroness Warsi!

  7. Peter D. Wilson says:

    “Catholic adoption societies didn’t do a bad job of work but, quite extraordinarily, they refused to consider homosexual couples as potential adopting parents. ” Why should they? Such couples can easily find other agencies willing to serve them. Their choice of a Catholic agency is purely provocative. The same applies in a choice of B&B where others are available.

    Dislike of homosexual conduct is not homophobia: homosexual persons are entitled to the same respect and consideration as anyone else. In return, they owe the same respect and consideration to the rest of us.

  8. momangelica says:

    There are a books written by Chinese authors, one being Wild Swans where the foot binding is discussed in graphic detail.
    Another Chinese book talks about cannibalism, often the eating of a dead child belonging to someone else while they would eat your dead child as starvation was pretty normal so meat was not to be wasted so desperate were they for food due to the continuous power battles which were very costly, Cannibalism reappeared under Chairman Mao in the 60’s at a time when all religion was pushed out of sight for several generations and not that long ago in North Korea children would often just disappear, believed to be eaten as that country (communist again – no religion) were starving their people.
    The Chinese had deities to honour and religious practices in many forms, but the Jewish prophet Isaiah from the race that was chosen by God to “bring forth a light to the world” foretold the end of this darkness. The vile activities that must have been the norm were gently pushed away out of the lives of countries that became Christianized.
    A.D. is a person who has benefited from a sanitized environment who now whininges and nitpicks as he bites the hands of the provider of his safe environment. Not bright!.

  9. John Thomas says:

    – Muslims slaughtered far more Christians, Jews, etc., than ever Muslims were slaughtered by Christians (and, it is argued, Arab invaders put paid to the remains of late Classical civilisation).
    – Just because a thing is “democratically” supported, that doesn’t make it right, or what Christians (or anyone) should support. The relationship between what is legal (in our society) and what is morally right is rapidly inverting from what it was/should be. Christians, above all, have to stand for the truth/what is right, not what some politicans have managed to push through/persuade people of. The New Testamwent constantly warns us not to be led by this-worldy values.
    – It’s the homosexualist advotes who are denying the adoptees a normal home; the claims that same-sex couples are of necessity “good parents” is homosexualist propoganda, and not supported by evidence..
    – The Militant atheists in the West are simply clearing the ground for extremist Islam; if they genuinely don’t realise this fact (the unholy alliance between the far-Left and extremist Islam, eg. in the US, is one of the most depressing features of the current scene) then they’re not half as “bright” as they like to think they are.

  10. James H says:

    “How do you guys feel about being represented by a Muslim? These are the very people you have brutally slaughtered in the past, and – even today – you secretly hate and fear.”

    I think it’s quite amusing, actually – you Richard-heads have managed to unite Catholics and Moslems against you. That’s quite an achievement! And, don’t get all crocodile-weepy about Christians ‘brutally slaughtering’ Moslems in the past. Christians *are* being ‘brutally slaughtered’ right now, all over northern Africa, south and west Asia, Philipines, the list could go on. I don’t see any secular news medium even reporting that.

    Also, I’m often bemused by the conflation of religion with superstition by the ‘Brights’. Everyone knows that astrology, ear-candles, numerology, seances and other assorted woo-woo is a booming industry in oh-so-secular Europe. Chesterton had it right: atheist societies don’t believe in nothing – they believe in anything! Even the History channel has apparently been running programmes on the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar. The very first Richard Dawkins Award for the Advancement of Science was given to a wacko (Bill Maher) who ‘doesn’t believe in germs’. As Manuel said: “Que?”

    By stark (staring) contrast, did you know that, before the Rennaissance (and it’s ‘re-discovery’ of ‘ancient wisdom’, witchcraft wasn’t even a crime in Europe? Go to – read the whole thing, and be amazed!

  11. Iona says:

    James, I’ll follow up that link in a minute. But first I should just like to say:

    with regard to the Christian bed-and-breakfast couple, I understand that they were entirely willing to give the homosexual couple a twin-bedded room (perhaps on the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” principle) but no, that wouldn’t do: they insisted on a double-bedded room, and it was there that the proprietors drew the line.

    with regard to the question of adoption by gay couples, ARE we so sure that such couples are likely to provide the same degree of stability for a child as a husband-and-wife couple? Statistically, married people are less likely to split up than unmarried cohabiting couples (who likewise are not considered as potential adopters by Catholic adoption agencies); and two gay men living together are particularly liable to separate within a relatively short time.
    I understand that Catholic adoption agencies were particularly good at placing “hard-to-place” children, supporting the adoptive parents over years if necessary. Alas, what is happening to those children now that the excellently supportive agencies have been obliged to close?

    as for Baroness Warsi, I’m delighted that the question has been raised by a non-Christian. It opens the debate out considerably and may stop people saying “oh it’s just those Christians bellyaching again”. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and (I think) Hindus all tend to be pro-life on principle, but one could be forgiven for thinking that it’s only Catholics and Evangelicals who are opposed to “a woman’s right to choose” whether or not to bear the child she’s already conceived.

  12. Horace says:

    Ion Zone – on the problem of Catholic Adoption Societies.
    “Catholics are using an ancient Jewish law (that is very likely mistranslated) to justify this, when, in fact, we don’t obey very many of the other rules in Leviticus at all.”
    You are presumably here referring to:-
    18 22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: because it is an abomination.

    but would you similarly dismiss the following verse?
    18 23 Thou shalt not copulate with any beast: neither shalt thou be defiled with it. A woman shall not lie down to a beast, nor copulate with it: because it is a heinous crime.
    To me the point is this – there is no reason why the Church should in any way disapprove of two men or two women living together to share accommodation, household chores and living expenses and because they enjoy each other’s company. What the church does object to is what is commonly tactfully referred to as ‘homosexual activity’ [ a rather more explicit, and hopefully not too offensive, term might be ‘mutual masturbation’ ]. This is important because by no means all homosexual males, not to mention females, indulge in such activity.
    I would agree with Peter D. Wilson:- “Dislike of homosexual conduct is not homophobia”

  13. Quentin says:

    Advocatus Diaboli writes:

    First of all I should like to thank everyone for their comments. I personally am of very little consequence but I hope you have all written and complained to the Chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. We weren’t in collusion even though we are saying virtually the same thing. (Lead story in the Telegraph February 17th). Religious rules should end ‘at the door or of the temple’ and give way to the ‘public law’ laid down by Parliament.” he said.

    Now I rather enjoyed being called a “Richard-head” by one of your champions, because it’s good to see the Catholic mob in its true colours. After all this is the Church which rushed off to make a concordat with fascist Mussolini, and soon afterwards a concordat with Fascist Franco. Who wouldn’t it make a concordat with in order to protect its exclusive interests at the expense of others? Would it stop short at the Devil? But of course it takes pride in its own fascist culture – with a dictator at its head, with absolute powers of authority. Like protects like. And a claim for tolerance of existing religions which might be seen as part of the culture comes ill from a Church which institutionalised anti semitism for 2000 years.

    I would have been more impressed had you even attempted to acknowledge that I had good reasons for my point of view before you started so cavalierly to reject me. Our society has decided that the best way to achieve the balance of different interests, and to ensure the common good, is through democracy. The system is far from perfect, as we all know, but most of us believe that it is vitally important to uphold the rule of law as decided by a democratic Parliament. If you can think of a better way, say so. Until then, accept that when, to take a simple instances, our society says that homosexual couples must be treated with equal respect, that’s what you do. The very fact that you do so willingly, even if you would have wished it otherwise, is your witness to democracy.

    • Rahner says:

      Well said AD! Most of the comments made so far would not have been out of place on the letters page of the Daily Mail or some other comic.

      • Quentin says:

        Thanks, Rahner (says Advocatus Diaboli). And did you notice that although I asked people to explore how they would feel if the boot were on the other foot, none of them appear to have done this. They clearly don’t realise that, if you want to influence people’s minds it’s a good idea to show that you have got the point they are making first. But perhaps they found that too uncomfortable. And I can see why.

    • Peter D. Wilson says:

      ” … a concordat with Fascist Franco” – I remember the comment of someone who knew Spain well at that time: “Franco’s government is the best that Spain ever had – but that isn’t saying very much.”

      • Quentin says:

        An interesting thought which AD didn’t mention was that the concordat with Franco had to be unwound once Vatican II turned the Church right around in its approach to human dignity and the right to free religious expression. There was a good deal of foot-dragging, and I think it took about 20 years to clear out completely.

    • momangelica says:

      Democracy is not all that it is cracked up to be, for a start, I would NOT say that the laws of Parliament were placed there in a democratic way. I think there is a lot of deceit which has gone on for decades and most likely will never stop until we “Love our neighbour as our self” Public law is becoming corrupt according to Christian standards, but who sets the standards anyway? The markers are moving and it is wobbling about according to the strength of the bully; Chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission says Religious rules should end ‘at the door or of the temple’ and give way to the ‘public law’ laid down by Parliament.” Why should we let him have influence? Do we know who he keep company with? Is his judgement safe for children? I do not think so; he was at this event.
      Pre- launch , in November 2009 to the 2010 LGBT History Month at the British Museum .
      school children being conducted around the museum who were shown artefacts that normalised homosexuality and paedophilia. During the afternoon members of the education system – teachers, union leaders, activists got up onto the platform to peddle their wares. In the evening the then homosexual Secretary of State for Culture and Sport, Ben Bradshaw, Trevor Philips, the chief of the Equality and Human Rights Commission that normalised homosexuality and paedophilia.and homosexual MEP Ian Cashman also made public appearances.
      So, invested interests lie with these people, who form a 1-2% of the population, no democracy there it seems as they need to rid Christianity to push through this agenda.

    • momangelica says:

      These accusations against the Catholic Church about her relationship with various countries over the decades can be attributed to that fact that you do not understand the Churche’s role, it has to be fraternal. There are many flawed people who have not the wherewithall to want to understand Her so accusations will never stop.
      If the Church was anti-semetic as a few unenlightened souls claim (what a hoot when our Lord, Our Lady, St Joseph and most of the Apostles were Jews) why did a Rabbi in Italy convert to Catholicism after the 2nd world war when it was discovered the Pope had saved so many in secret from the Germans.
      And as for the conversion of Ratisbonne!! A wonderful witness to the lie bandied about by enemies of the Holy Roman Church.
      …The experience of Ratisbonne.

    • momangelica says:

      The Church has the right to it’s prejudice, bigotry and intolerance. – of SIN.
      She is in place to guide and protect God’s people, it’s her job and “the gates of hell shall not prevail” Be thankful for that!
      But others have no rights to prejudice; Melanie Philips said her postbag was full of couples who wanted to adopt but were told they were
      * Too middle class.
      *Too many books on their shelves.
      *Too old (not by childbearing age they weren’t.
      And other trite reasons that went on and on.
      These people were heart- broken and children were denied adoption because of this.
      The evidence for a successful adoption was stronger for the likes of them than the experimental same sex one where the likelihood the children becoming victims runs higher.

  14. st.joseph says:

    Advocatus Diaboli.
    Homosexuality and masturbation along with other acts of indecency have been declared wrong and disordered acts ever since apostolic times.
    They are unatural because they disregard the intrinsic of the act.
    With regard to the former we must draw a distincton between homosexual inclinations and homosexual acts or behaviour. Homosexuals must be treated pastorally with great understanding and the mere possessing of the inclination is not sinful. They must struggle to live purity and exercise self control like anybody else, and they must be encouraged in the hope of overcoming their personal problems.
    In order to attain the standard required by the Christian virtue of purity one must pay atention to the totality of ones behaviour. This would include the frequency the of the sacraments, prayer,humility, the guard of the senses, vigilance in entertainments, films and publications,and self denial in matters of gluttony and self indulgence..
    Blessed Pope John Paul 11. has said ‘Our Lord is exorting us to recognise the true beauty of human sexuality and use it for its proper purpose and not in a lustful way.

    As Christians we too have a Law to abide by ,Gods Law!.We are bound by conscience to keep it.
    We too have a free will ,to live by that Law, as well as the secular.We give to God what is His, that is the first Commandment, and we must obey that ,and most of all ,not share in the guilt of anothers sin.
    The ‘Gay Pride Marches’ are not a good example ,if they wish to make a good impression for their homosexual and lesbian relationship.

  15. John Candido says:

    Well AD, it is quite ironic that Christians believe in non-discrimination but will discriminate against gays and lesbians. For some obscure reason they seem to be constrained in their love of others, when it comes to such people. I thought they were motivated entirely by unconditional love. We must both be wrong because they place conditions on others based on their innate sexuality. If this hurts or damages others, let alone causes them to lose followers, it is simply brushed off as inevitable and unavoidable. The same mentality applies for conservative members of the Jewish and Muslim faith.

    Wait a minute AD; there are other unfortunates who are discriminated against for things such as potential employees of the church as well. Unrepentant single mothers, adulterers, and de facto couples, are banned from employment as clerks, maintenance men/women, etc. etc. as well as potential adopters of vulnerable children. It seems that some people are more like the image of God than others, according to your perspective. What they should do is place a sign which reads, ‘Sinners need not Apply’.

    Despite a majority of the public in favour of non-discriminatory employment policies by religious bodies, the religious want to continue to discriminate against others on the basis of sexual purity. What has sexual purity in their terms, any semblance of relevance to one’s employment as a gardener, office secretary, volunteer, or a plumber, in a church, synagogue, or mosque AD? I am baffled by it just as you are!

    These same religious bodies oppose things such as charters of human rights for the same reasons. They fear that if people were to be emboldened by legal rights, it could spell the end of their discriminatory practices. How ironic AD! Human rights had its genesis and development in western Christianity. That’s right AD, in European theology. Isn’t this all at odds with what Jesus taught them? You know, love one another as I have loved you. It’s bizarre! Let’s face it AD, the church has a theological problem with sex that it cannot seem to get around. And it will not listen to contemporary science on the issue, so they are defeated from the beginning.

    • John Nolan says:

      Discrimination is what we were put on this earth for. To call someone a discriminating person is a compliment. If two people apply for one job, the one who doesn’t get it is discriminated against. Full stop. I know that you have a fascination with neologisms, but the pejorative use of the word ‘discrimination’ to mean an exercise of free choice which does not meet with the approval of the political authorities must appear a bit sinister even to a liberal like yourself.

  16. paul1087 says:

    AD is demonstrating the intolerance and bigotry he deplores in others. The secularist agenda is in effect to re-introduce the late 17th Century Test Acts through which a despised group can be excluded from public life. In the 17th century the excluded were those who could not subscribe to the creed of the established Church of England (eg.Catholics, Non-Conformista,Jews), to day the despised group are those who hold traditional Christian beliefs. The democratic, socially inclusive and Christian alternative is to grant freedom of conscience within the law which is currently denied by the provisions of the Equalities Act and the performance of the Equalities Commission and the courts. The nation recognises the right of conscientious objection to participation in military service even when the existence of the nation is threatened in a time of war. All that is needed now is a right of conscientious objection to participation in activities approved by the state but which conflict with the Christian conscience. This would avoid all the problems and social disharmony created by recent cases involving civil marriage registrars, B&B providers,adoption agencies, marriage guidance, etc. Granting this right of conscientious objection would not deny the service involved to those seeking it as there are many willing to provide it who are not Christians. Refusing to grant this right is a test of tolerance which the secularist lobby and its minions fail.

    • Rahner says:

      “All that is needed now is a right of conscientious objection to participation in activities approved by the state but which conflict with the Christian conscience.”
      Why only the Christian conscience? And in any case which Christian conscience? Would it, for example, permit extreme fundamentalist Protestants to discriminate against Catholics? I do not see that your proposal would promote “social harmony”.

      • John Nolan says:

        Rahner, you have hit the nail firmly on the head. The idea that our activities should be in any way approved by the state is frighteningly totalitarian. It is up to the state to set limits to our behaviour if it is demonstrably harmful to the common good. Private conscience is exactly that, and is not the business of government

      • John Candido says:

        It is the business of modern democratic governments, to promote social cohesion and harmony throughout the community of a nation-state. Charters of human rights make absolute sense to most reasonable people. If that means that democratic governments are going to stand on the feet of religious groups; sorry, but it is the price we pay for modernity, human dignity, and civility. They just don’t get it AD!

      • paul1087 says:

        The essential point I was trying to make is that the state should not impose restrictions on any group – Christians. Protestants, Muslims,atheists,LBG etc. – because of their belief or their unwillingness to participate in certain activities because of their belief. Those groups should be entitled to a right of conscientious objection without penalty. What we are seeing now is the state placing restrictions on the availability of many forms of public employment to Christians because of their belief and consequent unwillingness to participate in some activities In effect Christians are being driven in to a ghetto of exclusion from which same sex couples have been released. It was wrong for same sex couples to have been excluded and the exclusion of Christians is equally wrong. The state has a proper role and responsibility to restrict behaviours which actually damage others and we are not damaged by other peoples beliefs. Christian unwillingness to participate in some state or state funded services does not damage those seeking those services because they are readily available from non-Christians. I support the view expressed by one contributor that those believing in a right of conscientious objection should write and tell the Chairman of the Equalities Commission

    • st.joseph says:

      A D.
      It is interesting to note that those who consider themselves as christians, speak about ‘love’ have not asked themselves the question ‘What would Jesus say?
      Just to quote a couple.
      ‘Go sin no more’ and ‘ Give up everything and follow me’.
      Before you answer with ‘Judge not ,and you shall not be judged .doesn’t that mean the ‘secular society’ too! Where is their love for christians.They ought to take the Tree from their eye.
      God will be our judge- but we have to know what He teaches ,Jesus said ‘Go forth and teach all Nations. No Jews , Greeks etc.
      Just follow Him in the Light that He came to show us through His teachings in Scripture. The Word made Flesh.
      You are not fighting Christians- you are fighting God.

    • John Candido says:

      Let me understand where you are coming from. You want Christians, and presumably any other religious group, to be given the right to discriminate against others, and the rationale for this is a right to conscientious objection? What you are seeking is the right to do a wrong against other human beings. How is discriminating against others consistent with kindness and love? What absolute rubbish! It isn’t! What poppycock! This is not a sensible exception to antidiscrimination but an irresponsible freedom to do wrong.

      • st.joseph says:

        John Candido.
        You are a little muddled about Christ and love.
        and discrimination.
        Jesus was a Jew,He knew Himself to be the Christ and God.
        He loved the Jews like we do as any other religion.
        He wants us all to believe that He is the Christ, 2nd person of the Blessed Trinity.
        That doesn’t mean because we believe in that,that we discriminate from other religions.
        The Church doesnt teach us to do that.
        Open your eyes John, take the scales off.
        Sadly it is people like you who lack true love and understanding.
        When Jesus said we will all be one , He meant we will all believe that He is the Christ.The Messiah has come and Risen. They can still be Jews.We all have the same moral value,
        I would not call that discrimnation.
        Your argument has a lot of flaws in it.
        Jesus said ‘Preach to All Nations, Jews and Greek alike etc.That Jesus Christ is Lord.

      • st.joseph says:

        Also John Candido
        We can come nearer home and think how Catholics suffered at the Reformation!
        And at the hands of the ‘black and tan’ in Ireland.
        Do you know anything at all?

  17. JohnBunting says:

    I think the essential pinciple here is that no-one should be in a position to exercise what one might call a ‘moral monopoly’: i.e. they should not be in a position to deny anyone else, on grounds of ‘conscience’, legal goods or services that cannot be obtained elsewhere. If that condition is met, and deliberate confrontation is avoided, there need be no problem, and I think paul’s argument holds good.
    I’m trying to think of anything that fundamentalist Protestants might do, in conscience, to discriminate against Catholics. Or any similar case, of course. Any ideas?

  18. mike Horsnall says:

    John Bunting….er…yes, I was a fundamentalist protestant for a number of years and I’m sorry to say that they are not entirely convinced that Catholics are even christians. So I don’t hold out the same hope as you that the catholic church under a fundamentalist protestant state might enjoy its current freedoms of worship or even assembly.

  19. mike Horsnall says:

    As to boot on the other foot, I have considered this and have even been involved in it. Many years ago when I still had hair long enough to dye I was wandering round Mexico disguised as a hippie. I joined a promenade of persons around the crumbling piazza of a cathedral and spent a few minutes strolling with everyone else in the evening air.Suddenly I realised that i had joined a gay parade and was coming under the interested eye of more than one homosexual young man. ..Unnerved I bolted for my cheap hotel and locked the door just in time to lock out the interests and intentions of the couple who had followed me back. I didnt make a fuss about all this however but did make a mental note not to visit that particular place again on a thursday night. If I was to try and stay in a motel but find myself rebuked on account of mine and my wifes boring old heterosexual inclinations then I think I would simply drive off to the local travel lodge,irritated about having to change my arrangements and vaguely bemused as to the rest-I would however ask for my deposit back if I had paid one in advance.

  20. st.joseph says:

    Ion Zone passed the comment above that gay people went to Mass in his parish.
    There seems to be no problem there!.
    So why then is there a Mass in Warwick St Soho especially for homosexuals.
    Is it because they want to feel special,why dont they attend Holy Mass in their own parishes.
    Are they wanting to make a religion of their own within the ‘Catholic Church’?
    If they are supposed to be celibate as Archbishop Nicholls and others profess them to be-why do they need to seperate themselves in worship.
    Can anyone shed any light on that?

  21. mike Horsnall says:

    In the charismatic church there is (or was) a movement of homosexual individuals who liked to get together for worship or on bible teaching days. I was asked if I wanted to join them once and remember being told that such and such was a really good teacher because she ‘really understood’ the homosexual experience. I think homosexual individuals and groups feel themselves as vulnerable and misunderstood by the wider church-so they like to stay together; understandable really.

  22. JohnBunting says:

    ‘Fundamentalist Protestants’ are one thing, mike: after all, we got used to Ian Paisley calling the Pope ‘The Man of Sin’. No big deal, unless you’re trying hard to find something to be offended about.
    Your addition of the word ‘state’ makes all the difference. We could then be in a theocracy, with an established religion considering itself free ‘in conscience’ to punish unbelievers and heretics, or to call on the state to do so, as is happening now in some Muslim countries. But I don’t think that’s the sort of situation that paul1087 has in mind!

    • John Nolan says:

      Paisley commonly referred to the Pope as ‘old red socks’ implying that he had communist sympathies (in the case of Paul VI he was perhaps not too wide of the mark) although he seems not to have realized that while the Pontiff’s shoes may be red, his socks are invariably white.

  23. st.joseph says:

    EnCourage UK a catholic organisation where they can do that . Widows and Widowers do not have special Masse’s
    I believe that if homosexuals intergrated within the parish community (which some do) there would be less misunderstanding as to how they ‘think’ they are rejected.
    Also if they did not take part in the Gay Pride marches, stating that they are gay ,catholic ,and
    proud of it.and showed a little of self-respect for the their-selves, and the Church.
    What are they trying to prove.?
    If I fell in love with my neighbours husband, I suppose I could go ahead now and commit adultry, why should I deny myself that pleasure,because the church teaches it is wrong.

  24. st.joseph says:

    John Candido.

    Your comment at 11. 15 pm.
    Would you say that my last two comments, were what you would call ‘Modern, and Human Dignity. , and Civility
    You say to A.D ‘We just dont get it’
    I ask you you ‘Do You
    Government controlled Morals. No Thanks.’

  25. John Nolan says:

    John Candido

    “It is the business of modern democratic governments to promote social cohesion and harmony throughout the community of a nation-state”. Not so. That is our individual responsibility, and comes from our obligation to love our neighbour. The primary duty of government is to uphold the rule of law and to defend the state from external enemies. Our rights are God-given and derived from Natural Law – they are not something conceded to us by the state, although the state has a duty under God to protect them. Democracy, however defined, does not in itself confer legitimacy.

  26. Horace says:

    I don’t seem to have properly made my points, so I’ll try again:-

    In my first comment, in followup to AD’s statement “Catholic adoption societies didn’t do a bad job of work but . . . ” I outlined my disapproval of the course of action pursued by our local children’s adoption society i.e. to keep quiet, operate sub rosa and hope that they will never be approached by a homosexual couple. I wondered how AD would view this as an alternative to making a big fuss and then throwing in the towel? [ To be honest, in spite of my reservations, the policy seems to be working! ]

    My second comment, relevant to AD’s statement “How dare you deny young children the possibility of being adopted by such people on the basis of an alleged moral rule written down by superstitious people thousands of years ago?” was an endeavour to support the Church’s teaching but at the same time point out that all this fuss about homosexuals is quite unnecessary and is mostly down to the antics of the relatively small number of militant homosexual activists.

    • Quentin says:

      Horace, you speak of “militant homosexual activists”. But what causes them to be militant? And, indeed, st.joseph makes the same point about “gay marches”.

      Minorities who feel threatened and suspect that they are despised can either hide in a hole or they can show a bit of pride and defiance. That is just what the suffragettes did, not without some success.

      Similarly, Mike can feel relaxed about being refused for accommodation because of his heterosexuality — his membership of a respectable majority means that he can swat off such flies with abandon.

      • st.joseph says:

        I dont think you can compare the suffragettes with militant homosexuals.
        I would say there is no pride in being militant in the way they behave in the ‘Gay Pride Marches’
        What does that achieive.
        I dont get your meaning about ‘hiding in a hole’.
        I know 2 ladies who live together, what they do in their own private homes is between them and God.
        My friend has a homosexual son, so what, he is a catholic goes to Mass
        so what.?
        So he doesnt want to get married to a female-so what?
        The 2 ladies I know dont want to get married, so what.?
        I know couples who are divorced , married in a civil partnership,catholics, nice people go to Mass and receive our Lord, so what!
        It is their conscience,. None of these people are shouting the odds, and wanting regognition.
        They trust in the Lord.
        Thousands of couples are using contraception, abortifacient, going to Mass receiving our Lord, so what!.
        Why dont we have a seperate Mass for all these individuals who are ‘sinners’.
        There is one every hour of the day all over the world for us all.
        We can all have guilty consciences about some sin or another!
        Are you saying that you agree with ‘militant’ agressive action to make us feel right about ourselves.
        Homo-sexuals who are militant and I have come across a few, even a bullying homosexual priest who broke a whole parish up, with his ‘militant’ attitude.
        They don’t do themselves any justice when catholics have to stoop to that level, like pulling the late Cardinal O’Connor from the pulpit in New York many years ago.
        If gays want respect they need to behave with decency, those who dont are making it dificult for those who do.
        I have been to Warick St, the first time the day after I got married, and since.
        And when an old lady in her 80’s who didnt realise what was going on just visiting, I was there on my late husbands and my 46th wedding anniversary, she was amazed, and asked me to leave with her, and I did’nt, but was ‘chatted’ up by a lesbian during Mass,who was sitting on my others side,whilst trying to ignore her, that is why I went to Mass
        If they interegrate within a community that is the way forward for them.
        If anyone would like to call me homophobic, they really ought to know what it means first!

      • Quentin says:

        st.joseph, I was merely saying that both suffragettes and homosexuals felt a despised majority, and both reacted with defiance, irrespective of whether their cause was good or bad. It’s how humans behave so we should not be surprised. One day in the distant future no doubt practising Catholics will be in a despised minority, and you and I can come out in our wheelchairs and protest together!

      • John Nolan says:

        And yet and yet … Dr NAM Rodger in his ground-breaking study of the Royal Navy at the time of the Seven Years’ War (The Wooden World, an Anatomy of the Georgian Navy) makes the point that sodomy was the only crime that invariably incurred the death penalty; it would have been difficult to conceal on board an 18th century man o’ war and was regarded throughout the Service with revulsion. I would like to know at what point in the 20th century it became acceptable given that buggery laws were only removed from the statute book in the 21st.

      • Quentin says:

        I am only too aware, John, that the law under which Wilde, and I assume other offenders was tried was the Labouchère amendment. Henry Labouchère was my great great uncle.

      • Horace says:

        Minorities who feel threatened and suspect that they are despised can either hide in a hole or they can show a bit of pride and defiance.
        Two separate points here:-
        1) Our local adoption society has apparently chosen the first alternative. My feeling was that they should have (without making too much fuss) taken a rather more principled stand.
        2) The other point I was trying to make was the opposite; that the Church ought not to be putting itself in the position of being blamed for the current fuss about homosexuality (by for example, strident opposition to ‘homosexual marriage’), although – as our pope has already notably demonstrated – it is very difficult to be supportive and understanding without creating the impression of condoning immoral behaviour.

        I was brought up in an atmosphere (pre-WW2) when Catholics expected to be “a despised minority” and was agreeably surprised to encounter little or no anti-Catholic feeling during my working life. I have only noticed secularism in the last few years.
        I have never made any attempt to hide my faith but have never flaunted it either.

        A little story:- One day at luncheon in the hospital I remarked, in the course of conversation, that my wristwatch occasionally embarrassed me by setting off it’s alarm during Sunday Mass. Someone else at the table replied “Well you know what you can do!”. Being fairly thick, it took me some time to discover that what he meant was “. . not go to Mass”. When the meaning was finally explained to me, I simply laughed, shook my head gently rejecting that as an option – and continued eating.

  27. Quentin says:

    It may be useful to make a point or two at this stage.

    First, it is as well to recall the status of an Advocatus Diaboli. His original rôle was to propose the strongest arguments that could be made against the canonisation of a candidate. This was not because of any personal opposition to the candidate but as a service to truth. We do not know whether AD personally is pro or contra the secular state, we only have the arguments he has chosen to muster. Those he has set down for us are the stock in trade of the secularist blogger, although he has been sufficiently subtle to approach it by asking how we would feel about it if the boot were on the other foot. Hence the title, The beam in the eye.

    This may have been a clue – because many secularists feel very strongly about the encroachments of religion on their freedom and the freedom of others. We may claim that this is malicious, in bad faith, and exaggerated ( just they would claim the same about us). But they feel what they feel. I know this because I spent some time interviewing Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society. He is a pleasant and, by no means, fundamentalist, man and he has sincere concerns about the threat of religious encroachment, all too well supported by history.

    They are concerned about the erosion of democracy, and they are concerned about the disadvantaging of classes of people on the grounds of faith rather than fact. We will persuade no one unless we accept that these are legitimate feelings. The question for us is not whether they respect our feelings but whether we respect theirs. Understanding how they feel and why begins to make dialogue possible.

    And dialogue is necessary because we have to negotiate a society which is able to cater for a range of views. We are unlikely to achieve this by a series of regulations, but by developing greater understanding and so greater tolerance on all sides. The solutions, whether general or applicable in specific areas (e.g., the conscience clause in the Abortion Act), will vary, but they must be based on mutual respect. I suspect that the thoughtful secularist and the thoughtful Christian would broadly share a vision of how our society would best flourish. They are not our enemies but our neighbours. On this Blog we have learned great tolerance for other contributors’ views; now we must see if we can extend this to outsiders as well.

    • Nektarios says:

      All AD is doing, is simply the secularization of Religion. He needn’t have bothered, it is secular enough, political enough, and worldly enough as it is!!
      As for freedom(s) one the one hand it is not religious freedoms but political ones, with appeal to the Law or changing the Laws to get what they want. On the otherhand
      the freedom many seculariists and the gay lobby seek has nothing to do with freedom perse, but licence to do what they want which of course has nothing to do with Freedom.
      Multiculturalism, along with all that that brings in its wake, is not ,and has not worked as The Prime Minister said in Parliament recently. I was writing to the then Home Secretary,Leon Britten on this very issue, why it could not and would not work. Seems my arguments way back then in the 1980s still hold true. But those in power don’t listen,the merely react to pressure at any given moment.

      As to disadvantaging various religious groups – non more so than the Christian religion, which in my lifetime I have seen sidelined to the outer regions of society. For example, I remember one could freely preach the Gospel in the street, which I have done on too many occasions to number, one cannot do that now.
      They are only allowed to do so dealing with drunks, drug addicts in the very late hours of the night early morning and walk about in twos and threes in uniforms resembling the Police.
      Shall we talk about the other dumbing down of the Christian religion in Education, Schools, Universities, Hospitals – all of which were set up by the Christian religion, including Law and the concept of Democracy.

      Let AD go and tell David Steele now a Lord, about mutual respect for the unborn child,whose bill has meant the deaths of over 9 MILLION, THAT’S RIGHT, OVER

      I am afraid the arguments by AD and your defence, may be well intentioned, plausible,
      even appear sane, sensible and rational as David Steele arguing for an Abortion Bill seemed at the time, and look what tragedy and sorrow it has produced, Those 9 million souls that could have been here but are not on account of this sordid little short-sighted Bill, gave rise to weak immigration policies by successive Government, and Multiculturalism. but AD and others like him are just breeding division further down the line.

      The cry goes up by the Politicos is, be tolerant!
      They only have their own existence as various Parities breeding and thriving on division.
      It is not the general public that is intolerant, but succesive Governments have made it so, that they have turned the joy of living into a intolerable set of problems.
      Sorry AD and Quentin, The arguments you pose and defend are politically motivated, secular, anti-Christian and diengenuous.

  28. st.joseph says:

    Quentin, I dont see homo-sexuals being despised by the secular society,or christians.
    As Christians, we love the sinner, but despise the sin, even in ourselves.
    That is really no excuse to co-operate in anothers sin.
    And I am going to say it- I believe that is just what Archbishop Nichols and those other Bishops and Priests are doing, in co-operating with special Mass’s for the gay community!
    They can not hide from God! Like any one of us.!
    I believe they will have to answer to God for that. I pray for them and for the Church.

    • st.joseph says:

      P.S. If homo-sexuals think that marriage will make it a Sacrament, I think they are kidding themselves. Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Marriage between a male and female,
      But what the Anglicans do is up to them.

  29. st.joseph says:

    As ‘Catholics.we try to uphold a standard of decency.
    It is not imaginery beliefs and weird religious practice.
    I would have liked to have seen a Gov Official coming into myhusband and my public house or guest house and demanding that we place condom machines in the toilets, or insist that we letsame sex couples share a double bed, we did have single twin bedded rooms, which two men shared , working men, I wouldlike to see an Official demanding we removed the Bibles, or to remove the Crucifix in the bedrooms etc, what other guest house did or not do was their business.
    My husband was a out spokenYorkshire man, would have put them in their place. In all the 20 years we were never empty, with people all over he world, a guest book full of comments, Holy pictures and all, and a statue of Our Lady looking out the top hall window.
    As for Council meetings not wanting prayes, if I wanted to say a prayer I would do somyself.
    That wouldn’ bother me.I mix with athiests all the time,and when one is in business one does.
    It has never been a problem to me.In fact a St Josephs new Church was practically re-fitted with non believers money.

  30. Quentin says:

    It is probably important to remember that equality legislation does not oblige people to go against conscience in the matter of homosexuality. This is well illustrated by st. joseph telling us that her husband would have had no truck with double beds for homosexuals. And no one would oblige him to do this. All the law says is that he cannot operate in the public sphere as a public house or a guest house while refusing to treat homosexuals equally. The law may be stupid or ultimately damaging to society –- we can argue that one, if we wish. But we cannot claim that it has no right to control the public sphere and to protect those whom it sees as disadvantaged. That’s its job.

    • st.joseph says:

      You say ‘ All the law says is that he cannot operate in the public sphereas a public house or guest house while refusing to treat homosexuals equally.
      This seems to contradict your opening sentence.
      Maybe I read it wrong, can you tell me what it means.?

      • Quentin says:

        This should be clear st.joseph. In what way would your husband have gone against conscience by ceasing to operate a pub or a guest house? The law says that, if you do that, you must do it lawfully. But you don’t have to do it at all.

  31. st.joseph says:

    Fogive me I am a little slow here.
    Why was there so much fuss about the couple who did refuse , or were they not prosecuted, ?

  32. st.joseph says:

    QuentinThank you. Reading that then we would not have had a leg to stand on!

    The newspaper report that said it was like the No Blacks No dogs or No Irish signs.
    I find that really insulting, comparing that to ones conscience.
    We had 4 Nigerians staying for 6 months from a local engineering firm, we never had any problems with guests complaining.
    We also had students unsighted from th local piano works no problem,.
    The papers must make this up, maybe years ago there was bigotry.
    This is not bigotry when it comes to same sex couples. And it is wrong for people to associate it.
    I can understand hetrosexuals males if they have same sex couples in the forces with them and are exploiting their sexual relationship, when their wives are at home.
    If their is some bigotry, it will come out then.

  33. Nektarios says:


    I see Quentin is passing on your messages, but so far you have not tackled my posting.
    Perhaps like that sepent in the Garden of Eden who slipped away into the ungrowth, he had not a leg to stand on either?

    • st.joseph says:

      Perhaps he is like the lizard evolving a leg into a wing .What is the advantage of half a wing.? But how is he going to survive while he is dragging around his forelimbs no longer fit for fighting or running, but not able to lift him into flight!Big question??
      So we will have to wait!! And see!!

      • Nektarios says:

        st. joseph

        Quite simply, he has his cohorts who will doing his bidding. It is easy to get willing servants to fire his poisionous arrows, especially at the Children of God – and these arrows, (subtle, clever arguments) can be deadly.

        I have sorrow, just reading so much that has been written on a topic that has got the fellow bloggers hot under the collar; intimidated; reacting to those arrows of argument – such things that should not even be mentioned among the children God.
        Defend yourself, not by argument, but holiness.

        Make sure you have on your full Christian armour, (Ephesians chapter 6).

  34. John Nolan says:

    If I were to assist a friend to commit adultery by conspiring with him to deceive his wife, there is no doubt that I would be committing a sin. To attend the civil partership ceremony of two gay friends would also be a matter of conscience, and I would be prepared to follow the Church’s teaching on this and not attend, and I hope my decision would be respected. I don’t think that simply alllowing a homosexual couple to share a room (or even a bed) is condoning immorality, and I have some sympathy with the law here. Similarly, the registrar who refused to register civil parnerships is on shaky ground; she is in no sense “marrying” the couple in a Christian sense, and the same would apply to register office weddings which she appeared to have no objections to.

    On the other hand, if you are accepting paying guests in your own home, it would seem reasonable to allow you to exercise free choice. Not long ago a publican refused to continue serving a group of pre-op male-to-female transsexuals after women customers objected to sharing the ladies’ loo with what amounted to men in drag. Thirty years ago El Vino’s wine bar in Fleet Street was ordered by the High Court to abandon its tradition of not serving women at the bar; however, the two women journalists who brought the case were refused service because they had ‘made mischief’. (For a few days you couldn’t get near the bar for beefy hackettes who normally wouldn’t be seen dead in the place, but things soon returned to normal. In the interests of equality the company introduced a dress code for women – previously it had only applied to men).

    • st.joseph says:

      It would not go against my conscience to atend a civil partnership between gays or lesbians(not that I know any) I dont know if the Church objects to it.If they did then maybe I would think more carefully about it.
      A couple adminster the Sacrament on each other in the presence of a priest, but there still has to be a register present if the priest is not one.
      Maybe the situation would never arise,but I see it that if they have no religious belief, then at least their belief in its self that they are serious about their relationship and not hanging around toilets or parks etc.
      I am not saying I agree with it but they to have a free will and are trying to li ve in their conscience.
      I am not a liberal but we have to understand those who have not the faith!

      • st.joseph says:

        John .
        I meant to add. that by letting a double bed to a homosexual couple is definitely wrong for me -because I would be allowing them to commit the wrong that I believe my faith teaches.
        The Civil partnership is not my decision, as I have no say in the situation so I would not feel guilt for allowing it.
        Does that make sense to you.

      • Peter D. Wilson says:

        Could you be sure that the couple sharing the bed were doing so for more than the innocent comfort of each other’s company? I admit that it seems probable, but is probability enough for condemnation?
        That said, your disapproval should be sufficient grounds for avoiding the likelihood of wrongdoing on your own premises.

  35. st.joseph says:

    It would also be respect for my other Guests!
    Also my children.
    I think that the boarding house was an excuse and the same respect ought to have been shown to them by the homo-sexual, it cuts both ways!

    • Peter D. Wilson says:


      • st.joseph says:

        Thinking about Archbishop Nicholls and other bishops and priests in my earlier comment , their co-operation in allowing the Soho Masses is not only wrong on their part but also disrespectful to the catholic laity as well as to God in His Church.Shame on them.
        Just to explain how I feel about their decision to allow it to carry on.
        It should stop!

  36. momangelica says:

    Quinten, Children do not ask to be sexualised nor do their parents request it for their children but an aggressive push by individuals to sexualize children while on school territory is increasing at a fast pace; in fact, there seems to be an attitude by some teachers that they can “help themselves” to the bodies of school children since explicit sex ed has been used in schools.
    Children as young as five are being targeted to take part in a homosexual and transgender storytelling workshop at a Church of Scotland venue lastweekend.
    Europe to destroy traditional family and sexual identity

    This email was sent to me la couple of weeks ago

    Dear Gail I attended the Pre- launch , in November 2009 to the 2010 LGBT History Month at the British Museum . In the morning I tagged onto a party of school children being conducted around the museum who were shown artefacts that normalised homosexuality and paedophilia. During the afternoon members of the education system – teachers, union leaders, activists got up onto the platform to peddle their wares. In the evening the then homosexual Secretary of State for Culture and Sport, Ben Bradshaw, Trevor Philips, the chief of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and homosexual MEP Ian Cashman also made public appearances.

    If you want to get a flavour of that event just watch a few of the contributors:

    If you have ever read about the activities of homosexuals on commons or toilets you would be sickened to the pit of your stomach and it is not for telling children, young adults or even decent citizens, the ones who know this are the homosexuals themselves so, as Mark Tatchell says,”there can never really be equality as their sexual norms would offend heterosexuals so they have to sexualise the children to eventually make their lifestyle accepted,” It is depravity!

  37. Quentin says:

    Ok – I think that enough has probably been said about homosexuality on the Blog for the time being. So let’s give it a rest before outsiders begin to believe that there is a morbid preoccupation with the question.

  38. st.joseph says:

    I was under the impression we were discussing equal rights here , the Equality Bill!
    Secular versus Christianity.
    AD brought the subject up, he must understand we have the equal right as Christians to defend our rights.
    We wont silenced either.On the Blog maybe but not in society.

    • Quentin says:

      My comment and request has nothing to do with AD. And if anyone has something new and relevant on the relationship of homosexuality to human rights, that’s fine by me. But we are getting to a stage where repetition of much the same facts gives the impression that we are more interested in broadcasting our feelings about homosexuality than looking at the question of rights.

  39. st.joseph says:

    We will meet again no doubt!

  40. John Candido says:

    It would seem that the most important factor of the issue at hand, is that everybody is entitled to their own religious beliefs, and this right is to be complementary to and harmonious with the notion, that a business must not interfere with the human rights of any member of the public. If the religious views of the management of a business, are antagonistic with the personal views of any member of the public; the public must be served at all times. No discrimination is acceptable. Thank God for such legislation!

    All contemporary people must realise that regardless of the religious views of any person, discrimination on the basis of race, ethnic origin, skin colour, gender, sexuality, the age of any person, and the political or philosophical affiliation of any person, is not acceptable. When someone is open for business, s/he must be open for every single person in the community. It doesn’t matter if a business is a taxi service, or a trade, or any service. No exceptions! Anything less, is a deeply uncivil act, which is injurious to human dignity.

    The days of blacks going to the back of the bus, or using ‘coloured’ restrooms for their race, are happily over. The daily struggle of millions of black Americans in the immediate past is worth remembering. Can anyone in conscience forget what happened between 1933 & 1945 in Europe? Can we be good people and forget this appalling era, as it unfolded into some of the darkest scenes in history? This is why charters of human rights and anti-discriminatory legislation are so important. It is also why the entire church should be behind initiatives that bolster human dignity, civility, and social harmony. Anything less is an abrogation of our Christian duty.

  41. John Candido says:

    This summary of history by Wikipedia is an apt reminder of the cold indifference, racism, and murderous intent of the Nazis, which was fuelled by an overarching nationalism.

    • momangelica says:

      Try reading The Pink Swastika written by Scott Lively and Keven Abrams.
      (Wikipedia is only a piece of information garnered in quite a limited and sometimes lazy way with little research anyway)
      Cold indifference and murderous intent is the sin, who it is against has no bearing on the matter whether is it babies born or unborn, those with different colour skin or race or creed, overarching anything is the key to the problem
      To heavy handedly bring in a law which goes against the Natural Order and the Ten Commandments is utter madness making an experimental future.
      We are not ever going to have a problematic free world as that is obvious by the distinct differences between able / disabled, bright /not so bright, those born in Africa / lush countries, those with melancholy / happy go lucky dispositions etc.
      There are those who decide that an arm or leg or some other appendage is a bother to them and request it’s removal by surgeons at times becoming a major issue and there have been surgeons who have agreed to remove healthy parts because of a holding a false charity.
      We are on a journey through life “earning our spurs ”
      We are given a chance to know God, to love Him, serve Him, to be happy with Him in this life and forever in the next. Christianity makes more sense out of anything the whole of creation has experienced or has to offer.

  42. momangelica says:

    It has never been a sin in God’s eye to be black or any other colour,
    It has never been an offense to God to be a Jew 1933-1945 or any other time.
    Surely, you cannot take the charter of Human Rights and anti-discrimination legislation seriously;
    It is a joke in this country!
    We have a law that allows mothers to hand over their unborn babies for destruction in numbers that completely swamps any that slave trade or Jewish Holocaust produced.
    Over 7 million babies killed in Britain since ’67 and these are only the numbers that come to light.
    Try counting the abortion numbers in America, Hungary, Poland, Russia and the 19th century.
    Sodomy has been outlawed mostly throughout all ages and cultures around the world especially in the form it is promoted in this last decade.
    The Catholic Church and all her saints condemn it in the strongest terms ” A sin crying out to heaven for vengeance,” as also is willful murder. And condemned in 9 ways with them are those who encouraging, support, keep silent etc…
    We are having a legislation being pushed through that is trying to turn truth on it’s head and spreading lies and confusion by allowing men to call themselves women and wives and women to call themselves men and husbands. DNA sorts out the truth.
    You are about to enter darker than experienced before darkness with your arms akimbo and a smile on your face!!!

    • John Candido says:

      ‘Surely, you cannot take the charter of Human Rights and anti-discrimination legislation seriously;…’

      I take charters of human rights and antidiscrimination legislation very seriously.

      ‘Sodomy has been outlawed mostly throughout all ages and cultures around the world especially in the form it is promoted in this last decade.’
      ‘The Catholic Church and all her saints condemn it in the strongest terms. “A sin crying out to heaven for vengeance,”’

      This law might have a long history indeed, but the world has changed! Contemporary society has a new understanding of homosexuality, or bisexuality, transgendered people, and intersex individuals.

  43. momangelica says:

    “This law might have a long history indeed, but the world has changed! Contemporary society has a new understanding of homosexuality, or bisexuality, transgendered people, and intersex individuals”.
    A changing world is not an answer it in is an excuse to revel in immorality and licentiousness, the cause of which could be the breaking down of values through the steady drip of the television influence.
    When someone has been removed from TV but comes back to it some years later they see the standards of decency as held as norms have disappeared and in it’s place odious material which accessible to even little children.
    There is a saying that if you want to cook a frog you won’t succeed by popping it into hot water as it will only hop out to safety -no- it has to have the water heated up while it is swimming around and then it happily swims to it’s death.

  44. momangelica says:

    I told you not to bother with wikipedia.They are inaccurate ( and most likely lazy, one of my sons played an internet role similar, they get paid for their reference searches!!!) You haven’t read the book and you didn’t read from the authentic;
    These authors are well researched!
    Christian Order is a grand little publication started by a Fr. Paul Crane when many weird changes occurred within our Catholic Church that used to be deemed unacceptable ( and still is in the Church of the Ages). It contains many well written articles from around the world from – again, well researched contributors. Highly thought of in high quarters as well as low ( I’m of the low I’m sure) My father received it for years and instructed me to take it too; and interestingly, five of my six children are “practicing” Catholics (they cannot name one schoolfriend that still practice and that is a shocker John ) and my husband converted before we married while we were courting.
    So I do not think it is a bad influence to read truths put about the way they did/do. Perhaps it gets the little brains cells working and you learn to spot fraud when you see/hear/read it..

    • Quentin says:

      Given the last, somewhat heated, exchange on Christian Order, I wrote to the editor on 15/2 to ask him to let some representative copies — so that could review the periodical. I have so far received neither acknowledgment or reply. If anyone feels they would like to send me a copy or two, that would be good.

      The last that I read on the accuracy of Wikipedia was that, although it could make bloomers, it was in the Encyclopedia Britannica league for accuracy. I note, looking at the article in question, that no one has challenged it. Why do you not do so — presumably there is good evidence of what you say.

    • momangelica says:

      Submitted on 2012/02/23 at 4:46 pm | In reply to John Candido.

      I see nothing wrong with attacking Gay behaviour as the Saints themselves went around .monasteries doing that very thing to any monk who needed it; they were not GAY (good as you??) but named correctly….but we won’t bore everyone any further.

  45. mike Horsnall says:

    Not keen on it then John?

  46. Nektarios says:

    Fellow Bloggers,

    Thought this was apt following discussion of ADs opinions.

    The person who penned this has a sense of humour and telling the truth.

    After the rather heated discussions on ADs posting on this blog, This little poem sent me
    seems rather apt don’t you think?

    Britain is changing it’s name. It is going to be known as Daftland.


    We live in a country called Daftland
    The Britain we knew is no more
    Where sensible people do ludicrous things
    Or risk breaking some Daftland law.
    In Daftland we’ve police dogs with muzzles
    Less the villain has cause to complain
    And to steal from a shop and say ‘sorry’
    Means you’re free with no stain to your name.

    You had better leave lights on in buildings
    When you lock up and go home at night
    ’cause the burglars might hurt themselves entering
    And there’s no way you’ll be in the right.
    When speaking be wary in Daftland
    As some terms that you’ve used all your life
    Now have connotations unintended
    And you’ll end up in all sorts of strife.

    We elect politicians in Daftland
    To give us the laws of the land
    Yet eight laws in ten now come from abroad
    The whole thing has got out of hand.
    The borders are open in Daftland
    And of migrants there’s no keeping track
    Just a few of the thousands illegally here
    Will ever be caught and sent back.

    The exception to this is the hero
    Who fought for this land in the war
    He’s old and he’s sick, he might cost us a bit
    So he’s not welcome here any more.
    When the history is written of Daftland
    Historians may just recall
    That the craziest people in Daftland
    Were the public who put up with it all.

    • Peter D. Wilson says:

      Nektarios – At the risk of taking up too much space I offer you this parody composed ten years ago.

      In the High Court yesterday Mr. William Sykes, currently of HM Prison, Wormwood Scrubbs, was awarded £10,000 damages with costs in a test case brought against Mr. Furnival Thomas of 83 Elterwater Drive, Elstree, for trauma induced by the conviction of Mr. Sykes (his twentieth) for burgling Mr. Thomas’s premises on the night of 10 June, 2001. Giving judgement in what was described as a landmark decision, Mr. Justice Harrison said that there was an alarming increase in the incidence of psychiatric illness among prisoners convicted of crimes against property, and he was glad that a recent change in the law, clearly placing the onus on owners to prevent such crime, allowed him to recompense one such victim, although of course money could never atone for the mental distress already suffered.
      Mr. Sykes had rightly pointed out that Mr. Thomas’s owning the property in question, a video recorder, was an irresistible temptation to one of Mr. Sykes’s temperament, and the claim that Mr. Thomas was not personally acquainted with him, still less had given any information to arouse Mr. Sykes’s interest, was irrelevant since Mr. Sykes had noted the recorder during a previous burglary but been too heavily loaded to remove it at that time. In any case Mr. Thomas must have been aware of the attractiveness of such devices since they had been among the items taken on two of the six previous occasions when he had been burgled since taking up residence in Elterwater Drive in 1998.
      Commenting after the hearing, Martin Jones, Mr. Sykes’s solicitor, hailed the judgement as a welcome moral victory, but regretted that it would not materially benefit his client since the defendant was extremely unlikely to pay. It was however gratifying that Mr. Thomas had been committed to prison for contempt of court following an outburst in which he described the judgement as justice turned on its head. Moreover, there was an excellent prospect that Mr. Sykes’s conviction would be quashed on appeal, since under an EU directive Mr. Thomas’s surreptitiously marking the item to identify ownership could be construed as constituting entrapment.
      Donald Atkins, representing Mr. Thomas, confirmed that the damages and costs could not be paid, since Mr. Thomas’s business had been destroyed by vandalism and he had been personally bankrupted by damages awarded to another intruder who had injured himself on being startled by the sound of Mr. Thomas’s (now illegal) burglar alarm. Moreover an arson attack on his home had left him with demolition charges of £20,000 – the property was of course uninsurable – and in the circumstances he would be substantially better off in prison than anywhere else.

      • Nektarios says:

        Peter D. Wilson

        A parody too far perhaps? But you highlight, Peter, the injustice being meeted out on
        law abiding citizens with distortions of the Law or the spirit of a particular Law and its implemation in the Courts of Britain today. But has it not always been so in some form?

    • Rahner says:

      No one is forced to stay in Britain………you could always move to Greece.

      • Nektarios says:


        The worldly world is what it is whether one is in Britain or Greece or elsewhere and I have been in many parts of the world. It is the spirit of this worldly world that is wrong and destructive.
        Where the Creator God has placed me, useless servant that I am, is good enogh for me and right for me to work out my salvation with fear and trembling in.
        Moving is not an option, nor is it a solution…perhaps you have some solutions hmm?

  47. momangelica says:

    All these publications denounce SIN.
    No pussy footing allowing the wolf in to savage the little sheep.
    I support their strong stance as it is the loyal Catholic’s duty to do, it is an unchanging stance and direction of the (official) Church. No Tablet Mag fudging on all issues to accommodate a protestant mindset sneaking under the sheepfold.
    If we are wrong = a safer environment.
    If things continue = A decimated Church and polluted children / adults /society.
    Another Sodom and Gomorrah only worse because of technology and also because we have supped at the supper of the Lamb and more is asked of us as we have “heard the good news”
    The ones God will vomit from His mouth – remember.

  48. Vincent says:

    .momangelica, please don’t be too subtle. Why not speak plainly so that we know what you really think. I am unhappy with people who beat about the bush.

  49. momangelica says:

    Wikipedia was in the Encyclopedia Britannica league for it’s accuracy with regard to science subjects I believe but if you google “how accurate is wikipedia” you get a clearer picture and if you click very inaccurate

    I have a page from the Daily Telegraph in front of me .2010. 7th July, World news. page 13.
    “Hitler’s Pope ” saved thousand’ s of Jewish lives.
    My husband was lighting the evening fire tonight and there it was amongst the pile of papers…. ……There is a God. And He is on my side!!!

  50. John Nolan says:


    Before the 2010 General Election the Lib Dems proposed to reduce burglaries by compelling householders to install security devices (at their own expense, of course) . The absurdity of criminalizing the victims of crime does not seem to have occurred to them!


    I know you’re not the only one who does this, but to use the word ‘discrimination’ in a purely pejorative sense is making a word mean what you want it to mean. To discriminate is a basic human right – we do it all the time. Not to be discriminated against cannot per se be regarded as a right; If I apply for a job and don’t get it, or take a neighbour to court and lose, I am being discriminated against. Legislation to restrict free choice is always problematic and potentially dangerous. To discriminate against a person, ceteris paribus, on account of his race is unjust and I would have no problem with its being unlawful. Discrimination on the grounds of sex is perfectly legal under some circumstances – the Sex Discrimination Act exempted very small businesses, religious bodies and the armed forces.
    Consider the following scenario. A primary school is advertising for a deputy head teacher. All the other staff, including the head, are women, and the school wants to appoint a man, not because of some vague notion of ‘gender balance’, but because it is highly desirable that the boys in the school have a male role model. To advertise for a man would be illegal, so two candidates are shortlisted, one male and one female. The woman has the slight edge in terms of qualifications and experience, but the man gets the job since his sex in the circumstances counts as an important qualification. The woman then sues the school and the local authority for sex discrimination, which costs her nothing and the compensation she might get should she win would in all likelihood be considerable. Where would you stand on this?

    • John Candido says:

      I don’t see what you are banging on about JN. My dictionary lists four senses of meaning for the word ‘discrimination’. As you are well aware, one can use the word ‘discriminate’ or the word ‘discrimination’, in a number of ways. Very briefly, there is the ordinary sense of discriminating between two or more choices, which have nothing to do with being personal or doing any harm to anyone. You say that ‘not to be discriminated against cannot per se be regarded as a right’. This is correct in the sense where prejudice or malice is not used or intended.

      You also say that ‘legislation to restrict free choice is always problematic and potentially dangerous’. I would say that to allow others to legally and freely make prejudicial acts against those we don’t like or disagree with, is also problematic and potentially dangerous to the fabric of our society.

      The example of the school wishing to employ a male headmaster for male role modelling for the boys at school is interesting. You are giving a valid example of where the antidiscrimination legislation will possibly run into some of its limits. If the school has a genuine desire to employ a male rather than a female, for the reasons given, and a rival female also wants the job, we will probably come to a scenario where there is no legislative solution to this case.

      Will it be unjust if the male wins the job or will it be unjust if the female wins the job? Will the outcome be relatively consistent with the goals of antidiscrimination legislation and general common-sense, or will the legislation win, to the detriment of common-sense? How far can you split hairs in a legal case?

      I can imagine that sometimes there will not be a satisfactory outcome or answer. However, the intention and goal of antidiscrimination legislation is to bolster harmony, to use the natural goodwill of people, and to build on the fabric of our society. On the whole, I believe that antidiscrimination legislation does this task rather well in democratic societies, and these are worthwhile outcomes that are consistent with the Christian gospel.

      There is one thing that is vital in some of these circumstances, and that is that we must train and employ high quality judges, who will hear and rule in such cases. This is not a panacea but one way of constraining and limiting some of the cases that are difficult to resolve or administer. It is also a way of employing common-sense where legal hair-splitting is involved.

      I would personally favour the school in question to have the freedom to hire a male headmaster, for what I think are quite valid reasons, vis-à-vis having a male role model is important for boys. We know this is consistent with research on boys who grow up in fatherless households. So if I were a judge who has jurisdiction in such cases, I would rule that the school has a valid point and should be allowed to discriminate against the female applicant.

      We have all heard of the phrases ‘legal discrimination’ and ‘illegal discrimination’, where the law is applied in litigation and in any ratio decidendi. Why not loosely and informally adopt the convention of ‘positive discrimination’, where we are using our faculties to discriminate a quality restaurant, film, or book? And use the phrase ‘negative discrimination’, where we are potentially causing injury to people’s human dignity?

      • tim says:

        John, you are potentially causing injury to my human dignity by refusing to accept the validity of several of my arguments. This is your right, and long may it remains so. You use the term ‘discrimination’ to mean ‘unjust discrimination’. That is a possible use, but an exceptionally irritating one. It begs the vital question of what is just and what is unjust. In particular, it conflates the unjust with the illegal. You have form on that.

        Taking a different angle, I’m not sure that Advocatus Diaboli brings out the best in us. He may be acting in his client’s best interests, of course….

  51. John Nolan says:

    John Candido

    The term ‘positive discrimination’ normally refers to giving minority groups an unfair advantage (as was the case in the USA when blacks were given college places with lower grades than whites) and is very controversial.

    It isn’t so much the quality of the judges which is an issue, rather the quality of the legislators who see the law as a tool for social engineering, and are addicted to over-regulation in all walks of life.

    • John Candido says:

      I disagree with you on this matter. However, we can agree to disagree, can’t we?

      • John Nolan says:

        Indeed we can, JC, although it’s odd that those who stand for the rights of individuals vis-a-vis the State are now conservatives rather than liberals. The latter seem obsessed with the ‘rights’ and status of minority groups which they themselves have identified, to the detriment of individual liberty, which in truth is the only liberty we can really enjoy.

  52. st.joseph says:

    John Candido.

    I was not aware about the extremes that The Gay Liberation Network in their hate and intolerance to the Church and to heterosexuals can stoop to,until I read the web site Defend the Family that you posted above. Thank you for that.

    It seems to me that heterosexuals are the ones who ught to be defending their rights.
    What do the G L N they want?. It seems to me that they are the ones making all the fuss.
    They choose their life style as men and women who dont choose to marry.
    There are single women who feel it is their right to have a baby-through buying sperm And men who will use a donated egg.
    We defend our right to Marriage as a Sacrament. That is what it is.Not the writ spoken by Jesus in Scripture.

  53. John Nolan says:

    John Candido

    You may disagree with the contents of a published work and subject it to adverse criticism. You can point out inaccuracies, but need to have the contrary evidence to hand. You may even indulge in ad hominem attacks on the author(s) on the internet in the hope that they might sue you and allow you to pose as a martyr (They won’t and you aren’t!)
    To suggest that books you find offensive should be banned, and you come dangerously close to this, puts you in the same camp as those who burned Salman Rushdie’s ‘The Satanic Verses’ on the streets of Bradford. Heinrich Heine said you start by burning books and end up by burning people – his own works were banned by the Nazis.

    Reading your posts, and I am always interested in what you have to say, even though I don’t always agree with it, I cannot help coming to the conclusion that on certain subjects you are no longer capable of thinking clearly and have lost all sense of proportion. I would entreat you to re-read your previous posts objectively and ask yourself 1) would this be treated as a serious review by, say, the TLS or History Today, or does it sound more like a combox rant, and 2) would it help my argument if I cut down on the invective?

    And, although I have said this before, terms like ‘racist’, ‘sexist’ and ‘homophobic’ have lost any intellectual credibility they might once have had, since they have long since been hijacked by intolerant people in order to stigmatize and silence those with whose views they disagree.

    • John Candido says:

      Well I am going to eat humble pie after all. Mr. Scott Lively has replied to my email with this statement located below,

      ‘Mr. Candido,

      ‘I am an attorney and quite familar with the tort of defamation. It is the potential defendant who needs to consult the lawyer, BEFORE he publishes. If you think you’ve committed the offense of libel (written defamation) you should remove what you have written immediately. Once libel is in print, doing damage to the reputation of the plantiff you are liable.’

      Dr. Scott Lively, J.D., Th.D.

      As I have not consulted with any lawyer before I published my ad hominem attacks on both Dr. Scott Lively and Mr. Kevin E. Abrams on Secondsight, it would be extremely foolish to continue to uphold them publicly. Therefore I unreservedly and sincerely apologise to both Dr. Scott Lively and Mr. Kevin E. Abrams for my behaviour. I have resolved to strictly focus on academic criticisms of their text called, ‘The Pink Swastika’, and to never give offence by indulging in irrelevant ad hominem attacks from this point onwards.

      I would especially like to thank John Nolan for making me see some sense on this matter in the above post, and for Quentin de la Bedoyere’s assistance in removing the offending posts within ‘The Beam in the Eye’, on my request.

      • John Nolan says:

        John Candido

        The problem with this type of forum is that it allows instant publication, often subject to little or no moderation, and encourages point-scoring. It’s a bit like a conversation with a built-in delay which enables one to craft the witty rejoinder which would normally be “l’esprit de l’escalier”, at least until the autobiography is written! Everyone has bees in his or her bonnet, and I have often sounded off on topics which really needed more reflection on my part. It also encourages waspishness, of which I am also guilty. I think you are extraordinarily gracious in your above comments, as my waspishness is often directed against your comments (nothing personal, and I have had to accept put-downs myself!)

        As it is the first Sunday in Lent, I should be feeling suitably penitential, but it is difficult as the weather is abnormally spring-like and I attended Solemn Mass at the Birmingham Oratory this morning. They have recently replaced their Novus Ordo Latin Mass with the Usus Antiquior (1962 Missal), and no-one with any musical or liturgical sensibilities could regard it as anything other than an improvement. Lots of young people there, including altar boys as young as eight, who take the whole thing in their stride, as I did fifty years ago. I hope that those estranged from the Church might be drawn back through her liturgy – her true liturgy, that is, not the dog’s breakfast served up in most parishes, which is hardly likely to attract anyone.

      • st.joseph says:

        John Nolan. Regarding Holy Mass.
        My reply to you went up seven places above.
        How I dont know.!
        Sometimes I think I have gremlins in my lap-top!.

      • Quentin says:


        I agree with your remarks about John Candido. But I hesitate to accept what you say about moderation. I am the only person with the necessary access to moderate and I do so twice a day, seven days a week. It can often take a good deal of time, particularly when it requires editing a piece, and then informing the contributor. Recent events lost me my Sunday morning. Once problems start, meticulous accuracy, checking and re-checking has to take place. I have the Catholic Herald’s good name, and the good name of contributors, to protect.

        Of course I am open to criticism on the decisions which I make. It is as well to know that I am reluctant to censor comments unless I feel that to be absolutely necessary. But it will always be a matter of judgment, and therefore of opinion.

        The nature of the blog is in no way responsible for waspish comments or point-scoring. Those are the responsibility of the contributor. In fact I am very happy when a contributor learns through experience that waspish comments are counterproductive. And I am proud that we are able to have full and intelligent discussions on tricky subjects. There may be other blogs which do it as well, but I have not encountered them.

      • mike Horsnall says:

        The whole waspish thing is quite interesting. One of the very helpful things about this blog is that it is overall tolerant -yet doesn’t allow our natural unruliness to go unchecked for too long. I like that and agree that there is a learning of ‘protocol’ which goes on…even if that protocol is an applecart on occasion spectacularly overturned…

      • st.joseph says:

        John Nolan.

        A little Booklet ‘What every Catholic child should know about the Faith, by Daphne McLeod & Frederick Taylor 1992. 2nd edition Feb 1994, would have been a good starting point to bring children back to the Faith, when at the time there were so many Religious Education Books on the market, this one justified its existence.
        A summary of what Catholic primary school children ought to have known by the end of each year of their education teaching Revealed Truth.

        Sadlly our Bishops were happier to use your expression, and may I be forgiven for this,
        ‘A dogs breakfast’ served up in Catholc schools.

        It is not the Novus Ordo Mass that prevents them from practicing their faith.
        But those same Bishops,priests and teachers who misled our children in false doctrine.

        These are the things that ought to be given reflection on in Lent- 40 days in the desert reflecting on their disruption of our children souls.
        I believe that is our first reponsibility towards our Worship, then the rest will follow.

      • John Nolan says:

        I have replied, but for some reason it has appeared well up the page.

      • Quentin says:

        I haven’t investigated this particular one, but I imagine that it happens when it is part of a sequence of replies to an earlier post.

      • momangelica says:

        My reply to you has gone up higher John N.
        It’s eleven comments up. My fault I’m sure.

      • momangelica says:

        The graces coming from the first Sunday of Lent must be having a good effect.
        It was with shame that I recollected my contributions and waspishness (good word) responses this morning while at Mass.
        Apologies to those concerned.
        Today’s reading; which J.N would have had in his Missal.
        ” Brethren, We exhort you that you receive not the grace of God in vain……………Giving no offense to any man…….but in all things let us exhibit ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience ……”

        I made a vow for Lent to look at everything I key in as a reply with the eyes of the Mother of God and to try to answer in Her tender way.

        But can I be allowed to say to John N., that those words describing Holy Mass in O.R.
        “the dog’s breakfast served up in most parishes, which is hardly likely to attract anyone”.
        It is still God. Brought down to Earth at the Table / Altar.
        Jesus. Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. We are very fortunate to have access to the E.R. which is a purer offering than of the O.R.Sacrifice of the Mass.. We must pray for the Priests and offer our Masses up when we attend them.
        And again – sorry for any trouble caused to anyone by my recent contributions.

  54. momangelica says:

    John Candido.
    I wish you would get this worked up over the private abortion clinics taking young women in every ten -fifteen minutes as we see in a Bristol Marie Stopes. We know those women go in carrying babies and come out with empty wombs ( and hearts judging by the desolation on their faces and in their eyes) Mostly funded by taxes to add to the injury – not cheap! At least £400+ a time.
    These babies have no voice but ours but the homosexual lobby are, as my teacher used to say to whimpers ” big enough to sort it out yourselves.”
    Let me know what you wrote to Marie Stopes ,Bristol. They murder babies.,

  55. momangelica says:

    Oh! in the case that Mr. Scott Lively & Mr. Kevin E. Abrams, might be looking in.
    Hi guys!
    Thanks for your informative book.
    Interestingly, a short while after reading it (many years ago) a TV series of German film taken during the 2nd world war which showed the Brown Shirts with their idol Hitler and yes, he was practically salivating over them in a very strange way which did support your claims.

    When it came to light that Pope Benedict ran away from The Brown Shirts when he was placed in it as a boy make a lot of sense.

    Keep up the good work.

    • John Nolan says:

      Actually the young Joseph Ratzinger was compulsorily enrolled in the Hitlerjugend (HJ) although he did not attend any of its gatherings. The Brownshirts were the Sturmabteilung (SA). His war service was with an anti-aircraft unit defending the BMW plant in Munich and when the war ended he, along with many others, simply deserted. I suspect the film clip to which momangelica refers is the one which shows Hitler decorating HJ boys on 20 April 1945 (his 56th birthday) for their part in the defence of Berlin as the Soviet army rolled in. His strange manner can be accounted for by the fact that his health was wrecked, he had been awake all night, and had just been administered cocaine eye-drops.

      We seem to want our villains to be sexually deviant, and although Hitler’s attitude to sex might well be considered abnormal, particularly by modern-day standards, there is no evidence that he was homosexual. In fact, like most of his contemporaries, he disapproved of homosexuality, although for years he tolerated the notoriously homosexual Ernst Roehm as head of the SA, only eliminating him when he became a political threat.

  56. John Nolan says:

    FWIW, ‘The Pink Swastika’ (published 1995) is not a serious work of historical scholarship. It is a polemic, or to be more accurate, a counter-polemic; it is best understood in the American political context in which it was written, and attempts by the ‘gay’ lobby at the time (through books like ‘The Pink Triangle’) to claim victim status by comparing their sufferings to the Holocaust – historically absurd and in extremely poor taste.

    Lively and Abrams have done some research using secondary sources, but they are too selective in their use of evidence, and what evidence they do use does not really justify some of their conclusions. So what? We are all capable of trawling history to support our preconceived ideas, myself included. I remember once rather patronizingly accusing John Candido of viewing history as ‘a convenient pile of brickbats to be hurled at an Aunt Sally of his own making’ .

    Motes and beams, indeed.

    • st.joseph says:

      John Candido.
      Can you tell me exactly what Gay rights are fighting for.
      Dont give me any long big words to explain ,just simple language please.
      What do you ‘want’ for homosexuals, that they haven’t already got!
      I would like to know why it concerns you so much. and why? Please.

  57. st.joseph says:

    Are you speaking about Holy Mass in the ‘way’it is celebrated,or in the Rite.
    The Mass is more important than the Rite!

  58. mike Horsnall says:

    John Nolan,

    “Feeling suitably penitential”
    I’ve just come back from a weekend retreat with the Redemptorists. During a short sermon it was mentioned, almost as a footnote, that we might be trying some small spiritual exercise of the will in order to prepare us for ‘the time of our trial’ An hour or so after we all gathered in the rereation room for a ‘small glass of something’ before lunch as their sunday habit. I downed a glass of Boddingtons and chatted with a Priest and a Religious about the tonal difficulties of African tribal languages. The day was lovely anf the atmosphere mildly celebratory….

    I’ve alway had problems that we should feel ‘suitably..’ anything at all!

  59. John Nolan says:

    Quentin, I was making a generalization about the internet, and not referring to this blog, which I know to carefully moderated. Presumably this is why trolls and loonies avoid it! For comparison, look at Damian Thompson’s combox!

  60. mike Horsnall says:

    John Nolan,

    “Feeling suitably penitential”

    I’ve just come back from a weekend retreat with the Redemptorists. During a short sermon it was mentioned, almost as a footnote, that we might be trying some small spiritual exercise of the will in order to prepare us for ‘the time of our trial’ An hour or so afterwards we all gathered in the recreation room for a ‘small glass of something’ before lunch as is the sunday habit at Hawkstone. I downed a glass of Boddingtons and chatted with a Priest and a Religious about the tonal difficulties of African tribal languages. The day was lovely and the atmosphere mildly celebratory….

    I’ve always had problems that we should feel ‘suitably..’ anything at all!

    • st.joseph says:

      Pleased you are back Mike.
      I am not giving anything up for Lent.

      At my age now, I have already given everything up that I can!! Not always by choice!

  61. John Candido says:

    I have received a reply to my personal apology from Dr. Scott Lively, and I have reproduced it below.

    ‘Mr. Candido,

    ‘That was a mature and prudent response. If you do as you have stated, I will consider the matter closed.’

    ‘It is important to maintain civility in our public discourse. That standard has sadly been deteriorating over the recent decades to our collective detriment.’

    ‘If you have substantive criticism of The Pink Swastika I would be pleased to review it. I am in the process of drafting the 5th edition and will correct any truly factual errors that are show to be in the existing text.’


    Dr. Scott Lively’

    I would like to add my sincere gratitude and thanks for Dr. Scott Lively’s very gracious reply, in this entire matter. John Candido.

  62. John Nolan says:

    st.joseph and momangelica

    I am not an unreconstructed Tridentinist, and although my first choice would be the classic Roman Rite in its various uses (Tridentine, Dominican, Carthusian et al.) I also attend the Novus Ordo in both Latin and the vernacular, and am familiar with the Byzantine liturgy as celebrated in the Ukrainian Catholic Church, although my understanding of Slavonic languages is close to zilch. The liturgy involves us in something far beyond ourselves, something we shall never fully understand in this life. “Fratres, agnoscamus peccata nostra, ut apti simus ad sacra mysteria celebranda”; so begins the Mass in its newest form.

    Does the average parish Mass give any idea that ‘sacred mysteries’ are being celebrated? The congregation sit chatting like a theatre audience before curtain-up. The priest greets everyone informally before telling us what we are going to hear in the readings (he will then give a homily telling us what we have just heard in the readings.) Pray there won’t be any music, because it will consist of hymns or songs chosen from those recommended by whoever edited the hymnal and trite, repetitive, pop-derived attempts to set parts of the Ordinary which I would have been embarrassed to sing at junior school. Everyone will troop up to receive Communion (we live in a virtuous age where everyone imagines he or she is in a state of grace) and then proceed to handle the Sacred Species with far-from-clean fingers, having just previously glad-handed everyone in the vicinity. NB This manner of receiving Communion has no precedent in the entire history of Christendom, east or west.

    Granted, a lot of people like this sort of thing – it makes them feel good about themselves and celebrates the ‘community’ (in parts of the USA it is more or less obligatory to hold hands during the Our Father) – but a lot of people, myself included, don’t. Fortunately I am prepared to travel and am able to do so.

    • st.joseph says:

      I believe the re-ordering of the Sanctuary’ was the cause of irreverence and silence before Holy Mass
      I also believe that celebrating Holy Mass ought to be seen as a happy (not clappy) time worshiping God, a thanksgiving time for what The Lord did for us!
      We have to feel this when we go to Mass -that we do want to be there.
      There has to be a family atmosphere ,with young children,we are community after all.
      I like that on a sunday,I do find it peaceful in the week, where those who do ,can go and sit with Our Lord for a while in His Presence.
      The world is made up of those who are at different stages of their faith,and God only knows who is in the state of Grace,I am always thankful that the church is full on Sundays., even if there is a bit of noise from children.
      But I do know what you mean. Tolerance is a virtue.

  63. st.joseph says:

    John Nolan.
    It seems that my lap top is not the only one with the gremlins in it.
    Thank you for your comment way above
    I do appreciate what you are saying, the point I am trying make is that we ought not to judge Holy Mass by the language or Rite.

    I attend Mass in a Monastery near where I live.If I couldn’t I would go to Woodchester Priory,my parish church , I am thankful that I have a choice of 4 or more local church’s including Prinknash Abbey.All of which are celebrated with the greatest dignity and reverance reserved for the worship of God. There is a Latin Mass in 2 of them, no problem to me if that was where I had to go .I am happy with the Novus Ordo Mass .
    We have Terce, Vespers every day and sung Latin, most at times.
    Maybe you have been unfortunate to have met the priests, as I have in the past!!!!!! I dont think there are many of them left!!

    • John Nolan says:


      I think I am making the same point as you are regarding the Mass. Most people who attend Mass in a monastery come out saying “I wish it was like that in my parish”. Well, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be! Apart from everything else, bad liturgical practice is driving another wedge between us and the Orthodox. Perhaps it will be the monasteries who spearhead the re-sacralization of the liturgy, something which will take decades.

  64. momangelica says:

    J.N.’s Quote – Most people who attend Mass in a monastery come out saying “I wish it was like that in my parish”. Well, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be! Apart from everything else, bad liturgical practice is driving another wedge between us and the Orthodox. Perhaps it will be the monasteries who spearhead the re-sacralization of the liturgy, something which will take decades.

    Take heart! It is happening faster than you realize. One of my daughters,moved to Reading. After going around many Catholic churches; and for whatever reason they didn’t draw her, she eventually found the FSSP . It is supported by big families, and home schoolers. She was being fed! Young men and women belong to something within it called Juventutem and travel miles to attend it’s events . (She went out with one of the young men last year, we have just celebrated their wedding on 4th February, and to boot; he has never attended a mass in the O.R!!!)
    I have another daughter studying in London in the Southwark Diocese. She could trot along to the nearest church which I believe is Carmalite run. She was not drawn to the homilies, guitars and shabby music ( she was fortunate to attend a school where the choir master was a “legend” and it was elite to be in the church choir ) She told me last week that she travels to Westminster. In answer to my why? She said it was quieter and more meditative.
    The Lord is calling them John and they hear, His Church will survive.

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