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William Crawley | 15:25 UK time, Thursday, 1 September 2011

talktalk.jpgI don't often post an open thread, but some of you tell me it's a good idea because it lets you get stuff off your chest without throwing the direction of other threads. It also permits you to make suggestions about subjects we might give some more substantial space to on Will & Testament. Let's see. Expatiate at will (sorry about the pun). Keep it legal. The house rules still apply.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    Marie Stopes, the abortion 'pioneer', was a firm believer in racial purity and wrote love poetry to Adolf Hitler. She makes Enoch Powell look like Martin Luther King.

  • Comment number 2.

    @1.Theophane:
    Margaret Sanger had similar credentials.

  • Comment number 3.

    Theophane

    A lot of people born in the 19th century had abhorrent views on racial purity. Some might like to add her name to a prayer book, as happened to the name of prolific paedophile priest Brendan Smith.

    "Fr O'Hagan said the disgraced priest's name had not been added to the book by a member of the clergy."

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-14731580

  • Comment number 4.

    newlach;

    "A lot of people born in the 19th century had abhorrent views on racial purity."

    But not many wrote love poetry to Adolf Hitler.

  • Comment number 5.

    OK I'll bite, Tell me again the catholic method of birth control?

  • Comment number 6.

    Abstinence.

  • Comment number 7.

    ...but if you want more information paul-me-old-chum, try looking online.

  • Comment number 8.

    @Paul

    All the methods that don't work.

  • Comment number 9.

    @7
    Perhaps you could point me to the Biblical basis for this instead.

  • Comment number 10.

    Oh, and the Billings method, which is pretty effective, apparently. The woman examines her cervical discharge daily and puts it on a chart - not literally, I hasten to add.

    Jeebs, if this gets past the mods, I'll die.

  • Comment number 11.

    lol @Theo, the Catholic Church is such a wonderful advert for abstinence- 'Do as I say, not as I do...' You guys should practice what you preach, before you 'church' to others

  • Comment number 12.

    Ryan, many Catholics live chaste lives, just as many don't steal, lie or murder. The fact that others do commit sin is hardly extraordinary. Jesus warned us that there would be darnel as well as wheat, sheep as well as goats.

  • Comment number 13.

    @10. grokesx :
    As a woman, I find your post a bit disturbing.Is there a reason to think that describing a woman taking responsibility to understand her body's natural cycles is in poor taste or offensive to print? Why would the mods censor that?
    Here are some links re natural family planning. And again, this method is used successfully to plan conception as well as space children.

    https://www.nwfs.org/couples-a-singles/natural-family-planning.html


    https://old.usccb.org/prolife/issues/nfp/index.shtml

    https://www.creightonmodel.com/

  • Comment number 14.

    @3. newlach :
    I would imagine the greater sinner would be in greater need of prayers.

  • Comment number 15.

    You're a woman? On this website? Good grief. I thought it was just us geeks and occasionally that crazy Lucy person

  • Comment number 16.

    Mcc, poor goats! I don't think abstinence is a healthy goal, religious or otherwise. In the hands of the Catholic Church, it's destroyed their credibility in the area of sexual morality. However, the crux of the issue is the real life suffering inflicted on so many innocent young people- lives have been altered or destroyed while a clerical class struggled to live up to rules which are not demanded by the Bible. The Catholic requirement of celibacy is a sad example of the Catholic Church taking something that the Bible encourages, and transforming it into a requirement, in order to protect its own interests. And it has been the youngest, most vulnerable & unable to defend themselves who have suffered the most because of this

  • Comment number 17.

    Weekend Movie Recommendation:

    Millions (2004)
    (Directed by Danny Boyle-Slumdog Millionaire, etc.)

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0366777/

  • Comment number 18.

    @15mcc:

    "You're a woman? On this website? Good grief. I thought it was just us geeks and occasionally that crazy Lucy person"
    ***
    Is it a surprise??

  • Comment number 19.

    @16._Ryan_ :
    Eastern Rite Catholic priests can marry before ordination.Celibacy for Latin Rite priests is just a discipline, not dogma.It can change.And it's not about sex but about consecrating & giving oneself totally to God, the community, & a practical priority of duties.
    If you check out recent news articles about the US polygamist leader convicted of crimes against young girls, the married Atlanta,GA pastor who abused teenagers,& a sorry host of others, it's apparrent that celibacy wasn't the operating factor.

  • Comment number 20.

    A Quote for Friday:

    The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.
    --Abraham Lincoln

  • Comment number 21.

    mscracker,

    Maybe you can answer my question about the natural family planning method.

    Aren’t they taking control away from God, anyway, by only having intercourse at certain times and not having it at times when they feel like it? It’s controlling how many children they have and when. I could be mistaken, but methinks natural family planning is birth control.

  • Comment number 22.

    @mscracker

    I thought the wording conjured up an image that might not get past the mods - believe me I've had all sorts of innocuous stuff modded on here.

    Regarding natural family planning, I have used it myself and have three lovely kids to prove it.

  • Comment number 23.

    "...three lovely kids to prove it."

    Yup; sounds like successful family planning to me.

  • Comment number 24.

    @21 Marie:
    If you read through the links I've provided they should explain it far better than I can.My daughter is certified to teach NFP & I've studied it just a bit.What you are doing is to follow & observe the natural cycles of your body & then determining whether to plan for a child or postpone.Actually my daughter has non-Catholic couples as students.Many women could care les about religious prohibitions but are seeking natural ways to care for & take responsibility for themselves.

    @22 grokesx :
    I've had random things removed by the mods, too, that I've not understood the reasoning for.
    Congratulations on your three children & apologies if I misunderstood your post.I'm glad they let it through.

  • Comment number 25.

    So no biblical basis for catholic diktats on birth control?

  • Comment number 26.

    @25 paul james:
    Yes, but for a fuller understanding you might check out these
    papal encyclicals :
    "Humanae Vitae" ("Of Human Life"), "Casti Connubii" ("On Christian Marriage") , and "Familiaris Consortio" ("The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World")

  • Comment number 27.

    mscracker
    Thanks for that, as I suspected , life lived through Dogma.

  • Comment number 28.

    Hi Mscracker- re 19, abuse is something all societies have to cope with, it's how to minimize that risk which is the issue. It may be true there's no way to safeguard every vulnerable person, but the culture & celibacy rule of the Catholic Church has proven to amplify, rather than decrease the problem

  • Comment number 29.

    Mscracker - I just always presumed you were a man - my prejudice I suppose.

    Ryan - you don't believe in abstinence? What do you suggest for those of a paedophile orientation?

  • Comment number 30.

    paul james

    Humanae Vitae was not an "infallible" pronouncement so it allowed some "wiggle" room.

    "while contraception was, as the Pope affirmed, objectively wrong, there might be subjective circumstances which made it so venial a sin as scarcely to be worth worrying about, and certainly not a reason for ceasing to go to mass and Holy Communion. By this casuistry they (priests) accepted HV in principle while encouraging a tolerant and flexible approach to its enforcement in pastoral practice."

    For most Catholics, certainly in developed countries, contraception is the favoured method of birth control (I do not think the Vatican acknowledges this, however.)

  • Comment number 31.

    Hi MCC want to help us out here- biblical basis for catholic position on birth control?

  • Comment number 32.

    29, (chemical) castration- or as I said in May...

    Another solution is for Priests to become Eunachs. There's a book; The Manly Eunuch: Masculinity, Gender Ambiguity, and Christian Ideology in Late Antiquity

    And a quote relating to it

    "Let me begin with an exegetical problem: what did Jesus mean when he recommended to his followers that they "make themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven"? For most, the solution seems simple enough: self-castration here means avoidance of marriage, particularly, the sexual aspects of marriage. This is entirely possible, since the recommendation comes at the end of a lengthy set of problems related to marriage, problems troubling enough that one of the disciples pronounces in desperation: "Then surely it is better to avoid marriage altogether," which prompts Jesus' reply that:

    There are eunuchs born that way from their mother's womb, there are eunuchs made so by men and there are eunuchs who have made themselves that way for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can"



    Origen of Alexander 185 AD- 255 AD, a well known scholar & theologian of the early Church became a Eunach. It wasn't until the 5th century that self-castration subsided & the genderless ideal became merely metaphorical. It was only by the 12th Century that Ordination of Eunachs became prohibited by Church Law
  • Comment number 33.

    Well you could point to Onan in Genesis 38:9, but I'd prefer to go earlier in Genesis - the original plan God had for man, male and female, created in his likeness, the two becoming one. Fast forward to Jesus, his condemnation of lust, even in the heart. Go read Blessed John Paul's Theology of the Body https://www.theologyofthebody.net/

  • Comment number 34.

    Cheers MCC, as I thought, no biblical basis for birth control whatsoever.

  • Comment number 35.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 36.

    32 Ryan

    I agree with you that mandatory "chemical castration" for paedophiles would be a step in the right direction. It is not a panacea and it is probably not inexpensive either, but it is one important tool in the box, so to speak. As things stand at present paedophiles released from jail are moved into unsuspecting communities and are monitored to some degree, but there are too many stories in the papers of them striking again. I do not know about Northern Ireland, but in England a small number of paedophiles are taking the necessary drugs that help modify their warped thinking - but it is on a strictly voluntary basis.

  • Comment number 37.

    paul james;

    "Cheers MCC, as I thought, no biblical basis for birth control whatsoever."

    And here was me thinking you'd be ready to embrace any suggestions that might be put forward. (Any Americans visiting this blog ought to be warned that sarcasm is, like it or not, deeply ingrained in the everyday conversational English that we use on this side of the Atlantic.)

  • Comment number 38.

    Newlach

    I agree with you that mandatory "chemical castration" for paedophiles would be a step in the right direction. It is not a panacea and it is probably not inexpensive either, but it is one important tool in the box, so to speak.

    When you say this, do you mean adults who are sexually attracted to children or adults who have been convicted of a crime?

  • Comment number 39.

    Andrew

    Mandatory "chemical castration" would only be for those convicted of a crime concerned with paedophilia or, perhaps, some other category of sex offence. If a paedophile with no relevant criminal conviction requested the treatment it could also be made available to him.

    The treatment takes one of two forms: drugs that lower testosterone and drugs that work on the mind. The latter includes the well-known drug used in the treatment of depression, P****c (no product placement here).

  • Comment number 40.

    @37
    To be clear for any visiting Americans, just giving my catholic chums a fair chance to point me to where in the bible god supports their position on birth control.
    Responses so far " errrrr not sure myself but I'm sure the pope knows...."

  • Comment number 41.

    I find my myself surprised by the openminded debate on Sean Hannity's thread- 'The only path to God?' Seemingly the consensus of opinion is 'No', there are many paths to God, (organised) religion not being a requisite.
    Here are some comments-

    I understand. And I can't help feeling pity for those poor souls who have chosen to shoulder such a burdensome belief that most of humanity - their friends, relatives, and loved ones- will be burning in hell forever for believing the wrong thing. The sorrow and grief these believers must be bearing every day must be close to being overpowering. I have to respect their strenght at being able too soldier on if the face of such sorrow and mourning.

    This does not get rid of the problem, as such a rejection will still be largely based upon your time and place of birth.

    Look at it this way. First thing in the morning, someone who works at a store or business must go unlock and open the door before any customers can enter. If this person doesn't do this task, no one may enter. However, it is not necessary for anyone to know, believe in, or have a relationship with the person who unlocked the door. They just have to follow the path to the open door. And there are many ways to get to the store. If someone does know the person who unlocks the door, it might be easier for them to find their way to the door because of information or advice this person can give them. But it's not impossible for other people who don't know him to find the way

    My religion is not the only path to God.
    There are many, many, many paths to God, many of which aren't even religions
  • Comment number 42.

    This is an interesting article- Endangered species set for stem cell rescue

  • Comment number 43.

    I've just been having a 'debate' on another blog, and it has been drawn to my attention that apparently all these child abuse cases involving the Catholic Church are actually all the fault of the Irish, being influenced by their own violent culture (but the Irish are actually not really to blame, 'cos it's the evil English who repressed and traumatised them!). And this is even true concerning the cases in America.

    Sheesh!! I never realised that!

    I mean, phew, what a relief for the Catholic Church. So whenever Catholic priests do anything wrong, just blame the evil Irish influence that has infiltrated the Church (and by extension those nasty English).

    As someone of Anglo-Irish heritage, it must therefore be all my fault then! Oh, I am soooooo sorry!!!

    (/ bang head against wall in total despair!)

    You will notice that Damian Thompson's article begins by considering that the Church was partly to blame. Don't be fooled by the title of the article. He systematically shifts the blame almost entirely to the Irish side by the end of his "argument".

  • Comment number 44.

    Thanks for that link Ryan. As a science enthusiast and concerned wildlife admirer, I think that is way cool. :)

  • Comment number 45.

    A chance to get things off one's chest! wow.

    Something that I have been struggling with for some time can be summed up in this expression 'What is the point in being Protestant if one is not saved, if the protestant does not have a personal relationship with Christ"

    Surely the unsaved protestant is going to the same destiny as the unsaved catholic!

    My deliberations started with an uproar when a local politician and member of the Orange Institution attended the catholic service for a murdered police man. you may remember it.

    Leading Churchmen Clerics etc were loud in their opposition stating that no protestant should attend a catholic mass. But if the protestant is unsaved what difference does it make where he/she goes? I cannot see the logic in that argument.

    Is being 'Protestant' a 'Political' statement rather than a 'Faith' statement?

  • Comment number 46.

    Gerry,

    maybe it would help to solve your dilemma if instead of seeing Catholics or Protestants you started to see people, people with names. And at funerals, people who are suffering so badly that they can hardly stand the pain.

  • Comment number 47.

    Another thing I would like off my chest is this question!

    What is the point in being 'saved' in this life, if one is not going to inherit eternal life in the next life? being in a state that I call 'career christian'

    A multi choice question I ask of anyone delivering a religious tract to me is as follows: What must I do to inherit eternal Life?

    A. Take out a good insurance policy and hope for the best

    B. Live a good life in poverty and carry a cross

    C. Do good to everyone and think ill of no one

    D. Repent of your sins and be born again

    Not one single person yet who professes to be a born again christian of whom I have asked the question has answered it correctly. And I know what the correct answer is, for the Question was asked of Christ and I know what His reply was.

    Amazing so many Born Again Christians do not know the answer!!

  • Comment number 48.

    @romejellybeen

    I do, I don't have a problem with the identities nor the need for these, my question is aimed at those who have that problem.

  • Comment number 49.

    27.At 20:59 2nd Sep 2011, paul james wrote:
    mscracker
    Thanks for that, as I suspected , life lived through Dogma.
    ***
    Have you actually read through all those encyclicals? If so,you've done a far better job than I.
    Below is a link to Humanae Vitae. You can see the references to scripture in the notes:
    https://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html

  • Comment number 50.

    I saw this little boy's mother on TV last night.She suffers from MDA & lost 4 children to the same disability.To hear her story & see her faith was an inspiration.And makes one forget all the day's petty trials.
    Her late son's cause for canonization has begun:

    "Mattie J.T. Stepanek, a well-respected poet and peace activist, lived a life that was brief in length but powerfully blessed with depth. Born on July 17, 1990, Mattie began creating and sharing “Heartsongs” at the young age of 3. He explained that Heartsongs are “gifts that reflect each person’s unique reason for being.” Mattie ultimately published six collections of his “Heartsongs” poetry books and one collection of “Just Peace” essays and e-mail correspondence between Mattie and Former President Jimmy Carter. All seven of Mattie’s books became New York Times Bestsellers and touched millions of lives around the world. "
    Link & Full Text Below:

    https://www.mattieonline.com/T_aboutMattie.htm

  • Comment number 51.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 52.

    51. Oh, shoot. I hope this one gets through --

    49. mscracker,

    Thanks for the link. There's a lot in there.

    For the nutshell answer, see sections 16 and 17.

  • Comment number 53.

    I mean, I think mscracker answered my post 21 question, in post 49's link.

    I didn't have anything to say about the subject being scriptural.

  • Comment number 54.

    It's refreshing- uplifting to know, that while humankind is often caught up enduring the trials on this planet, we have the confidence & resourcefulness to set our sights on the exploration of other planets- Smart UK navigation system for Mars rover

  • Comment number 55.

    mscracker@49
    Nope, still can't find it, please indulge me and give me the scriptural reference that catholics base their aversion to birth control on, (not being a footnote referencing the personal views of a particular pope.)

  • Comment number 56.

    @55. paul james:
    Catholics do not rely on Sacred Scripture alone but on Sacred Tradition as well.Obviously, Gen. 38:8–10 has been used by many Christians including Martin Luther & John Wesley, but it's more than that.As I think you might guess.
    There is no verse in the Bible "Thou shalt not contracept." But there are many scriptural references in those encyclicals.Most-or all- in Humane Vitae are from the New Testament.
    As far as I know, there is also no verse in the Bible with the word "Trinity", but that is a fundamental part of our faith.Scripture is grand, but Catholics do not go by "Sola Scriptura." (And If I recall, I don't think there is a verse for that either.)But that's another subject & I'm sure there are posters far more qualified than I to comment.
    Below is a link you might find useful for more info:

    https://www.catholic.com/library/Birth_Control.asp

    Here's another re Humanae Vitae:

    https://www.firstthings.com/article/2008/07/002-the-vindication-of-ihumanae-vitaei-28

  • Comment number 57.

    No great surprise at news that MP Nadine Dorries' amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill, which sought to strip the abortion industry of its counselling role (since the NHS pays them for each abortion they carry out), has been defeated. One may hope however that Dorries is right when she says:

    "...she had only pushed the issue to the vote because many MPs backing her had wanted to publicly declare their stance on the issue and the "spirit" of her amendment would be taken forward by the government."

    Otherwise it looks as though the Deputy Prime Minister has got the Prime Minister well and truly by the "Shadow Chancellors".

  • Comment number 58.

    mscracker
    Sorry for wittering on but my first post on this thread was only a speculative Garyowen which I assumed would be met with a resounding "thou shalt not" or at the very least Jesus/Paul/Psalms say...... but apparently this cornerstone for the Catholic church is based on the speculations of those who would not only interpolate scripture for their own purposes but to be so arrogant (and delusional) that they would claim to know the mind of god.

  • Comment number 59.

    I came across this study- Attitudes to Difference - 'Young people’s attitudes to -and experiences of- contact with people from different minority ethnic and migrant communities in Northern Ireland'.
    In the report it strikes me as shocking that respondents to the statement-"There is a lot of hatred towards foreign workers coming into Northern Ireland"- 70% of non minority kids agreed, compared to only 47% of minority kids who'd picked up on this hatred.
    Rather ironic then, when another question asks- "Do you think you will you stay in Northern Ireland or will you leave at some point?" To which only 46% of non-minority kids replied by saying they'd stay in Northern Ireland, which would in effect make the remainder 'foreign' elsewhere.

    The other surprising figure was the discrepancy between perception & reality to this question- "which one, in your opinion, comes closest to the actual percentage of people from minority ethnic groups currently living in Northern Ireland?" "About one-quarter (24 per cent) of respondents grossly over-exaggerate the numbers, saying that more than one in five people in Northern Ireland belongs to a minority ethnic group".

    It made me question how the answers would differ from the school I attended -a multicultural mix of pupils from not only Christian white backgrounds but Chinese, Japanese, Korean, South Asian ( Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, etc) African, Afro-Caribbean, Arab, Jew, even Parsi parentage! And being a mix of 'nationalities' myself- Irish, Welsh, American, Norwegian & English changes the way I interpret society here- which is almost universally Christian & monocultural in the same way as.. let's say- Jamaica. N.I reminds me alot of Jamaica & the similarities run deep. In Jamaica, "the root cause of the unceasing cycle of violence in Kingston isn't drugs but sectarianism stoked by politicians"- from the ruling Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) and the opposition People’s National Party (PNP). In the '70s, both parties armed inner-city communities loyal to them against other neighbourhoods known as "garrisons".

    To quote an article a few months back in Prospect Magazine...

    “I suppose the only place you could equate it to, with the violence, would be Northern Ireland,” says assistant police commissioner Justin Felice, head of the Jamaican police’s anti-corruption bureau. He was appointed after a spell in the police ombudsman’s office in Northern Ireland, where he helped to reform the police into a force that reflected both Catholic and Protestant communities. Jamaica’s similarities to Northern Ireland are startling—right down to the parties’ colours. “I arrived here on election day in 2007 and all these orange and green flags are flying,” recalls Felice. “I thought: have they got those up for me? And then I heard gunshots ringing out.”

    The N.I study gives markers as to how society here maintains its dysfunction & fractured nature generation after generation. Thinking back to school, a friend, whose dad was British Consular General to a city in the U.S asked me round for dinner one night. I remember wanting to ask whether he thought Patton should give UK passports/visas to Hong Kong Chinese to settle in N.I (this was pre-handover)- That it could help dilute the volatile culture in N.I-(with its tendency to scapegoat/sacrifice & its susceptibility to memetic behaviour)- that perhaps it would shock the culture into reset- Ultimately, I was too shy to ask & engage his dad on the subject, but I do wonder how different culture in N.I would be had it been possible to implement & a few hundred thousand Hong Kong Chinese had moved across. In retrospect, it could have offered this region strong cultural & business ties with China as well as acting as an interlocutor.

    On a different note, perhaps the UK government should consider making Northern Ireland a processing point to take a larger quota of immigration applicants. Make N.I work harder for all those UK subsidies it gets over & above every other region, as well as acclimatise it to the diversity of culture outside rather than indulge its closed, insular mindset.
    The island of Ireland has done well riding off the back of Empire- its people able to set up home & make a living all over the world, in particular the US, Canada, NZ, Australia, Sth Africa, even the Caribbean!
  • Comment number 60.

    58.At 17:37 7th Sep 2011, paul james wrote:
    mscracker
    Sorry for wittering on but my first post on this thread was only a speculative Garyowen which I assumed would be met with a resounding "thou shalt not" or at the very least Jesus/Paul/Psalms say...... but apparently this cornerstone for the Catholic church is based on the speculations of those who would not only interpolate scripture for their own purposes but to be so arrogant (and delusional) that they would claim to know the mind of god."
    **
    Well, I guess you might chalk it up to a long line of other delusional Catholic thinking which tends to be formed along the same precepts.
    But each faith tradition must appear a bit delusional to others at times.
    I try to look at other denominations at least with good will, if not with understanding.

  • Comment number 61.

    @60
    Sorry but any understanding I have for your views on, for example, abortion, are completely undermined by your abdication of personal responsibility to the concept of "sacred tradition."

  • Comment number 62.

    Without interfering, I want to insert my take on it:

    I think the Catholic Church teaches a collaboration between people and God. (No doubt this blog has debated predestination vs. free will.) The God part of the collaboration would be whatever an individual or group thinks is being said via scripture or nature, OR perhaps more-likely whatever the church says is being said via scripture or nature…. Anyway, IMO, Birth falls into the category of God, or nature, and Catholic Birth Control (aka NFP) falls into the category of the human part of the collaboration (between the couple and God).

    What are the scriptural references for human collaboration with God? I’m guessing there’re a-plenty. And they might add up to the original explanation for the existence of various denominations and religions.

  • Comment number 63.

    61.At 20:15 7th Sep 2011, paul james wrote:
    @60
    Sorry but any understanding I have for your views on, for example, abortion, are completely undermined by your abdication of personal responsibility to the concept of "sacred tradition."
    ***
    Quite understandable.Some folks would say the same thing as relates to Sacred Scripture if coming from a different tradition or philosophy.
    Living in the Southern US,I've actually known many more non-Catholic friends & have learned to try & view things from their perspective,too.I think we have more in common than not.

  • Comment number 64.

    mscracker

    PS
    Thanks to your first link @56 I am dismayed to find myself on the same side as Sean Hannity!

  • Comment number 65.

    @64. paul james:
    You see, you never know.Strange things happen.
    Occasionally I find myself in agreement with the oddest people.
    A sad thing is that the priest who took Sean Hannity to task on contraception later admitted to having an affair with a woman & lost his position at the pro-life organization he headed.Cynics might say those who protest the loudest have the most issues.Others that Satan works hardest on those who pose the greater threat.I'd bet on lonlieness & weakened human nature.

  • Comment number 66.

    Dr Tafforeau's technique using synchrotron X-rays reveals fossilised specimens in "striking detail". New analyses has been published in Science of well preserved fossil remains belonging to hominid A. sediba. "The emerging picture is one that places A. sediba close to the ancestral path that led to our own species"- Hi-tech scans reveal brain of human ancestor

    "A. sediba is remarkably transitional; maybe one of the most beautiful transitional fossils of a mammal that we've ever discovered and it just happens to be in our lineage," says co-author Professor Lee Berger, from the University of Witwatersrand.

    "That's very exciting for evolutionary science as a whole."

  • Comment number 67.

    Saint for September 9th:
    St. Peter Claver
    (1581-1654)
    "As soon as a slave ship entered the port, Peter Claver moved into its infested hold to minister to the ill-treated and exhausted passengers. After the slaves were herded out of the ship like chained animals and shut up in nearby yards to be gazed at by the crowds, Claver plunged in among them with medicines, food, bread, brandy, lemons and tobacco. With the help of interpreters he gave basic instructions and assured his brothers and sisters of their human dignity and God's saving love. During the 40 years of his ministry, Claver instructed and baptized an estimated 300,000 slaves. "
    Full Text in Link below:



    https://www.americancatholic.org/features/saints/saint.aspx?id=1133

  • Comment number 68.

    Thx for that Mscracker, it was good to be reminded of human kindness for a change

  • Comment number 69.

    A Movie recommendation for the weekend:
    Funny & touching film. Really enjoyed watching this.

    The Band's Visit (2007) (Israel)

    Bikur Ha-Tizmoret (original title)
    "A band comprised of members of the Egyptian police force head to Israel to play at the inaugural ceremony of an Arab arts center, only to find themselves lost in the wrong town"

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1032856/

  • Comment number 70.

    I've been listening to "Walden" on audio CD. here's a link about Thoreau:

    "Henry David Thoreau was a complex man of many talents who worked hard to shape his craft and his life, seeing little difference between them. Born in 1817, one of his first memories was of staying awake at night "looking through the stars to see if I could see God behind them." One might say he never stopped looking into nature for ultimate Truth."

    https://www.vcu.edu/engweb/transcendentalism/authors/thoreau/

  • Comment number 71.

    Mscracker, Interesting you mention "looking through the stars... One might say he never stopped looking into nature for ultimate Truth." I was watching this BBC documentary last night: [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator] Everything & Nothing- Everything I remember thinking at the time you might like to know the pivotal role Henrietta Leavitt played in the development of Astronomy in the 20th Century & how her work was instrumental to Edwin Hubble in understanding the Universe

  • Comment number 72.

    It's an interesting documentary which you can find on You Tube, if you search for, as stated above, "BBC Everything & Nothing-Everything".

  • Comment number 73.

    @71 & 72 Ryan,
    Thank you Ryan. I'll try to look for it online & check out Henrietta Leavitt,too .Sounds interesting.
    Hope you enjoy your weekend. I think we'll actually see the sun this time around.Hope you get some sunshine, too.

  • Comment number 74.

    Hi mscracker,

    I wish I could barter some sunshine for some of that rain you had. Maybe it's over. I think some of that rain was meant to come to us, but pressure fronts are keeping it from Texas.

    I watch the deer coming out earlier in the day, and I heard that some mother deers are abandoning their fawns, because there isn’t enough green foliage or water. A couple of weeks ago, I was all: “Why doesn’t the city put water out for the animals?” Then I realized that we need our water for the people, and to put out fires. Tuesday night I was headed for one of the Masses for rain, and cars were lined up going into the Jewish center to pray for rain, too. Even my yoga instructors are talking about rain.

    A friend of mine who has Parkinson’s asked me if she should pray for help living with the disease or if she should pray to be healed (as if it was wrong to pray for what maybe God meant for her, or as if it is impossible to be healed). I said she could pray for both.

    I’m against suggestions that natural disasters, weather and disease are in any way punishment. Stuff just happens because we’re living on Earth. But I’m not against praying for help! :o)

  • Comment number 75.

  • Comment number 76.

    "Protestant clergyman addresses Sinn Fein conference"

    Big deal. I know someone who is a Catholic Rangers fan.

  • Comment number 77.

    A little disappointing to see the 'Venerable Beeb' appear to give credence to dopey conspiracy theories about 9/11. In today's article "9/11: Bin Laden death was important, says Blair", we have;

    "Bin Laden, widely thought to have been the 9/11 mastermind..."

    That's like saying;

    "Pablo Escobar, widely thought to have been involved in the drugs trade..."

  • Comment number 78.

    Conversation starter for this weekend:

    "Where were you when Shergar was stolen?"

  • Comment number 79.

    Theophane (@ 76) -

    "Protestant clergyman addresses Sinn Fein conference"

    Big deal. I know someone who is a Catholic Rangers fan.


    Yeah, you're probably right. It is a bit silly sharing news on the Will & Testament Open Thread. I don't know why people bother, frankly. I mean, considering that we all know (don't we?) that most Protestant clergyman are really really desperate to address the Sinn Fein conference (surely that's a proven fact!!), I don't really know why this is news. Just like the "The Pope is a Protestant" is news, and not worth sharing, since everybody knows that it's a self-evident truth!!

    (In other words, spare the petulance, Theophane).
  • Comment number 80.

    Actually LSV i didn't mean to seem petulant with that remark. It seems pretty clear to me that the Rev David Latimer was putting himself out on a limb by addressing that conference - inevitably some people within Protestant circles will take a dim view of it. But i believe that if people can see the 'absurdity' of sectarianism - when it really is absurd - it can help to heal the wounds, or rather the 'scar tissue' which still exists.

  • Comment number 81.

    In relation to post war America (which can apply to the West in general), the writer Marilyn French said-

    "The world had been through some terrible trauma & was trying to invent itself anew & it invented this perfect world where everybody was nice and everybody was well dressed & everybody was heterosexual & everybody had lots of children but at least 2, & there were no deviations and that was the legend- the sort of unspoken expectation- of course nobody lived up to it...Nobody- Nobody could.
    It was a dream many people found impossible to sustain.
    It was a terribly unhappy period & the movies did not help. Most of the movies of the 50s & 60s were about gender roles & they were insisting that men were this & women were that."

    In an effort to re-arrange society in the same order it had before the war, society snapped. The wars of the 20th century were so shattering they changed the West irrevocably
  • Comment number 82.

    OT - (post from p. 2 of the "Being Gay at Church" thread - not sure which number)

    As I wrote on the other thread, I cannot access page 2 of the "Gay" thread, and so I will put my response here.

    You ask;- "For goodness sake, what is the reason for this constant, unending, unremitting, unhealthy, voyeuristic obsession with people's private bedroom lives?!"

    I would ask you to address that question to Will
    - Why does he talk about it so much on air and on this blog?
    - Why does God talk about it so much
    - Why do you talk about it so much on these threads?


    Actually Will is presenting threads that, as far as I can see, seek to encourage acceptance of gay people in the church. That is rather different from obsessing about their sexual practices.

    You ask: Why does God talk about it so much?"

    Most of the biblical material on the subject of sexual immorality concerns heterosexuality, not homosexuality. The Bible says remarkably little about homosexuality.

    Why do I "talk about it so much"? I talk about a whole range of issues on this blog. You have been silent for many months, and then you appear when this "gay" issues pops up. Furthermore, my reason for talking about it is, I suspect, the same reason as Will's: to counteract those who seem obsessed with defining Christian morality in terms of sexuality (particularly the peripheral issue of homosexuality) to the almost exclusion of anything else. What about talking about violence, pride, abuse of money, blasphemy, unbelief...? The list goes on...

    I dont consider that the church has a right to legislation for people's but I do say it has a right to make its arguments heard as much as Will LSV or Ryan or Dave.


    Of course "the church" has the right to make its arguments. That is why I am sharing views on this, since I am a Christian and part of "the church".

    Are you views the only ones representative of the Christian church?

    to be continued...
  • Comment number 83.

    ...continued from post #82...

    You put the onus on the church to justify why it has ANY sexual ethics at all for its members. The onus is acutally on you to explain why you wouldnt, ro what your personal manifesto would be.


    Where have I said that there should be no sexual ethics? What I have been asking for is accurate and - most of all - CONSISTENT - biblical exegesis. Which is not a lot to ask, is it? More about this later.

    Even if the church accepts homosexual behaviour, what about sex outside of marriage? Are you going to affirm that gay sex should only happen within life long gay marriage?


    What about sexual immorality within marriage? More about that later.

    No, I get the vibe you have a neo pagan position on sexual ethics where almost anything goes....


    Well, I suggest you base your views on a well thought through understanding of Scripture, and not on "vibes". You base your view on "vibes" and then you have the sheer audacity to accuse me of "neo-paganism"!!! Sheesh. You really couldn't make that one up!

    In fact, this accusation is really quite scurrilous. In post #11 on the 'Gay thread' I wrote the following: "As a Christian I must admit that I struggle with this issue..."

    Isn't it interesting how you conveniently ignored that comment, and, because I am not prepared to jump on the anti-gay bandwagon you claim that I am encouraging sexual immorality in the church?! Perhaps some of us don't live our lives in a simplistic moral and religious dichotomy.

    to be continued...
  • Comment number 84.

    ...continued from post #83...

    There is onus on me to explain why the church believes the bible and historically has always believed what it said. The fig leaf of abstract hermeneutic pinpoint debates is a red herring.


    Of course, "the church" believes "the Bible" (or ought to). I have no disagreement with you there. And your point is?

    If you are really taking a hermeneutic stand, I am very eager to hear you justify such lifestyles for church members from the new testament.


    Who said I was trying to "justify" such "lifestyles"? Both are loaded terms. What I am speaking out against is hypocrisy. If the church has the right to condemn what you term "homosexual lifestyles" (whatever that means), then it has to earn the right by being consistent with other issues.

    to be continued...
  • Comment number 85.

    ...to be continued from post #84...

    Let me expand on this issue of hypocrisy...

    The starting point is how we define the term "homosexuality". We must remember that this is a nineteenth century category, and therefore unknown to the ancient world. Hence "Christian tradition", which you constantly appeal to (rather ironically, given your belief in the authority of the Bible), would have nothing to say about this.

    So what is "homosexuality"? It refers to a sexual orientation towards a member of the same sex.

    You talk about a "homosexual lifestyle". But a "lifestyle" would include far more than a few highly specific physical acts, wouldn't it? If two men, for example, refer to themselves as gays, live together, and proclaim that they are in an exceedingly close and intimate relationship with each other, they are doing nothing that is actually condemned by any injunction in the Bible. If so, could you please show me the verses that condemn "a close, intimate relationship between two members of the same sex"?

    In fact the Bible even sets forth an example of such a relationship, because the language used to describe the exceedingly close relationship between David and Jonathan could describe what, in modern parlance, could be termed a "homosexual" relationship (but without any reference to any particular "sexual" - i.e. physically penetrative - act). After all, two blokes, who are just "good mates" who do the ancient Jewish equivalent of having a pint every day "down the pub", is not consistent with the intense and intimate language used to describe this relationship. David and Jonathan made a solemn covenant with each other, professed their "love" for each other, and their love for each other was "better than the love of women".

    Now I accept that this relationship between David and Jonathan cannot be used to justify certain physical sexual acts, because there is no evidence whatsoever that these two men engaged in such practices. However, what this evidence does show clearly is that it is not wrong for two men (and by implication two women) to live together in a professedly intimate "love" relationship, supported by a solemn covenant with each other, and which could not possibly be compared to what we understand by the general use of the English word "friendship". David and Jonathan were clearly not just "good mates", but far more than that.

    to be continued...

  • Comment number 86.

    ...continued from post #85...

    So certainly if the term "homosexual" describes this kind of relationship from an emotional, psychological and social point of view, then the Bible clearly does not condemn it, but provides us with a precedent for it.

    Now I don't see how any Christian can dispute that.

    So therefore we come to those few verses of the Bible which touch on the issue of certain practices, which we associate with homosexuality. Since I have proven that the intense, intimate, covenant based, love relationship between two members of the same sex is affirmed in the Bible, it follows that the only conceivable scriptural condemnation of homosexuality concerns either certain physical acts or something else altogether.

    Now I am not going to attempt to spell out what these acts are (for fear of moderation), but I think you can work out what they are. They are penetrative acts other than the "normal" heterosexual one which can lead to procreation. Need I say any more?

    So there are a small range of physical acts which, according to this interpretation, are condemned in the Bible. These acts are described as being "against nature" (para phusin) - Romans 1:26. (The word translated "nature" can be interpreted differently, but I will assume this "physical" definition here, for the sake of my argument). Read Romans 1:26-27 and you cannot deny that these verses refer to particular actions - not a "lifestyle"!

    So if the Bible is condemning particular physical acts, because they are "against nature" - in other words, the reason for their condemnation is biological (they are an abuse of the biological structures of the human body) - then it follows logically that those same acts are condemned when performed by heterosexuals (which, of course, includes married couples)!

    to be continued...

  • Comment number 87.

    ...continued from post #86 ...

    There are three particular sexual acts which I am referring to, and two of these are actually recommended to evangelical married couples in one of the Christian sex manuals I happen to have read: A Touch of Love by John and Janet Houghton. The only proviso is that there has to be consent between husband and wife. The other penetrative act is frowned on, but more in terms of "it's not really wise" rather than "it's downright sinful". The other books on this subject from within the Christian world, which I have perused, seem to take a similar position.

    So here we have evidence that the Christian church is encouraging supposedly "sexually immoral acts" within marriage! If these particular acts are wrong when performed by homosexuals, then it follows that they are also wrong when performed by heterosexuals. Can you dispute that?

    Now this has very serious implications, in terms of moral consistency.

    A moral law has to be of universal applicability. It's no good enacting a moral law if it cannot be applied fairly, consistently and universally. If a moral law of the Bible, which is to be applied by the church to people's lives, says "it is wrong to perform certain sexual acts", then the church has a responsibility to apply that law with justice and consistency. The problem is that such a law cannot be applied in this way, and therefore it becomes invalid.

    to be continued...

  • Comment number 88.

    ...continued from post #87 ...

    What validity does a moral law have if it can only be applied to some people, but not all? What good is it if it's OK for some people to break that law, but not others?

    Heterosexual couples can protect their sexual lives from any kind of assumptions by outsiders by having recourse to their marriage certificate. Since they are married, it is assumed that they are living in a state of sexual morality. And so therefore their sexual actions cannot be policed by the church (which, of course, is a good thing!).

    But a homosexual couple has no such luxury, for obvious biological reasons. It is assumed that such a couple is sexually active (or they may admit that they are), and, of course, it is assumed that they must perform certain "unnatural" acts on each other by reason of being gay.

    So therefore it follows that it is easy to apply the prohibition on these forbidden sexual acts to a homosexual couple, but it is virtually impossible to apply the same prohibition to a heterosexual couple. Which means therefore that the prohibition is fundamentally discriminatory.

    If an active homosexual is barred from a position of leadership in the church, then so should a heterosexual who performs these forbidden acts. But how is anyone going to find out what the heterosexual gets up to in his or her bedroom?

    Can you see the point I am trying to make?

    So even if we accept that certain sexual acts are condemned by the Bible, this still leaves us with the serious practical problem of applicability. How can it be right in the eyes of God to enact a law which is discriminatory?

    to be continued...

  • Comment number 89.

    ...continued from post #88 ...

    Now I suppose someone may object by saying that the definition of "sexual immorality" in the Bible concerns not particular physical acts necessarily, but "who those acts are being performed with".

    Firstly, that interpretation does not cohere with Romans 1:26-27, which is speaking about particular acts which are "against nature". There is a particular reference to "phusis", from which we get our word "physical".

    Secondly, that interpretation defines sexual morality in social terms - in other words, it's not so much what you do to each other, but who you do it with. So if a man performs a certain controversial act on another man, that act is deemed to be wrong, but if a man performs the same physical act on his wife, then that's perfectly acceptable (or, at worst, it would be deemed to be "unwise" or "unhealthy", but not inherently sinful).

    This "social" definition of sexual immorality brings us into the domain of adultery - the concept which, more than any other, describes what the Bible terms "sexual immorality". "Adultery" is fundamentally a social sin. It undermines the sanctity of a covenant relationship, and it is not surprising that God uses the term to describe His people's rebellion against Him, and their turning to idolatry (to "other gods").

    If we define homosexuality as a form of "sexual immorality" according to this definition, then we would have to find a way to view it in terms of adultery. It is not clear how this is possible, unless a married man abandons his wife to enter into a sexual relationship with another man. What about people who claim to be born gay, have never had any desire for the opposite sex, have no intention of ever considering a relationship with the opposite sex? How can such people be "committing adultery", since they would not be undermining anyone's marriage?

    So that interpretation is also problematic.

    So we have a law - or moral injunction - which we cannot apply with justice or we have condemnation of something on the basis of a sin, to which it cannot apply.

    to be continued... (the next post is the last one ... honest!!)

  • Comment number 90.

    ...continued from post #89 ...

    This thus leads me to the conclusion that homosexuality is not a simple "cut and dried" moral issue that the Church can legislate on with a few simple injunctions. It is difficult, it is complex, and we need to seek God's wisdom when confronted with this reality. Most of all, we need to ask WHY "homosexuality" should be deemed to be a sin. The answer "because God says so" is not a satisfactory answer, considering that we are called to "seek understanding". Anyone can appeal to or attempt to enlist the support of the sovereignty of God to stifle proper debate and avoid complex questions. The sovereign God has actually called us to think, since we are made in His image and are not mere animals. Furthermore, since we need to think, we cannot just hand our minds over to the putative conclusions of previous generations.

    Perhaps a good starting point in our thinking is the concept of the "love of God". What about it....?

    I may be wrong, OT. If I am, then prove it to me. But I am certainly not going to admit that I am wrong through being bludgeoned with "Christian tradition" or other forms of religious pressure.

    ENDS.

  • Comment number 91.

    LSV

    You can get back into the "being gay in church" thread by going to the bottom right of the thread and opening the "last" page into a new window rather than just clicking on it.

    I admit to being deliberately provocative to you in talking about neo pagan vibes; I cared enough about your opinion to provoke you into saying what you really thought as you appeared to be avoiding the issue. I think you still are to some extent.

    As for inconsistency and hypocrisy in the church, yes its real because the church is human and because we are all inconsistent and hypocritical at times if we are honest. We are all flesh and blood.

    I think my response to that would be, two wrongs will never make a right.

    Granted though, we need to speak with humility and grace, bearing in mind that no "straight" can be any more righteous in God's eyes than a gay person without the grace of God, in NT terms.

    The conduct of society at large and churces in sexual matters is hardly shining either, let's be honest. However, back to the topic of the thread.

    I do think ethical analysis of any homosexual "act" is a red herring though.

    I have been making this point to you repeatedly but you dont seem to have understood.


    Lets just start from the point that the NT teaches that sex should only take place in the context of marriage, ie not experimentally beforehand, not in serial monogamy, not in casual one night stands, not in "long term partnerships" etc etc etc.

    However in the LGBT community there has been an insignificant uptake of civil partnerships.

    Aside from the same sex aspect, there is insigificant uptake of formal, legal, open public lifetime committments between any two people in the LGBT community.

    SO before you get into details of the actual plumbing and the genders of the two people involved, the relationship norms in that community are not NT sanctioned for sexual relations.

    In NT terms all sex outside of lifetime, public, legal committment is "fornication" whether we indentify as gay or straight.

    Only if you accept that imo do you qualify to enter a debate about the sexual ethics of those within civil partnerships.

    fyi I will not be contributing much on this thread further as live calls.

    But I will look to see your response.

    OT

  • Comment number 92.

    Over 2500 words of closely reasoned argument spread over nine posts, and the response from OT? :

    "I cared enough about your opinion to provoke you into saying what you really thought as you appeared to be avoiding the issue. I think you still are to some extent."

    Don't waste my time again, OT. You have not made any effort to address the points that I raised, you are not serious about careful biblical exegesis and hermeneutics, and you have as good as admitted that you were just playing with me to get a response. You say that you "care about my opinion", and yet you are happy to dismiss my arguments as "a red herring" (no evidence given to support this opinion and then you have the sheer nerve to accuse me of "not understanding"!! Not understanding what exactly? I can't try and understand something if you don't bother to provide any argument!)

    And then to cap it all you refuse to even follow it up: "fyi I will not be contributing much on this thread further as live calls."

    Talk about a total lack of commitment to what you believe. If you really cared about this issue, you would be prepared to have a proper debate. But this is what you are like; you turn up on this blog, have your say, and then when challenged you slink off for months on end.

    And to finally add insult to injury you start attempting to lay down the terms to which I must comply in order to "qualify to enter a debate"!!!

    If I told you what I really think of you it wouldn't see the light of day. So I will just settle for a much more polite word: disgraceful.

  • Comment number 93.

    The only thing that springs to mind is the Capela dos Ossos. This is shown in the famous warning at the entrance- Nós ossos que aqui estamos pelos vossos esperamos "We bones, lying here, for yours we wait" Trust me when I believe in this OT :)

  • Comment number 94.

    Its sad but understandable to listen to all the "religious posters" on this blog doing their best to be liberal and politically correct. To read the justification of wrongdoing must make the atheist realise how spineless and boubtful you really are and hence strengthening their personal view. It appears that you dont stand up for what is right because you dont know what is right. You may all "struggle with the issue" or sit on the fence because you do not know the mind of God but you dont seek it, it seems. There has been a process of social acceptence that has been ongoing for some time and sure looks likely to continue. It appears that you apologists dont want to sound "unchristian" but by taking the view that many of you do, you are. Changing the status and acceptability of an act does not make wrong into right.

    If you really want to find out the mind of God on any subject the first thing you need to do is ask yourself the question, "What if everybody did this thing, would it promote God's plan or thwart it?" Then you should follow James' counsel in James 1:5-8 to find wisdom. I have and I know the mind of God on this subject. Maybe it's time you allowed God to teach you and not be, "Ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim.3:7). Read the verse in context and while you are at it read 2 Tim.2:16.

    Part of repentence is admission that we are offending God and therefore putting a wedge between ourselves and Him. If we justify ourselves in the slightest then we deny ourselves the relationship that God offers us. If we support others in thinking that their actions are not sinful then we do them a disservice. Deep down we all know that certain acts, states, relationships, etc. are wrong and we should encourage the wrongdoer to take responsibility for their actions and their standing with God. Similarly, we should not encourage justification by those who claim they we "were born that way". This is as untrue as any other of the lies that Satan has concocted. Man is made in the image of God. Can we argue that God is "that way"?

    If we claim to be Christian we need to think, speak and act like one or admit that we promote some other view. Only by being Christian can we be helpful to our brothers and sisters in this world.

    All it takes for wrongdoing to succeed is for good people to do nothing.

  • Comment number 95.

    The religiously, spiritually ill wish to redefine Love as a sin to those in society they reject. Love is not sin. The religiously psychotic won't win. Ever.
    They just torture, maim & disrupt society along the way to a cold grave. What's sinful is torturing innocent people who have alot of good to offer society. Humans, especially the religious, betray their primate origins all too often. The mob mentality of the religious fanatic wouldn't even be able accept a gay couple who are together as a symbol of their gentle, caring love in a hostile world even if their relationship may be completely celibate. It is enough for the religiously disturbed that they exist at all.
    It's pretty clear OT's frustrated & feeling caged by his own private life & lashing out at a target he feels justified in taking it. The desire to look into people's bedrooms & project a private imagination into the picture all too often manifests as a nauseating prurience, prying & sneering.
    The stupidity & sexual frustration of the religiously devout hypocrite: There is your sin. There is your wrongdoing. The good people are ex-clergy such as LSV & clergy such as Romejellybeen doing their best to untangle this web of deceit.


    Maybe we should take onboard the concept of Intrinsic finality, summarized by Thomas Aquinas:

    By the form which gives it its specific perfection, everything in nature has an inclination to its own operations and to its own end, which it reaches through these operations. Just as everything is, such also are its operations and its tendency to what is suitable to itself

  • Comment number 96.

    Jehovah's witnesses in the US-

    The persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses for their refusal to salute the flag became known as the "Flag-Salute Cases". Their refusal to salute the flag became considered as a test of the liberties for which the flag stands, namely the freedom to worship according to the dictates of one's own conscience. It was found that the United States, by making the flag salute compulsory in Minersville School District v. Gobitis (1940), was impinging upon the individual's right to worship as one chooses — a violation of the First Amendment Free Exercise Clause in the constitution. Justice Frankfurter, speaking in behalf of the 8-to-1 majority view against the Witnesses, stated that the interests of "inculcating patriotism was of sufficient importance to justify a relatively minor infringement on religious belief." The result of the ruling was a wave of persecution. Lillian Gobitas, the mother of the schoolchildren involved in the decision said, "It was like open season on Jehovah's Witnesses."

    The American Civil Liberties Union reported that by the end of 1940, "more than 1,500 Witnesses in the United States had been victimized in 335 separate attacks."Such attacks included beatings, being tarred and feathered, hanged, shot, maimed, and even castrated, as well as other acts of violence.

    Same story, different victim
  • Comment number 97.

    The Free Presbyterians will not be attending Greater Glengormley Churches' Community Forum https://soundofanalarm.blogspot.com/2011/09/why-free-presbyterian-church-wont-be_12.html

    Is anyone surprised or disappointed?

  • Comment number 98.

    puretruthseeker (@ 94) -

    You claim to know the will of God, but after your little rant, it's clear to me that this claim is spurious at best, and I won't express what it is at worst. You claim to have sought wisdom from God, and yet you refuse to obey the Word of God to seek understanding (Proverbs 4:7), and thereby engage with other people, who have the decency and integrity to raise important issues and are prepared (unlike you) to reason their case.

    Of course, it's obvious who you are referring to in your rant, because of your snide comment 'You may all "struggle with the issue", and yet you haven't got the honesty to tell us who you are attacking and accusing.

    As for questions of sexual morality, I don't suppose you have ever read that God built the nation of Israel on what was, strictly speaking, sexual immorality. The sons of Jacob, who gave their names to the tribes of Israel were the product of polygamy and adultery, since Jacob had two wives and also had sex with his wives' maidservants. So I assume that God must be terribly "liberal" and "politically incorrect" for people like you!

    And if you then perhaps retort that God was making the best of the reality of the situation, and turned a blind eye to cultural issues, then what do you think I am arguing for? I don't suppose you have ever heard of the concept of "mercy" have you? I don't suppose you have even bothered to read my arguments properly, since, like OT, you refuse to do the decent and godly thing and respond to the specific points I raised?

    to be continued...

  • Comment number 99.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 100.

    Ryan # 96

    You make very good points.

    Your speculation of what lies at the murky depth of OT's fixation makes sense.

    And when you say its a difficult task trying to untangle the web of deceit, PTS shows just how difficult that task is. They are impenetrable.

    LSV

    Didnae know you were an ex-clergyman. What happened, did you get kicked out for being too Christian?

 

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