Fox "friend," Gretchen Carlson, is an uber Christian warrior princess who is constantly outraged about how the forces of evil, secular darkness are trying to make life miserable for Christians. Gretch is in a constant state of righteous Christian indignation about the outrageous atheistic forces of "political correctness" that are trying to take Christ out of Christmas, crosses out of cemeteries, bible verses off of army gun sights, and prayer out of places where the Supreme Court says it shouldn't be. Yet, the former Miss America and decorated Christian soldier seems to have a problem with Sikhs whom she suggests are oversensitive about their religion. Oh, the irony! Oh, the hypocrisy!
Last December, in one of far too many Fox & Friends vignettes about the supposed attack on Christmas by those who seek not to offend those of other faiths, the asses on the curvy couch reported that a California school had "banned" poinsettias because they might offend non Christians. It turned out that the good Fox & Friends were telling sweet little lies. There was no ban. However, the school administrator said that they wanted to be respectful of all communities as the area had a diverse population. As an example, she cited the presence of a large Sikh community. Gretch, playing to the church of the perpetually outraged Christians, doubled down on the outrage by engaging in some tried and true scapegoating. Gretch claimed that the school's egregious offense to the spirit of Christmas was because of sensitivity towards Sikhs. With a look of total disdain, she shouted this: "One of the other rationales that the school administrator mentioned that the first Sikh temple in the west is located in their city so they didn't want to offend those people. The administrator mentioned the Sikh's as an example of why teachers should be sensitive about their decorations. "
Flash forward to January and Gretch is still annoyed about Sikhs. Last week (January 26th) she appeared on Bill O'Reilly's "Culture Warriors" segment. The topic was a lawsuit that was filed against Jay Leno over a comedy monologue satirizing Mitt Romney's wealth, in which he showed a photo of the Sikh Golden Temple, in Amritsar, as an example of the kind of home owned by Romney. The Indian American who filed the suit states that Leno's routine exposes Sikh's to ridicule in implying that the holiest place in The Sikh religion is owned by a non-Sikh. O'Reilly described the lawsuit as "dopey." In an ROFLMAO moment of gut busting irony he asked "are some people taking their religion, in America, too seriously...do some overdue it?" (Uh, kinda like the Fox News bogus "War on Christmas?) Margaret Hoover talked about "frivolous lawsuits."
After O'Reilly remarked that some folks go crazy if you tell a joke about their religion, Carlson admitted that she "defends Christianity" (Ya think!) but "that it's a fine line." She then launched into some possible Sikh bashing with her accusation that the Sikh litigant was doing this "to get attention" because "it's not a very well known religion across America." She added that more people "will hear about" the religion as a result of the publicity surrounding the suit. O'Reilly opined that folks need to lighten up. After Hoover spoke of how the suit is contrary to the principals of the Sikh religion which is tolerant, Gretch commented that when Fox & Friends "talked about a story that involved the Sikh religion, we get a ton of e-mail from people who are very passionate about that." Bill said that it's akin to the Muslims who don't want their religion insulted and that "we should be careful."
The Sikh "passion" that Gretch referenced was because they were "vilified and mocked" as "those people" who were helping to ruin Gretch's Christmas. Now she accuses a Sikh of filing a frivolous lawsuit because he "wants to get attention." When any persecuted Christian files a lawsuit, it's just fine and dandy; but if somebody from one of those religious "fringe" groups complains (and in the case of the California school, they didn't) fagetaboutit. Life would be so much better for Gretch without "those people."
Thanks and good idea. For us men the female perspective is always to be considered, or, as Winston Churchill put it “Behind every great man is an even greater woman!” I will also add that I will support PPHF’s 62% of services to women the day the stop practicing the other 28% of their immoral “services.” As for failed NFP you don’t understand what it is. Implied in your comment is that it is just another form of birth control which it is not. Natural Family Planning does not involve artificial barriers like condoms or IUD’s. Nor does it inject dangerous chemicals into a woman’s body. NFP requires only that a woman fully recognize her body’s biological function. It works with nature and not against it as artificial BC does therefore when NFP “fails” it treats the new life as a child and not as a disease to be cured. In fact the it I refer to here is actually two persons with a mind that can love so NFP is not a technological invention but a man and woman in relationship. NFP does not pit a man against a woman as birth control advocates like Planned Parenthood do. Nor does NFP teach children are undesirable even when an effort to space them is made. Furthermore NFP cannot fail because it uses human will to avoid procreation… in english this means the husband and wife agree to NOT have sexual intercourse (if a woman gets pregnant then she has given up use of NFP by definition). They exercise their wills rather than set them aside to depend on drugs or mechanisms. In order to use their wills they both must use have an intellect and exercise it thus they are acting as human beings rather than setting aside reason (intellect) and love (will) for the sake of pleasure! Simply put NFP does not demonize children, women or men but rather treats them all the same, as persons deserving of dignity that cannot be violated by using the other for a selfish end as all means of artificial BC inherently do. Again NFP is 100% moral, 100% safe and natural, and 100% effective. Birth control methods all fail, are immoral for the reasons I’ve laid out more than once here, and are invasive to the woman’s body especially when using chemicals (and unnatural to the man’s body when using a condom).
First off, let’s drop the radical feminist rhetoric concerning “unexpected” and “unwanted”… who in their right mind thinks that children are not the natural consequence of the sexual act! The very reason contraception is pushed in our society is so that women will be free of the burden of having children when they commit the sexual act. If you want to place blame on men do so correctly by insisting they should take part in the new life they helped bring into this world rather than placing the full burden on the women they impregnate. Prior to contraceptive technology women were faced with the burden of feeding and educating the child alone. The only change with technological intervention is that a woman can now end that burden by putting her child to death. The problem is there is a price to be paid conscience wise so modern women have given into radical feminist rhetoric that artificial means to prevent conception will avoid abortions only to find out the opposite is true… we have more abortions because we have more men and women with the mentality that children can be “unwanted.” Contraceptives we have today are a compromise from the original inception in that they have been reduced in potency due to the harm the drugs did to women while ingesting them is such high doses. The result is that modern contraceptives are “safer” in that they don’t harm a woman who takes them as much as prior, but this at the price of failing to prevent all conceptions from occuring. The result is the abortifacient quality of the drug where users have “mini-abortions” even without their knowledge (because the drug alters the euterin lining making it hostile to implantion). There are in addition those cases where the fetal child grows to the point of being noticed and hence abortion is the “last resort” alternative to the “unexpected/unwanted” child.
I come back to the reality that the human sexual act has as it’s primary purpose to generate new human life and so if a man or woman does not want children then don’t engage in sex! The equation of life is simple. Why would one expect a car not to move once the engine is started and the transmission is put in gear? Likewise why would a child be “unexpected” when a man and woman engage in a sexual act? This sad state of affairs in our society today is brought on by women who have given up their desire to live normally, according to their nature, and expect that the sexual act will do what it does. Women (and men) have thus been sold a bill of goods. They’ve been promised sexual pleasure without consequence if they use artificial BC but to do so requires they believe they are less human than they are. It’s for a woman to believe pleasure is to be desired over children (as you accuse me of). I say have all the sexual pleasure you want in the proper context of a loving dedicated monogamous lifelong relationship. I say if a man will not support you and your children dump him and find one who will! I say in the end if one lives a life of sexual pleasure alone with the burden of having any children they will regret it as they near death but cannot go back. I say pleasure is fleeting but relationships with other persons, especially spouse and children is not! We carry relationships into the next life if we carry anything at all.
You like Robert and Nicole set up a straw man only to knock it down because I have not said in any of my replies on this thread that pleasure is for men alone, women are machines for our pleasure. I’ve also made it plain that procreation and pleasure come together. I’ve made it clear that this is natural and to be desired and that it is the anti-life view of the radical feminists that pits new life against sexual pleasure. It is Playboy and Hustler that separates the two that should never be and seeks only after pleasure. For years women stood against these groups that exploited them for their body (and pleasure) but now women have not only bought into the pornographic anti-child anti-life mindset of these men (and women if you consider those like Margaret Sanger of PPHF) but go out of their way to participate. One only has to look at how many women now expose themselves in pornography (not just of Hugh Hefner or Larry Flynt but of their own private production called amature porn) to see they have given themselves over to that which the original feminists fought against. Nevertheless it has been the prolife movement as well as the Christian Church that undergirds it that has been demonized as against women. That same Church has always said women are not to be used or exploited by men like Hefner and Flynt or women like Sanger and Molly Yard, all who support abortion, contraception, pornography, homosexuality, prostitution to name but a few, but this seems to overlooked as you blame men overall.
As for the “rhythm method” or the “count and prayâ method” they have no bearing on NFP. These are foreign to Natural Family Planning’s method even though the former was an early attempt at finding a way to approach family planning naturally. If any of you actually looked into the real thing you’d realize all you are doing here is repeating rhetoric that our anti-life anti-woman anti-child anti-white male culture has taught you. If you want to argue honestly with me you at least need to understand my side in a way that I could agree that you do understand it. Until then you merely knock down not what I believe but what a culture bent on it’s own destruction insists you to believe. The sad thing is what you don’t know and understand does hurt you! By the way this idea that "fertilization window is a moveable feast " is true for the “rhythm method” as has been stated precisely because that METHOD did not work well. The method we have now involves using “basal body temperature, her cervical mucus, and her cervical position” (Wikipedia) as well as charting as indicators that are scientifically based, and so as you degrade NFP you degrade science. “NFP limits sexual intercourse to naturally infertile periods; portions of the menstrual cycle, during pregnancy, and after menopause.” (Wikipedia) Even if one attributes the degree of unknown to be what you three seem to say that still leaves 15 days of “fun and pleasure” where a woman cannot be impregnated and without dangerous estrogen based drug coctails. “NFP alters neither the fertility of the woman nor the fecundity of a particular sex act… NFP can be used to both avoid or achieve pregnancy.” (Wikipedia) A woman knows herself better as an effect of NFP and furthermore, a man knows her better because NFP by definition involves him in the process. Artificial means are meant to free men of any bother with the woman and as I said before still leave women with a whole host of undesirable side effects that are a sign of the brokeness of the contraceptive mentality. Ratjaws@aol.com
First off, I must apologize for not being clear enough in what I’ve said so that you misunderstand me. I will try to alleviate this in my subsequent comments. Second, you claim what I’ve said is “unprovable” and if this is true then all that you’ve said prior falls into that category too. This is because you say my argument “is not open to verification,” and by this you imply empirical proofs, that is validiation by experience. If I cannot do this then surely it holds true for you and every other human person bound by this same reality we all experience. If so then where are we? We’ve reached an impasse we cannot breach… one that involves the very act of communication I speak of, inherent in my argument against all forms of artificial BC. What also follows from this is that you claim I pass a judgment as if I am determining who will go to heaven and who will not. Of course I am making a judgment, to deny this I’d be disingenuous, but I am not making ultimate judgments. On the contrary, the kind I am making are ordered toward particular acts. I am saying these acts are disordered (contraceptive acts) according to the nature of what it means to be a person. In fact I’m not even looking at you or your husband or anyone else when I make these judgments because they are principled points (how could I since this is the first I’ve met you?), that is they general and overarching judgments about particular kinds of acts we can make being human as we are.
The point in all of this is that if you can tell me my view is wrong, null and void simply by discounting my ability to validate experiencial knowledge of the real world, then you too must fall under this same criteria and thus are also incapable of such knowledge. The fact remains this is not true for you… nor is it for me. We are both capable of experiencing the “fruit’s” of our actions and as such can judge them. We can also judge another person’s acts. Note here I do not necessarily mean judgment of their intentions, but rather that we can determine whether each act of another person conforms itself to the reality of this world we live in. We can do so by seeing each act’s consequences, and in fact, we are capable of predicting those consequences prior to the acts precisely because this universe has an order to it that does not change even though we might imagine it so. This is where we get our scientific laws and it is also why I can make these kinds of judgments that fall into the category of Natural Law.
Natural Law is not strictly about ultimate judgment, about where one goes in the next life, but is, as I said above, about consciousness of our acts and those of others. It is true that these acts in moral theology do pertain to ultimate judgment but we can speak of them prior to and out of context of the kind you claim I arrogantly make here. In simple terms Natural Law is the study of conscience and how we can even make judgments, and what they mean. I add that if we do not make judgments every moment of every day we not only attempt to live a dangerous life, but we are trying to avoid being human. Our very nature is to do such a thing… we seek to know and to make judgments, then act accordingly. This is what it means to be human. We act according to our judgments, hopefully our right judgments. As a matter of fact you must make a judgment to know I am judging. So if you try to convict me of some wrong for making judgments in general (apart from ultimate judgments) then you in turn make yourself a hippocrate who is not following the same standard you hold others too.
This said I come back to the topic of whether artificial BC is natural? It is not! That has been my point in all of what I’ve said. I have also stated that Natural Family Planning is natural as it’s name in fact implies. NFP is not a method like birth control technology is, rather it is simply a recognition of how a man and woman interact at the level of their biological nature. Undergirding this nature is the spiritual aspect in that it is the source of that very nature. So what we “do with our bodies” is done according to what we know… that is to how we correctly or incorrectly perceive nature. We must make judgments in order to know our natures as male and female and then act according to this knowledge. If we are right we have one consequence, if we are wrong we face another. So the point is not that you and your husband cannot have correct knowledge of when conception will occur if you are using artificial BC, rather that you did not get this knowledge from it’s use. As a woman introducing a chemical into your body (or using a device like an IUD or your husband using a condom) to prevent it from doing what it does naturally does not eradicate your understanding that if this chemical were not in your body it would be possible for you to conceive new life. On the contrary you either already knew this before use of that chemical or you learned it after and in spite of using it. You learned it from knowing your nature and that of your husband’s, the biological as well as the spiritual aspects. In fact this independence of knowledge and use of BC is proven by the fact that whenever you desire to have children you must get off of the pill in order to conceive since it’s nature is to interfere with the nature of the procreative act. If there were somehow a mysterious linkage between BC and knowledge of fertility, as you implicate, then not using it would make a couple ignorant. Yet this is certainly not the experienced case and as such makes my point. A couple who uses artificial means to some degree inhibits their knowledge of fertility (not eradicate). They must because the very act of interfering with the procreative act obscures it’s presence… by definition! On the other hand when a couple uses NFP they avoid artificial barriers, by definition, and as a result are closer to the act itself. Said another way they are free to experience what contraceptives avert.
Next you imply that I say those who use artificial BC are not in a “wonderful, loving, and strong marriage.” I do not! What I am saying is that if you are in this kind of relationship it is DESPITE your use of birth control methods. If you love your spouse you do so because you will too, not because you induce a chemical into your system that prevents conception. Love is primarily an act of our will and this is why I come down so hard on any means that interferes with the procreative act. Love is and must always be directed toward the good of the other person (and one can make the case it is also directed toward our own good) and as such artificial BC prevents a great good (new human life). Contraception is meant to thwart the procreative act from achieving it’s end and in doing so it is therefore an evil because conceiving new human life is not an evil. It can never be! Yet just look closely at the terminology used to describe why one should want to use birth control… that is “to prevent unwanted children.” What is not desired is so because it is seen as somehow being not good; as interfering with some thing else that is considered good. So all BC puts human life lower on the scale of goods than it should be. In fact all that we can do and enjoy as persons should be subservient to our personhood itself and whenever we turn this around, for whatever reason, we make some other lesser good such as a home, a car, education, a career or vacation, or whatever other material thing (or achievement) one can think of greater than the person these things are for. Things are meant to serve persons and not the other way around.
So while you may mistakenly think your use of contraceptives has brought you and your husband closer together the reality is it has not. It has hindered your communion so-to-speak. Note here the Latin: cum-, with + municare, union, or “union with;” to communicate oneself is to unite with and the sexual act is by it’s nature a communication of one person to another. It must because it is a barrier between him and you. In fact it pits children against the two of you and the things (good things) you might desire in that moment. It’s an attempt to put lesser goods ahead of the greater good of human life and love. That the two of you have progressed in your love for each other I do not dispute, but you have done so, again, despite your use of contraceptives. Nor would I deny your love for your children but I will say you have been limiting your love. The greatest good you can give your husband or children is other kids or siblings. With the barrier artificial BC puts physically between you and your husband comes a barrier between you and your children… as well as those you would have had had you not used it. And this barrier has consequences in that it is deliberate on your part. Your existing children have a sense of this and this same mentality that desires to prevent children, like them, in you both (because they are “unwanted”) manifests itself in your children when they come of child bearing age. They too must struggle with the effects of “not wanting” children, or any more children (remaining open), all of which is not natural (it’s to not love or to not desire children). To desire relationships is natural. To want more children is natural. To be and remain open to them with every procreative act is to be and remain perfectly natural. It is the essence of to love. To use contraceptives of any form is to be unnatural… it is to act against your nature to “be fruitful and multiply” to plagerize a phrase from the bible, it is to deny love and to refuse to love… in those particular acts.
What’s left if one chooses to use artificial BC? It is to put a wall up at those times during those acts leaving only the pleasure that results from the act itself. It’s to strip away the greater good… the sexual act itself, leaving the lesser… the pleasure. It’s like having the artificial taste of ice cream in a pill form while avoiding actually having an ice cream cone. When one strips away all the rhetoric of the anti-life movement one sees the primary reason for birth control is to indulge in one of the greatest human pleasures without the primary reason for that pleasure. To have children, to be open to them implies this act that gives pleasure but to turn this around by introducing a barrier that seeks to prevent conception is to be left with the pleasurable taste of food without the food. And to go without food even though one can taste it at ever meal is to kill oneself. Likewise for the human sexual act… to go without generating new human life is to enjoy the pleasure that comes from the act of sex but to kill the human race since one more person is being denied from coming into existence. If this is love it’s a lesser love. Thus, as I stated before we are loving the lesser good of sexual pleasure and avoiding the greater good of human life and it is a disorder because the greater we should desire above the lesser, especially knowing the greater good carries with it the lesser good.
So Alex, you should see now that what you perceive in me as “arrogance” is simply my recognition of reality as it is. You don’t fight against me… you fight against reality itself. You need not accept it but such denial does not change the reality. If you accept it you gain all that comes with it… including new life; that by the way, is all you can take to the next life with you. If you reject it then your husband and you will leave this life being less than you could have been. Less loving (not not loving), in less relationships, with more temporal pleasure that fades prior to the next life. Calling me names changes none of this that I lay out to you, which by the way, has been right in front of you all the time. I’m not telling you anything you cannot learn and experience for yourself. I’m just stating the obvious or what should be if the rhetoric in our culture were not so against human nature itself.
Anyhow thanks for your thought as many points were good and true. Ratjaws@aol.com
I think he forgot that sex is not just for a man’s pleasure, which to me shows that he truly does believe women are machines…. There to have sex with a man for his pleasure and there to suffer the consequences of having an unexpected child when their math is off. As for the efficiency of the pill… It’s about 99.9% when taken correctly, which is higher than any other type of contraception including the “count and pray” method (as I like to call it). And if you take into consideration not only the 7-10 day fertility period, which I true by the way, a human sperm can live inside a woman for up to 3 days… Which increases the fertility period to up to 2 weeks! And on a 28 day cycle that’s half! It’s unbelievable that having unexpected children is thought to be more approved by God than planned ones. Did I mention most of the side effects are actually beneficial to women? And the blood clots are generally only found in smokers and women over 35…
I agree. Sex aint just for procreation and pleasure ain’t just for men. Women are far more physiologically sophisticated then men and we actually have an organ designed by nature just for the fun of it. If women didn’t got something out of sex other than nine months of pregnancy, painful delivery, months of breast-feeding and years of child rearing our species would have died off long ago. Or they would have rendered all men eunuchs. The fertilization window is a moveable feast as well so the rhythm method doesn’t always work. To be fair neither do physical or hormonal birth control. The way I see it; the more there are of us the less there is for us.
>> Abortion services constitute only 3% of PP services. They do provide 1/4 of abortion services in the US.
>> 62% of PP’s services are NOT contraceptive or abortion related http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/what-planned-parenthood-actually-does/2011/04/06/AFhBPa2C_blog.html
>> I’d wager that some of those abortions are provided to women whose NFP failed. They would be among the forty-six percent of women who have abortions who had not used a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant (http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html)
“…insists on this “unwanted children” mentality because it cannot make money off people who have responsible attitudes concerning children"
Once again, your logic is completely faulty. Using NFP is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for laying claim to having a responsible attitude towards children on any level. There is no statistical nor valid philosophical / logical backup for that claim.
And…a conservative Roman Catholic apologist has the GALL to talk about who has a responsible attitude towards children? That would be funny if it wasn’t so sickening.
Again I ask you: who are YOU to say who has and has not a responsible attitude towards children and childbearing? Who are YOU to judge the quality of the marriages and family relationships of millions upon millions of people?
I write here not as an official representative of Newshounds but as a wife and mother.
I have been married for 25 years and we have used artificial contraception throughout our marriage. Contrary to your self-righteous portrayal of pill (and other bc) users, we, a pair of “sinful” artificial birth control users, have a wonderful, loving, and strong marriage.
You wrote, “This knowledge …has the added advantage of helping a couple to attain pregnancy knowing when pregnancy occurs and this contrasts with the ignorance of the BC method’s mindset.” Your arrogance is astonishing. It so happens we conceived our planned and deeply loved children in the full knowledge of EXACTLY when they were conceived, and in each instance it was a deeply spiritual experience because we had made a conscious decision to conceive. I could just as easily make the argument that the method you consider morally and spiritually superior is nothing more than two animals rutting because its the natural thing to do. Using NFP is not a necessary nor sufficient condition of a deeply emotionally, spiritually and sexually fulfilling relationship. Using birth control has never worked “contrary to a love that solidifies the two even in hard times” for us, and believe me, we have gone through hard times. On the other hand, I know a number of people whose marriages have fallen apart under the strain of having a number unplanned children thanks to “natural” birth control.
Your argument that a couple who uses NFP is more likely to be truly loving is not in any way open to verification – statistically or philosophically. It’s nothing more than smug self-righteous bullshit on your part. You should be ashamed of yourself for making such a wild, unprovable and insulting claim. Who are you to pass judgement about the quality of millions of other peoples’ marriages??!!
I appreciate your input on this subject and even though I am not an expert in the biological sciences I do believe the period a woman can become pregnant is a much smaller window than you indicate. Nevertheless, my point is that Natural Family Planning (NFP) provides an intimate understanding of a female’s biology on the part of both wife and husband. The two cooperate with each other in determining when to have children rather than depending upon a pill that alters the woman’s biological makeup with side effects that are neither wanted, nor necessary, and often times can be seriously dangerous. A most important question comes from this asking why do we as a culture steeped in the rhetoric of natural cures push an artificial interference when it comes to our sexual biological makeup?
Second, even if I accept your proposition that a woman’s fertile period extends a week to 10 days, this still means for two-thirds of a month she is not fertile. Thus NFP uses this knowledge not to avoid sexual intimacy, or interfere with the natural act itself, as do abortifacient drugs, but to free a man and woman to engage in their martial duty to each other as often as they desire within its constraints and this, even if they desire to avoid children at the moment. This knowedge as I have said has the added advantage of helping a couple to attain pregnancy knowing when pregnancy occurs and this contrasts with the ignorance of the BC method’s mindset.
NFP while being 100% moral (contrary to BC pills which are intrinsically evil because it seeks to change the purpose of human sexuality from it’s normal unitive/procreative meaning to sexual pleasure alone) is also 100% safe. That the introduction of chemicals into a woman’s system is dangerous is plainly known by reading the lengthy disclaimer that comes with BC pills provided by the manufacturer. In fact an awareness of the danger of blood clots has recently become publically discussed in relation to the pill (something like 20% to 30% greater likelihood with chemical contraceptive use). Not to mention that NFP when properly understood and used becomes 99.9% effective compared to the pill’s lesser effectiveness (your figure is an exaggeration).
This latter point comes not withstanding the fact that BC pills do nothing to contribute to the union of husband and wife, instead work contrary to a love that solidifies the two even in hard times. Neither can the pill change our horrific cultural attitude that children are “unwanted” interruptions to life as NFP does. The latter in supporting love between a man and woman also encourages openness to all children because this is ingrained in the method itself which relies upon an understanding of the nature of the human person. Your comment “to be sure” indicates you have this mindset where having children is secondary to other lesser purposes in life. This shows how powerful our culture is in distorting the idea that human goodness revolves around selfless love and not the selfish desire to control other persons. NFP does not seek to redefine what our human nature is nor does it distort our ultimate purpose.
Planned Parenthood (PPH), a major provider of contraceptives (and abortion when it fails), insists on this “unwanted children” mentality because it cannot make money off people who have responsible attitudes concerning children; nor from those who desire children and consider all else, a good job, a beautiful car and home, even health for the end of having them. So I strongly agree with you, Robert, that “woman are not machines” and find that this idea of PPH treats them as such by manipulating their bodily “mechanisms” in an effort to change their nature. Sadly unlike Catholic teaching which endorses the natural idea of person and family PPH seeks to prevent a woman’s biological function from functioning. Thus contraception is not just a mindset but a barrier meant to “turn off” a woman’s natural reproductive system in order that they not “breakdown” and have to face the “unwanted” consequences of child bearing. Therefore I disagree with your conclusion that women “do not respond” and in fact have been taught well to welcome being treated as a machine that needs to be “fixed” of it’s biological consequences. I know we normally use this language with animals when we spay or neuter them but sterilizing female persons with chemicals or knives is essentially the same… a fixing of the natural order in accordance with our selfish desire to be without children. If left to nature, as they should be, women would not be having “as many children as possible” but dealing with the same defects of nature as we do today and this is why we have reproductive medicine in the first place. In fact even if we did not have medical problems that hinder normal reproductive function there still is a natural limit to how many children a woman can conceive yet this is never brought out in the cultural debate. In the legitimate sense of the term “fix” we spend millions of dollars annually trying to repair and maximize fertility when children are wanted. So the question becomes why would we pollute a woman’s body with unnatural chemicals and mutilate her reproductive organs calling it medicine? The truth is what we are doing is turning her into a sexual slave (pronounced “machine”) for some selfish male’s pleasure! The thing that really confounds me is why women go along with this cultural mindset? Why do they even go out of their way to demand it except… because they are confused in their thinking.
Allow me to clear up some evident confusion here. You correctly point out that each person’s will is different and not necessarily God’s will. Fine! You’ve stated a general truth… but only a half-truth. It just so happens that each of our wills can conform to God’s will. This is the other side of the coin you overlook. The truth is Christianity has taught this since it’s inception and Judaism is the stream of thought where Christians obtained this truth. In fact the most basic definition of sin states it is a person’s will going against God’s, as Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden.
If each of us has our will conformed to God’s then our will’s will be all the same! Wah la! So we can all agree if only we all listen to God. And as Christianity teaches God is perfect goodness who cannot error or lie. So if we follow God’s will we are perfect or at least to the degree we do follow it. This principle in real life works out to mean that a society of people who go against God’s will not live out an ordered and civil life. There will be strife and pain that is unnecessary. We see this all around us. But we also see the contrary where some, at times, conform themselves to God’s will, whether they realize it or not, and this is manifest by a society of people who live in harmony. Simply put they love each other and seek to do no harm.
So whether “your god” or “my god” “means nothing to them,” is irrelevant. The reality is either we live according to our Creator’s will or we don’t. When we do we are not sinning and we live together in peace. When we don’t we fight, personally and in groups. There is war and death, lying, stealing, cheating, etc. The more we follow God’s will, that is the more we live in charity, that is with selfless love, the more we live out happy lives with each other. This is always true… it works whether we recognize it and admit it or not. As that old margerine commercial says “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!” …Mother Nature being an ambiguous term for God.
Now… as for your statement: “They will do what they WILL, and itâs incombent on us as a society to lessen the impact. Thatâs why I believe that contraceptives are key. Abstinence based education is a sham. Itâs been proven time and again in strict religious settings to NOT WORK.” You are correct it is incumbent upon society to uphold what is good! That being said we have to define good and determine what is good. Goodness is the character all nature has when it conforms to God’s idea of what it is. This takes us right back to God’s will so again you are correct in bringing the subject up in context of contraception. Simply put our nature is good to the degree it comes from God and continues to conform to his omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent Will. We live and move and have our being solely because of God’s willing us into existence and holding us there by his constant idea of us. That’s love!
Think for a moment… if all life ultimately comes from God and if God allows us to take part in it in some way or manner, then here again God’s will is important. Can we who are dependent upon God for our existence cause life on our own apart from God? I’m sure you can see how absurd that idea is. On the contrary God initiates life and we are privileged to partcipate in the process, more commonly termed procreation. It matters not that some eradicate God from the equation because like the force of gravity God is still there despite what we fantasize. So if God is the ultimate source of a new human life then it must be his Will… right? If not then how could it start at all?
Now if God wills any particular act of human sexual intercourse to be fertile then for us to interfere with, or in some way try to thwart it, or to put up a barrier would be to go against God’s will. Enter contraception and more generally sterilization that has the sole purpose of intending to prevent conception. It is a blatant attempt of human beings to go against God’s will (whom they first dismiss exists) which again is perfect goodness, can never be wrong, deceptive or evil. So our use of sterilization techniques including chemical and mechanical contraceptives is illicit because it goes against God’s will to generate new human life. Note here, it’s not simply a matter of matter. It’s not just genes or DNA or whatever other scientific theory, valid as they may be, applies. Something causes this matter, these genes or this DNA to possess it’s powers in potency and this ultimate cause must be what Aquinas called the First Cause or Aristotle (a pagan Greek) called the uncaused Cause.
As my faith teaches a married couple must remain open to conception in order to be within God’s will. It does not teach “we must have as many children as possible” contrary to those who dislike Catholic teaching accuse. In fact my faith accepts what is called Natural Family Planning (NFP) precisely because it allows for our God given use of reason to aid us in determining the spacing of children. With this “method” we are not denying life but spacing the children God gives us because of serious circumstance in our life. With NFP we make full use of our intellectual faculty while not subverting our biological faculity. We simply refrain from intercourse during the fertile period of a woman (which is less than a 24 hour period even though we usually extend it slightly longer over a few days in case of error in judging when that period starts and ends). We willfully abstain but in a reasonable manner guided by a scientific and philosophical understanding of the human body. And note this is within the protection of marriage where sexual intercourse is meant to take place. We use the signs a woman’s body gives (not the so-called rhythm method). Charts are used as drawn from scientific research on a woman’s biological functions. It’s not guess work but well reasoned choice!
The point here is my Catholic faith does not leave me hanging but plants me firmly in the center of reality where I am not “forced” but free to use all my God-given powers. The man and woman choose together when to become pregnant by paying careful attention to their very natures and working with their procreative powers. We don’t introduce artificial barriers but instead use our intelligence to guide our will and decide when to and when not to engage in fruitful activity. We abstain as you say when we want to space children and we engage we decide now is the time (most of the month). This is more properly called chastity. The husband actually works with his wife to determine when to copulate. They are dependent upon each other. When we refrain we do so together… in unity! When we engage we do so together in love. We never treat children as “unwanted” interruptions in our life as our secular culture teaches us to do. We work with nature as our secular culture encourages us to do in every other area of life (except for our generative powers). My faith encourages spouses to live closer to nature by recognizing their very nature.
So as for “abstinence education,” it very well may be “a sham” as you put it. Abstinence only education does not work precisely because it does not recognize what NFP does, which is exactly what human nature is. Natural planning of a family takes into account our greatest good, that is the loving bond between a man and woman; encompasses this around them in the protection of a monogamous marriage; protects whatever new life it generates. It remains faithful to God’s will precisely because of it’s inherent trust in God who initiates every act of new human life. Faith in God who is trustworthy in delivering the means to take care of those lives. In this case it does not trivilialize sex like our culture nor does it make us machines that crank out babies, as our culture accuses. Both extremes are avoided in favor of using the full capacity of human intelligence and volition coupled with a healthy and balanced dominion over our own bodily passions. In this a man and woman work together in a perfect unity of will that conforms itself to God’s. They show their true complimentarity rather than what our secular culture manifests… the selfish use of one another with contraceptives for the sake of maximum pleasure and this at the expense of possible new human life… and where that cannot be avoided… the taking of an already existing life through the unnecessary evil called abortion.
I’ll end with a question… if you offer someone a tool and they neglect to use it does this mean that tool does not work?
Like you I’ve quoted the Declaration of Independence in this post. Like you I consider “all men are created equal.” Unlike our culture I am not confused as to what “equal” means. My disagreement is not with you or anyone else except where one agrees with our mixed up culture. Human nature is as it is, it’s both fixed and pliable at once. The mutable aspect is not what we talk about here and we can have no disageement over. Rather the unchangeable aspect of our nature is where principles come in and how we know things like a person cannot continue life without ingesting food. That is on the physical level; on the level behind this we know there are other immutable properties to human nature. One is that which you quote from America’s founding document, that we are all equal, not in what we do or how we behave, but in our humanness… in our nature as persons.
So, while a so-called homosexual person is equal to every other person, their behavior is not. This in fact is true of men and women, of ethnicity, and of religious belief. These characteristics within persons are not equal because they are all different. The acts each of us are capable of are not the same. Men are physically different from women, men superior in one way, women superior in another. Each race has a different culture, things they are devoted to, and where that devotion is rooted in truth it is good. Where it is not it is not as good. That is inequality. Likewise for religions, there is truth in all of them but to differing degrees. Among them one can find a religion that has no error where it concerns faith and morals. This is embodied in the Church which Christ started and contrary to what our culture would say, that Church does not have a monoply on truth, for as I just stated other religions possess some truth intermixed with error. Yet equality is rooted in truth, in reality, in nature and therefore in human nature itself.
So that we are persons is why we are equal… NOT that we can do this or that as well as someone else; and so this applies to men, to women, to persons of differing color and religious belief, and to persons who behave in one way or another, whether that behavior is right or wrong. Nevertheless while we always remain equal under the Constitution/Declaration, we can do what is right or what is wrong. Two men kissing in the street or in a bedroom are wrong. This is not about equality. Likewise two women kissing is wrong. I mean this in a sexual way and not in the manner of affection shown by a mother to her daughter, etc. A man and women who kiss in the proper context under the right conditions, and in a sexual manner can never be wrong. This our confused culture disagrees with and has to be changed. In fact it wasn’t always this way.
So when you say “We are all equal in the sight of the law” you are correct if you mean that law must protect our life with equal intensity. Furthermore the law does not protect behavior… it judges it in order to determine whether a law has been broken or not. It looks at individual acts to see if they conform to moral absolutes that are found in nature. In cases where enough persons break moral law we make civil law to keep order in a society. Since heterosexual acts are in conformity to the nature of the human person they can never violate that law (assuming proper context here). On the other hand homosexual acts do not conform, for reasons I have given in other posts, and therefore, it is legitimate to make laws agaisnt them just as it is to outlaw murder, adultery, prostitution, etc. The question of prudence comes in here in that we must ask is a law that is morally good necessary. We cannot legislate against every bad human act so we must choose those that become the greatest problem within a society. Then too some acts, like adultery, are hard to legislate because of their private nature; still we can write laws, but must take care in how we carry them out so as not to offend legitimate privacy. There is a delicate balance.
The point in all this is that a society flourishes either when people recognize good behavior from their properly formed conscience or, because we are fallen and possess a cloudy conscience, from legitimate laws that enshrine good behavior. So whether we as a society ever outlaw homosexuals kissing in the street or not is beside the point… their acts are intrinsically disordered (for reasons I presented before). Nor do these specific kinds of acts fall under our Constitutional protections. Here is where our culture is confused (and you seem to be).
You can rant and rave about “your god” versus everyone else’s god and claim I am not a loving Christian and whatever else you want, but these ideas remain true. Furthermore your indifference to truth is of no concern to the proper order of a society which is what I talk about here. I remind you that this whole line of thought has arisen from Priscilla’s mocking attitude toward Christians like Gretchen Carlson, whom she says are “constantly outraged about how the forces of evil, secular darkness are trying to make life miserable for Christians.” She belittles our concern for society as a whole which cannot exist outside a proper order and as I’ve said, this order is hidden yet clearly seen by those who wish to see it in the nature of each being itself. Our concern as Christians is seeing all of life as it is and where this concerns human relations it is neither a prejudice nor a “homophobic” reaction to make distinctions. It is loving concern that refuses to run with the crowd when that crowd is headed off the proverbial cliff. And just as the evil of slavery was once held by a large segment of society, and eventually ended, so too are all the issues Christians have an “opinion” on. The dialogue should revolve around whether Christian opinion or non-Christian opinion is correct… not name calling and character assassination.
Nor do I wish to live in a theocratic state as you so smugly impose on my intentions. What I intend is that the Republic we are governed under be properly understood and upheld. Anyone who understands the difference between this and the idea of Democracy so easily bantied around knows it is a much better system of governance than majority opinion rules. First, there are fundamental laws in a Republic that cannot be violated and these are precisely what you quote without understanding there significance. They infer order and this means protection of life trumps all other liberties including freedom. Who exactly is free without life? Match this idea up with our current laws that “protect” killing children not born yet and the insane push we have in our culture for birthcontrol that purposely ignores its inherently abortifacient nature; not to mention embryonic stemcell research which destroys a person in order to “benefit already existing persons;” euthanasia that claims compassion is to kill a person rather than killing pain; IVF technology that removes natural relations from the procreation and can leave a person in a frozen limbo; pornography where the participants willingly sterilize themselves in the name of maximum pleasure and production of “art” for public consumption created in the “privacy of one’s bedroom;” prostitution where a woman uses her body as a means to income with obsessive mindset aimed at avoiding the fruit of sexuality; not to mention the homosexual’s inherently sterile acts; all which in some way attack or seek to prevent human life… and you see we have drifted a long way from our founder’s Republic. Add to this our equally insane rush to be like European Union countries by ignoring the Constitutionality of states rights while expanding federal powers indefinitely in the name of social, economic and educational reform; allowing government to inflate the dollar, control bank interest rates, wage and prices, and our fractional reserve banking system that considers money not possessed an asset… and it’s a wonder we have any freedoms or economic prosperity left. The point is our government’s primary business in not being involved in social reform, education, the economy, private business, or medicine but rather defending our country from those who would harm us. This means not cutting back on our military and leaving our borders open to anyone who wants in, including terrorists, but maintaining a military force large enough and equiped to be ready for any situation. It also means a police force able to respond when honest hard working citizens ask for help rather than a government looking over our shoulders with it’s militia-like regulators in an effort to keep us in line with current PC thinking (pronounced “politically corrupt”).
Interestingly as I write this Proposition 8 in California has been struck down by a single man, an unelected judge. In 2008 a vote of We The People (52:48) against redefining marriage by Constitutional Amendment called the California Marriage Protection Act took place. It had nothing to do with homosexuality yet is being posed as against the “rights of same-sex couples.” Back in 2000 a similar statute was struck down by a judge in Proposition 22. Neither proposition affected domestic partnerships or their right to associate in public or private. Neither proposition has anything to do with medical or retirement benefits in relation to these partnerships. So two men in unelectable government positions essentially went against the will of the people intent on protecting the character of marriage ingrained within the nature of each person. Apart from the more fundamental aspect of this social problem we should all be alarmed that a handful of government officials have overridden the will of the American people simply to grant a small segment of society special rights.
That my Christian friend is just a surface appraisal of our problems in this country. Instead of allowing free thought rooted in charity and directed toward the good of all persons this culture insists everyone should be “free” to do as they please without regard for evil. We just rename the evil… abortion becomes “my right to choose.” Marriage between a man and woman is reduced to make sexual relations between two men or two women as if equivalent. Equality of nature is replaced by equality of actions, politically equal access is perverted to equal outcome where race relations are concerned… and on and on we go. Where we end up won’t be the kind of utopia envisioned by the elites in our government making all these social changes but rather a world where the strong exert their will over the weak. Does this sound familar? It’s akin to the evolutionary dogma we’ve been fed in our government run schools, only forced upon Americans by those we carelessly elect, who then in turn appoint rogue judges who legislate instead of ejudicating law, and force their will upon us whom they are supposed to represent! If this is what you want then you leave and find one that fits your “opinion” …or better yet start your own! As for Christians like Mrs. Carlson and me we CHOOSE to maintain what the founders gave us not by fiat but by vote, verbal persuation and teaching what is true. Thanks!
Your God means nothing to them. Nor does mine. God is personal.
They will do what they WILL,and it’s incombent on us as a society to lessen the impact. That’s why I believe that contraceptives are key. Abstinence based education is a sham. It’s been proven time and again in strict religious settings to NOT WORK.
Secondly,get all pissy if you want to. It’s YOUR religious convictions that are causing YOU the problem. And even then,they are diametrically oppposed to Jesus’s and the bible’s teachings of judgment. So stick it in your hookah and smoke it.
It was Paul who said to ‘offer no offense’,and to show god’s love and teachings through living a pure life. Not by prosletyzing like a harridan Pharissee on the street corner,beating one’s breast and reading from the prayer scroll on their wrist. I’d suggest you take the trappings off sir,or find your own soul forfeit when The lord Christ doesn’t know YOU.
And it is wholely about your own personal opinions. You claim scientific evidence….what evidence? That some man kissing another is lewd? Or a woman kissing another is lewd? If that is the case,why don’t you hypocrites move for the removal of all kissing in public areas? Maybe you can catch up with the jihadists you propose to hate in that regard.
It’s your opinion that two people kissing on the street is ‘lewd’. Well I’m sure two men kissing is. But I bet you’re fine with two women doing it. It’s hot,right? Don’t lie. 90% of people who piss and moan about one side,hypocritically and secretly love the obverse.
I point you sir,to the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL.
That means gay men,gay women. Religious persons. Non-religious persons. All of us. We are all equal in the sight of the law. There is no religious test for that. NONE.
So I’d suggest,if you wish to live in a theocratic society,then state so. Don’t beat around the bush and try to hem and haw your way into it. If you want to live in a ‘Christian Coutry’ I’d suggest you move to one.
And you can take issue all you want. I simply don’t care. Your ire stands not between my God and me,and the convictions He places on my heart.
First off let’s get something straight… this comment “because of your religious convictions” borders on condescending and I am calling you out on it! My position has theological underpinnings IN ADDITION TO philosophical and scientific elements. I know it’s culturally appropiate to accuse someone who disagrees with your “fact based opinion” that they are being influenced by “your god” or “your beliefs” or “your blind faith” or whatever PC euphemism is currently the fad (which is exactly why the “Left” has been accused of a “politically correct” ideology). I reject such immature linguistic tactics and insist we be honest with each other here, honest and open as to what exactly we mean and where we come from. I’ve made it no mystery in this thread alone (Priscilla’s article on Gretchen Carlson) as to where I come from and why I believe what I do. Yet I’m called a “fundamentalist” Christian, which I am not! I’m accused of being in a “false religion” and of somehow being associated with Pat Robertson. I am a firm Catholic of a philosophical persuation called Thomist Realism (moderate) and because of this accept sound scientific criteria in all my arguments. In other words my Catholic faith may undergird all I understand but not to the detriment of authentic metaphysics or physics! If you want to argue your case with me stick to substantial arguments referenced to the subject at hand and not comments like the above designed to attack the messenger. I realize most of the other examples I gave above you are not guilty of and am thankful… but I tire of name calling… and I dislike it when “We The People” act like politicians claiming that every problem can be solved if we are just big enough to “compromise.” My view of this world is principled as I hope each of the people I argue with is, and because of this, I cannot compromise! I cannot because to do so would be to imply I have no principle. For me to change my mind on any subject one must present to me reasonable argument… period!
That being said, you have some good points, and questions which I will endeavor to answer. I think the substance of your argument and confusion lies in the second paragraph of your comment but I will start by addressing this comment first: “If itâs free will, then itâs FREE WILL. The will to not have a child in the case of having sex is the choice here. Anything that blocks that removes free will.” You make my case but you will not understand it unless we speak of intelligence in relation to freedom. I assume you’ve had association to the opposite sex and possibly you are married. Now can the possession of either a friend or a spouse occur if you did not know about that person? The answer is readily apparent and summed up in this general principle “we cannot love what we do not know.” Human freedom, the will’s ability to choose, however you want to state it is directly associated with knowledge and cannot be otherwise. What I don’t know I cannot choose! The contrary is impossible and so, to speak of human freedom in a vacuum is to speak incompletely, and this leads to confusion. In context of our subject, this cultural idea that we can reduce all argument to “choice” under a Constitutional mandate… is baseless. Unless we are animals who lack an intellect and cannot make moral choices, our choice is only possible with knowledge. Thus if we take away knowledge or obscure it we take away the power to choose or obscure it. None of us can get around this truth as choice is bound up with what we know.
That said we can disect the most common cultural context we hear the choice argument used… and that concerns abortion. It has been claimed abortion is a “right” because it revolves solely around a woman’s ability to choose. What is rarely if ever stated is what is being chosen and as I’ve laid out above, we cannot make a choice without the prerequisites of freedom. The object of choice in an abortion is the “fetus,” or in other words the child growing in the woman’s womb at whatever stage it may be. The more ambiguous term “fetus” or similar is commonly used in order to move the focus away from the humanity of that living being growing within the woman. Notice what I am doing here… I am laying out what we know about this subject. I am talking about facts, that something living is growing in it’s mother’s womb, and since the mother is human it makes perfect since to assume the organism is also human. These facts bear out scrutiny under a microscope (or with current technology with fiber optic cameras or ultrasound technology). The point being the choice refered to here concerns that of ending the life of the offspring in that woman’s womb more commonly called a child, or if you will, scientifically termed a zygote, embryo, fetus (Latin for “little one”) or baby. These terms all refer to the same being whether in different stages of life or of terms of affection (baby vs. child). We know these things! Authentic science supports them as facts. Major and minor logic taught in good philosophy courses also support what I’m saying here… that the choice being refered to in every case of procured abortion revolving around a female human being involves another human being. It cannot be otherwise… “My choice my body” has to include the child’s choice and the child’s body to be fully inclusive and thus fair.
My conclusion is that when someone tells me an abortion is about “my choice” in my mind I fill in the blanks that it is her choice to abort her child. Because I know this I also know it is a choice, but the real question, the more important criteria is to ask whether it is a good or bad choice? This moral component is true irrespective of whether I ask it or the woman involved asks or whomever. The answer will always be the same no matter who asks it. Now notice even if we neglect to ask it does it change anything of the reality of the situation? Of course not! It remains the choice of a woman to decide, concerning the child in her womb, whether to continue it’s life or end it, and whether this is morally good or evil? She does not decide in the sense she causes the answer but rather she discovers it. And the answer to consistently thinking persons is always the same. It is an evil to end the life of another human being who is innocent of no crime that would justify the death penalty… period! Abortion that is willed by the mother for any reason other than to save her life is wrong. In fact in the case of an ectopic pregnancy when this danger occurs the doctor seeks to save both, and if the child dies, there is absolutely no moral guilt on the mother or doctor. The key is neither intended to end the life of that child whose life itself endangered the mother’s life which in turn endangers the child. An ectopic pregnancy must be acted upon or both will die. Procured abortion which has been legalized in this country has nothing to do with the scenario. So-called legal abortion has to do with wanting to eliminate a person who is innocent and helpless and poses no physical threat to any woman who is in the state of being a mother. This precisely because of a choice she made previous to the now so important “choice” that it must be enshrined in law to “protect” a woman’s “right.” That “right-to-choose” of the mother has been misconstrued within our culture to trump the “right-to-life” of the child, and for no just reason. These facts are what science, philosophy and theology all make clear. That our culture has accepted this faulty thinking only manifests the ignorance and confusion revolving around the subject of freedom and knowledge itself, both capacities of every normal human person.
So now we move to the issue of contraceptives which you claim are necessary because “If itâs free will, then itâs FREE WILL. The will to not have a child in the case of having sex is the choice here. Anything that blocks that removes free will.” You’ve made numerous mistakes in thinking here; first in claiming freedom or choice MUST occur after the choice to have sexual intercourse occurs. Second you assume a perfect technology, that ideal birth control pills exist that don’t have an abortifacient quality, which even the manufactures of the pill deny in their disclaimer literature. Third you’ve assumed that it is moral to place a barrier between a man and woman intent on engaging in sexual intercourse.
I’ll take the last first. As I’ve laid out in other posts on this thread contraceptives are immoral precisely because they interfere with normal natural sexual relations of a man and woman. Purpose lies within the nature of a being and it is no different for human beings. Our bodies scream out that purpose! A man’s bodily organs are formed in such a way that they fit perfectly a woman’s bodily organs. Do you deny this? Does not scientific scrutiny bear these facts out? Biologically there is no natural means for new human life to be generated apart from a man and woman’s mutual cooperation. Sure we are able to use IVF technology, which by the way involves “sperm donation” or to “sleep with a person of the opposite sex for the privilige.” We are not fooling nature with these technologies because it still takes the material from two persons to initiate the generation process. But key here is that the techniques themselves take the act out of its natural context. It becomes impersonal, mechanical, and as such is a denial of authentic love. And here we come full circle because when I speak of love I am refering to the human will or to freedom; for that is the essential definition of love. Philosophically we say our will is the intellect’s appetite for the good it finds in being. Human will (or freedom) is our desire, a movement of our intellect toward some good it perceives. Human free will are terms synonymous with the word love… or more theologically charity (selfless love). And as I’ve deliniated above this love or will or freedom requires as a prerequisite intelligence. We cannot love apart from knowledge. This is written into our nature. It is what we call the human person. We cannot deny it out of reality… period! And this is why I insist along with every sexual act there must be fruit… because that is the nature of the copulative act. To put a barrier up and prevent this fruit is to deny love because it is to take away from human freedom true knowledge of the authentic human person that is essential to it. Not just this negation but the artificiality you speak of in IVF. I mean here that either by blocking the natural sexual act from achieving its purpose or by taking it out of context of a man and woman in a natural and intimate setting of intercourse between two persons of the opposite sex, is to cause the act to become immoral. To be loveless is to be immoral is to set aside freedom. It’s to deny the freedom that normalicy IS!
So, whether you “feel” for the homosexual couple, or just simply want your way apart from reality, you lose! They lose! You lose your freedom by giving it up over to either an immoral choice or fantasy (thinking what is unnatural is natural). Either way you are not more free but become enslaved by your passions because what is left after we take away these essential ingredients of human sexuality? We are left with sexual pleasure alone… hence the drive to contracept. We’ve reduced the natural act to it’s secondary component of feeling good. It is why pornographers concentrate so heavily on beauty, sexual “toys,” clothing, techniques and positions. This is why the push for contraceptives is so powerful. But again we have to deny the two essential meanings of human sexuality… the unitive (love) and the procreative (life).
Quote: “And removing their choice, because of your religious convictions, or mine for that matter, is not going to happen. Free will is what it is. People make bad decisions and theyâll keep making them. A safety net in cases of those bad decisions is a good thing. Love is an ephemeral concept when talking hard data. And the data shows that we screw too much and get in trouble too much and a lot of times a contraceptive will help alleviate later problems instead of producing children no one wants. And children, I might add who will suffer for those same âsins of the fatherâ that got them here in the first place. Surely you can agree, as a compassionate and religious minded person that this is a far better way than millions of suffering children that no one, including religious sources, can or want to take care of.”
Now there is so much packed into this paragraph of yours that I will only skim over the top of it because of space and time. First I agree with your statement that freewill is what it is and in fact I insist it cannot be changed. But that is essentially what you are doing. We cannot mutate it into something that it is not and this is essentially what our culture has been trying to do by redefining what it is. Choice, will, freedom, love cannot be made apart from an intellect or knowledge of some being precisely because of what I’ve explained above: that the will or love is our intellect in operation! When we act on what we know we are loving but this only to the degree we move toward what is good… never what is evil. You claim "we screw too much and get in trouble too much " and I say this is exactly because we relinquish freedom. We set aside our choice prior to sexual intercourse, apart from ensuring it takes place in it’s natural context, and then claim we are now going to make a choice to “prevent” the fruit or “abort” the result. To refrain from sexual intercouse is a choice our culture and you overlook and in the process we exchange freedom for a non-freedom… reality for fantasy. You say love is ephemeral… I say it is concrete and definable and of ultimate importance. I say intellectual love is not the same as romantic or emotional love, the latter changeable and therefore “ephemeral” as you suggest. You claim we need a “safety net” for bad decisions. I say we should be teaching others NOT to choose to make those “bad” decisions in the first place. THINK before you engage in sex! Ask am I willing to accept the consequence of intercourse… of the pleasure we all seek from sex? If not I should avoid the act, not commit the act then try to avoid the consequence (a new life). Also I say if one does make a “mistake” that we don’t kill that mistake but welcome it into this world because “it” is a person like us! I say there are “millions of suffering children” precisely because people without authentic love, without selfless love don’t “want to take care” for them. I say the answer is not to prevent them from coming into being or kill them after they’ve entered this world by pretending that conception is not their beginning, but we turn from our selfishness toward charity. Is this too hard for you to comprehend? If it is then you don’t have a choice because you cannot exercise choice without knowledge!
I also say as a religious person that some day these persons we’ve denied exist by aborting them we will meet in the next life. I also say that when we face God he will ask us why we rejected so many of the people he wanted us to conceive (to have)? I say he will make it known to us what our selfish desires prevented us from possessing. God can enlighten us as to what those persons WOULD HAVE BEEN like, those whom we denied existence to because we were too preoccupied with life and the pleasure we could extract from it. We exercised choice to prevent them but it was a bad choice. I say that to “alleviate later problems instead of producing children no one wants” IS THE PROBLEM! All we have to do to solve this problem is to change our mind… to CHOOSE life… to desire the children we don’t want now. It’s simple and doesn’t require technological intervention. If we truly don’t want a child right now we have the power to say NO to sexual intimacy… and this won’t kill us as abortifacient contraceptives and surgical/chemical abortive techniques kill new life.
Quote: “‘And closing oneâs mouth in the face of evil is not Americanâ¦ itâs cowardice!’ Define this âevilâ for me, please. What are you claiming is evil?”
Answer: All of the above. I’ve laid this out in other posts too. Do I need reitterate?
Quote: “I mean, think of it this way, in terms of religious thought, ok? If you have a species of flatworm floating out there, and it is in fact asexual, and impregnates itselfâ¦.is it not a chronic masterbator? Or is it a hermaphrodite? The cases are not the same certainly, but the thoughts on them should be consistent from a religious point of view. To not have these equally listed with disgust, is hypocritical thinking. If such a case were to be based on your premise that fruitfulness is what counts, priests of many different religions should be spat upon on the street as they produce nothing.”
Answer: If you just look up the words you use in these questions you will see the answer. Notice even in the Wikipedia the term “hermaphrodite” is called a disorder. They are exceptions to the rule and we don’t make good law or general decisions or universal principles based upon exceptions. Also to be “asexual” is not to be human. It doesn’t apply to us. And even with an answer what you propose is silly in context of this subject. You compare non-intellectual animals to intellectual human persons in an absolute way. All analogy breaks down if taken beyond their obvious intent and therefore are never intended to be taken too far. As you say they are “not the same” and so consistency breaks down within the analogy… while the comparison has valid merit.
One final point is very important because of the cultural push to demonize Catholic priests (which I wonder if it has to do with why you frame your proposition the way you do?). When I speak of fruitfulness it is only in context of matrimony. Priests are not married within the Catholic Latin rite so your proposition cannot apply. Within Orthodox rites where they are allowed to marry the same principle of maintaining human sexuality within it’s natural context applies to them as it does the laity. Also it does not mean have as many children as possible but means one MUST REMAIN OPEN to the children God gives them. We know that conception does not occur with every natural act of copulation (in fact often times needs help). Bottom line, the principle of conjugal fruitfulness does not apply outside of marriage where human sexuality cannot morally take place. It’s astounding to me how you could make this mistake in thinking assuming your point is not just to make fun of the principle by envoking such an absurd requirement. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and consider you’ve just made a mistake in logic as opposed to malecious intent. Anyhow I appreciate you taking the time to discuss this very important subject.
And closing oneâs mouth in the face of evil is not Americanâ¦ itâs cowardice!
Define this ‘evil’ for me,please. What are you claiming is evil?
And removing their choice,because of your religious convictions,or mine for that matter,is not going to happen. Free will is what it is. People make bad decisions and they’ll keep making them. A safety net in cases of those bad decisions is a good thing. Love is an ephemeral concept when talking hard data. And the data shows that we screw too much and get in trouble too much and a lot of times a contraceptive will help alleviate later problems instead of producing children no one wants. And children,I might add who will suffer for those same ‘sins of the father’ that got them here in the first place. Surely you can agree,as a compassionate and religious minded person that this is a far better way than millions of suffering children that no one,including religious sources,can or want to take care of.
If it’s free will,then it’s FREE WILL. The will to not have a child in the case of having sex is the choice here. Anything that blocks that removes free will.
As far as the homosexuality thing,you can’t dump this down to ‘they have no fruit’. Being fruitful doesn’t change being alive,and existing. And in fact,many homosexuals do have children. They do daily,whether they sleep with a person of the opposite sex for the privilige,or they do in vitro,or sperm donation. It’s been that way forever. In ancient Rome,in Ancient Greece. IN middle eastern countries. A homosexual man may have a woman to bear him an heir. Women in a sultan’s Hareem may take pleasure from each other. That’s simple,historical fact.
And it’s not going to change things now. It’s the same except for the new,technological interventions.
The problem here,is you aren’t accepting the overall picture that humanity is,that the animal kingdom is,that the world is. I believe that God made this world,and all things in it. But I realize He made them his way. With a great host of differences,even within the same specie. Anytime you have mental developement in a species you see this.
I mean,think of it this way,in terms of religious thought,ok? If you have a species of flatworm floating out there,and it is in fact asexual,and impregnates itself….is it not a chronic masterbator? Or is it a hermaphrodite?
The cases are not the same certainly,but the thoughts on them should be consistent from a religious point of view. To not have these equally listed with disgust,is hypocritical thinking. If such a case were to be based on your premise that fruitfulness is what counts,pirests of many different religions should be spat upon on the street as they produce nothing.
See waht I’m saying? This is about your prejudices. Saying that homosexuals are being ‘lewd’ in the streets is a lie. It’s only relavent in your mind,not in thr mind of the rest of the world. Heck,not even in the mind of most Christians. Everyone has a different OPINION of this,but it certainly doesn’t bare out as a fact.
Me,personally? Homosexuals kissing in the street doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I live in a country where people have a choice to live their lives as they see fit,as long as it hurts no other person physically.
“Contraceptives do not impregnate people. WANGS do!” …the truth is human free will is the cause of pregnancy since it takes a man and woman to a conceive new life who have the capacity to desire. Prior to any biological act at least one person involved has to assent to the act before it can occur. Even if we examine the case of rape, where one person forces another (usually a male forcing a female), we still find the rapist makes a choice… just an evil one. All the rhetoric revolving around the abortion/contraception issue misses the point by focusing on the “choice” apart from consequence of that choice. Every act of abortion is a choice at least one individual makes. Every act against conception at least one individual makes. The point is “wangs” don’t think because they are human organs… persons do. If you want to reduce the subject to human organs you effectively eliminate the most essential human element… the human will… that is the intellect’s appetite for the good it finds in being. In other words love! To do so is dehumanizing as was slavery. It strips a person of what they are fundamentally. It denies our body expresses what we are essentially. It’s a rejection of our true nature. Is this where we want to go? Nazi Germany. Stalinist Russia. Those times and places where some humans were treated as less than what they were.
“I might see your point if it was rampant sex openly in the street, or if gay people were stopping at every intersection to shake their penises at others or something. But thatâs not happening anywhere in any number to be any sort of problem. So what exactly are homosexuals doing in public that offends you so much?”
Offense? Again let’s shift the focus from offending me (and Christians in general) to the actual subject… homosexuality concerns two men or two women engaged in sexual intercouse. Let’s not beat around the bush like our culture does and define our terms. Two men or two women copulating together have no future… there is no fruit! A society built on them is sterile. This means there is no possibility of children being conceived and as a result the human race will die off. Ok, let’s ignore the last part of that statement and concentrate on the less conspiratorial idea that new life is not possible. In english this means children are impossible within homosexual relationships. So what you say! The point is our culture is so focused on pleasure and especially sexual pleasure that we completely miss what is written into human nature. Men and women fit together like a glove fits a hand. Men and women are not in competition with each other for “equality” but rather compliment each other. We fit together and biologically this is factual… a woman’s body receives the man’s body. Can you deny this? We were made for each other! Contrary to our cultural mindset two men are alike and therefore biologically incapable of exercising their innate power to generate new life. Likewise for two women who cannot possibly fit together. Homosexual persons cannot unite and so there is no possibility of new life coming from their interaction. They make impossibe one of the two purposes of human sexuality and that is to procreate. From a Christian perspective this means to cooperate with God in generating children that will carry on the human race. In doing so they eliminate by default any possibility of the second purpose of sexuality which is to love. This is because authentic human love is the precusor to new life and so must be always open to new life in order to be love. Cultural rhetoric suggests procreation means a couple lose their freedom because they must work to have as many children as possible but this is a false assumption. To remain open is to allow God to decide how many children a couple should have and trust him to provide the means. Assuming God is omnipotent why should we worry? In our fallen state we impose our will over God’s will insinuating he cannot take care of the children he gives us. It comes down to an issue of trust and faith in a Being greater than us, who is our Cause, who maintains us in existence, and who has to power to take care of all our needs including that of generating and raising children. Like pornography which openly promotes it, homosexual acts are sterile.
So public lewdity is just a symptom to the overall problem. A “gay couple” on the streets kissing represents a complete denial of the aforementioned truths. They are disordered human beings. Persons who have gone astray. The fact that this eventually escalates to people exposing their private parts in public merely solidifies the seriousness of the charge. The degree of offense does not matter as you imply we should only become concerned when many are involved. What is our concern is that human beings have deviated from their true purpose prior to taking up a homosexual mindset. They’ve already reduced human sexuality to extracting pleasure from another person without concern for it’s true purpose which is to unite with a person of the opposite sex and out of this unity to generate children. Simply put this purpose is love and life! This explains why our culture is so obsessed with physical beauty and sexual technique (sexual toys, positions and beauty). Love is lost as we use the other person for our own selfish pleasure in rejection of our natural procreative powers. We are a pornographic culture that considers prostitution as a normal “vocation” and use medical science, which normally seeks to heal or bring human nature back to it’s intended purpose, as a means to subvert and thwart natural biological functions. We desire to remake ourselves with our own mistaken ideas!
So the point is not to outlaw anything but to teach thinking human beings that our natural tendencies are good. In recognizing this it needs to be pointed out that nature has a purpose that is flexible within predefined limits. Nature determines what we are… not we determine what our nature is by imagination. More generally we discover truth, we don’t cause it. Our nature is revealed by our bodies in that a male and female fit together in a way that same sex individuals cannot. The truth of this matter is right in front of our eyes so-to-speak.
“And for the record, I love Christmas” “Do I mind that itâs actually a pagan holiday coopted to put a Christian slant on it?” Congratuations, you’ve just stated the Catholic position… that pagan ideas were taken over by Christians and wherever they were correct they were synthesized with Christian truth… thus that the sky is blue on a cloudless sunny day is combined with the idea that God causes it. This does not deny the physical “mechanics” of it… that the blue color is caused by light moving through the atmosphere. Nor does God being the ultimate cause detract from the fact that genes predispose human behavior and nature to be what it is. As we say in philosophy truth is one! Pagans may have concluded that the planets and stars have causal effect on earth and to the degree this is true (the moon’s gravity causes ocean tides) the Church accepts and welcomes it. But the Church has long recognized “secular” truth as being coincident with religious or theological truth. They have the same source. So whatever celebrations pagans have that are in accord with some reality the Christian church accepts. Where it is found to be wrong the Church purges and in the process purifies. The synthesis of faith and morals with scientific and philosophical truth has long been recognized by the Church as is evidenced by St. Thomas Aquinas’ writings. So whatever good there is in pagan ideas that can be associated with Christ’s birth there is no inconsistency there. The Church has long gone into a culture and taken whatever ideas it finds, purges what is in error, then combined this with it’s own area of expertise concerning the reality of God and man. Christmas is therefore a celebration of the birth of a human being who claimed to have a divine nature. The actual day being right or wrong is not of consequence as it is the general truth that God became man and dwelt among us which is… and from there we move on to the gospel, the “good news” that God became man in order to save us from ourselves.
“I was raised a Christian. I believe in Christ. I do also believe in freedom of choice.” Great! If you’ve accepted the idea of human freedom then you’ve already exercised your freedom to choose. But let’s define terms here… what exactly is choice? …freedom? From my Christian perspective we are free to choose the good. This definition excludes evil. So our will which is said to be free has as its purpose to choose between goods… and again never what is evil. Evil being the deprivation of a necessary good. Simply put good is an entity, something that exists having a nature, while evil is the lack of nature or it’s goodness and as such is not an existing thing. Thus your next statement “I believe that if others are doing something else, then I leave them be” taken along with “freedom of choice” is insufficient as it says nothing about what is being chosen. We are able to rob banks, right? We are not free to rob banks precisely because as I said above our freedom must have as its goal only what is good. To steal from someone else is an evil and therefore not a valid choice. We can do it but we are not our exercising freedom in its proper sense. If you knew someone was about to go rob a bank would you remain silent? Would you “leave them be?” Likewise for contraceptive, abortive and homosexual acts… all are evil in some way so it would be just as wrong for us to “leave them be” as it would be with a bank robber. So whenever someone uses the word “choice” open ended we need to ask them to identify the choice to do what? And closing one’s mouth in the face of evil is not American… it’s cowardice! Americans to some degree have traditionally been “our brother’s keeper” (Genesis Chapter 3). Ratjaws@aol.com
Exactly what ‘lewd’ acts by homosexuals are you talking about? A gay couple kissing on the street? This is lewd to you?
In what way,if I might ask? People kiss in the street all the time. Ugly people,fat people,retarded people,religious people…..
Are we to outlaw kissing now?
That really makes no sense sir. I might could see your point if it was rampant sex openly in the street,or if gay people were stopping at every intersection to shake their penises at others or something. But that’s not happening anywhere in any number to be any sort of problem.
So what exactly are homosexuals doing in public that offends you so much?
Do I mind that it’s actually a pagan holiday coopted to put a Christian slant on it? Not really. I mean,certain dates mean different things for different folks and I got no problem with that. Heck,if the Pagans want to celebrate their holiday at the same time,good for them! I wish them well in their efforts. They should make some commercials during the holiday season and do a toy sales push.
I was raised a Christian. I believe in Christ. I do also believe in freedom of choice. I believe that if others are doing something else,then I leave them be. That’s the AMERICAN in me talking. Cause there’s plenty of room in this country for both of us to live and get along. Just like my bible taught me to offer no offense,I’ll stick with that instead of pissing and moaing about how I"m being mistreated when I’m being treated EXACTLY the same way as every other religion in the country. That’s called fair.
Contraceptives do not impregnate people. WANGS do!
For goodness sakes,such up in arms about something that has been going on since long before Jesus ever walked the Earth. We’ve had contraceptives for that long at the very least.
“Second. I fail to find ANY connection between Donât ask and a ruling that the government has no right to come into your bedroom and look for contraceptives.”
In the first place, if contraceptives were illegal as they should be, there wouldn’t be anyone in your bedroom just as there is no one there looking for pornography which currently has laws on the books against it. Enforcement of such moral evils for practical reasons must attack the production and distribution levels. If they cannot be made and sold then no one could own or use it. Of course the internet and modern recording media have changed all this making it virtually impossible to stop pornography without entering the average person’s bedroom which has become the prefered place of production. The only remedy for porn now seems to be that of education. With contraceptives that cannot be transmitted by electronic means laws can still be legislated to stop it’s manufacture and sales for the public good. As demographers know any society that does not replace itself with more than 2.1 children per family is doomed to extinction.
Next, if you read more closely I was contrasting legitimate freedoms like prayer in the military, which although they may “offend” someone’s irreligious sensibilities harm no one, with illegitimate “freedoms” like expression of homosexual acts and lewdity in public, contraceptive use and procured abortion. The latter are all intrinsically evil… precisely because sodomy and contraceptives (and more generally sterilization) interfere with or make impossible the natural fruit of human copulation. Abortion and abortifacient contraceptive chemicals take the life of already existing human persons. In contrast a person expressing their faith whether it be Christian, Buddhist, Zen, Scientiology or whatever harms no one.
It irritates me to no end that non-religious people can offend Christian sensibilities by their vulgar language in public with impunity but when we flip the coin over particular things Christians might say become so offensive that we need to make law to supress them. For instance that sodomy is a sin or when the question is posed in public to someone: “Do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?” It seems it hasn’t dawned on people who dislike it that all they have to do is walk away! (…or if you will, say that offends me… shut up!) Instead the offended invoke government to truncate freedom of speech for religious persons while demanding they be free to “express” themselves with public nudity, blatant sexual inuendo or offensive language. Do you not see the inconsistency here?
I appreciate your reply. The concern over religious expression is not about “everywhere” rather it’s concern centers on government property as well as public places like courts, schools, libraries, etc… If the current trend continues religious expression will be relagated solely to private property… the last step being like in Nazi Germany where even that was no longer sacred.
Even you admit the trend is toward private expression rather than public when you recognize it should be “done in private between them and their god.” Of course this is a Protestant view of prayer that does not necessarily spill over into religious expression in their mind. The Catholic view sees all expression of faith as both private and public. My making the Sign of the Cross in public in no way forces you to do anything or endangers your life or privacy or curtails your own expressions in public. The only limit there should be on public expression is not when it is “offensive,” as this is too ambiguous; a sense our culture now holds to; but when it is immoral. And here lies the rub, a culture that thinks “expressions” like vulgarity or pornography should be protected by the Constitution is a culture that also rejects traditional moral teaching because traditionally vulgarity and pornography were considered harmful, not just to those exposed to it against their will, but to all involved.
As for morality, human beings are unique in that they are the only animal that has a sense of it. We know of right and wrong in two ways. The first is called Natural Law, the study of one’s conscience; the second is from revelation. This latter source of moral knowledge comes directly from a Being who cannot error or lie… to the human race through a chosen few. Apart from getting into why such a Being would chose not to reveal such truths to everyone (in a sense it has been in each of our consciences which are imperfect), to deny that divine revelation exists because you are not one of the chosen, is to manifest a jealousy that ultimately consumes those who hold to it. This shows in the denial there are absolutes in this world and especially where it comes to moral norms. Either we live by unchanging moral codes or we eventually parish as a society. This may be a little over simplified because empirically one finds a society without moral norms ends with either a dictator in control or the chaos of everyone doing their own thing. The point is morality is real and comes from outside of us even though we have a somewhat fuzzy sense of it inside ourselves.
Finally, to say one “creates” jobs implies they have capital and produce goods or service needs. In the case of you or me or any other person or business we either start with the capital necessary or borrow it. Then we manufacture a product or serve someone else’s needs. From this productivity we obtain back the original investment plus a profit. With that profit we pay off our loan if taken out and funnel some back into capital investment when necessary. In the case of government, it owns nothing that is not given to it by “We The People.” This simple fact is called taxation. When the government builds roads or dams (even if it produces something valuable like electricity) it does so with our money! It is not a for profit proposition and as such is not a business. And note that those tasks government enters into are more often than not carried out by private businesses who do work for profit. Where government makes any profit at all it is for the sole purpose of funding back into itself to keep itself going so they don’t have to tax us more. This still is not business in the proper sense as government’s primary purpose is to protect its citizens rather than produce anything. To do so requires manpower as well as equipment, housing, transportation, etc… all the things an actual business requires but for a different purpose. Government’s ultimate goal makes it a “not for profit business” even though, as I said, it may take in a profit. Government in other words takes money from “We The People” for the sole reason to keep us safe from those who would harm us. It also safeguards the order in society. These are not products but are necessary for an actual business market to exist in freedom where actual products can be produced, and thereby jobs “created.” The more a government taxes it’s citizens the more it can grow; couple this with giving government more expansive powers and we have the recipe for disaster. The reason Socialist and Communist economies collapse is how we might as we allocate more and more of the private sector to government and eventually the consequent restrictions erode human freedom. If that’s what you want then move to another country that has it as it’s basis but this country was founded on Democracy and Free Markets and shall remain that way, hopefully, despite the ignorance of it’s citizens and benefactors.
If ever you were to be accused of a crime and go into court I doubt very seriously that they’d consider your statement “but it’s a lie” as legitimate evidence that makes your defense. I also suspect they’d consider name calling childish and recommend you hire competent defense for yourself. Bottom line is you’ve said nothing in defense of your position. Ratjaws@aol.com
I appreciate your reply and the fact you’ve put considerable time and thought into it. First, allow me to point out a key problem with the Lemon Test and the perspective that gave us it. In two statements you’ve made: “do anything that could be seen as promoting one religion above another” and “could be seen as offensive” the phrase “seen as” appears. It reveals an attempt to legislate perception and that is not the purpose of law any more than it would be to control or outlaw thought. All legitimate law has the purpose of either preventing harmful actions or endorsing good. Simply put the government has no business trying to control the actions of one group because of perception. Wrong perception cannot harm any person while bad acts can.
Second, the reason people came to America to from England was to get away from unnecessary control of the religion and churches by the king… or in other words by government. The so-called “Constitutional” wall of separation idea plagurized from Jefferson’s private letter has been blown up all out of proportion and distorted into this idea that government can’t allow freedom of religious expression. On the contrary, if a religious group wants to express themselves, as has been done for years now by Christians, even on government property, there is nothing in any foundational document including the Constitution and Bill of Rights to forbid it. Furthermore if two or three, or ten religious organizations want to express themselves religiously there is nothing to forbid this either. If in fact atheists or persons of anti-religious sentiment want to express themselves with some “holiday,” the idea itself an oxymoron because the term means “holy day,” they have every right to do so. The only stipulation restricting this is that of some conflict with moral principle, and this applies to religious and non-religious expression; for instance we see this in the 1990 case of American Indian’s use of peyote. None of our other rights can trump our right-to-life… as summed up by the term safety. Even Jehovah’s Witnesses “right” to deny blood transfusions to those they are responsible for (their children or other family members) has been called into question. More currently in the news are cases involving Muslim “honor killings” where laws against murder trump any religous expression or “right” that causes harm to another.
Now what the anti-Christmas side is saying is that if Christians ask to express themselves then every other diverse group must do the same, in a skewed definition of equality, and since this is just not possible practically then no one should be allowed. This thinking reduces religious freedom to a sort of government micro-management as demonstrated in the Lemon Test, or at least in the way it is being interpreted today. Also note that a person who works in government and directs others under him/her to set up a religious display, is not the same as a law being written that in effect forces the issue. This latter case could be construed to be “government entanglement” or “promoting one religion above another.”
The point in all this is that under this country’s foundational principles we were given “freedom of religion” and not what it’s morphed into, “freedom from religion.” In fact while you cite a valid concern for the education of our children, where you place the problem is wrong. I suggest that government does not belong in the educational system and there are many reasons for this. Although I agree with much of their reasoning, I am not a Libertarian because they make liberty a primary principle more important than life, which it cannot be, and so skew their conclusions concerning social issues. Nevertheless I believe the department of education, along with other governmental departments like the Federal Reseve, EPA (and heaven forbid we get one to handle Obamacare), etc… all need to be shut down because these are not government’s fundamental purpose. Protecting American property and lives is and this we have failed to do well in recent times because of our preoccupation with social issues and making everyone “equal.” We can give the government additional tasks if we so desire, assuming they are legitimate and we also account for the costs, but if the government cannot do its primary job then we have no business giving it additional responsibility. Some responsibilities are just not appropiate for government at the federal level. I suspect our educational system would work better at the state or lower levels and possibly even better under private control. There is sound argument to the proposition that freemarket can give us better educators if taken with the necessary moral prerequisites. Simply put freemarket cannot be liassez faire and this implies a government with the power of the sword to intervene. Restricting religious expression outside and inside government is not the same as preventing it from setting up a monopoly as King Henry VIII did in England when he took over the Anglican Church and subsequently persecuted thousands of Catholics. That English authorities favored Protestantizing the Church of England isn’t recognized in these arguments against religious expression in government and public. Promotion of one religion over another can be distinguished from free expression even absent multiple expressions at any given time and this seems key to how the issue is misunderstood. So your assertion that if anyone wants to erect a Christmas display they “MUST ensure that SECULAR elements connected with Christmas are involved” is a false presumption. If Orthodox churches desire to display a nativity on their own timeline this still does not distract from the principle involved. Again the government has no business in legislating and ejudicating laws around what is or is not “offensive” to segments of the general populace.
One final consideration, imagine a perfect society where true religious freedom was present. At some point in that society it is possible that a particular religion would come to dominate as has happened throughout history. It’s not hard to understand that this religion would express itself through the government possing the question is this the promotion of one religion over another? No, and I say this is what happened when Christianity was the dominate religious persuation in early America. Today the unnatural obsession with making sure everyone is “equal” distorts and destroys this natural and healthy inclination of society. I say that if atheists could convince the majority of persons in a society that their view of life is better than others then in a free society they deserve to drive the cultural expression bus. I see history as a guage showing us that most people reject the idea there is no spiritual aspect to our world and therefore atheism has never grown in popularity in a free society. In the American experiment the Communist movement of other countries has shown itself as a special interest group that petitions the government for more control over societal structures. Thus we see more regulation against religious expression that all Americans have to eventually come to terms with because expansion of government’s authority and powers ultimately means the loss of individual liberty… including that of Atheists.
1. The Declaration of Independence is not a Christian document. Not based on Christian principles. Lying is a sin. Do your history.
2. “Schools are supposed to be about educations” Not a plaice to proselytize or force one’s religion on another.
3. Crosses are not being forced out of existence. But like swastikas, we are tired of seeing them in government locations. This is not a theocracy, and there is no State Religion, contrary to you and many other authoritarian “Christian” theocracy supporters’ wishes.
3. There hasn’t been a war fought for my freedom in any way since WWII. And don’t even tell me the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And BTW, I was in the Army (infantry so my life would be on the real front line. I left because of my conscience and a crooked president. (I can think for myself, don’t need Ronnie Reagan’s senile brain trying to dictate right and wrong to me.)
4. I can’t find a single place on government property where it has been replaced by pornography. Well, religious displays forced on me are and obscenity…
5. Sex is immoral?
6. Fundamentalist “Christianity” is an insult to the historical Jesus, who taught free will, to know right from wrong, to stand up to crooked authoritarian religion and government.
7. Exodus 20: 3. Your post-Jesus, invented by crooks “Christianity” is a false religion. Study the scholars, not Pat Robertson.
8. Exodus 20: 9.
Second. I fail to find ANY connection between Don’t ask and a ruling that the government has no right to come into your bedroom and look for contraceptives.
Third. You say the government can not create even a single job? Well the list of jobs is to long to show here but you may want to ask the electricity users in the tri state area around Nevada if the government built Hoover Dam is supplying a service. By the way I recently took a trip to the dam and it is a real marvel to behold. Oh, and by the way. You won’t believe who built the roads I drove on from New York to Nevada.
I trust you’re aware that it is NOT the government’s job to do anything that could be seen as promoting one religion above another. That is (and has been, for decades) the principle LEGAL concept under which this country has operated.
From Wikipedia’s article on Lemon v Kurtzman:
The Court’s decision in this case established the “Lemon test”, which details the requirements for legislation concerning religion. It consists of three prongs:
1.The government’s action must have a secular legislative purpose;
2.The government’s action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion;
3.The government’s action must not result in an “excessive government entanglement” with religion.
If any of these 3 prongs are violated, the government’s action is deemed unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Any alleged “preventing public expression of Christmas” that involves a GOVERNMENT body (whether municipal, state or federal) MUST be a result of the Lemon test. IOW, if the City of Topeka wants to erect a Christmas display, to pass the Lemon test, the city MUST ensure that SECULAR elements connected with Christmas are involved. Furthermore, if the city plans to feature this display for many weeks and OTHER religious holidays or festivals take place (such as Hanukkah or Diwali or, as in fairly recent years, Eid al-Adha and Ashura*), symbols or elements of those religious festivities should also appear, especially in cities with sizable non-Christian minority religious groups. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the Eastern Orthodox Christmas doesn’t always coincide with the Western celebration (because the EO calendar is calculated differently, it typically falls a week later) so removing the display could be seen as offensive to various Eastern Orthodox denominations. Of course, most gov’t agencies when doing these displays completely ignore PAGAN traditions (not many signs wishing “Happy Yule” or “Happy Saturnalia” or “Merry Mithras Day”) and are always dismissive of their agnostic and atheist citizens.
As for schools, the major problem is that schools are supposed to be about EDUCATION. Considering the complaints from the right-wing over what a “miserable” job is being done at public schools (the ones that you would describe as “government run”), it’s completely laughable that there’s so much faux outrage about how little Johnny and Susie are being deprived of seeing Christmas decorations in the schools (conversely, foreign language classes would be a haven for “Christmas” in school to show the traditions in other countries). Since 99.999999% of all public school children are out of school for nearly a week (at least) before Christmas Day, expecting schools to literally waste hours of time on the holiday is genuinely stupid. I honestly don’t remember anything special about Christmas in school when I attended public schools X number of decades ago. There was usually chitchat about what everyone hoped to get or what everyone wanted (usually followed up in January with details about what they did get and, more importantly, what they didn’t get) but most of the teachers really didn’t have a lot of time to decorate the classes (at most, our “gift” from the teachers was a “free” day on our last day of classes before the vacation break, especially in junior high and high school—this gave the teachers an extra day to get their gradebooks caught up for the all-important semester exams).
*On a ludicrous side note, when I did a search for “Muslim holidays,” the page came back empty—saying there were NO results. When I changed the search to “Islamic holidays,” what do you suppose the first result was? That’s right—the Wiki article on “Muslim Holidays.”
Really? I haven’t seen, heard, or read of any groups that are attempting or succeeding in preventing public expression of Christmas by anyone. Oh! Except for the constant lies spewed on FokkksGOPTV. Is that what you mean, Tim? Because in reality, nobody is doing that. Now, your little darling retchin gretchin and her fellow Fiends, and your hero POS borally are constantly spewing that lie. BUT IT’S A LIE, Tim.
My problem with your commentary and subsequent comments in the Reaction section is they any lack substance. What exactly are you complaining about with all your ambiguous colorful language?
Do you deny that there are groups within our society, not only attempting but succeeding in preventing public expression of Christmas by Christians, on government property as well as in government run schools? Are you blind to the fact that public displays of Christian symbols like the cross are being regulated out of existence by our government while the ability of soldiers to express their faith in the military is being truncated, this even as they die for our freedoms?
This latter instance occurs at the same time as the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy has been discontinued in favor of homosexual expression “coming out of the closet” while in the military. Christian symbols and expression “not Constitutionally protected” are being replaced by pornographic images that were somehow found to protected. Not to mention the prayer taken “…out of places where the Supreme Court says it shouldn’t be,” has been replaced by freedom of abortion (and contraceptives) that was found in the “penumbras, formed by emanations” of that same Constitution in 1965 and again in 1973.
I admit sometimes Gretchen goes off on a tangent in her speaking of the personal intent of those she disagrees with, rather than of principles and actual events; but I have to ask are you not doing the same thing when you call her a hypocrate?
As an American concerned about our country I ask since when did government’s job become one of worrying about “sensitivity” and whether one group is “offending” another? My understanding is our government’s primary purpose is very limited (and enumerated), that is to protect Americans from their enemies, outside and within the country. This explains why we have a standing military and working police force. The Declaration sets this stage when it claims:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed.”
Contrary to popular belief it’s not the president’s or congress’s purpose to find Americans jobs. In fact our government cannot “create” even a single job since it produces no goods or services, rather consumes them and taxes those who do produce. They have no business interfering in our private social affairs except were there is some moral issue, such as a person’s property or life being threatened (…enter armed robbery and abortion!). What this all comes down to in context of your commentary on Mrs. Carlson is that this “separation of church and state” is a fiction. If there is any wall it exists between the state’s interference in religion in general, but not in the other direction as it is from religion and “church” that we gain our proper moral understanding. The same government liberal and progressives appeal to for protections against religious expression is the one that gave us both the Dred Scott and Roe V. Wade decisions. The first has already been proven wrong while the latter is moving by due process toward final reconciliation, hopefully in my lifetime.
Whether one is religious or not should not interfere with expressing their ideas inside or outside of government and political/public discourse. That is the real point of our Constitutional protection for speech, and of religion, association and economic activity in a market that must be unimpaired by unnecessary government restrictions. More importantly the protection of every person’s life trumps these rights because they become meaningless apart from life. Therefore a government that inverts the order of these protections or makes moral acts illegal and immoral acts protected status (as with legalized abortion and protection of sterile homosexual activity) in effect delegitimizes itself by eradicating the very purpose of government; of the people, by the people, for the people. The Christian faith of Gretchen Carlson you so easily mock is where we get these balanced ideas found in our Declaration, Constitution and Bill of Rights. Even if this were not true belittling Gretchen’s freedom to express her faith in no way helps you or anyone else maintain your freedom and in fact ultimately can only detract from it’s protection.