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Judy G. Russell
November 29th, 2005, 09:41 AM
The Roman Catholic Church took one great big step back into the Dark Ages today, labeling all homosexuals as folks with "psychosexual disorders" and barring gays from the priesthood. In a document issued by the Vatican, the Church underscored its teaching that homosexual acts are "grave sins" that are intrinsically immoral and contrary to natural law.

Sigh...

What is all this nonsense anyway? I understand that we don't want everybody to be homosexual. It would impact on the continuation of the species, not to mention how it would dramatically limit the number of cute guys out there who might be my future partners (uh... strike that)... But same-sex pairings exist in many species, so it ain't "unnatural" or "contrary to natural law" and, more and more, medical science is establishing that sexual preferences are hard-wired into the brain and not a matter of choice at all. So people aren't going to choose to be gay -- they either are or they aren't as a matter of their own biology. (I keep wondering, though -- if I get recruited by the gay agenda, do I get a toaster?)

So what is this all about? Fear? The need to have somebody "different" to blame (for the Church's problem with its pedophile priests, perhaps) or to hate?

I just do not understand.

ndebord
November 29th, 2005, 10:19 AM
The Roman Catholic Church took one great big step back into the Dark Ages today, labeling all homosexuals as folks with "psychosexual disorders" and barring gays from the priesthood. In a document issued by the Vatican, the Church underscored its teaching that homosexual acts are "grave sins" that are intrinsically immoral and contrary to natural law.

Sigh...

What is all this nonsense anyway? I understand that we don't want everybody to be homosexual. It would impact on the continuation of the species, not to mention how it would dramatically limit the number of cute guys out there who might be my future partners (uh... strike that)... But same-sex pairings exist in many species, so it ain't "unnatural" or "contrary to natural law" and, more and more, medical science is establishing that sexual preferences are hard-wired into the brain and not a matter of choice at all. So people aren't going to choose to be gay -- they either are or they aren't as a matter of their own biology. (I keep wondering, though -- if I get recruited by the gay agenda, do I get a toaster?)

So what is this all about? Fear? The need to have somebody "different" to blame (for the Church's problem with its pedophile priests, perhaps) or to hate?

I just do not understand.

Judy,

Well, we all know about Politicans in the closet who indulge in gay bashing. Did you see those very sexy pictures of the Pope in his Prada outfit, complete with red shoes and his very cute assistant who also wears Prada and supposedly does the Pope's fashion sense?

<wry grin>

davidh
November 29th, 2005, 12:00 PM
Perhaps the EU or the World Court in the Hague should send special agents to arrest the Pope and the cardinals and bishops while they are travelling between the Vatican and Rome airport. Or at least serve them with warrants to appear in court on charges of hate speech? The government in Sweden tried to put an evangelical pastor there in jail for anti-gay preaching.

Perhaps the Feds here could also bring some kind of civil suit against Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Orthodox Jewish Congregations, conservative evangelicals, etc. for unfair employment practices, not hiring sufficient numbers of gays and women as clergy, etc.

The "free establishment thereof" phrase in the Bill of Rights is perhaps irrelevant in our modern humane secular society.

David H.

Judy G. Russell
November 29th, 2005, 03:42 PM
Well, we all know about Politicans in the closet who indulge in gay bashing. Did you see those very sexy pictures of the Pope in his Prada outfit, complete with red shoes and his very cute assistant who also wears Prada and supposedly does the Pope's fashion sense?<wry grin>Ooooh. That's mean. Funny. But mean.

Judy G. Russell
November 29th, 2005, 03:51 PM
I have no problem with the Church believing anything it wants, whether I agree or not and whether I find it silly or not. (Frankly, I think most of what any organized religion believes is kind of silly.) And I would never suggest any type of legal action to stop anyone from believing whatever that person wants, or even from practicing it (so long as that person's practice of religion doesn't interfere with anyone else's freedoms).

But the fact that I would fight to the death to protect freedom of religion (as I would freedom of speech and other similar rights) doesn't mean I can't stop for a while when confronted with something like this, scratch my head and say: "Huh? What the ...???"

I don't understand homophobes. And I don't understand the notion that any God -- much less the [purportedly] loving forgiving God of Christianity -- would make people with sexual preferences that are hardwired into their brain chemistry and then turn around and condemn those people as immoral sinners for doing what their brain chemistry says they should do. It just doesn't make sense to me.

ndebord
November 29th, 2005, 08:56 PM
Ooooh. That's mean. Funny. But mean.

Judy,

Mean is, as Mean does. And this Pope's conservatism is grounds for speculation. After all, he WAS in the Hitler youth. (Or was that the SA?)

Lindsey
November 29th, 2005, 08:57 PM
The Roman Catholic Church took one great big step back into the Dark Ages today, labeling all homosexuals as folks with "psychosexual disorders" and barring gays from the priesthood.
Recommended reading on this subject (and on many others as well): Andrew Sullivan's "Daily Dish (http://www.andrewsullivan.com/)". Sullivan is Catholic, and he is gay. He is also intelligent and eloquent, and while I sometimes disagree with his politics, I have come to have a great admiration for his sincerity and his integrity.

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
November 29th, 2005, 11:11 PM
His choice of that photo of Father Mychal Judge is spectacular. For anyone who's not familiar with Father Judge, his was NYC death certificate 00001 issued as the result of September 11, 2001 -- the first official fatality of the World Trade Center attack:

"Mychal Judge never built a church or a school,
or raised a lot of money.
What he did was build a kingdom spiritually,
so people feel close to God.
You can't measure that, and you can't see that.
He didn't realize that that was his gift.
But that was evident in the thousands of people
who came out to his wake and to his funeral."
~ Father Michael Duffy,
Father Mychal Judge's eulogist

"He was a Saint, a wonderful man."
~ Rudolph Giuliani

"Fr. Mychal Judge died the way he lived, a hero and a saint."
~ Rev. Keith A. Fournier, "Common Good"

"Above all, he was a living example of Jesus Christ."
~ Former NYPD officer Steven McDonald

And the Church would say this man -- this man! -- could not be a priest?????

Judy G. Russell
November 29th, 2005, 11:12 PM
He was in the Hitler Youth.

davidh
November 30th, 2005, 03:21 AM
----- (Frankly, I think most of what any organized religion believes is kind of silly.)

In general, perhaps you are right. However, the beliefs of most other organizations are not a lot less silly. To go along with the party line one almost has to be silly or be considered disloyal, i.e. politically incorrect.

(BTW not attending mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation is still a "grave sin" so the popular meaning of "grave sin" does not apply here. i.e. the Pope is not implying that practicing homosexuals are equal to Saddam Hussein, etc. The practical "this world" effect of "grave sin" is that the faithful must confess and receive absolution from a priest before receiving communion, except in case of emergency. Otherwise consciously receiving in a state "grave sin" would be an additional "grave sin".)

------ I don't understand homophobes.

I haven't taken any courses in marketing pornography, but I'm guessing that there is a significant market for same sex intercourse "performances" to heterosexual customers, esp. involving 3 or more persons, with sexes in various ratios (usually integer ratios except in the case of hermaphrodites, etc.). IOW, it doesn't take a lot of imagination to imagine that "normal" people have enough imagination to be turned on by a variety of "performances". But, even if this "hypothesis" (that a lot of people get turned on thinking about sex in general) is true, and even "scientifically proven", WHO WOULD FEEL IT "COOL" TO PUBLICLY ADMIT IT ABOUT THEMSELVES? So I think homophobia is easily understandable. And probably the only way it would ever be eliminated in society is to make viewing of all kinds of pornography mandatory for children starting at an early age (which of course might have other "less desireable" consequences).

------ And I don't understand the notion that any God -- much less the [purportedly] loving forgiving God of Christianity

I think this is somewhat of a misrepresentation. Often punishiment is the best mercy that one (including God, if he exists) can administer, both for the sake of the perp and the actual or potential victims of the perp. Furthermore, guilt and shame are sometimes good things. A double edged sword. Both the hebrew and greek parts of the bible seem to highly recommend the "fear of God".

------ would make people with sexual preferences that are hardwired into their brain chemistry and then turn around and condemn those people as immoral sinners for doing what their brain chemistry says they should do.

I assume that the research that indicates, for example, that hormone balance in the baby during pregnancy affects the development of the brain WRT sexual orientation is more or less true. However, what social policy conclusions should be drawn from that idea are not straightforward IMO. For example, perhaps homosexual men are more motherly and nuturing? If so, perhaps they should be preferred over heterosexual men as caregivers in pre-schools? or perhaps not.

Another point is that some people tend to admire those who do positive good over those who merely avoid doing evil. Therefore even if one were to believe that performing homosexual acts was relatively neutral, one still might believe that avoidance of such acts to be something that requires internal fortitude and might even be considered a positive good. In the dialogues of Plato, it appears to be assumed that at least some married heterosexual men might be expected to engage in homosexual acts merely for physical pleasure and still receive little or no moral censure. Perhaps they might even be admired if they could "seduce" a particularly handsome man with their wit and charm, or vice versa, seduce a particulary witty and charming man with their physical beauty. So why then does Plato make a point of relating that Socrates spent the night in bed with a particularly handsome young man who nevertheless was unable to seduce Socrates? I don't think Plato was a prude or homophobe. After Peter and John witnessed the crucifixion and then apparently saw the "Catholic" "Sudarium of Oviedo" and the "Greek Orthodox" "Holy Flame in Jerusalem", etc. in the empty sepulchre, they probably were well on their way away to seeing the world in a new way beyond politics and political correctness.

I apologize if this brief was too long.

David H.

Judy G. Russell
November 30th, 2005, 09:49 AM
Another point is that some people tend to admire those who do positive good over those who merely avoid doing evil. Therefore even if one were to believe that performing homosexual acts was relatively neutral, one still might believe that avoidance of such acts to be something that requires internal fortitude and might even be considered a positive good.Here I agree with you [to some degree]... and it seems to me that if a man (since women are still barred from the priesthood) is willing to live up fully to the requirements of good works and celibacy [purportedly] required of priests, then there shouldn't be any real difference whether the man is homosexual or heterosexual.

Jeff
November 30th, 2005, 01:09 PM
Judy,

Mean is, as Mean does. And this Pope's conservatism is grounds for speculation. After all, he WAS in the Hitler youth. (Or was that the SA?)

Nick, worth reading...

http://www.durangoherald.com/asp-bin/article_generation.asp?article_type=col&article_path=/columnists/articles/robertsArticles/roberts050518.htm

[clip]

"One of the prisoners, an 18-year-old who had recently deserted from the German army and returned home, recalled later that U.S. troops persuaded him to put his uniform back on and become a prisoner of war. That was good advice. For one thing, he would be fed. Beyond that though, just about anyone else he might have encountered - other U.S. troops, Nazi loyalists or even the Red Army - would probably have looked askance at a healthy young man not in some army's uniform. Given the chaos of the time, he could easily have been shot.

That 18-year-old was, of course, named Joseph Ratzinger. Sixty years later he took the name Pope Benedict XVI.

Pop didn't live to see that. I do think he would have enjoyed it, though, even if he still wouldn't have kissed the ring.

Bill Roberts is the Herald's editorial page editor."

ndebord
November 30th, 2005, 01:09 PM
He was in the Hitler Youth.

Judy,

Of course, the SA part was tongue in, err, ah, cheek.

ndebord
November 30th, 2005, 10:09 PM
Nick, worth reading...

http://www.durangoherald.com/asp-bin/article_generation.asp?article_type=col&article_path=/columnists/articles/robertsArticles/roberts050518.htm

[clip]

"One of the prisoners, an 18-year-old who had recently deserted from the German army and returned home, recalled later that U.S. troops persuaded him to put his uniform back on and become a prisoner of war. That was good advice. For one thing, he would be fed. Beyond that though, just about anyone else he might have encountered - other U.S. troops, Nazi loyalists or even the Red Army - would probably have looked askance at a healthy young man not in some army's uniform. Given the chaos of the time, he could easily have been shot.

That 18-year-old was, of course, named Joseph Ratzinger. Sixty years later he took the name Pope Benedict XVI.

Pop didn't live to see that. I do think he would have enjoyed it, though, even if he still wouldn't have kissed the ring.

Bill Roberts is the Herald's editorial page editor."

Jeff,

Reactionary is, as reactionary does. (Boy do I love my Forest Gump these days).

I say, only slightly in jest, if only they had shot this man in his youth, what a difference it might have made. That recent Pope, who co opted the illustrious name of his predecessor "John" (in part), has well earned the hatred of those who opposed him in the ranks of the cardinals. One who has remained anonymous said: "Fiant dies eius pauci et episcopatum eius accipiat alter (May his days be few and may another receive his Bishopric...a quote from the 7th verse of the psalm 'Deus Laudem.')"

Our current Pope was the man who watched his back and provided him with intellectual credence in his attempt to reverse the Enlightenment and return the Catholic faith to some form of medieval despotism.

So I say, a pox upon him and his red shoes and his cute assistant and his continuing attempts to reverse the progressive policies of Pope John XXIII, the last great POPE imo.

Lindsey
December 1st, 2005, 05:03 PM
His choice of that photo of Father Mychal Judge is spectacular.
My reaction exactly.

And the Church would say this man -- this man! -- could not be a priest?????
I strongly suspect that if JC himself were to walk among us, he would soon fall afoul of much of the officialdom of organized Christianity. He tended to hang with a bad crowd, after all -- lepers, tax collectors, Zealots, all kinds of rabble rousers--not the sort of people you want sitting next to you in the pew on Sunday morning. Obviously anti-capitalist. Probably even a damned Communist. Not too surprising he ended up being crucified. People like that are just damned hard to live with...

--Lindsey

Lindsey
December 1st, 2005, 05:12 PM
Here I agree with you [to some degree]... and it seems to me that if a man (since women are still barred from the priesthood) is willing to live up fully to the requirements of good works and celibacy [purportedly] required of priests, then there shouldn't be any real difference whether the man is homosexual or heterosexual.
Or as one of the TV wags put it the other night (can't remember whether it was Keith Olberman or Jon Stewart): "What difference does it make what kind of sex they're not having?"

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
December 1st, 2005, 08:59 PM
Or as one of the TV wags put it the other night (can't remember whether it was Keith Olberman or Jon Stewart): "What difference does it make what kind of sex they're not having?"ROFL!!!! Yeah, exactly!

Judy G. Russell
December 1st, 2005, 09:00 PM
I can't imagine Him being truly accepted in any organized church anywhere in the world. Except maybe a parish where someone like Father Mychal Judge was the priest.

Lindsey
December 2nd, 2005, 05:29 PM
ROFL!!!! Yeah, exactly!
I actually found an answer (of sorts) to that question over on Robert Scheer's new TruthDig.com (http://truthdig.com/) site, which is featuring a long piece entitled "Inventing Sin: Religion and Homosexuality (http://www.truthdig.com/dig/item/religion_homosexuality/)." This is a quoting Pope John Paul II:

"We feel that a person who is homosexually oriented is not a suitable candidate for the priesthood, even if he did not commit an act [of gay sex],” he said. “There is a difference between heterosexual candidates and homosexual candidates,” he said. “A heterosexual is taking on a good thing, becoming a priest, and giving up a very good thing, the desire to have a family.” A gay seminarian, even a chaste one, he said, “by his orientation, is not giving up family and marriage. He is giving up what the church considers an abomination."
Not that I buy that argument at all; I think it is logic that has been twisted to reach a pre-determined conclusion.

--Lindsey

Lindsey
December 2nd, 2005, 05:32 PM
I can't imagine Him being truly accepted in any organized church anywhere in the world. Except maybe a parish where someone like Father Mychal Judge was the priest.
I discovered today that there was a cartoonist on the same wavelength: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/mr_fish_editorial_cartoon2/

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
December 3rd, 2005, 11:03 AM
ROFL!!! That's wonderful...

Judy G. Russell
December 3rd, 2005, 11:05 AM
I think it is logic that has been twisted to reach a pre-determined conclusion.Exactly right. But then I think I started this discussion by saying I find most of what organized religion (any organized religion) believes to be silly.

Pats
December 4th, 2005, 04:52 PM
I don't understand homophobes. And I don't understand the notion that any God -- much less the [purportedly] loving forgiving God of Christianity -- would make people with sexual preferences that are hardwired into their brain chemistry and then turn around and condemn those people as immoral sinners for doing what their brain chemistry says they should do. It just doesn't make sense to me.


Judy, did you see the cover feature in the Sunday New York Times Magazine on "Gay Marriage" a few months ago? The writer interviewed some of those fine, compassionate, loving Christians. One woman said something along the line of "Homosexuality must be a choice. God wouldn't create people in a way that he says is evil."

Another person interviewed in the article said something like "I'm so glad we can talk about this publicly now! Before, we've been treated as if we were a bunch of ignorant bigots." Duhhh..

Pats

Judy G. Russell
December 4th, 2005, 05:19 PM
One woman said something along the line of "Homosexuality must be a choice. God wouldn't create people in a way that he says is evil."Oh for pete's sake... That's just so unbelievably dumb. If it didn't affect the lives of people I know and love, I'd think it was funny that anybody could be that stupid. But since it does it just infuriates me.

Lindsey
December 4th, 2005, 10:34 PM
Exactly right. But then I think I started this discussion by saying I find most of what organized religion (any organized religion) believes to be silly.
There's a wonderful article by Erik Reese in the current issue of Harper's -- the cover story, in fact -- entitled "Jesus without the Miracles: Thomas Jefferson's Bible and the Gospel of Thomas." He begins by describing how Jefferson (who believed that "authentic Christianity had long ago been hijacked by the Christian Church," distorting the teachings of its founder badly enough to render, in his words, "one half of the world fools, and the other half hypocrites"),

...took a pair of scissors to the King James Bible two hundred years ago. Jefferson cut out the virgin birth, all the miracles -- including the most important one, the Resurrection -- then pasted together what was left and called it The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth (fifteen years later, in retirement at Monticello, he expanded the text, added French, Latin, and Greek translations, and called it The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth).
The result was to boil the teachings of Jesus down to the following (quoting from Reece's article):


Be just: justice comes from virtue, which comes from the heart.
Treat people the way we want them to treat us.
Always work for peaceful resolutions, even to the point of returning violence with compassion.
Consider valuable the things that have no material value.
Do not judge others.
Do not bear grudges.
Be modest and unpretentious.
Give out of true generosity, not because we expect to be repaid.


He then points out the remarkable similarity between Jefferson's minimalist gospel and the ancient Gospel of Thomas, a "sayings" gospel (in much the same style as the book of Proverbs) that may possibly predate the book of Mark, the earliest of the cannonical gospels, but for which no text at all was known in modern days until the early 20th century, and the complete text not found until 1945.

The similarities between the two gospels are remarkable, as much for what they do not say as for what they do. Like Jefferson's gospel, Thomas's ignores the virgin birth. Thomas's Jesus never performs a miracle, never calls himself the Son of God, and never claims that he will have to die for the sins of humankind. Instead he tells parables, he issues instructions, and, most alarmingly, he locates the kingdom of God in that one place we might never look -- right in front of us.

On the topics of sin, sacrifice, and slavation 00 the real Trinity of mainline Christianity -- Thomas's Jesus, like Jefferson's, is silent. In fact, what we find in the Gospel of Thomas is not really Christianity at all. There is no attempt in the Gospel of Thomas to tell the "story" of Jesus, and there certainly is no inkling of some impending Day of Judgment. Instead, Thomas offers a collection of 114 "sayings" that Jesus is remembered to have delivered in the presence of his followers and before anonymous crowds. These were compiled under the name of Thomas and were circulated throughout Syria among a group that scholars now call the Jesus movement.
Many of the sayings -- about half, says Reece -- are included in the canonical gospels. But some of the others -- oh, my.

This Jesus also has no time for empty ceremony, such as fasting and praying. Nor is he too concerned about sins of the flesh. "Why do you wash the outside of the cup?" he asks. "Do you not understand that the one who made the inside is also the one who made the outside?" On the subject of circumcision, he points out, quite sensibly it seems to me, "If [circumcision] were useful, children's fathers would produce them already circumcised from their mothers." At one point he tells his followers that when they "strip without being ashamed," then they will be ready for the kingdom of God. The word "sin" occurs only once in the Gospel of Thomas. [A footnote referenced at this point quotes Thomas: "Jesus said to them, 'If you fast, you will bring sin upon yourselves, and if you pray, you will be condemned, and if you give to charity, you will harm your spirits.'"]
Not too surprisingly, I suppose, the Gospel of Thomas was condemned in the 3rd century as heretical, and all existing copies were ordered destroyed. (I remember reading in one of the many books by Jack Spong, the now-retired Bishop of Newark, that in his view, Christianity had taken a wrong turn around the 3rd century C.E. He was referring to another aspect of the theology, but I find it interesting that some of the same people involved in what Spong considers a wrong turn may also have been the ones who pronounced condemnation on the Gospel of Thomas.) Apparently a group of disobediant monks in Egypt hid their copy of the Gospel of Thomas instead, where it was eventually unearthed by an Egyptian farmer in 1945.

Reece goes on to outline why he sees the Gospel of Thomas as "an oddly but uniquely American gospel," combining the moral teachings Jefferson gleaned from the New Testament with the more mystical aspects of Ralph Waldo Emerson's transcendentalism. Do look for the article; I think you might find it very interesting.

As for silliness: faith is not supposed to be rational; that's why it's called "faith." I myself draw a line of demarcation between literal truth and spiritual truth. I don't believe in the literal truth of the birth narratives of the New Testament gospels, for example. And yet I take a certain delight in the mythology they represent -- the same sort of delight that I also take in Celtic mythology, and a delight that I don't think I can fully explain. Part of it is in the kinship it makes me feel to the people who have passed that mythology down through the ages, and part of it is in the feeling that there is a spiritual truth underlying it all that transcends the literal.

--Lindsey

Lindsey
December 4th, 2005, 10:37 PM
Hi, Patsy! Good to see you here!

One woman said something along the line of "Homosexuality must be a choice. God wouldn't create people in a way that he says is evil."
Wow, talk about circular logic!

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
December 5th, 2005, 10:06 AM
I will definitely look for that Harper's. That's a Christianity I might be able to accept, without even the word "silly"!

Lindsey
December 5th, 2005, 04:39 PM
I will definitely look for that Harper's. That's a Christianity I might be able to accept, without even the word "silly"!
There's another article, too, immediately following that one, that I was reading last night. I can't remember the title, and I don't have the magazine at hand at the moment, but it's a memoir by a fellow who grew up in a very observant Catholic household on his own coming to terms with Christianity, and which ends up pretty much along the same lines.

Pick up that magazine in the next few days if you're going to get it from the newsstand; I think the next month's issue is put up for sale pretty early in the preceding month. But I would think it would be available in most public libraries. Harper's doesn't make any of its content, except for the "Harper's Index," available online, unfortunately. :(

--Lindsey

rlohmann
December 5th, 2005, 06:22 PM
Cheap shot.

I'm no fan of the Catholic Church, but Ratzinger was a kid in a particularly Nazi part of Germany where every kid of his age was a member.

ndebord
December 5th, 2005, 10:10 PM
Cheap shot.

I'm no fan of the Catholic Church, but Ratzinger was a kid in a particularly Nazi part of Germany where every kid of his age was a member.

Ralph,

Perhaps, if you are correct in your assertion. I can't say with authority whether every kid in the neighborhood was a member or not. I tend to doubt that, but would like to see statistics on it.

Judy G. Russell
December 5th, 2005, 10:44 PM
Not online? Gasp... troglodytes!

Dan in Saint Louis
December 6th, 2005, 08:33 AM
I can't say with authority whether every kid in the neighborhood was a member or not.
But MOM, all the OTHER kids are doing it........

rlohmann
December 6th, 2005, 05:57 PM
Fair comment. Hard numberts of that kind from that place are hard to come by, but I'll do some digging.

It might be easier to get support for the allegation that Ratzinger's corner of Bavaria was brown to the core.

Watch this space.

rlohmann
December 6th, 2005, 05:59 PM
It was worse than that. Mom (and Dad) could get jerked around if Junior didn't join up, not to mention what would happen to Junior himself if he showed up in school without his uniform.

Joining the Hitler Youth was optional in theory, but not in practice.

Karl Semper
December 6th, 2005, 07:20 PM
Even in other parts of Germany, not joining the Hitler youth could get you failing grades in school until you did join. My father went from a B student to an F student and back to a B student when his father finally let join the HJ. Pretty hard to believe that something like that could be just coincidence.

Dan in Saint Louis
December 6th, 2005, 09:04 PM
Pretty hard to believe that something like that could be just coincidence.
It was no coincidence. The Communist Party also knew how to play that game. See Vaclav Havel's tale of the greengrocer in "Power of the Powerless", or Kundera's physician in "The Unbearable Lightness of Being". I worked in Prague during Communist rule, and I can tell you that those stories are not exaggerated.

MollyM/CA
December 7th, 2005, 10:34 AM
If you take the position --which I've seen in print occasionally-- that Jesus was incarnated to experience all that humans do --birth, love, hunger, death... a new aspect recently occurred to me...

ndebord
December 7th, 2005, 04:10 PM
Cheap shot.

I'm no fan of the Catholic Church, but Ratzinger was a kid in a particularly Nazi part of Germany where every kid of his age was a member.

Ralph,

I wouldn't quite call it a "cheap shot, rather I'd say half and half when in comes to the man dubbed the "Panzerpapst."

Here is Ratzinger's bio as it relates to the Third Reich.


http://www.bookrags.com/history-hitler-youth/08.html

"When the Law Concerning the Hitler Youth passed in 1936 and the followup decree in 1939, every boy and girl of "pure German blood" was legally mandated to join the Hitler Youth organization. According to membership statistics, around two-thirds of German boys and girls were members before the passage of the law. The remaining third, well over 2 million young people, were now legally forced to become members."

O.K. He was enrolled in the Hitler Youth in 1941 when his family moved to Traunstein. Since 1936, enrollment was mandatory when a youth reached the age of 14 and Ratzinger was no exception, although there were a few who refused at great risk.

Although close to the Fuhrer's mountain retreat in Berchtesgaden, the town was fiercely Catholic (not a Nazi stronghold).

Ratzinger won a dispensation on account of his seminary training, but two plus years later, in 1943, at the age of 16, he was enrolled in an anti-aircraft unit that protected the local BMW factory from Allied bombers. Wikipedia gives a good synopsis of his service:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Cardinal_Ratzinger#Military_service_.281943 .E2.80.931945.29

"In 1943, when he was 16, Ratzinger was drafted with many of his classmates into the FlaK (anti-aircraft artillery corps). They guarded various facilities including a BMW aircraft engine plant north of Munich and later, the jet fighter base at Gilching, where Ratzinger served in telephone communications. After his class was released from the Corps in September 1944, Ratzinger was put to work setting up anti-tank defences in the Hungarian border area of Austria in preparation for the expected Red Army offensive. When his unit was released from service in November 1944, he went home for three weeks, and then was drafted into the German army at Munich to receive basic infantry training in the nearby town of Traunstein. His unit served at various posts around the city and was never sent to the front."

Ratzinger "deserted" at the beginning of May 1945, by the 8th of May the war was over. He stayed in almost to the bitter end. He was captured by American troops and spent a short time in an internment camp before his release in June.

Lindsey
December 7th, 2005, 04:16 PM
Not online? Gasp... troglodytes!
Greedy guts is more like it. They have a web site, and I think they offer things from their archive, but nothing from the current issue. :mad:

--Lindsey

Lindsey
December 7th, 2005, 04:32 PM
If you take the position --which I've seen in print occasionally-- that Jesus was incarnated to experience all that humans do --birth, love, hunger, death... a new aspect recently occurred to me...
HE GAVE BIRTH???!!! I guess I'm not surprised that the Church fathers would have suppressed tales of THAT kind of a miracle--they sure wouldn't want that trend catching on!

Oh, no, wait -- now I see. You meant that he himself was born and not just zapped into being. Ummm--never mind.

(But you are thinking in a "The Last Temptation of Christ" sort of way. There's a non-canonical gospel -- I don't remember which one -- which some have interpreted as having Jesus married to Mary Magdalene, or at least rather intimately involved with her. And there are some who assert that the wedding at Cana depicted in the Gospel of John was actually Jesus' own wedding.)

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
December 7th, 2005, 08:29 PM
Well, you can't really blame 'em. They sell a product and don't want to give it away.

Lindsey
December 9th, 2005, 11:54 PM
Well, you can't really blame 'em. They sell a product and don't want to give it away.
Yeah. But it's frustrating when you want to share it with people, and you can only tell them, "Go out and find a copy of this!"

--Lindsey

Lindsey
December 10th, 2005, 12:02 AM
Judy,

By the way, you'd be interested in the subject of Diane Rehm's second hour on Thursday (http://www.wamu.org/programs/dr/05/12/08.php): an interview with author Bart Ehrman about his book Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. Would provide you with additional fodder for arguing with the Biblical inerrantists. (Click on the book link that appears on that page; Ehrman has written some VERY intriguing stuff--I'm going to have to pick up some of them myself. And I notice he teaches at Chapel Hill -- alma mater of that heretic, Bishop John Shelby Spong. I can only imagine what Pat Robertson has to say about that place. ;) )

--Lindsey

davidh
December 10th, 2005, 03:46 AM
Judy,

By the way, you'd be interested in the subject of Diane Rehm's second hour on Thursday (http://www.wamu.org/programs/dr/05/12/08.php): an interview with author Bart Ehrman about his book Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. Would provide you with additional fodder for arguing with the Biblical inerrantists. (Click on the book link that appears on that page; Ehrman has written some VERY intriguing stuff--I'm going to have to pick up some of them myself. And I notice he teaches at Chapel Hill -- alma mater of that heretic, Bishop John Shelby Spong. I can only imagine what Pat Robertson has to say about that place. ;) )

--Lindsey

Perhaps more than "mistakes and intentional changes"***, the difficulty of *translation* leads to obscuring the intents of the various original authors.
For example, an understanding of how hebrew got translated into greek, and the cultural allusions involved, gives a much clearer picture of the story of the woman who had an "issue of blood".

http://www.jerusalemperspective.org/Default.aspx?tabid=27&ArticleID=1441

Site has many examples of the extreme difficulty of translation between hebrew and greek (of course, this is not at all unique to scripture, it happens all the time even today all across the globe in business, politics, etc.).

Of course it was assumed that the original Jewish readers would have known what torment the woman was in ADDITIONALLY, besides the medical aspect. Because she could not have children, EVEN IF SHE WAS FERTILE, because as an orthodox Jew she and her husband could not be intimate. AND she was not allowed to touch others because of her ritual uncleaness. Let alone a big Rabbi.

The "hem of his garment" also alludes literally to the wings (think of the idea of 'flaps' [hem] and 'flying' in English) of the cherubim on top of the ark of the covenant, the throne of grace/mercy, in the Holy of Holies in the Temple. As also alluded to in the story of how Ruth and Boaz (gentile and Jewish) ancestors of Jesus became betrothed. Similar to Hannah, the mother of Samuel, the poor woman (in the gospel) was in emotional agony because she could not become a mother.

The translators of the gospels from Hebrew/Aramaic into Greek certainly had a dilemma on their hands. If they had explained all the Jewish rituals in detail they would have reinforced the hand of the partisans of ritual orthodoxy who wanted to kick out all the gentiles. OTOH if they translated freely into greek idiom, then even more of the original intent would have been lost. At least they were awed enough by the subject material so that they often made a cautiously literal translation of hebrew idioms even tho' the result was unintelligible without cultural background knowledge. Which unfortunately led either to misunderstandings or to complete bafflement. (i.e. some obscure sayings are merely obscure because of the translation problems) Nevertheless the literalness of the greek translations has made it easier for scholars to reconstruct the original hebrew/aramaic.

"11:00 Bart Ehrman: "Misquoting Jesus" (Harper SanFrancisco)

***
"A New Testament scholar describes how mistakes and intentional changes made by scribes who hand copied the words of Jesus and the writings of Saint Paul have shaped cherished biblical stories and widely held beliefs.
Guests

"Bart Ehrman, Chairman of the Religious Studies Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of "Lost Christianities" and "Lost Scriptures."

BTW, initially (after the finding of the Nag Hammadi script in coptic in about 1945) the Gospel of Thomas apparently got more of a bum rap than it deserved, because many of the other papyrii with it were blatantly gnostic in the dualistic sense. However, since only a couple greek fragments of it survive, it faces the translation problem in even more extreme degree because whatever is genuine in it is very likely a translation of a translation. I.e. aramaic to greek to coptic. Furthermore, the fact that it refers to James the Just (author of epistle of James) as the one that Jesus told Thomas to turn to when he departed could lead one to think that the sayings attributed to Thomas are as much if not more partisan than the canonical gospels. James the Just is never mentioned among the 12 in the canon, however 'tradition' holds that he was the first chosen among the '70'.

Persecution of the poor and of religious people seems to be increasing in both China and Vietnam. I've been translating a few short news articles recently from Vietnamese to English. Dealing with Vietnamese Communist violent persecution of Buddhists, Mennonites, and Catholics in Vietnam. Even tho' it's simple stuff not dealing with theology or preaching, etc. it's still much harder than translating between English and a western european language like French or German. For example, the Hoa Hao Buddhists were appealing to other Buddhists around the world to sympathize with their struggle and support them (with prayers, etc.) so they could "close eyes". Or as we might say in English: "die for the faith". I would never have figured that one out if my wife had not helped me ;-)

David H.

Judy G. Russell
December 10th, 2005, 12:08 PM
Added to my Christmas book list, thanks!

Lindsey
December 10th, 2005, 05:16 PM
Perhaps more than "mistakes and intentional changes"***, the difficulty of *translation* leads to obscuring the intents of the various original authors.
Well, it's a little of all of those things; Ehrman cites examples of mistakes and intentional changes inserted into the scriptures by medieval copyists. (He suggests that at least some additions probably started out as marginal notes later incorporated into the main body of the text.

The translation problems you refer to are for the Old Testament; the books of the New Testament were originally written in Greek*, so the Aramaic-->Greek problem doesn't apply, though of course, there are always translation issues when you are going from one language to another, or one cultural tradition to another, or just one common body of assumed knowledge to another.

*There is one gospel account that has been entirely lost and is known only by reference from early Christian writers which was in Aramaic and closely related to the book of Matthew, but it is not known whether it was an Aramaic translation of Matthew, or an original work that was originally written in Aramaic and drawing on some of the same sources as Matthew. I think St. Jerome referred to it as "The Gospel of the Hebrews."

Even tho' it's simple stuff not dealing with theology or preaching, etc. it's still much harder than translating between English and a western european language like French or German.
I'm not surprised that would be the case; English and French and German share broad cultural traditions as well as many syntactical and grammatical similarities. Different species within the same genus, you might say. Vietnamese represents a different genus.

--Lindsey

rlohmann
December 12th, 2005, 07:57 PM
Nick--

I wouldn't quite call it a "cheap shot," rather I'd say half and half when in comes to the man dubbed the "Panzerpapst."Well...

"O.K. He was enrolled in the Hitler Youth in 1941 when his family moved to Traunstein. Since 1936, enrollment was mandatory when a youth reached the age of 14 and Ratzinger was no exception, although there were a few who refused at great risk.OK, but is it fair to condemn a kid of that age for not refusing?

Although close to the Fuhrer's mountain retreat in Berchtesgaden, the town was fiercely Catholic (not a Nazi stronghold).Traunstein not a Nazi stronghold? You're kidding!

In Bavaria, where the Nazi movement started, Catholicism and Nazism were by no means mutually exclusive, and Traunstein and the neighboring town of Passau were shining examples of this coziness. (If you read German, I can give you the URL of a fairly recent FAZ article about "fiercly Catholic" Traunstein and its enthusiasm for the Nazis when Ratzinger was a kid.)

Wikipedia gives a good synopsis of his service:
Wikipedia has been coming under increasing--and in my view justified--attack recently. Nobody knows who the contributors are, what their academic credentials--if any--are, and what undisclosed personal biases they bring to their contributions.

My own bias, which I freely concede, is strongly anti-Catholic, but trashing Ratzinger for his putative Nazi sympathies is unfair and unsupported by any ascertainable historical evidence.

Lindsey
December 13th, 2005, 06:30 PM
Wikipedia has been coming under increasing--and in my view justified--attack recently. Nobody knows who the contributors are, what their academic credentials--if any--are, and what undisclosed personal biases they bring to their contributions.
It seems to me -- based on nothing more than casual impression -- that Wikipedia has fairly recently appeared on the radar of the extreme partisans of both sides who are now using it to conduct war by subterfuge. I remember coming across an article about six months ago -- I don't remember who it was about, but it was some political figure -- and the change history very clearly showed that there was an ideological war going on involving not simply the content of the article, but down to the use of individual words and phrases.

And then there was the recent story about a journalist (John Seigenthaler) who was the subject of a vicious faked Wikipedia article linking him to the Kennedy assassination. Wiki didn't change it until the guy wrote an op-ed (http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2005-11-29-wikipedia-edit_x.htm) in USA Today criticizing them, and even then they apparently didn't get it completely right, confusing him with his son, who works for NBC News.

The original Wiki idea was kind of neat, but it depends on people acting in good faith, and I don't think it's likely to survive the combination of fierce partisanship and positive desire to inflict harm that is increasingly polluting public discourse. Wikipedia has slightly modified its submission policies as a result of Siegenthaler's experience, but not significantly. They now require a registration before you can create an article, but registration doesn't require that you supply even an e-mail address, and they still allow changes by unregistered users.

--Lindsey

earler
December 14th, 2005, 04:52 AM
Hmm. I assume you have paul blanshard's book under your pillow then?

-er

rlohmann
December 14th, 2005, 07:22 PM
It seems to me -- based on nothing more than casual impression -- that Wikipedia has fairly recently appeared on the radar of the extreme partisans of both sides who are now using it to conduct war by subterfuge.I don't use it as a serious reference, but I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of your impression.

The original Wiki idea was kind of neat, but it depends on people acting in good faith, and I don't think it's likely to survive the combination of fierce partisanship and positive desire to inflict harm that is increasingly polluting public discourse.And on that observation rests the fundamental difference between your view of humanity and my own, and, as a logical consequence, the difference between our politics.

You believe, presumably along the lines of Locke and Rousseau, that man is essentially a creature inherently noble. Only the serpent of partisanship, evidently some malevolent alien influence, can disturb this earthly paradise.

That's why you're a liberal Democrat.

I tend to side with Hobbes, whose perceptions, cheerless though they might be, have always struck me as much closer to ascertainible reality.

I never paid much attention to the Wikipedia because I didn't know who was writing the articles or what their credentials--academic or experiential--were. It always struck me as a '60-ish creation: a kind of communistic--in the dictionary sense--sharing of information by people who sat around singing "Kumbayah" when they weren't adding to the sum total of human knowledge.

You may be surprised that it's falling into disrepute. I'm not.

rlohmann
December 14th, 2005, 07:29 PM
Hmm. I assume you have paul blanshard's book under your pillow then??

When I was Catholic child in the '50s, Paul Blanshard was the Antichrist incarnate. The Baltimore "Catholic Standard," which we were all required to read every Friday, excoriated him regularly.

Consequently, your note is somewhat confusing. I was defending the Pope in my reference to the environment of Southeastern Germany in the '30s. For a kid at that time and place, there was simply no alternative to the Hitler Youth.

Lindsey
December 14th, 2005, 08:40 PM
I don't use it as a serious reference
Well, no, I don't either, but it has been a convenient casual reference, and I hate to see the vandal ethic threatening to take down yet another convenient aspect of online life.

That's why you're a liberal Democrat.
Am I? I don't really think so. I see myself as more of a centrist. But I don't think labels mean all that much in the first place--they're too simplified, too pat. People and their ideas are more complicated than that. I have lately become a great fan of Andrew Sullivan, who has made his name as a conservative commentator. I don't always agree with his politics, but I do respect his adherence to principle, and lately I find I agree with him more than I disagree. So does that make him a liberal, or does it make me a conservative? Neither, I think. As I said, I don't think the labels are all that meaningful.

You may be surprised that it's falling into disrepute. I'm not.
Surprised? More like disappointed. But I'm hoping they can find a way to tighten up the accountability without becoming exclusive about it.

--Lindsey

Dan in Saint Louis
December 14th, 2005, 09:06 PM
But I'm hoping they can find a way to tighten up the accountability without becoming exclusive about it.
Perhaps those finding errors of fact should post corrections, documenting the source, etc etc etc.

Judy G. Russell
December 14th, 2005, 09:47 PM
That's a very good idea, Dan.

earler
December 15th, 2005, 06:50 AM
But, you said you were anti-catholic and blanshard's magnum opus, american freedom and catholic power was bedside reading for anti-catholics back in the 40s and 50s.

Yes, I realize you were defending the pope himself not the church. Personally, I always thought that augustus was the greatest pontifex maximus.

-er

Dan in Saint Louis
December 15th, 2005, 08:32 AM
That's a very good idea
In a way it mirrors the system of discovery and publishing in science.

Researcher A believes he has discovered something, so he writes it up for a journal.

The journal publishes it, and scientist B says "This is all wrong, he forgot to test for blah-blah". So B publishes a rebuttal, and documents his procedures and conclusions.

C now writes a rebuttal of B, saying A was right all along because the test B proposed has been discredited, and the beat goes on.

Judy G. Russell
December 15th, 2005, 09:35 AM
It makes a great deal of sense and would provide the data for people to make up their own minds. And it sure beats the simple "I read it on the Internet" bit...

Jeff
December 15th, 2005, 02:20 PM
It makes a great deal of sense and would provide the data for people to make up their own minds. And it sure beats the simple "I read it on the Internet" bit...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4530930.stm

Wikipedia survives research test

The free online resource Wikipedia is about as accurate on science as the Encyclopedia Britannica, a study shows.

more...

- Jeff

rlohmann
December 15th, 2005, 06:21 PM
Am I? I don't really think so. I see myself as more of a centrist.Well.... <pondering that>
But I don't think labels mean all that much in the first place--they're too simplified, too pat. People and their ideas are more complicated than that.It's difficult to quarrel with that in general terms , but I would suggest that many of your views are often quite similar to those somewhat left of center. You do read Salon, after all. :)

(I read it myself on occasion, but only for Susie Bright.) :D

rlohmann
December 15th, 2005, 06:30 PM
You're assuming that "people" are competent to judge the accuracy of the articles published.

I read the article Jeff cited, but it doesn't negate the fact that nobody knows whether any given contributor to the Wikipedia has the foggiest notion of what he's talking about. Yes, it's reassuring to know that it and the Britannica have roughly similar error rates, but the Britannica is less of a crapshoot. The authors of Britannica items have at very least convinced experts in the field that they know what they're talking about.

Anybody with an AOL dialup connection can post Wikipedia articles.

rlohmann
December 15th, 2005, 06:33 PM
Personally, I always thought that augustus was the greatest pontifex maximus.Our local cable TV put on the 1953 "Julius Caesar" last night, with a young Marlon Brando as Antony and a young James Mason as Brutus.

Judy G. Russell
December 15th, 2005, 09:06 PM
I saw that! Makes me worry a bit about the Britannica!

Judy G. Russell
December 15th, 2005, 09:07 PM
You're assuming that "people" are competent to judge the accuracy of the articles published.Nope, just thinking that they have a better chance of coming to a reasonable conclusion if they have an opportunity to know what the facts are. I can't make them take the opportunity, but it would be nice if they had the opportunity!

Lindsey
December 15th, 2005, 10:39 PM
Perhaps those finding errors of fact should post corrections, documenting the source, etc etc etc.
They should require documented sources for anything posted on Wikipedia. Part of the problem is that they apparently do not.

--Lindsey

Lindsey
December 15th, 2005, 10:53 PM
I would suggest that many of your views are often quite similar to those somewhat left of center.
The center is a big place. <shrug>

You do read Salon, after all. :)
I also read Andrew Sullivan and The Economist. Your point is?

(I read it myself on occasion, but only for Susie Bright.) :D
Uh, I hate to break this to you Ralph, but it doesn't appear that Susie Bright has been a Salon columnist for at least the last 5 or 6 years. And certainly not, I don't think, since I became a subscriber. (I signed up when Joe Conason started a daily column there--which he no longer maintains, though he does still write columns for them periodically.)

--Lindsey

MollyM/CA
December 16th, 2005, 11:06 PM
I saw that! Makes me worry a bit about the Britannica!

Brittanica sucks on several topics I have experience with --especially the new editions. They may be OK when quoting historical documents --hands-on vertebrate zoology and botany, ag subjects, and cooking tend to be inaccurate and/or skimpy to the point of misleading.

I'm reading 'One Good Turn' by Witold Rybczynski and he frequently quotes his OLD Brittanicas in his search for the origins of the screwdriver --not much good to say about the online versions.

Great book, by the way.

Judy G. Russell
December 16th, 2005, 11:35 PM
I don't own a Brittanica at the moment. I grew up in a household that had one, however, and it was treated as Gospel by my parents. Especially by my mother.

True story (or so my mother said, though she never let the truth interfere with a good story): my mother had never seen a chessboard before she met my father. But he "taught" her to play, which is to say he taught her enough to where she could give him a decent game but never quite beat him. This did not sit well with my oh-so-competitive-one-of-12-kids mother. So one day she decided she was going to learn. Really learn. She got out the Britannica, let my sister and I go hungry, and spent the day reading through everything she could find about chess, chess strategy, chess moves, chess history, etc.

That night, she had the chessboard set up when my father came home. She beat him. And he never played chess with her again.

rlohmann
December 17th, 2005, 05:50 PM
Uh, I hate to break this to you Ralph, but it doesn't appear that Susie Bright has been a Salon columnist for at least the last 5 or 6 years.Arrgghh!

Then I will definitely quit reading it. :)

Lindsey
December 18th, 2005, 10:53 PM
Then I will definitely quit reading it. :)
I'd have thought the Admiral would have wanted you to be doing oppo research...

--Lindsey

rlohmann
December 19th, 2005, 07:10 PM
Without Susie Bright?

Why do you think the Admiral was reading Salon?

Lindsey
December 19th, 2005, 11:24 PM
Why do you think the Admiral was reading Salon?
Ah--so you guys are more concerned with the, um, subversive influence of Susie Bright than that of Sidney Blumenthal or Joe Conason? That tells me a lot!

--Lindsey

rlohmann
December 21st, 2005, 03:22 PM
Yes!

We need to study these subversive influences so that we may protect the Republic against them.

<sneering complacently>

lensue
December 22nd, 2005, 08:18 AM
>so you guys are more concerned with the...subversive influence of Susie Bright <

Linsey, let's not forget those Quakers! Regards, Len [r,d,g]

Lindsey
December 22nd, 2005, 10:03 PM
Linsey, let's not forget those Quakers! Regards, Len [r,d,g]
Hah! Yeah, those Quakers are super dangerous, all right!

--Lindsey (descendant of Quakers)

lensue
December 22nd, 2005, 11:32 PM
>descendant of Quakers<

Lindsey, is it true you've started a chapter of the "Society of Friends" down there in Richmond! Regards, Len [g]

Lindsey
December 23rd, 2005, 04:35 PM
Lindsey, is it true you've started a chapter of the "Society of Friends" down there in Richmond! Regards, Len [g]
I guess you could call this place a society of friends. :p

But I said I was a descendant (http://blake.prohosting.com/~rwl100/john_loofbourrow.htm) of Quakers; I didn't say I was a Quaker!

(Besides which there has been a Quaker meeting (http://www.richmondfriends.org/) in Richmond for a couple of centuries now!)

--Lindsey

lensue
December 23rd, 2005, 04:53 PM
>I guess you could call this place a society of friends<

Lindsey, could this mean there'll be dungeon time! Regards, Len [g]

Lindsey
December 23rd, 2005, 11:24 PM
Lindsey, could this mean there'll be dungeon time! Regards, Len [g]
Uhh -- sorry, no comprendo. I don't do puns, I'm afraid.

--Lindsey

RayB (France)
December 24th, 2005, 05:09 AM
Uhh -- sorry, no comprendo. I don't do puns, I'm afraid.

--Lindsey

Hmmm? I don't do 'do's.

lensue
December 24th, 2005, 08:50 AM
>Uhh -- sorry, no comprendo. I don't do puns, I'm afraid.<

Lindsey, I didn't say we'd do PUNgeon time--I said DUNgeon time. [g] What I meant was that if we're a society of friends here in the forum and some people consider the society of friends dangerous and subversive we could wind up in the dungeon! Regards, Len [g]

lensue
December 24th, 2005, 08:52 AM
>Hmmm? I don't do 'do's.<

Ray, and from what I've seen over the years you don't do puns either! Regards, Len [diving for cover]

Lindsey
December 26th, 2005, 11:03 PM
>What I meant was that if we're a society of friends here in the forum and some people consider the society of friends dangerous and subversive we could wind up in the dungeon!
Oh, I see! I misunderstood where you were going with that.

--Lindsey

Bill Hirst
December 27th, 2005, 05:21 AM
>Uhh -- sorry, no comprendo. I don't do puns, I'm afraid.<

Lindsey, I didn't say we'd do PUNgeon time--I said DUNgeon time. [g] What I meant was that if we're a society of friends here in the forum and some people consider the society of friends dangerous and subversive we could wind up in the dungeon! Regards, Len [g]

Oh, please, B'rer Fox, don't throw me in the briar patch.

--Bre'r Rabbit.

lensue
December 27th, 2005, 08:18 AM
>Oh, I see! I misunderstood where you were going with that<

Lindsey, well maybe my puns will be better now that I have this new Verizon DSL installed--I have to admit that after years of dial up the DSL is proving to be very pleasurable. Regards, Len

Judy G. Russell
December 27th, 2005, 12:05 PM
Oh, please, B'rer Fox, don't throw me in the briar patch.

--Bre'r Rabbit.ROFL!!!!!

Wayne Scott
January 2nd, 2006, 11:35 AM
The Roman Catholic Church took one great big step back into the Dark Ages today, labeling all homosexuals as folks with "psychosexual disorders" and barring gays from the priesthood. In a document issued by the Vatican, the Church underscored its teaching that homosexual acts are "grave sins" that are intrinsically immoral and contrary to natural law.

Sigh...

What is all this nonsense anyway? I understand that we don't want everybody to be homosexual. It would impact on the continuation of the species, not to mention how it would dramatically limit the number of cute guys out there who might be my future partners (uh... strike that)... But same-sex pairings exist in many species, so it ain't "unnatural" or "contrary to natural law" and, more and more, medical science is establishing that sexual preferences are hard-wired into the brain and not a matter of choice at all. So people aren't going to choose to be gay -- they either are or they aren't as a matter of their own biology. (I keep wondering, though -- if I get recruited by the gay agenda, do I get a toaster?)

So what is this all about? Fear? The need to have somebody "different" to blame (for the Church's problem with its pedophile priests, perhaps) or to hate?

I just do not understand.
Yep.
It doesn't look like the new Papa is very progressive, does it?

ndebord
January 3rd, 2006, 11:27 PM
>Oh, I see! I misunderstood where you were going with that<

Lindsey, well maybe my puns will be better now that I have this new Verizon DSL installed--I have to admit that after years of dial up the DSL is proving to be very pleasurable. Regards, Len

Len,

Lucky you! DSL on my block is not an option. Old pipes underground turn dialup into 14.4 speed whenever it rains (like now). Which is why I've gone to medium speed cellular (T-Mobile EDGE, approx. 3x dialup at best.) Sort of like the original DSL, only slower. But it is portable and only adds $19.99 onto my two phone cellular bill, so I'll stick with it for awhile. I'm thinking about dumping Verizon altogether soon.

lensue
January 4th, 2006, 05:42 AM
>Lucky you! DSL on my block is not an option<

Nick, yes I was lucky--despite being out here in the boondocks of western NJ I had the choice of DSL and also Comcast--Comcast which is my cable TV provider would send me brochures every two weeks! Regards, Len [g]