Daily Archives: September 23, 2010
One of the most cretinous affirmations of homos is the delirious belief that anywhere between six and ten percent of the population would consist of homosexuals or lesbians.
I do imagine that these people must have their perspective rather warped from the life they lead and the people they frequent; but for crying out loud, six percent means around one in sixteen! Around two for every school class, whole floors in every bigger office building! What do these people drink in the morning?!
Against these urban legends, Catholics have always maintained that the number of the sexually deviant is much more limited; in fact, anywhere between half a percent and one and a half percent of the population according to country (it being a deviant behaviour, countries with demolished family life will obviously tend to have more homos and lesbos than countries with solid families, growing their children in a healthy environment with loving and caring parents, clear role models & Co.) .
Turns out that Catholics were right. The “Daily Telegraph” (more and more pink these days and now unable to write a headline with the word “homosexual”) informs us that the percentage of homos and lesbos in the lands would be….. around….. one and a half percent. I’d never have thought it after schools, buses, offices were oh so full with ohh so “normal” homos….
It is amazing what happens when people open their eyes and start to think. Or to count….
Beautiful blog entry on the Holy Post blog (motto: “get down on your knees and blog”) about the Papal visit.
Instead of (excessively) focusing on the popularity of the Pontiff and the unexpected (and the more remarkable) success of the visit the post’s author, Father R.J. de Souza, points out to the fact that in the end it is not about what the press calls “success”, at all.
On the aeroplane to England, Pope Benedict was asked what he could do to make the Church more attractive. The Pontiff answered:
“One might say that a church which seeks above all to be attractive would already be on the wrong path, because the Church does not work for itself, does not work to increase its numbers so as to have more power” […]. The Church does not seek to be attractive, but rather to make herself transparent for Jesus Christ.”
Father de Souza wonders how many pastors – Catholic as well – take these words to heart and everyone living in England knows how right he is. “Attractiveness” and “popularity” are the main drivers of the British clergy’s actions and are what has emptied not only the pews, but the people’s minds after the systematic destruction of proper catechesis.
Father de Souza again:
“Consider the relentless pressure on all churches to trim ancient doctrine or adapt moral teaching to something more in tune with — well, what exactly? The latest shifting sands of public opinion? There have been churches that have changed wholesale their teaching in such efforts, now celebrating as holy what they previously taught was sinful. Should they be considered more or less successful for making themselves attractive?”
And are they really? Or are they not dying, all of them? I’d very much like to see how many English Anglicans or Methodist would call their churches “successful”. “Terminally ill”, more like.
Further, one might ask attractive to whom? The British visit occasioned many people who wish the Catholic Church nothing but ill to advise her on how to conduct herself. Why should Catholics measure their own success on the criteria of their enemies? Or consider the judgment of mass culture; should the Church seek to appeal more to the same people who choose, for entertainment purposes, to watch in large numbers people embarrass and degrade themselves on reality television?
I admit that I loathe reality television, so I liked this in a special way; I also notice the use of the small “c” in “churches”, always a welcome token or orthodoxy. But what I liked the most is that Fr de Souza points out to the fact that people who hate the Church must never be allowed to influence it. Not when it is about defining “success” nor, I hasten to add, when it is about their sensitive “feelings”.
Success is not about how many people were there. Nor about whether one had flowers or stones thrown at him. Success is about why the stones (or the flowers) were thrown.
Pope Benedict has put the right accents on his visit and struck the right cords. He has been diplomatic, but not accommodating and has shown a clarity of thought and decisiveness of action that Brits had forgotten a long time ago.
This is the real measure of his success.
This is rather easy, as the belief in reincarnation can only be (erroneously) held if no attentive and systematic reading of Scriptures has taken place. What generally happens is that a “hearsay Christian” (vast majority nowadays, I’m afraid) reads or receives from some friend some information about verses of the Gospel in which Jesus would seem to endorse the theory of reincarnation. Also rather spread are legends about the bible having been “manipulated” (an old dish of heresy, this one), but I am going to discard those for their evident absurdity.
One verse often cited is the one in which Jesus asks the Apostles who they think He is and they answer ” Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” (Mt. 16, 13-14). To an attentive reader it is evident here that Jesus could not possibly have been the reincarnation of John the Baptist, who lived in the same time as Jesus. Therefore, in order not to make the entire construct absurd the phrase must be read as “some believe you have in you the spiritual strength and power of John The Baptist (who had been executed already), some of Elijah, etc.).” This reading makes much more sense than reincarnation, which is in light of the pure historical event of St. John’s life utterly absurd. Also note that Jesus here does not say that what people believe is right. He says instead, emphatically so, that what Peter says is right. Peter doesn’t say anything at all about reincarnation. What he says is: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!”. There can be no more powerful evidence that Jesus, by so emphatically endorsing Peter’s claim, utterly disregards all the claims formerly made.
Another rather difficult part is John 9: 2 where Jesus is asked: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” If the man was born blind, goes the reasoning, then he can only have sinned in another life, which would prove at least that belief in reincarnation was spread in Jesus’ time. By answering “neither this man nor his parents sinned”, Jesus would thus implicitly accept the theory as he doesn’t explicitly correct it. Against such interpretation can be said: 1) that some Jews believed that a baby could sin in the womb, a theory known to Jesus and all present. 2) that there is no evidence in jewish sources that a belief in reincarnation was spread; 3) that Jesus does not endorse everything which he does not explicitly refuse, as we have seen in the former passage in which he doesn’t waste time in explicitly saying that he is not ” a new Elijah”, etc. When Jesus wants to teach, he always takes care to make the point.
Which last point takes us neatly to, well, the point. It is utterly illogical to give an adventurous interpretation to one or two Gospel passages, by at he same time disregarding the entire New Testament. Jesus alone talks of Hell, eternal punishment, Gehenna, fire everlasting & Co. more than any other in the Bible. The examples are too numerous and too well-known to limit ourselves to individual examples. If there is one leitmotiv in the Gospel, it is atonement, redemption, hell and heaven. It is immediately obvious on serious reflection that Christ’s death on the Cross doesn’t make any sense if reincarnation operates anyway; nor does His continuous, insisted mentioning of hell and eternal punishment. Here we see another sign of the times: that Jesus spoke so often of hell is nowadays completely disregarded; it has just disappeared from the radar screen to make place for platitudes entirely devoid of context a’ la “do not judge”, the rhetoric of peaaace and the like.
The concept of atonement is so elementary to a practising Catholic that it would barely be worth the mentioning. But in non-practising Catholics, and in non-Catholic Christians, the concept of atonement and redemption opening the way to everlasting life in God can be extremely diluted or even forgotten, with Jesus reduced to the task of spreading some rather good news and telling everyone to behave and be “inclusive” and “tolerant”. Just ask every non churchgoer to tell you in few words why Jesus came to Earth and stun in disbelief at the answers you hear.
Further difficulties for such interpretative “adventures” arise if we read further in the New Testament. “It is appointed that human beings die once, and after this the judgment”, says in Hebrew 9, 27. The author of this (be he St. Paul or not) is one of the first Christians. He lived in close contact with many of the (other) Apostles. This is real, first hand evidence of what the First Christians were ready to die for. Would Jesus ever accept reincarnation “by implication” but allow His disciples to be, in such an important matter, so tragically and completely wrong? Thought not…
In short, the belief in reincarnation is totally unscriptural not only because Jesus never endorsed it; not only because Jesus himself was extremely clear in his warning about eternal punishment; not only because the belief in eternal damnation was obviously commonly accepted among his disciples, but because if one accepts the theory, the entire mission and sacrifice of Jesus loses its meaning.
On the Koran burning front, there are some news I think it would be at least curious to report.
The first comes from England, where a groups of Chavs has been arrested after burning a Koran and putting the video on the internet. As you can clearly see from the video, there are parts of England where people think they can use what appears to be common parts of a condominium to abandon themselves to burning and screaming exercises.
Now don’t get me wrong: I am all in favour of considering the burning of a Koran as freedom of expression and, as such, legal irrespective of the good taste of such an idea.
Still, these chaps should have known (unless they live on Mars) that such feats are forbidden in the UK. Right or wrong, a law-abiding citizens tends to abide by the law. Unless he is a chav, of course, in which case he’ll have himself filmed in order to be arrested more rapidly.
The video is tragically amusing. These people just think they can start fires on common spaces as they think fit. They make savage dances and screams like idiots whilst doing it. They are so stupid that they don’t even get that covering their heads doesn’t help them a bit if they not only make the house and surrounding places fully recognisable, but even put their own names and location on the video. Yup, must be Chavs.
I do not know Gateshead, but I imagine that they must have their fair share of thugs. The ones in Gateshead appear to be uncommonly stupid, though.
The second news is an astonishing legal feat for which I ask the help of my American readers. It appears that Terry Jones, the Kuran-burning-but-perhaps-better-not Florida pastor, is in the process of being billed by the local police for the security effort necessary during the days of the controversy.
Now where I come from, one pays for police through taxes, not bills. If the police thinks that one is deserving of protection it will protect him, otherwise it won’t. But at no times will any public authority have the right to send a bill to anyone (let alone: for doing its job).
Where I come from, a local authority can impose a fine if someone is making something which is not allowed; the government can even refuse to a foreign citizen the right to enter the Country, if the government doesn’t want to have the public order harassment and costs linked with his presence; a police force can obviously act against a person if it thinks that he is doing something illegal (say: the police can arrest one if he goes around with nazi flags; oops, no actually not, that is legal; it’s a free country after all……).
But what any public authority cannot do, is to send a bill to someone for 1) what this authority is there for and in any way 2) without a contractual agreement with the counterpart.
One doesn’t need to be a genius to understand whereto this mentality leads: whoever wants to express his opinion only needs to be threatened by an angry mob to march toward ruin and the local police can silence any controversial opinion by just going around sending bills for “protection”.
I do not know the detail of this incredible situation and it may well be that in this case things are not as they have been reported, but I wonder what remains of the first amendment if one can be ruined for exercising it.
AFAIK, at no stage has any competent authority maintained that Mr. Jones had no right to burn the Koran; at no point has he been threatened with arrest from the local police, or fined for an administrative offence.
It just can’t be that one abides by the law and is ruined.
If anyone can help, I am grateful for every piece of information.