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Reblog: Intrinsically Disordered

Intrinsically Disordered

Mockery, Social Control, And Christian Decency

 

 

 

 

Every now and then I get a comment from an invariably (culturally) Anglo-Saxon reader, pointing out that something I write is “unChristian”, and meaning by that “not conforming to the normally accepted standards of political correctness and sensitiviteeee for pretty much everything”. Generally, as on the last occasion, they start with “I read your blog everyday” or “I like your blog very much”, though the complaint clearly shows neither is, actually, true.

Let us, then, grab the occasion and spend some more words about social control in Catholic societies.

Most of you do not live, or have never lived, in a Catholic society, and therefore will have some difficulty in following me. But I did, and I think I should share with you both the experience and the benefits.

A salient trait of every traditional Catholic society is a very strong social control. A certain behaviour is expected – nay, it is demanded –  and society at large comes down like a ton of brick on those who do not conform to the standard. All the talk of “oppressive”, “repressive”, or “suffocating” traditional societies (from the small village to the bigger city) is, in the end, merely that: enforcement of shared values.

Enforcement happened in two ways: one official and publicly exercised; and one unofficial, universally used, and not less effective. The first was public reproach. The second was ridicule and mockery.

In those societies – I am absolutely sure: in France and Spain, or in Portugal and Chile, no less than in Italy – mockery was (because it is, and it always will be) an extremely strong weapon to force conformity to desired standards of behaviour. To make just three common examples the slut, the glutton, and the “beautiful soul” were always a privileged target of this.

Woe, in those societies, to the woman destroying herself with food to the point of morbid obesity (which is not being only of the “fat” type, or rather “in carne“, as is and always was more frequent and was, particularly after a certain age, not mocked at all). She was targeted very pointedly, and very sharply. Or, in the case of astonishing obesity as reposted above, she would have been, because I have not seen any of those in my entire former everyday life in Italy. Not one.

The slut was also the object of ferocious mockery, particularly from women – actually, almost exclusively from women – which is why their number was very little compared to every Anglo-Saxon society you may care to mention. Conservative societies shame sluts, and they shame gluttons. The sins may be of different gravity, but the logic is the same.

Lastly of our category, the people who went out of a certain, generally accepted way of behaviour were also targeted with acute satire: you only needed to be a vegetarian to be driven to desperation; this, without considering that the businesses around you did not care a straw what strange ideas you had, making your problems much worse. “Jesus ate meat”, they would say. “Who the heck are you?” I am talking here merely of “vegetarians”. I remember the uncontrolled laughter of older people when we, those who started to go abroad to learn foreign languages, spoke to them about people like the “vegans”. Circus tools. That’s what they were. The same treatment was reserved to those with some secular madness: animal rights activists, pacifists, and other “ists”.

The politically correct societies of the XXI considers this behaviour “cruel”, or even (see above) “unChristian”. But you see, the very same societies out of which these criticisms come are full of sluts; of young and very young men and women strongly resembling  Battleship Potemkin; and of people given to every kind of strange – and this, certainly, unChristian – behaviour: the vegetarians, the vegans, the fruitarians, the “-arians” of whatever sort; and the environ-mentalist, animal “rights” nutcases, and the like.

You can therefore see that it worked. It worked very well. It produced healthier people, both physically and mentally, who then went on to live a healthier life in an environment where certain values were universally shared. Besides being very Christian , these societies worked, because universally shared values and homogeneity of culture make a lot of things easier. Marriages have a much better chance to work if the spouses have been raised with the same set of values (the man is the law and the order; the woman is the sweetness, & Co), and the same then cascades to the society at large, and extends to a lot of small and less small things. The result was a society, like the Italian one, taken as a model case of healthy living, with extremely low levels of suicide, sexual perversion, psychosomatic diseases, and the like. A country of people living pretty much in harmony, because all thinking in the same way. Peppone, the Communist, makes a huge mess when Don Camillo thinks of refusing the baptism to his son, and sends all his sons to catechisms. This was the world. I have lived in it. I can tell even with the romantic and poetic streak of the great Giovannino Guareschi, it was largely a faithful reflection of reality; which is why the fiction was so successful in the first place.

The shaming of the deviation from the correct thinking and living is utterly dead in the modern, politically correct wrecks of a society. Full of boys and girls of morbid, obscene, disgusting obesity, they prefer to consider this a (as the comment that originated this post) “physical attribute” (like a big nose, or a deformed leg) rather than the fruit of prolonged, extremely wrong, and extremely senseless, self-harming behaviour. 

Now, when someone writes a comment here I do not ask him “are you morbidly obese?”. But, crucially, I do not ask him anything else about himself, either. If he has a problem, he should work at that. If he has a serious problem, he should work at that seriously. We are all sinners. But this is no reason to just allow our societies to become full of all kind of mistakes. Which, in case you still did not get it, will unavoidably happen without shaming and mockery as forms of social control.

If you ask me, there’s nothing like children throwing stones at a girl to make her think seriously about what she has to change, and there’s nothing like social condemnation and mockery to prevent her putting herself in that position in the first place. This is not my personal opinion. In the world I grew in, girls started being given the name of American aircraft carriers (“Nimitz”, “Forrestal”), or of literature characters (“Moby Dick”) way before she even reached the level of disgusting, repulsive, utterly ridiculous obesity of the foul-mouthed feminist of the video I have kindly re-posted above. Which is why utterly deformed parodies of women strongly resembling USS Ronald Reagan were, in the Italy in which I grew in, basically non-existent.

Political correctness and the culture of sensitivity produces all the problems it claims to be oh so sensitive about: sluttishness, morbid obesity, manias of all kind. Conservative, “judgmental” societies protect themselves very efficiently against these very same problems or minimise their effect, and are therefore by far more efficient, more charitable, and even more Christian.

But the politically correct mind does not understand this; because the political correct mind is busied, first and foremost, with the celebration of its own sensitivity.

Enjoy the involuntary, tragicomic, disgusting ridicule of the obscenely fat woman.

You don’t even have to pay a circus ticket. She did everything herself.

Mundabor

 

 

The Gluttony Reblog

The Gluttony Reblog.

Intrinsically Disordered

Good Intentions

 

 

I have read around in a blog I prefer not to mention an interesting post concerning “intrinsic disorder”. Leaving aside the sugary parts (the “thoughtful debate” therein mentioned, with the perfectly meaningless conclusion that “the Church must listen to the gay community”, but also “the gay community must listen to the Church”, which is a soundbite meaning perfectly nothing) what surprised me is the analogy between gluttony and homosexuality. The very fact that such an analogy could be made is in my eyes another example of a subterranean Protestant current easily to be found in Anglo-Saxon countries, perhaps not at an explicit level (the blogger in question does not make the comparison; many of the author’s readers will), but certainly at the level of underlying mental and moral category.

To an Italian, to even think to put gluttony and homosexuality on the same plane of “intrinsic disorder” flies in the face of common sense, and means to be no more than 2.5 inches away from Protestantism.

Common sense and Christian tradition have always made a great difference between those sins that go with nature, and those sins that go against it. Gluttony is certainly a capital sin, and at some point it will become a mortal sin, too. But the desire for food is, in itself, perfectly natural, rather indispensable for the human existence and completely God-given. This is absolutely not the case for someone whose “intrinsic disorder” consists in wanting to screw a dog, or his mother, or a person of the same sex, or a child. These kinds of behaviour all blatantly go against the very fabric of our human nature; far from being a wrong use of, or excessive dependence from, or even obsession with what is a God-given desire, they go frontally against the way God made us. God makes every healthy man with the desire for good food, but none with the desire of the abominations described above.

This seems to me such an obvious thought, that a discussion about it appears perfectly superfluous; but this is not the first time the way of thinking explained above is, if not openly professed (again, the post merely makes the point one can send yourself to hell with gluttony, and to get the excuse that “it is part of me” won’t help much in the end), at least invited, or involuntary suggested, in a public area.

We must recover sound thinking and common sense in the discussion about Catholic morals; and we can do it only if we serenely acknowledge, and openly profess, that there is an intrinsic gulf between the immoderate or misguided use of desires that are supposed to be there, and the perversion (per and versio, “wrong direction”) resulting in desires that are utterly disgusting, and conflicting with natural law.

This lack of proper focus, or if you wish this inability to see the forest of reason and common sense because of the obsession with the trees of this or that verse, or this or that public statement, of this or that desire to be “inclusive”, appears to me another speciality of the Protestant world, where the madness of sola scriptura has caused a century-long tradition in word-picking and a high specialisation in self-serving private interpretation of Scripture; until the point comes when the forest is completely out of sight.

We must reacquire the habit of talking straight and call a pervert a pervert and an abomination an abomination. There is an intrinsic and ontological difference, not merely a variance in degree, between the sin of a glutton and the sin of a sodomite. We must say this straight, because to mix up things in that way isn’t charitable, merely extremely dangerous for human souls, potentially including ours. 

We recover proper Catholicism by recovering healthy thinking, and accepting that Christianity – and more so Catholicism – never go against sound wisdom and elementary common sense.

Mundabor

 

Gluttony

McDonald’s fault? Oh, erm, wait….

Having had the privilege of living in what can be called as different cultures, I can give my readers a perspective – a subjective one of course, but I think a widely shared one – about the issue of gluttony.

In Italy, gluttony as a concept is still alive and kicking. When I was at school, the teachers did not hesitate in publicly scolding overweight children – children who in today’s britain would not even be called fat – as “gluttons”, and there was an icy atmosphere in the class as an eight-year-old girl was ruthlessly exposed as an example of wrong behaviour, or a nine-years-old boy as a menace to his own happiness.I remember very, very clearly no one in the same class would have ever thought of branding such scoldings as “insensitive”. Everyone, and I mean everyone, knew they were made out of sincere interest for the health – moral or physical, according to the single teacher – of the young pupil.Social control worked – and still works – rather well.

The same mentality you would encounter outside the classroom. In Italy there is a certain way of thinking, by which a moderate amount of fat is still considered OK. The “fat” southern Italian mamma was never considered an example of gluttony, and the well-rounded man a’ la Peppone in the Don Camillo movies a universally accepted figure. Still, they would both be called, if not gluttons, certainly fat.

The line was drawn when the fat began to be an impairment, or eating a clear priority in one’s life. People started to be called obese far before they reached the extreme I see here in Blighty, whilst the latter example (people literally unable to walk and moving around in electric chairs, or fat to the point of circus attraction deformity) were basically non-existent.

The situation was not much different in Germany, a country still largely dominated – in those times at least, that was before Merkel and so-called same-sex marriages – by a broadly intended Christian thinking. Whilst the point at which one is considered fat was somewhat shifted, the thinking was largely the same. In both countries excessive, deformity-inducing fatness – which one could see over there every now and then, though it was rather seldom –  was considered a sure sign of an uncontrolled character, an immoderate lack of every discipline and, in general, a sign of gravely immature character to say the least.

Then I moved to England. Together with the great shock of noticing Christianity was an option, rather than a standard (which is, in short, what prompted this very poorly instructed, non-practising, confused Catholic to start deepening Catholicism and, in time, to start going to Church again, greatly encouraged by the presence, in this country, of those assertive, orthodox Catholics I had never found in Germany), I noticed a different attitude to a lot of things; very notable among them, gluttony.

Gluttony as a concept is, in this country, non-existent at the level of the general population, and I wonder how present it is even among Catholics, and among church-going Catholics. The general idea seems to be that whilst obesity is a health problem, the culprits for the problem are to be largely looked everywhere but in the obese people themselves. From McDonald to Coca-Cola, from consumerism to TV advertisements, to lack of proper education pretty much everyone and everything is made responsible for the (very evident) problem of obesity, but gluttony.

The problem is made worse by the omnipresent culture of understanding for pretty much everything under the sun – a country who doesn’t have the guts to condemn sodomy will never have the guts to tackle gluttony -, engendering a mentality where an immoderately obese person can think he is entitled to various benefits (from those ridiculous electric vehicles to surgical operations when they massacre their knees with beautiful regularity) without anyone questioning the wisdom of such mentality. When the national health service decided a person weighing 180 Kg would have to get down to 140 Kg before being entitled to a knee operation, there was a socialist uproar. Gluttony was, of course, nowhere to be heard in the debate.

And so it happens that a country throwing away every Christian concept – which are not only divinely ordained, but conducive to a healthier and happier life – then throws money at the problems this abandonment has created, and cannot notice the cul-de-sac in which it has put itself. As I write, gluttony is never seen as such; you have rather two opposed fractions of nannies opposing each other: the health nazis who want to kill every joy in life and see obese people as a public enemy; and the socialist fraction obviously patronising them and giving the responsibility for their deformity to everyone who is not the obese people themselves.

In all this, Christianity is not to be seen. Absolutely nowhere, not even in the stance of the Church who would, once, have acknowledged the existence of such a sin as gluttony and has, today, all but forgotten it.

Guess whether they will manage to solve the problem with the same un-PC efficiency the Italians do.

Mundabor

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