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Catholic Malta legalizes same sex unions

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Era Might
41 minutes ago, Benedictus said:

I would simply say it's an evolutionary variation. I think God likes diversity and that's evident in the world all around. You could say it's a quirk that humanity exists as it currently does at all. Well we could have evolved to something like parthenogenesis. Would humanity die off if everyone was homosexual, if we had our current level of consciousness and intelligence? I don't think so. It's all academic of course. I have read before that homosexuality, in terms of evolutionary theory, developed as a means of population control. A safety control built into the reproductive model.  Others suggest it developed due to the need for kin relationships -  homosexual males were trusted to nurture/protect settlements (the women and children) by heterosexual males who knew there weren't a sexual threat in reproductive terms. This would make sense as many Pagan cultures, at least in the earliest times, held homosexual and third gender expression in high esteem in structural/religious/spiritual terms. This went a bit off the chart later -  eunuch men being forcefully castrated to serve in these roles etc which often gave them lots of power. 

I think it's strange that as marriage has collapsed as a necessary social institution, the great sign of political "progress" is gay marriage. Now that marriage is less necessary probably than it ever was, because our social and cultural and technological structures are so different, the great goal is to integrate gays into a collapsing institution. Part it's driven by the desire to legitimize homosexual behavior, make it social and respectable and not just a sexual subculture. I don't think as a society we have the perspective to appreciate what a different world we live in, even though we still rely on past political societies (e.g., in the US we have a political structure from the 18th century). But, people today are desperate for identities...not just gays, we see this all over society...there's a reason why nationalism has been resurgent, a lot of people have been displaced in the world. Trump appeals to the so-called "white working class" because they sense that power and culture has shifted, there's no longer an industrial base, this new world is centered in urban, coastal areas...New York, San Francisco...or international centers like Paris and London...and the industrial base has shifted to the developing world, which is why Trump sells people on the illusion that he's bringing back manufacturing.

It's politically trendy to  talk about gay equality and trans-acceptance and whatever, but that scares me as much as nationalism does. It's not the gayness of it that scares me, but this is not about sexual desires, this is about groups of people re-shaping the political and social world. Progressivism is an aesthetic the way we might speak of Victorianism or Medievalism. We will look back at our own times (or other people will) the same way we look back at the Victorians. All this talk of "diversity" and "equality" and "progressivism" is, at root, ideological, just as ideological as other political discourse centered around, say, nation or race or religion (Islamic State). Of course, we all know there are gays everywhere...there are gays in the most Bible-thumping church, etc. But the ideology of progressivism is not really about sex, it's about power. And what really scares me is that you have progressivism wedded to traditional structures...this is one reason Hillary lost, people saw a disconnect between the ideology and the establishment. We can talk all we want about equality, diversity, etc. but in reality, power is still wielded in the hands of people like Hillary and Trump and Putin. Are we really growing freer, or are we just as enmeshed in deceptive ideologies as Germans under the Nazis were?

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Benedictus
5 hours ago, Nihil Obstat said:

. . .

Nothing controversial here.  Yes, God is above and beyond human limitations, even of language and gender.  Check out how the Bible refers to the Holy Spirit. :smokey:

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Benedictus
5 hours ago, Era Might said:

I think it's strange that as marriage has collapsed as a necessary social institution, the great sign of political "progress" is gay marriage. Now that marriage is less necessary probably than it ever was, because our social and cultural and technological structures are so different, the great goal is to integrate gays into a collapsing institution. Part it's driven by the desire to legitimize homosexual behavior, make it social and respectable and not just a sexual subculture. I don't think as a society we have the perspective to appreciate what a different world we live in, even though we still rely on past political societies (e.g., in the US we have a political structure from the 18th century). But, people today are desperate for identities...not just gays, we see this all over society...there's a reason why nationalism has been resurgent, a lot of people have been displaced in the world. Trump appeals to the so-called "white working class" because they sense that power and culture has shifted, there's no longer an industrial base, this new world is centered in urban, coastal areas...New York, San Francisco...or international centers like Paris and London...and the industrial base has shifted to the developing world, which is why Trump sells people on the illusion that he's bringing back manufacturing.

It's politically trendy to  talk about gay equality and trans-acceptance and whatever, but that scares me as much as nationalism does. It's not the gayness of it that scares me, but this is not about sexual desires, this is about groups of people re-shaping the political and social world. Progressivism is an aesthetic the way we might speak of Victorianism or Medievalism. We will look back at our own times (or other people will) the same way we look back at the Victorians. All this talk of "diversity" and "equality" and "progressivism" is, at root, ideological, just as ideological as other political discourse centered around, say, nation or race or religion (Islamic State). Of course, we all know there are gays everywhere...there are gays in the most Bible-thumping church, etc. But the ideology of progressivism is not really about sex, it's about power. And what really scares me is that you have progressivism wedded to traditional structures...this is one reason Hillary lost, people saw a disconnect between the ideology and the establishment. We can talk all we want about equality, diversity, etc. but in reality, power is still wielded in the hands of people like Hillary and Trump and Putin. Are we really growing freer, or are we just as enmeshed in deceptive ideologies as Germans under the Nazis were?

I think the tensions you outline have always existed. I wouldn't identify as a progressive, partly as I think progress is largely (in many respects anyway) an illusion. The narratives and struggles differ across time, but always reappear. But Conservatism is often the same problem: a reactionary resistance to a loss of power and a living out of past success for as long as possible. It adapts, of course, but only when it has to do so.   The sand simply shifts and shapes into something else for a while before it shifts again. Getting caught up in all this is like a fly trap. An endless chain of battles and traps that we can fall into and lead us astray. That doesn't mean we give up and go and sit in a cave though. It, at least to me, means we need more wisdom and a more nuanced perspective of how to tackle challenges. History is too quickly forgotten too, sadly.

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Nihil Obstat
52 minutes ago, Benedictus said:

Nothing controversial here.  Yes, God is above and beyond human limitations, even of language and gender.  Check out how the Bible refers to the Holy Spirit. :smokey:

Referring to God qua God as she is inappropriate and, I would argue, blasphemous.

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Seven77
On 8/1/2017 at 6:52 PM, Era Might said:

Where this all gets complicated is in the realities of human personality. So, we've been looking at the "idea" of marriage, the story of marriage as part of a vision of man. But, in the real world, nobody is an idea. It never ceases to amaze me how strange people are...I find people incredibly strange. I look at married people and I'm baffled at how these two people can stand each other. It's not that I have anything against the idea of marriage (well, not against the Gospel's idea of marriage, I don't particularly care about the social institution), but that's precisely the point...marriage is not an idea. Marriage is, for the most part, designed for people of a certain material temperament, people whose "being in the world" is oriented toward material building...of structures, institutions, families, etc. And, on the other hand, we can speak of celibacy or solitude as an ideal, but really, celibacy and solitude require a certain personality...some people take to celibacy and solitude the way other people take to marriage and society. Thomas Merton put it well that the man who goes into solitude doesn't go because it's easy, but because it's the easiest way for him to carry his cross...to be in marriage or community would be a harder cross to carry, for that man. Sometimes I wonder whether man is like the fish of the ocean, where you find all kinds of different, strange creatures who evolved a certain way. There is no "idea" to explain them, they just are, and our ideas about them don't tell us anything about them...they are only bizarre because we see them from the outside, we impose our ideas on them. I wonder if homosexuality is not similar, as a human phenomenon, just a quirk of evolution. idk.

3

Not everybody is called to marriage just as not everyone is called to celibacy. Marriage is a sacrament. In its truest sense, in the sense of the Gospel reality. This means that it has a divine element… It is a participation in the divine life of God. That's the only way that it can work… Through grace, freely given to the married couple. The grace of God is how anything in this world is possible, in terms of fulfilling one's vocation, or carrying one's cross, etc.

I think that man is precisely like fish in the ocean. There's a lot of meaning in Jesus calling the apostles to be fishers of men… It's not just an incidental analogy.

 

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Benedictus
5 minutes ago, Nihil Obstat said:

Referring to God qua God as she is inappropriate and, I would argue, blasphemous.

If anything it's weird you see God as being limited to human gender norms. I'd hate to trigger your insecurities more but God is beyond this!  It's weird you'd think the feminine aspects of God and creation are somehow tainted. Do you think the Bible referring to the Holy Spirit in feminine terms is blasphemous? :whistle:

Take it up with every seminary in the world dude, seriously..

 

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Seven77
6 minutes ago, Benedictus said:

If anything it's weird you see God as being limited to human gender norms. I'd hate to trigger your insecurities more but God is beyond this!  It's weird you'd think the feminine aspects of God and creation are somehow tainted. Do you think the Bible referring to the Holy Spirit in feminine terms is blasphemous? :whistle:

Take it up with every seminary in the world dude, seriously..

 

Yes, of course, God is neither male nor female… But he has revealed himself through the masculine pronoun. Most obviously Christ is male. The Father must be referred to the masculine pronoun because he is transcendent from his creation. To refer to God as female is essentially saying that creation was birthed in a pantheistic way. And, the Holy Spirit espoused the Blessed Virgin as understood by Catholic theology. Basically, it just makes a lot of logical sense to refer to God with the male pronoun. Nothing to do with sexism or whatever.

Yeah, anyway, I hope this thread stays on topic. lol.

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Benedictus

Sure, it makes sense in certain situations to use the masculine pronouns. It's a tradition and narrative issue as much as anything too. But it's not essential and compulsory in every situation. Context is important. There is a difference in some respects between  what can be meant by Jesus and Christ, but in this context maybe it doesn't matter too much. The reality is Jesus was male. He was also fully human and divine.  This doesn't mean God is human. We have to be careful about conflating things. It hasn't really got anything to do with birthing or pantheism per se. God is a unified spiritual being -  of course life can be birthed in this sense. God is a trinity -  this doesn't mean three men merged together!

But seeing and limiting God to human language, constructs and narrative is a mistake. God could have incarnated as a woman if it would have been so desired  -  why not? Just because God didn't doesn't mean it's impossible. Do you think God is so limited?

I would suggest it's actually blasphemous to limit the totality of Gods inherent being, potential and reality. In my opinion someone who is triggered by female references either needs to pray about their notions of God or reflect on whether they have some real unhealthy issues around women or notions of the feminine being associated with divinity, power and beauty. Bible writers had no issues with God being seen in feminine terms. My point elsewhere about progress being an illusion in many respects is well founded by this thread!

Edited by Benedictus

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chrysostom

God Himself came to earth and gave us the language with which we speak about Him. I think it odd to try to do something different. It's tantamount, as it were, to claiming the inadequacy of the very words He spoke to us. And Jesus taught us to call God our Father. And used the male pronoun for the Holy Spirit as well. It isn't arbitrary of course, for it reflects and reveals the truth about His nature.

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chrysostom
On 8/1/2017 at 5:32 PM, Benedictus said:

This is an indicator that Italy will follow at some point soon -  they already accept same sex marriages conducted elsewhere and they have had civil unions for a few years. The majority of Italians apparently support progressive changes. 

The Church needs a good strategic plan if it's to remain relevant and reduce its own alienation over time. There needs to be dialogue and a more serious, and deepened, theological exploration of current issues and questions. I doubt this will happen for at least another twenty years or so, but it's still necessary. Vatican wheels go slow, often for good reason, but it's not always a good thing. I suspect the tone will be set by other churches and groups first. Is the Catholic Church seeing how this pans out? Maybe. It wouldn't be the fist time.

Remain relevant? Reduce alienation? 

The whole world is seated in wickedness. It hates Christ and it hates his Bride, the Church. The more it publically approves objective evil, such as this mockery of the sacrament of marriage, the more it opposes the Church by the bare fact that the Church teaches otherwise. The Church's job is to rescue men and women from alienation with God by sin so that they might inherit eternal life - and to remain faithful to Christ until the last day. Alienation with the world? The world hated Jesus and it will hate His disciples. 

Edited by chrysostom

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Benedictus
18 minutes ago, chrysostom said:

Remain relevant? Reduce alienation? 

The whole world is seated in wickedness. It hates Christ and it hates his Bride, the Church. The more it publically approves objective evil, such as this mockery of the sacrament of marriage, the more it opposes the Church by the bare fact that the Church teaches otherwise. The Church's job is to rescue men and women from alienation with God by sin so that they might inherit eternal life - and to remain faithful to Christ until the last day. Alienation with the world? The world hated Jesus and it will hate His disciples. 

Yes, the Church needs a good strategic plan to remain relevant and reduce alienation. What you said doesn't change that. Every challenge needs a plan of action that is contextual and makes sense.

I'm not as bleak about things either  - God will take it in hand and transform things for the good. Our mission starts with ourselves - our own integrity and dignity in light of God's personal presence in our lives. This is about now and not after death. We have to try to not project our own insecurities and weaknesses by always assuming good intent etc whilst knowing all have their part, their calling and their crosses. God is life giving, compassion and love. Sacrifice is involved, of course. But this can be so often distorted by human ideas and even internalized prejudices.

 

 

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PhuturePriest
3 hours ago, Benedictus said:

If anything it's weird you see God as being limited to human gender norms. I'd hate to trigger your insecurities more but God is beyond this!  It's weird you'd think the feminine aspects of God and creation are somehow tainted. Do you think the Bible referring to the Holy Spirit in feminine terms is blasphemous? :whistle:

Take it up with every seminary in the world dude, seriously..

 

Including my own, I can't think of a seminary faculty off the top of my head that wouldn't be theologically concerned about a seminarian referring to God as "she".

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Nihil Obstat
4 hours ago, Benedictus said:

If anything it's weird you see God as being limited to human gender norms. I'd hate to trigger your insecurities more but God is beyond this!  It's weird you'd think the feminine aspects of God and creation are somehow tainted. Do you think the Bible referring to the Holy Spirit in feminine terms is blasphemous? :whistle:

Take it up with every seminary in the world dude, seriously..

 

How rude. Do you expect me to actually engage with a post like this? It is below me, frankly.

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Benedictus
4 hours ago, Nihil Obstat said:

How rude. Do you expect me to actually engage with a post like this? It is below me, frankly.

Of course,  its below you. Seriously, do you ever read your posts? I think your projecting -  being rude and then calling someone else rude when you get a response. I would seriously advise you speak to a priest about the roots. Prayers for you.:pray:

5 hours ago, PhuturePriest said:

Including my own, I can't think of a seminary faculty off the top of my head that wouldn't be theologically concerned about a seminarian referring to God as "she".

Yeah, OK. Context is everything. It's an issue in some situations. It's not something that comes up on a visit to most seminaries.  Anyway, hope your studies are going good? You're in your first year of philosophy now, right? 

Edited by Benedictus

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Benedictus
5 hours ago, PhuturePriest said:

Including my own, I can't think of a seminary faculty off the top of my head that wouldn't be theologically concerned about a seminarian referring to God as "she".

I would laugh my socks off if we were at the same college, although I doubt very much we are :hehe2: 

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Nihil Obstat

Absolutely it is beneath me. I deal with intellectually honest people, and people with some amount of good will and propriety. If you show none of those, I will not waste my time.

So go ahead, say what you like. It is wide open because you know I will not respond anymore. 

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PhuturePriest
10 hours ago, Benedictus said:

Yeah, OK. Context is everything. It's an issue in some situations. It's not something that comes up on a visit to most seminaries.  Anyway, hope your studies are going good? You're in your first year of philosophy now, right? 

They're going really well. I'm leaving for 2nd college on the 18th, so only... seven more years to go. :|

I don't imagine you study at the University of Dallas, do you?

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Era Might
20 hours ago, Seven77 said:

I think that man is precisely like fish in the ocean. There's a lot of meaning in Jesus calling the apostles to be fishers of men… It's not just an incidental analogy.

Hmmm....I hadn't even thought of that, very important point. Will need to think more on this.

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Seven77
23 minutes ago, Era Might said:

Hmmm....I hadn't even thought of that, very important point. Will need to think more on this.

To be honest, I don't think I had ever thought of that before I read your post! Haha. in the past I kind of thought about it through St. Therese's analogy of different kinds of flowers in a garden.

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Era Might
56 minutes ago, Seven77 said:

To be honest, I don't think I had ever thought of that before I read your post! Haha. in the past I kind of thought about it through St. Therese's analogy of different kinds of flowers in a garden.

It only came to my mind cuz I've been watching a nature documentary on the South Pacific on Netflix, and the narrator keeps calling all these creatures bizarre, and I'm like, why are they bizarre? To you they're bizarre, but not to nature.

An interesting side-point here is that Jesus doesn't use the fisherman analogy for himself, he calls himself the Good Shepherd, not a fishermen. A subtle difference to think about...though he does use the shepherd analogy for Peter ("feed my sheep"). I suppose maybe sheep are already in the fold, whereas fish are not...fish could be coming from anywhere, you have no idea, you just throw out your net and whatever you catch you keep.

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