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Sex and religion

By RosemaryJ36  

As a woman, I cannot begin to understand the place of sex in the lives of the male of the species. And I suspect that the reverse is true. And a significant proportion of the population does not accept that there is a dichotomy in sexuality – and they are right!

Yet most of our institutions and laws have been founded on masculine attitudes with little consultation with others, and this particularly applies to the world’s religions!

It does seem that there is a strong link between sex and religion, in that both appear to be matters linked by emotional satisfaction.

In past centuries – and possibly still continuing in some so-called Christian communities – self-denial was seen as purifying, in a religious context, and having earthly thoughts like lust had to be banished by inflicting pain through, for example, self-flagellation or wearing a hair shirt!

Asceticism was the ultimate path to purity and the gateway to heaven. In my view, the time wasted on punishing oneself for impure thoughts would have been better spent helping people in need of support!

Followers of Christ in the Roman Catholic tradition who wished to bring others to the church were encouraged to put thoughts of pleasure and personal feelings aside, as these interfered, with the ability to concentrate on bringing to others the word of god and of salvation through Jesus Christ. The ministry of the Church demanded total concentration and those denying themselves earthly pleasure were promised life in heaven as a reward. This denial of self also flowed on to some of the sects in the protestant sphere.

Clearly, many who have chosen priesthood and self-denial of the pleasures of the flesh have struggled. Not surprising, because nature has programmed all species to procreate and, while helping others can be a source of pleasure, we all need to feel cared for.

To my mind, the ministry controlled by the Vatican has totally confused the demands they have made of their priests with the restrictions they have placed on their parishioners.

They have sought to make sex available for procreational purposes, while suspect as a means of emotional expression and pleasure. They have equated the relationship between sexual partners with the holy relationship between the church and god.

The demand that an ordained priest be celibate has always been unrealistic, and for many, the need for a less ethereal emotional satisfaction has proved overwhelming.

The sense of guilt associated with illicit sexual thoughts and actions is itself, in a roundabout way, titillating!

I was bought up in a protestant sect and am now an agnostic, conscious of the damage being done in the world by a misinterpretation of the intent of religion. This is not confined to Christianity but also Islam and Hinduism and all others, but these are the dominant ones. Religion is or should be, concerned with finding a meaning for life and a means of enabling a community to live in harmony. Science can help with the first, as well as finding reasons for phenomena, and politics could, but seldom successfully does, deal with the second!

My opinion is that one of the foundation stones of any religion, which is also a stumbling block, is the power given to its leaders, be they priests, imams, whatever, and those at risk of losing their power will go to war – on whatever pretext – to retain it.

Secular law has, in some parts of the world, replaced religious or canon law, and Shariah law is not necessarily followed in all countries where Islam is the dominant religion.

But what we need is to be governed by laws which protect and support the weak, control the power of individuals – and corporations which damage conditions for others – and follow the precept: from each according to their ability; to each according to their needs.

Sadly, the failure of religion to bring peace rather than discord has also led to the refusal to accept the findings of science. Too many still live in the past, denying knowledge more recently acquired and falling back on superstition, myths and fables.

We are currently having statements made that there are many gay priests in the PC church. It is almost certainly true, on current evidence, that many priests are paedophiles, but it is ignorant and harmful to confuse being gay – which is a given form of sexuality and normally harmless – with being a paedophile – whose predilection harms innocent children.

Australia needs to separate education from religion.

Our governments have an obligation to ensure that all citizens have an understanding of science and the current state of knowledge which it has uncovered while leaving it a matter of individual choice to follow beliefs and cultural activities which do not conflict with our country’s laws.

Female genital mutilation is unnecessary and harmful and should be illegal, as should child marriage. There are doubts about the validity of circumcision, but if it has some health benefits, so be it. Most dietary taboos date back to pre-refrigeration days and are harmless but unnecessary. Those who refuse to accept our laws in these and any other similar situation need to adapt if they plan to remain here.

Equally, acceptance of equality of opportunity for all, as a human right, means we cannot discriminate on grounds of colour, creed or sexuality, and any religion which teaches otherwise must be illegal.

We all should have the right to live as we wish, as long as no one else is harmed in the process. It is also vital that we accept difference as a fact – not a threat!

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121 comments

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  1. Matt

    I am not quite sure what the article is arguing, but it seems to be pro-sex and anti chastity – Chastity is not something that seems very prevalent today, but below is a ink to my take on it, based on my own limited experiernce:

    “When I was a young teenager, I was somewhat in awe of women and girls. They seemed such beautiful and mystical beings. And that a man could have carnal relations with them seemed incredible, the very act seemed something sacred; they seemed sacred. The intimacy of the relationship between two people of the opposite sex, joining in an act of love, seemed awesome (in a spiritual sense) and incomprehensible; other worldly. So imagine my confusion when I saw the pictures and read the sentiments expressed in my father’s ‘mens’ magazines. I really had trouble rationalising these two conflicting ideas – the idea of the sublime sacredness of intercourse with a woman, and the presentation of that act, and of women (by both genders), as a much baser act of mere sensual satisfaction …”

    For the rest see:

    https://theinvisibleworld.weebly.com/blog/the-sacredness-of-sex-has-been-defiled-and-it-is-part-of-a-bigger-problem

  2. Diannaart

    Religion’s obsession with sex and sexuality combined with a male dominated hierarchy was never going to work for the betterment of humanity.

    This restrictive dichotomy has (probably) been the cause of creating more atheists than any astute reading of bibles or other ‘holy’ texts.

    As for the malignant impact on children, we have only seen a fraction of the damage done. Yet to be outed is the sexual abuse of nuns and other women by overly empowered religious leaders, a small percentage of which are female, but the majority is male.

    Finally, Rosemaryj36, point is clear:

    Equally, acceptance of equality of opportunity for all, as a human right, means we cannot discriminate on grounds of colour, creed or sexuality, and any religion which teaches otherwise must be illegal.

    We all should have the right to live as we wish, as long as no one else in harmed in the process. It is also vital that we accept difference as a fact – not a threat!

    Religion fails in the above mentioned completely.

  3. Kaye Lee

    1 Timothy 2:11-12

    11 A woman must learn in quietness and full submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man; she is to remain quiet.…

    1 Corinthians 14:34-35

    34 women are to be silent in the churches. They are not permitted to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. 35 If they wish to inquire about something, they are to ask their own husbands at home; for it is dishonorable for a woman to speak in the church.…

    Titus 2:3-5

    3 Older women, likewise, are to be reverent in their behavior, not slanderers or addicted to much wine, but teachers of good. 4 In this way they can train the young women to love their husbands and children 5 to be self-controlled, pure, managers of their households, kind, and subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be discredited.…

  4. DrakeN

    “Religion is, or should be, concerned with finding a meaning for life and a means of enabling a community to live in harmony.”

    The history of religions, if viewed dispassionately, shows quite clearly that the intent of creating and maintaining religious practices was principally for the control, manipulation and exploitation of the laity: Power and wealth for a few at the expense of the majority.

    Any “meaning for life” and communal harmony could well exist – and often does, to greater benefit – outside the dogmas and constraints of religious authority.

    In my view, religions are the longest running and most successful confidence tricks ever imposed on humankind.

  5. Rosemary J36

    Matt – the article was written in the context of the Pope’s meeting of bishops relating to the sexual abuse of children by priests, an observation made publicly on the numbers of gay priests (which appeared to conflate a link between being gay and paedophilia) and the extent to which the ‘Christians’ in government in Australia ignore section 116 in our Constitution.
    Too many ideas trying to get a hearing!!

  6. Matt

    Thanks Rosemary J36,

    Yes, but in the Catholic discussions of this (I am not Catholic, but have been following the talk on this) it is well known that most of the victims are teenagers or older (young seminarians) – which has a different label than pedophiia.

    See for example:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GYY7iZKKrE

    and

    https://youtu.be/0MMiI_UGUVY

  7. New England Cocky

    About 50 years ago I was confused when I discovered most of the sexual training books were written by SJs, who were allegedly celebrate.

    Now which idiot came up with the idea that a celibate person had any real concept of what life in a family required of the members?

    The idea of celibacy is historically recent, dating to about 1500 in England before the Protestant Reformation by Henry VIII. It was designed to protect individual monks from losing their monastery to the primogeniture system of land ownership that would have seen the property pass to the oldest son (at that time women were mere tradable chattels) of the Bishop. (Another good reason to remove all bishops from government).

    In the matter of priestly pederasty of poor parishioners progeny it is obvious that Pope Frankie has too little idea of reality. As a bare minimum, any perpetrator, or other church officer covering up priestly pederasty, should be immediately de-frocked, ex-communicated and barred from all lay work in any church organisation.

    Alternatively, every diocese where pederasty has been uncovered should be removed from ALL government funding so that the government cannot be charged with conspiracy to allow pederasty.

    Government funding only for government schools.

  8. Matt

    New England Cocky,

    Celibacy dates way before 1500 – St Clare left for a celibate life (age 16) in the 1200’s, so did her sister (age 14) – they maintained this their whole life. St Francis and his followers also followed a life of celibacy (by choice).

    Also St Benedict is believed to have been celibate, and celibacy was part of the Benedictine Rule:

    “‘There was a man whose life was holy. His name was Benedict and he was blessed by grace and by name. From his earliest years he had the heart of an old man. Precocious in his way of life beyond his age, he did not give himself up to sensual pleasure. He could have had a good time in this life but disdained to do so – as if he already saw the bloom of the world as something faded’ (Dialogues II, I).

    That dates from the 6th Century. There may be earlier cases.

    source: http://www.aimintl.org/en/2015-05-29-13-29-49/bulletin-97/saint-benoit-et-le-celibat

  9. Matters Not

    Re:

    Religion is or should be, concerned with finding a meaning for life

    Beg to disagree. Rather than be in the business of finding a meaning, why not be in the business of creating a meaning or two? Why not consciously put humans at the centre of meaning making process – after all humans engage in that activity of a daily basis – even if it’s often at an unconscious or unrecognised level.

    If people go looking for meaning, particularly in the religious realm, they are bound to find it (sort of) – but it will always be a meaning created by the ‘other’. Meaning is not something found under a rock, floating in the ether, written in a book or via a flash of light from above. Rather it is a human, individual and personal creation that morally and ethically should not be outsourced to the ‘other’ – broadly defined. Thus each and every individual should (must) take personal responsibility for the meanings they give and never seek to blame religion or any generalised (or particular) ‘other’.

    Being human means being free (to create meanings et al) but it also implies accepting responsibility. It’s all down to each and every one of us.. No place to hide.

    .

  10. Miriam English

    Interesting piece. Thanks Rosemary. I agree with pretty-much all you said.

    Kaye, I was reading recently about the idiot king Trump complimenting Christianity for leading the movement for women’s rights and the outrage that comment provoked. Christianity retarded women’s rights and still does. Non-believers were always in the forefront for women’s rights.

    I never understood why religion makes such a big deal out of sex, wrapping it up with so much fear and guilt, nor why they seem so determined to make enemies of LGBT people… especially Christians, when their own Bible celebrates a gay marriage between David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18, 20), and Jesus himself was almost certainly gay, and Ruth speaks so adoringly of Naomi (Ruth 1:16-17) as to make it pretty certain she’s lesbian.

    Religion is weird and retrograde. Thank goodness it is dying.

  11. paul walter

    Well, at least you mentioned that the opposite is true.

  12. Matt

    Miriam English:

    “and Ruth speaks so adoringly of Naomi (Ruth 1:16-17) as to make it pretty certain she’s lesbian.”

    Maybe you just cannot comprehend platonic friendships?

    As for your comments on David, Jonathon and Jesus – they are in direct contradiction to all the scholars of Christian history – and again perhaps tell more about you than any truth about Christianity or the Bible?

  13. Matters Not

    Miriam English re:

    Thank goodness it (religion) is dying

    Perhaps not. Some would argue that religious thinking is actually on the rise with a greater than ever reliance on faith as a way of knowing – as opposed to rationality and science. Look at the rise of trumpism, for example, in the US and many variations elsewhere. More than ever it seems as though people believe what they want to believe – disregard the rest – and act accordingly.

    While the numbers in organised religions may be in decline, the underlying principle(s) appear(s) as strong as ever.

  14. Miriam English

    Matt, maybe the problem is that you can’t comprehend what’s written in the Bible.

    1:16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

    1:17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

    Platonic? Til death do us part? Sounds like actual love to me.

    My comments on David and Jonathan contradict the homophobic Christian scholars. Yes. Your point being?

    But if you actually look at what the Bible says, instead of simply taking other people’s word for it, as most Christians do (would it kill Christians to actually read their Bibles?) then you’ll see it really was a gay marriage:

    18:1 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.

    18:3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.

    18:4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.

    Some scholars try to paint this as a diplomatic alliance, but it clearly wasn’t as they go on and on about their love.

    20:4 Then said Jonathan unto David, Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will even do it for thee.

    20:17 And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul.

    And they spent much of their time in each other’s company.

    20:11 And Jonathan said unto David, Come, and let us go out into the field. And they went out both of them into the field.

    Another way to see that it wasn’t a diplomatic alliance was how King Saul, Jonathan’s father hated their relationship.

    20:30 Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse [David] to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother’s nakedness?

    20:31 For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die.

    Later David and Jonathan had to be apart for a while and their response to this was not that of mere colleagues.

    20:41 … David… fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded.

    Later, in 2 Samuel 1:26, at Jonathan’s funeral, David says “I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.”

    As for Jesus… it was expected that Jewish rabbis married, but Jesus never did. He had a “special love” for John. At his crucifixion only three women and John came. Jesus said to his mother that John was her son now and to John that his mother is John’s now. See what a Christian preacher Paul Oestreicher has to say:
    Was Jesus gay? Probably
    https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2012/apr/20/was-jesus-gay-probably

  15. Miriam English

    Matters Not, you make an interesting point, but I hope you’re wrong. Unfortunately, I don’t have the figures to show one way or the other. I’ll keep an eye out for such information. Either way it will be important to know.

  16. Matters Not

    RE:

    I don’t have the figures to show one way or the other

    Seems to me that it’s not an understanding, insight and the like that will come via figures. More a qualitative rather than a quantitative research project. Should stress nevertheless that not all useful and valuable knowledge comes via mathematics. Indeed some of the higher order concepts are above and beyond quantitative representation.

  17. Zathras

    The rise of Trumpism is very selective within the evangelical community in particular. Their choice of supporting an unfaithful, dishonest, sexual predator as some sort of saviour seems to conflict with their earlier frenzy over Bill Clinton’s indiscretion.

    Then again their approach to sex has always been selective, with so many of their own representatives and spokespersons being caught out in all manner of humiliating sexual matters. Despite their efforts and self-righteousness the US Bible Belt has the highest rates of teen pregnancy and sexual crimes.

    The bottom line is that religion seems to be obsessed with sex in all its forms and the recent institutional abuse revelations make the Catholic Church in particular seem like a protection racket for in-house sexual abusers – almost a sex cult where (allegedly) virgin men in dresses preach about the evils of homosexuality and proffer advice about living a decent life.

  18. Matt

    Miriam English,

    I don’t just take other people’s word for it, I spent about 30 years evaluating the bible and deciding whether it was true or not – now I know for sure it is.

    Your interpretation is just that – yours alone, and few other quacks. Sorry to have to be the one to tell you – but you really do not understand what you are talking about, you may read the words, but your spirit is not alive when you read them, thus you read them according to your own faulty and worldly understanding.

    It is easy to disparage anyone or any book that is against homosexuality – why don’t you listen to the first video I posted above? It is the account of an actual homosexual who describes his experience and laments that the modern churches are cow-towing to the modern push which is all enthusiastic about same-sex relationships. He is now 50 and has been celibate (by choice of course) for nearly 30 years, as his way of dealing with his problem.

    The world is completely adrift spiritually, and you are drifting with it. Just because these views embracing homosexuality are held by a large number of people does not make it right. And the phyisical evidence suggests that homosexuality – especially for men – is very bad – ruptured bowels, diseases of various kinds, many partners on average, and much unhappiness.

    As for those who suggest that people against homosexuality hate homosexuals – then that to me also indicates their lack of understanding and their willingness to project their ignorance onto others.

  19. Kaye Lee

    Matt,

    Your interpretation is yours alone. You are allowed to think that homosexuality is evil if you want. You are allowed to believe a very old book written and rewritten by the prevailing patriarchy of the day to entrench their power is the truth if you want.

    You say you don’t hate homosexuals but do you have any idea of the harm that your views actually do? You want people who love someone of the same sex to think they are somehow dirty, that their love is wrong.

    LGBT adolescents have the highest rate of suicide attempts, which scientific research indicates is linked to homophobic attitudes and heterosexist discrimination, including political attacks on the civil rights of LGBT people. Bullying of LGBT youth has been shown to be a contributing factor in many suicides.

    In the last few decades of last century there were many gay men murdered, particularly in Sydney. Why? Because of homophobic hatred stirred by people who want us to think their love is dirty.

    The church’s obsession with sex is what is creepy, not two people’s love for each other.

  20. helvityni

    Not a word about Pell here…?

  21. Kaye Lee

    Pell’s lawyers are going to apply for his bail to be extended today awaiting his appeal. Is it usual for people who have been convicted to be allowed bail to appeal or do they normally have to go to gaol whilst waiting for the appeal?

  22. Kronomex

    “I don’t just take other people’s word for it, I spent about 30 years evaluating the bible and deciding whether it was true or not – now I know for sure it is.” Can you provide evidence to back up your assertions? So, you also believe that the Earth and everything living on it was created in seven days? Provide us with some sort empirical evidence otherwise you are, as Kaye Lee said, “Your interpretation is yours alone.” If it’s all true, what about your thoughts on –

    https://skepticsannotatedbible.com/says_about/stoning.html

    How about –

    http://www.humanreligions.info/women_as_objects.html

    I think a lot us would be interested in hearing what you have to say.

    helvityni,

    The main sleaze media piranhas will spend a few days stripping Pell down to the bone in their usual feeding frenzy and then dump the bones when some other scandal,etc pops up.

    I always thought there was something creepy about Pell, apart from his overbearing arrogance and holier-than-thou behaviour.

  23. Kronomex

    Kaye Lee,

    They’re also asking for extended bail because he’s having knee surgery. I always thought if you were as “devout” as Pell portays himself then god would repair his knee after a really good beside the bed prayer before going to sleep. Anyway, all Pell has to do is repent on his deathbed and, glittery poof of angel magic, it’s off to a marvellous afterlife in heaven he goes.

  24. Kaye Lee

    Kronomex,

    The knee surgery, and time to recover, was the reason for the first bail. It was done in December

    https://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/news/george-pell-admitted-to-hospital/news-story/b36228e3b11d4022f629354afc545b99

    It was done after he had been convicted in a show of “humanity to an elderly man who needed medical treatment,” which makes a mockery of the hyperbole of how letting asylum seekers get medical treatment will allow rapists and pedophiles into the country. Apparently we can show humanity to our homegrown rapists and pedophiles.

  25. Kronomex

    Ah, thanks for that Kaye Lee. I stopped following the Pell business, until yesterday, months ago after the mad monk and others of his ilk did everything bar kissing the ring not on his finger in their defence of such a wise, wonderful, and gag, choke, caring man.

  26. Matters Not

    Taking a knee is now somewhat fashionable as part of the US Black protest movement (Sports). But don’t tell George. No need for further humiliation.

  27. Kaye Lee

    Pell told a World Youth Conference back in 2002 that “Abortion is a worse moral scandal than priests sexually abusing young people”.

    After the understandable outrage his comments caused, Pell then insisted his comments were not designed to downplay sexual abuse; he was merely trying to point out that sex abuse by Catholic clergy had attracted attention to the detriment of other issues.

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/pell-comes-under-fire-from-sex-abuse-groups-20020729-gdfhr1.html

    And we don’t want any attention on that when we should be reminding women that they are vassals and vessels and murderers.

  28. Lambert Simnel

    matt confuses pedophilia for homosexuality.

    But the NT is quite direct about what the boss himself thinks of pedophilia. Millstones, hair on head harmed, etc.

    Pack in the derail.

    Kaye Lee, it also makes a mockery of the six hundred suicides induced through ROBODEBT as well as the concern trolling afoot.

  29. Rosemary J36

    Kaye Lee: I believe it is normal in most jurisdictions for an application for bail to follow on notice of appealing the conviction, but it is for the Court to grant – or not. I suspect the application has been withdrawn because Pell might be seen as being at more risk of being abused if he remained in the community then if he is held under protection in prison!
    As far as interpretations of the Bible are concerned, they are in many ways irrelevant. At my C of E Secondary school we studied the OT as the history of the Jews and the NT as the history of Jesus’ life and subsequent ministry by his followers.
    Every religion has its records of the rules to be followed in life because, IMHO, every religion began as an attempt to interpret natural phenomena and set down some rules to enable a community to live in harmony, under, of course, the control of some self-appointed leaders who could communicate directly with the gods.
    Science has now taken on the task of interpreting the phenomena and its conclusions on issues like LGBTIQ status should replace the superstitious and ill-informed response to ‘otherness’ which is associated with many religions.
    As long as a religion promotes respect for all, irrespective of difference and non-belief, then it may do no harm. But when everyone who does not share the beliefs is denied freedom to be different, then religion has to go!
    We need a universal system of ethics, based on human rights, and then religion can quietly retire into privacy.

  30. Wat Tyler

    I wonder if Pell is looking forward to
    incarceration with a bunch of blokes who believe he needs to learn the effect of the old adage ‘Do unto others…’

  31. Kaye Lee

    Thanks Rosemary

  32. Zathras

    The real reason for Bolt and likewise apologists to leap to Pell’s defence isn’t because of his guilt but because the verdict damages their collective brand.

    Those conservatives who once defined themselves as defenders of traditional institutions must now assume that the courts are corrupt or that they as a group of self-righteous spokespersons are collectively and individually less than perfect.

    How long before they dump Pell and distance themselves?

    Despite all the noise about Pell, little mention of the surviving 13year old victim that was forced into “no more than a plain vanilla sexual penetration”.

  33. Matt

    Lambert Simnel,

    “matt confuses pedophilia for homosexuality” –

    No I don’t. I never said anything about pedophilia — that was Rosemary J36. But in relation to the scandal in the Catholic church the problem is apparently not homosexuality, but predatory homosexuality (why not listen to the videos above of those who know more about this than you or I?). But I am not a Catholic, and so I see no connection between the actions of the Catholic church priests and Christianity generally. There are Eastern Churches, Presbyterian Churches – none have these problems – in fact it is not so much Christianity but controlling and hierarchical organisations that seem to have a problem with pedophilia – most pedophilia occurs to children in state care and schools.

    (See for example: https://www.efe.com/efe/english/portada/new-zealand-forms-commission-to-probe-child-abuse-in-state-institutions/50000260-3510566)

    Rosemary J36,

    “As long as a religion promotes respect for all, irrespective of difference and non-belief, then it may do no harm. But when everyone who does not share the beliefs is denied freedom to be different, then religion has to go!”

    Christianty does not deny anyone the freedom to do anything, it says some things are harmful – and in the case of homosexuality, that is clearly true – as medical evidence shows. Can they not even speak what is cleary and demonstratively true?

    And how arrrogant you and Miriam Webster appear as between you both you have:

    a) Decreed what you think Christians can and cannot believe;
    b) Assumed that you are wiser than all the Christian sages of the past centuries in your understanding of Christianity, and assumed that I am a naive person who cannot assess bible teachings for myself.

  34. Miriam English

    Matt, the arrogance is all yours. I didn’t say what Christians believe, and neither did Rosemary. I simply pointed out what the book says. You’re the one imposing judgements upon people. You speak of same-sex attraction as an illness. Unfortunately the real malaise is with you.

    All the gay men I know have extremely long-term relationships — life-long. I’ve never known a gay man who has these problems you speak of. Ruptured bowel! — you’ve been watching and reading too much homophobic propaganda… I bet you’ve never actually met a gay man with this problem… it just seems to you likely, right? Someone whispered that bit of wickedness to you, so you’re glad to believe it, because… gays…right?

    Lesbians tend to have some of the most stable relationships in society, as well as being the least prone to sexually transmitted disease. Worldwide, sexually transmitted disease is more a heterosexual thing than a homosexual one, despite what the hateful propaganda you’ve been imbibing says.

    Historically gay men and women have contributed to society far out of proportion to their small number. Many of humanity’s greatest scientific and cultural icons have been gay. That computer that you use to send lies about gays? Alan Turing, a gay man and absolute genius was pivotally important to its development. Many of the greatest scientists, artists, musicians, writers, and even theologians have been and are gay.

    What has Christianity given us? A friend of mine who has a fascination with war provided me with the interesting information that virtually every weapon and implement of torture was developed by Christians, with only a few exceptions — the Chinese developed gunpowder, rockets, and hand grenades. Yeah, let’s celebrate the Bible and what it has brought us… the bloody Crusades, witch-burnings, the Inquisition, a thousand years of the Dark Ages when they increased poverty, disease, ignorance, superstition, and corruption.

    The Bible, which you say you studied for 30 years… Huh! You didn’t happen to notice in all that time the hundreds of contradictions did you? No. Kinda missed that, didn’t you. You must have been studying it very closely.

    How many women went to Jesus’ tomb?
    How many angels were in the tomb?
    Was Jesus crucified before or after Passover?
    Did Judas buy a field with his silver or did he throw the money at the priests?
    Is Jesus the only man who has gone to heaven?
    Does god tempt man?
    Has anyone seen god and lived?
    Were humans created before other animals?
    Does god stay angry forever?
    Does god get tired?

    Matt, did you know that most of the books of the New Testament are forgeries? Not just a few, but most of them!

    Matt, if there really is a god, why is it that all the most religious places in the civilised world have the worst statistics for murder, disease (especially sexually transmitted disease), poverty, divorce, lack of education, child mortality, early death, and unhappiness. Basically religion correlates with virtually every moral ill. The most atheist places have the lowest levels of murder and violent crime, the lowest levels of disease, the least poverty, lowest divorce rates, lowest rates of abortion, highest rates of education, and top the World Happiness survey every year. This is exactly the reverse of what you’d expect if there really was a god.

    Now, I don’t expect you to believe me, so here are a few references:
    http://evp.sagepub.com/content/7/3/147470490900700305.full.pdf
    http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.pdf
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2014/01/19/new-study-finds-that-divorce-rates-are-higher-in-counties-with-a-greater-concentration-of-conservative-christians/
    https://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2016/10/study-links-religious-belief-to-poor-understanding-of-physical-world/
    http://worldhappiness.report/

    But of course you won’t look at them because you’re not interested in truth. You want to maintain your irrational prejudices and believe that your religion elevates you. All you need is faith, just like the believers of all the thousands of other different religions… each believing they are the only ones who are right.

    The Jew says, “Christians and Muslims are wrong.”
    The Christian says, “Jews and Muslims are wrong.”
    The Muslim says, “Jews and Christians are wrong.”
    The Atheist says, “You’re all correct.”

  35. Jack Cade

    What has never been commented upon is that Jesus bar Joseph was the first Doctor Who. The tomb the first Tardis. Walks up the road, bumps into old mates that don’t recognise him.
    Bleedin’ obvious, innit?

  36. Diane

    Beautifully put, Miriam and Rosemary.

    Matt showed his colours when he described someone’s sexual preferences as “his problem” – anyone who has a friend who is same-sex attracted knows that it’s just one aspect of their personality, and doesn’t make them any less a person in any way at all. Matt, you need to get out more rather than sitting poring over medieval books that have probably been mistranslated many times along the way. Meet some real people and put your prejudices aside.

    Pell’s problem wasn’t that he was attracted to the same sex, but that he was attracted to young, vulnerable children, and abused his position of power to act on that. The gender of his victims is completely immaterial.

    I remember seeing the film about Turing and feeling what a great loss this genius was to us when he was told and convinced that his sexual preferences made him a lesser person and ended up just a shell of his former self due to chemical castration. Such is the unimagineable damage to the world and our development as a race that people like Matt can do with their holier-than-thou attitudes to others.

  37. Diannaart

    The term “predatory homosexuality” as a definition of pedophilia used by Matt is wrong and further evidence of abuse of the LGBTQ community by using such derogatory terms.

    Pedophiles pray upon children of either sex.

    The Catholic Church view of females has probably spared them from predation in church; girls are not permitted to be members of a choir or as alter attendants. Of course, girls as well as boys are easily targeted in their own homes or part of community groups.

    F65.4 Paedophilia

    A sexual preference for children, boys or girls or both, usually of prepubertal or early pubertal age.

    https://icd.who.int/browse10/2010/en#/F65.4

  38. Kaye Lee

    I had a really interesting conversation at the pub with my philosophy lecturer, and anyone else who wanted to join in, after uni one day. Her view was that the virgin birth myth and the whole sex for purposes of procreation fixation was to really reinforce to women that sex is not to be enjoyed – that it, on one hand sullies women, yet is a duty they must endure in order to satisfy their husband and to build up the tribe.

    The whole sex hangup from the churches is just weird – but beyond being weird, it has had dreadful consequences. People are murdered, disfigured, bashed, and rejected because the church has made people think sex is a sin.
    .

  39. Miriam English


    Bertrand Russell on why Christianity is insane about sex.

  40. Wat Tyler

    That the concept of celibacy was not always observed by those advocating it is exemplified by the surnames Abbott, Bishop, Priest…I know there are other theories about how they came to be common surnames, but I don’t buy them,
    And it is my understanding that the original meaning of ‘neice’ was ‘the daughter of a churchman.’

  41. Matt

    Kronomex,

    In relation the first link, I refer to the situation where the adultress was to be stoned, and Jesus said: “let him cast the first stone who is without sin” – then he forgave her. Jesus did say he was not overthrowing the laws of Moses, but he also said that the Pharisees (Priesthood) had become evil, were abusing the laws and killed the Prophets that were sent to give them a better light. It is also clarified that the guiding principle and motivation for all actions should be love. Thus, Christians follow the New Testament teachings and the law below:

    “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.””

    It is the Jewish religion that holds to Old Testament practices. That is the difference between Christians and Jews.

    In relation to the second link, I don’t accept the interpretation that women are presented as objects, I think that the link gives a particularly malevalent reading of the text. The author often does not give full quotations and context, and instead inserts her own commentary. I can tell you that according to the Bible in the eyes of God, a husband and wife are seen as one person (one flesh is the term used) and one is not seen as less than the other, as per:

    “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”

    Galatians 3:26-28 (NIV 2011)

  42. Kaye Lee

    Matt,

    “one is not seen as less than the other”

    Crap. The New Testament is full of statements like the following:

    “women are to be silent in the churches. They are not permitted to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they wish to inquire about something, they are to ask their own husbands at home; for it is dishonorable for a woman to speak in the church.”

    or Ephesians 5: 22-24

    22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

    These are not my commentary or interpretations. These are direct unadulterated unambiguous New Testament quotes

  43. Perkin Warbeck

    This discussion is turning into a declamation from the pulpit. Matt is sincere enough, but I don’t think this is the right forum for proselytising.

  44. Kaye Lee

    Perkin,

    Matt may be sincere in his beliefs and I will defend his right to believe in “God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.”

    I will also defend his right to say homosexuality is not for him. It’s not for me either.

    But I will draw the line when he calls it an illness, and it just gets ridiculous when he starts talking about “ruptured bowels, diseases of various kinds, many partners on average, and much unhappiness.”

    Matt is entitled to his own beliefs and desires. He is not entitled to try to make others feel ashamed about theirs. The harm that crap causes must stop.

  45. Perkin Warbeck

    Exactly the point I was trying to make. Whenever I get proselytes at my door – and I do, often – I am never rude to them. I merely say I don’t share their beliefs but I’ll listen to theirs if they listen to mine, and that I may actually convert THEM. They generally move on.
    I don’t think religious beliefs are very high on the AIMN list of issues to be discussed, because AIMN does not criticise beliefs. What Pell has been convicted of is not his religion, but the use he made of it.

  46. Matt

    Kaye Lee (and others),

    The claims of diseases and of predatory homosexuality are not mine – I know nothing about it, and have no experience of it (as you say, maybe I need to get out more). These are claims made in the videos I referenced right at the start of this thread, and other related videos. That is what I have been referring to and talking about – those claims made by people with more knowledge of these things than me. As regards disease etc, hear what the man says about the huge numbers of gay men who died from Aids in the late 80’s early 90’s and other problems then try and tell me have never heard of diseases for homosexuals. It certainly was in the press for over decade. But since everyone is happy to attack me, but not bother to go to the sources I am referring to and argue against them, I can only assume that the main agenda here is not truth, but just Christian bashing.

    Many of think you are so wise – and you are in worldly way, but you know nothing of the spiritual and spirtual forces at work in the world, and of these you can discover little by rational argument – just a robot can know little of love, as it cannot experience it. But you will find out eventually. Then you will understand what the holy men (not I) have been on about over the centuries, and their wisdom will make your worldly rationalisations and arguments seem vain and worthless. I cannot explain some of these things to you, because they are too alien to your way of thinking. Without wanting to seem arrogant – it is like trying to explain advanced mathematics to a primary school student. I do not claim to have special powers, or special knowledge – you can relatively quickly attain the insights I have gained, but you have to embark on the path and journey with the intention of discovery and true interest. Seek and you will find, but if you do not seek then do not expect to find anything!

  47. Matt

    Miriam English,

    So Christian nations have the highest levels of violence, etc and are generally terrible? So which nation which does not have Christian roots would you like to live in? Which nations stand above the Christian nations of Sweden, Britian, France, Australia, Germany in terms of safety, living standards, equality, tolerance and rule of law? Would you prefer to live in Saudi Arabia perhaps? That might be safer – for some!

    Also historical evidence (beyond blogs) is against you. Here are some extracts from the book “How The Irish Saved Civilisation” by Thomas Cahill taking about the influence of St Patrick – the first Christian after the apostle Thomas to preach outside of Roman civilisation (the Irish at this time were slave traders, pirates, St Partick himself was taken from Britian to Ireland in slaving raid as a child, he miraculously escaped and returned as Bishop to convert the Irish):

    “With the Irish – even with the kings – he succeeded beyond measure. Within his lifetime, or soon after his death, the Irish slave trade came to a halt, and other forms of violence such as murder and inter-tribal warfare decreased … the sword was not the only instrument for structuring a society”

    and:

    “as the Roman lands went from peace to chaos, the land of Ireland was rushing even more rapidly from chaos to peace .. How did he do it? … He transmuted their pagan virtues of loyalty, courage and generousity into the Christian equivalents of faith, hope and charity”

    In relation to women the book states that:

    “when Christianity was new and women and slaves had flocked to it as a way of life that raised their status and dignity as human beings”

    So history does not support the claims of you and Kaye-Lee above (about the subjugation of women) rather the opposite.

  48. Kronomex

    Can you provide evidence that CANNOT be refuted to back up anything you have said without resorting to using a big potboiler of a book? On second thoughts, and I don’t care if it upsets you or anyone else, just go away and take your religious nuttery with you.

  49. Miriam English

    Matt, please don’t mistake my push-back against your denigration of gay people as Christian-bashing. That’s an insult to my many good and humane Christian friends, and you should be ashamed for even suggesting it.

    Matt, you reference a Christian historian, Thomas Cahill, who says that Christianity was a great gift to humanity. What a surprise. I can reference any number of unbiased historians who have a quite different take on history and see religion generally as a great drag upon progress. Almost everywhere it opposed the end of slavery and the gaining of women’s rights, and now it spreads lies about gay people and retards their acceptance in society (as you, yourself, prove).

    Yeah, I didn’t think you’d look at the references I provided. If you had glanced at them you would have noticed that the statistics gathered are from the world’s most developed countries (Australia, Canada, Denmark, Great Britain, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Japan, Switzerland, Norway, Portugal, Austria, Spain, Italy, United States, Sweden, New Zealand) because the statistics from the less developed countries were too unreliable. The most atheist countries (the Nordic countries and Japan) have the lowest levels of many social ills, whereas the most religious countries have the highest, most disturbing levels of social ills (Christianity is the dominant religion in all these countries). Interestingly, this pattern holds even inside countries. The most religious states in USA have the greatest prevalence of those same social ills, and the least religious states have the least social ills. I’m sure as more reliable statistics are gathered for the less developed countries the same trends will continue. Notice, incidentally, that Saudi Arabia, which you mention as a terrible place to live is extremely religious.

    Matt your arrogance seems to know no bounds. You tell people that you know about spirituality which gives you a vantage point from which to denigrate others, comparing atheists to unfeeling robots. Has it ever occurred to you that many atheists used to be religious until the cognitive dissonance just became too great to ignore anymore? We know the feelings you talk about, but we recognise them as self-deception. I reproduce those uplifting feelings when I feed local hungry wild animals, and when I contemplate the beauty of reality, and the awe and tragedy of life. You don’t need to deceive yourself with a book of myths from ignorant, superstitious primitives. In fact you’ll be much more emotionally moved if you look at the real world. Yes, prayer and devotion to a mythical god can make you feel wonderful, but that pales in comparison to the dizzying emotional heights you can reach when comprehending the scientific intricacies of the world and using them to empathise more fully with your fellow human beings and our cousins — all the other lifeforms we share the planet with. You haven’t lived until you’ve experienced what I feel every day in my pursuit of scientific understanding of the world around me, and my attempts to help my fellow creatures. Matt, the spirituality you think lifts you up is a pale shadow of what you can feel if you open yourself to reality. I know this because I’ve felt both and know many other people who’ve felt both. Religion doesn’t even begin to measure up. You are missing out by letting religion blind you and making you think you are better off blind.

    Oh, by the way, the story you mentioned, where the villagers brought a woman to Jesus as an adulterer, demanding she be stoned to death, and Jesus suggested that he who is without sin cast the first stone. That was always my favorite story in the Bible. I was surprised to find out a few years ago that it is a forgery, inserted by some nameless monk in the Dark Ages. We can pin down pretty accurately when it was inserted. The hundreds of copies of the Bible we have from before then don’t have that story; only those after then do. If you read the surrounding verses it is pretty clear it was inserted too, the writing style is quite different.

  50. Pingback: A great article from the AIM ntework – Author David Tyler | Townsville Blog.

  51. Matt

    Since you challenged the claims of health issues I did a quick search on this – see the following for referenced examples of medical conditions associated with homosexual sex – leaving aside all the standard sexually transmitted diseases – here are just some:

    a) Proctitis and Proctocolitis

    The Sexually Transmitted Disease Information Center of the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that “[p]roctitis occurs pre-dominantly among persons who participate in anal intercourse.”Health Implications Associated with Homosexuality (Austin: The Medical Institute for Sexual Health, 1999), 55.

    b) Enteritisis inflammation of the small intestine. According to the Sexually Transmitted Disease Information Center of the Journal of the American Medical Association, “enteritis occurs among those whose sexual practices include oral-fecal contact.

    c) Anal Cancer

    Homosexuals are at increased risk for this rare type of cancer, which is potentially fatal if the anal-rectal tumors metastasize to other bodily organs. Dr. Andrew Grulich calls “the rising rates of anal cancer the next great health threat to homosexual men.”Zmuda, “Rising Rates of Anal Cancer for Gay Men:

    Suggestions also that things like Anal Papilloma are concerns and overall:

    e) Reduced life span

    A study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology on the mortality rates of homosexuals concluded that they have a significantly reduced life expectancy:

    “In a major Canadian centre, life expectancy at age twentyfor gay and bisexual men is eight to twenty years less than for all men. If the same pattern of mortality were to continue, we estimate that nearly half of gay and bisexual men currently aged twenty years will not reach their sixty-fifth birthday. Under even the most liberal assump-tions, gay and bisexual men in this urban centre are now experiencinga life expectancy similar to that experienced by all men in Canada in the year 1871.

    ”Robert S. Hogg et al., “Modeling the Impact of hiv Disease on Mortality in Gay and Bisexual Men,” International Journal of Epidemiology 26 (1997): 657

    See: https://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF08L44.pdf

  52. Miriam English

    Matt, the spirituality you think lifts you up is just a pale shadow of the bliss you can feel if you open yourself to reality. I know this because I’ve felt both and know many other people who’ve felt both.

    Religion feels wonderful until you step outside it and realise the far greater joy and fulfillment in scientific contemplation of the intricate beauty of the real world and empathising with all other life.

    The self-stimulated pleasures of religion compared to the exquisite, transcendent joy of reality are like the pleasure of masturbation compared with the heights to be achieved in loving sex with a real person. One feels like the ultimate until you’ve experienced the other.

    You’re missing out by letting religion blind you and making you think you are better off blind.

  53. Rossleigh

    Buddhism, Matt, is the one true religion and when you’re reincarnated as Tibetan monk in your next life, I’m sure you’ll realise how limited your view was…

  54. Wat Tyler

    He may come back as something else…something he has reviled in a past life.
    Or not.

  55. Matt

    Miriam English,

    In regard to Saudi Arabia – I was not talking about other religions – I was talking about Christianity. The Nordic nations came from a Christian culture, and arguably all the other nations you mention have cultures that have developed from their contact, interaction and influence with and from the west. Was Japan so peaceful before the end of WWII? Ask the Chinese about their experience, not to mention the rest of the Pacific nations.

    If the statistics from ‘less developed countries” are unreliable – then how can you possibly compare? You are excluding most non-Christian cultures?

    As for your claims about the stoning incident – there is evidence that it was accurately recorded as a real event.

    See arguments such as the following:

    ““we can affirm the essential historicity of the event recorded in PA to the extent that it is preserved in the Didascalia, since identifying the account with the L source places it into the middle of the first century” (p. 247). Much of this beloved story rings true to what else we know of Jesus’ life and would almost certainly not have been the kind of account the early church would have invented.”

    https://taarcheia.wordpress.com/academic-archives/

  56. Matt

    Rossleigh,

    Even Buddha spoke of a coming saviour:

    “At that period, brethren, there will arise in the world an Exalted One named Maitreya, Fully Awakened, abounding in wisdom and goodness, happy, with knowledge of the worlds, unsurpassed as a guide to mortals willing to be led, a teacher for gods and men, an Exalted One, a Buddha, even as I am now. He, by himself, will thoroughly know and see, as it were face to face, this universe, with Its worlds of the spirits, Its Brahmas and Its Maras, and Its world of recluses and Brahmins, of princes and peoples, even as I now, by myself, thoroughly know and see them” (Digha Nikaya, 26).”

    And it talks about the loss of wisdom that will come after the saviour:

    ““After my decease, first will occur the five disappearances. And what are the five disappearances? The disappearance of attainments [to Nirvana], the disappearance of the method [inability to practice wisdom, insight and the four purities of moral habit], the disappearance of learning [loss of men who follow the Dharma], the disappearance of the symbols [the outward forms, the robes and practices of Buddhism], the disappearance of the relics…””

    http://www.maitreya.org/english/PBuddhism.htm

    Matt

  57. Miriam English

    Matt you need to be very careful in the sources you refer to. For example organisations like the “Medical Institute for Sexual Health” and the “National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality” and a number of others (especially those with the word “Family” in their names) attack legitimate science. They’re well known in the scientific community for their habit of conducting biased, faked “research” then feeding it to religious people through Christian organisations to justify prejudice. The awful way they pervert the truth has always astounded me. Why do such people feel it is okay to lie for Jesus?

    Incidentally, you probably don’t realise that most gay people do not indulge in anal intercourse and that around half of all straight people do.

    I never understood the obsession homophobes have for mens’ dicks and arses. It always seems a bit sick.

    As for AIDS… During the ’70s and ’80s, after the sexual revolution, everybody had more sleeping partners — straight and gay. During that time gay males were more at risk of HIV because of what was called “the scene” where many of them would go out almost every night, tomcatting. It was a reaction to centuries of oppression. Suddenly they were free! Of course they celebrated. I know, because many of my male friends were gay guys during that time.

    But things are different now. Gay lifestyles now have returned to be more like how humans have usually conducted their relationships, and they value deeper, more emotional, long-term love once again, as has been the rule through history. The AIDS epidemic was a result of a confluence of special circumstances. Also, large numbers of AIDS victims were, and are straight.

  58. Kaye Lee

    Should I list all the terrible things that can go wrong medically during and after pregnancy? Does that make pregnancy evil?

  59. Miriam English

    Matt, you missed my point. Concentrate on countries where you can collect reliable statistics. You will see that places where religion is strongest have the most social ills. Places where atheism is strongest have the least social ills.

    If you narrow your focus you find this holds true even within individual countries.

    One day we’ll be able to widen our view to include places with currently unreliable statistics and it looks very likely the same will still hold true.

    As for the “stoning incident”… what evidence? You point to someone who says that it sounds like something Jesus would say? How is that evidence? Every Biblical scholar who has studied the original texts knows that this particular passage was forged. You can look at it yourself and see that the style of writing is markedly different from the text surrounding it.

  60. Miriam English

    I have to go out, so please excuse my inability to reply until I return, late this afternoon.

  61. Zathras

    This never-ending debate doesn’t even consider what version of the Bible is being argued about. Is it the Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant Bible. They are different from each other in both length and content, even down to the number of books each contain.

    The oldest complete copy of the New Testament is about 10,000 words shorter than the following version and it has grown steadily in with additions over the following centuries.

    Even the popular King James version is less of a translation than a reinterpretation, deliberately commissioned to elevate the status of authority (such as Kings and Clergy) above that of the individual and the flowery prose it contains is the work of skilled wordsmiths instructed to make it sound more profound.
    Strangely, the Book of Mormon (which claims to predate the New Testament) is similar in style to the recent King James version. How prescient of the author of those gold tablets.

    When it comes to “the big picture”, I’m prepared to use those 3 words that seem to terrify the religious – “I don’t know”. I can accept there must be things that are unknowable and always will be and don’t need to tie the universe up into a neat little bundle not to be scared of the dark. I also can’t accept that the entire universe is just a backdrop to some sort of practical joke for a deity who has to create his own friends and is so insecure to need constant reassurance to sort people out into good and bad or may disappear like Tinkerbell if people stop believing.

    If you want to explain the mystery of where Santa gets his toys by adding elves into the mix, then so be it but perhaps it’s Santa that need to be explained first.

  62. helvityni

    Matt seems to think that God made only us heterosexuals….. did he get tired and ask Satan to help him, who then finished the creation and made the rest, homosexual….? Here I was thinking and believing that God made us ALL…

    My five-year old grandson must have heard adult talk and one day he announced: I’m ‘gaily’ and I’m going to marry my cousin Jack when I grow up….

  63. Kronomex

    You can argue with Matt until you turn blue in the face and pass out from lack of oxygen but you will not convince him of anything beyond his narrow religious views. Best to let it all go away and move on to something else.

  64. Matt

    Look why don’t just listen to the videos I linked. They know more than I do about the homosexual issues, and particularly the issue in the Catholic church right now. Take what they say, and if there is something in it for you, good, if not, so be it.

    Here are the links again:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GYY7iZKKrE

    and

    https://youtu.be/0MMiI_UGUVY

    I don’t think I have anything else to add to the conversation, but thank you all for engaging – on the whole – civily.

    Matt

  65. Diannaart

    Matt

    These videos are based on a number of completely biased standpoints; that homosexuality is bad, is rife throughout the Catholic Church … in fact this Patrick Coffin person starts his spiel by asking “How lavender is the church?”. Lavender? what the f#ck is that supposed to even mean?

    This is hate speech against homosexuality from the get go, is not based on anything more than opinion and is reprehensible rubbish.

    This is not reasonable nor reasoned argument.

    Homosexuality occurs among about 10% of humans and other many other animal species. Along with people born with both sets of genitalia or none at all, it is a natural occurrence in nature, not evil. Just like being born missing a limb does not make a person a predator or evil.

    As Kronomex noted, there is no point arguing with you, because you want to believe homosexuality is wrong or unnatural.

    I would feel sorry for you, except your promulgation of these medieval religious ideas are full of hate and cause other people harm.

    You are part of the problem with religion.

  66. Miriam English

    Zak Kostopolous was a well-known gay man who was trying to work towards more tolerance for gays in Greece. Zak was brutally beaten by two men after entering a jewelry shop. Then police arrived and violently attempted to arrest Zak who was dying on the ground. Eyewitness footage shows an officer forcefully driving his leg into Zak’s neck and another kicking him. Zak died of multiple injuries sustained from the initial beating and the further beating from the police.

    Matt, this is why lies from religious conservatives about gays are so poisonous. Those lies kill people. Matt, every time you spread those untruths, as you have been doing here, you have a hand in killing people… not just by inspiring beatings, but also by making kids feel there is something wrong with them and causing them such anguish they suicide. Matt, your words smear blood all over your hands.

    I can prove to you any number of ways that your prejudice is wrong, but you won’t hear it, because prejudice almost always trumps good sense.

    Christians used to mete out the same beatings and belittling and accusations of being evil or broken to people who were born left-handed.

    When religion fixates on someone defined by their “holy” texts as bad then there is little hope for them. Only secular society can rescue them… as time after time it does — dark skinned people, left-handed people, women, same-sex-attracted people — secular society rescues vast numbers of people from the bigotry of religion over and over again. But religious people seem never to be embarrassed by this moral failure, nor tire of pressing their hatred on others. For people supposedly following Jesus’ instruction to love others as yourself, the results are appalling.

  67. Matt

    Diannaart,

    Have you listened to the interview? With a man who lived the gay life for 12 years? The other video draws on publications (books) published over a number of decades. If you think this is hate speech, you are seriously deranged – there is NO evidence of hate in any of this – listen to the priest speak – he makes this quite clear in his opening statements. But rather than think you are absolutely bonkers, I will more charitably assume you have not actually bothered to listen to either of them.

    Matt

  68. Diannaart

    Matt

    I value what time on this mortal coil I have left to me. Listening to a man who begins his claims with aspersions towards the LGBTI community, such as “is the Catholic Church lavender?”, means I have better things to do. In fact, I am wasting my time just replying to your ill considered nonsense.

    You have the entire Internet at your fingertips, you are capable of researching scientific evidence on homosexuality, instead of the rubbish you present here expecting intelligent people to take you seriously.

    I don’t know why I have bothered, but the following should be the beginning of your education in the natural sciences:

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-12/gay-penguin-couple-at-sydney-aquarium-fostering-an-egg/10369530

    NFO

  69. Rossleigh

    I’ve found a site that tells me that organised religion is all run by lizard people from another planet…

    Seems reasonable to me, until someone proves it wrong!

  70. Jack Cade

    I stopped reading Matt’s posts after the first several. I recognise his obsession and that he is beyond reason. He would be a psychologist’s dream.
    I have no grounds to say this, but Shakespeare said ‘Methinks he protesteth too much…’
    I think the thread should be closed.

  71. Rossleigh

    As far as Christianity is concerned, I’ve been worried that those against homosexuality overlook the fact that Jesus spent his preaching career with a group of men who didn’t seem to worry that they didn’t have female companions.

  72. Zathras

    As well as the “sin” of homosexuality Leviticus lists 75 other banned items, such as touching an “unclean” animal, eating shellfish, wearing two different types of cloth, getting a tattoo, working on the Sabbath, trimming your beard, cutting your hair at the sides, going to Church within 33 days of giving birth to a son (66 days for a daughter), not standing in the presence of the elderly, mistreating foreigners and so on – but only one seems to stand out for the devout.

    Jesus himself never mentioned homosexuality but it seems to be all many want to talk about.

    The original sin of Sodom was actually inhospitality to strangers but was later changed to mean sex outside marriage. Later still it was redefined to mean anything but plain old missionary sex intended for procreation but now it means something else again.

    Even Lot, who was specifically chosen by God to be saved ended up sleeping with his daughters and living in a cave.

    There’s an obsession with sex at work here.

  73. George Villiers.

    Not allowed to shag goats either.

    Old shepherd’s proverb:

    “For children, women
    For pleasure, a boy
    For paradise, a goat”

  74. Jack Cade

    That’s what the gauchos say about Llamas.
    When Alexander Selkirk – the real Robinson Crusoe – was rescued, the rescuers noted that many of the goats on the island had their ears clipped. Selkirk was the only man on the island so it was not a sort of ownership sign, a sort of branding. Selkirk, who had been on the island some years and had learned to catch goats easily, admitted that the ones with clipped ears were the ones he had shagged.
    Strong urge, sex.

  75. George Villiers.

    It helps. Now we know why the Dala Llama won’t got there.

  76. Kaye Lee

    Leviticus 15:19-24
    “When a woman has a discharge, and the discharge in her body is blood, she shall be in her menstrual impurity for seven days, and whoever touches her shall be unclean until the evening. And everything on which she lies during her menstrual impurity shall be unclean. Everything also on which she sits shall be unclean. And whoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. And whoever touches anything on which she sits shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. Whether it is the bed or anything on which she sits, when he touches it he shall be unclean until the evening. …

    Religious hangups are endless.

  77. Rossleigh

    Yes, Kaye Lee, I’ve always used Leviticus as my “12 Rules For Life” instead of Jordan Peterson but that’s a whole other post…

  78. Miriam English

    Matt, okay, I listened to the interview with Joseph Sciambra. I feel really sorry for him. He seems like a nice, but very lost person. First losing himself in porn, then losing himself in the gay sex scene, then losing himself in the church… one hopeless obsession after another. A waste of a life. But meeting Satan and a demon??? People can have their quiet delusions and we can live and let live, but that degree of delusion is deeply dangerous. That is psychosis. It can get people killed. And the fool who is interviewing him just makes it worse.

    The other video — the sermon by Robert Altier… oh dear… I’ve always been interested in the brain. When I was a very young kid I read psychology books about brainwashing. I wanted to understand how it worked (partly because I wanted to learn the best way to withstand it). Brainwashing typically begins by making everything seem terrible, with no way out, then it provides one shining hope — one way to be saved. This is what fire and brimstone preachers do. That’s what Robert Altier does. He lies constantly about things being bad and getting worse, trying to instill fear and suspicion and distrust of those around us. What’s truly disgusting about this is that we live in the most peaceful time in history, with the highest standard of living in history and the longest life-expectancy in history. I couldn’t be bothered listening to his lies and distortions for more than several minutes. I have far more important things to do.

    Matt, if you think those videos are important to watch, then my heartfelt sympathies go to you. I hope you learn something about reality before the awful fantasies of those people swallow you up. I hope it’s not too late. I wish you could understand the mess you’re making of your life and the lives of any gay people you impinge upon, but sadly, I think you’re probably beyond help. Please don’t hurt people. There are a lot of good, honest, gay people out there trying to help people and make the world a better place. You don’t want their blood on your hands.

    If you wake up from this religious insanity one day, you’ll be horrified at the things you’ve said and done. I know you’re not a bad person. That makes the wickedness you propagate all the worse.

    Religion[…] With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
    — Steven Weinberg, Nobel Prize-winning physicist

    Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.
    — Voltaire

  79. Diannaart

    Had to do this …

    One. Stand up straight with your shoulders straight.

    Most lobsters are complete bastards left to their own devices. Most humans are complete bastards left to their own devices. This proves there is a God who wants us to have Order. Order is Masculine and Chaos is Feminine. Therefore to move towards Order, we all need to man up. Happiness is pointless. We are all on this Earth to suffer. So learn to suffer like a man. Not everyone can be as rich and successful as me, but try to be less of a failure than you already are.

    Two. Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping.

    The story of the Garden of Eden shows that we are all touched with Original Sin But you have a choice. You can either seek Heaven or be dragged down into Hell. Yes, you have a shameful, sinful nature but for God’s sake just make a bit of an effort. Stop waiting for other people to dig you out of your pitiful hole.

    Three. Befriend people who want the best for you

    We are all Being. Just some of us are better Beings. Learn to tell the difference. Some people are beyond help. They are merely exploiting the willingness of good people to help them and, as Dostoyevsky rightly observes, will drag you down to their level. So stick with the winners. If people are determined to screw up, let them. They are nothing to do with the Divine Purpose.

    Four. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not the useless person you are today

    Face it, you’re never going to be that smart, so don’t compare yourself to someone who is. Start by getting on your knees to pray. Even if you don’t Believe in God. Atheists are merely people who are blinded to the true way of Being. There, you feel marginally less useless already.

    Five. Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them.

    Remember that children are born with Original Sin and have a huge capacity for Evil. They are not Innocent Beings. They need Discipline if they are going to grow up to be even vaguely worthwhile humans. And slap them if necessary – don’t listen to what the lefties say.

    Six. Set your house in order before you criticise the world.

    Remember the story of Cain and Abel? Well, read it then. Yes, Abel was a schmuck who deserved to die and Cain wasn’t quite as goddamn perfect as he thought he was. He deserved to die, too. We all deserve to die. So stop moaning if someone is richer and better looking than you.

    Seven. Pursue what is meaningful, not what is expedient.

    Life is suffering. The Book of Genesis tells us that. There is no easy way round this. So quit looking for short cuts and start reading Nietzsche.

    Eight. Tell the truth. Or at least don’t lie.

    To be honest, I’m scrabbling around for thing but my publishers tell me I need 12. By telling you the Truth about this, I am an Improved Being. Certainly better than you.

    Nine. Assume the person you are listening to knows something you don’t.

    Just shut up, quit moaning and listen to me. I know things you don’t. So don’t expect me to listen to you. That’s not the way things work. I’m here to make you feel Better about Yourself by telling you things you already know in a way that makes you feel clever.

    Ten. Be precise in your speech.

    Confront the chaos of Being. Don’t try to beat about the bush. Things are going to be terrible. Oedipus killed his Dad. You may well kill yours. Get over it. Face up to the real horrors of the world.

    Eleven. Do not bother children while they are skateboarding

    This is the rule that’s the real catnip for right-wingers everywhere. Want to know why the world is falling apart? It’s because liberals are turning boys into girlies with their namby-pamby ways. Let boys do boy things and girls do girl things. Nowhere in the Bible does God say anything about this trans nonsense. There’s nothing wrong with men having all the best jobs and women staying home to look after the kids. So back off, ladies, and give us men a break.

    And finally

    Twelve. Pet a cat when you encounter one in the street.

    OK. So I really am scraping the barrel now. We’re all going to die. Probably painfully. So just make the best of what you’ve got. If you see a cat, stroke it. You might feel better. Though probably not. And if there are no cats, pet something else. Like a dog.

    Jordan Peterson is a satirist, right?

    Does Auntie pay for their QandA guests?

  80. Miriam English

    Geez… Jordan Peterson is more of a fool than I thought he was. I’d been under the impression he at least thought things through a little bit. What a total dick.

    Thanks for the clarification Diannaart.

  81. paul walter

    Diannart…massive. What an order.

    Easy things, you’d think, that very few people, by my experience, can ever complete even a couple of items of.

    One two and three are forbidding, but nine, in particular, is a shocker, but believe it or not, patting animals is something I enjoy, animals are interesting and complex beings

  82. Miriam English

    The health benefits of patting animals has been known for many decades. Having a pet around that you can feel a connection with — even goldfish — improves your health and lowers the incidence of heart attacks.

    As for Jordan Peterson’s other recommendations, they are a mixed bag. Some are ludicrous (“Want to know why the world is falling apart? It’s because liberals are turning boys into girlies with their namby-pamby ways.”), some are plain stupid (“Order is Masculine and Chaos is Feminine. Therefore to move towards Order, we all need to man up. Happiness is pointless. We are all on this Earth to suffer.”), and some show how insufferably arrogant he is (“Just shut up, quit moaning and listen to me. I know things you don’t. So don’t expect me to listen to you. That’s not the way things work”). Occasionally he says something that’s right — even he can’t be stupid all the time (“Pursue what is meaningful, not what is expedient.”).

  83. Diannaart

    I believe Jordan added patting animals because he couldn’t think of anything else and he wanted to appear caring after the previous 11 rules of twaddle.

    🙂

    Also fans can claim, “He likes cats and, in a pinch, dogs”.

    Perhaps he could add kissing babies, planting trees and dancing at midnight in sparkly tutu – maybe simultaneously.

    😈

  84. Michael Taylor

    Dianna, my brother lived in a wee country town Victoria long ago. On a farm nearby the old codger who ran it, on Sundays would isolate his bull, ram and male pets from the females. Can’t have them engaging in “sexual practices” on the Sabbath now, can we?

    Stupid old prick.

  85. Wat Tyler

    Perhaps the Sabbath was HIS day of leisure…

  86. Diannaart

    Michael

    Running around the farmyard separating geese from ganders, et al on a Sunday sounds like a lot of work to me.

    🥵

  87. Kaye Lee

    Diannaart,

    Doing the work of the Lord requires constant vigilance against the evils of indiscriminate animal husbandry.

    (I am trying to put out of my head what a cocky once told me about wellington boots and pointing a thirsty sheep towards water.)

  88. Miriam English

    A farmer working on the sabbath? Do we need to organise a stoning?
    Maybe he thought sex qualified as work… 🙂

  89. Diannaart

    @ Kaye Lee

    You know, I had to think about that … and still thinking, Wellies? never mind. Been a long day.

    One thing I did picture was a devout farmer, in Sunday best, accidentally getting between a bull and a cow. Tough being a Christian.

    @ Miriam

    Tony Abbott gets something right; Pell is a bountiful suppository of interest.

  90. paul walter

    No place for sheep eh, diannaart?

  91. Wat Tyler

    I was once forced to drive at 5 k an hour in the Flinders Ranges because a flock of sheep were ambling between paddocks. Over the 30-40 minutes I was forced to observe the daggy rear ends of hundreds of sheep, one thought ran through my mind, as if on a loop; ‘How could you? How COULD YOU??’

  92. Diannaart

    Paul W

    Indeed.

    😏

  93. paul walter

    Yes.

    I also have a deep sympathy for Wat Tyler, pouring out his soul for our benefit.

  94. Diannaart

    He knows not what he says.

  95. paul walter

    We are all children before God, Diannaart.

    Enough of these rustic frolicks for now…

  96. Zathras

    The sabbath?

    The sabbath was moved from Saturday to Sunday by Constantine as a way of recognising Sol, the Sun God.

    His Sunday enforcement law of March 7, A.D. 321, reads as follows: “On the venerable Day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed.” (Codex Justinianus 3.12.3).

    The Sunday law was later officially confirmed by the Roman Papacy. The Council of Laodicea in A.D. 364 decreed, “Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday but shall work on that day; but the Lord’s day they shall especially honour, and, as being Christians, shall, if possible, do no work on that day. If, however, they are found Judaizing, they shall be shut out from Christ”

    So it was also a way of discriminating between themselves and the Jewish population but also with a threat.

    Now what’s so holy about that?

  97. paul walter

    Saw them in Adelaide in ’75, man but Ozzie was good.

  98. Miriam English

    Black Sabbath? I never did see them.

  99. Miriam English

    Zathras, I often wondered about the change from Saturday to Sunday of the Sabbath. Thank you for that. Very interesting.

  100. Miriam English

    Kaye, gosh, what a convoluted tale that is. 🙂

    I don’t like to eat meat because I’m tortured by thoughts of conscious creatures murdered so that I can satisfy a desire for meat. However I’m also not knowledgeable enough (yet) to be completely vegetarian, so one day a week I eat either (free range) eggs or else sardines. (Eating the sad little headless corpses of sardines still horrifies me, but they are so extremely nutrient-dense, and I haven’t yet learned how to replace those, I steel myself to the task.)

    Unfortunately I’ve always had an awful time sense — anything older than today becomes obscured in a fog of time — so in order to try to avoid accidentally doubling up and having more than I need, or missing weeks and having too little, I have my protein meal on Friday because the “Fish on Friday” thing is easy to remember.

    I look forward to the day when I don’t need to consume murdered animals at all, or the products of birds kept in less than ideal conditions. I’d like something like this:
    http://miriam-english.org/stories/books/prescription/15-dupe.html
    I’m pretty sure it’s coming soon.

  101. Kronomex

    First LP I ever purchased, and proceeded to drive my parents nuts for days, was Black Sabbath Vol. 4 in October 1972. Followed not long after by Led Zeppelin 2.

  102. Kaye Lee

    Double Cocker Power for me. I know Miriam likes to remind us about the good music nowadays and yeah….ok….but I really do feel spoilt by the music we grew up with. I feel kinda “music privileged”.

  103. Miriam English

    🙂 I enjoy nostalgia music days from time to time too. One of my first records was The Toys’ “Lovers Concerto”. It blisses me out still:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmJ1AqtTuyo
    If the tune has a deeper familiarity it is probably because it is based on “Minuet in G major” (often attributed to JS Bach, but now believed to have been written by Christian Petzold).

    I started fairly traditionally (Beatles, The Hollies, The Monkees, Suzi Quattro, etc) then moved on to early electronic music, then Led Zeppelin, King Crimson, Yes, David Bowie, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and so on. Then in the 1990s I found electronic music again in a big way and moved through that into Techno and Trance music. Now I’m wondering what comes next. Maybe there isn’t a next — with music’s gene pool just continuing to spread, widening.

    Just the other day I mentioned to my Mum how puzzled I would have been back in the 1960s if I’d played to my younger self some of the music that really excites me now… such as Pryda’s “Stay With Me” (which doesn’t really begin until one and a half to two minutes into the track, and the actual music doesn’t start until 3 minutes in).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXSjtNv0ZlE
    Although, considering I liked Julie Driscoll’s experimental music and later, Pink Floyd’s acid-rock Umma Gumma and Echoes, maybe I would have been into it.

    I agree that our generation was “music privileged”. Music went through some pretty astonishing transformations during our time. The 1950s began something that exploded in the 1960s, then chased its tail for another couple of decades until the internet brought forth all kinds of music, out of reach of the powerful censoring force of the big-moneyed recording companies.

  104. Kaye Lee

    The 70s wren’t chasing tail, she says indignantly. What a time we had. Pub bands in the 80s – too much fun. The Live Aid concert – a pinnacle.

    It’s interesting how music makes us all feel good and brings back good memories giving us momentary respite from the craziness of politics and life in general.

  105. Miriam English

    Music is strange the way it taps so directly into emotions. It seems to utilise instincts we have to respond to tones of voice, doubtless originally from our pre-language prehistory when we were not yet really human. A soft, gentle maternal cooing; a harsh, angry shout; a dangerous growl; the sounds of a peaceful pastoral scene; the major key of a happy greeting; the minor key of scolding or commiseration over an injury; a howl of anguish. I expect it was enhanced by the social bonding of tribal rhythmic dance, with hooting, stamping feet, clapping hands, and hitting pieces of wood — keeping scary predators away at night and marking territory with sound.

    It has come such a long way.

    Loverush UK! Feat Shelley Harland – Different World
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkYN1OSWUjc

    John O’Callaghan ft Lo Fi Sugar – Never Fade Away (chill out mix)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aoxb7tzZ_eQ

  106. Kaye Lee

    Miriam,

    I was talking to a girlfriend tonight who cried as she told me that her stroke-affected husband who now suffers from aphaysia sang happy birthday to their son without a hitch. He also sang an old song from a movie with her seamlessly yet he can’t string together a sentence. Music/singing comes from a different part of our brain to speech apparently.

    Whilst it made my friend happy to hear him sing so well, it devastated her too because, for a brief moment, they were back to where he could talk.

  107. Miriam English

    🙂 I wasn’t saying the ’70s and ’80s were bad, just that it felt like it was more of the same. The innovations of the ’60s were revamped in as many variations as possible. I loved a lot of that music, but it didn’t push the boundaries much… at least it felt that way to me. Nothing much seemed to change until the internet in the early ’90s which brought another explosion of innovation. We’re still riding that.

    Much of it is in the soundtrack of movies and documentaries, where you’ll find a lot of trance music and other forms ignored by the big corporations, who, after all these years, still really only want to sell pop — I figure the executives have had their tiny brains burned out by too many years of cocaine use.

    As an example of how innovative movie soundtracks can be, listen to the soundtrack of “Batman Begins”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTSokjqn1iE
    Turn the volume up. 🙂

  108. Miriam English

    Yeah, I saw a video a while back of an Alzheimer’s patient who was so lost he could only sit and stare, like a vegetable, but lit up happily joining in singing an old song when those around him began the tune. For the duration of the song he was present and responsive. Afterward he lapsed back into impassivity, lost again.

    Yes, music, like the sense of smell, has the ability to pluck emotional strings deep within us.

    I love the way I can listen to Verdelle Smith’s “Tar and Cement” and I’m suddenly back in 1965 with my Mum at the newly opened giant Roselands Shopping Centre in South Western Sydney — the largest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere for many years.

    Verdelle Smith – Tar and Cement
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIDLdgeP9Bw

  109. mark

    Grew up with tar and cement,the song,american version.Was also a belgium,irish,french,swedish,german,norwegian,czech,argentinian and italian versions.Written by Adriano Celentano. So there. mark

  110. paul walter

    Magic song, Tar and Cement. Also Clouds and Big Yellow Taxi, Joni Mitchell.

  111. Miriam English

    Today I got a lot done, and as background I edited one of my current favorite pieces of music, Pryda’s “Arpe” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_E5rt_FLNrI — the best part starts about 1 and a half minutes in) so that it plays in a continuous loop. It’s been playing for most of the day now and I’m amazed I’m not sick of it. It’s great background music for doing things.

    One of the things I managed with this background music playing was to sculpt myself a new tooth. I’m delighted to report it fits perfectly. I made it out of (polyethylene) plastic milk bottle which I melted with a small toaster oven, then sculpted with a small grinder attachment on my dremel-like tool.

    The music was also good background for reading some technical articles on the possible association between some viruses (especially cold sore Herpes Simplex Virus 1). It’s not proven yet, but looks promising.

    Another thing I did today was this:

    A good day. 🙂

  112. Alisha Ross

    You are the one who is crossing the line they will laugh at you in the day of judgement at least they are getting married and dedicating their lives to each other but you can break up with your girlfriend do the Haram things together istaqfurallah

  113. Miriam English

    Alisha Ross…. ?????
    Who is crossing the line?
    Who will laugh at who?
    Why do you think there’ll be a day of judgement?
    Who is getting married?

    This is a puzzling post.

  114. Perkin Warbeck

    Celibacy is the ultimate sexual perversion. If you don’t use your equipment as designed, the body shows you how to do it in your dreams.
    I doubt very much that priests or nuns having nocturnal emissions are unaware of the cause of them.

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