Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Some poor unhappy soul

Every so often, I find that I've had a higher than usual number of hits in a day and I do a little ego search to see if it's because someone has linked to me. Imagine my surprise tonight when I found this link! I'm touched at the way this person has described me: "Meanwhile for my atheist chums, I found this on some whiny god-botherer blog which I think will give you a giggle".

There's even a German version - somehow the German sounds even better: "Mittlerweile für meine Atheistenkumpel, habe ich dies auf einem whiny Gott-botherer Blog , das ich denke, wird geben Ihnen ein Gekicher gefunden".

For me, a post so dripping with vitriol indicates unhappiness on a fairly deep level. Despite my occasional whinges, I'm a pretty happy person, and I've posted before about how daily prayer has helped me to achieve that.

Unfortunately, I have no answers which will convince this person - the nearest I've come to an answer on this blog is in this post here.

Perhaps some of my more regular readers would like to join me in praying for this poor chap.

In the meantime, now that I've been in my new house for over six months, I'm thinking of changing my name from Newhousenewjob to Whiny God-botherer. What do you think?

28 comments:

diana said...

Too funny!

I hate to generalize but all the atheists I have ever known were very angry people. I guess if I thought God didn't exist it really wouldn't bother me if other people believed in Him, and I certainly wouldn't define myself that way.

Cate said...

Hmmmm...

His "name" is Dracunculus and he claims to be a Grumpy Dragon. If you pray for him and he becomes a "whiny god-botherer" you could change your name to Dragon Slayer.

(Or not! =)

newhousenewjob said...

Diana, I have a good friend who was full of pain and anger when I first knew her, and was also vehemently opposed to all forms of religion. Gradually, as she worked through her pain and anger, she became a much happier person, and much more comfortable in her skin. As she became happier, her hostility to religion melted away. I don't know which came first, though - the happiness, or the letting go of hostility.

Cate, I like the sound of that! ;¬)

Dracunculus said...

Actually I'm really quite a happy little dragon; successful business, nice house, great relationship with Mrs Dracunculus (14 years and counting) and the lifetime dream of having my ponies at home fulfilled.

People believing in God does bother me though; the dead hand of religion holds human growth back and adds to the misery of the world and I'm convinced we'd be better off without it so in my little way I'm doing my best to set a few fires. Probably in vain but I try.

And Cate - don't expect any slain dragons in the near future, we're tougher than you think.

Thanks for your prayers anyway, I'm sure they'll come in useful for something.

newhousenewjob said...

Dracunculus, thanks for your courteous reply - I must admit, I wasn't expecting you to respond in such a reasonable way, for which I apologise. I do find it sad that so many posts on your blog seem to be so full of hatred, but I suppose it's your prerogative to write as you want to on your own blog.

We'll have to agree to disagree on God and religion - I believe that, while religion has undeniably been abused in many ways throughout the ages, a true belief in God is a force for good and helps many people to lead better, happier and more productive lives.

Although my post was a bit facetious in tone, I did sincerely mean it about praying for you, and I wish you happiness and peace.

Ma Beck said...

Here's what I don't get, and Drac, feel free to reply if you stop back by.
Why in the world would one link to a blog just for the sake of being contrary?
In other words, I would NEVER link to a pro-abortion blog, or an atheist blog. I want people to know what I think, not what people opposite me think.
And I wish atheists and agnostics would STOP using the "Oh, religion is so baaaad" line.
Look, atheists are no more moral than Christians or Buddhists or anyone. Some of the the worst murderers in HISTORY were atheists, but why use facts when you can use rhetoric?
Who cares if 100 million people were killed by Stalin, Hitler, and Mao alone?
Just say, "I don't BELIEVE in God, and that's my business." That's a simple enough line. Stop making excuses for non-belief.
Blogs are collections of personal thoughts.
Some I agree with, some I do not, just like people.
I highly doubt that if you heard "New House, New Job" and myself talking in a cafe about how we had just left church, you would approach us and call us "whiny god botherers."
Why would someone do it over the internet?
Do you think we are any less entitled to belief than you are to nonbelief?
Let's just agree on this: you talk about non-belief, I'll talk about belief, I won't bother you, you don't bother me.
I hope this didn't come off as snarky - that's not how I meant it, and I, like NHNJ, was impressed by your courteous and thoughtful and non-vitriolic reply.
I am bullheaded and strongly opinionated and I have been guilty of the same thing, but I promise to work on it.
;)

Ma Beck said...

For what it's worth, my best friend at work is a full-blown atheist, and we love each other dearly.
We have fun together, we crack each other up, and every day at work with her is a pleasure.
She doesn't get on my case and I don't get on hers.
And that's a nice way to be.

newhousenewjob said...

Well put, Ma, and if we can continue to have a civilised discussion here, I'm all for it - although I should point out that I did link to Drac's post too! ;¬)

Ma Beck said...

I have no problem with linking to other blogs which reference a story you are talking about or when they have a story about you.
I haven't looked at Drac's, so he may not be guilty of this, but I'm specifically referencing things like the Secular Society linking to Jackie's blog in a cruel attempt to mock her and her life.
It doesn't make me mad, per se, at least, not when it's done courteously or out of genuine curiosity and without insults. It just makes me scratch my head.

diana said...

Actually Drac, I was miserable until I had religion. I think just the opposite, if all would follow the 10 commandments we wouldn't have so many of the problems we have.

Dracunculus said...

Hello folks!

NHNG: I'm always polite on other people's blogs. My blog has a nice big warning on the top about the sex, violence, strong language and naked porpoises, yours doesn't so it would not be fair to use the same style of language I use on GrumpyDragon (or post pictures of naked porpoises).

MaBeck: I posted a link to NHNG's blog as I was linking back to a post about La Salette which was relevant to the post I was making (and also set up the "Shame Our Lady didn't have more to say about vehicle maintenance" gag rather nicely). Most of GrumpyDragon is commentary, usually about things that annoy me, so I often link to news items and sites that carry opposing views.

"Some of the the worst murderers in HISTORY were atheists, but why use facts when you can use rhetoric. Who cares if 100 million people were killed by Stalin, Hitler, and Mao alone?"

OK then, some facts. Firstly Hitler regarded himself as a Christian, and Himmler, architect of the final solution, was a deeply religious man (sure his religion was some weird brand of Norse myth and Paganism but he was religious) and the Nazi regime operated with the collusion of the Catholic church under the auspices of pope Pius XII. Secondly I don't believe that Stalin or Mao actually killed anyone in person. What killed all those people was an ideology that shared many of the traits of a religion; revered historical figurehead, rigid dogmas, authority being dispensed by "priests" (party officials), punishments for "heretics" and above all the denigration of the self. It's my belief that any systems in which individual liberty and expression is curtailed, whether that be spiritual religions or temporal ideologies, are bad things for the species as a whole.

On a more personal level I'd love to be able to get on with being a non believer and let the believers get on with believing but the believers keep affecting how I live. If I get Parkinson's disease in the future I want there to be a cure available, but the scientists can't do the stem cell research to find a cure because the believers keep lobbying the politicians to ban such research because of what their church tells them to believe. And if I do get some incurable terminal illness and decide that my life is no longer viable I cannot get help to end it, again because the believers keep rocking up into my life in the same manner. If I were a woman in certain countries I would not be able to get a termination, if I were gay I cannot get married in the same way a heterosexual couple could, again because of the pressure exerted on the non believers by the believers. As soon as all that gets sorted out I'll be happy to live and let live.

Last but not least Diana: I'm happy that you're not miserable any more and you're right in that if everyone could follow the 10 commandments the world would be a much better place (actually you could make it simpler than that, the Wiccans only have the one commandment "An it harm none, do as thou will", if everyone could follow that one it would be a start!) I'm sure religion is a great comfort to very many people; it's lovely to think that there is someone out there who cares for you like your parents did and that there is an ultimate meaning to life. Fortunately (or regrettably, depending on your point of view) the weight of evidence against such a thing is, to me, overwhelming.

Best wishes to you all.
Dracunculus

newhousenewjob said...

Thanks Drac - I read your conversation with the earlier whiny God-botherer who threatened to knock your teeth out, and was impressed at the civilised level of discussion on both sides (after she got over her initial desire to remove your teeth!). And yes, I did see the warning on your site - and realise that I got off pretty lightly compared to some of the other things you've posted!

There was a smear campaign against Pope Pius XII and the Catholic Church after the Second World War, but in fact Pope Pius was opposed to the Nazis and tried to ensure that the Catholic Church saved as many Jewish lives as possible - see http://www.catholic.com/library/HOW_Pius_XII_PROTECTED_JEWS.asp.

I think the big problem with ideologies such as Maoism, Stalinism, etc is precisely that they don't have God at the heart of them - so you're left with a personality cult with no moral compass, and people will blindly follow exactly what the "personality" tells them to do, regardless of who it hurts.

The central message of Christianity is that you should love God and love your neighbour - and "your neighbour" is anyone who needs help. IF people keep that central tenet in mind (and I'm not saying all of them do), then I don't see how Christianity can fail to be a force for good. As I've said in many discussions with atheists before, it's not RELIGION per se that has caused war, corruption and persecution in the past, it's the ABUSE of the message of religion.

As for stem cell research, there are other ways of getting stem cells that don't involve creating a human life only to take it away, and there is research being successfully carried out which doesn't involve stem cells at all - they just aren't as glamorous, so don't get as much publicity.

Finally, if someone is close to death, I don't think the Church condemns the refusal of treatment or the refusal of artificial methods of preserving life at all costs. What it does oppose is taking deliberate action to end a life.

I'm enjoying this debate - please do stop by and stir us up a bit more if you fancy it!

Love and prayers,
Whiny God-botherer

Ma Beck said...

Drac,
I don't care if Hitler regarded himself as the King of Siam - he wasn't, nor did he act like it.
Nor did he ever, so far as we know, murder someone with his own hands. That's not the criteria for being a cold-blooded megalomaniacal murderer.

Secondly, I'm glad you brought up ESCR.
Are you aware of how many cures and even PROSPECTS of cures have been discovered through ESCR?
[Jeopardy theme plays.]
None. That's right. Not one. It is a colossal waste of money by people trying to advance an agenda. ASCR, on the other hand, has been incredibly successful. If you ever want a cure for a disease, you better start supporting ASCR.

Another point: Your life is no more or less important than mine, my daughter's, or anyone else's. We CANNOT destroy life to save another life.
Science knows when life begins, even if Planned Parenthood lies to the women who walk through its doors.
You will recall that the previous Pope had Parkinson's, yet never called for life in its earliest stages to be destroyed to cure it.

Yes, let's live and let live, but NOT to the detriment of other people, or society at large.

Dracunculus said...

I notice that the webpage over at catholic.com rather glosses over the more inconvenient aspect of Pius XII's story; particularly his pivotal role in the Reich Concordat of 1933, his infamous Christmas Eve 1942 radio broadcast and the church's role in the September/October 1943 round-up of Rome's Jews and all that nasty business with the "loan" of gold. I'm afraid that historians such as Robert Katz have discredited the stories about cardinals turning up on the Pope's orders and rescuing Jews from the Nazis. There were individual acts of great bravery by catholic clergy and laity sure but Pius actively forbade bishops from speaking out against the Nazis on numerous, documented occasions. You might have guessed by now I'm a bit of a WWII buff (well military history in general really - comes from playing those tabletop war games as a kid) but a good, unbiased read on the subject is John Cornwell's "Hitler's Pope - The Secret History of Pius XII" - he's Senior Research Fellow at Jesus Cambridge and he writes for The Tablet so he's no rabid anti-Catholic.

You could say that it was the abuse of Marxist theory that caused the terrors of Stalin's Soviet Union in the 30's and it would be fair comment; Das Kapital speaks of improving the lot of man, not of gulags, torture and terror. It's too easy to blame the abuse of something for causing the problems; a more useful question to my mind would be to ask what is it about that something, be that a religion or political philosophy, that renders it open to being abused in the ways that it is?

With religion the central message is more or less the same and is a variant on "You God loves you and you should love your fellow man as much as god loves you." No problem there but alongside all that is all the extra baggage which normally resolves around who God hates: people with alternate sexualities, apostates, unbelievers, etc, etc. It's all this additional small print that comes with religion, especially those with a book or books at the core, that causes all the grief from minor nutters like Fred Phelps (the "God hates Fags" guy) all the way up to people flying aircraft into buildings and tens of thousands being burnt as "witches". This is the problem, the system is flawed, it is open to abuse and in many ways seems to almost encourage it.

Finally, on the euthanasia question, "What it does oppose is taking deliberate action to end a life." But what about my rights to ask for that action? By all means if you are a believer in God and you believe that assisted suicide is wrong, then don't have one but why am I being denied the ability to make that decision because a group of believers ?

As you say, interesting debate.

newhousenewjob said...

I'm afraid I haven't read a massive amount on WWII and the role of the Church, but I do know it's very easy to look at an event with the benefit of hindsight and put a different spin on it. And I know John Cornwell and his work, and many Catholics don't consider him to be unbiased. Writing for The Tablet is no recommendation, either - in matters of doctrine, it often takes a view which is directly contrary to the teaching of the Church.

Fair point about the abuse of political theories - I actually believe that one of the problems with Communism as a way of running a country is that anyone who sets himself up as a leader in a Communist society is, by definition, not a true Communist.

The Catholic Church doesn't teach that God hates anybody at all - though it does teach that certain behaviours are wrong. The teaching on sex is actually totally consistent - the only context in which the sexual act is permitted is that of a loving, permanent relationship blessed by the sacrament of marriage, and where both participants are open to the gift of life. The reality is that this means gay sex, extramarital heterosexual sex, sex with contraception and other forms of recreational sex are forbidden. Nobody suggests (as far as I know) that the Church hates unmarried couples - the same holds true for homosexuals.

Finally, the law recognises the inviolability of human life in outlawing murder. The Church says that no one life is more or less valuable than another - if it's wrong to kill another adult, it's wrong to kill a child, a baby, and then where do you stop? Remember that infanticide wasn't illegal in Victorian England, and look how barbaric that seems now. Well, now that science has advanced further and taught us more about life before birth, how about drawing the line when life begins - at conception?

And if killing another person is wrong, can it be justified on the basis that the other person wanted to be killed? Then where do you draw the line? How about that German cannibal who claimed his victim wanted to be eaten? Hard cases make bad law, but on balance enshrining respect for ALL human life in the law gives protection for the weaker and more vulnerable members of society, who have as much right to live as the strong and healthy.

newhousenewjob said...

Oh, and I'm with you on "God hates Fags", Drac. God loves each and every one of us, though He doesn't always love the way we behave. Jesus Himself taught us to hate the sin and love the sinner.

One of the worst examples of screwed-up religion I ever came across was at the Presbyterian funeral of a friend who had died young, leaving his widow with two babies to bring up on her own. He had grown up in the Presbyterian church and had not been to chapel for years, and the preacher chose to preach, AT HIS FUNERAL, on the theme of, "If you don't let God into your life, you're going to Hell - let this be a warning to the rest of you."

My God is a loving God, and I totally reject any so-called religion which spouts such mean-minded and hate-filled tripe. The Catholic Church, however much some people may try to twist its words to suit their own agenda, does not condone and never has taught that we should hate people who sin or who reject God. In the final analysis, only God is able to judge, because only God can know what's in a person's heart.

Ma Beck said...

Drac,
I'll address the main issue of your latest concern, because once I start rambling, I'll go forever, and I'd like to address each issue you have.
;)
I would also like to defend the good name of Pope Pius XII, since he has been mercilessly smeared by historical revisionists as of late.
Pius XII who was named a "Righteous Gentile" by Israel's Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority.
Israel planted 850,000 trees in his remembrance, one for each Jewish life Pope Piux XII saved during WWII.
He was not unique, either. Pius XI uttered a "few words" about Nazism and fascism in general too. The encyclical "Mit brennender Sorge," remains the ONLY encyclical NOT written in the Church's mother tongue of Latin. It was written in German so Hitler himself could read it, as could ANY priest or bishop who was confused about the Church's position. It condemned Nazism, and the Nazi regime in the harshest of terms. Not only that, but the letter was smuggled into Germany and ordered read from every Catholic pulpit in the country by the Pope.
Some people act as though it was unusual to be indifferent or even supportive of the Nazi regime. Au contraire.
It was quite common, particularly in the US, to be indifferent. We are so conditioned now to HATE the Nazis, to cite Hitler whenever we are talking of evil, that we forget that it wasn't always this way.
Remember, the US didn't enter WW2 until WE were attacked by Japan.
We are hardly the 'savior of the Jews.' (Certainly the soldiers who fought and died BECAME just that. The Greatest Generation, and all...)
Many, many Catholics were killed in Concentration camps. Hitler despised Catholics, just like the KKK and many other unsavory organizations.
St. Maximilian Kolbe, a priest, was standing in a line at Auschwitz when a Nazi soldier began pulling out men for execution, after an escape attempt.
(Kolbe was NOT involved in the escape, nor were ANY of the men in the line.)
When a man was pulled out who began sobbing that he had a wife and three children, Kolbe stepped forward and whispered to the guard that he wished to take the man's place. The guard consented, Kolbe was murdered after 3 weeks of torture, and the man (a Jew) was reunited with his family post-liberation. (He was also at the canonization of St. Maximilian, a few years ago.)
Sorry! I told you I start rambling...
:)

newhousenewjob said...

Thanks Ma - I hoped someone else would be able to respond to that bit better than I could.

Dracunculus said...

Morning team. This'll have to be a quickish reply as I'm on the wing at the moment.

MaB: "Mit Brennender Sorge" was the church getting back at the Nazi regime after they had broken the Reich Concordat, specifically the clause in it that allowed freedom of religious practice. Up until then the concordat had been a pretty sweet deal for the church.

Missed your earlier post about embryonic stem cell research too (sorry, I was working offline) It is simply disingenuous to say that there are no prospects of cures from this research; nerve and tissue regeneration therapies spring to mind and I'm sure that if I rang my cousin (the molecular biologist of the family) he'd be able to point me at the relevant bits of scientific literature. However my point was that this potential for acquiring knowledge should not be taken away because it challenges a religious belief.

And no, a bunch of embryonic cells isn't "a life" in my book (or in science's either); it has no sentience, no self awareness and is merely a potential. As we can now create cloned adults from single cells should we now regard a single cell as a life? What is life is a fluid concept, a moveable feast decided by cultural consensus. I'm all for the old medieval legal version in that life starts at "the quickening".

NHNG: Yes, agreed 100% that the Catholic church's position on sex is totally consistent and I really have absolutely no problem with it.

Where I do have a problem, and this has been the thrust of my comments to date, is that the church (and believers in general) want everyone to subscribe to that position. Now individuals can proselytise if they like and try to persuade others of the correctness of their world view and get other to subscribe to it but when believers try to get legislation in place to force other to adhere to their moral code I have a problem; I now have to adhere to a morality I disagree with because if I don't I'll be punished. Do you see what I'm trying to get at here?

On the guy who wanted that chap to eat him; okay so he's mad as a box of frogs but it's his life so why not? We allow people with body dismorphia to have limbs removed, all this is is something a bit further down the line. With the appropriate checks and balances, making sure there is no coercion and that the person's reasoning is sound (no matter how far whacked out we might think that reasoning is) then surely a person can be given the right to do with their life and body what they want?

Have a great day everyone
Poor Unhappy Soul (hey if you can be Whiny God-Botherer... :-) :-) )

newhousenewjob said...

Dear Poor Unhappy Soul (oops, just realised that name gives you the rather unpleasant acronym 'PUS' - do you want to change it to 'Poor Tortured Soul'? ;¬))

The thing is, science has tended to catch up with us on the life issue. In Victorian times, as I said, infanticide was not a crime. That's unthinkable now. Then when the 1967 Abortion Act came out, 28 weeks was considered the 'right' time limit. In 1990 the limit was reduced to 24 weeks - mainly on the basis of new scientific knowledge. Many now think that the time limit should be lower - again, on scientific grounds.

I don't think we can ever agree on this one, because we have totally different beliefs about when life begins, but surely you can accept that anyone in their right mind would want life to be protected from the moment it begins - even if you think we're wrong about when that moment is. Catholics will continue to campaign for the protection of all life - it's in line with the right to life in all human rights legislation, and we would be wrong to say, "Well, we firmly believe that life begins at THIS point, but let's compromise and say we'll only protect life from THAT point to avoid upsetting people who don't agree with us."

To take an extreme example, what if there was someone else who believed that it was acceptable to kill anyone who was under the age of reason? Would we stand by and say, "Well, it's OK for that child to be killed, because the person killing it thinks life doesn't need to be protected until the child can reason"?

So fair enough, you could argue on that one that we're trying to make the world follow our own beliefs - if you look at what that particular belief is, surely you see that we can't do otherwise, whether we're right or wrong.

Next, I won't bang on about this point, but the thing about ASSISTED suicide is that you're not doing what you like with your own body - you're asking someone else to kill you. Quite apart from that other person's moral scruples, which MUST be taken into account, that other person needs protection - how can they PROVE that there was no coercion and your reasoning was sound?

As for trying to make other people subscribe to our moral code, I think this is a whole different issue. There has been a lot of fuss lately about the new Sexual Orientation Regulations. The Catholic objection to those is precisely what you are objecting to - that they try to force other people's 'morality' on us. A Catholic organisation is no longer permitted in law to say that someone whose LIFESTYLE (NB NOT simply their PREFERENCE, which they can't do anything about) is directly contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church shouldn't be, for instance, working for the Church.

As for homosexual adoption, practising homosexuals couldn't adopt through Catholic adoption agencies, and many children are placed with Catholic adoption agencies precisely because their parents wanted them to be brought up by a mother and father - there are very sound psychological reasons why this is a good thing wherever possible. But the Catholic adoption agencies never simply turned homosexual couples away - they referred them to other agencies. They are no longer permitted to do this.

It cuts both ways - why should we be forced to adhere to a law which is directly contrary to our beliefs? And if an exemption had been permitted on the grounds of belief, we wouldn't have objected to the regulations as strongly as we do. Sure, we wouldn't have been happy, but there's a lot in society today that doesn't make us happy. The important thing is that they wouldn't have directly affected us and our families and forced us to act in a way that's contrary to our beliefs.

Phew... right, I'd better get on with some work now.

Love and prayers,
Whiny God-botherer x

Ma Beck said...

Drac,
Ah, we'll have to agree to disagree.
The fact of the matter is, Drac, that throughout its 2000 year history, the Church has never denied the existence of the Fall of Man, the sinfulness of man, Free Will, and general bad manners.
There are pedophiles, murderers, and people who are just general jackasses in the Church.
The Church has never permitted pederasty, murder, or being a jackass.
But I'm not going to stop saying that abortion, or pederasty, or slavery, or murder is wrong just because people don't like it, anymore than an orthodox Jew is going to stop saying all those things. They comprise my fundamental belief system.
(My husband's grandparents were Russian Jews, incidentally.)
My point about ESCR is this: There have been NO, zero, zilch advances in medicine with them.
There have been dozens and dozens with ASCR. So what's the point of using ESC, if not for an agenda?
Oh, no, science is quite clear that a HUMAN life begins when DNA from a mother combines with DNA from a father and a separate being is formed.
We may argue when this life becomes important (in fact, theologians debate when the soul is infused), but egg+sperm= new life.

I think it's only available in hardcover, but if you could get your hands on this book, you could get the JEWISH rebuttal to "Hitler's Pope."
http://www.amazon.com/
Myth-Hitlers-Pope-Against-Germany/
dp/0895260344

It was written by Rabbi David Dolin.
My replies to the charges you leveled in your last comment are contained therein.

(I have a headache and the Loudest Baby Alive sitting beside me right now. Not good times, Drac. Not good times.)
;)

Dracunculus said...

Hi again.

Hurrying homewards as fast as my wings will flap (oh alright, as fast as One Railway can get me to Cambridge) as apparently a swarm of bees has taken up residence outside the back door. If I get locusts and the river turning to blood tomorrow I might be cashing some of those prayers you sent earlier in the week in! :-)

PUS is fine too - but it does make me sound like a cat.

Yep we're just not going to agree on the abortion/when life starts thing. I think we've all made our points.

However on the assisted suicide thing you're quire right in that the person doing the assisting needs protection and of course no-one should be put in the position where they are forced to assist. However I think procedures and laws could be put in place to build in safeguards, palliative care made available, checks made to ensure the relatives aren't pressuring granny to shuffle off the mortal coil so they can pocket the inheritance. Nothing is perfect of course but there has to be a better way than the situation we have now where people end up going to Switzerland.

I do sympathise with you around the imposition of the Sexual Orientation rules. As a private organisation the Catholic Adoption Agencies should (so long as they are completely private, i.e. they don't recieve any funding via the taxpayer) be able to pick and choose exactly who they associate and do business with. I am very uncomfortable with exceptions being granted on the basis of belief, I think the law has to apply equally, but in this case the law is a bit of an ass. That said this one is a bit of a tricky beastie, I think we'd all agree that an adoption agency which said "We are not going to place children with parents who are black" would not be a desirable thing these days and homosexuals have about as much choice in the matter as people have over the colour of their skin.

Thanks for the book tip Ma, I'll see if I can hunt that down (I can see Mrs Dracunculus going "Not *another* book about the Second World War!" when it turns up) Hope your headache is better soon and that the baby has gone to sleep!

Have a great weekend all... off to deal with the bees!

PUS

newhousenewjob said...

Hi PUS (actually, I was thinking more that you might object to being named after the nasty yellow stuff that oozes out of a festering sore!)

I agree that the existing situation with people going off to Switzerland is terrible. I'd like to see an expansion of the hospice movement and more notice taken of the possibilities of palliative care - the problem is that our society is so afraid of death and dying (and of spending money) that people live in dread of ending up bed-blocking in an NHS hospital or being neglected in some dreadful nursing home after the government has taken their life savings off them for the privilege. Dying in a hospice is a much less painful and undignified experience than dying in an NHS hospital.

I'd take issue with your statement that "homosexuals have about as much choice in the matter as people have over the colour of their skin" - that's the one that everyone has used in their arguments in favour of the SORs, but it's not true, because what the Church objects to is the PRACTICE of homosexuality, not the homosexual FEELINGS as such. No, you can't help the way you feel, but you don't have to act on it.

I have strong heterosexual feelings and am in a relationship with a man I'm strongly attracted to - but because we're not married and are both Catholic, we have not had sex and don't intend to unless and until we get married.

So you absolutely can't avoid having black skin, but you absolutely CAN avoid being in a sexual relationship of any sort, whether it be heterosexual or homosexual. So sorry, but it's a rotten analogy.

Now, the interesting question is whether Catholic adoption agencies should allow homosexual couples who are living together as brothers or as sisters (ie, sharing companionship, friendship, etc, but not a 'marital' bed) to adopt. On the face of it, it would be much less reasonable to deny adoption to those couples than to deny it to unmarried couples of either persuasion who had an active sex life, and that would be an interesting topic to debate if such a couple were to come forward.

Good luck with the bees - I'll pray for your deliverance from the plague of locusts and the rivers of blood. If they don't happen, you'll know my prayer was heard. :¬)

WGB

Ma Beck said...

DracPUS, ;)

Oh, the headache went away after a few Tylenol and a few cups of coffee. Baby, however, is just Loud By Nature, and I guess that can't be helped. She LOVES the sound of her voice.

I think she's going to be an interesting case study in Nature vs. Nurture.
:)

Ooooh, I love WW2 books, also.
I just finished "Ghost Soldiers" about the Bataan death march.
So, so sad.

Don't forget - Shark Week on Discovery Channel starts Sunday with a show about the USS Indianapolis.
:(

Dracunculus said...

Bee problem fixed itself as the swarm moved on but I did get a plague of mosquitoes in the stables on Saturday. That problem was resolved by means of prayer, fasting and lots and lots of flyspray.

I think the homosexual "you're allowed the feelings but not the expression" thing is really splitting hairs and hideously unfair. On one hand if you're heterosexual you can have a sex life (assuming you jump through a couple of hoops) but if you're homosexual you can't, ever. As Galileo once said "I cannot believe that the same God who gave Man intellect and reason intended us to forgo their use" and I think the same should be true of sexuality. I don't think that its right to separate sexuality from its expression. Of course it's fine for individuals to make that decision (as you have done) but unfair to force that decision on others.

Mind you your idea of the celibate gay couple asking to adopt would be interesting. Personally I think the church would just get itself into an infinite recursive loop until it crashed like a badly written computer program. :)

newhousenewjob said...

But once again, we're not forcing that decision on anybody, as they're perfectly at liberty to go to any of the dozens of non-Catholic agencies - but their lifestyle is being forced on us, because we no longer have a choice.

Have you seen this morning's report (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/07/30/ngay130.xml)about what the SORs are going to mean for guesthouse owners, chauffeurs and wedding photographers? The owners of these businesses are not trying to impose their lifestyle on anybody - they're just saying please don't force it on us. At Christmas my family stayed in a youth hostel so we could all be together - married couples were in bunk beds, because that was the only sort of sleeping arrangement the youth hostel had, and nobody complained about having to spend two or three nights in separate beds. A ban on homosexual couples staying in the same bed in a hotel is not a total ban on gay sex - they can do what they like for the rest of the year, and in hundreds of other hotels, but they're asked to respect the religious sensibilities of the people whose business they are frequenting and abstain for one or two nights if they choose to stay there. If they don't like it, they can go somewhere else. That's totally different from, say, a ban on black people in a hotel - you can't change the colour of your skin for one or two nights.

There's only one group whose civil liberties are in danger here, and it ain't the homosexuals.

Dracunculus said...

Blimey - 26 comments... wish my posts would get this big!

Again I think this is something we're going to disagree on. I don't think that being gay and sexually active is "a lifestyle", or if it is being heterosexual and celibate or heterosexual and in a relationship are equally "lifestyle choices".

newhousenewjob said...

Absolutely right, PUS - being celibate or being sexually active is a lifestyle choice whether you're homosexual or heterosexual. I've made one choice, based on my personal beliefs, and others are free to make a different choice. But any owner of a private business should have a choice as to the type of BEHAVIOUR that is permitted in his establishment.

But yes, I think we'll just have to agree to differ on this...