Monday, March 31, 2008

Brendan Fay in Poland


President Lech Kaczynski’s favourite married gay person, Brendan Fay, is in Poland. And he is bringing the anti-gay low life out from under their rocks.

A spokesperson for the anti-homosexual lobby in Poland was on TVN24 this morning discussing with a gay activist the visit to Warsaw of Brendan Gay and his partner - photos of whose wedding were used in a recent TV broadcast by President Lech Kaczynski, warning of how the EU Lisbon Treaty would ‘bring gay marriage to Poland…’ and other such nonsense.

Fay is here – brought to Poland by TVN TV – to meet with left wing politicians and with representatives from the Campaign Against Homophobia in Poland.

The arch-conservative activist, Joanna Najfeld, after threatening how she was going to take the 24 hour news station to court ‘for discrimination’ (we are confused as to what she meant by this) the interviewer asked her if she would shake the hand of the gay activist opposite her - Jacek Adler - with whom she was having a debate.

“No, I don’t know where his hand has been,’ was Ms Najfeld’s elegant response.

The primitivism of the anti-gay lobby here is sometimes surprising. But only sometimes.

Update - Beatroot’s Peace Be With You campaign

At Mass, when we turn to our neighbour and say ‘Peace Be With You,’ we also shake their hand.

In the spirit of tolerance, I suggest we start a new campaign, where we shake the hands of those who would not want to shake the hands of ...you know...them!

So, spot a far-righter today, and shake their hands (and then ask them how they know where your hand has been...-{).

More?
Here

81 comments:

METKA BY TRACZKA said...

Joanna Najfeld showed fashist attitude and lack of any manners. First, with big passion she listed what is on gay portal (with all the dettails like oral, anal, traingle etc. It was 8:30 in the morning!) and in the end refused to shake hands. I would be afraid where SHE keeps her hands.

I felt like vomiting, not at that gay guy, but at her. Is she catholic? So where is her love to other human being?

beatroot said...

Right on, sister. But these people are a dieing out species here...much like T Rex.

Anonymous said...

You 'forgot' to mention that Miss Najfeld showed that so called 'ati-homophobia' vortal of Mr. Adler is in fact a place where he shows his naked buttons and looks for partners for group orgies.There are ads of gay prostitutes and hard porn.
She showed that 'gay culture' is in fact not a culture but plain porn industry and you hate her because of it...

beatroot said...

I don't hate anyone. I am just a little shocked at what in Polish would be called such 'chamstwo' on a Polish news programme. Some people should be taught some manners.

METKA BY TRACZKA said...

Anon: Actually there are lots of hetero similar stuff on any dating portal. What's the difference between nakes gay ass and semi-naked blond beauty in significant position on sympatia.pl - a dating portal???

What I was outraged about it was her attitude. I do tolerate her as ultra catholic, let her be. I do not agree with openly offending other human beings. That's it.

Anonymous said...

> What's the difference between
> nakes gay ass and semi-naked
> blond beauty in significant
> position on sympatia.pl - a
> dating portal???

The difference is simple - dating portals do not pretend to look like something more that dating/ad services.

Gejowo.pl tries to fraud people that it is serious 'pro tolerancy' vortal but in fact it is nothing more that dating service including special pages for ads of gay prostitutes. Webmasters of porn sites are not common guests in TV - except gay porn webmasters, isn't it?

The difference is that gay porn and prostitution providers try sell their stuff as 'freedom and toleration ideology'.

geez said...

Maybe the guy with the gejowo website need to be taught some manners?

AND the folks running the sympatia website/vortal/portal (wtf?) ?

beatroot said...

What ya mean, Gejzer? Are you suggesting that an internet portal for adults is bad mannered? If so then I think you have a rather confused view of what 'manners' are...

geez said...

So it's not a "portal" to promote tolerance, raise peoples'awareness, etc.?

Yes, I am confused.

Is the portal in question involved in advocating human rights or is it a pornography site and/or dating service?

Sorry, but I'm not interested in checking for myself.

opamp said...

It seems that our president (and Jacek Kurski) did more to promote the idea of gay marriage in one week, than the Campaign Against Homophobia did in years.

beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beatroot said...

Geyzer - I could not care less what the site is, or isn't. Doesn;t bother me as I don;t go on gay sites. End of subject. But either way, that is nothing to do with personal manners, so do not try and confuse the issue here.

Opamp (who is a Catholic, if people don't know him) yeah, you are right. Better, maybe, to get these people to shut up. If I was a conservative I would be ashamed to be in the same room as these people....

michael farris said...

geez, afraid teh gej will rub off? wuss! wuss ! wuss!

Even a quick look indicates it's both a general resource/news site that also has easy access to more ... intimate/frank content.

Tha makes a certain amount of sense, since media for gay people doesn't have a long enough history (especially in Poland) for the political, emotional and purely physical to be so separated.

The irony is that Kaczynski and Kurski have found the quickest way to make homofobia unacceptable in Poland (make Polish homofobes look primitive and unworldly within the modern european context).

beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beatroot said...

should explain to the uninitiated, that Kurski was the guy who advised the Prez on the content of the Presidential Broadcast which included the wedding images of ‘Brendan and Tom' as they are becoming known in the media here.

The result has been favorable coverage of Mr Fay at the expense of some mirth at the expense of the Prez.

But it's an issue that the far right here - as demonstrated on TVN 24 this morning - can get their teeth into. These people enjoyed their moment in the sun when LPR were in government for in the heady days of the Kaczynski government.

And then they got kicked out on their arse at last October's general election. Since then they have felt what they are – marginalized.

So I think this is the twitching corpse of a 1930s political movement, which they will play out like a slow motion car crash over the next few months and years.

It's also interesting how quickly the ex-communist SLD have taken to the issue. They have decided the only way to win back about 20 percent of the voters who have seemingly left them forever is to reassert their left wing credentials. They proposed today 'civil union' legislation in Poland. Radical stuff! So they are after the young liberal vote. It will be interesting to see how the new Leftwing left in Poland will be.

But I also think that Brendan Fay is being used by both sides to try and win back lost support. If I was him I would tread very carefully...like a man marooned in the middle of a park full of dog shit.

jannowak57 said...

This isn’t about gays!

This is all about the struggle between modernity, the western life style and scared little medieval Poland trying to fight it. There is no history of politically active homophobia in the Poland of 1918-1939 but rather a different and more rational approach such as being one of the first European countries to de-criminalize it.

This new phenomenon has originated with the PRL and post 1989 politics. In the PRL homosexuals were viewed as a western social evil not something that would afflict a so-called progressive state while in post 1989 Poland this was picked up as political weapon by forces resisting modernity and western social norms.

These forces still resisting modernity and social change or alignment with western “normality” has nothing to attack so they work with weapons like homophobia, anti-Semitism and irrational nationalism. You just can’t campaign and rouse the masses on objections to there being ample food in the stores, plenty of consumer goods and visibly improving standards of living.

Around 6% of people are gay; inclusion is a societies best option because no other viable course of action exists.

Anonymous said...

> But it's an issue that the far
> right here - as demonstrated on > TVN 24 this morning - can get
> their teeth into. These people
> enjoyed their moment in the sun
> when LPR were in government for
> in the heady days of the
> Kaczynski government.

Rubbish!

Miss Najfeld has nothing in common with LPR. Yes, she is a member of KoLiber - organisation of youth conservative liberals or even libertarians - not nationalists at all.

Miss Najfeld is very successfull lobbyist of - let's name it that way - 'Polish Catholic Anti-Defamation League': she organised action of boycot of companies that advertise in a magazine that attaced catholic religion, she prooved that "freedom march of gays" in Poznań was anti-freedom (she wanted to join the march with local branch of KoLiber demonstrating against discrimination because of age and sex - organisers refused to accept them).

Miss Najfeld is young, intelligent and handsome - that's why you are trying to blame her of fascism, nationalism and God knows what else...

:-))))

Anonymous said...

> But it's an issue that the far
> right here - as demonstrated on > TVN 24 this morning - can get
> their teeth into. These people
> enjoyed their moment in the sun
> when LPR were in government for
> in the heady days of the
> Kaczynski government.

Rubbish!

Miss Najfeld has nothing in common with LPR. Yes, she is a member of KoLiber - organisation of youth conservative liberals or even libertarians - not nationalists at all.

Miss Najfeld is very successfull lobbyist of - let's name it that way - 'Polish Catholic Anti-Defamation League': she organised action of boycot of companies that advertise in a magazine that attaced catholic religion, she prooved that "freedom march of gays" in Poznań was anti-freedom (she wanted to join the march with local branch of KoLiber demonstrating against discrimination because of age and sex - organisers refused to accept them).

Miss Najfeld is young, intelligent and handsome - that's why you are trying to blame her of fascism, nationalism and God knows what else...

:-))))

geez said...

m. farris: media for gay people doesn't have a long enough history (especially in Poland) for the political, emotional and purely physical to be so separated.

So gays are infantile, not capable of recognizing the difference?

Maybe it can be argued that there isn't and shouldn't be any difference.

But it doesn't seem at all logical, sincere, honest, transparent and the like to be presented as one thing and not the other. If that's what's being done. And that's what anon claimed. And that the "intimate/frank" content -- or call it what you will -- was ignored by BR in his reportage.

BTW, I don't frequent or ever even visit cricket, golf, or curling portals. Sympathia or gejzer sites, either. I did visit an electra site once and got off right quick. I guess I was afraid I would want to become a nudist.

Me a nudist? That's a scarey, dirty thought for you!

beatroot said...

Geyzer - you are a Nudist! Period.

Anon
I am old, intelligent and handsome, so you saying I am jealous of her age? You know, I really am not.

And you are the one who brought up the bogey word - fascism! I never said she was a fascist, because she isn’t.

But do you really think that kind of behaviour on TV does her argument and politics any favours? I think not. In fact, it's a gift for her opponents.

And it seems the loony right have a habit of shooting themselves in the foot at the moment - long may it be so easy to make them look so stupid.

beatroot said...

jan
There is no history of politically active homophobia in the Poland of 1918-1939 but rather a different and more rational approach such as being one of the first European countries to de-criminalize it.

But the priorities were different in those days for these types of people. I am sure you know what I mean. But there was a flowering of modernity in Poland then, as elsewhere - in the 1920s, at least. Anmd then we got the Nazis. Soviets....

michael farris said...

Geez, what I meant was that in larger countries with established gay media traditions you have things like the Advocate or the British equivalent for general interest/political news, other publications for meeting people and/or cheap thrills. A spectrum (or rainbow if you will) of kinds of publications.

Poland doesn't have as much going on and so it's all lumped together.

Is that hard to understand or are you just looking for strawmen? I would assume that in time the different strands will sort themselves out.

Anonymous said...

> And you are the one who brought
> up the bogey word - fascism! I
> never said she was a fascist,
> because she isn’t.

Not me - you colleague did and you agreed:
"METKA BY TRACZKA said...
Joanna Najfeld showed fashist attitude and lack of any manners."

"beatroot said...
Right on, sister."

Isn't it? :->

What is the difference between 'fascist attitude' and fascism itself?

michael farris said...

"I don't frequent or ever even visit cricket, golf, or curling portals."

but are you in the habit of making comments about their contents and what you think they should be?

michael farris said...

Lech Walesa lost a presidential election by refusing to shake hands in a crass way.

I wonder what Najfeldowa (or -ówna?) will lose?

beatroot said...

When was the Walesa thing, Mike?

Anon - 'right on sister' was slightly ironic (it is the kind of thing hippies used to say in the 1970s) but it was a general show of support for what Traczka said - and that was about the correct way to act towards people. Refusing to shake hands, and the comment that went with it - are the acts of a BURAK.

geez said...

"I don't frequent or ever even visit cricket, golf, or curling portals."

but are you in the habit of making comments about their contents and what you think they should be?

>>> Well, I do think that people who play cricket, golf, and curling are, er, well, their proclivities don't interest me. And I don't think if I looked at such websites I would become similarly interested. Please note, too, that I wrote "Maybe it can be argued that there isn't and shouldn't be any difference" in the realms you brought up. The personal is the political and all that. Either the personal and the political should be entwined or not? I wonder. And about strawmen... I just like to work out arguments, poking and prodding. Hopefully, from time to time, I'll learn something from my follies, shed a pretension or two, rid myself of bad habits and whatnot. More often than not, I'll fuck up. And BR, so you don't think that Najfeld displayed fascist tendencies, but rather she was just rude, boorish? A nudist, me? Well, there was that time...

geez said...

"These forces still resisting modernity and social change or alignment with western “normality” has nothing to attack so they work with weapons like homophobia, anti-Semitism and irrational nationalism.

Is there more than one 57 posting here over time? I'll spare myself the time-consuming task of dredging up the quotes.

michael farris said...

"When was the Walesa thing, Mike?"

1995 debate with Kwaśniewski. After the debate with the cameras still rolling, Kwach approachd Lech with his arm outstretched. Walesa ostentatiously refused to shake his hand (and was later heard to say he'd sooner give Kwach his leg).

This was not a good thing for a candidate who was having image problems as an overly aggressive bumpkin to do. Everyone I talked to (even some who had planned to vote for him and some who still planned to vote for him) thought the gesture and remark were classless and uncalled for.

jannowak57 said...

geez said...” Is there more than one 57 posting here over time? I'll spare myself the time-consuming task of dredging up the quotes.”

If it’s any comfort to you I still hate leftist liberals.

I am trying to point out that the forces of “darkness”, which represent the religious conservatives and the giftless politicians that have formed a symbiotic relationship with them need to manufacture issues in order to justify their existence.

These are the forces of a segment of the Catholic Church focused around Radio Maryja and populist politicians. This element in society makes every effort to keep advancing on a modern course of development an exercise of dragging the misguided along kicking and screaming. This gets tiresome.

Poland is still substantively under developed in its political culture and fails to marginalize these forces with sufficient vigour.

Anonymous said...

jannowak57 wrote:

"This is all about the struggle between modernity, the western life style and scared little medieval Poland trying to fight it. "

Jan, don't you think that what you wrote sounds rather silly? The pro-abortion and pro-homosexual West is trying to bring enlightenment to the backward and Catholic Poland. There is more than narcissism in that statement. It's cultural colonialism. It's also so cliche heavy that it borders on absurd.
I find Catholic teaching on homosexuality (see the Catechism) as both compassionate and enlightened. Some in Western Europe would benefit by familiarizing themselves with that teaching.

jannowak57 said...

Anon said: “It's cultural colonialism”

I do not appose the Catholic Church’s right to preach against abortion or a homosexual life style. People struggled for freedom of religion among other freedoms. I object to Catholic doctrine being translated into the law of the land and trampling on the civil rights of others in the process.

If the scientific community is right then there are several million gays in Poland. As it is generally accept people are born with sexual orientation, they can’t catch it like a cold and you can’t cure it with an aspirin. So don’t you think we should just accept that which we can’t do anything about. Allowing people to live with some measure of dignity and be full participants in society likely serves society and the individual best.

What is your solution and where are going with the homophobia campaign?

Abortion is the other issue that’s being mishandled, the current legislation has served to change nothing and it’s a strict anti-abortion law. It seems the ladies understand how to vote with their feet if they can’t secure an abortion in a private clinic in Poland.

For all the trouble to criminalize women and doctors, not even a detectable variance in the nations birth rate has been noticed as a consequence of this law.

If you wish to be successful look at those societies that are successful and follow suit, last time I checked your were still looking at Western Europe.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jan:

Allow me to address some of your comments:

First, the Catholic Church doesn't consider a homosexual orientation as sinful in and of itself. It is the practice of this "objective disorder" that becomes culpable, and even here the level of moral awareness of the individual involved must be taken into account. A subtle distinction that involves some thought rather than emotion to grasp;

Second, many object to this condition being called "objectively disordered", since they fear it translates into a stigma (I regretfully must admit with some justification). Yet it remains what it is - if it wasn't a disorder, then it would be completely normal for everyone to be homosexual. I think the consequences of such a development are obvious;

Third, it may come as a surprise, but many heterosexual behaviors can also be called "objectively disordered". If a man, having pledged marital fidelity breaks it with a prostitute (sorry, a sex worker), and brings home a disease on top of it, I think we'll both agree there is something disordered here.

To sum up, to practice sexuality outside of moral bounds is the very opposite of freedom - it eventually leads to heartbreak and disease. Our discussion should examine the moral limits of human sexuality. If they do exist, then why should the state be an agent of hedonism and false freedom?

jannowak57 said...

Anonymous said...” Allow me to address some of your comments”

Dear Anonymous

I would be pleased to have you address my comments it’s just you choose not to do that. I don’t really care about your religious doctrine, your free to believe what you wish and personally practice the same.

Where we differ is what is society’s role in the enforcement of your believe system, in my opinion state and church need to be strictly separated.

I fully understand the role of a church is to spread it’s believe system and encourage it’s followers to adhere to the doctrine. It’s just that I don’t think using the resources of the state ie. a policeman and handcuffs as the best way to make the rest of us adhere to your views.

Do you feel, that which you have failed to see prevail by means of exaltations from the pulpit, now needs to be achieved by the state’s judicial system.

All modern states require a strict separation of church and state.

michael farris said...

(Michael Farris)

anonymous,

I don't interact with people who won't give any name. Choose a pseudonym (and put it in parenthesis at the top of the post if you don't know how to otherwise).

There are potentially too many anonymouses to keep them straight (pun not intended).

beatroot said...

Anonymouse
It is the practice of this "objective disorder"

What is (God's name) are you talking about. Who defines this 'objective' disorder. The Church?

ha ha...ha

geez said...

Why was Cardinal Law's "objective disorder" so quickly forgiven and rewarded(?) with a top position in the Vatican?

BR, as you often quip, "ha ha...ha" and the like, is not an argument. It's derision.

If one is referencing Catholic Church teaching, what other entity would set it other than the Church?

I don't recall anon (yea, anon, please come up with a cybername) writing anything about the Catholic Church calling upon society to use it's laws to enforce Catholic doctrine.

beatroot said...

Could you explain to be what this 'objective' thing is - on what criteria it is 'objective' and why the rest of us should take any notice of it?

geez said...

There's an object to the supposed disorder?

Objective as opposed to subjective?

Pompous authoritative gobbletygook?

I don't abide by the disorder claim, either. Maybe in some cases in some sense but generally not.

beatroot said...

Er....sorry...not following this. What is this disorder that I am meant to be debating seriously?

geez said...

I hope youse or I haven't driven away anon. He or she was a good addition to the motley crew methinks. I'd certainly like to read his or her response.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jan:

In response to your response, I would like to point out that in your argument you conflate state with culture and nation. You use them as synonyms. May I propose that they are not - the state serves the the nation and its culture, not vice versa. On the other hand, the Roman Catholic Church is, obviously, a big and legitimate factor in the Polish culture.
So to rephrase your argument: you would like to reduce or eliminate the influence of the Catholic Church on the Polish culture, and then misuse the power of the state to implement your "progressive" agenda. How is that different from what the communists tried to do less than twenty years ago?

Anonymous said...

Dear Beatroot:

You ask "What is this disorder that I am meant to be debating seriously?"
Well then, straight from the horses mouth: articles 2357 thru 2359 of the Catechism (see vatican.va) address the issue of homosexual attraction.
Article 2357 calls such acts "intrinsically disordered" (sometimes the term "objectively" is used) and contrary to natural law.
Article 2358 distinguishes between the person with such attractions and the act itself, and calls for compassion and sensitivity toward such persons.
The last article calls such persons to the practice of chastity and self-mastery.

That's a lot to unpackage without time for thought and some recourse to philosophy and psychology. If I must put this into a sound bite, then it would be something like this:

Many people today treat human sexuality as a mere recreational activity with no moral dimensions. The Catholic Church does not.

jannowak57 said...

Anonymous said... “How is that different from what the communists tried to do”

Dear Anonymous.

It is hugely different in that civil rights are being protected rather than violated. I agree with you that the state exists to serve the people who are the nation. Upholding human rights is a fundamental obligation of all states to the citizenry, doing this by means of a constitution and the requirements of international obligations.

By your line of reasoning, one could suggest that the Iranian regime is legitimate where religious laws/teaching trump basic human rights.

I don’t object to the Catholic Church influencing society but I do object to the church using the state as a mechanism to enforce its views on society.

Anonymous said... “calls such acts "intrinsically disordered" (sometimes the term "objectively" is used) and contrary to natural law.”

The medical community says it’s not a disorder or mental illness, does the state work with religion or science to formulate policy?

michael farris said...

anonymous 2:58

"The last article calls such persons to the practice of chastity and self-mastery"

So, the CC expects gay people, without the benefit of a religious vocation, to have lives of crushing loneliness, deprived of the kind of physical and emotional intimacy that only committed partnerships can provide. This is "compassion and sensitivity"?

"Many people today treat human sexuality as a mere recreational activity with no moral dimensions. The Catholic Church does not."

This might surprise but most pro-gay rights people like to amuse themselves by imagining that they perceive human sexuality as having a moral dimension as well. The fact that their ethics and principles don't coincide with those of the CC does not mean they don't have any.
It's very kind of you to suggest otherwise though.

Finally, you haven't even acknowledged requests that you choose a screen name.
The purpose of doing so is to place yourself within the discourse community taking place and not set yourself apart as some disembodied know-it-all. Do you work at being that rude or does it just come naturally?

geez said...

Perhaps, anon, you'd like to explain how "natural law" establishes the foundation for Catholic teaching on homosexuality?

Embodied Michael: "the kind of physical and emotional intimacy that only committed partnerships can provide"

Is your statement above kind to people who have remained single for a good part or all of their lives?

I'm thinking not only of celibate heterosexuals but "practicing" homosexuals as well. And a variety of other non-married possibilities emerge, too.

And I know more than a few married couples who have intimacy issues where they don't feel fulfilled in any way. What's the divorce rate these days? For hetero couples? For gay couples?

michael farris said...

geez, not everybody wants and/or needs a longterm partnership relationship. Not everybody who does want and/or need one is able to find one that's satisfying.

Those are separate issues that don't change my opinion that the CC's position (that those gay people who do want and/or need that kind of relationship should not try to find one) is unspeakably cruel.

beatroot said...

narural law?

Article 2358 distinguishes between the person with such attractions and the act itself, and calls for compassion and sensitivity toward such persons.
The last article calls such persons to the practice of chastity and self-mastery.


Self...what?

What a patronizing load of nonsense. No wonder it is going out fashion quicker than the can opener.

geez said...

A lot of really good bottled beer still requires a can opener.

Most Polish beers in the US do...

Anonymous said...

Thank you’all for your responses. Allow me to address them one at a time:

JanNowak57: Please define what you mean by “civil rights”. All too often, when the homosexual leadership doesn’t get what it wants, the claim is made that “civil rights” are being violated. We need a more objective definition, not a moving target. On the subject of Iran, the two religions in question are very different, and they’ve produced very different cultures. Syncretism may be distorting your view here (i.e. don't fear the Catholic Church);

Michael Farris: I thought you don’t talk to “anonymice”? At any rate, I can conceive of a happy life, full of friendships and worthy pursuits, that is also celibate. Think of it this way: if chastity in the homosexual community had been taken seriously, would AIDS have had such a devastating impact? Let’s look at this lifestyle as it is, not as we wish it to be;

Geez: In Catholic view, God exists and He is the creator of the material universe and the laws that govern it. We don’t believe that matter and energy created themselves, or had no beginning. Since natural law is part of His creation, it also can be, organically, part of the Church’s teachings;

Finally, Beatroot: This deviates from the subject of homosexuality, but since you seem to have focused on self-mastery, let me ask you this: during the wedding ceremony, it is customary to ask the two people who are getting married to pledge fidelity to one another. How would the groom feel if the bride, when hearing this question, turned to him and said: “what a patronizing load of nonsense!”.

michael farris said...

"I thought you don’t talk to “anonymice”?"

Noblesse oblige.... I gird my loins and remind myself that not everyone feels confident enough about about their opinions to publicly own up to them, even thru an alias.

"At any rate, I can conceive of a happy life, full of friendships and worthy pursuits, that is also celibate."

What you can or cannot conceive of is irrelevant. I can conceive of a happy, fulfilling, moral and ethical life without ever darkening a church door. That works fine for me (with no capacity for religious faith) but I wouldn't recommend it for others and I'd never dream of trying to impose it on others.
Most people find participating in an organized religion fills a need in their life and of course they should pursue that. To each their own. But the CC's attitude seems to be "To each our own" disregarding basic differences in human temperament and experience. Rather than expand to recognize the potential and variety of human (moral) experience the CC is contracting to a single cookie cutter model for everyone. That the CC seeks validation by having it's views enforced in civil law is a grave mistake.

"if chastity in the homosexual community had been taken seriously, would AIDS have had such a devastating impact? Let’s look at this lifestyle as it is, not as we wish it to be"

You're setting up another false dichotomy. There are more than two choices "boink everything that moves or be a monk".
Yeah, all men do have a tendency towards sluttly behavior if given a chance (and gay men tend to have more chances than straight men to actually indulge in said slutty behavior).
But all men also have the same urge to settle down. I'm in favor of encouraging that.
Let's look it at this way, had the CC been encouraging committed relationships and responsible sexual behavior among gay men AIDS wouldn't have had such a devastating impact either.

geez said...

AIDS is caused by a virus, not gay sex.

AIDS is spread by sex and not by the Catholic Church's position on gay sex.

All I have time for for awhile.

beatroot said...

Finally, Beatroot: This deviates from the subject of homosexuality, but since you seem to have focused on self-mastery, let me ask you this: during the wedding ceremony, it is customary to ask the two people who are getting married to pledge fidelity to one another. How would the groom feel if the bride, when hearing this question, turned to him and said: “what a patronizing load of nonsense!”.

Ah...is that what self mastery was. I thought it was something that garnny said would make me go blind...

Anonymous said...

Dear Michael Farris:

Noblesse oblige - I, a member of the faceless hoi polloi, am truly honored and humbled.

But back to business. You wrote: "Rather than expand to recognize the potential and variety of human (moral) experience the CC is contracting to a single cookie cutter model for everyone".
I'm not sure if you've studied CC teachings or read any encyclicals, but you do seem to have strong opinions on this subject. But that's better than being lukewarm.
Maybe we should stick to natural law, so as not to produce any culturally induced allergic reactions. Please provide a few real life examples of the variety of human moral experience, with emphasis on moral. We'll see if we can distill any constants from them.

Anonymous said...

And dear Beatroot:

Grow up, will you? And go wash your hands.

By the way, who's "garnny"?

geez said...

Don't sell yerself short, Michael F! You have the capacity and indeed the grace is there for the pickin' but you currently lack the will and/or desire. Give it a few years. And how can the CC or any religion be capable in any circumstance of imposing faith? Faith is personal and shared communally. And is the idea of settling down an urge? A need maybe, but hardly an urge.

beatroot said...

Grow up, will you? And go wash your hands.

By the way, who's "garnny"?


She's close family to a gurnny.

michael farris said...

"You have the capacity and indeed the grace is there for the pickin'"

No, I really don't. I could go thru the motions of religious observance but that's not faith or belief.
And what Holy entity would want me mouthing things I can't/don't believe, wouldn't an omniscient being see right thru that and not be impressed at all? If you (metaphorically) can imagine religious faith as a sense, it's one I just don't have. That doesn't make me against religion, I think aggressive atheists are massive pains in the ass.

michael farris said...

"And is the idea of settling down an urge? A need maybe, but hardly an urge."

I should have said 'drive'. Humans (both male and female) have two contradictory sexual-social drives. One is to seek out variety, the other is to partner off and get out of the meat market.

Most people try to satisfy both sequentially by first sowing some wild oats and then settling down.
For most people neither drive ever really goes away completely, but the smarter ones realize that over time partnering is the smarter long term option and the potential benefits of screwing around are overshadowed by the costs of getting caught and having to go it alone again.

The dumber ones find themselves on Jerry Springer...

michael farris said...

"I, a member of the faceless hoi polloi, am truly honored and humbled"

And well you should be...

"I'm not sure if you've studied CC teachings or read any encyclicals"

I'm quite sure I haven't.

"Maybe we should stick to natural law"

Maybe we shouldn't. If we're talking about sex, and I assume we are, the picture of human sexual behavior that comes from studies of the natural world (non-human primates, pre-industrial humans) is, I think, not one either one of us would find very edifying.

I'd rather talk about how consciousness informs and shapes human sexual behavior.

If you're looking for my basic moral principles on sex, they are roughly as follows.

for single people:

Don't do anything you're not physically and mentally ready for.
Don't try to talk a partner into something they're not ready for.
Never force anyone.
Stick with adults.
Promiscuity (arbitrary provisional definition = more than three partners per week) isn't good for anybody physically or mentally.
Orient yourself towards relationships (essentially serial monogamy).
Be careful with your health and fertility.
When you're in a relationship, don't cheat.
If you find you're suddenly a parent-to-be, you need to settle down into a stable situation that provides for the kid as well as possible.

that'll do as a short beginning list.

geez said...

Scientific studies seem to suggest that our brains are all wired with the capacity and urge/drive/need(?)to believe in a supernatural being, no?

And uh, the concept of natural law ain't all that based on primates...

I don't feel up to trying to splain it. Not sure I understand it that well. Maybe anon will...

Anonymous said...

Dear Michael Ferris and Geez:

The natural law that I had in mind has to do with the constants, if you will, of the human heart and mind. That is, we're looking for those deeply held beliefs and behaviors that are independent of time, place, or culture. If such constants exist, we can analyze them, and then ask the bigger question - for what purpose do they exist, and does their existence imply that a moral law is engraved on the human heart? Then we can ask how this whole scheme came to be.
For example, we observe that two common behaviors, lying and honesty, tend to be treated the same across all cultures and times. One is treated as vice, the other as virtue. One is punished, the other rewarded. But why should this be so? What is the underlying mechanism, the law, that produces these predictable outcomes?
Same for behaviors such as compassion and cruelty. We are drawn to one and repelled from the other. But why?
Your list, Michael, embodies many such observations - but to discover the natural law in them, each one needs to be analyzed with a "why?".
It is by asking these "whys" that we notice an emerging pattern that shows, however tenuously at first, that we are capable of moral behavior. At that point we should obvioulsy ask, why?

beatroot said...

Scientific studies seem to suggest that our brains are all wired with the capacity and urge/drive/need(?)to believe in a supernatural being, no?

I would love to learn about the scientist who claimed that, Geez. very amusing.

michael farris said...

"And uh, the concept of natural law ain't all that based on primates..."

Humans are primates.

I also just think it's strange that 'natural law' isn't derived (at least not primarily) from the natural world.

beatroot said...

Exactly. natural law, from Hobbes onwards (and even before) is a human construct.

geez said...

anon: "I'm not sure if you've studied CC teachings or read any encyclicals"

michael farris: "I'm quite sure I haven't."

michael farris: "afraid the xxxCatholicismXXX will rub off? wuss! wuss ! wuss!"

>>Seriously, it wouldn't kill you guys to read Laborum Excersens (sp?) and JP2's encyclical on love and fucking.<<

Oh and... when I made the primate comment I was responding to michael who wrote:

"(natural law)" comes from studies of the natural world (non-human primates, pre-industrial humans)"

I should have made clear that I responding in that context and didn't finish up.

When I get a chance, I will post some url's about those scientists and studies I referenced. Maybe their findings aren't as well established as global warming -- and won't convince you modernization-at-all-costs guys but hey...

And I didn't get a chance to read all the recent posts above but I'm still hoping to find something from anon on the Catholic Church's understanding of natural law.

geez said...

Oops, you did respond, anon.

I'll read it and maybe respond later...

michael farris said...

"afraid the xxxCatholicismXXX will rub off? wuss! wuss ! wuss!"

Hey, this year I apartment sat in order to accept kolęda for a friend who had to be out of town on that day.
I've even been in church for various reasons.
I even watch tv trwam sometimes (not for religious reasons though).

>>Seriously, it wouldn't kill you guys to read Laborum Excersens (sp?) and JP2's encyclical on love and fucking.<<

I find myself really hoping that's exactly how he put it, but I'm afraid I'd be disappointed. Find a convenient link and I might give it a quick read thru.

Anonymous said...

Dear Michael Farris:

Perhaps Geez was referring to Pope Paul VI encyclical "HUMANAE VITAE". If you go the the Vatican's website (vatican.va) and put that title in the website's search engine, the text will come up. That one caused quite a stirr in the progressive Catholic circles when it came out a few decades ago.

geez said...

Well, I guess I was a little off on the title...

Also, the other I recommended was Laborem Exercens (I think I spelled it right this time), although it's about labor and social justice.

You can read all of JP2's encyclicals in multiple languages at:

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/index.htm

geez said...

And "Is God in Our Genes?" as discussed in Time Magazine

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101041025-725072,00.html

and the Time on the book: The God Gene: How Faith Is Hardwired into Our Genes (Doubleday; 256 pages), by molecular biologist Dean Hamer.


"Chief of gene structure at the National Cancer Institute, Hamer not only claims that human spirituality is an adaptive trait, but he also says he has located one of the genes responsible, a gene that just happens to also code for production of the neurotransmitters that regulate our moods. Our most profound feelings of spirituality, according to a literal reading of Hamer's work, may be due to little more than an occasional shot of intoxicating brain chemicals governed by our DNA. "I'm a believer that every thought we think and every feeling we feel is the result of activity in the brain," Hamer says.

"I think we follow the basic law of nature, which is that we're a bunch of chemical reactions running around in a bag."

Anonymous said...

Dear Geez:

A very interesting article, thanks for the link. It seems to me that in that article feelings and emotions were more or less equated with a very loosely defined "spirituality". The impression was made that most of the people quoted connected this "spirituality" with a pleasant emotional state, a "religious ecstasy" as one of them put it.

The default position of the CC on this is that such experiences should always be evaluated by someone competent in these matters. A mild distrust of such experiences is advised, and self diagnosis should be avoided. Experience shows that actively seeking out such emotional states often leads to predicaments beyond the competence of the individual involved.

Perhaps for most of us this type of "spirituality" should be left alone (let the geneticists play with it), and the hard work of living the Decalogue and the Beatitudes should be embraced. I'm of the opinion that spiritual combat is better for us than some milquetoast "spirituality".

What dost thou thinketh, Geez?

michael farris said...

"that spiritual combat is better for us than some milquetoast "spirituality"."

What about collateral damage (or civilian casualties if you feel less euphamistic)?

geez said...

Anon, I always have difficulty in determining who is and isn't *competent.* And it's also difficult for me to put my faith in someone even if I think he or she is *competent* because I'm not so sure I'm *competent* to make that decision.

I know a coupla people who are very consciously Catholic and into various kinds of meditation (they are very well informed about Catholic concerns on the matter). But it's not for me at least at this point in my life.

I agree with you, at least on the surface, about the hard work and even non-violent combat of trying to live by the decalogue and practice the beatitudes. But I still fuck up. A lot. We all do. Consciously and not so much or at all so.

But gimme Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day any day. Less so Benny the Pope. And much, much, much, much less so the likes of Joanna Najfeld.

Anonymous said...

Dear Michael Farris:

"Spiritual combat" is an old Catholic term that has to do with introspection and examination of conscience to discern the most deep seated faults in one's nature. The "combat" involves rooting out such faults from one's nature using Church approved procedures. The infrastructure of the Church stands ready to help out when such help is needed. It's a method that with God's grace is effective in making virtues, and not vices, active in a person.
The word "combat" accurately describes the emotional situation within an individual as he or she denies the allure of wrong while trying to do the right thing.

As an aside comment, many in the older generation of Catholics today like the softer "spiritual journey" approach to religion (that phrase popped up in the article Geez linked to). Many in the younger generation are drawn to "spiritual combat".
"Spiritual combat" is well covered by many reputable Catholic websites.

geez said...

I think Joanna should've combatted her inner demons and found the love to not only shake the hand of that guy but embrace him -- even though she disagreed with him.

Anonymous said...

Dear Geez:

When you wrote "And it's also difficult for me to put my faith in someone even if I think he or she is *competent* because I'm not so sure I'm *competent* to make that decision." you hit the nail on the head. In my view your caution is commendable, even more, wise.
May I suggest this: the CC rests on Tradition, Magisterium, and the Bible. Rather than latching on to one person, sample the accumulated wisdom from two millennia of Tradition. Men such as Saint Augustine and Thomas Aquinas not only wrote with precision and wisdom, they were also men of flesh and blood who didn't deny they screwed up as much as the rest of us schmucks. A plea is attributed to one of them:

"Dear God, please make me a saint, but not just yet".

geez said...

Sounds good anon... but some of that tradition is problematic and the Magisterium is mighty difficult to figure out.

I did check with one of my contemplative friends about different Catholic contemplative starins and this is what I got back for anyone who might be so interested and/or inclined:

Try Fr. Thomas Keating, one of the Trappist founders of the Centering Prayer movement. He's a very great explainer. Centering Prayer couldn't be simpler. As Fr. Keating puts it, it's simply "intending to accept the presence and action of God within". It's not Zen, but it's simple like a lot of Zen. And, Mother Angelica to the contrary notwithstanding, it is NOT a Buddhist, irreligious practice.

Here's how to do it from Fr. Menninger:
"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
1. Sit comfortably with your eyes closed, relax, and quiet yourself. Be in love and faith to God.
2. Choose a sacred word that best supports your sincere intention to be in the Lord's presence and open to His divine action within you (i.e. "Jesus", "Lord," "God," "Savior," "Abba," "Divine," "Shalom," "Spirit," "Love," etc.).
3. Let that word be gently present as your symbol of your sincere intention to be in the Lord's presence and open to His divine action within you.
4. Whenever you become aware of anything (thoughts, feelings, perceptions, images, associations, etc.), simply return to your sacred word, your anchor.
""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
Fr. Keating in "Open Mind, Open Heart" tells you how to handle distractions and discouragement. You cannot fail at Centering Prayer. "Intention is all." The book also explains lectio divina, which concentrates on Scripture and leads into Centering Prayer, often quite naturally. But I like CP straight :-) The most amazing thing about it (among other amazing things) is that even if you think you aren't changing for the better, people around you might tell you that you have changed!

Thomas Merton, of course, is great at explaining contemplative prayer, but he doesn't tell you how to do it.

Another popular method amongst Catholics is Fr. John Main's mantra sort of meditation. It is essentiallyy the same as a Hindu mantra practice with a Christian mantra. You focus on the word or phrase go where it takes you, or so I understand. I find it limiting. CP really concentrates wholly on God.

Adolescents sometimes like contemplative prayer, given their highly stressful young lives. Get the Keating book and let it hang about the house. You might be surprised. Yes, CP is amazingly good for stress. (All forms of contemplation are good for stress. but that's just a by-product.)

There are many non-religious forms of meditation that are good for stress and health, both mental and physical, and they can help you learn how to concentrate (not be distracted so easily). I once started to do a book about them. There's one great Buddhist practice, the Thousand Petalled Lotus, that's very good for examining your conscience, for instance. It's in the little classic on all sorts of meditation, "How to Meditate" by LeShane. But LeShane does present some problems for non-pantheists.

The classic book on meditating for physical and mental health is Dr. Herbert Benson's "The Relaxation Response". It should be taught in all high schools. He's the one who gave meditation credibility in the scientific community, though he himself is not against religious meditation at all. His sort is particularly good at relieving stress so it's wonderful for people with bad hearts. He's done some other books about his researth that are interesting, but they are not how-to books.

Finally, if you want a really scholarly book about how to distinguish genuinely religious meditation from other sorts, read R.C. Zaehner's "Mysticism: Sacred and Profane". It has convinced me (based on the writing of the mystics themselves) that some meditative practices are essentially overwhelming non-religious experiences caused by self-hypnosis, drugs, whatever, and they have nothing to do with God. Charles Manson loved those sorts. See? On the other hand, some mystical experiences are indeed "meetings with God".

Do find a practice that is good for you! You'll be most grateful to God for it. It also makes Mass more meaningful.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Geez.
I think it's important that we search for quiet and contemplative moments in our lives, it's like mental and spiritual hygiene. I try to combine this with the grunt work of living the decalogue and the beatitudes. For example, turning the other cheek, or being silent or not, as the situation demands, for me, is arduous work.
I completely agree with you about this lady, Joanna. Technically, she violated Article 2358 of the Catechism which advises that respect must be shown to people with same sex attraction. Also, during the interview, this person was her neighbor, and we are under a command to love our neighbors. I think she needs to apologize.

geez said...

Amen, anon.

Nice "meeting" you and I hope you stick around.

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