Sunday, August 31, 2003


--
Shaken, Catholics shunning church


Interestingly, a Cincinnati newspaper and TV station commissioned a poll on local Catholic reaction to sex scandals. Of those polled, 28 percent say it has had a negative impact on their faith, 26% attend Mass less often, and 25% donate less money, while 22% of parents are less likely to encourage their children to be Catholics. Meanwhile, the Church itself says that attendance is down. The majority of people claim to have lost confidence in the Church.


The poll measured those who self-identify as Catholic. Unfortunately, that seems like it does not measure those who once considered themselves Catholic, but who left the church, partly or wholly, because of the scandals. The closest you get is asking if the scandals have affected one's personal faith.


There are two ways to interpret this data. One is that the Church has screwed up bigtime. And I believe it has. On the other hand, there is also a significant percentage of Catholics who are willing to forgive the hierarchy, so long as they see positive steps being taken.



(12:49 AM) 0 comments Links to this post

Wednesday, August 27, 2003


--
eBay item 3547213378 (Ends Sep-05-03 22:32:52 PDT) - Arnold Schwarzenegger OUI mag interview 1977

This eBay auction item description claims that the interview discusses oarticipation in a "gang bang" (multiple guys, one girl sex), admissions of marijuana use, and mention of a stripper girlfriend.
(9:26 PM) 0 comments Links to this post

Sunday, August 24, 2003


--
Can It Be? The End of Evolution?


A lot of interesting material there. I zeroed on a debate: Sewell Wright claimed that small isolated communities are the best condition for rapid evolution, while Ronald Fisher championed large populations with random mating.


So, why does it have to be either/or? Perhaps the two extremes, for different reasons, maximize the probability of rapid evolution, while in-between situations don't. Maybe someone out there is making that argument. It's not my field.


I've noticed that people can get downright hostile whenever you suggest a multi-modal distribution in a hypothesis. I remember freshman year that my organic chemistry prof seemed a bit shocked that grades followed a bimodal distribution.


The Gaussian distribution is also known as the normal curve. It fits a lot of data or (through manipulation) data can be made to fit it. It must be called "normal" for a reason. If I were more rigorous I'd look that up. It seems so ingrained in people's minds that they assume that data fits the curve unless confronted with a lot of evidence to the contrary. Since the distribution is commonplace, it's a useful heuristic, but no need to be dogmatic about it.


I suppose I see democracy in the same light. It's a very useful heuristic for government rather than a value in itself. It doesn't guarantee a valid solution. It may even fail miserably. For now, our peculiar form of American democracy is still a relevant tool of justice. I don't see a reasonable replacement any time soon, but I'm always willing to think about it.

(2:43 AM) 0 comments Links to this post

Saturday, August 23, 2003


--
Zenit News Agency - The World Seen From Rome

Jean Benjamin Sleiman, of the Order of Discalced Carmelites, is the Latin-rite Catholic archbishop of Baghdad. As of last year, there were approximately 11 priests serving 2,500 Catholics in 3 parishes in Baghdad. There are other Catholics in Iraq. The Eastern Catholic Churchs are in communion with the Roman Church. They are the Armenian-rite, Syrian-rite, and the Chaldean-rite. The latter is the largest, with over 600,000 members in Iraq. Or at least, there were before the war.


Sleiman has in the past said that the first casualty in Baghdad was a young Chaldean Catholic. His basic stance has been that the American occupying force does not understand the political situation. I can see his point.


In order to be legitimate, a government must have "authenticity," a degree of ownership by the people. This is not to say that we should devolve into democracy for the masses. I believe in separation of church and state in America. I'm not convinced that secular government is authentic everywhere. This ain't going anywhere until we can find an Islam we can live with.



(10:55 PM) 0 comments Links to this post

--
Parties Expect Janklow's Collision to End His Career (washingtonpost.com)


Well, I'm not going to talk about the ramifications of Janklow's seat in Congress. Instead, I'll just talk about this line: "[The victim] was not wearing a helmet, but a police investigator said a helmet would not have prevented his death."


I'm not a fan of laws requiring seat belts or motorcycle helmets, but I am a fan of using the government to use proper safety. My idea? If you are killed or injured in a vehicular accident, you (or your family) can't sue for damages that would probably not have occurred had you been using a helmet or seat belts. And prosecution of the driver at fault will follow similar lines. Of course, this won't change a thing in the Janklow case.

(10:53 PM) 0 comments Links to this post

--
New Data Dispute Theory That Mars Had Warm Climate


The gist of the article is that the apparent lack of carbonates suggests that Mars never had standing bodies of water, and that the ice on the planet has likely been frozen for most of the planet's history.


It is noted that "scientists have found that realistic climate models do not generate that much global warming on Mars." My guess is that some of the same assumptions go into climate models of Mars and those of Earth. Given that some people distrust claims of global warming on Earth, wouldn't those same people possibly distrust claims of a lack of global warming on Mars?


(8:31 AM) 0 comments Links to this post

--
The broadcast television schedule has a bloc between soap operas and prime time that's mostly filled with news, game shows, talk shows, and syndicated reruns. Generally, if I'm home during that time, I usually watch a cable news network , ESPN, Jeopardy, or reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on FX. Occasionally, I watch a sitcom. Not Everybody Loves Raymond. Generally, Friends or The Simpsons. Occasionally Will & Grace or Frasier.


The other day, I flipped through the channels and settled on Seinfeld. I could really stand to watch more than a few minutes. I remember when the show was in its first run that I moderately liked it, but didn't love it the way my peers did. Now, most (but not all) episodes I find unappealing. It's not a show about "nothing"; it's a show about whiny New Yorkers.


Oh, the show is still well-written. The jokes are technically funny. I just can't relate to any of the characters. I'm not like any of them. I wouldn't want to be friends with any of them. Whether or not I find a show watchable mostly revolves around whether or not the supporting characters are interesting, which doesn't happen when Jerry's girlfriend of the week (and, hey, what a great gig for Seinfeld, getting to make out with a different actress each week) isn't as annoyingly shallow as he. Granted, I am occasionally as mean as the gang of four.


Then again, I loved the series finale. They brought back a bunch of wronged characters who got the last laugh. And when our anti-heroes were sent off to prison, they didn't really change. Heck, they didn't change over the course of the series. I can't point to one example of character growth, unless you count Kramer's revelation of a first name. Then again, I don't think Jerry Seinfeld's acting range allows him to play a character with a lot of growth.


But I don't begrudge those who think Seinfeld is the greatest show ever, even if I disagree. Does it mean that I am more level-headed or more wishy-washy that I can encounter diverse tastes in popular culture without necessarily leveling visceral accusations of lack of taste? (I''m especially looking at all you folk who denigrate country music as a whole.)

(8:15 AM) 0 comments Links to this post

Friday, August 22, 2003


--
Crosswalk.com - Christian Churches Should Stop Using the Cross, Group Says. Perhaps it will make the story seem more credible yet no less stupid if I tell you that the group in question is the American Clergy Leadership Conference, an interfaith group begun by the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, an organization of Sun Myung Moon.
(5:44 PM) 0 comments Links to this post

--
Bush Orders U.S. to Freeze Assets of Hamas Leaders


They weren't frozen before?

(5:27 PM) 0 comments Links to this post

--
So, it took me about four hours of research (including reading all his posts), but I think I've figured out the identity of a conservative blogger who feels he has a reason to be anonymous. I'm mulling over whether/how to post the information.

UPDATE: I suppose what I'm really asking is whether or not I should.
(4:11 AM) 0 comments Links to this post

--
While I normally frown upon bloggers who use a plethora of webquizes, I did take this one. I decided to include results for potential candidates who have not declared or who have withdraw. There's a bit of strangeness. For one, Kucinich is dead last in my preferences among declared Democratic candidates, although Dean is my number one. Take a look at the candidates I supposedly rank lower than George W. Bush: Al Gore, Russ Feingold, Bill Bradley, Wesley Clark, Dianne Feinstein, Evan Bayh, generic Libertarian nutcase. . . .


Your Results:

1. Kucinich, Cong. Dennis, OH - Democrat (100%)
2. Dean, Gov. Howard, VT - Democrat (99%)
3. Kerry, Senator John, MA - Democrat (88%)
4. Moseley-Braun, Former Senator Carol IL - Democrat (79%)
5. Green Party Candidate (78%)
6. Gephardt, Cong. Dick, MO - Democrat (76%)
7. Edwards, Senator John, NC - Democrat (74%)
8. Jackson, Cong. Jesse Jr., IL - Democrat (68%)
9. Clinton, Senator Hillary Rodham, NY - Democrat (68%)
10. Sharpton, Reverend Al - Democrat (66%)
11. Lieberman Senator Joe CT - Democrat (66%)
12. Leahy, Patrick Senator, Vermont - Democrat (58%)
13. Graham, Senator Bob, FL - Democrat (54%)
14. Biden, Senator Joe, DE - Democrat (53%)
15. Socialist Candidate (51%)
16. Kaptur, Cong. Marcy, OH - Democrat (49%)
17. Daschle, Senate Minority Leader Tom, SD - Democrat (48%)
18. Dodd, Senator Chris, CT - Democrat (48%)
19. Bush, George W. - US President (45%)
20. Gore, Former Vice-President Al - Democrat (43%)
21. Feingold, Senator Russ, WI - Democrat (42%)
22. Bradley, Former Senator Bill NJ - Democrat (39%)
23. Clark, Retired Army General Wesley K "Wes" Arkansas - Democrat (35%)
24. Buchanan, Patrick J. – Reform/Republican (33%)
25. Feinstein, Senator Dianne, CA - Democrat (32%)
26. McCain, Senator John, AZ- Republican (32%)
27. Libertarian Candidate (32%)
28. Bayh, Senator Evan, IN - Democrat (31%)
29. Hagelin, John - Natural Law (13%)
30. Phillips, Howard - Constitution (7%)
31. Hart, Former Senator Gary, CO - Democrat (7%)
32. Vilsack, Governor. Tom IA - Democrat (6%)
33. LaRouche, Lyndon H. Jr. - Democrat (0%)

(2:23 AM) 0 comments Links to this post

Thursday, August 21, 2003


--
Voodoo is now an officially recognized religion in Haiti. Curiously, the article points out that voodoo has become a refuge for Haitian homosexuals.


It's also interesting to see how voodoo has been championed by the priest-turned-president Jean-Baptiste Aristide. On the other hand, the Catholic Church is opposing to the idea that a houngan can now officiate at ceremonies such as baptisms, weddings, and funerals. On the one hand, I consider voodoo to be a legitimate religion, defined as a belief system that deserves protection under "freedom of religion"; on the other hand, the article hints that Bishop Lafontant is saying what everyone else are thinking but are too chicken to actually say.

(2:12 PM) 0 comments Links to this post

--
Pope John Paul II has often been interested in the dialogue between science and religion. It seems like
the Catholic Church will come down cautiously in favor of using genetically modified crops to feed the hungry, or at least exploring the possibility. Who says the Church is against technological progress?
(2:11 PM) 0 comments Links to this post

Tuesday, August 19, 2003


--
I get few comments, but Kristin was kind enough to reply: " I've also wondered about the lack of a religious left in this country. . . ."


There are several explanations out there. One is that there's an outright failure of the left to appeal to religious people. Another (I think I saw it in an old issue of the defunct and lamented Brill's Content, or perhaps it was the Atlantic Monthly) claimed that there is such a thing as a religious left, but it is diversified, whereas the religious right coalesces around a set number of specific issues.


There's no focus for left Christianity to rally around. Liberal Catholics have problems getting together, I suspect, because half of them want to take down the Church hierarchy as part of any effort. I also suspect that mainline Protestants have similar problems with the Catholic hierarchy and see most Catholics as tarnished by their association with that hierarchy. I should probably run some cross-tabulations on that.


The Christian Right has agreement on basic first principles that are not shared by most of the conservative Catholics that others see as the same as Falwell and Robertson types. There's a common understanding on the literal interpretation of the Bible. There are stark differences between conservative Catholics and conservative evangelical Christians. One need only look at differing reasons for being anti-abortion. Pro-life Catholics are more likely to be against abortion due to a sincere belief that abortion is the taking of a human life. Pro-life evangelical Christians are much more likely to stress the need to enforce a (sexual) morality.


In order to create a Christian Left, one needs to find a common basics for liberal Catholics and mainline Protestants. You would probably need to find charismatic Catholic leaders, both lay and clergy. The latter is particularly important, especially for a Catholic like me who is unwilling to abandon the formal Church structure. If I find some particular Church stance distasteful, I would much rather prefer to see it changed within the current system rather than overthrow the system entirely. I don't think that is any more difficult to understand than an American who would rather work to improve the U.S. within the current democratic framework rather than raze government and start anew, or move to another country.


I have a plan, of course. The American Catholic Church needs positive some P.R. to combat priest sex scandals. With abortion and homosexuality also issues out there, the current perception of the Church is that of a sex-obsessed institution. My suggestion is this: for the next 2-5 years, the Catholic Church should work to see that its coverage in the news is no more than 20% sex-related, whether positive or negative. There are three likely issues on which the Church has spoken before which are clearly not sex-related. One is poverty, the other is war, and the last is the death penalty. The U.S. bishops should pick at least one of these issues, and perhaps even all of them, and stage a very public and vocal offensive to bring problems and solutions to the forefront.


Mainline Protestants should join in and downplay any differences on sexual matters (abortion, gay marriage). Hell, don't even mention the a-word and don't make it a major political issue. Liberal Protestants usually don't have the official structures that need to be be brought into things, but keep that gay Lutheran bishop from being a distraction. Black Protestants are their own different animal. Most are actually culturally conservative, but vote Democrat due to racial issues. But the issues I suggested would generally appeal to African-American leaders.


Of course I predict that anything that follows along these lines will somehow be used by non-Catholics to criticize the official Church. I do think there's a leftist bias out there against Catholics, but it's working against creating a clear Christian Left constituency, not against approving jackass judges.


Part of this is why I'm totally pissed off at Dennis Kucinich and rank him dead last in my preferences among Democratic presidential candidates, behind Sharpton, Liebermann, and Mosely-Braun. Kucinich was the perfect opportunity to bring into the Democratic Party Catholics who agree with most of the left socio-economic agenda (as, really, the Pope does) and who may be against the war in Iraq, but feel unwelcome in the party, perhaps due to an abortion stance. Instead, the nut had to make this insincere flip-flop on the issue, failing to draw new people to the Democratic Party. I almost get the idea that if he doesn't win the nomination, he'll toss in with the Green Party.

(10:28 PM) 0 comments Links to this post

Monday, August 18, 2003


--
When a New York Times columnist write on religion in America, how can I fail to respond?


Nicholas Kristof notes that belief in the Virgin Birth of Jesus has risen among Americans "in the latest poll," although he fails to note when the previous poll occurred. (He does mention that he was using data from a 1998 Harris poll here.


Kristof implies that the change has to do with the disappearance of mainline Protestants and their replacement by evangelicals. He ignores the growing number of Catholics in America, and last time I checked, orthodox Catholic belief includes the Virgin birth.


Kristof also stresses how America is uniquely religious compared to other industrialized nations. Survey data is an invention of the mid-20th century. Still, what we have on record suggests that Kristof's observation is not a growing trend, that the United States is somehow lagging in the dechristianization that some people think is the normal accompaniment of industrialization (and, therefore, progress).


Kristof makes the claim that we are in the middle of "another religious Great Awakening," leading to a "growing polarization within our society." He seems to see a necessarily antagonistic relationship between intellectional/scholarly traditions and religious/mystical realms, blaming the problems of the Islamic world on a shift towards the latter.


America is different from Europe. It's not some bizarre outlier in a theory of man to which the rest of the "civilized" world conforms. It has its own cultural context within which it must be addressed, understood, and cherished. (Yes, there is such a thing as American culture, and, yes, it can be wonderful.)


Religion is necessarily a bad influence in the Arab world, therefore, it is bad influence in America. Is Native American religion a bad influence on the reservation? Is Judaism a bad influence on Israel? Is Buddhism a bad influence on Southeast Asia?


Fine, I'll take a stand. I'm Catholic, and I believe my religion is better than Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, atheism, agnosticism, Jumbo Mumbo God of the Congo, Scientology, Moonie-ism, and many other belief systems. I'm not going to claim everyone else is going to Hell and I think there is room for dialogue and discussion, but I still think that in the end, my belief system (not necessarily the same as all Catholics) is the best. At the same time, I fancy myself an intellectual, and am willing to apply scientific standards to the study of human behavior. Which is why I get incredibly pissy when I feel like someone is making a general attack on religion, stereotyping believers as incapable of rational thought.


Sadly, it feels like too many of my fellow liberals are too interested in attacking religion in all its forms. If they'd only move away from the position that a religious person can't possibly agree with their self-styled intellectual leftism, the U.S. political landscape would instantly tilt towards the correct (rather than the right) side.

(5:18 PM) 0 comments Links to this post

--
There don't appear to be any posts yet on this blog. I'm still waiting for the chance to start a regular feature called BitchWatch or maybe CounterBitch.
(4:37 PM) 0 comments Links to this post

Saturday, August 16, 2003


--
Poll Places Bustamante In Lead to Succeed Davis (washingtonpost.com)


The key to the campaign is this paragraph: "The conservative wing of the California GOP has been grumbling that Schwarzenegger does not share many of their core values. The action star supports, for example, more gun control and abortion rights."


I am ever a fan of divide and conquer strategies. The Democratic leadership, I suspect, have done as well as they could in this campaign. By sticking to the line that they were placing their bets on defeating the recall, they encouraged every fool with a Napoleon complex to throw his or her hat in the ring, at least those right of center. Then, once it became clear that the recall might not be defeated, they put in their chosen candidate with a mostly clear left field, blocked only by a Greenie weenie and left-populist nutjob Arianna Huffington.


Well, I'd like to think the California Democratic Party is thinking about such things. The Democrats in general have problems with long-term strategy and hopefully, this effort, if successful, will be a harbinger of 2004.


So what to do? Obviously, one must find a way to push the social issues that cause cultural conservatives to furrow at the brow and protest at the ballot box. I haven't bothered to see where McClintock, Simon, and Ueberroth stand, but I have to believe that at least one of that troika appeals to the Christian Right. Hopefully, that voter bloc will coalesce betwen one man who is not Arnold S.


Of course, there are even longer-term strategies one may employ. If one believes that the California quagmire was inevitable and iis unfixable in the short-term and can only get worse, it might do wonders for California Democrats if a Republican comes in and mucks things up even more.

(12:33 PM) 0 comments Links to this post

Thursday, August 14, 2003


--
A huge power outage struck the Great Lakes region, from New York to Toronto to Detroit. Pretty much every report I've seen on the issue has someone mentioning about how a post-9/11 consciousness caused many people to at least consider the possibility of terrorism.


Not that an attack on infrastructure seems much in character for terrorists. It's just too indirect. Terror feeds off of people fearing for their lives, and I don't know too many people who quiver in fear about having to use candles. They may be pissed about missing TV shows and not being able to check e-mail, but it's not scary. Then again, who knows what will happen now that it's been shown how easy it is to bring the power grid to its knees.


Of course, if I were going to attack infrastructure (not that I'm a terrorist), I'd hit the pipelines that carry water into southern California.


A couple thoughts struck me. How funny would this have been had it occurred in September 2004 during the Republican National Convention in New York?


A lot of people think Bush is difficult to beat in 2004. Given the early openness to the idea that the power outage was possibly due to terrorist action, how quickly would things turn around in public opinion if another terrorist attack was successfully carried out on U.S. soil before the next presidential election?


I actually do have an idea for what terrorists could do. Not that I advocate terrorism or necessarily agree with usual terrorist goals, but I have come up with a plausible scenario for what a terrorist group could do with a dozen or so suicide bombers with lots of explosives.


Terrorists seem to be highly symbolic thinkers. They tend to seek out high profile targets. They also seek to maximize casualties. What symbols do Americans value? Surveys suggest that, while peoples like the French identify with a specific culture, Americans most identify with their particular form of government. A tactic I could see as being very effective would be a literal attack on democracy.


Imagine that it's the morning of Election Day 2004. Suicide bombers around the country hit random polling places, blowing themselves up as well as many voters. There may even be destruction of physical ballots. What would happen? Would they postpone elections? Send out the National Guard to protect the thousands of polling places out there?


What if the election is so close that the psychological effects or possible destruction of ballots tilt the election? Can this country handle two disputed elections in a row?


Did I scare you? If not, I could probably come up with more.

(9:52 PM) 0 comments Links to this post

Wednesday, August 13, 2003


--
Three random blasts on Kobe Bryant.


1. I have this feeling that the people most inclined to trumpet the line "innocent until proven guilty" are the people who believe Kobe innocent, but wish to feign an aura of "fair and balanced"-ness. It's really only innocent in the eyes of the law until proven guilty. People are free to make up their own judgements. I wonder how many people maintained the stance of "innocent until proven guilty" in the O.J. Simpson case. Come to think of it, he's technically still not proven guilty. I wonder how many people trumpet his innocence.


2. Basketball players are not role models. That doesn't mean that they are excused from acting as model citizens because they are not "role models." When Charles Barkley said that he was not a role model, I think that the point was that the ideal model that people wanted to fit in was broken, not that people shouldn't act like him.


3. The Kobe Bryant is legitimate news. What is news? A combination of what people want to know about and what they ought to know about. I've resigned myself to the idea that celebrity crime is "news-worthy." It probably ought not be the lead story in the case of world events, but I have no doubt that there exist a significant number of people whose lives are impacted more by this case than by, to pick a random headline today, the governor of Utah being tapped to head the EPA.

(9:46 PM) 0 comments Links to this post

--
If there really were a left-wing media conspiracy, we'd see all the crappy movies from this list popping up on TV making Arnold Scwarzenegger look like an idiot. See Arnold in Jingle All the Way. Watch him look like a boob in Junior. See the clueless muscleman in Twins. Watch the trainwreck of Batman and Robin. I wonder if FX will be showing a marathon of True Lies, Terminator 2, Kindergarten Cop, Predator, and Commando any time soon.
(9:30 PM) 0 comments Links to this post

Tuesday, August 12, 2003


--
BBC News reports that Millions take Hindu holy bath. Now if only they would take regular baths on a daily basis.


Conan, hire me now!

(8:08 PM) 0 comments Links to this post

Saturday, August 02, 2003


--
I've actually read Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons. I'm going to try and do something that no other liberal would possibly countenance doing. I am going to describe some things that I agree with. My hope is to show some shared values between the left and the Roman Catholic Church, even if some members of each group disagree on the topic of gay marriage.


The document continually refers to the "common good." Some people deny that a common good exists, but both liberals and the Church tend to say that there exists a common good which government ought to protect. There is a general consensus on the basic function of government.


"[A]ccording to the teaching of the Church, men and women with homosexual tendencies 'must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.'" While the Left and the official Church disagree what considers "unjust discrimination," most liberals would agree with that wording. Granted, they generally won't agree with the following sentences calling homosexuality "objectively disordered" and calling for chastity. . . .


There is a difference between tolerance and approval. At least in theory, there is. The Catholic Church feels that laws should not legitimate evil. The history of the Left, at least in America, is filled with (sometimes excessive) crusades attempting to legislate out of existence the evils of society. Have you ever noticed that politicians trying to skirt the line on abortion claim to be "personally against abortion" while supporting abortion rights? Ever notice how no one says, "I believe that abortion is clearly immoral, but it should be legal?" A statement like that creates cognitive dissonance. People assume that immoral things should be illegal and that moral action should be encouraged by law. A politician would be blasted as a hypocrite trying to acquire votes if he said, "I belive that homosexual behavior is clearly immoral, but I support gay marriage." However, isn't that something that someone who is tolerant without being approving might say?


"[D]iscrete and prudent actions can be effective." Well, duh. Not everything needs to be a full frontal assault. Assume for a moment that we are not talking about gay marriage, but about the idea of a societal ill in general, leaving unanswered for now the question of what that ill happens to be. There is no need for excessive measures.


"One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection." Once again, if we imagine for a moment that this is referring to something other than homosexual unions, these words probably don't seem to bad to your average American liberal. In fact, it describes how many peace activists approach war.


The document cites the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Children in equating placing children in "an environment that is not conducive to their full human development" with violence against children. It is a tenet of liberal orthodoxy that the children are of paramount concern, so much so that many issues are phrased so as to beg concerned citizens to "think of the children." The kiddie card is sometimes obnoxiously overplayed, but when done right, it is a strong draw.


I hope that these points illustrate that the official Roman Catholic Church and modern liberalism have a lot of common in how they think, not surprising since Catholics have been a strong component of the American left. Ideally, both sides ought not to let issues on which they disagree, and this post is really a plea to the Left to not let disagreements on issues such as gay marriage or abortion poison current and future alignments on other issues where the Church and the Left might agree.


Can the Catholic Church shift its stance on homosexual unions? Perhaps, but were such a thing to occur, the change would be slow enough to fail to appease the Left. It would probably occur out of the blue and be accompanied by a schism as the final straw chasing conservatives out of a Church that they feel betrayed them. Most likely, were the Catholic Church to somehow approve of homosexual unions, it would stick to the requirement of chastity before marriage, which I doubt would be popular.


It should be noted that the Catholic Church is somewhat pragmatic in this document. It seems to accept a "de facto reality" where homosexual unions are illegal, but where homosexuals aren't banned from living together. While couples would not be able to do things such as adopt children, the Church seems to adopt a cool (resigned?) acceptance of not tossing homosexuals in jail.


I find it funny that the document holds that Catholic legislators have a moral duty to vote "no" when " legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly." I'm not sure if that's really intended to read that way. Is it an assumption that Catholics are going to end up as a protest vote and the law will pass anyways, or are they free to vote otherwise after the first time?


In all, this is a long, unedited post that I wrote while re-reading the document in question and going point by point. I can't help but think that a more coherent, interesting post would be here if I did otherwise.



(5:40 AM) 0 comments Links to this post