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It seems Pope Francis needs to brush up on his Tertullian!

It has been reported (in The ChristLast Media, I must note) that the current Pope does not like the phrase "lead us not into temptation...

"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Theology of the Body: 115. The Norm of Humanae Vitae Arises from the Natural Law and the Revealed Order

In his General Audience of 18 July 1984, the Holy Father continued his exposition of the Encyclical, Humanae Vitae, observing that its moral norm--marital openness to procreation--not only accords with natural law (reason) and the revealed moral law, but finds support in the Theology of the Body.

The Norm of Humanae Vitae Arises from the Natural Law and the Revealed Order

Returning from Castel Gandolfo by helicopter on Wednesday, 18 July, Pope John Paul II gave the second in his series of talks on "Humanae Vitae" at the general audience in St Peter's Square. Following is our translation of the Holy Father's address.

1. In the Encyclical Humanae Vitae we read: "The Church, in urging men to the observance of the precepts of the natural law, which it interprets by its constant doctrine, teaches as absolutely required that in any use whatever of marriage there must be no impairment of its natural capacity to procreate human life" (HV, n. 11).

At the same time this same text considers and even emphasizes the subjective and psychological dimension when it speaks of the significance, and precisely of the "two significances of the marital act.

"The significance becomes known with the rereading of the (ontological) truth of the object. Through this rereading, the (ontological) truth enters, so to speak, into the cognitive dimension—subjective and psychological.

Humanae Vitae seems to draw our attention especially to this latter dimension. Among other ways, this is also indirectly confirmed by the following sentence: "We believe that our contemporaries are especially capable of seeing that this teaching is in harmony with human reason" (HV n. 12).

Moral norm and its reason

2. That reasonable character does not only concern the truth of the ontological dimension, namely, that which corresponds to the fundamental structure of the marital act. It also concerns the same truth in the subjective and psychological dimension, that is to say, it concerns the correct understanding of the intimate structure of the marital act. It concerns the adequate rereading of the significances corresponding to this structure and of their inseparable connection, in view of a morally right behavior. Herein lies precisely the moral norm and the corresponding regulation of human acts in the sphere of sexuality. In this sense we say that the moral norm is identified with the rereading, in truth, of the language of the body.

3. Therefore, the Encyclical Humanae Vitae therefore contains the moral norm and its reason, or at least an examination of what constitutes the reason for the norm. Moreover, since in the norm the moral value is expressed in a binding way, it follows that acts in conformity with the norm are morally right, while acts contrary to it are intrinsically illicit. The author of the encyclical stresses that this norm belongs to the natural law, that is to say, it is in accordance with reason as such. The Church teaches this norm, although it is not formally (that is, literally) expressed in Sacred Scripture. It does this in the conviction that the interpretation of the precepts of natural law belongs to the competence of the Magisterium.

However, we can say more. Even if the moral law, formulated in this way in Humanae Vitae, is not found literally in Sacred Scripture, nonetheless, from the fact that it is contained in tradition and—as Pope Paul VI writes—has been "very often expounded by the Magisterium" (HV n. 12) to the faithful, it follows that this norm is in accordance with the sum total of revealed doctrine contained in biblical sources (cf. HV n. 4).

Revealed by God

4. It is a question here not only of the sum total of the moral doctrine contained in Sacred Scripture, of its essential premises and the general character of its content. It is also a question of that fuller context to which we have previously dedicated many analyses when speaking about the theology of the body.

Precisely against the background of this full context it becomes evident that the above mentioned moral norm belongs not only to the natural moral law, but also to the moral order revealed by God. Also from this point of view, it could not be different, but solely what is handed down by Tradition and the Magisterium and, in our days, the Encyclical Humanae Vitae as a modern document of this Magisterium.

Paul VI writes: "We believe that our contemporaries are especially capable of seeing that this teaching is in harmony with human reason" (HV n. 12). We can add that they are capable also of seeing its profound conformity with all that is transmitted by Tradition stemming from biblical sources. The bases of this conformity are to be sought especially in biblical anthropology. Moreover, we know the significance that anthropology has for ethics, that is, for moral doctrine. It seems to be totally reasonable to look precisely in the "theology of the body" for the foundation of the truth of the norms that concern the fundamental problematic of man as "body": "The two will become one flesh" (Gn 2:24).

Reread and reflect

5. The norm of the Encyclical Humanae Vitae concerns all men, insofar as it is a norm of the natural law and is based on conformity with human reason (when, it is understood, human reason is seeking truth). All the more does it concern all believers and members of the Church, since the reasonable character of this norm indirectly finds confirmation and solid support in the sum total of the theology of the body. From this point of view we have spoken in previous analyses about the ethos of the redemption of the body.

The norm of the natural law, based on this ethos, finds not only a new expression, but also a fuller anthropological and ethical foundation in the word of the Gospel and in the purifying and corroborating action of the Holy Spirit.

These are all reasons why every believer and especially every theologian should reread and ever more deeply understand the moral doctrine of the encyclical in this complete context. The reflections we have been making here for some time constitute precisely an attempt at this rereading.

For the complete text of Pope Paul VI's Encyclical Humanae Vitae, look here.

Whatever happened to...

...Super Bowl MVP Tim Smith of the Washington Redskins?

AP: Former Super Bowl star Smith sentenced
Tim Smith, who set a Super Bowl rushing record with the Washington Redskins in 1988, was sentenced Friday to 2 1/2 years in federal prison for cocaine distribution.

Memorial Day is actually May 30...

...but it will be observed on Monday May 29th this year so we can have a long weekend. That seems more than a bit selfishto me, but I am an old fool.

Memorial Day is not about showing appreciation for the veterans around us. That should be done every other day of the year.

Memorial Day is supposed to be the day we honor our war dead, both those who died while in service to our country and those who died after their service ended.

My suggestion? Go to a cemetery and say a prayer for the soul of each man whose grave is marked by the Stars and Stripes.

Alessandra Ambrosio continues the brunettes' dominance!

From the pages of The King Abdullah Gazette:

I expect the blondes and the redheads to retaliate soon. Especially the redheads.

How about gum laced with Ritalin?

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review details the latest petit fasciste nonsense from the nanny state to afflict children.

Student suspended over chewing gum

A student in Westmoreland County has paid the price for sharing chewing gum that contains a substance that many adults depend on to make it through the work day -- caffeine.


Burrell School Board President Andy Kish said Thursday that a girl at Huston Middle School was given a three-day suspension. He said he didn't know details, including the girl's name and her grade level.


Superintendent Amy Palermo said the incident happened this week.
Palermo declined to specify the day and said she is uncertain if the student -- whom Palermo wouldn't name -- currently is serving the suspension.


Middle school Principal Shannon Wagner couldn't be reached for comment.


Palermo said the suspension is mainly based on the girl's decision to share a caffeinated product -- Jolt chewing gum -- with another student.


"What if the gum had been given to a student with a heart condition? As a parent, would you want your child to be able to get that type of product?" the superintendent said.


Palermo described the gum as "a stimulant that has no other redeeming quality." For that reason, the gum -- and caffeine, in general -- is considered a rogue substance at the middle school.


Drinks containing caffeine aren't sold in the lunchroom. There are soda machines at the school, but they aren't turned on during school hours.


When asked if there would be consequences for a student who brings a soft drink to school in a packed lunch, Palermo said school officials can't control what parents put in their children's lunches.


Teachers, faculty and staff are permitted to consume caffeine during the school day. Palermo said employees aren't subject to the same disciplinary guidelines as students.


Dr. Kultar Shergill, a pediatrician affiliated with Alle-Kiski Medical Center and who has private practices -- Uptown Pediatrics Associates in New Kensington and Harrison -- said teens shouldn't consume more than three caffeinated sodas or one cup of coffee each day.


The drug, he said, affects the heart rate, can deplete the body's calcium supply, disturb sleep cycles and even cause depression.


"That's of particular importance for teenagers during growth spurts who need a full night's rest and an adequate supply of calcium," Shergill said.


Jolt, manufactured by New Jersey-based GumRunners, is marketed as a caffeine-energy gum.


Hey Edmonton! Check this guy's basement.

Kansas City Star: Driver’s blood alcohol level off the charts

Lithuanian police were so astonished by a breath test that registered 18 times the legal alcohol limit, they thought their device must be broken.

It wasn’t.

Police said Tuesday that Vidmantas Sungaila, 41, registered 7.27 grams per liter of alcohol in his blood repeatedly on different devices after he was pulled over Saturday for driving his truck down the center of a two-lane highway 60 miles from the capital, Vilnius.

Lithuania’s legal limit is 0.4 grams per liter.

“This guy should have been lying dead, but he was still driving,” said Saulius Skvernelis, director of the national police traffic control service.

“He was of high spirits and grinning the whole time he was questioned.”

Anything above 3.5 grams per liter of alcohol in the blood is lethal for most people, medical experts say.

Sungaila, who was slapped with a $1,110 fine and the loss of his license for up to three years, told police that he had been drinking the night before and tried to freshen up by downing a pint of beer for breakfast.

Last year, 760 persons died in traffic accidents in the country of 3.5 million residents. Most were alcohol-related.

I don't know if he's related to Darius Songaila. In Lithuania, it might be as common as Smith.

Watch as morons destroy sport and teach children how not to behave.


From the stupid and damp pages of the Lancaster, PA Ignorancer-Urinal: Boy vs. Girl

When Lancaster Catholic sophomore Alex Veronis takes the court for his first-round match in the PIAA State tennis tournament this morning at Hershey Racquet Club, he will be stepping into the record books.

Veronis, who won the Lancaster-Lebanon League Boys' AA singles title and placed third in the District Three tournament, will not be facing someone he is used to seeing on the other side of the court.

He will be playing a girl this time, but not just any girl. He will be playing Annie Houghton, a junior from Quaker Valley High School, who was the 2004 PIAA state girls' singles champion.

Houghton won the District Seven boys' singles championship in April and is the seventh-ranked girls' tennis player in the USTA's Middle States 18-under rankings.

Houghton could not participate in the girls' tennis season in the fall because of a knee injury. However, she petitioned to play in the boys' spring season and was granted permission.

This is where things begin to get a little dicey. While some schools allow girls to play boys' sports, others do not.

School districts in Pennsylvania cannot ban cross-gender participation because of a 1975 Commonwealth Court decision that permits athletes of both genders to participate in high school sports that are offered for one sex but not the other.

This ruling allowed Houghton to petition the PIAA and participate in the spring tennis season because of her injured knee in the girls' tennis season in the fall. It also allows girls to participate in wrestling.

The L-L League has no policy on this issue, but it recommends against gender-crossing in sports.

"The L-L has no policy in place, but we recommend to our schools that boys should not be allowed to play on girls' teams and vice versa," said L-L official Dick Balderston.

"We have boys and girls on the same team in bowling, but that is it."

Two schools in Eastern Pennsylvania have adopted policies on boys and girls playing on each others' teams. Big Spring School District and Wyomissing Area School District adopted policies that prohibit boys from playing girls' sports. Big Spring's policy also prevents girls from playing boys' sports.

In the wake of Houghton's successful petition, other schools are beginning to think about adopting their own policy. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that 22 athletic directors from northern Pittsburgh met recently to discuss the boy-girl sports issue.

Rich Relich, athletic director at West Mifflin and president of the athletic directors' association, told the Post-Gazette "What's going to happen someday when you get a strapping 6-3 or 6-4 boy who can really bring it underhand in fast-pitch softball and he helps that girls' team run the table? You know it's going to happen at some point. We just want to get some dialogue going. That's the key, because right now it seems no one wants to touch this issue."

Manheim Township tennis coach Doug Pennington pointed out that his No. 1 player, L-L League AAA singles champion Jim Stoner, was injured last season and couldn't play. Stoner and teammate Tyler Van Roden are playing doubles at the PIAA championships this weekend.

"Using that logic (allowing cross-gender participation), he should have been able to play in the girls' season,'' Pennington said. "But that wouldn't have been fair."

The L-L League said as long as its schools don't have policies pertaining to boys playing girls who play for other schools in other districts, they don't need to do anything."

If Lancaster Catholic would have a problem with a boy playing a girl, then we would become involved, but if they don't, then things are OK," said Balderston.

Houghton, who has been cruising past all male opponents this season, won the PIAA girls' singles tournament when she was a sophomore.

"Alex is probably the underdog in this match," said George Veronis, Alex's father and Lancaster Catholic coach.

The elder Veronis is not doing either child any favors. One would think he would use better judgement when it comes to his own son.

Veronis, who is 42-1 in his high school career, has been playing tennis for just 2½ years.

"He hasn't been saying a lot, and he is a little nervous, but he has this underlying confidence,'' said his father. "He will be fine."

Alex said he is ready to go but nervous about the ramifications of the match.

"I am excited to play, but it is a lose-lose situation for me. If I win, then people will say I am supposed to beat her because she is a girl. If I lose, that isn't good either because then I lost to a girl.''

Welcome to the real world, Alex. Penis-Americans are constant targets for the ignorant.

"I am just going to try and treat it like any other match," said Alex. "I've been playing other ranked Middle States girls in the area to get prepared for the match."

Of course, this isn't like any other match.

The PIAA added a girls' tournament in 1973 when Hempfield's Claudia Smith Holtry took home the first girls' title.

Thirty-three years later, Alex Veronis will look to stop the first girl seeking to put her name in the record books.

It would be too much to expect Alex to refuse to participate in this nonsense. He just wants to play.

The adult pinheads involved? That's another story.


Alex Veronis won his match against the little girl who is merely a tool of the Unisex Nazis. He then lost in the next round of the state tournament.


WHO-TV: Connecticut threatens high school coaches with suspension for football routs

Connecticut officials say they've had it with high school football coaches who run up the score.

The state's Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which oversees school sports, says high school coaches will be suspended if their teams win by more than 50 points.

A spokesman for the conference says "there's no need" for any coach to allow players to stomp on its rivals that way.

While school officials deny aiming at any one person, some are calling it the "Jack Cochran rule" after a coach in New London, Connecticut, who logged four wins with scores of more than 50 points last year.

Ask any athlete. There is no shame in losing big. There is much shame in being treated like a baby by a superior opponent who will not, or cannot because of insipid rules like this, compete to the best of his ability.

BASEBALL: Schaumburg (Ill.) Flyers traded pitcher Nigel Thatch to the Fullerton (Calif.) Flyers for 60 cases of beer.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Go 2 Guy: 'Leon' puts bitter face on recent beer trade

If not the strangest trade in baseball history, this one is certainly the most recent, and it even showed up in transactions in Australian newspapers:

BASEBALL: Schaumburg (Ill.) Flyers traded pitcher Nigel Thatch to the Fullerton (Calif.) Flyers for 60 cases of beer.

By now you've heard the story and reasons why -- Thatch was Leon, the cocky, all-about-me athlete in those memorable Budweiser commercials, thus the publicity stunt to trade the minor leaguer for a pallet of brewskis earlier this month.

For more information, I called Fullerton Flyers GM Ed Hart the other day, and in so doing, highlighted my ability to multitask.

Right when Hart was explaining the trade, I was directing the Rescue Rooter guy to the bathroom where one of the Go 2 Twins lodged a golf ball in the toilet. The twin is just 2 years old but already finding water hazards.

Hart and I continued our conversation $152.26 later, while Michael took a drop and was hitting three on a dogleg left toward the kitchen.

Kevin Outcalt, commissioner of the Golden Baseball League of which Fullerton is a member, proposed the idea to Hart.

"What do you think?" Outcalt asked.

"Kevin," Hart said, "he's not going to make the team."

"I know," Outcalt said, "but let's have fun with this."

So the deal was made and fun's been had, though Thatch is unamused.

"Nigel is not interested in some kind of media circus," said Thatch's agent, Frank Murtha, who is familiar with sideshows, representing Steve Bartman of Chicago Cubs foul-ball fame. "Nigel is serious about trying to pursue a career in baseball."

Thatch has not reported to Fullerton, wanting more than $700 a month, which is what he's been offered, a typical contract for players like him.

The Flyers issued a news release Monday night saying negotiations have been suspended, making Thatch a holdout, which is perfect because that's what Leon would be, too.

Hart said Fullerton is willing to give him an opportunity, saying: "It would be in our best interests for him to come in and dazzle. People would come out when he pitches. It'd be like a car accident -- you have to slow down and look."

Thatch, who took acting classes at UCLA, is more apt to land or crash elsewhere.

"We're not going to do anything with those guys," Murtha said. "They're more interested in the theater of it. As far as we're concerned, the Fullerton thing is a dead-end situation."

The detour leads to points unknown. Murtha is working on a couple of independent-league options for the marginally talented Thatch, who throws fastballs in the mid-80s but until last year hadn't played organized ball for 10 years, since his days in high school in East St. Louis.

In seven starts for Schaumburg, Thatch, 29, went 0-3 with a 10.22 ERA. Murtha said his stats were tarnished by one bad game in which he essentially threw batting practice, giving up three homers, including one that soared toward the light towers.

Asked afterward what Leon would have said about that outing, Thatch blamed his teammates, saying the outfielders should have gotten ladders to catch the balls and help him out.

Thatch has potential, a 6-foot right-hander with control, a Greg Maddux type on a much lesser scale, Murtha said.

Leon had a motormouth, but Thatch doesn't want to discuss his value in barley and hops, Murtha declining an interview request for his client.

Here's what they have in common. It turns out that Leon's slogan -- "I ain't playin' unless someone's payin'" -- is Thatch's, too.

Smokin' Joe Frazier comes out of retirement to pound a politician.

From KREG-TV in Memphis:

News Channel 3 has confirmed that Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton will be competing in a boxing match against former world heavyweight champion Joe Frazier.

Herenton's executive assistant Gail Jones-Carson confirmed the fight will be held at The Peabody Hotel in September. Carson says it will be a three round fight.

Carson also says the fight will benefit Herenton's alma mater LeMoyne-Owen College.

The predominantly black college has a month to raise more than a million dollars to keep its accreditation. Overall the college faces $6 million in debt and has been placed on probation in December, primarily because of financial problems.

Mayor Herenton's started boxing when he was only 11 years old. By the time Herenton graduated high school he had already won several AAU championships.

Pope Benedict XVI in Poland.

AP: 270,000 hear pope's Mass in rainy Warsaw

Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass for an estimated 270,000 people Friday in a rain-soaked Warsaw square where his predecessor, John Paul II, inspired Poland's Solidarity movement against communist rule in a historic 1979 visit.

In his sermon, Benedict challenged moral relativism, or the view that there are no absolute values, and defended the church's unchanging traditional beliefs.

In remarks read in Polish by an aide, Benedict warned the faithful against those "seeking to falsify the word of Christ and to remove from the Gospel those truths which in their view are too uncomfortable for modern man."

"They try to give the impression that everything is relative: even the truths of faith would depend on the historical situation and human evaluation," he said, in remarks that echoed his homily at John Paul II's funeral last year. "Yet the church cannot silence the spirit of truth."

Their lawyers must think the odds are in their favor.

CBS Sportsline: Janet Gretzky might sue N.J. over leaks
Wayne Gretzky's wife and a Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach might sue New Jersey for $50 million each, contending their reputations were damaged after state officials leaked information from wiretaps in a case involving a multimillion-dollar sports betting ring.

But seriously, folks, this story was blown way out of proportion from the beginning. "Beware the Mediawock, my son."

Forget Danica Patrick...

...because Erin Crocker races trucks, has an engineering degree from RPI, and, most importantly, she's a redhead!

We're supposed to fear for HIS safety?

The rape of the little girl is in the past, we can't do anything about that. But the tiny criminal's potential rape in prison? That trumps everything. Let him go and sternly tell him to be nice from now on. This is what our moral and intellectual superiors call compassion.

KETV:No Prison By Reason Of Height?
Bruning Will Appeal Sentence For Short Child Molester

OMAHA, Neb. -- Height should have nothing to do with justice, Nebraska's top law enforcement officer said on Thursday.

District Judge Kristine Cecava of Cheyenne County on Tuesday sentenced Richard Thompson, 50, on two counts of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl. He was given 10 years of probation by a judge who said the man was too small to survive prison. His sentence to intensive supervision probation means he'll be electronically monitored for 120 days, he cannot be alone with anyone under 18 and he can't date or live with anyone whose children are under 18.

Golly, Your Judgetteship, don't you think that's a little harsh? She was probably wearing a really short skirt.

On Thursday, Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said he'll appeal the decision.

"I don't care if he's 3 feet tall," Bruning said. "It's an abomination. My office will appeal it. If you abuse a child, you're going to pay a price."

Wow. There's at least one sane person involved in this case.

During the sentencing, Cecava told Thompson that he should serve time, but she said his height makes him a potential victim in jail.

Too bad for him. Let's all chip in and buy the pervert a pair of lifts.

As 70's tv taught me: "Don't do the crime if you're too short to do the time." (Of course, Robert Blake is still free.)

Rape victim advocates, including Mary Larsen of the YWCA, said that puts Thompson's safety above the community's.


"I imagine the perpetrator didn't check the height of the victim as he was choosing his victim. He chose his victim by their vulnerability and accessibility, not by their height," Larsen said.

Are people of Thompson's height at risk in jail? Carol Durham, with the Pottawattamie County, Iowa, Jail, said Thompson may face trouble behind bars, but not because he's short.

"Due to his size, I really don't think so. Due to his crime, probably," Durham said.

Durham said other inmates do sometimes target child molesters. Nebraska State Corrections head Steve King agreed.

That's a crying shame.

"We have individuals that are small that have functioned very well in general population, and they've done that for years without any kinds of problems, and they're smaller than 5-foot-1," King said.

Both facilities said they actually have very few inmate-versus-inmate assaults every year.

At least one group said Cecava was right to take Thompson's height into consideration during the sentencing. The National Organization of Short-Statured Adults said it agrees with her assessment that Thompson faces potential dangers in jail. The New York-based group strives to combat a prejudice they call "heightism."

Give him a big shank.

Bruning said he plans to file his appeal in the next two weeks.

Where are all the brave Indiana ethicists who called for Bobby Knight's head?

"Deliberate noncompliance"? Ol' Big Melon Sampson is getting off easy.

From AP (via ESPN.com): Sampson faces 1-year recruiting restriction for NCAA violations

Indiana University expected some NCAA penalties when it hired Kelvin Sampson.

The harshly worded final decision came as a surprise.

Sampson was banned Thursday from calling recruits and participating in off-campus recruiting activities for one year when the infractions committee ruled he deliberately violated NCAA rules by making 577 impermissible phone calls from 2000 to 2004. He will also be prohibited from receiving performance bonuses next season.

Indiana athletic director Rick Greenspan said Sampson's job is not in jeopardy and the Hoosiers avoided the most severe sanction - a loss of scholarships. Indiana does not plan to appeal.

"I think this is like when the IRS finds a high-profile person or the Securities & Exchange Commission finds a high profile company in violation," said Stephen Ferguson, president of IU's Board of Trustees. "These organizations want to, one, show that they don't give anyone special privileges, and, two, set an example to show others they better not do it."

The NCAA also took matters a step further.

Infractions committee chairman Thomas Yeager repeatedly used terms such as "calculated," "deliberate noncompliance" and "willful actions" - stronger phrases than usual - to describe the violations.

According to the infractions report, Oklahoma coaches had a series of Sunday night meetings to discuss calls and fill out unofficial logs. The documents were then filed in a basketball office cabinet, never turned in and school compliance officials did not cross-check the listed calls with university phone records.

Yeager sharply rebuked the actions.

"Over a four-year period, they deliberately disregarded NCAA rules," Yeager said. "The coaching staff rationalized the infractions as not important, and while they may not be as notorious as some the committee has dealt with in the past, they are important."

Some of the calls were placed when coaches were not allowed any contact with recruits; others exceeded NCAA limits and Sampson made nearly half of the calls - 233 - himself.

Despite the investigation, Indiana still hired Sampson in March after he spent the previous 12 seasons at Oklahoma. Included in his seven-year contract was a clause that allowed Indiana to fire Sampson if the NCAA sanctions proved more severe than Oklahoma's self-imposed penalties.

The infractions committee did just that by issuing more severe penalties than Oklahoma recommended. The Sooners restricted Sampson's off-campus recruiting last July and reduced his number of days on the road to 19 last season.

Now, Sampson will be off the recruiting trail until May 24, 2007.

Greenspan and IU President Adam Herbert, however, backed their new coach.

"We knew that there could be further sanctions and we accept them," Greenspan said. "While these sanctions do present an immediate challenge, we are excited about the future with coach Sampson."

But the punishment wasn't as harsh as it could have been.

Oklahoma cut two scholarships last season and one for next season - sanctions that will not be imposed at Indiana. Sampson also can contact recruits with text messages, letters and e-mail, and his assistant coaches face no restrictions.

"I have learned an invaluable lesson, and I hope that this reinforces to other coaches the importance of every aspect of NCAA compliance," Sampson, who is traveling in Kuwait, said in a statement.

As troubling as Yeager found the pattern of violations, the committee chairman was nearly as upset by Sampson's push for an ethics summit in 2003 when he was the president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

"We hope that this summit will provide a basis for our coaches and our association to proactively move forward toward greater integrity in our sport," Sampson said then.

Yeager said the committee was concerned by that.

But Indiana officials offered a different perspective. While Herbert and Greenspan offered testimonials to Sampson's character, Ferguson suggested that Sampson was a good fit in Bloomington. Patrick Shoulders of Evansville, the trustees' vice president, downplayed Sampson's actions.

"Obviously, we anticipated some type of sanction, and this one seems to fit these minor infractions," he said.

Yeager said that gave Oklahoma a significant recruiting advantage since six of the 17 recruits announced their intention to attend the school. Five actually did.

Oklahoma froze Sampson's salary at $1.01 million last year and prohibited from him receiving performance bonuses. At Indiana, Sampson will make $1.1 million next season and $1.6 million each of the following six years. The contract explicitly states Sampson is not eligible for bonuses next season.

From The Decline Of Canadian Civilization Department:

I know, I know. It is wrong to look to a newspaper from sissy Calgary for a story about manly Edmonton. It's like reading the NYT for news about real Americans.

Calgary Sun: Oh beer! Oilers running taps dry

Whyte Avenue watering holes aren't the only Edmonton establishments tapping out on beer.

Bars throughout the city have been running low on suds during recent Oilers games because of beer-drinking fans knocking down brews.

"It would be directly related to the games," said James Bennett, promotions manager for the Overtime Broiler and Taproom. "I don't think a lot of people anticipated that many sales."

Bennett said he does a few emergency runs to the liquor store a week for more bottles of beer.

The Overtime has also run out of draft on a few recent occasions.

"Draft, we're kinda SOL when we run out," Bennett said. "We've run out and the supplier can't keep up with us."

Anna-Marie Taylor, a manager of The Druid, said her watering hole hasn't run out of beer, but staff makes sure to have plenty of brew on game days.

"We've definitely had to stock up, that's for sure," Taylor said.

"We haven't run out yet - thank God."

This is the saddest story I have read in years.

Congrats, America! After 108 years and 5 failed appeals, YOUR federal government will stop taxing your phone bill to pay for the Spanish-American War!

This means Teddy's Rough Riders finally got their back pay. Who says our moral and intellectual superiors in Washington can't get the job done?

Roto-Reuters: US to repeal federal long-distance phone tax

The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday conceded a legal dispute over the federal excise tax on long-distance telephone service and said the
Internal Revenue Service will refund tax paid on the service over the past three years.

In a statement, U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow also urged Congress to repeal the excise tax on local telephone service.

The Justice Department will no longer pursue litigation on the long-distance issue, the statement said.

The Treasury Department said taxpayers can claim a refund on their 2006 returns for the long-distance tax, which was established in 1898 as a luxury tax on wealthy Americans who owned telephones.

Snow, at a press conference on Capitol Hill with lawmakers, said the tax was "antiquated" and well-rid of.

"It's not often you get to kill a tax, particularly one that goes back so far in history," Snow said, adding that Treasury was pleased to concede this tax was no longer useful.

Har dee har har har. I'm glad he has a sense of humor about it. I'm guessing they will make up the "shortfall" by squeezing us somewhere else.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the decision will lead to billion of dollars in refunds to U.S. consumers and businesses who have paid it, with refunds and lost revenue over the next five years adding up to about $60 billion.

Snow estimated the cost of refunding taxpayers for three years of past taxes would total about $13 billion, and said that there would be no problem in finding that amount.

Who keeps the last three years' phone bills? Only the compulsive and retentive among us will share this jackpot.

"The revenue stream is strong and can easily absorb this," Snow said.

Instant translation: We have more than enough of your hard earned money and we can always get more if we want it.

In response to questions, Snow said he could not specify how much of the refund might be made to businesses and how much to individuals. He also said Treasury could not yet estimate the size of refund an average individual could expect to get.

Desmond Dekker, Requiescat in pace.

The King of Ska is dead. His music will live forever.

Desmond Dekker, who brought the sound of Jamaican ska music to the world with songs such as "Israelites," has died, his manager said Friday. He was 64.

Dekker, who lived in England, collapsed from an apparent heart attack at his home on Thursday, manager Delroy Williams said.

"It is such a shock, I don't think I will ever get over this," Williams said.

Dekker's 1969 song "Israelites," a Top 10 single in both Britain and the United States, was the first international hit produced by Jamaica's vibrant music scene. With its haunting vocals and irresistible rhythm, it introduced the world to ska, a precursor to reggae.

"Desmond was the first legend, believe it or not," Williams said. "When he released 'Israelites' nobody had heard of Bob Marley — he paved the way for all of them."

Born Desmond Dacres in 1941, Dekker worked as a welder in Kingston before signing with Leslie Kong's Beverley's record label and releasing his first single, "Honor Your Father and Your Mother," in 1963. It was followed by Jamaican hits including "King of Ska."

Some of his most popular songs celebrated the culture of violent street toughs, or "rude boys" — "Rude Boy Train," "Rudie Got Soul" and "007 (Shanty Town)," which featured on the soundtrack of the seminal Jamaican film "The Harder They Come."

He also had a hit with "You Can Get It If You Really Want," written by his label-mate Jimmy Cliff.

The songs made Dekker a hero of British youth, and he moved to the country in the 1970s.

Dekker's career suffered after the 1971 death of his mentor Kong, and he was declared bankrupt in 1984. But he retained a strong British following until his death and performed regularly. Dekker had been due to play across Europe over the summer, including dates in Ireland, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

Dekker, who was divorced, is survived by a son and a daughter. Funeral details were not immediately available. (Thanks to AP for this obituary.)

The story of St. Philip Neri.

From Catholic Online:

If one had to choose one saint who showed the humorous side of holiness that would Philip Neri.

Born in 1515 in Florence, he showed the impulsiveness and spontaneity of his character from the time he was a boy. In fact one incident almost cost him his life. Seeing a donkey loaded with fruit for market, the little boy had barely formed the thought of jumping on the donkey's back before he had done it. The donkey, surprised, lost his footing, and donkey, fruit, and boy tumbled into the cellar with the boy winding up on the bottom! Miraculously he was unhurt.

His father was not successful financially and at eighteen Philip was sent to work with an older cousin who was a successful businessman. During this time, Philip found a favorite place to pray up in the fissure of a mountain that had been turned into a chapel. We don't know anything specific about his conversion but during these hours of prayer he decided to leave worldly success behind and dedicate his life to God.

After thanking his cousin, he went to Rome in 1533 where he was the live-in tutor of the sons of a fellow Florentine. He studied philosophy and theology until he thought his studies were interfering with his prayer life. He then stopped his studies, threw away his books, and lived as a kind of hermit.

Night was his special time of prayer. After dark he would go out in the streets, sometimes to churches, but most often into the catacombs of St. Sebastiano to pray. During one of these times of prayer he felt a globe of light enter his mouth and sink into his heart. This experience gave him so much energy to serve God that he went out to work at the hospital of the incurables and starting speaking to others about God, everyone from beggars to bankers.

In 1548 Philip formed a confraternity with other laymen to minister to pilgrims who came to Rome without food or shelter. The spiritual director of the confraternity convinced Philip that he could do even more work as a priest. After receiving instruction from this priest, Philip was ordained in 1551.

At his new home, the church of San Girolamo, he learned to love to hear confessions. Young men especially found in him the wisdom and direction they needed to grow spiritually. But Philip began to realize that these young men needed something more than absolution; they needed guidance during their daily lives. So Philip began to ask the young men to come by in the early afternoon when they would discuss spiritual readings and then stay for prayer in the evening. The numbers of the men who attended these meetings grew rapidly. In order to handle the growth, Philip and a fellow priest Buonsignore Cacciaguerra gave a more formal structure to the meetings and built a room called the Oratory to hold them in.

Philip understood that it wasn't enough to tell young people not to do something -- you had to give them something to do in its place. So at Carnival time, when the worst excesses were encouraged, Philip organized a pilgrimage to the Seven Churches with a picnic accompanied by instrumental music for the mid-day break. After walking twelve miles in one day everyone was too tired to be tempted!

In order to guide his followers, Philip made himself available to everyone at any hour -- even at night. He said some of the most devout people were those who had come to him at night. When others complained, Philip answered, "They can chop wood on my back so long as they do not sin."

Not everyone was happy about this growing group and Philip and Buonsignore were attacked by the priests they lived with. But eventually Philip and his companions were vindicated and went on with their work.
In 1555, the Pope's Vicar accused Philip of "introducing novelties" and ordered him to stop the meetings of the Oratory. Philip was brokenhearted but obeyed immediately. The Pope only let him start up the Oratory again after the sudden death of his accuser. Despite all the trouble this man had caused, Philip would not let anyone say anything against the man or even imply that his sudden death was a judgment from God.

One church, for Florentines in Rome, had practically forced him to bring the Oratory to their church. But when gossip and accusations started, they began to harass the very people they had begged to have nearby! At that point, Philip decided it would be best for the group to have their own church. They became officially known as the Congregation of the Oratory, made up of secular priests and clerics.

Philip was known to be spontaneous and unpredictable, charming and humorous.

He seemed to sense the different ways to bring people to God. One man came to the Oratory just to make fun of it. Philip wouldn't let the others throw him out or speak against him. He told them to be patient and eventually the man became a Dominican. On the other hand, when he met a condemned man who refused to listen to any pleas for repentance, Philip didn't try gentle words, but grabbed the man by the collar and threw him to the ground. The move shocked the criminal into repentance and he made a full confession.

Humility was the most important virtue he tried to teach others and to learn himself. Some of his lessons in humility seem cruel, but they were tinged with humor like practical jokes and were related with gratitude by the people they helped. His lessons always seem to be tailored directly to what the person needed. One member who was later to become a cardinal was too serious and so Philip had him sing the Misere at a wedding breakfast. When one priest gave a beautiful sermon, Philip ordered him to give the same sermon six times in a row so people would think he only had one sermon.

Philip preferred spiritual mortification to physical mortification. When one man asked Philip if he could wear a hair shirt, Philip gave him permission -- if he wore the hair shirt outside his clothes! The man obeyed and found humility in the jokes and name-calling he received.

There were unexpected benefits to his lessons in humility. Another member, Baronius, wanted to speak at the meetings about hellfire and eternal punishment. Philip commanded him instead to speak of church history. For 27 years Baronius spoke to the Oratory about church history. At the end of that time he published his talks as a widely respected and universally praised books on ecclesiastical history!

Philip did not escape this spiritual mortification himself. As with others, his own humbling held humor. There are stories of him wearing ridiculous clothes or walking around with half his beard shaved off. The greater his reputation for holiness the sillier he wanted to seem. When some people came from Poland to see the great saint, they found him listening to another priest read to him from joke books.

Philip was very serious about prayer, spending hours in prayer. He was so easily carried away that he refused to preach in public and could not celebrate Mass with others around. But he when asked how to pray his answer was, "Be humble and obedient and the Holy Spirit will teach you."
Philip died in 1595 after a long illness at the age of eighty years.

In his footsteps:
We often worry more about what others think that about what God thinks. Our fear of people laughing us often stops us from trying new things or serving God. Do something today that you are afraid might make you look a little ridiculous. Then reflect on how it makes you feel. Pray about your experience with God.

Saint Philip Neri, we take ourselves far too seriously most of the time. Help us to add humor to our perspective -- remembering always that humor is a gift from God. Amen

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Philip Neri, patron of Rome. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading for the Feast of St. Philip Neri is
Acts 18:9-18.
Today's Responsorial Psalm is
Psalms 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7.
Today's Gospel reading is
John 16: 20-23.

Everyday links:

The Blessed Virgin Mary
The Rosary
Our Mother of Perpetual Help
Prayers from EWTN
National Coalition of Clergy and Laity (dedicated to action for a genuine Catholic Restoration)
The Catholic Calendar Page for Today

Just in case you are wondering what exactly Catholics believe, here is

The Apostles Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.


Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession,was left unaided.Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins my Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy clemency hear and answer me. Amen.

St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse, pray for us.

Prayer to St. Anthony, Martyr of Desire

Dear St. Anthony, you became a Franciscan with the hope of shedding your blood for Christ. In God's plan for you, your thirst for martyrdom was never to be satisfied. St. Anthony, Martyr of Desire, pray that I may become less afraid to stand up and be counted as a follower of the Lord Jesus. Intercede also for my other intentions. (Name them.)

Prayer To Saint Michael The Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the divine power, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Prayer to End Abortion

Lord God, I thank You today for the gift of my life, and for the lives of all my brothers and sisters. I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion, yet I rejoice that you have conquered death by the resurrection of Your Son. I am ready to do my part to end abortion. Today I commit myself never to be silent, never to be passive, and never to be forgetful of the unborn. I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement, and never stop defending life until all my brothers and sisters are protected and our nation once again becomes a nation with liberty and justice, not just for some, but for all. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Theology of the Body: 114. Morality of Marriage Act Determined by Nature of the Act and of the Subjects

In his General Audience of 11 July 1984, the Holy Father turned to reflections on Paul VI's Humanae Vitae as an application of his catechesis on the theology of human love in God's plan. He spoke on the inseparable connection "between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act."

Morality of Marriage Act Determined by Nature of the Act and of the Subjects

On Wednesday morning, 11 July, Pope John Paul II dedicated his audience address in St Peter's Square to reflections on Paul VI's "Humanae Vitae" as an application of the catechesis he had been presenting on the theology of human love in God's plan. Following is our translation of the Holy Father's address.

1. The reflections we have thus far made on human love in the divine plan would be in some way incomplete if we did not try to see their concrete application in the sphere of marital and family morality. We want to take this further step that will bring us to the conclusion of our now long journey, under the guidance of an important recent pronouncement of the Magisterium, Humanae Vitae, which Pope Paul VI published in July 1968. We will reread this significant document in the light of the conclusions we have reached in examining the initial divine plan and the words of Christ which refer to it.

2. "The Church teaches as absolutely required that in any use whatever of marriage there must be no impairment of its natural capacity to procreate human life" (Humanae Vitae 11). "This particular doctrine, often expounded by the Magisterium of the Church, is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act" (Humane Vitae 12).

3. The considerations I am about to make concern especially the passage of Humanae Vitae that deals with the "two significances of the marriage act" and their "inseparable connection." I do not intend to present a commentary on the whole encyclical, but rather to illustrate and examine one of its passages. From the point of view of the doctrine contained in the quoted document, that passage has a central significance. At the same time, that passage is closely connected with our previous reflections on marriage in its dimension as a (sacramental) sign.

As I said, since this is a central passage of the encyclical, it is obvious that it constitutes a very important part of its whole structure. Therefore, its analysis must direct us toward the various components of that structure, even if it is not our intention to comment on the entire text.

A promised fidelity

4. In the reflections on the sacramental sign, it has already been said several times that it is based on the language of the body reread in truth. It concerns a truth once affirmed at the beginning of the marriage when the newlyweds, promising each other "to be always faithful...and to love and honor each other all the days of their life," become ministers of marriage as a sacrament of the Church.

It concerns, then, a truth that is always newly affirmed. In fact, the man and the woman, living in the marriage "until death," re-propose uninterruptedly, in a certain sense, that sign that they made—through the liturgy of the sacrament—on their wedding day.

The aforementioned words of Pope Paul VI's encyclical concern that moment in the common life of the spouses when both, joining each other in the marriage act, become, according to the biblical expression, "one flesh" (Gn 2:24). Precisely at such a moment so rich in significance, it is also especially important that the language of the body be reread in truth. This reading becomes the indispensable condition for acting in truth, that is, for behaving in accordance with the value and the moral norm.

Adequate foundation

5. The encyclical not only recalls this norm, but also seeks to give it adequate foundation. In order to clarify more completely that "inseparable connection, established by God...between the unitive significance and the procreative significance of the marriage act," Paul VI writes in the next sentence: "The reason is that the marriage act, because of its fundamental structure, while it unites husband and wife in the closest intimacy, also brings into operation laws written into the actual nature of man and of woman for the generation of new life" (Humanae Vitae 12).

We note that in the previous sentence, the text just quoted deals above all with the significance of marital relations. In the following sentence, it deals with the fundamental structure (that is, the nature) of marital relations. Defining that fundamental structure, the text refers to "laws written into the actual nature of man and of woman.

"The passage from the sentence expressing the moral norm, to the sentence which explains and justifies it, is especially significant. The encyclical leads one to seek the foundation for the norm which determines the morality of the acts of the man and the woman in the marriage act, in the nature of this very act, and more deeply still, in the nature of the subjects themselves who are performing the act.

Two significances

6. In this way, the fundamental structure (that is, the nature) of the marriage act constitutes the necessary basis for an adequate reading and discovery of the two significances that must be carried over into the conscience and the decisions of the acting parties. It also constitutes the necessary basis for establishing the adequate relationship of these significances, that is, their inseparable connection. Since "the marriage act..."—at the same time—"unites husband and wife in the closest intimacy" and together "makes them capable of generating new life," and both the one and the other happen "through the fundamental structure," then it follows that the human person (with the necessity proper to reason, logical necessity) must read at the same time the "twofold significance of the marriage act" and also the "inseparable connection between the unitive significance and the procreative significance of the marriage act."

Here we are dealing with nothing other than reading the language of the body in truth, as has been said many times in our previous biblical analyses. The moral norm, constantly taught by the Church in this sphere, and recalled and reconfirmed by Paul VI in his encyclical, arises from the reading of the language of the body in truth.

It is a question here of the truth first in the ontological dimension ("fundamental structure") and then—as a result—in the subjective and psychological dimension ("significance"). The text of the encyclical stresses that in the case in question we are dealing with a norm of the natural law.

SEX IS DEATH. (Gimme some of that sweet zombie lovin')

I came to Carthage, where I found myself in the midst of a hissing cauldron of lusts. I had not yet fallen in love, but I was in love with the idea of it, and this feeling that something was missing made me despise myself for not being more anxious to satisfy the need. I began to look around for some object for my love, since I badly wanted to love something. —St. Augustine, Confessions

If you think this is nothing but the ranting of Euro-eggheads who need to vomit forth an occasional trifle in order to continue sucking at Leviathan's teats, think again. This is the way it always starts.

In a generation, this murderous flapdoodle will be mainstream. Repansycans will be introducing legislation to "moderate" the well intentioned but misguided Democrass innovations in societal modernization.

"The family must be updated! Why, we all have chips in our heads, don't we? We're modern things, after all."

From National Review Online:

Zombie Killers
A.K.A., “Queering the Social”
By Stanley Kurtz

Gay marriage undermines marriage....okay, I admit it. I’m a cranky, stick-in-the-mud conservative who keeps making the same tired old point. I can change, though. I can be a hip-and-happening culturally radical kind of guy. Try this: “The queering of the social calls into question the normativity and naturalness of both heterosexuality and heterorelationality.” Or how about this? “Marriage ‘in the traditional sense’ is disappearing. It is the gays who are the pioneers in this respect—the prime everyday experimenters.” Not radical enough? Then try this: “Gay and lesbian families are here; all our families are queer; let’s get used to it!”

I sense that some of you are still not grasping my meaning. So let me say it more carefully: The traditional family is losing its monopoly, as new forms of living, like parents without a formal marriage, single parents, and same-sex partnerships, appear and spread. It would be a reactionary mistake to attempt to recuperate the old notion of family, which is just not a picture of reality anymore.

Still confused? Then I’ll make my point succinctly: Gay marriage undermines marriage. You see, it turns out that this decidedly conservative observation is entirely consistent with the views of some of the most influential sociologists in Europe (and their followers here in America). I’ve been quoting and paraphrasing these prominent sociologists to show that I’m far from the only one who connects same-sex marriage with the decline of traditional marriage.

Of course, “hip-and-happening” left-leaning sociologists would be loathe to put the matter precisely the way I do. For fear of scaring the public away from still more change, they’d be careful not to offer a detailed causal case showing that gay marriage undermines marriage. Above all, Europe’s sociologists (and their American fellow travelers) actually celebrate and promote the decline of the traditional family that is signaled and advanced by same-sex marriage.

But strip away the jargon, drop the element of celebration, and it turns out that conservative opponents of same-sex marriage and some of Europe’s most influential sociologists are saying much the same thing: Same-sex marriage doesn’t reinforce marriage; instead, it upends marriage, and helps build acceptance for a host of other mutually reinforcing changes (like single parenting, parental cohabitation, and multi-partner unions) that only serve to weaken marriage. In short, “the queering of the social” (meaning a broad spectrum of family change, including, but not limited to, same-sex partnerships) calls into question the normativity and naturalness of “heterorelationality” (i.e., traditional marriage).

I guess you could call this progress. Big Government, Big Sodomy, and The Committee Responsible for Utter Destruction (CRUD) are acknowledging their aim is the destruction of the family.

The Pure Relationship

Consider Anthony Giddens, the most influential sociologist in Britain, and arguably all of Europe. Giddens’s 1992 book, The Transformation of Intimacy, with its famous notion of “the pure relationship,” is the text most frequently invoked by European demographers to explain trends like parental cohabitation and same-sex unions.

Giddens’s point is that modern marriage is slowly being divested of connections with anything beyond the purely emotional bonding of adults. It used to be that the love of husband and wife was only part of the picture. Men and women were held together by love, but also by economic interdependence, and a shared commitment to parenthood. But gradually, says Giddens, the marriage alliance is becoming less and less about a shared project of prosperity and parenting. Increasingly, marriage is being reduced to a strictly emotional connection between two adults: “the pure relationship.”

I knew that notion of romantic love would get us in trouble someday. Arranged marriages, anyone?

For Europe’s demographers, Giddens’s idea of the pure relationship makes sense of why so many parents now avoid marriage. When having a child turns into an experiment that might possibly lead to marriage, rather than a reason to get married in the first place, you know that marriage has been narrowed into an identification with the adult love relationship.Gay marriage fits in here, as well. When gay-marriage advocates define marriage, they carefully confine themselves to the adult love relationship, insisting that parenthood has no intrinsic connection to marriage. So, for Europe’s demographers, gay unions fit into a series of changes that signal the unraveling of marriage as an institution designed to keep mothers and fathers together for the sake of their children. The pattern makes sense in light of Giddens’s notion of “the pure relationship.”

Giddens’s views about marriage and homosexuality closely resemble the ideas of radical “queer theorists.” Giddens’s spent 1968 teaching in America, at UCLA, and it was during that dramatic year that Giddens added sexual radicalism to an already left-leaning political agenda. Yet Giddens is an utterly mainstream figure. Director of the influential London School of Economics, Giddens has been famously dubbed Tony Blair’s “guru.” In 2000, for example, Giddens played a key role in convincing Blair to withdraw backing for a policy that would have supported marriage as “the best model” for British family life.

I knew there was a price to be paid for cozying up to Blair the socialist.

In The Transformation of Intimacy, Giddens argues that “episodic gay sexuality of the bathhouse culture type” contains critical positive lessons for heterosexual relationships. Giddens is not necessarily opposed to monogamy. But monogamy, Giddens says, should be adopted, if at all, as a result of negotiation and understanding between two particular partners, and not because of some institutional obligation embedded in marriage itself. For Giddens, in an age when the increasingly empty institution of traditional marriage is destined to fall away, gay relationships and gay sexuality serve as the new positive models for heterosexuals. As Giddens notes, while “marriage in the traditional sense” disappears, “it is the gays who are the pioneers.” As for children, Giddens advocates laws that oblige parents to provide financially for their offspring, no matter what sort of living arrangements those parents enter into over time. Here, then, we have the cultural meaning of European gay unions, from the man who is arguably Europe’s most influential interpreter of the family.

Zombie Marriage

With their notions of “zombie families,” the “post-familial family,” and the “normal chaos of love,” German sociologists Ulrich Beck and Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim have captivated Europe’s intellectuals. (See especially their 2002 book, Individualization.) Second only to Giddens in their influence on Europe’s demographers and family sociologists, Beck and Beck-Gernsheim are frequently invoked to explain trends like cohabiting parenthood and same-sex unions.

Europe’s social theorists once warned of a fraying social fabric. Emile Durkheim, the founder of sociology, showed that without some larger sense of belonging, individuals suffer from “anomie” (alienation). Alexis de Tocqueville, that great French student of America, warned against an excessive individualism that weakens civic life. Beck and Beck-Gernsheim turn Durkheim and Tocqueville on their heads by actually celebrating the withdrawal from conventional politics, the increasing private preoccupation with food and the body, and the growing destabilization of the traditional family.

Destruction is Creation! Death is Life!

Franz Kafka would have a field day.

Orwell would just shake his head.

Beck and Beck-Gernsheim criticize scholars who they say have “systematically underestimated” European family change. They call on demographers to stop downplaying the impact of rising parental cohabitation and out-of-wedlock birth rates. For Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, marriage and family have become “zombie categories”: ideas which might seem to be alive and kicking, but in reality are dead.

"Let's see. We have destroyed the family. Now we must come up with some nonsensical socio-babble nobody can penetrate to explain our evil away. If we get enough intellectualoids to back us up, we can intimidate all who dare oppose us."

Whatever the old expectations of marriage and family, say Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, individuals increasingly make up their own rules (e.g., having a child as a test of whether to get married, rather than getting married as a requirement for having a child). (Hmmm..."make up their own rules", eh? Smells like protestantism to me. - F.G.) Just as Giddens stresses the need for an optional, negotiated monogamy, rather than monogamy as an expected part of marriage, Beck and Beck-Gernsheim say that individual choice is hollowing out the institutions that used to guide our choices. Families may look traditional on the outside, but in fact they’re “post-familial families.” And for Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, it would be “reactionary” to try to “recuperate the old values of family.” Let’s drive the final stake through that old-fashioned-family-zombie’s heart! And of course, Beck and Beck-Gernsheim want the government to subsidize the new, “experimental” forms of family that emerge in the aftermath of the traditional family’s final collapse.

"The feckless, emasculated, and deracinated Church cannot stop us!"

The most radical implication of all this is the willingness of Beck and Beck-Gernsheim to embrace and celebrate the instability of the emerging family system, even for children. (Instant translation: Children are toys. Or pets. - F.G.) For Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, family dissolution teaches children a hard but necessary lesson about our new social world. Family breakup socializes children into “the normal chaos of love,” the instability that is an intrinsic part of life in the “post-familial family.” Some might call this a selfish rationalization of the profound costs to children of family breakup. Yet Beck and Beck-Gernsheim boldly tout the childhood experience of divorce as a kind of useful boot camp for post-modern adulthood.

How sick is that?

Germans. Can't live with 'em, didn't shoot enough of 'em.


Norwegian sociologist, Kari Moxnes, a follower of Giddens, is invoked by Scandinavian social scientists searching for a way to make sense of same-sex unions. Viewing marriage and at-home motherhood as intrinsically oppressive to women, Moxnes is a proponent of parental cohabitation. Moxnes welcomes same-sex marriage, not as a way of ratifying marriage itself, but as an innovation that affirms and advances marriage’s ongoing decline. Gay marriage has been adopted, argues Moxnes, not so much because homosexuality is more accepted, as because marriage is becoming an increasingly empty institution. A strong proponent of Scandinavia’s extensive welfare state, Moxnes believes that more government money is the way to counter the psychological costs of Scandinavia’s high family-dissolution rate.

The mind boggles. This is the cutting edge thinking your kids are being taught in college.

In America, the key followers of thinkers like Giddens, Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, and Moxnes are “queer sociologists.” Viewpoints that are mainstream in Europe, where Giddens advises Britain’s Prime Minister, are the province of far-left academics in the United States.

Take Sash Roseneil, the sociologist who argues that “the queering of the social” disrupts conventional “heterorelationality.” Like Moxnes, Roseneil’s views couldn’t be further from the “conservative case” for gay marriage. Roseneil believes that a host of family changes—from same-sex unions, to births to cohabiting parents, to mothers who are “single by choice,”—is collectively conspiring to “release” individuals from “heterorelationality” (i.e., traditional marriage). Roseneil draws on Giddens to make her points, while also linking her views to the prominent American family sociologist, Judith Stacey.

Get Used to It!

“Gay and lesbian families are here; all our families are queer; let’s get used to it!” That’s how NYU sociologist, Judith Stacey, (formerly the Barbra Streisand Professor in Contemporary Gender Studies at USC) (WTF??? Are you certain that isn't the Rock Hudson Memorial Chair in Non-Euclidean Sex? You couldn't make up anything funnier! - F.G.) begins the chapter on same-sex unions in her 1996 book, In the Name of the Family. Stacey’s slogan neatly encapsulates her idea that gays are pioneering ways of living that will transform the family for everyone. Consciously echoing Giddens, Stacey draws out the implications of European family sociology in an American context.

In Stacey’s view, lesbian motherhood via artificial insemination helps pave the way for intentional single motherhood among heterosexuals. (Then artificial wombs and then cloning and then the extinction of the female. You've heard it here before, kiddies. All "men" will be homosexuals and will "reproduce" themselves in this monstrous fashion. For what? I can imagine, but only the Devil knows for sure. - F.G.) Sexually open relationships among gay men can increase the acceptance of non-monogamy by heterosexuals, and the triple and quadruple unions between lesbians and gays created by donor insemination suggest the possibility of group marriage for society as a whole. True, Stacey is ambivalent about formal same-sex marriage. She worries that the effect will be too conservative, and so would prefer to abolish marriage outright. Failing that, however, Stacey is enthusiastic about using gay marriage as a device with which to undermine marriage from within.

Like Beck and Beck Gernsheim, Stacey sees the traditional family as something like the living dead. We are haunted by the ghost of the family, says Stacey. She suggests “a proper memorial service” to help us get over its death. But wouldn’t burying the traditional family mean greater instability, especially for children? Absolutely. Stacey frankly acknowledges her willingness to pay a steep price in family instability if it means promoting feminist values and unleashing a raft of experimental family forms. Stacey’s ideal is Scandinavia, where same-sex unions and unwed parenting are accepted, and where the welfare state steps in to mitigate the effects of family instability.

Pity the children. I can only hope they will arm themselves and exact terrible vengeance upon their liberators.

So there’s hardly a point about the power of same-sex unions to disrupt traditional marriage that Stacey herself hasn’t already made. The key difference between Stacey and conservative critics of same-sex marriage is that Stacey actually wants to undermine marriage. In short, the most influential European family sociologists, America’s radical academics, and American conservatives are surprisingly united in recognizing the potential of same-sex marriage to undermine marriage itself.


The outliers in this argument are the folks who claim that gay marriage does nothing to weaken marriage as a whole. William Eskridge and Darren Spedale, who’ve been making this claim for some time (I reply to their argument in “No Nordic Bliss”), have just expanded their earlier article into a book. And what does that book have to say about Giddens, Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, Moxnes, and their American sociological counterparts? Absolutely nothing. Remarkably, Eskridge and Spedale ignore the very sociological literature invoked by Scandinavia’s own demographers to make sense of marital change. Of course, it would be inconvenient to draw attention to a literature so at odds with their own approach.

Yet there’s actually a striking similarity between the views of Eskridge and Spedale, and the European sociologists they neglect to discuss. Eskridge and Spedale have summarily dumped the “conservative case” for same-sex marriage. Instead, they favor a “menu” approach, in which marriage is merely one of several options among a wide array of family forms. Eskridge and Spedale even call for an American state to abolish marriage altogether and experiment with a partnership registration scheme for everyone. It’s tough to get more radical than that. Eskridge and Spedale deride the “slippery-slope” argument, even as they themselves recommend a slide down the slope. And like radical sociologists, Eskridge and Spedale tell conservatives to stop fighting these changes, because they’re bound to happen anyway.

The inevitability of mass death and unimaginable destruction? Oh, right. They're socialists.

But if Eskridge and Spedale are so radical, why don’t they invoke their European and American intellectual allies for support? The problem is that Stacey, Beck, and Beck-Gernsheim openly admit that a free-form “menu” approach is bound to heighten family instability. Beck and Beck-Gernsheim even browbeat demographers who downplay and disguise the disruptive effects of European family change. But, of course, downplay and disguise is exactly what Eskridge and Spedale do when they portray same-sex partnerships and cohabiting heterosexual parenthood as somehow conservative in their effects.

Although their larger outlook is radical, the need to defend same-sex marriage forces Eskridge and Spedale to deny what European family sociologists (and their American followers) freely confess: instability is the price to be paid for the end of the old family system, and same-sex unions help usher in this new, more unstable regime.

Wow. These psychos make the goat rapists look like nice guys.

How can you argue for a “menu” approach that allows people to choose legal unions with low levels of commitment, while also claiming that the advent of this regime has done nothing to reduce total levels of commitment and stability? We know, for example, that Europe’s cohabiting parents break up at substantially higher rates than married parents. Yet Eskridge and Spedale have consistently downplayed this key point, while defending parental cohabitation.

Torch Bearers

Giddens, Beck, Beck-Gernsheim, Moxnes and their exuberant torch-bearing kill-the-zombie followers among European intellectuals (along with those happy-go-lucky Night-of-the-Living-Dead American radical sociologists) are simply better company than America’s deny-it-all gay marriage defenders. They cheerfully admit they want to burn down traditional marriage and they look forward to basking in the glow of the conflagration. B & B offer a brilliant duet on the virtues of divorce and family fragmentation as a way to harden up the children born into the brave new post-family paradise.

May God have mercy on the next generation.

We should, I think, be grateful for this line of argument, which at least owns its own premises and walks them through to their unavoidable conclusions. Eskridge and Spedale, by contrast, want much the same outcome, but hope to get there without stirring up the zombies. Their “menu approach” to relationships, however, ends in the same cul-de-sac as B&B, Giddens, Moxnes, Stacey, and the rest. Nor does money solve the problem. Recent research by Norwegian scholars Kyrre Breivik and Dan Olweus suggests that the huge Scandinavian welfare state fails to undo the traumas that follow from parental breakups. When it comes to children, it seems, something runs thicker and deeper than state-sponsored entitlements.

Shifting to a broad “menu” of experimental family forms may feel liberating to some, but it is really a recipe for thinning out society’s commitment to children. Each unconventional experiment reinforces the others, ultimately yielding a significantly less stable family regime. Which is to say, gay marriage undermines marriage. Or, as we say in some precincts, the “queering of the social calls into question the normativity and naturalness of heterorelationality.”

Part 1: SEX IS DEATH. (Stories for boys) is here.
Part 2: SEX IS DEATH. (Distaff death) is here.
Part 3: SEX IS DEATH. (Joyously dispensing death) is here.
Part 4: SEX IS DEATH. (Sex is depression) is here.
Part 5: SEX IS DEATH. (When self-pleasuring becomes self-destruction) is here.
Part 6: SEX IS DEATH. (Sex is theft) is
Part 7: SEX IS DEATH. (A review of Bareback Mountain) is
Part 8: SEX IS DEATH. (What is the ultimate penalty?) is
Part 9: SEX IS DEATH. (Haven from reality) is
Part 10: SEX IS DEATH. (Sin-redemption-reasons-reason) is
Part 11: SEX IS DEATH. (Mommy loves you) is
Part 12: SEX IS DEATH. (George Gilder offers a clue) is
Part 13: SEX IS DEATH. (Post-killem depression) is
Part 14: SEX IS DEATH. (Whither womanhood) is
Part 15: SEX IS DEATH. (Saving psychology 1) is
Part 16: SEX IS DEATH. (Saving psychology 2) is
Part 17: SEX IS DEATH. (Fear of the boomers) is
Part 18: SEX IS DEATH. (The battle continues apace) is
Part 19: SEX IS DEATH. (Hot for teacher) is
Part 20: SEX IS DEATH. (Kids do the darndest things) is
Part 21: SEX IS DEATH. (Defects) is
Part 22: SEX IS DEATH. (Privates' privacy) is
Part 23: SEX IS DEATH. (National Condom Week) is
Part 24: SEX IS DEATH. (Wegenics) is
Part 25: SEX IS DEATH. (White wedding) is
Part 26: SEX IS DEATH. (Literally) is
Part 27: SEX IS DEATH. (Can't get me no satisfaction) is
Part 28: SEX IS DEATH. (Wrestle with mania) is
Part 29: SEX IS DEATH. (Press one for death/Presione uno para la muerte) is

Part 30: SEX IS DEATH. (Raunch culture) is here.

About Me

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.


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