Beware the gifted Catholic lawyer in his wrath

Beware the gifted Catholic lawyer in his wrath February 22, 2010

A friend of mine, a lawyer out in the Midwest who was an immense and invaluable help in writing Mary, Mother of the Son took it ill when the pigs who author Triablogue decided to release their inner swine last week. I suppose if they had had the good grace to behave like biblical pigs and drown themselves he might have refrained. But these pigs have less class then demons and so just oinked proudly. My own response to such pigs is to simply turn away in silence on the principle laid down by our Lord in the matter of pearls and swine.

However, my friend saw it as a teaching moment (not for the pigs, of course, but for decent people). So he sends along a marvelous bit of forensic analysis of their “argument” which I now share with all people of good will:

Catholicism, Triablogue asserts, relies on fetishes by regarding certain “persons, places, and things” as “sacrosanct, not due to their inherent holiness, but their ascriptive holiness.” Strictly speaking, a fetish is an inanimate object believed to have spiritual/magical power. Triablogue’s distinction between a “fetishism” that regards objects as having spiritual power by virtue of “inherent holiness” and a “fetishism” that regards objects as having spiritual power because of “ascriptive holiness” is very interesting. I understand he asserts that Catholicism does the latter. But assuming this error doesn’t occur, is it right and proper for a Christian who takes the Bible seriously to regard certain “persons, places, and things” as “sacrosanct . . . due to their inherent holiness”? Apparently Triablogue thinks so, because he asserts that “there’s nothing inherently wrong with the idea of ritual purity or impurity” and “God has actually authorized” holy inanimate things like “holy time” and “holy space.”

In addition to “holy time” and “holy space” it would be interesting to learn about other objects which Protestants believe to confer “ritual purity.” WWJD bracelets, perhaps? Bibles, one would almost certainly think. I’ve heard it said that ignorant Catholic peasants fed Eucharistic Hosts to their sick animals. It would be interesting to know that equally-ignorant Protestant farmers tried to feed the Bible to their cows. (Would one chapter of Luke cure, or is the entire book required? One God-breathed word should be sufficient, I would think. But then the legendary Catholic peasants probably fed entire hosts to their cows, even though each particle is Him entire. Probably best to just remember that cows are important to farmers and leave it at that).

I have never heard such a story about Protestants, although I have heard of Protestants who believed that bandaging wounds with pages torn from a Bible is particularly efficacious. But then there’s also the case of the Australian social workers who taught aborigines a song about effective methods contraception. The aborigines’ birth rates skyrocketed in response, because they thought singing the song was effective contraception. Slow learners and slow teachers abound, and I don’t take Triablogue to be making an argument against Catholicism from legends about ignorant peasants and Hosts. Unless he is, of course. But more about that later.

So the question remains; what is it that Protestants do with “holy” physical things? According to Triablogue, Protestants acquire “ritual purity.” What “ritual purity” might be isn’t really explained, no doubt because a discourse on Protestant liturgy wasn’t germane to Triablogue’s point, which was to describe the error of Catholic “fetishism.” And it’s an area fraught with problems for the concept of a united Protestant front, so to speak, against Rome’s corruption of the Gospel. Does baptism confer “ritual purity” on infants, who can neither know or care about Jesus? Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians, and (some) Presbyterians say it does. But other Protestants say baptism is the outward sign of an interior, God-breathed, commitment to Christ and that infant baptism is an ignorant remnant of popery. Still, if “purity” means anything at all to a Protestant of any confession, the term has to mean purity before God. And if “ritual purity” means anything at all, it means purity before God acquired by means of a ritual.

There is no warrant for imagining that Triablogue defines “ritual” in a (Roman) Catholic sense, which is to say “a rite performed by a priest who was ordained by a Bishop in succession to the Apostles and all according to essential forms.” (Of course, there is likewise no warrant for believing that Catholics think grace cannot come except through a sacrament). For all Triablogue has said, a “ritual” might mean the simple plea of the heart for God’s forgiveness; the thought and the words, the “ritual,” must be performed, but not according to a formula. Triablogue could also accept as rituals communal actions such as Sunday worship whose devotional form is, for Protestants, matters of discipline as opposed to (Roman) Catholicism’s more strenuous insistence on essential words and actions for “working the magic.” There is equally no warrant to ascribe to Triablogue’s idea of purity (Roman) Catholicism’s teachings on grace.

But there is a warrant for reading Triablogue to assert that God has made objects and rituals efficacious in becoming pure before Him. Triablogue hedges his explanation of “ritual purity” with a more Calvinist approach, saying these rituals “are placeholders” that “signify” reality. As noted above, the meaning and place of rituals is simple for Lutherans and Baptists, but difficult for Protestants as a whole. In the end, however, Triablogue rightly admits the efficacious place of rituals in Christian life and worship: A “placeholder” needed to “signify” the “reality” of becoming pure before God is the same thing as a ritual that is efficacious in becoming pure before God.

For all the distance one can allow between the Missale Romanum and Triablogue’s looser understanding of “ritual” one ends up with what is, strictly speaking, a “fetish” — a thing or action that has spiritual/magical power. As Triablogue rightly admits, anyone who has even a passing familiarity with the Bible knows that rituals are efficacious in becoming pure before God. The difference between Protestantism’s “good” kind of fetish and Catholicism’s “bad” kind of fetish is . . . well, what?

However much rhetorical fun it might be, I can’t think that Triablogue means all he implies when suggesting that Protestant fetishes are good because they are “inherently holy” while Catholic fetishes are bad because they’re only “ascriptively holy.” Certainly any Protestant I’ve met or heard of (except the misguided healers of legend) would “ascribe” the holiness of their fetish Bibles to God’s will and grace rather than think holiness comes from the “inherent” quality of pulp or ink. What Triablogue really means to say is that Protestant fetishes are good because they’re “really” holy, expressing a connection between God and man, while (Roman) Catholic fetishes are bad because they’re “fakes” that express nothing.

That’s one of the problems I have with Triablogue’s discussion of (Roman) Catholic “fetishism.” Its ends up working both side of an argument, effectively deriding (Roman) Catholicism as non-Christian for having “fetishes” while simultaneously admitting that “fetishes” are a valid part of (Protestant) Christian life. “[T]here is no depth to Catholic piety. In practice, externals are all they’ve got.” “In practice” is priceless. It’s priceless because it lets us know that once we’ve established that Protestants have no interior life, watching them labor away at their fetishes becomes a frightening and slightly-obscene business, just as watching (Roman) Catholics is for Triablogue. To paraphrase Triablogue, “No doubt many ministers, Anglican nuns, and churchgoers are sincere and self-less individuals. But for the average Protestant, that’s ultimately irrelevant. Image is all that matters. The iconic image of a missionary, minister, or ‘Bible believer.’ Not the reality – for better or worse. But the ideal notion of the believer as a disciple of Christ.”

One hears this sort of thing all the time from atheists and the barbarous culture of mockery atheism has enabled:

“I put out these milk and cookies as a sacrifice. If Thou wishest me to eat them, please give me a sign by doing absolutely nothing. MMMMmmmm…”
— Homer Simpson

Like Homer Simpson, Triablogue’s Catholics repeat meaningless and empty rituals to enable their own desires. There are two differences between Triablogue and Matt Groening: (1) Triablogue thinks the cartoon is true only for non-Protestants, and (2) Triablogue’s version of Catholics’ desires isn’t fit for prime time — even in this day and age.

Triablogue’s decree that Catholics have no interior life is almost stereotypical of Protestantism’s blithe acceptance of the simpler solution. As some Christians find it preferable to cry, “God Hates Fags” than negotiate a complicated relationship between human disability and grace, so Triablogue finds it preferable to suggest that no Catholic has ever been in touch with God than trouble himself with inter-confessional problems. Protestantism licenses this sort of behavior by maintaining three ideas that form an “iron triangle” of spiritual isolation. First, Protestantism teaches that through the Fall man became entirely evil, the willing servant of Satan in all things, un-utterably wicked in every thought and deed. Second, Protestantism teaches that the grace which redeems man from this evil is irresistible; when it is granted, no human being can choose to deny it or hinder its effect. Third, Protestantism teaches that Scripture inevitably leads the grace-filled to the right beliefs expressed in various credos the Westminster Catechism or Calvin’s Institutes.

Given these ideas it becomes impossible to recognize Catholics as Christians, as disciples redeemed by Christ’s blood witnessing to His Gospel. If Catholics were redeemed, they would have received irresistible grace compelling them through Scripture to assent to Protestant doctrines. So, for example, Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye can allow the “rapture” of a Pope in Tribulation Force only because the pope believed in a doctrine “that seemed to coincide more with the ‘heresy’ of Martin Luther than with the historic orthodoxy [Catholics] were used to.” So Luther wrote that Catholics’ belief in a false soteriology made their penances into a “carnal sacrifice of their bodies, unacceptable to God and most acceptable to the devil,” while Christians’ belief in a true soteriology allowed them to mortify their bodies in a way acceptable to God. Like Triablogue, Jenkins and LaHaye hedged by not specifying how close the pope’s beliefs actually were to Martin Luther’s. But the idea is clear nonetheless. In the Iron Triangle, orthodoxy isn’t a sign of salvation. Orthodoxy is the indispensable sign of salvation.

This is one reason why Protestants — with a few notable exceptions — are tight-lipped about each others’ Babylonian whoredom. Anglican nuns aren’t relevant to Triablogue’s depiction of sacramental, consecrated celibacy as something that makes women into empty, soul-less people. Infant baptism and the Real Presence aren’t relevant to Triablogue’s idea of perverse “just because” magyck. Triablogue’s unthinking ecumenism accepts that (Roman) Catholic fetishes don’t exclude one from godly communion so long as their practitioners pass the doctrinal litmus test of forensic justification, the orthodoxy that’s an indispensable sign of salvation. “Because Catholicism repudiates forensic justification as well as God’s appointed means of sanctification, Catholicism substitutes fetishism for real grace.” For “appointed means of sanctification” you can include Anglican nuns, the Lutherans’ Real Presence, Evangelical fasting, Episcopalian confessionals and infant baptism by reading, “anything done while proclaiming a belief in forensic justification.”

The point of all this is to caution against taking Triablogue’s derision of (Roman) Catholicism as what he suggests it is, namely something more significant than a “yay-rah” theological commitment combined with a malicious assumption. One can just as easily make a “yah-rah” theological commitment to the Council of Trent while assuming that Protestants don’t commune with God. One can even compound the farrago by misquoting Protestants the way some Protestants misuse Catholic sources:

Some argue, if justification is by faith alone, aren’t Christians free to sin as much they want? People need not concern themselves with how they live their lives; God has forgiven all their sins. It is probably the case that Luther simply invented the doctrine of justification by faith alone in order to justify his immoral life.[1]

So that’s what Triablogue believes — God has forgiven his sins, so he may whore all he likes! To follow Triablogue’s line of thought, Protestants can wax eloquent over the lifestyle of John Knox or St. Paul or Martin Luther while they themselves are free to live like Henry VIII, Horst Wessel, or Elmer Gantry and Sister Falconer, christening their infants at baptismal fonts (more popery!) decorated with Adolf Hitler[2] — all because they delegate ‘discipleship’ to ministers, televangelists and other stand-ins. We could even say that’s why Protestant ministers rape children — it’s because the ministers know their sins are already forgiven.

“Yet that has no practical impact on pious Protestants since, for them, forensic justification trumps individual morality.” I wonder what “practical impact” the abuse scandals are supposed to have on Catholics, so that Triablogue can say there is none. The only “practical impact” I can think of is that Catholics might stop believing in their heresies, give up their fetishes, and turn to the One True Gospel of the Reformed.

The Indian residential schools settlement has been approved by the Courts. . . . This notice describes the settlement benefits and how to get them . . . The settlement provides:

At least $1.9 billion for “common experience” payments for former students who lived at the schools;
A process to allow those who suffered sexual or serious physical abuses, or other abuses that caused serious psychological effects, to get between $5,000 and $275,000 each—or more money if they can also show a loss of income; and To benefit former students and families: $125 million to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation for healing programmes; $60 million for truth and reconciliation to document and preserve the experiences of survivors; and $20 million for national and community commemorative projects. . . . .

You have a right to know about a settlement of class action lawsuits and about your options. This notice explains the lawsuits, the settlement, and your legal rights. Multiple Courts in Canada, (the “Courts”) are overseeing all of the various lawsuits and class action lawsuits together known as In re Residential Schools Class Action Litigation. . . . .
The “Defendants” are the Government of Canada (“Government”) and various church-related entities including . . .[3]

Twenty-four Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist and Anglican churches and organizations whose clergy and employees were guilty of sexually, psychologically and physically abusing children.

I doubt many of those Protestant child-abusers were covert (Roman) Catholics, flagellating themselves to instructions from Vatican radio played through secret shortwave sets in the dark of night. So what “practical impact” has the Reformation’s sexual abuse of children had on pious Protestants like Triablogue? None, apparently — much like the Catholics (who are more closely affected by the Catholic organizations in the Canadian lawsuit), pious Protestants go on as they have before, believing in forensic justification and relying on fetishes. Giving up one’s faith because of scandals like Nazareth House makes sense if scandals like Nazareth House were the sum of one’s faith. It’s Triablogue’s point that they are, and that the only “practical effect” such horrors can have on (Roman) Catholics is to cause them to stop being (Roman) Catholics. It doesn’t cross Triablogue’s mind that the same logic ends up with him standing in an airport, wearing a dhoti, and chanting “Hare, hare, hare.”

It’s difficult for people like Christians, who are consumed with the belief that ideas matter, to believe that ideas don’t matter all the time in everything and in every way. It’s especially difficult for post-modern Christians, whose minds are bombarded daily by sophisticated and primitive dialectics about our beliefs being the hinge of history and the course of fate. (Try telling an American that, in terms of salvation history, the United States and modern Israel are every bit as significant as the Austro-Hungarian Empire and you’ll find out what I mean). For some reason, our deepest instinct is to think that ideas determine everything. People think that a Protestant marriage can’t be Cana as much as a (Roman) Catholic one. Or, like Triablogue, they think people who believes in transubstantiation, indulgences and papal infallibility are programmed to be sadomasochistic perverts or enablers of sadomasochistic perverts. Certainly that’s the way things look inside the Iron Triangle. The servants of Satan are by definition non-Protestants, bound to do all kinds of sin and evil, like reading instructions on how to molest children in the Raccolta or True Devotion to Mary.

Protestants who take this view usually end up in very strange positions. The parades of horribles these Protestants gleefully conduct to prove (Roman) Catholicism’s perversity and evil never pass by a Protestant door. Triablogue would, if he noticed this essay, probably deny that his own argument obliges him to become a Hare Krishna (or, hopefully, something that is more dashing, like a Sikh). Protestants who beat and rape children, exterminate native cultures, and run suicide cults just don’t matter in the Iron Triangle’s “sin proves heresy” paradigm. Surely such nominally-Protestant sinners were never truly, truuly reformed believers. If they had been truly, truuuly reformed, irresistible grace would have kept them from beating and raping children, exterminating native cultures, or running suicide cults. Adolf Eichmann was raised as a Protestant? So what. Reinhard Heydrich was raised as a Catholic? Ahhh – that explains it!

Of course, it may be that the Iron Triangle’s “sin proves heresy” test wouldn’t lead Triablogue to become a Sikh. It could be that the “sin proves heresy” test doesn’t condemn “Protestantism” — it only shows that (Roman) Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Evangelicals, Methodists and Baptists all drink from the foul pools of Babylonian corruption.

Now let’s review earlier history. The reality of the Crusades, where Christian soldiers killed without mercy the “enemy of God” who occupied the “Holy Land”, is a dark blot on the history of the church.

The Inquisitions, where Jews, wise women and other “heretics” were tortured and burned at the stake, went on for 600 years, with the blessings of the official church leaders who justified the Inquisition as being the will of God.

The Protestant Reformation and Counter-reformation wars, starting in the 16th century, were perpetrated by those in charge of church. All sides, Lutheran, Calvinist, Catholic and Anglican, believed that one could follow Jesus and simultaneously massacre members of the body of Christ who were not part of their particular fellowship.

The American Civil War resulted in the brutal deaths of over 600,000 Americans, virtually all-claiming Christianity as their faith. The North used the Bible as justification for total war, and the South justified the heartless and cruel institution of slavery in the same way. Both sides participated in carnage unequaled in American history.

Both World Wars I and II were started and fought by Christians against fellow Christians, with the pulpits on all sides ringing with flag-waving patriotism, shouting for blood, glory and victory in the name of their “god.”

The atomic bombing of Nagasaki annihilated the historical and spiritual center of Oriental Christianity. That bombing is still regarded as pointless overkill by all credible historians. Did you know that an all-Christian bomb crew carried out that bombing? And did you know that mission was solemnly blessed by its Catholic and Lutheran chaplains? So on August 9, 1945, an all Christian Army Air Corps crew obliterated a Christian Community of faith, that had taken hundreds of years to establish, in one second.

The on-going genocide of indigenous peoples ever since the time of Columbus are [sic] largely accomplished with the full knowledge, consent and participation of decent, “God-fearing” Christians.[4]

Did you notice the author’s use of “God” and “god”? Five-Sola Protestants like Triablogue talk about God, but really they only have “their ‘god.’” The true God, whose children aren’t drunk on the blood of martyrs, is worshiped by the Anabaptists — peaceful people whom Philip Melancthon and Martin Luther wanted to exterminate. Yes, that’s your reflection in the mirror, Triablogue. How do you like you now?

Welcome my friend, to the show that never ends. Abusing priests and their episcopal enablers prove that Catholicism is a perverse and degrading lie. The smoking ruins of Charleston’s Ursuline Convent and a hundred thousand Klansmen marching in Washington prove that sola scriptura is just an excuse for thuggery. What shall we do if an Anabaptist loses his temper? According to records copied by, that’s already happened.[5] Perhaps Triablogue and I can schedule time to smoke pot and invent a religion out of I Ching and random paragraphs by Emanuel Swedenborg. On second thought, maybe we could just smoke the pot. Why not? Applying the Iron Triangle’s “sin proves falsehood” test, every Christian faith with a plausible connection to Jesus is a lie because its adherents sin monstrously. The parade of horribles not only runs by all doors, it runs in and out of them, too. So what’s left but to eat, drink and be merry?

But as I said, Protestants never see themselves as being inside the Iron Triangle. The Mennonite author I just quoted gives an example when he holds up Ghandi as an exemplar of Mennonite purity:

It is helpful to recall that Gandhi, a religious Hindu, was also a follower of Jesus, and often said that the only people who don’t think Jesus was nonviolent were Christians. And herein lies a serious spiritual problem for the church. Historical documents clearly show that the Christian church of the first three centuries took Jesus’ teachings of unconditional love of friend and enemies seriously. In fact, the church of Jesus Christ started out as a peace church. So, if the church of the first 300 years was a peace church, and the latter church of the last 1700 years has been a Justified War church, one has to wonder: ‘What would the world be like now if Every Church Had Been A Peace Church?’[6]

Judging by the Mennonites’ example, it would look pretty much like it does now. (First off, I’m not sure that Christianity to the time of Constantine was Mennonite, and that’s just reading Reformed apologists talk about the Church Fathers). Anyway I haven’t read of Mennonites starving themselves near to death — like Ghandi — to stop the relocation of the Cherokee. Union and Confederate troops mowing down Mennonite women an children camped on the field at Gettysburg to stop the slaughter? Nope. How about 20,000 Mennonites lined up for beds in federal prison because they refused to pay the income taxes that buy nuclear weapons? As Triablogue might say, Mennonite indifference to — even complicity in — evil has had no practical effect on them, because they keep on being Anabaptists. No doubt this represents a sickening flaw in Anabaptist theology, but if it’s not indulgences or papal infallibility I’m not sure what Triablogue would identify.

Perhaps Triablogue might answer that Mennonites preach, from good motives, a horror of violence that is indistinguishable from cowardice and thereby unintentionally cultivate the same fault in themselves. So Catholics might pursue, from good motives, beliefs and practices that unintentionally cultivate child molesting. That still leaves Triablogue with Lutheran, Presbyterian and Evangelical pastors molesting children on a shocking scale while Lutherans, Presbyterians and Evangelicals all remain “practically” unaffected. The only way out of that canyon I can see is to claim there’s a difference between sins by people who are too weak to live up to their theology and sins by people who are actively encouraged by their theology. Catholics, like Mennonites, may have all the good motives in the world, but if they cultivate sinful attitudes they can only expect sin in return. I suspect that would be his reply, on the basis of this observation:

One of the tragic features of Catholic fetishism is that what it does to Catholic men and women with authentic, godly impulses. Some priests are genuine Christians. As such, they exhibit genuine sanctity. Yet they also flail themselves with a cat o’ nine tails in a futile and misguided effort to draw closer to Christ through self-harm. Nothing is sadder than to see good seed grow up twisted and crooked–because it’s been misdirected.

Catholics wax indignant over sadomasochistic comparisons while they remain blithely oblivious to the sadomasochistic spirituality which is codified in their own theological system.[7]

But when it comes to sadomasochism, Triablogue knows the drill:

Following recent revelations that his predecessor used to perform self-flagellation, Benedict XVI has issued an Apostolic Letter instituting the Order of Carmelite Dominatrices.
In place of the standard habit, the habit of Carmelite dominatrices consists of a leather catsuit and stiletto thigh-boots.
Benedict XVI also amended the Codex Iuris Canonici to include a new provision on holy spanking.
Carmelite dominatrices will be assigned to the pope, the college of cardinals, and visiting bishops to assist the princes of the church in their sanctification.[8]

Among the strange things here is the fact that the abuses Triablogue claims are produced by Catholicism don’t feature sadomasochistic tropes:

Many of those alleging physical, and to some extent sexual, abuse [at Nazareth House in Scotland] are now elderly people who say their entire lives have been affected by what they endured as children. Their accounts of life in the various homes have a common theme: of thrashings even for the most minor misdemeanour or failing, be it sneezing, wetting the bed, or forgetting the words of a hymn.[9]

Sadomasochism isn’t “to some extent sexual.” It’s nothing but sexual. Beating a child because she forgets the words of a hymn is dysfunctional and abusive, but it’s not sadomasochism. Molesting a child is an abominable sin, but it’s not sadomasochism. That’s why child molesting as practiced by Protestants and their ministers doesn’t involve “leather catsuits,” “stiletto thigh-boots,” or “holy spanking.” So what’s the connection between (Roman) Catholicism and sadomasochism?

It could be Triablogue’s confusion between “fetish” as a proper noun and “fetish” as sexual slang. Confusing the words allows one to maintain that sadomasochism has fetishes, Catholics have fetishes, and therefore Catholicism is sadomasochistic. I don’t think that’s what Triablogue is doing, however, because it requires knowing both meanings and misleading people into thinking there’s only one meaning. And Triablogue rightly admits that Protestants have fetishes in the proper definition of the word. So, since Protestants have fetishes, and Catholics have fetishes, using fetishes as the infallible sign of sadomasochism doesn’t work.

An equation of Catholicism and sadomasochism can occur another way, by noting that Catholicism allows painful behavior to have spiritually-uplifting results. Priests “flail[ing] themselves” with “cat[s] o’ nine tails in a futile and misguided effort to draw closer to Christ through self-harm” will serve for this argument. Abuse is painful to the victim. Therefore, one might wrongly conclude, Catholicism encourages devotees to believe that inflicting pain on children is spiritually-uplifting, or at least spiritually-benign — to use Luther’s words, a “carnal sacrifice . . . unacceptable to God and most acceptable to the devil.” As Triablogue contends, “There’s a reason that Luther broke with Rome. He’d been through all that himself.”

But Luther, a strenuous Catholic self-mortifier if ever there was one, hadn’t been through “all that himself” because he never molested a child. One might think that if Catholic self-mortification inevitably leads to child molesting someone as “kinky” as Martin Luther would have at least heard about it. He hadn’t, of course, because the only way to equate self-mortification and child abuse is the occurrence of pain. And that’s specious reasoning — one might as well equate marriage and prostitution because they involve sex and property.

Flailing a bit at the ambiguity of his proofs, Triablogue tries to support his argument by quoting Camille Paglia’s homoerotic fascination with the image of St. Sebastian. Triablogue might have done better by also noting that the majority of molestation victims are boys. He didn’t, but the line of his shaky argument is easy enough to follow. Homoeroticism, pain to abuse victims, pain as a priest’s spiritual experience — it’s all tied together, plain as the nose on your face — somehow.
But if Triablogue’s making the argument that theology produces sin, it’s problematic for him to quote someone who doesn’t live and believe the theology as an authority on what it means. Mythical papists like Sebastian aren’t the only source of homoerotic tropes. One can find them just as easily through sola scriptura, as has done:

Scripture speaks in glowing terms of Jonathan and David’s loving intimacy, exchanging clothing, embracing, weeping together, hugging and kissing each other.
Gays point out that the same Hebrew words used to describe Jonathan and David’s relationship also describe intimate opposite sex relationships.
Jonathan loved David and so they consistently make time alone together and when alone, affirm their love for each other. Each time they reaffirm their covenant, love for each other is the justification given in scripture. Jonathan goes against his father, his family, his opportunity to be Israel’s King, in favor of supporting David.

Popish appeals to un-Biblical, man-made tradition are likewise unnecessary:

Five Lines of Direct Evidence
1. The testimony of the Holy Spirit, Who moved the writers of scripture to record what they wrote. 2 Peter 1:21.
2. The testimony of David about his relationship with Jonathan.
3. The testimony of Saul about Jonathan and David’s relationship.
4. The testimony of Jonathan about his relationship with David.
5. The Hebrew words used by the Holy Spirit to describe Jonathan and David’s relationship.[10]

Scripture and nothing but Scripture, together with hard study and plain reason in a 390-page book. Yes, that’s your reflection in the mirror, Triablogue. How do you like you now?

If Catholics have to account for priests abusing boys and homoerotic images, Triablogue has to account for ministers abusing boys and God-breathed homoerotic Bibles: Why aren’t Protestant child-molesters trying to express the homoerotic meaning sola scriptura gives to the love that surpasses that of women? Maybe there’s another Camille Paglia quote that explains it all. Or maybe the “ascriptive” meanings Triablogue gives to Catholic orthodoxy aren’t reliable when they come from people who aren’t orthodox Catholics. As much as I enjoy reading Dr. Paglia’s columns in Slate, I think that’s the better answer. Protestants aren’t molesting boys because they read about David and Jonathan in the Bible, and Catholics aren’t molesting boys because St. Sebastian was martyred.

Triablogue’s argument can’t get to its conclusion without confusing the meanings of “fetish,” contradicting itself, using double standards, or disproving Christianity as a whole. The most that’s left is for Triablogue to say that his reasoning is faulty, but that his conclusions are valid because elements of Roman Catholicism can be used to create some sort of climate that is conducive to homoeroticism and the abuse of children. If that’s true, it’s also true that elements of Protestantism can be used to do the same thing.

There’s a priest who induced a teenage girl into having a sexual affair during which she used contraception to keep him from being caught. He told her that she could do that because he would absolve her “sins” in confession. The priest acted wrongly; the Codex Iuris Canonici forbids priests from absolving someone of a sin in which the priest himself participated. That’s a prime example of distorting Catholicism to enable abuse, not an example of how Roman Catholicism works “in practice.”

There’s a Protestant minister who molested his daughter, who later bore the pastor’s child. In a “telephone conversation taped by Ocala police . . . one of the daughters asked, ‘Daddy, do you think God will forgive us for having sex?’ The former pastor then told the girl, ‘Bring your Bible over on Saturday and we will talk about it.’” [11] I’ll bet all the money in my pocket, against all the money in Triablogue’s pocket, that the pastor’s daughter heard a “sola scriptura” lesson about Genesis 19:30-38 (King James Only). That’s a prime example of abusing Protestantism to enable sin, but it’s not proof that Protestants think they can do as they like because Jesus has already forgiven them for inventing a gospel to suit their own depraved lusts.

Sinners abuse the Bible for their own purposes, just like the Romans and pharisees abused Christ for their own ends. If that’s all the argument Triablogue can make, and it is, he shouldn’t be so proud to know all about St. Sebastian, thigh-high stiletto boots and leather cat suits.


[11], “A Florida Pastor”

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