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Wednesday 27 June 2012

Dr. Sanity Gives Us a Heads-Up on This Video

I do not think there is freedom of the press in America anymore, because of Marxist ideology...and neither does Bill Whittle on this video.

Reprint of Excellent Article on the Net-Gay Marriage and Ancient Rome

Several sites, including this original one and LifeSiteNews are sharing this interesting historical view of civil marriage for homosexuals. A "must-read". Link found here.

Gay Marriage—Nothing New Under the Sun

Gay marriage and homosexuality were part of the moral landscape faced by the first Christians in Ancient Rome.

By Benjamin Wiker

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 reprint
Given that the gay marriage agenda will be increasingly pressed upon Catholics by the state, we should be much more aware of what history has to teach us about gay marriage—given that we don’t want to be among those who, ignorant of history, blithely condemned themselves to repeat it.
Contrary to the popular view—both among proponents and opponents—gay marriage is not a new issue. It cannot be couched (by proponents) as a seamless advance on the civil rights movement, nor should it be understood (by opponents) as something that’s evil merely because it appears to them to be morally unprecedented.
Gay marriage was—surprise!—alive and well in Rome, celebrated even and especially by select emperors, a spin-off of the general cultural affirmation of Roman homosexuality. Gay marriage was, along with homosexuality, something the first Christians faced as part of the pagan moral darkness of their time.
What Christians are fighting against today, then, is not yet another sexual innovation peculiar to our “enlightened age,” but the return to pre-Christian, pagan sexual morality.
So, what was happening in ancient Rome? Homosexuality was just as widespread among the Romans as it was among the Greeks (a sign of which is that it was condoned even by the stolid Stoics). The Romans had adopted the pederasty of the Greeks (aimed, generally, at boys between the ages of 12 to 18). There was nothing shameful about such sexual relations among Romans, if the boy was not freeborn. Slaves, both male and female, were considered property, and that included sexual property.
But the Romans also extended homosexuality to adult men, even adult free men. And it is likely that this crossing of the line from child to adult, unfree to free—not homosexuality as such—was what affronted the more austere of the Roman moralists.
And so we hear from Tacitus (56-117 AD), the great Roman historian, of the shameful sexual exploits of a string of Roman emperors from Tiberius to Nero. Nero was the first imperial persecutor of the Christians. His tutor and then advisor was the great Stoic moralist Seneca himself. Unfortunately, Seneca’s lessons must have bounced right off the future emperor. When he took the imperial seat, complete with its aura of self-proclaimed divinity, no trace of Stoic austerity remained.
In Nero, Tacitus tells the reader, tyrannical passion, the hubris of proclaimed divinity, the corruption of power, and “every filthy depraved act, licit or illicit” seemed to reach an imperial peak. He not only had a passion for “free-born boys” but also for quite literally marrying other men and even a boy, sometimes playing the part of the woman in the union and sometimes the man.
As Tacitus relates one incident (Grant’s translation): “Nero was already corrupted by every lust, natural and unnatural. But he now refuted any surmises that no further degradation was possible for him. For…he went through a formal wedding ceremony with one of the perverted gang called Pythagoras. The emperor, in the presence of witnesses, put on the bridal veil. Dowry, marriage bed, wedding torches, all were there. Indeed everything was public which even in a natural union is veiled by night.”
Such was only one instance. We also have from historian Seutonius, a contemporary of Tacitus, a report of Nero’s marriage to Doryphorus (who was himself married to another man, Sporus).
Martial, the first-century A.D. Roman poet, reports incidences of male-male marriage as kinds of perversions, but not uncommon perversions, speaking in one epigram (I.24) of a man who “played the bride yesterday.” In another (12.42) he says mockingly, “Bearded Callistratus gave himself in marriage to…Afer, in the manner in which a virgin usually gives herself in marriage to a male. The torches shone in front, the bridal veils covered his face, and wedding toasts were not absent, either. A dowry was also named. Does that not seem enough yet for you, Rome? Are you waiting for him to give birth?”
In Juvenal’s Second Satire (117), we hear of one Gracchus, “arraying himself in the flounces and train and veil of a bride,” now a “new-made bride reclining on the bosom of her husband.” Such seems to have been the usual way of male-male nuptials among the Romans, one of the men actually dressing up as a woman and playing the part of a woman.
The notoriously debauched emperor Elagabalus (ruled 218-222) married and then divorced five women. But he considered his male chariot driver to be his “husband,” and he also married one Zoticus, an athlete. Elagabalus loved to dress up as a queen, quite literally.
Our reports of homosexual marriage from Rome give us, I hope, a clearer understanding of what is at stake. As is the case today, it appears that the incidence of male-male marriage followed upon the widespread acceptance of homosexuality; that is, the practice of homosexuality led to the notion that, somehow, homosexual unions should share in the same status as heterosexual unions.
We must also add that heterosexuality among the Romans was also in a sad state. Both concubinage and prostitution were completely acceptable; pornography and sexually explicit entertainment and speech were entirely normalized; the provision of sex by both male and female slaves was considered a duty by masters. Paeans to the glory of marriage were made, not because the Romans had some proto-Christian notion of the sanctity of marriage, but because Rome needed more citizen-soldiers just when the Romans were depopulating themselves by doing anything to avoid having children.
The heterosexual moral disrepair in Rome therefore formed the social basis for the Roman slide into homosexual marriage rites. We hear of them from critics bent on satirizing such unions. The problem for the Romans wasn’t homosexuality as such, but that a Roman man would debase himself and play the part of a woman in matrimony.
Christians had a problem with the whole Roman sexual scene. We are, of course, not surprised to find that the first Christians accepted and carried forward the strict rejection of homosexuality inherent in Judaism, but this was part of its more encompassing rejection of any sexuality outside of heterosexual, monogamous marriage. Christians are not to be lauded for affirming that marriage must be defined as a union of a man and a woman, because that is the natural default of any people intent on not disappearing in a single generation. What was peculiar to Christianity (again, not just following Judaism, but intensifying it) was the restriction of sexuality only to monogamous, heterosexual marriage.
The Christians found themselves in a pagan culture where there were few restrictions on sexuality at all, other than the imagination—a culture that, to note the obvious but exceedingly important, looks suspiciously like ours.
The first-century A.D. catechetical manual, the Didache, makes refreshingly clear what pagans will have to give up, in regard to Roman sexuality, once they entered the Church. It begins with the ominous words, “There are two ways: one of life and one of death—and there is a great difference between the two ways.” The pagan converts are then confronted with a list of commands. Some of which would have been quite familiar and reasonable to Romans, such as, “You will not murder” and, “You will not commit adultery” (although for Romans, abortion wasn’t murder, and a husband having sex with slaves or prostitutes was not considered adulterous).
But then followed strange commands (at least to the Romans), “You will not corrupt boys”; “You will not have illicit sex” (ou porneuseis); “You will not murder offspring by means of abortion [and] you will not kill one having been born.” Against the norm in Rome, Christians must reject pedophilia, fornication and homosexuality, abortion, and infanticide. The list also commands, “You will not make potions” (ou pharmakeuseis), a prohibition against widespread practices in the Roman Empire which included potions that stopped conception or caused abortion.
I include the prohibitions against sexual practices heartily affirmed by the Romans alongside prohibitions against contraception, abortion, and infanticide for a very important reason. Christians defined the goal of sexuality in terms of the natural ability to procreate. What was different, again, was not recognizing the obvious need for a man and a woman to make a child—Stoics argued along the same lines. What was peculiar to Christianity was removing all other expressions of sexuality from legitimacy (many Stoic men had male paramours). The Roman elevation of sexual pleasure above procreation, and hence outside this tightly-defined area of sexual legitimacy defined by Christianity, led to the desire for contraceptive potions, abortifacients, and infanticide.
It also led to seeing marriage as nothing but an arena for sexual pleasure, which in turn allowed for an equivalency of heterosexual and homosexual marriage.
The Theodosian Code, drawn up by Christian emperors in the fifth century, A.D. made same-sex marriage illegal (referring, as precedent, to edicts published under fourth-century emperors Constantius II and Constans).
We can see, then, that Christians face nothing new in regard to the push for gay marriage. In fact, it is something quite old, and represents a return to the pagan views of sexuality that dominated the Roman Empire into which Christianity was born.
[Editor's note: The years for the reign of Elagabalus were incorrect in the original posting; his reign ended in AD 222, not AD 212.)
From Catholic World Report | Copyright © 2012 Catholic World Report All Rights Reserved.

Blessed Are the Peacemakers....

A historic event happened in Enniskillen yesterday. The Queen visited inside a Catholic Church for the first time ever. Now, I remember the Remembrance Day bombing extremely well, as I was living in England at the time, and was as shocked as most people were at the violence. The day before yesterday, the Queen shook hands with the man many think was behind the bombing, former IRA commander Martin McGuinness. Feelings still are running high, but, as I have said many times on this blog, the Irish on both sides must, must forgive and let go of violence. 

The Archbishop Primate of the Catholic Church over both Ireland and Northern Ireland, Sean Brady,  met the Queen as well. Watch the video on the above site, and here, and also read the comments from readers. The hate is too obvious. When will this hate ever be set aside? One cannot go into heaven with hate on one's heart.

And for those who state I have no right to comment so much on this, let me remind the skeptic that four people in my family were sexually abused by a priest for years and years when they were little children. These children grew up and never left the Church, raised their children Catholic, are still Catholic, and forgave all involved, including the nuns who did not believe them. These four never sued anyone. Heroic virtue...

Some are called to heroic virtue. I suggest the Irish forgive, forget, move on into the light of Christ, Who died for all of our sins.

Great Britain is "not a socialist nation"...and education

I was discussing the demise of the educational excellence of the British school system over the past 40 years, and referring to the excellence of Finland, when one of the adults in the conversation said, "But of course, Finland is a socialist country and Britain is not." I tried not to laugh out loud and was polite, but how can any English person, in this case a mum with school-age grandchildren say such a stupid thing? Great Britain has been a welfare, socialist state for several generations, since the last world war, and Finland's excellence has less to do with socialism than strict controls and unique ideas of education, sorely lacking in Great Britain. There are efforts to go back to the O-Levels. I hope this happens. But more is needed.

Now, remember, education by the State is barely over 100 years old and the State system has failed, as has the Catholic system "owned" by the State.

The Wolf Report earlier this year on vocational education was a shock to many Brits, except for those of us involved in education, at least those of us who have been honest. What has been lacking in Great Britain is a vision for education which is not merely getting everyone through the system, but with a view to excellence, the dreaded word of the socialist.

Now, remember that Hollande ran on a non-elitist campaign against private education in France. The socialist agenda does not like excellence, or a thinking public.  Puppets and "good citizens" mean a mediocre system.

That the British dumbed down their system in my life-time has left a horrible situation of basically uneducated school leavers. Of course, the proverbial elephant in the room is the fact that there are so many students who leave school at 16 knowing no trade and with extremely poor math and language skills and that this is owing to socialist ideology. The same problem happened in the United States, of course, with the preoccupation with leaving no one behind, lowering standards to meet minority needs, and undermining excellence.

Not all people have the same talents and gifts, but all can learn. As an ex-Montessori teacher, I know that all children, if presented with the right environment, can grasp maths and grammar at very early ages.  The trouble is not innate ability, but the will to create the correct type of schools and to admit that diversity, instead of uniformity, is necessary in education. Hollande's dream of giving all the students in France the same education will only create a dumb society of people who have not learned to learn and have not been encouraged in their own talents.

I have been discussing these things since the 1970s. Why does it take so long for the public to realize that the education systems of Great Britain and America have failed, a long time ago? Just look at the statistics for the last ten years. This is not rocket science. This graph is from 2010.
PISA rankings within OECD