Today’s Version of the Cathar Heresy

There’s nothing new under the sun.

The Five Beasts

The Chateau de Montsegur, a Cathar stronghold The Chateau de Montsegur, a Cathar stronghold

Catharism was a dualist heresy that swept through Latin Christendom during the High Middle Ages; its growing popularity alarmed Church authorities. It was called by many names (the Catholic Encyclopedia lists twenty-two) but historians prefer to refer to them collectively as Cathars (“pure ones”, or “puritans”). They believed the physical world was the creation of the evil God of the Old Testament and the spiritual world was formed by the God of the New Testament. It was just the latest version of the recurrent dualist heresies like Gnosticism and Manichaeism, but also resembles elements in contemporary secular society in disturbing ways.

This heresy’s primary requirement was the repudiation of marriage and family. Since the evil physical body was only meant to entrap spirits, marriage and procreation were forbidden. Their spirit-liberating ritual known as consolamentum, similar to the Catholic Last Rites, would be denied to children and pregnant women. Their distain for the human body was so extreme…

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“You should just get over it” won’t work well for me

golden-calfJust thought I’d make this point very clear:

I’m not going to respond well to anything that smacks of, “You should just get over it.” Here is my response to that sentiment.

Me talking this way may be triggering things in you that you need to look at. At this point in the history of “sexual liberty,” there will be many, many people who have participated in some way, which means they’ve harmed somebody else. If they’ve harmed somebody else and haven’t made amends, they will feel guilt.

If I trigger some weird feeling in you, instead of pointing to me and where I’m wrong, look inside and track down what the feeling is. It is possible that you owe somebody an apology or you may need to repent of past actions. Nothing wrong with that, and I’ve had to do it myself. Believe me, it is a huge weight off my shoulders to have apologized and repented. At this point, when people tell me to “get over it,” I am pretty sure they are doing it as a way to avoid looking inside themselves to see why they feel bad about what I’m saying. They have not dealt with their own guilt, and what they are doing is called projection.

“Sexual liberation” is like a Golden Calf. It is as if people worship it as the highest form of liberty. But I’m not going to worship the Golden Calf and I’m going to convince others not to as well. Golden Calf “worshipers” who stumble onto my blog are going to feel uncomfortable, as they should. “Sexual liberty” is not real liberty. It is a fraud and needs to be exposed.

“Sexual liberation” is a fraud

Somebody left a thoughtful comment on a recent post. I wrote a comment but it got too long, so decided to make it into its own post.

Yes, I am probably dealing with survivor’s guilt. Part of the problem in my case was that the “kids are resilient” rhetoric, that has been promoted by professionals for decades, meant that I had literally zero assistance in getting through a number of extraordinarily difficult circumstances related to my family structure. To then learn later in life that I was almost aborted was sort of like a strange form of icing in the cake, it fit the rest of the story in a weird sort of way.

I now need to be free to grieve all of that, and do so in my own time and in my own way. “Kids are resilient” blocked my ability to grieve, not only because it stunted my own mental and emotional processes, but it meant and continues to mean that people around me are, generally, very unsupportive. At least until I explain things to them. At first, they don’t get it because all of the professionals told them that I should be OK. Well, the professionals were wrong. They were promoting an agenda that I believe actually harmed a lot of people.

This blog is an outlet for me to record my thoughts for my children. But I also hope to do something else: there are plenty of blogs and websites telling people that kids are OK after divorce, that abortion is OK, that remarriage is OK, that porn isn’t harmful, that pot is OK, etc. There needs to be a counter balance to that, a first person account of what it was like for a child to live under the “sexual liberation” ideology. That’s me, to a tee. My parents went along with the new “liberation” ideology, which meant that there is at least one child who had no sense of family because of it, one child who was constantly told who her family should be, then should not be, then should be, then should not be AND ON AND ON. This led to me being exposed to a lot of things that were confusing, painful and contradictory. I was supposed to be “resilient,” so I kept my mouth shut and coped as best I could, FEELING VERY ALONE. And not only feeling alone, but actually being alone in that place. Put another way: “sexual liberation” meant that I was the lone member of a “family,” which makes no sense if you haven’t lived it, but that’s how it was. I now see that “liberation” for the fraud that it is. I’m going to educate my kids about it, and I hope my efforts will help other people as well.

What is really mind blowing for people is that I was never sexually molested, and I know that my parents loved me in their own way. I was never hungry, always had clean clothes to wear, attended excellent schools, was well-liked by my teachers, got good grades for the most part, etc. They really didn’t think that I needed my own permanent family, and I blame:

  • the professionals
  • liberal religious leaders
  • politicians
  • the media

The people in power imagined that they could keep all of the benefits of the socially conservative family structure (a permanent triad of father, mother and children) while at the same time denigrating it, eroding it legally, and now officially throwing it away at the policy level.

“Intact family for me but not for thee,” that’s what I hear from the elites. Their hypocrisy disgusts me.

Trump the eugenicist?

I doubt Trump is a eugenicist. If it turns out that he is, you can count on me to advocate against him on that point.

But here is what interests me about this HuffPost video: the low-ish view count. It’s been out since the end of September and has not even 350K views. They’re using Trump’s own quotes to compare him to Hitler who definitely was a eugenicist. Given Trump’s visibility, the time frame, and the subject, 350K views is sluggish.

Why the low number of views? Maybe people aren’t responding to it because it’s just wrong and people see through it. But here’s something else that occurred to me. The foundation for eugenics is pretty well established already in our country and most of the west. Many, but not all, of the parts to a eugenic machine are in place. In the “already completed” column, we have sperm donation, egg donation, surrogacy, abortion, commercialized human reproduction, egg freezing for future use. In the “to do” column: sold harder to the general public, the legal side has to be strengthened, and avenues for enforcing contraceptive use and abortion have to be established. That last “to do” item will be tough to do for the foreseeable future, I think. I voted against Prop 60 since I will never vote to enforce any form of contraception for any reason. On the other hand, commercial surrogacy may create the impetus for forced abortions. The conceptual foundation has been laid and the social and legal apparatus is being built on top of it.

People typically understand the term “eugenics” as a state-enforced ideology, but that’s not what I’m talking about really. What we have so far is a consumer version of eugenics. I have zero doubt that in many individual cases of people relying on third-party reproduction, they design babies to their personal specifications: blonde hair, athletic, high IQ, etc. So in practice, consumer-based eugenics is here, and we’re pretty much OK with it because of our skewed idea of “freedom,” because money talks, and because we aren’t supposed to judge. But as I argued elsewhere, there is a link between freedom and fertility. Controlled, mechanized fertility is creating a net decrease of freedom, not a net increase.

What I’m trying to say is, perhaps the video didn’t go viral because most viewers intuited that they agreed with those quotes, even if it turns out they were taken out of context.

Social progress, as if it was a straight line, is a myth. Instead we go around in a circle, or maybe it’s a spiral. Either way, there’s nothing new under the sun.

The State’s (very active) role in family breakdown

I was thinking more about how abortion and no-fault divorce are similar. Here’s a chart I made that shows it more clearly. I included another category: anonymous gamete donation.

states-role-in-family-breakdown
How the State “frees” some at the expense of others

So you can see the pattern. In each case, the State is siding with one person (Party A) while simultaneously providing no legal defense for the other person (Party B). It is obviously unjust for the State to provide Party A with absolute control, and to deny Party B any legal means to stop the action.

Why is this happening? It’s because of how we view freedom. We believe that freedom includes being free from familial obligations. That is bad enough on its own and in fact, stating it that plainly makes it seem pathological. But what is even worse is that we believe that the State has an obligation to uphold that version of freedom, even though it is profoundly unjust for many people. In prior generations, I’m pretty sure this mindset would have been viewed as irresponsibility, not as freedom. Our forebears recognized the difference between liberty and license.

We are living in a time when an entire class of people (Party B) are summarily denied the opportunity for justice so that others can be “free” from their obligations (Party A). One way to view slavery is that the slave has no legal means to stop the slave-owner from doing certain things. That pattern is playing out today under the guise of sexual and reproductive “liberty.” This is more evidence those ideas are regressive. Some people get to be “free” while others, who are directly impacted by that “freedom,” are denied justice as a matter of course.

Now it should be obvious how active the State is in breaking down the family. So much family breakdown happens because of how the State has positioned itself. If the State provided a way for Party B to defend against the action, and denied Party A unilateral capacity to commit the action, so much family breakdown just wouldn’t happen.

See also:

Physical sex is public information, not private information

To my eldest daughter,

I saw that you posted this video on your Facebook wall. I almost left this comment there, but decided against it for a couple different reasons. So many things are wrong with what she’s saying here that I had a hard time knowing where to begin. I’ll begin with the idea that occurred to me first.

1) It is an example of gnostic thinking. This video is pure gnosticism, which, among other things, is a denial of the importance of the human body. See, for example, what she said at the 1:10 mark about “… living meat skeleton…” The entire video is attempting to negate the importance of our interlocking parts.

2) It’s an example of Screwtape’s advice.  Remember what I said about Letter 1 of the Screwtape letters, and how important it is? Let’s quickly review how Screwtape contrasted truth and falsity with other characteristics:

He doesn’t think of doctrines as primarily “true” or “false,” but as “academic” or “practical,” “outworn” or “contemporary,” “conventional” or “ruthless.” Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping him from the Church. Don’t waste time trying to make him think that materialism is true! Make him think it is strong or stark or courageous—that it is the philosophy of the future. That’s the sort of thing he cares about.

Look at the video again, at about the :46 mark. She mentioned the word “outdated.” That immediately reminded me of the above quote. I was reminded of it again at the end, when she told people to be themselves in their gender expression, which was an admonishment to be courageous. So do you see? There are no direct truth claims being made in her video. She must ignore mountains of science telling us that sex differences are real, and that they matter, in order to make her argument.

3) Physical sex is public information, not private information. At about the :50 mark she claims that physical sex is private to every individual. In my opinion, this is the most explosive claim in the entire video. Let’s unpack that thought to see how damaging it is.

It is no secret that women are not as strong as men and that men commit more crime than women do. I was recently in New Orleans, alone, wandering through the French Quarter. My risk for being accosted was much higher from the males around me than the females. Instantly knowing which sex somebody is provides me with important information and helps me make decisions. Here’s another example: a couple years ago I was jogging along the street by my apartment. I saw young man on a dirt bike behind me, riding slowly towards me. He eventually caught up to me and started making small talk. I was immediately suspicious of him. We got to a corner where a traffic light stopped us. It turned green and I let him cross while I waited. At the same time, I pulled out my phone to call a friend. Perhaps confirming my suspicions, when he got to the other side he got off his bike and started fiddling with it. The light turned green and I crossed over, walked passed him, and kept talking to my friend. I turned around a couple times, and he got on his bike and rode back in the other direction. Now, imagine if I was unable to determine his physical sex. This would have made me more vulnerable than I already was, since I may have lowered my guard if I thought he might be a woman.

If everybody’s physical sex is no longer public information, this puts women at risk since they’ll have less instant information about their risks while they are in public places.

Don’t misunderstand me: I am not saying that all men are criminals. I’m just stating the statistical facts regarding them. Given how much I’ve railed about our cultural rejection of the category of “father” (see here and here for two examples), I hope I’ve made it clear just how important men are.

4) Did you notice the straw man fallacy?  At about the 1:00 mark, she states that when somebody asks about the sex of somebody else, they are asking “What genitals do you have?” She has misrepresented the intention of what the person is asking, then she ridicules that intention. That is a classic straw man fallacy. She’s reduced the question into an inaccurate form in order to dispute its (inaccurate) premise; she’s disputing that sex differences matter by making people look ridiculous who seek information about them, not by actually arguing from science that sex differences don’t exist or are irrelevant for women walking alone. Notice too the expression on her face after she poses the question. In fact, the way her left eyebrow is cocked throughout the video is a subtle form of shaming. I don’t need to examine somebody’s genitals to know what sex they are.

Thank you for posting the video and for your commentary on it. You said essentially what Dr. Morse has said: “A good and decent society should obliterate all differences between men and women except for those that are deliberately chosen by individuals…. Society’s job is to endorse the individual’s self understanding and enforce it throughout the rest of society.” That’s a quote from her talk in Salt Lake City last year.

I love you very much and am very proud of you. xxxooo

 

Understanding the “blended family” dynamic with diagrams

About four years ago I stumbled across a book called, Blah Blah Blah: What To Do When Words Don’t Work, by Dan Roam. It sounded good so I bought one for my Kindle. This is the book that gave me confidence to start drawing what I saw in order to share it with others. So if you’re ever having trouble making your point, about anything at all, check out the book. It will give you ideas for how to make it in a new way.

I just wanted to give the book a shout out, since it has helped me.

Here is a diagram I just drew that sheds light on the post from the yesterday.

blended-family-eight-parents

The blue circle represents the “blended family” from yesterday. As you can see, there might be quite a few other people who are exerting pressure and influence on that family. And this is just one configuration–others are possible.

Let’s locate our author from yesterday. She’s inside the red circle:

blended-family-eight-parents-author-from-yesterday

Now we can see that her dad and her mom are divorced, and her dad is married to her step mom. Let’s locate her step sisters. They are across from her in the green circle:

blended-family-eight-parents-step-sisters

From their perspective, we can see that their mom is divorced from their dad, and she is married to their step dad.

Let me make it clear that regarding the post from yesterday, I have no information other than what she shared. I don’t know what went on there. I don’t know if the non-resident parents in her life remarried. I’m just using it as an opportunity to show how diagrams can shed light on these situations.

Look at all that chaos. Even if we were to redraw it so that the non-resident parents never remarry, that’s a lot of chaos. Their remarriages only add to it, and not just for them but for the new step siblings.

She described her step-sisters in a pretty negative light. I imagined myself as her step-sister, and I could relate to the way she described all of them. I resented that others were spending more time with my dad than I was; that he was doing fun and interesting things with them that he wasn’t doing with me because I wasn’t there full time; that I felt like an outsider in my dad’s home, and on and on and on. I can’t help but wonder if there were other things going on in her step-sisters lives that made them act that way.

I also think that all of us, kids and adults, are blinded by “kids are resilient” and “they just get over it,” two false ideas that are completely accepted as true. As long as people are being guided by those false ideas, they’re going to assume things about kids in those arrangements that may not be true, or may be only a partial truth.

Let’s consider something else: this diagram shows how a divorced parent on the far left side can exert an influence across the entire diagram, even to step siblings on the far right side. Let’s say, for example, that the mom on the far left is an alcoholic. This influences her children, who in turn influence their dad and their step siblings, who in turn influence those parents and step siblings, and so on. The effect reminds me of how longitudinal waves travel. This explains why kids feel stretched between their parents, but also like a buffer between them. I may have to draw a new diagram to show this effect. I drew it the way I did to show how triads get fractured in order to accommodate adult sexual liberty.

Divorce and remarriage are a mess for the kids. Divorce is bad enough, but remarriages are truly chaotic for kids. I’ve previously described it as torture and I hope this post sheds more light on that characterization.

Liberals vs. conservatives and “the oppressed”

Liberals are fond of talking about “the oppressed.” Conservatives are concerned about “the oppressed” too, we just define them differently. I almost posted this as a comment on somebody else’s blog but decided against it:

I think that one of the main differences between liberals and conservatives in the Church is how they define terms such as “the oppressed” and those “on the margins.” My definition of those terms includes any and all human life conceived and/or born by those who do not hold to the historical Christian understanding of sexual/reproductive ethics (ie, sex inside marriage only, and marriage as between one man and one woman). If any particular conception happens outside the historical Christian parameters, then that human life stands a greater chance of being oppressed through abortion or a fractured family structure. Their suffering certainly happens on the margins. Not only is that suffering invisible to the wider culture, the state is an active participant in the cause of that suffering.

Don’t let liberals get away with claiming the moral high ground on sexual/reproductive issues, especially if they are Catholic. For one thing, adults have options; the unborn and children do not. For another thing, our Catholic forebearers were correct in their defense of Catholic sexual/reproductive ethics. The fruit of losing those ethics is evidence of this fact. Finally, we are all Trinitarians, and God wrote the Trinity into our family structure. Liberal Catholics should not be allowed to discount this. As just one example, their embrace of same-sex marriage is tantamount to iconoclasm.

The sexual/reproductive “liberty” is regressive. Here are a few ways it is taking us backwards:

  • It justifies buying and selling human life
  • It justifies killing innocent human life
  • It justifies family structures that have been repudiated due to their oppressive nature to women and children (and the Christian concept of marriage was not unjust for women and children; quite the opposite in fact)

See also:

Note to Fergie: sex makes us feel connected and that’s OK

Just a quick comment on Big Girls Don’t Cry, by Fergie. I have always liked the melody, and Fergie’s voice is so pretty, very sweet and endearing. I wish I could sing like her.

According to Wikipedia, the song is “about moving on from the pain of divorce.” This surprised me because her left hand is not wearing a wedding ring, and neither is her lover’s. There is no wedding or marriage imagery in either the lyrics or video. Another site indicated that it was about “the end of a relationship,” which was my impression and is more consistent with the contents of the lyrics and video.

The main thing I want to point out is how misleading the lyrics are. She’s pathologizing herself for feeling connected to her partner after sex… except this is what sex is supposed to do. We’re supposed to feel connected to our sex partners! She’s trying to get herself to not cry, but that’s not reasonable. By thinking these thoughts, she’s going against her own body. She thinks that something is wrong with her for feeling connected to a man she obviously cares for a great deal. It’s not wrong that she feels connected, since that’s what sex does. Her feeling connected to him is a sign that something has gone right with the sex act, not that something has gone wrong. The only thing that’s wrong is that she’s not married to this man. She’s put the cart before the horse then wondered why things seem backwards.

It’s good to feel connected after sex. That’s normal. Protect yourself, protect your heart, by only having sex with somebody you are married to. Don’t fall for the lie claiming that sex makes you independent. Sex does not make you independent. Sex connects us to people in more ways than one. That is its purpose. It’s the glue that puts families together.

Finally, there are a number of things I could comment on regarding the video, but I’ll just say one: there’s a bass on the set but it’s not being played in the video. That kinda bugs me. The bass drives the song forward in an unmistakable way. Somebody should be playing it in the video! 🙂

If abortion is OK, why contracept?

My daughter, her husband, and I attended a prolife walk-a-thon last weekend. While we were walking, my daughter said:

“If abortion is OK, why do we have contraception?”

Smart girl. She is putting the pieces together. I’m so proud of her.

It’s a great question. If anybody reading this is pro-choice, would you mind sharing here why you contracept? I won’t argue with you. I am genuinely curious as to your thought process.