Around the Blogosphere 4-21-05

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Interesting ways people have found me since Monday:

why is a group rape bad?
If you don't know that, I'm not sure anything on this site will help you.

gene robinson's first name
Believe it or not, his first name is Vicki. Now people searching for it with this search might find it more easily.

i believe bush doesn't do God's will
Wow! He thinks he's human, too! What a coincidence! At least he's trying to do what he thinks is God's will, i.e. what he thinks is right. That's not true of many civic leaders, who do only what they think people want them to do so they can get reelected.

differences between christians and protestants
That must be like the differences between Muslims and Shi'ites, the differences between politicians and Democrats, and the differences between human beings and those who search the web for differences between Christians and Protestants. [I'm sad to say that I've gotten three separate searches for this so far since Monday, plus differences in christianity and catholicism once.]

Christian Carnival LXVI is up at Pseudo-Polymath. I still haven't had the time to work through last week's, but I do hope to look through both in the next week to do a roundup for each. It's been a pretty heavy grading week, and that got me behind on class prep, which I'm now caught up on for a few hours, during which I can do more grading.

Jollyblogger writes about the misuse of 'arrogant' to describe someone who firmly holds to beliefs or who simply disagrees with the speaker, diverting attention from the real issues. Great line:

I have been called "arrogant" a time or two in my life and you can imagine how that hurts the pride of a humble guy like myself.

Joe Missionary gives some interesting quotes from Ratzinger than show a much more balanced personage than the media (including many bloggers) are reporting. He recognizes truth in the Muslim critique of the west. He acknowledges some purpose God has for his chosen physical people the Jews (but see Baldilocks for what at least one media outlet is saying instead). He says gay people suffer and want to find their own way of correct living and need Christians' respect, even though he says he doesn't think gay marriage will in the end be good for them (yet he's called anti-gay by those who think they should be surprised that the highest level of authority in the Roman Catholic Church might be filled by someone who agrees with Catholic doctrine, all the whole passing off their rhetorically loaded mouth-foam as news).

Also worth looking at for background on Benedict XVI is this post at Carpe Bonum. One item stood out for me. Benedict XVI is more liberal than John Paul II on the issue of priestly celibacy. John Paul II believed it should be retained as a dogma of the faith. Benedict XVI believes it shouldn't be a dogma of the faith. That doesn't mean he'll propose removing it as a practice, but his view really is more liberal than his predecessor's.

While following some of these links around, I also found his statement on homosexuality, which he frames primarily in pastoral terms. Except for quite a number of Catholic ways of saying things, which no one besides Catholics could affirm in the form he puts them, his position is in large measure the same one I've defended on this blog. The careful way he puts some of his claims is a good sign that he isn't going to be returning the mouth foam back in kind with the sorts of statements evangelicals often make on the issue. He insists that homosexuality itself is not something to be morally evaluated as good or bad as if it's behavior, but it is a disorder that's a result of the fall. What's to be morally evaluated is behavior, and homosexual behavior is contrary to the purposes of God. He assumes that there will be homosexual Christians, and he calls them to be chaste, just as he calls all heterosexuals to be chaste. He assumes there might be associations within the RCC among gay members, though he insists that they should state clearly in such associations that homosexual activity is immoral. He makes it quite clear that isolation is not a legitimate option for dealing with someone who is gay. Someone who is homosexual is a human being and has multiple levels of need, all of them requiring important pastoral care. Reducing someone to a sexual orientation is inconsistent with recognizing that someone is made in God's image.

3 Comments

Thanks for the link.

On priestly celibacy, I'm not sure JP II ever said it was Church dogma. But he clearly had no use for the idea of relaxing it. Benedict's statement may indicate a softer stance.

Only time will tell for sure.

Hey thanks for the link! (Is this like reciprocal trackbacking?) :)

"rhetorically loaded mouth-foam"

Good one! I'm going to have to use that line.

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