Bishop Egan’s letter to David Cameron

As a follow-up to Gertrude’s recent post on +Philip Egan’s statement about “Gay marriage”, here is part of a two-page letter the intrepid Bishop has written to David Cameron:

15th December 2012

Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP

Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party

10 Downing Street

Dear Mr Cameron

From Rt. Rev. Philip A. Egan, Bishop of Portsmouth

I am writing to you to send you best wishes from the priests and people of the Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth, and the promise of our prayers for you, as you carry the heavy responsibility of leading our great nation. However, I am also writing to ask you, indeed to urge you, to change course on your intention to introduce same-sex marriage.

You have said you are an enthusiastic supporter of marriage and that you do not want “gay people to be excluded from a great institution.” Yet I wish respectfully to point out that behind what you say lurks a basic philosophical misconception about the nature of ‘equality.’ Equality can never be an absolute value, only a derivative and relative value. After all, a man cannot be a mother nor a woman a father, and so men and women can never be absolutely equal, only relatively equal, since they are biologically different. So too with marriage. Marriage, ever since the dawn of human history, is a union for life and love between a man and a woman. It is a complementary relationship between two people of the opposite sex, the man and the woman not being the same, but different. They are not, in other words, absolutely equal but relatively equal. This is why gay couples, two men or two women, are not being ‘excluded’ from marriage; they simply cannot enter marriage.

For the full text go to Deacon Augustine’s blog, Quo Vadis, Petre?
This entry was posted in Catholic Culture, Catholic Moral Teaching and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to Bishop Egan’s letter to David Cameron

  1. toad says:

    “..behind what you say lurks a basic philosophical misconception about the nature of ‘equality.’ Equality can never be an absolute value, only a derivative and relative value.”says the Bishop.

    In other words, equality can only be, at best, relatively equal.

    Toad agrees totally with that, as do we all.
    Well, don’t we?

    Now Bishop, give us an example of an “absolute value” that we can all agree on.
    Because Anglicans, Jews and Muslims (whom the Bishop approvingly co-opts) may well have other “absolute values” that do not correspond to those of Catholics.
    So we end up saying, “We agree with you about this ‘absolute value’ but we don’t agree about that one.”
    Which leaves “absolute values” where?
    Nowhere, that’s where. Diffidently suggests Toad.

    And, Kathleen, keep an eye on the dictionary. Because when the law is changed, they’ll simply have to change the definition of “marriage,” won’t they?
    Won’t be the first time a definition has changed, either.


  2. toad says:

    Toad, on re-reading what he’s written above, thinks he’s been too clear.
    So … marriage is absolutely only permissable between a man and a woman, and divorce is relativley permissable for Protestants, Jews and Muslims, but absolutely not for Catholics, and poligamy is relatively permissable for Muslims, and absolutely not for Jews, Protestants and Catholics.
    Although, it seems gay marriage might also be relatively possible for some Jews and Protestants.(e.g.Quakers, Reform Jews)

    There. That should help confuse us nicely.


  3. johnhenrycn says:

    This (“Bishop Egan’s Letter to David Cameron”) is, from Toad’s perspective, a conundrum. As he [Toad] says, he is confused. Okay, let’s spell it out for Toad. A man can marry a woman. End of.


  4. Jerry says:

    Toad isn’t confused johnhenrycn, but he is rather polite. He simply pointed out the fatal (and glaring) flaw in the Bishop’s reasoning. But he’s a gentle Toad.


  5. Brother Burrito says:

    The passing of bad laws brings the law into disrepute. Reasonable people will become frustrated and angry while trying to live under a misshapen yoke.

    Disrespect for the law eventually leads to civil disobedience, and the terminal breakdown of society.

    Exciting times ahead, I foresee.


  6. toad says:

    “A man can marry a woman. End of.”

    Come on, JH. That’s not “end of,” that’s “beginning of.”
    “End of,” is a man can marry a man. Or not.

    Toad don’t care.
    He’s not at all interested in either the morality or the legality.
    He likes the philology and the philosophy.

    Far too much talk of Toad, and not enough of God on this blog.
    (Largely Toad’s fault, probably.)


  7. kathleen says:

    What an excellent and erudite letter from Bishop Egan….. even though Toad, with a little help from Jerry, tries (unsuccessfully IMO) to belittle it!
    To anyone looking in I recommend the reading of the whole letter, from the link to Deacon Augustine’s blog, to get the full impact of its profound reasoning.

    I concur entirely with his opinion when he adds:
    Bishop Egan has hit the philosophical nail on the head in his “speaking the truth to power.” False conceptions of equality lie at the heart of the government’s misbegotten plans to redefine marriage – as well as false conceptions of marriage!

    As with all falsehood, its ultimate originator is the Father of Lies himself who has it in his heart to destroy all that is good, true and beautiful. As St. Paul reminds us, it is a spiritual war that we wage against the dominions, thrones and powers, and David Cameron has proven himself to be nothing but their latest tool or “useful idiot”.”

    Come on Mr. Cameron, WAKE UP for goodness sake and have the guts to admit you were mistaken, before it is too late to curb the tide of utter anarchy ahead of us!


  8. toad says:

    Well, Kathleen, Toad will believe in the “tide of utter anarchy” when it sweeps over his little green head and changes life in his rural Castillian idyll for the worse..

    (Love “The Tide Of Utter Anarchy, “ though! Thinking of re-naming my blog that!)

    Imagine being able to cause “utter anarchy,” – just by marrying (Oh, all right, “impossibly marrying” ) your boyfriend. Irresistable, surely?

    “There’s glory for you!” As Humpty would say. (Does, in fact.)!


  9. johnkonnor72 says:

    ….Perhaps Orwell was correct when he wrote….ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL
    BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS…since equality is nothing more than the potentiation of justice or to put it better ….equality rests on the notion of affording some being its proper due in relation to its merit…we see that since the trinity exists we know that equality is absolute namely in the divine nature….yet in the accidents of created things we see abscence of merit…imperfections and so we need use our reason and our wisdom received from revelation to make informed judgements based not on our own but with God’slaw in mind since the divine nature is the only absolutely just and fair…..economically effecient notion of good that can exist….


  10. johnhenrycn says:

    Forgive me, JK72, but what can you possibly mean by saying that “equality is absolute…in the divine nature”? If you mean simply that God is Three in One and that all Three are equal, okay, but apart from that, God does not tell us that “equality” is a virtue for which we must strive. Indeed, He tells us that inequality is His default position.

    “So the last will be first, and the first last” Matt. 20:16

    Will you and I sit at the right and left side of Jesus in His heavenly kingdom (Mk 10:35-45) or will God give those treasured places to the likes of Toad and Jerry? Who knows for sure, but what we do know for sure is that Heaven is hierarchical, which is one reason why it is so splendiferous, imo.


  11. johnhenrycn says:

    What is the point of a million dollars if everyone has a million dollars? What is the point of money if everyone has and will always have the same amount of it? We all lose when equality becomes our goal. Basic economics.


  12. johnhenrycn says:

    If homosexuals are really proud of their alternative lifestyle, they should invent a new institution (I can’t imagine what that might be, nor can they!) rather than aping ours. What they’re saying, basically, is that: even though they don’t qualify, they must be admitted to the Club, and they intend to force everyone, via legislation, to admit them to the Club, because their own “Club” is such a tawdry affair, they can’t even conceive or confess a special name for it.


  13. johnkonnor72 says:

    …What i was saying is equality in potentiality can apply to created things only…qualitative equallity does not apply to created things since each individual thing and or being has its own purpose according to vocation and or proper mode of being …in created beings our goal is to search for complimentarity so that we can work towards unity(heaven) by making up in one what another lacks…so by this measure equality in all instances only absolutely exists perfectly in the divine nature…when we realize our true potential then we will be equal since then we will all be cooperating correctly with God’s’intended design…not in quality but in potentiality or unity of cause..since by nature things differ due to natural selection…however in the ground of the soul we are equal since we are created in God’s’image…and have the potential through grace to be one with God in heaven…to be one means equal….


  14. johnhenrycn says:

    …I say all of this as the loving brother of a married lesbian, who has a handsome, intelligent in vitro son, and who (sister) is in a committed and permanent (or not) relationship. I will always, to the best of my ability, look after them – not that they need my help, and not that they aren’t as loved by God as me – but it discomforts me that I am, by force of family loyalty and blood, drawn into a “situation” (the best name I can think of for it) that offends my beliefs. I was even a speaker at her wedding celebration – and was honoured to be asked to be one, because love is the greatest of all virtues – and all of the many lesbians there said that I gave a magnificent speech. They especially laughed when I told them I had special dispensation from the Pope to address them.


  15. johnhenrycn says:

    So sorry, JK72. I suspect that you are extremely intelligent. If you could only learn how to write, we might be great blog companions. Why is it that I think of you, like Wittgenstein, as my inferior?


  16. toad says:

    Do you think Wittgenstein your inferior, JH? Blimey.


  17. toad says:

    “….Perhaps Orwell was correct when he wrote….ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL

    No, JK. Those are the exact opposite of Orwell’s thoughts.
    He puts the phrase, if I remember rightly, into the mouth of Napoleon the pig, loosely based on Stalin and the “villain” of the book.


  18. johnhenrycn says:

    Wittgenstein my inferior? All I can say is that I’ve never struck a child into unconsciousness.

    And also, even you can read my comments and understand them. Do you understand Wittgenstein? I think not.


  19. Frere Rabit says:

    Good luck with your new adversary, Toad. At least you never wrote an article for the Tablet that he will use against you to prove you are no Catholic! For me, the days of commenting on these blogs are over. People are so often here just for a fight, not for any other purpose. It is a load of codswallop (as Wittenstein was often heard to say.)


  20. johnkonnor72 says:

    …all animals being equal in potentiality…yet some are more equal in regards complimentarity…such that in the vocation of marriage some animals (human beings) work in a more complimentary intimate way to realize their calling through grace…i understand the author intends to hint at the hypocrisy inherent in socialism…but i am just trying to extend the meaning and apply it to christian values…. just having fun


  21. johnhenrycn says:

    Frere Rabit: I did not use your Tablet piece to prove that you’re no Catholic. Who am I to say such a crummy thing? I never did. Never would. No, I used it to question your reliability, as an advocate of tradition. People can change their minds, and shouldn’t be called up for doing so; but because your switch was so massive and quick, my skepticism was warranted. It still is.

    That said, I wish you would/could return to blogdom as a serious one-identity commenter.


  22. johnkonnor72 says:

    …sorry you feel that way brother rabbit 😦 … where you see contention and doubt…i see an opportunity to put on the armour of Christ so to speak …heed the call to sally forth and dispell the darkness with whatever flecks of light i may be able to reflect from the divine source…maybe i am just a naive imprudent idealist trying to vanquish windmills…make your soul as a still pool so that the divine rays may reflect themselves the more resplendent….as God himself explained (if we are to believe Mary agreda in the mystical city of God)..”"Take notice also, my spouse, that very often I permit and cause differences of opinions among the doc
    tors and teachers. Thus some of them maintain what is
    true and others, according to their natural disposition,
    defend what is doubtful. Others still again are per
    mitted to say even what is not true, though not in open
    contradiction to the veiled truths of faith, which all
    must hold. Some also teach, what is possible according
    to their supposition. By this varied light, truth is traced,
    and the mysteries of faith become more manifest. Doubt
    serves as a stimulus to the understanding for the investi
    gation of truth.”…….


  23. Frere Rabit says:

    “I wish you would/could return to blogdom”

    I have nothing to contribute here. My ideas are worthless. My religion is no comfort to me. My co-religionists despise me. My priest doesn’t even believe in confession. At least the donkeys remain constant. Good luck. And you won’t win against Toad.


  24. johnhenrycn says:

    So many false statements.
    “Nothing to contribute”
    “My ideas are worthless”
    “My religion is no comfort”
    “Co-religionists despise me”
    Look, Frere Rabit, just speak with one voice about what you truly believe. Do that, and I, for one, will be content and will profit. You’re an intelligent man and, more importantly, able to communicate your ideas. The fact that you had a “Come to Jesus” epiphany (if you ever did, because I still don’t know) and switched from being a cafeteria Catholic to being an orthodox one isn’t a problem, and I would never laugh at you for having done so since, after all, I was a Proddy for most of my life.


  25. johnkonnor72 says:

    …well because our life as christians needs to be a constant way of the cross..since Jesus said if anyone be my disciple he must pick up his cross and follow me…it is not necessarily about winning…but since Jesus said “I Am The Way”…then Jesus becomes the journey as well as the reward…so by journeying by the “way” we are constantly being born… as Dylan said he not busy being born is busy dying….we become witnesses to the eternal birth which takes place within us…through our journey we are awakened……”I have three treasures. Guard and keep them:
    The first is deep love,
    The second is frugality,
    And the third is not to dare to be ahead of the world.
    Because of deep love, one is courageous.
    Because of frugality, one is generous.
    Because of not daring to be ahead of the world, one becomes the leader of the world.
    Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu”……..


  26. toad says:

    What is all this about JH being Toad’s “enemy”?
    Toad has no enemies.

    As to “…I’m all right Jack,” you have a valid point JH, but,in the face of a world so insane, as Pascal more or less put it, “…that to be sane is simply another form of insanity,” well, what can you do?
    And…I think to understand Wittgenstein thoroughly, you’d have to be as intelligent as he was.
    So, no, I don’t. I do regard him as an exceptional human being, as well as a philosopher.

    But, as you say, he once did a shameful thing.
    Toad has done one or two in his time, as well.
    A good few of us have..


  27. toad says:

    Just when we were all thinking it couldn’t get any funnier – it does!

    Toad has no adversaries.
    He’s far too insignificant for that.


  28. johnkonnor72 says:

    ….Well, Kathleen, Toad will believe in the “tide of utter anarchy” when it sweeps over his little green head and changes life in his rural Castillian idyll for the worse…. calls to mind the yeats poem the second coming…turning and turning in the widening gyre the falcon cannot hear the falconer….the blood dimmed tide is loosed …the ceremony of innocence becomes lost…quite a cogent poem for all times …innocence not being naive insouciance…but innocence as it applies to lack of imputed guilt associated with sin …when ontological truth becomes my guide then i can live a more unencumbered life…unburdened by the doubt of entangled reason….since my actions and my thoughts aspire to conform more closely with those of God who is the one who gives them being… i give them volition via freedom of mind..purposive striving…yet God gives them eternal repose since by univocity the metamorphosis occurs…


  29. toad says:

    Toad is no theologian as we all know, JK, – but surely describing The Second Coming as “A Tide of Utter Anarchy,” smacks suspiciously of heresy?

    Sometimes it crosses Toad’s mind (no, it doesn’t take long, JH) that JK is – how shall I put it – gently “quizzing” us all.
    …And is really Richard Dawkins.


  30. johnkonnor72 says:

    …Haha…from hegel to wittgenstein to heretic to dawkins…indeed what a curious little wonderland have i chanced across…the mystical sense of the poem as it applies to the second coming…the falconer would be God…or his eternal law…we being the falcon (his creation)…the gyre is the whirlwind the eddies of the loose congeners of opposing inordinate desires…the blood dimmed tide being God’s’justice.. Since his mercy is an ocean or a limitless unfathomable sea…an abyss …the double abyss being mercy and its opposite justice..when the sea is stirred by the justice of God the tide is blood dimmed since it is tinged with the blood of sin…when we sin we crucify Jesus anew..also the blood of martyrs will be upon us since we refuse God’s’mercy….anyway the ceremony of innocence is the mass on earth which will not help us since the day of God’s’justice has arrived…its all mystical exegesis….but thanks for all the compliments none the less…as john of the cross says…the devil sometimes is wont to falsely twist the intentions of the righteous with A view to detraction of character… 🙂


  31. johnkonnor72 says:

    …Meant to say the tide is dimmed with the blood of Christ…this is symbolic of the scarlet hue of sin…as God said even though your sins be as scarlet i will wash them in the sea of mercy and make your countenance white as snow…. 🙂


  32. johnkonnor72 says:

    …Its curious no doubt…where toad sees anarchy…one might see order…well to paraphrase old forest gump….handsome is as handsome does…or more correctly….the inner man is the still hinge whereas the outer man is the swinging door… 🙂


  33. Jadis says:


    It is very hard to have to put up with thoughtlessly stupid remarks when grieving. Offer them up as a share in Christ’s Passion, and remember that we are still praying.


  34. johnkonnor72 says:

    …Undercover quiz master?…cyber inquisitor?…its possible i could be one of those inquisitor bots that the vatican might od been thinking of unleashing … to meander the web in search of conjurers blasphemers heretics …as a sort of joint coalition harbinger to the second coming…


  35. srdc says:

    The issue in the UK, is that the majority stands opposed to gay marriage. This is from Spiked Online, the atheist magazine.

    “As one gay writer has observed, gay-marriage advocates are obsessed with protecting homosexuals and their allegedly fragile rights from ‘the tyranny of the majority’, and have thus come to believe that ‘the courts are the place to go for the redress of grievances’ (1). A Tory-supporting columnist for the Telegraph counselled PM David Cameron to ignore ‘majoritarian opinion’ – which apparently doesn’t appreciate how important gay marriage is – and press ahead with his equal-marriage plans on the basis that ‘a government enacts civilising measures because they are the right thing to do, not because they are mentioned frequently in focus groups’. Here, as across the pro-gay marriage spectrum, a distinction is made between the ‘civilised’ elites who know the historic import of gay marriage and the public, with its tyrannical passions, who do not.”


  36. toad says:

    If indeed the majority in the U.K. is opposed to gay marriage (which I doubt, as I suspect most of them, like me, don’t give a monkey’s rump either way) then gay marriage ought not to go on the books.
    And I must confess I am surprised at “Devil’s Spawn Dave” Cameron’s blinkered insistence on pursuing this utterly trivial issue to the death.
    Fix the economy, Prime Minister, and leave the gays until after that! No hurry!

    Srdc: Why on earth should “Spiked” be considered any more an “Atheist” magazine than, say, “Vogue,” or “The Spectator,” or “Car Mechanics”?


  37. srdc says:


    Spiked claims to be.


  38. toad says:

    I read the entry called, “What is Spiked?” which is their definition of themselves, and the word “Atheist” was never mentioned.
    Can only Atheists work there? No Agnostics? No Christians? Is this their policy?
    Why aren’t you in bed?


  39. toad says:

    Here read it yourself:
    “spiked is an independent online phenomenon dedicated to raising the horizons of humanity by waging a culture war of words against misanthropy, priggishness, prejudice, luddism, illiberalism and irrationalism in all their ancient and modern forms. spiked is endorsed by free-thinkers such as John Stuart Mill and Karl Marx, and hated by the narrow-minded such as Torquemada and Stalin. Or it would be, if they were lucky enough to be around to read it.”

    ..and only half the people mentioned here were atheists, by the way.


  40. srdc says:


    The correct definition would be humanist, since that’s what they identify with. I don’t know if Christians work there, but there are some who identify as atheist Catholics or Christians.

    Why aren’t you in bed?

    I can’t sleep. It’s the cold.


  41. toad says:

    We will setttle for Humanist, then. Toad’s ambition is to be human. Alas….

    Do not despise a hot water bottle.
    Other remedies that spring to mind might not be suitable.


  42. toad says:

    …Though, you could throw another heretic on the fire. That would be all right.


  43. toad says:

    Surely there ought to be simply a public, non-party, referendum on this?
    Let’s say there are about 25 million potential UK voters.

    Toad suspects maybe 2 millions will be bothered to go and vote in favour, 2 millions will be bothered to go and vote against, and 21 millions will be content to stay home and watch reality TV. And yawn.


  44. kathleen says:

    “Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
    Hover through the fog and filthy air
    (Macbeth, Act 1)

    This is what advocates of same-sex ‘marriage’ are trying to do to the beautiful tradition of marriage and the family – the life-long union of one man and one woman, and the children born to them.


  45. kathleen says:

    Dear Frere Rabit, it sounds to me as though you are going through a ‘dark night of the soul’.
    Don’t give in to those thoughts you mention above. You certainly do have much “to contribute” that is of value; it is just lost in darkness at present. Your Faith may not seem to be a “comfort” to you at this moment, but hang on in there, and it will be – wait and see. Be strong.
    You are in my prayers.

    P.S. I don’t think anyone commenting on CP&S these days is here for a “fight”. Healthy debate, yes, and that can only be achieved if there are diverse opinions. It’s great to have John Henry here again, Jerry and Srdc too….. and JKonnor (although I agree that some comments of his – not all – are rather hard to understand ;-)). Thanks to all our commenters: they are so edifying, and help make the articles come to life!


  46. srdc says:


    Even in the U.S. not all states vote the same way. This is why the fight is being taken to the Supreme Court, because they do not want people voting on this issue. Talk about this being imposed country by country.


  47. afmm says:

    Frere Rabbit is correct is saying that some of the people who often comment here
    are just looking for a fight. Rather a change from the early days of CP@S and
    not a happy one.
    I do not care for Toad’s ‘cutesy’ comments but it looks like others do and show him
    a kindness that I cannot.
    Also Toad posts v. v. frequently — perhaps nothing else to do in his Spanish refuge. Oops it looks
    like I am looking for a fight. NOT.
    PS Thank CP&S foor the Silent Night background, which was always known to me
    but am very glad to have it retold again.
    @smrc I think that one of the problems the Supreme Court will address will be that
    of individual state’s rights to decide the matter.

    In Christ



  48. srdc says:

    Individual states can already decide the issue. One of the reasons why the SSM proponents, think if they get a federal law changing everything, they won’t have to worry about states that will not vote in their direction. The irony is the courts don’t seem to be buying the arguments.

    “Two recent decisions by federal district court judges in the Ninth Circuit—one in Hawaii by Judge Alan Kay on August 8, the other in Nevada by Judge Robert Jones on November 26—have rejected this gambit, rightly holding that laws restricting marriage to one man and one woman need only be shown to have an ordinary rational basis, that this is easily shown, and that they involve no invidious discrimination.

    The first approach claimed that a law telling people they cannot marry another of the same sex is a form of “gender discrimination” meriting intermediate scrutiny. No, said the judges in these cases: Men and women are treated equally by such laws, and the discrimination turns not on gender but (at most) on sexual orientation.

    The second approach was to claim that homosexuality is an immutable and defining characteristic, such that gays and lesbians have a history of being discriminated against, sufficient to raise their stature as a suspect class in the eyes of judges. Again, not so, said the judges in Hawaii and Nevada. Under governing Ninth Circuit precedent, never yet contradicted by the Supreme Court, homosexuality has been regarded as a behavioral characteristic, not an immutable one like race. And whatever discrimination gays and lesbians have suffered diminishes day by day, obviating the need for special judicial attention to their claims.

    And this overlaps with the third and final approach, in which same-sex marriage advocates claim that gays and lesbians are politically powerless, unable to make headway in the normal channels of democratic decision-making at the polls and in legislatures, thus needing the aid of the judiciary. As Judge Jones noted in the Nevada case, this claim is refuted by recent history.

    The president of the United States opposes the Defense of Marriage Act and favors same-sex marriage. Legislatures in some states have established same-sex marriage, and in other states, civil unions. Moreover, Jones noted, the people of four states went to the polls in November to decide this question—and we know what the result was.

    Perhaps it is something of a paradox that as their political clout grows stronger, the constitutional claims of same-sex marriage advocates become weaker.”


  49. toad says:

    “In recent same-sex marriage cases, those who seek to overturn traditional marriage laws..”

    This, in Srdc‘s link. Yey again, Toad points out the futility and triviality of all this gay marriage bickering, which he sometimes thinks was dreamed up just to give people something harmless to whine about to keep them quiet on gun laws, the Middle East, or the economic crisis.

    Yes, Afmm, people like him with nothing else to do.
    However the point here, as we can surely all agree – no matter where we stand on this “issue” – is that even the looniest lesbian, or the goofiest gay, would not claim to seek to be “overturning” marriage laws.
    If that was the case, why would they be so keen to join this very unexclusive club, whose rules they wish to extend a bit?

    And it’s this kind of nonsensical, head-in-the-sand, attitude that does the anti-gay-marriage camp a disservice. Or so he cutely thinks. Although he absolutely agrees there is a fearful lot of tripe being talked on both sides.

    In short; once more..“What earthly difference will it make to heterosexual marriage?”


  50. toad says:

    Meanwhile, a cute little Christmas story, to demonstarate that Santa is not a fruit, and that everyone who has been good will get a prezzie..


  51. srdc says:

    It will make a difference to religious freedom and conscience rights. Teachers, parents, students, almost anybody who disagrees is already in trouble.

    As my pagan friend said, he opposes Christian hegemony , but will not be okay with it being replaced with something else.


  52. toad says:

    The question is, do we need a “hegemony” at all?
    Or is it something that evolves, and can possibly be manipulated?
    Very interesting point, Srdc

    Then…“It will make a difference to religious freedom and conscience rights..”

    I’m assuming the “it” in question is “gay marriage.” If so, you seem to see “religious freedom” as the freedom to stop others doing something that they consider to be right, and good.
    Is that so?
    And is it sensible to expect Gays, or indeed Catholics, or anyone, to take into account the “conscience rights” of others?
    What’s to be done about the “conscience rights” of, say, a fanatical Muslim?

    In fact, the more I come to think about it more, what exactly are “conscience rights” anyway?


  53. srdc says:

    Conscience rights are the freedom to follow one’s conscience on ethical issues, peacefully, without being subject to intimidation, name calling and legal action by progressives who think you are a bigot, because you share a different view.

    Muslim fanatics in this way are like millitant progressives.


  54. toad says:

    ..And, naturally, no Catholic would dream of calling a “militant progressive” a name.
    But then, “militant progressive,” is a name really, isn’t it?
    Not a nasty one though.
    Bit of a compliment, some might think.


  55. toad says:

    “…the freedom to follow one’s conscience on ethical issues, peacefully, without being subject to intimidation, name calling and legal action…”
    Seems to Toad that the above is exactly what the proponents of “gay marriage” might say they are asking for.
    Whether they’re right or not, is another matter.


  56. srdc says:

    I am asking for the freedom to disagree with them. Not be called a hater, because I do not find their arguments convincing.

    I do not think millitant anything is a compliment.


  57. toad says:

    Have you never heard of “The Church Militant?”
    Fie, Srdc!

    You seem very militant in your opinions to me.
    And that is meant as a compliment.


  58. srdc says:


    I prefer church triumphant to church millitant. Yes, I have been told, I am very passionate.


  59. srdc says:

    What earthly difference will it make to heterosexual marriage?”

    The French Rabbi and the Pope have this one figured out. Gender theorist’s replace sex with gender, making gender anything a person “thinks” they identify with. To make this possible, one has to erase fundamental differences between men and women. Anybody who disagrees with them is heterosexist etc. This leads to increasing attacks on people who actually identify as men and women.


  60. toad says:

    “Gender theorists replace sex with gender, making gender anything a person “thinks” they identify with..”
    For God’s sake, Srdc, what’s a “gender theorist?” Is it a job description? Can catholics apply?
    If you are referring to what the Pope quoted Simone de Beauvoir as believing, don’t bother. Toad agrees. He has been a bit of an existentialist, since he was a toadpole, but he certainly doesn’t believe he can essentially become a woman just by wanting to, any more than he can become a genius.
    What Benedict was doing was a “Chesterton” gambit, putting up a straw man, or in ths case straw woman, then saying , “Look, Mrs. Sartre’s made of straw!” Doesn’t mean everybody else is, does it?
    And, after all that: What possible difference has it made, can it make, will it make, to Toad’s, boringly normal, heterosexual marriage?
    Still no coherent answer.
    (And I suspect, without researching, what Simone was saying was, “Just because you are born a woman, you don’t have to take on all the old preconceived notions of, say, “femininity and
    motherliness, ” if you don’t want to. You can choose.”
    Which is true. But I don’t know.)


  61. johnhenrycn says:

    “Gender Theory” is a very popular academic “discipline”, Mr. Amphibian. Get with the program, for Heaven’s sake. Gender theory is, in case you haven’t noticed, a very focused (if nonsensical) political strategy, one of several, being used to overthrow Christianity (as if !).. Don’t be so daft as to deny that Christianity is the enemy of many.


  62. toad says:

    “Don’t be so daft as to deny that Christianity is the enemy of many.”

    Well, JH, (who should have gone home to bed with his wife by now,), Don’t you be so daft as to think that Toad would be so daft as to deny that Christianity is the enemy of many. (Not including himself, of course.)
    It appears we both suspect “gender theory” is, well, balls, anyway.


  63. toad says:

    Well, they’re all at it these days: channelling GKC, (aka Fat Boy Gil) First the Pope and De Beauvoir, now JH and Toad.
    How you do it, is to make a ludricous statement, i.e. “Don’t be so daft as to deny that Christianity is the enemy of many.” which, in this case Toad has not said, or anything remotely like it, thereby implicitly chastising him for having an opinion which he clearly does not possess.
    Like saying, “Don’t go around telling people Catholics have two heads, because it’s a lie!” So it is. Ususally.

    (Badly and hastily written this, sorry – but dawn in breaking and the dogs are geeting antsy.)


  64. johnhenrycn says:

    “Badly and hastily written…”

    Can’t argue with that. Stick to one dog at a time, why don’t you?. My last one was a sweet Rotti – Amos – but he died in ’98, and I still can’t bear to bury his ashes. They’re next to the ashes of my cousin, Randy, on my downstairs fireplace mantlepiece. Let’s not go there.


  65. toad says:

    Buy an olive tree, plant Amos under it, and get another dog. Two, preferably.


  66. srdc says:

    The issue is this, If one is going to enact laws, that change the fabric of civilization, they better have objective evidence that is not based on what goes on in their head. I am sorry, but that’s just the way things are.

    Phenomenology is truth as viewed from one’s experience. This is fine when shaping group identity, but is not good when extracting facts. It does not matter if zero or 6.7 billion people think the moon is made up of green cheese. It remains a belief unless supported by independent data.

    In this case, researchers think it exists, but have nothing close to a concrete set. So whatever fights are not with me, but with those who have found no such biological reality, and hence this remains an unfounded claim.


  67. toad says:

    “It does not matter if zero or 6.7 billion people think the moon is made up of green cheese. It remains a belief unless supported by independent data.”

    And billions of people might also think, wholeheartedly agreeing with Srdc, that it does not matter if millions of Catholics believe that wine will turn to blood at the utterance of a few words, or that the Mother of God “ascended” bodily to Heaven, or that some remarks that the Pope makes are “infallible,” …that these and many other issues, remain, “beliefs unsupported by independent data.”

    And yet, we must surely assume Srdc believes them, anyway.
    So, where do we draw the line?


  68. srdc says:

    None of these things are being enshrined into law.


  69. toad says:

    When Toad finds he’s bound by “enshrined law” (whatever that is – laws can change and often do) to believe the moon is made of green cheese, he will promptly eat his other hat.
    But, seriously, many things have been, if you like to put it that way, “enshrined” in law, that male homosexuality was a crime, that blasphemy was, that allowing women to vote was, that slavery wasn’t, that children working down coal mines wasn’t, etc.
    What was enshrined can be unenshrined.
    Got to move forward with the times.

    Still, if it’s any comfort, Uganda is moving backards. So there’s still faint hope for the planet.


  70. srdc says:

    These are invalid comparisons, since homosexuality is not a new discovery. It could also been seen as moving backwards to ancient greece and rome.

    As Chesterton said, “I am tired of arguing with people who prefer Thursday, to Wednesday, because it’s Thursday.”


  71. toad says:

    For once, Toad agrees with The Fat Boy.
    Merry “Xmas” to one and all.


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