From Croatia, With Love

About Brother Burrito

A sinner who hopes in God's Mercy, and who cannot stop smiling since realizing that Christ IS the Way , the Truth and the Life. Alleluia!
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52 Responses to From Croatia, With Love

  1. Tom Fisher says:

    Excellent video, deserves to get a wide viewership.

  2. toadspittle says:

    …Here we go again. (yawn.)
    “…marriage and family are best places to get and raise children.”
    Says one of the nice young people on here.
    Of course they are. Who’s disputing that? Is the Irish referendum about abolishing marriage and family, then?
    Are Irish gays demanding that this happen?
    It’s excellent that the Irish are having a referendum on same sex marriage. If the “No’s,” win, the jackbooted, pro-gay contingent should shut up, and get on with it.
    …Same as the anti-gay lobby should do, if they lose.
    Will either of them gracefully take that course? No.
    Does Toad care one way or the other? No.
    Why not have a referendum calling for every child to have a mother and father for the first 16 years of their life. By law. It’s every child’s right!
    Let’s have a referendum on whether divorce, separation, and death of one spouse, should be made illegal. (Don’t talk such nonsense, Toad.)

  3. kathleen says:

    Three cheers for Croatia! How we hope and pray the coming referendum in Ireland will also bring a surprise result – the current ominous predictions are that the supporters of state-sanctioned perversion will be the winners!
    The ‘Yes’ voters in Ireland are becoming increasingly belligerent and dictatorial we hear. And many of those (like the Irish Catholic clergy) who should be giving a clear example of why same-sex ‘marriage’ is an abomination, are veiling their words with ambiguities and pandering in order to not be branded as homophobic.

    Have you seen this?
    http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/from-ireland-to-indiana-the-spread-of-gay-marriage-groupthink/16852#.VVWuRxyU084

  4. Tom Fisher says:

    And many of those (like the Irish Catholic clergy) who should be giving a clear example of why same-sex ‘marriage’ is an abomination, are veiling their words with ambiguities and pandering in order to not be branded as homophobic.

    I hope for the same result you do Kathleen — but we have to be honest about what has happened in Ireland.

    The fledgling Irish Republic ensured that the Catholic Church was at the very centre of public life.

    At the time of independence the Church enjoyed an incredible amount of respect, love, and credibility.

    And now that love, respect, and credibility is gone. It’s hard to deny that the Irish Church hierarchy squandered the opportunity to forge an authentically Catholic state.

    There’s no need to mention how they squandered the chance they had, we all know. But is the Irish Church not partly responsible for the current apostasy?

  5. toadspittle says:

    “The ‘Yes’ voters in Ireland are becoming increasingly belligerent and dictatorial we hear.”
    Shocking.
    But nobody can force anyone else to vote “Yes,” when they really want to vote “No,” can they?
    Not in a democracy.
    So what’s to worry about?

  6. kathleen says:

    Yes Tom, I do indeed know what you are referring to, and am pretty sure everyone else does to. It is an undeniable fact that this scandal has had appalling and tragic consequences for the beliefs of very many faithful Catholics in Ireland and a tremendously negative impact. It is the only explanation of how this once very strong Catholic nation could switch so rapidly to the Ireland we see today.

    This uncovering of the betrayal of trust (and disgusting behaviour) of a very small minority of the Irish clergy have tarred the rest of holy Irish priests with the same brush of suspicion ever since. Many, unable to bear the brunt of being associated with these hypocrites and ‘judases’ have become ineffectual shepherds, even indulging the ‘gays’ with niceties… anything in fact, rather than come out boldly on Catholic teaching on the evils and sinfulness of sodomy and sexual perversities, and thus be lambasted with insults from the Irish public.

    That is the state of a large part of the Church in Ireland these days; it is very very sad.

  7. Tom Fisher says:

    I totally agree with everything in your last comment Kathleen. It’s not irretrievable, but it’s not a good time

  8. Tom Fisher says:

    But nobody can force anyone else to vote “Yes,” when they really want to vote “No,” can they?
    Not in a democracy.
    So what’s to worry about?

    Toad, I agree that democracy is the least terrible system we have thought of. But there is no necessary connection between democratic choice and truth. A democracy could vote that left-handed people shouldn’t own property. — The fact that a decision is “democratic” tells us nothing about its moral worth. — By way of concrete example; it’s unclear that the emancipation proclamation would have survived a free vote among Northern electors.

  9. kathleen says:

    OK Toad, here are just a few examples of the many articles Irish friends have been sending me on the coming referendum, revealing the strong upper hand the ‘Yes’ voters are displaying in the face of any timid defense of marriage from the ‘No’ voters…

    First though, examples of soppy pleasantries from our leaders:
    “Civil partnership does not go far enough in fully recognising the love of gay and lesbian people, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has said.”
    http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/archbishop-says-civil-partnership-not-enough-329800.html

    An ineffectual letter from the bishop of Kildare recently published (sorry can’t find the link to it right now) on how the ‘No’ vote could hurt gays’ feelings!! Yuck.

    And this one, from the notorious Fr. Tony Flannery, is even worse – a real wolf in sheep’s clothing.
    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/gods-love-is-not-diminished-by-ones-sexual-orientation-31191224.html

    Then we also have the way the ‘No’ voters are being harassed, spat at and jostled, with incidents like the public tearing down of their posters in the streets taking place, all with no action being taken by the Garda or passers-by to intervene to help them.
    I got sent this link from the Irish Times today: “It is clear No side does not have resources, volunteers or visibility of Yes campaign.”
    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/same-sex-marriage-no-canvassing-is-more-muted-affair-1.2213024

    If our priests and bishops will not stand up for Christian marriage as designed by God, how do you think Irish Catholics must feel? Surely they are indeed “sheep without a shepherd”! Their stand for real marriage in the face of such pathetic pandering to the ‘gays’ by the ACP is simply heroic.

  10. Tom Fisher says:

    I saw this in one of your links Kathleen:

    In several referendums on different constitutional matters in the past two decades, No campaigns, with paltry funding and a small network, have pulled off spectacular coups and near-coups.

    So that is hopeful (can’t say how likely it is)

    But — I think that in terms of the “big picture” (a daft phrase) it’s well past time to think about how Catholic marriage will interact with state marriage when eventually the two have nothing in common. Back in 2010 Joyful Papist suggested that Catholic priests should cease to automatically be registered as secular wedding celebrants. — As time goes by I increasingly see her point

  11. kathleen says:

    Oh my goodness, look at this link my Irish friend Brian Ó Caithnia has sent me:

    “For the second time now, the “Tolerance and Equality” gang have threatened to murder me for expressing my thoughts on life and the family on Facebook. This time, a shallow grave awaits me in the Wicklow Mountains! (see attached)
    I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate how INSANE this referendum is. The Referendum Commission has confirmed that two straight heterosexual men, who are simply friends in a non-sexual relationship, will now also be able to get “married” if this referendum passes:
    http://ionainstitute.ie/index.php?id=3936
    Marriage will legally now have absolutely nothing to do with love, sex, and children. Please vote against INSANITY.
    Vote No.”

    Later on, in response to one of the commenters on this article, Brian gives to ‘Shane’ (who asked why he should care how other people live their lives) this excellent reply:
    “Shane, I previously gave a rather long post explaining why I oppose this referendum. What people do in their private lives is none of my business, but marriage is a public institution legislated for by the state that affects everyone, most importantly the most vulnerable. Sadly, as much as I would love to be indifferent and not give a damn what happens to society, I feel compelled to speak out when I see evident wrongs being legislated for. For example, the evident demand for surrogacy where “two men” shall have a state-enabled right to order sperm and eggs from catalogs, rent a womb, and then bring a child into this world that will be legally prohibited from knowing its mother until the age of 18. People complain about the indifference of people regarding various things that happened in the past, yet they are blind that in twenty years time they too will be looked upon as the blind and selfish generation.”

    https://www.facebook.com/brian.caithnia?fref=ts

  12. GC says:

    It’s because gay marriage is not really about expanding freedom at all. Rather, it represents the emergence of a new, post-traditonalist morality, an attempt by at-sea elites across the West to redefine themselves and their moral missions through the gay issue. Gay marriage has become the favoured means through which our rulers, feeling ever-more detached from their old moral worldview, are institutionalising a new, pseudo-progressive, seemingly consensual morality, based, not around the old ideals of family, commitment and privacy, but around the new po-mo values of relativism (all relationships are the same), non-judgementalism (who are we to say that a mum and dad are better than two mums?), and illiberal liberalism, the central political outlook of our times, which under the guise of building a new liberal consensus seeks to censure and punish anyone who deviates from that consensus. The reason the elites, from the political classes to the influential opinion-forming set, are so instinctually hostile to criticism of gay marriage is because they have invested their very moral rehabilitation, their future political and moral legitimacy, into this issue more than in any other. And thus no ridicule of it can be tolerated. For if you knock gay marriage you are not only knocking gay marriage – you are upsetting Western elites’ efforts to establish a new morality that simplistically distinguishes between Us (good, kind, liberal backers of gay marriage) and Them (the old, the religious, the outdated, the Other)

    (Form the article linked by kathleen above at 09:15 a.m. from Spiked-Online)

    Well, that hasn’t been half obvious all along, has it.

    .

  13. Tom Fisher says:

    For if you knock gay marriage you are not only knocking gay marriage – you are upsetting Western elites’ efforts to establish a new morality that simplistically distinguishes between Us (good, kind, liberal backers of gay marriage) and Them (the old, the religious, the outdated, the Other)

    Like any half truth, it’s true as far as it goes.

    Without denying anything GC has linked to or said: I would urge all Catholic readers to remember that in many African countries homosexuality puts you in very real danger of death.

    The argument that acceptance of homosexuality reflects an imposed western tolerance is a serious one, — but in Uganda and other countries it’s often cashed out in blood.

    In the African context, I think that is worth raising

  14. toadspittle says:

    Gay marriage has become the favoured means through which our rulers, feeling ever-more detached from their old moral worldview, are institutionalising a new, pseudo-progressive, seemingly consensual morality, based, not around the old ideals of family, commitment and privacy, but around the new po-mo values of relativism (all relationships are the same), non-judgementalism (who are we to say that a mum and dad are better than two mums?), and illiberal liberalism, the central political outlook of our times, which under the guise of building a new liberal consensus seeks to censure and punish anyone who deviates from that consensus. ”

    Well, all that “pseudo-progressive,” paranoid, tripe may possibly be true of “our rulers,” but I’m far more inclined to think the reason is a very great deal less arcane and sinister than that.
    Our “rulers” back “gay marriage” for the stupidly simple reason that they believe it will bring them in more electoral support than opposing it will.
    That it is, in fact,
    a popular, vote-getting measure, in fact. They may well thing “gay marriage” is even less important than Toad does. (if possible.)
    (Toad’s probably wrong, of course, and they may turn out to be, as well.)

    “…a new liberal consensus seeks to censure and punish anyone who deviates from that consensus. “
    No it doesn’t. It doesn’t necessarily seek “to censure and punish” anyone.
    The “new liberal consensus” (whatever that is) just wants to have things done the way it’s convinced things ought be done.
    Just the same as Hindus, Mormons, Catholics, Quivering Brethren, or Muslims, do.
    And why shouldn’t they? Who has a monopoly on the only way things should be done?
    (No need to bother answering that.)

  15. Tom Fisher says:

    Christ-alive Paddy, the grammar and syntax are passable. But your piece is rather top heavy with quotations (we’re not paying you by the italicised word).

    Who has a monopoly on the only way things should be done?

    General Motors. As you well know.

  16. toadspittle says:

    Not GM these days, Tom – Honda, Mercedes and BMW.

    I see what you mean, re “italic quotes,” though. I forgot (as usual) to put a stopper gadget after “consensus” in line 9 – indolent blockhead* that I am.

    Relieved the grammar and syntax passed inspection, more or less.

    Nor am I being paid for any word on here.
    *“No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”
    …Said the Doc. Dead right.

  17. GC says:

    Mr Fisher: In the African context, I think that is worth raising

    Generally speaking, Mr Fisher, I’m sure you would agree that it’s best focusing on one thing at a time, unless you have some worthwhile ulterior purpose in spreading yourself?

    But you do remind us of the punishing reduction in American aid to certain African countries that earned the tetchy displeasure of Mubarak O’Bama and Hidayat Mc’Clinton.

  18. Tom Fisher says:

    I’m sure you would agree that it’s best focusing on one thing at a time

    It’s a directly related issue, (I’m sure you can multi-task) and this: a new liberal consensus seeks to censure and punish anyone who deviates from that consensus although possibly intended as comedy, does rather need to be put in perspective.

    But you do remind us of the punishing reduction in American aid to certain African countries

    Reductions which are hypocritical indeed, as they seem quite happy to remain friends with the gangsters in Saudi Arabia. But that doesn’t detract from the fact that the laws themselves are inexcusable.

  19. toadspittle says:

    The gist of the comments above – is that the some of “Yes” vote gang are acting like a lot of bullying yahoos.
    If this is so, it is to be roundly deplored.
    Everyone should be allowed to vote according to his or her conscience and/or opinion.
    Then all should accept the outcome, and get peacefully on with their lives.
    ….But they won’t.
    And the winners will be hysteria and paranoia, no matter which way the vote goes.
    (Or so I reckon.)
    …In fact, I’d suggest hysteria and paranoia have won already.

    “Marriage will legally now have absolutely nothing to do with love, sex, and children.”
    What’s “legally” got to do with it? What does this sentence mean?
    The day marriage has nothing to do with love, or sex, or (in some cases, but not all) children, no matter whether straight or gay – is the day Toad eats his hat, with a side order of gnats.

  20. johnhenrycn says:

    “The day marriage has nothing to do with love, or sex, or (in some cases, but not all) children, no matter whether straight or gay – is the day Toad eats his hat, with a side order of gnats.”

    Start eating. There are economic considerations that encourage people to marry even if they do not love each other or do not want to have sex, let alone children. Consider the case of pensions with a spousal survivorship provision, which most pensions have. When a pensioner dies, his/her pension entitlements continue until his/her spouse dies. If a man were to marry his son, his pension will be paid to his son. Not sure whether, in countries where same-sex marriage is legal, laws against consanguinity apply to fathers marrying their sons, but what about a widowed man who marries his widowed son-in-law in order to have his pension continue for the benefit of his grandchildren? That’s a no brainer – yes they will continue. What about a dying widower who marries his male drinking buddy just to stick it to the man? What a wicked web we weave. Like I say, Toadspit – start eating.

    Now, back to my devotions.

  21. mkenny114 says:

    Our “rulers” back “gay marriage” for the stupidly simple reason that they believe it will bring them in more electoral support than opposing it will.

    Not quite – I think our rulers back gay marriage because their spin doctors have told them that it will bring in more electoral support than opposing it will, and the same spin doctors have worked very hard to create a similar feeling of inevitability amongst the media and other influential groups so that there is an increased feeling of progressive fervor in the air of the very liberal elites who dictate so-called popular opinion, and all those who make the choices which will affect the rest of us from the top downwards will feel increasingly convinced that they are riding the wave of a vanguard of righting wrongs, being open-minded, ‘contemporary’, etc.

    The net effect is that the great mass of people end up endorsing something that their instincts tell them is bad for society and against their most deeply held (albeit unspoken) principles, but they are able to say they hold to the same position that they have been told to hold to by people who have been told that this is the position ‘the people’ really want. It’s a bit like the Reformation really, except that it lacks the financial motivation (for the most part).

  22. toadspittle says:

    Toad’s hat will remain uneaten, JH. I’m not denying for one moment that that there are other motives for getting married other than sex. love, and kids, am I? (Such as the prospective partner is rich.)
    Plus the very examples you enumerate. Which is exactly why many gays want marriage, I believe. So, if you are correct, that’s a key reason why they should be allowed it. To put them on a legally “fair” footing with others.
    Enjoy (if that is le mot juste) your devotions.

    “The net effect is that the great mass of people end up endorsing something that their instincts tell them is bad for society…”
    Very likely, Michael. The great mass of people are notably stupid. Look at TV, for a start.
    But all you are doing above, is shifting the onus from the politicians to the political spin doctors. OK, it’s the docs – the pols are innocent. So what?

    And if people don’t know what they really want, they’d better start learning to like what they get. Pronto.
    The great unwashed, “Yes,” voters might just like this (but I rather doubt it):

    Note that the Immortal Mr Waller does not specify the sex of the song’s recipient. Ain’t love grand?

    And then: I read on Facebook the other day ( so it’s probably wrong) that Christ had nothing at all to say about homosexuality. Not a word. Is this so?

  23. toadspittle says:

    DOH.
    Wordpressed and Bolded. No edit or preview function
    Please, Mr. or Ms. moderator, for the sake of all our visual sanities anyway, insert the modifying doo-dad after “JH.”

    But while I’m still ranting – the point is “Fats” gives several reasons (uneaten hat-tip to JH) – which do not include sex, love, or kids, why people should get married. Regardless of gender.

  24. JabbaPapa says:

    Our “rulers” back “gay marriage” for the stupidly simple reason that they believe it will bring them in more electoral support than opposing it will.

    Not quite – I think our rulers back gay marriage because their spin doctors have told them that it will bring in more electoral support than opposing it will

    There’s a credible theory that homosexuality is being actively encouraged as a method of population control :

    http://www.wnd.com/2011/11/372681/

    http://www.toomanyaborted.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Jaffe-Memo.pdf

    Social Constraints: 1) Restructure Family – postpone or avoid marriage, alter image of ideal family size; 2) Compulsory education of children; 3) Encourage increased homosexuality; 4) Educate for family limitation; 5) Fertility control agents in water supply; 6) Encourage women to work

  25. Tom Fisher says:

    There’s a credible theory that homosexuality is being actively encouraged as a method of population control

    Fantastic, tell us more!

  26. mkenny114 says:

    Very likely, Michael. The great mass of people are notably stupid. Look at TV, for a start.
    But all you are doing above, is shifting the onus from the politicians to the political spin doctors. OK, it’s the docs – the pols are innocent. So what?

    Sorry Toad, looking back over my previous comment it was not particularly clear – a bit jumbled actually, to be honest. What I was getting at is that I think most politicians (and probably a good many spin doctors) are not really that passionate about same-sex marriage, but are just striving as hard as they can to be ‘on message’. They persist in the belief that this is what the people really want because of a small but influential elite who share the same goals as the homosexual lobby groups, which is not just to make marriage available to same-sex couples, but to deliberately undermine the institution of marriage from within.

    In turn, the ‘great mass’ of people (who are not stupid, but simply afraid of being ostracised for giving voice to anything that contradicts the new liberal orthodoxy – where tolerance extends only to those who share my beliefs, and individual rights trump all, except when it comes to the right to espouse views supportive of traditional morality) are led to believe that everybody shares the view that same-sex marriage is an inevitable act of justice, and that anyone who disagrees is basically a bigot. Both populace and politicians, in great part, find themselves desperate to stay on message, because they’ve been led to believe that everybody believes that message, when in fact most people either don’t, or don’t really give two hoots.

    I’ve had several conversations with people where they have started to say something like ‘a child needs a mother and a father’ or ‘heterosexual and homosexual relationships are basically very different on a number of points and shouldn’t be grouped together under the same umbrella’ but quickly correct themselves because they ‘just know’ that they’re not meant to say/believe such things anymore. I think the same degree of self-censorship probably goes on amongst a lot of politicians too. Basically, the architects of our brave new world, and the lobby groups who want to destroy the family have done a very good job of making a lot of people believe that everyone believes something that most people really don’t, and it has had a paralysing effect on debate. I don’t want to exculpate all politicians of blame here, but I think a lot of them are just subject to the same fears we all are (especially in the workplace, where Equality and Diversity legislation can be thrown at you in the blink of an eye if you say anything even remotely non-supportive of homosexuality).

  27. toadspittle says:

    “In turn, the ‘great mass’ of people (who are not stupid, but simply afraid of being ostracised for giving voice to anything that contradicts the new liberal orthodoxy – “
    I must disagree, Michael – I cited TV earlier, and that alone clinches my argument, I suggest – but look at the films people watch, the books they read (when they read books at all) – look at The Daily Telegraph these days – listen to the music they like. Look at the things they mindlessly believe. And now millions of them are festooned with tattoos, look ar the hideous “Trainers” they wear on the feet all the time. And they are not “afraid” to do these imbecile things – they seem to actively enjoy them.
    Good Grief, Toad – you grumpy, ranting, old Trad. Be more tolerant of others.

    P.S.
    On Facebook the other day, (God help me,) I looked up what was the top of the “hit parade” the day I was born. Here it is.

    It’s not brilliant, and I don’t care for it, but I strongly suspect it’s several million times better than whatever’s “top of the charts ” today.
    However, Mr. Shaw did produce a masterpiece on someone else’s birthday :

    None of which has anything to do with gay Irish marriage. Luckily.

    But this has – “…heterosexual and homosexual relationships are basically very different on a number of points and shouldn’t be grouped together under the same umbrella’ “
    ..But whoever says this has already grouped them together under the umbrella of “relationships,” haven’t they?

  28. mkenny114 says:

    ..But whoever says this has already grouped them together under the umbrella of “relationships,” haven’t they?

    Well, yes – what else is one meant to call them? A friendship is a relationship; I have a relationship with my local newsagent if I go to pick up a paper from him/her every day. Of course, what you are implying is that homosexual relationships are being grouped together with heterosexual ones as both being particular kinds of relationship – i.e.; sexual ones. That they can be broadly grouped together in this way is obvious, but doesn’t say anything about the profound differences that exist between them.

    For instance, although homosexual acts and sexual acts outside of matrimony are both sinful, the former differs from matrimonial relations in a very different way than fornication does, and to create an environment where people are scared to say this, despite it being blindingly obvious to the vast majority of people, does not make for a healthy culture. Western culture has gone to the dogs on a number of fronts (choice in music and cinema being some good indicators of this yes, although I’m not sure that this tells us anything about the average human intellect – rather it tells us a great deal about the weakness of the average human will) of course, but the growing tendency to lie to ourselves about some of the basic facts of human existence is particularly unhelpful, to put it mildly.

  29. johnhenrycn says:

    Well put, MK. Creating, as you say, an environment where people are intimidated into silence is wrong. Liberal progressives who seek to restrict speech which they believe to be hateful, phobic, or ‘hurtful’ is just a cigarette paper’s thickness away from totalitarian dictatorship. For them to say that freedom of speech and religion are only protected rights in the privacy of our homes is oppression.

    Hope you don’t think I’ve put words in your mouth.

  30. toadspittle says:

    “…but the growing tendency to lie to ourselves about some of the basic facts of human existence is particularly unhelpful, to put it mildly.”
    …Which is precisely what a convinced Atheist would say is just what believers do.
    So it all depends, etc.
    And there we are.
    You and I agree, no doubt, that the almost infinite variety of interpretations that can be derived from the same set of facts – is near miraculous.

  31. toadspittle says:

    “Liberal progressives who seek to restrict speech which they believe to be hateful, phobic, or ‘hurtful’ is just a cigarette paper’s thickness away from totalitarian dictatorship…”
    So, JH, you’d have no trouble with people saying, “Black people are sub human,” or “All Jews should be killed,”?
    I doubt it.
    We must draw the line somewhere, surely?

  32. mkenny114 says:

    No JH, I wholeheartedly agree – we are experiencing a very subtle, creeping encroachment on free speech, and the proposals to punish anything not in keeping with ‘British values’ (which, when mentioned in public discourse are disconcertingly ill-defined, and, as several UK schools subject to inspection have already found out, basically consist of endorsement of homosexual relationships and doctrinaire multiculturalism) as ‘extremism’ (also worryingly ill-defined) are a sign that things will continue in this direction for a while.

    You might enjoy this article too:

    http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2009/04/22/despotism-%E2%80%93-soft-way

    which explores the relationship between this ‘soft despotism’ and the way heavy-state socialism has become the default context in which we ‘do’ politics.

  33. mkenny114 says:

    You and I agree, no doubt, that the almost infinite variety of interpretations that can be derived from the same set of facts – is near miraculous.

    No Toad, I don’t agree. The range of interpretations that can be given to a particular set of data or range of experiences can be broad, but is nowhere near as broad as you seem to think. We do, despite what you so often claim to the contrary, commonly use language sensibly and meaningfully, despite the multivalence of many words, and discuss concepts within clear limits of what they might or could mean.

    And again, the fact that a variety of opinions about a particular topic exist does not mean that all those opinions are equally valid, or that none of them are. All it means is that a range of opinions/interpretations exist – it tells us nothing about how we adjudicate between them, and making such decisions is something we do all the time (even relativists).

  34. toadspittle says:

    “And again, the fact that a variety of opinions about a particular topic exist does not mean that all those opinions are equally valid, “
    Agreed.
    The problem is deciding which opinions are valid and which are not. But that hardly needs saying. As Montaigne put it (roughly) it’s a bit thick to roast a man alive over a difference of opinion.

  35. johnhenrycn says:

    Toadspit (19:51) – I don’t consider reductio ad absurdum to be an adult debating technique. Rather sophomoric, actually. Next, you’ll be saying that because I believe in God, therefore I must believe in sky fairies. And after that you’ll be saying freedom of speech does not give one the right to shout FIRE! in a crowded cinema (even though you may save lives by doing so).

    True, all civil liberties need limitations, but frankly, I would not criminalize your first stupid statement (the one about negroes), although I would your second. Try to ‘think’ of why.

  36. johnhenrycn says:

    Toad believes “it’s a bit thick to roast a man alive over a difference of opinion”.

    Indeed, or even to punish him with a fine, which is why I would not criminalize your stupid statement about negroes, but would your other one about Jews.

  37. johnhenrycn says:

    Thank you for the Acton Institute link, MK. Shall add that website to my ‘favourites’ bar for future reference. Tocqueville was a far more prescient sage than his countryman, Nostradamus, but one thing that struck me as peculiar in the article you linked was where the author, Samuel Gregg, put his first reference to the phrase “soft despotism” in quotation marks (the 10th paragraph) – as if to suggest Tocqueville actually used the words despotisme doux. Doesn’t sound very 19th Century to me. I’ve a nice edition of Democracy in America:

    Perhaps I should read it sometime😉

  38. johnhenrycn says:

    But, Toadspit (19:51) – before you accuse me of being racist, which will be your next rhetorical ploy, I deny believing that black people are sub-human:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/nigeria/11610908/Nigerian-restaurant-shut-down-for-serving-human-flesh.html

  39. johnhenrycn says:

    …but what’s really bizarre in this report is the statement by the ‘priest’ (probably Anglican) at the end of it:

    “A local priest who ate at the restaurant was alarmed at the prices it was charging after being presented with a bill for £2.20 – nearly four times the daily wage for millions of Nigerian labourers.He was told the high cost was because of the piece of meat he had eaten. ‘I did not know I had been served human meat, and that it was that expensive’, he said.”

    Justin Welby wept.

  40. toadspittle says:

    The priest was right to complain.
    There’s no way human flesh need cost so much – there’s more than enough of it to go round.
    £2.20 is gouging.
    An entire baby ought not to be more than about 15 bob.

    Swift was right.

  41. toadspittle says:

    “Next, you’ll be saying that because I believe in God, therefore I must believe in sky fairies.”

    Certainly not JH. Perish the thought. I don’t even know what a “sky fairy” is. An angel,perhaps?

    The quality (from so many) of JH that I cherish most – is his refreshing lack of Christian charity.

  42. mkenny114 says:

    The problem is deciding which opinions are valid and which are not. But that hardly needs saying. As Montaigne put it (roughly) it’s a bit thick to roast a man alive over a difference of opinion.

    Well yes, but implicit within what I wrote in my previous comment is that we can so decide. We all commonly make distinctions, value judgements, etc, and so so according to certain standards. Even the relativist is involved in making truth claims, and is thus appealing to the fact that there is such a thing as Truth, even while he/she denies it; and even the most resolute sceptic is not really as sceptical as their conclusions might suggest, as they have come to the sceptic position via a process of reasoning, all the while relying on the knowability of certain facts and ideas, as well as our ability to weigh them up and discern the truth of each one of them. If we looked at the world via a consistently sceptical or relativistic lens from the outset, we’d never be able to get started.

    As for roasting people alive (for anything at all, let alone ‘difference of opinion’) this is a separate matter. One can be steadfast in support for the knowability of certain objective truths, and the possibility of adjudicating reasonably between different truth claims, without being in support of the state executing people for promoting violations of Truth.

  43. mkenny114 says:

    one thing that struck me as peculiar in the article you linked was where the author, Samuel Gregg, put his first reference to the phrase “soft despotism” in quotation marks (the 10th paragraph) – as if to suggest Tocqueville actually used the words despotisme doux. Doesn’t sound very 19th Century to me.

    To be honest, I’ve no idea whether it sounds 19th Century or not, but I’ll take your word for it. I just assumed Gregg was using quotation marks here to highlight the phrase as the key concept of what he was outlining in Tocqueville’s thought on the matter, but not sure. Anyway, I found an excerpt from Democracy in America on this topic, and he doesn’t use the phrase, so you may well be right:

    http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2013/02/what-sort-of-despotism-democratic.html

    There are a number of other articles worth looking at on similar sorts of topics at the above website, including quite a few on Tocqueville (if I remember rightly). Glad you enjoyed the earlier link🙂

  44. johnhenrycn says:

    Another worthy website, MK, and the extract from Tocqueville nails the distemper of our democratic political system. The only incongruous sentence I found in it was this one:

    “When I consider the petty passions of our contemporaries, the mildness of their manners, the extent of their education, the purity of their religion, the gentleness of their morality, their regular and industrious habits, and the restraint which they almost all observe in their vices no less than in their virtues, I have no fear that they will meet with tyrants in their rulers, but rather with guardians.”

    …but he was speaking of his contemporaries who may, in general, have been well mannered, well educated, religiously pure, industrious and restrained in their vices. Our contemporaries, not so much, and I don’t exclude myself from that criticism.
    ___
    …and Toad: speaking of minding our manners, I was over the line yesterday in referring to “your stupid statements” at 19:51. They were stupid, but you only made them to illustrate your stupid point about the need for limits on civil liberties, and it’s obvious they are not opinions you personally hold.

  45. toadspittle says:

    I did realise your intentions were benign, JH, but I thank you nonetheless for the graceful comment.
    Re: Tocqueville: Worth considering both Dickens and Mrs. Trollope visited the U.S. at roughly(!) that time, and decided it was entirely inhabited by a gang of half-witted Yahoos.

  46. johnhenrycn says:

    Dickens was also less than impressed with Amerindians:

    “To come to the point at once, I beg to say that I have not the least belief in the Noble Savage. I consider him a prodigious nuisance, and an enormous superstition…I call him a savage, and I call a savage a something highly desirable to be civilised off the face of the earth.”

    https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/d/dickens/charles/d54rp/chapter12.html

    Here again we have the problem of whether people should be allowed to express such opinions, which they now most surely cannot without being charged. Many, perhaps even most, people wish to criminalize expressions of opinions like that. Others are content to debate, ignore, laugh at or treat the opinionator as beyond the pale, but not a criminal.

  47. mkenny114 says:

    …but he was speaking of his contemporaries who may, in general, have been well mannered, well educated, religiously pure, industrious and restrained in their vices. Our contemporaries, not so much, and I don’t exclude myself from that criticism.

    Yes, very true, and I don’t exclude myself from it either. The added problem now then I suppose is that we are even more likely to give up our liberties to a government more than willing to take care of all our material needs, just so long as we get to be as unrestrained in our vices as we like (and the governments of the Western world at the moment are certainly very committed to making that possible). It is a bizarre situation though isn’t it, when those who cry out or their freedom to do x, y and z, are the very same who push for more regulations on our liberty. It’s the old ‘I should be free to do as I like….but others shouldn’t be free to even criticise me’ line of argument. Never put as plainly as that of course, but that’s what they’re saying.

  48. toadspittle says:

    “….a government more than willing to take care of all our material needs…”

    Where, Michael? The U.K? Ireland? The States? Certainly not Spain. And certainly not if you are an immigrant.

  49. mkenny114 says:

    Did you read the two articles I linked to earlier? If so, you will see what I mean. If not, I suggest reading them, as they put it better than I could, and it will save time.

  50. toadspittle says:

    I did, and thanks.
    Tocqueville was a remarkable and perceptive observer.

  51. mkenny114 says:

    He was indeed🙂

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