fpb: (Athena of Pireus)
From now I shall use a new word. The kind of people who argue against a minimum wage are neither conservative (how DARE they?) nor libertarian. They are starvationists. Remember the word: STARVATIONISTS.
fpb: (Default)
I wonder whether anyone at the BBC has the least idea just how repulsively hypocritical, murderously hypocritical, they look, when at one and the same time they go all lyrical about the Paralympics and disabled achievement, and they promote the old eugenics lies of abortion and euthanasia? Isn't it great that those of the "differently able" whom we haven't managed to kill in the womb or in the hospital are now winning medals! What wonderful people we are!
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When I heard of the well-named Mrs.Robinson's lust-crazed behaviour and attempted suicide, I was disposed to sympathy. After all, I know better than most the situation of someone who warns against sins he knows - all too well. But when I heard one remark made by her husband - to which, one assumes, she fully submitted - then all sympathy flew away. I have no pity for someone who could so falsify Christian moral teaching as to say that "I did not say that homosexuality is an abomination, God did."

What shallow, ugly nonsense. Do not expect from me a defence of homosexual practice as such; the Church teaches against it. But the Church also teaches that the impulse as such is not a sin; only the practice is; and what is more, the Church teaches, and has always taught, that homosexual fornication is bad in no other way than any other form of fornication. That is what makes Mrs.Robinson's great sin so ironic: she fell into what, according to age-old Christian teaching, was the exact same sin - only a different specification - that she and her husband were busy pushing beyond the boundaries of the human (that is what "abomination" means). And to add to the irony, it was exactly in Ireland that the equivalence of all forms of fornication had been clearly formulated. The earliest Celtic penitentials (the systematic study of morality and guilt is one of the great contributions of the Celtic Churches to Christianity), though ascribed to two saints, Gildas and David, who were notoriously at the opposite end of doctrine and practice, nonetheless fully agree in this: the penances inflicted for homosexual practice (and for homosexual practice only) are exactly the same as those imposed for fornication with women.

If that is the case, where does the peculiar savagery with which the West has long since treated homosexual practice? The answer is simple enough; it is, in fact, present, black on white, in some of the best known and most widely studied documents in history. It came from Roman law, and specifically from the changes wrought in it by one of the worst tyrants in history. The murderous Justinian I, would-be restorer and effective destroyer of the Roman Empire, codified the whole of Roman law in an enormous Code called after him; but in codifying the law, he also put in some enactments of his own, one of which featured the death penalty for homosexuality. He needed it in order to get rid of undesired clergymen and aristocrats.

It must be understood that for most of our history, everything Roman has had a kind of glow placed on it. Ancient Rome was always taken to be a model, however it was perceived. And when Roman law was rediscovered in the twelfth century - after centuries in which Europe, including Italy, had developped a different customary law of Teutonic origin - its superiority was taken for granted. And so judicial murder for sodomy became part of the law of the land. That was not the only horror that resurrected Roman law brought to Christendom: its prestige also covered the codification of torture as a normal instrument of police investigation - which it remained until the eighteeenth century and Cesare Beccaria - and the codification of slavery. Slavery had disappeared from Europe during the Dark Ages; from the moment Roman law was resurrected, there were constant attempts to reintroduce it in various ways, or to alter serfdom into slavery, according to time and place. It was because of one such bright idea that the English peasant rebels fo 1381 had intended to "kill all the lawyers"; they knew, all too well, that legal ideas being pushed included their own enslavement.

I do not feel bound to any of this kind of heritage. It has nothing to do with Christianity. Let us remember one basic point: to a Christian, everyone is a sinner. Including, most certainly, himself, or herself. If I say that a practicing homosexual is a sinner, it is no more than I should and do say about myself, for the practice of a myriad sins none of which I am going to tell you about. I certainly do not mean that the practice should be called an abomination, any more than any other sin is an abomination. Some sins certainly are, beginning with murder and abortion; but I am myself guilty of so many things that I should be the last to condemn others. I walk as a sinner among sinners, and if I ever say that anything is an "abomination" - something from which human beings should flee as from the plague - it will certainly not be the insanitary and rather sad practices with which some people try to ease a desire that cannot be eased. Try murder, or abortion, or the oppression of distant peoples; those, not these, deserve to be called abominations.

There are sins, and there are sinners, whom one should reject; crimes that really are abnormal, that affect the sane human being with a sense not only of anger but of misery, enormous wrongs that cannot be altered. Abortion is an abomination; Nazism is an abomination; Communism is an abomination; Leopold II's conquest of the Congo was an abomination. These evils subvert the very order of society and involve an infinite number of attendant evils, themselves monstrous enough to damn a man's soul, as states and professions are perverted, rank by rank, office by office, person by person - till everyone is guilty of something monstrous. The railway clerks and signalmen who kept the trains running in Nazi Germany made sure that cattle trains loaded with prospective murder victims were efficiently driven to Auschwitz or Sobibor. This is what abomination looks like. To extend that to homosexual practice - let alone to "homosexuality" - is an insult; an insult to the dead who were its victims, and to the damned who let themselves be swept away with its flood, and damned their own souls in consequence.

Myself, I really am not interested in my neighbour's sins. My own are quite enough to be getting on with. And to condemn one man for one of his sins makes sure that all of us will be condemned, always. The experience of Mrs.Robinson ought to be instructive in this regard. If you condemn a man for this "abomination", you condemn some of the finest people who ever lived. You condemn Plato, Virgil, Michelangelo and Tchaikovsky - something that should occur to no civilized man.
fpb: (Default)
...I wanted to put the following review somewhere, just in case Amazon forget to post it or lose it. It is for Michael Moorcock's Gloriana


I apologize for not being interested in the literary subtleties of this clever piece of writing. I regret that my unsophisticated mind does not take all the refined (as a sledgehammer) allusions to Spenser, Gormenghast, the Edda and so on. But you see, I have this bizarre notion that the climax and conclusion of a story are something to do with its point; and the climax of this story has a thief and murderer - oh, yes, sorry, a *romantic* thief and murderer, that makes *so* much difference to his victims - raping a woman who happens to be the Queen of England (again, that makes *so* much difference to the rape!); which she enjoys so much that she makes him king consort, with a certain amount of diplomatic lies to smooth his path. Translation: "being raped did the bitch good, and besides she enjoyed it". Gloriana can easily be defined as a bitch, in case you were wondering, and the fact that the loathsome Quire managed to give her an orgasm is the sure token that he is a suitable sovereign for an empire, which can now look forwards to all the wise subtleties of rule which he learned as a murderous street thief. Sorry, I forgot: a *romantic* murderous street thief. If I ever read a more thorough-going, false-faced, revolting apology for evil in every form, I have, luckily, forgotten it. But then Moorcock never had much time for morality, or what he called "pooh fantasy".


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