Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher


Penis-mad Dutch bomb the Christian rubble

posted by Rod Dreher

They’ve already all but demolished Christianity in their country, but the Dutch cultural elite continue their fight against a phantom enemy. Look:

Perhaps the quietest spot, however, is the Museum of Christian Art, or Catharijneconvent, named for its patron, St. Catherine, in a former convent of nuns nestled against the church of the Roman Catholic archbishop.
In recent weeks, as visitors passed the peaceful cloister leading to the museum’s entrance, they were struck by a three-meter, or nine-foot, white polyester phallus.
The work of a local Dutch artist, it was a kind of introduction to an exhibit of 122 objects by artists from 27 countries titled Lingam, for the Hindu cult object usually viewed in the West as a phallic symbol. It is the most common representation of Shiva — the destroyer, the transformer, the god who embodies both life and the negation of life — at temples across India.
Most of the objects are barely larger than a fist. Some portray the phallus in wire, others in cardboard, still others in metal; one by the American artist Matt Stone is in denim and plastic. Some resemble mushrooms, others pin cushions. They were displayed on three tables covered in saffron-colored fabric, in one of the museum’s largest display areas.
Utrechters came in droves. In its regular six weeks, the show drew more than 9,000 visitors, numbers large enough to prompt the museum to extend the exhibit by two weeks.

Note well that this is a state museum, not a church-sponsored one. Check out this priceless quote from the museum director:

“We wanted to criticize the hypocritical Christian attitude to sexuality, which won’t let people enjoy sex,” said Mr. van den Hout, a scholar who also advises the Vatican on cultural matters.

What useful thing could this man possibly have to say to the Vatican about cultural matters? Anyway, leaving aside the utter banality and juvenilia of a Hindu penis exhibition at a Museum of Christian Art, it’s simply pathological to think that there is even a “Christian attitude to sexuality” to protest in contemporary Holland. There is nothing of it left to rebel against — except, actually, the trite mentality exhibited by this van den Hout character, who is like an elderly Imperial Japanese soldier hiding in the South Pacific bush, who hasn’t yet gotten the word that the war is over. Except in van den Hout’s case, his side won.
I am reminded of watching the Oscar-winning but mediocre Dutch film “Antonia’s Line” with a Dutch journalist film years ago. At a certain point in the film, the tension is resolved by everyone in the house having sex. My Dutch friend, who was not religious, was offended aesthetically. He said, “That’s how it is for Dutch artists. We can’t think of anything creative to say, we just throw in sex.”
UPDATE: I went back to the article looking for an age for museum director Guus van den Hout, but it wasn’t there. However, on the museum’s website, there’s a photo of Mijnheer v/d Hout, and — surprise! — he looks to be a Baby Boomer. Will we never be rid of that generation and its tired, flaccid obsessions? Reminds me of something Barbara Nicolosi-Harrington said in her interview about Hollywood filmmaking:

Things are changing, too. The boomers are dying and ceding power, and the power is going into the very troubled, introspective hands of the Generation Xers, people like Jason Reitman, who made Juno and what I consider this year’s best film, Up in the Air. These folks are completely ambivalent about the promises of the sexual revolution. They don’t have other options, but they know the way they were raised was wrong.



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Allen

posted April 6, 2010 at 2:15 pm


I haven’t got anything to say regarding the story, really, but I did want to note that this is possibly the best headline you’ve ever come up with. Bravo, Mr. Dreher.



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Hector

posted April 6, 2010 at 2:23 pm


As a Christian of Hindu descent, I find it incredibly tiresome when airheaded American hippies imagine that Hinduism is all about group orgies, lingas, and sexual gymnastics. Please grow up, people. And read a book, or talk to, you know, some actual Indians.



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AMH

posted April 6, 2010 at 2:40 pm


Actually, it seems that the corollary to your friend’s comment is “when we can’t think of anything creative to say, we just try to offend people, and then pretend it is some sort of profound creative statement.”
Mr. van den Hout’s “stance” against hypocrisy(?) is laughable – let’s see him take on the Dutch Muslim community!



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Mere Catholic

posted April 6, 2010 at 2:49 pm


Hector, amen! I am a Hindu born convert to Christianity as well and yes, the Western bourgeois view of Hinduism as Woodstock is trite and infantile, as is their complete avoidance of the negative cultural aspects of the religion- child brides, etc.



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CAP

posted April 6, 2010 at 2:55 pm


i second allen’s comment on the headline.
if it’s alright with rod, i may work ‘bomb the rubble’ into my speech for the rest of my life.
(if only i had heard this line prior to some previous relationships!)



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Richard

posted April 6, 2010 at 2:56 pm


Got it in one: juvenile and banal.
It is a sad commentary, though, that we have ceased to be shocked by this kind thing. Anatomically correct chocolate Jesus? Yeah, whatever. Crucific suspended in jar of urine? So ten years ago. Madonna smeared with excrement? Yawn.
Once upon a time my brother and I hoped that this idiocy would give way once the shock value wore off. Same with TV – let the actors go ahead and have sex with full nudity on screen – go ahead, get it out of your system and then can we please pass on to something interesting?
I guess they truly have nothing else to say…



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Alicia

posted April 6, 2010 at 2:56 pm


I am reminded of the final credits to “Superbad.” One of the main characters is an adolescent obsessed with drawing the penis. The final credits show his drawings. It is something only an adolescent would find incredibly amusing. Perhaps this shows the emotional maturity of certain Dutch artists.
BTW, the ending of “Superbad” might be an appropriate place for such illustrations, but a church that is called “The Museum of Christian Art” is not.



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Roland de Chanson

posted April 6, 2010 at 2:59 pm


Most of the objects are barely larger than a fist.
So it appears there is a realist element to postmodern art.
I was somewhat nonplussed to have learned that a certain sexual technique was neither invented nor perfected by the French. Vive le jihvamardita.
If they’re having a yoni show as an encore, I’ll bone up on my Dutch.



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John E - Agn Stoic

posted April 6, 2010 at 3:00 pm


Same with TV – let the actors go ahead and have sex with full nudity on screen – go ahead, get it out of your system and then can we please pass on to something interesting?
You still watch TV?



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Richard

posted April 6, 2010 at 3:11 pm


Sure, I still watch Food Network and Discovery and a couple others. No more sitcoms and whatnot, though.
Rod, are you sure ‘flaccid’ was the mot juste? (jk)



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Hector

posted April 6, 2010 at 3:13 pm


Alicia,
I really liked ‘Superbad’, to be honest! Though I thought the gross pictures were, ahem, kind of over the top. It was nice that they ended the movie with neither of the two couples actually having casual sex at the party, but hanging out the next day at the mall instead- that was kind of sweet and touching, I thought.



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Julia

posted April 6, 2010 at 3:29 pm


Hector,
Even more puzzling, perhaps, than the misunderstanding of Hinduism is this rush of the “socially enlightened” to Buddhism. Apparently, they’ve never read what the Dalai Lama has to say about homosexuality!



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Jim Forest

posted April 6, 2010 at 3:29 pm


Dear Ron,
Christ is risen!
I often enjoy your columns and indeed pass them along to friends, but (I speak as an Orthodox Christian living in Holland), what you don’t know about this country is a lot. Do we sometimes have stupid and tasteless art exhibitions in some of our museums? Yes. The same happens in the US. The art world is not without its idiots. But Holland, even in its museum exhibitions, is far from being a post-Christian society.
If you ever come to visit this little country, I would enjoy showing a Holland that would surprise you.
Jim Forest
* * *



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BobSF

posted April 6, 2010 at 3:34 pm


I guess I’m elitist and all, but I think the intersection of fertility and religion is kind of interesting. I’m sure that among the 9000 people (out of an urban population of several hundred thousand) there were a few “penis-mad” gawkers, but does that mean there is no value whatsoever to the show? Is there really no point in considering the different ways that different religions approach sexuality?
As the the “rubble”, the museum’s primary function — funded by the secular state — is:
The permanent collection
The permanent collection of Museum Catharijneconvent comprises unique historical and art-historical exhibits ranging from the early mediaeval period to the 21st Century. This collection offers an insight into the Christian art and cultural history of the Netherlands and its influence on Dutch society.
It includes richly illuminated manuscripts, jewelled book bindings, richly decorated images, unique paintings, altar pieces, ecclesiastical vestments and artefacts of gold and silver. Dutch art from the Golden Age of the 16th and 17th centuries is represented by Jan van Scorel, Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Pieter Saenredam. Of more recent vintage are works by Jan Toorop, Shinkichi Tajiri and Marc Mulders. The Museum Catharijneconvent collection contains both Protestant and Catholic artefacts, making it unique in the world.
Sounds pretty interesting to me, though, I admit, I’m pretty nerdy. In the U.S., the museum would be long-shuttered due to lack of funding, the collection sold off to accessorize the homes of the wealthy, and the building repurposed as a McDonalds, assuming its location wasn’t coveted by developers.



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wrongdude

posted April 6, 2010 at 3:35 pm


Didn’t read the article – just saw the title – being in the “Belief Net” section, and regarding “Christianity” and you use “this” word in the title??
I know, I know – everyone else is doing it, right.
(rolling eyes)



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Alicia

posted April 6, 2010 at 3:36 pm


Hector, I liked “Superbad” too, especially “McLovin”. But, what is appropriate for a teen comedy is not appropriate for a “Museum of Christian Art.”



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Rod Dreher

posted April 6, 2010 at 3:41 pm


Jim, I’ve been there a number of times, and Holland really is one of my favorite countries. I love the Dutch people, and count among them my oldest and dearest friends. My experience of Christianity in Holland is that it is all but a historical memory. When I’ve worshiped there, I was almost the only person in the church without white hair. But I would be very pleased to learn otherwise, and hope one day to be in the position to take you up on your offer of tour. But there has to be pannekoeken at the end, or I won’t go!



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Peter

posted April 6, 2010 at 3:58 pm


he looks to be a Baby Boomer. Will we never be rid of that generation and its tired, flaccid obsessions?
Of course, Gen X and Millenials are even more tolerant of sexuality and more ambivalent about organized religion. Be careful what you wish for. Your kids, when they take over your blog, may be nostalgic for the 2010 of their youth.



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kenneth

posted April 6, 2010 at 4:56 pm


It’s a time-honored ritual for artists with grants to try to poke their finger into the the eye of public sensibility or morality (or what they think it is). Rebellion is the only way to get noticed. I agree that in Holland, he is calling out an enemy who isn’t really there anymore. If he really wanted to stir the pot, he’d have put up a piece called “Mohammad’s Phallus.” Of course, then he’d be in fear of his own!
I can’t say I agree with the idea that the country is hostile to Christianity or militantly secular, however. I spent a very nice week there on our honeymoon a few years ago. I found the Dutch to be very practical with a live-and-let-live mentality. You were free to go to any of the magnificent ancient churches there, or to the red light district surrounding it. Or you could go to both, and the Dutch wouldn’t necessarily see any contradiction in that. You were free to smoke pot or do pretty much anything you want as long as you didn’t create a problem. And very few did, except for the Americans and Brits who grew up in societies which treated them as adolescents and conditioned them accordingly. No rednecks trying to force their religion on others nor leftist elites telling others what they had to believe in.
You could walk in the park at 3 a.m. Not only wasn’t there the daily roster of murders I see here, they were still talking about one which had happened a decade ago. It was the first and only truly civilized society I’ve seen. It was ordered on the expectation that grownups would act as such. Most people lived up to the expectation. If I had the money and didn’t have so many people dear to me in the states, I would have thrown my passport into the canal and never returned.



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Betty Carter

posted April 6, 2010 at 5:10 pm


Well, people have to worship SOMETHING. Might as well be a frankly hilarious male appendage.



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SiliconValleySteve

posted April 6, 2010 at 5:13 pm


BobSF
What are you talking about. Many US museums have endowments that are the envy of the world. The Getty for example is in the bidding for any notable art that comes on the market. There are others as well (particularly in NYC sa the Guggenheim and the MET ). Do you even think about what you write?



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Charles Cosimano

posted April 6, 2010 at 5:14 pm


What would have to say to the Vatican about cultural matters? Oh probably something worth as much as the Vatican would have to say to anyone about cultural matters.
I mean, get real. Does anyone care what the Vatican has to say about anything?



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Geoff G.

posted April 6, 2010 at 5:27 pm


Peter
Of course, Gen X and Millenials are even more tolerant of sexuality and more ambivalent about organized religion.
The key word here is “tolerant.”
Boomers find it necessary to stake out positions on the culture war issues. They relish the conflict that comes with it. They’re still fighting their elders.
Gen X and the Millenials, by contrast, generally don’t care and don’t understand the big deal.
Naturally, these are generalizations and there are members of each cohort who do care passionately about social issues (I’m a good example, at least as far as treating gay people like everyone else is concerned).
Still, it’s my contention that the whole culture war thing is mainly an exercise dreamed up to keep the old fogies entertained (and their eye off the political ball) more than anything else.



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Turmarion

posted April 6, 2010 at 6:03 pm


Bob SF: Is there really no point in considering the different ways that different religions approach sexuality?
The problem is that as a few commenters here who actually came from different religions pointed out, the approach of Hinduism and Buddhism, at any rate, are far different from what they’ve been portrayed as in the West. In fact, I’d confirm that–though not Buddhist myself, I’ve studied Buddhism intensively for nearly thirty years. If you actually read the original scriptures and the writings of Asian Buddhists, and not the stuff from Western popularizers, the sexual morality is almost identical to that of the Judeo-Christian tradition, even to the extent that abortion is seen as morally wrong. It’s true that Buddhists haven’t hyperventilated about sex to the extent that Westerners have–but the views on appropriate behaviors differ very little.
Yes, there is tantra, but tantrism has been a very small minority view in Hinduism which is looked on with much suspicion (to the extent that in modern Hindi “tantra” is understood to mean something like “black magic”). In Buddhism it’s been significant only in Tibet, and even there it is not practiced by the vast majority of people.
Just sayin’.



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jacobus

posted April 6, 2010 at 6:08 pm


Ever been to the “Secret Room” in the Archaeological Museum in Naples, Italy? Talk about Penis-mad!



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Norwegian Shooter

posted April 6, 2010 at 6:15 pm


Wow, that is the best title ever. And you added the category of “penis”! I can’t wait for the next entry!



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BobSF

posted April 6, 2010 at 6:48 pm


What are you talking about. Many US museums have endowments that are the envy of the world. The Getty for example is in the bidding for any notable art that comes on the market. There are others as well (particularly in NYC sa the Guggenheim and the MET ). Do you even think about what you write?
How many federally funded, small, religious museums are there in your town?



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BobSF

posted April 6, 2010 at 6:56 pm


Turmarion:
The problem is that as a few commenters here who actually came from different religions pointed out, the approach of Hinduism and Buddhism, at any rate, are far different from what they’ve been portrayed as in the West.
Uh… that what museum curators are for, no? To explain context, to illuminate, to inform.
It’s true that Buddhists haven’t hyperventilated about sex to the extent that Westerners have–but the views on appropriate behaviors differ very little.
The Dalai Lama supports full civil rights for gay people. The Pope, not at all. I don’t really care that much about either’s theological views of the “appropriateness” of my life.



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Your Name

posted April 6, 2010 at 8:06 pm


If it’s a choice between slightly embarrassing museum exhibitions and a network of child abusers covering for each other and avoiding the law. I’ll go for the exhibitions.



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Roland de Chanson

posted April 6, 2010 at 8:52 pm


BobSF, I don’t think the Pope at this point is too worried about “civil rights” for homoerotics. Sin has no civil rights. Sodom got the Divine Veto. That overruled the city council. This is the crux of the heresy of secularism and individualism.
By the way, how are things in Santa Fe (the city of the Holy Faith)? Or do I misinterpret your suffix? So, what do you say to a yoni show?



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Larry

posted April 6, 2010 at 9:42 pm


he looks to be a Baby Boomer. Will we never be rid of that generation and its tired, flaccid obsessions?
Yeah! The only thing worse than the Boomers is their damn whiney, ungrateful, spoiled children. Unfortunately, the kids will around longer than their elders.



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James Kabala

posted April 6, 2010 at 10:33 pm


The Dalai Lama is actually against gay marriage (and has been condemned as a sexual reactionary by Christopher Hitchens).



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Jim Forest

posted April 7, 2010 at 5:26 am


Dear Ron,
>> I’ve been there a number of times, and Holland really is one of my favorite countries. I love the Dutch people, and count among them my oldest and dearest friends. My experience of Christianity in Holland is that it is all but a historical memory. When I’ve worshiped there, I was almost the only person in the church without white hair. But I would be very pleased to learn otherwise, and hope one day to be in the position to take you up on your offer of tour. But there has to be pannekoeken at the end, or I won’t go! <<
I’m happy you have had some experiences of Holland. There are many parishes that are mainly populated by white-haired people, but I could take you to many (Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant) that have many young people, including my own parish, St Nicholas of Myra Russian Orthodox Church in the Jordaan district of central Amsterdam. You might enjoy looking at the photos I took of our Pascha celebration: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimforest/sets/72157623773539568/
On a normal Sunday, we have at least thirty kids for communion.
There are more than twenty nationalities in the parish — Dutch and Russian the biggest segment. It’s a lively place.
The parish web site (note it’s English-language wing) is: http://www.orthodox.nl .
My offer to show you aspects of Dutch culture that you would love (and be surprised by) remains open. Come when your life allows it.
Jim



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Richard

posted April 7, 2010 at 7:52 am


Kenneth: “It’s a time-honored ritual for artists with grants to try to poke their finger into the the eye of public sensibility or morality (or what they think it is).”
Quite so. But for the past several decades, that finger has gotten poked into the eye of sexul sensibilities only. It just seems rather tiresome and worn-out now. I think this is Rod’s point.
I am amazed not that you loved Holland, but that anyone would consider tossing their passport and staying on in another nation after a visit of seven days. I love the Dutch, but there is, you must admit, a contradiction between the ‘expectation of grown-ups acting as such’ and the legality of smoking dope as recreation.



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Michael C

posted April 7, 2010 at 8:03 am


Post Christian?…………maybe
Morality? Well their murder rate is a quarter of that in the USA. Their abortion rate is 1/8th of the USA. Their use of cannabis is less than half of that in the USA. Their suicide rate for young people is less than half.



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Hector

posted April 7, 2010 at 8:08 am


Richard,
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think scripture or tradition say any more about marijuana then about tobacco (which is far more harmful then marijuana, as is alcohol for that matter).
I am anything but a drug-loving hippie, and as long as marijuana remains illegal I’m morally opposed to people contributing economically to a criminal enterprise, but I do think that it should be legalised and used responsibly, same as with alcohol.
As for the harder drugs, I’m completely against legalisation.



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Michael C

posted April 7, 2010 at 8:13 am


Mistype……..their abortion rate is less than half, it is their teen pregnancy rate that is 1/8th.



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Richard

posted April 7, 2010 at 8:41 am


Hector, you may well be right, but once upon a time you would enter a cafe in Amsterdam and there would be signs advertising “Space Cakes”. The ads featured a bulldog with a cape, floating through space with a dazed expression. They were for hashish brownies or some such thing.
Now, they were legal, and you can draw parallels with Joe Camel and all that, but you must admit that image does not jibe well with a ‘grown-up’ society.
I am simply arguing that the notion that the Dutch are more ‘grown-up’ is mistaken.
I too would support legalization of cannabis products if I thought they could be safely regulated at all. There is where the Dutch – with a densely populated 16 million people – can do things that we Americans simply can’t.



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Julien Peter Benney

posted April 7, 2010 at 11:03 am


“Penis Mad” is a wonderful way of looking at modern European culture. Essentially, what the Baby Boomers wanted was a radical egalitarianism that produced equal opportunities in every sphere for everybody, regardless of their natural ability.
This philosophy, based on nihilism and expressed in the cultural revolution of bands like AC/DC and the Sex Pistols, can be called “penis mad” in the sense that its ultimate – and intended – result was as nearly total masculinisation of women as possible. In art, its effect can clearly be seen in punk rock and the riot grrls, whilst the nihilism – unlike the decadent ethos of the Beats and 1960s hippies – leaves no room for religion. In relationships, it wants to eliminate the emotional ties upon which traditional marriage is based to create a free-for-all which, because women are so defeminised, could almost be called a “gay culture” even when the relationships are technically hetereosexual.



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kenneth

posted April 7, 2010 at 11:18 am


You mean to tell me I can be a gay man even with my limited grasp of musical theater and fashion whilst continuing to practice my heterosexuality? Tell me more of this “penis madness” Julien. I find myself…..intrigued!



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Liam

posted April 7, 2010 at 11:33 am


Two points.
1. The white phallus is the artist’s way of celebrating white male imperialism, of course.
2. Those who think Hinduism is more sex-positive than Christianity are romanticizing the former and melodramatizing the latter. Just try to engage in the kind of PDA that is common in the West in an Indian village, and watch the disapproval. Oh, and Indian cultural attitudes on homosexuality make Rome seem like ground zero for gay pride by comparison.



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Geoff G.

posted April 7, 2010 at 12:04 pm


I constantly amused by how Christians love to excuse their own denigration of gay people by pointing at other religions and saying how much worse they are (usually Islam, but Hinduism seems to be the target in this particular thread).
Is this how you raise your kids? “Johnny, I know you stole that bicycle, but because little Mikey down the street stole a car, he’s worse than you so we’ll let you off the hook.”
The net result of course (in my deluded mind at least) is to reach the conclusion that all religions are pretty much the same. They downplay their own faults (just as the Vatican is right at this very moment) and love to point the finger at others (believe it or not, the sex-abuse scandal isn’t the Vatican’s fault, it’s those darn feminists and gays at it again!). Organized religion epitomizes the human tendency to build oneself up by tearing others down.
Also, penis madness is nothing new. One might even characterize it as a return to the foundations of European religion. Next time you’re in Manhattan and visit the Charging Bull in the Financial District, you may well reflect on the persistence of “penis madness” in Western superstition.



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Clive Moebeetie

posted April 7, 2010 at 12:11 pm


Come on, Rod, get with the program! You’ve seen the future and how it works.



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Paul H

posted April 7, 2010 at 1:14 pm


Rod wrote, “…What useful thing could this man possibly have to say to the Vatican about cultural matters?
I suspect that this nullity advises the Vatican as to the market value of its art collection, or something similar. I doubt very much that they’re looking to him for cultural or theological guidance!



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Liam

posted April 7, 2010 at 2:15 pm


Geoff G
If your comment was directed at mine, you read me way too literally; I was not intending to be an apologist for Rome’s stance on gay issues – far from it – but more ironic in both directions.



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Russ

posted April 7, 2010 at 3:00 pm


The boomers may be ‘dying and ceding power’ but they are predominantly progressives not caught up in anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-science, anti-drug, anti-immigration, cultural hysteria issues…it is the ‘greatest generation’ that is still clinging to power (and voting heavily conservative) and they’re ‘going’ first…and since the 65+ crowd make up 40% of the GOP, as this cohort diminishes, so will the Republican Party…
Amen.



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Mooser

posted April 7, 2010 at 3:01 pm


None of those two-bit, one-horse, no-account religions can beat us Jews! We’ve got it all! With atomic weapons, and it’s growing, growing growing. And you know what, we just don’t use namby-pamby disapproval to discourage sexual transgression, we have vans in Israel, filled with heterosexual Jewish young men who drive around and physically prevent Jewish women from dating Arabs. Any of you Catholics or Protestants take your religion that seriously! I mean not only to we discourage intermarriage, we provide an on-the-spot alternative!
So, you know what, until you’ve got your own country where your own ministers can control and circumscribe the moral behavior of your adherents, just keep your mouths shut. We know that if you really cared about your touchy-feely, old-hat, new-age religions, you would do the same as us! Ha! (And I mean that to sting!)



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Geoff G.

posted April 7, 2010 at 3:30 pm


Liam, not you particularly. It’s a trope that often appears in conservative literature. As an example, GOProud’s executive director stated, “the greatest threat facing gay people worldwide is the spread of radical anti-gay Islam.”
That may or may not be true, but the implication is obvious: Christian social conservatives in the GOP may be bad, but Islamists are even worse so you should feel fine getting into bed with (ugh!) Christians actively working against your interests.
Far easier to reach the conclusion, as many gay people do, that all (or almost all) organized religion is pretty fundamentally evil.



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NK

posted April 7, 2010 at 3:38 pm


I have no comment on the content of this post, but I must say any title that includes “Penis-mad” catches the eye…



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BobSF

posted April 7, 2010 at 4:01 pm


The Dalai Lama is actually against gay marriage
His opposition applies to Buddhists. He doesn’t encourage temples to take up collections for political campaigns that ban SSM and civil unions. He doesn’t fight against U.N. efforts to decriminalize homosexuality worldwide.
As I said above, the Pope, not so much.



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itwasntme

posted April 7, 2010 at 4:26 pm


That’s funny, we baby boomers thought we weren’t raised right either! What a coincidence!!1!



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elizabeth

posted April 7, 2010 at 4:37 pm


The Dalai Lama only has authority over Tibetan Buddhists. As a Theravadan, I respect him as a teacher of the Dhamma but he not the Pope of Buddhism. The Buddha told people to seek the truth themselves and left a path on which to do that. People who claim authority for Buddhism are deluded.



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Hector

posted April 7, 2010 at 5:12 pm


Re: Far easier to reach the conclusion, as many gay people do, that all (or almost all) organized religion is pretty fundamentally evil.
Actually, the last statistics I saw indicated that 70% of gay Americans belong to an organised religion (as opposed to 84% of Americans as a whole). As Americans as a whole become less religious, and as more religions decide to open up to gay people (most recently the Lutherans) those numbers will probably converge.



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Sarah

posted April 10, 2010 at 2:53 am


Hector, I think that’s true. When I think about my circle of friends, who are all liberal and would probably fit into your (and Rod’s) loathe ‘cultural liberal elite’, it’s the same sex couples that are far more likely to regularly attend church. I think it’s because, for heterosexual married couples, “being a family” is culturally easy to attain. Same-sex couples aren’t so easily accepted; as such, they take steps to actively construct their ‘familyness’.
And frankly, good for them; the hetero couples could learn from them. I have. If cultural conservatives were decent people, they’d take the huge push for SSM on the part of the gay and lesbian right movement as a pretty compelling piece of evidence they were right about marriage all along about the value of marriage (and they were!), and the radicals who wanted nothing to do with traditional social and family life in the 70′s and 80′s were deeply mistaken. They’re wholly incapable of appreciating their own victory, for reasons that reflect quite poorly on them.



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posted 3:25:02pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Mommy explains her plastic surgery
In Dallas (naturally), a parenting magazine discusses how easy it is for mommies who don't like their post-child bodies to get surgery -- and to have it financed! -- to reverse the effects of time and childbirth. Don't like what nursing has done to your na-nas? Doc has just the solution: Doctors say

posted 10:00:56pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »

Why I became Orthodox
Wrapping up my four Beliefnet years, I was thinking about the posts that attracted the most attention and comment in that time. Without a doubt the most popular (in terms of attracting attention, not all of it admiring, to be sure) was the October 12, 2006, entry in which I revealed and explained wh

posted 9:46:58pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »

Modern Calvinists
Wow, they don't make Presbyterians like they used to!

posted 8:47:01pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »

'Rape by deception'? Huh?
The BBC this morning reported on a bizarre case in Israel of an Arab man convicted of "rape by deception," because he'd led the Jewish woman with whom he'd had consensual sex to believe he was Jewish. Ha'aretz has the story here. Plainly it's a racist verdict, and a bizarre one -- but there's more t

posted 7:51:28pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »




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