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March 30, 2009

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Hilzoy, Dreher's comment really doesn't deserve a civil response. The paragraph you quote only makes any sense if you start with the idea that heterosexual unions are inherently blessed, and homosexual unions inherently wrong. This is completely unsurprising; as anyone would expect from Dreher, once you're done stripping away all the fancy words what you're left with is that Dreher's God tells him things, so how dare anyone else have their own opinions based on their life experience, their basic biology, or their differing religious or philosophical outlook. Whenever the zealots use the word "nihilistic" it's code for "insufficiently obsequious to my religion".

I will say one thing to praise Dreher: he does apparently engage with his critics (this was the origin of his post), and unlike most conservative bloggers he permits comments, including critical ones. Sadly, these actions that in most cases would be the signs of an open mind are accompanied with a hidebound outlook incapable of contemplating change.

The reason so much current Christian moralizing about sex is intellectually incoherent is that it is trying to avoid attacking the sexual behaviour of one key group: straight white men. It will criticise gays; it will criticise unmarried mothers, but not unmarried fathers, unless they're black. It criticises young women for having casual sex, but not young men. It doesn't say much about easy divorce (despite Jesus' condemnation of this) because white men want to keep their rights to that. (In contrast, the Evangelical Anglican teaching I was getting in the 1980s was restrictive, but it weighed heavily on men as well).

It's always a temptation for a religion to condemn only sins that its core audience don't often commit or can't commit. But it has become substantial more blatant with the religious right, partly because one of the other main tradional parts of Christian morality (condemnations of injustice, avarice and neglect of the poor) has become such an embarassment to them.

An additional motivation (conscious or sub-conscious): homophobic parents are in for a world of hurt when their gay children discover their sexual orientation. The only way in which all that pain can be removed from these parents without their having to give up being homophobic, is for their children to be forced to take it all on, by living in the closet their entire lives, marrying heterosexually, concealing their true feelings from their spouse - and passing the world of pain on to their spouse, too, and quite possibly to their children.

(Whether the gay spouse is celibate or unfaithful, the damage done to the straight spouse is not merely measured in STDs: many straight women have reported that first and foremost, when a gay husband finally comes out, they feel relief: his lack of interest in her wasn't that she was undesirable, it was that he wasn't able to desire her...)

The only way to convince a young person that going into a marriage with someone of the wrong gender is a good plan, is to convince them that if they don't, they'll certainly lead a miserable, lonely, damnable life. (Many parents who try to push their children into the closet assert they're doing so because they "don't want their children to be unhappy"...)

Public weddings of happy couples not only make clear that gay people are out there, they also spell out in large and unavoidable print to any confused adolescent: when your parents tell you that the only way to be happy is to pretend to be straight, the nicest thing to think is that they just don't know what they're talking about.

I do actually have a kind of painful sympathy for homophobic parents of gay children, those that are genuinely struggling with their love for their child and what their bigotry tells them they should feel about their child. It's not a problem most bigots have, after all, to discover one morning that someone you love better than anyone else in the world is actually one of the kind of people you know are hateful, twisted, sick, and damned.

None at all, though, for the homophobic Christian organizations that prey on these distressed parents, and try to persuade them (yes, really) that the "reason" their child is gay is because she or he has been sexually molested when younger, or because of something the parents "did wrong".

I have no idea which category Dreher falls into: but if this kind of predictable homophobic bigotry "puzzles" you, Hilzoy, I don't think you get out enough...

I see something else in Dreher's predictably awful and self indulgent whining--the usual "slippery slope" arguments about "individuality" and "life" that a certain kind of cranky religious nutcase loves. Its the same one that leads a certain kind of right to lifer to argue that contraception *is* abortion because the "contraceptive mind" is the "abortion mind" because both allow the individual woman and man to put their own ideas and desires above those of g-d. The implicit understanding here is that g-d has a particular future mapped out for each and every individual mapped entirely on the basis of a culture long dead but ever "true." Fitting yourself in to the dominant religious culture ought to make you happy but if it doesn't thats because you aren't doing it right. Therefore, submitting to having more children than you want and submitting your desires to love person X to the religions desire that you love and marry person Y are all good things. Free will, in this locution, is a nice way of going to hell. The best thing about free will is learning to negate it and to sacrifice it to Rod's will, or G-d's will, which are the same thing.

Seriously, read any quiverful or new style christianist writing and you will see instantly that free will and the love of personal pleasure and fulfillment is the real problem with feminism and the gayness. As Sullivan well knows the far right act as though gay sex is the best sex ever, the apotheosis of all sexual activity and therefore like a highly addictive drug that breaks up painful, sad, large christian families who are dutifully fulfilling g-d's will by madly submitting to each other.

Aside from all the hysteria about the form that gay sex takes, old fashioned scolds like Rod are mostly terrified of the notion of an individual will so strong that it can rebel against previously powerful mechanisms of social control like shame, shunning, and even murder. Ditto for feminism but they kind of dig the part of feminism that they think is self punitive like not having children or being ugly. Feminism seems to them so tediously political its not as attractive as "the homosex" with what they think of as its siren call to pleasure all the time.

aimai

Frankly, I prefer the Santorum version of this argument, by virtue of being shorter. (Although that's not really fair - Dreary's mention of a "purely contractual" view, echoing as it does his revulsion towards a ""a commercialized, consumerist, individualized culture" adds a different though not unfamiliar aspect.

Incidentally, I rather like this version of Narnia; presumably Susan doesn't get self-exiled, and just maybe the whole thing doesn't end in [spoiler warning] the gloriousness of being dead?

i think you are all being extremely unsympathetic to mr. dreher and his plight.

don't you realize this man is on a knife-edge?

legalized homophobia is the only thing keeping him on the straight and narrow--and you want to take that away from him? what, do you *want* him to blow up?

without laws preventing gay people from marriage, mr. dreher is going to go out and sleep with his maiden aunt, then he'll be selling blow-jobs at the food-court of the local mall, and finally he'll be dressed up in a scuba suit, with several appliances installed, soliciting the next willing quadruped he encounters.

do you want that on your conscience?

when rod is caught in a foursome with his wife, their teen-age child, and the neighbor's sexually precocious hamster, do you want to face the sick realization that you could have stopped this, but you turned away?

good god: the man is as touchy as a test-tube of libidinous nitroglycerine, and you think it's funny to throw fire-crackers at him?

i'm warning you: if you advocate for legal gay marriage, rod is going to blow sky high.

and it will be your fault.

magistra: Preach it!

aimai: I am reminded of the theory that the most vocal homophobes are themselves bisexuals who believe, deep down, "if this turns me on it must turn everyone else on too" and "if I can refrain from acting on these urges then so can everyone else".

I think the core of the "problem" with Rod Dreher's entire mindset dealing with issues of homosexuality can be seen summed up in the opening sentence of hilzoy's linked piece:

""If homosexuality is legitimized -- as distinct from being tolerated, which I generally support ...."

Leaving aside the perfunctory (and somewhat condescending, IMO) expression of "support" - his entire thesis, as I read it, rests on the notion of "legitimization": i.e., the fundamental assumption that homosexuality -in and of itself - ISN'T "legitimate". And assuming Dreher is applying "traditional" Christian (Catholic?) principles, won't or can't ever be.

Given this bedrock - and church-approved - principle of non-legitimacy of homosexuality (still less gay marriage), it's no wonder that the "legislation of morality" still remains, for conservatives like Dreher, a basic axiom in any discussion. Whether thoughtful and measured (like his piece admittedly is) - or overtly bigoted and hysterical (like so many anti-gay screed can get): the fundamental assumption of "illegitimacy" in same-sex (sexual) relations remains (IMHO) the main stumbling-block in advancing any reasonable discussion of gay issues in this country.

Or at least "reasonable" where one side's arguments don't always boil down to "God Hates Fags".

Thullen, are you posting as "kid bitzer" now?

I have no idea why the stat'es acknowledging the commitment of a gay couple brings us closer to nihilism. It seems so bizarrely backwards.

What's more, what is the assumption here? That if people have loveless straight sex with just the intent of procreation, that that would be somehow be a healthier cultural practice?

Dear Mr. Dreher's God:

Your Mom left a message. She said You should call home more often, and says to leave the neighborhood kids alone, and how do You expect to ever get a nice wife when You keep being so rude?

Love, Gaia

no, no; john thullen and i are entirely different people.

we have even been seen in public together, on the same blog.

any resemblance is entirely due to accident, plus the fact that we're reaching for the same low-hanging fruit.

then it represents the culmination of the sexual revolution

You have to admire the doublethink capabilities of a man who argues that encouraging marriage - a committed, public, legally-binding and generally monogamous union - means giving aid and comfort to "free love".

Unless he really thinks homosexuals are going to go away, what he's really advocating for is forcing same-sex couples to be stuck with relationships bound together only be desire. Exactly the opposite of what God wants for heterosexual couples. So is his real argument that homosexuals should cease to exist?

"Dreher regards "a commercialized, consumerist, individualized culture that believes in no authority but the desiring individual will" as a threat to himself and his children. "

Think of this, let it roll around in your head.

"believes in no authority but the desiring individual will"

The authority of the individual is the basiis fo democracy. Dreher has just articulated the Catholic threat to democracy.

This on the other hand:

"it is trying to avoid attacking the sexual behaviour of one key group: straight white men."

is bullshit. An ascetic, celibate male god with a celibate priesthood presented as normative, celibate male saints presented as exemplary - that constitutes a pretty concerted attack on straight male sexuality. Just because the Church has been so wicked when it comnes to the way it treats female sexuality, that doesn't mean it's any better on male sexuality, of any kind.

"legalized homophobia is the only thing keeping him on the straight and narrow--and you want to take that away from him? what, do you *want* him to blow up?"

Yeah, cause he's HAWT and I want to be there to see it happen!

I found the whole post ridiculous. He fails to explain why this issue is so central, but others are possible to compromise.

Further thoughts here:
http://bleakonomy.blogspot.com/2009/03/and-on-and-on-it-goes.html

"Dreher regards "a commercialized, consumerist, individualized culture that believes in no authority but the desiring individual will" as a threat to himself and his children. "


I somewhat agree with Dreher on this. But I support gay marriage and don't think it represents a consumerist individualized culture that believes in no authority, etc...

And I only somewhat agree for another reason, because the next question is which authority does Dreher want everyone to obey? That gets tricky. But I get a little disgusted when I see someone driving a Hummer and if I understand his crunchy con ideology correctly, I suspect Dreher does too.

The conservative obsession with managing the private lives of adults--and of manipulating a segment of the electorate in the process--is a large part of why small government, strong national defense, balanced budget fossils like me are no longer Republicans.

As for gay marriage/civil union being the demarcation line separating us from moral and ethical chaos, from a legal standpoint, there are endless examples of how the law supports Biblical sin: any two people can own property in common, one can adopt the other, they can leave their entire estates to the other, etc, even if the two adults, regardless of sex, are fornicating like rabbits outside the bonds of holy matrimony (or jointly evading taxes, engaging in credit card fraud or a variety of other illegal activities that run afoul of Biblical teachings).

In addition I'd like to point out that dreher, as usual, confuses "legtimation" "legalization" and thinks that both are really a form of "tolerance." He wants to practice "tolerance" because he's embarrassed socially to be thought "intolerant" but he thinks that "legitimation" is what happens when everybody decides to "tolerate" a practice for real, instead of doing it while spitting on the ground and insisting that the practice remains intolerably icky. And he has both of these confused with "legalization" or "decriminalization" which would be the public policy issue.

Funnilly enough I think Dreher would, if you put it to him right, be perfectly happy with a decriminalization or legalization approach to gay sex and marriage as long as he could hold on to the moral highground and imagine that everyone else he wants to know socially is still entitled to act all squicked out by it. After all, isn't that the very basis of catholic and christianist withdrawal from the regular world--separate marriages, divorces, educational systems, etc....? Its the basic fact of living in the fallen world that lots of things that are legal and are practiced by the other fallen people around you are disavowed by your religion. Its what makes it fun to be saved.

I think its fascinating that the place that modern american christianists are most likely to impose their religious beliefs are on matters sexual, and least likely to impose them are on matters financial. AFter all usery and getting interest and stiffing the worker are much much much bigger sins in the bible than any sexual pecadillos and yet precisely these sins (along with bearing false witness) are hardly ever addressed as public policy issues by the far right. Or, if they are, it is assumed that the law may legalize what it wishes and it should have no effect on the morality of the saved.

aimai

slightly off-topic: what does Sullivan mean by this? "The culmination of the sexual revolution was at 4 am in the Mineshaft in the late 1970s.." What's the Mineshaft? (Do I want to know?) Just curious. btw There's a good discussion about this going on at Coates' blog on the Atlantic as well.

even most conservatives today don't fully grasp how the logic of what we've already conceded as a result of being modern leads to this end.

They are not alone.


Dreher regards "a commercialized, consumerist, individualized culture that believes in no authority but the desiring individual will" as a threat to himself and his children. It is not clear to me why the sight of two people in love making a public commitment to one another might be thought to strengthen that culture.

My guess is that Dreher, like most homophobes, firmly believes that two people of the same sex are incapable of being "in love."

The world dictates that gays have sex, while straights make love.

--Boy George

Does Dreher really think the big problem for inner city America is sex?
Yes, I'm sure he does.

The fact he picks Flanagan as the liberal voice is telling too, since she ain't one.

I suspect that Dreher thinks something like: without God, you might be able to say things like: sex in these circumstances is cruel, but you wouldn't be able to think of it as anything other than a simple pleasure, sort of like ice cream only even more fun.

But that's also bizarre. Imagine this in a non-sexual context: e.g., saying that without God, art would be nothing more than interior decorating, since we wouldn't be able to appreciate its transcendence.

The idea that whole continents of human thought would just sink beneath the waves without God -- ??

Not to mention the idea of legislating this stuff. I mean: I assume that Dreher thinks that only Orthodox weddings (or maybe: Christian weddings) are valid before God, and that people who are married by other means are not truly married. Would he propose invalidating them, to prevent them from being legitimized? Or is it only gay marriage, of all the forms of marriage he thinks are wrong, that's a problem?

If I may engage in the rankest of speculation here, I suspect that many homophobic men are fearful that, if same sex interactions are seen as "legitimate", their wives/girlfriends may go over to "the other side" in search of cunnilingus (or, in some rare cases where such men actually do that deed, for better cunnilingus).

"What's the Mineshaft? (Do I want to know?)"

Ask at unfogged.com.

More seriously, a famous former gay/SM bar/club.

"The idea that whole continents of human thought would just sink beneath the waves without God -- ??"

This seems to be a quite common attitude/opinion in innumerable fundamentalists of all stripes. Indeed, it seems to be almost inherent.

Rod makes his stand primarily on church tradition and on the authority of the Bible. But here he does something that I and many others who argue from the Bible tradition find ourselves tempted to do: he decries any analysis of the Biblical message as "mental gymnastics". Everyone does this: as a Christian with strong conviction on Biblical non-violence, I have to struggle not to point to Matthew 5:9 and say this verse proves the "just war" tradition has got it wrong, and Christians who have gone to war over the past twenty centuries merely let their desires (or the desires of their governments) delude them. But I recognise that to understand a book that deals with matters as complex and vital (in both senses) as the Bible requires a deeper engagement than announcing what a particular verse or verses have to say. Rod, or anyone else, might go through a long and careful process to understand what the Bible says, and the basis of Biblical morality, and still conclude that same-sex lovemaking violates basic moral standards. But to denigrate that process as mental gymnastics, as Rod does, simply begs all the questions.

I say religious conservatives have always believed that the Maker who made us all made everything in the world except sex. Sex was probably made by the Devil, at a moment when God wasn't paying attention. Luckily, God had the foresight to make His creatures male and female, so that His adherents could prevent sex by the simple expedient of separating men from women, boys from girls. Gay sex frustrates that scheme, if you'll pardon the expression. On this analysis, godbotherers hate gay sex because they hate sex.

There might be a flaw in this reasoning. Sex doesn't figure prominently in the Christian idea of Heaven, to be sure, but what of the "72 virgins" in some Muslims' version of Paradise? Oh well, perhaps that is a mistranslation after all, and 72 raisins were indeed meant. That would clinch the argument.

--TP

As I recall from recently auditing a course on Plato's Republic, there is a sour complaint about people doing whatever they want to do therein. Plato's younger contemporary Aristotle thought that the purpose of government was to make people virtuous.
However, where the concern is liberty, such willingness to interfere, without compelling reason, with personal autonomy is suspect. Mill argues that "the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection [...] to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant." That Dreher thinks the consenting adults standard is "purely contractual, nihilistic," would not seem to be sufficient reason for formal sanction.
In contrast to the philosophers of "natural" law, and the moralists, the Founders held the human right to the pursuit of happiness to be a general ethical principle. It might be well to remind Dreher and conservatives of similar beliefs that this sort of intolerant moralism is, with respect to any pose of patriotic Americanism, hypocritical.

Aimai,

I think that you hit the nail on the head with Dreher's discussion of tolerance. The reason that gay *marriage* is such a problem is that it's much more threatening to his worldview than someone getting an anonymous blow job after a night of methed-up clubbing. The latter, after all, reinforces the notion that gay sex is self-centered and amoral. If you have gay people involved in a committed and faithful relationship, well then, that means that gay people are not playing by the script.

An ascetic, celibate male god with a celibate priesthood presented as normative, celibate male saints presented as exemplary - that constitutes a pretty concerted attack on straight male sexuality. Just because the Church has been so wicked when it comnes to the way it treats female sexuality, that doesn't mean it's any better on male sexuality, of any kind.

There's a huge difference between being told that your (straight male monogamous)sexual behaviour is second best to a higher ideal and that it's going to result in you going to hell (gay male monogamous). Male celibacy was initially, for all its faults, a voluntary choice by men to opt out of a sexual system in which they could do pretty much anything they liked sexually as long as it didn't infringe on other men's 'rights'. Now it's been devalued to become something that it's OK to impose on all gay men (and women), but which only exceptional straight men can be expected to adhere to.

Of course the ban on homosexuality (at least among men; no idea why a man may not lie with a man, but apparently a woman can lie with a woman) is central to the Bible. Anyone who doubts this need only observe the equal fervor with which those who rail against it also rail against the ban (a couple of verses over) on making garments of mixed fibers. Same classification ("it is an abomination"); same punishment mandated ("they shall be stoned").

Thus we see all those bans on cotton/polyester shirts enacted in the Bible Belt. Oh wait. We didn't see that? Hmmm....

That second Sullivan quote is insane ("The culmination of the sexual revolution was at 4 am in the Mineshaft in the late 1970s. It is not the civil marriage of two elderly lesbians in a town hall in California in 2008."). What a predictably narcissistic encapsulation of the sexual revolution. Perhaps for a gay man of his age things appear that way, but surely a more broad view is justified: the culmination of sexual revolution is the emancipation of women, right? He seems to equate the sexual revolution with maximal promiscuity as typified by gay men in SF the 70s. This is a selective and nasty view of the sexual revolution, completely unwarranted.

Thullen and blitzer, while equally funny, write in very different styles. Thullen is more droll, blitzer a bit more over the top.

Hope this helps.

"There's a huge difference between being told that your (straight male monogamous)sexual behaviour is second best to a higher ideal and that it's going to result in you going to hell (gay male monogamous). "

No question that the Church has been hating on gays worse than anyone else throughout its entire history. My point was simply that it has absolutley not spun its doctrines in webs to celebrate straight male sexuality.

"at least among men; no idea why a man may not lie with a man, but apparently a woman can lie with a woman) is central to the Bible."

Correction - central to the Torah. For Christians the Torah is not central to anything, least of all the Bible, and that is central to both Gospels and to Paul's teaching.

Protestants may have a different take.

"blitzer a bit more over the top"

thanks, jeff. while youre at it, could you trim a bit more over the ears, too?

but it's "bitzer", no 'l'. (no 'l', no 'l'). i'm not related to wolf, thank goodness.

"...deep magic from the dawn of time..."

Kudos on the use of some good Lewisian language. C.S. Lewis was a hack, but he's a language that many of the Dreher-style folks speak fluently. Subverting their language to new meanings and considerations seems a critical part of the whole endeavor of persuasion.

"C.S. Lewis was a hack"

In which sense?

In the sense that The Horse and His Boy and the Last Battle are racist tripe that Lewis never once bothered to retract or express remorse over.

And Till We Have Faces was good until he realized he needed to conclude it with some preaching.

If sex is an intellectual choice, then it must apply to everyone. But I don't feel that I have made any choice. Why not ask those who claim that it is a choice how worried they are that they might choose to be gay?

"In the sense that The Horse and His Boy and the Last Battle are racist tripe that Lewis never once bothered to retract or express remorse over."

This is a different sense of wht defines a "hack" than I'm familiar with, but I don't disagree with your opinions about the books.

but it's "bitzer", no 'l'. (no 'l', no 'l'). i'm not related to wolf, thank goodness.

Sorry about that. I was thinking "blitzer" as in someone or something that devastates a large area in a short time. Mr Blitzer was lucky enough to be reporting on just such a phenomenon as it happened. If Gulf War 1 had dragged out, neither he nor "Stormin' Norman" would have got much play.

Oh and: sideburns or no sideburns?

hmmm

First of all, it's weird to accept anyone's claims that his/her position is based on tradition and authority when he/she has switched denominations three times.

But maybe I'm alone in that view.

On some level, I agree that same-sex marriage leads to the utter collapse of moral systems. Just look at the arguments of some opponents to SSM. They have completely abandoned the ban on bearing false witness. It's pretty apparent that many self-described "social conservatives" have given up being honest people. All because of SSM...

it's weird to accept anyone's claims that his/her position is based on tradition and authority when he/she has switched denominations three times.

And BobNelson2 wins the thread!

I think Chris is also correct, when ze said @6:31: the culmination of sexual revolution is the emancipation of women, right?

IMHO Dreher's hilzoy-baffling screed is clear and consistent if you replace "homosexuality" with "undermining the gender hierarchy".

SSM makes perfect sense to straight people in egalitarian marriages, like mine, because things that are equal to the same thing are equal to each other. But the traditional world Dreher is clinging to is one where men and women are *not* equal, so of course SSM looks perverted to him.

I would love it if someone could come up with a non-Freudian explanation of why Dreher's vision of religion and morality itself relies on a gender hierarchy, because all I hear from him is "dogs and cats, living together, mass hysteria."

My point was simply that it has absolutley not spun its doctrines in webs to celebrate straight male sexuality.

But sublimating male sexuality can give you magical powers, like casting out demons and changing bread and wine into flesh and blood. That may not amount to "celebrating," but it certainly counts as "privileging."

then he'll be selling blow-jobs at the food-court of the local mall

I see a chain of "Blow Job, the Hut"s, um, springing, up across the country, right next to the "Tossed Salad" franchises.

For eons, christianists claimed that the gays were incapable of having sex without love and committment and thus condemned to suffer the horror of eternal flames. This legitimized their treatment of the gays on the earthly plane, even though it goes against everything that the bible teaches on how to treat ones neighbors and even enemies.

Now we have a whole bunch of the gays who are clammoring for the right to prove them wrong by demonstrating this love and commitment via the bonds of legalized same sex marriage. Christianists cannot have it both ways, and thus, their wailing and gnashing of teeth over same sex marriage.

Legal same sex marriage will be the reality in all the land soon enough. Unfortunately for them, the christianists will fight agaist it till the bitter end, just like they held tight to legalized slavery and institutionalized misogyny, etc.

The culmination of the sexual revolution was at 4 am in the Mineshaft in the late 1970s.

And we cannot allow a mineshaft gap.

Hilzoy (or someone else well-informed on the topic) - are there philosophers or ethicists who are attempting to come up with humanist/non-religious principles of sexual ethics that aren't just about consent, but about care and avoiding cruelty and the other things you mention? Any you'd recommend reading?(I know there's been feminist work on prostitution, pornography etc, but I don't knowm what else there is).

If such work is being done, it ought to be better known than it currently is, as a counter to Dreher's view that religion is essential to anything more than minimal sexual morality.

Dreher doesn't see homo-love as being equivalent to hetero-love because he DOESN'T GET that it really is the same whole thing going on, just with two dudes or two chicks.

This is the entire issue, and it all boils down to this. Always. I'm telling you. Heteros like him think that homos are just perverted heteros -fetishists, like necrophiliacs or something. That they have this freaky compulsion, which if they didn't have it they would be normal heteros. That's it. End of story. He doesn't get it because his mentality, imagination, and powers of observation and deduction are TINY and probably subservient to some religious fear thing.

And his crap argument really doesn't reserve the respect Hilzoy or Andrew give it.

magistra: It's a good question, and I would add that what usually gets talked about as Christian sexual "ethics" looks a lot more like purity/pollution laws than like commentary on the Golden Rule or the commandments: homosexuality isn't immoral so much as it is unclean. It's as if Jews were trying to pass a constitutional amendment banning the consumption of pork and shellfish.

The Narnia books could be considered to be a bit of hackwork (and Tolkien pointed that out, although he did not use the term). I am not talking about the content (that is another matter) but the imo shoddy writing. I usually put it this way: it's bones and hide but with pretty little fles_ h. Unlike Tolkien's works (or some of Lewis' own books) the world he created does not really feel 'lived in' to me but made up on the spot as needed and not beyond that.

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